When Poney opened the door she was surprised to see Rolf Weatherford. She and Rolf considered each other just casual friends. They’d never dated, but since both liked playing chess, and they were both on the school chess team, they’d occasionally played some chess together, either at school or each others’ home. However, Poney’s parents hadn’t started going naked the last time Rolf was at her home. She didn’t think she and Rolf had planned anything for today.
Poney: Oh, hi, Rolf. Were we planning to play some chess this afternoon and I just forgot?
Rolf: Poney, you’re naked!
Poney: Oh, gosh, you’re right! While I was brushing my teeth this morning I knew I’d forgotten something, but I just couldn’t remember what.
Rolf: No, seriously, what’s going on?
Poney: Um, well, the truth is I don’t wear clothes anymore unless I have to. I haven’t worn anything for about ten days.
Rolf: You’ve stopped wearing clothes? But why?
Poney: It’s complicated, but basically my parents recently decided our whole family should stop wearing anything.
Rolf: How the heck did they decide to do that?
Poney: They wanted to show how strongly they object to the foolish attitudes people in our society have about nudity. It’s a long story. I’d love to tell you all about it, but I’m kinda busy right now, so I’ll tell you some other time.
Rolf: That’s, ah, really weird – I mean that’s fine, I guess, if it’s what you all want. I’ve just never heard of anyone doing that. I’m sorry to bother you. I can come back some other time.
Poney: Don’t worry, it’s OK, you’re not bothering me. And I’m not embarrassed about being naked. I won’t be wearing any clothes from now on unless it’s necessary, like at school.
Rolf: No clothes at all? So you’re all nudists now? And you’re not even slightly embarrassed when just anyone sees you with nothing on?
Poney: Yeah. It’s all happened very fast. I’m the last in our family to stop wearing clothes. I was surprised how easy it was for the others – it just seemed, well, normal. I started feeling weird being the only one wearing clothes. So I decided to at least try wearing nothing – at first just briefly, but more every day. Once I’d been completely naked for a whole day, I figured I might as well continue. Initially I was rather uncomfortable letting everyone see me without any clothes. But now I’m fairly used to it. Am I ever embarrassed? Yeah, sometimes, depending on how others react. I can hardly believe I’m really doing this – but I am. I actually sort of enjoy being naked now.
Rolf: It’s hard to believe you’ve adjusted so fast.
Poney: I agree. But fortunately I’ve adjusted. I’ve had to, since wearing nothing is how I’ll be most of the time. To be honest, I now prefer not wearing anything, despite the difficulties.
Rolf: You must be very brave.
Poney: Or really out of my mind. I’d love to tell you more about all this, but it’s complicated, and I don’t have any time to talk right now. Please just tell me what you stopped by for.
Rolf: Oh, well, I just wanted to return this chess book I borrowed from you.
Poney: Thanks, there was no hurry. Was that all?
Rolf: Um, I was going to ask if you’d like to come to my place tomorrow to play some chess. But I guess that’s not such a good idea now.
Poney: Oh, no, it’s perfectly fine with me. Maybe that’s something else hard to believe, but, really, it is. I’ll need to be naked, but if that’s OK with your family I’d be happy to do it.
Rolf: You “need to” be naked? Does that mean “have to” or “want to”?
Poney: Both about equally, I think. I definitely want to be naked. But this evening I and the rest of my family are pledging not to wear any clothes unless it’s necessary, so that’s a sincere promise to stay naked.
Rolf: And you’re willing to do that?
Poney: Yes, I’ve finally decided it’s the right thing for me to do. It doesn’t mean I have to stop doing anything I enjoy just because I’m naked – as long as that won’t be a problem. I hope most people I know – my friends, especially – won’t treat me any differently because I don’t wear clothes. But that’ll be up to them.
Rolf: My parents probably won’t believe me when I tell them about this. I’ll send you a text once I find out whether they’re OK with you being naked at our place. If they are, we can figure out a time for you to come.
Poney: Sounds good to me. I hope your parents say it’s OK.
Rolf: Me too.
Jenna: [when Poney had returned to the kitchen] Who was it, honey?
Poney: Rolf Weatherford. He was returning one of my chess books. But he also invited me to his house sometime tomorrow to play a game or two of chess – provided his parents don’t object to my nudity.
Jenna: You’ll go, of course, won’t you?
Poney: Sure, if his parents approve. There’s nothing going on here tomorrow, is there?
Jenna: Not that I know of.
Poney: Well, then, what were we talking about before Rolf came?
Jenna: I was advising you to get as much practice as possible being naked around other people. But people aren’t all the same. Some will have no problems with your nudity, and treat you just as if you had clothes on. Others will need some persuasion to accept your nudity, and will have different concerns about it, such as what impact it might have on their kids, whether it’s really as nonsexual as claimed, what the legal aspects are, and so on. And the rest won’t want to have anything to do with you if you’re naked. Then you just have to politely say you’re sorry if your nudity has offended them, and go on your way.
Poney: So I’ll have to figure out what to expect in any new situation.
Jenna: Yes, obviously. In particular, you’ll have to learn how to deal with the male half of the species. The majority, I believe, know how to behave themselves, but they may not know what’s OK and what isn’t around naked females. Some guys might tend to stare too much, or talk about sexual things excessively or too explicitly, or other things that could make you uncomfortable. You need to learn – in case that happens – how to tell them in a nice way that they’re making you uncomfortable. I could give you lots of advice about this, but we can talk more about it some other time.
Poney: I hope that’ll be soon. Since I’m usually going to be naked, I need to learn as soon as possible. I’ll welcome whatever advice you have.
Jenna: Oh, I have plenty of practical advice about a lot of things. But there’s something more general I should say right now. Namely, I think you should come out of your shell a little so you can make a real effort to get the practice. It seems you’ve become fairly comfortable with most others seeing you naked. But dealing with the sorts of things I just mentioned is where you need practice to improve your social skills.
Poney: I agree about becoming more outgoing and developing certain social skills. But I’ve already come quite a way towards being comfortable and mostly not embarrassed without any clothes on.
Jenna: You definitely have, and you can be proud of that. But the next step is to be more active in suggesting activities with friends – whether or not they also personally enjoy nudity. I’d encourage you to be less timid and shy about accepting that role. Try to take more initiative to think of fun activities to do with others – as long as wearing clothes is, at least, optional. Better yet to think of activities that are more interesting and enjoyable when naked, such as pool parties. Don’t always wait for someone else to suggest and arrange fun things.
Poney: Pool parties, sure, if someone’s family has a pool and is OK with nudity. How about some other examples? Nudity kind of limits the possibilities.
Jenna: Perhaps, but not as much as you might think. Be creative. Consider things such as hiking and other sports, organizing theme parties, cosplay, yoga practice, arts and crafts, cooking and baking. Pick what most appeals to you, and get others interested.
Poney: I hope there’ll be others my age in that naturist group who’ll want to do things like that.
Jenna: I’m sure there will be, but don’t be limited to just other naturists. The best things will be what both naturist and your non-naturist friends will enjoy. It’s unnecessary to keep those who enjoy nudity apart from the others. Even with something like body painting, some will be happy being naked for that, while others will simply wear a brief swimsuit. The idea is to get both types together. That may tempt some of the non-naturists to try out nudity themselves.
Poney: That all sounds like great advice. I guess I’ve been lazy about letting others think up fun things. It’s only fair that I put more effort into that. I’ve just assumed routine socializing would be fun with little if any effort.
Jenna: Socializing is fun, of course – especially for those who like being naked too. Wearing nothing makes many things much more fun. But arranging fun things to do, whether naked or not, does take some effort.
Poney: Like all the work needed to be ready for this evening!
Jenna: Yes. Even a simple party, perhaps with some snacks and things to do, requires someone to make it happen. Someone has to plan when and where it’s going to be, put out invitations, arrange for refreshments and snacks, round up any needed equipment and materials, and so on. Fun things sometimes happen spontaneously – but not usually.
Poney: But we were originally talking about practice necessary to develop social skills – especially just being naked around other people.
Jenna: It seems that should be simple, but it isn’t necessarily, especially for some people. It’s great you’ve become used to nudity fairly quickly. Next you’ll need to work on persuading your friends to accept your nudity. That may be tricky at first, but you can manage it with enough practice.
Poney: It wasn’t all that easy for me to get used to nudity. By going naked with Ellen to visit her husband’s parents I deliberately put myself in a position where I’d have to get used to it. That was scary – at the time.
Jenna: Yes, worthwhile things are often not very easy. For example, you admire girls who are good at sports like gymnastics, tennis, and basketball. They generally had to work hard at those things to succeed at them. But I’ll bet it was fun, too, most of the time. And it’s even more fun once they’re pretty good at the sport.
Poney: But those are all physical sports. Going naked isn’t a physical sport.
Jenna: True. But maybe you’ve heard there’s what’s called the “inner game” of sports like gymnastics, tennis, and running. Getting good at those is as much psychological as physical. For instance in gymnastics the inner game involves things like timing, tolerating pain, and overcoming the fear of hurting yourself if you push yourself to do something that seems beyond your current limits.
Poney: What’s the inner game of going naked?
Jenna: Many things. Self-confidence is the main thing – have enough acceptance of your naked body so you don’t worry what others think of it. Be confident that nudity is right for you, in spite of those who might disagree. Overcome fears of going naked in places or situations you have little experience with but where you think nudity will be tolerated. Oh, and what I mentioned a couple of days ago – act like you don’t fear being naked, because before long it will be true. In short, you need good control of emotions like fear, embarrassment, and self-doubt.
Poney: It’s a struggle, but I’m trying hard to work on my confidence. Anything else?
Jenna: Well, sometimes you may need to control your anger and hurt feelings if people are rude, censorious, or disparaging to you or even start nasty rumors about you just because you like being naked.
Poney: Self-confidence should help with that too, right?
Jenna: Yes. If you have enough self-confidence, you can do much more. Cultivate the attitude that you personally find nudity so much better than wearing clothes that’s there’s just no comparison. Be a leader instead of a follower whenever new opportunities for nudity come up. Be naked even if you’re not positive others won’t object.
Poney: Isn’t that sort of risky?
Jenna: Yes, it can be. You just need to make good guesses about how others’ reactions, and that takes practice. Often it’s better to apologize, if you have to, for being naked, instead of asking for permission first. People generally will tolerate things they don’t strongly dislike rather than make a fuss about them. But don’t push so hard that someone gets angry – or, worse, calls the cops. And, of course, if someone asks politely – or even not so politely – for you to cover up a little try to be cooperative unless the request seems very unreasonable.
Poney: What if I don’t have any clothes with me?
Jenna: Well, you also need to recognize places or situations where you might need a few clothes – so you’ll have something to put on if necessary.
Poney: I’ll have to start working on these skills immediately.
Jenna: Right. Since full nudity’s such a new thing for you, being especially cautious at first is reasonable. Don’t risk getting into trouble until you think you can tell when caution is important. You have to learn to make accurate judgments by reading others’ feelings about nudity from their body language and how they speak. People often reveal how they feel as much by what they don’t say as what they do. Signs of either approval or disapproval can be subtle.
Poney: I understand. Ellen’s in-laws didn’t have much to say to me at first, but eventually they warmed up a bit.
Jenna: Always try to be considerate, but let others decide whether to be confrontative if they must. The more you show that you believe nudity is good and wholesome, the less likely you’ll be challenged about it, even if they don’t agree.
Poney: That sounds like good advice.
Jenna: Here’s something else to think about. You’ll want as many friends as possible to accept that you’ll be naked whenever you can. However, I’m sure you’d also like some of your friends to enjoy being naked too, at least occasionally. Be patient. It may happen, but not immediately. Getting comfortable being naked wasn’t too hard for you, since the rest of your family was already enthusiastic about nudity. But probably none of your friends will have that advantage.
Poney: Yes! I’d love it if even a few of my current friends enjoyed being naked! But I know that’s unlikely. I may be lucky if only a few stop being friends because of my nudity.
Jenna: Some friends will more likely experiment with nudity if you encourage and mentor them. You’ll have to help them persuade their families that social nudity’s actually a wonderful thing, not a scary, skeevy thing. Then they’ll need help overcoming fears and worries similar to yours. So you’ll need to practice getting good at mentoring and counseling people over the difficulties of becoming a naturist, or at least someone who can enjoy occasional naked events and activities.
Poney: You and Dad decided yourselves to become full-time nudists only very recently. How do you know all these things about going naked?
Jenna: Fair question. Before you were born your father and I traveled around Europe a little – especially Germany and France. Naturism was more popular there than here, and we enjoyed a few nude beaches, naturist resorts, and the like. We learned that social nudity was quite respectable and quite enjoyable. But back here there are many fewer naturist opportunities, therefore we didn’t try to remain naturists when you and Rowan came along. So that was all more than 15 years ago. However, once we decided to get serious about full-time naked living we read a lot about naturism on the Web and read a couple of books about it also.
Poney: You’ll have to help me find stuff to read too.
Jenna: We’ll do that, of course. Unfortunately, there’s little good information on living naked most of the time. That’s what really interested us. Most naturist information is just about finding clubs and resorts, going to nude beaches, taking nude vacations, and explaining naturism to your friends and relatives. Stuff like that. There just isn’t much about how to stop wearing clothes whenever possible, and how to get around the inevitable problems.
Poney: That’s too bad. Maybe that’s why very few people do what we’re doing.
Jenna: You’re probably right. There’s also very little on the inner game of nudity. Fortunately, I know a bit about inner games from having played tennis. Your father and I decided to just go ahead, take the plunge, learn about living naked by direct experience, and say to hell with wearing clothes. After we all get more experience with naked living, we should be able to write our own book on the subject and teach others quite a lot!
Poney: Um, yeah, that’s probably true.
Jenna: Poney, I don’t need a definitive answer on this, but can you tell me how you feel right now about this whole naked lifestyle plan? Are you ready to dive in, head first, totally naked? No second thoughts? No looking back?
Poney: I’d love to say I’m 100% sure I can do it. Not choosing total nudity like the rest of you now seems very wrong. All I can say is that I intend to take the pledge, see how it goes, and hope like crazy I won’t later disappoint you.
Jeanna: Fine. That’s as much as I could expect. The rest of us have been entirely committed to this and fully naked whenever possible for about three weeks. It would mean so much to us for you to take the plunge right alongside us.
Poney: I’ll do my best not to be a disappointment, Mom. It’s obvious how important nudity is to you, Dad, and Rowan. I’ll work really hard to make it as important to me also. I’m sure that if I show any signs of weakness or uncertainty Rowan will do his best to keep any clothes off my naked body.
Jenna: You’re probably right. But he’s promised not to push you too hard. Let us know if he does.
Poney: Well, he takes entirely too much pleasure teasing me. So maybe just for fun I’ll tease him that I might wear only a shirt but nothing else, and let him beg me to stay completely naked.
Jenna: Little games like that are fine. Maybe you could occasionally dare each other to try doing something naked you’re not too interested in.
Poney: Like what, for example?
Jenna: Oh, I don’t know. You’ve sometimes enjoyed horseback riding. Perhaps you could invite a few friends to go with you sometime and try doing it naked at a riding stable that would be OK with that. Then dare Rowan to come along – even though he’s never been interested in it.
Poney: But that assumes I’d have any friends who’d try it.
Jenna: I bet there’ll be some young people in the naturist group who might be interested – and perhaps one or two friends you already have.
Poney: What do you think Rowan might dare me to do?
Jenna: Well, maybe one of his friends has some sort of party and invites both you and Rowan to attend naked – even though most others will be boys Rowan’s age you don’t know. He’d probably dare you to go naked with him.
Poney: Yeah, I suppose so.
Jenna: But it could work the other way, too, if one of your friends extends a similar invitation. Might even be mostly a party of other girls. I can imagine Rowan having some hesitations about that.
Poney: Yeah, that would be interesting. But Rowan and I will already be naked whenever possible. The only decision will be whether to attend the party, not whether to be naked.
Jenna: That’s right. Once you’ve pledged to stay naked, you shouldn’t worry whether Rowan will somehow force you to let your friends know that. Most of your friends will find out pretty soon anyhow – the word will get around quickly. Maybe you know he’s informed almost a dozen friends so far about what we’re doing.
Poney: What sort of results has he had?
Jenna: Only two of his friends said they don’t want any part of the nudity. All except two of the rest were either noncommittal or mildly positive, but wanted to discuss with their parents whether continuing to have a friend who’s always naked would be OK with them. He still doesn’t know what they’re going to do. The other two friends, however, got full permission from their parents for Rowan to visit them at their homes, even if he’s wearing nothing, and for them to visit here.
Poney: Rowan didn’t give me all those details, but I knew he’s already been naked at one or two of his friends’ homes. I don’t know how much he’s actually discussed nudity with any of them. I might not get results even as good as Rowan’s, at least not right away.
Jenna: Well, don’t be so sure until you try discussing it with your friends. You might get as good results or better, even if there are some disappointments.
Poney: Discussing the subject with my friends will be challenging. It would be easier if I were naked only at home. But admitting I expect to be naked whenever possible – yet I want to be treated just as if nothing were different – will be something else entirely.
Jenna: I certainly understand your concerns. As I just mentioned, your friends are bound to find out eventually that all of us will be naked whenever we can. Have you to start thinking about how to discuss nudity with your friends?
Poney: Just a little. Until Rolf just stopped by, I’m not aware of any friends who know I’m going naked. It’s hard to guess how most others will react.
Jenna: Better give this more thought, since you never know when you may have to explain the situation. What will you tell a friend who calls after hearing from someone else that you’re usually naked – or if you get an invitation to do something with a friend who doesn’t yet know that?
Poney: I’ve already declined several invitations, without much explanation.
Jenna: The rest of us won’t be at all secretive about being committed to nudity. We believe it’s quite important for people to know what we’re doing. We want to show everyone who knows us that a naked lifestyle is not only possible but can be very fulfilling. You know about the sign your father put up by the front door.
Poney: Yeah, I know. It says “This is a Naked Home. If nudity is a problem for you, call us to discuss your visit. Thanks.” That’s pretty definitive. Apparently it fell down, so Rolf didn’t see it. But I put it back up.
Jenna: You know some of what you’ll have to deal with by choosing to stay naked. So you must’ve considered that if you take the pledge. That decision’s up to you.
Poney: I know, I know. There’s hardly been anything else on my mind recently. Now I’m wondering whether it might be even more complicated than I’ve supposed. But I promise I’ll do my best not to disappoint you and the rest of the family. I know you want me to be every bit as naked as the rest of you. I want that too – if I can manage it!
Jenna: Poney, I’m so glad we’ve had this conversation. I knew we’d need to have it eventually. But it’s so much better to have happened now, before our guests come and we pledge to live as naked as possible – so nobody doubts the seriousness of our intentions. It’s great for you to pledge that too!
Poney: I think I’ll be OK, Mom. I know you’d never expect me to do something really stupid, like walking stark naked and barefoot down Main Street in the hot sun. Being naked whenever possible is an awfully big, scary change, but I understand why it’s important. So I couldn’t stand disappointing all of you by not pledging to stay naked.
Jenna: Even if it means never wearing anything, except in public places like school – or giving up friends who can’t understand our enthusiasm for nudity?
Poney: I’ve already promised you I’ll do the best I can. What more can I say now?
Jenna: It’s fine – all I could have expected and more.
Poney: I just have one more question I’ve been wondering about.
Poney: The invitation you sent to tonight’s guests said something like, “You’re invited to witness our pledge to be a Naked Family, affirming our intention, as much as possible, to cease wearing clothes. Let’s celebrate that together over a delicious meal. Although we’ll be naked, no such expectation applies to any guests. However, full or partial nudity is certainly acceptable for our guests too.” That sounds pretty darn serious, sort of like making wedding vows.
Jenna: Do you think the wording is too extreme?
Poney: Well, no, it certainly makes the point pretty clear – though it kind of assumes I’d already decided to pledge also.
Jenna: I figured you’d notice that – but you didn’t object. I wanted to make the invitation quite clear and explicit, without hedging. We don’t want clothing to be part of our family’s life, whenever that’s possible. I didn’t state our reasons for this, since a main purpose this evening is to explain our beliefs about the wholesomeness, importance, and value of nudity.
Poney: I guess I didn’t object because I wanted to have as much incentive as possible to go along with the plan. I know this evening’s guests approve of the idea. But what about our family’s relatives and good friends, some of whom will surely have trouble accepting our nudity?
Jenna: All we can do is ask everyone to consider our reasons for being naked and to respect our beliefs by not asking us to compromise those beliefs without good reasons of their own. We’ll make it clear that we respect the rights of anyone else to wear whatever they prefer – just as we prefer to wear nothing at all.
Poney: OK, Mom, I definitely know this is a serious thing, like a wedding vow.
Jenna: Do you feel it’s too restrictive on you?
Poney: No, I understand and agree with what this is all about. I’ve already promised to do my best to live naked whenever possible, since I know how much you want that. Getting entirely comfortable with nudity is now my highest priority. I even promise that if any guy wants to date me, I’ll decline if it’s necessary to wear anything.
Jenna: Hmmm. In a situation like that, maybe you could go somewhere you could both be naked.
Poney: That would be ideal, of course. A party, perhaps, where nudity might be OK. I’ll have to work on finding opportunities for going naked – even if it’s only me.
Jenna: I don’t think you’ll have much trouble discovering them. If what I understand about this naturist organization that’s doing the campout is correct, they plan to arrange many naked activities. As soon as you have friends in that group, you can arrange events of your own. We’ll always be happy to have things like that right here in our place.
Poney: I’m going to have a busy day tomorrow.
Jenna: How’s that?
Poney: Well, maybe I’ll hear from Rolf that it’s OK for me to go to his place to play chess. I’ll have to explain my nudity to his family. In any case, I’ll have to start calling friends to let them know I’ve stopped wearing clothes – and to find out whether they still want anything to do with me.
Jenna: Poney, this must be the best mother-daughter talk we’ve ever had. But, gosh, it’s really late now. The invitations specified arrival about 6:30. There’s less than an hour to go. We’re gonna have to really bust our bare butts to get everything done on time.