PERSPECTIVE: “You’ll find that we’re just like regular people,” one of them tells me in an email prior to our meet-up.
The nudist (or naturist) community in Singapore is a small, mostly underground one, comprising people of various ages, like 53-year-old Ming and 30-year-old Chantal (not their real names).
Speaking to Mothership, they tell us more about the nudist lifestyle and what their experiences have been like. Living in Singapore where attitudes towards nudism have remained conservative, they also share their fears in letting people know about this side of them.
My meet-up with two nudists (or naturists, as it is sometimes called) in Singapore happened at a quiet cafe in Kallang on a weekday afternoon.
How I connected with them is also somewhat of a long-winded story involving emails to different (groups of?) people, mostly overseas.
Long story short: I finally managed to get in contact with someone in Singapore, and after a couple of back-and-forth emails with said person, identified only by his surname and initials on Gmail and a photo that gave nothing away about his identity (most mysterious and anonymous), we arranged to meet up in person.
Another woman will also be joining us, he told me.
Prior to the meeting, I had no idea what these two people look like, nor how old they are. The only information I had? They are a man and a woman.
At the cafe we arranged to meet up, a middle-aged man approaches me (after I send him a message saying I’m wearing a green blouse). He introduces himself, Ming, and tells me he has gotten a table at the far end.
The woman, who is 30, is already seated there with a warm beverage. She introduces herself as Chantal (which isn’t her real name, she tells me).
Chantal is currently a teacher specialising in naked yoga after leaving her corporate job earlier this year. On top of teaching, she also has side gigs doing nude photoshoots.
Ming is a self-employed 53-year-old currently working from home.
To my surprise, I learn that this meeting is the first time that these two individuals are meeting in person — both of them are in the same WhatsApp chat group comprising others in the local naturist community, but have never met up.
Ming said the group started from a naturist retreat he had gone for, and others, Chantal included, were subsequently added to it. One of Chantal’s students happened to attend the same retreat Ming had gone for.
In our chat, they also seemed pretty reluctant to let me know specific details such as their real names and occupations (and to be fair, I didn’t push them to give me details either).
But that is perhaps to be expected, since they expressed discomfort at their friends and family finding out about — and judging — their nudist lifestyle.
Original publication 12 December, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 28th December 2020
Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.