‘We ended up beside the business end of a man whose little Juan was soaking up the rays… you don’t get that in Donegal’
Naturism is experiencing a rise in members thanks to travel restrictions. It’s also impossible to write about without everything becoming a double entendre, although that might just be me.
The Irish Naturist Association has two thirds more volunteers now than in 2019, which is a lot more bare flesh braving the cold, and another sign that Covid has persuaded us to throw off the shackles of everyday life, or in their case, clothes.
British Naturism estimates that between the UK and Ireland there are over a million naturists, who must be well hidden, and weather-proofed.
Those who indulge in clothing-optional recreations prefer to be known as naturists rather than nudists. Can I try that and be known as a size eight?
Nudity is the act of getting your kit off. Naturism is a lifestyle advocating “respect for others in a natural and wholesome setting” according to their website, which kind of sucks the fun out of the whole thing because the serially clothed among us like to think it’s a bit alternative and rebellious.
Surely getting a draught around your waxing zone in the company of complete strangers is a public showing of your mavericks?
Before anyone is tempted to tut disapprovingly and reach for a sturdy cardie, studies have shown that naturists have higher self-esteem and body confidence. Of course they do. They’re in the nip and proud of it.
The nudity is also non-sexual and freeing, so say the celebrity disciples of the lifestyle. Helen Mirren has described her naturist experiences as liberating, Kevin Bacon has espoused the pleasures of his naturist home life, and Orlando Bloom has memorably got it all out there on a paddle board.
Billy Connolly did a naked bungee jump, which must surely have had some onlookers wishing for brain bleach, and Robbie Williams has debated whether he’s a naturist or “I just like taking my pants down”.
Across Europe, the attitude to being outdoors in your birthday suit makes us look buttoned up, in every sense.
When peeing with the bathroom door open is a relationship milestone some of us never reach, there is almost no chance of us strolling down a beach hand in hand wearing nothing but mascara and a smile.
I’ve only ever encountered naturists on holidays and came away with a newfound respect for their maturity, lack of judgment and ability to keep their eyes up.
Source: Sunday World
Original publication 26 September, 2021
Posted on NatCorn 4 weeks ago
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