Legality of nudity in Canada is a tricky one. I am by no means a lawyer, I know in British Columbia, women are afforded the same topless rights as men. This means I am legally allowed to take my top off at parks, beaches, and even if I want to ride my bike down the street on a sunny day. But being allowed and actually doing it are two completely different things. Enjoying a summer drink at a river by my house, the river was filled with kids, teenagers, and adults of all ages crammed into the calm parts of the river – a topless 20-something year old – sat having a beer with her friends. No inhibition, no fear, just pure confidence. Or intoxication. But either way she was embracing her legal right. This however was not for me, but power to her and her own growth into naturism.
As Jay and I explored our journey into Naturism, a crowded creek with 99.9% of people being clothed was not the best avenue. But where was. Being naked in nature was quickly becoming a hobby – but like all hobbies, it can’t control your life. Or can it? Clothed or not – we have always had a passion for exploring BC – whether it is 4x4ing through forestry roads, kayaking one of the hundreds of lakes this province has to offer, or camping far from cell reception. With a lot of research (please do you own research if you plan to visit these Hot Springs – they are 70km from a paved road – and we’ve had both dead batteries and flat tires on this road) we knew our next venture into naturism was the hot springs in around Pemberton.
When a wanna-be nudist wants to go to a hotsprings in the middle of no where – how does one pack? When I go to Wreck Beach I don’t even bring a bikini top, and this is a packed beach. What about a secluded springs? Will it be secluded? I’ve now been naked in front of hundreds of likeminded individuals at Wreck Beach – but similar to my previous point – time and place. Is nudity even allowed? Reviews were vague and the official website even vaguer. Regardless, here I was, cruising down a bumpy forestry road towards Sloquet Hostrpings. After a four hour drive we arrived at the camp site. We set up our tent, and excitedly worked our way down to the springs.
I like being naked. We like being naked together. We like being naked soaking in a hot springs. Our feelings towards nudity have evolved significantly since our first foray, but as we wound our way down the trail – how would this experience allow us to learn and grow. Time and place. Was this the place for us to be able to show our bits and bums? As we approached the crude ‘dressing room’ of a seemingly empty hot springs – we saw a BC Parks ‘Rules of Engagement’ sign. Would this provide clarity on the limits we could expand our journey into naturism? Would the cold hard law require we stay confined in our bathing suits? Or would a clothing optional thumbs up give us the push we need to jump right in.
No such clarity was given. Don’t bring glass into the hot springs, 10 minutes max soak time, and if you’re pregnant – you probably shouldn’t be soaking. Nothing on whether I would be allowed to strip down and explore the next stage on my naked journey. The sign only provided flashbacks to swimming lessons in our public pool growing up. Time and place. Place? Picturesque romantic natural hot springs beside a calming river – check. Time – all but secluded and only a handful of other campers occupying the campsites above – checkish? The only problem was the ambiguity regarding nudity and unsure of who could come down one of the two stairwells into the springs. It would be impossible for to me relax AND keep an eye on the two stairwells on either side of the springs. A prudish visitor would be around the corner and be confronted with our nudity almost without our warning because of the raging river. But what the hell – we decided to brave it all – by baring all.
As the therapeutic mineral water surrounded our naked bodies – I wish I could say any worry of us being caught naked in the springs had been removed. But the ever growing fear of being caught grew with each passing moment. My bathing suit was off, resting on a rock, dryish, and always within arm shot. At the very least if a prudish stranger came barreling into sight I could cover by chest in a rush and allow the water to distort my lower bits. Again, I asked myself why? Who would drive four hours to soak in a natural hot springs to wear a clingy bathing suit? At a high priced spa soaking in a hot tub would I have the same feelings? Was it because it might not be co-ed? Why would it matter if Joe Average saw my bits and bum? Should I be embarrassed? As Jay always likes to say “you’ve either got one or seen one, so what if someone sees me naked?” Little did I know how right he would be and how quickly we would find out.
Source: Bits and Bums
Original publication 22 February, 2021
Posted on NatCorn 6th March 2021
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