Naturism taught me not to be ashamed of my body, the president of the Irish Naturist Association writes.
Like other Irish people my age, I was brought up in a conservative society.
There were rules of decency to live by, and any group deemed to be outside the social norm – members of the LGBT communities, hippies and people with different faiths – were very often looked upon with disdain.
I carried these kind of conservative views with me into adulthood. Taught to fear my body and alternative ways of life, I never imagined I would eventually come to embrace naturism.
I began to appreciate the benefits of a naturist lifestyle much later on in life, once my wife and I had children. Every June, we holidayed in a caravan by the south east coast.
The weather was often sunny during these breaks and the nearby beach was usually deserted, especially during weekdays. After swims, I would take my soggy togs off under my windcheater, enjoying that exhilarating feeling of the sun and air on my bare body.
Gradually, I became braver and, when no-one else was in sight, often ventured to the water naked, hiding back under my windcheater when others appeared.
I enjoyed the experience so much that I started only visiting very quiet beaches, so I could feel the water all over my naked skin without disturbance.
To my surprise, there were other like-minded people who enjoyed the freedom of a clothes-free lifestyle.
Original publication 30 July, 2015
Posted on NatCorn 27th March 2020
Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.