A couple of months ago I checked a big task off my bucket list. I visited a local nudist park. And yes, I fully participated.
Last year I began to fully embrace my body as it is, with its scars, folds, lumps, hair, and outstanding strength. I started using the hashtag #wearthebikini whenever I shared pictures of myself enjoying the pool or wearing shorts out in public with these lumpy, bumpy thighs. But in the fall I was introduced to the world of nudism (or as I like to call it, naturism, because that word for me embraces the source of my desire to go nude – feeling comfortable in my most natural state). I began reading blogs and articles and asking questions with someone who has long participated in nudism. The more I learned, the more I wanted to experience this first hand.
So when it began to warm up, I took a trip to a nudist park here in North Carolina called Whispering Pines. The owner actually greeted me at the gate completely nude, which I guess shouldn’t have surprised me, but it was one aspect of going to the park that I had forgotten to consider – other people being nude. It was still the off season, so the only people there were the regulars, mostly older retirees, all white, mostly conservative Christians, and all very welcoming.
There was a party one night, and we all enjoyed some wonderful food and friendship, getting to know each other and chatting about ourselves. They were excited to have someone new around, especially someone new to the lifestyle. Every step of the way, I was made to feel completely comfortable and welcome.
To be honest, I was very scared and uncomfortable when I first arrived. But after several minutes of sitting inside fully clothed, I finally threw off my inhibitions and took a walk around the park, wearing only my shoes. Luckily it was a warm weekend and I can’t explain how good it felt to let the sun hit my whole body. I thought I would be embarrassed and ashamed but the more I let go of my own criticisms of my body, the more I realized how wonderful and natural this felt. I felt very connected to the earth, the weather, to everything around me. It was a relaxing and electric sensation.
You won’t find me walking around town au naturale, but visiting the nudist park and opening myself up to this amazing new experience gave me a fresh confidence in myself. There’s no posturing, no hiding, no frills when it comes to social nudity. And even private nudity can be an exceptionally fulfilling experience mentally and emotionally, and this newbie recommends everyone – regardless of age, sex, gender, orientation, religion, size, ability, or color – give it a try at least once.
I conquered a fear and felt empowered. My body is a wonderful thing. I’m not waiting until it’s tucked in here, stronger there, less lumpy this, or hairless that…it’s great just as it is, and I enjoy the invitation I’ve given myself to not just accept but to relish the skin I’m in.
P.S. I have a deep gratitude to my guide, for the new experience, one I hope we can repeat many times together. Pure bliss!