Naturism – a bum deal?
Get the sun cream, as Caravan magazine lets it all hang out to explore the world of naturism. Could you bare all to wander freely outdoors on a naturist site? Would you be nervously darting from pitch to pitch, hiding behind every available obstacle to hide your appendage or would you bound down to the beach, unashamed in your birthday suit?
Naturism has been established in the UK since 1924, yet it still suffers from a stigma of self-image and associated connotations that put a lot of people off a possibly freeing experience. Besides, if nothing else, people’s rude bits are often subject of many amusing conversations, giggles and innuendo [in your endo – Ed].
To get an idea of naturism’s ins and outs, for want of a better phrase, we sent Janet Haines away for a week of de-clothing and bum flashing.
How do you get used to it?
“You need to pace yourself with naturism,” Janet explains. “Arriving on site and setting up your van and awning, with all your clothes on, is perfectly acceptable. But, the following morning, the pressure is on – this is when the giggles start.”
However, it didn’t take long for our body-conscious contributor to get comfortable, taking the next step in shedding the layers and joining the uncovered crowds.
“The realisation hit us as a shock that very few people are traditionally beautiful without their clothes on,” says Janet. “They come in all shapes and sizes. The lifelong members of this club are as tanned as chestnuts. While those wearing the tanned legs and arms with apparent white T-shirts and shorts are, like us, newbies.”
“We walked down to the beach, with just sunglasses on, not because of the sun, but just so that we didn’t have to make eye contact. With sunglasses we can sort of hide the fact that our eyes are out on stalks.
“In a world where everything is on view, the two unspoken rules seem to be ‘no cameras’ and ‘no binoculars’. We soon came to realise that we’re in a safe environment and slowly our muscles began to relax. Life without clothes on began to feel normal.”
In fact, the normality of the nudist world even extends to entertainment and activities, with sunbathing, shopping, tennis, cycling, swimming and yoga all on the cards. Not to mention walking along the beach with the wind in your hairs.
So it’s not about insecurities, finger pointing, perverted points of view and what’s socially accepted – naturism is as invigorating as it gets, building confidence and enjoying a community that is little understood by the mainstream.
• Got more information on naturism at home and abroad? Where do you go in the UK to shed your clothes? How do you interact with pitch neighbours? How do you stop yourself staring? Do people still wear waterproofs it if rains? Get in touch with Caravan magazine below...