Trying naturism

I know quite a few people are fascinated by the idea of going nude in public in a suitable place, but say they don't dare try although they'd love to... it's really not difficult! I felt awkward for about half an hour the first time I was naked fully in public, and then found that I was chatting and making friends perfectly normally.


Before you let yourself be seen naked, you could try sunbathing or swimming nude by yourself, to get used to be naked outside the home.

An easy introduction: the swimming pool

Perhaps the commonest way to be introduced to social nudity is through an organized nude swimming session. Swimming without a costume is far more comfortable and pleasant than swimming with one! Most people at the swim will typically be there for a gentle swim, perhaps some games of throw-and-catch with beach balls, and a chat, although some go to swim seriously for exercise too.

So what's it like?

When you go to a nude sauna and swim session at a public pool, you'll find that any windows or glass doors onto the pool from outside will have been covered over to stop people outside looking in. On the way in, there'll be someone taking the money (and this is typically cheaper than paying for a swim and a sauna at the ordinary public pool sessions) and you then go into the ordinary changing rooms, either cubicles or an open changing area, where people are changing for a swim as normal, except that they're not putting swimming costumes on after taking their ordinary clothes off -- and, of course, no-one is carefully wrapping themselves in a towel as they change.

So you start to undress much as though you were going to put on your swimming costume; and most of the people I've brought along to try it for the first time have (if I'm still waiting for them by then, and so noticed this) hesitated slightly before removing the last item -- I was a bit surprised to notice with female friends trying skinny-dipping for the first time that the top tends to come off with hesitation after the bottom is confidently bared! Then you walk along to the pool area feeling slightly silly, and get in the water and suddenly find that swimming this way is much nicer than it is with a costume on, and having the water all over you is actually quite a lot more refreshing than almost all over you! And from then on, whenever you wear a swimsuit, you'll wish you didn't have to -- don't say you haven't been warned! Also, some of the friends I've introduced to naturism have said it's given their self-confidence a great boost.

Don't worry if you're not the shape you think people would like you to be -- naturists are far less bothered about this (in fact, most seem not at all bothered) than `textiles'.

Before long, it will pretty much slip your attention neither you nor anyone else except the pool lifeguards are wearing anything, nor for that matter that the lifeguards stand out as different either.

When you leave, you'll probably find that you'll have been experiencing a great feeling of freedom, and will very much want to come back!

Here's someone else's first experience of naturism, at Studland beach.

Trying a sauna

Quite a few people, myself included, don't get round to trying a sauna until they've tried naturism. Typically, an English sauna at a pool will be for use with swimming costumes during usual swim sessions (and you have to pay separately from paying for the swim). I've not tried a sauna while wearing a costume -- sounds pretty horrible! I'd definitely recommend trying a sauna; etiquette (which not everyone follows) demands that you shower first, and shower again on leaving the sauna, so that you don't go into the sauna dirty, or into the swimming pool sweaty. Expect to drink at least a can of fizzy drink, or equivalent, afterwards (and perhaps before, too) -- sauna does get you to sweat quite a lot of the water out of your body!

A friendly group

If you're in East Anglia, I'd recommend coming along to the sauna and swim sessions at the Manor Pool, Whittlesey (near Peterborough) organized by the Soleil Naturist Group; they also organize events in other places, including the Bedford Oasis pool, which is a ``fun pool'' with bubble jets, wave machines etc -- tremendous fun although there's not enough plain open water for just swimming around. At any of these, the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, with pool and sauna and showers (and, at the Oasis, fast food restaurant) all reserved for mixed nude use... just like it should be all the time if people weren't so silly!

Unlike some clubs, Soleil are happy to include single people; they do like to know who you are, so bring some identity -- I presume that this lets them check for troublemakers known from other clubs. A couple of times I've noticed people who stare a bit obtrusively, but then noticed that they were no longer turning up, so I guess someone has a quiet word with them, or perhaps they realize they don't fit..

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