It’s summer! The sun is shining and the temperatures are finally heating up. For most of us, our thoughts turn to weekend cookouts, baseball games, swimming pools and fire pits.
It’s also a great time to go outside and get naked. Most nudist camps, clubs and resorts allow guests to try their facilities from Memorial Day to Labor Day. While it may sound a little intimidating at first, a nudist camp is a great way to learn more about nude recreation and can be a great experience for you and your spouse.
My wife and I are not nudist. We don’t sit around the house naked or garden in the buff. It doesn’t fit with our lifestyle, however when we can get some time away from our family, jobs, and other commitments, we’ve found a day (or afternoon) sitting in the sun wearing nothing at all can be a wonderfully relaxing time. We’d love to go more often, but I still wouldn’t call us nudist. We’re just comfortable being naked and don’t mind other people around us doing the same.
For more than 20 years, we’ve gone to nude beaches and on weekend getaways to nudist resorts and clubs. It took us time to get comfortable with the experience of being naked around other people. While there were guidebooks and some information online, there was no article telling us what to expect or how to calm our nerves. That’s why I wrote this blog to answer the common questions when a couple are considering trying nude recreation. Here are our answers to the most common questions from couples nervous about trying a nudist camp or club this summer.
1. Is a nudist camp a safe place?
The best part about a nudist camp is that you can be naked without offending anyone or be worried about having your picture taken and shared all over the internet. It’s a safe place where couples, families and children spend time together enjoying being naked and as a result, great precautions are taken to make this a safe environment for everyone.
I know what you’re thinking: “We’re going to be totally naked. We’re nervous and terrified about what to expect.” Well, here is what you should expect. Call before you come so the camp will be expecting you. Tell them this is your first time and that you’re a little nervous. Trust me, they hear this all of the time. You’ll need to bring your drivers license because they will do a background check on both of you. No one gets into a nudist facility without being checked first. And no cell phones or cameras either. When you’re totally “exposed,” privacy and protection are very important. Next someone from the camp will give you a tour around the property and go through the rules. This is the intimidating part, expect everyone from the moment you come into the camp to be naked. Yes, you’re not in Kansas any more but that’s okay. Remember, that’s why you’re here. For us, the hardest part was seeing all of the naked people when we walked around the property. We were still clothed and it felt odd. We felt out of place. It passes quickly and oddly enough, you feel much more comfortable when you take your clothes off. Remember what you heard in speech class about imaging everyone in the crowd naked so that you calm down? Now you can be naked too, which brings us to the next tip.
2. What should I wear?
Okay this is probably the part you’ve been dreading the most in your mind. Our advice, smile and get it over with. Once you start breathing again and realize the sun hasn’t fallen out of the sky and that no one is shining spotlights on you, you’ll start to relax. It will take some time. Lay on your stomach if that’s more comfortable. Before you know it, you’ll be up and walking around. In an hour, you’ll wonder what you were so concerned about in the first place.
This is the hardest part for the first time couple, but here’s a thought for you. While you and your spouse have probably seen each other naked thousands of times, have you ever been naked outside in a camp setting or with people around? I’m guessing probably not and yes, if you want to add a nice new twist to your relationship, this is it. The mental picture from our very first visit to a nudist camp of watching my wife take off all but her sandals and walk from our car to the pool still is one of my best memories ever.
Our suggestion to make this as easy as possible is to wear as little as possible. Ladies don’t overdress. In fact, a sun dress with nothing on underneath works well. Guys, a loose pair of shorts (go commando) and a t-shirt are perfect. When you’re taking off layer after layer of clothing, the anxiety only increases and it takes so much longer. My wife will often wear a thong bikini underneath her skirt. Key piece of advice. Get it off quickly, find a spot by the pool and get comfortable.
3. What if someone comes over and talks to us while we’re naked?
Believe it or not, this was a big fear of ours too. Every social norm we’ve been raised with has just blown up so what am I supposed to do now especially when someone is talking to me? Look them in the eyes, put a smile on your face and start talking. The funny thing about social nudity is when you’re together with other naked people for the first time, you are very self-aware about talking to their face and not at their breasts or other parts. You’ll find, and I’m not making this up, but most times other guests/members realize you’re a first timer and leave you alone or they simply ask if you have any questions. We have never been “hit on” by another individual or couple while at a nudist camp. It’s ironic because while you’re initially terrified about showing your private parts because yours and everyone else’s is on display, it isn’t sexual. It’s very comfortable.
NOTE: While it hasn’t happened to us, Doug sent the following note. “I find that many nudist resorts, even AANR sanctioned clubs have been taken over by group swingers, so beware of “being tested for being swingers” or advanced on.”
While this is disappointing, simply saying, “No thanks. We’re not interested,” will tell them to give you space.
4. What if my body isn’t a 10?
Neither is mine. Just like in life, everyone looks different and if your reason for being naked is to show off or to find other 10s, you’re coming to the camp for entirely the wrong reasons.
You’ll see it all. Old and young. Short and tall. Fat and skinny. Large and small. Tan and pale. And yes, you’ll see that when we remove our clothes, we all look very differently. Different size breasts, penises, nipples, butts, etc. We really all do look different and because we all are different, you shouldn’t feel like you stand out. In fact, the only people who stand out at a nudist camp are the ones wearing clothing. No one judges.
5. So who goes to a nudist camp or who are the members?
From our experience, most nudist camp visitors are couples (some camps do not accept single men so call in advance), age 45-65 and every imaginable body shape and size. We also live in the Midwest and I’d expect more younger couples at camps on the coasts. Honestly, my one complaint is that I wish there were younger couples there. Sometimes I feel like we’re skinny dipping with our grandparents.
So who are they? They’re people just like you. From the people I’ve met, they are teachers, lawyers, business people, nurses, retirees, doctors, farmers, students, etc. There will be families there too. It’s an interesting mix of people.
6. Honestly, what if I look different down there?
I didn’t realize this was such an important question until I did some research and saw some of the more common questions were about tattoos, piercings, and shaving down there. While some clubs do prohibit jewelry down there, in most cases you’ll see it all and what you have or don’t have is fine.
The most common question is what if I have shaved it all off or what if I’m completely natural and don’t trim at all. What you’ll find is that most (not all) people (women and men) are completely shaved or very trim down there. You’ll also see a lot of pubic hair cuts such as a “soul patch” or a “landing strip.”
Tattoos are very common and in fact, it’s funny what we keep hidden from everyone except when we’re naked. You’ll see some people who appear very conservative but have a lot of hidden body art. Piercings are common with mainly nipples pierced. Occasionally you’ll see piercings on the scrotum and or vulva. It’s all about personal choice.
And yes, there are many people there without tattoos, jewelry, piercings and some with pubic hair and some without. You won’t stand out at all. Don’t worry about it.
7. My wife wants to go but what do we do if someone we know sees us?
This was probably our biggest concern and why we put it off for so long. My wife was very concerned that we would see someone we knew. Funny thing you forget is that they’re there too for the same reason you are: To be naked. For the record, we’ve never seen anyone we knew at a nudist camp. We have however made friends at nudist camps and have seen them out at dinner or around town later. Privacy is the most important part. People simply go by their first name. They don’t share last names or where they work or where they live. Recently while on vacation in St. Maartin we met a couple on a nude beach who live less than five minutes from our home. That’s as close as we’ve come to someone knowing our little naked secret.
8. So is it really worth all of the anxiety and fear?
My only complaint with social nudity and going to a nudist camp is that we didn’t do it sooner. We’re in our 40s now and life is busier than ever. I wish we had discovered this when we had more time without the demands of kids, jobs and families.
Like anything you try for the first time, it is a little scary and intimidating but when you do this with your spouse, you’ll find that it’s a wonderful shared experience. I can’t explain it, but you will see them differently. And it’s a good thing too. It’s funny but you come here to see what it feels like to be outside and around others naked. What you find is that it becomes what the two of you do together while you’re naked, and I’m not talking about sexual intimacy either. You’ll find that you go skinny dipping, you lay out by the pool, you have lunch (we recommend bringing a picnic lunch and beverages), it’s playing volleyball or tennis, fishing, camping, it’s talking with new friends, it’s taking a long walk or sitting by a fire pit. It’s what you do together and you just happen to be naked and no one cares.
9. What if I get turned on?
I’m only including this because it is a common question too. If you’re a guy and get turned on, simply flip over on your towel or put your towel over your penis till you calm down. Honestly, it’s never happened to me because it really isn’t a sexual setting. That said, I do find it mentally very stimulating to see my wife naked outside. It’s a great mental picture just like seeing your wife or husband all dressed up in a picture. They look great. That said, there is a time for everything and sexual intimacy or touching is completely not appropriate for a nudist camp. Don’t do it and if you see others doing it, report it to the camp management.
10. So what should we bring?
While you should wear as little as possible, do bring:
- A towel (always sit on a towel throughout your stay);
- Lots of sunblock or tanning lotion (you’ll be surprised how badly and how quickly you will burn when you expose parts of your body that have never seen the sun);
- A picnic lunch or snacks (don’t forget your favorite beverage);
- Your drivers’ license or state I.D. (remember, the background check before you enter);
- A good book (your choice);
- An open mind. You’re going to try something new. My guess is that you’ll really enjoy it and probably discuss coming back.
So are you ready to get naked? Check out the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) website to find a nudist club or resort near you.
Have any questions or thoughts to add? We’d love to hear them. Also, I’d love to spotlight more first time experiences in our blog. It’s funny how intimidating it is until you try it and then how easy and fun it quickly becomes. Remember the first time is the hardest but once you try it, you’ll see what you’ve been missing. If you have a first time experience you’d like to share, please email me. Complete privacy will be given.