By Brandon Ware
Have you ever thought about stripping down and getting bare naked?
Is it something that makes you feel anxious, relaxed, excited or terrified?
Having had experienced all of these feelings (and a lot more) during my naked experiences, the idea of being naked is something that I still am not completely comfortable with (I’m working on it).
Are people judging me? How do I look? What if ‘something’ happens (ie. If I see something arousing, even though I know the environment isn’t sexual)?
We share our thoughts on our naked experiences in this podcast episode, Getting Naked For Love, so save it to have a listen!
Recently, we had the pleasure of chatting with Rahul and Debbie who share some insight about their journey into the world of Naturism. Check out their Q&A below.
What is Naturism? How is Naturism different from simple nudity?
Debbie: Nudity or Nudism is very much replaceable with Naturism at times but Naturism is sustainable way of life — not limited to recreational nudity only.
Nudity could be ‘adult only’ however Naturism is more of family experience.
Before we understand Naturism we must understand one thing clearly: naturism is not about perfection so all forms of Naturism are valid.
Some call it philosophy, some call it an ideology, to some it’s a culture, we call it Nirvana or Liberation.
It was a very common practice in the ancient Asian and Eastern European world.
In ancient India, textile was very minimal and the primary things people wore were jewelries or clothes which were easily biodegradable. Even today Religions like Jainism follows some principles of Naturism. Hence, they are rooted in being sustainable.
Ancient Chinese acupuncture talks about your body meridians and how important it is to allow them to breathe freely.
Naturists are not always nude. We wear clothes too but only when it is necessary. The idea is to have a society with no barriers, no hiding, no shame and no lies and being thankful to the planet and people we live with. The three most important celestials that affect our existence are the Sun, Moon and the Earth which constitute most of our nature. Isolating ourselves from these 3 celestials with clothes we are affecting ourselves in various ways.
How did you get into Naturism and why is is important to you?
Debbie: We came across Naturism accidentally in UK. We were walking towards a trail that was leading us to a beach known as Studland beach near Bournemouth. We saw a sign that read Naturist Reserve and we thought it was an animal reserve worth checking out.
On our way to the beach we saw a guy, probably in his 80s coming towards us bottomless. I assumed he was confused and didn’t want to pass judgment.
To our surprise, as we continued our walk, we encountered more people in the nude. They were happy, free and well mannered. We were not bothered by their nudity at all, however we did not get naked that day.
The next day our massage at our hotel was cancelled and the next available option was at a small Naturist club known as Paradise. We decided to give it a try.
This opened up our minds and hearts we started a journey of self exploration, which continues to this day and includes a broad range of explorations: yoga, Tantra, celibacy, sex and many other options.
Just before the Pandemic we landed in Canada and found out about a place called Bare Oaks through one of our dearest friends, Robert.
Through Robert and Bare Oaks, we found so much love and acceptance on a level we had never felt before.
Slowly we started doing workshops and naked yoga, and here we are today: I am the director of Federation of Canadian Naturists.
In this role, I promote self love and acceptance for women and the greater LGBTQ+ community. With my husband, I organize events like naked farming, nude yoga and naked circles.
Our new lifestyle is important to us and we cannot imagine a “textile” life anymore. We definitely feel more happy, energized and certain that we are living the life we are supposed to live. We also intend to raise our kids as naturists.
Oftentimes, we conflate nudity and sexuality. Can you differentiate between the two and explain why this differentiation is important?
Debbie: Animals see each other naked all the time yet they are neither desensitized nor they are overly obsessed by nudity.
Our culture has made nudity a sexual fetish. It need not be. You may get naked to have sex and facilitate the process, but it’s neither a requirement for sex nor need it lead to sex.
What are the benefits of Naturism?
a. Naturism can lead to a cleaner and sustainable world. Fewer clothes and less detergent and wash water amounts to less pollution.
b. Naturism also fosters a more open and accepting society where labels and brands do not dictate status or worth.
c. The naked body has the potential to reconnect with nature — earth, water, sun.
d. Naturism fosters open conversations about bodies, sex and consent. It has the potential to strip away taboos related to the body that hinder self-expression (including sexual expression).
e. Sex can become a more profound experience when we free ourselves from body shame.
f. Lighter luggage as we move throughout the world!
What is the state of Naturism in North America? Is the movement growing?
Debbie: Canada is still conservative about nudity but that’s where we as FCN are trying to change perceptions and attitudes. It’s much more acceptable in Europe and unfortunately acceptance has been lost in regions like India post-colonization. As for the Metaverse, it appears it is still not ready for Naturism.
6. Why is Naturism particularly important in a world of curated, edited images on IG and other social platforms?
Debbie: In a world where women, in particular, can be killed for what they’re wearing (or not wearing), it’s more important than ever for Naturism to be featured as a viable option. Of course, social media continues to censor images of the natural body, but we continue to fight for the right to free expression.