I have read that, for naturists, being clothes free is not about sex. I am currently struggling with this concept, because most of my “social” exposure to clothes free anything is online via social media with folks who do not necessarily live clothes free. Based on the conversations that unfold there, the question that comes to mind for me is, “Is it for real?”
This year in late summer I was tagged to participate in a naked yoga challenge. From there, not only did I slide into clothes free yoga, I walked further into the field of clothes free living. I found myself reading, cooking, writing, watching shows, even working clothes free whenever possible.
Writing clothes free allows me to go deeper into my personal exploration. Being clothes free puts me more in tune with my body, so I don’t tend to overeat like I used to. Practicing yoga clothes free feels natural and grounding. When I find opportunities at the office to shut the door and work clothes free, I am measurably more focused and productive. I feel at peace. This is just a sampling of the benefits I experience being clothes free on my own.
Yoga was a big part of my life before I went clothes free, so doing the naked yoga challenge was, for me, an exploration of being clothes free more than anything else. However, it seems that for 99% of those with whom I’m connected on social media, it is but a brief moment in time where they strip down for the pictures and post them. There is nothing wrong with that in my opinion. Sometimes what I feel, however, is that the conversations around the naked yoga posts turn sexual.
There is a lot of attention given to the body, especially, although not exclusively, women’s bodies. I see comments on the perfect shape of someone’s breasts or butt. There are suggestions of engaging in this or that, OMG you’re so hot. Some original posts initiate such conversations. And I don’t have a problem with anyone exploring that; each person has their own journey. However, my personal journey is elsewhere. From seeing those kinds of patterns and conversations, I find myself falling into comparison quickly. Am I not also interesting? Me and my nappy hair, black skin, body proportions, curves and so forth… do they deter people?
Then I have to bring myself back to the original intent of my exploration. I ask myself, “Why am I here? What is the purpose of my presence on this platform? Am I here to share my clothes free journey, yoga and beyond, or am I here to be liked and lusted after? What’s at the heart of my heart?” I have to get real with myself and spend some time sorting through my intentions. Every day. I cried about it when I wrote this post.
I am human (I think… hold on … yep, still human). There are always questions about self-concern and self-worth that pop up in me. I want to be liked, I want to be desired, I want to be seen as beautiful. I enjoy expressing my sexuality when the time comes. BUT/AND – my clothes free journey is broader than that. It is an entire country outside of that one city of a topic.
When I’m not surrounded by those conversations on social media, I reconnect with the heart of what I’m after. I don’t get caught up in the comparisons and beauty preferences and standards, etc. I just feel like I’m connecting deeper with myself and more deeply with my environment. I feel more balanced. I feel more vulnerable. I can just be.
I’ve heard naturists say that they are not about the sexualization of the clothes free lifestyle. Is it for real? Was it always that way for you, or was there a shift when you went clothes free? Given the nature of the conversations I see in social media that aren’t driven by naturists, these questions pop up for me every day. Personally, my mind just doesn’t go to a sexual place when I see naked bodies. Yet, right now I feel alone in that perspective, because so much conversation that I see in the social media space in which I stand trends in that direction.
I’ve never been part of an experience where people don’t connect to one girl instead of me because her skin and small waist and perfect breasts are better than mine. What is it like to really be in a community where I can be in my own skin and have full vibrant connections with people regardless of my stretch marks and squishy bits? What does a world look like where — without denying that naturists have sexuality, attraction and connection as part of the human experience — the entire clothes free lifestyle is not sexualized?
I have to find out. I have to go by any means possible, to an in-person naturist event of some sort, because right now I feel a bit doubtful, scared and discouraged.