The average (below average?) person needs to be nudged into understanding that nudity mainly involves familiarity with the practice, and that once anyone quits wavering between the dangers and joys, s/he may then take that first step. If there’s a way to help someone make that decision to try being comfortably dressed or undressed around friends, maybe that person could be coached into understanding it without being coaxed into doing something unwillingly.
Just do it. That sounds easy enough, but a person does need to be okay with the nudist idea: the idea that being uncovered does not automatically mean being dangerously harmful. A first experience that happens to turn out comfortable can contribute to the success of the attempt, but actual nudity needs to feel intriguing yet possible — possible but not overwhelming — achievable, and above all, acceptable, but if even you cannot “just do it” you can still make a decision that nudity might be socially okay in relaxed situations.
One more time: to agree to a nudist lifestyle doesn’t require a license, a diploma, nor a training session: just a decision. Determine that you will not harm anyone else nor be harmed if anyone else is undressed.
Except for the extremists who cannot allow their god to see them uncovered, and who are required to wear “temple garments” designed such that a new one can be halfway slipped on before the old one is entirely removed, everybody is a nudist to some degree.
Normal people bathe, shave, and maybe sleep nude. Some brush their teeth, comb their hair, and exercise nude. Others may even make the morning coffee, tidy the house, and do dishes and laundry nude. If the backyard is private enough, they may water their plants and do outdoor chores nude, and, most certainly, sunning! If a friend happens by, there is no cause for alarm.
Sometimes you are more comfortable without clothing than wearing some, and with an understanding friend, making coffee would not be too challenging even if either one of you were uncovered. However, if the difficulty still stymies you, reassure yourself that the coffee will come out okay, the laundry will come clean, and the hair can be combed okay, wearing clothing or not.
So — if there’s NO way you’re going to wear a small towel on one wrist and pop in on a visiting friend and freak him out, think sideways with me about this. Start talking, covered or not. The two of you may get a serious discussion started. Discussing how being undressed wouldn’t change your regard or appreciation for each other should show that we are not required to keep up an appearance in some socially specified way. You could kick your shoes off. You could take a jacket off. The whole idea is to behave well no matter how you’re dressed, or undressed, not to conform to some arbitrary societal dress code just to look good.
What could you discuss? I keep three subjects ready to drop whenever I feel eyebrows raise reluctantly.
First: I have scars that I could show. Discuss them and if it’s opportune, show them. Primarily, reminiscing about the time will involve the other person in the discussion. You could even discuss scars that a friend carries and demonstrate where they are.
Second: if you’re with me in the house, I might be wearing a robe. Getting ready to go out with you warrants disrobing and dressing. We could still talk while I’m changing. Come on in — I need to tell you about my dog.
Third: my backyard is private — let’s go to look at my fish pond. Will you need me to be dressed for that? If I’m robed, I may want to take it off as I go to the patio and garden.
Serious discussion about nudity ought to ease the distress, allow the possibility, and even present the opportunity to approach it safely.
Photo by Say_No_To_Turtles