Elation. Euphoria. Amazement.
I know very well those signs, I see them all the time in newcomers and also regular members of our association when they arrive into the beach. It seems to be something common to all of us. Is it that self-discovery element in beginners? Realizing you can go naked in public and feeling great about yourself regardless of your shape/size/age, starting to understand what harmony with nature means, and then feeling some sort of gratitude to your fellow naturists for just being there and making it even more natural…
I’m pondering this while I suddenly notice that it is one of the few activities that don’t demand to incur in any expense. I, for example, live so close to my local nudist beach that I don’t even need to spend any money in transportation. In our naturist association we also accept non members at our outdoor activities, all of them free of charge.
So having a stupendous marvelous magnificent fantastic amazing super great (all adjectives used by our attendants) time costs nothing. And in contrast to most sports and other leisure pursuits, no equipment is required! Quite the opposite. You get rid of everything, every garment and accessory if you want. We are not following the fashion constraints anymore, we are free of that secondary layer in our physical appearance. This is the most democratising while genuine experience. Our bodies are not putting us on any aesthetical pecking order. We all feel equal in this clothes-free environment, and that social equaliser aspect of naturism facilitates sincere friendships. You see the person, not the body.
I lived in Germany for several years. I was visiting nearly on a weekly basis some sauna or the other in my surroundings. I never called that naturism or even felt I wanted to socialise with the other visitors. I was perfectly happy on my own or with my family having the commercial experience of naked swimming and proper sauna procedures.
I have much more in common with my Irish fellow naturists. We are united through a moneyless transaction and a search of personal freedom alongside pure enjoyment. Populating the beach at the same time is in benefit of all of us. I guess it is fair to say that we are all naturist activists in Ireland since society is not so used to it yet arguably due to historical and also climatic reasons. That is a greater bonding element, that must be the key to our joy and happy socialising.
I called this article “low-cost leisure” because I wanted to highlight the non-consumerist element of our lifestyle but I could equally have opted for “friends”, “like-minded spirits”, “united” or “this is my tribe”.
All welcome, all genuine!