Lettin’ it all hang out

So, first someone’s Facebook status said they saw a buck-naked man crossing the street in Vanier; then someone else’s Facebook status said they were having a pants-free Sunday; then The Globe did a feature on nudism. I reckon these could only be omens. The universe was compelling me to do a nudie post.

Have you ever been naked in public? I don’t mean in locker rooms. And not including when you were a kid, because most little kids will happily run around naked all the time if you let them.

Have you ever been to a “naturist” club or beach? According to the Federation of Canadian Naturists,  there are some 19 naturists clubs in Ontario (with cute names like Bare Oaks, Roaming Bares and Jewel Lake). Three of them are in Ottawa. Hmmmm.

There are also nine clothing-optional beaches in Ontario plus SIX clothing-optional beaches in the Ottawa area.

Is it just me or does Ottawa seem to have a disproportionately avid interest in nudism?

I’ve been to the clothing-optional beach at Hanlan’s Point  on the Toronto Islands and I’ve been to a couple of Caribbean resorts that featured topless beaches, but I’ve never spent an entire vacation in a naturist club or eaten a meal in a clothing-free restaurant.  

Most of my relatives in Germany belong to naturist clubs. I guess it’s a more popular thing in Europe. They spend many of their weekends and pretty much all of their vacations naked – swimming, sunning, picnicking, gardening, roaming the forests, and just generally hanging out.

Instead of bringing the boyfriend or girlfriend home for Sunday dinners, my cousins would bring the boyfriend or girlfriend to the family’s camp at the naturist club so that everyone could get to know each other better.

I’m not sure if, as a teenager, I would have wanted to do this sort of thing with my parents, but then again my parents were never ever naked in their entire lives as far as I can tell.

There’s something really pleasant about being naked outdoors… or even indoors — as long as you don’t have to sit on anything gritty or sticky. From my limited experiences, being naked in public with a lot of other naked people is only weird for about the first few minutes. Then you just lounge on the beach checking out your fellow beach-loungers in the same way you would if they were all wearing swim suits.

It’s incredibly liberating being without all the restrictiveness of clothing. I wear as little as possible at home. And when I’m out I like to wear clothes and shoes that don’t feel like they’re strangling me or like I’m somehow at their mercy.

I’ve even discovered the new and improved joys of running barefoot – or as close to barefoot as you can get without having to worry about stepping on sharp stuff.

What a difference! It’s like a whole new sport. I’ve even seen women running without any sort of breast support. I think that would be kind of ouchy, though.

So, are you a naturist?  Have you ever participated in any naturist activities? Would you like to? (That’s not an invitation, just a general question).


PS: In the interests of verisimilitude, the writing of this post, the reading of this post and the commenting on this post were/are all clothing-optional.