I’d like to take a few moments of your time to share my story with you about the way nudism and nature are connected within me. But first let me introduce myself. I am a male and I have spent almost 58 years on this beautiful planet now. Being outside, especially in the woods, has always been my favorite. Although I started working in sales, in my 40’s I took a turn and became a gardener/landscaper. That’s what I still like the most. Being outside and working with nature on a nature friendly basis.
Where did my love for nudity start? Ever since I was a little kid, I enjoyed being naked. For the longest time, I felt weird about that, because nudity was not familiar at my parent’s home. Occasionally, I took off my clothes, but mostly in the protective and secluded environment of the woods. Later, when I was in my early twenties, we would go swimming, and while I was in the water, I would make sure I was out of sight before I attempted to pull down my swimming pants. I greatly enjoyed being naked in the water and feeling the cool water all over my body. It still felt weird and different to be naked.
When I was about 50 years old, I began making small hikes in nature, and although I liked it, it was not without stress. I wanted to be naked, but I did not want to bother other people with it. One day I discovered a nice remote spot to swim, and slowly there was a sort of ease coming to me. Swimming in cold water, alone in a wooded environment, and seeing birds like the kingfisher fly by very closely, I felt like it didn’t bother them that I was so close. I felt more and more a part of nature rather than a visitor. I became more at ease with my naked body and dared to make longer hikes.
About two years ago we moved to a little house which has a small farm with it. When I step out of the door, there’s a short walk to the woods near our house. I began to read more about naturism, became a member of the Dutch Naturism Federation, and began to dive deeper in the subject. Unfortunately, my wife absolutely doesn’t like me being naked outside of our house in her presence. Inside she will tolerate it, but only in the sleeping room and shower. So, I try to find my own way, which means that I usually go up early, walk through our garden naked to enjoy the feeling of cold rain and storms in the winter, and the warm breeze in the summer. Just this morning, when it was still a bit dark, I walked naked to a nearby pond in the woods. It was storming and raining so I did not have to worry about meeting people. While at the pond I stepped into the icy cold water, swam around a bit and then walked back home. That felt so great! I even wasn’t aware of the fact, that I was naked anymore.
When I am naked it doesn’t bother me that the rain is pouring down. My birthday suit will protect me. And it doesn’t bother me as wet clothes do. It feels strange that your naked body reacts different from what you expect in cold and rainy circumstances. When I walk through a muddy path, I don’t have to worry about dirty shoes. It even feels great having mud around my feet. Then I begin to feel so strongly that this is the way we are meant to be. When possible, please give it a try so you can feel the empowerment I feel. Start for instance making hikes on your bare feet. You’ll be amazed about the feeling that it gives.
Recently, I came by a website of lady who goes by TreeGirl. She is an arborist, who travels the world in search for old, amazing trees and captures herself naked and intertwined with those trees. She does this to “reveal to us that wilderness and nature is where we belong, sometimes naked, sometimes vulnerable, in humility, with our shoes off and the wind blowing against our skin, ears open, listening to our lover with all our heart and soul”, as she writes on her website. That struck me. For the longest time I thought I was the only one to feel this way about trees and nature. Now I feel free. I like to hug a tree and walk around the trees naked.
I have to tell you what happened to me the other day. I took a little hike in the woods and decided to go off the path deeper into the forest. It is a young forest. When I was out of sight for passers by, I laid down my clothes and tried to make contact with the trees. There was a ditch, just wide enough so I couldn’t jump over. At the other side there was a tree and I suddenly felt a strong pull that felt like a personal invitation. I made my way through the ditch full of water and mud and walked towards the tree. Touched her, walked around, felt her bark against my skin and then it happened: It looked like love at first sight. An exciting feeling. That was completely new to me. I think I begin to understand what TreeGirl describes in her book. Naked feels so much more appropriate when connecting with nature and especially with trees. Naked I feel myself being a part of nature. Or as TreeGirl says “we are nature”. And that’s so true!
Science gives us also many reasons to take a bath in the forest. Take for instance the Japanese Shinrin-yoku. Forest bathing. The benefits of being in a forest are scientifically proven. And the more biodiversity in a forest, the more benefits you experience. Your blood pressure is going down, your resistance against all kinds of diseases is going up and those are just a few benefits. Usually it’s done clothed, but you can imagine that it feels so much greater without clothes. Surely with being naked and especially with bare feet you make contact with the Earth. As Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, says so wonderfully: “when you walk mindfully with your bare feet, every time you place your foot, you are kissing the earth. Do it with your fullest attention and it will bring you peace and connection.”
What has it brought me? A lot of joy, more love for and connection with nature and myself, and an amazing feeling called freedom. More ease at being naked, especially when I am outside. Mostly when I come home from a little hike and swim, I feel truly free. I am as I was meant to be, a beautiful part of the astonishing nature. That feeling is so great that everyone should experience it.
Thank you, Alexis, for giving me the opportunity to tell my story. I hope it will encourage more people to enjoy their body and to be comfortable with themselves.