by Kristen Henry25th Nov 2017 9:25 PM
ONE night, after a few drinks, a girlfriend divulged that she’s been a member of a nudist club for three years and told me it’s changed her life.
“I’ve never felt so alive and confident” she said.
In that moment I thought, I want that in my life too. The feeling that reminds you you’re alive. I owe it to myself to at least try this – I’ll become a nudist for a day.
What have I got to lose (other than my clothes)?
Surely, I’m not the only one who’s wondered what it would be like to be a nudist? Those moments when you run from the bathroom to the bedroom letting it all hang out or go to the kitchen for a late-night snack in your birthday suit. Those moments are invigorating.
I told myself it was “research” for my radio show but, honestly, I was curious. I thought it would be good for the soul.
When reality sunk in (and the wine wore off), nudism is something that sounded rejuvenating but bloody scared me. Who enjoys being naked in front of strangers? I started to fret about whether they’d be critical of my body and judge the bat wings and cellulite.
Nudist camps, if I’m being honest, tended to also come with a bad reputation. Before I walked through the gates I thought nudist clubs were for swingers or creeps.
Happy to confirm I was wrong.
I booked an interview with the President of the Canberra nudist club, John. He met me at the gates of the property with a shirt and no pants, so I knew I had arrived at the right place.
His eyes never left my eye-line. He was kind and had made me afternoon tea. I asked him where I should undress and looked around for a toilet to change. “Does it really make a difference?” he laughed.
I guess it didn’t.
We sat on the lounges in their club room and I looked around wondering if I’d see someone I knew. John reassured me that anyone on the property had gone through a rigorous process to make sure they “fit” with the club’s values. Swingers or fly-by-nighters there for a perv weren’t welcome. The nudist club holds the same social standards a golf club would, clothes are just optional.
I wondered what happened when members got “excited” by what they saw. There’s nothing to hide behind, is it embarrassing?
“Say you’re a guy,” I started sheepishly, “and you get excited.”
“Are you asking about an erection, Kristen? If so, it rarely happens,” says John.
He explained that the body wasn’t sexual for a nudist, they’re completely at ease with the human form and he had never seen that reaction in the 20 years he’s been there.
Boy, they’ve got a lot of members. John regaled in stories of new members walking onto the grounds and finding their neighbours, in-laws or even boss lying by the pool. They have many members, ranging in ages, families too.
So, what did my “research” find? Coco Chanel was bang on when she said beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself. I’ve never met more content and happy people.
This nudism thing is not something I’ll partake in full-time, but I can tell you from first-hand experience there’s a calmness at this nudist camp. A sense of peace and it’s refreshing.