Today, we are interviewing our friend, Jason. We met Jason online and later spent a week with him and his wife and some other couples down in Florida. We have yet to visit their favorite hot springs…
Q: Would you tell us how you got into naturism?
A: I grew up in a Christian home where no one was ever naked and clothing was always required. I started sleeping naked when I was about 8 or 9, but locked my bedroom door because I didn’t want anyone to know. Once, I visited my cousin and it was summertime and there were a bunch of kids at his house. We stripped down and ran around like “lost boy” from Peter Pan all day. I suppose nudity was always intriguing to me. I found it curious that our local library hid the photography books that depicted nudity and that those books had to be requested from a librarian. It seemed to me that nudity was natural — the way God meant us to be from the beginning. I never could see the lie that humans’ bodies were shameful after the Fall.
Q: How did you bring this viewpoint into your family?
A: We moved across the country several years ago and decided that since we were getting a new start, we’d try to change the way our children grew up and understood the body. We wanted them to have a better experience — one that didn’t involve delving into pornography for answers about our bodies — than we did. We didn’t want them to be ashamed of their bodies or be led down a road to sin, so we had a family meeting and announced that, starting then, we were making it a baseline that “bodies are good” and meant to be seen.
“bodies are good”
We brought all of the children to a few places where we could all be naked naturally so that we could adapt. And we started being naturally nude more around the house so that they would feel comfortable to do likewise if they wanted.
Q: Do you have a better term than naturist?
Around our house, we usually use the term “comfortablist.” If it’s more comfortable to be naked, be naked! There’s no law that says you have to be naked all the time, but if it’s practical, why not? If there’s no good reason to wear clothing, then don’t. I look for the day when our society returns to this practical wisdom.
Q: What are some benefits you’ve seen from this way of life?
A: We have a large family with lots of boys and girls. Practically, it has made for much less drama for our children. We don’t have to deal with squeals of “he saw me naked!” from the girls when the bathroom door is opened anymore. And for the teens, we have seen a very positive response in the way our boys treat their sisters as well as other girls. They also have not had issue with pornography addiction. Once the human body is no longer hidden away, the mystery does not draw you into obsession. Our children have been taught to appreciate the beauty of God’s design without cause for lust.
We’ve made it a point to teach our children that “Modesty is an attitude, not a dress code.”
When our children are learning about classical art, there’s no need to hide their eyes from depictions of nudity, as do so many Christians we know. They’re not shocked by the sight of bare bodies and this allows us to discuss, in more depth, the artworks themselves.
Q: One thing you have shared with us is that you frequent hot springs with people from all walks of life and different beliefs. How has this provided an opportunity to represent not only body positivity, but also an authentic Christian example for people who might otherwise not be so open to learning about Christianity?
A: After we moved to the Pacific Northwest, which is known as the least-churched region of our nation, I wanted to change our circle of influence. I ended up co-founding a hot springs adventure group with a focus on body positivity and a welcome to people of all backgrounds and beliefs. That has been remarkably successful. We have had men and women from all walks of life as well as a full spectrum of age groups join and participate in our group. It was a little rocky at first, but we established a “Naked is Natural” philosophy and it has led to lifelong relationships and friendships and a place where so many have experienced safety and peace of mind in experiencing the goodness of natural nudity.
“Naked is Natural”
My wife and I have had many opportunities to share Jesus with members of this group and see lives changed. Someone I once knew called this “proximity evangelism.” If we aren’t near people who need Jesus, how do we show them His love? If we’re too scared to jump into the activities where the lost are, how can they have an opportunity to know the freedom and joy of Christ? Just last weekend, a couple who described themselves as “ex-Catholic” spent the weekend in our cabin and they were very curious to find out “what made us tick.” This led to a welcomed discussion of the things of God deep into the wee hours of the night. The next morning, one of them remarked, “If we had only known you twenty years ago, our lives would have been so different.” I replied, ‘We are all alive now and it’s not too late!”
If not for our willingness to follow Jesus into baring our bodies, we would not have had the opportunity to bare our souls.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
A: If someone reading this is questioning, I just want to encourage them to make the leap. There are too many benefits to taking the bold step to step out of our clothing and step into God’s greater plans for our lives. Don’t allow anything – clothing included – to stop you from pursuing Jesus wherever He goes and wherever He leads.