Can you imagine learning to fly an airplane by only reading manuals? Having read about how to safely and effectively lift the plane into the sky and maneuver it in the air and land again, would you be so confident as to try to fly alone? Book learning cannot be the sole piece of pilot training required to successfully take to the air. There must be a practical and hands on approach to learning with one who is an instructor or at least already a pilot in order to have the best results and avoid a crash, serious injury, or death. This is true of most learning: to drive a car, to play guitar, to lift weights. You would not rely on having book smarts alone for any of these disciplines. What is needed are hours of practice, reps, building muscle memory, conditioning body and mind for the task you are learning or training to do. Otherwise you are left with only a surface level understanding. One must consciously and intentionally move from the theoretical to the experiential to enjoy the rewards of whatever is being learned.
I believe the same is true with the belief and practice of naturism. I say this because I know of many who are currently in the place of being interested in and not opposed to the idea of it, but have yet to actually try non-sexual nudity in a naturist park or nude beach. I know this because that was me for a time as well. I suppose some people jump in the deep end (literally and metaphorically) on a whim or impulse and have an immediate “baptism” or adoption of a new way of life in one instance. For others, as it was with me, it starts with curiosity, research, and a time of pondering before an attempt is made of trying the theory out in real life. There are moments of “dipping your toes in the water,” staying nude after showering and doing regular things nude around the home. There are sometimes opportunities to trek outdoors nude by yourself when plenty of privacy is afforded. For me, I joined a community of naturists online before I had been socially nude in a shared physical space.
Then came the moment for the proverbial “ripping off of the bandaid.” Sink or swim. After I had learned all about the practice and encouraged my wife to learn with me, we had a moment where we conducted a grand experiment. We were going to go beyond the theoretical and move swiftly into the practical and experiential. Our “diving into the deep end” would take place in Florida with 5 other Christian naturist couples in one clothes-free airbnb for a whole week. We would see if all we had been learning was true or not.
It was and it did not disappoint! Transformative is an understatement. Watching YouTube videos, reading articles, interacting with naturists online, reading books, even studying the Bible and praying all led to this moment of taking our clothes off and interacting with others as we really are without anything to hide behind. The head knowledge gained during that time had to be transferred to our heart and to the rest of our body. Superficial knowledge alone was not sufficient to convince us of life change, but the real life application did the trick, and immediately! There is no going back now.
The whole point of this article is that “believing in” is not enough. There has to be a doing. Also, learning the history, the benefits, and the therapeutic effect that naturism can bring a person is not near as convincing as is trying it out for yourself. Neither I nor anyone can convince anyone just by singing the praises of naturism with words and stories. Having your own experience is the only way to fully know and understand what we try to communicate. You want a full understanding and not one that is only surface level.
Surely, some who try may find that it’s not for them. My take on that is that there is some shame or religious indoctrination or something else to work through in those cases. The very activity of naturism could be the cure they need, but they need to commit fully. One author suggests two visits will solidify the positive effects of naturism. If your first experience is awkward or too nerve racking, he suggests to give it a try a second time, and then decide if it’s for you or not. For most earnest seekers of truth, I believe the first experience will be life changing.
I’ve often said that the only down side to naturism is that it ruins most textile activities or vacations. A “nakation” where you can go clothes-free for an extended period of time is amazing. It keeps you ready for the next time, which usually can’t come soon enough. When you see your friends and family enjoying clothes-obsessive activities during their recreation time, you can’t help but think to yourself, “You’re doing it wrong!” They aren’t. They are just doing what everyone does. I just know of a more satisfying and relaxing way for me to rest and play.