So what do you say when you are 2 years into a relationship (2002) and your potential “Yes” declares that when he goes to the beach he doesn’t wear swim wear and would you like to join him?!!!
Yes, you did read that right and for some reason he had no qualms in declaring this. I say declare, but it didn’t appear that he’d worked himself up to making this statement, it just rolled off the tongue like ‘I prefer Chinese food’ or ‘Cornwall’s a nice holiday spot.’ Was I surprised? A little hesitant perhaps, but not surprised. It was in fact a running joke, even to my friends, that I would often come home from work and he’d be preparing dinner in the buff. It’s a nice welcome to come home and find the cutest bottom making a gourmet delight – you should all encourage your men to do so ladies!
The next question was – did I go? The answer was “yes” – but in stages. We went down to Studland beach in Poole one lovely summer’s day. I was really tentative, so to assist me, Mark chose a nice spot a little hidden in the dunes. At first I went topless because I had done so abroad and therefore had no qualms about it. This was all going ok, I felt I wasn’t on show and quite relaxed, so after an hour or so, I ventured to the next step. The removal of the bikini bottoms. Ever tried undressing discreetly on a sand dune? I’m sure I made a complete palaver of it, but he very kindly didn’t batter an eyelid and just let me get on with it.
Ok, so mission accomplished. I have to admit, I do remember reading the same line in my book over and over again in between glancing around me to make sure this was a reality and that no one was looking at me. What I failed to realise at that point was that this was by no means the end. Slowly, but surely I was beginning to feel a little cooked. I have your typical “English Rose” type complexion and therefore did not as a habit, lie on a beach and so by now I was in dire need of cooling off in the sea. But that presented a problem. I would have to come out of hiding and reveal myself to the rest of the beach. So I instinctively reached for my bikini bottoms but Mark, taking my hand, guided me out of the dunes towards the sea. At that moment, I think I felt a resounding empathy with those coming onto a theatrical stage for the first time. Admittedly I was not going to perform, but my upbringing, social etiquette and beliefs were at risk. What if I did like it? Would I have to admit this to others who most likely would not understand? What if I didn’t like it? Would that then get in the way of our relationship? A dilemma indeed!!!
This of course was ridiculous. Mark was proud of me that day. He would never have applied any pressure and was fully prepared for me to express a dislike. I have to say at this point I wasn’t won over. But then during the holidays that followed, when we found a secluded piece of beach or a naturist section, I sometimes joined Mark in nude bathing – sometimes I didn’t! For some reason, it seemed right when in a hot country, to make the most of the sun and not sit around in wet irritating swim wear.
The crunch came when we booked a week’s holiday in June to a Mediterranean naturist resort. We are the sort of people who normally do not go for the “package holiday”, so we chose a small-ish resort, bit the bullet and went. The resort proved to be ideal for naturism and epitomised the whole idea of returning to nature. The place was beautiful. It had lush green grass, stunning flowers and was impeccably clean – both in the rooms and all the communal areas.
We have to, of course, tell the tale of the first “naturist moment” – everyone has one!!! We decided swimming in the pool was the way ahead – somehow being beneath the water to begin with feels like a slow introduction to the idea! Even Mark was a little nervous having only been naked on beaches prior to this. We took our obligatory towels with us, but decided to be brave and carry them rather than wrap them round us, especially as the pool was a stone’s throw from our room.
Deep breathes at the door, ready, steady go…. And who did we meet? Two gorgeous female German models and a film crew! We believe someone up there was having a laugh with us! To this day, I still look on that holiday with fond memories – excluding the part where they asked us to play volleyball for the German television programme! When we looked apprehensive, they said, don’t worry we’ll blur out your faces. Mark’s response was, ‘it’s not my face I’m worried about!’
The memory that stays with me though, is the people. The atmosphere was relaxing, friendly and easy-going. If you go on a normal holiday, no-one speaks to each other, which is the opposite of a naturist resort. I didn’t realise until this experience, how much the holiday could be enhanced by the people you meet. Age and status was not a factor. People could not pass judgement on who you are, what you earn, whether you are fashionable or whether you rate alongside existing friends!
I also felt beautiful. It may sound daft, but I felt like my body was acceptable. I didn’t feel fat, didn’t worry about what to put on for dinner that evening. This made me even more attractive to Mark and confidence oozes sexiness, ladies!
Obviously this experience gave me the confidence to do the business we do now. It has also given me more confidence in myself. Each year it gets easier and I wear clothes on resort less and less. It hasn’t changed me completely as a person; I haven’t suddenly become some extremist! I still love clothes and love shopping. I still believe I have wobbly bits that I don’t like. But I do worry about it all a lot less. I have a better outlook on who I am and on my life as a whole.
Each year we have had photographers out to take pictures of our resort with models and our guests if they like to take part. When Charlie was booked to come out the first year in 2007, I said I was not happy to take part, but it took no time at all for me to feel comfortable with him and with what we were trying to achieve; natural photographs of people enjoying being naked on the resort and in the sun. As a result we have a couple of lovely photographs we will frame and put up in our house.
So come on girls, guys, anyone who is unsure. It is something that is easier done than said, keeping talking about it makes it a lot harder as the idea of it seems so much worse than actually doing it! If you are already a beach naturist, this is actually a very easy step. If you have never gone naked before, I believe going to a naturist resort is easier than a beach. On a beach, anyone could be there, but on our resort everyone is there for the same reason and the atmosphere has been created as such to make you feel comfortable. I have great friends who never thought they could ever do it, but they did, so can you! Listen to Gok Wan; even if he does annoy you, he is right, we are all beautiful and can learn to appreciate that, by dressing appropriately for our figure and going naked once in a while!
Written by Samantha Taylor 2010