Friday, January 14, 2011

Introduction - How it started

I grew up in a family of 4 kids who were taught that just because something is done a certain way, that it doesn't make it right.  My mother grew up in a family from a northern European background, and it became obvious to me early on that her attitude about nudity was different.  If we walked in on her when she was changing, whether naked or in any state of undress, if we tried to shy away we'd get a lecture about the human body not being anything to be ashamed or embarrassed about.  She enjoyed skinny-dipping with my father late at night, and she made it clear that us kids were always welcome to join them.  But, of course, we didn't.

When we were young, siblings and cousins weren't chastised for running around naked in private among family members, and the elders pretty much accepted that letting them enjoy themselves that way every now and again was a good thing.  They knew that at some point as we grew older, that we wouldn't be able to get away with it.

Having acquired the Dilbert gene from my mother's father (socially awkward future engineer), the disconnect between how our family handled nudity and how other people did, interested me.  In my teenage years, an older cousin married, had a son, and it became obvious that they were taking it to a new level.  Simply put, the boy never had a stitch on him anytime he was home, and it was difficult to keep clothes on him in public, well beyond the years we could get away with it.  We'd go visit them every Sunday after church, and we ignored the fact that the boy heading into his teens was almost always naked.  I overheard my mother mention that they were nudists, and that my cousin and his wife dressed before we came over.  Otherwise, they were naked too.  She said that not in a disapproving way, just that it was a little different.  It never affected how close we were to them.

Always questioning, but painfully shy, I resolved to face my feelings on this subject.  I managed to sun myself and swim naked in a remote location a few times, but the fear of getting "caught" deterred me.

It wasn't until I was out of college and on a business trip which had stuck by myself over the weekend in San Diego that I had my chance.  I heard others talking about the nude beach nearby (Black's Beach), and I decided to give it a try.  No one knew me there, and at least at the time there was no legal issues with people going there and enjoying the beach that way.

Yipes!  It seemed that almost everyone there was naked, except me.  It took an hour before I finally got up the nerve to remove my suit and go down to the water.  I absolutely loved it.  I've lived near beaches my entire life, but it had never felt so wonderful.  The sun, wind, and water evenly across me.  No wet sandy nasty fabric wrapped around me.  Sand magically just flies off as you hit the water.

I wondered up and down the beaches, met people, played a lot of volleyball, and body surfed all day, free from carrying around all that grit in my shorts.  Then it hit me...  I was angry, very angry, that I had been fed such a huge lie and that I had wasted 20+ years buying into it.

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