My Life in Nudism (Part 1) - Youthful Explorations
Nudity plays a part in every person's life - even if that part is the conventional regimen of changing clothes, bathing, and having sex. There are other activities - like sleeping nude, or skinny dipping with friends - that may be less common, but are still not altogether out of the ordinary. Children, in particular - and especially at young ages - are notoriously comfortable with nudity, and lend evidence to the view that humans are natural born nudists, and must be taught modesty and body shame to become the textiles most people beyond the age of young childhood are. And taught these things they most certainly are. Even into adulthood, society exerts a lot of pressure to conform to the textile ideals.
So it is that most nudists who were not raised in a nudist environment come to the lifestyle at some point (frequently later in life) after which they've overcome their textile indoctrination and rediscovered the natural pleasures of going nude. Where this impetus to revert to a nudist outlook comes from will depend on the person. Some are encouraged by friends, family, and acquaintances, and upon trying it, decide that they like the lifestyle. Others - and these are often the most fervent nudists - have some inward impulse that drives them to be naked more than the average person, usually because they enjoy it in a distinctly strong manner.
The latter resembles my case. I was unfortunately not raised as a nudist, but I can remember having a special attitude towards being nude that goes all the way back to my childhood. Back then, there were isolated incidents where I would strip off for the mere thrill of it - and this is perhaps not uncommon behavior for children in general. But these were usually private, fleeting moments, tempered with the realization that what I was doing was taboo, and that I must not get caught. I can remember two such incidents with some clarity: one involved jumping on the bed, and the other involved exposing myself outdoors - not to any person, but to the trees and the open air.
These secret "rendezvous" with the unclad life continued into adolescence, although at that point they took on a decidedly more sexual context. I can't say for certain why this is, but if you combine the taboo of nudity - in the absence of any positively nudist role model - with the sensual feeling of being naked, it doesn't seem so far-fetched. There were times when I would sneak out of the house after dark, and strip off all my clothes and wander through the bushes. There was no overt sexual element involved - these experiences occurred years before I discovered that the genitals could be manipulated to orgasm via masturbation - but they were almost certainly accompanied by a feeling of sexual excitement. This was obvious to me in at least one particular incident that I remember well, which occurred most likely during my middle teens, in which I recorded a video of myself (that I promptly deleted, for fear of getting caught) frolicking about my room naked.
Naive though I was, I look back on those experiences of my adolescence fondly, for they were filled with the novelty of new adventure, and the excitement of discovery. It's no mystery to me, the appeal of the "sexual awakening" story, which has a long-standing literary tradition in the form of "coming of age" tales. I only lament that it's treated as something of a taboo to indulge in, in this day and age. People talk about the dangers of experienced adults (never mind the adolescents' more experienced peers) "interfering" with "natural" adolescent development (if you think silence, shame and taboo are part of the "natural" course), but I can tell you this: I would have been in no way inconvenienced if I had not been preemptively shamed into deleting that video, so that others could view it now and share vicariously in the excitement of my youthful explorations.
I didn't even contextualize my experiences at that time as having anything to do with S-E-X. I was blissfully ignorant of the doom-and-gloom agenda of pro-abstinence sexual conditioning (I refuse to call it "education"), which would soon mold and distort my experiences of human sexuality - which, much like the nudity taboo, was an obstacle I would have to overcome in the ensuing years, on my path to a more enlightened state of being. On the other hand, I finally discovered masturbation, and began experimenting with relationships, although my sexual progress was stunted by the aforementioned conditioning.
At that point, I think that my secret nude experiences took a backseat to my new overt sexual experiences (now including browsing images on the internet!), but they never went away completely, and my feelings toward nudity never changed. I do recall at least one instance during high school, while sleeping over at my girlfriend's house, that I slipped out into the yard in the middle of the night, just to wander around a bit without clothes on. When I went away to college, my opportunities for such expeditions were reduced, what with the crowded living spaces and my focus on coursework. My exhibitionist tendencies were similarly siphoned off with my burgeoning interest in self-portrait photography (although that wouldn't flare up into a serious hobby until several years later). It was only after I graduated from college that the world of nudism opened up to me.
To be continued...