This past holiday weekend found me visiting with family in an environment not so comfortable as home - where I lounge naked practically 24/7 - but in a place I've called home, and where my interest in nudism surfaced (once upon a time), but only by isolated and secretive measures. And so it was that in the evening, circumstances conspired to place me in the house alone, and I took advantage of the opportunity to shoot some billiards (a long time casual hobby I've picked up from my dad) sans clothes.
A question many textiles ask nudists is, why nude? I guess they don't get it, because they haven't tried it (or because some people just aren't wired for it). The ignorant sometimes suppose that nudism is a thin veil for wild sex orgies, while the nudists counter with their motto, "normal, just naked". But does the truth lie somewhere in between? There has to be something to nudism, observant critics argue, or else why would the nudists bother?
Part of the draw of nudism - and the most innocuous part - has to do with comfort, and relaxation. Sure, one must pay attention to the thermostat, although I've found that the body's ability to regulate its own temperature without clothes is more adept than I would have imagined. But it's not about that. It's about freedom from the restriction of clothes. I will concede that some people just don't get this point, and maybe it requires a certain tactile sensitivity, but there is (for me, and many other nudists) a decided comfort advantage in being without clothes.
But is there more to it than that? For some, perhaps not. But others? Certainly, going nude in any place other than the shower or the changing room is generally considered taboo. So there could be an element of excitement involved in breaking the taboo. Is this, then, the source of the "illicit thrill" of being nude? When I am nude in my own home, I hardly feel it - I'm used to being nude there, and it doesn't feel "wrong". But circling the billiard table, with the keen fear of the possibility of getting caught resting in the back of my mind, I feel electrified and liberated.
I've heard a lot about the excitement of being in a situation where you fear you might be caught. I'm not sure I understand it exactly. I mean, there's danger involved, and that could be a source of excitement - although it seems to me a lot like masochism, taking pleasure in the stimulation of pain; you're ignoring whether the stimulation is good or bad, and just taking advantage of its effect on your mind or body. The thought of being caught is rather embarrassing (and in some cases terrifying), and I definitely do not want it to happen, so why would having that sword of Damocles hanging over my head cause me to enjoy myself more, and not less?
I suspect that maybe the getting caught part is only incidental. I'm inclined to believe that the thrill comes more from the breaking of the taboo, and the threat of getting caught merely emphasizes that the activity is taboo (for, after all, going nude in my own home is hardly a taboo). The question on my mind is whether or not this thrill of breaking the taboo on nudity is "illicit" - specifically, whether I ought to feel any kind of shame for indulging in it. Obviously, the answer to this question depends on your definition of the word "illicit", but I think the important distinction is whether or not that thrill is sexual in nature.
Now, I will make the disclaimer that different persons can engage in similar activities for a wide variety of reasons (and the same person can even engage in the same activity at different times for different reasons). And, as the internet meme called "Rule 34" demonstrates, humans have a remarkable ability to harness the latent sexual energy from just about anything. But is there anything normally and intrinsically sexual about the breaking of the nudity taboo? I would argue no. On a separate occasion, I did indeed contextualize my experience shooting billiards nude in a sexual way. I think that's a psychological choice one can choose to make, or not make, depending on the situation (like the difference between skinny dipping with a romantic partner, and swimming in the pool at a nudist resort).
But this time, I was not engaged in any activity that would be inappropriate in a family-friendly nudist setting. The thrill I received from my activity was not sexual in nature - I was not sexually aroused - and, though I may be an exhibitionist to some extent, it had nothing to do with showing off or being seen, since I was alone the whole time. I believe it derived primarily from the impropriety of the activity - the flouting of certain social rules I don't agree with, enhanced by whatever natural draw being engaged in [especially physical] activity without clothes on holds, and the feeling of liberation involved in breaking those rules that normally prevent people from experiencing those draws.
It is, in a sense, "naughty", because you're being a nonconformist, and breaking certain rules of social propriety (but not ethical imperative). But it is not a sexual sort of "naughty"; it's one that anyone - from small children to elderly grandparents - could appreciate, given a proper introduction and the right frame of mind. It would be a chore to go into the reasons why nudity is a taboo in the first place, but the existence and nature of nudist resorts across the country - nay, the world - lends evidence to the fact that those who choose to break the taboo, though they may be engaging in nominally "illicit" behavior, are not necessarily perverts, and have nothing, truly, to be ashamed of.
Although they may, nonetheless, have a lot of explaining to do, if encountered in the act of nude recreation by unsuspecting textiles. -_^