Suddenly Exposed

I transformed into a nudist in the sixth decade of my little life. It was not a sudden thing. It was a slow-moving freight train that built up momentum for a long, long time, and was basically unstoppable as it reached the wall of decision. I plowed through that and now find myself attached to a writers group who write nudist novels.

My Twitter nudist friends have now actually discovered my novel with the nudist Cobble Sisters in it, Recipes for Gingerbread Children. And they liked it. They invited me to become a “writer of stories without clothes” and take part in their nudist literature group. I accepted. Somebody is actually reading and reviewing my novel, even if it is a review posted on I have had memberships for a while now with nudist websites that are very artist and story-teller friendly. Here is a link to a couple of them to tempt and horrify you.

I have long been interested in nudism/naturism. The feeling of being naked in the great sunshiny outdoors has always appealed to me. I have practiced it every chance I was given from the time I was a boy skinny-dipping in Duffy’s Creek or playing jungle boy in Bingham Park Woods. I always did that alone and in secret though. I was always thoroughly terrified of being caught in the act by the older boy who abused me. I imagined him being everywhere. But that never happened again after that one horrible day. And it became a carefully guarded secret. I loved certain books like Kipling’s First Jungle Book where Mowgli is naked and unafraid in the deadly jungle where a tiger stalked him, or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn where Huck and Jim spend time nude on the raft in the Mississippi leaving their considerable cares and clothing aside, or Golding’s Lord of the Flies where nearly naked Ralph must run to keep from literally losing his head to the naked savages all the other boys have become.

I admit I was actually wearing pants in this photo, and I photo-shopped out my psoriasis sores.

And in many ways that has always been the theme of my flirtations with nudism. The attraction to it was nothing sexual. Rather, it was always about facing a dangerous world without any kind of armor.

And I can honestly say that is a large part of what makes me a writer, too. When you write fiction that actually tells the truth about life as you see it, you are facing a dangerous world of critical readers with no emotional armor on. Your soul is opened up to a world of people you will never actually meet who will judge your naked self without mercy.

But, I have not as yet actually revealed myself as a nudist with evidence to back that up. I have shown you a drawing of me as a boy in Iowa, nude, but only a drawing. I have shown you an artfully cropped picture of me partially nude in which I was actually wearing pants. Am I not a hypocrite and a coward if I don’t show you the real thing? (If the idea frightens you too much, you don’t have to look.) But here is the real nudism thing, actually nude, warts and sores and all.

Yes, I know I am wearing a hat and shoes, but it still counts as naked.


Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “Suddenly Exposed

  1. We had a similar childhood. I was never abused sexually by anyone and the places I ran around naked in were isolated enough that meeting another person was a zero probability event. I was a nudie before my earliest clear memories in life. Mosquitoes have never bothered me to this day and I developed the ability to slip thru briar patches and poison ivy/oak/sumac untouched without thinking about it.

    I use the term “nudie” intentionally. Nudist and naturist both have fandoms who come up with bullet lists of criteria they want you to meet. That’s not me. I just like to be naked and the appeal is a combination of sensuality and freedom. Acceptance is lovely, approval is *heavanly* but tolerance is all I ask. Treat nudity as some kind of cosplay if you can’t do anything else. I am still far far more likely to be nude alone, far from anyone else’s awareness. Any vsibility would be completely unplanned. I am not a social butterfly.

    Tolerance is what I want the most. Nothing special here. No obligation to any other party to respond in any way at all. Neutrality, no different than any other set of clothes. It is all anyone can ever ask, a simple meal with enough nourishment to move on and be healthy – and no poison. Anything beyond is wine and dessert. Nobody has a “right” to wine and dessert.

    We don’t seem to be able to manage that for blacks or gays or a host of other subgroups of the human family, either. I did a post a couple days ago on why I think this is:

    I used to hang out on and After a while there was just nothing new. Similar posts over and over again. And the endless arguments over erections and genital jewelry grew irritating. They have huge collection of photos (many snagged from other nudist websites) but seriously, I don’t need to browse thru thousands of photos of people, nude or dressed. (Maybe for grabbing the perfect picture for use in a derivative work of art? The obvious lack of model releases and contact information would bother me.)

    Some of my earlier posts have nudes of me in them. (Most of my earlier posts have been ruthlessly culled. They only get reposted if I need them to make a link work or someone requests it.) That’s just me being authentic. If I were into cosplay or sports, you’d see pics of me in costume at an event or engaging in the sport. No difference.

    I try to post a nude – or any other picture for that matter – only if it illustrates a story. “Nude man on a hike in the wilderness” or “nude man showing the change caused by age” included with a post about wilderness hiking or aging. Not “nude man sitting on the bed” just to show he’s nude. (Nobody needs another boring dick-pic.) OTOH, if I only posted waist up shots, I’d consider myself a hypocrite. If you deeply believe in something, you don’t water it down when you try to communicate about it.

    I have a rule to avoid showing other people’s nudity unless I have explicit permission, the face is unidentifiable or it is in an extremely public place. I lived in the closet for the first 22 years of my life. I understand why it is needed and I’d feel horrible if someone lost a job or caught flak from associates because an identifiable nude photo showed up on the net. If you are running in the streets of San Francisco with 40K other runners and 70K spectators or are riding your bicycle through downtown LA, that rule is suspended.

    Sorry this response is so long. Probably should have been its own post. My brain just felt like oveflowing a bit.

    • I certainly appreciate your candor. I relate to almost every issue you bring up. I am happy to be included in this nudist author group, but nudism isn’t the main focus of any of my novels or art work. I just write about things that actually happened to me and the people I know because they were friends, relatives, students, students’ families, and colorful characters who once opposed me. I admit to coloring everything in a surrealistic way with a deep layer of imagination, fantasy, and metaphorical thinking. This post is one I have thought about for a very long time. It was not very long ago I could never have posted that last picture. I have been in social nudity situations just enough to want to try more, but increasingly I can’t be nude any more because the sun affects certain medications or because my psoriasis sores in the open air become irritated and I end up scratching my skin off when I half asleep. It is a complicated world we live in. I had to write this post because of Ted Bun’s reaction to my novel and because I needed to prove to myself that I was brave enough to do it. I think of myself as always naked even though I wear clothing almost all the time because I am spiritually naked, open to the worst the universe has to throw at me without my Ironman suit on to protect me. I try to be truthful. And I am a humorist, and naked me is an idea that makes me laugh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.