Rethinking Strategies When Encountering Others

Jbee and DF choose naturism and nudity.  We feel free and natural, healthy, and wholesome. We are more aware, more in the moment, more spiritually free, when we are naked. We don’t wear clothing, unless we feel the need. We go nude, whenever that is possible. It is fun, cooler in the heat and altogether positive.

We are liberated and free to be nude in our domestic lives and in some social settings where we can be casually nude among friends.  We do what we can to live in liberation. Above all, we love the naturism of camping and hiking.  We seek remote places to explore with our bodies, mindfulness, and meditations. We experiment with the wonderment of our natural world, its relationship with our own nature and our spiritual consciousness.

Yet in this pursuit, we have another barrier to body freedom to break down.  When hiking, we occasionally encounter another textiled person, or group and we have been thinking about our response in those situations. Generally, we have covered up hurriedly.  But is this the correct way to promote the benefits, public understanding and society’s emancipation of naturism? Hiding our natural body gives off an air of guilt, and this misrepresents our feelings and the innocence of what we do in a nude state.

What does this communicate?

Hiding, for us, became artful stealth in the illusion that the world is populated with people who object to naked people and this began to suffocate the freedom of our spirits.  But with increasing experience and increasing boldness not to let others denigrate our chosen way of being and its benefits, we have collected anecdotal experience ourselves and from other bolder nude hikers about encounters with textiles. We are by no means alone – there are many naturists seeking to be naked in nature.

The conclusion is very encouraging.  Our findings are that a vanishingly small proportion of people, certainly less than 5%, have an objection.  Around a fifth of people encountered, while a little uneasy in the unfamiliar situation, soon express no harm with being around naked hikers and profess no problem or alarm.  The clear majority see nothing wrong with the choice to not to wear clothes.

Recently, there was an article about “naking” in The Naturist Society’s “N” magazine. The authors have been hiking naked, much of it on the Appalachian Trail, for years now. I’ll quote, “We have seen and met hundreds of people during our naked hikes. A lesson that we learned quickly and has shaped our behavior is this: the way that you behave sets the tone for how others will accept your nudity. It sounds simple and it may even sound a little crazy, but it is true. If you are happy and friendly and appear to have no understanding that being unclothed is NOT the norm, then the people that you encounter will behave that way, too.” Being comfortable in your skin’ sounds simple and evidently has the desired effect.

“Have a great day!”

Among those that have a more considered and active toleration are Forest Service employees.  Due to its frequency, they accept simple nudity where the trail is sparsely populated, or deserted, but prefer that you to cover up in camping sites and busy trailheads. There is no Federal nudity law, so the Forest Service will only act where there is a supportable complaint (rare).

Of course, there may be places and situations where we need to comply with the many miscellaneous State laws or the specific instruction of an authority there at the time. They may (or may not) be appropriately interpreting the law, or our rights, but they can mean trouble. There is a common-sense component to apply.

We now realize that we have errored on the side of caution during our nude travels. Therefore, we have reformulated and clarified our responses to encounters with people. While nude hiking, we shall turn away from embarrassment and guilt and towards a bolder more authentic response, to act with integrity and promote the higher good of emancipation of naturism in these and possibly many other circumstances.

So, if we were to encounter an objector, then our response will be one of calm, non-combative assertiveness and the recognition that the problem is theirs, not ours.  By liberating ourselves from others’ prejudice and prurience, we may then be able to engage with others’ indignation and try to educate. We may be able to defuse any objector’s hang-ups.  We must, of course, act with care, but hopefully we may convince those objectors we encounter that we are just ordinary, nice people without clothing.  In the end, their resolve not to understand may exceed our capacity to communicate reason and of course, aggression cannot be tolerated.  In such cases, there would be no real alternative than to cover up and leave the situation.

Our thoughts turn to somewhat more sensitive situations where there might be adults with children.  Then simple measures to cover genitals and breasts might be prudent. In such events, we would hope that we could satisfy parents’ fears by covering up the legal minimum and show that prior to the encounter we were comfortably naked. This, as example to the children, merely suggests that nudity is a valid choice which anyone can make, and that it is very much okay.

Even with our knowledge of usually favorable experience of encounters and with our many years of positive enjoyment hiking naked, we still know that to achieve our aim, we must embark on a cautious and incremental journey to confront our own prejudices.  We still carry our own early conditioning not to be seen nude. DF has even confessed that still a small voice inside sometimes says, “Good girls don’t do these things.” There is the expectation of negative responses from others.  There will have to be an unlearning of these ingrained yet inappropriate responses.  Success with our own self-knowledge and confidence will achieve a more comfortable, natural and pure mental state which we trust will be evident to those we meet whether friendly, or hostile.

We believe our choice is positive, harmless, and healthy.  We trust that our inner emancipation can be communicated to anyone we meet out in the wilds and that we can make a positive contribution to the understanding of others, to the banishment of unnecessary, oppressive, social stigmas, and to the emancipation of all those who embrace a nude and more natural  lifestyle.

 

Thank-you Nuduke for your consulting.

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10 thoughts on “Rethinking Strategies When Encountering Others

  1. Reblogged this on Nu et heureux – Naked and Happy and commented:
    A very sensible and reasonable article on how to behave with encounters when you hike naked. It’s a question all naked hikers ask themselves and find their own solutions. I agree with the quote used in this post: “We have seen and met hundreds of people during our naked hikes. A lesson that we learned quickly and has shaped our behavior is this: the way that you behave sets the tone for how others will accept your nudity. It sounds simple and it may even sound a little crazy, but it is true. If you are happy and friendly and appear to have no understanding that being unclothed is NOT the norm, then the people that you encounter will behave that way, too.” Nudity is natural, it’s our own behavior that will make it seen normal!

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  2. Richard Jones

    A very good observation whether or not to cover up when meeting textiles, even if it’s only a hand over the genitals. When it’s warm enough I am usually naked inside or outside the house. If someone arrives (delivery or whatever), I usually put a hand over myself to reduce any initial shock and then remove it. But I am still learning the best reaction. Neighbours accept me naked. And the circle of “neighbours” is widening.

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  3. Richard Jones

    As for being naked in front of children, since children are not shy about being naked when still young, I don’t think we should worry too much about that. I was always naked at the family villa in Spain. A Spanish neighbour’s child often came over to swim. His father said he had no objection to my being naked: but tell him if his son showed any excessive interest in my genitals. He didn’t.

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    • The research hands down tells us that nudity around children is not just safe and harmless, but may make for a healthier child growing into an adult. Best well rounded source of information is “Growing Up Without Shame” by Dennis Craig Smith with Dr. William Sparks.

      A parent’s alarm in reaction does harm the child. Bless their hearts and well-meaning intentions, these protective parents are misguided.

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  4. Eric

    In your experience with nude hiking, don’t textiles generally seem more accepting, or at least less wary, of a nude male/female couple than of a lone male?

    I think you and DF are indeed making positive incremental contributions toward overcoming our society’s ingrained inhibitions. I agree with your approach, and I look forward to each new post in your blog. Keep on setting a good example!

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    • My sampling of anecdotal interviews by free hikers gives the same results generally, as I stated. Most of those sources were lone nude male’s experiences. Some were in groups, most alone. So it suggests that it is the same for couples and lone hikers. Still, I assume that a lone male is suspect of creepy things, although it may be a myth. It only makes sense that a lone male may evoke suspicion, but any evidence that I have come up with suggests different. I just can’t be sure either way at this point.

      Does this lone nude hiker encounter a mixed set of textile hikers, does he encounter only women, or other lone people who might feel threatened by their own imagination and get a negative reaction? I have also known people to project homosexuality on two nude males. I have also encountered people, who assume that they have stumbled onto someone’s privacy, and politely retreated, or apologized. Thoughts, evaluations of situations, considerations will happen inside of people, but apparently, the vast majority end up behaving in an accommodating accepting manner, if there are no signals that support their reservations. Guilt, hiding something, acting aggressive, nervous all might best be avoided. An aura of being simply happy to be out on the trail freely is not threatening to a reasonable person.

      If a lone male acts as suggested, oblivious that there is anything unusual with being nude on a trail, there is less chance that people will project bad on to him. Out on a trail, it is reasonable to assume that he was minding his own business nude before the encounter. Also, if someone were out to get kicks from others, wouldn’t he, or she, do that where there would a better selection of victims and more frequent contact? A reasonable person would not go so far as to be alarmed when encountering a nude person.

      A smile and a friendly greeting create a better encounter, putting others at ease, when in remote areas. It is also a good strategy when clothed, or any social situation.

      Just a few thoughts….

      We are encouraged by your supportive comments. Thank-you.

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  5. Pingback: Rethinking Strategies When Encountering Others | Nudie News

  6. michahastattoos

    What a great, well written article! The first time I stripped down, at Big Pine Lakes in the Sierras, was so exhilarating and positive. I was so happy! There was an older couple on some boulders above me who didn’t seem to know what to make of it. I smiled and waved and said hello and commented on how beautiful the view was. Later on the trail, we ran into them taking a breather. The woman commented on how “brave” I was. I simply responded that it wasn’t bravery, it was freedom. And, of course, that one day she should give it a try too. 🙂

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  7. Reblogged this on Naturalian's Blog and commented:
    Good thoughts on being naturally dressed in the outdoors

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  8. Pingback: Rethinking Strategies When Encountering Others | Nudie News

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