Sharing Your Naturism
Recognizing the difficulty in sharing the nudist experience with non-nudists, AANR and TNS (The Naturist Society) have assembled a team of human behavior experts who pooled their knowledge into a comprehensive reference on how to successfully share nudist experiences with others entitled "Sharing Your Naturism."
The resulting articles appear in the print versions of AANR's The Bulletin and TNS' N Magazine and will be published below each month.
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How Long Should You Wait To Tell The World You're A Nudist? (Part 4)
Fourth in a Series
by Ronna E Krozy, EdD, RN
Once you have decided to acknowledge your nudism, your first goal is to have people react positively to your information. You should not try to convince them to become nudists---that is too important a decision to make on the spur of the moment---but you can casually invite them to join you sometime. Part IV provides you with some additional strategies for successful disclosure.
When people are presented with unfamiliar information, feel the information has some negative connotations, and are expected to respond immediately, they may react with skepticism or negativity because they haven't had time to fully reflect on the new information. Disclosure within a larger conversation forestalls having to respond immediately to the information about nudity. However, people should not feel that the purpose of your conversation is just to tell them you are a nudist---which may sound too much like a confession. A better situation is responding to a conversation they initiated and mentioning something interesting that induces them to ask about your activities or where you go. You can then say “the nudist club Fran and I belong to just south of …”
When acknowledging your nudist way of life, be enthusiastic, factual, and composed and be prepared to answer any questions. Provide information about where you go, such as a website or brochure, and describe your activities, especially those that your friends would also enjoy. While your goal is to make them aware of and comfortable with your nudism rather than trying to convert them, it is also good to tell friends they are welcome to visit your camp or resort if at any time they are interested in trying a clothes free experience. And since nudists frequently prefer to be in the company of other nudists, it is always a benefit when a close friend decides to join you.
Simple situations include telling friends who are likely to respond positively and are unlikely to share the information with your family, religious institution, employer or others whose reactions might be unacceptable to you.
After selecting those whom you would like to tell, you can wait until a conversation provides a logical opportunity to introduce something about being a nudist. Or as many people do, create the opportunity to bring up the topic you want to discuss. Thus, if someone's vacation or social activities are mentioned, talk about a "Nakation" or membership in a wonderful naturist group and then describe it. Present this nonchalantly, without signs of embarrassment or concern. Hopefully, your listener will ask for more information or an explanation that you will then gladly give.
When responding to someone's comment give more information than requested so it appears that, although you could have sidestepped the issue, you have no hesitancy to talk about your nudist activities. Infer you are open to questions; i.e., "A lot of folks have the wrong idea about nude recreation and naturists; I am always happy to explain our philosophy and particularly, who we are and who we're not!"
Offering more information provides an opportunity to emphasize essential facts. This author often says, "My husband and I have been members of a wonderful family camp for over 10 years. Solair happens to be a family nudist resort. It's been in existence for over 76 years and we've met the most interesting people. We're pretty involved there; I run a yearly health fair, my husband organizes the shuffleboard tournament."
Use softer terms such as “skinny-dipping” rather than harsher terms like “naked” or pejorative terms like “nekkid.” Intersperse 'clothing free' with 'nude' and recognize that words ending in 'ist' and 'ism' may appear cult-like and set you apart from “normal” people. Also, employ the techniques you have learned to produce comfort with the concept.
Part V will provide strategies for dealing with more complex situations.
Editor’s Note: This article and other articles in this series are based on the work of the Joint AANR/TNS Ad Hoc Committee on Sharing your Naturism.