Behind Closed Doors: Being naked and feeling free

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October 3, 2016

10:00 PM

Being naked is great. I love taking naps naked. I love brushing my teeth naked. I love cuddling naked. In fact, there is not a lot I wouldn’t love to do naked. 10/10 would recommend being naked at all times.
I love being naked so much that I have always been intrigued by the idea of nudist colonies. A place where people can just be naked always? Sign me right up. I always give some pause, however, because I don’t want to live in isolation.
Why can’t we have a nudist colony that exists everywhere at all times? In other words, why can’t we just feel free to be naked all the time?
Okay, before we move on, I realize that my concept of a “nudist society” is all kinds of problematic. I am not actually advocating for everyone to be naked anywhere they want at any time. Nevertheless, I think my question raises a valid issue: Most people do not feel the freedom to be naked.
I have never felt any shame in baring my naked body in front of others. I tend to attribute this to my background in musical theatre and dance. When you’re in a show, and you have to make a costume change in under a minute, you generally do not hesitate to strip the second you get off stage, regardless of who is around you. Specifically, at my high school, there were essentially no boundaries, even when your costume change did not have to occur at an absurdly fast speed. Dressing room doors were generally left open, and guys would stroll into the girls dressing room whenever the spirit moved them (or when they needed help putting on make up), and vice versa.
In that environment, you get pretty used to people of all genders seeing your naked body, and, let me tell you, it is pretty remarkable how freeing that is.
My comfort around being openly naked may have originated with my theatre experience, but my lack of understanding about feeling ashamed about nakedness existed well before that. I remember being in middle school, and all of the other people in the girls’ locker room would change their bras by pulling their sports bra over their underwire bra and then pulling the underwire bra out from underneath the sports bra because they so feared their breasts being exposed. I did it too—but only because I watched everyone else do it. If I had been left to my own devices, I would have just taken off one bra and put on the other, and I probably would have been on time to gym class more often.
Even now, in college, people may not go to such elaborate measures as the bra layering technique, but people definitely are self-conscious about revealing their naked bodies, even in their own living environments. Please do not misunderstand; I am not demanding that people be less self-conscious. I simply detest that some things make people feel ashamed about being naked.
That is what stops people from feeling comfortable in their nakedness: shame. There is nothing inherently bad about nakedness. After all, we were all born naked. Yet, our conversations, our media and our culture in general perpetuate this widespread belief that our naked body is something to be ashamed of.
I have found a lot of freedom in resisting this shame, and I would love to see more people embrace their naked bodies.
There is an undeniable culture of shame around nakedness, and, frankly, I think its stupid. Bodies are awesome. Naked bodies are awesome. Every body is beautiful, and there should be no reason to feel ashamed about being comfortable in your own nakedness.
Katelyn Reimer is a Behind Closed Doors columnist who is saving up for that post-grad vacation to a nude beach.

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  • Katelyn R.

  • Bare Platypus

    Good column Katelyn. Check out http://www.aanr.com for more info on wholesome (ordinary but extraordinary) family friendly nudism in North America.

  • Fred Harder

    Excellent…you’re fortunate that you’re thinking about social nudity at an early age! In addition to AANR, check out youngnaturistsamerica.com (YNA). I discovered social nudity in my 40s, became a member of a nude resort, have done many nude vacations and cruises (check out Bare Necessities, for instance) and am now happily retired in a nude resort (Laguna del Sol) near Sacramento. I put on clothing once a week to go run errands and do the shopping…otherwise, it’s naked all the time, including going to our community restaurant down the block or going to the neighborhood bar a couple of minutes away!

  • njguy54

    Good for you! One of the root causes of many of society’s problems is body shame and everything that comes with it: the idea that the naked human body is sinful and ought to be hidden, our obsession with weight, feelings of inadequacy about certain body parts, etc. This gives people license to discriminate, persecute and otherwise make others feel bad about themselves. If we could come to see all bodies as good and beautiful– clothed or not — the world would be a much better place.

    I would love to see the day when a person could walk around anywhere in the world with not a stitch of clothing on… and nobody would even notice. In the words of a great philosopher, you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…

  • Etienne U

    I ditto the comments about AANR and YNA. I love the feeling of hiking through the woods and trails and feeling the kiss of a breeze against your whole body. Walking to the pool and just jumping in (with a quick shower first) and not having to worry about the damp swimsuit for an hour until it dries, or your change clothes. It’s great experience, I agree with you. An BTW, there is not isolation at the clubs and resorts, just the opposite. We support you and look forward to more of your articles. Great job!