Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. — Jim Rohn
Naturists come in all shapes, sizes, colors, nationalities, ethnicities and languages — though for the time being we’ll stick to English here. The Bare Voices series honors this through first person stories of naturists from all over the world sharing their own stories. And we celebrate the unity which will take the cause of naturism to wider acceptance.
In this installment of Nudist Planet’s Bare Voices Fabien from Canada tells his story.
Bare Voices Fabien Canada
Currently, I live in Nova Scotia in a town outside of Halifax called Tantallon. Public nudity is certainly frowned upon and illegal but generally accepted if kept within private groups or at the nudist beach 45 minutes from Halifax called Crystal Crescent. Overall I can’t say anyone opposed to nudity has affected me. It’s certainly not for everyone but I don’t shy away from it if it comes up in conversation. I tend to refer as myself as a naturist as I have always associated being a nudist as someone who doesn’t interact with others socially. But that’s just my opinion.
I was the last of eleven in a large French catholic family and being nude was a definite no-no. Now, I am a happily married gay man but my husband is not a naturist. He is very self-conscious about his body but allows me the freedom of being nude and live my life with the friends I have made. I used to hide in my art studio and paint in the nude. Finally, I decided to tell him that I wanted to enjoy the freedom of being nude. At first, he didn’t understand as he always equated nudity with sex. So his first thoughts about me going out socially nude was that it was for an orgy. I showed him the groups I had joined and my social media accounts on naturism to finally convince him that it was to be with like-minded people and total body freedom. If we would have considered adopting children I certainly would not have raised them to be ashamed of the naked body and not have self-esteem issues.
First naturist experiences
Even though I’ve been a naturist for nearly 10 years, my first social nudity happened about 5 years ago through a group I found on Meetup. They would post when their next gathering would be, either at a secluded lake or at the nudist beach. I was 49 and got the courage to send a request to join the group and went to one of their secluded lakes for skinny dipping. Since I was a home nudist I felt I needed to explore the freedom of nudity outside with other like-minded people. Once we got to the lake and the clothes came off it was like being born again. Total freedom from the confines of clothing. I did not know anyone from the group but have since made a lot of friends.
In high school we had to take mandatory showers after each gym class and the showers had no individual stalls except shower heads along two walls facing each other. There certainly wasn’t anywhere to hide. I was very shy and skinny and often bullied so I would shower as quickly as I could without making eye contact with anyone. Most of the jocks had no qualms about strutting about without a towel around their waist. It was a very awkward experience for me at that time.
I am a member of the Nova Scotia Clothes-free Society and the All Welcome Halifax Skinny Dippers. I joined so that I could socialize with other naturists and participate in as many group events as possible. We socialize in group naturist swims that take place at a public pool we rent during the winter months so about 5 times. If it wasn’t illegal to be nude, I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t want to do in the nude.
Only a select few of my coworkers and friends know but certainly most of my family knows. And I often bring it up in conversations and hopefully educate them at the same time. Being a naturist is a part of my life and just the same as “coming out” in my twenties for being gay. “Coming out” as a naturist was not a shock to them. Many find me courageous for being so confident about nudity.
The most irritating comment I often hear in conversation is; “The only nudists you see at a nude beach are the ones you don’t want to see”. That is what most of society feels like unfortunately. I would like to change society’s misconception on naturism and that we are like everyone else except that we like to do it clothes-free. What I’d like to see changed in the nudist world is for many clubs and resorts to not discriminate against single men. Not all men are predators and we should be given a chance to experience nudism as well. If necessary, they could have background checks the same as many companies have before hiring someone.
The advice I would give someone is to try a nude beach first and shed off the bathing suit and take the plunge, literally! I wish I would have had someone to give me advice on social nudity. It likely would not have taken me as long to get the courage to participate on social gatherings.
Naturism has certainly helped me with the self-esteem issues I had growing up. Learning body positiveness and that all bodies are beautiful. It has opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at life and people in general. No judgement no shame.
The temperatures can get pretty cold here on the east coast during the winter months and we stoke up the wood stove and I am generally in my bathrobe. I usually have my husband answer the door and during the summer I will wait until that person has gone. If friends come over I will wear shorts, a tank top and flip flops.
I have many naturist acquaintances on social media that I could easily see myself hanging out with. But if I am to be totally honest, I love to hang out nude with my best friend in Montreal. We used to go to a nudist campground and take advantage of the hiking trails and swim in the lake. As an artist, I have often wanted to go to a painting resort in Arizona and be able to paint “plein air” in the nude.
A few summers ago, I was staying at one of my sisters that still lives in our hometown about an hour east of Montreal. My husband John was staying with our friends in Montreal while I visited my family. My sister and brother-in-law both still worked and I asked my sister if I could sit on their back deck nude. She was fine with it so long as I didn’t scare the neighbors! I was sitting enjoying the sun and I went inside to get some water and put the key on the table and went back outside. As soon as I heard the door click shut I realized that it was locked! Thankfully, I had my cell phone and called my sister to come over and unlock the door. After a few minutes of hysterical laughter, she said she would be right over and unlock the door and go back to work as it was only a few minutes away. I heard her arrive, unlock the door and promptly get back in her car to back to work. We still laugh about it.
Tell your story
Each of us has a story to tell. An outlook on the world and on naturism that can be beneficial to others. Share yours here by contacting Kenn. I’ll send you a list of questions to get you started.