The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. — Carl G. Jung
In this seventh installment of Nudist Planet’s Bare Voices Howie from Singapore tells his story.
Bare Voice Howie Singapore
I was born and raised in Singapore and I have lived here for most of my 50 years. Singaporeans are generally conservative and averse to public nudity. Children are often chided to hide their nakedness once they reach about 3 years of age and this is the mental attitude that I was raised with. My first memory of seeing someone nude was my dad coming out of the bath when I was a child. I’d never seen him naked before and I was surprised by how people looked without clothes. Although I did not grow up in a nudity-positive household, I would raise children in a nudity-neutral if not positive environment if possible.
I first practiced social nudity at a resort in Thailand when I was 48. I was taking a break from a particularly exhausting project and decided to take the leap with something I’d never done before. It was incredibly liberating being naked around people I had just met for the first time. I’ve always lived with non-nudists. There’s no issue as I get naked on my own time. I used to be naked at home much more but had to scale it back when I moved in with my girlfriend. She is aware of my nudism and she has joined me once.
Being open about naturism
My older siblings would probably have different reactions according to their personality, ranging from discomfort to nonchalance. At this time I feel there’s no need to make it public. Other than that I prefer to be nude outdoors. I like to take naturist vacations as often as I can. I’m a member of Thailand Naturist Association and the International Naturist Federation (INF) by extension. It gives me a sense of belonging.
Now, I tell people I’m a naturist. But sometimes have to follow up with ‘nudist’ when they don’t understand. It just feels like the right term to me. Being a naturist has made me more accepting of other perspectives and lifestyles. I confess that despite all the talk of body positivity, I have strived to make myself look better naked through working-out and a better diet.
If I could go anywhere or do anything nude, I don’t really have a preference. A Spencer Tunick photoshoot might be interesting, as would a bike ride in an urban setting. Or I would go naked in the widest, most open space I could find. It can probably happen in a nudity-friendly place like Europe. I would feel comfortable doing anything nude except operating a chainsaw, welding, etc.
It doesn’t get cold often where I live so we don’t have heaters so I usually throw something on in the event of low temperatures. To answer the door I always cover up. In my country you have no right to be naked as long as someone else can see you, not even in your own home.
I would like to see less negativity towards naturism by the world at large. As for the nudist community I’d like to see it made safer for more female and other members who are now less represented. With someone who has never tried social nudity, I would find out where their mental barrier was and offer to help them go beyond it. I never asked any other nudist for advice and just arrived at it myself. I’ve had a lot of laughs, but I’m still holding out for the one good nudism funny story.
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 me. I’ll send you a list of questions to get you started.