The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don’t have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach. — Maya Angelou
In this installment of Nudist Planet’s Bare Voices Michael from the Philippines tells his story.
Bare Voices Michael Philippines
I would like to be called a naturist although I don’t do a lot of outdoor naturist activities. The realization that we are all unique and there’s no point comparing ourselves to others are the most important things I’ve learned from being a naturist. With them came acceptance and love for myself and ultimately for other people.
Being a naturist/nudist made me realize even more that we all are unique in our own ways. If we really understood that concept of uniqueness within us, I think we would stop comparing ourselves to others. In the same way, we would also stop judging other people by their outward appearance. I really hope that a lot more people could understand the real meaning of naturism. That being naked is just part of our natural self. It’s not sexual; it’s not sinful.
I grew up in a small city in the Philippines and I currently work and live in Yangon, Myanmar. Being Southeast Asian and living most parts of my life here, I can say that people are really still conservative when it comes to public nudity. It’s almost a taboo. Before I embraced naturism, I always took showers with my underwear even if I were alone in the bathroom.
Becoming a naturist
If going to public bathhouses in China (and East Asian countries) is classified as social nudity, then I would say I was 28 years old when I first set foot inside a public nudity area. It was winter and the place where I stayed had no heating system. My friends told me to go to public baths where I could have a hot shower. So, I went there without any idea how it would be. I was terrified when I got in. All the men were casually naked. I was hesitant to take off my underwear but the ‘guard’ wouldn’t let me in if not. I took it off anyway and didn’t talk to anyone. Although I was scared, somehow I felt it was also liberating. Excluding family and sexual partner, I think the people in the public bathhouse were the first batch of people I’ve seen naked.
Fast forward to when I was 34 years old, already practicing home nudity. I met an Indian naturist on-line when I was still in China. We met up and stayed at his place. I consider him my first naturist friend. It still felt awkward but it was better.
Nowadays, I am nude at home when my non-nudist housemate is not around. He knows I am a naturist and I have tried to convince him to try it. But I was not very successful. He is quite hesitant. Also, I respect his views, so I always wear clothes when he is around. But when I am in my room, I can be naked.
When I answer the door, I cover up, believing it is the rightful thing to do. Non-nudists also have their opinion about nudity so we also have to respect them. I would put on clothes when it’s cold. I think if you really care about nature, you don’t want to waste unnecessary energy just to stay naked.
Being a naturist
There is nothing I wouldn’t consider ding nude, I guess. I can be nude as long as the situation permits. As a naturist, I think the place would not matter. I know it is impossible, but I would like to be naked in the South Pole. Thirty seconds at most; that’s all I’m asking. Also, I would like to be nude wherever there are other naturists around. If I could hang out nude with anyone, I would choose to hang out with some prehistoric man living in a cave. I want to witness how he would spend a day with his tribe. I also want to witness how natural they would be, without any clothes and malice.
I am a member of the Naturist Association of Thailand. I became a member because I wanted to make myself an ‘official’ naturist. It made me understand more about the lifestyle, and it gave me a chance to meet and know real and non-judgmental people.
Again, I didn’t grow up in a nudist household. However, if I have a family, I would like to raise my kids in a nudist setting. Naked bodies are not sexual. Naked bodies are natural and we should not be ashamed of our own naked bodies.
My close friends here in Yangon know that I am a naturist. I always attend major naturist events in Thailand and my friends wondered why I always go there and not post pictures. So, I eventually told them and they were mostly shocked. They couldn’t imagine me in that lifestyle because they have always thought that I was conservative.
To someone who has never tried social nudity I would first explain the concept of naturism. If he seems interested, then we might hang out naked just for him to feel comfortable. If he is okay, then he is probably ready for a naturist resort. For me, I really didn’t have anyone to guide me. I just read and did my research on-line.
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.