MY BODY ISN’T PERFECT, WON’T EVERYONE STARE?
No one has a perfect body. When you go to a nudist event, every one of your imperfections will be on display, and no one will care. Why? Because so will theirs! The one thing you realize when you become a nudist is that no one has a perfect body. We all have stretch markets, wrinkles, dimples, bumps, bruises and imperfections.
One of the most important things that nudism teaches us is to accept our bodies. We have a tendency to think only about our own imperfections - and when we realize everyone has them - it improves self-esteem and moves us towards body acceptance. Remember, nudists will respect and treat you for who you are, not what your body looks like.
I’M EMBARRASSED BECAUSE OF MY ....(FILL IN THE BLANK)
People come in all shapes and sizes, and no matter your concerns, social nudism is a great way to conquer them. As you get to know other nudists, you realize that the size of their belly, blemishes on their skin, wrinkles, penis size, breast shape, waistline, freckles, curves (or lack thereof) or whatever doesn’t matter, what matters is who they are.
WHY IS THERE A STIGMA AGAINST NUDISM?
There are a couple of reasons why there is a stigma against nudism, and we will just give you some highlights. Part of it is our history. Americans have a long history of thinking of the naked body as “dirty” and that we should be “ashamed” of our nude bodies. Part of it is a misunderstanding that nudism = sex. Finally, part of it is simply an immaturity on the part of some who can’t help but judge people for what they look like - not who they are.
ISN’T IT ALL ABOUT SEX?
Nudism is not about sex. It’s really that simple. We know that some people assume that if there is nakedness, there must be sex. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, nudist clubs strictly forbid any behavior which could not be considered family friendly.
WHAT IS NUDISM?
It might be easier to talk about what nudism is not. Nudism is not about sex, swinging, drugs, breaking the law or making people feel uncomfortable. Nudism is about enjoy the benefits of being nude. Yes being naked is fun and freeing! It is hard to describe how great the warm sun feels on your naked body. Or how comfortable you can be in a room full of friends, who happen to be naked.
Nudists are people just like your neighbors, co-workers, relatives and friends. They do fun things together, they just happen to be nude. They are friendly, welcoming and fun to be around. They come in all ages, all sizes and shapes. You will find that nudists, unlike regular society, do not judge you based upon physical attributes or class distinctions.
WHAT KINDS OF NUDISTS ARE THERE?
There are many different ways to experience and explore nudism. Some people are only nude at home, some only when on vacation, some have a favorite beach or club they attend, some join non-landed clubs and some do all of the above! Everyone has a different comfort level and nudism offers plenty of different options to explore and enjoy nudism.
Nudism increases self-esteem, because nudists accept you for who you are. Physical size, shape, body condition, age and social class distinctions melt away when we don't have our clothes on. Relaxation, stress relief, positive body image and increasing self-esteem are some major benefits of being a nudist.
I have been a nudist for over 10 years, and I have yet to see a man with an erection - or a woman for that matter! I'm sure it happens, its just a) I don't stare at other men's penises and b) If you get an erection, take a deep breath, hide it with your towel, or excuse yourself until it is gone. It may be hard for a non-nudist to understand, but nudism is not sexual, and your penis will not react in a sexual way to being around naked people.
NUDISM FOR WOMEN
Women tend to be more self-conscious than men when it comes to being naked around others. Nudists accept you, and don't care about your body type. No one will be staring at your body and judging you. In fact, without clothes on, people will be judging you on your personality, not your appearance. You might be reading this saying to yourself, well it sounds good, but is it really like that? Yes it is.
Another concern women have is of being ogled, pestered or hit on by single men. We can't guarantee that this will never happen, but we have never seen it happen. All nudist clubs take great pains to ensure that female nudists are treated respectfully and always feel safe.
WILL MY PRIVACY BE PROTECTED?
Unfortunately, we live in a society where nudism is not understood or accepted by many. This stigma can lead to being shunned by family and friends, or even threaten one's career. Nudist groups are very protective of the privacy of their members and of people who attend their events and visit their clubs. You should have no concerns about your privacy.
ARE CAMERAS EVER ALLOWED?
In general, cameras and video taping are NEVER allowed at any nudist gathering to protect the privacy of everyone. That being said, if you want to take a picture of yourself and/or your significant other, ask permission of who ever is in charge before trying to do so one your own. And of course, make sure you only take pictures of someone you have permission from.
WHAT IF I RUN INTO SOMEONE I KNOW
We have heard many stories of nudists who have run into people they know at a nudist club. Usually there are a few moments of shock and embarrassment and then well....it all works out! Remember, if you are all nudists, there is really nothing left to hide.
DO I HAVE TO GET NAKED RIGHT AWAY?
If it is your first time, no one is going to force you to undress immediately. It is perfectly acceptable to take a little time to get used to your surroundings before diving in! Nudists understand that first timers may need a little time to get used to everything and they will be very accommodating. Usually after just a little bit of time, you will remove your clothes and quickly realize that it’s ok. No one will be staring. No one will care. And you will wonder what took you so long!
IS IT OK TO LOOK?
We are all human and naturally curious about the naked body. Of course it is ok to look, but it is not ok to stare. It is rude to stare at someone with their clothes on, so of course it is rude if their clothes are off! You will quickly realize that once our clothes are off, we are really all just the same.
HOW TO NUDISTS BEHAVE?
Honestly, just like other people, they just happen to have their clothes off! They are polite, friendly, and yes they look you in the eyes when they talk to you.
HOW DO I TELL MY SIGNIFICANT OTHER I AM A NUDIST?
If you are a home nudist, than if your significant other is a significant part of your life, they probably already know that you enjoy being nude! But social nudism is, of course, something more than that - there will be other people there!
Your significant other might think that they aren’t enough for you, or that you don’t like their body, or that you just want to ogle a bunch of naked people. They might also have misconceptions about nudism which you will need to address.
Even if you are in a secure, loving relationship, you will probably still have to reassure your significant other that you love them, and that you love their body and that you want to explore nudism because you enjoy the benefits of being nude, not enjoy seeing other naked people.
HOW DO I TELL MY FAMILY I AM A NUDIST?
There is no easy answer to this question. There is still a stigma against nudism in American, and some family members may not react well at all to the news. You may be accused of being a weirdo, a pervert, a sinner or even a pedophile. This means that this is not a conversation that should be entered into lightly.
You know your family better than we ever will and can probably guess how they might react. You might want to start by bringing up the subject generally just to catch a pulse on how they react. You never know, you might be surprised, they might be nudists too!
WHAT ABOUT MY CHILDREN?
I happen to be very lucky. I have children who love the nudist lifestyle and an ex-wife who is accepting of me taking them to nudist clubs. They love swimming, playing in the sand and of course running around naked.
But while nudists are very accepting people, there is a difference between socializing nude with adults and socializing nude with your own children. We do understand that not everyone is comfortable nude around their own children - or even in a position to take them to a nudist club. And if your children are grown - and possibly married with their own kids, - the situation may become even more complicated.
What we can tell you is that children tend to love the nudist lifestyle, and that it is great for their self-esteem. Children who are raised in the nudist lifestyle tend to me more respectful of others, have less self-esteem and body issues and are more likely to stay nudists as adults.
HOW ARE NUDISTS DIFFERENT THAN “NORMAL” PEOPLE?
A nudist is a normal average everyday person that enjoys being nude whenever possible. They might enjoy sunning themselves, swimming, hiking, sports or simply socializing with other nudists. While nudists are very friendly, very accepting people, the biggest difference between nudists and everyone else is just clothes.
WHAT IS A LANDED CLUB?
A landed club is a nudist resort that has a permanent location. In the Midwest, they are usually open from May until September. They have permanent members, many of whom have trailerpark homes or campers and stay there most weekends during the summer if not the entire summer. Amenities at landed clubs may include swimming pools, hot tubs, private lakes, volleyball and tennis courts and much more.
WHAT IS A NON-LANDED CLUB?
A non-landed or traveling club does not have a permanent location. Some meet at members homes, other rent out places to meet. Many also plan trips as a group to landed clubs. They usually meet only 1-2 times a month and many plan their events around holidays, themes and activities.
HOW DO NUDISTS DEFINE A COUPLE?
Different nudist groups define a couple in different ways. Some are very restrictive and include only married or committed male/female couples. Other's include couples married and unmarried. Other's include male/male and female/female couples.
We would like to think that all nudists are accepting of other nudist couples, regardless of their composition, but that isn’t always the case. While nudists overall are very accepting people, some for religious reasons are more restrictive in their definition of a couple. It is always best to check ahead.
WHAT DO NUDISTS LOOK LIKE?
Some people think that nudists are just a bunch people in their 70's hobbling towards the squash court on their walker. Others imagine it’s like a beauty contest. The truth is, nudists look just like you and me. They are your neighbors, relatives, bowling team members, classmates, co-workers, teachers, etc…etc…etc. Imagine any social situation with a variety of people of different ages, sizes and backgrounds, and well that is what nudists look like.
WE DIDN’T ANSWER YOUR QUESTION? NO PROBLEM! EMAIL US!
While we have tried to answer the most common questions people have about nudism and about nudists, we are pretty sure have missed a few. Please email us your questions at CHICAGOFUNCLUB@GMAIL.COM Please put “FAQ QUESTION” as the subject.
Thanks! Steve and Katie