My Advice on How to Survive a First-Time Naturist Holiday
Chose a small campsite for your first visit.
Things you should know about naturist holidays.
First of all just to give you some background information - I am not the sort of person to whom going around as nature intended comes naturally. I have never thought that clothing was optional, I do not wander around my house in the buff, even when I am the only one at home. I do occasionally run unclothed from my bedroom to the bathroom but a disapproving look from the cat would be enough to make me regret it for the rest of the day. I am just not that comfortable naked.
So, when my husband of twenty years Martin, suggested a naturist holiday I thought he had finally, after all those years, lost his mind. Very much against my better judgment I allowed myself to be persuaded, on condition that I chose the next holiday destination - I am going for Hawaii - well a girl can dream can't she, I hope that I can be more gracious about the look on his face when I tell him that than he was about mine when he mentioned the naturist thing.
1.) We chose a smallish campsite in Cornwall for our first trip, although there are some very good naturist beaches in England including Studland, on this particular site you are allowed to wear clothes but when we were there the vast majority of people had chosen not to, during the day at least. It does seem to be the norm for people to carry a towel to sit on or for emergency cover-up. I took my biggest bath sheet but ended up having to fold it so many times to fit the chairs that my feet didn’t touch the ground, so I suggest taking a beach towel or something similar.
2.) A few of the women carried sarongs with them, useful if the sun was very strong to wrap around your shoulders until you can find a nice patch of shade. We arrived, unpacked our meagre possessions, disrobed, slathered on the factor fifty sunscreen and feeling pretty brave, took the plunge.
The naturist beach at Studland.
The location of the famous naturist beach at Studland, Dorset, UK.
Naturists smile - a lot.
Some important things to remember if you want to make the most of your naturist holiday.
The first thing to remember on a naturist holiday is this - everyone else is wearing as little as you are too. Sounds simple but it’s an easy thing to forget when you venture outside as nature intended for the first time. Second thing to remember - look people in the eyes not in the….well, you get the picture. Oh and don’t take pictures of naturist people without asking permission, that kind of applies to any people, actually, clothed or unclothed. It’s a bit on the rude side to just snap away. I wouldn't want someone taking sneaky pictures of me, so I don't take sneaky pictures of other people.
Naturists smile a lot, although, in some cases I suspect the smile is actually a grimace of pain, it can get pretty cold in the United Kingdom at any time of year. I’ve been known to sling on an overcoat in early August, which kind of defeats the point of going on a naturist holiday, so if it does turn cold the order of the day seems to be grin, or grimace, and bear it. Pun intended. That could have been because when we were visiting this particular camp a large party of friends were also there, around thirty of them, all of whom seemed to be trying to outdo each other as to who could go without clothes the longest and who could smile the widest. Smiling is fine, it make you feel good but giggling behind your hand like a schoolgirl whilst pointing at all the other people is so far from fine it has left fine a hundred miles away in a bin outside a motorway service station. It also opens up the possibility that people might just point and giggle at you, fair’s fair’s, after all, and it could be a long run back to the sanctuary of your accommodation.
A nice secluded beach is ideal for a naturist holiday.
One very good thing about this type of holiday.
One good thing about going on a naturist holiday is you don’t get tan lines, then again, tans are bad for you, they age the skin and give you cancer and realistically the only people who are going to see that you don’t have tan lines are other naturists, your doctor and your partner. Other naturists don’t have tan lines either, so tan line free is their natural state, your doctor will probably tell you off for getting a tan and if your partner is anything like mine, by the time you are undressed enough for him to notice your lovely all over brown body his mind is on other things - probably wondering how he could have forgotten it was his birthday. Being a naturist is also very freeing, it’s a wonderful feeling to get out of bed in the morning and not have to worry about finding something to wear.
I have been known to spend hours searching for the top I want that I know goes with the jeans I am going to wear only to find that the jeans are in the wash covered in bean juice and the top is on my eldest daughter. Because of the lack of apparel you don’t have to pack much, shoes of course and just the odd thing or two for trips off site and for evening cover up and it saves on all that pre-holiday ironing. Although, I must admit, my birthday suit could do with a good press but that’s another matter.
The beautiful woodland at our holiday site.
The best factor fifty sunscreen I have come across.
Don't look at yourself naked before you go.
We spent our days wandering around the beautiful wooded site, sitting by the poolside or enjoying a glass of wine and a meal outside our chalet - all done mostly unclothed. Did I feel embarrassed? Truthfully, yes, at first but I did get over that towards the end of the week. People told me that you soon forget you are undressed, I didn’t find that to be true. I ALWAYS knew I was undressed, I am far too body conscious I guess. I stood up straight, shoulders back, tummy sucked in the whole week, which made me feel vaguely uncomfortable and gave me a killer backache. I did find that my posture improved once I was back home too, and the backache was short lived. I feel at least two inches taller as a result of standing up straight.
I wish I could be more like my husband, he took to naturism like a duck to water. Then again, he is always walking around in the buff at home so I wasn’t really surprised at his reaction. Did I enjoy the experience? Yes, as an experience. Will I be going again? Maybe, after Hawaii.
My best advice.
The best advice I can give to anyone contemplating a naturist holiday is don’t strip off and look in a full length mirror before you leave home. Not unless you have the body of a twenty year old supermodel, in which case maybe you should think about some other sort of holiday and give the rest of us a break. I did take my clothes off and give myself a good once over- big mistake - huge! Just like my bum, which is also a lot nearer my knees than I remember. In fact, everything was a lot further south than I remember.
I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to see myself undressed so why should I inflict myself on other people. Not that I ever felt people were looking at my body at the site, naturists just don’t seem to be like that. The people we met there were all friendly, warm and welcoming and none of them seemed to be the least bit worried about their wobbly bits being too wobbly, too far south or too wrinkly.
So if you have ever been tempted to give naturism a try my advice is go for it!
Remember to take a few essentials with you, I would suggest the following:-
1.)Factor fifty sun block - a must for all those bits that have never seen the light of day. I use Banana boat family size factor fifty, it's large enough to last the whole holiday, even covering everything. The pump action top is easy to use and it doesn't have a loose lid to lose.
2.)A beach towel - for hygiene reasons when sharing chairs.
3.)Clothes - including a lightweight kaftan type garment if you’re a woman, good for throwing on if the wind blows or for evening wear.
4.)Sunglasses - really dark ones, the type that hide your eyes. This might just have been me but for the first couple of days I couldn’t stop looking places I really shouldn’t have been looking. It’s just not normal to be surrounded by undressed people and try as hard as I could I felt my eyes drifting. Around day three I really didn’t notice the lack of clothing at all. Honestly.
5.)An open mind - this last thing is perhaps the most important thing to take with you.
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