Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My trip to Normalcy

The first time I remember being naked around another person (other than my family) was in the 4th grade. I attended a public elementary school where everyone had to "dress out" for gym class. There were obviously two dressing rooms, one for the boys and the other for the girls. The procedure was to go to gym class, change your clothes into your gym outfit and then after class was over; come back, take a shower, and redress for the rest of school. While my memory seems to fade at this point, I think gym was a daily process. It seemed very normal and not the least embarrassing to be taking a shower with other boys. This changing into gym uniforms for gym class and then showering prior to going back regular class was a common event for me all the way through high school.

Outside of school the only times that I remember being nude in front of someone was at the YMCA swimming pool. The YMCA where I lived serviced a poorer neighborhood. Both boys and girls were allowed in the YMCA and swam in separate swimming pools. Because of the poor neighborhood, everyone was naked in their respective pool. There was no sense of embarrassment and to my knowledge; no one ever had any problems with sexual conduct.

When I was 18 I became a camp counselor at an overnight, all male camp. This camp was on a lake and reasonably remote. The procedure for taking a bath was to go to the lake, jump in to get wet, get out and cover yourself with soap, and then dive in again. The only time this procedure changed was when you had gone on a 3 or 4 day camping trip. Then everyone showered together in a large room with 15 or 20 shower heads coming out of the wall. This procedure was mandated for all who were campers or counselors.

The group to which I was assigned was made up of 7th and 8th graders. One day we took a trip about 20 miles from the camp. We hiked in the woods for about an hour when we came to a stream which was about 8 feet wide. A little way down the stream was a large boulder (20 or 30 feet long in the middle of the stream. The stream flowed over the boulder and like a small waterfall ended in a deep pool. Everyone stripped, soaped up their rear end, and slid down the boulder into the pool of water. There was no embarrassment, shame, or sexual excitement in this activity. It was perfectly normal and natural.

At the age of 19 I was drafted. Needless to say, there was not a lot of privacy while living together in the barracks. 50 men were assigned to the barracks where they showered, used the toilet, and slept in one large room. If there had been any kind of sexual activity the person or persons involved in such activity would have been chastised to the point it would never happen again.

After I was married, I did not participate in any kind of public activity in which nudity was practiced. Later, I became a practicing Christian as did my wife. We unconsciously decided that we would treat nudity in the family as something normal and natural. Nudity was not flaunted but rather if the children saw each other, or my wife and I naked it was not a traumatic event.

A few years ago I went to Europe on a business trip where, having some days off, I was able to go to several beaches. I was surprised but not shocked that one beach was fully nude. I noticed that most of the people there were families with young children. With the exception of one other person I was the only single male on the beach. There were three or four single females there as well. Being naked together seemed very natural and normal.

When I came back to the states I told my wife about the experience she agreed to go to a nudist resort close to where we live. I telephoned the manager of the resort to ensure that it was family oriented. Unfortunately, what he told me turned out not to be true. We left the resort very disappointed and somewhat nervous about having another experience.

I made more telephone calls to resorts in the area determined to give it one more try. The resort we chose to visit was much more family friendly but still had some things that we felt, based on our Christian positions, could not support. Therefore, except for very occasional visits we did not participate in any social nudity at all.

Two years ago we discovered the Christian Nudist Convocation (CNC). We finally found a group that approached Biblical Christianity the same way as we. Each of us view the body as something God has created and something of which we should not be ashamed. The principles of moral purity are enhanced when one recognizes that the body is God's creation and should not be desecrated.

In the next blog I will discuss nudity and early Christianity.

May God bless.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Athanasius,
Though I have had some exposure to nudity while growing up, we were too steeped in our "religion" that it was a taboo for the most part. I always felt embarrassed and self conscious, especially since it seemed I was the only one who was not circumsized. I know better now!

I am glad you found CNC, which one did you attend? I don't recognize the online name. We had a great event at Avalon this year. We were invited to come back next year!

I am looking forward to your next post.