(Y)our first time naked in public

How many people have seen you naked already? Maybe a handful of previous partners? Maybe some close friends or family members? Maybe nobody at all? In our case, that would be many thousands. Maybe hundreds of thousands. We didn’t really keep track.

 

Does that idea sound daunting to you? It definitely did to us, the first time we were about to enter a place where “naked” was the official dress code. From the number of cars that we had seen on the parking lot, we could be pretty sure that the select VIP club of “People that ever saw us stark naked” would easily quadruple. Probably more. If felt quite overwhelming, we can tell you that.

The couple that couldn’t care less

When we think back about that day, it feels like we were acting so childish. It’s just a naked body, why were we making such a big deal about it? But that was what living for many years in a society that condemns nudity does to you. From the age of three, we are thought that no matter what happens, our pants need to stay up when there are people around. That is dirty, shameful, and sexual. Few people are supposed to see you naked and vice versa.

 

Indeed, vice versa, because the number of people that we had ever seen naked in real life wasn’t that much either. Our first social naked experience happened in a spa center, which is quite common in Europe. Once you’ve paid for the day at the reception desk, you are directed to a locker room where you have to exchange all your clothes for a bathrobe. A communal mixed locker room, which was empty at the moment we entered.

 

We started to undress but didn’t get far before another couple entered. We wondered what to do next. What’s the etiquette here? Do we all turn our backs to each other and pretend that the others don’t exist? Do we each go in a far corner of the locker room? Are we supposed to have some small talk? We abrupted our undressing process and started to saunter. The couple chose the locker next to us – well, that’s how it felt – and in less than a minute they were completely naked. Two completely naked strangers right in front of us, while we were still half-dressed. They put on their bathrobes, gave us a friendly smile, and walked through the door that leads to the spa.

Getting used to getting nude

The weirdest thing was that it happened so casually. Where was the shame, the embarrassment, the weird eye movements? If at that exact same moment a monkey had walked in and said: “Hey, what’s up dudes”, we wouldn’t have been all that much more confused. This is one of the most important aspects of a first social nude experience. It’s out of your comfort zone. The rules of society that you’ve gotten so much used to, don’t apply anymore.

 

Many years later in Canada, someone would come with us to a naturist resort. For him, it was the first time ever. That resort did not have a locker room, so it was common to just leave your clothes and valuables in the car on the parking. We arrived, parked the car, got rid of our clothes, and walked towards the reception. For us, it was just common sense. But later that night, our friend would express the exact same awkward feeling that we had experienced a long time ago. The feeling that Alice must have had when she fell into a hole and arrived at a place where things just didn’t were like she was used to. For Alice, eating a mushroom could get her through a small door. For us, wearing clothes suddenly became abnormal.

 

But this blog post is not about Alice, nor about our friend. When the other couple left the locker room, we got rid of our clothes, but on our bathrobe, and walked to the door that gave entrance to the actual spa.

The spotlight effect

For some, at the moment very inexplicable reason, we imagined a kind of movie scene where you enter a room and then all heads turn towards you. As if you disturbed a prayer or an important meeting. As if we were about to enter a secret community where we were not really supposed to be. Everyone would stare at us and wonder “what are THEY doing here?”. “Look at them, with their imperfect bodies”.

 

But guess what really happened. Indeed, nothing. Actually, exactly the same thing that happened with the other couple just minutes before. People acknowledged our presence, friendly smiles and “hellos” were exchanged, but that was really it. Instead of feeling like the new kid on the block, it felt as if we had been part of this community forever.

 

In psychology, this is called the Spotlight Effect. It means that we believe that we are noticed more than we really are. For ourselves, our own life is pretty much all the time the center of the universe, and we tend to project that idea on others. We think that there’s a spotlight on us, that people see everything we do. But they do not, of course.

What happened next?

From there, everything happened so fast. During the first couple of minutes, we saw so many naked people that our common sense said “Okay, this is too much for me, I quit” and from there it all went very smoothly. We had entered with our bathrobes very well tightened, but of course, we had to get rid of those if we wanted to use any of the facilities. So we did, we dropped that bathrobe and got into the jacuzzi.

 

When we got out of the jacuzzi, we immediately put the bathrobe back on, to take it off a minute later to go into the sauna. Same procedure to go from the sauna to the swimming pool, and from the swimming pool to the hammam, and at one point we wondered: “Where did I leave that bathrobe again?”. This is the end of this story. We’ve gotten used to being naked among others.

Your first time naked

Experiences differ from person to person. Maybe your first-time experience will be exactly the same as ours. Maybe it will be like our friend in Canada, who just saw everyone he was with take off all their clothes and walk away. Maybe it will be something completely different.

 

The most important thing to remember is that you will not be the center of attention. Except for the other first-timers, everyone else has seen a lot of naked bodies before in his or her life. The other thing is that bodies come in all different shapes. There is no perfect body, nor is there an imperfect body. It’s just a body, and we only have one and it is always different from all the others. That’s what makes us unique.

 
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6 thoughts on “(Y)our first time naked in public”

  1. Your first experience sounds so much like my own, and I think a very common experience. My first socially nude experience was also at a Spa. A small one in Birmingham which is the only one of its kind I’m aware of in the UK.

    When I parked in the parking area I sat for a while and very nearly started the car again and drove away, but I didn’t. I went in and changed my life. I was so nervous, I had the idea that everyone could tell. In fact later the woman who had checked me in at reception was working the bar and we got chatting. I explained how it was my first time and how nervous I had been. She said she hadn’t noticed, that I appeared very relaxed and comfortable. Other people can’t see what goes on in our heads. So much of what we think others must be thinking is made up in our own heads. As you say, everyone else is too busy being the star of their very own movie to over think our own role.

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  2. Our introduction to nudism was skinny dipping at Orient Beach in St. Martin in the Summer of 1996. My wife and I were there for just a few hours as part of a shore excursion on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Club Orient was destroyed by a hurricane the year before (or thereabouts) and was still rebuilding, so there weren’t very many people at the nudist end of the beach. Since the area was practically deserted we didn’t hesitate to slip off our suits & wade into the warm, calm water. We swam to a floating dock where another couple was sunning themselves and struck up a brief conversation. We stayed & paddled around in the water for as long as we could before heading back to the ship. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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  3. Heart beating fast, legs almost trembling all the way from the parking spot to the beach. Excitement when spotting the first naked people (“this is really happening!”) and surprise when I realised that I was taking all of my clothes off in a public space and it felt totally natural and not a big deal.

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  4. Mijn eerste keer was toen ik als jonge tiener van bijna 16 met een verderop in de straat wonende bevriende familie op vacantie mocht naar Spanje. Wat ik niet wist, mijn ouders ook niet, was dat dat gezin elk jaar weer op naturistische wijze de vacantie doorbracht. Na een lange autorit kwamen we in het donker aan op de camping. Vlot alles opgezet, douchen en meteen moe gaan slapen. Nu sliep ik ook al in die tijd normaliter naakt, maar wilde ik de volgende ochtend voorzichtig mijn kleren aantrekken, toen de naast mij in de tent slapende dochter zei: dat hoeft niet, Je hoeft hier niks aan te trekken. Hoezo vroeg ik? Het is hier naturistisch antwoordde ze. Wist je dat niet? Nee zei ik, dat wist ik niet. Kom we gaan ons eerst even afspoelen en eten. Vervolgens kwam ze ook naakt uit haar slaapzak gekropen, liep naar me toe en trok me omhoog. Eerst wat onwennig met mijn handen nog strategisch geplaatst, maar in mijn nakie volgde ik haar naar de sanitaire ruimtes waar nog enkele anderen, zowel kinderen als volwassenen zich bevonden. Niemand keek op van mijn naaktheid. Waarom zouden ze ook? Vervolgens richting de tent waar haar ouders reeds de tafel voor het ontbijt hadden opgezet en net als de andere 2 kleinere kinderen uiteraard ook naakt waren. Na het eten gingen we naar het naaktstrandje waar we nog andere tieners troffen en we vormden een groepje en deden allerlei spelletjes op het strand. Inmiddels was mijn naaktzijn, voor het eerst tussen anderen, de gewoonste zaak van de wereld en dat is zeer gelukkig zo gebleven. De gehele 4 weken op deze naaktcamping een supertijd beleefd waar ik nog graag aan teugdenk en met de familie ben ik nog steeds bevriend. Waarschijnlijk was het de natuurlijke wijze waarop een meisje van 17 een jongen van 16 op een voor haar natuurlijke, vertrouwde en prettige wijze meenam in het naturisme. Zo dat ik zonder nadenken met haar en de andere tieners meedeed. Zonder oordeel en met wederzijds respect. Het werkelijk ongemakkelijke kwam toen ik na de vacantie terug in Nederland weer de hele dag in kleren moest lopen. Dat is pas oncomfortabel, ai!. Nu deze familie wist dat ik ook graag naakt was werd ik steeds vaker door hen gevraagd mee te gaan naar naturistische dingen in Nederland zoals het strand, festivals, zwemmen, en op familie of vriendenbezoek. Daardoor een hele naturistische vrienden en kennissenkring opgebouwd. Het volgende jaar gingen we als groep van 12 tieners gezamenlijk op vacantie naar koversada in kroatie.

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  5. I suppose my first social nudity would be in the showers whilst at school and at sports centres (not sure if that counts).
    My first mixed gender social nudity was at sauna in Prague in the 90s. There was the usual worry about getting an erection but my worries were unfounded and I was amazed how natural and relaxing it was being naked amongst other people. I suppose I have always been a nudist (I have always slept naked) which may be why I never really felt nervous about taking my clothes off in public.
    It was another 20 years until I started going to clothing optional beaches in the UK. Because I don’t get to these beaches often I have to admit that I find myself unconsciously starting at people for the first few moments until I relax and start to feel at home again.

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  6. I depends whether you mean literally my first time nude, or, my first time nude with other people. The desire to be nude was always in me from a very young age. If I was at the seaside with my parents I would go into the sea and take my swimming trunks off, or run off and find somwhere deserted that I could tae my swimmers off and run around n the nude. Right up to my late teaans I would find places in the countryside where I could strip off and run about in the nude. But that was on my own.

    The first time I was nude with other people around happened when I was recommended to a beach while working away from home most weeks one summer. I was in my early twenties by then. This was a beach you could drive onto, and the far end of it was “tolerated” for use by naturists after years of use.

    When I first arrived at this beach fairly early one morning there was only one other person there, a girl who was clearly not a naturist, she was wearing clothes. She was sitting on the sane reading a book. So, I sat about 100m away from her and kept my shorts on.

    After a while an older couple walked onto the beach, also fully clothed. I was just beginning to think I had the wrong beach when the older couple started taking their clothes off. I walked over to them and asked if this was the naturist beach. They confirmed it was. So, I walked back to where I had been sitting and took my shorts off. After a while I decided to go for it and walk to the sea about 300m away for a swim and paddle. The girl was still engrossed in reading her book and I was some distance from her anyway.

    I had a swim then stood in shallow knee deep water, looking out to sea and enjoying the sun and a light breeze. I had been standing there for a while just taking it all in when I suddenly saw movement in the corner of my eye. I turned to look and it was the girl. She was still dressed but had taken her shoes and socks off and was paddling in the sea not far from me. I was slightly nervous and also excited, because her I was, naked in front of a stranger, and a girl at that. As she drew closer to me I said Hi and she responded with the same and a smile. A conversation was struck up and she told she was local, so she knew naturists used the beach. I was shocked to find she was only 15 and on school holidays. But we continued to chat for quite a few minutes. The whole time I was having this conversation with the girl all sorts of thoughts were going around in my head… wow, I’m standing here in the nude talking to a girl… for goodness sake don’t get an erection! My penis suddenly started itching (must have been the salt)… Nooo, don’t touch it! But it felt great to be able to stand there in front of her in the nude and not have to worry about it.

    As that day went on, more people began to appear on the beach. Some were naturists, some not. I spent the rest of that day casually walking around without a care about being naked amongst other people, clothed or nude.

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