I was having a discussion with a bunch of friends about hiking and more specifically naked hiking. One of my female friend was really puzzled and asked this simple question: « but what does it change? You can walk wearing a light short and that should not change anything, so what does it really change to walk naked? » My answer was one word: « Everything! »
Now I continued. « Have you ever skinny dipped? You know, just dropping your clothing and jumped into the water entirely naked? How did it feel? ». The answer was of course it felt great not only because of the feeling of the water over her naked body, but also because it was kinda… forbidden. True, first timer feels going over the border and it creates this adrenaline-induced feeling of transgression.
« Now, » I continued, « if you get to go on a nudist beach and get naked to tan and swim, you will not feel anymore, quite quickly actually, this feeling of transgression. What will remain though is this feeling of well-being. This is exactly what naked hikers are experiencing too. »
« Yes, I get that » my friend said, but it does not change much if you are wearing a swimsuit or nothing, does it? »
« Well, » I replied « you may argue it does not change much for you, and I would agree because I am not you. However, having the feeling a wet suit on your body is not the best sensation ever. Like having the feeling of fabric of a short on your sweating skin. I understand it’s not for everybody, and going beyond the feeling or shame or transgression is a personal journey, but I think you get it, don’t you? »
And this was almost the end of the discussion. It’s very difficult for non nudist to understand what nudism/naturism is about. Nudity being a bad thing, tied to sexuality, is so engrained in our society that it creates all kind of reaction in non nudists. On the journey to become a nudist, you generally go through those strange feeling and questions whether nudity is bad or good. Even for people raised in nudist families, they may go through those questions and feeling as they grow old. This is why being surrounded by like-minded people, goind to nudist beaches and resorts help a lot. It helps as well to get confronted to people who question nudism, as it makes others think about it. The more we talk about it, the better, as we can bring more people to nudism.
So, in the end, what does it really change to hike naked or to wear just a light short? Well, for naturists, it changes everything. The feeling of freedom is uncomparable. No fabric on your skin, your body entirely breathing, and the well-being it generates are just difficult to describe as they are to be lived. So yes, it may not change anything for a majority of people, and I respect this. This should not prevent us to explain that we are better hiking naked, that there’s nothing wrong with it and we can hike together with clothed people as diversity makes the world richer!
Get naked, stay naked, live naked and share the naked love!