Unless you grew up in a house without clothes, the chances are that there was a 'first time' that you encountered social nudity. For some that may have been a surprising experience, some might have been a bit shocked, and for some it would have been perfectly natural. Here are some stories that we have collected together of people's first encounters with nudity and how they reacted.
We would love to hear about your first experiences of being nude in front of others or encountering nudity in ways you have since discovered to be perfectly natural. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a picture if you have something suitable, and tell us all about it. See our submission guidelines for more info.
Being nude in public was something I never even thought about. I don't mean that I wouldn't have considered it - I mean that I never had a single thought about it one way or another. I'd been brought up quite conservative, and nudeness wasn't something that ever really happened, so when one day I found myself walking along Studland beach in Dorset with my boyfriend, it was all a bit unexpected.
We found a spot without too many naked people and sat down. It's probably the best beach in the area and the few naked people we could see didn't bother me so I was more than happy to spend a few hours there, but when the boyfriend stripped off I wasn't really ready to do the same. So there we lay for a couple of hours, him nude and me in a bikini that didn't really cover much. It was a hot day, and pretty soon we had to go in for a swim, so we walked down to the sea and jumped in.
It's funny the things you think of at times like, and I found myself asking "What's it like to swim without a costume? Does it feel any different?"
"Try it yourself," he said, and so keeping all the important bits under water I let him peel the costume off me.
It was different. Very different. And yet strangely I would say that it was the first time that swimming in the sea had felt 'right'. I swam around for ages like that until we both thought it was time to go back to our spot on the sand. I held my hand out for my costume, but he raised an eyebrow and said "Really?" We were standing in the shallows, and I hadn't even realised that I was already completely out of the water and visible to anyone on the beach. I looked around, and whilst one or two people may have been looking in our direction, most really couldn't care. So nor did I.
We walked back up the beach naked. I went straight to my towel, dried myself off, then picked up my purse and wandered down to the snack hut to buy us both ice creams. I bought an ice cream whilst naked!
I don't think I've ever chosen to wear clothes on a beach since. There have been times when I've ended up on beached where nudity isn't an option, but I'll always pick the clothes-optional ones if I have a choice.
Go naked! Really. Try it. You won't regret it.
PS - That photo really is me, on Shellness Beach on Sheppey.
My first time nude in public was on a nude beach. I had never been particularly bothered by nudity, not mine or anyone else's, but actually being in a room or anywhere full of naked people? No, not something I had ever done. So back when I was in my early twenties - very early twenties from what I remember - and had recently started driving, I thought I'd give it a go. Yes, part of it was that I wanted to see what the boys looked like with no clothes on (and the girls as well, I'm not fussy), but part of it was that I wanted to see how I would react when it came to that moment of stripping off in front of people I didn't know. At the time I lived quite close to a famous nude beach in Dorset (UK), so I drove down there, parked the car, and started to walk to the beach. It's a long walk to that beach and I had to park ages away, but the countryside is lovely and kept me distracted from all the men that were walking down the same path with me. I was starting to wonder if I was going to be the only girl on the beach when I got there, but I wasn't going to give up, so I kept walking, and eventually came out onto this huge area of open sand, with loads of families, couples, and individuals all over the place, about half of whom were naked. I didn't wait. As soon as I was in the middle of it all I stopped, put down my bag, and without hesitating I pulled off my top, then kicked off my shoes and peeled down my jeans and knickers. I was naked. In front of people. And no-one minded.
I spent the whole day there, and when it was time to go home I really didn't want to get dressed again. It felt wonderful being nude. I had talked to people, bought ice cream from the little hut on the beach, and even gone swimming... all nude. It was awesome. But people were starting to head home and the sun was dipping in the sky, so much as I wanted to stay I did have to leave. I started walking back naked, got to the sign that said I had to get dressed... and ignored it. I carried on walking until the path stopped being sandy and was too uncomfortable to walk on without shoes, so I pulled them on, then decided that I probably ought to get dressed again as by then I was the only naked person left. My top was almost long enough to count as a very short micro-dress, so I pulled that on, left the jeans and knickers in the bag, and walked back to the car, which was about another half a mile on the path, then nearly a mile up the road with all the cars driving past and me in a pair of canvas shoes and a flimsy spaghetti top that probably didn't really cover anything. And it was the best feeling ever.
I drove all the way home like that, so it was probably a good thing that my parents were out when I got back as they would no doubt have had something to say about what I had suddenly decided to call an 'outfit'!