Eight Things I Learned From Going Naked Camping

 

We sat in the car, giggling.1 CARDS
“We’re not even allowed to walk in the car park with our clothes on!” my friend said.
“Really? Really?? Hang on – I can see some people on the patio. They’re CLOTHED!!” I was outraged. Or maybe just super-nervous.

 

She looked over. “Not all of them are. Come on”
She started whipping off her pants and t shirt, and I did the same.
“I’m going to wear a hat,” she said.
“I don’t have one!” I wailed. “I’m going to wear my back pack. At least then I can fiddle with the straps.”

Finally, we got out of the car and strode, half-bold, half-sniggering, to the reception. Two young, friendly, naked ladies greeted us, and checked us in.

I’d never done anything like it before.

Ever since I was a teenager, I’d always wanted to try a naturist vacation; I love (LOVE!) not wearing any clothes. When I have the “I’m naked in public” anxiety dream, my fear is never embarrassment or shame that I’m not wearing anything – it’s just worry that everyone else will think I’m weird because of it. I knew enough to know that naturist places uphold strict “No Pervs” policies.

And yet… I didn’t know anyone else who’d be into it. Until this month.

A few weeks ago, a friend in Toronto asked if I’d like to join her and some other chums to go to a naturist camping place about an hour outside of the city. I said yes, last weekend we went, and here is what I learned:

(1) I am less mature than I thought

1 BANADA Del

I am a 38 year old lady who has seen much of the world. I am frequently naked with my family; with my friends; in public changing rooms.
And yet:
– it took me two hours to stop giggling about the fact that all of us here are totally naked. Naked!!!

 

(2) I am less mature than I thought (part two) 

I am a 38 year old lady who has seen much of the world. I am frequently naked with my family; with my friends; in public changing rooms.
And yet:
– it took me two hours to stop, every time someone walked past, internally yelling to myself,“BOOBS!” “WANG!” “BOOOOOBS!!” “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANG!”

 

(3) No one is thinking about you. Everyone’s thinking about themselves, just like you are right now

As I talked about in this video, you don’t need to feel self-conscious. Especially in a naturist resort, where people truly have more important things to think about than how you look naked. Not least because everyone is naked, so you don’t stand out.

(4) Bugs: actually easier to deal with naked

I know this isn’t a life lesson, but it’s the first thing anyone has asked me about since I came back. I am the kind of person who could get mosquito bitten in the sodding Arctic, so I was nervous.

Turns out, clothes can distract you from the feeling that there’s a bug resting on you. But when you’re naked? You notice it straight away and – slllllllllaaaapp! – you get them. And your “area”? Photo 2015-08-07, 7 54 08 PMTends to be too much in motion – or too tucked away – to be in any mozzie danger.
Though, it turns out, if it gets REALLY bad (like when we were putting the tent up at dusk), you’re allowed to throw on some clothes.

 

(5) Everybody is beautiful

Every body is beautiful.
I know you might be thinking, “Come on, Marsha. Not every body”. But – honestly – it’s so striking. Once you strip away not just clothes, but underwear and swimsuits, you realise how true this is. We really ALL look lovely; these delightful, doughy lumps, blobbing around the world. So nice.

(6) Bodies are all SO DIFFERENT

Usually, our only points of body-shape/size/colour/etc reference are our family, maybe our friends, our sex partners and TV & movies.
I was so struck by how WILDLY different different bodies are. This wide variety of curves and shapes that you just aren’t aware of in day to day life. SO many different shapes of boobs. So many different colours of wangs. So many variations of bums.
Also, there are some lovely similarities; things on my own body that I may not have been thrilled about – when I see them on several other ladies, I realise that I not only don’t mind them, I find those quirks actively awesome-looking.

(7) Swimming naked is the thing that most reminds me that I am just an animal of this earth

1 swim

I might have a cell phone and a computer and experience flying around the world in aeroplanes, and I might be telling you these words by hitting plastic keys then having them conducted to you via electricity and magic.
But, ultimately, I’m just an animal of this earth like any other. And, as such, all these problems and issues that I worry about and have are mostly totally insignificant. Which is a huge relief.

(8) We once were all just little babies. And we sort of still are.

As Sam The American Eagle says, underneath our clothes, we’re all Completely Naked.

It’s the great leveller. Next time I am shy of someone – whether it’s because I’m alone at an event and they’re new to me, or because they’re an industry hero I’d love to approach but am too shy to – I’m going to try and remember this.
“Oh yes. Under those threads, you’re just a giant baby, like me”.

“If you’re nervous around someone, remember: underneath their clothes, they’re just a giant, naked baby”

(TWEET THAT HERE!)

Over To You

What’s your favourite lesson from these eight? Or do you have any other questions about the naked camping – or stories of your own? Either way, I’d love you to let me know in the comments below.

Thanks so much for reading! If you know anyone who either has an interest in naked holidays, tends to get self conscious and could use this advice – or just wants to see some slightly racy pictures of me, then you can share this blog post with them using one of the round buttons below.

You RULE!

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha

 

 

PS want to know my best-ever client secret – and get even more advice, tips, plus stories that I won’t put on the internet? Come and join the Yes Yes Family – it’s free! Just pop your details in below:

PPS if you’re curious about – or as obsessesed as I am with – Periscope, I’m scoping (mostly fully-clothed) almost every day. Sign up at periscope.tv, then come and find me @yesyesmarsha

 

All photos copyright me, Marsha from YesYesMarsha.com

38 Comments

  • Jessie

    Reply Reply August 12, 2015

    Swimming naked is the thing that most reminds me that I am just an animal of this earth. I love swimming naked. And it really, hardly ever happens (I live in London).

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 12, 2015

      Jessie! I am SO with you!
      When I lived in London I’d always have to wait until I went on holiday. But as soon as I was out of sight of most of the beach, I’d whip off my swimmers and tie them around my wrist.
      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Person

      Reply Reply August 12, 2015

      Naturist swimming exists in London at some designated spas and pools. You can search for them.

    • straymut

      Reply Reply August 12, 2015

      Hi Jessie.
      There is a men’s and ladies (separate) swimming lake where you can, if you wish, swim naked on Hamstead Heath. It’s a lovely atmosphere mostly frequented by locals who’ve been doing it for years, so there is little awkwardness.

      • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

        Marsha Shandur

        Reply Reply August 12, 2015

        I always wanted to go to that and never did! Thanks for stopping by, SM! x

  • Ha I love you Marsha. You are my idol.

  • Tamsen

    Reply Reply August 12, 2015

    Lovely and brave you are. What I loved most about this was how it stirred the thought, “interesting how taking off clothes could lead to more mindfulness and meaning…” I’ve never thought that before. Only you could write so beautifully on this!

  • Adrienn

    Reply Reply August 12, 2015

    We are all giant naked babies!

  • Eilidh

    Reply Reply August 12, 2015

    Yeah, great blog. Made me smile. Boooobs! Waaaaaaaang! Teeeheheheheheheee. Thank you Marsha.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 12, 2015

      Ha ha, glad your sense of humour is as wangy as mine, Eilidh! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • Sam

    Reply Reply August 12, 2015

    OMG I LOVE this so much!!!!
    I don’t know if I could do it, the giggling would last even longer (WANNNNGGGGG!!)
    And swimming naked. The best. Best.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 12, 2015

      The TOTAL BEST, right? There was a LOT of giggling, but I learned to keep it under control…. x

  • Excellent article, informative and fun! So glad you had a good time, I know I was freaked out when my soon-to-be (though he didn’t know it yet) husband first took me to a nude beach. Wow!

    And wow in a good way! What freedom from everyday concerns about this and that; no one cares! I’ve been hooked for years since, and hope never to have to give up this wonderful lifestyle. Camps, beaches, even high-end resorts are available (not our thing) are surprisingly available in developed nations if you make the effort to look for them!

    Our website is designed specifically for newbies and interested parties; no porn, no photo galleries, just the straight dope! Look especially for the sections on ‘New Nudists’ and ‘Women in Naturism’ that apply to this topic!

  • Taylor

    Reply Reply August 13, 2015

    Will never understand y everyone is so uptight about nudity in public…as.different as we are we really are all the same naked…in a perfect world every aspect of life we would be naked as a society…working naked, shopping naked, etc…guess that’s only a pipe dream

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 13, 2015

      I would love that, I think half of the time – I’m also a big fan of dresses 🙂 But I agree with you on the uptightness!

  • Maria Isabel

    Reply Reply August 13, 2015

    I absolutely loved this post. My fav lessons were #7 and #8. We are just animals pretending to be something else. 😉 Thanks for sharing.

  • Kristen

    Reply Reply August 14, 2015

    Very fun to read. I’m from Northern California where there are quite a few places to be naked which I like quite a lot. Naked beaches under the Golden Gate Bridge and hot springs like Harbin make me remember how wonderful the sun on skin that isn’t usually bare feels. Swimming sans a suit in the ocean and in hot bubbly water is heaven. I especially enjoy solo hikes in the forest, being alone and naked is really profound somehow. I like to have a sarong which I can drape in different configurations as needed.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply August 14, 2015

      Ooh, bubbly water and solo hikes sounds AWESOME! I’ve only ever been naked in the forest when climbing out of lakes. I know what you mean about being alone and naked, totally agree. The place I was at last weekend was a big site with lots of parts where you’d be on your own and I felt that.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Frank

    Reply Reply August 15, 2015

    One thing I’ve learned as a man, being naked around women, is that, without clothes, it is more difficult to objectify women, especially in that setting. It is easier to see that, without clothes, we are all, men and women, much more similar than “society” allows us to be. Yes, a small percentage of our body parts are different, but after that, we are all pretty much, just people. Attitudes would be very different if being nude were the real world and the textiled world was the escape. Peace.

  • Andrew

    Reply Reply August 31, 2015

    Thanks for sharing your nude camping experience in such a laugh out loud way. I recently started visiting a naturist resort in my area (SE Texas) and can easily relate to your lessons. One interesting difference between your camp out and this resort is that there are several families that have their permanent residences within the resort. Including a young married couple that met there as residents. I see many of these residents every time I visit. I try to pop in one day a week and, am bummed out at the end of the weeks that I was unable to work in a visit. The resort has a camping area and, I hope to make a weekend camp out someday soon.

    • Marsha (Yes Yes Marsha)

      Marsha Shandur

      Reply Reply September 1, 2015

      In fact, Andrew, there were a bunch of people at Bare Oaks who live there year round – in spite of it being chilly Canada!

      Glad you have fun visiting, and good luck getting that weekend 🙂

  • Ric Carter

    Reply Reply September 20, 2015

    I enjoyed your story. I know many have uncomfortable feelings when first being nude around others. I fortunately grew up in a time and place that we were nude together many times.
    I’m fortunate to live out in the country where I can be nude nearly all the time in the summer, wearing clothes maybe 4-5 hours a week when I need to go to town. My next door neighbors are also nudists, and most of the neighbors have been nude together at pool parties. No need to worry about being seen when working outside, all the attention drawn is a honk and a wave.

  • Lori

    Reply Reply October 7, 2015

    Ooh Yes, Yes Marsha!

    I loved this post. You are such a sweet spirit to see the beauty in every being you encountered. Since I am not a sweet and kind as yourself, I have my doubts, but this post is an excellent example of how comparing, criticizing is really paralyzing for the speaker.

    Love, love, love you,

    Lori

    • Thanks, Lori! What lovely words. And YES, seeing the beauty in everyone else does make it WAY easier to see in yourself!

  • Natureboy

    Reply Reply February 13, 2018

    Aged in my late sixties now, I was introduced to naturist beaches about 7 years ago and now really love going. We go to a huge resort in the south of France called Cap d’Agde. It IS strange to be unclothed but very liberating in all kinds of ways and when I see people in swimming costumes it seems quite Victorian to me.
    What you say about the variety of shapes and sizes is so true and gives a you a whole new level of looking at other people. It’s been a slow process for me in de-sexualising the experience and certainly when I see very attractive young women it is still a thrill but it’s at least 50% aesthetic.
    I don’t push it on friends but it if the subject comes up the varying attitudes are quite revealing. I’m probably glad to keep it anonymous to avoid complications, but when you see groups of experienced naturists in self consciously chatting in groups you realise that there is a freedom there which few get to experience.
    At the place we go there is a section of the beach where people can have sexual experiences quite openly. At first it is a little bit shocking and fascinating but I am less and less interested in watching now. But I do rejoice in living in a society where it is possible.
    .

  • Natureboy

    Reply Reply February 13, 2018

    Should read unselfconsciously not in self consciously

  • Dennis Lee

    Reply Reply July 27, 2018

    Love your blog Marsha although I seem to be 3 years too late. I’ve always enjoyed sneaking of with a nudist group to get naked outdoors. But it was always sneaking around and hiding like we were doing something wrong. I decided to tackle that head on. I became a body painting model. Last year I was nude in the middle of Manhattan being body painted with 59 other models. It was really liberating. I was perfect for it. The purpose is the promote body acceptance. I am a 60 year old man with a huge stomach. And I didn’t care. I chatted with people and posed for pictures. I’m going to my first nude beach this September. And after I get myself I’m better physical shape I hope to participate in next years London Naked Bike Ride. I just want people to know you are never too old to start. Cheers. Dennis.

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