Becoming A Nudist

American writer Mark Haskell Smith was really skeptical about the ideal of nudism before he made up his mind to try it out. He was pretty interested in trying something new and this is what led him to the Desert Sun Resort in Palm Springs, California. While preparing for the first naked outing, he was very anxious and scared. When he finally walked out of his room, he became a center of attraction, courtesy of the erection that he was experiencing.
Later, he travelled to the various nudist resorts in Europe. His next stop was Cap d'Agde, which is situated in southern France. This is one place where you could find everything as you would in any other town, except for the fact that you'd find nudists everywhere. The experience of going grocery shopping and having coffee in the morning absolutely naked is something he will always cherish.

During his quest as a nudist traveler, he also had the amazing opportunity of hiking through the Austrian Alps for a week along with 19 other naturists from various parts of Europe. As a matter of fact, nudist hiking is regarded as one of the most popular adventure sports among people of this community. In various parts of Europe and the Caribbean, you can go for such trips at a very nominal cost.
However, Mr. Smith did confess that he did reach for some clothes when the cold became unbearable. Nevertheless, some of the regular hikers with him paid no heed to the cold winds and enjoyed the experience. According to him, this is one of those activities that you'd have to experience at least once in a lifetime and words wouldn't be enough to describe how amazing it feels when chilly winds tease every part of your body.

Despite becoming more relaxed and comfortable with being naked in public, Haskell Smith admits that he had always been nervous while baring it all before others as there is a constant fear of being judged by others. Nonetheless, it is worth mentioning that nudists believe in the principles of oneness and do not discriminate on subjective grounds.

“Nudists really look like everyone else so I think the idea of accepting your body and other people's bodies is really healthy. Our society needs all kinds of tolerance and this is a good place to start,” he said. During his year as a nudist, he met nudists from all walks of life and found a strong sense of community despite there being diversity.


The message behind naked bike ride

June 27, 2015 has certainly been a memorable day for nudists in Portland. This was the day when thousands of Portlanders came together to participate in the Annual Portland World Naked Bike Ride. While many people had participated in the event for fun, others were there to give a social message.
This was not only a platform for people to meet nudists but also make people aware about our increasing dependence on fossil fuels. This was the message published on the official website: “We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the unique dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians as well as the negative consequences we all face due to dependence on oil, and other forms of non-renewable energy.”

The moment was initiated in 2004 and since then people bare it all to participate in this event. In addition to protesting against the increasing use of fossil fuels, this event also shows the naked body in positive light and preaches about the safety of riders. Stephen Upchurch, one of the main organizers of this bike ride said, “We want people to feel good in their body, to have fun in their body. That's one of the things we're concerned with. We want people to feel like they can have fun in their body and have a great time with each other. Our ride is anti-body shaming.”
Upchurch said that an average person is a lot more vulnerable when he / she is naked and isn't surrounded by a ‘metal box’. He also said that although such bike rides were organized in different parts of the world earlier, lack of a hierarchical system and little coordination never made such events successful.

The organizers of the event also passed out banners and slogans to the participants to spread the message effectively. In addition to bike rides, there have been several rallies, marathons, marches and walks that had a motive and message. Since the time the event began in 2004, this event organized in Portland had a message and had seen participation of hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe.


Getting naked in Germany

Public nudity is pretty normal in Germany. In fact, Germany is considered as one of the first nations where nudism originated. People in this country are absolutely fine being naked as they are with clothes. There is a nudist organization in the nation known as the FKK that is responsible for maintaining nudist beaches and other recreational activities pertaining to German nudists.

In Germany, nudism is referred to as free body culture, which has nothing negative to be associated with.
How did it start?

Germany's passion for nudity actually started in the late 19th century where stripping off and taking a sunbathing was considered as a potential solution that was touted to be a cure for tuberculosis and rheumatism. In 1920, when the rest of Europe was still conservative and felt feverish even on the thought of nudity, Germany came up with a beach exclusively for nudists.

Less than 10 years down the line, the Berlin school of nudism was founded to promote mixed sex open air exercises. The country also became the first to host the first international nudist congress. This was heavily criticized and rules were made to curtail nudity in public areas. However, these rules were relaxed in 1942.

Naked Proletariat

Nudism has been extremely popular in East Germany and was considered as an escape from uniform and conformity of the communist state. As a result, people belonging to East Germany chose to spend time naked at lakes, beaches and at places that were maintained by the FKK. When the residents of West Germany started holidaying across the European continent, they took their liking for nudism to various nations, where it received mixed opinions.
Where can you bare it all?

According to official figures, there are over 600,000 nudist members that are registered with over 300 private nudist clubs and nudist institutions managed by the FKK. In case you're keen on baring it all, it would be a great idea if you find out places that are managed by any nudist organization operating in the area. There are various nudist clubs and nude beaches in the country where you can connect with fellow nudists and if you're a single nudist, you might also find an ideal nudist match.

For instance, Sylt's Kampen beach is a popular nudist destination for the wealthy and affluent people in Germany. In addition, the beach also attracts visitors from across the globe.