Sunday, 30 August 2015

Tearing off the band aid

So here I am, a stay at home nudist as it were, finally ready to take advantage of the all to easily accessible clothing optional beach a short trip from my place of work. The first step is never the easiest.  Being fully inexperienced in this area I turned to the internet.  Google let me down on this one, while there are plenty of sites out there with info, hell I even looked up Toronto Island's Hanlan's Point beach on Trip Advisor. Other than plan to be surrounded by more men than women, more gay than straight, and being a clothing optional beach, plan for fewer people to take that option than do, I didn't have any idea how this experience was going to feel or impact me. I was looking for the experience side and I never did find it really.
Eventually the cards were played for me. The boss tells our whole team we get a half day off work on Friday, which is so rare for me, as a reward for performance results.  It also happened to be a perfect day according to the forecast, very warm but not hot, lots of sun, zero chance of rain. So while the department made plans with family, reservations at the local pub, I prepared some sun screen.  All my failed research was behind me now, I had decided to just go for it and packed a bag.
The morning was a giant blur, most people were going on about their plans for the early weekend, I told some lie about visiting my sisters family for a picnic, mid day came before I knew it, so off I went.  I had a change of clothes with me, used a local coffee shop restroom to change into a pair of shorts and a tank top, otherwise I am walking on to a clothing optional beach in a suit and tie, how silly would that be.
Before I know it, I am at the Island ferry terminal, waiting to the next trip to Hanlan's Point, a stark variance in demographics from those waiting at the Centre Island ferry where the children's village is. Its not a long ride over to the island, maybe 10 or 15 minutes max, then you have about a 15 minute walk along the path to the well marked "Clothing Optional" beach which is a tad awkward when there is a group of people all walking to the same destination which is still a bit "taboo" in my mind.  Based on the expressions on others faces, I was obviously the only one with "taboo" on the mind.
Soon enough I arrived at the beach access and I paused.....oh look, public restrooms and I suddenly have to pee. That was the last delay though, I now finally had feet in sand and as predicted, I was sufficiently surrounded on a not too crowded beach by mostly men, most obviously older or obviously gay, all naked.  There was a fair amount of women too, not that I stared, either topless or also going the Full Monty.  Throw in a an equal number or clothed people who chose the clothing optional  beach and not the clothing mandatory one about 100 yards north for some reason, so really no surprises.
I picked my spot, an equal distance from anyone in any direction, still in my shorts and tank top.  How does one undress in public?  I had no idea, top first, bottoms first, standing up or discretely sitting down on my towel?  Am I putting too much thought into this?  Likely. Having no point of reference I decided to go the bold route, stood up, quickly dropped my shorts, shed my top and allowed the sun for the first time in many years to hit the full glory of my far less than perfect body.  That last moment I thought was going to be the hardest was a lot easier than ripping off a band aid, I felt really good about it actually, a huge sense of accomplishment. But it didn't take long for reality to set in, I was standing on a public clothing optional beach, having taken the option, and was standing there looking out on the water, and not doing much else........
Not wanting to stand out or look weird, I quickly grabbed the sun screen, gave myself a healthy coat, especially in the areas that I can no longer refer to as those where the sun don't shine, and started to lay down on my towel, but wait, do I lay down on my stomach or back first? Overthinking again no doubt, but I don't want to look like a newbie, too late.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Newbie Nudist = Newdist??

I'm in what I think/hope is not an uncommon situation.  I discovered some time ago I like being nude, shocking I know.  Now I did the whole skinny dipping thing a few times in high school and college, but in my 20's I felt I was too mature for kid stuff like that any more, either that or the opportunities simply stopped presenting themselves. Add in a romantic hotel stay here in there and you have my full nudist experience to this point.  But as an adult in his 30's I began to do some travelling for work.  When you are alone in a new city on a week night, you don't have many options but to hang out in your hotel room, watch t.v., surf the net, read a book etc.  You also learn to pack light and sleeping alone in a hotel room, pyjamas are an easy item to ditch to save space which is what led to shocking discovery, I actually really enjoyed walking around those hotel rooms in the buff, it felt natural and liberating.
It didn't take long for me to wonder why I didn't do this at home, keep the blinds shut, and be free in the comfort of my own home.  And for some time, that was it, I was happy in my own private nudist world.  A few years have passed and I never even had a thought of going beyond this, however that changed not long after I recently took a new job right in downtown Toronto.  Due to the proximity of my office to the Toronto Island ferry port, the annual departmental picnic is always held at the parks on the island.  Anyone from Toronto knows where this is leading.  It was not long into the ferry ride over someone started to make the jokes.  Toronto Island is home to plenty of public parks, several beaches, a children's theme park, even a regional Airport.....and one of only two officially sanctioned clothing optional beaches in Canada.  I have known of its existence for several years but never gave it much thought until now.  On the day of the picnic, we were no where near the clothing optional beach, with this being a work event that was likely for the best, but that didn't stop the all to predictable jokes and comments.  And now there was this idea in my head, should I? Could I? Why would I?  But then something in the local news gave me the push I needed.
Three young women in small town not too far from Toronto were stopped by police  for riding their bikes in public topless however since the mid 1990's, it is very much legal in Ontario for women to be topless anywhere a man is permitted.  For many reasons I wont dare dive into, it remains uncommon for women to take advantage of their right to go topless.  Many people likely didn't even realise it was perfectly legal (including the police officer that stopped them) so it became a fairly large local news story for some time and even led to a topless march in several cities.  It was these three brave women who made me realise what a chicken I was being.  They stuck their nose up at outdated conservative cultural pressures which should not be difficult in this day and age but in reality remains so even with law on their side.  But me, a mid 30's man, who just happens to enjoy walking around his home with the blinds closed and no clothes on, was unable to take the same brave step, that I very much knew I wanted to take but was to timid to do.
So I decided, the very next chance I got, I was going to walk onto that beach and let the sun see my birthday suit.  Nothing was going to get in my way.......well except I wanted to do some research first, and there was the weather to factor in, and most importantly I wanted to pick a day it was not too busy as I was sure a large crowd would impact my courage.....but other than that nothing was going to stop me.  Sadly it was the first hurdle that proved to be the most difficult for me which is what led me to start this blog.  While there are no shortage of nudist (or naturists as I learned they call themselves, errr ourselves????) sites out there, most deal with the do's and do nots and even the where, but I couldn't find many first hand experiences to help reassure me along my journey.  Oh and you can imagine the sites Google fired back at me when I typed in "nudist blog" and the like.  So here I am, never having written a blog before, or anything other than an email frankly, sharing my experiences as I delve into the "taboo" world of nudism.  I don't expect many, if any, people to read this, but worst case it gives me an outlet to express what I've experienced, this is not exactly the kind of topic you bring up at dinner parties or when watching the game with friends.  Best case someone finds a little support along the way that I was unable to find myself.
I've already visited the clothing optional beach a few times now, and I really want to write about those experiences however this is a form of therapy for me, so if anyone is actually looking at this before I get to the next post, you'll have to forgive me for dragging this out a bit.  IF anyone does read this, feel free to comment as I think some positive discussion couldn't hurt either.


The Novelty of Nudity

The first time I felt the sun on my naked skin at Toronto Islands Hanlan ’ s Point, the buildup of excitement as I approached the beach, ...