When I began my naturist journey it was largely a solo endeavor. With a rare exception, when I visit a nude/clothing optional beach or Ponderosa or Bare Oaks I tend to arrive alone, after years or travelling solo for work it far from bothers me. This does not mean I don’t enjoy chatting with others when I do visit naturist places, or that I don’t try to convince a close friend to join me every time I go, just that I am happy either way.
Some time ago when looking for new ways/places to experience naturism I came across the GTA Skinny Dippers. This group organizes events , mainly swimming at local pools, during the long Canadian winter so we Northern Nudes can shake some of the winter blues. The one thing that truly got me hooked on naturism was swimming nude. It feels natural, no clinging swimsuit afterwards, and in the summer no tan lines (so vain, I know). Fate sadly has not allowed me to attend one of their swims yet, but when Nude Bowling showed up on their calendar and I actually had a clear day on my usually swamped weekend schedule, off I went!
I only live 15-20 minutes away from the event which worked out nice. Being excited I arrived really early, saw a large kids party still going strong so I was forced to wait patiently at the nearby coffee shop (never a Tim Hortons too far away in Canada). I have to say the guy who ran the event had his ducks in a row, windows started being covered as soon, if not before, the previous party cleared, there was an easy signup, pay your admission, get a free pen (thank you very much!) and then just wait for the all clear. While waiting you were able to sign your name to a lane, being on my own I told the guy to place me at random to a lane that was short on people, I felt this was the easiest way to meet new people rather than wandering around asking who had room in their lane.
Clothes Off, Smiles On
As everyone waited for the go ahead to get undressed, people were already chatting and introducing themselves to others, one guy was having a hard time waiting, he had unbuttoned his shirt when he arrived, or maybe he came that way, whatever. Finally, one woman walked near the front, asked “are we good?”. I didn’t hear the reply but I didn’t have to, in one continuous motion her dress was over her head and like the starting flag at a race everyone followed her lead. So there I am, in a bowling alley and naked except for my socks, bowling shoes, and a baseball cap. I am surrounded by my fellow naturists, I would guess 70 at least, all smiles, all excited to socialize and bowl. It did not take long to get past any awkwardness or worry when it came to actually bowling without clothes. Bowling, as with most things I am discovering, is no different when naked, and the novelty of it makes it more enjoyable if you ask me. It was an added bonus as it was 5-Pin bowling which is a uniquely Canadian version of the game that I don’t think I have played before.
The social aspect of it was amazing. I shared a lane with a group mixed with both first timers to this event, a couple regulars, and one gent who was still in his first few months of trying naturism. This mix drove a lot of our initial conversation, “How long have you been a Naturist?”, “What clubs, beaches have you been to or go to frequently?” “Do your family and friends know?”. This only went on for a short time and before long we were well into the standard banter you would expect when a group of people go bowling. I have to give some credit to the staff at Streetsville Bowl, they were very professional. At no point did I feel awkward when dealing with them, nor did I get a feeling it was awkward for them either. Even the banter with the bartender was just another day at the bowling alley. I wonder if they were naturists themselves, or otherwise they maybe had worked enough of these events they are not fazed by it anymore. Or maybe social nudity is just not as shocking as it once was (one can hope).
One of the main highlights in a night of highlights for me was when going through some introductions someone says “Will? As in Will Canada?”. There is no shortage of conversation online between naturists and knowing some I have become friendly with on Facebook etc. may attend this event I was hoping to put faces to some names as it were. It was wonderful to be able to actually do that and actually get a few games of bowling in with them too.
Oh and then there was the bowling……
About the actual bowling, as someone who has not bowled in years, and never 5-Pin bowled at all, I think I did alright. I never won a game, but didn’t come in last either. I managed to get a few strikes in so I was rather happy. I do have to admit I was a bit sore the next day. Not “I can’t feel my legs” sore, but there was some aches and pains for sure. I don’t remember bowling be that physical demanding a sport but there you are. It could have been worse, I like to think that being naked allowed me more natural, freer movement, which meant I was actually avoiding further strains had my body been restricted in its movements by the tyranny of fabric. Makes complete sense. Everything is just better naked (except cooking bacon)
I also want to note that I made it through the entire night, and this blog (until now) without a single balls, pins, or gutter joke. This above all else is a significant accomplishment for me in any state of dress.
Special thanks to GTA Skinny Dippers for putting the event together, and to Streetsville Bowl for the use of their facility. This was a check on my bucket list and I am really looking forward to attending future events.
I added a few new places to my Naturist Canada Map and expanded some details based on feedback from people who have actually viewed it. Yes, they do exist.
Stay Naked my friends!