Sunday, 20 August 2017

The Summer of Nude / Naked With Friends Part 2

Its been a busy summer, aside from the usual work, textile friends and family obligations, I was also very busy enjoying my naked self. I got a late start to my naked summer but I eventually accomplished more as a naturist this summer than I did in the two years since I truly found naturism and managed to knock a few items off my naked bucket list.  Naturist camping (2 nights at Bare Oaks!), nude bowling (see my previous blog on that here), I missed out on the Nude 5k but maybe next year.  Most importantly, Tara finally joined me at Ponderosa for a day which was amazing. In doing so I noticed some differences in visiting alone versus with a friend so please keep reading as I cover that further below.

My summer started with a couple solo trips to Port Burwell, which if you are looking to be a true Naturist in Nature, the nude beach in Port Burwell just beyond the park boundary is really hard to beat.  I have been many times this summer and I never regret it.  It is definitely off the beaten track as it were but thats what makes it so great.  No crowds, no textiles or gawkers.  Just nature and naturists being natural.  AKA - Bliss. My good friend Tara also really likes it at Port Burwell.  Tara sees herself as being more of a home naturist/nudist, but has accompanied me to Port Burwell a few times now. At first just to be supportive of my journey, but she also has learned to love the idea of being naked in nature.  She still has some reservations each time we go as she experiences a sort of feeling of being exposed as she puts it.  This is not that much of an issue at Port Burwell as there is not often a large crowd there even on the weekend, and there are plenty of places you can find additional privacy if you want there. 

It was no small step for Tara to finally join me on a recent visit to Ponderosa.  Both of us live only about 20 to 30 minutes from resort so concern number one for her was the what if? I never really put too much thought to the possibility of running into someone I know at a naturist beach or resort.  But what if it were to happen? Just the thought of it for Tara was borderline terrifying and it took some long conversations to ease that fear. I remember worrying about this myself in my early days of naturism, it has yet to happen though and honestly I dont think I would be bothered by it at this point. It might be a bit awkward at first but seeing as you would both be there for the same reason, what is there to worry about. In fact I almost want it to happen, the more friends to share naturism with the better really. Knowing this was still a concern for Tara I let her decide the timing of the visit.  She chose a Saturday where she hoped she could be lost in the crowd, and was it ever crowded.  The parking lot was full, and even though Ponderosa has a generous amount of lounge chairs by the pool, every single one was taken however this was not a problem as we were happy to spend most of our time in the pool or at the swim up bar.  And we certainly got lost in the crowd, it was so busy but Tara did wear a large sun hat and a pair of big dark Hollywood style sun glasses, just in case.  With time and a few cocktails, she was as relaxed as she would have been at any other textile resort, even chatting with other couples. A great time for both of us.

Back in May I started dating a woman whom I met through my cousin.  We have since split, and no I am not going into those details, but I wanted to share some of our experiences in Naturism while we were briefly together as well.  My ex is an avid camper and for our first overnight trip away together this is what she wanted to do. I booked us a couple nights at none other than Port Burwell Provincial Park, not that I was planning anything, I just know the park and the area.  At this point I had not mentioned naturism to her at all but I was encouraged while at the parks textile beach when she asked if I would mind if she sun bathed topless (which is fully legal in Ontario where we live).  Of course I didnt mind and after a very brief hesitation I mentioned the nude beach a short walk away if she really wanted to avoid the tan lines.
I played it like I was trying to be funny and yet not only was she open to the idea, she was rather excited about it. With that I could now claim to introducing two new naturists to the lifestyle.  My ex took to it like a fish to water and soon after our trip to Port Burwell we were spending our rare days off together at Ponderosa. We were even due to camp at Bare Oaks together but sadly at the end of last month we decided to go our separate ways before that happened. We are still friends and while I doubt we will be going together again to a naturist beach or resort, at least not intentionally, just the other day she told me that while we didnt work out, she would always be grateful that I had taken her to the Port Burwell nude beach that day.

It is here I want to take this in a bit of a different direction. When I write this blog I try to focus on the experience side of Naturism  and not to get too much into what I will call the activist or political side of things.  How others enjoy or promote Naturism, or compare nudist versus naturist, or if there is a difference at all, is something I try to avoid except when it directly impacted my personal experience (i.e. Gawkers at Hanlans Point).  This may blur those lines a little but I wanted to share some subtle differences, others less so, in the experiences I have had as a single male compared to visiting the same places with a partner, in one case with Tara, a platonic friend who is a bit shy and self-conscious about her appearance, the other a romantic friend (the Ex) who is very confident in her appearance. 
When visiting solo to Port Burwell, Ponderosa, or Bare Oaks, I tend to keep to myself, go for a swim, sleep or read in the sun etc. At both resorts I have always found the staff went above and beyond to make you feel comfortable and welcome and I even hung out with some staff at Bare Oaks after their shift was over, good times.  However I often found when I went solo the other guests tend to keep you at arms length. Not that they were unfriendly, they smile and say hello or good morning but thats about it.  I can understand some women or families might have reservations about the single guy they know nothing about, its a sad reality of the world we live in though I do hope that Naturism is one of the vehicles of change in that area.  However on a few rare occasions I thought some people were watching me a little too closely considering I was as naked as they were, and not bothering anyone. I would either burry my face further in my book or go for a swim to avoid that feeling.  Maybe they have had issues and are justified in having their guards way up, but if you want to grow the naturist movement, and further normalize nudity as natural, you have to find balance for everyone. Or maybe it was nothing and I read too much into the whole thing.
When visiting with Tara the social experience was very different. Families and couples alike would chat and engage as you would expect at any public park.  People, both male and female, seemed to like talking about their first naturist experiences with Tara and encourage her to keep at it.  Not something I had ever really experienced nor did I ever feel we were under any of the guarded observation I felt when alone.
The difference when visiting with my Ex was even more obvious. It didnt hurt that she really enjoyed how natural it felt to be nude around others, she is very fit so she would draw some additional attention, from both men and women, at any beach or resort be it naturist or textile and she didnt mind admitting she loved it. She is very outgoing and social and she would not wait for others to engage in conversation, she would start them. When we arrived at Ponderosa we sat alone at one end of the conversation pool but soon after it was like that was where the party was. 

Visiting with both Tara and my Ex, I found it easier to be social than when I was alone and a lot more fun if I am honest. I am not sure how a single woman would feel or be treated in a similar set of circumstances. Perhaps it would be different for another single man as well, so I do not judge, blame or criticize anyone here. It was just impossible to not notice the difference between the solo experience and the couple experience.

I think I have gone on long enough for today.  As always I am open to positive discussion and feedback, even if its constructive feedback.

Stay Naked people!

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