My first Nude swim party.
Several friends had suggested that I try one of the nude swim parties that are run by the local Naturist clubs in the wintertime.
These parties are quite popular with the beach crowd when the temperature dips.
I had no clue what to expect.
Like anyone, I'm nervous about new social situations.
The thought of being alone and buck naked in a crowed of strangers was, to say the least, intimidating.
It took most of the winter but I eventually worked up the nerve.
It wasnít like I had to do it.
There was no pressing need.
I was curious, thatís all there was to it.
My experiences at a nude beach were positive and my experiences skinny-dipping with friends while canoeing were all positive.
In fact the self-confidence that learning outdoor skills, mostly from Naturists, and from overcoming my fears about the nude beach had a profound effect on my life.
I wanted to see what the pool parties were all about and overcoming my fears about going seemed like a logical next step.
First I checked into the reputation of the organizations running the swims in my area and found they were all affiliated with the Naturist Society or AANR, the American Association for Nude Recreation.
These 2 groups are the primary organizations uniting many of the smaller local clubs into a group large enough for the politicians to take notice.
If it werenít for these groups there would be very little nude recreation in the United States.
Both of the 2 closest pool parties that were near me were run by groups affiliated with those groups and a few people that I knew also vouched for the fact that they were quite normal people, just a bit less hung up on clothes than most.
Well, when the date of the event arrived, I was ready or so I thought.
I arrived way too early, so I walked to the pizza place in the adjoining mall.
I wasnít very hungry.
I just wasnít comfortable standing in the rapidly forming line at the entrance.
That didnít bode well for how I handle being nude with the same bunch of people 20 minutes later.
I waited for the line to be almost gone.
I would be the last one in. Once I made it in, I would deal with my fears as they came.
Getting through the door was hurdle number one.
The guy at the door collecting the money for the entry fee was a tall imposing guy with a goatee.
He asked about my club affiliations.
Members of his club get the best price.
Members of other clubs get the second best price.
Those that arenít affiliated with a club pay the most.
It makes sense.
It encourages people to support the organizations that provide the events they want.
I had forgotten to bring the membership card of the club I belonged to.
He trusted my word that I was a member and I paid my money and went in.
Not making me more nervous was nice of him.
He probably realized I was a newbie to this and didnít want to scare me off.
I headed straight for the ladies locker room.
That was familiar territory.
I could deal with semi-naked women in a womenís locker room.
I quickly passed the people that were already sitting around in the nude.
They didnít waste any time.
My first surprise was that there were men in the ladies locker room!
It turns out that many of the health clubs that the various Naturist clubs rent for these events have carpet and warmer temperatures in the ladies side than on the menís side.
Thatís why the couples with kids use the ladies side.
Single men generally use the menís side.
Single women use both, though more than half use the ladies side.
This was all new to me and a bit unnerving.
I did my best to blend in.
It only took a second to get undressed and lock everything in a locker.
It was just me and a pair of flip-flops.
I got about 5 steps toward the locker room door and realized I was more naked than most.
Everyone else had pubic hair!
I was an oddball, an outsider.
I was different and likely to be singled out!
I had flashbacks to when I was in catholic school and had nightmares about walking into church and realizing I was NAKED!!!
I had locked my towel in the locker.
There was nothing to hide behind but a flip-flop and that would be too obvious.
It was fast approaching panic time.
I had a momentary urge to bolt for the door and run to my car.
That would have been a bad idea.
My clothes and car keys were in the locker.
I decided to just stick it out (I know, bad Pun) and walk through the locker room door into the main pool area.
Going back for the towel would be too obvious and sooner or later somebody would notice anyway.
If I made eye contact and was pleasant, maybe nobody would look down and see that I was more naked than everyone else.
I couldnít grow pubic hair instantly and what could they do, throw me out?
I walked, head up and tits out, to the little juice bar area, that overlooked the pool, and sat down.
If I kept my legs crossed just right, nobody would notice.
I could check this whole thing out right from my seat and then split.
About thirty seconds after my butt hit the seat, one of the guys that was at the door when I came in walked over to me and said ďMiss we have some rules of etiquette here you might not be aware ofĒ
Well that was it.
I had been spotted.
It was my first nude pool party and I was going to get kicked out in less than twenty minutes.
He continued ďOne of the rules is that we sit on towels.Ē
I replied ďOKĒ and headed for the locker room.
On my way there I spotted another with the same lack of pubic hair as myself and realized just how silly I was.
Fears donít always need facts or reality to exist.
Fear is fear and can stand on itís own, unless we topple it ourselves.
I retrieved my towel and headed for the hot tub.
The hot tub was trial number three.
It was filled with myself and nine naked guys.
In todayís world women are conditioned to see guys, any guys, as a potential threat.
We go through life avoiding things that are fun to protect ourselves from harm.
We self-restrict ourselves the way that women in fundamentalist Muslim countries are restricted by their culture.
We arenít as extreme as they, but we are restricted just the same.
How many times do we stay home because it's the safe thing to do?
How often do we wait by the phone for fear of going out alone?
just how much is given up for the illusion of safety?
Fear is a natural response to the unknown.
I decided that trying to figure out what I had in common with these guys was a good place to start.
First, we were all naked.
That might not seem to be a reassuring thing, but it was.
It meant that we all weren't slavish followers of society's conventions.
It meant that if any of the guys had an uncontrolable erection it would be obvious.
It wasen't much but it was something in common.
Second, They all seemed to be alone.
That meant that they were just as alone as I was.
They were not on "home turf" either.
They were looking for something they didn't have, most likely a friend.
Most singles are looking for someone.
It's part of the human need to pair up.
It didn't take long to figure the situation out compleatly.
The 2 guys at the other end weren't interesting me at all.
They were interested in each other.
10% of the population is gay and that includes Naturists and nudists.
Because Naturists and nudeists are less judgemental than most, people on the fringe of society are more welcome among them than most places.
In that hot tub, 20% were gay.
Of the other 7 guys, I knew little, but it didn't take long to find out they were a cross section of society.
Only 1 was what I would define as creepy.
He wasen't too bright, extreemly shy and he had a strange way of looking at me.
It didn't bother me though.
I had discovered much in my short conversations with them.
Just like any other place were single men and women mix, men outnumber the women.
In this case there is a difference.
Because the men outnumber the women even more in a Naturist/nudist setting, they are very protective of the women.
Nobody want's to take the heat for scaring a woman away.
I found out that on at least 1 nude beach they have a signal used to discourage those guys that persistantly make unwanted advances.
When a single woman arrives at that beach, someone greets her, answers any questions she might have and points out some of the guys that are regulars on the beach.
If someone bothers them all they have to do is go over to one of the regulars and introduce the regular to the pest as her cousin.
The beach regular then knows that she wants to loose the pest and starts up a conversation as if she really is his cousin.
That usually gets rid of the pest without any confrontation being nessasary.
After that the regulars know about the pest and keep an eye on him.
Like any other single guys, they were looking for single gals.
Well, maybe not the 2 at the other end of the hot tub.
The difference here is that they make an overt effort to make you feel safe.
Naturists are very much like an extended familly and they are very serious about maintaining a safe and secure familly atmosphere.
It makes sense.
They can't find a woman to get involved with romantically if all the women are scared off by a wierd few.
The bottom line is that I was just as safe in the hot tub with strangers as I would have been at a familly picnic.
I get overheated fast in a hot tub, so I got out and headed for the pool.
In the pool I met several couples and a familly.
One youngster was learning how to swim.
Other than the fact that they were all dressed the same, not at all, It could have been a familly reunion.
I liken it to a familly function because people are so at ease.
Well, maybe not my familly, but most famillies.
Business get togethers tend to be far more up-tight and tense than Naturist/nudist events.
After makeing several rounds of the hot tub, juice bar area and pool, It was obvious they were at least as normal as I am.
With the exception of the single creepy guy in the hot tub, everyone was friendly and unthreatening.
Suddenly it was over, time to go home.
On the way out I was invited To an after party, party.
My first thought was "Wow, these folks are really friendly."
Then I realised that this one was REALLY FRIENDLY.
There are swingers in all walks of life.
The ones that frequent Naturist events are perhaps just a bit more bold, oweing to the more open atmosphere.
I took the "Thanks, but no thanks" way out.
She seemed a bit disappointed, but didn't push the issue.
Overall, it was fun and a positive experience.
The wierd guy in the hot tub wasen't all that creepy, just socially inept, and being mistaken for a swinger didn't happen till I was dressed.
Maybe it was the shoes.
It was fun, but I probably won't go back.
Most of the crowd were beach people keeping in touch till the weather warmed up.
I'm more a mountian/river person.