I felt emotionally disturbed after I left the nudist camp, for about two days. I needed to talk about it and process it verbally to try to understand what I was feeling. Many of my friends were surprised to learn that I, who has been a life drawing model for 25 years and recently returned to the job after a 20 year hiatus, had a challenging time. Why? What was going on?
There is a huge difference between taking off my clothing and sitting on the modeling stand (enables artists to learn how to draw the human form) and hanging out with a shit ton of naked people. I am the only one nude on the modeling stand. I look out onto completely clothed people and I observe them. They certainly look at me, but they are looking at the shadow the light makes on my skin, the way my hip curves, the shape of my eye. I don’t dwell on the fact that I am clothed and they are not. So someone said, “Oh, so you have a difficult time with everyone ELSE being naked? “ Yes I suppose I did.
I didn’t want to see them. I guess that’s what it comes down to. It was too much.
But I did not personally enjoy being naked at the camp. After a few hours, I was thrilled to put my clothing back on and felt much more comfortable clothed, even walking through the pool area of naked people.
I do not think I am a treat to look at personally. I think I have good parts and the bad part (my belly- from multiple births) is really best left covered up. I am happy that the worst part of me can always stay covered. That is for my sake as well as for everyone else’s. So I am not JUDGING anyone thinking I am a babe and they are not.
I was surprised to see so many out of shape and chubby people at the nudist camp- nearly everyone. It was the norm not the exception. I am not talking sagging butts etc from age. I do believe the human form is beautiful and human beings are beautiful but I found it disturbing to view so many bad-looking bodies. Now a “bad looking body” is debatable. I personally think a body that has good muscle tone is the most beautiful. A body that is fit. It doesn’t matter to me if it is an older fit body or even an old fit body. ASTHETICALLY I just prefer that visual- fitness. I personally believe in fitness, not because it is aesthetically more pleasing to look at but because I think it is the way to live, to strive to live. I believe when you are healthy and fit, your body has less aches and pains, it performs better, enabling you to move through life and function more proficiently. If your body works well, your mind will work well and your mental image of yourself will be more positive. It is all connected and I think we are more able to do the work we were meant to do much better if we are healthy and fit. It’s that simple.
I started to think that everyone at the nudist camp was content to stay the way they are and accepted the way they are because everyone else there looked equally as bad. Every weekend, they drive to the nudist camp to hang out on chaise lounges. A handful of men play volleyball but only one or two women. They do not bike ride or hike or do any other kind of physical activity because if they enjoyed it, they would be doing it on weekends instead of lounging by a pool nude. So this fact bothered me- it felt like the nudist camp gave them all permission to not care about their bodies. It did not seem to be about health to me at all- we don’t need to have all our clothing off in order to absorb Vitamin D.
But IF they really mostly enjoyed nudist camps because they simply hated wearing clothing, I can get that. I STILL did not want to look at so many of them at one time. It was overwhelming. I was told that they do not look at one another. I could not STOP looking at them as I was amazed and interested. I suppose I would become desensitized over time but that is not a goal of mine.
What really made me the most disturbed however, was learning how many of the nudists AT THIS CAMP swing- as in sharing sexual partners, switching back and forth- 50-60-70 year olds, which amazed me. This saddened me the most because I don’t really understand this. I think it might have to do with boredom, lack of excitement in life. (sexual life or your whole life). When I think of all that life has to offer, this seems crazy to me. If you want to broaden your heart, there are babies in hospitals to hold, old folks to shuttle, troubled kids to mentor. If you are not into helping others, there is a ton of ways to add excitement and an endless variety of things to learn and do. The world and its people are limitless. And the amount of beauty and magic it holds is limitless. I have been told that all nudist camps are not about swinging at all. Maybe the one I attended is not the norm. I have no interest in going to another camp to find out, however.
I do think that nudists go to camps because they do not quite fit in with the rest of the world and society. Many are odd ducks. (Not that I ever considered myself NORMAL but I do feel very grounded in my uniqueness). At a nudist camp, they have found their tribe. If the rest of the world does not accept them, nudists welcome them all. And that is great. They are definitely not MY tribe. Maybe some of you thought that since I was a life drawing model, attending nudist camps might become my next love. Never. It is completely different.
I do think it is great that if you personally want to experience a nudist camp, you can go for the day- and have a life-altering experience. I cannot think of many other experiences in my personal life that can compare with the strangeness of this. Maybe you will find that you are a different enough duck and fit right in.
(If you do not know what this Part 3 is concluding, check out my blog to understand Parts 1 & 2 where I just report and describe “my view” from the nudist camp.) I would really appreciate some feedback on this blog as it still not crystal clear in my mind- all that I was feeling and experiencing.