I Wish I’d Been More Naked in Student Accommodation.
On being a nudist in hiding, and how accepting of nudity many people can actually be.
Here’s a silly little regret I reflect on oddly frequently: For the one year I lived in shared student accommodation, I kept my nudist life contained in my room, and I wish I hadn’t!
It’s a simple little choice that I know many nudists make with their living arrangements: Our nudity stays behind closed doors, just for us, safely away from the tyranny of opinion and judgement in the textile world.
But here's a thing I learned in the years subsequently: Quite a lot of people actually don’t really care about nudity in the day-to-day. Sure for most it wouldn’t even occur to them to be naked themselves. And for many even when given the opportunity to be naked, it’s such an alien concept they can’t bring themselves to break free of their personal fabric prison.
But if someone else wants to be naked? Quite a lot of people are actually pretty cool with that. Some are certainly more cool. Even among the never-nudes of the world, there are some who are clearly completely at ease spending time with other people who happen to be naked, while others are clearly much less at ease even while being tolerant; making sure to be extra careful never to look down, or barely at you at all!
Yes, some people will just never be comfortable enough to even tolerate being around naked people at all. For some, the idea of nudity is so steeped in shame and sexuality, that even being close to a naked person is too much for them to bare.
But fear of the intolerance of a few needn’t constrain the would-be-naked person from at least trying to find a degree of freedom in their own living space.
In my first year at uni I lived in student accommodation, a little flat of five separate rooms, each with their own bathroom, and a shared kitchen/living area, plus the corridor that connected that all together.
I wonder in reflection, could I have lived an open naked life among my old flatmates? If I’d simply been open and honest about my preference to be unclothed from day one, would any of the four other young people also finding their own way into adult life have actually had enough of a concern with nudity to protest if I’d said I’d rather not have to get dressed when going into the kitchen, or opening my room’s door to socialise with any of them?
I actually got on better with friends in the flat neighbouring mine on our floor, and the flat above us too. Could I have even extended a little clothing optional world across multiple flats of people who might have accepted my nudity if I’d only let myself make that request?
I’ll never know. The past is in history and not replayable.
But I have found that freedom subsequently. After my first year at uni I moved into a house, sharing with one other person at any one time (bar a couple of brief periods when we crammed a third person in for overlapping stays!).
With my first two housemates, I kept to the nude-in-my-room or when-they-were-out approach. But after that, I decided I wanted to live naked at home without restriction, so I made it clear to future housemates that’s how I’d be.
Some were confused, some were fascinated, some really couldn’t care less. But none of them was so intolerant of my body as to suggest I should be anything other than my naked self.
A few asked me to got dressed if they had guests. Fair enough. But plenty actually didn’t care about that either, and were content for me to be their naked housemate among friends too.
So I guess the moral of my story is. If you want to be more openly naked in your life. Then do it!
Sure some might not be cool about it. But a lot will be at the very least tolerant, and often really quite accepting and positive about your sense of identity and desire to be free. For those who really aren’t cool with it, you don’t need to force your choices upon them (even if that is effectively what they are doing to you, we living in a textile-dominated world for now). But you also don’t need to treat living a nudist life as a shameful secret thing. It’s perfectly normal, and certainly natural; the more people know that, the more minds will open, and the more stigma will melt away.
Plus who knows, you might even find you have nudists among your friends already, just waiting to share a more naked life as well! Or even that you inspire some of your friends to lead a more clothing-optional lifestyle too.