In which I do some naked swimming
A week or so ago I discovered someone I had once photographed (nude, for one of my best projects, which I don’t yet have online despite it being two years old!) was not just willing to strip off for the camera, but also a certified nudist - Well ok, probably doesn't have a certificate, but does (unlike many people that are, by behaviour) admit to being a nudist. From that I soon discovered she and her boyfriend had just recently started attending a nearby a nudist swim - Nearby in the sense that it is vaguely geographically close, but due to the time the swim is held, not one I could ever get to before due to lack of public transport (one of the few instances where my anti-car lifestyle has actually restrained me). I got myself a lift with them, and before I knew it, there I was, with a bunch of naked people, at a swimming pool.
I have swam naked before, while on holiday in Spain with my friends shortly after school. This was a different flavour of water based nakedness I suppose, as those attending the swim were self confessed nudists, while those on holiday were doing it in the holiday spirit (and I doubt would do so elsewhere). Aside from the occasional visit from a nudist friend this was the first time I’ve ever really had any contact with over nudists, in the flesh, as it were.
It was much as I expected really. A handful of youngsters that my companions and myself helped to bolster, a couple of families, and a lot of late-middle age/retired people. Everyone was very friendly; more social than I would normally anticipate a random group of people to be. And it all seemed very normal - Despite this being my first exposure to this sort of gathering it felt almost as if I was falling into a well practiced routine.
Going into a pool, everyone using the same changing rooms, not bothering to put on ridiculous tiny bits of weird clingy fabric to get wet in, and just getting straight into the pool naked, felt so right. If society had any sense, at the very least, all pools should be clothing optional, and have commingled changing rooms. It all feels so natural and normal. No hang ups. No one there cared that there were different genders, ages, or body types - That seems like a very healthy mind set to me.
So all in all a great experience and one I plan to repeat on a regular basis (the swim is held twice a month, though I don't think I’m free for the next one).
All it really (desperately) needs is a bit more youth! My own generation was sorely under represented. I don't think the distinctly separate private nature of the gathering helped that, plus the swim seems to have no social media presence. It’s a pipe dream that nude swimming will become the norm, but it would get there a lot quicker with a bit of encouragement I think (so consider yourselves encouraged).