WARNING: long post ahead

How often does one get a chance to attempt to break a Guinness world record?

This is what I was thinking Saturday. While I consider myself a nudist and spend most of my time at home undressed, I have only been nude in a social setting once in the past few years. I wasn't sure if I'd feel comfortable with it anymore. I have often wanted to participate in various activities held by local nudists, but never seem able to do so, usually because of my work schedule, which sees me working 8 AM to 1030 PM every Saturday and Sunday-- the main time that everyone seems to gather. When I heard about this year's attempt at the record, I thought to myself that I should make an extra effort to get involved. I arranged to have time off, working before and after the event, but with an eight hour break that let me head out to the beach.

As I drove out, I kept wondering to myself if I would go through with it. It had been a long time. I'd put on weight. I am about as white as a sheet of paper because I haven't seen any sun this summer. All kinds of excuses kept running throught my head. I worried about having gone smooth and whether or not anyone else there would be the same. My French is good enough for work and some social interaction, but could I have an iinvolved conversation with people there? Would I know anyone? Would I run into anyone from my daily life? I kept asking myself all theses things, but before I knew it, I was at the entrance to the park and paying the entry fee.

Well, that settled it. I wasn't going to pay and then just leave.

I must have looked a bit odd to the girl at the booth, dressed in my work uniform. When I parked, I changed into my swimsuit in the car. I had never been to this beach before, so I wasn't even sure where the nude beach started. I grabbed my towel and started walking in the direction I'd been told to go. The sky was still a bit cloudy, but it was nice feeling the air on my skin. I miscalculated a bit with the parking, not having gone to the lot closest to the nude section of the beach, but it let me take a bit of a walk. That had good and bad elements. I had brought flip-flops, which I rarely wear. If I go out, I wear normal shoes without socks. At home, I am usually barefoot. Walking for ten minutes or so in fli-flops left me feeling a bit sore between my toes.

I walked behind a couple that was a little younger than me. We glanced at each other a few times without speaking, but obviously heading to the same spot. As we got to a point where we saw the first few nude people, we glanced at each other again as if to ask which of us would get undressed first. They slowed down and fell behind me and I kept walking. There were initially just a few nude people at the near end of the beach. Even as I got more fully into the nudist area, there were those who remained dressed. I was a bit nervous about this. My only previous experiences had been at an atual resort and then later at a spa, so everyone was nude. The idea of being nude now around clothed people made me hesitate.

I grew up VERY self-conscious and as I have written here before, I still sometimes deal with those feelings. I sometimes still think "wait a minute... peopel like to get together nude? How weird is that?" I have to keep reminding myself that it is natural and normal.

I finally figured it was time to just go for it and pulled off my swimsuit. I was outside on the beach, standing in the sun and wind, naked as the day I was born. A few seconds of nervousness, then... Wow. It was great to be back. I walked a bit further, found a space to put down my towel and then sat down. I took out a book that I had brought, mindfull of being alone and not wanting to appear like I was there to look at people. I actually made a conscious effort not to look up for a bit. A guy came and sat near me and watched the people in front of us playing volleyball. Nobody said anything about himwatching and I started to fee like I was being antisocial, so I put down my book.

There were more people than I expected and many of them were younger than I expected. Couples, families, kids. Young, old, slim, heavy, extremely-tanned and fairly pale. I relaxed a bit more. I started to wonder why I hadn't done this for so long. It just felt right. I watched the volleyball for a bit, but before long, they were calling for those participating in the skinny dip to head to the water. I stood up (the guy near me and most of the volleyball players stayed put) and joined the smallish group gathering and heading toward a boat anchored not too far into the water.

There I was. Naked. Surrounded by about 2 dozen naked men and women. Nervous, excited, relaxed, happy all at the same time. They had us press closer together to make the official picture. Get close to other naked people? While I am naked, too? What was the etiquette here? Everyone seemed at ease, so I tried to relax. The next dilemma was whether or not to face the camera. I worried about people at work would see me. A few people turned their backs, but most faced the camera. I figured, what the heck, stayed facing forward. A girl near me was talking English. I thought I was the only English one there. I almost said this to her, by way of introducing myself, but the old fears came up again. Was it proper to introduce myself to a naked woman I had never met? While I was naked? Again, I wasn't sure of the etiquette and so stayed quiet. During the photo, I saw someone that I knew from work; not a coworker, but a customer. I knew her right away, but don't think she saw me. She is right at the front of the picture. I said nothing. Chicken.

After the picture, I walked along the beach a bit, sat in the water for a while with the waves splashing over me. As I stood at the edge of the water, a young woman in a one-piece passed by me. I had debated turning away, but instead nodded at her and gave a bit of a smile. She returned it, unfazed by my nudity and continued on. Small victory.

When it was time to go, I didn't want to. I wanted to stay. I wanted to continue to be outdoors nude, in the company of other nude people, unconcerned about meaningless things like clothes or how we look. As I grabbed my stuff, I thought about when I would be able to return.

That night, I hopped on the internet, checking the sites of the local papers. La Presse had the picture up and there I was, second from the left, shining white pale skin. My face and most of my body were blocked by the woman in front of me. Part of my lower body was visible, but although the picture is not edited, a shadow or something else conveniently covers my penis. The next morning at work I looked in the Journal de Montreal and they have another picture, this time with my face and upper body visible, but my lower body blocked. I have sunglasses on, but still worried a coworker might recognise me. None did, even though I saw several people flip through the paper and stop to look at the picture.

A female coworker with whom I am rather friendly asked me where I had been the day before. I hesitated a bit, but then finally told her. She had a surprisingly positive reaction. Win! Now I am at the point where I am not feeling too nervous about telling people that I had participated. Some of them might laugh or think I am odd, but I am not too worried. I am feeling more commited to nudism again. I almost feel like going out of my way to tell people, to challenge them to find something wrong with it so that I can tell them that, no, nudism isn't bad or perverted or anything like that. I am almost excited to talk to them, tell them that they need to try it themselves before judging. I'd even take them to the beach and pay their admission just to have them try it.

I AM A NUDIST (again). And it feels good.

Here's hoping I can keep this momentum and take part in other nude events and make lots of naked friends.