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Reciprocation is not required.

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  • Reciprocation is not required.

    When reading about what a new nudist should expect, I see a standard list of things covered.

    1. Nudists don't have public sex.
    2. Carry a towel to sit on.
    3. Expect to see people of all shapes and sizes.
    4. It will quickly pass from your mind that you are nude.

    Something that I don't see mentioned much is that there is no reciprocation required. If you go to a nude beach or a nudist park, there likely will be clothed people present, and that generally is okay unless they are intent on causing trouble.

    This is something that boggled my mind when I first saw nudists on a beach. My friends and I were clothed, and the nudists didn't care. They were nude because it felt good, and they didn't care who saw them.

    I had always assumed nudist venues functioned on a quid pro quo of "You show me yours and I'll show you mine," but that is not the case. Nudist parks might require nudity in the pool area, but elsewhere in the park you will see people in all states of dress.

    Many years ago, my wife and I visited Orient Beach on Saint Martin. There is a billboard at the end of the nude beach that features a nude couple. My wife and I were walking up the beach clothed on our way to a restaurant further up the beach. My wife suggested we pose in a manner mimicking the couple on the billboard. She hailed a clothed gentleman to take our photo and promptly whipped off her clothes, and I followed her lead. We engaged in friendly small talk while he took our photo, and I remember feeling so proud of her. She was way past the point of feeling any anxiety over being seen nude.

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  • #2
    That is a great story about you and your wife at Orient Beach. And you make a great point--feeling okay about being nude even where others are not seems to be important to me. I realize that may not be easy for everyone to do, particularly at first. But, if we want to achieve a situation where being nude in many places is more widely accepted, then we will need to realize that in many of those places, not everyone will be nude. So, I agree, we cannot expect reciprocity.

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    • #3
      I agree that reciprocation is usually not required...BUT! I think we've all heard of - or maybe even visited - "nudity mandatory" resorts. Nudity there is very much required, sometimes even unreciprocated: as the newbie/visitor is asked to disrobe completely to be given a tour by a person who may not even be nude themselves!

      Thinking about my wife's first time; this wouldn't have gone over very well. It was because she had the option of wearing something on her first trip that she felt comfortable going. And after arriving and hanging out in her cover-up for a while, she saw that nude people were friendly to her anyway; so she felt accepted and comfortable with the situation. So thinking about the other nudists themselves; it was important for - all parties - that they be ok being nude around my "non-nude" wife. Had they purposefully avoided her or given her "dirty looks", she certainly would have become self-conscious and probably would have wanted to leave in short order. But they didn't. Which then motivated to undress - going topless at first and then fully nude to enter the pool area - not so much because "they showed her theirs so she should show them hers"; but because "when in Rome...why not also be a Roman!"
      But indeed, "reciprocation is not required" is something that is not usually explicitly stated. By using the term "clothing optional except the pool"; resorts assume the visitor will understand it means they don't have to be naked as some of the other attendees are.

      But...just like there are introverts and extroverts, there are people who are going to be more comfortable naked around clothed people than others. I've been a nudist for almost 25 years, and have interacted with people wearing sarongs, bathing suits, shorts and T-shirt, etc... countless times. My wife has only been a nudist for 3 years; and at this point to prefers to interact naked with people who are also nude. But she also gets that people outside the pool area might wear a sarong or a cover-up as she once did; and that's not going to prompt her to cover up. She understands the importance of maintaining a "nude attitude."

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