I sometimes call myself the “Accidental Nudist“, or another title I’ve used is “Liaison Officer to the Nude Curious“. I’ve gone on “nakations” as a staff member. I model nude from time to time. Those things have one thing in common: I was remunerated in some form for being sans clothing. They are jobs. My facetious reference to being the “Accidental Nudist” is just that – a humorous, tongue-in-cheek play on the opportunities I’ve had come my way because of nude modeling. To be fair, these are fun jobs where I meet some great people, but despite all the times I’ve been in the buff – I don’t actually consider myself a naturist/nudist. Why?
Top Five Reasons I don’t Consider Myself a Naturist/Nudist:
#1 – I’m allergic to Insect Repellent, Sunscreen and… Poison Ivy.
I’ve tried dozens of products. I’ve slathered and sprayed them on my skin and on my clothing. I live in Wisconsin and besides swarms of mosquitoes, I have to deal with sand flies, horse flies, deer flies and numerous other species of invertebrates that are out to suck blood. Poison ivy grows with abandon around my house and though I have sheep and goats who devour it readily – I’m presently still healing from having secondary contact from fingertips-to-shoulders from my little flock. Poison ivy is not fun; it takes weeks to heal and even then, tends to leave scars on me. The sun? Compared to insects and poison ivy – it’s the least of my worries.
#2 – Wisconsin Winters
The winter of 2013-2014 in southern Wisconsin officially tallied about 16 days with sub-zero temperatures. Where my house is, we’re always lower than the official temperature and could add at least another 10 days to that total. I also have Raynaud’s Disease. I will walk around my house in multiple layers that include a stocking cap, hoodie and fingerless gloves. I’ve been known to be the center post of a human teepee on the couch with an afghan tented over me and the elderly cats demanding to be let inside. Wisconsin winters are cold – but very beautiful. They also require layers of clothing.
#3 – I love clothes/shoes.
Do you know how some people find “the perfect outfit” and then have to find shoes to match? I find the perfect shoes first and have to find the outfit(s) to match. My small area in the closet is packed-n-stacked with clothes and shoes, from incredibly casual tanks, jeans, and flip-flops to cocktail dresses and stiletto heels. And then there are the accessories.
#4 – Have suitcase – will travel. Anywhere, anytime – even if it means clothing required.
One look at my Google Maps account would show a world map covered in fields of gold stars. I read a lot of travel publications and websites. If it looks cool, I head to Google Maps and put a star on it. I may not get to every location and site that I have marked, but I will visit as many as I can, even if it means being covered up head-to-toe.
#5 – My life isn’t defined by my clothing, or lack thereof.
Prior to being a nude model, I didn’t give too much thought to ones ability to wear, or not wear, clothing. I saw the photos in National Geographic and I saw the nude figures in my dad’s drawing instruction books; they just “were” and it was no big deal. Now, I think about it more often in philosophical terms. I don’t wake up in the morning on a weekend and think, “I can be naked all day!” Usually I wake up thinking, “Okay… first thing I have to do is get dressed because the lawn needs to be mowed and since I’ll already be dirty, I should clean the chicken pen, scrub the water tank and then go pull some weeds.” By the end of the day, I’m really looking forward to putting on my flannel pajama pants. I like to keep it real and be authentic. Being clothed or not doesn’t make me any more or less of those things.
I’ve accumulated a lot of followers on social media who identify with naturism and social nudity, people who have told me they are assured that my experiences make me a nudist/naturist. I can’t stop people from labeling me and I’m sure I’ll lose some followers on social media with this latest disclosure – but that’s okay – to each their own. And, as Liza Minnelli, Mae West and Judy Garland who all came before me discovered with their fan bases – embrace your community.
Well, in my case, let’s just keep it at a hearty handshake.
P.S. – I’ve rolled out the new banner and look of the site! Post on that coming soon.