The Naked Truth – Naturist Experiment


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NaturistA year ago if you asked me if Alan and I were Naturists, I would have said yes.  I would have thought it meant we were lovers of Nature and all things natural.  The Naked Truth was masked from me.  Little did I know what it really meant, especially here in Europe.

You see Naturist is synonymous with Nudist!  Was I that naive?  I guess so.

The weather is beginning to warm now and more and more people are out on the beaches.  If you recall, we let you know how the kids were exposed to culture upon arrival.  Well you see there are also “Naturist” beaches just about everywhere you go.   There is one in particular less than a 10 minute walk away from our house.

The Naked Truth

The truth of the matter is, Alan and I want to embrace the culture and just feel as “local” as we can.  You know “When in Rome…”, but going to Naturist beach would be crossing the line.  You see we both have had some really open-hearted conversations recently.  We both can not begin to explain how much we love each other, but the problem is….we don’t love ourselves (our bodies) as much. Why are we this way?  How did we learn this behaviour? Is it the “conservative” American culture or just the way we were born? How can we tackle this quickly and love every inch of our body as the other loves us?

People here in Spain / Europe don’t seem to have this poor body image problem that we Americans do.  They seem to have no problem at all wearing those skin-tight pants/shirts, the tiny speedo or bikini  with or without that perfect body.  They don’t even mind going topless or in their “Nubs” (the buff).  Why are they all so comfortable in their own skin?  How can they be so casual about their fat, cellulite, thinness, wrinkles, freckles, scars and small/large body parts?

I began to wonder if this is just American thinking.  Are we raised to be judgmental  of others and ourselves?  Are we our own worst enemies?  I can’t even count how many times I have overheard someone say in the U.S. “She shouldn’t be wearing that.” or “What is he thinking?” when they see someone showing off a less than perfect body. 

Why are we like this?  Who gave us the right to judge others so harshly.  Perhaps hearing these comments from others, about others, my entire life has conditioned me to assume it is being said about me behind my back as well.  Heck, I even say it about me in my own mind.   I love to wear tank tops when it is warm.  It is out of comfort and I tell myself I don’t really don’t care what other people think.  The problem is I do and sometimes I can catch the look on their face and know they say these things behind my back.

You know it is funny when a friend says something negative about themselves, I often am shocked that they think that of themselves   What they see isn’t what I see in them at all. I think they are beautiful and didn’t even notice that little thing they are obsessed over.  I wish I knew why we continually are cruel to ourselves in one way or another. No one deserves that type of attention, especially not from ourselves!

The Naturist Experiment

Then the idea for the Naturist experiment crashed upon my brain. “KABOOM!”  We have a tendency to like to face our fears head-on in our family.  We like to push each other out of our comfort zones and realize it wasn’t as bad as all that.  So with a huge gasp for breath, I run the idea past Alan and see if he is okay with the experiment and he was!  Wow, that was a shock.  Now it is real and the next thing to do is to tell you.

Today I am telling you we are going to embrace the culture.  While the kids are at school Alan and I are going to attempt to be comfortable in our own skin.  We are going to go to that Naturist Beach and “be Romans” for a while.  We are going to face this poor self-image head on and love ourselves.  OMG, I am so not sure we can do this.  Talk about getting out of your comfort zone.  This is a new comfort zone planet for me.  I don’t even feel comfy wearing a bathing suit at the beach!  It is difficult even typing this and knowing you are reading it.

Tell us your thoughts below.  I know this isn’t like us, so be honest.  Is this crossing the line for a family blog?  Do you think we can really do it?  Do you think it will change our perspective on things?  Are we just being stupid?  Would you do this?  Have you done this?

Please do tell us your thoughts.  Within the next week or so we will submit a follow-up post, with the complete Naked Truth about our experience (G-rated) of course.

Nudist Beaches in Spain

UPDATE:   We did it!

Do you want to know what we thought?  We each tell you what was going on in our crazy minds, so check it out!

The Naturist Experiment Revealed – She Said

The Naturist Experiment Revealed – He Said

20 thoughts on “The Naked Truth – Naturist Experiment

  1. Go for it! When I am abroad I feel like a totally different person; I dress the way I want, I wear my hair the way I want, I show waaaayyy more flesh than I ever would at home. I am learning to be a bit more comfortable in my skin, but it doesn’t help my confidence when “friends” tell me to get a spray tan (I am very pale), or that my roots need doing when I am trying to embrace my greyness; I’m painting a pretty picture of myself eh Heidi?!

    I think the Spanish are shown from a very young age how to love themselves and they also respect the older generation no matter what they look like or how they behave. They have a love of life! Yet another sweeping generalisation from Melanie.x

    Remember to stand tall and proud on that beach or you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. 😉

    • You are too funny Melanie. You sound like me. I have a lovely grey stripe in my hair (bride of Frankenstein) that I love. A few years ago, I decided I was going to love it and now I do. 🙂 Gotta do the same with the body, as it hasn’t changed much my entire adult life. See, I love when you comment! I just need to tell myself “all will be fine” .
      Heidi recently posted…65 Reasons Why We Love Costa Tropical SpainMy Profile

  2. Hi Heidi. Hope you have fun at that beach! Well, I find that Europeans are very traditional in many things, especially here in Spain. But they aren’t as puritan as Americans are. I guess it’s just different ways of being “traditional”, I guess both Europeans and Americans are “traditional”, it’s just that the “traditions” they defend are different, since their cultures are different. Spanish people, especially here in the south, I find defend a lot “machismo”. But I think maybe they are not so puritan maybe because, well, they were never Puritans. Americans are, after all, descended from the Puritans. So I guess THAT is the tradition that Americans defend.

    I don’t feel that Spanish people are raised from childhood to “love themselves”. However, I do find that North American cultures tend to be more…….. For example, apparently how you look is a looooooooooooooot more important in North America than in Europe. That doesn’t mean that people don’t care AT ALL how someone looks here in Europe. I think they just don’t give this aspect a great deal of iimportance when they decide whether or not they like somebody. They don’t tend to insult people so much based on whether they are fat or skinny, dark-haired or blonde, etc. I’m dark-haired and where I grew up it was veeeeeeeeeeeery important to be blond. There a person’s value decreased the darker their hair was. Here in Spain most people are dark-haired, of course, but it doesn’t seem to matter to people, what colour your hair is, for example.

    Values are just different. I find that very petty people, women especially, here in Spain tend to judge me on how CLEAN and NEAT my house is, and if I am a good cook! I find housework very very boring, and when people want to insult me (the family of your ex, for example) they tell me: “You’re not much of a woman because your house is so dirty.” If they want to praise a woman, they say, “She is a great person, she is an incredible cook.” I can’t imagine ANYONE in Canada “praising” me to other people by telling them that I am a great cook, or trying to put me down by saying that I have a dirty house!

    • Oh Serena, this is why I love that we became friends! You have such an interesting perspective on things. Also, thanks for the support. 🙂

      I guess the “good cook” and “clean home” is probably how it used to be in the U.S. back in the 50-60’s (pre me!) as that is what women did, besides have children. I think it is still like that in Mexico as well, perhaps not as many women in the workforce in these places. So perhaps a Latin culture thing?

      Sorry about your “ex family”. I don’t particularly care how clean my house is anymore nor do I care if I am a good cook. I want the most quality time with my family and me in the kitchen just isn’t it! I do like to cook, but not all of the time. A few years ago, I decided there were far more important things in life.
      Heidi recently posted…A Typical Day – Pre and During Sabbatical LifeMy Profile

  3. Hey guys, I think it’s a great experiment. One of my favorite things about traveling is the ability to shed your past self the moment you step off the plane in your new destination. You can be whoever you want to be and only you can define your reality.

    Back home, everyone and their dog may think they know the real you. However much they might love and accept you, they’ll subconsciously judge you on your past achievements and/or failures and not your true potential. As a result, we often tend to see ourselves through their eyes (or at least what we think they see).

    The truth is we are what we believe we are.

    Believe you can and you will. Believe you are comfortable in your own skin and soon you will be as well. I say, go proud and stand tall.

    Looking forward to your follow up post. Speaking from experience, just remember the sunscreen. 😉

    • Oh Charles, I just love your spirit and insight, not just for the naturist topic either!

      We are so lucky to have met you guys “live in person”. We can take these words of wisdom to heart and apply to several levels of our lives. Knowing that you know us personally, without any of our past is cool too. Not that the past was bad, but just that we have new friends that “get us” and our desire to roam the world. It is a great feeling. Thanks for the comment and support. 🙂

  4. Many Europeans go to Spain just for the opportunity to go naturist, because the climate’s so much better for it than where they live.

    You are lucky and they’ll be envying you. Go for it!

  5. You should go for it!

    I am sure that you will find, spending more time with the nude you, will make you much more comfortable about yourself. It is really strange that we humans is so afraid of being natural – we were born nude, and is nude by nature. Still we are so afraid of being in our own skin, scared to death about being looked upon, not fitting in.

    I myself is what I would call a naked freedom lover, If it is warm – then I like to have the freedom to take of my clothes. I also think that nakedness with other people helps desexualising the body – a nude body is not equal to sex. You can actually choose not to have sex while naked, and you can choose to have sex while wearing clothe.

    What I say is go for it, you will find the true you and be much more comfortable in yourself.

    /SpotNaked

  6. It’s me again! I had to say something about this. Your honesty and insight really hit me. I think it’s very easy for Americans to judge these customs harshly until they’re exposed to them directly. I was on vacation with my family in Spain several summers ago and we went to the beach at El Palmar and Bolonia in Cadiz Province. At first I was uncomfortable with the frontal nudity and found the ubiquitous bikinis a bit odd. But after a day or so it hit me that those women are enjoying their beach experience so much more than us Americans who feel like we have to cover up every imperfection. I eventually embraced the experience (slightly) and took off my top while sunbathing. I wouldn’t have done it in front of my kids, though–they were down the beach finding critters with dad. It felt great! I look forward to reading how it went for you guys.
    lillianduggan recently posted…Are You Trying to Ditch Me, Mom?: How I Might Talk to My Teenage Son About This BlogMy Profile

    • You are too funny Lillian. I love it! So glad it hit home for you. What I love the most is the kids don’t bat an eye now, well maybe a little. The thing is they understand it is part of the culture and the are okay with it, actually we all are. It is funny, a second grade class from North Carolina interviewed us last week and my kids made mention of “topless” as part of the cultural changes. We will have that recorded interview up in a week or two.

      Keep it coming, as we love the comments.

  7. We just found your blog. My wife and I recently retired and will be traveling slow for the next few years looking for a spot to settle. We will be spending 4/15/17–7/14/17 in Spain, as it is high on our list of possibilities. We purposely choice Spain, and Vera Playa in particular, because of it’s liberal naturist life style as a place to explore. For us naturism is a liberating way to spend our life, and look for the opportunity when ever possible.
    I really enjoyed your descriptions of your first, and I hope not only, experience. We will be reading your material thoroughly in the months to come.

    • Oh great Eric, congrats to you. Thanks for finding us and for the comment.

      There are 2 naturist beaches in our town, one on either end. There are also a few along the Costa del Sol near Maro and Nerja. We aren’t too familiar with Vera Playa, but I think that is near Almeria? (just a couple of hours away).

      We have loads of info that will help you with your move to any area within Spain, so please do take a look. This is are big post for Moving to Spain, so it is a good place to start. Best of luck to you and keep up posted on your visit.

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