I quickly shed my clothes on the sun-baked rocks and slid bare-bodied under a mini water fall at Sculptured Falls along the Barton Springs Greenbelt. Hiking with new friends from Austin’s Hill Country Nudist Club (www.hillcountrynudists.com) gave me the courage to swim the way I wanted to.
It was my first time to take off my clothes “in public” (no other bathers at the swimming hole were nude). I peeled off layers of the rank and file, right and wrong world, and emerged vulnerable and fresh to enjoy myself unadorned. It felt divine to dive naked into the emerald pool and breast-stroke through spring-fed waters without resistance. I felt a childish glee to experience the oneness of my body and the water.
My buddies and I talked while sunning and sitting bare-bottomed in a shallow pool a clear water. It felt natural to converse this way, unencumbered. Talk flowed and there was a real sense of leaving the unnecessary behind and being present to life in the moment…with strangers even.
Casually we noticed other families, kids, couples and dogs relaxing together in the early summer day. I wondered what these ‘textiles’ or ‘threads,’ as someone from our naked group called the clothed people, thought of us ‘au naturals.’ No one seemed to care much except a young couple who kept gravitating towards us. I was imagining them imagining how good it would feel to take your clothes off.
I realized our small community of unadorned recreationists were setting an example, a beacon for not forgetting how it can be. We were living testimony to body-friendly, body-loving, and body-enjoying living. We exemplified how nudity doesn’t mean sex is around the corner. We reclaimed our natural state for us and the joy of experiencing our own skin.
We ‘naturalists’ agreed we could not have done this individually–a single naked man or woman would be viewed differently on the river bank. We needed the company of others for our adventure to work. I reflected how true that is for many things–couples, relationships, families, children, sex, etc, all need community to support and nurture growth.
I’m awed by learning and teaching positive sexuality in groups (classes, retreats, pujas) and see how I’ve moved more and more from private coaching (which I love also) into building trust-based communities where we can be heard, seen, touched and appreciated by many. The group holds us to the fire of authenticity, truth, presence and transparency where behind closed doors we often try to fake it or don’t even try at all. Community is the highest standard; we discover our humanity, our connectedness, our normalness, and share our fear, love and pleasure.