Yesterday our blog post noted that the way the Bare Platypus thinks the country will be won for nudism is one person at a time. We had a thoughtful commenter to that post add that "We should stop acting as if something is wrong with it and be willing to tell others." The Platypus could not agree more. And yet...
We have been very, very vocal in our lifelong journey about telling those who cross our path that we're nudists. We've been interviewed by media, run websites, spoke publicly about nudism at trade shows, and attended government meetings on behalf of what we all love to do most here. We're proud of that record. And yet...
We have also had times when talking about nudism with others did not go well. There have been relationships gained and lost over the subject. So we'll provide some guidance about what we feel are lessons learned and things we'd have done differently if we could:
- Recognize that there may be some people in your life who "just couldn't handle it." We're not suggesting that you should refrain from telling anyone that you're a nudist... just maybe that you don't have to tell absolutely everyone. If you have a dear old Aunt Matilda in your family who you really know just wouldn't understand, it's okay to trust your judgment.
- It's okay to test the waters some times. When you're not sure how someone would react, you could point to a current news story about a nudist club or skinny dipping event and ask the person what they think about it. Then be prepared to listen and learn.
- Recognize that the workplace is different. Over many years, we can't tell you the number of folks who told us, in one way or another, that they were about to be fired because the comment they thought was okay to make about nudism at work (or the nudist website they thought would be okay to visit just to get that Labor Day reservation in) turned out not to be okay. Workplaces are sensitive to anything that borders on sexual harassment, even if mentioning nudism doesn't technically qualify as harassment in the legal sense.
- Recognize that it's different with young people. If you're a scoutmaster or little league coach, parents probably don't want you talking to your charges about your hobby. Respect that there are limits with this audience.
- DO tell the important, close, people in your life about what you love. If you're in a serious relationship, have very good friends who know you and your family, or know others who you believe can "handle it" don't miss the chance to share an important aspect of your life that could even open up the enjoyment of nudism for them. We found this very rewarding over our Platypus years.
- Refine your points and your story on web forums like this. It's okay to use a username that's less publicly known to share a thought or two. Not in all cases, of course, but with judgment.
If we're calling for anything, we're calling for balance. Share your story. Just recognize that the people most close to you who are also most accepting of you as you really are, are the same folks who will most likely be changed for the better by what you say.
You can live with seeing Aunt Matilda at family reunions even if you never see her at the nude beach.