- "From the time I could get my diaper off" = 31%
- "In College" = 20%
- "Adult Years" = 43%
- "I'm not a nudist... Yet!" = 4%
But what may these results mean for bringing the message of nudism to the world? We're going to do a fair bit of "extrapolation" with these figures and take a bit of "creative license," but here goes.
First, we note that many who voted may share the experience of one who commented on the poll when we made a post that there were just ten days left to vote in it. He explained that he liked having no clothes on as a kid, but only discovered "organized" nudism much later as an adult. The comment maker probably describes a lot of us. Unless raised as nudists, we wouldn't experience significant group nudity or organized activities until we were old enough to find them via the library or internet.
It reveals a flaw in the poll in that "becoming a nudist" means different things to different people. For the Bare Platypus it means, "When did you first think life would be cool without clothes and want to do it?"
For one of our Platypus it came very early in life, when the first jokes about nudists were heard or introduced as part of a TV plot. We can still remember an episode of the old Bob Newhardt show (when he was the psychiatrist) and he took a group into the woods for a weekend. One of Newhardt's group refused to pack clothes and said he would spend the time naked. We only saw him from the waist up, but the idea of running around and camping in the woods in the buff seemed very cool. (The Platypus did later manage to sneak some skinny dipping in at night and try going buff in the woods a few times.)
So the point is, if The Platypus had been asked "Do you want to go to a place where people take all their clothes off?" the answer would have been "I'll be in the car!"
Maybe that mindset describes the near-third who selected "from the time I could get my diaper off" but Mrs. Platypus never really thought about nudity until she married Mr. Platypus and he wanted to be bare often. That's when she became a nudist and would squarely be in the "adult years" category. Perhaps because of school, career, and social convention it may be that it simply does not occur to many people to try taking their clothes off as a way of being. Or the 42% in the category may have lounged around the house in the buff but, as we said before, not tried organized / group nudity until an adult. Certainly the availability of having one's own home or apartment frees you up to try something like nudity, which your parents / room mates may have frowned upon.
Do we chock up the 20% of college and university nudists to a willingness to try new things? To consumption of alcohol, the proximity of colleges to nude beaches, or to the first freedom from parental households? No doubt some combination of the above.
We'll be discussing the poll results more in the coming weeks and invite your comments. If we can determine when and where people start thinking about nudism, we can, perhaps, better target our messaging and outreach efforts.
4/16/13 Update: Given DIGITAL MOM's article about her toddler-turned-nudist we can guess how her kid will be voting in this poll in about 20 years!