My journey into naturism
My journey into naturism was unexpected. I was spending the holiday in Atlanta at my uncle’s house. We didn’t have cable at my house so I was blown away with the many options I had to watch at night time. I remember it like yesterday. I was scrolling through the channels when I saw the words “Naked States” flash across my screen. As a thirteen year old boy, the t.v. had my complete attention. The was the first time I had ever seen the documentary called Naked States by Spencer Tunick. I was blown away by how comfortable the models were in their skin and knew I wanted to feel that freedom. I didn’t realize it then, but I had just begun a journey into my life as a naturist.
Fast forward a little bit…I always struggled with body insecurity issues growing up. I started watching porn at an early age and began to accept certain body images as the norm. Since my body didn’t look like “the norm” I was seeing in porn, I started to hate it. I didn’t fit the traditional image associated with black men, so I went down this path of self hate for a while. It wasn’t until college, where I was around friends who would get dressed in my apartment that I began to shed those insecurities.
For the first time, I was always around half naked and at times, fully naked people. Unlike me, no one seemed shy or embarrassed that they were naked. It was like it was natural and no one cared. Again, I saw the confidence the people around me had and I knew I had to have it. A little older this time around, I was determined to find solutions.
Nude yoga class
After college, I was at home in Saint Louis bored over the summer. I spent all day at home alone. I started just spending time naked until I absolutely had to get dressed to go somewhere. I learned then that I genuinely felt better when I wasn’t clothed. During that summer, I downloaded the Meetup app and started looking for groups that did activities in the nude. I found a nude yoga class and signed up! The rest is history. That class and the people I met that day, changed my life!
My first class experience is something I’ll never forget. I had never felt so vulnerable, exposed, nervous, free, comfortable, and supported than the moment when I decided to remove my clothing in the back of the yoga studio. I felt a sense of liberation, the feeling I had longed for my entire life! It had been ten years since my first experience watching Naked States at my uncle’s house in Atlanta. I was now 23 and finally embracing the new found peace I had with my naked self.
After the yoga classes, I joined any and every group in Saint Louis that was hosting clothing optional events. It was in these groups, at kickbacks and game nights, in the nude that I built community and learned to love my most natural self. I continued to seek out groups and events over the years and eventually ended up joining the Black Naturists Association. I found my tribe, I found my people, and I haven’t looked back since.