I grew up in the fifties and sixties. As a product of mainstream Middle America, I was not encouraged to bare my body other than when bathing or swimming and even swimming I had to wear swimming trunks. I wasn’t taught my body was shameful, only that it shouldn’t be exposed except under certain circumstances.
There was one hot day when I was between first and second grade, though. I was in our back yard playing in the sprinkler in my trunks. My mom, who wasn’t working at the time, called out to me that I could get rid of my shorts if I wanted to. I did. I loved it.
I would sneak out to the yard naked early summer mornings before anybody else in the family was awake. I didn’t do anything, ; it just felt so good as the sun rose and warmed me all over.
About the time I was turning eight or so, I learned there were places where people went to go naked together. Everybody together -- girls and boys, men and women -- even whole families went together. A family weekend at a “nudist colony”, as they were known then, seemed to be those ‘certain circumstances’ I mentioned.
There were five of us in my family. Besides Mom and Dad, there was Dave, my brother, Lynn, my sister, and me, I’m Nick. When I was eight, Lynn was ten, and Dave sixteen. That summer Dave had a full time job. My parents were talking about a vacation. Mom was working in an insurance office that year and Dad was under pressure to take some of his accrued vacation time.
“Is there a nudist colony around here?” I asked. They had been talking about camping or going fishing. When I asked my innocent question nobody said anything for a long time. They all just stared at me. Then they all laughed for a long time.
“Why? You wanta go naked and wave your little peter around?” Dave laughed. My cheeks burned.
“Is that where you want to go, Nick? A nudist colony?” Mom asked.
“Well, I just thought...” I couldn’t say what I thought because I didn’t even know. She ran her hand through my hair.
“Everybody could see you, you know,” she said, as if I didn’t already know that!
“Yeah, but they’ll be naked too,” Dad pointed out. We all laughed at that, even me.
“I’ll tell you what, Nick,” Mom said with an amused expression. “If you want to go naked around the house, I don’t care. But that’s only in the house and the back yard inside the fence.” My cheeks burned again as they laughed. Talk returned to renting a cabin somewhere.
I quietly went to the bedroom I shared with my sister. I had shared a room with my brother until he got ‘too old to bring his friends to some little kid’s room’. So he and Lynn traded rooms. I lay on my bed and thought about my family. There were times I really didn’t like them at all. I stewed about everything they said and all the laughing.
I got to my feet and took off my tee shirt and slid my shorts and underwear down, kicking them across the room. I kind of danced around a second, feeling the air around me. I stopped and wondered if I could take the next step. I decided I could. I opened the door and slipped into the hallway. I took a small chance and hurried to the bathroom, pushing the door close to latching but not quite.
I peed and looked in the mirror above the sink. I couldn’t see below my belly button. I looked pretty pale. Just then the door opened and Lynn started in before she noticed I was there. “Nick!” she was loud. I shushed her. She stood looking at me. We had been bathed together up until I was five, so it wasn’t a big deal for either of us.
“Are you serious about this naked stuff?” she asked me. “I don’t think Mom or Dad will get naked and run around in public,” she said smiling. We laughed.
“What about you?”
Lynn shrugged. “I don’t think I want to.”
“You sleep in just your undies,” I told her. “I see you and you don’t hide.”
“Yeah, but that’s you. There might be teenage boys there though.”
“Lynn, you’re ten! Teenage boys like teenage girls.” She didn’t like my honesty.
“Well, have fun naked,” she sniffed and left. I just walked out to the kitchen. Silence again for a few seconds, except for the television. Then Mom said something to Dad and nobody paid me any attention. I got a glass of water and stood at the sink to drink it.
Dad got a beer and looked at me a second. Then he took off his shirt and tee shirt. He clinked his beer can to my glass and he walked back to the couch grinning.
Dave was the next one to say something about it. He was wearing his work clothes and he grabbed his lunch before leaving. “We’ll have to start calling you Naked Nick!” He laughed and left for work.
I went back to the bedroom where Lynn was sitting on her bed polishing her toenails. She had taken her shorts off and wore just her girl’s undershirt and cotton panties. I flopped on my own bed and sighed.
I was confused. I had taken my clothes off hoping ... what? Did I want it to be a big deal with them or not? I didn’t, not really. It wasn’t a big deal to me -- nor, as I had read, to the people who go to the nudist places. Then I remembered my question. I turned to my side and asked Lynn. “Do you know if there’s a nudist place around here?”
“Nope. You could look it up in the yellow pages, maybe, or at the library.” She closed the bottle of polish and walked on her heels to put it on her dresser.
I jumped up and went out to the living room where Mom and Dad were watching TV. I grabbed the phone book and sat in the recliner (since Dad and Mom were sitting next to each other on the couch -- a rare occurrence.). “You should sit on a towel as long as you’re naked, Nick,” Mom said. She left the room and returned with a towel folded in half. She had me get up and spread it for me to sit on.
I couldn’t find ‘nudist’ in the yellow pages. When I told Mom what I was looking up, Dad said, “There’s that place out by that lake ... what’s the name of it?”
“What place?” Mom asked him.
“Oh, one of the guys at work mentioned it, it’s a nudist colony, or camp, I guess.”
“Hmm ... that isn’t the lake where you and Walter go fishing is it?” Mom had a suspicious tone in her voice, but she was grinning.
“No, Joyce, that is in the other direction down by the state line.” My dad seemed perturbed at her attitude. “But maybe the next time...” That was all he said after he saw Mom’s new expression.
To me, Mom said, “Try ‘nude’, or ‘naturist’. Or try camping facilities ... they might say something in the ad.”
I looked for all that but came up empty. I decided I had to try the library. I got dressed and rode my bike to the park where the library was located. I stuck the wheel into the rack and went in. I didn’t lock my bike because where we lived you didn’t need to back then.
I always loved that library. It was not huge but it seemed like it to me. There was a smell that I have since decided is the aroma of the aging books. Like many older folks who somehow acquire that similar odor, books must do the same. All those hands checking them out and returning them; all the different places they’ve been read.
I went to the card catalog first. They don’t use those any longer, but they worked well. I pulled the long drawer labeled “M N O” out and started about the middle. After a few minutes I found several things in the adult section, some that were in the adult periodical section and a couple of books. I was obviously not an adult. The librarian wouldn’t check any of it out to me.
I used the little pencil and a scrap of paper laying there and wrote the numbers down. Sticking the paper in my pocket, I closed the drawer and left the quiet place. I decided to ask Mom to go check the stuff out for me.
She had to wait until the next day but she got it all. When she came in, she was smiling. Dad was sitting in the recliner and she dropped the magazines in his lap before handing me the two books. “The librarian thinks I’m a nudist now. She looked me over after seeing all that,” she said, and added, “I’m not so sure her interest was all official either. She’s cute.” Dad laughed.
“Yeah, Joyce, as if...” he said. Then before she could respond he started talking about the magazines. “This ‘Sunshine and Health’ has lots of pictures. Well, they all three seem to. Here’s one that looks like it’s from Europe. I wonder if the women shave their pits.” He started thumbing through it, pausing here and there. Mom just kind of snorted and shook her head. There was a little smile on her lips, I noticed.
One of the books was written by a guy trying to convince people to go naked more. It wasn’t very thick, but I wanted to read it. Not that I needed to be convinced. But it did teach me the difference between nudist and naturist.
The other book was the one I mostly wanted. It was a directory of all the nudist resorts and naturist places around the country. It was put out by one of the nudist associations. I quickly turned to the pages for our state and narrowed it down to our area. I found the place Dad mentioned, I thought. It was owned by a local club. Funny sometimes when you realize how much goes on that you never would think happened. I scribbled the address and phone number down. There was another place but the lake caught my attention. It was the closest.
I took the book back to the living room where my parents were sitting all nestled against each other while they looked at the naked pictures. It was the first time I ever saw my dad any more than soft. His shorts were poking up in an obvious erection.
“I think this must be the place,” I told them. “It’s not too far and there’s that lake, too.” My mom took the book and read about the place.
“Hmm ... Well, it looks clean and it isn’t too fancy,” she said. She scanned through the book, stopping every so often to read something. “Wow, there are a lot more than I would have thought.”
She handed the book to Dad. I picked up one of the magazines and looked at a few pages. All the people were smiling and none of the guys had boners. There were families that all looked like they were having a great time. They had picnics and games. There were boats to use and even a café where people ate naked! Everybody was naked! My dick got stiff when I saw all the naked girls, even some my age and Lynn’s. I took the other book to the bedroom and started reading it.
The beginning was a short chapter on how ancient and primitive people didn’t care about clothes. At least being seen undressed was not the taboo our society has turned it into. Mostly they only dressed if it was cold. The restriction against going naked came to our country with the religious groups that came over from Europe.
The author made one comment that reminded me of something Dad had said. The book said it was only since the beginning of the twentieth century that women made a practice of shaving their legs and under their arms.
I put the book down and stripped again. I thought I should be naked to read about being naked. I started reading again and Lynn came in to change clothes. She asked me what I was reading and we talked about it a few minutes.
“Lynn, you know that feeling when you get out of the shower? You’re all clean and warm. Then you have to get dressed. I wish we could just go on with our day and not get dressed. You know what I mean?”
“I guess. But then I’d run into Dave and he would say something mean and I would want to hide.”
“Yeah, but ... wait! Listen to this: ‘At first going nude in public is scary. You think everybody will look at you. Here’s a secret: They will! But they will be similarly uncovered and they will be reluctant to be critical of anybody else. Here’s another secret: social nudity is not about being seen, it is about how being nude in the open with other people makes you feel. Many people are surprised how quickly they stop noticing their own or others’ nudity.’
“That’s the same thing Dad said yesterday. When everybody is naked nobody will judge you.”
She didn’t seem convinced. I spent the next week reading the books and going through the magazines several times each. I saved the magazines for when I was alone. I liked looking at the naked girls and women, and it made me get stiff. I already knew how good it felt when I got stiff and I played with it.
One day when Dad and Dave were working and Lynn was with her friends, my mom asked me to help her in the garden. Mom grew tomatoes and peas every summer, along with a bunch of different flowers. The back yard was pretty big and she had my dad plow up one of the back corners for it all.
I hadn’t gone anywhere for two days, so I hadn’t worn clothes for two days. Dave was the only one who even said anything by then. He never missed the chance to call me ‘Naked Nick’, or just ‘Naked’.
So I was naked when Mom asked me for help. We went out and started pulling weeds. Mom finally asked me if I wanted a drink. It was hot and I was sweating so I said I would. She dusted the dirt from her hands and knees and went inside. I picked a pod from a pea vine and ate the sweet little babies inside it.
The door opened and my mom came out carrying two glasses of ice water. She handed me one and we sat at the table drinking it for a minute. “I didn’t realize how hot it was out here,” she said as she wiped some sweat from her neck. She looked at me a second and then she set her glass on the table.
She shocked me then by pulling her top off to bare her breasts to the air. I nearly dropped my glass, but she tossed the top to the grass and she smiled at me. “Well? “What do you think?” She was cupping her breasts as she lifted them and kind of shook them.
“Wow! Mom ... just ... wow!” My dick twitched but I really, really didn’t want to get stiff right then. Nevertheless, I did. Mom saw it and smiled at me again.
“See, honey that happens to guys. Let’s go inside a while and talk.” Well, that was when I got a little more information about penises and vaginas and breasts. It was The Sex Talk, at least a short version. At first my stiffness remained. Mom hadn’t put her shirt back on so her breasts were just hanging there while we talked. My dick finally got soft. We had more water and Mom said, “Let’s try this.” She stood up and slipped her shorts off so she was just wearing her panties. Then she slipped the panties off so she was as naked as I was. She posed, turning in a circle to show me her butt too. Her vagina was hidden behind a cloud of dark curly hair; this was before pubic hair was even shown in the men’s magazines. It was really no different than seeing the hair on her head, yet it was indescribably different at the same time. It was no different than the pictures in the magazines. But this was my mom.
My mom and I were naked together. Yes, I got stiff again, but Mom ignored it and we went back out to pull some more weeds. After a few minutes the stiffness went away and we just worked there together just like always.
I was kneeling in the dirt when I saw some movement in the window to the room I shared with Lynn. I saw the curtain move again but I didn’t see Lynn. A few minutes later she came out the sliding door. She was naked too! I grinned at her and she grinned back.