4 Life Lessons Learned at a Nudist Colony

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Have you ever been to the beach and considered taking your top off to get a more even tan, but were too embarrassed to go through with it? Well, imagine how you would feel at a nudist camp where taking it all off is often mandatory. I had a chance to visit Solair Recreation League, “a family-oriented nudist resort,” in Woodstock, Connecticut once, and here’s what I learned about nudity from that experience: 

Everyone looks starkly different naked.

We may all have the same body parts, but our individual bodies say a lot about us. I met people with cancer scars, saggy skin, tattoos. It was encouraging to see that instead of hiding anything that may be considered a flaw, the nudists I met displayed their bodies proudly. Nudism is not only about being your self, but also accepting others as they are.

Nudists are surprisingly friendly—and happy.

Perhaps it’s the freedom of not having to conform to society’s rules and cover up, but nudists are carefree and fun. They’re also super sociable. As a newbie, many folks introduced themselves to me and were quick to invite me over to their cabins for margaritas.   

You can do almost anything naked—and be comfortable!

Nudist etiquette dictates that you always use a towel to sit on. But aside from that tiny detail, it seems that you can plant your booty anywhere you want. Nudists drive around in golf carts, scarf down burgers in communal cafeterias and even play tennis in the buff (save for a sweatband and sneakers!).

There’s nothing sexual about social nudism.

Sorry to disappoint you, but there really isn’t. Once you’re comfortable in your skin, you realize how normal nudity actually is. And instead of feeling vulnerable and exposed, you feel empowered. 

If you’re not ready to take it all off in public, you can start by being naked at home. Trust me, all those hang-ups you may have will soon disappear the more accustomed you become to the sight of your own body.

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About this author1

Grace Bastidas, Deputy Editor

Born and raised in Queens, New York, where more languages are spoken than anywhere in the world, Grace Bastidas is Latina’s Deputy Editor. She oversees lifestyle content, including topics as diverse as career, health and relationships, and occasionally writes about her own experiences in The Good Life section. As a writer, Grace’s work has appeared in The New York TimesNew York magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Travel + Leisure. She is fluent in Spanish.

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