Family has been on my mind a lot these past few days. I travelled yesterday to Essex, where my family are from. It wasn’t a happy occasion – my grandmother passed away a couple of weeks ago and we were attending her funeral. All the same, it was good to see my extended family again.
None of my family members are naturists, that I know of. My youngest cousin used to run around their farmhouse naked up until about the age of 6 or 7 though. As far as I remember, she just hated clothes. My aunt allowed it and as a child I remember my mum and grandmother voicing their disapproval, in the way an adult might disapprove of a parent who indulges a faddy eater. My cousin was just a faddy dresser.
She stopped as she grew up, or at least, she wears clothes in company now. I can’t speak for her private life! I wouldn’t know, because my girlfriend and I have never discussed naturism with our families, not really.
It’s not really been a conscious, “let’s-never-tell-anyone” secret for us. It’s just never come up. We live in our own house and do our own things. I left home at 18 and didn’t become a naturist until I was 25 – my girlfriend only really through being with me.
So I haven’t felt the need to tell my mum, or anyone else in my family. I don’t know how they’d feel about it. I’m sure they’d be fine but until I feel like sitting down and explaining it to them, I’m leaving it as it is.
As for my girlfriend, I have left that up to her. At the moment she hasn’t wanted to talk about it with anyone in her family except her sister. She doesn’t think her parents would have a problem with it though. They used to go to nude beaches in France when she was a kid and their household has always been pretty relaxed about nudity, especially where my girlfriend is concerned.
We did talk about Spielplatz once though (without mentioning it was a naturist club). My girlfriend’s dad thought it sounded great – he wanted to go!
I have friends who have told their non-naturist parents, with varying results. Some have had no problem with it, others have given a grudging acceptance (“as long as it’s not in the house/outside your room etc”). Nobody I know seems to have irreparably damaged their relationship with family by telling them they are naturists.
We will probably have to tell them when we have kids. We both agree that our home will be (for the children) clothing-optional, and naturist clubs and swims will be fun places that hopefully our kids will enjoy visiting. But it won’t be fair on the kids to expect them to keep all that a secret, and make them feel like we are doing something bad or wrong.
So we’ll tell the truth, and hope they don’t disapprove quite as much as they disapproved of my aunt letting my cousin run around naked.