I wish I could say that I grew up in a naturist family, spending my summer holidays running round naked

in the sun. But I cant. I grew up in the East Midlands in the united kingdom in the 1970s (I was born in 1968), with a totally normal youth. I only ever saw my parents nude once or twice, and I dont believe theyve seen me naked since I was about 10.
So, I grew up with all of the regular British reservations about revealing my body in public. I think that my first exposure to naturism came on vacation in the south of France with my parents when I was (I think) about 17 – my last holiday with them before I became a pupil and then left home. We stayed near Port Grimaud, and one day I made the decision to see what was on the other side of a large stony breakwater. Imagine my surprise when I saw a beach full of naked people! Id love to say that I went and stripped off and joined them, but I didnt. Remember, this was a time when I didnt even need my parents to see me without a shirt on!
Anyway, when I was a pupil (living at home), I picked up a copy of Health and Efficiency from a shop that had it as one of its top shelf magazines (a phrase that will without a doubt be familiar to British readers, but may be less so to those from foreign. Keep in mind that Playboy is a top shelf magazine!). It was interesting to find a magazine full of naked pictures of what I came to think of as ordinary people doing regular things not models who appear to be auditioning for a gynaecological textbook. Currently, I also started to spend time round the house nude when everyone else was out, but this was more from the illegal thrill point of view. Nevertheless, my opinion began to change, and I found that I really loved being nude, and envied people who could go on naturist vacations. I did manage a few afternoons sunbathing naked in the back garden in an exceedingly rare time when my parents were on vacation and my brother was still away at college in a different town.
And that was it for many years. It absolutely was Studland Bay, someplace I had learned of in H&E (which I had long ceased buying, mostly because I ‘d moved in with my girlfriend). So there I was, walking along Studland, encircled by nudists, but I didnt dare do anything. For all I know, her and her husband might have been regulars, but that wasnt going to take place!
She was pretty amazed, but agreed on the understanding that she didnt have to. I truly enjoyed it, much to her bemusement. I even swam naked in the sea, which was simply brilliant (if a little cool).
Over the next few years, my girlfriend indulged me and we visited Studland once or two times a year and I likewise stripped off once or twice on a beach in France, but that was pretty much it. For the last 3-4 years yet, we’ve been on vacation in French bungalows, and weve always managed to be remote enough for me (and occasionally my girlfriend) to strip off by the pool. Over the past year or two, I’ve been doing a streak of photography classes (Im an extremely keen amateur), and the last one, in 2003, was social documentary. I fought for a long time to think of a subject, and from somewhere deep down I came up with the notion of doing something on naturism. I hunted round the internet and found a club in Marlborough (which is about 50 miles from Bristol where I now dwell) who astonishingly enough were agreeable for me to take some photos and invited me to come along and see them even though I would be on my own as my girlfriend wouldn’t be joining me.
So, I somewhat nervously went to see them so that they could meet me and I could see what the photographic possibilities were. They were most welcoming, and I spent a thoroughly agreeable evening swimming and playing badminton in the nude.
There were some delays in receiving permission from the sports centre they use, and in the end they said no. By this time, I had been 2 or 3 times and was getting to enjoy it. So, even though my job was killed off before I had shot any pictures, the club asked me if I wanted to join, and I did. I now go along once per month or so, and love it.
More lately, I’ve been starting to consider making contact with one of the clubs not too far from Bristol one that has its own land so I could potentially have someplace outside to see regularly.

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