This is the fourth parth of the series. I strongly recommend reading parts 1, 2 and 3 if you haven’t done so yet. They can be found at the following links:
- How to stop being ashamed of your naked body, Part 1
- How to stop being ashamed of your naked body, Part 2
- How to stop being ashamed of your naked body, Part 3
Everything I said in the previous posts I mentioned in the context of reaching the goals one wants achieve. There are, however, four essential things which one simply has to be able to do naked, or else they may endanger their – and even somebody else’s – life.
Choosing not to do these things is basically choosing to risk death, getting a disease, or suffering severe injuries and pain, over momentary exposure of one’s body which one should be proud of in the first place. Here I’ll list those things with short explanations:
- Get regular check-ups at your doctor and visit your doctor if you find there’s something wrong in or near your genital area. Women should feel alright visiting a gynecologist and men should not feel embarassed during a genital and prostate exam.
- Shower naked. It is utterly nonsensical to wear any clothes in a shower and the hygiene you are able to keep that way is questionable.
- Do genital self-exam regularly.
- Undress when wearing clothes puts you in danger of death or serious injury. Here I mean emergency situations such as falling clothed in cold water during cold weather, having your clothes catch fire, having dangerous chemicals caught in the fabric of your clothes, etc.
Not being able to do the above constitutes a pathological fear of nudity. These are absolutely essential for any individual who cares about their life and health. However, there are several more things which one ought to be able to do, which promote health:
- Shower naked in public places, such as locker rooms or public pool showers. I often find people showering in their swimsuits, which completely defeats the purpose of showering. Before entering the pools, you’re supposed to wash off the grime you brought with you – you can’t do that with your swimsuit on. Also, before leaving, you’re supposed to wash off the grime you picked up during your activities (some of it may be from people who haven’t properly showered upon entering). Back in highschool, nobody showered after PE. It’s no wonder the smell of school was (and still is) always that of sweat and smelly feet.
- Change all clothes after exercise or hard physical work. Yes, this includes underwear. It doesn’t matter if you’re at home alone, or somewhere public like the gym, or at work. Wearing your sweat around with you is not considered good hygiene and it certainly isn’t pleasant to people around you. Better they see you naked than smell you clothed.
- For guys, pee in urinals in public toilets. You don’t even have to be naked for this one, and there are even privacy walls nowadays between urinals. I can’t imagine the number of people who still opt for a stall in men’s rooms when there are perfectly good urinals lining the walls (and they really only need a urinal). I wonder why they even separate men’s rooms from ladies’ rooms, since men clearly don’t use urinals (well, OK, many do, but many don’t either, so why not just save money and join the two into one). Using stalls when not required just makes it more gross to use when it really is required – how often did you happen upon someone’s urine all over the toilet seat?
- For new mothers, don’t be afraid to breastfeed your child in public. This is the most natural thing in the world – you child gets hungry, so you feed it. If you wait to get home, you may be letting your child go hungry for too long, or you may be stressing over the child’s eating schedule too much and stress can spoil your milk. This is also something you don’t need to be fully naked for. If you’re out with your child and it gets hungry and you have food available, why deny it? You’d give them a sandwich if they were older and you had one, so why not let them suckle?
- Enter the sauna naked. In dry saunas you need only a cloth to sit on, but with steam rooms and hamams you really don’t need any piece of cloth whatsoever. The reason there are shower heads in “wet” saunas is to clean up before you sit down and clean up after you leave – not to shower yourself inside the sauna. Moreover, wearing anything interferes with the process the sauna is supposed to induce – sweating. Anything you wear can block your pores and cause improper excretion of sweat and any compounds your body is trying to excrete can get stuck in your pores because of it. This is also why I would personally prefer standing in a sauna to sitting or lying down.
In hopes that you may want to set your goals higher than you did (if you did) in Part 2, here are some of my suggestions, in addition to the above, which are either healthy or just plain awesome to do naked:
- Sleep naked. If in a relationship, sleep naked with your partner. I sleep naked on the coldest of nights. I never much appreciated wearing clothes in bed as I found that they interfere with my circulation and make my extremities go cold during the night. While this may not be the case with you, sleeping naked will improve your circulation. Moreover, studies have shown that sleeping naked with your partner reinforces your relationship in many ways.
- Do your morning routine naked. I don’t even put on clothes until I’ve brushed my teeth, showered, shaved, and whatever other things I do when I get out of bed. On cold mornings I may don my bathrobe, but as soon as the warm water and my body heat warm up the bathroom (and radiator if the heating’s on), I take it off. I use the image I see in the mirror to determine whether I need to exercise more or if I can loosen up a bit.
- Hike or swim naked. Expose your body to the elements as we (humans) have evolved to. Many people consider themselves safe from various germs which surround them when they wear clothes, but the only real security is letting your immune system build itself. This is especially true for very young children (before their first birthday) who their parents treat as if they were supposed to be kept inside a sterile bubble until their immunity magically builds up. Let yourself experience cooler temperatures – this will actually further promote your circulation as your body will attempt to warm up – or the warmth of the sun shining on your skin which will trigger synthesis of vitamin D.
- Tend your garden naked. This is in tandem with the previous point. Walk barefoot over the exposed soil, pull weeds and water plants naked. While our garden is too exposed to tend in the nude, I still love to do it barefoot and wearing only shorts, because the earth warmed by sunlight feels so wonderful under my feet and boots really don’t. Do try to put on clothes if you’re handling chemicals, though.
- Go naked all day. If you are on vacation, or sick leave, or for whatever reason have a whole day you could spend at home, spend it naked. That is – wake up naked, do your morning routine naked, do your chores naked, cook naked (try not to fry, I can’t stress that enough), watch TV naked, read a book naked, write your blog naked, play games with your significant other naked, and eventually go to bed naked. If you can get outside naked without being seen, do that too just to try what it’s like. If you can’t do that at home, then (or either way):
- Visit a clothing optional or nudist venue at least once. Yes, this is a promotion of nudity, but seriously – you should give yourself the chance of determining whether this is for you or not firsthand. Who knows, you may love it in the end and won’t be able to live without it. Beware of public nudist beaches (ones not within camps, i.e. unguarded and so-called “wild” beaches), as there can be people nearby who can turn your experience into a negative one.
Trying any of these, regardless of your fears, will further increase your being OK about your body (i.e. diminish your anxiety, shame and fears you may have in regard to your body). Not to mention how much time it will save you on laundry day.
I can’t say how you can overcome your fears to try these in the first place. You can try using tips I laid out in Part 3, but ultimately you will need to find your own way through. Just remember that change will not happen overnight, no matter how good you think a guide is; whatever you try to change about yourself you’ll always have to do it gradually.