Sunday, January 10, 2016
Question: Will I Know You If You're Clothed?
For those who practice living bare, this isn't a rhetorical question. Nor is it that uncommon or unusual. Many of us meet others for the first time at social nudist events and therefore have no earthly idea of what the other looks like when dressed in clothes, especially in winter-time when most of us are covered or concealed in bundle-some layers of outer garments. The outerwear creates a distorted image of the physical shape, thus, a slim person appears heftier or thicker than what he actually is and the facial features are often hidden or partially hidden by knit hats, scarves or whatever.
I know this to be true from personal experience. I'll share this you in this posting. Being bare offers many benefits. However, there are a few challenges as well.
This past weekend, I received both an email and text from my same gender loving bare friend, Jay Blue, wishing me a "happy anniversary!" On Sunday, January 3, 2016, was the seventh anniversary of our meeting at a gay nudist social event in downtown Washington, DC. Since then, we've become close friends even though he's since relocated to a city in the mid-western area of the USA (Austin, Texas). We visit one another at least once a year and he and my husband, Aaron, have become great friends; rapidly moving from the "acquaintance" stage to friendship.
On Saturday afternoon, January 3, 2009, I went alone to a nudist social "happy hour" at a gay leather bar located near the DuPont Circle area of Washington, DC. Aaron and I had been in our relationship for a little over a year. He had to work that day and I decided to venture out solo. It was an unusually warm day, as a matter of fact, I wore shorts and a short-sleeved shirt for my walk to catch the metro (subway) for my ride downtown.
Upon arrival at the location, I went upstairs to the "stripping" area, removed all my clothing, except sandals (a Health Department requirement), and returned downstairs to find the bar packed, almost wall-to-wall, with naked gay men. Usually, the nude "happy hours" attracted between 100-150 men. On this date, there were more than 240 gay nude-enthusiasts in attendance. The balmy weather had encouraged many more than just me to want to shed their winter layers of clothing and get "back-to-basics!"
Navigating the crowd, I couldn't find a seat available anywhere. As I circled the bar, I inadvertently became intimate with all manner of male body-parts, and they the same with mine. Then I eye-balled one empty stool at a table in a far corner of the room. A lone Black man was seated at the same table, watching the scene.
I approached the table, smiled and wrote a note to him asking if I could join him. He returned my smile and offered me the vacant stool beside him. I indicated to him that I'm Deaf and began writing another note. Soon, we were frantically passing notes to each other and laughing at our wicked sense of humor. Within a few minutes, both of us were acting as old friends rather than new nude acquaintances. It seems the lack of clothing eased us into a relationship that the barriers of garments and assumed posturing denied to others.
We were so engrossed in writing to each other, neither one of us had the time to order a cocktail! At subsequent naked happy hours, we both learned that neither of us drink alcohol and we both usually drink water or fruit juice.
Before we realized it, almost three hours had transpired and neither of us minded the time that we'd shared. Jay (his name) and I discovered we both had a fondness for gay fiction novels, enjoyed nudity and naked functions, had worked endlessly for the presidential election of Barack Obama (this was just prior to his first inauguration) and were both avid amateur photographers. Before departing we exchanged email addresses, text numbers and promised to keep in touch.
The week following our chance meeting we continued texting each other and sending emails. We both had plans for the following weekend and made tentative arrangements for the next weekend after that. Aaron and I would meet him and his boyfriend for an early dinner the Saturday just prior to then President-Elect Obama's official inauguration into the presidency.
The following Saturday, January 10, 2009, I had stopped into a local bookstore to do some shopping before meeting Aaron for lunch. As I was leaving the booksellers, I made eye-contact with a man who was staring back at me. It was an overcast and briskly cold day and everyone was bundled in heavy coats, hats, scarves and gloves struggling to keep warm. This stranger and I paused for a second before going our separate ways, he into the store and I to my car in the parking lot.
By the time that that I was exiting the parking lot, I had a text from Jay asking if he had just passed me leaving the bookstore. I replied "yes" and then realized that he was the "stranger" staring at me!
Neither one of us immediately recognized the other because of our wearing clothes!
We both laughed at this definite pitfall of being nudists! We still laugh over this incident even today. We've been the best of friends since that January, 2009!
Authors Note: The above is a true bare experience of when Jay Blue and I first met. The bare social was sponsored by ReNude Pride, at the time, one of the three gay nudist social organizations active in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. That organization is no longer active and two other groups have since assumed sponsorship of gay nude "happy hours" at different gay bars in the DC area.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Bare With Pride