My first childhood naked memory is vague: probably memorable only because it was my first ‘scary’ nude experience.
I have no idea how old I was at the time of this, my first nudist event. It was before I left grammar school for sure but I suspect it was much earlier than that. It happened while my parents were out, so must have been at an age when I could be left alone at home without supervision. Early teens then.
Our family home in England at that time and for most of my life before college was a small rural bungalow (single-story house – does anyone use the word ‘bungalow’ anywhere other than UK?) on the side of a small hill (a mound really) looking over a farmland valley. We enjoyed uninterrupted views with no buildings to spoil our wonderful view to distant mountains (English mountains that is, so mere molehills to other nationalities). A few homes and a pub sat on the crest of the hill over the valley, half a mile away. A road came directly over the hill and although there wasn’t much traffic, at night the headlights of cars sweeping over the hill, momentarily focussed on our home, their beams often brightly visible for less than a second before passing on.
My bedroom was at the rear of the property and my window looked out onto a sloping small flower garden and an expansive veg patch which my Dad tended with less than enthusiastic endeavour, but everyone had to have veg garden at that time, didn’t they? Certainly in our family at least, so maybe it was even a case of unspoken family rivalry.
Immediately outside my bedroom window, a pathway from the kitchen led along the back and around the side of our home. It was easy to hop out, an escape route I had used often over the years. On this memorable occasion, with the place to myself except for my younger sister asleep in her room, in the dark of night I escaped from my room through my window – completely naked!
I wouldn’t have dared to sneak around the rest of our home naked, even if my sister was out. It was simply too risky. Of course, now I realise that there was no risk at all in our remote location, but at the time it was a bridge too far.
I vaguely recall in the mists of my early memories that it probably wasn’t the fist time I had experimented with outdoor nudity. Perhaps I did it every time an opportunity arose – my folks didn’t go out much. But on this fateful occasion, I clearly remember that I was creeping nervously down the side of the building when, horror of horrors, a car crested the rise on the opposite hill and its main beam momentarily shone right into my eyes. I was in a spotlight, there on an illusionary stage, for all to see
I panicked! I scurried back round the house, through my window and hurriedly donned my PJs, as though someone was hot on my heels. I was convinced that the car’s occupants must, in fact couldn’t have avoided, seeing me stark bollock naked, clearly lit up in the beam of their headlights.
I was also convinced that retribution was inevitable. Somehow, my parents would be told and I would be punished and, worse, shamed. I later realised when I started driving myself aged 17 that it would have been impossible to have seen me (or anyone) in the headlights at such a distance even if they had been looking, which they wouldn’t be as they would have been watching the road.
Of course, none of that happened, but I doubt I took any more ‘risks’. Nude experimenting was at an end for more than a decade. But I believe that this brief event had a lasting negative affect on my naturist psyche.
For a start, it’s clear that my sense that nudity was wrong was already ingrained at that age. Nudity simply wasn’t acceptable within my family and social circle. It was something to be hidden. I could admit my developing leanings to no-one, family or friends.
However, it was also clear from my experiments with nudity that this was something in my makeup, maybe even in my genes as I was to discover many years later. I recall pre-puberty fantasies in which family and family friends met, as we did of course, but we were all naked. I remember fantasising about girls in my junior school, conjuring up scenarios where we kissed – yes, actually kissed! And guess what. You guessed: we were naked! My naturist imagination never left me, even through my formative (and wild) teenage years, when nudity took a back seat.
My unwarranted sense of shame about my own nudism still haunts me on occasions even today, decades later, although I understand and control it to a great extent, despite my occasional adult incidents which left me unnecessarily ashamed on each occasion. Even though I have been accustomed to and have embraced home and social naturism since my late teens, it’s taken a real effort on my part to publicly open up as a naturist.
I sometimes reflect on what may have happened if that long ago ‘spotlight’ on my early nudist experiment hadn’t happened. Would my lifelong unreasonably-focussed sense of shame have remained undeveloped or was it already too ingrained by even then to have had little impact?
A rhetorical question I’ll never be able to answer, of course. At least, even though there is a flicker of shame still dormant in my psyche, I believe now that I have overcome this and can live my life naturally and free. Age and experience does that!
What were your earliest memories?