How many times have you wished you had a friend who shared an important interest of yours that might not be especially common? Perhaps you like to play chess at a somewhat more expert level than average. Or you’re a “master gardener”. Or you enjoy backcountry hiking and camping. You might know others with similar interests, even though they’re not as serious about the interest as you are. What can you do if you want to find a friend who actually shares your level of interest and experience?
Consider a more concrete example. Suppose you play one or more musical instruments – guitar, drums, piano, flute, or whatever. Moreover, even if you’re not at a “professional” level, you’re pretty good with your instrument of choice. Good enough, perhaps, to have played in an amateur band or musical ensemble. At present, you don’t have any friends with a similar level of skill. But you wish you could find one or more, in order to be able to play music together on a regular basis. What can you do?
Here’s something to think about. Social research has found that the typical person has as many as 100 or 150 people they know by name and interact with at least occasionally. Some of those acquaintances you consider friends. Furthermore, your friends have friends of their own that you probably don’t even know. And the same goes for those “friends of friends”. So there may be hundreds of people who are no more than two or three steps away in what sociologists consider to be your “social network”. (This is an excellent book on the subject.)
Now think about what percentage of the population might be regarded as “naturists”. That is, people who have enjoyed at least some experience with social nudity. They may not be “active” naturists in the sense of people who regularly visit naturist resorts or clothing-optional beaches. But at least they’re comfortable socializing naked with others and might do so more often if it were convenient. Since naturism isn’t considered a “good” topic for scientific study, there are rather few reliable surveys giving a reasonable idea of how many naturists there are in the population. But the indications are the number could be at least 2 or 3% of the population in the U. S. and similar countries. (Probably more than that in western European countries.)
So there could easily be one or more naturists among your acquaintances, and it’s possible they’re even friends of yours. Even though you don’t know of their interest in naturism. But surely there are several people who are naturists among your “friends of friends”. And maybe even several dozen among “friends of friends of friends”.
The problem, of course, is how to find the naturists or potential naturists in that group of people, most of whom don’t know the others very well, if at all. The problem is made even more difficult because we’re talking about naturists. That’s a result of the unfortunate fact that naturists tend to be somewhat secretive about their interest in social nudity. You probably understand fairly well why that is. After all, how many people you know are aware of your interest in naturism? Since nonsexual social nudity is sort of a taboo topic in our society, we tend not to tell many others of our interest.
However, there’s a good solution to the problem of finding friends who share your strong non-naturist interest: start looking among naturists. There are two good reasons this is a promising strategy. The first reason is that naturists have no difficulty discussing their enjoyment of social nudity with others of a like mind. In fact, it’s perhaps often the main topic of conversation.
The second reason is that social ties among naturists tend to be stronger than ties among people in other affinity groups. In more technical terms, the connections are stronger than is usual in other social networks. Why is that? It’s simply for the same reason that social nudity tends to be a taboo topic. People who socialize naked with others are more likely to know each other better on a personal level because of the need to feel, with others who also enjoy nudity, a higher than usual degree of trust and kinship. If you’re a naturist, you want to feel you are “safe” being naked with others who’re also naked.
But this “solution” for finding friends with your strong non-naturist interest just shifts the problem to something else: how do you find others who enjoy social nudity to add as friends? The problem is somewhat moderated since naturists are naturally friendly people.
The basic idea is very simple: just go to places where naturists already are. That’s mainly naturists resorts, non-landed naturist clubs, and clothing-optional beaches. Of course, that won’t be so easy if there aren’t such things near where you live, or at times of the year that aren’t conducive to being naked outdoors. The alternative that works at any time is to look online.
There are online naturist social networks, such as True Nudists. However, I don’t recommend that or similar sites, for two reasons. The first is that, although such sites have “special interest groups” for a variety of interests, most of those groups seem to be rather inactive. The second reason is that it’s difficult to tell whether people who use such online services are “real” naturists, rather than wannabes or imposters. Naturist groups on things like Facebook have the same problem. (And, besides, Facebook and its ilk hate nudity.)
The solution is to join an online service operated by a national naturist organization, such as (for English-speaking countries) British Naturism or the American Association for Nude Recreation. Both of these have special interest groups and/or online discussion forums that may already exist for your own significant interest. And if not, you can probably start one yourself. Yes, this costs a little, perhaps 60$US per year – about the cost of two or three trips to a naturist resort or clothing-optional beach, if there even is one near you.
Personally, I’d recommend British Naturism, even if you don’t live in the UK. Yes, it won’t be easy to meet in person anyone you “meet” through BN, unless you’re in the UK. But BN is very up-to-date in the use of video conferencing, which is far more effective for getting to know people than text-based communication. (See here for the video schedule.) And BN has many members who don’t live in the UK – perhaps a few even in your own country. Someone you get to know on such an online service might have a naturist friend or two who does live near you. Naturist social networking is international now. Take full advantage of it.
There’s another reason you might find just the friends you’re looking for if you go online. That is if your special interest doesn’t require in-person activities to be enjoyed. You might be a fan of science fiction or adventure stories – either in printed or streaming media. Or you might like discussing subjects such as poetry, computer programming, healthy living, or history. Or maybe you like cooking and want to share favorite recipes with others. There’s a vast number of such interests that might actually be most easily discussed online.
There are probably many naturists around the world who share such interests with you. Best of all – you don’t need to wear any clothes to enjoy discussing your interests.