Breaking the Grip of Shame Among Christians by Promoting Body Respect.

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The Root of Shame
The Harvest of Shame
Rejecting Shame
Freed From Shame
Redeeming the Body
Living Unashamed
Daily Living
Ordinary Nakedness
In God's Image
God's Desire
Body Shame and Women
Shame, Children, and Abuse
Triumph Over Lust

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Freed From Shame Testimonies

How does body shame impact peoples lives?  How does feeling that you must keep parts of your body covered because they are “indecent” and would offend others make you feel?  How does being freed from that feel?  Does becoming comfortable with nudity really help people feel better about themselves, others, God, and their bodies?  Read below to find out what people have to say.

If you have a story or comment to share please Click Here.  Your story or comment could help others break free from shame.  THANK YOU 

Overcoming Tragedy

I grew up with a lot of household nudity and discreet skinny-dipping. I feel very positive about that aspect of my upbringing. It may be more instructive though to consider the case of nudists who have endured tragedy and yet remain nudist.

I have a friend who grew up as a nudist and was sexually abused by a relative. To this day she does not blame nudism, but puts it squarely on the shoulders of the relative. She got counseling to help her overcome the pain. She has taught body freedom to her children.

I have another friend who was raped in a home invasion (by a textile). It was awful and she had a lot of fear, sorrow and pain to work through. She did say that her nudism has helped her avoid the negative self-image problems that often occur in the aftermath of sexual violation. She has a kindly wonderful boyfriend, a sweet daughter and I see them often at the nudist resort. I think they are going to be okay.

At my favorite resort, parents and their friends keep children under close supervision. Nudism is great, and the resort is full of friendly people having a good time, but the parents' peace of mind comes from personally keeping tabs on their children, just as it does in the textile world.

Nothing I said is scientific, just one person's comments, but that doesn't invalidate what I said. It is life experience and I base a lot of my actions on what I have learned from life.

- Mark

Intimacy of the best kind

Nudity or intimacy; say those two words together or separately and you find that most will assume sex. But that isn't the case. I was raised in a home that was ok to be seen in your underwear but not nude. At night my mom would check us before she would go to sleep herself and would have to redress me into my pajamas. By the time I was 10 years old... she insisted that my bedroom door be closed and that when I appeared on the other side I was to be fully clothed including a trip to the bathroom.

Where I discovered that it was ok to be nude was at a friends home where the family and guests were given a option to be clothed or not. The first few times that I hung out with Richard, it was always like every other family. The first time we actually went nude was in his basement which was set up as his playroom. (He was 12 1/2 and I was 10). I arrived at his house and his mother answered the door in a bathrobe. Nothing unusual since I it was early in the day and my mom was still in her pj's and bathrobe. My surprise was Richard was nude and acted like nothing was different. After a while his mom bought some breakfast rolls and milk downstairs and Richard and I were talking and playing this board game (life before Pong) and he didn't flinch nor cover up. He invited me to disrobe if I wanted too and since I always liked being naked, I thought about it but was worried about being caught. But I warmed up to it, the basement was comfortably warm and I was eager to be nude like he was. His mom again came down stairs again, clothed this time, and announced that she was going grocery shopping and to behave. I about crawled under the area rug that we were sitting on.... she told me to relax, it was ok and that our family are nudists. So she left and I asked Richard what it meant to be nudist. Well after hearing about it... I was more and more "ok" with it.

As time went on, we would play in the back yard nude and sometimes either a cousin of his or other friends would come over. Eventually I did see Richard's mother and father interact with him and us in the nude. I was invited over for a sleep over since his parents were hosting a pot luck party with other nudist families and there were boys AND girls running and playing the house, the back yard and the basement all in the nude. The youngest was a toddler and the oldest was a boy about 14 or 15. I knew then this was for me.

Richard was very intimate with me… That is we talked about real life. No sex involved. We would horse around, wrestle, play games, watch TV, do homework, build models, but best of all, tell each other secrets. As I grew up I discovered that when I was nude with friends, and the facade of clothing was removed, true intimacy occurs. You get to meet and spend time with real people. You can discuss not only the weather and politics, but real life issues and friendships are more genuine then with textile-challenged people. The intimacy of parent to child is also incredible. When one of my sons was 13 years old, he had to be reminded about putting clothes on to go out the front door. His wife complains that he is still much the same way now. 

Intimacy is sexual? Well yes, that is why it is called Sexual Intimacy. Personal intimacy, family intimacy, intimacy among your children, intimacy with your parents... is NOT sexual and Nudity isn’t always sexual either. My wish and my prayer is that the perverted belief system be quashed. Perversion as stated in this web site is crossing the boundaries. 

Thanks for this opportunity to share how I overcame my shame and guilt with the full acceptance and discovery of non-sexual nudity and intimacy. BTW - Richard's parents are gone now, I surely miss the conversations and visit's I've had with them as a boy and as a young man and most of the time au natural. They were fine people and taught me well about nudism, lack of shame and guilt, and modeled intimacy in the healthiest form.

- Eddie

Note: From his post, I wasn't sure if Richard's parents where open about their nudity with Eddie's parents, it sounded to me like Eddie spent time nude at his friends house without his parents ever knowing about it, I think that's a very bad idea, especially today.  While there has always been sexual abuse, Eddie was a boy in a simpler time when there was less media attention about sexual abuse, and thus less fear of it. If you or your kids are going to spend any time nude around other parents kids their parents absolutely need to know about it and approve it FIRST! So I emailed him and got this back...

"I called and asked my mom just now since I don't ever recall my telling her or asking her permission other then "can I go to Richard's?" Richard's mom actually DID call my mom and invited mom over for coffee and a chat. While she was clothed, she did give my mom the grand tour of the house (typical 3 bedroom 2 bath family home) and explained why naturism (actually my mom used naked and nude) and the who's and when's were addressed. Although my mom didn't have an interest, she felt it was ok with me going as long as I was ok. We never talked about my nudity at home except to close my bedroom door when I am in there and regardless of the hour, always be dressed on the outside of the door. But I was free to do what I wanted at Richard's."

I was very glad to hear this, it seems to me that Richard's mom handled it perfectly and other parents could follow her example. This post shows that openness about nudity can expand opportunities for nudity with others where you live, not just at some club or beach miles from home. Not only that but openness about nudity can help others develop healthier attitudes about the human body.  Eddie also said...

"I'd like to add, I frequent Red, White & Blue Beach near Santa Cruz. There is camping and a very private beach. With people of all kinds - short tall fat thin old and young and very young. I think it is so cool that while adults are playing volleyball ( usually a pick up game) not too far away are some kids building the typical san castle some nude and some in swim ware. Yet these kids approach their parents who are au- naturale so naturally... I enjoy the comfort that I witness between parent and child. Such as it was with my boys when they were younger."

For more on this issue see the Daily Living or Shame, Children, and Abuse pages on this site.

No unhealthy curiosity

We've been born-again Christians since before our marriage, and faithful church attendees.  However, we rejected the usual church shame-message of not letting our kids see us nude and always treated the naked body as perfectly natural.  When we went camping, we most often skinny-dipped together.  When the kids were small (two boys and a girl), we group-showered on Sunday morning to save time.  It also provided us an opportunity to answer the occasional, "Why are Mommy and I, (or Daddy and I) different?" questions.  What better way to approach the "facts of life" could there be?

I certainly do feel that an open-minded attitude towards simple nudity has contributed to less body shame for our kids and helped them adjust to our embracing nudism later on.  Each has his or her "take" on sexual morality, and has made his or her share of mistakes.  Yet, each has maintained a strong, consistent testimony throughout each of their lives.  No doubt, a more nudist-oriented approach would have been of more benefit.  However, none of our kids seemed to harbor undue, unhealthy curiosity about the body, since they saw us nude while growing up.  We praise the Lord for His leading in avoiding undue emphasis on body-phobias.

- Tom

Change of Attitude

Recently my husband and I had moved to a new state along with our 10 year old son and 7 year old daughter.  My son immediately became friends with a neighbor boy his age and we were invited over to swim in their backyard pool by his mom, Barbara.

I was a bit surprised when Barbara mentioned that her son usually skinny-dipped in the pool and that my son was welcome to do the same.  I looked at my son Pete and did not expect him to be interested in swimming nude, especially in front of me and his sister, but he begged for permission and reluctantly so, I allowed him to do so.

After seeing how much fun he was having a few minutes later, I realized that my hang-ups about nudity were unfounded.  My husband and I are now reviewing our old attitudes further. 

- Sue

Childhood body shame is gone!

I have always enjoyed being nude for as long as I can remember, but only when I was alone or with a brother. However, with everyone else I was extremely shy about being seen nude. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that my dad didn't think a boy needed underwear until he reached puberty. He bought me my first underwear at age 13. I was extremely embarrassed to undress in front of other boys in gym class because of being the only boy without underwear. I think it was that more than actually the fear of being seen nude. 

Now I never wear underwear. I continue to enjoy being nude indoors and out whenever possible. I'm always nude at home, but didn't even try social nudity until age 55.  The nudist photos in the INA Web site gave me the courage to try.

I went to a nudist resort in May when it was warm enough (this is in Michigan), parked my car, undressed at the car, and thought to myself, "Well, here goes." I very self-consciously walked out to the pool area prepared to be laughed at. No one even seemed to notice me. I was made to feel as though I belonged there! Once I got over my initial embarrassment, I’ve been hooked ever since.

Though I had enjoyed being nude all my life, there was something different about this! The difference was that I was nude with other men, women and children, and I found that my fear of being seen nude had been a senseless lifetime fear.  I found that there was no need for my fear of being seen nude. I love being nude and hate wearing clothes. I just wish I had gotten into it decades ago. The fear is gone though there is still a little self-consciousness left, but I expect that to disappear eventually also. 

- Jonathan


I remember when I discovered how good I feel without any stupid clothes on, I did it alone, in my apartment, and didn't even think about sharing my experience with classmates, my older brother or parents. I felt myself weird, but now I can see the tragedy of the fear instilled into every child by the society, destroys happiness and the feeling of well-being with which every child is born. :-(

- Rouslan

Facing Peer Pressure

We're born without clothes and throughout our lives we have to be naked, albeit alone most of the time, so what harm can there be in knowing our own bodies and being more aware of it.

The greater harm is raising children to think that they must be covered at all times. This imprints on a kid that the human body isn't a good thing and that it must be hidden all the time. I'm of
the opinion that this attitude is exactly what drives kids to experiment as they get older.

If they're comfortable with their bodies there is nothing mysterious that they need to find out about. They are very aware of what is right and what is wrong when it comes to their bodies. And I think it helps reduce the peer pressure they face every day at school and elsewhere.

- Dave

Overcoming Shyness

As a child I had problems with communicating to people. One of the problems was that I was very shy and felt very vulnerable. When I was ten or eleven years old, I was introduced to naturism by a friend and his family. After a few minutes being naked, I began losing my shyness. After being a few times naked in public, I was cured of being shy and feeling vulnerable, probably because of the nakedness (vulnerability) of the other people.

- L B


I lost a drastic 250 lbs in a year after a surgery, I was proud of my weight loss, but ashamed because of the hanging fat from my ribs to my pubic area that nagged at me, cuz it wasn’t "perfect yet"...So, at the first couple nudist resorts I went to I wore a short gauzy sarong around my waist.  I felt ok.  I never realized all of my comparing was just my own making.  No one judged me.  In fact I have felt really horrible and insecure over this winter and I just realized it at a recent hot springs visit that what I was missing was being naked, cuz it made me feel better about myself and being accepted...I still have a weight hang-ups about my fat, but its my problem in my head.  Participating in this way of life has made me realize that I can be happy with myself.

- K

A Sons Example

My wife and I became more comfortable with our bodies through our son.  A few years ago we moved into a new house that was fortunate enough to have a small pool.  When we first moved in Timmy would get up, take off his pajamas and put on his Swim suit then go for a swim.  When he finished swimming he would take off his wet suit and remain nude until he'd had his breakfast and a shower. 

One morning though his suit was in the washing machine and he had already removed his pajamas, so Linda suggested that he swim just as he was.  After a few moment's thought he decided to go for it.   We watched as he splashed around and I made a comment about how good it would be to be his age again and be able to run around nude at home without feeling we were doing anything wrong.  It was just a throwaway comment that I thought no more about for a few days. 

The next morning Timmy came downstairs and took off his pajamas.  I handed him his swim suit but he said he didn't need it, once again he played in the pool completely naked.   After a week of skinny-dipping the suit was long forgotten and we noticed that Timmy was spending a lot of time naked, even out of the pool.  It didn't bother us, because it was very innocent and he knew to dress if we had visitors in.

One evening a few days later I arrived home from work to find one of Linda's friends had dropped by for a visit.  I was surprised to find that her young son and mine were both swimming as naked as the day they were born.  I was really surprised that Timmy was so comfortable being naked in front of my wife's friend and her son.  I have to confess I was envious of the freedom he seemed to enjoy.  My own parents would never have approved of me spending any time naked as a child.

I decided to bring up the subject with Linda one night and after talking about it we put the idea to Timmy, telling him that we would like to skinny-dip too - and he seemed to like the idea.  When Linda and I first joined him he froze when he saw us - but once he saw us and saw that we just wanted to have the same kind of fun he did he returned to his normal self.   Since then Linda and I have been far less self-conscious.  We don't spend all day nude but we swim and sleep nude (as does Timmy) and don't cover ourselves between the bedroom and the bathroom etc. 

Timmy, on the other hand is naked for every free moment and enjoying his youthful innocence to the full.  I enjoy seeing that he is so comfortable with his body and his self-image. 

- Bill


To me, being a nudist is about freedom.  It's how I express myself and show others that I am not ashamed of my body.  It's quite a relieving and freeing experience.  After I got over the initial jitters, I found myself being a little more self confident.  The nudist experience has lifted my self esteem to the point where I am not inhibited in any situation. 

- Dave

Liberating Myself

I lived with my grandparents while I was 6 years old. Upon returning home, it became painfully obvious that they had instilled a colossal sense of shame in me; not only regarding my body, but against the positive social values I received from my parents.  Even at the age of 7, I recognized that my self-image had suffered, but I could scarcely do anything about it.  By the time I was in high-school I was determined to liberate myself from the lingering brain-washing concerning nakedness I knew I still harbored; and, slowly I was able undress in a same-sex locker room, and later to take a shower in the company of others.  It has been an arduous journey, but I feel that I have finally voided myself of the last influences of the nudity-equals-sex "rules" I reasoned to be irrational two decades ago.  I'm nearing 30, and I have not only regained the courage and self-confidence I once had as a 5-year-old, but I have finally committed myself to publicly joining the Naturist cause!  My wife and I have become members of the Federation of Canadian Naturists.  We're looking forward to attending local naturist events, and raising our children shame-free!"

- TJR, Canada

A Family Meeting

We have a 16 year old son and 15 year old daughter. When my son was 13 he began showing a highly increased curiosity about sex and the body.  My wife and I had previously frequented a nude beach within 2 hours drive of our house and decided that it would be a good idea to take him there, at least once, to see how he reacted.

We had a family meeting and discussed the human body in advance of the trip. We had frequently told our kids that the human body was not dirty, and that God had not made any dirty parts.  The direction of the conversation led to the question of why did we, as their parents, always close our doors while changing clothes and taking showers.  That question impressed me given that it had come from a 13-year-old.

I had no good answers!  Than, all 4 of us agreed that since the body wasn't "dirty" or "sinful" that we would no longer be ashamed in front of each other. We also agreed that we would all visit the beach together the first Saturday we could. At that point, still at the kitchen table, we agreed that we would undress in front of each other, to allow everyone to get past their uneasiness—we, as parents, were also uneasy undressing in front of the kids.  As expected, my son's eyes kept wandering to his mother's body.  She was a little uncomfortable, but after a short while, it felt very normal to us.  My daughter's body had already begun developing at that time; and, she reacted very casually to her brother and myself being nude.

3 years later, both our children have very healthy attitudes towards sex and the nude body. My son doesn't feel the need to "sneak" peeks at nudity in movies, or to "borrow" Playboy or Penthouse magazines from kids at school. My daughter still has no problem leaving her door open to change, or calling me into the bathroom to talk with me while she bathes or showers. Both kids have remained virgin and proud of it!  Not nearly as proud, however, as their mom and dad are of them!  Since that time, both children have felt comfortable coming to either of us with questions about sex.

The nudity part has now become simply "normal" for us, and my son doesn't even take a second glance at his sister or mother when he sees them unclothed.  My two kids get along great together, and have many friends in common at their high school. They are close in age and close at heart.  People mention how well they get along as opposed to other siblings that continually argue and fight with each other.  My youngsters have their moments too, but that is normal.

- Parents, CA.

Prideful Shame?

“Religious” opposition to social nudity stems not from sound Biblical exegesis but from pride.  This pride is made of the idea that we should be more than our bodies make us.  Really, most of us look better clothed than naked; I know I do, and I am not an ugly person.  Dressed in nice fitting jeans and a crisp golf shirt, I can present a smart appearance that my nudity could never do.  But is that the real me?  Or am I just ashamed of my mere humanity?  The real me is profoundly human, with lines carved by the creator.  My clothing subconsciously communicates the message that I do not wish to reveal myself, but rather a false me.  The real me is muscular, male, hairy, and light skinned.  Yet this masculine exterior is portrayed through skin soft and vulnerable.  Through our clothing we project ourselves in a way that makes us look larger than life.  To strip off the coverings scares us, not because we could be too attractive to resist (as the common argument goes) but because we will be found merely ordinary.  In a suit, with shoulder pads and clever tailoring, I am like the wizard of oz in that I am but a shadow of who I appear to be.  Walk up to me on the beach and you will find that Gods glory is being revealed in my nakedness, from my toes to my groin, to my head.  No right thinking person could ever lust at something like this. 

One of my favorite aspects of mixed nudity is that girls and boys, men and women can socialize together in the highest way.  No right thinking woman would put herself in a compromising position by allowing herself to be susceptible to molestation.  However, when there is the presence of trust and honorable intention by all, women are able to fill that deep need to be transparent with men in a truly holy way.  So contrary to the argument that says men and women could never be naked together, there are times when it is not only possible, but very necessary.  Young women, typically considered to be the most attractive and vulnerable segment of the population, need have the opportunity to get out of their shell in just this kind of environment because they tend to be set upon a pedestal.  Equally, the rest of the population needs to see them in their splendor.  Organized nudism has the potential to provide the kind of environment to facilitate this kind of interaction.

- Gen225

Child's Sense of Security

I think there may be a link between naturism and better school performance; but, without proper research it would be impossible to confirm.  We can only speak for our son Adam.  He is shy by nature and under-performed in his early years at school.  After he began to play naked at home—possibly by coincidence—we noticed he was getting better reports from school and that his overall attitude toward study had improved.   Karen and I discussed this at some length.  There were other factors that we had to consider,  of course; in particular a recent move, although this had not involved a change of school for Adam.   The most obvious change in his daily life was that he no longer wore clothes very often.  Karen and I both felt that his voluntary nakedness reflected a sense of security.  After all, a child can be most vulnerable while naked.  We never asked Adam to undress when coming home from school.  Usually, he just goes up to his room and comes down naked.  We feel this shows he feels completely safe and comfortable within our home environment.  Perhaps his sense of security has allowed him to take a more proactive approach toward school work?  I'm not saying this is the answer for all underachievers, but I'm convinced naturism has benefited Adam at school—I'm still trying to figure out why it has done so.

- Sean & Karen, England

U.S. and German Attitudes

In Germany, adults changed their children’s clothing on the beach without any disapproval by others.  When we visited a public beach in the United States for the first time, we were very amazed that it was forbidden to change children’s clothes on the beach.  Even small babies had to run around in bathing suits.  Because of this, our three year old caught a severe case of bronchitis; and, in spite of doctor’s care had a hard time getting rid of it.  One year of nudism brought about a complete cure.  We all got rid of annoying the colds that come from climatic changes.  Also, we got to know wonderful people and felt accepted into a large family.  If one says that the nudists corrupted our boys and girls, I can only say: ‘I have never seen boys and girls of all ages get along so well together than in a nudist camp.  Here no teenagers lie under a blanket and kiss each other as can be observed on a public beach.’  We only hope that more people in America will accept our point of view.

- Father in AR

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