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Male Body Confidence and Naturism

The way that the media portrays men and women in movies, commercials and television shows aids in the body confidence issues of both males and females. Most people talk about how females are widely affected by how women are portrayed in the media but there is less conversations occurring when it comes to how men perceive the people who they see on the media.

Naked In New York – Sasha Kargaltsev, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many men have found that naturism has helped them gain body confidence and feel better about the way they look and feel about themselves. Body image dissatisfaction is a serious issue. There have been studies that have shown positive results between naturist activities and positive body confidence.

In naturism, people experience a positive not judgmental environment. Naturism sees each person as unique individuals with different body types. No one body type is greater than another.

Prior research suggests that negative body image in both women and men stems from pressure to achieve unrealistic ideals of attractiveness.

McCreary and Sasse 2000; Striegel-Moore et al. 1986

The constant exposure to biased media representation of the male body image leads to the negative outcomes for how men see themselves. Modern day national and international naturist/nudist organizations define naturism as going without clothing in the presence of non-intimate individuals without the intention of being sexually stimulated.

The Oleinick et al. (1966) study found no relationship in exposure to nudity during childhood and later psychological symptoms. Also parental nudity was found to have no effects on sexual activity during childhood, teen pregnancy, or contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

Naturist organizations themselves claim that participation in naturist activities should lead to improvements in body image, self-esteem and overall life satisfaction.

British Naturism: What is Naturism? 2015; see also O’Reilley 2015.

According to a WebMD article, gay men were more dissatisfied with their appearance. The study by Frederick and co-author Jamal Essayli, of the University of Hawaii at Manoa drew data from 116,000 men from five national surveys. More gay men felt judged or objectified than their straight counterparts. In general men want to be stronger, bigger and faster. They see this as being attributes of being more attractive.

Author Dustin enjoying some sunbathing. Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.

For me personally, naturism has had a very positive effect on my life. I am far more positive about my appearance now than I was growing up. Throughout my school age years, I was bullied and teased because of my body appearance. I was the chubby kid that had a “small” penis according to their standards and that was enough to bully me over. At home I enjoyed being naked because my family never bullied me or commented about my weight.

It wasn’t until college when I began to test the waters with being nude more often, including using communal showers at my college gym. Communal showers in grade school, middle school and high school were where I encountered the bulk of the negative comments. For me to use the communal showers in college was a big step to overcoming my body image issues.

Now post college graduation I took the next step in becoming even more positive about my personal body image. I began to connect with other who enjoy being naked in a non-sexual context. In 2020 I connected with a few body positive nudist and naturist groups online. This started the next step in my body positive life. I’ve received tons of positive comments and encouragement through my time in these groups.

In April 2021 I got the opportunity to have my first in person socially nude experience by attending a naked soak at a local hot spring. This experience was completely positive and was the first time I had no issue with undressing in front of others. We had great conversations and ended up soaking for five hours. My second experience came a week later when I returned to the same hot spring with a different group. Again this second experience was nothing short of positive. In fact, the second experience led to me being invited to join my first naturist club.

Looking forward to the future experiences I intend to have, I have nothing but a positive outlook. In about two weeks from now, I’ll be going to my first naturist resort and saying I am excited to go is an understatement. I am looking forward to hiking, biking, swimming and sunbathing nude.

In my opinion, naturism has nothing but positive effects on individual body positivity. I would recommend naturism to anyone who struggles with body image issues. It just might change your life.

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4 thoughts on “Male Body Confidence and Naturism

  1. I also had a poor body image when I was younger. However, in my case my image was an accurate reflection of physical reality. I have Pectus Excavatum, Kyphosis, rib flare, & a few other things. My docs are in agreement that it’s just severe enough that “most people will notice most of the time and it’s disingenuous to suggest otherwise”. If reality had been acknowledged by everybody from the get-go, it probably wouldn’t have been that big a deal. However, for reasons unknown my parents chose to tell me I was imagining it. The rest of the world reminded me otherwise every time I took my shirt off….. So the whole thing became a much bigger deal than it needed to.

    If you meet a first time naturist who’s a bit reluctant DON”T tell him it’s “fine”. He’s probably spent most of his life with the whole world telling him very directly it is not “fine”. Don’t suggest any of it is subjective on his part. Instead, say factually true things he’s likely to encounter as a naturist
    – A lot of naturists don’t fit the Hollywood norm.
    – You’ll find all body types… people in wheelchairs, people with missing limbs.
    – People WILL stare for a second or two, the same way they would if a person’s hair were dyed green or purple, and then they’ll stop because it’s really not that important to them.
    – Naturists in general tend to be a lot less concerned with body differences than textiles.

    You can’t change anything, but you CAN show him that his body differences are perfectly acceptable in a naturist environment, nobody will exclude him because of it, and people won’t care nearly as much as the textile world does.

    Just my two cents…

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts! I agree that Hollywood has a far different view of what the perfect body is. I doubt that will ever change but each of us can be part of the change by not being shameful of our own bodies and show others that we are all different but perfect the way we were created.

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  2. I agree with you when you say that naturism can help with developing a healthy self body image. My issues started when I was young and my older sister would tell me I was abnormal or gross and things like that. Having never even thought about the size of my penis my sister made sure that I wasn’t overly confident about being well endowed.

    I spent my youth terrified that someone may discover my “gross” anatomy. As I got older I then went from being ashamed to feeling like an oddity and like I was being used.

    When I was in high school I went on a trip with a friend and his family and that’s when I had my first experience with naturism. He was worried about how I would view his family when I found out and when I found out I was worried about being naked around so many people.

    When we got to the resort and went down to the beach I was amazed by the way everyone was “normal” and that was for the thin, heavy, tall, short, old, young and every size penis. Yeah I saw people look, some doing a double take, but nobody stared too long to make me feel awkward. My friend’s mom talked to me later that day and asked me how I felt about the day. I told her I liked it and felt like I was just one of the group.

    She then told me if she had known that I was well endowed she would have done more to ease any anxiety. She told me about her anxiety over her big breasts. She was teased when young and got a lot of hate from other girls. But at a naturist resort people accepted you no matter what your body looked like. In fact except for a few people here and there being perverted, I have had only positive experiences. I also learned a valuable lesson early on and that is wear an apron when cooking bacon ouch lol

    Liked by 1 person

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