Question From a Father:
“I have a question and am getting a few people opinions. I have a 16 year old daughter and she knows that my girlfriend and I go to nude events and she wants to try it. She wasn’t raised around nudity. Do you think it’s a good idea to let her come with us or wait until she 18?”
Dear Naturist Dad,
Thank you for writing in. What an awesome question. It’s one that puts me on the razor’s edge to answer. It can be a powerful and profound transition for a young woman to step into her power and embrace naturism. I have to say I wish I had grown up with super cool parents who were naturists and shared with me body-positive experiences. Transitioning into a naturist environment in one’s teens, having not previously grown up in a naturist environment is a bit tricky, particularly for parents. First of all I would want to know if there is another parent, your daughter’s biological mother or caregiver who this could be discussed with as well. You definitely want both parents or guardians in the conversation and on board around the decision. If you are a single father, I commend you taking steps to gather more information and writing in about this question and taking on a potentially large and challenging conversation. I am so glad you are asking for support and seeking multiple opinions.
I would also inquire with your daughter why she feels called to explore naturism at this time and what she hopes to get out of the experience. Is it something she and her friends have discussed and there is general interest among her peers? Uncovering the intent for her interest could be helpful for you both. I have an 18 and over policy at my events but certain naturists spaces are family friendly and hold an all inclusive feel. I have taught yoga and facilitated naked church at several of these spaces. A wide range of ages were present and that felt very healing to witness and experience as someone who did not grow up in a naturist environment. At this transitional age of your daughter being a teenager, I would also wonder of your personal boundaries. Are you comfortable with experiencing your daughter in a naturist environment and is your girlfriend comfortable with that as well as I assume she would accompany the two of you. Bridging this environment at such a transitional age and time could be awkward for everyone but that doesn’t mean not to have the conversation about it.
I will also address the elephant in the room too which is that you are a man and this is doubly as challenging for you because it is deemed more psychologically and socially safe for a mother to escort a daughter to a naturist resort than a father. If I were a father, I would either wait until my daughter was eighteen years old allowing her to make her own choices, or ask a trusted female friend who was a naturist to speak with my daughter about naturism and offer to serve as an escort to a family friendly resort. The role of father is the daughter’s protector and transitioning into a naturist lifestyle as a teen comes with too many potentially volatile situations that I myself would not feel capable of handling. I would need to honor my own boundaries as a father and say I wasn’t comfortable with that but support my daughter’s desire to explore naturism when she turns of age.
I would thank my daughter for expressing interest and perhaps speak to her briefly about the healing I had found in the practice of naturism and ask her if she had any questions for me around it.
Here’s a dialogue I explored previously in another blog post around teenage naturism.
~ Isis Phoenix
Yes, you are right. Engage the help of lady friend to discuss this with your daughter. It should be as free as possible from Dad
Couldn’t agree more !!!!
Pingback: A NUDIE DIGEST – July 12, 2014 | Nomadic Nudist
This made me think of one of the first times I visited a naturist resort. The first few times I’d been amongst naturists had always been in groups which were all adults, but this was a very family friendly resort. I was in an empty function room inside the clubhouse, standing there alone looking at pictures of past events on the wall, when this group of about four or five teenagers came in, male and female all probably around the ages of 14-16. They had just come back from being in town and were still fully clothed. As they came across the room towards me I felt rather self-conscious standing there nude and wondered if I should wrap my towel around my waist. Before I could the teens passed by me and all said “hi” and kept on their way to another room. It was then that I realized I was the only one at all concerned about the situation, being rather new to naturism as I was, but those young people were completely comfortable seeing someone nude.
Later that day I met the parents of two of those teenagers who told me they’d been coming to the resort as a family since their son and daughter were about 7 or 8 years old. The parents told me that their kids were so much more relaxed than most of their classmates and teens their age, much less affected by the usual teenage angst and awkwardness so common in our society. I’ve since talked with other parents who’ve raised their family as naturists, some who’s children are now adults, and many have told me how much more at ease their kids were than other teens when they started dating because they weren’t so hung-up about their bodies or the thought of seeing other people’s bodies, whether clothed or nude. This isn’t to say these young people were more likely to be promiscuous than other people their age, quite the contrary, they were not in such a rush as others their age. It wasn’t quite as big a deal to them.
Others here have already discussed important matters for a parent to consider. I just wanted to add this because it can be a very healthy thing when young people express an interest in naturism and should be embraced, of course while discussing the obvious issues around how society may see things differently, but not letting that be a hindrance to their own development. As others have said here, too many of us didn’t bring naturism into our lives until much later than we now wish we had done, not only for the enjoyment we now experience, but also for how it might have helped in our development into healthy adults more at ease with our bodies and those around us. And, it would have been so much nicer to do this with our families, or at least with our families’ support, instead of having to find this on our own later in life as adults.
Such a beautiful share. Yes I agree it would have been wonderful if we desired to explore naturism while growing up to have our parents support. It sounds like you had a very liberating experience. The social grooves of standards of behavior go deep and it takes deep presence and also acceptance and the willingness to move through uncomfortable places to create new opportunities for transformation.
Don’t get too bound up about nudism and sexuality. That is a common complaint. just because people take their clothes off does not automatically mean that sex is going to happen. Take the kid skinny dipping. It’s wholesome, fun and nekkid.
Lucky girl to have open minded grownups around her. Find out about family and teen activities. Hanging out with adults is boring for a kid.
Going naked does not require so much planning and discussion. It’s a natural and normal thing to do. So just do it.
Since your daughter actually came to you and expressed her interest in it, then it is totally fine to take her to the resort next time you go, especially since your girlfriend is going with you (I assume she and your daughter are on good terms with each other). This should be no different than any other family outing that you might go on, like a picnic in the park or shopping at the mall.
What took it so long. I would be more then happy if my daughter would come. It’s so natural.