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