Frequently Asked Questions

"Always do what you are afraid to do."

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still."

— Chinese Proverb

"Fear of revealing one's body is a defense. To keep clothing on at all times when it is unnecessary for social protocol or physical comfort is to armour oneself in a manner that will block new behaviors that could introduce more healthful and rewarding alternatives; and promote psychological growth."

— Dr. Robert Henley Woody

Question: This will be our first experience and we're apprehensive! What should we expect?

No matter how long experienced people have been doing this, (and for some of us, it has been many years), we all had a first time. The fact that you're apprehensive tells us that you're just like the rest of us.

We remember how uncomfortable it was to think about, before actually experiencing clothes-free recreation. We know that it takes courage and trust to try nudism.

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face... You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
You Learn by Living, 1960, by Eleanor Roosevelt

Yes, it takes trust. Going without clothes among others allows us to bare everything but our souls. That takes trust in the people who are helping us get started.

Women who are experienced nudists remember worrying that people might stare, or ogle, or compare, or come on to them. Some were afraid it would be a beauty contest and they'd be the only one without a "perfect" body (they're relieved to learn that we're really all pretty much the same).

Men remember being afraid that they'd get an erection. Once in a while, no matter how much we assure people that it's not a sexual experience, there's a man who thinks that HE has so much more testosterone than everyone else, it'll be sexual for him.

What all of us have learned, is that the first ten or fifteen minutes, we are so intimidated that our equipment doesn't work the way we thought it would . . . and most experienced nudists of both sexes will say that the next thing that happens, is that you'll FORGET you're naked! Hard to believe, isn't it? I repeat, almost ALL of us found it to be true, and you probably will too.

Man and woman sitting by a stream © Charles Myers. Used with permission.

One of our members tells about his first visit to a "landed" nudist park. He fell asleep on his blanket, on the grass between the tennis courts and the swimming pool. Upon awakening, he lay with his eyes closed, feeling the warm sunshine and the gentle breeze, listening to the sounds around him, the tennis balls volleying on one side, and the splashes, conversation and squeals from kids down around the pool.

He thought, "My God, I really am lying here naked". Then he opened his eyes and looked around a little, and thought, "And so is everybody else." Then, "And nobody seems to notice." And then, "AND IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER!"

You'll quickly come to the realization that nobody who has been doing this for a while pays attention to you. Unless you're dressed, of course, then you'd stick out like a sore thumb. As you might imagine, a person who is clothed differently from the rest of us is the one who feels most uncomfortable.

We also know from experience that the easiest way to ease into this is to get your clothes off as quickly as you can, as if you've been doing it all your life. It is far easier to jump right in, than to drag out the process. It's like jumping into a pool of water. Just do it, and get it over with. Very soon, you'll start to realize that "This isn't so bad, in fact they were right, it feels pretty darn good!"

Bare Buns has a free orientation, presented at the beginning of our Rec Center parties, for people who are attending for their first time. It's packed with information, sensitively presented, and with a touch of humor to help you relax. It is designed to help make your first-time nudist experience as comfortable as we can possibly make it. In addition, we host a "Meet & Greet" before each Rec Center party at a nearby restaurant.

Many people like being able to meet a small group of our members over a bite to eat, in a neutral, clothed environment. Then when they arrive at the Rec Center, they feel like they at least know a few of the people there. Participation in the Meet & Greet is optional.

Real Quotes from Real People

Before attending a Bare Buns activity, people sometimes tell us, "This is my first nudist experience! Nobody in the world has ever been as fearful as I am right now!" Below, you can read what others before them have said.

"Thanks for providing us with the opportunity to attend our first official nudist event in such a pleasant atmosphere! Linda and I had a great time at the Sport's Club Party on Saturday evening. Special thanks to your "designated greeter", Lynn! She took the time to show us around and made us feel very comfortable right from the start. Linda and I met a number of very cordial and interesting folks. After leaving I asked her, "Did you enjoy yourself and would you go again?" to which she answered, "yes" on both counts. Then she added, "and I'd really like to do the canuding... and the sailing trips sound like a a lot of fun too!"

— Kyle and Linda Barrett, Vienna, VA

"Just wanted to tell you that I had a wonderful time Saturday night. In addition to being a very "freeing experience", I met some great people, had some fun and interesting conversations, ate some good food, and just relaxed in a way I never imagined I could. It's very apparent how hard the members work in order *to make it all happen* and to keep the club a safe and healthy environment. Many thanks go to all of you for that! I look forward to future events."

— Kathy Lovett, Colonial Heights, VA

"You were right...we had a wonderfully, awesomely good time last night. I feel the orientation part of the evening helped make my first time a much more relaxing and less fearful one. And the friendliness of the other people there also made it even more enjoyable... Thank you once again and I so look forward to participating in another of the club's events soon."

— Kim Bachman, Arnold, MD

"I have to thank you very much for how nicely you handled Jan's introduction into social nudity. It is important to me that she had a good experience from the start. When we married, I knew she would accept my own personal interest, but I thought it would be nice if we could share this together. I am happy to say that Jan has been quoting all the virtues of naturism and how it is good for the soul and personal growth. In other settings, she could have gotten all the wrong messages from her experience, but you showed her that it is the most normal thing in the world."

— Al Cramer, Burke, VA

"(We) really appreciated the friendliness at the Sports Club party. It was really amazing when we compared your crowd against experiences with churches, work, meetings, etc. (except visits with family / relatives). Your friendliness really beat theirs."

— Michele and Loren Michaels, Winchester, VA (a couple with disabilities)

"I want to commend you and Bare Buns for such a classy and safe event. The orientation certainly put Tina and I at ease and we also enjoyed Baerobics! The people were very nice and we made new friends. The club is first class and our overall experience was one of pure joy! Had we known that this experience was going to be so pleasant, we would have taken the plunge many years ago. As you know, we had some doubt that we'd be welcomed and accepted into your group because we're Black. Now we know that you, like we, are color blind as far as race is concerned. We look forward to becoming members of Bare Buns and thank you again for allowing us to attend. We are looking forward to the next event!"

— Jim and Tina Dempsey, Waldorf, MD

"Our first time experience was everything it was predicted to be and much more! There were many times prior to the party that both Sheryl and I asked each other if this was something we really wanted to follow through with? But due to your constant willingness to answer any and all questions, we found ourselves preparing to take this huge step. We envisioned the possibility of being met with a sexually charged atmosphere, where embarrassing and demeaning situations could arise. We had agreed that if either of us felt uncomfortable, we would simply leave, no questions asked. During the orientation ... (and after, in the locker room), I kept waiting for Sheryl to show signs of being uneasy with the situation. But, to my surprise, she was undressing as fast as anyone else!

Seeing her comfortable served to relax me. We left the locker room and went directly to bareobics. This seemed to melt what little 'ice' there was left. As you predicted, we were very reluctant to get dressed and leave that night. It was one of the most exhilarating, relaxing experiences either of us had ever encountered. Thank you for allowing us to break a taboo, which has obviously been hindering our enjoyment of life and each other."

— Randy Waldrop, Lynchburg, VA

"Apprehension was the feeling I experienced the week prior to the Sports Party. It wasn't my idea, but I wondered if my husband would be the one to back out. What was funny, was he thought I would. I believe we were secretly saying, 'if you will, I will.' "Saturday afternoon arrived and my husband looked at me and said, 'Are you nervous?' My response was, 'of course.' But, I have to admit the fact we were doing this together was calming.

I was raised never seeing my father naked and very rarely my mother. I have always thought of nudity as taboo, until I had children. We haven't raised our children in a nudist environment, but I have made sure they are not ashamed of their bodies or (embarrassed) if they saw mine. I know we came into this world nude. Adam & Eve in the beginning were nude. Jesus himself had little clothing as He washed the disciples' feet. I hoped to gain from this experience, confidence in myself and in my body. The website was comforting to me as a Christian. I hoped to become comfortable enough not to be ashamed of what God had made.

We 'clicked' perfectly with another couple. We've kept in touch with them, and feel we have met and bonded with someone that loves us for us, not for what we wear, or how 'in-style' we look. It was easier than I thought it would be. But after awhile, it didn't matter. Every so often, I would realize: 'Hey! Wait a minute! I'm nude in front of all these people!' Then I would think, 'oh well.' I had feared, as so many people do, that being nude would be sexual. But, thank God, I found out different. My husband and I look forward to experiencing nudism more and more. This is the 'ultimate freedom.'"

— Sheryl Waldrop, Lynchburg, VA

Last updated: July 7, 2003
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