Sometimes, even just thinking about how it feels to be bare is almost as good as actually being clothes-free. I’m referring to those times in our lives when being nude just simply isn’t a viable option – such as work. Even though I am open about being a naturist/nudist (bare practitioner) with most of my co-workers, I still don’t have the option of coming onto campus in just my birthday suit (skin). My university and the District of Columbia don’t extend to me that freedom.
There comes a time in our lives when we all require some balance. No matter who we are, we need to try and establish some sense of harmony in our personal, professional and public lives. For example, on a beautiful and prefect Spring day, I need to work to contribute to society and to pay my bills. As much as I would love to be outside and naked, that scenario just isn’t part of the equation.
This past April, the department head at the university where I teach, decided at the very last-minute to add a course that I teach to the university’s May term. Not only did this news reach me without any prior consideration, it also took our entire professional staff as a surprise. I was depending on the last few weeks of May as part of my Summer “free” time. In other words, time that I could spend outdoors and, weather permitting, nude.
Instead, due to poor planning and a complete breakdown in communication, I would spend those weeks in May and the beginning of June in a classroom and wearing clothing. Imprisoned in my own skin. Author’s Note: Here, just simply imagine the string of expletives I uttered/thought/contemplated upon learning this.
I would have embarrassed even the tongues and minds of the most salty sailor ever to float upon the seven seas. Even writing those words would be sufficient basis for WordPress to censor this site and banish ReNude Pride to the blogging purgatory.
With practically no warning, I had to mentally adjust to the extra three weeks of hell in having to wear clothes and suffer. Through no fault of my own, aside from being the one professional instructor who had the audacity to successfully teach this course, I was being coerced into another three weeks in the classroom.
Being the responsible professional that I am, I accepted my fate. I am known within my department as the epitome of a “team player.” I am known outside of my department as being the one professor who will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
In order to balance my professional and personal reputations, in these few weeks of sacrifice (May term at school), I decided to assign a daily spontaneous expression exercise. In class each day, I assign a specific topic for the class to express in written format. While they’re writing, I simply imagine myself outdoors, completely bare and enjoying nature either riverside, lakeside or ocean side. I have between a half-hour of forty-five minutes of “imaginary” nudity as the class creates. Several of the assignments have involved some form of nudity.
It isn’t as good as actually “being” there physically. But then, all I have to do is keep in mind that beneath all my clothes, I am as naked as the day that I was born!