Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

Creating Freedom From Others' Rules

Love, Self

Claim the freedom you want in your life. If others are not harmed, do what pleases you!

What are some activities that you or others do that you have judgments about?

How would it feel to  eliminate rules about right and wrong ways to behave?

Come along with me as I share experiences that may help YOU be more free.

 

I like pursuing pleasure. It may be that part of me that doesn’t

want to miss anything. It may be a decades-long reaction to the part

squelched by my early strict adherence to Catholic doctrine. Or it may

just be that I savor pleasing sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches.

I’ve often wondered how far I dare go in enjoying what Life has to

offer. Since my first tentative foray into nudism at Elysium in

California, I’ve never felt any self-consciousness about my or others’

bare bodies. In fact, when my children were pre-teens, we’d go out to

a clothing-optional acreage near Seattle called the Longhouse.

My son and daughter wore swimsuits and clothes; I did

not, because of the freedom I felt without clothes. My kids just liked

watching videos for hours, swimming, and sleeping in late.

 

One time I went to a nudist camp with a man introduced to me by a mutual friend.

Never having met before, it was slightly awkward when we undressed outdoors,

but in my experience, there’s much less “meat market” feel among nudists than at bars.

If you haven’t luxuriated nude in a hot tub, floated nude in a pool, played volleyball

or danced in the altogether, you might not believe me.

I was at a nudist camp for the weekend with a lover once, and

I noticed I liked the feeling of “pulling something over on folks.” If

people anywhere else would go in or out of a tent unclothed, they’d

look around first and maybe sneak in or out. Here, no one had a clue

or even cared whether we’d just made love or were going for a nap.

The only expectation was that people felt at home in their bodies.

There were very fat women there, short men, people reading,

sunbathing, picnicking— just people with nothing to prove. Bare skin

makes us all in the same class—no name brands to label us rich or

second-hand clothes to categorize us with a different label. Manners

and communication might be giveaways, but people are taken at skin

value. This camaraderie of the topless and bottomless is probably not

that different from the connection fellow travelers make on a tour or a

cruise, on a hike or a bird-watching trip. Innocent fun!

 

I’m not suggesting there is no distinction between right and

wrong. But the Golden Rule seems to have that covered. Why make

any more rules! In fact, why not consider modifying rules, or at least

nibbling away at nuisance norms. I’ve never seen or experienced

abusive or even meddling or thoughtless behavior at nudist functions.

I feel okay about including this piece not only because I believe

bodies are meant to be enjoyed (and I enjoy the freedom-feeling of

being nude) but because I’d like readers who have reservations about

nudity to reconsider their perspective. I believe in a norm that says

“no judgment about behavior that causes no harm.” I simply hope for

a mutual honoring of activities adults choose freely that they find

enriching. May it be so!

 

A final 2 questions to leave you with.  What makes you feel free?

What will you do this week and month to feel that freedom?

Moreah Vestan is a Life Coach, author, and Communication Trainer.

Read her Your Tango articles “How to Be Happy with Yourself as

You Improve Your Life” and “Want More Freedom? Set Boundaries.”

Call her at 206-300-1657 to receive a complimentary coaching call on

any areas where you’d like more freedom and self-confidence.

AND ask by email for a pdf of her book, PleasuresandPonderings:

From Nun to Nudist to Now.  Or just email her with 1 question on something

that really matters to you.

About Moreah Vestan

Moreah has an M.A. in Adult Education, and has been a relationship columnist from 1992 to 2008 for Seattle’s Active Singles Life. She loves teaching workshops on Dealing With Difficult Conversations and speaking to groups about all kinds of interesting topics. You can contact her here.
View all posts by Moreah Vestan →

Author
Expert

Expert advice

Save your breath because you only need two words to make him commit.
Are you REALLY thinking about their happiness?
If you keep finding yourself in heartbreaking, dead end relationships, listen up.
It seems like you can't do anything right.
Contributor

Explore YourTango