Updated: Feb 12
As the creator and founder of Naked Earthlings, I am here to tell you what inspired me to begin naturism and what led me to start the Naked Earthlings community.
You will learn about everything, from the beginning, to where I am now. Be prepared to dive deep Into my personal life and what obstacles I faced during this adventure to naturism.
"Naturism to me is more about connecting to nature on a spiritual level rather than just being naked."
Where do I begin? I guess it truly began in my early teens when I discovered that sleeping naked felt a lot better, more comfortable and allowed me to sleep solidly through the night. I think that is where it all started for me.
Sleeping naked wasn't a big deal as I thought nothing much of it, but as I kept doing it for years to come, the sense of me being naked felt more and more normal and freeing. This sparked a flame that eventually would never go out.
Fast forward a few more years, still sleeping naked but now I would occasionally wander around the house fully nude when my family wasn't home. At this point, I wouldn't say I was fully confident in myself or my body, I just felt being naked was more convenient at the time, if that makes sense? It made me feel natural and just comforted me.
When I arrived at college, it got to be a bit more difficult to be naked unless I was sleeping. In a sense I kinda backtracked to the days of only sleeping naked. I lived with four of my friends all throughout college, so like I said, it wasn't the easiest to be naked around the house and I definitely didn't have the courage or confidence to talk to them about it. Here I am, only sleeping naked again and the urge to be naked more was eating me alive and I had to find a way to relieve the itch.
In 2012, I graduated college with a BFA in Graphic Design and Multimedia Arts. Few years went by working in the graphic industry for corporate America and I hated it! Living a life where you work 9-5, sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen five days a week destroyed me. So I quit....
Lets go back in time for a second....I found my love for photography back in high school when I got my first legit camera, a Canon Rebel T2i I believe. Photography was a cool little hobby for me, I would go out and shoot literally everything. Fast forward to me quitting my corporate job, I decided my love for photography was stronger than I thought and I wanted to make it a full time thing.
This is now where my love for photography AND nudity came into play. Usually when going into photography full time, most photographers do portraits, whether it's family, headshots, engagement, weddings....so I thought "yea ok, how hard can taking a photo of someone be?" At first I was just taking photos of families for personal reasons or Christmas cards, etc. That faded real quick and I moved onto more lifestyle, model portraits. Did that for a bit and it wasn't until I stumbled across model Lois (pictured below) who was local and did some nude modeling. Let's just say I was nervous as all hell when she was open to do a nude shoot with me. THIS WAS MY FIRST TIME SEEING A WOMAN NAKED THAT WASN'T MY SIGNIFICANT OTHER. I was freaking out, almost cancelled on her but I am beyond grateful I didn't and beyond grateful for the opportunity.
It's shoot day! The butterflies are frantically flying around in my stomach on the drive to the location. Twenty minutes later and I am arriving at the location and I meet up with Lois. She was absolutely beautiful inside and out and the nerves began to settle because her personality and calmness just made the situation at ease. We chatted a bit, got to know each other a little before heading to go shoot.
Arriving at the spot where we thought would be secluded enough, Lois starts removing her clothes and once again the nerves start to take over, sweat in my palms, trying to be respectful and not look. Once she's fully naked, I turn around to see the beauty of her body, natural with fair skin. Stunning I said to myself. I then asked her how she was able to just strip in front of a total stranger without any hesitation. Her words "it's just a body." Those words are forever engraved in my brain.
Long story short, Lois was the one that encouraged me to see nudity as more of an art than something sexual. She inspired me to look into nudity more which landed me to find the naturism lifestyle. People around the world who actually get naked with strangers like it's nothing! This was gonna be a crazy adventure but I am totally ready to do more research about it.
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What a crazy story huh? Those four simple words changed my life forever. To this day, Lois and I shoot religiously and we have built a very strong relationship and have become great friends.
Now after doing a ton of research on naturism, I decided it was time to get outside and enjoy nature the right way. I wasn't still fully committed to the social aspect of it as I was still a bit hesitant and lacked the confidence I needed to push myself.
I was, on the other hand, fully committed to being naked alone in nature. If you haven't been naked in nature by yourself, it's an unbelievable experience. The pure joy and freedom you get doesn't compare to anything else. All the stress, worries and anxiety completely drain from your body. I wanted more and more of that feeling, so as much as I could, I would venture out into the woods and just get naked for like an hour or so.
I thought to myself, this is naturism right? I can consider myself s naturist? I know some people have different meanings for the word, but to me naturism was about being in nature in your natural state connecting with Mother Earth on a spiritual level.
It took me some time to publicly come out as a naturist to others. My family still to this day does not know and I don't think they ever will, because they definitely wouldn't understand. All the models I've shot know, my one female cousin knows and she totally supports it and would most likely join me in the future at some point and all you people on social media know.
The Rise of Naked Earthlings
Instead of making my personal presence known in the naturism community, I thought It would be better for me to promote others enjoying the lifestyle, to maybe help encourage others to take the plunge.
That is when I created Naked Earthlings! A community bringing together like-minded people from around the world to showcase the beauty of naturism. Instagram was where the community was built and boy did it grow fast, the amount of naturists on the platform was crazy to me! Fifteen thousand people followed along before Instagram deleted the community. I was devastated and heart broken. I decided to restart and build another community but this one didn't last as long, being deleted at only six thousand. Third times a charm right?? Nope, deleted for the third time at only five hundred something followers.
The Naked Earthlings community was dead and all that hard work building the community from the ground up just vanished with the click of a button. Grieving the loss of such a loved community, I tried to figure out other options to bring it back that didn't involve Instagram. I was suggested to try Twitter out considering they are cool with nudity.
The Naked Earthlings community on Twitter was born. I began featuring naturists and doing the same thing I did on Instagram, only without having to worry about censorship and deletion. Did that for quite some time but felt like it wasn't really enough or that I was just some weirdo posting naked pictures, hiding behind the account. That was when I decided to turn the community into a personal page for my own naturist journey.
It's safe to say Naked Earthlings was totally dead at this point. I was surprisingly ok with it. I thought this was the better route and people could see who I was and what I was bringing to the naturism table. My personal journey didn't consist of much since I only enjoyed the lifestyle by myself and still didn't venture out into the social aspect of it. To this day, I have yet to enjoy it socially.
Fast forward a few a months and I'm beginning to miss the Naked Earthlings community that I built a lot! I put a lot of thought into how I could incorporate it into this personal account. I hinted going to back Instagram but knew that was stupid. The only thing that made sense and that would allow the freedom of posting freely while teaching people about the lifestyle was to start a blog. This wasn't going to be your typical blog about all MY experiences, no this was a blog for everyone to have a turn at writing their stories. I built the community to be inclusive and for all to be a part of it. I want others to have the chance to share what they want to a broader audience, giving them the courage to inspire and teach people that still may be on the fence about joining naturism.
So yea, that's where we are today and I hope in the new year, myself and the community can raise awareness on the subject to bring it to light in the mainstream. I also hope to gain the courage to enter the social aspect of it this year as well!
"Stay humble, stay confident, stay naked."