“There are several reasons why some people are drawn to a nude vacation,” says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a neuropsychologist based in New York City. “Some people have routine lives. They wake up, go to work, work, return home, and have this secure outward persona. They also have another side to themselves that wants to be self-expressed and free. A nude vacation experience for some satisfies that.”
She likens this kind of vacation to the thrill some people feel when camping, scaling a mountain or finishing a marathon.
Dr. Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine, agrees, speaking more to the “sexualized” energy of a resort like Hedonism or Florida’s Cypress Cove Nudist Resort.
“Many, many people have at least unconsciously some sexual inhibitions, and they may long to feel less conflicted and more uninhibited,” she says. “Having an entity — like a resort — that other people endorse and subscribe to and gives permission to be extremely uninhibited (and in fact, for our society, unusually permissive), helps these people to feel excited and free in a way they normally cannot.”
In these environments, permission is being given to view other bodies and to exhibit your own body, both of which can be arousing, sexually exciting, and confidence-building, as it satisfies normal human voyeuristic and exhibitionistic desires, she explains. There’s also an emotional nakedness that comes with actually stripping away clothes.
If a man is in a suit and tie you’ll think he’s a corporate guy, stiff and buttoned up. Take that same guy fully naked and he’s just a human.
“Our clothing tells people who we are. They can make assumptions about what we do for a living, where we may live, just by observing what we are wearing,” says Dr. Hafeez. “If a man is in a suit and tie you’ll think he’s a corporate guy, stiff and buttoned up. Take that same guy fully naked and he’s just a human. Put him in a nudist vacation with others who are nude, and he’ll feel confident and able to just be himself without the armor of clothing. When you can walk around naked in all of your truth there’s power in that for people.”
The bottom line is that when you’re free to explore — without judgement and within the confines of a safe, organized environment with other like-minded people — it can be very freeing and self-actualizing experience.
4 Ways to Strip Inhibitions Without Undressing
Not quite ready to strip down and hit up the nude beach? There are still plenty of other ways you can release those inhibitions and harness a similar sense of freedom. Here are four places to start.
- Discuss fantasies. Permission-giving can be attained in other ways besides getting naked. Dr. Saltz says, “Discussing fantasies with a partner, discussing sexual ideas, having sexual play and being affirming about each of these also gives each other permission to be more sexual in a guilt-free, less inhibited way.”
- Hit the Dance Club. Dr. Hafeez says that dancing is a great way to connect to your body and, if a partner is there, a way to connect to theirs, as well.
- Get Acquainted with Nature. “Hiking and connecting with nature, taking in beautiful scenery, and going for a swim in a natural body of water like a river, lake or beach can be very freeing,” says Dr. Hafeez.
- Take an Adventurous Vacation. Step outside of your travel safety net and plan a trip that’s completely unlike anything you’ve done before. Maybe it’s a week spent camping in the Amazon jungle, a long weekend exploring the canyons of the great Southwest, or going skiing instead of snorkeling — just this once.