My friend asked me to go with her to Breitenbush Hot Springs and since I had nothing better to do, I agreed to this plan. I’ve never been to this place, but I’ve always heard the name floating around, so it was on my bucket list of things to do anyway. I packed my swimsuits, towels and flip flop and was ready to roll. Little did I know that I was in for a surprise. As we rolled up to the property, and I asked my friend where I could change into my bathing suit, she looked at me surprised then bursted out in laughter. She then informed me that it was a nude hot springs and people don’t wear bathing suits or fig leaves around here. I was immediately drenched in cold sweat, my face turned bloody red and I was contemplating my escape route, but she was the driver and we were pretty far from my home, so I stayed.
Mind you, I have no problem being naked or hairy (down there) …in the comfort of my home, maybe even in front of my children, if I want to be adventurous, free spirited and wild. 🙂 But I have NEVER EVER in my 35 years been to a nudist beach or hippy dippy hot springs where people of every shape and sizes ( although unfortunately there wasn’t much of the color variety ) walk around in their birthing suits, hairy as God has intended them to be. Well, I thought, this is gonna get me out of my comfort zone immediately, so I proceeded on this wild journey, and did drop my clothes as we approached the first outdoor hot tub. The scenery was serene, gorgeous and calming, but on the inside I was shy, embarrassed, nervous, stressed, my heart was beating so fast it almost jumped into the pool before me. I might have even been sweating, but it is hard to tell in a hot tub. But I made it all the way into the tub and quickly folded and twisted my tiny body into a little pretzel, trying my best to disappear and become invisible, with not much luck. Then I started noticing all the inside chatter that was going on in my head: “I bet these people are watching me. I wonder if they notice my pancake boobs with the dark areolas and big nipples. No to mention that they are soggy like war-ridden, deflated socks. Or my pussy…oh, boy, better hide that. At this point I was actually happy that it wasn’t perfectly shaven, which would have caused me to die of embarrassment if I was caught in bed like that during intercourse, but here it was a shield of protection at least. But it is definitely not in porn star shape, by far. (Actually, not bad at all, but I am so hard on every little piece of my body, it’s not even funny anymore.) Or my belly button, boy, they will see that it is an outie. Or my posture, not straight and confident enough? But how could it be? I am trying to shrink over here, like Alice in wonderland.”
Oh, the thoughts. Then I didn’t even want to look at anyone else, I felt so weird, as if I was invading their privacy. But they dangled their privates in front of me freely, as they were exiting the sauna or the tub like this was the most natural form of existence.
In reality, it is. Underneath our clothes, we are all naked anyway. But our social and cultural conditioning got us thinking that covering up is the normal and most natural way of being. It is not the same with tribal people, but here in our “civilized” society, we believe that modesty is noble.
Once I overcame my initial shock of being naked -and so are other people around me as well- I started talking to my friend about hang-ups, inhibitions and where do all these things come from. My 4 yr old is already self conscious about her ARMPIT 🙂 because it has lines in it (facepalm) and that she has a side-boob if she wears a tight leotard. Where on earth does this come from, especially at this age??? So I asked my friend about the time when she first became conscious that something on her body was not “supposed to be” the way it was? Because before that thought enters your mind and we believe it, we have absolutely no problem with anything on our bodies. But once someone says something (because most of the time it is someone else pointing something out, and usually not in a nice way) and we believe it, we become aware of that body part, and we become ashamed of it. Like when I was about 13 yrs old and I was wearing my shorts at PE class, this nice “gentleboy” (cuz he wasn’t a fullbloom man just yet) next to me looked down and said: “Wow, what a mammoth legs you have. You should shave.” Never once occurred to me that my body wasn’t right the way it was, until it was pointed out to me. Just like I never realized that there could be a problem with your privates,too, until I heard guys making fun of “met curtains or beef sandwiches” or criticize someone else’s “pancake butt” or people talk about ” innies and outies”. Once you are aware of it, you create a complexion in your mind and you try to hide it or change it in order to appear “normal”. In worse cases you develop mental illnesses like anorexia, bulemia or body dysmorphic disorder.
Our prude culture sure doesn’t help this phenomena with us never being exposed to REAL naked human variety of body shapes and types. Even if we are, it’s either photo shopped, picture perfect female bodies in magazines sponsored by big beauty companies banking on our insecurities, or porn star girls with their many plastic surgeries like labioplasty, boob jobs or anal bleaching….yes, you heard me right! So how can a regular human being compete with this? When that’s your only exposure to other naked human bodies, and automatically you start comparing yourself with them, and you will fall short (cuz most of us do) then you are bound to feel less than them. But when you do hang out with these “hippies” in nudist beaches and hot springs, you do realize that there are human bodies in ALL shapes and sizes, and no matter if you are tall or short, fat or skinny, hairy or shaven, big or small boobs or penis, innie or outie, you are all perfect as you are. You have a body, that is your vehicle, takes you everywhere, let’s you experience the hot water, let’s you enjoy earthly pleasures, helps you feel so many things that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to….and they are all perfect as they are. Anything other than this is just what YOU THINK AND BELIEVE onto them, nothing else. In reality, a body is just a body….and what I decided to think and believe onto them, is what makes me suffer or enjoy it. If I believe my body is not OK as it is, I will suffer. If I accept it as it is, and I actually appreciate it, I might even enjoy this worldly experience I am having.
The choice is mine. And thankfully by the end of the day, I switched my mindset and I was confidently walking in and out of the tubs as if being naked was the most comfortable, natural state I could ever be…. because in reality: IT IS!