A woman's point of view...
My first husband asked me for a date to Drakes Ridge 20 some years ago and I accepted because he was going to bring his kids, and I figured he wouldn't try anything on me with his kids along. We drove and we drove and we drove, and I got more and more nervous about where in the heck he was taking me way, way, way out in the country.We finally got here, got out of the car, I saw the kids take their clothes off, saw other kids running around, and I felt at home. And, I have felt at home ever since. It's a place of nature, of acceptance, of wonderful people, great conversations, good music, good food, good everything. Come on out and give it a try!
The first thing you notice about Drakes Ridge is the quiet beauty. Rain or shine, cloudy or sunny, nature embraces you. Then you notice the people without clothes!
Never having been to a nudist venue of any kind, I had thought about meeting the nude campers before I arrived. I determined that if I remembered normal courtesy and looked people directly in the eye when I talked to them I would be fine. I also remembered that my friend, who introduced me to Drakes Ridge, had said that everyone looks from an appropriate distance, so that helped me since it meant that I wasn't incredibly rude or weird in wanting to look.
Suddenly, there I was, face to face with nude people! I focused on their faces as I'd decided, while my friend introduced everyone.... and then I was conversing with the nude people; normally! Everyone I met was warm and welcoming which, with the surrounding, natural beauty, made feel me much more comfortable and relaxed.
In the ensuing months, no one embarrassed me because I found it physically more comfortable to wear shorts instead of nothing, and by the end of the summer I was completely involved with campground activities. Oh, and you know what? I think Drakes Ridge is a nudist campground, although I don't really remember a lot of nudists - just wonderful people who've become friends!
In the very early spring of 2003, my friend and his lady of the day, expressed to me their involvement in nudity, among other "activities". They told me of a place they go camping where nudity is practiced and where the guests are gracious, fun and extremely hospitable. Not being a "10" or anything even close to a "10", their invitation to accompany them on a weekend camping trip was met with a resounding "NO" followed by "until I look good IN my clothes, I'll not take them off".
Late spring produced another invitation and by that time, I had shed lots of pounds of unwanted weight, but still, I was not ready to take such a drastic step. Even though I had been a closet nudist for many years, going out in "public" without a stitch of clothing, was something far beyond my capabilities. My ego simply could not stand the ridicule I was sure would develop. They assured me that even though I was overweight and not exactly a youngster, I was attractive and no one would poke fun at me. As much as I wanted to believe them, I had experienced a life of criticism and negative comments, so in the back of my mind, I was saying "yeah sure...I know what you're saying, but how could they help but laugh at me?" No was the answer and No it was going to stay.
In mid July, on a warm and pleasant summer's evening, he and his lady came to share my hot tub. When they reminded me they were nudists, it didn't at all bother me to see them go into the tub, naked. Besides, it was dark and I had consumed 3 glasses of wine, so I was feeling pretty good. They invited me into the tub with them, naked of course. I hemmed, hawed, stuttered, stammered and finally said..."Oh...what the hell, why not?"
I was ever so careful not to touch a body part...not a foot, a hand or...but the inside emotion was of tremendous satisfaction. As the bubbles churned away at my body and the wine contributed to my over-all good feeling, they asked again, if I would join them at the resort.
Perhaps it was the heat from the water reacting with the wine and the good inner feeling of conquering my own sense of embarrassment, timidity, or insecurity, but I finally blurted out..."OK OK...I'll go". At that point I realized what I had said and tried to drown myself under the rolling bubbles, but when I ran out of air, I surfaced and started to laugh. I didn't believe I had done that...but, once I give my word on something, neither hell nor high water can stop me from keeping my word. I refused to accompany them, rather I decided I would drive to the resort on my own...just in case I found it distasteful. Then I would be able to leave and that would be the end of it.
The following Saturday, I drove alone in my car with my tent and camping paraphernalia in the cargo area. The entire trip, including a wrong turn, took about 4 hours. The entire time I kept asking myself if I truly knew what I was doing and what I was getting into. Each time I came up with a NO answer, but...I had given my word I would be there. All the demons from the back of my mind, were playing havoc with me. One minute my common sense was in control, the next minute my curiosity was in control. And so it went. Once I entered the gate and found the parking area, I could see my friend at the pool with other men, naked. Panic welled up inside me and I wanted to back out and run. How the hell was I ever going to do this? I had visited nudist sites on the web and read about the rules and courtesies, etc. but, how was I ever going to take my clothes off and walk among them?
Before I even knew it, I had walked into the office, and met with the owners, signed the guest book, paid my fees and asked where my site would be. They were totally naked; I was clothed, and already I was feeling out of place.
I drove to my site and began unloading. Without warning, several guests were there, ready to help me pitch the tent and get set up. They were naked, I was dressed and beginning to feel even more out of place. Everyone was so friendly and helpful, it never once occurred to me, my friend had alerted them that this would be my first time! Thanks guys...! That did not make things easier.
Once the tent was up, it was time to do it or die. I went into my tent and undressed. I was scared to death. What if they're all out there, just waiting to stare at me? Me and my big mouth!!! OK...take a deep breath, hold it...and go! I did, but ...nobody was there! Thank God, nobody was there! They had all returned to the pool area. I grabbed a towel and walked around the campsite a bit. It felt really, really good. OK, maybe I could walk down the road a bit and visit the pool. People were waving to me, I didn't know them, but they obviously knew me, sort of. Imagine me, walking down an unpaved road in the resort, totally naked and feeling good about it. At the pool, I was met by my friend. He introduced me to those present. Nobody was staring! The water in the pool cooled my overheated body and some of my senses began to return. I was enjoying the water and the sun on my naked body. The first time in my life, I didn't have to look around to see if anyone was looking!
I hadn't told anyone it was my birthday that weekend, but someone knew or found out and at the potluck dinner that Saturday night, and a cake was presented to me along with the singing of Happy Birthday. It was the first birthday in many, many years that I did not spend alone. They welcomed me with open arms and I embraced every one of them equally so. I returned to the resort 3 or 4 more times in 2003 and not at all during the summer of 2004 because of work schedules. But, in October of 2004, I bought a popup-camper, joined the resort, and I am looking forward to spending many enjoyable and happy days and nights with my new "family". Thank you to my friend and his lady for being persistent and understanding. And most of all, thank you to my friends at the resort. They are all very special people and I'm so fortunate to have them a part of my life.
Life is difficult for women. :) Although I love being a woman, I have always had challenges with the societal expectations of how a woman should be. We see all the TV and magazine ads with the skinny, nearly emaciated, woman on the front. TV does a great job of only providing air time for those who are blemish free with flawless exterior. I always wondered how those women feel on the inside and silently envied their external beauty. There are so many external forces that influence how a woman feels about herself and I have always found that to be a shame. I have always done my best to overcome that and be proud of the woman I am. The naturist lifestyle provided that sense of peace for me over 20 years ago. I was exposed, literally, to people of many shapes and sizes. I quickly forgot about my own exterior flaws and felt accepted and happy with them. I found a sense of comfort in my own individuality. There is no one like me. I am PERFECT exactly how I am. Socially, I evolved. I had this entire new world of friends and acquaintances. I had a new list of places to visit all over the U.S. where I could be free of the textile burden and social judgments. I was happy to be able to get to know people for their internal beauty, their interests, their love of nature and how they treat othe
In closing, some of my closest "soul" friends were met in the naturist lifestyle and my life has been enriched because of them. I love them and feel loved and appreciated in return. I proudly call DRRNR and a couple other naturist clubs "home".