A naturist of over 45 years has said that people believe he is in a ‘cult of raving sex freaks.’
Tony Graham, 65, from Alton, East Hampshire, turned to naturism aged 18 after going skinny dipping, and wanted to be naked to connect more with the natural world.
The father-of-one takes every opportunity to strip off when the weather is warm enough, claiming that it reduces his stress and improves his mental health.
Tony said naturism is misunderstood, with people mistaking then community for being a ‘cult of raving sex freaks.’
Tony Graham, 65, (pictured) turned to naturism when he was 18 after going skinny dipping. The father-of-one from Alton explained how people misunderstand naturists
The commercial content writer is married to a fellow naturist and chairs a naturist society in a bid to educate people on what it really means to be a ‘nudie’.
Tony said: ‘In one word, naturism is freedom. It’s a sensible escape from the pressures of daily life.
‘It’s just the feeling of being alone or with friends amongst the grass, hedges and trees – a state of contentment when you feel like you’re doing your body some good.
‘It just feels better to me to be naked – but people assume there is a sexual element.
Tony takes every opportunity he can to strip off when the weather is warm enough, claiming that it reduces his stress and improves his mental health
‘Some people think we’re a cult of raving sex freaks or some kind of secret society but we’re nothing like that.’
Others have called the group ‘perverts’ or ‘lunatic flashers,’ according to Tony, who insists they just enjoy sunbathing and swimming naked.
He explained: ‘We’re naturally peaceful and promote body positivity and no matter what you look like, you’ll be accepted.’
Tony discovered he enjoyed naturism while out swimming with a group of friends as a teen and realised that he could go faster without his Speedos on.
After that he recalled enjoying getting out of water and lying in the sand tanning.
He said: ‘There was no sexual thrill, I just felt it was a great place and better to be naked.’
However, Tony explains that people misunderstand naturists and have called them a ‘cult of sex raving lunatics’
The father-of-one explained that unlike what some people think, he isn’t naked all the time, only when it’s warm and sunny.
Tony explained: ‘The vast majority of naturists wear clothes inside, and normally outside too if its cold.
‘It’s not just the sun, it’s the warmth – a lot of naturists look forward to warm sunny weather to go somewhere and strip off.’
Tony said in summer, if the weather is fair, he’ll spend all his day lay naked in the garden, then do all his daily tasks, such as work, checking emails and paying bills in the evening.
The father-of-one explained that unlike what some people think, he isn’t naked all the time, only when it’s warm and sunny
For a number of years now he has engaged with naturist groups and is the chairman of Naturist Action Group.
The group is formed of advocates who share the same views and meet up together as friends, in person or virtually.
Tony said: ‘It’s a bit like being into tennis, or archery or golf or cooking clubs. You go out and meet new friends like lots of clothed people meet new friends too.
‘Going out and socialising is what naturists do, mainly naked – we meet at peoples homes or go to naturist clubs. And we have BBQ’s where everyone chips in.’
The group, Tony says, also peacefully lobbies for ‘a more tolerant attitude to non-sexual and non-invasive nudity.’
He said this is because nudists are often tarred with an unfair label with people mistaking them for a sex-driven group.
For a number of years now he has engaged with naturist groups and is the chairman of Naturist Action Group
Tony said: ‘If you speak to any genuine naturist worldwide, they’ll all tell you the same thing. It’s not about sex.
‘We’re not a cult of raving sex freaks, we’re just normal peaceful people who like to take their clothes off.
‘I do like having sex with my wife outside sometimes, but so do non-naturists.
‘As a group we promote body positivity and however people look, they will be accepted.’
Tony said that for him naturism is a sensible escape from the pressures of daily life and leads to a better state of mental wellbeing.
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