Ok, so what do naturists in the UK do during winter? I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently as we rapidly move into yet another depressingly cold, grey, wet and windy autumn. Having been blessed with such a rare but outstanding long, hot and humid summer this past year, thoughts of what to do during the next few months as the temperature plummets to get a small fix of naturism are now more prominent than ever.
What shall I or can I do? I live in the south west London and Surrey County borders and apparently, after some quick online research, actually have a reasonably local gym, sauna and pool complex which offers a weekly naked swim and gym club along with what they describe as, use of the other wet facilities. I’m assuming they mean the sauna and showers? I’m not really into serious swimming though and, to be honest, I only ever really swim when I’m on holiday and this is usually somewhere pleasantly hot like the Mediterranean in early summer. The local chlorine heavy indoor pool on a bleak mid-winter afternoon as the light begins to fade just doesn’t really appeal to me, even if I can be naked with other like-minded people. I might be coming across as a bit fussy but I’ve never really been much of a sauna fan either. I can’t really explain why, I love the heat and I like to sweat but I prefer the heat of the sun and sweating through exercise. A sauna to me just feels a little artificial. I know of many people who visit them regularly and swear by them, extolling the benefits and how invigorated they feel afterwards. It just makes me feel a little bit drained to be honest.
I suppose I could give the gym a try? I do a fair amount of cycling anyway and have done for years now so, the indoor static bikes are an option. I have to confess though that I’ve never actually cycled naked despite being a keen cyclist for over 30 years. It’s not a huge surprise though as it isn’t exactly an easily achievable naturist experience. I know that the annual naked bike rides have been established for a number of years now and are growing in popularity across the globe, also in locations that you wouldn’t imagine would be amenable to the concept. I really should give one of these a try sometime, I’d be more inclined to ride one of the overseas events, probably in southern or central Europe, I think some European countries cosmopolitan cities would be a bit more accepting of it than we are which I’m sure would make it much more fun. I’ll definitely add it to my ever expanding naturist to-do list. I am now going to have to add a solo naked bike ride to that list too now that I think it. A gentle off-road ride in one of the beautiful larger, less congested, southern European countries I think. Spain or Portugal perhaps?
I did try a fairly local male-only club night during the winter at an established venue a couple of times a few years ago which had a small pool and a couple of hot-tubs but, it had a bit of an odd, clicky atmosphere which made it all feel a bit unfriendly. It wasn’t quite the stereotypical male sauna experience which, is why I thought I’d give it a try but, it wasn’t far off and it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I probably should have persevered and gone a few more times, it may have improved and I might have felt more comfortable but, it has now closed unfortunately.
Naked yoga classes are something you see openly advertised now and they look to be growing in popularity, both for single-sex and mixed groups. Once again, thinking and writing has highlighted the things I haven’t tried rather than the things I have. Yoga is something I’ve never experienced and although I consider myself to be reasonably fit and quite health conscious it’s something I have no real knowledge of. It has been suggested to me by friends that it would improve the flexibility of my rather stiff cycling body but, does a complete beginner start with a naked class? After all, I am only looking for new naked and naturist activities. Where do you start though? There seems to be many different types of yoga with practitioners affiliated to different organisations, I have no idea but I’ll certainly do some research.
I guess the significant and fairly obvious problem with winter UK naturism is temperature. Any kind of indoor meet or club is going to require some serious heating which, in turn, equates to a serious heating bill. I assume it just isn’t financially viable for establishments to even consider it as an option which is a shame but totally understandable. During my many hours of pleasant daydreams while at my hated place of employment, I sometimes wonder if I could maybe start something or set something up. I’m not entrepreneurial or a risk-taker at all and wouldn’t have a clue how to go about it but, I may look at a few existing things to see if I could potentially organise something new at somewhere open-minded enough to consider it, but what? It’s got to at least be worth sending a few speculative emails to existing clubs and events and then to potential venues? If nothing, It would help wile away another grim UK winter.
I know I really should give the local swim and gym club a try at least once; it would be another new naked experience and another tick against something on my ever expanding naturist to-do list. I may even enjoy it more than I think I will and possibly meet some great people too. I guess I’m quite lucky to actually have something like this so close to me. My online research shows that winter naturist opportunities are few and far between.
I have to say though that for me, the nature in naturism is probably the key. It’s the outdoor experience where the real joy comes from, whether that is a garden, a beach, some beautiful woods or a peaceful lake. A sunbathe, a swim or a walk. The issue for us northern Europeans is always going to be the climate.