Bayview Post - - Currents - DR. JESS Jess O’Reilly is a sought-af­ter speaker, au­thor and sex­ol­o­gist (

na­tur­ism as a life phi­los­o­phy.

Down­town res­i­dents Miguel and Claudia ex­plain that they were shy at first but de­cided to visit a nud­ist park eight years ago out of cu­rios­ity.

“The peo­ple were reg­u­lar folks lead­ing nor­mal lives and with var­i­ous types of bod­ies,” ex­plains Miguel. “We found that be­ing in the nude placed us all on the same level and that be­ing naked in front of oth­ers made us feel very com­fort­able and proud of our bod­ies. We wor­ried less about the la­bels and clothes that ev­ery­one had on and paid more at­ten­tion to the peo­ple them­selves and the en­vi­ron­ment we were in.”

If you prefer to stay closer to home, consider con­nect­ing with na­tur­ist groups like the GTA Skin­ny­dip­pers, who ar­range nude swims at both in­door and out­door fa­cil­i­ties, or the Toronto Area Na­tur­ist Sports and Swims (TANS) group, which co­or­di­nates nude vol­ley­ball matches and more. The World Naked Bike Ride takes place in Toronto on June 9, start­ing at Coro­na­tion Park with so­cial­iz­ing and body paint­ing.

Mul­ti­ple pri­vate en­ter­prises like saunas, bath­houses and spas also al­low nu­dity, and though nu­dity is not in­her­ently sex­ual, sev­eral clubs com­bine cloth­ing-op­tional en­vi­ron­ments with erotic events and en­ter­tain­ment. The pool at Oa­sis Aqualounge, for ex­am­ple, is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m., and some peo­ple re­port that vis­it­ing af­ter dark can help to ease them into the ex­pe­ri­ence.

You can also ex­plore clothin­gop­tional spaces on your own by vis­it­ing Han­lan’s Point or the unof­fi­cial ar­eas of Beech­grove beach (East Point Park) and the west end of the beach in the Scar­bor­ough Bluffs. If you’re not com­fort­able strip­ping down at first, that’s OK. Just be sure to be re­spect­ful of those in the buff. Don’t stare, gawk, make com­ments or take photos.

Even spend­ing a few min­utes naked in the pri­vacy of your home is a good start to achiev­ing some of the goals of the na­tur­ist phi­los­o­phy: ac­cep­tance of self, re­spect for oth­ers and liv­ing a more nat­u­ral life.

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