I try and be completely open about the lifestyle choice of wearing as little as possible. I think this is the way it should be, although I totally understand why some people may be hesitant or secretive about it. I've therefore fielded the question, "Why on earth would you want to...?" a good few times. I usually offer the questioner two options: a short answer and a long answer. The short answer is "Because it makes my life better!". That's it...and that's I believe all that should matter...for a given value of 'matter'.
The short answer is invariably not good enough for the inquisitive. So on to the long answer....
I wrote the notes below for a very long article on the heres, whys and wherefores that read too much like a diary entry for the purposes of a blog. So...under some broad headings...here's the long answer!
i.e. I was lazy! Sometimes I take the lengths of 'not doing work' to extremes. Not wanting to have to faff doing washing at a laundrette, I just didn't wear anything. Although a reason originally, convenience still applies despite me not being quite so lazy these days. It is less work not to bother with clothing quite so much. Less shopping, less washing and less time having to consider what to wear. All good in my book.
I'm twice as comfortable nude, especially when the environment is favourable, i.e. warm! I've never liked being restricted. This applies generally to all types of clothing but especially to 'waist bands' whether it be a belt, elastic, buttons etc. Being restricted around my waist is a horrible feeling. Obviously there are many occasions where I simply have to endure it but at home I have only two states of dress, either nude or in my onesie. The onesie is a brilliant idea: baggy and hence not restrictive, warm (I buy the fleece kind) and with no tied waist. Top banana! I know a lot of people worried about being fashion conscious turn their noses up at them but I simply don't give a damn. I note as of late 2013, onesie fans are beginning to venture outside wearing them. That makes me chuckle.
Relaxed and happy
These two go together but I really can't give a complete answer as to why being nude makes me happier. A sense of liberty? Being more 'in touch' with nature? A feeling of stripping away mundane, banal, everyday life? Probably a mixture of all of these. This is where aspiring naturists just need to try it for themselves. I do know however that when walking nude on Exmoor on my own with just the sounds of nature around me with none of the modern world distractions, I am in the most contented state that I have ever experienced.
It makes sense
I am very analytically, logically, and scientifically (geeky!) minded. I like making very objective, independent decisions. I'm not religious. In fact I have in the past described myself as 'Richard Dawkin's right-hand man'. Actually I would call myself a pantheist. God is a metaphor for the wonder and brilliance of the world and universe but I don't agree to any supernatural interpretation. Because of all this, I loathe convention. It makes no sense to me to mindlessly follow society's etiquettes to the letter. I respect the law, follow it and believe in democracy to decide on them, but I hate blindly following fashions and social expectations on how to live my life. Nudity makes sense to me, so I don't wear clothes when it suits. Swimming, sparring, sunbathing, walking in the countryside, and chatting with friends in the sunshine: all of these do not need clothing to be worn and are far nicer nude. Wearing clothes when the environment is suitable to wear none is simply the result of two thousand years of religious and egotistical dogma. I can't be doing with that. Common sense should win every time.
Not an original reason for sure, but the people who are happy to call themselves naturists are just brilliant, wonderful people. Happy, positive, open, sharing, welcoming, and above all they live largely by the same values that I do. That's something that has just blown me away over the last few years once I started to venture beyond my four small walls. I feel like I can strike up a conversation with anyone at a naturist event. In fact it appears everyone has the same view since everyone appears to talk to everyone else! The sense of community and inclusiveness has staggered me. I'm more confident as a result and have made a huge number of friends in a very short space of time. This was unimaginable even five years ago. Mainstream society has so much to learn from the attitudes of the naturist community in terms of communication, empathy and above all friendship.
Non-reasons...but reasons quoted commonly by other naturists...
It's not a reason I'm a naturist but it does make sense that vitamin D levels improve when the skin is exposed to sunshine. It also helps to regulate body temperature far better.
I find it quite amusing that a oft-quoted reason naturism is good is that teaches us to 'accept our body as it is'. Yet the same naturists still go 'all out' to achieve a dark all-over tan. Social convention runs very deep.
I wouldn't say this is a reason I'm a naturist. I've always been completely comfortable with my body at every age, so I didn't need to strip off my clothes to get to that point. I guess I feel lucky that my body has held up against what I've put it through over the years. My body is my 'survival machine' (to quote Dawkins). It in no way defines 'me'. It is simply the machine that carries 'me' around. This plus my attitudes towards convention meant that once I'd decided to socialise without clothes I found it relatively nerveless (except for a slightly surprising moment at Clover Spa on my first attempt).
There are undoubtedly other reasons. I'd be interested in hearing some. By the time i've finished the long answer the questioner is usually looking quite perplexed. There is only one other thing to add if they are still mouthing the word 'why'..."You're just going to have to try it...."