Irish Naturist Blog

Naturist Blitz March 2016
Ireland

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Welcome to the Irish Naturist blog where you are invited to share your naturist experiences, from the first timers to the more seasoned naturists.

Click here for a retrospective view of our incredible experience of the NATURIST BLITZ in MARCH 2016, organised by Irish Naturist Association.

Here the video of the Naturist Blitz Program: Naturist Blitz March 2016

And here our best memories in pictures:

Best pics 1

Best pics 2

 

2018 – A year to remember!

Looking back, 2018 must be the most event filled year to date for the INA. It was a year with so many first-time activities!! We also increased the frequency of swims in both in Cahir and Ballinasloe and gained affiliation to the Clean Coasts Group.

Our first overseas outing was in February to the largest sauna complex on the planet, Therme Erding on the outskirts of Munich. 15 INA members made the day trip. A day where we were spoilt for choice due to the variety of saunas and steam rooms on offer.

On the 29th May 2018 in collaboration with Art Nude Ireland the Irish Naturist Association had organised a private viewing for the evening of the 29th May at The Inspire Gallery. The appeal of the event took the organisers by surprise: Over 100 people registered to attend a private nude viewing of the Art Nude Ireland exhibition The Body”.

A first-time event – the exhibition was so well received and so thoroughly enjoyed that both the INA and Art Nude Ireland.

Following on from this viewing, one of the participating photographers gave a presentation about Art Nude Ireland at our AGM.

The AGM was again held in the Lough Allen Hotel. A most enjoyable experience with so many members relaxing and socialising together. Leticia scheduled in a nude Spanish class tailored towards everyday vocabulary.

On the summer solstice we celebrated Spencer Tunick’s 10th anniversary with a small re-enactment early in the morning on the South Wall. And in July we had our first island excursion. Our destination was historic Dalkey Island, we departed in two groups from Bullock Harbour on a very favourable day weather wise.

Both Ballyfermot and Monaghan Leisure Centres grew in popularity as the year advanced with the facilities at both locations proving to be very appealing to members.

2018 was the year we had our first nude dining event. The first 18 to register were treated with a combination of Spanish/Venezuelan cuisine in the House of Salads. It was such an enjoyable experience that we returned again 2 months later.

September led to our first official INA ‘adventure’ in Cork city. This was the first time we would have three events in the one day – all in Co. Cork. The day started with two sessions of naked laughing yoga. A first for many of us but it certainly set the tone for what was to be a very satisfying day. Also, as part of the occasion we organised a collection for charity.

Straight afterwards it was on to the Crawford Gallery for the Naked Truth exhibition.Nearly 70 participants partook who had pre-registered through Eventbrite. Due to the large number we broke into two groups for the private tour. As the museum was closed to the public we could wander freely throughout the premises.

That evening we descended on Fermoy Leisure Centre. It was a first time visit and we were immediately taken with its very modern facilities. It was a great way to unwind after such a busy day and we immediately set about making plans for it to be a regular venue.

In October, our Event Coordinator attended INF world congress in Lisbon. Leticia was able to publicise our growing membership base and diverse event calendar.

Towards the end of the year we marketed Black Friday Promotion and Cyber Monday Special aimed at attracting new younger members.

Throughout the year there wasn’t a month went by without a beach clean-up or naturist hike. In fact, our last event was the winter solstice beach clean-up in Sallymount on the 20th December.

How often do you get the chance to be naked in an Art Gallery ?? by Katie Rowland

Seeing the Naked Truth nude tour advertised I thought ‘how often do you get the chance to be naked in an art gallery”. Arriving at the Crawford 20 minutes early I meet Leticia. I knew she was with the nude group as I saw her Irish Naturist Association hat on. I introduced myself and she made me feel welcome. Seeing my name on her list made me realise I was really doing this. Thinking I needed a rum and coke I went into Cashmans pub next to the Crawford Art Gallery. I got back to the gallery when all the textiles were leaving. (I got the lingo now). I must have walked with confidence as the door man gave me a nod and said ‘you must be with the group’. I felt proud nodding back saying that I was.

I have never got naked in public before never mind in an art gallery with a hundred other strangers. Everyone was chit chatting. We were brought up stairs to wait where I walked from painting to painting trying to figure out was there anyone else on their own. We were brought into a beautiful room which I think was the library. I sat on a seat. This man sat next to me and we started chatting , he was on his own too. Then another women sat next to him. I asked her was she on her own. She was, so the three of us kept each other company. I told them it was my first time doing something like this. A man spoke about a charity close to his heart which I think was a cancer charity called ‘bare to care’. When he finished talking I glanced around and saw some people were naked already. I took my shoes and socks off while still chatting to the man and women. The three of us agreed it was time to undress too. Trousers next, then knickers, then the long top and the last was the bra undone. I stood there naked and said, “well that’s it, it’s my first time”. Another man walked past and shook my hand for my bravery and said “well done”.

Leticia came into the room saying that the gallery staff hadn’t given the thumbs up yet to undress yet but that she will check. I thought to myself I was not getting dressed and then undressing again. Within a few seconds she came back to say it was ok. We were brought to the start of the Naked Truth exhibition. Here we got a group photo taken from behind.

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We were split into two groups as there were so many of us. The tour was given by a textile tour guide. He was working so couldn’t be naked. The tour was very interesting and I loved it. Every now and again I couldn’t believe where I was and that I was naked. I shouldn’t have lavished on the butter body cream that morning as the gallery was so warm the butter body cream decided to come back out under my boobs. I used the tissue I was holding to wipe under my boobs every now and again. I’m not slim. Some people had perfect figures, others too thin, some too big. A few in their 20’s, some in their 30’s and all ages after that. Many in their 70’s and 80’s. People with friends, on their own, couples, pregnant ladies. There were all sorts there.

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I loved all the naked bodies looking at naked bodied art work. I felt so liberated. A place that we gathered in earlier had a big window from the ceiling to the floor. Below I could see into Boots pharmacy and down onto Half Moon Street. I naturally thought the window was tinted as all the people in Boots and all the people on the street didn’t take any notice of us. Later as a few of us talked near this window. I could see the shop assistants of Boots looking up at us. I waved and they waved back. The window wasn’t tinted !!! More of us gathered to wave down at them ,as they gathered more of their work colleagues to see us. Every new work colleague they brought to see us made us laugh at their reactions. They was a lot of laughing and waving. For two hours I walked around naked in an art gallery , then it was time to get dressed.I would have loved to have stayed naked longer.

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Now , I love looking at my friends and familys’ reaction when I tell them what I did. Each saying the same thing. “Nothing on, not even your knickers”. I did some thing not many people can ever do. I’m so proud of myself. I’ll be looking forward to more meetings like this.

 

Dining au Naturel in Dublin

DINING  AU  NATUREL  IN  DUBLIN

Dublin has now joined the list of other major cities such as London, Paris, Sydney, Melbourne and Tokyo to embrace naked dining. Irish Naturists in association with The House of Salads restaurant in Portobello combined forces for this maiden experience.

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When this was first surfaced a year ago with talks of 45,000 people on the waiting list in London, talk did turn more locally and the question was raised: could such an idea work in Ireland?

After attending the INA supported premiere, I can confirm that the answer is a resounding  “Yes !”

For the inaugural event which was restricted to members of Irish Naturist Association, demand far outstripped capacity and the event was sold out 6 weeks in advance. So what was it like I hear you say ?

Considering the name of the restaurant, I was expecting a plateful of rabbit food for starters, followed by two platefuls of rabbit food for mains… Boy, did I get it wrong!!… The food was delicious!

On the fixed menu: starters consisted of Vegetarian Paella, Spanish Omelette and Mixed Salad with extra Virgin Olive Oil infused in pepper.

The mains were three different Arepas (a Venezuelan Corn Bun): one of cheese, one of chicken with the final one being pulled pork together with a Tegueño (cheese stick Venezuelan style).

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Being honest, if I had been offered these as choices on a more extensive European style menu, I would have been ending up choosing the soup for starters and the chicken or beef for mains; sometimes not having a choice is a good thing!! I broadened my culinary taste buds and can confirm that it was nutritious, healthy, tasty and filling.

To finish up for dessert we had Neapolitan Ice Cream and Golfeado (a Venezuelan type sticky bun glazed with non processed sugar and aniseed) Again it was just Yummy!!

You will have gathered from the above review that I am not a big foodie type of person but what I do know is when something tastes divine, when it is presented well, with excellent service in a venue with a wonderful ambiance, people will return time and time again.

To prove that this is the case their next dining experience is on September 21st but you best hurry before all those tickets are gone as well!!

Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention it: all the customers were dining au naturel, surprisingly that was the most uneventful aspect of the entire evening!

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My first time

In 1978 on my first holiday in Greece I paid a short visit to the island of Mykonos. Walking around the harbour I saw a notice: “Bathing costumes must be worn at all times. By order of the Mayor.” Was there some danger of freak waves that the Mayor was so anxious for us? Then I realised that what the Mayor must mean was that bathing costumes were the minimum required. From which it followed that people had been known to wear less. From which it followed that nudists actually existed in the contemporary world and not just in jokes about “nudist colonies”. If I had ventured to one of the beaches away from the town I would no doubt have encountered some, but of course I was ignorant of this.

A couple of years later in Karpathos I met an Irish couple who had been to a beach in Crete where people were apt to sunbathe naked. Every day there was a police raid. And before the strenuous walk down the beach the police of course needed to take a coffee at the beach bar.  So the proprietor could send someone down the beach with the message that the police were on their way. And the police could truthfully report to their superiors: “We inspect this beach every day and there is never anybody naked on it.”

I had never understood the need to cover up and liked the idea of nudity when it was warm enough, and had occasionally sunbathed naked in a place where I could be sure of not being observed. So I was interested, you might say. But I wasn’t sure that I would be able to take off my clothes in front of a crowd of people. Then in 1984 when I visited the island of Naxos I found that one of the trips advertised by boatmen from the town harbour was a trip to “Aghia Anna Nudist Beach”. Now what was this? Of course at this time there was no Internet, and such things were not mentioned in newspapers or guidebooks. And who could I ask without embarrassment? A Nudist Beach sounded a very organised affair. I had visions of some sort of invigilator greeting me when I got off the boat and demanding that I take off my clothes there and then. Would I be able to?

So I didn’t partake of the boatmen’s offered trip. But when I hired a car to see a bit more of the island, it appeared that one could go to Aghia Anna by road. So I drove there, parked the car, and walked on to the beach. There in front of me was a large notice : “Apoghorevete o Ghymnismos: Nudism is Prohibited.” How could this be? The boatmen could not be engaged in that much false advertising. Was I at the wrong place? No, down on the shore I could see the landing-stage which the boats obviously tied up to.

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So, for want of anything better to do I started to walk down the beach. And when I had walked a couple of hundred yards, I realised that everyone around me was naked. So this was all that a Nudist Beach was! Now, if I remained where I was, it seemed to me I would be feeling like a voyeur. It was either retreat or take my own clothes off. So I took them off. It was excruciatingly embarrassing for the first ten minutes. Then I realised that everybody else was in the same boat and nobody was looking at me anyway. And having enjoyed a naked swim I could never look back, and since then when holidaying alone the availability of a naturist beach has been a deciding factor, and more recently I have stayed in naturist accommodation twice.

Back in the 1980s references began to appear In Irish newspapers about Corballis and the south beach of Brittas Bay. Over a few years I made several trips to Corballis and after isolated naked sunbathing I eventually discovered the area where there were others, and then seeing the accumulation of cars at Sallymount discovered that beach too. So I could be a naturist in Ireland as well as abroad.

(From subsequent visits to Greece I realised that those notices are best interpreted as “No nudity in this Immediate area, but you’ll probably find a nudist beach nearby”. And on a later visit to Naxos I found that the back of Aghia Anna beach is now entirely covered by the usual array of hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops, and the naturists have moved round the headland at either end of the beach.)

Scared to Bare

 

Scared to Bare

It should be the most natural thing in the world. We came into this world bare. Clothes are thrust upon us by well-meaning parents and enthusiastic present-bearers, and from then on we are encouraged, actually make that forced to cover up.

Today we live in a society that appears to be at odds with itself. On one side, it is more sexualised than ever. You are one click away from a tsunami of pornography, but we are increasingly squeamish it seems, to let a child swim in the sea with no clothes on, in case the wrong person might catch a glimpse.

My story is probably very familiar. I carry around the feeling that I  would be happier if I could only wear fewer clothes from time to time. I am not an exhibitionist; I don’t get a kick from it. It just feels more natural.

But I felt isolated. Am I weird? Some would say yes, but maybe these people are not my people.

Outing yourself comes fraught with danger and prejudices. Which is why I am writing this now. I found someone through a work network site who told me that I am normal.

She told me that there are others who feel the way I do. And I am now contemplating my first outing. What am I scared about? Well, most of the things that I seem to have been programmed to be afraid of up until now. Will my body looks weird, what if my penis looks small? What if I am caught staring at breasts? Will I offend someone? Will I get in trouble? I know my heart will race, I know that it should feel normal. Isn’t it a shame that it isn’t?

Within the next week or so I am going to break my naturism duck. Pop my nudist cherry. Aside from some solitary walks on secluded beaches, I have never taken the plunge to be around others naked. To chat, walk, be free.

Watch this space.

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My naked triple decker

We all know the feeling of waiting ages for a bus and then all of a sudden three come along at once !! Well that is best way to describe a recent weekend in Cork.

Ten years earlier I had rocked up to the Customs House in Dublin at 2.30am along with 3,000 others for the Spencer Tunick Dublin photo shoot. It was a major leap into the unknown  , nervous energy was abound , tension palpable as the countdown to disrobing drew ever nearer. Like all things that scare you , once you take that leap of faith , you look back and wonder what all the fuss was about.

Fast forward and now I find myself registering for not just one public nude event but three and all on the same day !!

Saturday June16th 2018 , first up was #1000bodies photo shoot. This was a homage to the Spencer Tunick Cork shoot from 10 years previous. The 9am start was a lot more pleasant that its’ pre-dawn predecessor, the location was kept secret until the last minute. All that the participants knew was that it was walking distance from the City Centre. After a leisurely stroll , we arrived on site , got a debriefing on what to expect …. and then got debriefed !!

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Credit Photo : David Hegarty                                                       Credit Artist : Ciara Langan

The location was a public park out by the University , surrounded on three sides by a six foot hedge. The ever thoughtful organisers decided to ease the concerns of any of the first time models by erecting a makeshift clothesline along the open side. As the wind picked up and people eased into the photo shoot , we laughed aloud at the feeble efforts of the volunteers to protect our modesty. By this stage the hesitant shy and reserved amongst us had transformed into radiant bubbly self confident individuals and it is this which will be their lasting legacy of partaking in such an event !

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Credit Photo : David Hegarty                                                       Credit Artist : Ciara Langan

In total about 10 or 12 different poses were captured , the punters on the open top tourist buses got more than they bargained for !! We had performed the Mexican wave in a giant nude circle and our photographer got so consumed by the occasion that even he undressed on top of the scaffolding to capture us in all our glory ! By then two hours had elapsed and it was a wrap as they say in the biz !

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Credit Photo : David Hegarty                                                       Credit Artist : Ciara Langan

If the #1000bodies was the base of our naked sandwich , then the naked bike ride was most certainly the filling. Cork is unique in World Naked Bike Ride ( WNBR ) community in that the majority of the participants tend to be bodypainted. This was my first bike ride and WOW it did not disappoint.

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This view was shared by seasoned veterans such as a retired couple from the UK who were participating in their fifth WNBR this year – “It was amazing , most colourful we’ve done , and fantastic atmosphere “. Whilst the bike ride was due to start at 3pm , the bodypainting kicked off as soon as the photoshoot was over. The buzz and positivity emanating from the studio was electric , it was a mosh pit of cyclists , artists and volunteers ; all embracing life , love and happiness.

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Credit Artist : Ciara Langan

Throughout the two hour bike ride right in the heart of the city  (it took us twenty minutes to get down the main shopping thoroughfare )  ,we encountered nothing but overwhelming positivity and unbridled joy from the public. The abiding memory of the day , will be the beaming smiles on all those that we encountered.

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Credit Photo : David Hegarty

If we achieved nothing else but to temporarily improve a passers byes’ mental wellbeing or taught someone the lesson that LIFE is for living or that your body is beautiful exactly as it is or that it pays to push yourself out of your comfort zone , then just being a fleeting witness to the bike ride would be deemed a success .

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If you were fortunate enough to participate then you can multiply those benefits to infinity and beyond !

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Credit Photo : David Hegarty

If the Bike Ride was the filling , then finishing it off and meeting the Mayor on the steps of City Hall was the dressing on top. His diary was quite interesting that week as two days earlier his office had greeted Charles & Camilla to the city , quite an eclectic 48 hours !!

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Credit Photo : David Hegarty

We completed our naked sandwich by heading off to the clothing optional after party in a nearby beer garden. We enjoyed the outdoor BBQ , mingled seamlessly with the non-bike riders and the embraced the freedom of the day by drinking au natural well into the evening. For those who can’t comprehend the concept of non sexual social nudity , I only wish that you were present in that pub as there was no voyeuristic or exhibitionistic overtones as all integrated naturally.

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Credit Photo : Stephanie Power

So as I look back on that epic day what were the life lessons learnt  …..

Am I the same person at the end of the day as I was at the start ? The answer is a resounding NO.

Am I more confident and in a happier space at the end of the day ? The answer is a resounding YES.

Did we bring a smile to the faces of thousands of people ? The answer is a resounding YES.

Will I actively encourage others to do the same ? You’ve guessed it , the answer is a resounding YES.

North East Skinny Dip – England 2017

NESD 1I am very late writing this but last year, on the 22/23rd September 2017, I, along with 400+ people did the annual North East Skinny Dip at Druridge Bay, England.  Men and women of all ages and different shapes and sizes stripped off their clothes and ran into the freezing cold North Sea to raise money to the mental health charity, MIND and to celebrate the autumn equinox.

This was my second time taking part in the NESD, as I had done this dip in 2015.  When I did the first dip, it was my first time stripping off and running naked into the sea with hundreds of people that I didn’t know.  At the beginning of the event, I was so nervous about the occasion and if people would look at my body but once I got into the sea, it was fine and I found it exhilarating.  It was an experience that I would never forget and something that I would have to do again in the future and maybe considering doing naturism.

Fast forward 2 years later, I am back in the campsite at Druridge Bay on the Saturday evening wearing my Irish hat and necklace, being greeted by new and familiar faces and arrive to a massive, roaring fire and people playing guitars, singing along, having a drink or two and a dance and enjoying the warm up to the event.   I met numerous people from different parts of the country who arrived for the first time telling me how they heard about the event, why they wanted to do it, etc.  It was very interesting hearing some of the stories that they told and how they’ve overcome adversities in their life and want to have a new experience.  I felt very sympathetic hearing their stories and although they were very nervous as first timers, I was able to share my experience of the event and told them that “once you do it, you will be back here again.”

At 6.15am on Sunday morning, revellers started to gather in packs preparing to make their way to the beach to bare all.  We were welcomed by beating djembes, beach barbeques, photographers and fire dancers.  Whilst the time was ticking, I brought face-paint with me and decided to get the words “Póg mo Thóin Depression” on my back in the Irish colours with the help from a few volunteers.  Many people were asking what it means especially the organiser of the event, Jax Higginson and taking pictures of my back.

póg my..

Not long to go, I noticed a woman with her kit off posing for the cameras, I decided to join in and get my bare Irish bum and my Irish hat into the picture whilst looking into the glorious sunrise.

North East Skinny Dip

It comes to 7am and Jax, the organiser is getting us to do scissors jumps and warm up whilst others are already taking their clothes off.  Next thing…..3…..2…..1…..strip!   WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!   Hundreds of naked people men, women and kids are screaming, laughing and sprinting into the baltic North Sea.  While trying to hurdle the freezing, incoming waves, I started receiving high fives, hugs and kisses from people I had met the night before and when I did the dip two years ago.  I don’t remember how long I was in the water for but I can tell you that I was frozen to the core and could barely speak due to my teeth chattering.

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It was again a fantastic experience and never fails to disappoint.  It doesn’t matter how old, what shape or size you are, anyone can take part.  I’d highly recommend you to do the North East Skinny Dip for the invigorating experience and for a great cause.  Hopefully we get a few Irish people to come over as apparently there is a planned naked Mexican Wave taking place at this years dip.  You can’t miss it. 😉