Here Are Five Facts About Me:
- I won a date on The Dating Game.
- I filmed a U.S. president who is now dead.
- I was in an airplane prepared to invade a foreign country.
- I was in a famous Hollywood movie.
- I’ve been married four times.
Nudists Are Normal People…
Or Are They?
After ten years in the suburbs living with a crew cut, a wife, three kids and a dog, someone had to go.
“It’s not about you, it’s me,” my wife Pam said, in her big-city New York accent. She ushered me to the door, adding, “We’ll still be friends.”
That last part rang depressingly familiar. “Bill, I really like you … but as a friend.”
I soon started meeting women. After three strikeouts, my life became like some kind of a prize, something in a Cracker Jack box, that you never knew in advance what you were going to get.
BILL STRIKES OUT
I met Fran in grad school. We were both studying psychotherapy. Required reading included A Nudist Society, a book by noted sex researchers Drs. Hartman and Fithian.
Fran and I were teaching communication skills at churches and community centers. Skills I’d learned too late for my first marriage to Pam, but they came in handy for the next three.
Anyway, as a class project, we set out to test the supposedly renowned claim(s) of these specialized doctors insisting that “Nudists were normal people, comfortable with their bodies.”
My eyes did a double take at the sign nestled in among sprawling trees and lush foliage. Did that sign really say, “Elysium Institute, Bare with us?”
Yes! The perfect place to find subjects.
We signed in, drove through the gate, and waved to someone relaxing on a fence.
We passed a shirtless man in a golf cart, who raised his pipe in salute. He was also pantless.
Fran elbowed me. “Hope he doesn’t get whiplash playing golf.”
A naked man holding a tennis racket strutted across the grounds carrying himself as though he were dressed in a fine suit.
I wondered about whiplash.
A guide met us at the swimming pool.
Though fully clothed, his arms and face were burnished like fine Italian leather. Even his voice was tan.
It was the sort of place the entire family could enjoy, young and old alike. Swim, play tennis, volleyball, or just stretch out and bake all over.
Prohibited from mingling, I said to Fran, “Sweet talk this guy into letting us do a workshop. We’ll find out if these sun worshipers really are normal people, comfortable with their bodies.”
The room was packed with people, everyone eager to take part in what we had billed, An Adventure in Self-discovery. But we hadn’t thought this through—everyone was clothed! (who the hell’s going to drive someplace nude?) How do we get them to strip? Say, “Hey folks, just toss your clothes anywhere.”
Weak-kneed and cowardly, I looked at Fran. You got us into this. Figure it out!
She shot me daggers, then turned to the group with a big smile. “Okay, everybody, let’s get started.”
She whipped off her clothes.
Everyone burst into applause and stripped down like four-year-olds racing to be the fastest.
It had been years since I so much as removed my belt in front of strangers. But who wants to be made fun of?
The directions were simple. People would pair up and take turns talking about whatever they liked. The listener, without judging or advising, would feed back the feeling beneath their partner’s words.
Fran and I demonstrated.
Fran: An uneasy laugh. “I hadn’t planned on taking my clothes off.”
Bill: “You feel nervous.” I sure as hell do!
Fran: “That’s right.” She took a deep breath. “But it’s okay.”
Bill: “You’re eager to get started.” Because I’m not.
Everyone partnered up and had a rollicking time sharing their feelings. Fran and I wondered why. Were they nudists because they were generally open people, or were they generally open people who were nudists? Maybe at heart, they were just four-year-olds letting it all hang out.
Marsha Whitfield saysSeptember 25, 2017 at 9:58 am
Enjoyed this blog.
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:20 am
Thanks, Marsha. I enjoy that you enjoy.
Theresa Henry saysSeptember 25, 2017 at 11:22 am
Theresa Henry September25,2017, Very enlightening and helpful blog. Enjoyed communication examples for improving relationships. A Texas Fan.
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:28 am
That’s wonderful, Theresa. My communication skills weren’t so hot when married to wife number 1, but they improved greatly while married to wives 2, 3, and 4. Those stories coming soon.
Mary Roelke saysSeptember 25, 2017 at 11:34 am
Enjoyed reading your blog.
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:30 am
Another fan! Thanks, Mary. Yay!
Shirley Cochran saysSeptember 25, 2017 at 12:39 pm
As a mediator, I was taught empathic listening but thankfully, not in the nude!
Bill Brier saysSeptember 26, 2017 at 9:02 pm
Well, Shirley, if nudity isn’t your thing, see what you think of next weeks Sex For Science.
Dale Wilken saysSeptember 25, 2017 at 12:49 pm
I liked the story.
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:33 am
Thanks for dropping by, Dale. Hope to see more of you.
Annette Naish saysSeptember 25, 2017 at 1:05 pm
I make the dog wear a blindfold when I undress – cannot imagine becoming a nudist. Thanks for the blog.
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:35 am
Annette, you are my kind of person! If you ever write anything, I want to read it!
Rita Wray saysSeptember 25, 2017 at 4:41 pm
I liked the blog, thank you.
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:36 am
That’s kind of you to say, Rita. Thanks!
Debbie Rice saysSeptember 25, 2017 at 8:29 pm
Enjoyed reading this
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:38 am
Thank you, Debbie. Hearing that makes my toes tingle.
Beverlee Smith saysSeptember 26, 2017 at 12:04 am
That was a funny blog!
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:43 am
Bev-er-lee … are you identifying? If so, it’s okay, we’re all four-year-olds at heart. (-:
Angie Simmonds saysSeptember 26, 2017 at 7:57 am
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:51 am
Thanks, Angie. I’ll try to keep it up.
Ashley saysSeptember 26, 2017 at 10:26 am
Funny story! LOL
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:52 am
Ashley, you’re too kind.
Mel K. saysSeptember 30, 2017 at 1:34 pm
LMAO! Oh, Bill. I need to read one of your books.
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:57 am
With a name like Mel, I suggest reading The Devil Orders Takeout. My guess is, it’s you’re kind of story. You’ll laugh at Kamal. Please let me know if I’m right.
Debi O'Neille saysOctober 2, 2017 at 1:45 pm
Hah! Bill, you always make me laugh.
Bill Brier saysOctober 3, 2017 at 11:13 am
Why, Debi…that’s the first time you’ve ever told me that. Shucks!
Jo Martin saysOctober 4, 2017 at 10:26 am
Bill, who did you win the date with on The Dating Game?
Bill Brier saysOctober 10, 2017 at 11:44 am
Please stay tuned, Jo. I’ll have a link up soon that will answer your question.