If you find this article inspiring then you may find that ANW is the prefect place for you. The internet has in general failed to allow people to fully appreciate and understand naturism, and is particularly unwelcoming to genuine naturist women. ANW wants to help change this and offers single women, couples and families a pester free environment to share and enjoy naturism, as well as men who have been the traditional advocates of naturism on the internet.

The ANW community as a whole is welcoming and respectful and individuals are protective of themselves, ANW and naturism.

Our commitment to naturism goes beyond ANW and while the public continues to misunderstand naturism we will continue to share articles like this one encourage new people to enjoy this wonderful life choice.



Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty kind of person?


I like to consider myself a glass half full with the potential of continuously filling to the point of overflowing with sweet ambrosia. Yet sometimes I have to admit that despite my better wishes I can feel the glass is not just half empty but also chipped, cracked and dirty and the drink inside it acrid and unpalatable.


Life throws us all curve balls on occasions and it could be argued that with out the downs the ups would not taste half so delicious. Sometimes as the song goes you just have to “Take a deep breath, Pick yourself up, Dust yourself off, Start all over again.” This can be simply to get through a rough day or it can involve a major re-evaluation of your life.


On My Thirtieth Birthday


I didn't just decide to dust myself off but entered into an intense spring clean. It was one of those epiphany moments. I looked at myself in sombre judgement and decided that I simply wasn't satisfied - with my life, my partner, my friends – and vowed things would change. I realised that it wasn't going to be an immediate change but from that moment I started a journey that I guess I am still taking.


It is all too easy to stick labels on yourself in life and allow these labels to define you. Put a coloured tab on your head and then file you away alphabetically. I am very wary about doing that. My past life has effected me and encouraged or even guided me at times to do things that I wish I had not but no doubt also to make decisions that I am proud of and ultimately become the person I am today. However, I am aware that although we may not be able to always help the ingredients that life places in front of us we do decide what we cook up with those ingredients.


A Recipe for Disaster


I do not wish to detail all the ingredients that I have found myself having to deal with in life. There is little purpose in that for this piece of writing. It is the message that is important. However, to create an understanding I found myself dealing with two separate family members who placed me into a situation of sexual abuse as a child starting at five and ending in my early teens. Part of this situation was known by other extended family members and ignored, most guilty was my paternal Grandmother, whose own attitude made me believe I just had to shut up and put up. My mother after years of fighting with my father and the two of them leaving me with different relatives for weekends, weeks and even months, eventually walked out one day when I was at school leaving an empty house and a note for me to find on my return. My father, a man you enjoyed fighting people simply for looking in his direction, permanently damaged his relationship with me at the age of twelve through his actions towards me. As a young child I was offered alcohol and cigarettes by my non-protective family members. My world became one of secrets and lies – the barrier that keep abusers safe and their victims lost in guilt, confusion and fear. How does one speak out about people who you are supposed to love and who are supposed to love you? How do you run the risk of destroying your family and having other family members hate you for speaking out? How do you dare talk about something that you are ashamed of and even perversely blame yourself for?


The trauma of my childhood resulted in running away from school and shouting for attention on table tops. The anguish of teens results in being distracted through lessons and being quietly withdrawn.


As My Body Moved Into Adulthood


My childhood pain remained a part of my character. I drank too much, I hung with the wrong crowd, I would get myself into situations that would result in me calling my father up in the middle of the night to save me. He would attempt to do so, but was unable to ever pay me back for the unspoken damage we both knew always lay festering just beneath the surface of our relationship. I spent time with people I didn't respect, simply because I didn't respect myself. I had learnt to hate the idea of sex and kept away from it as much as possible. Though that didn't stop men from flirting with me. I was always having to verbally or physically fight men off. One night a friends husband had to be physically removed from me by another friend who heard me calling for help while he attempted to rape me in his kitchen. You may consider that the odds of being abused by two men as a child and having trouble with men as an adult all seems rather too unlucky. However the simple truth is that most abuse starts because a person is in a vulnerable situation in the first place. Abuse often requires a time of grooming within what should be a safe environment carried out by someone who is in a situation of power and care in that persons life: often a family member, family friend or figure of respect. Once you are found to be a target by one man others pick that up, and my own difficulty in dealing with it continued to place me in vulnerable situations.


Despite the drinking, the anger and the pain I was always clean, always had a decent job and kept up the outward appearance of a well adjusted person. I had even re-established a relationship with my mother. Inwardly though I was screaming! On my thirtieth birthday I had had enough.


Within a Year


I had broken away from my circle of friends, ended a damaging relationship, changed jobs and was in the process of waiting to move into a new house (down payment and mortgage sorted). Then I met Steve. I had a plan not to date anyone for five years and he was four years too early, but when he gave me his number, his sweetness and goodness shone through. We wrote about our meeting in an earlier blog post: Taking A Chance.  Before I knew I was in love. The best and truest relationship of my whole life – including family and friends.


The journey I had started continued as our life together blossomed. I was not always easy, but as Steve says no one ever is. I stopped drinking – possibly the single most important choice I have ever taken for myself. Through the years I found that I could not continue my relationship with my father. The negativity did not just brush off on myself but also on my young family. Over the last year I have also had to deal with a second rejection from my mother. An alcoholic with a terrible choice of companions. I confronted her about her behaviour and how she was treating myself, Steve and her grandchildren and her drink and she gave me an ultimatum to either accept her treating us with contempt, lies and violence or walk away. So for all of us I chose to walk away. In retrospect after years of her lying to me, ignoring me and never allowing my thoughts and feelings to be something she was willing to talk about or consider, it was about time. Maybe this is the final stage of the journey I started at 30.


Why Am I Sharing This Story?


The world is full of campaigns for women. Looking for equality, looking for protection, looking for an end to abuse and a fight for justice. These are good and just issues and topics that need to be considered to help guide society into a better and fairer place.


Though there are downsides. There is I believe a tendency to make a trend of such pain. Me Too style claims, articles, news stories, autobiographies. “I am also a victim” – shout far to many people looking for sympathy and “This is how I survived” tell interviewees and celebrities looking for accolade. The trouble is that it is all so sensationalised and hyped. It becomes such a trend that you feel that celebrities who have not suffered must be searching their dim and distant pasts for a glimpse of pain to latch on to or simply making things up. Unfounded accusations destroy peoples careers and the sad truth is that this need for fake attention actually says more about how damaged some of these people are than maybe any amount of abuse may have created. What sort of mind makes up a story about a husband abusing a child just to hurt them in a divorce? If the lady who recently made claim that she is Madeleine McCann is in fact just someone who is craving attention then surely she is a deeply disturbed person. And if she is why is she announcing it via the internet? Why not quietly do it without gaining massive media attention?


In recent months I have heard of so many cases of young men and teenagers having wild and dangerous accusations thrown at them by angry, disappointed and rejected girlfriends. You do not just fall out with each other today. You slander them and place them in serious jeopardy. If a scorned woman can get attention for some made up abuse and get other people hating her ex and even wanted to attack him then she feels successfully vindicated. I fear the time when my sons start dating. Who needs to have the fear of that sort of retribution when the relationship ends.


The Scary Thing Is!


That among all of this strange behaviour and cruel attention seeking, are real victims. Not just the men who have false claims made about them, but genuine victims of crime. Lost in the wave of trendy labelling are the real men and women in pain. Too scared to come forward, too put off by the whole circus that has been created around such claims and too aware that they may in fact be seen to just be another attention seeker. The reason abusers get away with their crime is usually because their victim is encouraged to feel guilty and fear the repercussions of speaking out. The current attitude is exactly what will keep them quieter for longer.


Operation Yew Tree may have done wonders in bringing to our attention what was previously a crime that we didn't like to talk about but it also created a whole string of copycat claims, many of which were false and many of which are still considered true in the collective human mind.


The reality is that encouraging women to hate men and parents to fear strangers is seen as a trendy thing but it is actually really damaging. Yes there is real abuse out there and yes it is awful, and yes I speak from experience, but we have to get this into perspective. We have to stop seeing it as a trendy way of lashing out at others and stop seeing it as a cool way to get attention and treat genuine abuse seriously. We should punish anyone making false accusations, not just to make clear that innocent are seen as innocent but also to discourage other false claims in the future. This will stop belittling the actual victims of crime and maybe if they see a honest attempt to deal with this free from the theatre show it has become in the media then they actually may feel they can come forward.


Honesty Is The Best Policy


The fact is that I am sharing this story because I believe that if we live life honestly and naturally then we can not just be free of such false claims but also free of abuse itself.


Naturism has been a victim of fake claims and protests. Damaging the reputation of naturism as a family friendly pastime, putting off families becoming naturist and discouraging the supporters of naturism to promote it using the idea of families. We all know it is great for families and wonderful for children but saying it out loud is asking for trouble.


Anyone understanding the nature of child safeguarding understands that a naturist event, at for example a swimming pool natural, has a greater level of organisation to protect everyone than an everyday clothing event that is basically open to all with no pre-booking or monitoring.


Anyone understanding the nature of child abuse understands that the vast majority of cases involve a period of grooming from close family and friends in private locations. Not a naturist swim or other such occasion. No events or location is 100% safe, but taking children to a supermarket places them in at least the same jeopardy and when did protestors ever call parents perverts for doing that?


The Nature of Naturism


Beyond that though, naturism encourages openness and communication with our children and although they may be happy to play innocently naked for longer in their lives they do not fear the human body and become more aware of what is right or wrong behaviour connected to it. Remove the fears of talking about the body and the confusion and guilt from even having a body and you have a child who is much less easy to groom and much more comfortable about reporting strange behaviour.

Steve and I carry memories of our own childhoods. Steve wrote amazingly about dealing with his  own hatred of his body as a younger man: Learning to Accept Yourself and we have strong views about ensuring our children have the best, safest and most rewarding childhood they possibly can. To us bringing them up with naturism has been a vital part of that process. 


To be clear. If I had grown up a naturist I think the chance of me hiding my abuse from everyone would have been much less likely and in all likelihood the chance that members of my family would have felt secretive and furtive about the innocence of a female body would also have been much less likely. Nothing is guaranteed but you have to consider the facts. Naturism encourages a relaxed and healthy attitude towards nudity, something that general society does not normally understand. The view of society and my abusers was that my childish body was taboo and so was the bodies of my abusers. Simple nudity in most people's eyes is wrong before any other line is crossed.


Naturism is for Everyone


When we look at campaigns that partly strive for the safety and protection of girls and women then seeing those campaigns support the idea of naturism would make great sense. Naturism is a great leveller in so many ways. Naturism is all about equality just as these campaigns are.


Though are these campaigns for women's equality or protecting women from attack and abuse not missing a vital aspect of humanity? Equality means that we should all be given a fair chance. Men and boys can be victims of abuse, women and girls can be the perpetrators. There may be an imbalance across the world but we should stop the “them and us” attitude. There is great injustice and terrible crimes committed around the globe towards both sexes. Anyway with gender recognition becoming a more and more talked about subject, isn't it time that we just tried to just find a fair world for everyone. Regardless of gender, colour, age, sexual orientation, physical ability, race, religion etc.


Once again naturism is a great leveller in this respect. Your sexual identity should not matter in naturism. Naturism is non-sexual in nature and gender really does not matter.




Somewhere along my journey I ceased to be a victim and became a survivor and that is something we should concentrate on. We cannot measure our pain. Is my abuse worse than his or hers? How can we ever judge pain threshold? We have no idea unless we are somehow able to fit into other peoples minds. I gave birth without pain killers am I tough, am I lucky, am I more stubborn, is my pain threshold greater or did I actually feel less pain than others who give birth? These are surely unanswerable questions.


Part of becoming a survivor is coming to terms with what has happened to you and finding some acceptance and peace. You may always hurt but you can move on.




To me part of the transition was to learn to trust and have faith in people. It may be trendy for social media to encourage mistrust and hate but it isn't healthy.


When Steve told me about how naturism had helped him come to terms with his own and different issues he suggested that it may help me too. It did. When you grow up with no innocence in nudity and a fear and hatred of your own body it is hard to imagine finding a peace and comfort in your own skin. When you grow up mistrusting men because the men who were supposed to protect you and nurture you let you down and hurt you it is hard to imagine ever feeling completely unthreatened by the opposite sex.


Through naturism I learnt that you can place yourself in what would be seen by many as a vulnerable situation and yet be totally safe. That I can be innocently naked as a grown woman among male and female strangers and feel natural and comfortable. I am not just not self-conscious about my own body and nudity but not concerned and threatened by the nudity of others. There have even been many times where I have drifted off to sleep, alone on a beach, naked and surrounded by strangers and yet I am just as relaxed as I would be in my own bed with the door locked.



We All Get Something From Naturism


We don't have to to be facing a pain or trauma to be rewarded. It brings everyone to a better place. It teaches us about ourselves.


Naturism makes a survivor of all of us because it connects us to our real human qualities and unites us a race. When we are naked we are representatives of our ancestors and examples that we are in fact still surviving with out the need of walls and armour. We are at peace and, as the name suggests, at one with our own nature.


Naturism Is A Very Full Glass in Deed.

ANW is passionate about helping the whole of society to better appreciate the incredibly inspiring and instinctively natural lifestyle that we know as naturism. We look forward to you joining ANW and helping us promote the positives of simply being without clothes.

ANW welcomes all who are respectful and interested in naturism and invite all genuine naturist organisations, clubs, events, venues and other opportunities to be part of the ANW community and work with us to encourage the growth and acceptance of naturism around the world. If you have any questions email Anna and Steve at [email protected]

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