?Blake, I propose that we have nudist weekends.?
I knew how awkward my request was. I had no idea how he?d respond, but we?d gone to a nudist beach together so it was worth a shot. And our living arrangement was a bit unique. We lived in a one bedroom apartment and, while Blake occupied the bedroom, I slept in the living room on a 6 ft tall loft bed (we lived like this to save money as housing in Austin is notoriously expensive, and it wasn?t so bad because we split the rent 45/55).
But I?m a nudist and while I?m in my space, I?d prefer to be naked. I learned through time that if one wants something one has to ask for it. That?s exactly what I did. He replied in this way.
?Umm? you wanna be ?naked? naked??
?Just for the weekends! You don?t have to be naked but I?d like to be able to be naked if I?m here relaxing and off of work.?
He was visibly conflicted. Did my reasoning reach him?
?Umm? ok I guess? we can have nudist weekends?.
Saturday morning arrived. I climbed out of bed already naked (of course I sleep in the buff). I dismissed the shorts I?d usually put on and just started my day. I went to the kitchen to wash some dishes that I?d left the previous night. There wasn?t a lot of them, and I must?ve been almost done with them when Blake emerged from his room.
He took one look at me and was taken aback at my bare naked form; he was so uncomfortable.
?Lubin I don?t think I can do this.?
Consent can change at any time, and knowing how uncomfortable it made him, I didn?t press him. Disappointedly I finished the dishes and dawned my favorite lounge shorts.
But I wasn?t ready to give up that easily. I was ready to get creative. I was ready to do whatever it took to attain the freedom of nudity (or some semblance of it that was as close to nudity as possible) in my own home regardless of who was around or not.
What can I wear to feel like I?m naked but be covered up enough to meet Blake?s sensibilities?
My linen chlamys (this is actually a chiton)
In college, I had started dipping my toes into fashion (learning how to sew, cutting up shorts and T-shirt?s to make them more individualized). But one type of style that always entranced me was Greek clothing. I love the way fabric drapes from the human bodies of the awe-inspiring statues.
I?ve looked up so many pictures of sculptures. So I decided to research their clothing and try to recreate something, and I found the simplest item to make. The Chlamys. It?s basically a sheet of wool that?s pinned on one shoulder, and it?s used as a cloak to cover the body during colder times. There were images of men wearing chlamyses with nothing underneath. I knew I?d found what I was looking for. I had already made one a couple of years ago so I pulled it out of my drawers and decided that that would be my new loungewear.
I?d started wearing my chlamys around the apartment while Blake was around. I?d always had a fashion style of intentionality, so Blake barely batted an eye at it (he?d also tried on one of my prototypes for me when he came to visit me while I was in college so it wasn?t his first time seeing one). I?d wear it while we cooked together, while we ate and watch Netflix, while we sat on the balcony and smoked a joint, all while enjoying the freedom from constrictive clothing.
As you can interpret, I?m fully uncovered in front
A change in Blake occurred after consistently seeing me wear this. He changed from only coming out of his room in boxers in the morning to get water to lounging around in his boxers regularly. I could see his comfort level with nudity was changing. And during times that we?d watch tv, I?d orient the pin on my chlamys to the front to allow the fabric to cover my shoulders when it got chilly, leaving the front of my body exposed.
I didn?t feel like this was uncomfortable for him. The fabric would block his view mostly, but it was apparent that I was naked, and we were just chilling so he didn?t mind.
It sort of shocked me to see him take off his boxers then. He just took them off and were naked in front of each other casually sitting on the couch watching tv. It was nothing, but it was also a big deal. I contacted Blake to reminisce on the situation, asking him why he got naked then and he replied ?Cause you were naked and I wanted to try it. Just generally open to trying stuff like that.?
For the rest of the duration that we lived together, we found a greater level of comfort from not having to worry about how clothed we were. I?d wear clothes whenever I wanted to or not, and he did the same. And while he?s not an exhibitionist eager to strip naked at the slightest chance like me, I?m thankful that he was open to my desire to reside in my own place clothing optionally.
But more than that, his respect for my desires extended beyond times when it was just us in the apartment.
I remember a time when his friends came over (they?re my friends too but he knew them longer). I was wearing my chlamys, and he?d told me they were coming over right as they arrived at the door. So I was sitting on the couch basically naked when they came in. We said our heys and whats ups, and they commented on my attire but they weren?t surprised (as I?m known for such eccentricities) and they proceeded to the balcony. I wanted to join them so I changed into some joggers to make myself more presentable. Blake came inside as I?d just finished putting them on, and he said something to me that touched me.
?Lubin you don?t have to change clothes.?
I knew I didn?t have to, but I actually didn?t know why I felt I should change to begin. His friends had already seen how I was dressed and were completely unaffected. It was my own insecurities, my ideas of what classified as ?presentable?, that made me decide to change. I was afraid they would think that I?m weird in a bad way. But here?s the thing. They already know I?m weird! Weird in the good way!
I really appreciate that Blake encouraged me and created a container for me to dress myself how I wanted to, and that our guests cared less about how dressed or undressed I was.
For a long time, it?s been hard for me to ask for what I wanted. But I?m glad that I took a chance with someone I trusted and was gifted with the freedom of nudity.