The Privilege of Privacy

After nearly four years, my brother-in-law has finally moved out. Praise be. Don’t get me wrong… I love the kid, but it was time for my partner’s brother to find his own place, spread his wings, and begin his adult life without his immediate family right there to support him. I’ve taught him everything I can: how to iron a pair of pants, why you don’t put antique serving platters in the dishwasher (may she rest in peace), and how to use seasonings when cooking chicken. He was twenty-five and it was time. I am twenty-nine and it was time for me, too. Time for me to be the best nudist I can be, that is.

Before my partner’s brother moved in with us, we had lived for about six years bumbling between a few apartments, but it was mostly just my partner and myself. Before my partner’s brother moved in with us, I admit, I did not fully appreciate the importance of privacy. Until I could no longer roam my own home completely naked at any hour of the day, until I had to dress before getting up to make breakfast on the weekends, until I had to start closing the door before taking a shower or using the toilet, I took my privacy for granted. As soon as he moved in, bless his heart, everything changed. No more naked nights in front of the TV. No more sleeping nude. No more breakfasts in the buff. And no moment to grieve, because it seemed silly to feel sad over losing my ability to just be nude. Because my partner’s brother moved in with us as much out of necessity for him as for us, it was hard to be upset with him for it. We had all fallen on hard times and joining forces was the best way to move forward and support each other. We all made sacrifices.

My partner’s brother did not know when he moved in that I was a nudist. I didn’t want to impose on him, make him feel uncomfortable, or imply that I wish he weren’t around all the time. He knows now, of course. I eventually got tired of waiting for him to move out and, just within this past year, I became a lot more open with him about nudism and activities I like to do nude. He didn’t care one bit, but he didn’t want to see me nude, either, which I respect. It was difficult. Even with the patchwork of nude time I was able to work in around his work and social schedule, getting naked at home was a chore. What I lacked was the privacy I needed, and it occurs to me now what a common experience this is for people my age.

I cannot count the amount of other young nudists I have met around my age who are constantly struggling to find a time and place to get naked. It sounds like this: “My roommate is out this weekend, so I might get in some nude time!” Or maybe something like this: “My roommates are always around so I just settle for wearing basketball shorts at home.” It’s a lot of us. Whether it means living in a college dormitory, renting a room in a house, living with parents, or sharing an apartment with a friend or family member, the millennial experience tends to include cohabitation. That comes with more issues that just arguing over chores and bills. We give up the freedom to live the life we want. We can’t come home and practice the drums all night long, we can’t leave our art supplies all over the house, and we can’t just be naked whenever we please. Millennial nudists are by and large repressed nudists. Having a space of one’s own is, in this day and age, a privilege. To be able to live alone or with just a romantic partner is almost a luxury for younger people and, while we pride ourselves on our ability to form micro-communities and share resources (you might have heard about the “sharing economy“), it’s not by choice but out of necessity that we live this way.

All this is to say that I fully appreciate my newfound freedom and am grateful to be in a  better financial situation now that allows me to live with just my partner and just… be. I appreciate my privacy from the outside world. The ability to enjoy my home the way that I want—let alone to just have a home at all—is truly priceless. I won’t take it for granted this time around and if you find yourself in a position where you enjoy the requisite privacy to live your life how you please, be it as a nudist, an artist, a musician, a writer, a gamer, or any combination thereof, I hope that you will not take it for granted, either.

And here I am. It’s a Tuesday night. I have a full belly, I’m completely naked, I’m working on my nudist blog while watching TV, and I’m dreaming of a glass of wine. And I am so grateful and fortunate for all of it.

So, cheers. Cheers to the first week in nearly four years that I can get undressed as soon as I come home and truly not worry about getting dressed again until it’s time for work the next morning. Cheers to the first weekend in nearly four years that I can roll out of bed and cook breakfast for my partner without first having to get decent. Cheers to my partner letting me just be me. Cheers to this moment.