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Are You Shy When Naked?

Mark Tyrrell
Article by Mark Tyrrell
Therapist trainer of 25 years
Co-founder of Hypnosis Downloads

5 revealing ways to relax with your own nudity

"It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not."

Being naked, without clothes, bare-butt nude; what does that mean to you?

Okay, more specifically, what does you being naked mean to you? Whoops; let's consider context. I'm guessing that the thought of you being naked alone in the bathtub has a different feel than the thought of you walking down a busy, crowded street totally bare... frankly, I'm hoping.

I'm not suggesting (as some people have) that all nudity in all contexts is 'healthy'. As with many over-applied ideas, it doesn't always stand up to scrutiny (so to speak... ahem).

But our bodies are, needless to say, an important part of who we are. It's not that we have to shove nudity in people's faces (unless we're lap dancers) to show how wonderfully un-uptight we are. However, life becomes a little easier and more enjoyable when we can relax about nakedness when it does happen.

For some people, though, appearing naked at any time feels like a problem.

People can become chronically embarrassed and shy about being seen naked, even by their lovers or spouses. I say 'become' because, of course, once upon a time you were completely unaware of even the idea of nudity. No newly born babes are shy when naked.

So what makes some people relaxed with their bodies whilst others run blushing to the nearest light switch?

Where does body shyness come from?

Okay, other than Biblical references to Adam and Eve's sudden self-consciousness at their nudity (and subsequent fall from grace), why might you have become shy about nudity? As I said, you weren't born that way. You must have learned to be shy without clothes.

Well, firstly, some awareness around our own nudity is a good thing. We of course need to be aware that nudity isn't always called for.

Causes for shyness around nakedness include:

  • Exclusively viewing nudity in the context of sex and being embarrassed about that.
  • Having grown up in a household or culture in which nudity was shameful and discouraged.
  • Having lack of confidence in the appearance of your own body.
  • Having had your body ridiculed or having been ridiculed for being naked in the past.
  • Feeling that your body falls pitifully short of air-brushed media bodies and therefore should never be displayed.

If you want to become more comfortable with being unclothed, follow these tips:

1) Vividly recall not being shy when naked

I have a clear recollection of stripping off and running naked in the park on a hot summer's day (and no, that wasn't last summer!). I must have been two or three years old, but I can still recall the sheer freedom of the experience. I didn't think in terms of 'nakedness' or even about how I might appear.

I'm not suggesting that's a totally good thing in an adult (if we want to avoid arrest), but sometimes it helps us to think about times of wonderful spontaneity to feel a little more relaxed now. If you can remember a time in which you were naked and felt fine about that, then close your eyes and take five minutes to vividly recall those feelings of freedom.

2) Remember what's genuinely sexy

Remember that confidence is sexier than anything. I know I said that nakedness isn't always about sex - and it shouldn't be; nor should it be about being too self-conscious. But it is just worth bearing in mind that being relaxed with who you are can be more of a turn-on than any amount of symmetrically firm 'perfection'.

3) A little at a time gets you there

One woman who had never appeared naked in front of her husband wanted to be able to relax more in her own skin. I suggested she appear naked for a second (whilst she walked to switch off the light), then two seconds the next week. After a few weeks, she could walk around for minutes at a time and sometimes even forgot entirely that she was naked. A big jump can feel daunting, but many little hops can get you there.

4) Spend more time naked

This sounds obvious, but the more time you spend naked, the more natural it starts to feel. When you're on your own (and the temperature is well above freezing), do stuff in the nude.

Taking an hour to do the housework naked means that you become accustomed to being as nature intended and of course it starts to feel natural very quickly. If you can feel relaxed and natural on your own, it's going to feel easier to be naked in front of another person.

5) Use self-hypnosis to relax with your nudity

When you strongly imagine being a certain way, you are more likely to actually be that way in the future. For example, people who imagine feeling nervous before an event are making it more likely that they will feel those nerves when the situation occurs for real. This is a kind of natural but unhelpful self-hypnosis.

Take time to close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly. Imagine disrobing (in front of whomever you'd like) and notice how it feels to be relaxed and comfortable about that.

You came into this world naked before you'd learned a lot of false ideas about comparing yourself to others. Going naked sometimes and forgetting to even think about it is, in a way, a road to finding a wonderful and real sense of innocence.

Our 'Shy When Naked' download can help with this.

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Published by Mark Tyrrell - in Sexual Problems