Thursday, January 3, 2013

Nudecentric Briefs: Naked Plunge!

The only reason for a naturist/nudist to own a pair of briefs is to take them off! 
Naturists/nudists are a creative, imaginative and innovative group of folks. Dedicated to enjoying as much of life as possible clothes-free, there's always a new adventure to explore while naked. In the Northern Hemisphere, this includes welcoming the new year by plunging bare-ass into icy bodies of water. For many, this event is only natural (no pun intended) as we spend many hours aqua-nude during the summer months. Why limit our fun to those few short months? Let's all get naked in those lakes and rivers, summer as well as winter!
There is a ritual among die-hard nudists for swimming nude on New Year's Day as a means to symbolically celebrate a new, nude beginning. This is especially true in Canada and European countries close to the Arctic Circle. These naked dips into bodies of water are referred to in some places as "polar bear plunges" and in others as "ice swimming." In North America, most of these events are in swimsuits but bare-it-all plunges are becoming increasingly popular and attracting large crowds of spectators. In Europe, most all are for naturists/nudists.  
In Canada, the overwhelming majority of these polar bear plunges or dips are held on New Year's Day. They aren't a recent phenomenon, either. Vancouver, British Columbia's Polar Bear Swim Club has been active since 1920 and usually has more than 1,500 participants and takes place in English Bay. Estimates of the number of observers regularly exceeds 10,000. Other events occur throughout the Dominion in all major cities and many smaller communities. In Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, the "Freezin' for a Reason" plunge is held in March after the spring thaw.  

In the United States, polar bear plunges or ice swimming aren't necessarily held to welcome in the new year nor are they exclusive for nudists. One of the oldest annual aquatic freeze-athon in this country takes place in Boston, Massachusetts, and began in 1904. Most are associated with fundraising for charitable organizations. One of the largest events is held at Sandy Point State Park in Maryland. Sponsored by the Maryland State Police, "Plungapalooza" supports Special Olympics and recently collected almost $2.2 million USD with more than 8,500 participants.

In Northern Europe and throughout Russia, ice-swimming is often performed as part of the sauna tradition and is exclusively nude. Finland has the highest per capita participation with an ice-swimming season that commences in October every year and continues through mid-March. In Russia, where ice-swimmers are referred to as walruses and not polar bears, swimming naked in winter is done for health reasons, sports training and for religious (Russian Orthodox) purposes, especially surrounding the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord.

In Central Europe (Germany, Netherlands, northern France, etc.), winter swims or plunges don't always involve ice or arctic creatures (polar bears or walruses). More likely, the activity consists of plunging nude into a body of water at or just above freezing temperatures. These swims often occur in places where public nudity isn't specifically allowed by law or custom. Just as skinny-dipping is tolerated in summer, the same level of acceptance is extended in the winter chill.

China boasts a national registry of naturists winter swimmers that numbers more than a quarter of a million members. This tradition began in that country after the communists gained control of the mainland in the late 1940s. Most Chinese use this as a part of their health regimen and clubs organized for this purpose are gaining in popularity.

No matter the reason people engage in this winter practice, most agree that it involves a certain level of courage and daring to figuratively "take the plunge." I've never participated in an outdoor swim on New Year's Day, preferring instead to satisfy my nude aquatic urges in a heated indoor pool. However, should I decide to welcome a new year swimming naked, I think I'll start with a trip to a place in the Southern Hemisphere or at the very least, closer to the Equator.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!


aguywithoutboxers said...

Cool! LOL! I think I'll stay inside where it's warm and enjoy the hot-tub.


We have a group in Sydney called "The Bondi Icebergs"! They swim all Winter and add ice to the water in the pool in the Summer. Of course our Sydney Winters are nothing like your Winters in the northern hemisphere!

The Black Centaur said...

My PC is frozen!!!

Stan said...

this is the way to do it. Not like those pussy's on Coney Island. lol!

Xersex said...

I loved this post, even if I don't like to be exposed to cold!