‘People think I’m part of a sex cult – I’m a normal guy who likes being naked outdoors’

A man who has been a naturist for more than 45 years has defended why he likes to take his kit off outdoors after he was accused of being part of “a cult of raving sex freaks”.

Tony Graham, 65, argues naturists are just “normal people who like to take their clothes off” and says it reduces his stress and improves his mental health.

The dad-of-one turned to naturism – where a person enjoys being naked to connect more with the natural world – aged 18 after going skinny dipping.

Now, Tony, from Alton, Hampshire, takes every opportunity to strip off when the weather is warm enough, but thinks naturism has a bad reputation with it being misunderstood.

Tony in a shirtTony in the water

“Naturism is freedom”, claims Tony ( Image: Tony Graham / SWNS)
He is married to a fellow naturist and chairs a naturist society in a bid to educate people on what it really means to be a “nudie”.

Tony, a commercial content writer, said: “In one word, naturism is freedom.

“It’s a sensible escape from the pressures of daily life. It’s just the feeling of being alone or with friends amongst the grass, hedges and trees – a state of contentment when you feel like you’re doing your body some good.

“It just feels better to me to be naked – but people assume there is a sexual element.

“Some people think we’re a cult of raving sex freaks or some kind of secret society but we’re nothing like that.

“Or some people think we’re perverts or lunatic flashers – but we’re just normal people who happen to like sunbathing and swimming naked.

“We’re naturally peaceful and promote body positivity and no matter what you look like, you’ll be accepted.”

Tony discovered he enjoyed naturism while out swimming with a group of friends as a teen – and discovered he could go faster without his Speedos on.

After that he recalled “getting out of the water and lying in the sand tanning” which he particularly enjoyed.

Tony toplessTony swimming

He said: “There was no sexual thrill, I just felt it was a great place and better to be naked.”

Tony realised he was a naturist, meaning he enjoys the connection he feels to the elements when he has his kit off.

But he said unlike what some people think, he isn’t naked all the time – only when it’s warm and sunny.

He said: “The vast majority of naturists wear clothes inside, and normally outside too if it’s cold.

“It’s not just the sun, it’s the warmth – a lot of naturists look forward to warm sunny weather to go somewhere and strip off.”

Tony said in summer, if the weather is fair, he’ll spend all his day laying naked in the garden – then do all his daily tasks, such as work, checking emails and paying bills in the evening.

For a number of years now he has engaged with naturist groups – like-minded people who are fellow “nudies” – and is the chairman of Naturist Action Group.

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