Despite having only recently discovered (one year ago) the liberating aspects of naturism: showing one’s body freely, without clothes… I guess I always had a connection with exhibitionist spaces. Like many other gay guys, I come from a small city in Italy where I had no chance to express my real personality. As I first approached sexuality, I always had to hide my urges due to the radically religious Italian mind.

I was 16 when I started having sex with strangers and every date was the same: the guy came to my place with his car and brought me to a secluded place where we would enjoy a moment together, without any fear of being caught. Most of the time the guy was in a relationship, married with children, or closeted, so there was almost no dialogue between us. I had many dreams at that time of my life: travelling, studying, finding a handsome guy to have a perfect relationship with.

But even when I moved away to study at university, I didn’t find all of this. Maybe I already knew that all these things I used to imagine were all just illusions, but I wasn’t ready to admit that to myself. Later I also discovered virtual sex thanks to a guy I met who lived in another city. It was weird at the beginning but I remember that my favorite time while being on cam was always when I had to take my clothes off and start touching my body…

I was still young (20 maybe) and I wanted to learn more about this, but I was still feeling restricted by a society as quick to judge and criticize as How the Italian society is. What I started noticing even among the gay community I had became a part of, was a constantly patriarchal point of view in which being a bottom means being a bitch. Most gays forced themselves to act like tops because to them being a “top” meant strong, capable, and sure of himself. Everything changed when I moved to Paris 5 years ago.

Parisians could be strange and repressed when u talk to them for the first time, but I can say they taught me how to live my sexuality free of taboo or repression. You can be called “coquin” (naughty) but you’re rarely judged as being a bitch. Practicing naturism was probably for me, a metaphorical escape from oppression. It meant having the possibility of accepting first of all my body but also achieving a high degree of self determination. I discovered naturism in the south of France, at Villeneuve beach. I can say it is a paradise and I still can feel the waves crashing against my naked body. For the first time I felt fusioned with the environment around me.

Now naturism and being naked with friends in bars or in places like the bois de Vincennes has become normal, and this is often what I do in my free time. My friends and lovers accept it, I accept myself and sometimes there’s even a “coquin” side to it. I feel free and I’m never seen as a basic hoe. Now I believe in the person I want to become and when I’m at war with myself I remember to trust on myself and think about my rebirth and maybe going to Île du Levant next summer ! Who wants to join ? Lol