ManCrush: Totally Bear

Advocating for the benefits of getting naked outdoors.

ManCrush: Totally Bear

Based in the UK, Totally Bear likes to get naked outdoors and share his naturism with the world.

He was recently a guest on the Naked Men Talking podcast.

In the conversation, we talk

Listen to the episode.

Totally Bear welcome.

Hello, how are you doing?

I'm very well, thanks. Now, let's start at the beginning, I guess. How did you start to explore your naturism and how did you discover that getting naked is something that you're into?

You know, I think I've always wanted to - it's always been inside me, I think.

As a young kid I sort of explored it with my friends. But I wasn't able to really explore it until later on in life when I got a car and was able to go to a beach and experience that.

What was your relationship with your body like when you're growing up? Was getting your clothes off something that you were always comfortable with?

I think I was always comfortable with being naked just for myself, but I’ve had to become more confident over time to take my clothes off in front of other people.

You talked about how you got the car and you were able to get to a naturist beach. What did that feel like when you actually got to start to explore some of those naturist experiences?

It was great. I sort of realised then that it was for me.

I wasn't conscious of my body at all at that point because you suddenly realise that there are people of all shapes and sizes on these beaches and it's not just, you know, made-up of really attractive people that you see in magazines.

How did things progress from there? Did you then dive into naturaism? You’ve now embraced naturism as your identity or your personality?

I would say that it's a hobby more than my personality.

I'm not one of these people that just walks around naked all the time - it's something that I like to do but I like to do it with company.

It's more fun if you do it with somebody?

I find it more fun, definitely, yeah.

Which means that there's something about the energy of being naked with another person - not just in a sexual way.

Do you make a distinction between non-sexual nudity or traditional naturism and those naked opportunities where there is the potential for sexual energy?

I think there is naturally a distinction between those things - like, when I go with my Midlands naked rambling people, that's definitely a non-sexual experience.

When I do the World Naked Bike Ride, that's also definitely a non-sexual experience - it's just fun and I enjoy it.

But I do think that there's a bit of a blurred line between naturism and sex - perhaps that makes me a bad naturist.

I do find that with gay men there's just a lot more openness maybe to sexual energy?

I think there's probably a naturist side to me and there’s also an exhibitionist side to me.

You talked about the naked rambling group and the naked bike ride and a lot of your social media posts are perhaps tapping into some of your exhibitionism - show yourself outdoors, doing naked things. Is the outdoors nakedness important to you? Is that kind of the main thing for you?

I think I enjoy it more. Plus it’s also better from a photography perspective.

Everything looks better with a nice vista behind it. Then everybody tweets back and says “I'm enjoying the view” and there’s me with my butt out.

How does your exhibitionism play into that then?

It's not just about being outdoors, it's also about showing that to the world somehow.

Are lots of naturists actually exhibitionists as well?

If you sit on that beach and you watch them promenade up and down - that's an exhibitionist, isn't it? I don't know.

It is such a personal thing, as well - everyone's experience is slightly different.

Tell me about the naked rambling group?

I belong to the Midlands Naked Ramblers, but there's a Nottingham one and there's lots of other ones as well and they just post walks and you all get together and you'll have a little walk around the countryside and it's great.

It's clothing optional, basically. You don’t have to take your clothes off.

From a legal point of view, in the UK, you’re not breaking any laws because being naked in public is completely legal? It would only be if someone felt you were causing some kind of offence?

On the last walk, in fact, this man was hanging out of his car window laughing hysterically, asking us if it was legal. He just couldn't believe it - blew his mind for that day. He took a photograph of us and drove on.

What have been some of the negative reactions that you've encountered on the walks?

There was a group of lads in a car not being very nice about people and the way they looked, calling us perverts and things like that.

Most people embrace it and love it.

You've done a few of the World Naked Bike rides. Why is that something that appeals to you?

I've now done 25 World Naked Bike rides. It’s an official worldwide event that happens every year, every summer. At the London one, there's thousands of people.

What does that feel like to be part of a big group of naked people doing something ordinary in an extraordinary way?

At first, you're obviously quite conscious that you’re naked in public. But it just becomes normal and you just ride along chatting to the guy next to you.

With all of your outdoor nakedness, is the UK a good place to do that? I mean, the weather isn't conducive, surely?

It's not. When it's a bit too cold to do it on my Twitter feed, I tend to post throw-back photos to sunnier times.

Do you travel to destinations where you can get naked? Does that sort of shape your choice of holidays in terms of looking for clothing-optional destinations?

Not really. For example, me and my partner have just booked a holiday in Mauritius - then, I thought that I'd have a look to see what naked beaches there are in Mauritius.

Not in Mauritius, No, I don't think so.

No, I know, I know.

Is your partner into getting naked with you or is that something that doesn't involve him?

He’ll get naked on a beach but he doesn’t do the bike ride.

He's definitely way more shy than I am - he doesn’t want that spectacle of the bike ride because it is quite intense when you ride out and the streets are lined about 3-deep with people with their video phones filming.

The filming thing is interesting, isn't it? You do see a lot of images from various world naked bike rides popping up on social media all over the place. I guess you just have to assume that, as I set out on this bike ride, there will be photos and videos of me doing this, and I have no control over that. You've got to make peace with that before you set out?

You need to remember you are on a public protest and you need to accept that photos are going to happen.

My final question is, if someone was a bit curious about naturism and wanting to explore getting naked, what advice or guidance would you give them?

If you want to explore it but you don't want to go for it fully, why not come to one of the naked rambles - something that is clothing-optional where you can do it and at the point where you're comfortable, you can get naked. Or, do what I did, start with a naked beach and go from there.

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