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The intimacy and brotherhood of men

Chris (image supplied)

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I caught up with my Twitter buddy Chris to talk about the thrill of getting naked.

When did you recognise and start to explore your love of naturism and being nude?

I’ve always felt comfortable with my own nudity, in private, since I was a child. I remember starting to sleep naked when I got my own bedroom at home, aged about 12.

In adult life, I often stayed naked at home on my own, even before I realised I was a ‘nudist.’ In the past ten years or so, I’ve become a lot more sociable and open about my nudist lifestyle and identity. I now live naked nonstop at home, even with friends and visitors and deliveries. I find that nudity gives me more confidence and honesty to be myself. Naked and proud of who I am and what I’ve got.

Do your friends and family know about your love of being nude?

My family and most of my friends know about my nudist lifestyle. I’m open and honest with most people about my love of being nude, so I’m happy to talk about it with anyone who’s interested or curious. I came out to my family as gay at the age of 19, and I look at it in a similar way that I came out as a naturist around about the age of 30.

I don’t get naked in front of my mother or brothers or other family members, out of respect for them as they don’t want to see me naked. But, personally, I wouldn’t have a problem to be naked with anyone, family included. I also find that my nudity can become an ice-breaker in some new friendships, so that I can encourage friends to try it out and to get naked with me, or we can go to organised events, swims, campsites, or holidays together.

A couple of times, I’ve been to fancy-dress or clothing-optional parties where I was the only one naked in the party — even if I didn’t know anyone else at the party — I went as Adam.

Would you describe yourself as an exhibitionist?

I would be lying if I said that I am not a bit of an exhibitionist, although that’s not the primary reason for my public and social nudity. I would describe it as ‘nudity all in the right context, with consent.’

If it’s appropriate to be naked, without causing alarm or offence to anyone else, then I don’t mind at all who sees me naked. I feel safe at home, so I remain naked with all friends and visitors. I’m not afraid or ashamed of my nudity. I know that I’m not doing anything wrong, immoral, or illegal in simply living a naked lifestyle at home, even with visitors and deliveries and other people.

Sometimes, curious friends ask me — “So, do you just walk around naked?” which I find a funny way of putting it. I live my life as a naked man who just happens not to wear clothes. So I would do anything and everything without clothes, if possible.

Is there a sexual element to your naturism?

No. Naturism is not sexual. Simply being naked is not a sexual experience at all. It’s my lifestyle and identity to live naked, just as most other people live their everyday lives clothed. Sure, on occasions, I do get erections just like any other man, but they’re not because of my nudity. Sexual arousal has its place and that’s all fine, but the actual state of being naked is not sexual in itself. I would need some appropriate stimulation or context in order to get turned on.

All in the right context and with consent, then it can become the right time and place to get sexually aroused, alone or with friends. I’m not ashamed of my nudity and don’t mind ‘showing off’ if that’s appropriate with whomever I’m with at the time.

How do you explore your love of naturism and being nude?

I enjoy being naked at home, but even more so I enjoy being naked outside at organised events or campsites or beaches or swims or on holiday. I’m careful not to be naked where it might cause offence, so for that reason I prefer not to go for a naked walk in the woods, for example, on my own.

I know that there’s nothing wrong with social, public nudity in its right place, but I would rather not cause any hassle or offence to anyone. In the past, I’ve taken part in a variety of charity events and public nudity demonstrations and other naked photo installation events. I’ve also been on summer holidays in France and Spain to nudist campsites, or places where there are local naked or clothing-optional beaches.

Do you connect with other guys who also like being nude?

I really enjoy being naked with other guys. I think that’s the most important aspect of my social nudity. I feel a great masculine connection with other guys and enjoy the ‘male bonding’ side of sharing the intimacy and honesty of being naked together. I have a great feeling of wholeness and camaraderie and honesty and intimacy, whenever I can share some naked time with another guy.

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For me, it’s not sexual, but on a much deeper level of intimacy and brotherhood. I can separate the two sides of nudity, both social and sexual, and given the right context, then I don’t mind being naked on either side.

In the past year, since I now live on my own, I have a CouchSurfing profile where I can offer to host visitors and travellers who are looking for a place to stay for a few nights. I’m open on my profile about my nudist lifestyle at home, and so I’m happy to host guys who want to stay with me. I don’t force anyone to join in with the nudity, but the option is always there if anyone wants to try it in a safe space with no judgement. Over the past year, I’ve now hosted about 15 guys at my place. Not everyone has joined in, but that’s fine with me.

What’s your ultimate naked fantasy?

On a previous holiday, I had the chance to stay naked 24/7 at a nudist campsite in France for a full two weeks. Maybe one day, I’d love to live there on a more permanent basis.

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Fitness

Meet the vegan body-builder

Alexander Kosztowny is building mass without harm.

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Alexander Kosztowny (image supplied)
Alexander Kosztowny (image supplied)

I caught up with aspiring bodybuilder Alexander Kosztowny to talk fitness, food, and life as a vegan body-builder.

Were you into sports at school?

No. Growing up, I was a heavy-set kid, and not very active at all. In school, I was very academic, and focused mainly on my studies rather than athletics. I didn’t dread gym class, and always worked hard and enjoyed certain sports like tennis and volleyball, but the lack of variety of activities in gym class limited my view on the variety of types of activities out there. If I’d tried a weight lifting class, or yoga, or karate, my attitude may have changed earlier in life. My sister was always active, but I come from a family who are not very big on physical activity or sports. Of course, like most, I wish I’d started earlier, but better late than never.

Can you remember what your first experience of a gym was?

I lost a lot of weight in high school with the onset of puberty, and with the gaining knowledge of nutrition, portion control, and cardiovascular activity. When I went to college, I found myself putting a lot of the weight back on, and knew I had to prevent that. I joined a gym, and hired a personal trainer for the first time to help me get back on track.

I absolutely fell in love with pumping iron. I was able to coordinate working out into being a part of my schedule, as opposed to limiting it only to ‘when I have time’ and having a trainer not only motivated me and taught me technique, but also kept me accountable for my actions. He helped me with adding strength while paying attention to form, and meal planning, The excess weight fell off, and I became addicted.

Now I’m in the gym every day, pushing my body and transforming both my health, my appearance, and my outlook.

When did you decide to get serious about your fitness and bodybuilding?

About four years ago. But I’ve only been super-serious for about a year, and I’ve only been extremely strict in terms of diet for about six months. I’m still a beginner.

What’s your aspiration as a bodybuilder?

To get huge. That’s it.

As someone who’s plant-based, I’d also like to show others what’s possible on a non-traditional diet. That there are other forms of nutrition and protein, and you can build muscle, look great, and have tons of energy without harm.

What’s the difference between your body as it is now and the way that you want your body to look?

I’d still call my self thick or chubby-muscular. The interesting thing about bodybuilding is that there never really is an end goal. You just lift and grow bigger and you’re never quite big or strong enough. I’m just trying to push myself as far as I possibly can. It’s exciting to see the changes you can make that way.

What’s your work-out regime like?

I’m in the gym six or seven times a week. This seems excessive to some people, and I know others who only go three or four times a week, and that works for them. For me, the gym is therapeutic and a stress reliever, as well as a hobby.

I usually spend about one hour doing weight lifting — machines and free weights — and then I wrap up with about 35 minutes of cardio. I focus on one body part per day. It’s a traditional bodybuilding split, so muscles have a chance to rest. This routine works for me — I know some people have luck doing high-intensity, full body workouts, but I like the focus of working each muscle group in isolation.

Do you have a work-out buddy?

Not currently, but I’ve always enjoyed it when I do. It really is vital for really heavy spotting, and the dependability is nice if they’re as motivated as you. If anyone is in Los Angeles and wants to train with me, hit me up!

How important is controlling your diet?

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Controlling diet is extremely important. It makes or breaks your progress in the gym. if you lift but don’t eat right, you won’t get anywhere. I’ve seen this happen both for myself and others. When I finally got on the right meal plan, the results happened in no time at all — abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.

I eat about five times a day, and I’m plant-based, just like Tom Brady. My diet consists of lots of legumes, lentils, tofu, peas, broccoli, peanut butter, protein shakes, and other natural, nutrient-rich foods that contain protein without resorting to animal products.

Besides the ethical and environmental sides of going vegan, I find I have more energy, need less time to recover, and am less sore, as well as having clearer skin. I count my macros — calories, carbs, proteins, and fats — and eat the same foods every day to stay on track. I’ve pretty much eliminated bread, gluten, alcohol, refined sugars, and beverages besides water from my diet, except for special occasions. I’m super-strict, but do let myself enjoy food.

Are your friends and family supportive of your bodybuilding aspirations?

For the most part. They’re always impressed at my progress and dedication, but I need a lot of willpower when I have a family who loves to cook, bake, and tempt me with treats. That’s why having a partner or workout buddy who is on a similar plan is helpful, if you’re lucky enough to find one. It keeps you on track.

Are you competing?

Nope, and no plans to either. But that may change as I grow bigger.

What are some of your priorities for the months ahead?

I’m currently in the best shape I’ve ever been in, so I want to just keep on progressing. It’s a slow process, and takes a lot of time, so you have to be patient.

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