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Letters To DOMAI


I have been a photographer and nudist most of my life. It's only logical that taking photographs of nude people became an important part of my life. I discovered early on that I'm not a big fan of the "cookie cutter" look that many glamor photographers concentrate on. The typical over-made-up, fogged over, big haired with a cowboy hat has been well overused. I often look at a model's portfolio and wonder where the imagination went. I prefer to be different. I have seen tens of thousands of nude women and discovered there are many different exotic looks and body types.

My most enjoyable photo shoot ever was on a day when everything that possibly could go wrong went wrong with vengence. Start with a sunrise shoot on the beach with an inexperienced model who couldn't find the beach, arrived an hour late, and carrying two suitcases full of clothes to a nude shoot. By the time she arrived, the sun was too high, and the onshore wind was carrying equal amounts of sand and salt spray. By this time I had resigned myself to a wasted day, since my other model for the day was a 52 year-old artist who I thought was going to be just a routine shoot.

Was I surprised. She showed up early, bringing only some strips of semi-sheer fabric for props. She immediately realized that I was having problems with the younger model and offered to work with her. Suddenly, I had two models with figure-hugging sheer rainbow fabric plastered to their bodies by the wind as they stood on the beach. Then as the first model took a break, I discovered that true beauty has no age limits. While her body showed some signs of her age, she was in excellent physical condition and displayed an enjoyment of life that made her appear much younger.

The problems continued throughout the day, with a disappearing model, lost keys, and more. I ended up with only a few usable images because of the conditions, but enough we were willing to make them a part of our own portfolios. One image that I use in all my promotional media. We also ended up as friends after sharing a common experience with adversity.

That day, I discovered that attitude has as much to contribute to a beautiful image as native beauty. I found myself watching as a mature woman played in the surf and sand like a young child. Her laughter was genuine as she threw handfuls of water in the air that immediately blew back into her face. I was enjoying watching her so much I didn't want to stop shooting. On her knees, digging with her hands in the sand, running through the waves at the edge of the beach, and rolling in the sand, brought memories of my own children and their innocent wonder of a visit to the beach. While the day wasn't a success as far as the images achived, it taught me something I have used with all my models since then. Play... like you're six years old. The smiles from a woman having fun are far more exciting than any pouty model face, and age is not a limiter in shooting beautiful women.



It’s very difficult being an American with what seems to be a more European attitude toward the human body. I am very visually oriented and love the sense of freedom upon which my country was founded. This combination makes me a lifelong DOM. Unfortunately this country was also founded on puritan ideals and has always been repressed with regards to nudity. And things have gotten worse in the last decade or so. But coming of age in the 1970’s was the perfect time to be able to enjoy the freedom from clothing as well as enjoy the beauty of PYGs enjoying their similar freedoms.
But then, as now, I was in the minority. And I would like that to change. If it would, the world could be a more beautiful and happier place. This is not a story of a DOMAI moment but rather of one man’s small part in helping to create the opportunity for others to experience such moments for themselves.
In my younger days I had a girlfriend, Susan, who was more or less comfortable being nude in the house. As beach season was approaching, I thought it was time to invite her to my favorite clothing optional beach. I hadn’t anticipated how shocked she would be at first, and she was emphatic that she could never go to such a place. It went against everything in her upbringing – nudity is bad, nudity in public is unthinkable, etc. However with some gentle persuasion we agreed on a compromise. She would keep her bathing suit on and only remove it if she felt comfortable enough to do so. And with that we were off to the beach!
It was a perfect day with blue skies and a gentle warm breeze that feels so good caressing one’s skin. When we arrived, there were several hundred beach goers already. Susan did not find it as disturbing as she had imagined, and we set out our blanket and settled in. To me it was just another beautiful day at the beach, but something funny happened to Susan. As she realized she was practically the only person in sight who was wearing clothes, she started to feel self conscious and uncomfortable. It wasn’t long before she felt compelled to take her suit off at which point she now felt she just blended in with the crowd. And before long she was telling me how wonderful the sun and wind felt on her bare skin and by the end of the day she was saying it seemed so natural and she couldn’t believe she had never thought to try this sooner. She was a complete convert.
Over the years I was able to play a part in conversions of more girlfriends and even a few regular friends. I need not list all of the benefits of the attitudes and lifestyle that nude recreation and Naturism can evoke. Readers of DOMAI are will versed in them. But what I would like to see is more people getting and taking the opportunity to try for themselves what freedom from clothes can feel like and the more relaxed attitudes that come from it. That is especially true in the United States over the last 10 or so years when it seems people are becoming radicalized and very closed minded about many things, nudity included. It may be intimidating to try it first at a beach with hundreds of others, but you can start out in the privacy of your back yard or a remote part of a wilderness area. And don’t just try it alone. Invite your friends. They will thank you for it … as will your fellow DOMs.
- M.R.

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