A naturist couple have lifted the lid on what it's like to live life in the buff.
John and Helen Donson, from Chippenham, Wiltshire, love their lifestyle so much they even had their Pagan wedding ceremony at an off-the-grid naturist club.
Pines Outdoor Club in Longhope is a long-established naturist haunt, and it's now appealing for new members to come join them, GloucestershireLive reports.
The club is not just a place for people to take their clothes off and lounge around, as many would assume – the clue is actually in the name. Naturism is about respecting and appreciating what surrounds you.
John, 68, said: "We have been to other clubs, we’ve been to Cap d'Agde in the South of France, and we’ve been on a couple of other naturist holidays, but for us, The Pines is home.
"It's not for everybody, simply because there is no running water, there is no electricity, we are in the middle of nowhere."
Helen, 55, became a naturist back in 2006, although she says she hated clothes as a child and introduced John in 2011.
However, John was used to sharing communal showers during his time in the military, so the journey to becoming a naturist was not too long for him.
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During his time at the club, John says he has learned about tree felling, hedge husbandry, wildflowers, and wildlife, while members are also expected to help in the maintenance and upkeep of the grounds.
The eight-acre club, which boasts natural woodland and an old lime quarry, is home to deer, dormice, badgers, rabbits, and squirrels.
There are also protected species of orchids at the site, which have to be very carefully considered when taking care of the land.
"That’s why naturist is probably better terminology than nudist – a nudist is a person who takes their clothes off but is not interested in what’s around them," John said.
"For us, there are strict rules on personal hygiene – we take our own chairs and our own towels. If we take our clothes off, we put a towel down on our own chair, to sit on. When we come home, those towels are washed.
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"Whereas if you go to some other places, they don’t bother about that – it’s more of a lifestyle than it is a hobby for us."
The vast majority of John and Helen's friends, family members, and colleagues know of their lifestyle, but they have been met with plenty of misconceptions along the way.
John said: "A lot of my friends go 'Really? I haven’t got the body for it' – the body doesn’t matter.
"Everybody's body is different. I’m happy with the body I’ve got, it’s not the best in the world, and I’ve given it some abuse over the years being in the military but it’s what I live with.
"If I can look in the mirror every morning and go 'I’m coming on 69, I’m not bad for a 69-year-old,' then I’m happy."
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