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Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« on: January 09, 2013, 02:11:07 am »
When this community was first conceived, a team of wonderful people were gathered from all areas of the Globe to tackle the huge job of making it as you see today. Some remain, some have moved on, but the fact remains that each of them worked long and hard and networked for hours on end with ideas, concepts, and discussions. Martijn was a part of that then, and is a part of us now. He was a builder and even though he sometimes leaves for a few months, he calls this place home and we are pleased to offer this insight into our Dutchie Naturist, Martijn V of The Netherlands!  Get to know him.   He is traveled (as you will read), articulate, intelligent, open minded and yet, a listener as well.  He is our Martijn and we are proud and lucky to have had him in the beginning, and we are now.

The interview began in his homeland and ended up in the USA at Berkley.  Many of the questions were posed by the members of this community and Martijn has done his best to offer a glimpse into his life.

Martijn, is Merrd,  on the forum.  http://internationalyn.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=22

1.  You were born and raised in The Netherlands. Most call that Holland. What is the difference between those terms and what was it like, the city/town as a kid in your area.

First on the difference between The Netherlands and Holland, there is this hilarious video ( ) that explains it once and for all. This video went viral in the Netherlands and hit 2 million visitors in just 2 weeks. I love it!

Growing up in the Netherlands was great, but I only just start to appreciate how great it was. Obviously, it is a very liberal country but what is being liberal if you don’t have things to compare it with. As a kid I never really realized how lucky I was living in a country where freedom is truly one of its greatest values.

I was born at home in a small town called Maarseen (in between Amsterdam and Utrecht) .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maarssence There is not a lot going on in Maarssen itself, I spent most my free time in either Amsterdam or Utrecht which are both great cities, especially culturally. It’s where I went out, where I go see movies, where you go to dine, basically all the other things (besides sleeping) took place in one of these cities. I personally prefer Utrecht, not only because it’s closer but also because my university is there, my football team, everything. I highly recommend people that are going to the Netherlands (Amsterdam in most cases) to take the train and visit Utrecht (only a 20 minute train ride). It’s fantastic. Maarssen is one of those towns where there are a lot of families like my own, which means that there are also a lot of kids of my generation, there was always someone to hang out with!
 
2. Siblings/Parents/Relatives. Their lives, what they do in general?  Are you close with all, or some?

So, I have one younger brother; he’s turning 18 in a week. We aren’t much alike (I used to wonder if he was from another dad..) but we’ve grown to like each other over the past year. It’s not that I disliked him, but we never had much of a click, you know? I’m pretty extravert, whereas he prefers to keep his emotions to himself..so sometimes it was hard to communicate with him. Our quality time usually consists of playing tennis together or maybe some games on our X-box.
My parents, hmm. They have gone through a rough time. I don’t want to say a lot about it, but they’ve gone through a divorce. It was a nasty divorce but totally understandable. My mom was/is clearly the driving factor of our family and she is also the person that I feel most compatible with. Don’t get me wrong – I love my dad…but my mom and I seem to be more on the same wavelength.

The most important people in my life are my grandparents (the parents of my mom, the other ones passed away, unfortunately). They inspire me in so many ways it’s incredible. My grandfather had started working when he was 12; selling milk for 2 cents a week… 40 years later he was the boss of the Dutch railway. He always motivates me to work as hard as I can, in any given circumstance. I usually don’t give much about what people think of my actions but when my grandparents say they disapprove (or when they are proud of my accomplishments) that means more to me than anything else.

Difficult family dynamics have led to me not having a lot of contact with my aunts and uncles. I would lie if I said I missed them though. They’re not my type of people. I guess.
 
3. What was high school life like in your town?  Hobbies and sports?  Did you keep any friendships as you grew up and went off to Uni?  How often do you return home?


High school was fun! The first two weeks were awkward because I was three years younger than my peers (I skipped 3 grades in primary school). But I am pretty vocal so they learnt soon enough that I wasn’t the one to bully. I think I was an all round student. I wasn’t involved in everything, but I had my fair share of fun. My grades were OK, I did the theater thing, I had a lot of friends, and people knew who I was… It was okay! I had two really close friends back in high school that I never talk to these days. The reasons for that are still not really clear to me, but I guess that's the dynamic of a friendship. I found new friends and that’s that.
 
4. We understand you traveled and moved a good deal as a family. Can you explain why and what you learned on those moves? Why did you move back to The Netherlands?


Umm, so my dad basically owns a circus. No, I’m kidding. He has a computer technology company (mostly related to privacy protection) and he consulted some big firms around the world. Usually that consultation lasted a couple months and sometimes we would move with him because that was best. The fun thing about travel is that you see so many interesting things. You see different people with different philosophies and even though you don’t necessarily agree with most people, I think you always take bits and chunks from other cultures and incorporate them in your own view on things. I think these moves have been good for me to gain a broad view of things and have led me to create a more unbiased view of the world. One other thing is that I’m really quick on picking up people’s emotions, because not knowing the languages of the places I went to, ‘talking’ emotions was key!  We moved back to the Netherlands because that’s our safe haven. My parents like the Netherlands, grew up there. Life is good there! The weather is okay, people are relatively friendly (and very handsome and tall), we have good social security, good jobs.
 
5. Were you raised in a rather strict way, or left to form your own opinions (not necesarily about FKK of course)

There was a time where I had a lot of conflicts with my parents about things, but I guess that’s puberty. I would say we had a strict household yes. There was a lot of freedom to have your opinion, but there were certain rules in our house and when it came to that, my parents weren’t really flexible. And with ‘weren’t really flexible’ I mean they weren’t flexible at all. But usually this was good because you only had to make a mistake once and you’d know it for the rest of your life. I once came home really drunk and (*warning*) vomited all over the wallpaper in our living room. In my drunken state I tried to cover it up before my parents woke up but obviously my attempts only made things worse. My parents were obviously disappointed but not really mad – they made me feel very embarrassed and I think that is probably I’ve never been as drunk. (Or I go stay with a friend…)

6. You became a competition bike rider at Uni.  Tell us all about that please. 
 
So yeah, biking! When I was younger I was not athletic at all! I was pretty chubby up till like age 14. I always loved watching sports on TV and I did a lot of sports until I was like 16 (field hockey, soccer, basketball, rowing, fencing, tennis, speed skating, track…) but when I got a racing bike for my 14th birthday that hit the spot. I always loved watching the Tour the France, so every year around the summer I would go and pretend I was in my own Tour de France (obviously I won every stage). I started training with a schedule, met friends who would ride with me and after a year I joined a local team. It was great fun and I wasn’t all bad! So I kept on doing that for a long time, really loving it! When I turned 18 I had to go to a new age category and it was a lot harder for me to really do well in races, which – combined with bad grades in Uni – made it a lot harder for me to stay motivated. I still biked, but I felt like I lacked the talent to really win. In the summer I had a really bad crash that messed up my ankle, I’m still suffering from that 3 years later. So, I stopped doing that competitively (I don’t even own a bike anymore here in the US). I run from time to time, I go to the gym. I still work out 6 days a week, but I don’t have the crazy drive anymore that I used to have.
Art from Bunny (in the galleries). Martijn and an unidentified female riding thru the Forest
7.  What interests and hobbies did you have as a young man, that continue to this day, even in lesser roles?

So yeah, like mentioned above sports is still a great part of my life. I watch it a lot. I love talking about it with friends or go see games (at the moment I’m a huge Golden State Warriors fan). Again, I do a lot of sports myself still. As a kid I was a pretty avid reader (although I liked it best when my mom read stories to me) and I still like to read. Movies, TV shows… I don’t think my taste in hobbies changed much over time I guess.

8. Sports. Have you ever played other sports other then competition biking? 

So yeah, I answered this question above I guess. When I was younger I really wanted to find a sport in which I excelled so I tried a lot of different things until I started winning cycling races! That’s when I dropped all my other sports and focused on that.
 
9. Interaction (non intimate).  Do you prefer alone time to social time, or a mix of both? Or, are you one who thrives on company?

I’d rather be alone with the option to see people, than to be with people all the time and having trouble to find alone time. Most of my hobbies are fine alone (reading, movies, sports), but I definitely enjoy hanging out with people! I’m good at meeting people because I consider myself to be open and straightforward (which I guess are good things when you first meet people) so yeah, I can be pretty social. But I absolutely don’t mind staying in on Saturday night reading a book or watching TV!
 
10.  What started your interest in 'taking off your teeshirt./underwear and being free?  Your coin shows you nude at home in the hallway of your parents home eating an apple so obviously you began this rather early.



So again this has to do with sports (you see a theme developing here huh?). I was touring on my bike in my neighborhood on a warm summer day when I was 15 I think. I ended up passing by a lake nearby my house (http://goo.gl/maps/xt25i) from which I knew there was supposed to be a clothing optional zone. I knew this because when we would go swim there, my best friend really wanted to go there. It obviously was very excited for two young boys that there was a land full of naked people behind those trees. We chickened out (duh!) and never went there. But here I was, it was hot, I was sweaty and I decided to give it a go. I biked up to the trees where this nude spot would be, put my bike against a tree, took off my kit and started swimming! It was awesome! I don’t have to explain to you have that feels because most of you know what it’s like. It was so good that I did it for 5 days straight, so you could say I was hooked! Ever since I like taking my kit off…
 
11. We understand you were a founder of IYNO. Tell us about that and how that came about?  What were your views at the time?

It started with my being a member of several other online organizations that were focusing on young naturists/nudists. I became close with some people on there, in particular Danee, who I thought was very inspiring. I could see that there was a need for a place that was better designed and better controlled than most of these place I was a member of, so when a group came together with the idea to found IYNO it was an ideal opportunity for me to share my ideas on what I believe would stimulate the positive view on nudism/naturism, and the most important thing for me: promote body acceptance. I believed (and still do) that especially in my generation there is a lot of dissatisfaction about how they look. People are easily judged on their looks (something I do as well, unfortunately), which can severely harm your confidence and in most extreme cases ruin someone’s life. I must say I have always been satisfied with my body, but I wanted to pass on that good feeling, and I think being nude with others is something that can accelerate that process. I think being nude with strangers is an extreme case of bonding, something that can hardly be matched by conversation.
 
12. You are known as a liberal, yet logical person who respects people.  You discovered at a young age that you had same sex attraction at times, and experiences we are sure, and yet, girlfriends abounded in school for you as well.  Tell us how that all worked out?  (meaning, how you balanced that and kept your business as 'your business." Was it difficult? Sex was never the most part of your life of course but you definitely have views on it and support the Dorm in its beginning as the moderator of it. 
How do you view  your sexuality at this time?


In high school there were guys who I really looked up to, both at school and in my cycling team. The equivalent of what would be the quarterbacks in American high schools. Successful guys with loads of friends, money, whatever. I am (and was) a very ambitious guy, so as you can imagine sometimes it was hard for to distinguish whether this was plain admiration (in the ‘attraction’ sense) or that I wanted to be like that and saw these guys as a role model. I’ve always been open to my classmates about this and never excluded the possibility that I was gay. At that time I had never been in love so I think it would be foolish to assume that I wasn’t. The fact that I was so open about it maybe unconsciously made me feel like I had to ‘try’ it out, so yeah, in the final years of high school I have done just that. The interesting thing is that, even though it might sound confusing and a lot of people are struggling with their sexuality, I can safely say I have never felt bad about anything, therefore it was pretty easy for me to keep it balanced. I have always been honest to myself about what I thought I felt and so far that worked out. I’ve had experiences with both sexes and I think that has been good. Think of it as taking a car out for a test drive before you buy it, I guess.

My personal project on IYNO was the dorm. http://internationalyn.org/forum/index.php/board,78.0.html  A place where people could discuss their main concern (and still actively do, keep up that work!) because I sincerely believe that communication is the key to solving any problem. I have always been open about a lot of things, so sharing is very common for me. I felt that whereas this is not as easy for everyone (maybe because of your family situation, your background, your personality), discussing your issues with open-minded people over the Internet could contribute to you opening up and gaining confidence.  These days there are so many sad stories about people who feel miserable about who they are (mostly related to their sexuality) and – in extreme cases - end their lives because they do not feel understood. I have never felt this myself, but what I do know is that a lot of people who did benefited greatly from talking about this. So on that note, if you feel like discussing something, start a topic on here, talk to your brother/sister, classmate, send me a PM. Talk!

 13. Tell us about the sexual education programs for young people in The Netherlands, compared to say the U.S. How they are more helpful, educational and positive.

Sex-ed is pretty awesome in the Netherlands. Basically what happens is that once you reach chapter 5 in the Biology book (in the second year of high school) the class gets separated. Boys go in one room and girls in the other. Boys get a female teacher and girls a male. Everyone gets to watch a video about the opposite sex, learn about them. How they look, how it works, you get the idea. Then everyone gets a sheet with diagrams about the specific parts that matter with the latin names, the common names and even the vulgar names. Everyone has to read them out loud with the class (which is pretty hilarious, I have a friend who still cracks up every time I text her one of the words on that list). Then you watch a video about your own sex, learn how you keep yourself clean etc. The next class is about all the things that go wrong (think about rape, STDs) and pregnancy (which sometimes you can consider as something gone wrong too, I guess). It’s fascinating. The key to this I think is to make it as normal as possible. Of course its funny, but it’s not a big deal. You have to take it seriously because you get a test at the end of the trimester, and no one wants to fail the sex-ed one!
 
14. Countries you have visited and an incredible experience of any kind in each one of them!

I’ll quickly sum them up; Netherlands, Belgium, France, the UK, Luxemburg, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Italy, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Greece, Morocco, Egypt, China, US, Canada, Martinique, South-Africa.. I probably forgot quite a few!

There are a little bit too many to discuss incredible experiences in all of them, but my best memories usually involve some activity. Hiking in Portugal, canoeing in France, riding a camel in Egypt. I love to hike/camp and explore places. I’m not a person that takes a lot of pictures (I try to do that more often now, since people at home want to see what I’m doing here) because I feel like whenever I take a picture of something the need to go back there decreases. There are a lot of places I really want to go back to know!

The next thing on my list will be the mid-west of the United States! I always had a great fascination for deserts and cowboys, so we’ll see!
 
15. Back to the family...you joined the Young Ones with the Dutch Naturists Organisation (and INF organisation).  Did they know? Your brothers reaction to this knowledge, or was he always knowing that his older brother was carefree about his nude form around people?

They must know because they (the JNFN, the Dutch organization) billed me, and my parents co-own my account. They never talked about it though, surprisingly. I mention to them when I go to nude beaches and all my mom ever says is: “Behave and stay alert”. My brother knows I’m naked a lot. He already freaks out when I seem him in his underwear, but he’s totally cool with walking into my room when I’m sitting at my computer naked. It’s strange…

You met Alex (another founder) a couple of years back on his visit to The Netherlands.  You both visited a beach. Which one was it? Was it your first (and last) time to it? 

Alex is one of the very few people I have ever met through the Internet. I obviously was extremely nervous and I bet he was too. We went to this beach near his Dutch house called Vlietland (http://goo.gl/maps/a6sxK) . I biked all the way from my house and back, which Alex thought was pretty whack. I guess he was right. I have never been back to that beach actually, even though it was a nice beach. Perfect for swimming I thought!   http://internationalyn.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=19  (Alex)

Have you viisted any other European FKK venues at all or been socially nude outdoors with others since?

I have visited quite a few FKK venues on all my cycling/holiday trips. My favorite ones are at the Atlantic coast in France (near Bordeaux are some great ones), but also here in the US, in the UK and Italy.. Never in Germany unfortunately, which kind of bums me out since they have this whole culture of FKK and I feel before I really call myself a naturist I’d have to check one of these places out.
 
16. Modeling. In Uni over there, you decided to try it out. To become a life model for a class. Please tell us the experience of all that, the class, how you felt and what you got from  it, and what reactions were from your friends?

I don't really recall how I got into that actually. I think I saw some ad online for a woman looking for a male model for her class. I applied, and she called me to ask if I was free that weekend. I was so I went over there. It was pretty strange actually, I remember feeling pretty nervous about it, because it would be a bachelorette party with all kinds of (I imagined) drunk and corny (corny, yeah, with a c) girls who would make fun of me. They didn’t! They were all pretty serious about painting me, told me I looked good and that I did a good job. After like 20 minutes it was comfortable and I thought to myself ‘who wouldn’t want to make money naked?’, then I thought of the pope, and all presidents, and whatever… you get the point! It was great. I got to walk around and check out the paintings. It was a lot of fun! So the organizer of this workshop called me a few other times and I did some work for someone who made sculptures and one other woman who was a professional painter. I don’t really know what me friends said, they probably didn’t think it was a big deal!

Merrd (Martijn), from our Art Galleries








 
17. You appreciate art, that much is obvious from your own photos in the member galleries.  Male and female.  Is it something you think about studying?

I appreciate art a lot, indeed! Though I would never study it. That is, if you mean go to school and get a diploma in arts. I like it, but as a past time. I like going to museums, but not to stare at paintings for hours and discuss the type of paintbrush van Gogh used for his paintings. I’ve visited a lot of great museums around the world and I’m confident I know more about art than your average Joe, so I don’t really feel the need to study it.

From our Member Galleries, an artistic, fun side of Martijn












18. Back to travel (these from Alex from the UK,another founder)


You're a bit of a jet-setter. What's the best place you've ever visited and why?

Haha! This is always a really difficult question! I think I’d have to say Paris. My mom lived in Paris and whenever we go there the stories she tells me are fantastic. I also have a fascination for the French Revolution, so realizing that when you are walking though the streets the things that have happened there, it gives me an amazing feeling! Sure, there are other cities with equally great history; Paris just seems to do just a bit more for me.
Many younger (teen) naturists seem to fall in and out of love with the lifestyle. Has this ever happened to you, and do you have any advice for those that may find themselves in the situation?

It has happened to me in the way that I would not want to go to beaches/resorts anymore because I have had bad experiences with other visitors (read: horny men interested in me). Naturism is something I always will enjoy because it’s just so easy to take of your clothes. I do understand however why people can lose interest. We all live very busy lives and for most people I know around this website, there are a lot of restrictions on being nude (only in your room or when parents are gone, for instance) and I can imagine that being nude in your room can be quite boring if you’ve done it for the past 2 weeks straight. I think it’s normal and my advice would be to try and mix things up. Go look online for people in your area, or places that you can go to. I even suggest looking online for naturist resorts on the other side of the world. Even though you probably will never get there, it always gives me the feeling that I wanna be nude as soon as possible and motivates me to get that figured out. Again, talking to people is also a good idea. Just tell your friends you are a nudist. If they think you are a freak – you say ‘just kidding’ and if they like it, tell them more about it!
 
You've just finished your degree, yet seem to be a compulsive student. How important do you think education is, and why do you love learning so much?
 
I like your questions Alex! I wouldn’t say I’m a compulsive student, but I have two big issues: 1) I don't really know what I want to do for a living, so I’m trying to make sure that I have degrees in as much as possible, so that is not limiting my options. 2) I am having a hard time dealing with people knowing more than I do, so in order to fix that you got to know a lot. I like knowing a lot. And to be honest, the fact that I learn fast always makes me feel a little bit obliged to use the talent, if you get what I mean?
 
Following on from your education, you subject of study was psychology - what fascinates you about what makes humans tick (or not!)?

This is a question that I get asked a lot and it is hard to answer. I think most of us agree that the human brain/behavior is fascinating and one of a kind. The field is changing very fast and new discoveries are made in neuroscience faster than in any other scientific field. It’s cool to be part of something that is developing so quickly.
 
You're a Chelsea fan (unfortunately!) - how big a football fan are you?

Well, let’s take a quick look at the current Premier League standings if you will. Liverpool has quite some catching up to do if they want to beat Chelsea… Football is a massive part of my life. I’ve had a season ticket for FC Utrecht (my local team) for a couple of years, and I’ve been to games in the Premier League, the liga BBVA, the Bundesliga and the Ligue 1 quite regularly on my travels. I love everything about it: the banter, the stadiums, the players, and the transfers. It’s a big exciting money making industry. To illustrate how important it is for me: When Chelsea won the Champions League this year (it’s the biggest trophy for European football club) I cried for at least 2 hours. I can safely say it was one of the best days in my life! Up the Chels!
 
19. From Adam, in Canada

What do you strive for in terms of athletics? Any specific goals?

I don’t think I really have certain goals as in; I want to run this fast, or I want to win races. But I think sports in general are a major part in my life. I think it’s absolutely vital for anyone to try and stay healthy, take care of your body! You only have one! There are very many reasons why exercise is good for you (admitted, maybe just as many why it isn’t. But that’s with all science I guess) and I just really like the feeling of being fit! I want to stay that way as long as possible really!

Is there a mentor present in your life? In what way is he/she your mentor?

I don’t really have one mentor specifically, but I learn a lot from several people around me. I closely work together with a very good scientist who helps me a lot with my work, but on the other hand I have my (grand)parents who give me valuable life lessons, or my coach who inspires me when it comes to sports. I get a lot of small bits of inspiration from a lot of different sources!

How important is naturism to you?

Naturism is important for me in a way that I think it’s a very good way of getting your feet back on the ground, literally. I am quite temperamental, have a short attention span and sometimes I just get carried away when certain things happen. Sometimes I need to take the pressure off and just take my clothes off. Being nude outside really feels like I can recharge and for me it feels like a weight falls of my back (technically it does, of course!).

Do you have a motto or saying that you live your life by?

“Easy doesn’t make you grow”. I think this is a fantastic motto. At one point everyone has to deal with things in life that he/she doesn’t deal with. And things don’t always come easy. But the things you learn the most of are the things that went wrong or the things that took the most effort. I truly believe in learning from your mistakes and I can sincerely say that I never regret the things I do because it’s all part of the process.

Name three people, living or dead, you could have dinner with?

I actually like this question a lot! Right now I would say: Bernard Madoff (the man who basically tricked people into giving him 62 billion $), Quentin Tarantino (the moviemaker) and Louis XIV (the god on earth).

Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?

I kind of have this thing where I see myself living in London with a nice dog (preferable a Canaan dog!) working for the university doing research on the brains of the Chelsea Football Club! I’d have a second home probably in the United States somewhere in a fantastic area where I’d go a couple of months a year just to read books and enjoy music!

Describe your ideal relaxing day, what would you do if you had a day all to yourself and no boundaries?

My ideal relaxing day would be where I wake up at like 9:30 AM. Then I’d make pancakes and coffee for breakfast while I watch the news on TV. Then I’d go sail somewhere, on a boat, in the buff!. For like a couple of hours. Come back and exercise a little bit. Go and enjoy a nice swim or the sauna. Then I’d like to watch a football/soccer game with some friends. Make dinner and then fly to Los Angeles and go to a splendid party on a rooftop somewhere! Get very tipsy and… well the rest is up for your imagination.

Any guilty pleasures?

This is probably so bad for me saying this but I absolutely LOVE it when I’m at a store and I see bickering couples. I can actually get really creepy and hide behind shelves just to listen what they say to each other! Yup! I’m that creeper guy!

What are the simple things that put a smile on your face and warmth in your heart?

Usually when people say something clever; be it in real life or a movie/song. I really like it when people are clever with words. My heart gets warmed by intelligence I guess.

Who was the first person you told about naturism and what was their reaction?

Umm, this must have been one of my classmates and she said: “Oh yeah, when I was younger we used to go to naturist camps all the time”. So much for a tough first conversation.

Any advice for others who are on the journey of discovering naturism?

Take your time! Don’t do foolish things and especially don’t jump into meeting people, especially not from the Internet. Naturism, unfortunately, is one of those things that are in a grey corner of the Interwebs and there are some shady people out there trying to benefit from your willingness to take of your clothes! Again, be open about it. Just tell people you like it, even if you make up a story where you accidentally stumbled on a beach, took of your kit, and it was amazing. (Today when I was having breakfast at a Buddhist temple (don’t ask..) I told someone about that I like to be nude  and she starts rambling about how she loves to go topless). More people will appreciate it than you think! Also, when you are meeting up with people always let someone know where you are. There’s no need to lie about any of these things. You are going to a naked beach; you are not going to murder someone!

Oh and before I forget – apply a lot of sunscreen! There are countless times when I couldn’t sit because my bum was burned ;)
 
Where do you think your life would be had you not discovered naturism?

Hmm, it would be great if I said it would have been completely different but I don’t think that would be true. I have met some great people related to naturism, but I think that’s where it ends. It’s not something that defines me, it’s just like bananas – I would survive without them but it would be a damn shame.
 
If there were to be a movie about your life story, who would you pick to play the part of you and why?

Haha, I love this question! Thank you Adam! I just watched Perks of Being a Wallflower and I think Logan Lerman would be a good me. I don’t really know why. He seems fun and clever. Just like me!


20. From Jan,( Naj on the forum) in Belgium (a long time vet. Uni student and good friends of us both)

 
Naturism is still somewhat in the realm of taboo to the many – especially young – naturists feel as if they can’t share that part of their life with their family and friends. Why do you think that is?

Well, a lot of people associate being nude with sex. Which isn’t strange an sich, since you are nude when you are having sex. But are you always having sex when you are nude? Nope. I can’t blame them though, because where ever you go – you read stories that nude beaches are being ruined by people using them as a hook-up place. Another part of the problem is that a lot of people have a negative self-image. People think that being a nudist is about showing off your hot bod to the world, but it’s not. It’s showing that you are proud of your body, no matter what it looks like. I think people can be prudish, and sometimes that is good – because I think there is a time and a place for everything. But I think it’s heading the right direction. I think there is a good generation right now of younger people who seem to appreciate naturism in the right way, along the lines of the FKK. I see great Tumblrs, I’ve met cool people who seem to really be into it. But as with most things, negative opinions always seem more loud than the positive ones…
 
Do your friends and family know about it? Ff yes, what kind of reactions have you received so far?

My family knows I go to nude beaches and that I like to be nude. They honestly don’t really care. They don’t really want me to parade around the house butt naked, and I can understand that and I respect that. My friends think it’s pretty interesting (at least that's what they usually say) but most of them never ask about it..so I wonder how interesting they really find it!
 
What message would you have for young people who might want to explore naturism but who are confronted with an environment that is hostile to the idea? What advice would you give them in their search?

Well, if you honestly think telling them would mess up your family situation or you would lose your best friend telling them you enjoy being naked than my advice would be not to tell them. Nothing is worth risking losing your family and it’s not really hard to keep it a secret. In fact, not telling people the entire truth is something that people really enjoy (look up ‘duping delight’ if you are interested). You just got to be creative and figure out ways to enjoy naturism without them finding it out.

But honestly, you’d be surprised with how many people are actually okay about it. Don’t expect people to jump on the bandwagon and join you – but in my experience people really just don’t care that much what you do. And if you lose a friend when you tell him/her about your naturism, maybe he/she wasn’t your friend in the first place. My advice would be: the more you make a big deal out of it, the more others will too!
 
You’re a university student, athlete, you’ve modeled and on top of that you were one of the founding members of this community. How do you manage to combine all of these activities and still find the time for a social life?

I have one of those necklaces that Hermione has. Whenever the day is almost over I just flip the hourglass and I go back and do the day again!

Just kidding. Umm, I actually don't know! I sleep 8 hours a day, which I think is very important. It keeps me fresh! Another thing is that I enjoy what I do a lot, so that makes it really easy! And I’m pretty efficient I guess, I get a lot of things done in a short amount of time. It all might sound impressive, but I actually think the same of every one of your lives!
 
21. From Nedo, in Austria
 
What do you think is necessary to attract more young people to naturism?

This is obviously a vital question and I have thought about this quite a few times. I wish I had a better answer but I don’t think it’s very easy. I think what is going on right now are all kinds of good things (nudity in TV ads, websites like IYNO, documentaries in the UK, etc.) and this generation is being brought up more and more with the idea that nudity isn’t all that uncommon and bad. I think what is really important is to make a clear distinction between sex and nudity because I believe that by doing that it would be more acceptable for someone to say that he/she is going out to a nude beach without others thinking it would be for an easy lay. Excusez-le-mot.

How is it possible to use social media like facebook, twitter etc. to connect young naturists?

Easy! Just do like I do and Tweet/post about that you are going to a nude beach or that you are enjoying some naked time on your sundeck. Believe me, those posts usually get the most likes/retweets!

What is his experience in networking with other young naturists in holland and all over the world?

Hmm, I think it’s the same pretty much everywhere. It’s hard to find real genuine naturists that think about it the same way as I do. Joining JNFN (the young Dutch naturists) was a good idea and I met some people through there (before I moved to California) but I didn’t really have a connection with someone in a way that I would meet them outside one of these events.

 
22. From Dario, in Australia

 
How do you think naturist and nudist values with young people differ from that of the older generations?

This is a really interesting question! In my opinion, when I look at ‘old school’ nudists I tend to think more of a sub-culture. Where naturism is something you practice in your FKK colony, where you read FKK magazines and hang out with FKK people. What I see in this generation is that people who consider themselves to be naturists do not at all cost want to live in a naturist society. It’s part of their life, rather than it being their life, if you get what I mean. I also think that whereas older generations all seemed to do it for more or less the same reasons (mutual respect, environmental issues, etc.) people now seem to have more broad reasons to do it. Also, I think as most of us grow up in a fast paced world, in which in most cases clothing aren’t optional but pretty much obligatory, it is much harder for people to really get away and enjoy naturism, so these people have to be more creative.
 
 What activities have you found tend to be popular with the young at nudist clubs and beaches?

I personally enjoyed the potluck/campfire thing a lot and this also seems to be fairly common in all the places I’ve been to. Obviously swimming, volleyball, those kind of beach activities are popular and will remain popular I guess. Something that I have never done but what is very booming (especially in the UK and the US east coast) is the naked club nights. Basically just going to a club, dancing and everything, but clothing optional!
 
Should the nudist movement be collectively returning to its early C-20 FKK roots in order to attract the younger generations?

I don’t think so. But maybe I am biased. I think the more nudists/naturists put themselves in a box as being a subculture, the weirder it gets. I think creating awareness of the concept, making nudity public (WNBRs I think are great) are the best. I’d say making it a niche isn’t the best idea.
 
What do young people look for in a nudist club to make them want to become members?

Other youngsters! But that seems to turn into a circular argument. I think something that would be clothing-optional, so not strictly nude would be great, so you could bring friends who aren’t sure. I also think lowering prices and making things less strict (like not having a membership of some sort of organization being a problem) would make it more appealing for first time visitors. Maybe days where it’s only under-40 so the argument of ‘I am freaked out by all the old people’ is not valid anymore.. I don’t know. It’s not an easy question!
 
Do you see a time when free range naturism could be practiced on a larger scale than how it presently is?  If so, what sort of strategies could we employ in order for this to happen?

Yes and no. As I said, I think there is a time and place for everything. I wouldn’t mind seeing someone nude when I’m shopping at Macy’s (what would they buy though, if they don’t wear clothes..), but I can imagine people who do. And I think we shouldn’t forget that. Just as we don’t understand why people DON'T want to take off their clothes, ‘they’ don’t understand why we DO. Free-range naturism as in what Stuart und Karla do is a different case and maybe that is what you mean. I think that is difficult. I think again the part of respecting that not everyone is appreciating the fact that they see nude people while hiking makes it hard to just give nudists a carte-blanche and let them wander around in the buff. Maybe it would be a good idea to start out some sort of trial in which a Regional Park is made into a clothing optional-zone. See how many nudist and how many non-nudists are visiting. It sure would be interesting.
 
23. From Peter (Pitti, who is a senior mod and runs the reading and book section) in Germany
 

MERRD you love art and literature. What is your favorite genre of literature and who is your favorite author?

I really love stories that are based on historic events. One of my favorite books of all times is the Three Musketeers. I wasn’t there but I’m pretty sure the story is fictional, even though it is based on things that have happened! I’d say my favorite author therefore is Alexandre Dumas!
 
24. From Daft (in Brazil)
 
Do you like to play sports naked? What are your favorites?

I must admit, I have never done this! Sorry to disappoint! I don’t really know where and how I should do this… Any advice?

Do you think that events like the Naked Bike Ride affect the opinion people have towards public nudity?

Yes, but I do think it works both ways. It sure creates awareness and I know a lot of people who think it is awesome. But I can also imaging people enjoying it in a way that people enjoy watching a freak-show (does that even still exist?).
 
What's your opinion about those independent youth naturist movements appearing all over the globe, that are not necessarily related to any naturist "official" federation?

I strongly encourage those! Like expressed in my previous answers, I don’t think you need to be part of a club, colony or organization to enjoy being nude! Who determines that you are real enough?
 
25 . From Ben (in England but living in Asia right now)
 
What is your fondest childhood memory?

Hmm, I always really enjoyed all of our family Christmases. This year was the first year that I had to celebrate it without my family and I realized that I really miss sitting on the floor around the Christmas tree fantasizing about the presents that were under the tree, hoping that the big one had my name on it. Pretty silly huh?
 
26.  You have left IYNO but not resigned or anything a few times.  Yet, you always drop in every few weeks or months too and have a look.  Are you pleased with the incredible way this community has grown and become so International?  Thoughts on it now please?


Absolutely! It’s not easy keeping a great empire (look at the Roman Empire, for instance…) but what Rome lacks this website has, and that's a great team. I think people work really well together to keep IYNO by far the safest place on the web for people to be who they are, to post pictures of themselves (clothed or not) and their concerns about virtually anything. I’m proud of being a part of that, even though I’m not the most active contributor (and I never was). I have been disappointed a few times with myself mostly, where I had put energy and effort into knowing people on this website who turned out to not be worth the effort (read: who were fakers) which has seriously harmed my faith in naturism as a whole sometimes, I admit that. But as I told Danee a couple of days ago, there’s always something in me that makes me want to come check out this place again and see what it is like, who is there, see if people still remember me!
 
27. When considering going abroad to continue your education, you chose America and Berkley.  That is a liberal institution, as we all know.  What was your final process that made that decision for you?


Not to brag, but I had over 100 offers when I started making my decision. These options ranged from the US, to Australia and even Thailand and Dubai. It definitely was the hardest decision ever made. Having limited myself to just a couple of options based on academic reasons, I felt the Bay Area (San Francisco/Berkeley) would be a very good match for me, as it is known to attract liberal and open minded people. I always realized it would be hard moving some place new, but being in the Bay feels like coming home since there are so many people that are basically in the same place as me, thinking about things the same, it’s wonderful. Obviously, the main reason is the great work they do here at UC Berkeley, but the area is fantastic!
 
What is the hardest part to get used to about life in California/US vs The Netherlands?

Honestly, the people. Interacting with people has proven to be different compared to the Netherlands. People here do not appreciate my straightforwardness, and they seem to have a hard time understanding sarcasm. On the other hand I don’t understand they insincerity sometimes (people can ask you “How are you?” and walk away while you are giving your answer). Sure, I’m generalizing now, but the rules of conversation are definitely different here!
 
Relationships here? Boys or girls? Do you maintain any close friendships from home?


I was starting to get in somewhat of a relationship back home, but then I had to be the douche and leave for the United States. I don’t really want to be that douche again so I’m not really on the lookout for a potential partner, but you never know I guess.

I do try to stay in touch with as many people as possible. Usually in the weekends I make several videophone calls to friends and family, and obviously with the use of Facebook people seem closer than the actually are!
 
28. Do you wish to be a father?  If so, why?

Absolutely! Even if I’d stay single for the rest of my life I’d have kid. I don't know why. I think it’d give ultimate joy and it would give me great fulfillment to see that I can directly pass on some of my values and knowledge to a next generation. Yes, that cliché.

29. You are into diet and fitness and still have your name in the Dorm in those sections as it was important to you.  Explain your routine of life in this for us?   Why is there no blue food and please do not say blueberries as they are purple.


Haha! Well, the routine is less extreme than it used to be. Some of you might remember that extreme training scheme that I used to have when I was upset I didn't win races anymore. I dropped that one. However, it’s still pretty intense I guess. I work out every single day except one day in the weekend. I usually get up early and run or swim, that’s my main thing. And then in the evening I go for 2 hours in the gym. Dietwise things are a little different here in the US as it is hard to avoid all the transfats and corn syrups. I still work with a dietitian over here that provides me with advice on what to eat and what not to eat. Since I have a high-energy need it is often tempting to go eat snacks, but since my metabolism is not as fast as I hope, I need to stick to the healthy foods! This usually means lots of smoothies, flax seeds, fruits, nuts, you know it!
 
30. Favorite nude photograph and explain why? (if you have a favorite photographer please tell us and give us an example and why)

Hmm, tough one. There this one of a younger boy who participates in the WNBR with ‘my dad doesn’t know I’m here’ written on his belly. I think this is genius and a real class act. Pretty much sums up what I think naturism is about. It’s fun, it’s cool, it’s also a little secret, awesome! I'd love to talk to him sometime. He should be an ambassador!













Artwise, my favorites are the locker-room photographs of Will McBride. These show fit guys, together, some clothed, some nude. They don't care! Just like me!

From our Art Galleries


 
31. Do you drink? Smoke recreation ally? The Netherlands is known for being open about that. 


I drink quite a lot yes. There’s a fair chance you’ll find me tipsy on both Friday and Saturday nights. I’m quite fond of vodka sprite and it has happened before that I drank this all by myself. Don’t call the AA yet, though!
 
Speaking of smoking – this is even sadder: I’m one of the very few people who actually think smoking is cool. I know I’m going to lose a lot of credit but gosh I can’t help it. There are so many movie scenes and pictures where it looks just so fantastic. Don’t get me wrong. I prefer people not to smoke and I definitely not encourage people to smoke because it is probably the unhealthiest thing to do, but I can’t help it – it looks really cool! Smoking marihuana, which you are probably referring to..I have done a couple of times. Doesn’t really float my boat!
 
32.  Ever passed out from drinking since you went to Uni (or even in high school). If so, tel us the circumstances!  Ever woken up on the front lawn of a relative, naked in the morning and not known how you got there?

I don't think I’ve ever woken up naked in someone’s yard, but I have biked myself into a creek once. And passing out on the floor is kind of a monthly ritual for me, but waking up the day after always really makes me happy that I can live the life I do, so I don’t really care! YOLO RIGHT?
 
33. Best experience of life out there in Berkley. As a cyclist we kept hoping you would do the World Naked Bike ride in Europe but never did. Have you (other then in the cartoon in the gallery made by Bunny), ridden nude?  Do you intend to do the Berkley nude traditional run coming up?

My best experience so far in Berkeley was a fantastic hike in the regional park in which I live. I am really starting to love hiking and this is defiantly a wonderful place to go out hiking. I was on top of the hill, watching the sun set over the Golden Gate Bridge with some of my friends, truly amazing!

For some reason I have never participated in the WNBR. I think it’s mostly because it’s always in the summer and I’m out of the country enjoying my time abroad. I do intend to join the WNBR in San Francisco this year, as well the famous Bare to Breakers! We’ll see how that goes. When it comes to the naked run, it is quite a hassle! No one really seems to know when this is going to take place, but when I’m informed, you bet I’ll run my bare butt off!

Adminstrator: Martijn, thank-you so much for taking the time to answer these questions.  We greatly appreciate the work you have done here, and are still doing from time to time. We wish you every success with your studies and please keep us all informed of your travels, experiences and thanks for being a leader!

Martijn: Your very welcome! I enjoyed it tremendously!  Now, may I take my jeans and underwear?  It IS Berkley, you know!

Administrator: You go right ahead Martijn, and thanks again!


 


 

Offline Stephen

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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 02:06:20 pm »
The Netherland/Holland video, hilarious, information, I just don't agree with the credit to them for New Zealand's name (we were taught different in Oceania studies). The way you first experience naturism at that lake really sums up what it is about, and it was awesome you were able to enjoy it. I'm not much of a recreation or athletic cyclist, but whatever keeps you in shape and happy is worth it. I can fully get where you are coming from when you talk about going to school younger than everyone else, I had to do the same, but then you went on to mention the sex ed part of your school, hilarious, and hey, it's a good way to teach them. You seem to travel a lot, and there is never anything wrong with that. You were an original founder? That's how much naturism impacted ans still impacts you, cheers to ya for it, and hope to see you around more.
 :3456

Offline lord_george

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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 03:18:19 pm »
This is a great interview! I really admire your honesty and straightforwardness with your answers, Martijn! Reading this made me feel like I have a lot in common with you (naturism, not needing to be part of a club or defined by something, fitness, drinks, &c). It's great to be able to read things like this and feel like there are people out there who you can relate to and who are so honest!
Again, I love this interview, the questions and answers!

Offline foxriderar77

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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 03:21:00 pm »
What a great interview with a legend here on the forum.  Thank you Martijn for sharing!

Offline sandymaslin

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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 04:10:26 pm »
Wow great interview thank you for taking part. I noticed that in your extensive list of countries visited there was no mention of Australia. I'd have liked to have asked what countries are on your 'bucket list' I may have missed it if you did mention this but i read this so quickly there is a chance I may have in fact skipped over it. Australia has an amazing climate too.  (and being down under  we are all upside down naturists too, so going by your picture you'd fit right in) I noticed you are a Chelsea supporter, my father brother are too... to the point if Chelsea win they go around saying 'we' won as if they themselves were on the pitch

Offline Danee

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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 04:21:33 pm »
Australia has an amazing climate too.  (and being down under  we are all upside down naturists too, so going by your picture you'd fit right in)


Martijn is our original 'upside down' Nature boy!
 :63424
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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 12:24:22 am »
Great interview. Nice to get the thoughts from a younger person that is ok with his body. Thanks!

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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2013, 02:34:19 am »
A great interview. Thanks Martijn! =]
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nudistdaniel

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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 02:27:49 am »
love this interview. the bickering couples part had me rolling.  :909 (i do the same thing) your nude modeling paintings are fantastic. glad you're a huge part of this wonderful community!

Offline Riley_Gautier

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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 05:15:50 am »
brilliant interview dude! :D
Can't wait to be a mummy <3

Lisa2408

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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2013, 12:30:06 pm »
Previously, this was the best interview I've read here. :4345
Congratulations to you   Martin  :123456
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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2013, 02:06:46 pm »
Awesome interview. Merrd you're a real IYNO veteran :D

Offline Rockingnature

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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2013, 08:15:35 pm »

 Fantastic interview! I feel like I've met someone new. What made it all more interesting to me is that I feel I now know something more about the Dutch lifestyle. I would love the chance to meet on a more personal level people from abroad, and Martijn made me feel like I like I got closer to someone that I haven't even really talked to before. But that's whats great about this website. You get to meet people from all over and learn not only of their naturism part of life, but also a bit about their respective cultures. Hope you come by to Mexico Martijn, and also meet people here, like you have from the rest of the world. Kudos to you and your accomplishments too! And yes, the only thing that I personally didn't particularly appreciate it is that you smoke (I'm not a fan at all of smoking), but you still rock, man! Hope I have the pleasure of talking with you sometime soon. Great interview again and kudos on it!

   :e4444  :e2w
"If nakedness offends you, then you are disrespecting God's creation."

mikeisnude

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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2013, 12:02:40 am »
I've only been here for about a year but as anyone new can tell you, your name pops up on a pretty regular basis.  I'm so glad you did this interview so some of us newer people here can get to know you.   I found so many positive things in the interview that I refuse to try to pick out one or two and comment on them.  I hope you keep dropping by when you can and sharing your unique outlook and feelings. 

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Re: Martijn, (Merrd), "The Royal Naked One", a founder
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2013, 05:32:45 am »
Thanks to everyone for their kind words! It is really nice to see that people appreciate what I wrote.
"They found out my degree was less than legitimate"
"I thought you had a bachelor from Columbia?"
"Yeah, so now I need one from America"