Here are some ideas for how to locate and meet other naturists for enjoying and promoting naturist social nudity.
In recent times, nudity has often been used to dramatize protests of many things. But Grace Oakley was determined to follow Godiva’s example, although for a constructive purpose rather than a protest – support for a charity dedicated to prevention of young suicides. (When Grace was only 12 her mother took her own life.) It was 8 months later that Grace finally made her (partially) naked ride through Ludlow (about 60 miles from Godiva’s Coventry). However, by that time she’d raised almost £3000 for her chosen charity. But the effort was probably responsible for donations from many others (who didn’t even need to go naked).
Other accounts of Oakley’s ride:
Grace Oakley used public nudity to call attention to a serious social problem, but another example of public naked protest appeared in France months before Grace’s ride. It was a protest against perceived injustice, and it was televised live for the entire country to watch. (Godiva’s protest wasn’t televised, of course.) The broadcast was part of France’s César film awards (equivalent to U.S. “Oscars”). The broadcast host had opened the event with a passionate speech against the closure of French theaters on account of the pandemic, which had already been in progress for over a year.
French actor Corinne Masiero was to present the award for best costume (appropriately, as it turned out). Masiero wore a costume when she appeared on stage, but promptly removed it and everything else – even her shoes. It’s unclear whether or not the event organizers knew in advance that Masiero would completely divest herself, but she carried out her presentation fully naked on live television without any interruption or censorship – and the audience applauded. No news media treated the scene as scandalous. C’est la France après tout. Whether pandemic precautions were an appropriate target of protest is debatable. But the point was made quite conspicuously.
Another reaction to the event: Nudity in French Culture – Will it change? (3/13/21)
Of course, Sheryn and her husband live in Britain, where people in general are much more open-minded about naturism than in the U.S. In fact, naturism has become increasingly popular in Britain over the past couple of decades, in contrast to the U.S. where the opposite has happened. (There are several stories about that in this post.) This account illustrates how not being secretive about naturism can have definite rewards – being able to share social nudity with friends, for example. Now when friends visit Sheryn’s home, her husband remains naked. Her friends are used to it and have no complaints.
Unlike in France, at nearly the same point in the pandemic, Australian theaters were not closed. However, in two theaters under the same ownership, in Sydney and Melbourne, it was the audience that could strip naked (if they wanted to). The movie was a Belgian tragi-comedy, Patrick, set in a nudist park – will full nudity often on screen. (Sadly, the film has received very little attention, and doesn’t seem to be available even on DVD, although it isn’t intended as an exploitation of nudity.) The showings were arranged by Hudson Sowada, director of the 2021 Fantastic Film Festival Australia. In fact, Sowada announced, “I’ll introduce the film in Melbourne in my birthday suit.” Here’s a short account of the movie with links to some reviews.
True to customary British tabloid form, the screen image of the disrobing was heavily censored, so as not to disturb prudish, dirty-minded British readers. But youngsters in Holland had no such unease. According to the article, “The kids are shown getting the giggles as the adults strip off.” Probably most of them had seen it all before at home. Even most Brit adults have probably seen it all themselves.
On most BLM land, campers may stay no longer than 2 weeks. At Magic Circle, however, the limit is 7 months, and many campers stay much of that time, in part because many of them are retired and enjoy the area’s warmth for a large part of the year. So the average age of campers tends to be on the high side. Since so many Magic Circle campers stay for extended periods, they get to know each other. The result is that the place has the vibe of a regular naturist club, including planned social events. Note that there are some general rules. For instance, relocating every 2 weeks is required during the summer. And there are fees: $40 for 2 weeks, or $180 for 7 months.
The cruise itself is offered every year by a company called Bare Necessities. You can be naked as much as you want while at sea. But it’s not cheap – for 2 people in a cabin the cost can exceed $20,000, depending on location in the ship. (Singles can share a cabin – and expenses – with another single if desired.) And although the boat hosts 3500 people, a reservation far in advance is a good idea if you want a specific room category. There’s also a Greek isles cruise on a smaller ship if you want a Mediterranean experience.
Still, it makes good sense to choose a beach where nudity is possible but also somewhere that worrying about improper behavior of others is unnecessary. Since youngsters can’t resist an opportunity to swim and jump in the waves, choosing a place with surf that’s not too rough is important. And if no suitable beaches are near the family home, a location should have good dining choices and overnight accommodations. This article suggests 6 good options for families, as well as 3 others more suitable for adults.
There are color-coded maps of the whole world, including a separate map with individual state details just for the U.S. All countries have individual listings, usually with more details. Only public locations are considered, but the existence of private naturist clubs and resorts may be noted. Some indications of the survey’s methodology and information are provided. The survey was conducted by a British female lingerie/swimwear company (cognitive-dissonance alert) named Pour Moi. The information is provided as of July 2021, and (of course) may be different at a later time.
Other places where the survey is presented in less complete form:
Bonus from earlier: I spent a week at home in the nude, and this is what I learned about my body (4/3/17)
Cat (her preferred name), from New Zealand, reports “When I read that naturists have higher self-esteem than those who keep their clothes on, I decided to spend a week in the nude in the privacy of my own home to see what I could learn. I hoped that my naked experiment would make me more comfortable with my body and its imperfections.” And so: “I worked, slept, cooked, cleaned, and got on with family life minus my clothes. Although I was a little apprehensive about my nudity project, on the whole I really enjoyed it.”
There were some uncomfortable factors initially. However, “On other days, though, my nudity was liberating and fun. There were even a few moments where I felt profoundly present in my body.” On one rainy afternoon she went into her backyard, forgetting she was nude, but she enjoyed feeling the rain on her skin. Finally, “After spending a week naked at home, the prospect of stripping off in public became less daunting.”
Do you know anyone who’s aware you’re a naturist, seems open-minded, and has the free time? If so, try suggesting they spend a weekend, several days, or a whole week naked at home the whole time – assuming anyone they live with won’t object. Suggest they’ll understand, at least, what you like about naturism. You may find another friend to enjoy naturism with.
Let’s look at two different approaches to promoting naturism and which of the two is probably more effective. The more effective approach involves individual naturists working with each other to explain naturism to others in their social networks.
About this “new naked dressing” the article’s writer maintains that “exposure does not equate to vulnerability but strength and that the body just as it is is just fine.” As naturists will wholeheartedly agree. “The point of the new nakedness,” yet another source observes, “is not to provide that sort of viewing pleasure [for others] but rather a form of self-pleasure.”
Certain women may choose to wear something that exposes just a bit short of everything. Such minimal clothing is merely decoration – like tattoos, jewelry, or other accessories that conceal little. Women at naturist places, in fact, often make a similar choice – and that’s fine. What’s the reason? It’s about “control of identity”. In many contexts, such as business and professional settings, women traditionally have much more freedom of choice than men about the colors, styles, etc. of what they wear. So selecting one of these “almost but not entirely naked” fashions to make a unique statement of who they are is understandable. (Supposedly, some women are upset if another woman present is wearing a nearly identical outfit, as that could suggest it was mass-produced in some Asian sweatshop and there’s nothing special about it.)
But before you get carried away with thinking there might be a trend toward wearing a “bare” minimum, consider the reality. It’s a “trend” only for relatively few women. This is “fashion” or “style” in limited circumstances, such as social occasions where distinctiveness matters. You won’t see anything like this while shopping at Walmart.
An effective plan to promote naturism needs to include a bottom-up approach. That would mean encouraging people who are already enthusiastic naturists to explain what is so great about naturism to open-minded friends – along with an invitation to try it themselves with someone they respect and trust. This is a “grassroots” strategy that can be effective if millions of current naturists are encouraged to do what they can to promote naturism.
And it’s way past time for AANR to ditch the terms “nudism” and “nudist”. They’re really outdated, as well as having risible connotations to most people. The terms “naturism” and “naturist” are what’s used in reference to social nudity in most countries other than the U.S. Disagree? Well, think about how chosen terminology affects other people, rather than what you might personally prefer.
Simply as an overview of early naturism in Britain, apart from photography, there are a few interesting details. One is the point that early naturism in Britain (as well as Germany and France) was meant to be a lifestyle that promoted healthy living, physical fitness, and the body type that would result. For better or worse, naturists now emphasize that “all bodies are good bodies”. Another interesting detail is that “By the end of the 1930s, nudist membership was at an all-time high in Britain, with around 40,000 members.” That compares very favorably with the peak membership of AANR in the U.S. in 2000 – around 65,000 – even though Britain’s population in 1940 was about 13% of the U.S. population in 2000.
Especially during the pandemic, BN offered its members a number of activities via Zoom – yoga and exercise sessions, online group chats, cooking lessons, etc. But before the pandemic, and now that it’s mostly abated, BN has offered a wide range of both online and in-person activities. The continuing online choices include discussion forums, blogs, book groups, and member picture galleries. The in-person activities are numerous too – organized swim sessions at local pools, regional festivals and gatherings, and events to support charities, including Great British Skinny Dips at many beaches. Neither U.S. national naturist organization offers any comparable smorgasbord of naturist activities. Even AANR’s “Bold New Plan” certainly involves nothing at all similar.
Some other findings of the recent British poll:
U.S. naturists should be so jealous.
The article placed some emphasis on how many young people in Britain have taken to naturism – so that almost half of newly active naturists in the UK were in the youngest category: 16 to 24 years of age, compared to only 6% in the 45-75 year range. (All the rest were 25 to 44.) The survey from 10 years ago found nearly an even split between the oldest and youngest groups of new naturists. Whatever the reason, BN seems to have found a way to appeal to people who may remain naturists for at least another half-century. To drive home the point, a new naturist, Katy, who’s 17, was quoted saying “A group of us went swimming in the lakes over the summer and decided on the spur of the moment, to take off our costumes. Then we just hung out afterwards, not bothering to get dressed. I realised it was so freeing.”
Despite the editorial blunder, the British reality should be very interesting for U.S. naturists, as (unfortunately) in the U.S. rather few young adults participate in naturism. Apparently, they think it’s somehow “uncool” and only for people middle-aged or older. Young British naturists thoroughly debunk that idea. It seems to be true that people who “belong” to a particular generation (“Gen Z” in this case) mostly pay attention only to what their generational peers think. That’s a good thing for naturists in Britain – but not good at all in the U.S. Precisely because of the great misconception the youngest U.S. adults avoid participation in naturism. It’s a vicious circle. C’est la vie.
Antonia, who works for the Daily Mail, was asked by her employer if she “fancied reporting from Nudefest”. “I said yes before I could change my mind, or think it through,” she replied. Her explanation: “Since stopping drinking to improve my health in January, I have tried to push my comfort boundaries, to prove that giving up alcohol need not make life dull.” Nevertheless, she still approached the experience with much trepidation, but determined not to flinch from a resolve to get naked from the start.
One of the first people she speoke with explains, “Some people think we are ridiculous, dangerous even, but the truth is that everyone who gets into this environment changes their view, because it’s so normal when everyone’s naked.” Knowing how common such negative assumptions are among non-naturists, it’s reassuring to first-timers that the truth is how normal being naked with others actually feels. Unfortunately, persuading doubters about the reality is usually difficult.
After having spoken with first-timers whose initial anxieties were like her own, Antonia reports, “The longer I’m naked for, the more normal it seems, and by the time I’m watching a naked circus performer on stage, his genitals twirling as enthusiastically as the giant hoop he’s in, I often forget I’m naked at all.” This process is exactly what’s necessary, in most cases, to persuade others that engaging in naturist activities (whether or not one starts to self-identify as a naturist) is something they need in their lives. It’s just the Confucian saying: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” This is why simply advertising the goodness of naturism usually doesn’t work.
Just like BN, the fledgling INA “saw its numbers swell during the pandemic. As well as beach meet-ups, they embark on naked yoga, hiking and trips overseas to parts of Europe, often to visit saunas. They also rent swimming pools and saunas in Ireland for private naturist sessions.” The Irish law on nudity is just like Britain’s: “Being naked in public is not a criminal offence, unless people are “causing alarm” to other members of the public or there is a sexual threat displayed.” And, Medina notes, “We have had very little opposition from anyone”. The organization has also had private naked tours to art galleries running exhibitions displaying naked art.
Nadine had been going to nude beaches since she “first discovered them at the age of 16, when I snuck away from my parents on a family vacation in Hawaii. I loved the freedom of being naked in the waves, and I couldn’t believe how confident I felt.” One of her reason for taking the children to a nude beach was to “help immunize them from the cultural idea that women’s bodies exist for men’s viewing pleasure.” She believes that “mainstream media gives women a dangerously narrow definition of what is beautiful. I was much more terrified that my children would internalize an unrealistic image of women’s bodies”.
She says her “kids loved their first experience at the naked beach. They were comfortable, confident, and it really demystified nudity. Every summer after that they visited the naked beach. They’re all now adults. Each of them “has had their own relationship with nudity over the years. Sometimes they went completely naked, other times they stayed clothed, honoring their personal comfort as they moved through life stages.” If only many more mothers were like Nadine there would be far fewer women who are overly anxious about their bodies – and unable to even understand naturism and what’s so great about it.
Bonus from earlier: You Should Get Naked More Often. It’s Good for You. (7/21/16)
This issue takes a deep dive into some of the many reasons that naturism seems to have lost popularity in the U.S. in the past 2 or 3 decades. Understanding these reasons is the first step towards taking action to counteract them.
The issue is about what may be the main challenge facing naturism today. That is: why and how to stop being secretive about having an interest in naturism or social nudity. That will help correct the misunderstandings people you know have about naturism. Not only the people you discuss naturism with will know of your interest. But (with your permission) they will be able to tell their own acquaintances what you’ve told them. That can help you develop a network of naturist friends. Both you and naturism in general benefit the more people give it a try.
There’s a specific purpose for this newsletter. It’s not a replacement for the blog, but instead is intended for the purpose indicated in the title. Since it needs to be read by as many naturists as possible, I intend it will always be free.
Here’s a brief summary of the purpose:
“At the present time, naturism in the U.S. and around the world is facing some serious challenges. This newsletter will try to explain the issues and welcome a dialog with readers about how to deal with the challenges, revitalize naturism, and strengthen it for the future.”
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It’s about the magazine, not the ocean of the same name. In case you missed it, this is the article: Is the Internet Killing the Nude Beach? The opening blurb is a pretty good summary:
“Clothing-optional public spaces seem to be declining in popularity, especially among young people, whose relationship with nudity has been shaped by a lifetime online.”
The article suggests that this is a worldwide trend (among most countries that have even had clothing-optional beaches). But the main focus is on the U.S., where the trend may be more pronounced. However that may be, the outlook isn’t especially positive for the future of naturism. Of course, the article’s emphasis is on beaches, so it’s possible that naturist nudity has simply moved away from popular public places in the direction of private clubs or even individual homes.
The article’s author, Stephanie H. Murray, considers several ideas that might account for it. She seems to favor the idea that the Internet has been a major factor. The argument is that cell phones with cameras and online posting of unauthorized nude photos strongly deter women from visiting clothing-optional beaches. Personally, I think a lot of other factors are also involved, and economics is probably a big one. In particular, young people these days seem to find it considerably more difficult than it was a few decades ago to earn enough money to pay off college debts, start a family, purchase a home, etc. This article – Facts that deter young people from participating in naturism – explores that possibility (and others) in detail.
One problem for many who may be interested in posing nude as a life model is finding a class that’s looking for models. Anywhere that art classes are offered is a possibility. That includes college and junior college art classes, places offering adult education classes, and sometimes classes at art museums. Two related articles (here and here) describe what’s involved in modeling. It’s noted that the average pay for modeling is about $25 per hour, but that probably assumes at least some modeling experience. However, for anyone who wouldn’t mind working naked, the pay could be a secondary matter.
Such things understandably appeal especially to younger people more than visits to established naturist parks and resorts. The U.S. is desperately in need of young people like Brendan to revitalize naturism in this country. Many young people resist being labeled or regarding their activities as part of a “lifestyle”, and so the idea to just “Get Naked” may have more appeal. (Here’s a similar article on GNA.)
But other things are possible beyond naturist ghettos. There are World Naked Bike Rides and celebrating World Naked Gardening Day (usually outside the proclaimed week). There’s always naked hiking – anywhere you probably won’t be seen by textiles. And, finally, there are nude cruises – if you can afford them and book far enough in advance. No mention, however, of life modeling or simply having a clothing-optional party for friends in your own home. All-in-all, this isn’t quite Get Naked Australia stuff.
Max makes healthy living in general a priority. In particular, that means “plant-based cooking”. But she also advocates body positivity and nakedness. She argues that food should not only be prepared while nude, but also served and eaten while clothesfree. Max hosts dinner parties for friends while nude herself (with clothing presumably being optional for guests). “Finding comfort, support and acceptance in being nude around my friends allowed me to feel confident in my body,” she avers. Naturists certainly can understand and agree with that.
The article’s not long, so just read it for the details. People, of course, should already know about things like using sunscreen and what hazards may exist in specific places. Such information applies to swimming anywhere, from a private pool to a popular ocean beach. There probably should be more advice about good naturist and nude beach etiquette. But mainly the information is about why skinny dipping is such a great pleasure – although naturists can make many good points from their own experience, even if they seldom skinny dip.
The present article, which asks how it changed the podcasters’ lives, appeared 4 months after the last episode. Both Kat and Jenny feel that “doing the series for the past few years has helped them and their own body image.” Kat observed that “you don’t need to look or act a certain way to love your body – you don’t need to be a certain size to be happy.” So here again is a message about body acceptance. Naturists simply can’t repeat that enough.
Bonus from earlier: Are you a Naked Person? (3/10/11)
Alden Wicker believes, “Your comfort with nudity says a lot about who you are.” She explains further, “I’m not asking if you’re a nudist, an exhibitionist, or a Playboy model. I’m just asking if you’re comfortable in your nakedness.” In more detail, “I think your view of nakedness says more about you than how conventionally beautiful you are. … I’m not saying naked people are better; they just approach life differently.” So here’s one more affirmation that getting comfortable with ordinary nudity is a dependable facilitator of body acceptance.
Obviously, there’s been a long gap since the last “Recent articles on nudity and naturism” here, which was for January 1-15, 2021. Two reasons: the relevant newsflow does seem to have slowed down, but even so, time constraints have made it difficult to keep posting new articles on this theme twice a month. So I’ll try a different approach.
Many interesting articles have been noted since January 2021. So the best of those will be included in the new series, as well as anything suitable that comes out in the future. But there won’t be any fixed posting schedule. It will just happen as time permits, and selected items won’t necessarily appear in chronological order. Also, there will usually be less commentary on individual articles than in the past. These changes may allow new posts to appear as often as before.
Continue reading “Newsworthy nudity, 2021-1”