This is a continuation of my remarks on this article by LadyGod1va. Her key point is that there need “to be more activities that bring naturism and textile activities together as combined events, in other words, clothing optional, and held in public areas, not secluded or fenced or promoted as naturist/nude only event.” I think it’s a problem that naturists rely too much on existing organizations to make the arrangements. Events organized by local, regional, or national naturist organizations are fine. However, first, they are far too few. Second, they are attended almost entirely by people who are already naturists (at least in spirit). And, third, after decades, they have had little success in promoting naturism to the general public.
Think about how much more could be accomplished if naturists in large numbers took it upon themselves to organize events. So I’m suggesting that many events should be organized as small, personal gatherings at an individual naturist’s home or convenient local facilities (such as a room at a cooperative restaurant). People invited to such events should be friends (or friends of friends) of the organizer who are either current naturists or else known to be open-minded about naturism – perhaps already interested in knowing more about it.
At such events, naturists and non-naturists could get to know each other. Everyone would wear as much or as little as they wish – but hopefully some choose to be naked. Events need not be strictly about naturism. They could be mainly for general socializing. But the key thing is that non-naturists get to meet actual naturists and learn, in casual conversation, what naturism is all about. Obviously, this assumes that the event organizer has “come out” as a naturist to many or most of his or her friends – and isn’t shy about endorsing social nudity as a good thing.
Why would this work? Sociologists have long recognized that a person often chooses as a new friend someone who is a friend of a friend the person already has. That is, if A and C are both friends of B, A and C are more likely to become friends of each other. Why? Because both A and C like B and trust B’s judgment in selecting friends. A and C already have one thing in common, namely B. They may not have met before or even have (as far as they know) anything else in common. (Of course, they could have things in common, such as working at the same place.) If A and B are naturists, then if C (a non-naturist) decides to be friends with A, C automatically has another naturist as a friend – in addition to B. There are then two friends who may encourage C to try naturism.
If this needs to be clearer, let’s give them names. Assume that Alice and Bob are friends who are both naturists. Bob has another friend, Carol, who isn’t a naturist, but is open-minded and perhaps curious about naturism. So Bob arranges a party at his home, inviting both Alice and Carol, as well as other friends, including both naturists and non-naturists. During the evening Alice and Carol get to know each other, and they learn that they share some major interest, such as jogging. Quickly Alice and Carol become friends, jog together and share other activities frequently. Carol meets other naturists at the party too, and becomes more comfortable around naked people. She’s used to seeing Alice naked at home, and might, perhaps, visit a naturist resort or a nude beach with Alice. So there’s a real possibility Carol might try naturism herself.
Now imagine this scenario is repeated 1000s of time. Naturism could become “viral” and spread like a (benign) social epidemic. That is how real progress could be made. (A book, The Tipping Point, explains how that works.) It just requires that many more naturists are open with their friends about enjoying nudity and are willing to organize social events for both naturist and non-naturist friends together. This is the kind of event – in an ordinary, everyday setting – that can really normalize nudity in the eyes of non-naturists.
How many naturists our there have done something like this? Please comment if you have.
7 thoughts on “What individual naturists could do to promote naturism – and why”
By forcing new people getting naked is not the answer to attract and getting our community bigger. And yes, nudists and textiles can coexist in harmony. What you mentioned in your blog is exactly my point too. I read also Lady Godiva post and I applauded, she raised so many good ideas and also issues.
Yes, I myself organized such events, you can check it out on Nakedwanderings blogs:
I have had clothing optional birthday suit parties for decades.
Events like the WNBR are a good opportunity to mix undies and textiles. The SF Bay to Breakers is even better.
Naturists are still pretty deep.in the closet. There are some employers who will fire you outright if they discover it and you have no legal protection in many areas. There are people who will judge you. Parents who will keep their children away from yours.
OTOH, we have very well appointed resorts and clubs we can retreat to. (Some of them remind me of reservations.) Many of them see no profit to be made off free beaches or open parks.
If we had half the motivation and political savvy of the gay rights movement, it wouldn’t be an issue.
I don’t know whether there are actually many resorts/clubs that feel that way. It doesn’t make much business sense. The more active naturists there are in a given area, the more customers there should be for a naturist business. So even if a particular club doesn’t want more members, someone else will see an opportunity to start a new club, perhaps with a different set of features. Is this chicken/egg? I don’t think so. It’s much easier for a person to become a naturist (perhaps in the closet) than for someone to start up a new business. It’s harder still to open up an existing beach for naturists. There’s a correlation between the number of naturists in an area and the number of naturist businesses. See my post Where is social naturism popular for an analysis.
I have arranged several naturist events over the last few years and have found that there are 2 types of events that attract new people to try being naked for the first time or near to home (not on a beach 1000 miles away). These are naked swims at open air swimming pools and naked visits to gardens. Swimming is obvious but gardens is probably the surprise. However, gardens are places where we can walk round quietly see other people but we are not all forced to be close together as in a house. Many of these events have been reported in the local press and on local radio. I have been interviewed several times and have found that almost all reports are positive.
I’ve read about several of the BN garden events. The idea is very appealing. These are mostly privately owned places, right? I haven’t heard of anything like that in the U. S. (unfortunately). Are the swimming pool events also at places generally open to the public or at private homes?
The swimming pool events are open to everyone and are at public pools. We just hire the pool for an evening. We tell the local radio stations and press. The swim at Peterborough in June resulted in 5 radio interviews on the 2 local stations. The first 2 were about the event. Following the radio interviews the event sold out. The second two interviews were about it being sold out. We sell the tickets online. Selling online has 2 advantages; it is easy and it means those attending have to give an email address and their credit card details – this seems to stop “problem” people attending.
At the last swim (Letchworth); two of the pool staff asked if they could try naked swiming. We said yes and they stripped off and got in the water.
American naturists should be so jealous of how this sort of thing seems so easy in the UK.