How many times have you wished you had a friend who shared an important interest of yours that might not be especially common? Perhaps you like to play chess at a somewhat more expert level than average. Or you’re a “master gardener”. Or you enjoy backcountry hiking and camping. You might know others with similar interests, even though they’re not as serious about the interest as you are. What can you do if you want to find a friend who actually shares your level of interest and experience?
Continue reading “That new friend you’ve been looking for might be a naturist”
Well, it seems I’ve gotten somewhat behind in reporting on “recent” noteworthy articles on nudity and naturism. Personal reasons for that, but no excuses. I’ll try to cover the best articles from May here – but with less detail than usual. You’ll see there are some fairly interesting things. Hopefully, June, July, and August summaries won’t be too far behind.
- Utah, California, South Carolina Best Places for 2020 ‘Naked Gardening Day’ Saturday
The World Naked Gardening Day for this year (in the northern hemisphere) was on May 2, and has already been discusssed here. But this article appeared a little later and has additional details. The LawnStarter website has covered WNGD before (last year), when it rated Bakersfield, California, as having “the most conducive climate for getting out and gardening in the buff”. This year it bestowed the honor on Ogden, Utah, based on weather forecasts. But the event is celebrated by naturists in many other countries besides the U. S. For instance, Donna Price (pictured above), from the UK, is quoted recommending everyone to “make it naked and enjoy the liberation”.
- The Great British Take Off
WNGD wasn’t the only special naturist event in May. British Naturism designated Saturday, May 16 as the day for The Great British Take Off (GBTO). Here’s their announcement: The Great British Take Off – 16th May. The name chosen for the day may refer not only to taking off clothes but may also suggest the idea that naturism in the UK could be taking off to a new level. Here’s what BN said on the day of GBTO: The Great British Take Off – Today’s the Day! And here’s their summary of what happened: Didn’t we have a lovely time…!
The announcement got widespread notice in the British press. Most of it was favorable to naturism and not condescending (as it would certainly be in most U. S. media). It’s no accident there were numerous media reports. BN obviously made a serious effort to get favorable coverage – even supplying images to accompany the stories. U. S. naturist organizations don’t seem to make such efforts, or if they do, they’re not nearly so successful.
Some of the stories:
- The woman behind “Women-in-Naturism”
Here’s Donna Price again, in her role with British Naturism as a promoter of naturism for women. She’s officially the Coordinator of the Women in Naturism Campaign. We all know about naturism’s gender imbalance problem. It’s to BN’s credit that they don’t just talk about the problem but also have someone who’s responsible for getting things done to address the problem. Simply having a point of contact from whom other women can learn more about naturism is important. Since Donna (and her husband) have only been naturists since 2016, they can explain from their own experience how to overcome the concerns that women have about participating in naturism. Donna has an active Twitter feed, which makes communication especially straightforward.
- Naturism goes on in spite of the pandemic
There’s no question about the pandemic having an impact. But it seems to be less severe than in some other areas. Naturally, since most people are spending lots more time at home – especially if they can continue at their normal jobs remotely – they can be naked much more of the time. Since most traditional naturist activities are outdoors (beaches, campgrounds, resorts, etc.) transmission of the virus is somewhat less likely. Many other activities can go on using video – naked yoga and figure drawing/painting classes, for example. And many more people can participate – even from another continent, since travel isn’t necessary. The use of video also means that naturists can spend more time in conversation with each other, and find new friends.
It should be noted that British Naturism hosts an extensive calendar of online events. Some are free for BN members (but it’s not necessary to live in the UK to join BN). These include things like chats, a book club, and life drawing. Other more intensive offerings – such as yoga, aerobics, and fitness workouts – can be booked for about 5$US per session (for BN members). The schedule is here. Neither of the U. S. national naturist organizations has anything like this, as far as I can tell from their websites.
Here are some media reports:
- ‘I’m running a naked pub in lockdown’ – The quote is from Pam Fraser (pictured immediately above), who’s an event organizer and spokesperson for British Naturism. Her “pub” is virtual, but in other respects it’s much like the real thing in terms of conviviality. (Fraser’s Instagram)
- ‘We’re not just a bunch of weird naked people’: the rise of naturism in lockdown – Good summary of naturist activities during lockdown, based on interviews with naturists and naturist bloggers.
- Scots naturist couple bare all about taking their kit off in lockdown and why more people should join them – Juliette and Ivan, who’ve been naturists for 15 years, report getting “on with the normal activities of life. They just do most of it without clothes.” Juliette feels “there’s not much [she] will not do naked.” Fortunately, “The neighbours know and don’t care. If they happen to spot us in our gardens, they couldn’t care less.”
- More people trying naturism during lockdown – Reports that “British Naturism has reported a 100 percent increase in members since the pandemic began and Instagrammers with a passion for stripping off have been sharing images of themselves baking, sunbathing and doing yoga while in the comfort of their own homes.”
- How Coronavirus Is Impacting France’s Largest Nudist Camp – Naturists in France, as well as in the UK, are adapting to life with social distancing. CHM Montalivet “is the size of a small town, with over 1000 private bungalows on site, as well as a huge campsite, cinema, gym, spa, swimming pools, a library” and various shops. It’s known as “the world’s first naturist holiday resort”. Montalivet was not open when the article appeared, as several regular visitors lamented, but it’s now operating more or less normally.
- More people opting to go nude during quarantine – Survey of diverse naturist activities during quarantine. (But since it’s from a disreputable U. S. tabloid, it has the customary deprecatory attitude that “nudism is still largely viewed as a taboo pursuit.”)
- Meet the self-isolating naturists making the most during lockdown – Just a brief (but positive) article.
- ‘Why we decided to do our podcast in the buff,’ say the women behind the Naked Podcast
“When Kat Harbourne told her friends and fellow BBC Sheffield journalist Jenny Eells she wanted to make a podcast that explored issues around body image she jumped at the chance. Even when Kat said they, and their guests, would be naked, she didn’t change her mind.” Jenny explained, “For me being naked isn’t really an issue but I know that’s not the case for everyone and we wanted to try and find out why.” The podcast website is here.
- Petition to protest censorship of naturism on Google’s YouTube
The petition, entitled Normalize the human body in its natural form, is at Change.org. I expect most naturists would agree with the notion. The text begins: “Depictions of non-minor persons of any sex either in public or in private in a non-sexual, nude state shall not be prohibited by social media sites or their providers if and when the depictions are intended by their disseminator to be of an artistic, educational, or documentary nature and/or facilitate the formation of an educated opinion…” There have been over 13,000 signers so far. Please take a moment to sign yourself, if you haven’t already. (It’s free, although you can make a donation to help publicize it.)
The petition was initiated by Hector Martinez of the Mexican Nudist Federation. He had posted hundreds of videos on his channel, which had 1.3 million subscribers and a total of 200 million views. And then “someone” at YouTube deleted the entire channel, without warning or explanation. According to Hector, the videos had been posted since 2016 and observed YouTube’s guidelines for acceptable content. The whole text is worth reading. My own comment, after signing, was:
“There’s nothing whatsoever wrong with nudity. In particular, nonsexual nudity as practiced by naturists is entirely healthy and wholesome. Not everyone agrees with this, of course, but that does not in any way justify censoring the expressing and documenting of a completely valid point of view.”
Some other naturist blogs also reported on this:
- British Naturism: Sunfolk – an update
This British Naturism project has already been mentioned here. The progress that’s already been made is noteworthy, in spite of the pandemic. The plans BN has for Sunfolk are impressive. This may be the first example, at least in the English-speaking world, of a major naturist organization taking over management of an existing naturist facility. It will be run much like a traditional naturist club, but primarily for the benefit of BN members. During the last few decades a dozen or so landed clubs in the U. S. have folded and converted to conventional textile-only use. Neither of the national U. S. organizations seems to have considered doing what BN has done with Sunfolk. That’s a lot of very unfortunate missed opportunities.
- I Think I Found the Missing Nudist Bloggers
In this post I replied to an article on the Sensual Nudist blog: What Happened to the Nudist Bloggers? That led to some interesting dialog (in email and article comments) with Alexis (the article’s author) and other bloggers. Alexis posted an interesting response on her blog, giving a good explanation of her thinking. It’s a long post, so I won’t summarize here – just read it.
Yes, of course, being totally naked just plain feels great – at least under the right conditions of temperature, social and physical environment, etc. But there’s more to life than just feeling great, isn’t there? Other good responses that answer the question “Why be naked?” are many and varied.
The reasons for wearing nothing whenever possible go well beyond just how great it feels. There are various good reasons why being clothesfree is a healthy lifestyle, both physically and psychologically. But there’s a lot more than that. Some of the best reasons for naked living, however, are subtle and more difficult to articulate. Here are some possibilities to consider for choosing to live naked:
- Being unencumbered by any clothing – even shoes – allows you to feel much closer to the natural world.
- When you’re completely naked, there are fewer inessential barriers – emotionally as well as physically – between yourself and others – especially (but not only) when everyone around you is naked too.
- Dispensing with clothes eliminates the possibility – and the burden – of using clothes as a type of armor or disguise to unnecessarily protect or conceal yourself from others.
- Living naked challenges you to accept and be at ease with yourself and your body just as they are, without pretense, embarrassment, or shame.
- When people interact without the misdirection of clothing, the value of “authenticity” is easier to appreciate.
- Without the artifice or distraction of any clothes, it’s easier to think about and discuss with others things that matter more than physical appearance or mundane trivia.
- With others who are naked it’s easier and less awkward to have honest, useful conversations about your body and theirs – including topics related to nakedness itself.
- When you’re comfortable being naked with others, you’re predisposed to feel more at ease, closer, and more trusting. Being naked is an offer of trust.
- Makng strong, satisfying friendships with others who enjoy nudity is easier because of the significant interest existing in common.
- Elminating clothes from your life as much as possible leads you to question more seriously what is important and real around you and disregard things that are neither.
- When we’re wearing nothing at all, it’s easier (in Shakespeare’s words) to “speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.”
Image credit: Mona Kuhn
That’s something you’ll hear from many naturists, unsurprisingly. Perhaps you’ve actually thought or even said something like that yourself. If so, great! Otherwise, can you imagine yourself doing that? It would mean you’ve realized that something most people regard as obviously essential – namely, wearing clothes – really isn’t essential at all much of the time. Being usually naked when possible is a conscious, intentional decision you could make. Or maybe it’s just something you might gradually find yourself doing – and enjoying. But the fact is, having a naked lifestyle is actually practicable.
Continue reading ““I just don’t wear clothes very much anymore unless I have to…””