Since this is a naturist blog, I mean only non-sexual things, of course.
Dan Carlson’s blog very recently had a most interesting post: What Kind of Nudist are YOU? As phrased, the question suggests that “nudists” (and equivalently, “naturists”) tend to belong to distinct “kinds”, “types”, or “categories”.
Dan backs away from that sort of interpretation, yet he still offers 11 different categories to which he asks readers to assign themselves, although multiple categories are allowed. The categories are given snarky names, like “Jello-shot nudie crowd”, “Wine-foodie naturist snob”, “Life until death nudist”, and “Yoga-wellness guru”. Seriously, how many people who enjoy nudity would care to be regarded as members of categories like that? You’ll have to read the article for an explanation of how the categories are defined.
Note: For the purposes of this discussion, let’s take “naturist” to mean anyone who enjoys being (non-sexually) naked, generally (but not necessarily) in the presence of others.
In Dan’s defense, it appears the categories are meant to describe the “typical” naturists one is likely to find at specific naturist clubs and resorts around the world – and he has visited more than 150 of them. Unfortunately, however, in the U. S. most people do not live within a convenient distance of a landed naturist club or resort. So most U. S. naturists are not able to enjoy nudity very often at such places. And although there are many naturist places in other countries that are far more heavily used than most in the U. S., most U. S. naturists can’t afford the travel expense very often, if at all. Consequently, knowing what sort of people are typically found at a given naturist club or resort isn’t very helpful to most U. S. naturists.
I couldn’t really identify with any of the categories described in the post, for reasons I’ll discuss here. But Dan also asked readers to give feedback on his post, and about 10 days after the original post, he presented the results of his informal survey. He received (as of the time of the second post), responses from 256 people (with slightly over half from the U. S.). In addition to giving numbers of people who identified with one or more categories, he presented some (all?) of the feedback comments he received.
Although I didn’t check-mark any categories, I did offer a comment. Alas, for some unknown reason, it wasn’t included with the others, so here it is:
“The whole idea of trying to fit people into boxes seems rather uncool. Personally, I’d call myself an eclectic naturist. I can enjoy being naked either alone or in a social setting where nudity is acceptable. Could be a beach, naturist park, camping or hiking in the woods, a small home party, organized event, yoga class. WHATEVER. The point to me seems to be doing something I enjoy and being naked at the same time. The categories you suggest seem rather retro and stereotyped. Last thing I want is to be stereotyped. And I think that’s something especially unappealing to younger people (35 and under, perhaps) who haven’t really decided just who they are yet. You know, the general public already has a stereotype for nudists – and it is not flattering. To quote Maya Angelou, “I am a human being, nothing human can be alien to me!””
Although most respondents checked one or more categories, their comments had a different story to tell. Overwhelmingly, in the comments people talked about how much time they were able to spend naked and what they enjoy doing while naked. Not only was there little interest in identifying with different categories, knowing what a particular individual enjoyed doing naked provided a much clearer picture of each one’s naturist/nudist preferences.
Here are just some of the activities mentioned:
- Only naked at our private pool with the wife.
- I also like to do stuff ie be active rather than just be naked for the sake of it.
- I’d say I’m a “naked on the internet” guy.
- Member of local landed and non-landed clubs. Raised our kids as nudists at home and at the clubs.
- an active advocate for normalizing nudity through an online presence and participation in urban public nudity
- Trail hiking, and wilderness camping!
- Sailing, boating, skiing, snorkeling, hiking, outdoor recreation, etc. Naked in Nature!
- I’m naked at home every day outside in the backyard or pool, but only when it’s warm.
- Most of my nudity is in the backcountry where there’s either nobody else around or nobody that far off the beaten path would care.
And that’s just a small sample. Don’t you think that hearing things like that from another naturist would give you a great idea of what you have in common with the other person and how much you’d like to get to know them even better?
As I suggested in my own comment, I think most people don’t like to be labeled, stereotyped, or pigeon-holed. That’s why many people who enjoy nudity and doing things naked don’t care to be described as either “nudists” or “naturists” – or much of anything else for that matter. Unless the category term is somewhat specific about a person’s preferred activities while naked, such as “outdoor enthusiast”, “boater”, “yoga practitioner”, “sun-bather”, or “gardener”.
These considerations suggest that having some sort of outline of when, where, and how people can enjoy being naked might be useful – both to guide your own thinking and to provide things to talk about when making new naturist acquaintances.
When you meet other naturists for the first time at a beach, club, or other places for social nudity, you might want to identify others who’ll be most suitable for establishing a new friendship. Learning about when, where, and how someone enjoys nudity will be much more useful for this purpose than trying to fit them into one or a few categories.
When you meet someone new when socializing naked, you’ll probably exchange a few general details about yourself and your family – whatever you feel comfortable mentioning, not necessarily related to naturism. Quite often the next question might be something like “How did you first get involved in social nudity?” While that’s a very common thing to ask about, learning more about the when, where, and how your new acquaintance enjoys nudity now, is usually more important. And the best way to get into that is probably to first offer your own answers to the when, where, and how questions.
Others might be intimidated if you ask them the question in the title of this post. Your new acquaintance may have relatively little experience with social nudity, so may not even know how to discuss what they might enjoy. So start by providing your own current answers. In any case, they’ll be more at ease about answering if you’ve taken the lead – hence more likely to say more about themselves.
Below is a list of details you might want to learn about someone you meet for the first time. Many of these points were mentioned in comments to Dan Carlson’s blog post. You may already be pretty confident you know what your answers are. But there are almost certainly others possibilities you haven’t even considered. The list might help to start thinking about your current when-where-how answers. That’s bound to start you thinking about some things you’d like to try but haven’t yet had the chance.
If you have additional ideas or suggestions, please add them in the comments.
- When do I feel free to enjoy nudity?
- Any time it’s comfortable to be naked (i. e. not too cold)
- Whenever it’s comfortable and not likely to cause trouble or offend others
- Mainly in groups of others who’re also naked
- Only with other naturists
- Only in private when nobody else might object
- Only with members of my immediate family or people I live with who are tolerant of nudity
- Only with my spouse or domestic partner
- Only when I’m alone
- Where are the best places to enjoy nudity?
- Anywhere clothing is optional
- Full or part time living facilities (e. g. at naturist resorts)
- Clothing-optional B&Bs, guest houses
- Commercial clothing-optional hot springs
- Public beaches where nudity is officially or de facto acceptable
- Outdoors when hiking or camping at suitable places
- Secluded locations on public land such as lake shores, rivers, or hot springs
- Mainly at landed naturist clubs and resorts
- At the most popular naturist places around the world
- Anywhere with friends where nudity is possible and acceptable to everyone
- Only inside my own home or private areas of my yard
- Only inside my own home
- Private parties and social events where others will be naked
- Scheduled events at naturist clubs and resorts
- Events for members of non-landed naturist clubs
- In my own home or the homes of naturist friends
- Only in my own home
- Activities at private naked gatherings
- Dinners, cookouts, pot lucks
- Pool parties
- Games (computer games, board games, cards, etc.)
- Watching TV or movies
- General conversation
- Outdoor activities that can be enjoyed naked
- Boating, sailing
- River rafting
- Snorkeling, scuba
- Trail biking
- Volleyball, tennis, other competitive sports
- Running (for exercise or in organized events)
- Horseback riding
- Nature photography or painting
- Miscellaneous other clothesfree activities
- Video socializing with other naturists
- Reading/writing/chatting on social media
- Exercise, fitness
- Relaxing in a sauna or spa (private or commercial)
- Home improvement (painting, redecorating, etc.)
- Amateur or professional nude modeling
- Bowling (with a naturist group)
- Clothing-optional cruises