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
6 thoughts on “What sorts of things do you especially enjoy doing naked?”
Hey there! This is Dan! 🙂
Thanks for the recap of my survey. First of all, I would like to apologize for not including your comment in the redux. Somehow, it seems it didn’t drop down from the survey form. This is the first time I’ve seen it, but I’m happy to cut and paste, to add it into the after-survey post. Your point is well-taken, and I also welcome a “challenging” point of view.
An important nuance that you may have missed is that the survey was that was admittedly self-serving, in that I was particularly curious about who follows my blog, and what kind of information they’re looking for. And as noted in the postgame blog, I found the comments MUCH more useful to that end than the actual tick boxes. But the tick boxes served as a platform to get people thinking, even if the conclusion was that “I don’t fit in any of those boxes.” That’s all good. The process was intended to supersede the product.
But what I found even more interesting was how people DID identify themselves. Indeed, we’ve been very fortunate to travel a lot over our 30+ years together, and we’ve seen a lot of different ideas about what nude recreation can be. The original tongue-in-cheek post was intended to tease out reactions that would provide a sense of discussion that a new OR seasoned naturist might read while trying to figure out what nude recreation is and where they might feel comfortable experiencing that. Snarky? For sure. But all intended in fun. Naturism is inherently counter-culture, especially in the US. If we don’t approach the whole thing with a sense of humor, we’re done from the start.
Anyway, things for writing a whole blog post in response to this project. If the only thing I accomplished was to get people talking, then it was well worth the effort. 🙂
Be naked and well – DAN
Ugh… a couple typos, but especially in the last paragraph…
“Anyway, THANKS for writing a whole blog post…. ” I mean that!
don’t care to be described as either “nudists” or “naturists”
Nudist has an old-school feel to it. Elderly folks playing shuffleboard, tightly restricted camps, no noise after sunset, and no gays, singles, people of color or hand-holding.
Naturist sounds very new-age, environmentalist, vegan, crystal power, and that sort of thing.
What if you just like the feeling of being naked? What if a club or a resort really feels like you don’t belong because you aren’t an AARP member? Or you’d have to drive hundreds of miles to get there? Or you can’t afford the fees?
Or a resort really feels like a well-appointed ghetto? The walls are more to keep you in, to protect society from you, than any other reason?
What if you don’t care if the other people are clothed, you just want to do your own thing as another fashion option? Maybe being nude is just one aspect of a varied life?
Until it gets taken by some group who then makes up rules about who fits the definition, I’m just a nudie.
Perhaps surprisingly, there’s a group in San Francisco (of course), perhaps all male, both straight and gay, who regard themselves as “urban nudists”. They freely walk around town naked (at least in their neighborhoods), and they like the term “nudist” because it emphasizes nudity and how it’s nothing to be ashamed of. They disdain the term “naturist” since they think it’s meant to downplay nudity. I don’t quite agree, since nudity really is inseparable from naturism, but the term “nudist” does have unfortunate connotations for historical reasons.
The term “naturist” was in common use in the 1920s by people who were into vegetarianism, abstention from tobacco and alcohol, the health benefits of fresh air and sunshine, group exercise, and a generally healthy lifestyle – naked, of course. I can’t find much to fault there. The emphasis was on the naked human body as being close to nature. Exactly (I think) how you yourself feel when hiking in the mountains.
These examples just further illustrate how simplistic labels obscure a much more complex reality. Political labels are the same way. It would be nice if people could agree on a more systematic taxonomy for human social groupings. But we know most people would consider it a bother to have to learn it.
Thanks for the generous plug. BTW, it’s OK to mention my name (Charles Daney), although I’m not interested in being famous for even 15 minutes. I’m coming around to the conviction that naturists remaining anonymous isn’t really a very good idea.