Overview: Perhaps you’ve been curious about naturism for a while. You may have seen posts from naturists on Twitter, followed one or more naturist blogs, or checked out some naturist groups on Facebook. But you’re not quite sure what’s the best way to actually try naturist activities for yourself. You may have concerns about being embarrassed for saying or doing the wrong things the first few times you visit a clothing-optional beach or actual naturist facility. Here are some suggestions for how to make your first experiences with naturism enjoyable.
1. Make participation in naturism one of your important goals
Success in almost any non-trivial activity – regardless of whether it’s an occupation or just a pastime – usually requires some perseverance and effort. And that means you must be motivated to put in effort on something like a regular basis. Perhaps the best way to stay motivated is to explicitly recognize success in the activity as an important goal. A goal is some sort of objective that you haven’t yet attained. So you’ll have to learn and practice whatever is needed to reach the goal.
In the context of naturism that can mean various things. The most basic is to become very comfortable being fully naked. You can certainly begin to do that while alone, but to get the most out of naturism, you need to be comfortable while naked with others who’re either naked themselves or at least have no objections to nudity. Part of becoming comfortable with nudity requires overcoming any embarrassment about the appearance of your naked body. You also need to be sure you no longer have any doubts that non-sexual nudity is entirely wholesome and proper (in suitable situations).
To enjoy naturism with others, you may have to work on your people skills. You should be able to engage in conversations that involve more than just small talk. Know how to raise topics that others want to talk about. You may need to become more sensitive to the body language of others, so you can avoid doing or saying something that might cause offense. You may want to work on skills related to sports, games, and other activities that naturists enjoy, such as tennis, volleyball, board or computer games, etc. Here are two useful articles on having good conversations: (1) How to Make a Connection With Someone You Just Met (2) Why You Should Talk to Strangers
If naked hiking or camping is something you want to pursue, you should be sure to have the necessary equipment and to work on your skills and endurance to match those of others you will hike or camp with. Likewise, if it’s chess or card games you enjoy, be ready to play on equal terms with others who know the game. Whatever activity you’re thinking about, just be sure you’re good enough at it to keep up with others.
Above all, when setting goals, you should be realistic in your choice of goals, but also set goals for yourself that exceed your present ability and skill. And seriously consider moving the goalposts after you reach an existing goal. For instance, once you’ve “mastered” basic naturism, think about starting your own naturist club (perhaps with Meetup, for example). Or else volunteer or run for office in an existing organization or club.
2. Spend as much time naked as is possible and comfortable for you
There’s generally a direct relationship between how much of the time you spend naked and how comfortable you feel without any clothes on. So being naked as much as is reasonably possible is often an important first step. Of course, if you already feel very comfortable being naked, great. You can certainly be a “real” naturist even though you don’t always choose to be naked when there are no reasons you can’t be. You don’t have to be naked as much as possible, because you may simply want to focus on other things.
Your own home is the most convenient and obvious place to be naked as much as possible. Of course, that’s only if others you live with – whether family, friends, or simply housemates – don’t object to nudity. Preferably, they’re not uneasy at all with your nudity. However, if they’re not quite sure about the idea but willing to consider it, be prepared to explain the many good things about naturism that appeal to you.
Unfortunately, many people just aren’t comfortable with others’ nudity. In that case, be respectful of their feelings, but think of ways to compromise. For much more about living naked with others, read How to enjoy nudity at home if you live with people who aren’t accustomed to nudity.
Always keep in mind that most people assume naturism is a sexual thing simply because parts of the body related to sex are not covered when you’re naked. You could point out that many celebrated works of art aren’t sexual even if they contain nudity. Although everyone has certain external body parts often considered sexual, such parts also have important functions unrelated to sex. (Even testicles are needed to produce testosterone in males.) Emphasize that naturism itself isn’t any more sexual than taking a bath or shower is. Overcoming the doubts others may have about naturism can be rather difficult at times. If it’s not possible in your present circumstances, you may need to think about making a change.
Whether you live alone or with others, some physical considerations are also important. Of course, you’ll need an environment that’s warm enough so you don’t need any clothes to feel sufficiently warm when you want to be naked, whether indoors or out. Perhaps buying a space heater will help indoors. And outdoors, you might be able to add a fire pit or hot tub that can help during the colder seasons.
If you want to be naked outdoors, your yard should have adequate privacy, unless you know any neighbors won’t have objections to nudity. And indoors, perhaps there’s a part of the living space it’s OK to be naked, in case some you live with would rather not see you naked. Even just a bedroom is sufficient, and it will be simple to keep warm. A bedroom mirror would be a plus, and you can decorate the walls with naturist art or photography. Perhaps you can add a comfortable chair and a desk if there’s enough room.
3. Be sure you know the basics of naturist terminology and etiquette
Here are some basic definitions:
- Naturism: The practice of enjoying non-sexual nudity. Many people associate other characteristics with the term, such as a healthy lifestyle, respect for oneself and others, respect for nature, etc. Many people who think of themselves as naturists or nudists will fully agree with the specifics.
- Nudism: Basically little different from naturism, but may be considered by some as limited to simply enjoyment of nonsexual nudity.
- Naturist (noun): A person who enjoys participating in naturist activities wearing minimal clothing, at most, while observing proper naturist etiquette. Many people participate in naturist activities without self-identifying as naturists.
- Naturist (adjective): Characteristic of activities, organizations, people, places, lifestyles, etc. that are associated with naturists.
- Naturist activities: Any legal and ethical activities naturists may enjoy together with other naturists, while wearing as little as possible except what is needed for safety, comfort, and good health.
- Naturist etiquette: The principles of generally acceptable behavior expected whenever a person engages in naturist activities with others. See below for a few more details.
- Naturist club: An organization of people who engage in the practice of naturism. May or may not own the land or facilities where meetings occur.
- Non-landed naturist club: A naturist club that does not own land or facilities where meetings occur. May or may not have formal memberships, dues, officers, records, etc.
- Landed naturist club: A naturist club that owns or has rights to use the land where meetings and activities occur. Clubs may also be known as parks, campgrounds, resorts, etc.
- Naturist organization: An informal or legally-recognized organization that may be registered as for-profit or non-profit and provides various services for naturists and naturist clubs. Usually has officers, memberships, annual dues, etc. Usually has physical offices if necessary for functions of the organization.
- Naturist lifestyle: The chosen way of living of a person who seeks to spend a significant amount of time either naked or wearing no more clothing than necessary for safety, comfort, and good health. It’s useful but not necessary to have a naturist lifestyle in order to enjoy occasional naturist activities.
Naturist etiquette is actually pretty simple, as it’s basically just a matter of being sensitive to the feelings others may have while they’re naked. The most important rules are: (1) Don’t stare at others; (2) Make eye contact when speaking to others; (3) Place a towel anywhere you plan to sit. Here’s a more complete summary. For more information and a few good external references, review this part of a previous article in this series.
4. Select one naturist activity outside your home to start with
It’s certainly possible to enjoy being naked or engaging in naturist activities only in your own home or (perhaps) the homes of others who are tolerant and accepting of nudity, naturists, and naturist activities. But in order to enjoy the most benefits of naturism, it’s best not to be limited to private homes. Not being limited that way will enable you to become acquainted with many more active naturists. It’s OK to explore several of the activities, but focusing initially on one is the simplest way to really get into naturism.
There are a number of good possibilities.
- Hiking or camping while wearing no more clothing than needed for comfort or safety – and preferably with others who have no objections to nudity, especially other naturists. (Often possible in U. S. National Forests and lands controlled by the Bureau of Land Management – but check local regulations.)
- Becoming a regular user of an established clothing-optional beach or skinny-dipping place, if there is one reasonably nearby. There are many lists of such places, such as this Wikipedia list, and this list of U. S. places from a German site.
- Participating in non-landed naturist clubs and Meetup groups for naturists. (Non-landed and landed clubs affiliated with AANR can be located here.)
- Visiting, vacationing, or even residing in a landed naturist resort, club, park, or campground. (Can be identified from lists mentioned above)
- Attending or hosting parties and other social gatherings in private homes where nudity is encouraged
- Staying at bed-and-breakfast accommodations, of which there are many scattered around the country. A U. S. list is here, and a worldwide list is here.)
- Engaging in naked activities with others, such as yoga, sports, exercise, life modeling, body-painting, meditation, etc.
- Vacationing and traveling in other regions or countries where naturism is popular. (Western European countries, especially France, Spain, England, Germany, and Croatia, are best.)
You need not limit yourself to just one of these possibilities, if several are of interest to you and readily available. However, you should try to participate regularly in at least one of these activities, so that it becomes an important part of your life.
Becoming acquainted with other naturists and spending time with them is very important, especially if they’re near your own age. Here are some of the reasons:
- People who’ve been naturists for some time will be totally accepting and non-judgmental about your nudity, which will help you overcome any lingering concerns.
- You can enjoy various activities with them, such as hiking, camping, and visiting clothing-optional beaches, hot springs, and skinny-dipping places.
- They can give you good advice on how to deal with problems that anyone relatively new to naturism may encounter.
- They’ll have plenty of ideas for naturist activities and places to go you probably don’t know about.
- You’ll find others you have much in common with besides naturism, you’ll be likely to establish a lasting friendship.
- Active naturists usually have a number of friends and acquaintances who are naturists. You can use their personal network to meet other naturists in your area.
- Older naturists probably have relatives and friends who’re also naturists but closer to your age and will be open to becoming friends with you.
It’s not absolutely necessary to experience naturism outside your home as soon as possible. However, one of the most rewarding aspects of naturism is being able to enjoy nudity with others – and all or most of those others aren’t people you’re currently living with.
5. Previous articles in this series
- How to get started in naturism if you’re under 30, part 1: The naturist landscape
- How to get started in naturism if you’re under 30, part 2: The good things about naturism
- How to get started in naturism if you’re under 30, part 3: Naked and afraid?
6. Other good articles about becoming comfortable with nudity and naturism
If you find that any of these ideas are helpful, please write a little about your relevant experiences in the comments.