Additional thoughts on the fear of nudity

In reading this post on the topic, which I originally wrote almost 19 years ago, I was astonished to have left out what may be the most significant type of fear of nudity based on abstract feelings. (See the original article for “abstract” vs. “concrete” fears.)

What I neglected to write about is this: Fear of nudity, social nudity in particular, is likely in large part due to the fact that social nudity violates a cluster of norms and customs of the society in which one lives. It’s a factor not just in North America and Western Europe, but also in most “advanced” societies whose lifestyles are far removed from those of people who value clothing mainly for warmth, instead of for a variety of unrelated social considerations, such as religion.

Consider the word “norm”. Social behavior is considered to be within the “norm” if it’s behavior that is consistent with what “most” people in a given society consider “proper”. This is a numerical type of standard. Behavior by people in a minority that “deviates” from what most people in the majority find acceptable is “not normal”. It is “abnormal”, and that’s not considered a good thing. Such behavior is, at least, suspicious. (This applies to any sort of behavior, not just nudity. Another example is styles of dress that are regarded as “foreign” and not typical in a given society. Of course, nudity really is just another style of dress.)

But “norm” has a slightly different meaning too, roughly what is meant by “custom”. Customs in a particular society aren’t necessarily related to either numerical measures or morality-related issues. Examples of such customs include times of day that meals are eaten, types of food that’s served for specific occasions, activities engaged in on particular holidays, and types of clothing worn in specific places. Nevertheless, failure to observe the customs of a society is also “suspicious” and a cause for disapproval of the “uncustomary” behavior itself.

Regardless of the fine differences between “norm” and “custom”, nudity is almost always considered both “abnormal” and “uncustomary”, and is therefore a source of mistrust, disapproval – and even fear. (Except when nudity is “normal” for activities like bathing or (perhaps) sleeping.) A further sanction against uncustomary nudity is often to make it illegal.

So the question that must be asked is this: Exactly why is “abnormal” or “uncustomary” behavior – of which social nudity is just one example – a source of fear?

There are very good evolutionary psychological reasons that answer the “why” question. All human societies depend on cooperation among society members. Cooperation takes various forms. It may be working “cooperatively” with others in a group on activities that benefit the group. The activities could be as diverse as those of social clubs, businesses, and extended families. But there are often opportunities for individuals within a group to act in ways that benefit only themselves, while harming the group as a whole. For example, embezzlement of money or disclosure of information the group wants to keep secret. Lying or cheating in transactions between individuals in a society provide even more obvious examples.

If such harmful behavior is too common in a group, the group itself is at risk of failure. If cheating between individuals is too common, people cannot trust each other, and so they lose out on the benefits they might enjoy from honest trading and cooperation.

Societies and groups usually can function well enough if there are only a few cheaters. So there is always the possibility that any given member may be tempted to cheat. And consequently, honest people need to learn how to detect potential cheaters in order to avoid them.

How is that usually done? It’s done by monitoring whether other people observe group norms and customs. There are beneficial norms and customs, such as honestly cooperating with others and not cheating. Other norms and customs aren’t as consequential, but whether or not they’re respected may be used to judge how well the beneficial ones are respected.

The problem is that the “honesty”, or lack thereof, of other people is not easy to judge when the others are not well-known. Typically, judgments of honesty are done by considering a person’s “reputation”. If the person is known to have cheated previously in some way or other, the person is more likely to be distrusted. Unfortunately, the reputations of most people one has to deal with are often unknown, because little or nothing is known about the person himself or herself.

However, one type of information about an otherwise unknown person is behavior that can be observed directly. Most importantly, is anything known about the person’s behavior in violation of social norms or customs? If so, the person is more likely to be mistrusted and avoided.

Here’s a simple but very common example. People in management jobs at a company or in certain other kinds of jobs (e. g. salespeople) are expected to dress in a certain way: suit and tie for a man, “professional” clothing for a woman. Failure to dress in the “normal” or “customary” way is a source of immediate distrust. Why should a person be trusted who violates well-known social norms?

It’s a fact that people who are known to be “nudists” or to engage in social nudity are often distrusted or disrespected – precisely because nudity violates typical norms and customs. Such people are stigmatized as “nonconformists”.

Obviously, too, there are whole professions – such as teaching or any other kind of work with children – where being known to participate in social nudity can be used as an excuse for exclusion from the profession.

While it’s quite true that many people in a particular society do not have this negative attitude towards nudity, the negative attitude is still so widespread that anyone who has a favorable attitude towards nudity – and whose behavior is suspected of reflecting that attitude – must be cautious about letting that attitude be known. Or more to the point, people are more likely to think of nudity as something to be fearful of – because they know of the risk that others may disapprove. The existence of the risk is known – and the result is fear. We fear, rationally, what could cause us harm, especially if it’s difficult to estimate the risk – just as we fear spiders that could actually be harmless.

Here’s the reasoning in a nutshell: Social nudity violates a cultural norm. Therefore there’s a risk that others may see this violation as a reason for distrusting people who have positive attitudes towards nudity. Therefore it’s prudent to be fearful of holding positive attitudes towards nudity in order to reduce the risk.

The fear of nudity, part 2

From September 1997 to July 2000 (yes, that long ago) I published on the pages of this site a “Weekly Nudesletter” (which became increasingly sporadic). It contained mainly brief remarks on current news items. All that content is still online, if you care to see it. Occasionally, there were longer essays. In particular, there was a two-part essay on “the fear of nudity”. Most of this is still quite relevant, and I’ll refer to it in later posts. What follows here is the second part, which has been slightly edited. (Original page)

Some things we fear are concrete, while some are more abstract. In Part 1 we covered the concrete fears people often have when considering the possibility of trying social nudity. The list involves 16 concerns that people worry about as possible direct consequences of being naked with others. Some of these concerns are more likely to be actual problems than others, but at least they are fairly concrete. One can describe in specific terms what there is to be worried about, so it is possible to deal rationally with the concerns, to estimate their probability, and to formulate plans for dealing with them.

It’s obviously more difficult, and a different sort of problem, to deal with more abstract fears.

Before we get into that, let’s note that we didn’t deal at all with one category of fears of nudity — those which are felt by people who are not themselves interested in being naked with others, but merely in the position of confronting the idea of social nudity. Perhaps it’s because they have discovered that someone they know, a friend or relative, is interested in social nudity. Perhaps it’s because they have learned about some place such as a beach or club in their general area where social nudity occurs. Or perhaps it’s simply because the subject of social nudity has come to their attention somehow (in the news, in casual conversation, a flash of bare skin in a movie or on TV) — and they feel what seems like a sense of instinctive disgust at the idea.

However, the idea of nudity comes up, for some people it immediately arouses very distinct fears. Unfortunately, we all know people like that.

These fears, too, can be categorized as either concrete or abstract. Among the concrete fears are such things as the possibility of sexual assaults, other sorts of “deviant” behavior like drug use, or simply the imagined potency of nudity as a lure to attract an “undesirable” sort of person. In general, what we have here is a fear that people who violate one sort of social taboo — the sort involving nudity — may be more likely to violate other more important taboos as well.

There probably isn’t a lot we can say to calm such fears, because they are basically fears of the unknown. If a person does have such concerns, then usually no amount of talking will allay them. Direct experience that the imagined dangers are very exaggerated will help, but even failure to confirm the dangers doesn’t make fear of them go away completely. In any case, we aren’t going to get into this aspect now — because people who are afraid of being around others who like to be naked probably aren’t even reading this.

We’ll probably take up this topic at another time, because if you do like to be naked, the chances are you will have to deal with a variety of people who have such fears, and you naturally would like to be able to respond to them. Until we do get around to it, note that what we are going to say about fear of nudity in the abstract applies to everyone — those who are interested in social nudity as well as those who are opposed to it.

The reason is that abstract fears of nudity can be regarded as personality issues. Such fears engage our attention not only at a practical level, but at an emotional level as well. They influence how we act and how we think about ourselves and others. They are relevant to many aspects of our lives in addition to nudity — often much more relevant.

These abstract fears represent attitudes we hold about ourselves and about life in general. Since the effects of these attitudes are experienced in important parts of our lives quite unrelated to nudity, it is very much worth our while to examine them, even if we have no interest in going about without clothes. Understanding where these fearful attitudes come from and learning how to deal with them on a more mature, rational level than (say) a child’s fear of the dark or of spiders can present us with many opportunities for personal development and growth.

As you will quickly recognize, we can’t hope to offer advice in this small space on how to deal with these anxiety-producing issues. Libraries are full of books of philosophy and psychology and self-help which do that. The most we can do here is to name these issues and indicate (if it’s not immediately obvious) how they are related to the experience of nudity.

Sexuality

Obviously, what bothers more people than anything else about nudity is its connection with sexuality. This is understandable and can’t be ignored, since “nudity” in the legal sense is almost defined by lack of covering of the genitals. However, the connection is greatly reinforced by social conditioning, since in our society the main activity associated with nudity (apart from bathing or sleeping) is having (or fantasizing about having) sex. The association is a lot weaker for young children and people in cultures where nudity is more common in non-sexual contexts.

Young children usually have no problems with nudity, since they’ve been taught little or nothing about sex. Even after having some sex education that explains the genitals, they don’t grasp the full implications. Similarly, in cultures where nudity is more common so that genitals aren’t always hidden from others, the connection is weaker. However, we are profoundly shaped by our environment, so for teenagers and adults in our culture, the connection is strong. Nevertheless, learning to separate nudity from sexuality is quite possible. And then nudity can be enjoyed just for its own sake, entirely apart from its connection with sexuality.

Now, sexuality is the source of very powerful emotions. These emotions are both innate and (as a result of both positive and negative experiences throughout life) learned responses. It is the negative emotions, of course, that allows sexuality to give rise to fear. The specific details will vary somewhat from person to person. For some (especially women), there’s a legitimate concern over physical security, particularly if there have been instances of abuse as a child. For others the concern is due to emotional exploitation. There’s always the issue of performance anxiety and adequacy (see “Adequacy” below). And for many, the fear arises from doubts of our ability to control our urges in a situation that seems to invite temptation.

But whatever the sources of our sexual anxieties, it all comes back to the undeniable importance of sexuality as a part of life. It takes a good deal of experience and maturity to master sexuality, in both its positive and its negative guises. Being able to enjoy nudity as something separate from (though related to) sexuality is part of this mastery. It isn’t surprising that this is a source of fear before we gain this mastery.

Vulnerability and Adequacy

Clothing is armor. As armor, it’s more symbolic than practical, but it’s armor nevertheless. That is, we expect clothing to protect us against various threats originating in the external world. Some threats are simply physical — bugs, sunburn, excessive cold. But as many are psychological, and those are the kind that where lack of clothing engenders fear.

Clothing is armor because it is a shield against the judgment of others regarding parts of ourselves whose adequacy or acceptability we are uncertain of. Body parts that are too small or too large. Skin that is too pale or too wrinkled. Body shape that doesn’t fully conform to what we imagine is ideal by the standards of our society.

Obviously, clothing as armor actually works mostly for physical characteristics. (Though, by concealing some body language, it can protect some of our psyche as well.) Metaphorically, it is psychological armor as well. Our society puts too much emphasis on physical characteristics as indicators of our competency, worth, and value. But given that this connection is ingrained in us, lack of clothing connotes weakness and vulnerability. Fear is an obvious consequence.

What we need to learn is that physical characteristics matter only in limited realms – such as athletics, warfare, fashion modeling. Even for something like finding a mate, eventually we realize that there are far more important characteristics than the physical ones.

And so, whatever armor clothing can provide against threats to our feelings of competence and self-esteem, it has only a symbolic value as far as the majority of characteristics which really count are concerned. When we come to understand this, nudity ceases to leave us open to threats to our sense of worth. Hence fear of nudity becomes needless, and body acceptance becomes self-acceptance.

Self-disclosure

Surprising as it may seem, not everyone enjoys talking about themselves. There are various reasons. One may have scars or other physical disfigurations that aren’t apparent when clothed, and the underlying reasons may be unpleasant to discuss. Although nudity tends to promote a greater rapport between people, this can be threatening if it allows conversation to drift into areas one would prefer to avoid. Such areas exist for just about everyone, no matter how much self-confidence one has. Worries about our competency (or lack thereof — see above under “Adequacy”) probably have a lot to do with this. We don’t care to talk about our jobs, for instance, if we aren’t especially proud of our success. But it may have nothing to do with that. There may be parts of our lives we have no control over, such as death or illness in the family, that we simply don’t want to converse about.

In spite of the touted benefits of better rapport that nudity generally promotes, many people are simply not constituted to enjoy discussing personal and “private” details with near strangers, or even relatively good friends. That is partly what “shyness” is about. Nudity should not have to imply that unrestrained self-disclosure is required. It is enjoyable for itself, and doesn’t mean you have to tell everything about yourself to every naked person you meet. But it’s easy to understand how people can see physical nudity as a threat to their personal space and the buffers they think they need against the outside world. (See above under “Vulnerability”.)

Physical nakedness is a metaphor for psychological nakedness. It could well be the latter that we are more ill-prepared to handle. While this psychological nakedness, or “openness”, is often worth working for, it isn’t necessarily easy to achieve.

Mortality

Lurking behind all the fears we have regarding our physical bodies is the issue of mortality. The sags, bulges, and scars that accumulate through life remind us that it’s all going to end one of these days, and probably not painlessly. These physical tokens are not only considered unsightly — they easily cause us to think about something we want to ignore.

Clothing, of course, hides these stigmata (to an extent). Seemingly, a young person should not be too concerned with his/her nudity or that of age-mates in this regard. Yet, ironically, it is often the young who have the most anxiety about nudity. At least at present, it is people of middle age or older who gradually become more at ease with their bodies and therefore accepting of nudity. This isn’t so surprising. Young people are repelled by the age-related decline of human bodies which clothing covers. They don’t want to think about what’s in store for them.

Part of maturing gracefully is coming to terms with the inevitability of one’s eventual decline and demise. So, just as with other sorts of socially disparaged physical characteristics, those related to age gradually assume lesser importance. And in nudity there is increasingly less to fear.

The fear of nudity, part 1

From September 1997 to July 2000 (yes, that long ago) I published on the pages of this site a “Weekly Nudesletter” (which became increasingly sporadic). It contained mainly brief remarks on current news items. All that content is still online, if you care to see it. Occasionally, there were longer essays. In particular, there was a two-part essay on “the fear of nudity”. Most of this is still quite relevant, and I’ll refer to it in later posts. What follows here is the first part. (Original page)

There is no passion so contagious as that of fear.
Montaigne, Essays

We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.
Livy, Histories

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
H. P. Lovecraft

In time we hate that which we often fear.
Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom, in the pursuit of truth as in the endeavour after a worthy manner of life.
Bertrand Russell, “An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish”

In our essay in the last issue on Nudity and Personal Growth, one of the key observations was that it is fear which very often holds us back from personal growth. Generally, this is fear of the unfamiliar and the unknown — because growing entails going someplace we haven’t been before. It might be our first date, our first time speaking in front of a large audience, our first time piloting an airplane alone. Or the first time we experience social nudity.

In the case of social nudity, we generally experience the fear as various of a number of particular concerns such as being laughed at or doing the wrong thing or being approached sexually. We’ll go into some of these concerns later, but ultimately what’s really involved is simply fear of the unknown.

Are all fears really just fear of the unknown? Probably not, except by a great stretch. Fear of pain or physical harm, for instance, probably isn’t in this category. However, often we anticipate pain or physical harm when facing unfamiliar circumstances. But let’s take a different example: fear of losing one’s job. (And this in general, not specifically because of involvement with social nudity.) Why does the prospect of losing a job cause us fear? Well, certainly there are a variety of unpleasant consequences: embarrassment, the effort required to find a new job, the thought of things we may have to do without if we can’t find a suitable new job quickly.

However, assuming we have normal skills and abilities, there are plenty of jobs available. So perhaps what really bothers us is that we may have to change in some way. We might have to move to another place in order to find a job we like. We will have to learn to deal with new people and new circumstances. We may even have to learn new skills or take up a new line of work from what we are accustomed to. All of these things are examples of the unfamiliar and the unknown.

To tackle these unknowns will require us to change — and to grow. That is certainly what contributes a lot to our fear. The situation in learning to deal with social nudity is much the same.

Men are even lazier than they are timorous, and what they fear most is the troubles with which any unconditional honesty and nudity would burden them.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Is not nakedness the indecent? No, not inherently. It is your thought, your sophistication, your fear, your respectability, that is indecent. There come moods when these clothes of ours are not only too irksome to wear, but are themselves indecent.
Walt Whitman, A Sun-bathed Nakedness

The best way to deal with fear is to stand up to it and confront it directly. We need to ask, regarding any of our fears, just how likely the “worst” possible outcome is, and in the event of such an outcome, how we can deal with it. The point is to look each fear in the eye, and to think about it calmly and rationally.

Usually what we will find is that the “worst” outcome is pretty unlikely, and the more likely outcomes are things we can deal with. And in case we are uncertain about our ability to deal with some outcomes, there is an opportunity for growth if we set about to acquire the skills needed to deal with the circumstances.

There are many things in life which could be pretty scary if one really thinks about them. Just consider all the things which could go wrong in something you do every day, such as commuting to work. The possibilities range from running out of gas, to getting a speeding ticket, to becoming involved in a bad accident. We’d never be able to function if we worried about all the possibilities every day. A much better approach is to learn to assess the risks realistically and to work at establishing the habits and skills which will reduce the risks whenever possible.

Let’s look at some of the commonest fears people have about trying social nudity. Many times the fears are exaggerated, in that the anticipated problems are much less likely than you might suppose. But this isn’t always the case, and we won’t insult your intelligence by saying that things will never go awry. After all, we’re dealing with some powerful social taboos here (at least in our culture), so some risks do exist. If you are completely averse to risk, social nudity probably isn’t for you.

However, when there are rewards to be had (as there certainly are with nudity), then an intelligent, growth-oriented approach to dealing with risks is to understand them better, and to become prepared to deal with them if necessary — before the problems arise.

As you read through the following list, try to put each item into one of three classes. The first class is for problems that are external to you (such as the possible reactions of your spouse or employer) and that also seem likely to arise. The second class is for problems that are mainly in your own mind (such as your opinion about the appearance of your naked body). The third class is for problems that – if you consider them carefully and maybe do some research – don’t really seem likely to arise. For example, the legal issues may not be as serious as your fear.

Unless something changes, you probably don’t need to worry much about problems in the third class. Problems in the first class will probably require you to think creatively and take some sort of action. For example, if you think your significant other will object to the idea of naturism, you might try to suggest a bargain where you offer something important you know he or she wants, in exchange for reconsidering his or her objections to naturism. Problems in the second class will require you to work on your own attitudes and fears. For example, if you’re concerned that naturism might conflict with your religious principles, search for information from naturists who share your religious beliefs and can explain how there’s no conflict.

Because there are so many nuances possible with most of these problems, this isn’t the place to pursue the details. Those may be good topics for further articles. However, if you’re impatient, there are many discussion on all of these topics already out there. You just need to search for them. Perhaps another good topic for another article here would be suggestions on where to search for pertinent information.

There is already a Part 2 on this topic, and it considers a few things aren’t dealt with here.

  1. My spouse or other members of my immediate family will object strongly.
    Unfortunately, this is one of the more likely problems, given how unhealthy our society’s attitudes are towards nudity. Most likely, you already know if this is going to be a problem. There is no single solution which works for everyone, since the things that cause others to object to nudity are so many and varied, though all are ultimately unfounded. If the problem can be solved at all, sincere and honest communication is the way to do it. Learn as much as you can about social nudity, at this Web site and many of the others around, so that you can explain exactly why social nudity is good and the fears of it are vastly exaggerated.

  2. Friends, relatives, or business associates will find out and react negatively.
    As far as people you don’t live with are concerned, it is not very likely they will find out you enjoy social nudity unless you tell them. Clubs, whether landed or not, are very respectful of members’ privacy. And beaches or other “public” places where nudity can be enjoyed are usually in distant and remote areas where you’re very unlikely to encounter anyone you know. There are people around who won’t change their minds if they are negative towards nudity. However, if you’re careful about it, you can generally figure out how others will react and whether they will at least be tolerant of your attitude towards nudity. This is called learning to tune into the points of view of others.

  3. Even if other people seem to accept or tolerate that I like to be naked, they will think I’m weird.
    The fundamental issue here is that it is not “weird” to enjoy nudity — atypical and not talked about in our society, but not “weird” or “deviant”, which are pejorative terms. It is quite possible, if you have this fear, that you yourself think there’s something a little deviant about enjoying nudity. You will then have this fear until you learn to think otherwise, that nudity is healthy and good. Really, what it comes back to is learning to be comfortable with yourself and your own preferences, to be able to march to your own drummer, despite all the peer pressure against it.

  4. People might think I’m hung-up on sex.
    The question is: are you or aren’t you? Remember, it’s OK to enjoy sex just as much as it is to enjoy nudity. (Our society is very ambivalent on this point, unfortunately.) But there is a time and a place for everything. You are “hung-up” on either one only if you feel an obsession about it at the wrong time or place. You need to be clear in your own mind that nudity and sex are only loosely related, and you need to be confident explaining to others that they are quite different experiences for you, though each is very worthwhile in its proper time and place.

  5. Enjoying social nudity could result in legal problems.
    Fortunately, this problem is non-existent with legitimate private clubs. The days when people got “busted” for social nudity on private property are, thankfully, long in the past. (Though there are ominous trends in some areas that might bring back past harassment.) It’s a different matter in “public” places, of course. But the risk depends drastically on where you are. As long as you stick to places which have a long-established tradition of nude use without official interference, you should be fine. Just be sure you know the current status before you strip off.

  6. Nudity in front of my children could raise legal problems.
    This is extremely unlikely in most locations, as long as you know the members of your immediate family are comfortable around nudity. There is no place in the country where nudity in front of your children is actually illegal, though there are many conservative communities where a lot of people think it is or should be. The best advice here is to know the attitudes in your community and keep a very low profile if necessary. Explain to your children that, though your family thinks nudity at home is no big deal, there are others who get upset over the idea, and that it isn’t something which should be discussed with others who might misunderstand. Unless you have previously conditioned your children to think there is anything improper about nudity, you shouldn’t have any concern that exposing them to your nudity should cause a problem. After all, millions of children have been raised in nudist/naturist/nude-friendly environments during the last 100 years (to say nothing of the rest of human history). If nudity really were harmful to kids, certainly this would be apparent in some nudist families. Yet there simply isn’t any evidence that this kind of upbringing has hurt them. Be prepared to point out this simple fact if you are challenged on the issue.

  7. I could lose my job if it became known I enjoyed social nudity.
    Again, this is quite unlikely, but it does depend on the attitudes of people who are in charge where you work. A few job categories, like teachers or daycare workers, may have special sensitivities. However, in most cases, your employer need never know, and almost certainly won’t do anything if he/she does. You’ll just have to judge the risk for your own circumstances. (But then, Paganism, with or without nudity, could also be hazardous to your teaching career in some places in the Bible Belt. See one of the stories in our News section, below.)

  8. As a man, I might have an erection when I’m around naked people, especially women.
    This is probably the most common fear men have about social nudity. For most men, it is a totally groundless fear, but for some guys, especially younger ones, it can happen. Nervousness over this issue is usually enough, by itself, to forestall it. The best advice is that as long as you aren’t thinking about sexual matters, you won’t get a sexual response. And even if you do, as long as you are careful not to be too obvious about the situation until it passes, other naturists will understand and neither laugh at nor think badly of you.

  9. It’s physically dangerous to frequent places where naked people gather.
    This one really is false. Of course, if you’re a woman, it’s not such a good idea to go anywhere alone that is remote and sparsely populated, unless you are confident of your means of self-defense. But other than that, private clubs and popular public areas where nude use is traditional are quite safe. Assaults, rapes, and similar crimes have been known to happen at such places, but the risk is no higher than comparable places where folks always wear clothes.

  10. As a woman, I’m afraid I’ll be bothered by men making sexual advances.
    We can’t say it never happens. It’s generally pretty rare at private clubs — and if it occurs, just ask for help from someone in club management. But at public beaches, well, certainly there are men who can be pests. There are many ways to deal with it. Always visit beaches with one or more friends of either gender — there’s safety in numbers (and it’s much more fun besides). Visit the beaches at busier times — most people there will not approve of anyone who gets too pushy and will take notice if someone steps out of line. Or best of all, develop your self-confidence to the point you have no trouble telling an inconsiderate male just where he should go. Some men, just as many women, may fear being exposed to or drawn into sexual activities they don’t want. The truth is, social nudity isn’t about groping and orgies. There’s nothing about it which will force you to endure that sort of thing against your will.

  11. Being naked around other people may violate, or tempt me to violate, my religious principles.
    There are a large number of religious people, even ministers and priests, who are active naturists. It is simply not the case that most religions are officially opposed to nudity, though there are certainly many religious leaders who misunderstand it. You’ll find thorough explanations at a number of Web sites dealing with religion and naturism. As to whether nudity might lead you into temptation… this is an area where you’ll need to examine your own conscience. If you think your motives aren’t compatible with your religious convictions, then you have something to work on.

  12. My body isn’t especially attractive. People will laugh at me or think I have the wrong size or shape in certain parts.
    Most people don’t have bodies which are especially attractive. You’ll learn this the first time you visit a nude beach or club. It may be that some folks make private judgments about the appearance of others, but it is considered very bad etiquette to let this show. Most people will not be judgmental, either openly or otherwise, and laughing at someone else’s appearance or making rude comments on it is considered extremely boorish. But the best advice, long-term, is for you to become comfortable with your own body and its appearance. You may choose to improve it, if feasible, or you may simply learn to be happy with yourself as you are.

  13. Since I’ve never been around naked people, I might unintentionally make some breach of nude social etiquette.
    This is quite possible. For instance, you do know you should always have a towel handy to sit on, don’t you? And it’s OK to look at parts of others’ bodies besides the face, as long as you don’t stare. Fortunately, there aren’t really that many rules of nude etiquette you need to know. Common sense is generally enough. Beyond that, a few minutes spent reading some of these etiquette links will tell you all you need to know.

  14. Since I have no experience being naked around others, I will feel embarrassed and awkward. People who are comfortable with nudity will know I’m new at it. I think I’ll appear foolish.
    Everyone has to have a first time, right? The “first time” is something that people who enjoy nudity tend to remember very well. They are therefore sensitive to the feelings of people who are new at it. However, you will probably be a lot less obvious than you suppose. Quite likely you recall dreams in which you were naked even though everyone else was clothed, and you think how awkward you felt, since you were very conspicuous. However, when many others are naked too, you aren’t conspicuous. Chances are most people won’t even notice if you’re new at it. Read some first-time stories to get a feeling for how easily this usually goes.

  15. I’m shy and/or not as socially adept as I’d like to be. I think people who are into social nudity are cliquish and may not readily welcome me into their group.
    This, too, is quite possible. It’s not an unrealistic fear. Private clubs are made up largely of people who have known each other for some time, and even most popular nude beaches have “regulars” who are close friends. It can be as difficult to gain entry to such groups in the clothing optional world as in any other circumstance. However, clubs vary quite widely in their degree of friendliness to outsiders, and while beaches tend to be more open, they also vary. You will at least have to go through a period of “testing the waters” to find a group you are comfortable with. This may be even more difficult if you are a “single male”. You may need to do a bit of work on your social skills (conversation, body language, sensitivity, general affability), in order to get along well. But this is certainly worthwhile — a true opportunity for growth.

  16. I might run into someone I know.
    That ought to be considered a good thing! The other person should be there for the same reason you are — to enjoy being naked. Very likely such an encounter would alter your relationship to the other person — for the better, since you have something unexpected in common. Certainly this is true at most private clubs. At public beaches, it’s true there are those who visit to see what going on without actually participating. While other people who like to be naked are very discreet about whom they discuss this with, it is conceivable you could run into someone who would enjoy causing you trouble. Only you know how vulnerable you might be to this sort of thing, perhaps based on your job or position in the community. If you think there is some real danger, perhaps you need to save social nudity for trips and vacations far from home.

The ups and downs of nude restaurants

Chances are, if you follow news about naturism at all, you’ve seen stories about the closing of the O’Naturel naturist restaurant in Paris. The reports aren’t greatly exaggerated, unfortunately.

Reports of restaurant failures in year one are apparently exaggerated, however – most likely not close to 90%, as sometimes claimed. But there’s more agreement that over half fail within the first five years. Perhaps the longevity of a new restaurant depends a lot on the size of initial losses a restaurateur is willing to accept. But its pretty clear that starting a new restaurant in a very risky venture.

Studies show that the largest reason for failure is lack of capital (hence inability to sustain initial losses). And the second largest reason is poor choice of location.

The competition among restaurants in Paris is probably fierce. That’s where almost every restauranteur in France must dream of locating. I’ve never been to Paris, so I have no idea whether O’Naturel was poorly situated in the city. On top of that, the French are notorious for being perfectionists about food. An inability to employ (or afford) the best chefs must entail a poor prognosis.

Anyone who wants to open a clothing optional restaurant (anywhere, not just in France) would be well advised to locate it somewhere that has a lower than average abundance of eating places. And, additionally, somewhere close to where naturists are likely to gravitate – not far from the fabled naturist-friendly beaches on the Atlantic coast, for example. But not so close that the market is already saturated.

Most of the news reports shed crocodile tears for the O’Naturel, and they don’t look deeply into the various possible reasons for the restaurant’s failure – aside from the idea the there’s simply no market for a naturist restaurant. Nevertheless, it’s interesting that the situation received so much press coverage if it’s truly only a matter of marginal concern for most people.

Sadly, about the only “cause” that’s considered to be responsible for the restaurant’s demise is the lack of patronage. The analysis above shows there could be a variety of additional contributing factors.

A factor that seems important to me is that the two owners (who are twin brothers) are not naturists (according to this). That doesn’t mean they didn’t really intend to treat naturists respectfully. But one wonders whether they missed some details. Was the restaurant warm enough? Were the owners and staff sufficiently sensitive to naturist values? Was enough effort made to discourage voyeurs or other customers who weren’t sensitive to naturist values?

O’Naturel: The First Naked Restaurant in Paris (10/15/18)

The Naked Wanderers, Nick and Lins, paid a visit to the restaurant last October. Their report is very positive, and concludes:

O’Naturel provided us with an experience of high class dining in a naturist atmosphere and a very interesting thing to see was that just like in many other naturist settings people who had never met before just started talking to each other. This is something you’re very unlikely to encounter in any textile restaurant. The professionalism of the hosts in combination with the friendliness of the other guests created a genuine naturist atmosphere which was only slightly disturbed when one of the kitchen staff peaked one time too much into the dining room.

The only quibble they have is hardly likely to have been responsible for the restaurant’s demise.

The O’Naturel isn’t scheduled to close until February 15, so it will still be in operation on Valentines’s day. In case you are able to check it out before the end, their website is here.

Their Facebook page is here. (The picture there shows the very classy interior quite well.)

Some other links:

The large amount of news coverage on both the opening and closing of the restaurant is surprising. It suggests that this is a concept many people are interested in – seriously or just for laughs. In case you’re annoyed by Schadenfreude or grade-school-quality puns, however, you might not care for many of the reports.

Best summary ever of what social nudity is all about

Nudity and Friendship: Does it matter?

In part of this we read:

I found myself strangely intrigued with a blog post I reposted on my other blog a few days ago called I Socialize Naked. The young, female author made a rather compelling case for calling out social nudity for what it really is. “I would like to not be wearing clothes right now, and I would also like to be with my friends. No protest to mount. No fitness agenda. No underlying implication of inner healing or truth. I just like being naked, and it’s more fun to be naked with other people around.”

The inner quote here is from this: I Socialize Naked

I’d be hard-pressed to come up with as succinct an expression of what social nudity is all about. That is: It’s about having neither inclination nor need to wear any clothes when in the company of understanding friends, and without even having to negotiate permission. It’s friends totally accepting without question or comment concerning the degree of one’s nakedness. And this irrespective of the friends’ own preferences to wear or not wear clothes. With genuine friends, there is no issue whatsoever about one’s preference or choice to be naked.

And on top of that is the frank confession that, quite simply, “I just like being naked, and it’s more fun to be naked with other people around.” In other words: to be a naturist among friends is to have even more incentive to be naked.

As if to say, “If you’re really my friend, you’d better give me a damn good reason to persuade me to put on any clothes!”

How could there be a better summary of what social nudity is all about?

Grassroots naturism I

People who’ve already had positive experiences with social nudity – even something as simple as visiting a clothing optional beach or being naked with others in a backyard swimming pool – may start to think about how they might find other opportunities for it. The chances are they haven’t seen the term “naturist” and may confuse it with “naturalist”. But they’re certainly familiar with the term “nudist”, though without a clear idea of what that actually is. (I’ll use just the term “naturist” here, as there’s little consensus on the distinction.)

In this post I want to describe a process that could lead to many more people understanding what “naturism” is – and perhaps even become personally involved in it. I’ll use the term “grassroots naturism” to refer to this idea. The term certainly isn’t my invention. It has been used by The Naturist Society (TNS), though not frequently, and I’ll discuss that in another post.

The idea of “grassroots” organizing in general – not just as applied to naturism – deinitely isn’t a recent one. It goes back centuries, when certain individuals in a community felt a need to recruit others who shared beliefs that they felt deserved to be communicated more widely in their community in order to gain increased respect from the community, and usually to advocate for social changes.

More recent examples include things like labor unions, the women’s suffrage movement, tolerance for nontraditional lifestyles, and so on. At times in the past century nascent efforts of this kind have arisen to advocate in favor of naturism and to provide opportunities for individuals who enjoy social nudity to organize naturist activities.

The majority of grassroots organizing has had the objective of influencing social or political policies. On many occasions, naturists have also gone this route – for instance in order to promote clothing optional use of a beach. As a byproduct of such activity, the people who become involved in it become acquainted with each other and recognize their activity as an opportunity for socializing together to enjoy the interests they have in common.

It’s quite possible that this byproduct may become the primary objective of the organization. For instance, people interested in amateur sports like softball or soccer may organize to persuade their community to develop a park area that can be used for their sport (as well as different activities of interest to others in the community). Once that objective is achieved, the focus of the organization may become primarily to engage together in their particular sport.

The parallel of this example with naturism should be apparent. While it may be unrealistic in most communities to have public areas designated for clothing optional use, there is a wide range of activities that naturists can enjoy on private property and in individuals’ homes. So the primary purpose of organizing need not be changing opinions in the general community in order to change specific policies. Instead, the purpose may simply be to make contacts with others in the community who may be interested in non-sexual social nudity in order to plan and arrange for suitable activities. Doing that will usually require enlightening open-minded people of the pleasures of social nudity, but the ultimate purpose is to make naturist activities more readily available to anyone who might enjoy them.

There are plenty of naturist activities that may be facilitated. For example:

  • All kinds of parties at individual homes: dinner parties, costume parties, body painting parties, birthday parties, etc.
  • Group hiking and camping trips (in suitable places)
  • Use of swimming pools or other recreational facilities owned by group members
  • Group visits to established naturist clubs and resorts or clothing optional beaches
  • Joint activities with similar naturist groups in nearby communities
  • Group lunches and dinners at local restaurants willing to provide them (in private spaces)
  • Making arrangements (if possible) for clothing optional events at nearby places, such as museums, art galleries, theaters, tourist attractions, etc.
  • Work days helping other group members with gardening work on their property

And anything else group members can think of for enjoying non-sexual social nudity.

So how would this actually work? The first step would be for a small group of perhaps just two or three naturists who know each other and live near each other to prioritize finding open-minded people among their friends and relatives, and make a personal effort to educate them about social nudity and invite them to try it. The effort could conceivably even start with a single person (or family). But there’s no “group” until additional people get involved.

This doesn’t mean the initial people need to tell everyone they know that they’re naturists. Instead, it means educating only other people who are most likely to be receptive to the idea of naturism. Members of the immediate families should, of course, probably be at least tolerant of naturism – that’s just fair to them. Ideally, the initial people should have overcome feelings of shame or embarrassment on account of their interest in social nudity, because at some point it might be difficult to avoid others learning about it.

Members of the initial group should be prepared to do more than just talk to other people about naturism. When they find others who seem to have some interest in the idea, they should invite the others into their homes to demonstrate the naturist lifestyle. In case others have been more than casual acquaintances, there shouldn’t be any hesitation to be naked when they visit. It’s important to set a good example and demonstrate there’s no need to feel any shame or embarrassment about nudity. But others shouldn’t be pressured to become naturists themselves. Let them get used to the idea at their own pace – if at all.

Eventually, the initial group should host gatherings for others, in which some who choose to can be naked in a “safe” environment. The next step is to encourage others who become involved to start spreading the word themselves. The objective is to have regular naturist get-togethers in the local area, at the homes of whoever wants to help. And also, begin having activities, such as group trips to naturist resorts or camping places, and other ideas suggested above.

This process should be a “viral” thing, but one that spreads via personal contacts instead of using the Internet. It will require lots of personal effort by people who want naturism to succeed. Anyone who wants to become more involved in naturism should ask themselves: Why should I remain limited to non-naturist social activities, when I could be spending some of that time in naturist activities I organize myself?

The solution is to take the initiative to identify other people one already knows and who are potentially open-minded enough to become interested in naturism. Don’t expect others to make the effort for you. Be low-key about it, but try to recommend naturism to others. Personal recommendations between friends are known to be a far, far better way than mass advertising to promote many kinds of products and ideas.

In a later post I’ll try to add more details on how this kind of “grassroots naturism” could work.

Dean Fidelman’s Stone Nudes

Since I just posted about nude charity calendars, I’m reminded of another very important nude calendar. Dean Fidelman is a very talented photographer who, every year since 1999, has produced calendars featuring models (mostly amateur and female, but some males) who are also skilled rock climbers. Each month showcases one of the photographer’s stunning black-and-white images. The models demonstrate their skill fully naked – almost always barefoot too. “Impressive” doesn’t adequately describe either the photos or the climbers.

As the article from Outside explains, no calendars beyond 2019 are planned.

The 2019 Stone Nude Calendar Will Be the Last

To keep the small-run calendar project afloat, the photographer washed dishes in Argentine Patagonia and cleaned carpets in Yosemite Valley. But he never made money on it, and now he’s decided it’s finally time to call it quits.

People, like Fidelman and his models, who are serious about both art and the great outdoors, typically don’t place financial motives above what they love doing. The latter comes first. But they have other things they want to do with their lives too. There comes a time to move on. To everything there is a season….

You may regret it if you don’t spend a little under $30 (including s/h) to get the 2019 calendar.

Links:

Why are calendars featuring naked people such a fad in Britain?

It’s been a new year for a few weeks now, so of course people have needed new calendars for their walls. Most opt for calendars with mountains or other natural scenery, or cute cats and dogs. But in merrie olde England there appears to be a not insignificant market for calendars featuring naked – usually young – people of both sexes.

These are not, mind you, the salacious pin-up or Pirelli sort of calendars of yore. Even Pirelli has gone in the direction of high “art”, so far from the style that featured look-alikes of Marilyn Monroe or Brigitte Bardot (who was born in 1934 and is still alive, by the way).

And don’t get the wrong idea. The new crop of “nude calendars” is so, so positively non-sexual. Every single (carefully gender-balanced) person in these calendars somehow contrives to prevent so much as a single penis or female nipple from being visible, in spite of almost everyone being stark naked (except, perhaps, for shoes or fancy boots of some sort or other). In compensation, bare butts abound. To use the curiously self-contradictory phrase that often crops up in stories about the phenomenon, everyone tries carefully “cover” or “preserve” their “modesty”. (The British have such a way with words.)

According to the stories, nearly everyone who modeled for the calendar pictures greatly enjoyed the experience. However, many are said to have been “extremely nervous” with the idea initially. Sadly, purchasers of these calendars aren’t permitted to see quite as much as the models and photographers themselves saw.

All this is quite in keeping with the overall purpose that buyers of these calendars are encouraged to assume – namely, to benefit some worthy charity or other. The beneficiary may be some genuinely deserving social cause – or, frequently, the alma mater or sports team of the calendar models.

This sort of thing isn’t new and original at all, of course. There’s even a Wikipedia article on the nude calendar topic. The article notes that

The first nude charity calendar was made by a group of middle aged Englishwomen, members of a local branch of the Women’s Institute, who were posing nude to raise funds for Leukaemia Research. The calendar was released in 1999, and became an international sensation, and also inspired the movie Calendar Girls.

The article also provides a useful list of some of the more noteworthy examples of the genre.

So 2019 is the 20th anniversary of this phenomenon. Fittingly, there has been a bumper crop of offerings to commemorate the original event. You’ll note that all of them are from England or Australia – remnants of Britain’s tattered Empire. Curiously, although in the past there have been a few examples from Canada and the U. S., I haven’t seen a single one this time. One hesitates to speculate on what might be the reason for this.

Here are stories I’ve come across on the 2019 calendars. No doubt some have been missed. I’ve tried to provide suitable links, in case you’re interested in purchasing any of these.

University of Bristol

The nude calendar story that seems to have managed to garner the most, um, coverage is from the University of Bristol.

To order the calendar, check here

Saucy students strip off for Bristol University naked Christmas calendar

THESE cheeky students have ditched their studying to strip off for their 2019 charity calendar.

Incredible pictures show students from 12 societies at the University of Bristol snapped in the nude. …

The calendar was organised by the University of Bristol’s Raising and Giving (RAG) society with proceeds going to three local charities.

“Incredible”? Only, I suppose, to Brits who’ve been asleep for the past 20 years. Use of such language, along with capitalization and words like “saucy”, “cheeky”, “risqué”, “raunchy”, “naughty”, “racy” is a good clue that the story is from one of Britain’s tabloids popular with the lower classes, The Sun in this case. Another phrase these tabloid articles use a lot is “bare all”. In fact, that’s rather inaccurate. The folks who pose for these things go to fairly absurd lengths not to show all that they’ve got.

Many photos are included in the story. They’re somewhat imaginative, perhaps a little cheesy – but hardly “raunchy”, “risqué”, or even “saucy”.

Bristol bares all! Brave university students from 12 different societies strip naked for a VERY risque charity calendar

This story’s from the Daily Mail, a more conventional newspaper, albeit one still tabloidish. More capitalization, plus the titillating “risqué” and “bares all”. (Not literally “all”, unfortunately.)

University students strip naked for raunchy charity calendar

This is from the Mirror, another UK tabloid. Readers are informed that “the students have covered their modesty with relevant society objects, such as frisbees and books” – to caution that the pictures might be considered NSFW. After all, they’re “raunchy” (hardly).

Why naked people were ‘rock climbing’ in Bristol’s Avon Gorge

This, from BristolLive, website of the Bristol Post newspaper, gives some interesting backstory related to the calendar project. The relevance, however, isn’t entirely evident.

Cambridge University

Cambridge University students strip off for a VERY daring naked charity calendar – featuring dancers doing the splits and lacrosse players baring all in the library

To order the calendar, check here

The Daily Mail, which seems especially fond of the topic, informs us that “The daring [ed: not] photographs feature students from the university’s netball, swimming and lacrosse teams using strategically placed props to preserve their modesty.” So again there’s the models’ concern to about their “modesty”, along with the usual retinue of adjectives. (Such as “racy”.)

This one appears to be the top choice among the current crop of calendars, as its photography is imaginative and of high quality. After all, Cambridge U. is a pretty classy place. For example:

But one wonders how normal it is for otherwise naked women to walk around barefoot with athletic shoes modestly covering their breasts:

I bet you never saw that very often at your college. It’s a crazy world now.

Royal Veterinary College, London

Student vets strip naked for a VERY cheeky charity calendar – and use rabbits, sheep and CHICKENS to cover their modesty

Although the Royal Veterinary College doesn’t play in the same league as Cambridge U., their calendar might deserve a credible second place in the 2019 nude calendar play-offs. To be sure, instead of running shoes they employ “rabbits, sheep, and CHICKENS to cover their modesty”. (Couldn’t they find any “RABBITS” or “SHEEP”?)

And, according to the Daily Mail (again), they also sometimes “don scarves and wellington boots”. At least they wear the boots on their feet instead of their breasts. Seems much more normal. (Or is it considered “VERY cheeky”. Leave anything “chic” to the Cantabrigians. The latter do have “dons” too, however.)

Naughty vets cover private parts with CHICKENS as they strip for photoshoot

The Daily Star is yet another British tabloid for the lower classes. The article has nothing much to add except for additional adjectives like “naughty”. But it does say that “The Vets In Action calendar is priced at £10 and is available from eBay under the title RVC 2019 Naked Calendar.”

Iwade, Kent

Entire Kent VILLAGE strips off for a saucy advent calendar to raise money for charity – and they say it’s ‘brought the community together’

According to the Daily Mail (again!), even common village folks who never matriculated at so much as a veterinary college can also do nude charity calendars.

An entire Kent village has stripped off for a racy festive calendar in a bid to raise money for charity.

Almost every business in Iwade, Sittinghbourne signed up to take part, with dozens of locals baring all, either at work or enjoying their favourite pastimes.

Doubtlessly, too, the project really did bring the community together. Nudity has a way of doing that. (And we can assume this wasn’t meant in reference to the kind of favorite pastime usually associated with nudity.)

What sort of charities will this calendar assist? Well, for one we’re told that some “money will go towards a new toilet block at the local church.” Does that get a lot of use in response to the pastor’s sermons? The article doesn’t say.

In any case, from the pictures it’s apparent that the villagers also wear boots, high heels, or running shoes (as appropriate in their various callings) whilst naked. And some use hats, sacks of manure, or chainsaws to cover their modesty.

To order the calendar, check the calendar website or its Facebook page.

Wales

Skinny Dipping Charity Calendar

Wales is favored with a considerable amount of sea coast, so the Welsh calendar has a very naturist theme: skinny dipping. (It’s not the sunny Mediterranean, but whatever.) Appropriately enough, the report here is courtesy of British Naturism.

The natatory theme is very convenient, as being in water makes it easy for the doughty models to preserve their modesty. Regrettably, on the calendar website we find this plea: “Please buy a copy or 3 otherwise we will feel ugly & undervalued – the shame will demoralise us & we will lose our sense of purpose. Roughly translating as – we will feel foolish.” Hopefully that’s a tongue-in-cheek appeal to buy lots of calendars, rather than an expression of ambivalence towards the idea of skinny dipping.

Dean Newlyn Young Farmers

Dean Newlyn Young Farmers launch nude calendar

This is our only example of a 2019 nude calendar that’s not from Shakespeare’s sceptered isle – but instead from a former British colony on the other side of the globe. Yes, Australia, the place that the throne of kings wrested from its inhabitants to develop as a penal colony. The two countries even now have more in common than a language – nude charity calendars, specifically.

The organization behind the calendar is called The Naked Farmer. Its young founder, Ben, was recently inspired to utilize nudity as a way to dramatize the mental health problems of farmers. He writes that his idea

could actually support people in the agricultural industry who suffer from mental health issues. Statistics prove that the suicide rate amongst farmers is almost double than any other industry and I’m passionate about changing these stats.

Naturally, as a member of his generation, Ben implemented his idea by starting an Instagram account – that features naked young farm folks (both male and female) engaged in many activities, including farm work. A nude charity calendar was a very natural byproduct of that initiative.

Because it’s Instagram, there’s no revealing frontal nudity, but the photos look more authentic and less contrived than what’s found in most other calendars. Operating heavy farm equipment naked, for example. They could almost make a bored young city dweller want to give up on the Ubers and lattes and look for opportunities to work naked on a farm in Australia.

This could – should – be the model for many other nude calendars of worthwhile causes.

The calendar was listed for sale here, but apparently is now sold out. However, there’s other merchandise for purchase, if you’re interested.

Hotshots of Bowls

Naked 2019 bowls calendar on sale as top players bare all for incredible charity cause

In Brit-speak, “bowls” is not like American bowling but rather, according to Wikipedia, a sport usually played outdoors on grass “bowling greens” and “in which the objective is to roll biased balls so that they stop close to a smaller ball.” Sounds like a thrilling spectator sport, no? Combining it with nudity can only help.

Seems like a good game in which women can compete on an even playing field with men. The pictures from the calendar document that supposition. Since the article is from the Mirror tabloid, it’s not surprising to encounter words like “incredible” and “bare all” (which, of course, don’t quite accurately accord with reality). Still, no small effort must have been required to produce the calendar, as it features “almost 60 players [who] have stripped off for the special calendar which is raising funds” for one young player who developed leukemia.

Bowlers Bare All For The Hot Shots Of Bowls Charity Calendar

More information, from the source.

To order the calendar, check here (UK delivery only).

The Naked Rugby Players

Here’s another sports-themed nude charity calendar. According to their website, the group supports “six inclusive teams and the balls to cancer charity”. Whatever that means, exactly. Perhaps it refers to their objective described by a spokesman (in the article cited below) this way: “I hope this calendar empowers guys to check their packages more often and to feel comfortable talking about male cancers.”

The calendar is for 2019, but it’s a repeat, having been reported in 2017 here: Plaistow gay rugby club strip naked for calendar to tackle cancer

The article relates that “Seven ‘very handsome’ members of the Kings Cross Steelers… got starkers” for the calendar. The photographer is quoted saying “he was stunned when he turned up to shoot the Newham players as every one looked like Hollywood hearthrob Tom Cruise.” The photo for September in the 2017 calendar was “a more informal shot with one player holding a hose pipe in the shower in front of his laughing team mates.” And according to the photographer, the players “were a bit stiff at first.”

To order the calendar, check here.

Naturist Cleaners

Here’s a nude calendar on a very different theme. I expect to write more about this in another post, so I’ll be a little brief here. “Naturist Cleaners” is just what it sounds like: an agency for professional house cleaners who hire out to clean homes – and who work naked. This is an actual business in England, and apparently it’s quite legitimate and on the level.

The Naturist Cleaners website states:

Who says cleaning has to be a chore? Our naked cleaning service strips everything away and gets back to nature – for a spotless home and a cleaning service with a difference.

Naturist Cleaners are London-based and cover the entirety of the UK. Ultimately our service goes beyond a sparkling countertop and faultless floor – to ensure our naturist cleaners make you feel amazing about yourself.

Details about their calendar are here

Naked surfing

In late November Australian surfer Felicity Palmateer got a lot of press coverage (cough, cough) with an announcement of a four-minute (!) film of herself surfing naked. Some details in this article:

Australian big wave surfer Felicity Palmateer to release naked surf film

Australian big wave surfer Felicity Palmateer is set to make massive waves with her next project and has released a titillating teaser to the masses.
The 15-second teaser features stylised shots of the 26-year-old and is the first stage of her latest art project called ‘Skin Deep’, with the full four-minute film set to be released next week.
It’s been a long time coming with the project taking three years to complete and explores her interpretation of being free.
“Everyone has insecurities, I’ve had my own issues of self-doubt,” she told The Sunday Telegraph about the project.
“It was kind of cathartic. I feel so much more empowered now I have done this. I felt really free and it was wonderful.”

Let’s be honest here. The temptation is to be slightly skeptical of the notion that Felicity had significant “issues of self-doubt” about being naked to demonstrate her obvious athletic talent. One has to wonder how it could have taken three years to complete a four-minute “art project”. And what’s so novel about the idea of using nudity to symbolize the idea of “being free”?

But let’s give her the benefit of the doubt. It’s entirely understandable that top athletes are proud of their talents. For athletes in major team sports like soccer or baseball, media attention is almost guaranteed. But for solo, non-competitive sports like surfing, it takes a little something extra to get attention. As naturists, we should be grateful that Felicity overcame whatever anxiety she may initially have felt about going naked to demonstrate her skill. Nobody without her skill could possibly have pulled this off on the basis of nudity alone.

More links:

Recent naturist news (12/28/18)