Recent articles on nudity and naturism, 1/19/20

  1. Dating & Nudism
    Isn’t this something that most naturists who aren’t in a long-term relationship wonder about? The conventional wisdom is that the best way for a naturist to find a compatible date is not to search for someone who’s already a naturist. Why? Partly because of the well-known gender imbalance problem, if for no other reason. In particular, a naturist man would be doing naturism itself a favor by finding a dating partner who’s not already a naturist and persuading her of the many healthy and wholesome features of social nudity. (Just for this point, assume heterosexual dating.)

    The article cited is from the new Our Natural Blog of Sam and Aleah. (Previously referenced in this post.) The very first point made there is to focus on people outside the naturist community – because otherwise the task “is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It would severely limit your dating pool and probably end up working against your dating success.” A corollary of this point is that if you want to find a compatible date, you’ll have to be able to make an honest and persuasive argument for the benefits and reasonableness of naturism. So you’d best have a fair amount of naturist experience yourself in order to be considered a knowledgeable source of information.

    The next point is to focus strongly on compatibility. You need to find a person who’s not only open-minded enough to seriously consider naturism, but also shares a variety of interests with you that have little to do with naturism. For example: activities and hobbies, philosophy of life, previous experiences, and life goals. Even if your ultimate objective isn’t a long-term relationship, you want whatever you do together to be enjoyable for both of you. There’s a lot of additional great advice in the article – so just go read it if you’re seriously interested in naturist dating.

    Here’s another fine article about naturist dating on the Meandering Naturist blog from about a year ago

  2. Why is this artist photographing random naked people in random spots on the streets of Vienna?


    Martin Gabriel Pavel (MGP) is a Czech photographer who has been doing a series of photos, called “Daily Portraits”, since 2011. All portraits are of models who are naked or semi-naked volunteers, and who pose at a wide variety of urban locations in Austria and other nearby countries. (The headline is misleading, since MGP doesn’t work only in Vienna.) The portraits are eventually collected into books, which are sold to support MGP’s work. The images are quirky and sometimes surrealistic instead of straightforward personal portraits – in other words, “artistic”. Viewers are left to make their own interpretations, but in general the images raise questions like “What is the deeper meaning, if any, of this naked person in this particular place?” And “What is the subject feeling about the experience?”

    When asked by the interviewer to explain the “concept” of the series MGP is currently working on, he says “Each series has a different concept. In the last series in Berlin, 381 people were photographed naked, and those who were photographed, also took photos of other strangers. For example, I photographed Elle in her apartment, then I gave her my camera and she went and photographed another stranger in his apartment, and so on.” So, in part, the work is about random people who are willing to be photographed naked and possibly to then photograph others, also naked. Inevitably, too, the work is about nakedness itself. MGP says, further, “The aim of this series is to capture a feeling, the atmosphere of the city through pictures of the naked body.”

    All subjects, of course, gave consent, and often enjoyed the experience enough to tell friends about it and encourage them to volunteer also. MGP says that “Most of my models have never posed naked before. They feel empowered after the experience.” It seems unlikely that this sort of work could be done in the U. S. – or probably in most other countries besides where MGP works. Not only have many people without previous experience posing naked volunteered, but it seems that local police and the general public very seldom object to the project. Unlike the work of Spencer Tunick – most of whose subjects are simply anonymous “bodies” – MGP’s subjects are (mostly) distinct, identifiable people. One wonders whether nudity is already more “normalized” in the places where MGP works. Certainly, the books that are produced as a result are a great example of “normalizing nudity”.

    Some useful links for MGP: home page, Twitter account, Instagram account, Daily Portrait site, book sales.

  3. Alton Towers hotel is being taken over by nudists for a clothing-free weekend for families
    Unless you’re British, this is a bigger deal than it might seem. According to Wikipedia, “Alton Towers Resort is an amusement park in Staffordshire, England, near the village of Alton, which … incorporates a theme park, water park, spa, mini golf and hotel complex.” So it’s not just another water park, several of which in the UK occasionally host naturist groups for private swims. According to the resort itself, it’s “the UK’s biggest Theme Park”. In other words, much more like Disneyland, and in fact it offers more: a water park, spa, and mini-golf.

    Even though the event isn’t scheduled until the weekend of November 20-22, it’s received coverage from a number of UK news outlets (links below). Most importantly, it has been organized by British Naturism – the UK’s official naturist organization. Nudity’s allowed 24/7 in the waterpark and hotel areas. (Because of the season, most outdoor facilities won’t be open.) The place will be closed to the general public (although presumably anyone can attend if they pay the admission, aren’t bothered by nudity, and belong to or join BN or INF). Accommodations for two nights and use of facilities are priced at £325 (about US$423) for a family of four. And children of all ages are welcome. This will actually be the 14th year for the event. More than 400 naturists are expected to attend. (The limit’s probably dictated by the number of hotel rooms available.)

    Here’s the official announcement and reservation page. Can anyone among U. S. naturists imagine either (or both) of the U. S. naturist organizations taking over even part of a Disney property for a weekend?

    More: here, here, here, here, here

  4. BBC to screen two hours of ‘slow TV’ cameras panning around naked bodies of life drawing models… in the hope that viewers will sketch them at home
    If you’re like most people in the U. S., outside of major urban areas or far from large universities, it can be quite difficult or impossible to find places where you can sketch or paint naked life models. The same is true (possibly to a lesser extent) in other modern countries. But now in the UK the BBC has a solution. According to the article,
    Budding artists will be given a lesson in life drawing from the comfort of their own home in a two-hour special on BBC Four. Life Drawing Live, an interactive class where viewers can draw the nude models on their screen, will make television history on highbrow channel BBC Four. Billed as an art lesson for the whole country, the special could be the first of many interactive cultural programmes. The audience will be asked to draw along from their living rooms as the class is led by award-winning artists Daphne Todd and Lachlan Goudie.

    The BBC cameras will pan slowly around the room so that viewers have time to quickly sketch models. However, it’s unclear whether this will be repeated regularly instead of being a one-off event. And the article doesn’t say when the broadcast will occur, except “early” in 2020. Anyone outside of the UK, of course, is still SOL. In any case, people anywhere can go to YouTube or Vimeo, search on “life drawing” or “life modeling” and come up with videos that offer pretty much what BBC plans to do. Better still, you can watch the videos as many times as you need to improve your drawing skills. Perhaps the BBC thing is more of an attention-grabbing stunt. But at least the BBC will offer something that many people would otherwise not even think of trying.

  5. What is Naked Therapy?
    The article answers that question:
    Naked therapy is a form of mental health treatment that isn’t sexual in nature. It helps people become more comfortable with their bodies. It began in the 1930s when Howard Warren, who is a Princeton psychologist, and at the time was president of the American Psychological Association, spent a week’s time at a nudist camp in Germany. After that, he wrote a paper called “Social Nudism and the Body Taboo.” Warren discovered that being naked made people feel more comfortable with themselves; less self-conscious.

    The article’s about body acceptance. It’s actually targeted at men, and published on a men’s site, even though body acceptances is more often considered a women’s issue. Of course, most naturists have already realized that being naked socially is quite enjoyable, as well as providing emotional and psychological benefits. “Therapy” means participating in an organized group where people are naked and explicitly discuss body acceptance issues under the guidance of a trained professional. In other words, it’s a way for men (and women) who aren’t already used to social nudity to discover and experience some of its psychological benefits. A naturist might want to investigate naked therapy to recommend to friends and relatives who have body acceptance issues.

    Naked therapy was a popular thing back in the 1960s and 70s, although it was sometimes associated with open sexuality, drug/psychedelic use, and other counter-cultural fads of the time. As this earlier article explains, naked therapy is much less used now, although it can be experienced with some online sources. Truthfully, however, for people whose body issues aren’t too severe, visiting a good naturist club or resort a few times – or just being naked often at home – is simpler and cheaper. But for more serious issues, a professional counselor or therapist may be better.

  6. How to Cover Nudists the Wrong Way
    Here’s another plea on Matthew McDermott’s blog for mainstream journalists to write intelligently about naturism. I’ve already cited here an earlier article by Matthew about this. Any naturist who interacts with journalists needs to understand the biases and habits that journalists bring with them. At the end of the new article are four key suggestions that naturists and their clubs should keep firmly in mind.

    Consider some examples of the language some journalists use to slyly disparage naturists and naturism – from this article about the Alton Towers event described above. The headline reads “Alton Towers water park set to be overrun by nudists for a ‘weekend of fun'”. It says the park will be “overrun” – like a plague of locusts? – by naturists. And notice the use of scare quotes at the end. The first sentence uses “descend on” instead of “overrun” – but implies the same comparison to locusts. Most of the remainder of the article is straight from the British Naturism announcement. However, the last four sentences repeat the often alleged but never verified charges by a “paedophile hunter” of the supposed dangers tp children of such events. So the writers continue to gratuitously repeat a nonexistent link between naturism and pedophilia. Also questionable is continuing to write “nudists” instead of “naturists” – where the latter term is now more common in Europe, and in England itself.

Recent articles on nudity and naturism, 1/11/20

  • Artist creates exhibition of naked paintings after asking women to ‘send nudes’
    The misleading headline seems to suggest a nefarious scheme to collect nude pictures. But it’s not. The article is about professional artist Sophie Tea, whose conventional paintings on canvas may be seen on her Instagram page. But Sophie wanted to take things a step further. The article quotes her saying “I’ve always wanted to paint women” – and it’s meant literally: to paint on bodies in the same style as she paints on canvas. So she asked for volunteers – and received pictures from more than 1000 volunteers. Those she selected were duly painted and participated in a live exhibition (called Send Nudes) in which “Naked volunteers proudly walked the pink carpet after Sophie had painted them in colourful and abstract brush strokes.” Sophie’s objective? “to create work that was really meaningful” and to help “promote body confidence in women”.

  • 2019 HCA Holiday Campaign was a Success!


    Bodypainting, which can be done indoors, should be a popular activity for naturists during the colder months of the year. In the previous collection of articles there was one on the topic, and there’ll probably be more to come in the next few months. There are, already, two in this collection. The second of those spotlights the work of well-known bodypainter Andy Golub and his Human Connection Arts organization. Andy, who’s based in the New York City area, normally works outdoors, and in public. But he’s also active during the winter, and has scheduled work ongoing through January. It will involve “human canvas painting”.  Anyone interested in participating may submit an application here.

  • Spencer Tunick’s Latest Nude Artwork Causes Splash In QLD Hotspot


    Spencer Tunick, another artist who does unconventional work using naked bodies, is still finding new ideas after 25 years of making art out of “installations” of large numbers of naked people. (See the article on Tunick in the last collection.) He also enjoys working in Austalia (especially in the southern hemisphere’s summer). Two of his largest installations were in Melbourne and Sydney (4500 and 5000 naked people, respectively). According to the present article, he believes Australians have a “real heartfelt understanding of how important the body is in art”. That they deserve praise “for being body positive”.  And that “Australians are much more body positive and more open than [in] most other countries.” The last is probably true in comparison with the U. S. Even so, Australia’s laws aren’t quite so liberal as New Zealand’s, where there are generally no specific laws against nudity on the beaches. In the state of Queensland, for example, where Tunick’s latest installation was photographed, there’s well-known intolerance of nudity on the beaches.
    More about this event: Spencer Tunick Invites Australians to Bare All on Whitsunday Island

  • Nudists call for Kiwis to join them on international ‘Day Without Togs’
    Here’s evidence of the popularity and tolerance of nudity in New Zealand. A naturist group there, known as Free Beaches, has encouraged everyone in the country to celebrate an upcoming event in January. It’s called the “Day Without Togs”, was reportedly started in Spain in 2007, and will be celebrated on local beaches the last Saturday of January. (Understandably, the date’s not that popular among northern hemisphere naturists.) How many suitable beaches does New Zealand have? You can get a good idea from this Google Map. In our previous collection of articles, there were two related to New Zealand, both based on information from the blogger Naked Kate. Spencer Tunick should plan an installation in New Zealand, if he hasn’t already.

  • Auckland nudists encourage families to join them at pre-Christmas beach event
    That January beach event wasn’t even the first one this season in NZ. There was already one just before Christmas, promoted by an Auckland naturist group. It was called “Barely Three Days Before Christmas”. And it wasn’t the only one – there was another further south on the same day: “If you are down south we will again be celebrating the summer solstice with a nude swim at St Kilda beach Dunedin. 6pm December 22,” according to one person quoted in the article. Actually, why use the solstice to have a special day for a summer skinny-dip in New Zealand? Merely a few extra minutes of sunlight? The same thing must happen every day in the summer there. Unfortunately, the event wasn’t completely without incident. A park ranger did stop to question what was going on, but ultimately did not try to stop it.

  • Strip down in Surrey for heart charity naked walk



    Here’s another example of an appropriate use of nudity to draw attention and support to a worthy cause. The backstory is that a naturist, Philip Baker, who was diagnosed with heart disease over 30 years ago but was eventually treated successfully for it, decided to become an active fundraiser for the British Heart Foundation to support research into heart disease. Philip stated that he’s “been a lifelong naturist quietly enjoying my garden in the nude and taking the odd Mediterranean holiday ‘au naturelle’.” What is hoped to be an annual event will be held on the summer solstice (in England) this June. Participants will pay an entry fee of £20 and pledge to raise an additional £100 for the BHF. In return, they’ll be entitled to take either a 2km or 5km walk – naked – (at night) through a very scenic local park. Even spectators are welcome (for a £10 fee). Organizers are hoping for as many as 500 participants.
    More about this: 500 people could walk naked in park so people don’t have a stroke; You can walk through Painshill Park naked but only for one night

  • Be at Peace with Yourself


    This is from the Bold & Naked yoga studio in New York City, but it offers good advice that’s not limited to yoga practice. Nudity’s not even mentioned explicitly. However, this is the very first recommendation: “The first step to being at peace with yourself is to accept yourself.” And the fifth is: “accept yourself with all the flaws and weaknesses you may have.” Clearly, this is a major worry people have that prevents them from wholeheartedly embracing social nudity, because of how they assume their body, no matter what it’s actually like, inevitably has flaws and isn’t “good enough”. Naturists know that worry can be overcome by accepting one’s body (which doesn’t preclude taking steps, such as yoga exercise, to improve what’s amenable to being improved). The other recommendations are also very appropriate.

  • Famous Naked Comedy DISROBED Returns to Hollywood


    This production was previously mentioned here back in May. You can read that account for more about the play. But it’s a good sign that it’s being done again – on a repeating basis, in fact, on the first Saturday of every month (but not stated for how long). It’s especially encouraging, since the play is based on Barely Proper, by Tom Cushing, which was written in 1931, but not performed on Broadway (in a revised version) until 1970 (to unfavorable reviews). In addition, the audience is required to be naked too. That shouldn’t be necessary, but it may keep out some voyeurs, and perhaps even induce audience members to experiment more with social nudity themselves. And the production last June was favorably received. According to the article that included “racking up rave reviews and winning the Producers Encore! Award along with a nomination for ‘Best Immersive Show’.”

Recent articles on nudity and naturism, 1/5/20

  • Student rides her horse completely naked in film to urge other riders to wear safety helmet
    It’s an interesting development that clean nudity is being used to attract attention to worthy causes. In this case it’s a rather limited purpose: encouraging riders in (competitive?) horse-riding events to wear safety helmets. The general idea is a legitimate use of nudity. Of course, hardly anyone who notices this story is likely to be someone the precaution is intended for. World Naked Bike Rides are a far batter example of this sort of thing. Also many calendars featuring (very) limited nudity are produced in order to donate sales profits for worthy causes. Why should naturists pay attention to any of this? Perhaps because it isn’t necessarily a self-serving “exploitation” of nudity, but rather has the effect of normalizing nudity. (Granted, personal attention-seeking could also figure in this.)

  • Get your kit off: this skinny-dipper is writing a NZ guidebook and is looking for models


    It’s summer now in New Zealand, and naturist blogger Kate Uwins, currently residing in Kiwi-land, who has been exploring the country for three years, is putting together a guide book for skinny-dipping there. New Zealand is probably just behind England itself in being the most naturist-friendly, English-speaking place on the planet. Kate thinks NZ “is just the best place in the world to skinny dip. You’ve got about a million beautiful places to go swimming; beaches, rivers, lakes, waterfalls. They’re just around every corner”.  And she points out that “There are no snakes, no crocodiles, nothing dangerous that’s going to get you.” (Not to mention horrendous wildfires.) Of course, visitors should be cautioned to be wary of the explosive volcanic islands. Several other naturist bloggers are currently attempting to support their blogging efforts by offering for sale things like guide books – and this should be considered a good thing, to the extent that it promotes healthy naturism.

  • Midnight bath


    Kate’s new blog itself is a fine example of assertive naturist advocacy. In this post she makes a number of good points. For starters: “It is astonishing me how easy it seems to be to get random strangers to get their kit off. Within minutes of meeting people, we are naked together! This is fantastic! … I’m talking about broad daylight, sober, non-sexual nudity that leads to joy, smiles, and great stories.” And: “What better way to escape the craziness of this modern world: the Trumps and brexits, the political madness and the consumerist chaos, than to disappear for a little while, strip off your clothes and reconnect with nature and yourself.” And: “Why is it that we are so scared of others seeing our naked bodies? Are we scared of being laughed at or scared of it turning into something sexual? Is it not possible to be naked and there to be no sexual connotations? Is it not possible to see our bodies as something other than a sexual object?”

    Non-naturists and people still new to naturism may disbelieve such utopian ideas. “Can you, could I, really do that?” Sadly, naturism in the past century hasn’t really advanced much, if at all. Timidity isn’t a winning strategy. We need many more believers like Kate.

  • Metrópolis – Intramurs I. Spencer Tunick


    Have you ever been one of the lucky few to take part in a Spencer Tunick photoshoot? Probably not, but here’s a spectacular 25-minute documentary video of a Tunick photoshoot during the Intramurs art festival in Valencia, Spain. Tunick may not consider himself (personally) a naturist, but his work over several decades is certainly a wonderful testament to the beauty, allure, and expressiveness of nudity. The video’s narration is in Spanish, but there’s an accompanying transcription. (It’s also in Spanish, but can be translated using Google.)
    An article (also in Spanish) of the making of the video: El making off de la multitudinaria foto de desnudos bajo las Torres de Serranos

  • Bodypainting. It keeps fascinating me.


    Bodypainting is a visual art form quite different from Tunick’s photography – but it’s even more appropriate for naturists. It allows for imagining the naked body in fascinatingly different ways. It must be far more enjoyable for the model than trying to stand motionless in a single pose for an extended period of time. And also, for the “model” (or rather the “canvas”), it provides the exhilarating experience of using one’s body to be a literal medium of artistic expression – like a dancer, but in a very different way.

  • Progressive Social Nudity — A Year in Review
    The New York City organization known as Just Naked describes its intention as “to create nude events that look and feel like any other popular clothed event, but with just naked participants.” The goal is specifically described as “normalizing naked everywhere” – something that most naturists also, probably, see as a desirable goal. The events are basically private parties, held in the NYC area, and organized by participants at their homes or other suitable places. The event must be nonsexual, and everyone’s expected to be naked. In other words, just the sort of ordinary parties any naturist might organize or attend. In order to attend an event, one must purchase a ticket, which presumably keeps the attendance at a manageable level and may compensate the organizer for expenses. According to the article “We held upwards of 70 events this year, sold over 700 tickets, and turned dozens of first-timers on to the benefits of social nudity. And we had a blast doing it!” According to the website, there are currently four events scheduled for the remainder of January.

    However, there’s a problem – a severe gender imbalance problem. The article states “sometime around the middle of summer we noticed that most of our events were skewing 9-to-1 in favor of men. We had women leaving the events before they even started, and most never returned.” So events are now designated as “Open to All” or “Women Only”. That’s rather draconian, however, so another category has been defined as “Femme Fwd” (described at the link), which gives women more control over attendance by men. The details are a bit complicated: “These events will only be available to men who are vetted by a woman who has attended our events.” Some policy similar to this might help with the gender imbalance found at most naturist venues. But in the long term steps need to be taken to make naturist events and venues intrinsically more comfortable for women. One way to accomplish that is for clubs to put efforts directly into promoting naturism to women, so that many more will attend – as well as doing what’s necessary for everyone to have an enjoyable experience.
    Here’s a news article on the club: There’s almost nothing you can’t do naked if you’re in this club

  • Retired Miami Cop Now Performing Naked Ventriloquy Show
    Whether or not you’re particularly talented in some sort of performance, doing it fully naked will probably attract more notice than otherwise. (And I’m not saying there isn’t talent in this particular example.) The type of performance doesn’t really matter – one that’s a serious art form such as making music, dancing, gymnastics, or acting. Or one perhaps a bit easier to master, such as comedy, reading poetry, or ventriloquism. There have been examples (sometimes many) of each sort of performance done in the nude before an audience. Naturists should welcome – and patronize, when possible – much, much more of this, because it’s another way to normalize nudity.

  • How to visit a Milan museum totally naked
    The event is scheduled for January 18, 2020. Unfortunately, it’s already sold out. So even if you reside in the Milan area, you’ve missed the boat. But this is yet another instance of an art museum providing an occasion where visitors may explore the galleries completely naked. Sometimes clothing is optional, but nudity is often required, as in this case. Considering how quickly such events usually sell out, it’s surprising they aren’t offered more often, and by many additional museums. In a metropolitan area of sufficient size, why not once a month – or even once a week? Could it be that naturists or others who’re open-minded about nudity just aren’t that interested in fine art? They should be, given how often nudity is the subject of much painting, sculpture, and performance art.
    Here’s more information, if you happen to read Italian.

Recent articles on nudity and naturism, 12/21/19

  • I signed up for nude modelling to challenge myself
    Modeling naked for an art drawing or painting class is scary – even if you’re used to going naked at home sometimes or even visiting a nude beach occasionally. It’s even scarier if you have no significant experience being naked in front of strangers who will be staring intently at your naked body for an hour or two. Why did Sonya do it? A friend who had done nude modeling for years had “always spoken about how much fun she had found it.” Sonya writes that she had “spent so long working to the point of getting to be ok with my body, instead of being at war with it” – and she now needed to challenge herself on her progress.

    She writes about her very first experience modeling naked, her anxiety about it initially, and her feelings in the first few minutes. “Disrobing was difficult. All those eyes, staring at me.” But it turned out very well. “Seeing myself through other people’s eyes, laid bare on the paper was amazing for my body confidence…. The next time I am asked to life model, I’ll respond with an enthusiastic “Yes!”.” In light of the next article to be discussed, what this shows is that the discomfort from people staring at one’s naked body is a challenge – but it can be conquered by developing sufficient self-confidence. Most naturists aren’t exhibitionists or ecdysiasts, and they don’t expect to get sexual gratification from being seen naked by others. But neither do they need to be scared or concerned about being seen naked. The pleasure of nudity is just a result of accepting one’s body and not being encumbered by clothing.

  • “Staring is a big no-no”: All the questions you have about nudism, answered


    This article from an Australian source relays advice from the founder of Get Naked Australia. Most of it is aimed at people who know little about naturism or nudism, but are curious about it (in a positive or negative way). The article’s title singles out one specific issue – the concerns people have about being stared at while partially or fully naked.

    This is a more complicated issue than is generally acknowledged. On one hand, people having little or no experience with social nudity believe that most of its devotees have great self-confidence and no embarrassment about being naked. That’s not true, although it should be. On the other hand, people who do have some experience with social nudity often think that others who stare at their bodies are simply being gauche and uncouth. That fails to understand the previous point.

    It’s usually very good advice not to stare – whether intentionally or not – at the bodies of anyone who’s fully or partly naked. While the naked person might be fairly comfortable with nudity, if they’re relatively new to social nudity they may feel mildly to severely uncomfortable about being stared at. Of course, the same is true of anyone who’s stared at because of almost anything “unusual” in their physical appearance, manner of dress, awkward behavior due to disabilities, etc.

    However, people who know little or nothing about social nudity probably assume that anyone who’s fully or partly naked has overcome any sense of shame associated with nudity and therefore must be insensitive to and unperturbed by the stares of others. That’s not a good assumption.

    There are now a variety of “public” places where nudity is accepted and perhaps even common – such as clothing-optional beaches and resorts, fairly isolated places outdoors, or legally approved public demonstrations such as World Naked Bike Rides. Anyone who chooses full or partial nudity in such places – either for a particular occasion or as part of a consistent lifestyle – has probably decided that nudity is at least harmless or actually quite a good thing. Such people have to some degree or other overcome unhealthy body shame and society’s irrational aversion to nudity.
    There’s a mismatch of assumptions on both sides of this issue. People who don’t know much about social nudity may assume, incorrectly, that most who participate in it are quite self-confident about their nudity and have no feelings about shame or embarrassment related to it, and no concerns about how others will react to it. However, someone who’s nude in “public” may be just experimenting with it. They may have gathered the courage to try it, but are still quite sensitive to negative reactions from others.

    On the other side, people who stare at others who’re partially or fully naked may be doubtful about the legality of the nudity and probably still think that open nudity is improper and even “immoral”. So if they stare at others who’re not “properly” clothed it’s not necessarily right to assume that the staring is consciously disrespectful or simply uncouth. It’s more charitable to assume starers still suffer from irrational body shame and are simply behaving in accord with their social conditioning.

    Just as with people who become comfortable as nude models, most people who have enough time and experience with social nudity are able to overcome uneasiness when less enlightened others stare at them. Once one becomes convinced there’s nothing “wrong” about choosing not to cover certain parts of their body it’s easy to enjoy nudity and feel no shame about it. By realizing that staring results from the typical unfamiliarity or disapproval regarding nudity present in most cultures, it’s easier to understand and ignore impolite staring. Unfortunately, it takes a little time for people who are relatively new to being naked in a clothing-optional situation to become self-confident about their nudity. Since it’s usually difficult to know whether staring will cause discomfort to someone, the best general policy is not to stare.

  • Third Time’s the Charm?
    If you think it’s scary to be stared at naked in a life drawing class of maybe 10 or 20 people, what would you think about being naked in New York’s Times Square in broad daylight – open to the stares of many hundreds of complete strangers? It’s actually possible to do that legally, with the proper permits. And it can be done without embarrassment, even if you’re not an exhibitionist (which, hopefully, you aren’t). The naturist activist who goes by the name Ton Dou has been organizing that very thing, in the name of “Bare Body Freedom”. Last year he performed (naked) an “Ultimate Freedom Concert” in the Square, accompanied by two dozen naked men, one naked woman. (Some others were partially naked.) This year he repeated the performance, but this time – as the blog of The Outdoor Co-ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society notes – with about one dozen naked men and four or five women. So the better gender balance is, at least, a “step in the right direction”. Naturists can hope that the third time, next year, could be better still.

    It’s worth noting that in 2016 the OCTPFAS put on performances of Shakespeare’s The Tempest in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park with the all-female cast mostly naked. There have, of course, been a number of amateur and professional theatrical productions in recent decades with significant amounts of full nudity – but hardly ever so openly in a public park. Just imagine how comfortable the casts of such productions needed to become with stares from the audience. And incidentally, the women of the OCTPFAS regularly sunbathe topfree during the summer – completely legally – in New York City parks. Stares? Who cares?

  • Care home welcomes naked male model after residents request a nude drawing class
    While on the subject of nude life modeling, it’s worth mentioning that people who take art classes offering this aren’t in it for sexual thrills either. Most people will never be acclaimed artists, but artistic skill in depicting the naked human body is something that most people can develop with sufficient effort and practice. Accomplishments in such endeavors are as satisfying as achievement in any other type of artistic pursuit – from making music to making furniture. This type of satisfaction is available to people of almost any age. And the nude models who enable learning how to reproduce the human form on canvas or in clay need not be embarrassed by their role, regardless of who the students are.
    More: Old people’s home invites nude model for life drawing class

  • Art Residency: International artists live in the nude for ten days


    This type of Art Residency is a relatively brief organized program for people who are serious about developing their artistic skills. The immersive experience helps them focus on and improve different aspects of their craft. In this case, the artists themselves work as nude models. This helps artists in various ways. Probably the most important way is understanding the diverse meanings of full exposure of one’s naked body to the gaze of others. Nudity, of course, has a sexual meaning, but it’s only one among many. There’s the pleasure, which naturists know quite well, of directly experiencing the natural world instead of the artificial world of clothing. There’s the self-confidence manifest in lack of concern about others’ perception of one’s naked body. There’s the satisfaction of demonstrating the naked body’s aesthetic beauty. The better that artists appreciate these different meanings of nudity, the better they can express them in their art.

  • Do’s and Don’ts: Making Nudist Friends


    In a previous collection of recent articles we considered How to Find Other Nudists. Among the approaches mentioned was visiting nude or clothing-optional beaches. It was noted that this can be tricky, since visitors to such beaches have a wide range of experience with social nudity, and differing amounts of interest in acquiring new friends while enjoying the beach. The article here offers a number of good suggestions on how to navigate around these complicating factors. Since it was published by the official organization of Haulover Beach (Florida) users, the suggestions should be very pertinent and reliable.

  • A Naturist Girl
    Here’s a good statement on naturism by Aleah, who was raised in a naturist family – and has not seriously wavered from the enjoyment of nudity, in spite of the various trials and tribulations that afflict most people’s lives from time to time. It’s one of the first posts on a new blog: Our Natural Blog. The blog is actually the work of Aleah and her husband Sam. Both Aleah and Sam introduce themselves in earlier articles on their blog. There’s also a very good background article on Aleah and Sam on the Naked Wanderings blog.

    One of the best comments in the article explains how the fear and shame usually associated with nudity is a noxious, harmful fact about our culture (as well as most others):
    We are taught to grow up,,, to wear shoes and stop climbing trees. We are taught the concept of modesty and shame. Taught what the “ideal perfect body” is supposed to look like.

    Naturist blogs from partnered couples are a relatively new thing. It will be great for naturism if the numbers keep growing, since such blogs should be especially encouraging for women to discover that naturism need not be primarily a male thing. Other good examples of this trend are Twonaturists Blog by Hannah and Nick, and Our Naked Story, by Blake and Elle.

  • Three-course dinner where ‘clothes are optional’ is coming to Cambridgeshire this chilly winter season
    The good news for people in the Cambridge area is that the event is not until January 25, so there’s still plenty of time to sign up. Naked dining events are still uncommon in the UK – but less uncommon than in most other countries where many naturists live. Events like this don’t usually just happen spontaneously. In this case, the event has been organized by the Eastern Region of British Naturism. (The folks who also organize other good things like skinny-dipping events and festivals for young naturists.) Sadly for naturists in the U. S., we do not have national (or regional) organizations that facilitate such things. One does have to wonder, though, why whoever wrote the article described the event as “risky”. Evidently a writer for the local news outlet – who isn’t a naturist.
    More: here

Recent articles on nudity and naturism, 10/18/19

It’s quite striking how much better-accepted naturism is in the UK compared to the US, considering how many other things (including language, to some extent) the two countries have in common. Although UK naturists are still definitely a minority, the articles discussed here should make US naturists very envious of the Brits. (The previous collection of articles also had much evidence of this.)

  • Hundreds strip off and brave North Sea in the nude in mass autumn skinny-dip
    Since 2012 British naturists in Northumberland have participated in a skinnydip at the beach on Druridge Bay close to the time of the Autumn Equinox. Almost all participants this year waded in completely naked, even though the beach is in the north of England on the North Sea, near the Scottish border – and the event began at sunrise. Daytime high temperatures in the area during September average about 60°F (16°C). The organizer of the event, however, said the temperature was “the warmest it has ever been”. He also explained that “I think people are trying to understand what we are trying to do a little bit more. It’s not just about taking our clothes off[;] it’s about taking a risk, connecting with nature, celebrating life and embracing our own bodies.” For some participants it was their first experience with social nudity. And unlike many naturist events, there were about as many women as men. But it wasn’t just a naturist event, as it also had the purpose of raising money for a local charity. The official count of participants was 737, probably a new high, and each donated £15. More than £50,000 had been raised in the previous 7 years. The event was widely reported in British news media and elsewhere, such as

  • Royal Academy visitors are invited to brush past naked man and woman in recreation of 1977 performance artwork
    Performance artist Marina Abramović came up with the simple idea of having two entirely naked performers stand facing each other in a narrow passageway and inviting members of the public (fully dressed) to squeeze between them. Marina herself and her then-boyfriend put on the first performances at an Italian art gallery in 1977. The performance was called Imponderabilia. It’s now scheduled to be repeated at London’s Royal Academy of Arts main galleries from late September to early December in 2020 – where it will be available for the general public. Two young artists will recreate the performance under Marina’s supervision (and possibly with her own participation). Although members of the public are expected to remain clothed, the piece is intended to challenge their reactions to very close interaction with others who are naked, and to “confront themes of naked vulnerability”.

    Britain’s The Sun tabloid persuaded their reporter Amy Nickell to do a reenactment of the performance together with a male model (Miguel) – both appropriately naked. Pictures of various people squeezing between Amy and Miguel give the impression (for the most part) that both handled the experience pretty well, although some of those who were required to navigate between the two did so with less equanimity – especially those of larger girth. Nevertheless, Amy reports “I was glad when I got dressed again.” Perhaps – but would she admit it if she actually enjoyed the experience? Here’s an earlier article from The Sun about the forthcoming Royal Academy of Arts performance.

  • The Yorkshire naturist club and why we shouldn’t be embarrassed by our bodies
    This is a reasonably positive article on Britain’s Yorkshire Sun Society, which was founded in 1932 and is the second oldest naturist club in the country. Patrick Galbraith, whose article this is, does remove his clothes at times. But he doesn’t seem entirely sold on the idea initially, as he begins with the admission that “It had been at least a decade since I’d seen another man in the buff and I was immediately overcome with the urge to apologise to him profusely before running away.” Although he doesn’t quite answer the implied question in the title of the article, by the end of his stay he does have this thought: “I had gone in search of the weird and discovered that it is perhaps people beyond the gates who are the weird ones – those like you and I who sweat like mad on a hot summer’s day because of some inherited belief that thighs and tummies are inherently sexual or offensive.”

  • Naked cleaners wanted in Devon and Cornwall – and they earn £45 an hour!
    What real naturist wouldn’t want to have other naturists handle tedious house cleaning chores (if the price were affordable)? It sounds almost too good to be true, so one might be a bit suspicious that a business of this sort is actually legitimate. Yet, apparently, it is. There have been a number of articles in the (British) news media about such businesses, and the article here is among the latest. The company is named Naked Cleaners (duh). According to the website, the company operates “throughout the UK”, but it is based in London. As you’d expect from a legitimate business, customers are expected to observe a number of rules, spelled out in their FAQ. For instance, touching, photographing, or videoing the cleaners isn’t allowed. Also, nobody except occupants of the home or apartment may be present – but they may be naked themselves. (They’re naturists, after all.)

    The rate for naked cleaners is £45 per hour (about $58 US). But that’s what the company is paid – presumably the cleaners don’t get all of it. Although the cleaners work naked, they aren’t necessarily long-time naturists – let alone “adult entertainers”. They may be quite new to working naked. One cleaner, quoted in the article, said “I was new to naturism. I had never done it before – I hadn’t even been on a nudist beach or anything like that. I’d just done it in private. I wasn’t nervous because I’m quite comfortable being naked.” However, she explained, “I found the first time quite liberating if anything, because I like being naked. If I’m by myself or with my close friends or a boyfriend, I’ll walk around naked. I’m not sure exactly why I like it, I just feel more comfortable that way.”

  • Student animal doctors strip off for naked calendar to raise money for drought-stricken farmers
    We turn now to Australia, another English-speaking country where naturism is (probably) more successful than in the US. Since we’re nearing the end of 2019, ’tis the season for a new spate of calendars to make their appearance for 2020. Last January we asked the question Why are calendars featuring naked people such a fad in Britain? It was noted then that Australia also had such calendars – and the latest for 2020 is also from Down Under. According to the article
    Student vets have stripped off their scrubs for a cheeky naked calendar to mark the end of five gruelling years of study. The calendar has become a tradition for veterinary students at Australia’s James Cook University – and this year’s class are no exception. Striking nude poses with strategically placed hats, 40 classmates took part, with the proceeds going towards their graduation ball and a local charity.
    Although whoever decides such things (pusillanimously, as usual) didn’t allow any full-frontal nudity, the calendar pictures are generally entertaining and imaginative. The calendar can be purchased online for $20 AUD (about $14 US) plus S/H at Vets Uncovered. Quite a bargain. Another article on this is here.

  • 10 Biggest Fears of a Beginning Nudist and How To Overcome Them
    The hyperactive (and non-US) bloggers at Naked Wanderings list some of the most common fears that intimidate prospective naturists. The list will be very familiar to current naturists. And the truth is that if a prospective naturist will actually give social nudity a try in a suitable environment, all but one of the fears on the list will quickly be perceived as small problems, at most. The one remaining fear, unfortunately, is the biggie: “How will I explain this to friends and family?” This one needs a lot more thought and effort to overcome.

    The advice given in the article for this fear is really too skimpy. For instance “The easy solution: Just don’t tell them. It’s none of anyone’s business if you prefer to spend your free time at a nudist resort.” That is, of course, quite unrealistic unless you’re a hermit living by yourself – in which case you may already be used to getting along with few or no clothes. Not only is the advice unrealistic, but the tendency of many or most naturists to be secretive about their enjoyment of nudity is most unfortunate. It’s probably the biggest reason that naturism has struggled so long and so unsuccessfully to really catch on. Simply put: people who become curious about naturism probably have at least some relatives or friends who share their interest – but aren’t aware of that since the others are also secretive. So people who are curious about naturism have much difficulty overcoming the other fears in the first place. A good approach would be to bring up the subject of naturism casually in conversation, perhaps by mentioning news stories like any of the above. If done often enough, others who don’t have a negative attitude towards nudity could be found. It’s also important to become convinced that enjoying nonsexual social nudity is not doing anything wrong. After that, it’s easier to figure out how to explain this fact to others.

Naturist theater

Many stage plays have been produced in which one or more actors are fully naked for large parts – or all – of the play. But most of these aren’t exactly “naturist”. They may have major themes like shame and embarrassment, sexuality, exhibitionism, prostitution, or something else entirely. Classic plays may also be performed with naked actors – such as Shakespeare plays. Some nudity may even be appropriate in a few Shakespeare plays, such as Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, and The Tempest. (There was a major film version of the latter, titled Prospero’s Books, with abundant nudity.) But for present purposes we don’t consider any of these to be “naturist”.

Nevertheless, there are a few plays which really are “naturist” – but just a few. Probably the great majority of these have been performed only in experimental theaters, on college and university campuses, and similar venues. Most of these, I think, have never been published so that they may be used by other theater companies. Perhaps the only example that has been published and is in any sense “well known” is Barely Proper, by Tom Cushing. Cushing was an American playwright who had a modestly successful career with several plays being performed on Broadway between 1910 and 1930.

Barely Proper was published in 1931, but subtitled “An Unplayable Play” – because Cushing couldn’t imagine it being performed at the time, as most of the characters are always naked. A film with the same title was released in 1975, but with a different plot. The play was eventually performed on Broadway, in 1970, but got poor reviews. It’s not a literary masterpiece, but it is a competently written play – although not one that would especially appeal to non-naturists, and it’s not fully satisfying to naturists either.

Cushing may have hoped the play actually would be performed within a few years, since nudism had just begun to gain some traction in the U. S. in the early 1930s. Perhaps the play’s lack of success motivated its author to turn to other pursuits when he was in his early 50s, since he had no other plays that made it to Broadway after then.

The play’s weakness is that the plot is rather formulaic. Frieda Schmidt and Derek Leet are engaged to be married. Frieda is German and is an avid nudist, having been raised in a thoroughly nudist family. The family is wealthy and quite serious about nudism – even their maid works naked. Derek, however, is a prudish, stolid British twit. The stereotypes are obvious. What Frieda may have seen in Derek isn’t clear, but the couple’s devotion to each other is apparent.

Unfortunately, Frieda hasn’t been honest with either Derek or her own family. She hasn’t told her fiancé that she and the rest of her family are avid nudists. Derek learns this only when he visits Frieda’s family for the first time. The family tries to be understanding and educate Derek on the nature and virtues of nudism, but he is unpersuaded. The resulting denouement is unconvincing, and may have been the real reason the play was never successful. It’s possible that if the play were acted by professionals who could lend more depth and credibility to the characters it could be enjoyable. That, however, hasn’t been the case. The play is occasionally performed in nudist/naturist groups, but that’s for a rather forgiving audience.

Barely Proper has been reprinted in a small collection of naturist plays. Sadly, the other plays in this collection are much shorter, more formulaic, and do even less to show nudism/naturism in a positive light than Barely Proper. Don’t bother trying to find a copy, since it’s out of print and virtually unobtainable.

The remaining five plays in the collection have a lot in common. All of them are short, performable in about 15 to 30 minutes. A nude beach is the setting for each of them, entirely or in part. The plot in each case centers on a conflict between individuals who are either romantic couples, siblings, or (nominally) friends. Most of the characters have dysfunctional personalities in some way or other. And, predictably, part of the conflict revolves around a reluctance to get naked. Seriously. Naturists will be quite familiar with the latter problem. Non-naturists might just take the conflict for granted, assuming that hardly anyone would want to be naked with strangers around.

One good thing about the collection is the Introduction by the collection’s editor, Mark Storey, a well-known naturist. It’s mainly about the initial and later history of Barely Proper, in particular how it has been performed and interpreted by various nudist/naturist groups.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have some plays in which the main characters are naturists, who are usually naked, but the plot centers on issues of more universal interest? Such plays would normalize nudity, while only intermittently alluding to the societal hang-ups that make a naked lifestyle difficult. The message of the plays might be, “See, you don’t need to wear clothes in order to experience – and overcome – the vicissitudes of human life.” Off the top of my head, I can think of a variety of plots. For instance, consider a middle-aged naturist couple who have adult and teenage children (who are also naturists). One of the parents is hospitalized with a serious illness. The spouse and children want to visit the ill parent daily, and must deal with the disapproval of their nudity by some members of the hospital staff.

There have recently been a few theatrical productions that have featured considerable nudity – including of the audience as well as the performers.

  • Parisians brave nippy temperatures to attend play – in the nude (1/23/19)
    Actors are known for baring their souls on stage. But the cast of a new French play went a step further — and so did their audience. The one-off performance of “Nu et Approuvé,” or “Naked and Approved,” which took place at the Palais des Glaces theater in Paris on Sunday, required all audience members, as well as the actors, to get naked.

  • Naked Comedy DISROBED Unveiled For Hollywood Fringe Festival (5/25/19)
    The producers of the immersive hit “Love the Body Positive” return to the Hollywood Fringe Theatre Festival this June with the full-length comedy “Disrobed: Why So Clothes-Minded?” The play has been adapted and updated by Steven Vlasak, the award-winning author of “Nights at the Algonquin Round Table” from the British naturist classic “Barely Proper” by Tom Cushing. It’s “Meet the Parents” with a twist: A bashful buttoned-up groom-to-be arrives to meet his fiancé’s family, only to discover that they’re all Naturists (Nudists), and for the festival performances so is the audience.
    Presumably, since this production is based on Barely Proper, the plot is quite similar. It would be more interesting, however, if it were altered in some important aspect. This could be done in various ways. The male and female roles could be reversed, with the former being the naturist and the latter the non-naturist. The final outcome of the plot could be reversed. Or, more dramatically, the setting could be a society in which nudity is normal, and wearing clothes (for instance, by a small religious sect) is outside the norm. Or any combination of these things. Many other variations are also possible.

It’s encouraging that naturists are still working at presenting their lifestyle on the stage. The problem, though, is that the performance is limited to an audience in which everyone is agreeable to being naked. It is, at this point in time, the general non-naturist public that needs to be “exposed” to the naturist world, in all its variety.

In order to appreciate the different sorts of plots that could be explored, I’d recommend checking out a couple of short videos, whose script could easily be adapted for a theater stage.

  • Nude Not
    The plot here is, refreshingly, quite different from that of Barely Proper. Even so, it plays with the tension between being naked and being clothed. It’s short and isn’t at all “realistic”. How different characters perceive “reality” is the crux. It would be interesting to develop this one into something longer, while retaining the same twist.

  • Guys 1st Naked Party
    (Note: This is on a porn site, but the video is very naturist and definitely not porn.)
    The plot here is actually quite similar to that of Barely Proper. There’s a romantic couple where the female is a naturist and the male is not. Everything comes to a head when the couple attends a naturist party hosted by the woman’s parents. One has to wonder why more dissimilar plots haven’t been tried, even simply making changes as suggested above. The problem is that we live in a society where everyday nudity is, unfortunately, very much not normal, so it’s difficult to come up with believable plots where nudity of the characters isn’t a major plot driver. However, the theater has a long tradition of playing fast and loose with “reality”. Just think of Waiting for Godot or many of Shakespeare’s plays.

Would anyone who actually has experience with theater and drama care to comment?