Sure, you may already have a list of resolutions for the new year – which, if things go as usual, you may not manage to fully keep. So having more suggestions might not be what you were hoping for. However, since you’re a naturist, or at least may have seriously considered becoming one, there are some important resolutions you should consider adding to the list.
If you’re curious enough about naturism to be reading a blog like this, one of the most important things you could be thinking about for the coming year is how to spend a lot more time being naked. So if it would help to keep things simple, here’s the single resolution that should go on your list:
This year I’m going to step up my involvement in naturist activities.
Continue reading “Naturist New Year’s resolutions”
July was a considerably busier month for naturist material than June this year. Although there was a great deal of pandemic yet to unfold, at least naturists weren’t losing interest. Of course, July is probably the peak month for naturism in the northern hemisphere. So there’s a lot to cover here.
- Artistic naturist photography
Artistic nude photography and photographic images of naturism are often considered completely separate categories. The first reference below provides good examples of how the two can be combined. As some of the images there show, images of unclothed people in natural settings make an obvious choice – but not the only one. The second reference is more strictly “artistic” in nature, but it uses naked bodies in abstract ways to communicate a message.
Note that the language in both of these items is Portugese, but a translation into English, Spanish, or French can be had by selecting the appropriate flag in the top right of the page.
- Naked Bike Ride 2020: ‘As Bare As You Dare’ But Don’t Forget The Mask
This item and the next one are further examples of how naturists are adapting to the pandemic. Some of the customary World Naked Bike Rides that take place in the warmer months were simply cancelled this year. But many others took place as usual. The ride pictured above was in Spain.
- From naked gardening to Yoga sessions at Zoom, see how nudists connect during blockades
Most naturist clubs and resorts everywhere did not open at the usual time, but many gradually opened one or more months late, and use of masks, social distancing, hand-washing, etc. were at least strongly recommended. Normal use of outdoor facilities, such as swimming pools and tennis courts was generally allowed, with mild restrictions.
To make up for the more limited options available, naturists also turned to activities like gardening and home improvement. And innovate, forward-thinking naturist organizations – British Naturism in particular – used video conferencing tools to provide entirely new services like panel discussions, virtual “pub nights”, and classes in yoga, drawing, and painting. (More about that here.) Such activities will certainly continue to be popular even when the pandemic eventually subsides. Notably, they can be accessed from almost anywhere in the world.
- Nudity in protests
Certain things that occur in “normal” times did not stop even during a pandemic – political protests in particular. In the U. S., in fact, there were numerous dramatic protests across the country in response to various incidents of brutal and totally unnecessary murders of Black men by undisciplined police officers and civilian vigilantes. The protests in Portland, Oregon were especially tumultuous – and led to threatening overreaction against protesters.
To call attention to the irrational police violence that included use of tear gas and rubber bullets, one very brave – and naked – woman staged a protest of her own. The protester, who goes by the name “Naked Athena”, explained that “being nude in public is nothing new” to her. Although police shot pepper balls close to her, she was unharmed and departed casually after about ten minutes.
Using nudity in social and political demonstrations and protests is, or course, not especially uncommon. World Naked Bike Rides are a particularly tame example. This case was quite a bit more daring – but it pointed out dramatically the vulnerability of all the protesters in the face of heavily armed police.
- Women in naturism
One of the most common questions that naturists and non-naturists alike wonder about social nudity is why more women don’t participate. (Look here for previous posts about this.) As the first of the two articles below remarks, “The answer is multi-faceted.” The problem extends far beyond the issue of having “gender balance” at naturist clubs and resorts. It exists just as much at clothing-optional beaches, World Naked Bike Rides, and other naturist events and festivals.
It might be tempting to reach for simple answers, such as that women are simply shyer about exposing their naked bodies, at least in the presence of men. But there are complications even in that. It’s tangled up, of course, with the issue of body acceptance – but that’s a problem for men too. And “normal” women’s clothing often exposes more epidermis than men’s clothing does. The first article below, despite its title, doesn’t attempt to go deeply into reasons for the problem. Instead, it offers various suggestions for what can be done to deal with the problem. It turns out that the techniques are basically alike for men and women.
The second article is a personal account by one woman who actually was quite daunted by the idea of being naked in view of men. This was more a result of being a survivor of sexual assault than of body acceptance. The woman may well never be a naturist, but she has managed to overcome her fear of nudity, in order to be able to enjoy it in situations that are comfortable for her.
- Immersion in Europe’s first naturist garage sale
Now here is a genuinely creative idea for promoting naturism – a carefully planned and executed “garage sale” in France, where nudity is required for visitors. (Events like this, except for the nudity, are also known as “flea markets”, “yard sales”, “tag sales”, etc.) This wasn’t some event with a few rows of folding tables in a dusty parking lot. As can be seen from the picture, it was in a clean indoor space with uniform, purpose-made white booths for the display of the merchandise. Rows were even neatly arranged in alphabetical order.
In countries like the U. S. that lack as many dedicated naturists as France, the event need not be as formal. It should be clothing-optional, but without requiring full nudity. Visitors who do opt for getting naked should be able to have their clothes stored neatly in a secure space. Obviously, nudity-phobic people would stay away. But anyone who might want to glean some insight into why naturists like being naked could drop in – and maybe doff some or all of their clothes as well – for a safe first experience in social nudity. Naturally, this could be arranged by a local naturist group, or even a few naturist friends who want to spread the concept of naturism.
Perhaps it sounds unlikely a small group could make this work. But suppose an existing naturist campground or resort did this, perhaps even on a regular basis. The general public would be invited. There could be a nominal entrance fee (maybe $5) or maybe none. (After all, many naturist places charge nothing for a first visit.) Food sales might help cover costs. Full nudity wouldn’t be required except, as usual, in swimming pools and spas.
Wouldn’t this be a great way to attract new members or regular visitors – especially people who are already somewhat comfortable with nudity, at least in private? This is only one of a number of possibilities for naturist places to attract new people. Vintage car shows are held at many naturist places now, but that’s kind of a special interest. How about bake sales, craft fairs, art/photography shows, yoga demonstrations, gardening classes?
Naturists really need to become more creative in how they promote social nudity.
- The History of Nudism: Europe
People have lived much of their lives happily naked for as long as there have been humans. But many naturists are aware that nudism and naturism as currently understood originated in Europe – mainly in Germany – around 1900. It took almost three decades to spread to North America. But those earliest decades established the basic features of nudism and naturism as practiced today. The couple that hosts Our Natural Blog narrates a 9-minute video that gives an overview of the beginning of contemporary nudism in its early years in Europe.
- International Nude Day, July 14
As noted in the report for June, 2020, July 14 was designated as “International Nude Day” by some New Zealanders in 2003 (or thereabouts). (In some countries it may be called “National Nude Day”). One had to wonder how widely celebrated this day would be. The answer, sadly, is: not a whole lot. There was little publicity about it at the time, and apparently only one national naturist organization did much of anything to promote it. That was the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). They even produced a 1-minute video to make note of the day – although it shows almost no actual nudity.
That was a little odd, since AANR is mainly a trade association that promotes naturist resorts and travel businesses. Unlike naturist organizations in some other countries, AANR does little organizing and promotion of naturist activities (such as festivals and beach events). British Naturism, for example, often does things like that (at least in the absence of a pandemic).
Exactly what would people who actually heard about it be expected to do on this day? Presumably, naturists who already enjoyed nudity would do so about as much as they would on any other summer day. But why would a significant number of others who’ve had no experience with social nudity suddenly decide to go naked on July 14? For that to happen, there’d surely need to be wide publicity of the great variety of possible naturist activities that could be enjoyed. Not just a trip to the closest naturist resort, but naked hiking, naked camping, visiting clothing-optional beaches, body painting, or just hanging out naked at home with family and friends.
The first article below is from NatCon, a regional naturist organization in Cornwall, UK. It does little but note the day, very briefly mention some benefits of naturism, and show the AANR video. Somewhat of a half-hearted effort, but more than most other organizations offered. The second article is from a New York tabloid that begins with a slightly dismissive tone, but says a little about two young body-positive women, one of whom, named Grace, posted some (non-nude) selfies on her Instagram account and posted on Twitter that “Our bodies are a beautiful thing that should be embraced and cherished. … Nudity doesn’t have to be sexual — it can be empowering and a symbol of confidence.”
In the U. S. we have a holiday that commemorates an event in 1620 when (supposedly) some of the first immigrants to this (future) country from England enjoyed a feast together with indigenous people. Besides giving thanks for surviving a difficult sea voyage, the immigrants were thankful for the freedom from burdens on their lives they felt in their old country. Among these burdens was being persecuted for their beliefs and customs – just as anti-nudity laws and censorship in social media persecute naturists.
So this was an exemplary social event celebrating freedom. If you’re a naturist, this probably sounds like something you’re familiar with: the pleasure of sharing with others the freedom from wearing clothes.
I’ve been planning to add my 2 cents to this article: Our Best Tips for Aspiring Naturist Bloggers. Just getting to it now. The article has a lot of useful advice, but it started me thinking about many additional things to say. It’s sort of surprising there aren’t many more naturist blogs – because there’s so much good stuff to write about.
Continue reading “How to blog about naturism”
Many naturists now find themselves having more free time at home because of the pandemic, either because they now work from home, aren’t yet able to go back to work, or simply aren’t able to engage in some of their customary activities.
In the previous article we looked at additional suggestions for activities that can be enjoyed clothesfree at home, based on 6 of the 14 ideas suggested in a Naked Wanderings article. But there are other good ideas to consider that weren’t among the 14 – yet should have been.
Continue reading “Ideas for enjoying nudity while social distancing, part 2”
Since the pandemic certainly isn’t over yet, many people will continue spending much more time at home than they did just a few months ago. Whether or not that’s by personal preference, the upside for naturists is the opportunity to spend much more of their time naked in their own homes. Sadly, however, many people have suffered a difficult loss of income, so they simply won’t be able to pursue activities that are no longer affordable, such as using gyms, traveling away from home, or even paying for cable channels they like.
Even if people can continue to work from home at their usual job, they may well find they have more “free” time than previously. Not having to commute to work can save a lot of time. Vacations involving air travel will be much less of interest. Many free-time activities – such as shopping or going to sporting events – may also be less available. And many naturist campgrounds and resorts will be unable to have their usual number of visitors. Some will be fortunate if they can even stay in business.
So, like most other people, naturists will probably have more free time than they’ve been accustomed to. That’s good news, and for naturists it means that not only they can be naked more of the time, but also they can try out new activities where nudity is especially appropriate.
Continue reading “Ideas for enjoying nudity while social distancing, part 1”
While, sadly, it’s now autumn – and getting steadily colder in the northern hemisphere – spring has arrived in the south – together with good weather for outdoor nudity. So we now have naturist stories from Australia, and should see many more until spring comes again in the north.
Continue reading “Recent articles on nudity and naturism, 10/31/19”
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.
No mystery about the subject of the book. It’s a quick but interesting read – only about 155 pages of actual text, with good color photos on roughly half the pages, plus notes on the 25 authors/photographers and credits for the various photos. There are 22 essays, 1 poem, and a Foreword. The editor, Foley, himself contributed 4 of the essays and the Foreword. He’s well qualified for the task, as he has led week-long naked walking tours in the Alps every year since 2005 – with another planned for 2020. These treks are known as Naked European Walking Tours (NEWT). More information on the tours is available at the given link.
Continue reading “Review of Naked Hiking (Richard Foley, ed.)”