How naturists should cope with the pandemic’s disruption

Earlier this month, The Meandering Naturist posted an interesting and very timely article: Social Nudity in the Age of Isolation: Naked on ZOOM!. I won’t try to summarize it here. You should just go ahead and read it. What follows are my thought on the subject. (You’ll need to have read it to understand what’s said here.)

This blog is hardly the best place for news about COVID-19. But it’s not easy to escape thinking that the problems aren’t going to be over soon – most likely not this year. So naturists need to prepare for that possibility and start thinking longer term. For instance, don’t count on many or most naturist camps, clubs, and resorts to resume normal activities this year. Some may be open, but attendance levels will probably be down. Many traditional clothing-optional beaches may be open, but in the U. S. and many other countries, the beaches aren’t conveniently located for most people. Many organized naturist events will probably either be canceled or lightly attended. And besides, you’ll probably want to keep “social distancing” in mind just for your own health and that of others. It’s a different world we’re living in now, like it or not.
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Debunking the misconceptions about naturism

The folks in that picture look pretty comfortable wearing nothing at all, don’t they? They’re self-confident enough to pose for the camera without any embarrassment. How could they manage that? Perhaps two main reasons are that they like being naked and they’ve come to realize that nudity isn’t anything to be embarrassed about.
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How to enjoy nudity at home if you live with people who aren’t accustomed to nudity

The first step in “normalizing nudity” is to spend as much time as possible naked at home. The people you live with are usually the most important people who need to be comfortable with your nudity. If anyone you live with isn’t comfortable with even the idea that you might be naked at home, then you may have to be secretive about it with them, at least initially. That’s often difficult and not really a good idea for a number of reasons. Perhaps the most important reason is that you’ll be constrained on when and where you can be naked – and you’ll always be afraid they’ll find out you enjoy nudity. You may even feel that what you are doing is “wrong” or “shameful” – which will certainly cripple your enjoyment of nudity.
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What does “normalizing nudity” mean?

Don’t you wish being more comfortable by not wearing any needless clothes at home or in some idyllic place outdoors (when it’s warm enough) could be much less controversial? In short, wouldn’t you be glad if nudity were more accepted as “normal”?

“Normalizing nudity” is an idea that’s increasingly being discussed. The phrase (or slight variants) has been around awhile – for instance here, here, and here. It’s been mentioned more recently here and here.

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Recent articles on nudity and naturism, 1/25/20

  1. Forget ‘lewd behaviour’ – is being naked around your own kids good for them?
    The answer: “Probably it is!” To be more specific, according to the article, “Seeing a parent naked can help children learn what real bodies look like and better understand consent and boundaries.” An important part of every child’s education should be the “facts of life”.  And the best way to do that properly should assume that children will understand best if they’ve often seen others – of differing ages and sexes – in the family naked. That should ensure they know the names (and colloquial terms) for important body parts, and realize that there’s nothing “wrong” or “nasty” about a naked body – even though normal bodies can vary greatly in appearance. In particular, how a naked body looks shouldn’t be a source of shame or embarrassment for anyone.

    Of course, it’s also important to point out that “boundaries” should be respected, and that there are many people who are sensitive or even embarrassed about their bodies. In fact, in the presence of nudity, it’s straightforward to explain exactly what boundaries should be observed and when consent is necessary.

    This issue is now front and center because of a stupid decision by a local judge in Utah – one of the most backward, prudish states in the U. S. It was held that a mother could be prosecuted under an “indecency” law simply because, in their own home, her pre-teen sons happened to see her uncovered breasts. The mother, quite reasonably, believed it was good for her sons to see nonsexual partial female nudity. So, quite absurdly, naturism in a private home could be prosecuted as a crime, even if the only non-adult children present are family members – at least in Utah.

    One of the stupid things about the judge’s decision was agreeing with prosecutors that “lewdness is commonly understood to include women’s breasts in American society”. That’s possibly true in a theocratic state like Utah, which is an extreme case. Yet in states that are more representative of the country as a whole, like New York, simple exposure of female breasts – even in public, let alone in private – isn’t illegal. During the summer in NYC many women go topfree in Central Park, Times Square, and elsewhere. The case in Utah doesn’t even involve full nudity – which would apply equally to men and women. Was the fact that there were children involved relevant? According to this report, there were three kids – ages 9 through 13 at the time. How many boys of that age haven’t seen bare female breasts, at least in pictures, and have been hurt in any way if they have?

    To add to the absurdity of this judicial decision, last September a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals for the 10th district (which includes Utah), struck down a Colorado city’s ban on women exposing their breasts, even in public. And many states don’t consider even full nudity to be “lewd” if the behavior isn’t intended to offend others. So much for the Utah judge’s opinion about how commonly female toplessness is understood to be “lewd”.

    The biggest obstacle to the growth of naturism is the passing along from parents to children at a very early age the ridiculous idea that almost all nudity is inherently “wrong”, “indecent”, “lewd”, or “obscene”. And that nonsense is based on the false belief that seeing nonsexual adult nudity is “harmful” to children – the exact opposite of the truth. Naturists need to strongly oppose this nonsense. In order for naturism and nonsexual nudity to continue becoming socially acceptable, they need to be recognized as perfectly normal and harmless choices for individuals and families. Of course, children shouldn’t be forced to be naked if it’s uncomfortable for them. The best way for nudity to become normalized is for parents, from the beginning, to make clear that nonsexual nudity by family members in their home is always acceptable, at least as long as anyone who might be uncomfortable with nudity isn’t present.

    In this article there is more about the judge’s reasoning. It’s basically that the Utah law is about “lewdness” in front of children, which applies to both men and women. The law, however, also requires either “intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desires” or knowing that the behavior would cause “affront or alarm”. Neither of those conditions seems to apply in the current case, so the defendant should be acquitted at trial – especially considering the harshness of the possible penalties. However, this interpretation is still very threatening for naturists, as all the criteria are highly subjective – especially the idea that exposed female breasts are inherently “lewd”, even though male breasts aren’t. That latter point was key to the Colorado decision that such laws allowed unconstitutional discrimination against women.

    The state of Utah is highly dependent on tourism. But there’s hardly any reason to go there, except for the spectacular desert scenery. Everyone – not only naturists – ought to boycott Utah because of its laws that flout gender equality.

  2. Call for naked art classes to benefit children in UK schools


    This article goes into more detail why it should be considered healthy for children to observe naked bodies – both male and female. It should be clear that drawing classes using live naked models are a fine way to normalize nudity and foster acceptance of it, while also helping youngsters develop their artistic skills and aesthetic senses.

    The idea is that this will help “improve body image issues caused by social media”.
    Artists want models to disrobe for young people and display the unfiltered human form, counteracting distortions of shape, size, and normality young people receive online.

    Some of the points made in favor of the proposal include:

    • Sketching naked men and women should be part of a balanced curriculum, and primary school students are more open to nudity than adults made prudish by socially ingrained taboos or judgemental by presumptions about what a body should look like.
    • Life drawing can educate children in bodily realities before they are influenced by the “nonsense we see on social media”.
    • Children become more accepting of what they are looking at – especially when concentrating on accurately reproducing what they see – whether the bodies are old, overweight, or hairy.
    • When somebody appears naked before others they are just human beings. That counteracts prejudices as to how a body should look. It’s great for body positivity and acceptance.
    • The naked human form is not inherently sexual, and life drawing is mistakenly seen as lewd.
    • Children can handle drawing nudes without hang-ups – unless they’ve already been affected by cultural prejudices, and early introduction to nudity can offset acquired prejudices.


    These points are strikingly similar to arguments in favor of naturism itself. In opposition to the proposal, this article, contains many comments such as: “children will ‘sneer and giggle’ at naked bodies at a young age”; children 9 years old “have no contemplation yet on body image”; “Put a naked man and woman in front of a class they would be laughing their heads off. You only have to mention a body part and they’re off”. People who say such things should just ask themselves where those reactions come from. They might then realize it’s due to the corrupting influences children have already been exposed to from prejudiced older children and adults – who themselves acquired the attitudes in the same way. Positive experiences of nudity – like seeing nudity in a child’s own family or drawing nude models – are needed to better inform opinions of the human body.

    More: Life Drawing for Schools,
    Advocates have a suggestion on how to use art classes to promote body positivity

  3. 5 Naturist YouTube Channels You Really Want to Follow in 2020


    Yes, YouTube does actually allow some nudity now in uploaded material. But, of course, it’s also classified as “Age-restricted video (based on Community Guidelines)”. This is even though most of the material (at least what would be of interest to naturists) is non-sexual. And a lot of it is self-censored in various ways besides. The glaring problem here is that young people – at least of school age – are exactly the audience that should be able to view non-sexual nudity in order to form a much healthier attitude towards it. Which is the main point of the preceding articles here. The whole reason for such stupid guidelines is that parents insist on it, because they themselves are victims of our society’s egregious misunderstanding of nudity. The nonsense is passed from generation to generation like an inherited disease.

    Naturists certainly will want to check out the video channels recommended in this article. One problem for English speakers, however, is that three of the five channels are mainly or entirely in other languages (French, Spanish, and Portuguese). Even so, naturists who are able to travel far from home can glean much about opportunities in other countries in spite of the language barrier. And people who already enjoy social nudity might want to recommend the videos to their open-minded relatives and friends who’d be interested in learning more about naturism – in the privacy of their own homes. For better or worse, people don’t read much these days and are far more likely to absorb information from visual media.

    There are two other options to check out. Vimeo, which is a competitor of YouTube, is actually more welcoming of naturist material. And you can do searches in both YouTube and Vimeo for topics of naturist interest, such as “body painting”, “nude art”, and “naturist information”. In particular, many naturist/nudist resorts offer videos that can give you a good idea of what type of facilities and activities the resort has to offer. A number of national naturist organizations have similar information on what’s available in their country.

  4. 21 Nude Festivals and Nudist Events in 2020


    The same source that provides the recommended YouTube channels also offers information on 21 naturist-friendly events around the world. Anyone who’s fortunate enough to have sufficient time and financial wherewithal could spend most of the year attending one event after another. By my count only six of the events are exclusively in North America (including Mexico and Canada). Three more are in Great Britain – which is impressive, and fortunate for those who reside there. Five of the rest that occur in just one place are in Europe, and there’s one each from South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. There are also three that are celebrated in many places around the globe – such as World Naked Bike Rides, World Naked Gardening Day, and International Nude Day.

    However, the list is far from exhaustive. In the U. S., for example, both national organizations have several “gatherings” and meetings around the country. Large nudist resorts have events such as clothing-optional music festivals, 5K and 10K naked runs, other sporting events (e. g. volleyball), and so on. For naturists whose main experience is with home or beach nudity, it could be a very good idea to check out nearby naturist/nudist resorts for special events where non-members and first-timers are especially welcome.

  5. Watch these naked skiers get waist deep in Canadian powder


    This isn’t a “real” event, but rather a segment of a promotional movie called “Vallhalla”, which was created for Dynafit (a sportswear company), Powder Magazine (for skiers), and Whitewater Ski Resort (in British Columbia, Canada). The skiers are all professional athletes – which should be obvious from the video. All of them – male and female – are naked in this clip. It’s not clear whether the nudity was integral to the storyline or was mainly to get attention. Perhaps it’s both. In any case, the visuals are very impressive. The clip is also available on YouTube and Vimeo.

    One has to admire the fortitude, as well as the skill, of those appearing in the nude scenes, given that the outdoor temperatures were in the 20s (°F). This item is not actually “recent”, having been out for over 5 years. However, somehow it showed up in a news feed, and it certainly illustrates how nudity can be effectively normalized, albeit not for naturist purposes. It might be described by the current buzzphrase “cultural appropriation” – meaning something appropriated by members of a dominant culture from a minority culture. But it’s difficult in this case to see how this couldn’t confer some acceptability on nonsexual nudity, even if unintentionally. Skiers, of course, love the sport for the thrills, so it’s not surprising that some actually do ski naked occasionally.

    More: These pro skiers took to the hills naked for their latest shoot


  6. St. Lucie County could be a step closer to having official nude beach


    St. Lucie County is on the southeast coast of Florida. Its largest city, Fort Pierce, is about 130 miles north of Miami. That’s more than a 2-hour drive to Miami’s well-known Haulover clothing-optional beach. The clothing-optional beaches in the Canaveral National Seashore are about the same distance to the north. So naturists near Fort Pierce understandably want a more convenient “official” clothing-optional beach of their own. (The numerous naturist resorts of Pasco County are mostly even farther away, and aren’t adjacent to saltwater beaches.) The chances now seem pretty good that Fort Pierce naturists will be getting their own official nude beach: Blind Creek Beach. According to a local naturist, there’s been nudity on it for at least 50 years. It seems that the local county commissioners consider having an official nude beach to be a desirable tourist attraction, so there’s general local support for the idea. The main hindrance in the past hasn’t been local opposition but simply funding for needed sanitation facilities.

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, 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, 10/31/19

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”

Recent articles on nudity and naturism, 9/30/19

  • Late Summer Nights with Naturist Friends: My Humble Attempt at Writing a How-To Guide
    If you like the idea of more frequently having impromptu clothing-optional get-togethers at your home for friends, Dan Carlson has some suggestions that may make such occasions more enjoyable for everyone. But they aren’t exactly things you may not have thought of yourself. Your friends needn’t necessarily be naturists themselves, but they should be comfortable socializing with others who prefer being naked. And, if you provided enough incentives around your home, some may even try out the pleasures of social nudity. I’ve written before on the felicity of, when possible, mixing together friends who are naturists with others who are merely tolerant of nudity.

    So, what sorts of things will make such occasions better? Put a fair-sized hot tub or spa at the top of the list. Your family will thank you, even if you don’t have guests. Provide towels for everyone – for sitting on, of course, but also for drying off after the hot tub, and even wrapping up in loosely for those who’re a bit shy of full nudity. In gathering places open to the outdoors, such as on a screened porch, have a source of heat like a wood or propane stove for the colder evenings. A nice fire in an outdoor fire pit is also good (unless it’s pretty cold, raining, or snowing). If you want to be outdoors in the back yard, weather permitting (and if mosquitoes and the like aren’t a problem), you’ll want privacy from the neighbors (if you have some who aren’t naturist-friendly). The right shrubbery for your climate is the best way, but takes long-term planning if it’s not there already. However, good fences make good neighbors, and require much less time to put in place.

  • Naked On The Run: A New Craze For Racing In The Nude
    Naked running events aren’t anything “new”. A number of naturist resorts in the U. S. have held such events for years (example). That’s also true in many other countries, such as England. Naked running events that aren’t necessarily serious competitions are also frequent. Naked running has been touted as promoting body acceptance. In case you’re interested, there’s even advice on how to prepare. So naked running’s not a “craze” – even though some journalists (or headline writers) use that term to show their disdain for naked activities.

    The naked race described in the article selected here was scheduled for a beach in France. The organizers expected only a small number of participants, but were “overwhelmed” by the actual interest, and they had to limit the event to 60 runners due to the small size of the beach. If anything, the response is an indication of current enthusiasm in France for naturism and naked activities. According to the writer, “Nudism in France has become increasingly popular.” A spokesperson for the Paris Association of Naturists even claimed that “At the end of the 19th century, France became the birthplace of naturism.” Although Germans might dispute that, the Association also claims “France is the top world destination for nudists.” The response to the race might be evidence of the claim.

  • WTF?! Naked Mountain Biking Explained
    An activity that is a little more unusual is naked mountain biking. “Perusing the local paper over a morning coffee, I nearly choked when I saw the first entry in the “weekend happenings” section: a naked mountain biking group ride.” That’s how Jason introduces his article. At first, he thought the idea “seemed so uncomfortable.” But a quick Internet search turned up the testimonial “This is awesome!” Consequently, “as a journalist, mountain biker, and father of a toddler who likes to do everything naked, I figured I needed to investigate.” After the experience he decided that “This is awesome,” and reports that “everyone seemed to have a great time.” The article concludes with a dozen “Lessons Learned From Riding Bikes Naked”. Some of these are things most naturists know (use sunscreen), while the rest are intended for serious mountain bikers.

  • Reflections on a Naturist Life: La Jenny, France 2019
    Dan Carlson’s a world traveler, in addition to his professional job. He has “often cited” La Jenny “as the best naturist place in the world,” and notes that he and some or all of his family have returned “to La Jenny at least a dozen times over the ensuing years.” Nevertheless, it’s been five years since his last visit. (Previous reports are here and here.) Dan considers his first visit in 1997 with his wife “as a pivotal event in our naked lives.” He has much more to say in this post, but the key insight may be this:
    as I read so many blog posts, tweets, and reddit musings from frustrated husbands and fathers who simply can’t find a way to sell naturism to their spouses and families, I can’t help but think, “That’s because you simply can’t find a place in close proximity to where you live to replicate the everyday normal naturist experience in France… or Croatia…or Spain.” Family naturism will never feel normal when you’re in an environment where it simply isn’t… NORMAL!

    In other words, the experience in just about all naturist camps and resorts in the U. S. is very different from what it is in non-naturist places of an otherwise similar sort. Especially for families (which are rather scarce in U. S. naturist places). In France (and Spain and Croatia), however, on a vacation there’s not much difference between the experience and the people inside and outside a naturist place, except for the nudity. In other respects, most details are just about the same in either case. That probably has a lot to do with how in France naturism, in general, and family naturism, in particular, is increasingly popular (see above article on naked running) – in sharp contrast with the U. S. situation.

  • Why French Families Go Massively for Naturism
    There’s more on French family naturism in this recent post from Nick and Lins. They’ve spent much of the past summer touring naturist French places, large and small. It’s arguably true that “Ever since the beginning of naturism, France has been the number one country in the world where people like to drop their clothes.” But although France “provided so many facilities for naturists, the large majority of the naturists enjoying those facilities were foreigners.” Now, however, “things have changed a lot. During our nude road trip through France we were not only surprised by the huge amount of French naturists, but also by who they are. Lots of the French visitors we met at naturist campings around France were young couples and young families.”

    What accounts for this change? The post argues that “Naturist resorts around the country understood that the blame falls partly on them. They’ve never really tried to change the image of naturism in the media. Until today. Around the country, naturist places are opening their doors for the press.” So, many more people in France itself are learning about the pleasures of real naturism. (Something similar is beginning to happen in the U. S., but significant positive effects have yet to be seen.) And why has this change in France been especially significant for young families? The post is somewhat vague on this question. But I’d submit that the answer can be found in the post above from Dan Carlson. Namely, there are so many more “normal” recreational activities at French naturist places than there are in the U. S. counterparts. Nick and Lins give a great example of this in another recent post here. They do discuss family naturism in this May post: Family Naturism: Let’s All Just Get Naked. (All pictures in that article are from a French source.)

  • No clothes? No problem for visitors at ‘naturist’ camp in Croatia
    Croatia is a country far less well known in the U. S. than France, but it once had a thriving naturist culture. According to the article, “As an early pioneer of nudism, Croatia’s idyllic Adriatic coast has a long and storied history of people stripping down to swim and commune with their surroundings in the naturist tradition.” Late in the past century there was a significant decline in naturist facilities: “By the mid-1980s, Croatia had 34 nudist camps, leading the market along with France and Germany. Today that number is down to nine.” Much of the decline can be attributed to the very unsettled political situation around 1990, followed by stiff competition from naturist opportunities in Spain. But Croatian naturism seems to be rebounding now, with the country building on its earlier naturist culture to actively attract naturist tourists to the country. One observer opines that “Boutique naturism with small camps or apartment settlements, privately-run, that could make a new offer, could be a renaissance and a market niche.” Also, one “nudist camp in Istria, Valalta, has recently invested in apartments, beaches, and attractions for children.” I surveyed the Croatian naturist scene earlier this year here.

Recent articles on nudity and naturism, 8/06/19

  • Best places to get an all-over tan in Britain
    Britain’s most daring regions revealed as London and Cornwall top list of nude sunbathers
    Britain is often starved for sunshine – so it’s not surprising that many people like to get out in the Sun when it’s possible. More surprising, according to the article, is that a poll of 2000 found that 31% said they sunbathed naked. In London 42% actually agreed with that. Apparently, many people really want an all-over tan. One wonders who they hope to impress. Just as surprisingly, the organization behind the research “said naturist beaches were “fast becoming go-to travel hotspots” – with 20 per cent of those polled saying they loved going to them and stripping off completely.” Maybe the country isn’t as prudish as sometimes thought.

  • The pleasure of naked sunbathing
    The Splendors of Lying Naked in the Sun
    And here’s a paean to naked sunbathing:
    When the sun is blazing and privacy allows, I sometimes take it all off and let the sun have at me. Lying naked on a rock, in a break of trees, where no one can find you, and under the sun, consciousness is moved to work on intuitions otherwise buried in time. Your unexceptional body, your only creature — formed like everyone else’s in dependence on the particular spectrum of radiation emitted by this star — is living its only life.
    This writer really needs to look into naturism.

  • Children and nudity
    Naked with Children
    Dan Carlson was wondering about this perennial topic, expecting to write about it. But Google turned up two interesting articles. The first, written by Aviva Rubin and published in April 2012 in the New York Times, began with this:
    I walk around my house naked. My partner often does, too. Not gratuitously, just often. We don’t bother covering up when walking from bathroom to bedroom. We leave the door open when we get dressed. So far, my 8- and 12-year-old sons remain unfazed. If I’m standing nude in the door of the bathroom telling my oldest to clean up the basement, the only thing he finds audacious is the request. And both boys still wander around naked; they get hot, they strip down. I don’t care about the visuals — naked television watching would be fine by me.
    Aviva was, of course, harshly taken to task for her opinion by many prudes, so she wrote a rebuttal to the criticism here, in which the key observation is “What disturbs me is the assumed link between nudity and sex, and the implication of sexual impropriety.” This is the exact same fallacy that is applied mindlessly to any form of nonsexual social nudity.

  • Learning to be naked
    6 Steps to Become Comfortable Naked
    The idea that one must “learn” to be naked is a bit strange. Isn’t it as simple as taking all your clothes off? Everyone – even toddlers – knows how to do that. However, the real issue is learning to be comfortable and unembarrassed when naked with others – or maybe even yourself. Probably most readers here have learned how to do that. A few, perhaps, have not. But in any case, helping non-naturists learn to be comfortable with nudity is a skill all naturists should master. Memorize the basic steps before recommending naturism to others. Nick & Lins spell it out in 6 steps. They can be summarised as:

    1. Take a good look at yourself naked in the mirror. You need to not hate what you see. But it may take time to learn “body acceptance”. Doing naturist things can help, but first you must be able to look at your naked self without flinching.
    2. Forget about trying to compare your body with the “ideal” bodies many models and celebrities seem to have. Such people are exceptional, not average. Be happy if you’re “average”.
    3. Practice being naked. Be naked at home, at least when you’re alone. Start sleeping naked, if you don’t already. Don’t be too quick to cover up after a shower or after getting out of bed (if you’ve slept naked). If you have a swimming pool, use it naked.
    4. Be naked with someone you trust. This could be a significant other (and not just when having sex). Or it could be a friend or family member, if you can tell they’re not bothered by nudity. Ask them not to tell others about your interest in nudity (if that concerns you).
    5. Practice being naked with strangers who’re used to nudity. They can be found at nude beaches, certain events like World Naked Bike Rides, naturist resorts, etc. This may be the hardest step, so don’t try until you’ve accomplished the previous steps. When you’re ready, just ignore your fears and do it.
    6. Start looking for naked activities you like. You may not care for many of the things naturists enjoy, but find some that you do. Examples: nude beaches, naked yoga, naturist resorts, naked hiking, naked sports, naked spas or saunas, etc.

Recent articles on nudity and naturism, 8/02/19

How is it that many of the most perceptive articles on nudity and naturism are written by women? That, in any case, seems to be true of this group.

  • UK NudeFest
    Sun writer bares all as she goes uncovered at the UK’s biggest naturist festival NudeFest
    Amy, the writer, at first is rather nervous, but not resentful, about her assignment: “I am naked in front of a room of strangers. What must the person on the mat behind me be seeing of my nether regions?” As the day goes on, she begins to take the experience in stride: “At the rock-climbing, I slip into the harness. It serves as a sort of spreading vice and I almost certainly give an involuntary gynaecological showcase to those queuing at the bottom.” For some reason, Amy seems most concerned about her derriere: “I definitely hate my bum more as the day wobbles on, instead of feeling less self-conscious about it. (Pictures accompanying the article don’t suggest much reason for her concern.) At the end of the day, it doesn’t seem to have been an experience she couldn’t repeat: “I go home with no washing and no tan lines and wonder, could I get used to this?”

  • Hysteria over innocent child nudity
    When did my naked child become nude?
    This is another perfect example of how our society abhors nudity. People who object to innocent child nudity employ rationalizations such as that a child will be embarrassed when she’s older if there are pictures around of her naked as a toddler. Or that pedophiles will flock to the child’s home to do… something awful… to her. The first rationalization falls flat, because it’s based on the despicable idea many in our society have that nudity is just “wrong” and so must necessarily be embarrassing. The second rationalization fails, because no sensible parent would post a naked, but not sexualized, child’s picture to the Internet in a way that allows a predator to find her. As Katherine, the child’s mother and author of the article observes, “among the harsh rebukes, another thread emerged: nostalgia for simpler times when people didn’t “freak out” over naked children or worry about how much skin kids showed.” In other words, social attitudes towards nudity actually seem to be going backwards – much like attitudes in too many other areas as well.

  • Why can’t we all just get along?
    First time in mixed nudist & textile camp
    In the U. S. not long ago, most nudist camps and resorts generally required guests to be naked, at least when it wasn’t too cold. Now it is increasingly common for them to be clothing-optional, except around swimming pool and spa areas. But are there any textile camps that are at least tolerant of naturist campers? If any, they are rather few and far between. That’s not the case in naturist camps in various other countries. One example, provided by Naturism Girl, is the camp Kosirina in Croatia. It probably helps that in Croatia naturism has been considerably more successful than in the U. S. (See my post on Croatian naturism.) Consequently, guests are not under undue pressure to either wear, or not wear, any clothes. They can simply enjoy the camping experience either way. In the U. S. this is somewhat the case with clothing-optional beaches – except that many of those have separate areas for nudes and prudes. But how do things work when the areas aren’t separate, at either camps or beaches? Naturism Girl didn’t have any problems with the textiles at Kosirina: Textiles “all know before coming that the camp is mixed and therefore there will be naked people around. I have never heard someone commenting nudity. Or even notice someone staring improperly. Perhaps there was some more looking at the naked people, but I guess that was more from curiosity than anything else.”

  • LadyGod1va writes on where naturism should go from here
    Improving Naturism
    LadyGod1va is the nom de naturisme used by a long-time naturist blogger and WNBR organizer (who now, unfortunately, is too busy to do much of either). Here she reflects on how to make naturism more successful. Her key point is that there need “to be more activities that bring naturism and textile activities together as combined events, in other words, clothing optional, and held in public areas, not secluded or fenced or promoted as naturist/nude only event.” This is close to what Naturism Girl wrote about. LadyGod1va adds: “if we continue to organise nude events exclusively for those who are already naturists or will to go nude for the first time, we are not going to get to the point where nudity is acceptable as is in some parts of Europe, or a general acceptance.” Where I think it’s necessary to go further has to do with the “we” in “we organize” and the nature of the events themselves. I think the “we” must be “individual naturists” instead of established naturist organizations, and that the events are best organized as small, personal gatherings at an individual’s home or convenient local facilities (such as a room at a cooperating restaurant). See my article here for a fuller explanation.