- A First Summer At Sunfolk
In March 2020 British Naturism, Britain’s national naturist organization, purchased a small landed naturist club that had been in operation since 1931, as reported here and here. The property, Sunfolk, is conveniently located about 40 km west of London. It’s also about a 5-minure walk from the better-known Spielplatz, which was founded only 2 years earlier.
Perhaps because the club had been overshadowed by neighboring Spielplatz, club members had difficulty in maintaining the facility. BN’s purchase will allow for needed redevelopment and safety work. Although BN will own the property, BN won’t directly manage it. The pandemic precluded naturist use during the summer of 2020, but it provided an opportunity for necessary work to be done more quickly, so normal operation could resume in 2021.
Sunfolk will no longer be a private members’ club, but will welcome members of BN and other naturist federations. BN will also use the facilities as a “campaigning” center where “influencers and policymakers” can learn about naturism first-hand and mingle with actual naturists. BN will also be using the property for naturist events and gatherings.
Unfortunately, naturist organizations in the U. S. haven’t seriously considered doing something similar. In Southern California alone, 4 naturist parks folded during the past couple of decades, as well as a considerable number of others elsewhere in the country. Here in the U. S., we just don’t have any naturist organizations that tried to help.
Realistically, because of large distances in the U. S., one place like Sunfolk would hardly be enough for the whole country. There should be several such places that could be managed like Sunfolk. There’s a desperate need for “influencers and policymakers” to learn what naturism is really like. But U. S. naturist organizations, apparently, don’t see that as part of their mission, or simply don’t care.
- 8 Incredible Experiences In Valley View Hot Springs
Here’s another naturist-friendly article from the mainstream travel site Travel Awaits. (Earlier articles were mentioned here.) The subject of the article, Valley View Hot Springs, is a 176-mile drive southwest of Denver, through Colorado’s San Luis Valley. Not only the hot springs, but all the experiences there, and the property itself, are entirely clothing-optional. Even the showers in the toilet building are co-ed. What more could a naturist want?
Any textiles who happen to visit unaware of the clothing-optional policies may not want to stay long. Yet, as the article notes, you may well find yourself sharing the place with families and their young children, couples of all ages, single men and women, mothers and daughters, and even some teens. In fact, there are about 11,000 visitors annually, so there’s lots of opportunity to chat and enjoy the company of like-minded others. But with over 2000 acres in the property, you can have solitude if you want it.
What’s there besides the springs? How about, as the article notes, “endless hiking trails”? If hiking naked amid unspoiled natural scenery and vistas appeals to you, this would be the place for it. The springs are located on a 2,200-acre parcel of protected land owned and managed by the Orient Land Trust, which is a non-profit organization, so you won’t have to pay excessively to enjoy your visit. If you do plan to visit, take note of advice in the article about things like making advance reservations, available accommodations, and the fact that there are no hookups or dump stations for RVs.
- Love Your Body: Own how you look in 2021
This article is from the free, “alternative” news magazine Now, of Toronto, Ontario. Being “alternative” means it deals with stories that almost all “mainstream” media would resolutely avoid. “Love Your Body” is actually a once-a-year feature of the magazine, appearing in January.
Accepting and appreciating the body one has – even if not exactly always “loving” it – is a concept most naturists understand very well. It’s necessary for people who desire to be completely comfortable and at ease being naked, whether or not in the presence of others. But the article isn’t about naturism per se, even though all six individuals profiled are shown fully and explicitly naked – without any image censorship at all.
The nudity here is totally appropriate, since a major theme (but not the only one) is about how people relate to their bodies. Other themes include feelings concerning gender, ethnic, and life-stage identity. These types of identity are entangled with each other, of course. Physical exposure of one’s body isn’t the only issue here, since emotional and psychological exposure is also involved. These things are often important issues for naturists – especially in the initial stages. However, the physical issues tend to disappear rather quickly the longer one is a naturist. Body acceptance is not only necessary for enjoying naturism, it’s greatly strengthened by naturist activity.
When naturists recommend trying out naturism to a friend, the usual reaction is negative. Possible excuses typically include a belief that allowing others (except for an intimate partner) to see one’s naked body is “immoral”, forbidden by one’s religion, inappropriately “sexual”, “socially unacceptable”, or something similar. Or maybe they fear being considered “exhibitionists” who get a thrill from “flaunting” their naked bodies. But more likely is that most people assume they’d be embarrassed to go naked, since their body isn’t “perfect” enough.
The usual – and appropriate – naturist response is that naturists are unconcerned about the appearance of anyone’s naked body. Why? Because physical appearance simply doesn’t matter, since body shame is psychologically unhealthy and needs to be overcome. Bodies come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. So what? Nudity isn’t just something naturists can get “used to”. More often it’s embraced enthusiastically.
So naturists are able to enjoy nudity’s pleasurable feelings, without concerns that others who respect them – other naturists in particular – might be judgmental about body appearance. Actually participating in naturism may well be the best way to overcome body shame and accept one’s body as it is.
This article from BuzzFeed News provides, on a single page, a summary (with pictures) of each individual’s take on the subject.
- Naturism during lockdown
Donna Price and her husband John are British naturists who’ve been written about here a few times. (Here, here, and here) Donna is now well-known in British Naturism, since she volunteered to help relaunch BN’s Women in Naturism campaign a little over 2 years ago. She’s been a prominent spokesperson for the effort ever since. John is an equally enthusiastic naturist, and like his wife is naked fulltime at home.
The news articles cited below seem suspiciously like deliberate PR stories, but that’s OK. Naturism fully deserves fair and accurate coverage in mainstream news media. That’s bound to bring it to the attention of people who’d otherwise have no idea what it’s actually about and may not even recognize the term.
It’s significant that the first article touches on “nude walks” in the countryside, since the next item after this one gives an example of how such activity doesn’t always go too smoothly. Donna says that “the majority of responses they receive from fellow walkers are ‘actually very encouraging’.” And also, the responses are “not shock horror, majority of the time, I can guarantee that. A lot of people just say ‘good morning’ and carry on.” There’s no mention of what the minority of responses are like. If the couple has encountered serious harassment, let alone threatened arrests, they’re not saying. However, it seems likely that a woman out for a naked walk with her male partner is a lot less at risk from hassles than a naked man by himself.
- False arrest for nudity in England
Half the stories here have been from Britain, and that could be since naturism gets considerably more respect there than in the U. S. (or most countries outside Western Europe, for that matter). The stories, however, aren’t entirely positive. Apparently there are still some British folks who haven’t yet been clued in that public nudity usually is legal in Britain, as long as it’s not sexual or intentionally offensive to others.
Officers became involved only “after receiving several reports of a naked pedestrian”. A search eventually located the “offender”, an elderly bloke who was strolling naked around rural Waldridge Fell in September, about a mile outside the market town of Chester-le-Street. Police then arrested him “on suspicion of outraging public decency”. Although detained and questioned, he was cooperative and was subsequently released with no further action. The Fell is uninhabited open space. It’s close to, but not visible from, a residential area.
The incident, however, didn’t make the news until three and a half months later, when the naturist Three Rivers Outdoor Club, based in nearby Newcastle, objected to a police Facebook post that summarized the incident but negligently failed to make clear that public nudity was generally legal in Britain. The group maintained that the post had put “them at risk after wrongly suggesting it was illegal to walk around naked.”
A spokesperson for the group told the local newspaper “Our events are usually a liberating and joyful experience, but during one walk last summer, one of the ramblers had water thrown over them, whilst the assailant told the group that they shouldn’t be walking naked in public. It is wrong for Durham police to post misleading reports that suggest that public nudity is illegal, and it puts us at greater risk of harassment in future.”
It’s interesting to read the comments on that Facebook post. Most are supportive of the naturist position. But a few are from the usual dimwits who agonize “but think about the innocent children who might see any naked people!” Even in Britain there are still some who are ignorant of both naturism and the country’s laws.
- Furious naturists blast Durham police for arresting elderly man who was walking naked through countryside – insisting being nude in public is NOT a crime
- Naturist club accuses Durham police of putting members at risk after Facebook post of nudity arrest
- Naturists criticise Durham police over Facebook post about arrest
- 10 Benefits of Sleeping Nude You Should Know
Last, but not least, here’s yet another article on the benefits of sleeping naked. The concept hardly comes as a surprise to almost all naturists. But it’s interesting how often it’s mentioned in more-or-less mainstream media. (See here for more references.) As noted in those references, sleeping naked can be a “gateway” to naturism. Perhaps naturist organizations should focus more on that and other gateways, such as naked yoga, naked hiking, naked exercise, naked life modeling, skinny-dipping in remote places, body painting, etc.
All these things (mostly) encourage full nudity, but usually outside of traditional naturist venues or in private homes. Naturists, of course, probably enjoy some or many of these things. People who have no problems participating in such activities ought to be comfortable with at least some forms of organized naturism. But it would be good if individual naturists and naturist organizations made more efforts for outreach via gateways to others who know little if anything about traditional naturism.
Since this is a naturist blog, I mean only non-sexual things, of course.
Dan Carlson’s blog very recently had a most interesting post: What Kind of Nudist are YOU? As phrased, the question suggests that “nudists” (and equivalently, “naturists”) tend to belong to distinct “kinds”, “types”, or “categories”.
Dan backs away from that sort of interpretation, yet he still offers 11 different categories to which he asks readers to assign themselves, although multiple categories are allowed. The categories are given snarky names, like “Jello-shot nudie crowd”, “Wine-foodie naturist snob”, “Life until death nudist”, and “Yoga-wellness guru”. Seriously, how many people who enjoy nudity would care to be regarded as members of categories like that? You’ll have to read the article for an explanation of how the categories are defined.
Continue reading “What sorts of things do you especially enjoy doing naked?”
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”
- Naked social protests in Australia
- A naturist event in an Australian bar
- Why to go to a nude beach
- Exercising rights to be naked
- British skinnydipping
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”
Credit: British Naturism
- Highland Wilderness Walking Weekend
The Corrout Estate in the central Highlands of Scotland is a remote 57,000 acre estate on the edge of Rannoch Moor. In July this year a group of 18 members of British Naturism visited the Estate on a weekend to enjoy various recreational opportunities available there. Some of the group opted for less strenuous activities, such as walking around or swimming in Loch Ossian, on whose shores the hostel where the group stayed was located. Others ventured farther afield to visit remote bothies (small huts or cottages in the wilderness). The most adventuresome subgroup opted for “20-mile-plus epics taking in multiple mountain peaks”. Being naturists, the participants enjoyed their activities naked. However, the group had decided in advance to “cover up when we met members of the public only when we felt as individuals that this was the right thing to do”. The Estate does have day visitors despite its remoteness, because it’s easily reachable by train from both London and Glasgow. It was estimated that members of the group “probably interacted with more than a hundred non-Naturists”. They encountered a variety of reactions, but “received no complaints or hostile reactions”. That seems to be common for interactions between naturists and the general public in the UK, where naturist nudity is, in general, legally tolerated, at least when it’s not lewd or deliberately offensive. Most of the group were also naked for their Sunday evening meal at the train station restaurant (having obtained advance approval from the management). They even had a group picture (still naked) taken at the station after their meal.
- Women in Naturism
A page about British Naturism’s project to increase the participation of women in naturism was included in the 8/30/19 collection of recent articles. There’s now a brief follow-on with a few more details. The (reordered) list of what they hope to achieve is interesting:
- Helping more women to discover the life-affirming, exhilarating feelings of social nudity – and great community and social life that accompanies them.
- Creating a network of Naturist women who can keep the profile of Naturism high in the media, be advocates amongst women’s groups, organise and host events, be a contact point for newcomers, and more.
- Helping the men in Naturism to show the benefits to the women in their life.
- Improving awareness of the negative effects of societal pressure on women to conform to a particular type of body shape and appearance.
- Providing mutual support to help women be happier and more confident about their bodies.
As noted previously, Item 2 may be the most actionable point. It’s crucial for women who become curious about naturism to find other women who already participate in naturist activities – to help a new person learn about the naturist opportunities that are most convenient and suitable for her. Item 3 is also important, because the naturist men that a woman knows and trusts can also provide information and encouragement. In particular, the article contains a list of suggestions for men that may help them facilitate a woman’s first experience of a naturist activity – with nudity the first time (or times) being optional.
- Our Bodies Our Selves
As it happens, all but two of the stories in this collection deal with naturism in Great Britain. This one is by British Naturism member Roger Coupe, who notes “In the hot summer of 2018, Naturism grew in Britain with many reports of skinny dipping, naked rambling and cycling. There has been much favourable media coverage.” He refers to experiences of another Brit, Alice O’Keeffe, who became an “evangelical” naturist that summer. (I summarized her article here.) Perhaps naturism really is experiencing a renaissance in Britain. Roger’s article describes an early morning naked walk in the countryside. The best paragraph may be this:
“I have been on this naked dawn walk many times and it has become very precious to me. I have encountered only a few humans, none of whom seemed particularly surprised by my nakedness. There was a young man in a suit, maybe on his way for a train to town and another hot day in the office. As we greeted, I thought he looked as though he rather envied my freedom. There were two workmen in red overalls, a cyclist in hi-viz with flashing lights, a few lightly-clad dog walkers. These were people very much engaged in a human world and separated from the natural world of animals with hair, wool, fur or feather that has welcomed me, the naked ape with a little body hair, boots and a hat.”
- Skinny-dipping in Cornwall’s historic miners’ pools
It seems that the southwest coast of England is especially well-endowed with good beaches – Cornwell in particular. Some of them are even clothing-optional, at least de facto. Photojournalist Greg Martin provides impressive photographic evidence for a certain type of ocean bathing spots: tidal pools, some of which are natural, and others formed deliberately by tin miners in the area. The fact that many of the pools are in secluded locations not easily visible from a distance makes them ideal spots for au naturel bathing, especially for people who might otherwise be shy of that pleasure. One frequent visitor of the pools who Greg spoke with prefers to swim nude. She says “Getting naked outdoors might not be for everyone but swimming nude is one of those money can’t buy feelings. With tidal pools offering privacy it means you can strip off and enjoy the water in a truly immersive way. When appropriate it is the only way I choose to swim.”
- A nudist camp near the Quad Cities has long been an open secret. Not anymore
Here’s another good example of U. S. mainstream journalism that takes naturism seriously and treats it respectfully. (It is marred slightly by one cliche subheading: “the bare facts”.) And this is for a spot not in Florida or California, but in prairie lands near the border between Illinois and Iowa. What explains this positive treatment? It’s probably a result of new camp management that welcomes publicity. “Blue Lake recently transitioned to new management. Past owners discouraged publicity, but the new owners are intent on engaging with the public and encouraging outsiders to explore nudism.” Once again, rejecting secretiveness seems to have paid off.
- The 3 Technologies Killing Nudism
Rory Andrews observes that in (roughly) the past decade, U. S. society has made good progress in disposing of obsolete social prejudices and attitudes, as evidenced by such things as the expansion of LGBTQ rights, the legalization of marijuana, and the #MeToo movement. It’s true that reactionaries are still battling fiercely against these examples of social progress, but the reactionaries will eventually be defeated. Rory asks the obvious question (for naturists): “So why hasn’t this unyielding tide of revolutionary tolerance touched nudism?” His answer is that rapid advancements in three different technologies are (at least partially) to blame. The technologies are “Photoshop and Snapchat Filters”, “Cellphone Cameras”, and “Pornography”. It would take too much space to summarize the arguments – just read the article if you’re curious. Of course, you may wonder why “pornography” is considered a “technology”. It’s not at all new, but what is new is that the Internet and cell-phones have “made porn more ubiquitous and accessible than ever before.” It’s a stretch to blame naturism’s failure to become more widely accepted on technology alone. There are many other social factors at work, but entire books could be written to address them properly. However, as far as technology is concerned, Rory makes the optimistic suggestion that naturism, rather than being a victim of misuse of new technologies could be at least a partial remedy for the unfortunate side effects. “Nudism could be a radical form of exposure therapy that can teach us what real human bodies look like, strip away our social media and status facade, and step away from the oversexualized digital world that does little more than confuse us regarding what sex and bodies are actually for.” Perhaps before too long the technology of virtual reality may allow people to experiment easily with naturism in a non-threatening environment.
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.)”
- It’s time to push back against vilification of nudity by prudes
Body Art Vs. Protestors: Art Exhibition Or Exhibitionism?
The 6th Annual NYC Bodypainting Day event took place on July 20 at a park in Brooklyn. This is now recognized as a fully legal event – even though it involves public nudity in an essential way. It was a popular success despite the presence of half a dozen protestors pathetically objecting to art using human bodies as a canvas. The nudity involved here is wholesome and harmless. The handful of protestors should be pitied for their obsession that nonsexual nudity like this is “harmful” to children. In the words of one protestor, “It just isn’t right for the children to have to be exposed to that in a public park.” No. What isn’t right is for the few protestors to perpetuate the fallacy that children must be “protected” from seeing nonsexual nudity.
- Perspectives of an enthusiastic young naturist
The Joys of Sharing Naturism with Others
Addie, a guest blogger on Dan Carlson’s popular Meandering Naturist blog, offers two vignettes from her experience of one specific noteworthy pleasure of being a naturist: introducing others to the enjoyment of social nudity. At the end of the post, Dan provides 7 prescient pieces of advice on “How to Prepare to Share Naturist Experiences with Others”.
- An article on the World Naked Bike Rice… in Forbes?
Naked Bike Ride 2019: Nudity With A Message
As the article itself says, “This year for its 16th version, the event reached 70 cities in 20 countries from Argentina and Finland to South Africa and New Zealand”. So, the WNBR has been going on since 2004. It’s not exactly news, although it may be remarkable to have persisted this long – let alone having spread to 70 cities. The article notes that the purpose is “to expose the dangers of global warming and to protest against “car culture,” the world’s dependence on oil and other non-renewable energy sources, and in defense of cyclists’ rights and other environmental related issues.” And the tone of the article is actually positive. So why is a publication targeted at big business executives and other super-wealthy people promoting an event that highlights problems they are – to a large extent – responsible for? Perhaps it’s because such people, however selfish they may be, aren’t stupid. They probably enjoy nudity frequently on their private yachts.
- A young woman confronts objectification by celebrating nude recreation
The Dangerous Female Body?
It seems to many people that female naturists who are unafraid of participation in social nudity are simply allowing their bodies to be objectified. Melissa, a member of Calgary Nude Recreation, compellingly refutes that idea. She writes that “a friend of mine invited me to join her and another friend at one of Calgary Nude Recreation’s wave pool events.” And the result? “Nothing bad happened! No one made me feel uncomfortable, commented on my body, or acted as if they couldn’t control themselves around my naked female form.” In fact, she “felt less self-conscious while nude then I did with clothes on!” Far from feeling objectified, “Social nudity allowed me to feel less like an object and more like a person.” So she resolved “not [to] let someone else define my body’s intent or alienate me from my bodily autonomy ever again.”
- Sexual objectification is something all naturists should push back against
Stop the Sexual Objectification!!
The controversy focuses on the problem that too many commenters on Get Naked Australia make sexually objectifying remarks on certain images of young women. As the site curator says,
“Just because there is a young, “attractive” body on this page, does not mean she’s putting herself out there to be objectified. She is not asking for it! Maybe, she, like most other good natured people on this site, just enjoyed her skinny dip and wanted to share it with others in the hope they do the same? Maybe she doesn’t want to see your “great sexy ass” comments and “eggplant” emoji’s. Maybe she just wants to join in on the freedom that is being naked in nature? Just because she’s “attractive” does that mean she’s not allowed?”
Since this topic seems to require a lot more attention, I’ve put further remarks here: Controversies over Get Naked Australia
Car camping naked – it’s similar to hiking naked, in that you get to enjoy nature in a pure form, far away from “civilization”. But it appeals also to more sedentary types. It’s an option for almost anyone who enjoys being naked, though they may not have seriously considered it. (For simplicity, I include pickup trucks as equivalent to a “car”. If you have a lot of gear, and a truck suitable for rough dirt roads, that might be preferable.)
Continue reading “Naked car camping”