Have any Nobel Prize winners also been naturists?


Oh, yes, absolutely. I know of several. One for sure was Kip Thorne, who shared the prize in physics in 2017 for work on gravitational wave detection.

How do I know about his naturist inclinations? It’s mentioned in an October 1989 issue of California magazine. (Which ceased publication in 1991, and the name was later taken by a different organization.)

Of course, the original article isn’t available online. I bought a newsstand copy, because Kip Thorne was featured on the cover. That was quite interesting to me, since I owned a copy of one of the standard textbooks on general relativity that Thorne co-authored with two other distinguished physicists, John Wheeler and Charles Misner.

The article is actually about Thorne’s work in physics, for which he was already well-known, almost 20 years before his Nobel Prize. Although the article is about his role in physics, it begins with anecdotes about his naturist tendencies. There it mentions a photograph of Thorne displayed on a wall at Caltech (where he worked). The photograph shows him along with other physicists – but he “is the only one not wearing clothes”. And he admits “That’s the way I typically did physics.”

Kip Thorne certainly was not the only Nobel Prize winner with a positive attitude towards nudity and naturism. In most cases, the winners’ attitudes regarding nakedness were probably held privately. But another important case is Bertrand Russell, who won a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950 and was hardly silent about the subject. In his 1929 book Marriage and Morals he wrote:

The taboo against nakedness is an obstacle to a decent attitude on the subject of sex… It is good for children to see each other and their parents naked whenever it so happens naturally. There will be a short period, probably at about three years old, when the child is interested in the differences between his father and his mother, and compares them with the differences between himself and his sister, but this period is soon over, and after this he takes no more interest in nudity than in clothes. So long as parents are unwilling to be seen naked by their children, the children will necessarily have a sense that there is a mystery, and having that sense they will become prurient and indecent. There is only one way to avoid indecency, and that is to avoid mystery.

And also:

There are also many important grounds of health in favour of nudity in suitable circumstances, such as out-of-doors in sunny weather. Sunshine on the bare skin has an exceedingly health-giving effect. Moreover anyone who has watched children running about in the open-air without their clothes must have been struck by the fact that they hold themselves much better and move more freely and more gracefully than when they are dressed. The same thing is true of grown-up people. The proper place for nudity is out-of-doors in the sunshine and in the water.

And then there was the 1938 Nobel Laureate in chemistry, Henry Taube. Although the extent of Taube’s participation in organized nudism/naturism isn’t clear, naked use of his backyard swimming pool was the norm. Among Taube’s friends were four other Nobelists: Paul Berg (Chemistry, 1980), Paul Flory (Chemistry, 1974), Burton Richter (Physics, 1976), and Arthur Schawlow (Physics, 1981). All, including Taube, were Stanford professors and (presumably) had no disapproval of swimming au naturel. (Reference: The Naked Nobel Laureates)

Another Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, the New Zealander Alan MacDiarmid, was also a naturist. See: The Nobel-prize winning naturist – Alan MacDiarmid remembered.

Although he never won a Nobel Prize (or even came close), a physicist who’s name is widely known was an avid naturist. That was Charles Richter, who devised the seismological scale named after him.

More than a few well-known authors of fiction were also avid naturists, though not winners of any Nobel prizes (as far as I know). The list includes Robert Heinlein, in many of whose novels, such as Stanger in a Strange Land, nudity was prominently featured. Late in life he had a home in a small California village, Bonny Doon, just a few miles from the popular Bonny Doon nude beach on the coast.

Then there was John Ball, author of popular detective stories featuring the character Virgil Tibbs, such as In the Heat of the Night. Under the pseudonym Donald Johnson, Ball had a leadership role in organized nudism from the 1950s on. That included editing the nudist magazine Sunshine and Health, being president of the Western Sunbathing Association, and authoring the 1959 book The Nudists. He also owned a very large library of nudist publications and was a co-author of the 1970 sociological study, Nudist Society. Perhaps intentionally, Ball’s strong connection to nudism isn’t mentioned in either his Wikipedia article or New York Times obituary.

Strangely, I haven’t learned of any Nobelists in Peace or Physiology/medicine who may have had naturist tendencies. Surely there must be some. If any readers are aware of other naturist Nobelists, please mention them in the comments.

There are no Nobel Prizes in Mathematics. Albert Nobel, a chemist who invented dynamite, was known to have disdain for the subject of mathematics and didn’t consider it a practical science of benefit (like dynamite!) to humanity. Nobel never married but had at least three (female) romantic partners. Rumor has it that part of his attitude towards mathematics was due to one of his partners having an affair with Swedish mathematician Gösta Mittag-Leffler.

However, Bertrand Russell was not only an outstanding philosopher but also a noted mathematician, who made contributions to mathematical logic and co-authored Principia Mathematica with Alfred North Whitehead.

There were undoubtedly quite a few other outstanding mathematicians who were naturists. Many of the world’s best mathematicians lived in Germany before WW2. Given the popularity of Freikörperkultur (FKK, Free Body Culture) in that period, it’s very likely that quite a few of the best mathematicians were active participants.

Newsworthy Nudity, 2022-3

  1. Soak Au Naturel at 6 Clothing Optional Hot Springs in Colorado (5/14/22)

    There were a number of stories about hot springs in a previous post. But hot springs aren’t as often noticed as good places for naturism as they should be. This article provides information on six examples in Colorado. Some have amenities like traditional naturist parks, while others are rustic, with little more than pleasantly hot water. There are additional hot springs, not listed in the article, that require some hiking to reach.

    Of the places listed in this article, only one is fully clothing-optional and welcomes all naturists: Valley View Hot Springs, which is owned and operated by the Orient Land Trust. However, because of its deserved popularity with naturists and limited facilities, reservations are required for a visit. There’s more information here.

    Three other places welcome all naturists, but clothing-optional use is disallowed in some pools or during certain times or days. (As a concession to non-naturists, especially those with children.) Those places are Orvis Hot Springs (more here), Strawberry Park Hot Springs (more here), and Dakota Hot Springs (more here). Note that rules are subject to change.

    Two other places may be problematic for naturists. Indian Hot Springs requires suits in its main indoor pool. Other pools are either hourly rentals or inside caves and separate for men and women. Naturists may want to avoid one other place, Desert Reef Hot Springs, because of its numerous finicky policies for clothing-optional use, where non-member single, unaccompanied males are disallowed.

  2. Colorado Hot Springs Where You Can Be Legally Naked (7/29/22)

    This is a single long page, and most of the hot springs listed are described in the preceding article. However, there are good maps for all of the listings. One place included, Conundrum Hot Spring (more here), requires an 18-mile out-and-back trail to reach, and there are no facilities. Clothing-optional use is also said to be “iffy”. Also, at the bottom of the page, there are a lot of rude and irrelevant Google “reviews” of Colorado’s “Garden of the Gods”.

    One other place listed is a full-fledged naturist resort, Mountain Air Ranch, which is the state’s only actual naturist resort. It was established in 1935, making it one of the oldest naturist parks in the country that’s still in operation. But it doesn’t have any natural hot springs. Here’s another article about it: Mountain Air Ranch Lays Bare the Benefits, Challenges of a Nudism Club.

  3. Hike to 6 of Colorado’s Free Hot Springs (9/12/22)

    In case you are up for challenging hikes, here’s information about six possibilities in Colorado. Two of them actually require only a short stroll. Clothing is said to be optional at four of the places, but required at two others. However, much depends on who else may be present at a particular time, so ask if you find only clothed users. (They might even be tempted to strip off.) The distances listed below are all round-trip. A web search will give lots more information about each place if you want to visist.

    Hot springs that may be clothing-optional, in order of accessibility

    1. South Canyon Hot Springs – .2 mile; map
    2. Piedra River Hot Springs – 3.4 miles; map
    3. Rainbow Hot Springs – 10 miles; map
    4. Conundrum Hot Springs – 18 miles; map

    Hot springs probably not clothing-optional, in order of accessibility

    1. Penny Hot Springs – 0 miles; map
    2. Radium Hot Springs – 1.4 miles; map

  4. Are There Any Nudist Colonies in Colorado? (9/26/22)

    Whoever chose that headline probably isn’t a good source of information on naturism. “Colony” is and always has been a condescending, derogatory term for naturist parks and resorts. But that’s not an atypical attitude on the websites of FM radio stations.

    Mountain Air Ranch, which was mentioned above, is the only naturist resort in Colorado, but it’s a very good one, having been in operation since 1935. About it this article says: “the clubhouse and pool are where most of the recreational activities take place, but there’s also an exercise room, miles of trails, an ice cream parlor, as well as the Bikini Bar and Grill.”

    The only problem with it, perhaps, is that it’s located on the southern outskirts of Denver. However, most of the developed and primitive hot springs discussed above are in the western part of the state, so a trek over the mountains will be required to visit them. The most accessible developed springs is Dakota Hot Springs in Penrose, “only” 100 miles south, but on mostly good roads on the east side of the mountains.

  5. Getting Naked with Strangers in Germany’s Baden-Baden (1/28/22)

    Well-known travel writer Rick Steves visited the Baden-Baden spa resort in southern Germany. (“Baden” is “to bathe” in German.) There he saw “more naked people in two hours than many Americans see in their entire lives.” Baden-Baden has been a popular place to soak in hot water at least since ancient Roman times. Steves avers that “Americans who can’t handle nudity don’t know what they’re missing.”

    Steves describes his spa experience in some detail. It includes an initial “industrial-strength” shower, a very hot sauna. a very vigorous massage, a series of mixed-gender soaking pools, and concludes in a “quiet room” for deep relaxation. All while entirely naked. Even up-tight Americans present can realize that any kind of bathing attire would be entirely superfluous. After all, everyone is preoccupied with their own sensations rather than anyone else’s naked body. Wearing anything when bathing alone would make no sense. And that’s just the same in this context, despite the presence of others.

  6. Nudist RV resorts more popular among RVers than you’d think (10/28/22)

    Unless someone’s entirely new to RVing, they’ve probably stayed at a few or many RV resorts. There are other possibilities, such as “boondocking” by visiting some remote place in the middle of nowhere, without hook-ups or anyone else around. In the latter case, wearing clothes could be purely optional. However, for most non-naturists, their experience usually has been with traditional RV resorts.

    Anyone who hasn’t tried naturism, but isn’t “offended” by others’ nudity – such as at clothing-optional beaches – should consider visiting an actual naturist resort that welcomes RVs. That’s a great way to learn about naturism in a very safe environment. If you’re already a naturist, invite other RVers you know to go with you to a naturist RV resort. They might discover being pleasantly surprised to enjoy “the opportunity to exit [their] RV without any clothes on.” And why not? After all, people there usually aren’t wearing anything.

    Most clothing-optional RV resorts aren’t strictly for RVers. Instead, they also welcome anyone who enjoys nonsexual social nudity – day visitors, tent campers, van campers, or vacationers staying at indoor accommodations. Many consider themselves naturists or nudists. But some just like being naked, and that’s fine, as long as traditional naturist norms are respected (i.e. no open sexuality).

    The article here gives many more details about what naturist RV resorts are like, although there’s plenty of diversity. But if you’ve visited some or many RV resorts, the only thing different about the naturist ones is that you don’t need to wear anything unless you want to. A naturist couple now living at Laguna del Sol, near Sacramento, California, describes their own personal experiences with it. From my own experience, it’s a great place.

  7. 17 Nudist RV Parks in the U.S. For Your Next Trip (6/28/22)

    Although the article’s title is reasonable, the term “colonies” is used several times – which is offensive to both nudists and (especially) naturists. If you’re an experienced nudist/naturist, you know that there are far more than 17 developed places to spend time clothesfree. AANR has 180 affiliated clubs, although some are non-landed, meaning they host naturist activities in suitable places but don’t actually own land.

    Note that many places that do own land don’t necessarily have facilities for RVs. They may lack hook-ups or parking spaces for large RVs. If you do need such facilities, the list here is useful. But you can check out places that may be closer to you in the AANR directory to determine whether they’d be suitable for your needs.

    Strangely, most places listed in the article are in the western half of the country (including Texas). Not surprisingly, Florida has a large number of nudist/naturist resorts, though only 3 are listed here. But there are also many places in the mid-Atlantic states, from North Carolina up to Pennsylvania. If you happen to be relatively new to naturism, you should be aware that some places have special requirements for first-time visitors. Before visiting any place for the first time, calling in advance is a very good idea. Even if they welcome first-timers, they may have special events or few unreserved spots for large RVs, so making a reservation is also a good idea.

  8. A liberating high comes with group nudity at Dark Mofo – it can turn anyone into a giggling fool (6/22/22)


    Hobart is the capital city of Australia’s Tasmania island state. It’s about as far south of the equator as Portland, Oregon is north. So winters there are usually sort of chilly. South of the equator the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, is in June, so the time doesn’t seem especially ideal for walking naked into the ocean at sunrise. That, however, is exactly what about 2000 naked people, in Hobart for the annual Dark Mofo music festival, did. (2000 people is just a bit less than half the entire membership of the Naturist Society.) This fully naked ocean dip is actually a yearly tradition at the festival’s end.

    Sian, one of the 2000, says “there is a uniquely liberating high in group nudity”. Why would anybody who’s not stoned on some illegal substance do such a thing? She later explains “we’re free and doing something silly in the name of art and something primal none of us could name.” Naturists actually understand pretty well from personal experience. Most, however, would prefer having the experience under more temperate conditions.

  9. How to Feel Better Naked (6/17/22)

    Most people generally eschew completely exposing their bodies for various reasons. Naturists have dealt with such concerns and overcome them. But they’re also in a good position to assure others who might be interested in naturism that nudity is quite pleasurable – so fretting about their body’s appearance shouldn’t deter anyone from naturism. Wearing clothes is often required or sensible, but otherwise going naked should be just fine. Not really different from wearing shoes or going barefoot. Nudity is just going barefoot all over.

    People use various faulty excuses for balking at being fully naked unless they must be. One very common concern is the appearance of their naked body. Cultural “beauty” standards are at the root of this. Is one’s body too fat or too thin? Are some parts out of the “right” proportion with other parts? Are there too many wrinkles, scars, stretch marks, or other imperfections? Does one’s body simply not look as “good” as it seemed at an earlier age? These issues affect how people feel about their own bodies and how they think others will judge them.

    The article here suggests how to alleviate such concerns by taking four specific steps.

    1. Spend more time naked
    2. Focus on how your body feels
    3. Ask yourself: Am I avoiding being naked?
    4. Surround yourself with images of different body types

  10. One Woman’s Wholesome Mission to Get Naked Outside (6/13/22)

    Like most people, the anonymous writer of this article never seriously considered going naked outdoors, even in remote places seldom visited by most people. Never, that is, until “years ago” (the article was written when she was only in her late 30’s) on a backpacking trip to Conundrum Hot Springs she was aware that the springs were clothing-optional, so she “rallied everyone to get in naked.” She proceeded to strip off before entering the water and expected her friends to do likewise. But none did. Understandably, she “wouldn’t disrobe again in public for years.”

    However, at least a decade later, her boyfriend was talking about how he modeled naked for a college newspaper article. He and other friends had also bragged about adventures like skiing and mountain biking naked, and the writer admired them for being “less inhibited, so comfortable in their own skin.” So allowing irrational fears of nudity to be in control seemed wrong, and she resolved to become “one of those naked people”.

    It needn’t happen overnight. For most people, becoming comfortable going naked openly may best be done gradually. “A lifetime of prudishness would not be undone overnight.” So, with her boyfriend, it was agreed that “I should design a training plan of sorts, progressing from a beginner-level warm-up (bathe in a nude hot spring?) to some intermediate challenge (wander around unclad at a clothing-optional resort?) and eventually to a graduation exercise (a naked ski or bike ride?). I would become one of those people I had always admired. I would become someone who does naked stuff outside.”

Bonus from earlier:

How To Feel Comfortable Naked Every Day (6/26/16)

A couple of the articles above address getting used to allowing other people, who may be complete strangers, to see you naked. There are many ways to enjoy naturism – camping, hiking, exploring hot springs, visiting naturist resorts, or simply being naked at home. But you won’t be able to enjoy any of that unless you overcome fears of being seen with nothing on.

If you’re naked around friends or relatives there’s not much to be concerned about – provided they’re willing to accept your nudity. Getting used to you wearing nothing may take time, but they’ll come around soon enough if they respect you and you explain your reasons for being naked. Being naked around strangers needn’t be any different, assuming they expect to see nudity, such as in an art class with nude model(s), in a naked yoga class, or at a nude beach. (Obviously, going naked is risky anywhere nudity isn’t expected, although nudity may be legal and possibly OK in little-used hiking and camping places.)

[Tip 1: If someone you know is uncomfortable with your nudity, try wearing just the minimum they can accept. Before long they may relent and decide you needn’t bother wearing anything.]

[Tip 2: Invite the uncomfortable person to accompany you somewhere nudity is acceptable, such as an art class or nude beach. If your nudity’s OK there, why not somewhere more private?]

Two points from this article are worth noting if you’re the one who wants to be comfortable naked. First, you should fully accept your body just as it is. While “improving” it sometimes is possible, or even worthwhile for health reasons, that’s usually difficult and takes time. But if you want to enjoy nudity, don’t put off accepting your body as it is right now.

Second, the best way to do that is to be naked as much of the time as is physically comfortable while you’re alone or with people who won’t mind. Be naked for an hour or more every day that’s possible. And don’t be afraid to look at your naked body in a mirror. Once you’ve been naked for an hour a few times, why stop without a good reason? As the article says, “You may feel uncomfortable at first (or you may love it!), either way step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself to bare your body to the world.”

[If you’re already comfortable being naked, offer the advice above to others you know who might be interested. The world desperately needs more naked people.]

Newsworthy Nudity, 2021-6

  1. Nude In The Grand Canyon (3/6/21)

    The Arizona Wildflowers is an informal, nonlanded naturist club. Unlike most other nonlanded clubs, it doesn’t hold events at private homes or landed clubs. Instead, according to its long-time naturist leader, Bev Price, the idea is to create “my own nude ‘beach’ in any number of venues, both alone and with others in relatively large groups”. This philosophy is sometimes called “free-range naturism” – enjoying nonsexual nudity anywhere outdoors where it’s legally and physically safe to do so.

    Arizona, of course, is a large state with many wide-open spaces and much natural beauty. (It also has a reputation for valuing individual freedom.) The Grand Canyon is certainly its best-known natural attraction. Price has “done 11 trips in the Grand Canyon – with as many as 35 other nudists each trip – since 1999.” The trips include rafting and camping at suitable beaches along the river – fully nude. Non-naturists who choose to camp close to a naturist group are “pragmatic” and Price’s policy is “I don’t ask them to take their clothes off if they don’t require that I put mine on.”

    This sort of free-range naturism can also include “free hiking” on any of the numerous trails in the state, skinny-dipping in creeks and streams, or houseboating on Lake Powell. Price considers such possibilities to be impromptu nude “beaches”. Currently recognized actual nude beaches have begun when nude use becomes common enough. Unless there are specific local regulations, nudity is usually legal in most U.S. National Forests and Bureau of Land Management areas – such as the Magic Circle (also in Arizona). If you don’t live in Arizona, check out your closest National Forest to find a place for your own personal “nude beach”. (First read about naked car camping.)

  2. What’s It Like To Visit A Nudist RV Park? (5/29/21)

    Are you a naturist who owns an RV or camping trailer? You may live somewhere the closest naturist parks with the facilities you expect aren’t inconveniently far away. Or maybe you just like traveling to visit new and interesting places. If so, you’ve probably already visited one or a number of naturist resorts or campgrounds that have suitable facilities. Even so, you might want to visit others in order to meet new people.

    If you’ve already enjoyed naked car camping, you might sometimes want to enjoy the outdoors nakedly, but not “roughing it” without homelike amenities (comfortable beds, electricity, wi-fi, etc). You may therefore be considering purchasing or renting an RV or trailer. If so this article will help you know what to expect.

    An RV/trailer owner having little or no experience with naturist camps and resorts may want to know what they’re really like, both in terms of facilities and general ambiance. This article provides a better idea about such places, especially the more upscale ones. Some are probably even more luxurious than non-naturist places, with things like swimming pools, spas, tennis courts, gyms, and even decent restaurants.

    There’s yet another possibility, variously known as “boondocking” or “dispersed camping”. This is where you park your RV or trailer in a location remote or secluded enough to allow for nudity. There are even online directories like Boondocking.org that provide advice on known sites. In this case, there are no amenities, so you have to rely on just what’s in your rig. A slight variation on that is private properties – especially farms – that allow parking for a modest fee. They may or may not have hookups for water or electricity. And, of course, you’d have to confirm that nudity is OK with the owner. The next article offers one example.

  3. Life at Yorkshire’s naked campsite run by naturist farmers – and the daft things people say about life in the nude (6/26/21)

    Here’s an excellent example of a naturist campground on a private farm. Such things may be more common in the UK and some other European countries than in the U.S. They tend to be fairly simple and unpretentious, since they’re usually run by people who own a relatively small farm and have typically been naturists for years. There will be, at least, places to park an RV or trailer. There may also be hookups for water and electricity, and possibly showers and toilets too. Of course, the more amenities the higher the price. But that’s going to be considerably less than at a more developed campground. Since the hosts are usually naturists, they and their families may welcome socializing with visitors. Many or most family members may be naturists too.

    The Wood family – Colin, Carol, and their daughter Angie – have been naturists for over 40 years. When Angie was only two the family visited a nude beach for the first time. They found the naturists there quite welcoming and friendly. They checked out various naturist groups around the country and found the people equally amiable. So why not go all in, and start their own naturist camp? That dream was fulfilled in 2000 when they established Candy Farm Campsite at their farm near Blaxton in the UK. The camp was a quick success because of all the naturist friends they’d made over the years. It remains popular, and a number of special naturist gatherings and festivals have been held at Candy Farm.

    The bit about “daft things people say” simply refers to the misunderstandings and misconceptions most people who’ve never tried naturism have about it.

  4. How I Spent an Afternoon at a Wisconsin Nudist Farm (8/20/21)

    England is by no means the only country where working farms welcome naturist visitors for one or more days. They also exist in the U.S. Naturist nudity is enjoyable almost anywhere it’s allowed and sensible – especially if it’s encouraged and there’s an opportunity to meet like-minded others. A rural farm can provide a refreshing naked experience of nature – perhaps even better than an established naturist resort where humongous RVs and travel trailers are packed within 10 feet of each other in a parking lot.

    Owners of small farms who may be naturists themselves are happy for a source of additional income and the opportunity (if they’re naturists) to meet others who enjoy social nudity. The main problem is just finding one, since they’re generally not affiliated with a naturist organization or listed in a typical directory. Perhaps the best way to find such a place is to ask around at traditional naturist clubs and resorts. Another way is through websites such as Sekr that list a plethora of potential choices. But determining which of those welcome naturists may require a phone call.

    Amanda, the writer of this article, was invited by a female friend to accompany her on a visit to a nude farm in Wisconsin the friend frequented. Although Amanda expected that being naked among strangers usually meant sex, her friend assured her that the Toadally Natural Garden was absolutely not such a place. In fact, the owners performed background checks as do most naturist places on new visitors. And the owners themselves that afternoon wore only T-shirts, while most other visitors wore less. So with respect to attire, this could have been any typical naturist place. Summarizing her experience, Amanda wrote: “I was surprised at how relaxed I was naked around so many strangers. Everyone had been so friendly, and I felt less self-conscious chatting with them without any clothes on than I often did when I was clothed.”

  5. Germany: Best destination for nudist camping! (7/9/21)

    It’s good news when a mainstream online camping site actually writes about naturist camping possibilities. But the problem for U.S. naturists is when the possibilities are in the UK (above item) and Germany, not here. Still, for U.S. naturists who enjoy both foreign travel and RV camping, there’s a lot to like in Germany, where modern naturism originated. Over there, many campsites provide areas where you can be naked as much as you want. And naked camping away from crowded resorts and beaches has its own allure.

    The article lists 8 German campgrounds to consider – just a small selection out of many, but presumably worthy of recommendation. Of course, you’ll have to rent a campervan over there, but a link for arranging the rental online is provided (and includes means for choosing and reserving a particular campground in Germany and other European countries). The same site also has pages for naturism camping in France and Croatia – where naturism is also popular. So you’re in luck if you enjoy traveling but are discouraged by the limited options in the U.S. for naked camping.

  6. Four lessons from the clothing-optional hot springs (6/6/21)

    Back in the nudity-averse U.S., some possibilities for being naked in the great outdoors are often overlooked – natural hot springs for example. Unfortunately, the best possibilities are only in limited areas. California and Colorado may have the most choices. Yet there can be drawbacks, even if clothing is optional. Some places allow nudity only near the actual springs, but not in other parts of the property. Even worse, some insist on separate areas for men and women. (Like Japanese onsen in recent times.) Why so persnickety? Well, it’s the U.S., after all. But, fortunately, that’s not always the case. The brief article here is about Orvis Hot Springs in Ridgway, Colorado. As the writer notes, “It’s co-ed. And people opt in or out with whatever combination of towel, wrap or swimsuit they choose.”

    In the article, Barbara admits “All my life I’ve loved the feel of swirling water against bare skin.” Hot springs are the perfect place for that. The water’s never too cold, so if it’s not too hot (over 104°F) you can stay in it as long as you want. They’re often located in places of great natural beauty. And others at the clothing-optional places simply couldn’t care less if you’re naked.

    Barbara does offer some good advice about hot springs etiquette. To paraphrase: (1) If others don’t share your preference to be naked, don’t hold it against them. (2) Look others in the eye when speaking to them. (3) Don’t feel too uneasy if others have body “enhancements” like unusual piercings or outre tattoos. (4) You might enjoy alternating between the hot springs and cold water plunges (if available).

  7. Do I Need to Wear a Swimsuit in a Backcountry Hot Spring? (11/19/21)

    If you’re actually in the backcountry, away from (so-called) civilization, whether or not you’re naked shouldn’t matter, right? Well, of course not, but in many places (especially in the U.S.) it can matter. Wearing anything at all makes even less sense in a secluded hot spring than when hiking or camping in an equally secluded location. Nevertheless, most of the same considerations apply. If you’re naked somewhere the chance of being seen unexpectedly by others is truly quite unlikely, then don’t worry too much. Especially if you’ve heard from other naturists that the location is very “safe”.

    Generally, in most remote places on U.S. National Forest or BLM property, there are no Federal rules against nudity. As the article says, “The law is vague. Agencies that oversee public hot springs — the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management — have no blanket prohibition of nudity, yet they often defer to state and county codes.” So do some research to determine the legal situation with local county or state laws that apply.

    Even if the legal situation is unclear, the article notes that “in the backcountry, far from policemen with better things to do, such laws are rarely enforced.” Your best bet is to seek advice from naturists who know the general area and have ample experience with backcountry nudity. Others who venture into areas off the beaten path usually have little or no problem with nudity. But there can always be exceptions from unexpectedly irate prudes, so be prepared for abusive comments (or worse), and keep some sort of cover-up close by.

    Here are four more stories about hot spring skinny-dipping: (1) How I Found the Courage to Skinny Dip with Two Friends…and a Stranger, (2) Naked with Friends (Part 1), (3) First Time Skinny Dippers, (4) How a Visit to Nude Hot Springs Helped Me Confront My Fear of Aging

  8. Nothing to hide! How I became a convert to naturism (6/18/21)

    Laura, who’s British, recalls how others at her school made fun of a girl because “her mum and dad walk around naked”. She remembers “thinking that it was a weird thing to criticise someone for.” Having an unfavorable attitude towards simple nudity just seemed strange. She realized later, as an adult, that there are places it’s possible to be nonsexually naked with others, and nobody will object or complain. So when she learned about such a place, she decided to “take the plunge”.

    Since Laura had no significant negative attitude towards simple nudity, it’s unsurprising she wasn’t that leery of giving it a try at British Naturism’s Sunfolk facility. Even so, she admits having “much pre-stripping nervousness” before arriving. This is very common and normal even for people who are comfortable being naked at home but haven’t yet visited an actual naturist camp or resort. The fear is that the management and frequent visitors will be less than fully welcoming to new visitors. At most contemporary naturist places, the fear is entirely unjustified – but who’s confident of that ahead of the first visit?

    Once inside the facility, some uncertainties remained. Laura wondered “Why am I doing this?! What is my mum going to think of the pictures in the paper?! I’m sure this was never in the lifeplan she never actually created for me.” [Laura’s a newspaper reporter and expected to document her story with pictures.] But once those concerns dissipated and the clothes were off, she could “walk across the grass and I feel about as self-conscious as I would if I had a bikini on. Except I don’t.” And when the time came to get dressed before leaving, “it’s with a surprising degree of reluctance.”

    If only more people who’ve enjoyed nudity only by themselves at home or in a secluded place outdoors could realize that naturist social nudity with others is just as easy – and even better.

  9. No (tan) lines at the Punch Bowl (7/18/21)

    Vermont has no landed or non-landed naturist clubs affiliated with AANR, and only one non-landed club affiliated with TNSF. Besides that, the outdoor naturist season there is short. Nevertheless, Vermont residents tend to be liberal and open-minded, and there are a number of skinny-dipping places on public and private land. An especially popular one is the Punch Bowl, located in a wide place on the east side of the Mad River, near the town of Waitsfield (pop. 1844). Details can be found at SwimmingHoles.org in the Mad River section.

    The Punch Bowl is on private land, and its owners intend to keep it open as a day-use public swimming hole. They’ve provided a parking area beside the main road, and there’s even a small picnic area. Clothing is very much optional at the Punch Bowl. Although skinny dippers can be seen from nearby trails, most trail users are fully aware of the status. In fact, the SwimmingHoles.org write-up notes that “Swimsuits are considered to be in poor taste here.”

  10. Fun House Mirror: The Benefits of Going Through Puberty as a Naturist (7/15/21)

    It’s an unfortunate shibboleth that youngsters raised in a naturist family frequently no longer want to go naked as they enter their teen years. That’s understandable, since the experience of puberty tends to be difficult in most cases. But dropping out of naturism at that stage doesn’t really need to happen, and there can be real benefits if it doesn’t. Parents should encourage children raised in naturist families to understand just how fortunate they are to be fully comfortable with their own bodies.

    Sierra, presumably a teenager and regular visitor at Lupin Lodge, on the outskirts of Silicon Valley near Los Gatos, CA, writes about both teenage angst and the benefits of social nudity to teens. She observes: “Many teenagers can’t even imagine having to be naked in front of other people at this point in their lives. They are self-conscious, prone to inconveniently timed bodily responses, or newly introduced to their menstrual cycle with no interest in wandering around with a visible string between their legs in addition to their other self-image issues.”

    On the plus side for going naked, there are details most naturists understand. The benefits are both emotional and physical – especially for teenagers. There are health benefits for the immune system due to increased exposure to sunlight (vitamin D) and strengthened immunity due to contact with allergens and bacteria. The emotional benefits are at least as important. Becoming comfortable around others while naked increases body acceptance and decreases socially-acquired shame associated with naked bodies and all their parts. Most people are unfortunate not to receive the emotional benefits of nudity until later in life – if at all.

Bonus from earlier:

Naked Camping: How and Where to Embrace Nature in the Nude (4/12/19)

Several articles above go into various aspects of naturist camping, or simply enjoying natural places without clothes. There are very good reasons why “naturist” is a very apt term for people who enjoy nudity outdoors. According to this article, “Naked camping, or ‘naturist’ camping, might just be the way you roll in the morning when you’re sleeping outside. But more and more people are catching on to “naked camping” as an intentional way to feel closer to the great outdoors.” Hiking or camping naked isn’t just simpler if you don’t have to bother with clothes. An equally important benefit is dispensing with barriers between individuals and the natural world – barriers that are usually unavoidable in “normal” everyday life. Outdoor activities can be uncomfortable on hot days, but going naked allows for natural air conditioning.

This article touches on various aspects of enjoying camping and other outdoor activities without the encumbrance of clothing. Although nudity in/on hot springs, skinny-dipping spots, clothing-optional beaches, and hiking trails makes, a great deal of sense, such natural attractions are often located far from where most people live. Naturist clubs, resorts, and campgrounds are good options that may be more conveniently located, yet can (if they have sufficient natural open space) allow for the same enjoyment of being naked outdoors.

The site as a whole contains lots of useful camping information. The present article briefly covers several important aspects of going naked in nature. The list includes: (1) Why going naked helps to get closer to nature; (2) An overview of naturist clubs and campgrounds; (3) How to visit a naturist campground or beach, with a short list of specific advice; (4) A list of 10 outdoor naturist campgrounds – one is actually a hot springs – Valley View Hot Springs, in Colorado.

Newsworthy Nudity, 2022 -2

  1. The History Of Nudism (1/5/22)

    Gary Mussel, who’s been an activist for naturism and an official of various naturist organizations, offers a birds-eye view of the history of naturism. Open, unproblematic nudity has occurred frequently in human societies as long as humans have existed, especially in regions with mild climates. Occasional open nudity wasn’t unusual even in various more “modern” urban societies until a couple thousand years ago. Even within the past 100 years or so, bathing naked in rivers, lakes, and the ocean wasn’t unusual (at least for males). But, of course, historical trends such as urbanization and religious dogmatism gradually stigmatized nudity.

    However, trends may eventually reverse when extremes are reached. In Europe, the “Romantic” writers lamented the increasing alienation of humans from the natural world. In the U.S., somewhat later, writers like Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau echoed those sentiments. Finally in Germany in 1894 Heinrich Pudor (using the pseudonym Heinrich Scham) openly advocated for naturism in a short tract entitled Naked People. It was optimistically subtitled “A triumph-shout of the future”. 9 years later, the first known nudist park, Freilichtpark, was opened in Germany by Paul Zimmerman.

    After the First World War, nudism caught on in Germany, and (partly thanks to German tourists) in France later in the 1920s. Spielplatz opened in England in 1929 – and has operated continuously since then. Mussell traces the further evolution of nudism (and naturism) in the U.S. thanks to people like Kurt Barthel, Bernard MacFadden, and (especially) Ilsley Boone. Boone took over Barthel’s American League for Physical Culture in 1931 and renamed it The American Sunbathing Association. He also bought an existing property, Sunshine Park, in 1935 and located the ASA office there.

    Boone was quite a controversial figure. He lost control of the ASA in 1951, and in 1994 it was renamed The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). The bulk of Mussell’s historical account goes into many details of the history of nudism/naturism in the U.S. in Boone’s time up to (almost) the present day.

    Unfortunately, as Mussell writes, “At AANR, there has been a steady decline in membership over the past decade from a 50,000 peak in 1998 to under 30,000 in 2015.” The number of affiliated clubs has also dropped from a peak of 270 to about 180 currently. Mussell suggests, however, that “even as the number of “card-carrying” nudists may be getting smaller and grayer, nude recreation continues to grow as more people choose clothes-free vacations.” Naturists need to work harder to ensure this isn’t just wishful thinking.

  2. Spielplatz Naturist Club: The secrets of the famous nudist resort hidden in Hertfordshire (1/14/22)

    Spielplatz, the British nudist club mentioned above, was established in 1929 by Charles Macaskie and his wife Dorothy near the village of Bricket Wood, about a 40-minute drive from central London. Although it covers only 12 acres, it has about 50 full-time residents and admits naturist visitors during the summer season. Although originally situated in a wooded area, there’s now a small suburban area east of it, and another naturist park, British Naturism’s Sunfolk, next door to the south. Spielplatz is the oldest surviving naturist place in England, and the only one having full-time residents.

    The Macaskie’s daughter, Iseult Richardson, inherited the property and managed it until passing it on to her daughter, Beverly Kelly, Spielplatz’s current manager. The place has been a naturist park the entire time. Iseult’s autobiography, No Shadows Fall: The Story of Spielplatz, provides a very personal account of the park’s history. Iseult was born into nudism in 1932 and remained an enthusiast her whole life.

    Spielplatz means “play place” in German, and there are many children’s playgrounds so named in Germany. Macaskie intended it to refer to somewhere people could live and enjoy recreation while completely naked. (Related articles here, here, here, here, here, here, here)

  3. A naked history of 100 years of naturism (3/25/22)

    Despite its longevity, Spielplatz wasn’t the first nudist park in England. According to this history, that honor belongs to a club called Sunbeam, founded 5 years earlier in 1924. It was located near the town of Wickford, about 35 miles east of London. The “English Gymnosophical Society”, organized in 1922, needed a place for their members to enjoy naturism without fear of legal hassles. Although this was more than two decades after naturism appeared in Germany, Brits were more reticent than less inhibited Teutons. But then, even in France, naturism didn’t gain much interest until the latter half of the 1920s. (France then had stricter laws against public nudity than Germany, and in fact still does.)

    “Gymnosophy” was a more “polite” term for nudism – although it was based on the ancient Greek “γυμνός”, which simply meant naked. The initial name of the new club was the “Moonella Group”, supposedly a name associated with the owner of the land where the club met. Sunbeam soon replaced the earlier name to avoid inane puns. Much of the club’s history is unclear, but here’s a very good article based on later research. Apparently, the original location of the club was in use for only two years. Outside of Germany, it seems naturism didn’t really get much traction until after 1930 – when it got started even in the U.S. (by Kurt Barthel and other German expatriates).

  4. Nudist Friends: Why you should want them, and why you should be them. (2/13/22)

    If you often enjoy being naked, at least when it’s possible, then before long you’ll probably want to be naked not just when you’re alone. Maybe that’s possible even when certain others are around – hopefully with some family members, or at least a significant other. But also, you may have friends who don’t seem to mind seeing you naked. Even then, you may be unsure they’re actually comfortable with your nudity, but simply being tolerant. The best case, of course, would be having friends who also enjoy being naked. So that’s an obvious reason to want friends like that, even if they don’t actually consider themselves naturists.

    With naturist friends, you can enjoy naked activities like camping, hiking, sports, parties, or just watching movies together. But will only one or two naturist friends be enough? They may not always be available when you want to go skinny-dipping, or perhaps none live close enough to visit with often. In general, the more naturist friends you have the better.

    The good news is that every naturist friend you have, even if it’s only one or two, can help you find others. Your naturist friends probably know other naturists you’ve never met – so they can introduce you. Even if they don’t know other naturists you haven’t met they may have friends or relatives who aren’t naturists but know one or more other naturists. I’ve written in detail about how this works. Here’s a shorter article with good suggestions. And here’s another article of mine on the same subject.

  5. 10 Ways Naturism Is a Healthy Lifestyle (2/4/22)

    When you’re discussing naturism with others who don’t quite understand what you like so much about being naked, it’s handy to have a few plausible reasons to offer. Out of this list of 10 reasons, these are two of the best.

    • Feeling comfortable in your own skin
      There’s more to it than simply feeling comfortable wearing nothing. It not only feels good, but there are measurable psychological benefits. Keon West of Goldsmiths’ College, University of London conducted experiments with groups of strangers who volunteered to be naked together. He found that “people who regularly participated in group nudist activities were more satisfied with their lives and content with their bodies, but he also found that such overall satisfaction was increased the more frequently these activities occurred! It seems the more often people strip down together, the more comfortable they feel with themselves.” I’ve noted more about that here.

    • That Feeling of Becoming One with Nature
      The point is that “there’s no better way to re-establish a strong connection to the natural world than through nudist recreation. It’s a beautiful sensation to have the warm sun and a light breeze accentuate your nudity as you traipse along a backwoods trail or open stretch of beach.” Here’s a video where New Zealand naturists talk about he idea.

  6. Toasted buns: A first-timer on why you should go naked this summer (1/12/22)

    People who haven’t tried naturism or even considered it generally enjoy the pleasure of nudity, at least when alone. As one New Zealander thinking about naturism remarked, “I like being naked. Who doesn’t? … there’s an innate sense of freedom and joy that comes with being starkers.” But actually going naked when strangers can see you is almost always scary – even if the others are naturists and used to nudity. But people who haven’t been raised in a naturist family have probably been taught that exposing too much to others just isn’t OK.

    A young New Zealander relates how she and a friend decided to be brave and try going naked on a local clothing-optional beach. Having a friend along helps with needed self-confidence, even if the friend doesn’t get naked. The result: both became comfortable being naked fairly soon. Although not all nude beaches (or other naturist environments) are devoid of people who don’t know proper naturist behavior, the best way to find out is to visit them. If the atmosphere doesn’t seem right, then just leave without getting naked. If all seems OK after surveying the situation, the best advice is just “Try it, you’ll like it!”

  7. Women in Nudism: Are You Hesitant? (3/25/22)

    After a few years of the Me-too movement, women are generally more hesitant about getting into naturism than at any other time in the past half-century. And they certainly have good reasons for that. Even aside from Me-too, the writer of this article, Kelly, explains, “As a woman, being nude in general used to be hard for me considering all the hang-ups I used to have over my body.” But even after getting beyond that, “Once I started to get comfortable in my own skin, I was still on the fence about nudity out in public.” Kelly also cites “A layer of insecurity that was built upon years of ingesting all forms of media with women who had perfectly curated bodies – all the things in all the right places and no flaw in sight.”

    However, after dealing with all that, gathering together enough courage and actually visiting a naturist location like a nude beach, the result is: “That first time, and every time since then, when I get nude at the beach, the world doesn’t stop. The people around me just carry on with their lives, you’re just another nude body amongst a sea of people embracing themselves – flaws and all. People of all shapes and sizes boldly deciding to not be a prisoner to cultural programming that makes nudity out to be a sin, hyper-sexual, or something only reserved for people with movie screen bodies.”

    Kelly then offers several pieces of advice that include: (1) Experience being naked at home; (2) Invite an open-minded friend to accompany you in a nude experience; (3) Proceed slowly, one step at a time; (4) Get to know experienced naturists for support and advice.

  8. How a Visit to Nude Hot Springs Helped Me Confront My Fear of Aging (2/1/22)

    People beyond middle age can have significantly different feelings about being naked around others. Many in that category have mostly stopped giving a damn about fears of social nudity. If there’s a suitable opportunity and desire to be naked, they “just do it”. But for others – women especially – the fears can be turned way up. Few in the upper age group still have bodies much like they had in their 20s. While many simply don’t care how others see them, many others do care – a lot.

    The writer, Ashley, visited a popular California hot springs with a friend who “felt a radical transformation in herself and her comfort within her own body” after a relatively early experience with social nudity. The friend explained: “It’s like anything—the more you do it, the easier it gets… Especially as women, we can feel guarded, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve also realized this body won’t be around forever. Why not enjoy it while it’s still there?”

    Initially, Ashley (although still relatively young) feared going beyond simply topfree. But later she encountered a group of older women, mostly in their late 60s, who were “sprawled out on the concrete, completely nude, sharing blankets and a picnic lunch of fruit and sandwiches.” On returning to her friend, she removed her bikini bottom and tossed it aside. She “didn’t even check to see if anyone had noticed.”

  9. Interview With A Single, Male, Introvert, First-Time Nudist! (1/18/22)

    Scott had considered himself a “part-time home nudist” since he was in middle school (so probably a pre-teen). Yet he never attempted to visit a nudist resort until 30 years later. He was single at that point and also considered himself an introvert. He was also aware that, at least until fairly recently, many clubs didn’t welcome single males – especially in many parts of the U.S. Those factors almost certainly accounted for waiting so long to seek involvement in organized naturism. Most men like Scott probably are quite hesitant for the same reasons. Consequently, a large proportion of men who enjoy nonsexual nudity either never participate in organized naturism or at best delay doing so for decades.

    After coming across an AANR article urging clubs to be more welcoming towards people like himself, Scott agreed to be interviewed about his experience. He offered suggestions for specific things clubs should do to be more welcoming – basically the same simple policies any business or organization should follow to make prospective “customers” feel comfortable and appreciated.

    Additionally, he suggested that introverts “should be willing to take some initiative and step outside their comfort zone”. (That should apply to women as well as men.) Participating in naturist activities of any sort – nude beaches, hot springs, life modeling, naturist Meetup groups, naked yoga classes, online naturist events, etc. – provides conversational material when getting to know other naturists. That’s an important step to help reduce anxieties about socializing with naturists. Becoming familiar with the policies and available activities at a particular club before visiting would make embarrassing missteps less likely.

  10. How Rejection Turned Into A Family (2/1/22)

    Here’s an even more egregious case of a naturist club turning away prospective members – a typical married couple in this case – for no apparent reason. David and Kassie “were confused and crushed. How could they reject us? We had been perfect nudists, always had been. We abided by all the AANR ethics in a social nudity scenario or situation. We knew how to act. We loved being nude. We loved nudists.” They lived in the Jacksonville, Florida area but don’t identify the rejecting club. Quite possibly the club was a smaller one where most members knew each other well, and their action strongly resembles the behavior of cliquish high school “cool kids”. That shouldn’t happen in the naturist world, but of course it does.

    The AANR article mentioned in the previous item clearly discourages that sort of thing. The couple should have complained to AANR, even if they weren’t actually AANR members. But perhaps the offending club wasn’t even an AANR affiliate. There’s a happy ending to the story though. They had no trouble visiting other clubs in their area, including the Suwannee Valley Resort, which claims to be “North Florida’s Premier Clothing Optional Resort”.

    The couple decided they “needed a club that was inclusive, whether you are straight or gay or bisexual or lesbian, married, single, or married and solo, without regard to race or religion.” So they started the First Coast Naturists, a Meetup.com based non-landed club. It was founded in 2013. and became an AANR-charted club in 2015. This is a great success story. However, Florida teems with naturists, and starting a naturist club in many parts of the U.S. that lack the climate and population density of Florida can be a much more difficult task.

Bonus from earlier:



The Rise and Fall of a Nudist Colony that Scandalized L.A. in the 1930s (9/15/17)

Very recently I summarized an article about the demise in 2000 of a once-popular naturist club, Elysium Fields, in southern California. It was just one of four naturist places in the area that had folded since 1995. Another one of those was the similarly-named Elysian Fields (usually called Elysia). Its story is recounted in the present article.

Elysia was about 40 miles from Los Angeles’ outskirts and nine miles west of Lake Elsinore. The permanent location of the 139-acre camp actually straddled the border between Orange and Riverside counties. At the time both were ultra-conservative areas, and still are to some extent. The location was chosen in the hope of avoiding law enforcement from either county (as long as both didn’t come simultaneously).

The original owners were Hobart Glassey, a nudist who’d moved to California from New Jersey (where other very early naturist places were located), and Irish-born Peter McConville. Their partnership foundered in 1935, after only two years. McConville remained in control and renamed the camp Olympic Fields. In 1954 Wally and Flo Nilson, frequent visitors to the camp, bought it from McConville, who was in poor health, and named the place in his honor.

Unfortunately, according to the article, “the era of nudism as a radical statement and the camp’s lack of amenities, including electricity, caused membership to decline. In 2000, Flo renamed the camp Mystic Oaks, and changed the camp from strictly nude to nude optional. However, membership continued to sink.” The camp closed in 2007, not long after two other troubled naturist places in southern California also succumbed (and it was followed in 2008 by Swallows Sun Island).

Newsworthy Nudity, 2021-5

In most of the northern hemisphere the naturist outdoor season begins in May and June. So there are some good reports suggesting clothing-optional beaches. And others dealing with general naturist activities.

  1. The UK’s best nudist beaches revealed: Why more Brits will be in the buff this summer (6/11/21)

    Public nudity in the UK is actually not illegal as long as it’s not intended to be offensive or alarming. And the country has plenty of coastline (11,000 miles of it by one estimate), with many sandy beaches. Of course, naturists prefer using beaches favored by other naturists. Here’s one listing, with a map, of 42 such beaches.

    As a British Naturism spokesperson explains, “There are plenty of beaches that are well-known for being used by nude bathers and it’s great to be surrounded by happy, like-minded people.” The present article has good advice for anyone who wants to try beach nudity for the first time, including a reminder that the British climate is often not ideal for a great naked experience.

  2. It’s Time You Finally Visited One of Europe’s Best Nude Beaches (6/2/21)

    Many articles offer their own opinion of what the “best” nude beaches are (usually in Europe). This particular list is useful, since the 9 beaches included are in 9 different countries – not just France, Spain, and Croatia. So if you’re visiting a country not known for its nude beaches, this list may help. If you have the time and wherewithal, you could easily spend an entire summer just visiting Western European nude beaches and spending only a few days on even half of the best ones. With a few, there are accommodations next to the beach where you could be naked most of the time. U.S. naturists should be so jealous. (Or, better, they could try considerably harder to have more clothing-optional beaches established.)

    The article explains “Nudity has never been as taboo in Europe as it is stateside. Europe has a longstanding social history behind the practice of nudism, and beachgoing au naturel has become a summer fixture in European culture in recent decades.” There are very brief summaries of the history in Germany, France, Greece, and Croatia (where British King Edward VIII and his mistress visited and swam nude in the 1930s). The article describes 9 beaches it considers the absolute best.

  3. Best Nude Beaches in Greece (5/9/21)

    Mainland Greece isn’t actually as favorable towards naturism compared to other Western European counties. According to this article, “Greek people are not used to nudism. It is usually ok if you are sunbathing topless on a remote beach but total nudism exists and is permitted only on some particular beaches. These beaches are most of a stretch of land surrounded by cliffs or high trees.”

    The Greek islands, however, provide a somewhat better story even though, as on the mainland, there are no “official” nude beaches. The islands not only attract tourists from all over (and depend on the income generated), but have some popular clothing-optional beaches. Paradise Beach on Mykonos may be the best-known, but there are others. The present article describes some of them. In general, nudity is easiest at the more remote and hard-to-access beaches. Here’s another article on the nude beach situation in Greece.

  4. 11 Reasons Why You Should Try A Nude Vacation This Summer (6/12/21)

    Most of the 11 are simply reasons for participating in naturism at all. Current naturists are fully aware of them, so only people just becoming interested in naturism or maybe ready to try it need to know the reasons. Then nude vacationing is an obvious next step. Note that if you plan to be naked much of the time, you need to bring very little – perhaps just a credit or debit card, essential medicines, and one change of clothes. This is especially if long-distance travel is involved. The travel fare, lodging expenses, and (perhaps) renting a car probably far exceed the cost of buying other necessities at your destination.

    The real question is the type of nude vacation to take. If your budget allows more than the travel, lodging, and food expenses for the trip, then you have the most options. Otherwise you’ll have to make compromises. If cost isn’t an issue, then a destination in Europe, such as France, Spain, or Croatia is ideal. The only problem is the overwhelming number of good choices you’ll have.

    If you’re in the U.S. and your budget is more limited, then Florida may be the best bet. It has the longest outdoor naturist season, four clothing-optional beaches, and dozens of naturist places to stay. California has more nude beaches, but the coastal weather is less dependable. If you don’t need a beach, then there are many naturist-friendly B&Bs and small hotels available. However, if you just want to go somewhere you can for a week or two usually be naked, then there are far more options in both the U.S. and Europe.

  5. Reasons Why Everyone Should Try Skinny Dipping At Least Once (7/3/21)

    In fact, a rather large percentage of people in the U.S. probably have tried skinny dipping at least once. The Naturist Society has sponsored two or three professional polls that ask about this, and the results were generally 25% to 30% “yes”. But what’s meant by “skinny dipping”? Is it any instance of being naked in a body of water larger than a bathtub? How about a hot tub or an ordinary swimming pool? Is an experienced naturist “skinny dipping” any time he or she is naked in the water at a naturist club or clothing-optional beach? Or is it something that seems completely natural and ordinary to them?

    Pretty clearly the point of this article is getting into the water naked when it seems like a risqué or daring thing to do. Perhaps it’s done only alone or with very close friends – especially at night or somewhere nobody besides the individual or group is likely to notice. Or it could happen at a clothing-optional beach when a person decides to get into the water naked if many others are doing likewise.

    If that goes well, anyone who tries it will probably find it unexpectedly pleasurable. In the words of the article’s author, when he and his girlfriend first entered the water naked, “the feeling of freedom was exhilarating. Wow. It was as though something had been missing, but now we were complete.” Such an experience probably results in a desire to repeat it, which is what happened in this case. Prevailing social attitudes against open nudity may deter people from pursuing the desire to repeat. But the possibility remains this experience could be a “gateway” into other “naturist” activities.

  6. Have You Ever Been Skinny Dipping? (6/1/21)

    Tracey writes from her own experience about “How I ended up skinny dipping and why you should probably do the same.” She says her first skinny dip “changed me in a way that made me happier and more respectful of life. I took off all my clothes and jumped into a lake with other naked people.” She adds, “Skinny dipping is one of those experiences that you will appreciate more in hindsight than it might seem while you are doing it.” But she cautions, “It might scare the heck out of you if you just take the plunge without a real reason to do so.”

    She continues to describe her thoughts and feelings about skinny dipping but eventually admits “Skinny dipping can be a scary thing. It might be the easiest way to get arrested, or worse, caught on video. Someone could see you and tell everyone else.” Scary. That scary aspect is precisely why naturists on social media who write eloquently about social nudity and its many virtues generally don’t persuade many of their readers or listeners to take the plunge, get involved with naturism, and eventually make social nudity an important part of their lives.

    Why? In general, ideas that seem risky and scary in the abstract – like going naked around other people – are inherently difficult to accept. But almost always, people are more easily influenced by one or more others they know personally and trust. So they’re more likely to overcome doubts and go on to experience the scary thing for themselves. “Social influencers” online, however, almost never enjoy the same degree of trust when scary ideas are involved.

  7. Skinny-dipping With My Girlfriends (7/13/21)

    Here’s one more take on skinny dipping, and this one emphasizes the positives. Elle writes: “I love to be naked in the water. It just feels so much better than wearing a bathing suit — perhaps because it’s just more primal. … it’s almost like being transported to another world — one that is less artificial, less consumer-oriented, and more real somehow.” Why is it more real? Most naturists, I think, would agree it’s because clothing is annoying and an artificial, superfluous way of expressing one’s individuality. Nudity, however, shows one’s uniqueness without concealing what we have in common with others.

    Elle also offers a good reason that nudity with like-minded others is especially healing and salutary for women: “We felt very in touch with our most natural selves, very female, and very, very powerful. … We were in our element and experiencing the synergy of allowing our most elemental selves to shine through.”

  8. Naturism in Niagara (5/12/21)

    This article was already mentioned here. The subject is Sun Valley Gardens (SVG), an early 25-acre nudist resort in Ontario, a little over 10 miles west of Niagara Falls. It was in operation from 1954 to 1982. The article contains a slideshow of 40 images of the place. It was one of the first nudist resorts in Canada.

    The text following the slide show provides interesting details about SVG. For example, Karl Ruehle, who founded the resort, was an active promoter of nudism as a lifestyle. Unlike many other early nudist leaders, he wasn’t at all secretive about nudism or his resort. He promoted it with press releases and paid advertising. He even appeared on talk shows and TV programs. Personally, however, Ruehle was eccentric and autocratic.

    By contrast, a member of a smaller nearby nudist place who wished to be known only by his first name (Graham) is much more secretive. However, to explain their interest in nudism, Graham and a couple of others gave many reasons they enjoyed a naked lifestyle. That provides background for readers who know little or nothing about nudism.

  9. I was meditating naked every day for a month (6/25/21)

    Meditation is increasingly popular these days. since it can facilitate self-control, self-care, and self-love. In this short essay, nakedness is recommended as the best way to practice meditation. The absence of bothersome, constrictive clothing frees a person from irrelevant disruptive stimuli. The mind has expanded freedom to roam where it will when freed from distractions.

    Be sure to pick a time when you won’t be interrupted – not because you’re naked, but just to avoid distractions. You don’t need to meditate in the absence of all external stimuli, as long as they’re conducive to comfort rather than – like clothes – unsupportive of it. Feel free to accompany your meditation with pleasant aromas, soft music, or peaceful sounds like those of gentle ocean waves. Pay attention to your body, especially your skin when in contact with nothing but air.


  10. 20 Years Later: Remembering Elysium Fields (5/1/21)

    Elysium was a popular naturist destination in Topanga Canyon, just north of Los Angeles, for 33 years. from 1967 to 2000. It was founded by Ed Lange, who had accumulated a degree of wealth by the time he was 47, as a noted photographer and publisher of nudist magazines.

    Elysium was noteworthy because, although nudity was allowed (perhaps encouraged), it was not secretive and promoted itself as a “Human Growth Center” rather than a nudist camp. So it was similar to other “New Age” establishments such as the Esalen Institute. But unfortunately, Elysium was located in Los Angeles County, whose ultraconservative public officials had fought against nudist clubs since the 1930s. Although Elysium finally won the legal battles in 1993, Lange died in 1995. His daughters inherited the property, but for various reasons, such as dwindling interest in New Age ideas, Elysium was no longer economically viable, so it closed in 2000.

    The name “Elysium” figured prominently in ancient Greek mythology even before the time of Homer. It referred to a realm of the afterlife reserved for heroes and others favored by the Greek gods to reside forever, enjoying whatever most pleased them in mortal life. An apt name for a contemporary naturist place.

    (Similarly named “Elysian Fields” was an earlier, unrelated nudist place in Southern California near Lake Elsinor. It was founded in 1933 and persisted with a couple of name changes until finally closing in 2007.)

Bonus from earlier:

How a beach becomes nude, and why people like getting naked in public (8/11/19)

What needs to happen for a beach to become accepted as a clothing-optional beach? There really isn’t any standard process through which nudity on a particular beach becomes tolerated, let alone accepted or even officially designated. But this article from New Zealand gives some idea of what can happen.

It’s important, of course, that nudity in public isn’t entirely prohibited, at least under certain conditions. That’s the case in New Zealand, as well as in Great Britain, and even some U.S. states like California. In those examples, public nudity isn’t illegal as long as it’s not considered obscene, offensive, or threatening. (Opinions, of course, vary as to what those terms mean.) There also must not be stronger prohibitions under local laws and regulations. Still, although those conditions are necessary, they aren’t always sufficient.

Generally what happens is, first, that in a region where the beach is located there should be enough people who actually want to be naked on the beach, or at least a certain part of it. Given that, a sufficient number of people should actually use the beach or some part of it naked on a regular basis. If that usage continues “long enough” without serious objection, nudity there will probably become accepted.

But it usually takes some time – if ever – before the beach becomes “officially” clothing-optional. That generally happens only given certain conditions. For example, if naturists are persuasive enough, local officials favor the idea, or (often) because there are tangible benefits, such as tourism, to the local community.

Newsworthy Nudity, 2021-4

  1. These 6 People Posed Nude To Celebrate Their Bodies After A Strange And Terrible Year (1/15/21)

    Body acceptance is an important factor in becoming involved with naturism to begin with, but also a primary benefit of continued participation in naturist activities. Unsurprisingly, both men and women who might otherwise enjoy social nudity are reluctant to take the first step in that direction – because they’re afraid their body isn’t “good enough”. If one is actually brave enough to visit a naturist club or resort, that people with a wide range of body types are active and enthusiastic naturists is quite obvious.

    The present article makes little connection between body acceptance and naturism. However, the 6 individuals featured in the article did allow their fully nude photos to be published and clearly expressed their varied perspectives. The most common body insecurity problem probably has to do with weight. But there are a number of other issues. One of those, especially relevant for women, has to do with body hair. There’s a social convention that body hair on a woman (other than on her head) is a problem. But Emma felt differently, observing that “the more authentic I am, the better it is for me”. And further, “I wanted to just be able to be me and focus on my personality.” That’s a healthy attitude, which is certainly relevant for most naturists.

  2. ‘Reclaiming women’s bodies from shame’: a photographic illumination of ageing (3/7/21)

    The second article deals with the same body acceptance issues, but from an additional angle – that of attitudes towards aging naked bodies. Although the focus of the article is on older women, the problem is also relevant to older men. For most people who’re fortunate to reach the age of 50 or 60 in good health, their bodies simply don’t closely resemble the bodies of 20-year-olds. And the resemblance continues to decrease in letter decades. Although most societies value the wisdom of older people (at least relative to younger ones), with respect to appearance the value is clearly on youthfulness.

    According to the article, during one year, Australian photographer Ponch Hawkes (a 75-year-old woman) “has shot more than 400 nude women over 50 to fix a pervasive problem.” The problem: “We don’t know what the bodies of older women actually look like.” It’s especially a problem in the eyes of many younger people who might be interested in naturism, since (at least in the U.S.) so many active naturists who visit naturist parks – men as well as women – have passed the 50-year mark. So the issue of physical appearance extends to age as well as weight and other factors. Perhaps surprisingly, enough older Australian women of all body types volunteered to be photographed fully nude – considerably more than one per day. Although “Some women came prepared to be naked… Others hadn’t taken their clothes off in front of anyone for years.”

  3. Lizzo shares unedited naked photo on Instagram to ‘change the conversation about beauty standards’ (4/22/21)

    According to her website, “Melissa Viviane Jefferson, known professionally as Lizzo, is an American singer, rapper, and flutist.” The article here reports that “Lizzo has been on a quest to normalise different body shapes and sizes and smash beauty standards.” As part of that, she “shared an unedited naked photo of herself, curves and all, with the goal of ‘changing the conversation about beauty standards’.” The photo, on Instagram, has received more than 2 million likes. (Of course, it’s posed so as not to violate Instagram’s absurdly prudish “standards” related to nudity.)

  4. How Being A Nudist Affected My Mental Health (3/31/21)

    Naturism benefits a person’s health in various ways – especially physical, mental, and social health. The physical benefits have been emphasized since the earliest days of naturism – fresh air, sunshine, exercise, etc. The social benefits accrue from pleasant interactions with other naturists. As described above, mental health benefits from improved body acceptance. There are scientific findings that support this.

    In the present article, Alexis makes a different yet simple case for naturism’s mental health benefits. If (and only if) you really enjoy being naked, as most naturists do, then your mental state will improve while you’re naked simply because you’re doing something pleasurable. And there’s no reason to feel any guilt about that. In the rest of the article, Alexis offers ideas for increasing the amount of time you can spend naked. (Disclaimer: Alexis included a couple of positive links to posts on this blog. Thanks, Alexis.)

  5. The new rise of naturism: Why we’re better off in the buff (4/30/21)

    Marie Claire Dorking summarizes a variety of reasons for how life can be better without clothes, especially given the lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic. Although there were problems with having to work from home, the upside was the freedom to dress more comfortably – or not at all. Many people probably as a result came to recognize and appreciate the pleasures of everyday life sans clothing. She explicitly notes the physical and mental health benefits of nudity. Quite simply, being naked to do routine things like cooking, cleaning, and even office work is enjoyable.

    Briitish naturist Beatrice Berry is quoted explaining how the freedom to be naked compensated for loss of other freedoms during the lockdowns. Another British naturist, Stephanie McManus, founded Body Freedom International during the pandemic to focus “on the discovery of nudity as an internal transformation tool for body acceptance, freedom, and confidence.” The article concludes with advice on getting started with naturism. It’s a good article to share with others who wonder why you like being naked.

  6. Naturist couple say stripping off outside is ‘best antidote’ to pandemic anxiety (1/14/21)

    Covid-19 is still around. Currently, in December 2022, an average of 50,000+ new cases are diagnosed per day in the U.S. – and rising. So even though the lockdowns are over and pandemic-related stress is down compared to earlier, there are new sources of anxiety and stress instead, such as high inflation, growing levels of common flu, and the onset of winter. The article here reports how pandemic stress could be relieved by getting naked outside. Although that antidote to stress is difficult at this time of year (in the Northern hemisphere), indoor nudity is still helpful – if the heating costs are affordable.

    The article reports how a long-time British naturist, Chris, overcame stress and anxiety late in 2020 by stripping off in the local woods, despite the chilly ambiance. Chris was accompanied by his partner, Ginny, but though she’d become a naturist more recently, she kept her clothes on. However, she explained, “It was so nice to see him enjoying himself again, after he’d had a couple of panic attacks.” Ginny, a photographer, was carrying her camera and documented Chris’ experience.

  7. ‘Naturism isn’t just for older, kooky people’: Lockdown has seen younger people relax their attitude to nudity (4/30/21)

    Here’s one more article on British naturism in the midst of the pandemic. The British Naturism organization made a concerted effort during the lockdown to provide remote activities for naturists in the UK (and elsewhere). Activities included a cooking show, naked yoga, a naked book club, and more. The effort was well-received, as shown by a sharp increase in BN membership. (U.S. naturist organizations generally did little extra in this period.) Many others probably took advantage of being confined at home by simply not bothering to wear anything. So they discovered and got used to the comfort of nonsexual nudity – and became interested in naturist activities.

    Since many people confined at home were quite far from retirement age, lots of young adults became adherents of naturism. And since they could be naked at home as much as they wanted, there was no impact on their careers. One of them is quoted, saying “There are many more of us younger generation naturists out there than is outwardly obvious.” The WFH (work-from-home) trend should be a boon for naturism.

  8. How Canada’s oldest nudist club helped this filmmaker understand his family history (4/28/21)

    Daniel Berish is a Vancouver, BC filmmaker. Going through old photographs with his grandmother Zella one day, they found a photo of Zella clearly wearing nothing but a towel and bathing cap. She explained unabashedly, “Oh, that’s the nudist club where I met your grandfather.” Years later, after Zella died, Daniel finally decided to learn more about his grandparents’ naturism and why it appealed to them. So, as a filmmaker, he went with a colleague to make a documentary.

    They visited the VanTan Club, which was founded in 1939 and is Canada’s oldest naturist club. He got more than just a better understanding of naturism and its appeal. According to the article, “As Berish and his colleague interviewed the folks at Van Tan, they realized that to truly understand the naturalist [sic] perspective, they would have to take it to the next level.” In Berish’s own words, “We’re excited to be able to share their story, and we knew that in order to do that, we were going to have to, you know, get naked as well… I reluctantly decided to jump in. And once I did, it was great.”

  9. 10 Tips for World Naked Gardening Day (4/1/21)

    World Naked Gardening Day was cofounded in 2005 by Mark Storey and Jacob Gabriel. (Storey is presently a consulting editor and principal writer for the Nude & Naturial magazine of TNSF.) Since then it has spread around the world to counties where naturism has enough followers. It’s not an organized activity, for the most part, but is promoted by many local naturist organizations. In the Northern hemisphere it’s usually scheduled for the first Saturday in May. (Usually in October in the Southen hemisphere.)

    In this article, Linda Weber (an activist in several naturist organizations) provides 10 pieces of practical advice, which are mainly intended for naturists who have little personal experience with gardening – but who’d like to add a new hobby they can enjoy naked.

  10. World Naked Gardening Day: Women explain why they like to garden in the buff (4/30/21)

    This is the sort of mediocre article to be expected of a British tabloid. However, it’s noteworthy that two women – Claire and Kendall – were willing to discuss the subject naked on a TV broadcast. Claire, a survivor of breast cancer with a mastectomy, said the experience strengthened her determination “to embrace her body”, and that gardening nude “gave her confidence”. She added that “I’ve always enjoyed getting my kit off and when the sun shines I love to be outside naked doing my garden.”

    Kendal admitted that “she also loves to be in the buff among her plants, but can’t always embrace her hobby fully” due to inadequate privacy from neighbors. She insisted, however, that naked gardening helped “connecting with myself and integrated my body and myself with nature.” During the episode, “the two women looked perfectly comfortable in their own skin.”

Bonus from earlier:

Is Naturism the solution to low body confidence? (1/27/20)

Just before the first waves of Covid-19 crashed on British shores, final-year journalist student Stephanie Silom went to a 60s-themed event at a hotel in Bournemouth, UK, hosted by British Naturism. According to her article, she “discovered that Naturism may be the answer to the age old problem of how we can improve our body confidence.” (Why don’t U.S. naturist organizations do this sort of event at regular hotels with quality accommodations? Never mind. What was I thinking?) Much of the article quotes BN spokespersons.

However, Stephanie concludes:

Naturism gives people the opportunity to see a huge variety of healthy body types in a safe, respectful, asexual environment. Millions of people have been converted to the Naturist lifestyle after discovering the joys of feeling fresh air on their bare skin, feeling more relaxed and less self-conscious as a result.

Naturism opens people’s eyes to the reality and beauty of the human body; our body confidence and the extent to which we base our self-worth on our bodies improves massively once we learn that almost no-one has a ‘perfect’ body.