So you don’t need to squint, the URL in the picture is:
(It’s on my Substack: Revitalizing Naturism)
So you don’t need to squint, the URL in the picture is:
(It’s on my Substack: Revitalizing Naturism)
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.
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.
Hot springs that may be clothing-optional, in order of accessibility
Hot springs probably not clothing-optional, in order of accessibility
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.]
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.)
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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).
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
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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:
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.
In recent times, nudity has often been used to dramatize protests of many things. But Grace Oakley was determined to follow Godiva’s example, although for a constructive purpose rather than a protest – support for a charity dedicated to prevention of young suicides. (When Grace was only 12 her mother took her own life.) It was 8 months later that Grace finally made her (partially) naked ride through Ludlow (about 60 miles from Godiva’s Coventry). However, by that time she’d raised almost £3000 for her chosen charity. But the effort was probably responsible for donations from many others (who didn’t even need to go naked).
Other accounts of Oakley’s ride:
Grace Oakley used public nudity to call attention to a serious social problem, but another example of public naked protest appeared in France months before Grace’s ride. It was a protest against perceived injustice, and it was televised live for the entire country to watch. (Godiva’s protest wasn’t televised, of course.) The broadcast was part of France’s César film awards (equivalent to U.S. “Oscars”). The broadcast host had opened the event with a passionate speech against the closure of French theaters on account of the pandemic, which had already been in progress for over a year.
French actor Corinne Masiero was to present the award for best costume (appropriately, as it turned out). Masiero wore a costume when she appeared on stage, but promptly removed it and everything else – even her shoes. It’s unclear whether or not the event organizers knew in advance that Masiero would completely divest herself, but she carried out her presentation fully naked on live television without any interruption or censorship – and the audience applauded. No news media treated the scene as scandalous. C’est la France après tout. Whether pandemic precautions were an appropriate target of protest is debatable. But the point was made quite conspicuously.
Another reaction to the event: Nudity in French Culture – Will it change? (3/13/21)
Of course, Sheryn and her husband live in Britain, where people in general are much more open-minded about naturism than in the U.S. In fact, naturism has become increasingly popular in Britain over the past couple of decades, in contrast to the U.S. where the opposite has happened. (There are several stories about that in this post.) This account illustrates how not being secretive about naturism can have definite rewards – being able to share social nudity with friends, for example. Now when friends visit Sheryn’s home, her husband remains naked. Her friends are used to it and have no complaints.
Unlike in France, at nearly the same point in the pandemic, Australian theaters were not closed. However, in two theaters under the same ownership, in Sydney and Melbourne, it was the audience that could strip naked (if they wanted to). The movie was a Belgian tragi-comedy, Patrick, set in a nudist park – will full nudity often on screen. (Sadly, the film has received very little attention, and doesn’t seem to be available even on DVD, although it isn’t intended as an exploitation of nudity.) The showings were arranged by Hudson Sowada, director of the 2021 Fantastic Film Festival Australia. In fact, Sowada announced, “I’ll introduce the film in Melbourne in my birthday suit.” Here’s a short account of the movie with links to some reviews.
True to customary British tabloid form, the screen image of the disrobing was heavily censored, so as not to disturb prudish, dirty-minded British readers. But youngsters in Holland had no such unease. According to the article, “The kids are shown getting the giggles as the adults strip off.” Probably most of them had seen it all before at home. Even most Brit adults have probably seen it all themselves.
On most BLM land, campers may stay no longer than 2 weeks. At Magic Circle, however, the limit is 7 months, and many campers stay much of that time, in part because many of them are retired and enjoy the area’s warmth for a large part of the year. So the average age of campers tends to be on the high side. Since so many Magic Circle campers stay for extended periods, they get to know each other. The result is that the place has the vibe of a regular naturist club, including planned social events. Note that there are some general rules. For instance, relocating every 2 weeks is required during the summer. And there are fees: $40 for 2 weeks, or $180 for 7 months.
The cruise itself is offered every year by a company called Bare Necessities. You can be naked as much as you want while at sea. But it’s not cheap – for 2 people in a cabin the cost can exceed $20,000, depending on location in the ship. (Singles can share a cabin – and expenses – with another single if desired.) And although the boat hosts 3500 people, a reservation far in advance is a good idea if you want a specific room category. There’s also a Greek isles cruise on a smaller ship if you want a Mediterranean experience.
Still, it makes good sense to choose a beach where nudity is possible but also somewhere that worrying about improper behavior of others is unnecessary. Since youngsters can’t resist an opportunity to swim and jump in the waves, choosing a place with surf that’s not too rough is important. And if no suitable beaches are near the family home, a location should have good dining choices and overnight accommodations. This article suggests 6 good options for families, as well as 3 others more suitable for adults.
There are color-coded maps of the whole world, including a separate map with individual state details just for the U.S. All countries have individual listings, usually with more details. Only public locations are considered, but the existence of private naturist clubs and resorts may be noted. Some indications of the survey’s methodology and information are provided. The survey was conducted by a British female lingerie/swimwear company (cognitive-dissonance alert) named Pour Moi. The information is provided as of July 2021, and (of course) may be different at a later time.
Other places where the survey is presented in less complete form:
Bonus from earlier: I spent a week at home in the nude, and this is what I learned about my body (4/3/17)
Cat (her preferred name), from New Zealand, reports “When I read that naturists have higher self-esteem than those who keep their clothes on, I decided to spend a week in the nude in the privacy of my own home to see what I could learn. I hoped that my naked experiment would make me more comfortable with my body and its imperfections.” And so: “I worked, slept, cooked, cleaned, and got on with family life minus my clothes. Although I was a little apprehensive about my nudity project, on the whole I really enjoyed it.”
There were some uncomfortable factors initially. However, “On other days, though, my nudity was liberating and fun. There were even a few moments where I felt profoundly present in my body.” On one rainy afternoon she went into her backyard, forgetting she was nude, but she enjoyed feeling the rain on her skin. Finally, “After spending a week naked at home, the prospect of stripping off in public became less daunting.”
Do you know anyone who’s aware you’re a naturist, seems open-minded, and has the free time? If so, try suggesting they spend a weekend, several days, or a whole week naked at home the whole time – assuming anyone they live with won’t object. Suggest they’ll understand, at least, what you like about naturism. You may find another friend to enjoy naturism with.
Obviously, there’s been a long gap since the last “Recent articles on nudity and naturism” here, which was for January 1-15, 2021. Two reasons: the relevant newsflow does seem to have slowed down, but even so, time constraints have made it difficult to keep posting new articles on this theme twice a month. So I’ll try a different approach.
Many interesting articles have been noted since January 2021. So the best of those will be included in the new series, as well as anything suitable that comes out in the future. But there won’t be any fixed posting schedule. It will just happen as time permits, and selected items won’t necessarily appear in chronological order. Also, there will usually be less commentary on individual articles than in the past. These changes may allow new posts to appear as often as before.
Continue reading “Newsworthy nudity, 2021-1”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Although December is not exactly the best month for naturist travel in the northern hemisphere, there are 3 articles offered in that month:
Previous articles on that site were: 8 Top Naturist Resorts In France and Everything You Wanted To Know About Being A Naturist But Were Afraid To Ask
Michael Ruehle writes about the 25-acre naturist camp in Canada, where he spent his childhood living with his family. The camp, Sun Valley Gardens, has been closed for the last 15 years. At its peak in the 1960s and 70s, “there were about 500 adult members, and it was one of the largest nudist clubs in North America, with members coming from as far as Toronto, Montreal, Boston, and Cleveland,” according to Michael. This was in spite of its relatively small physical size.
The camp was started around 1956 by his father, Karl, who had immigrated from Germany. He had been inspired by naturism in his own youth and wanted to continue after moving to Canada. Unlike many naturists in the 1950s (and even up to now), Karl was not secretive about naturism. He occasionally invited neighbors, local politicians, and news media to visit. As a result, “instead of being harassed, the place was quite quickly accepted by the authorities.”
Michael goes on to write a lot more about the camp during the time it was most successful, but he says only a little about his own childhood experiences, except to note that
“We never concealed where we lived, so it was the subject of a lot of curiosity among the other kids. But most of my friends, male or female, were permitted to come visit me — another benefit of the “open house” policy, because their parents had presumably visited. I had another large group of friends at Sun Valley Gardens as well, who would be there either on weekends or for two or three weeks at a time, and I would see them every summer.”
Right there you have a variety of activities whose extent far surpasses that of most local groups in the U. S. – of which there are actually rather few anyway. Why aren’t there more? Part of the answer probably is that very few local news media these days would publish such a favorable report on naturism in their area. (Obvious, very likely reason: local naturists groups these days are not media savvy, and make little, if any, effort to cultivate good relations with their community and local media, unlike what Sun Valley Gardens did way back in the 1950s.)
So, given the poor public relations efforts of most local naturist groups in the U. S. now, why should non-naturists have a positive opinion of naturism, let alone consider participating in a naturist activity? Why would any U. S. naturist (except for maybe a few in Florida living close to a naturist resort) think – even in their wildest imagination – that local media might offer such a positive take on naturism?
General U. S. attitudes towards naturism are still, relatively speaking, in the stone age. And, if anything, only becoming less favorable as time goes on. Local news media (such as still exist, anyhow) simply reflect cluelessness, because, in the absence of outreach from naturist groups, the media just perpetuate existing uninformed attitudes. And that only magnifies the failure of the public to understand naturism.
Why would an antivirus software company have made such a finding, or even asked about it in a survey? The answer is that, because of the pandemic, a large percentage of company employees have been working at home instead of in an office. And so those employees don’t obviously need to wear customary office attire – or anything at all, for that matter. If the finding is correct, then there’s a good reason for many workers to want protection against malware on their computers from using the computer camera to spy on them.
What’s not clear, however, is where the people who were surveyed actually live – and at what time of the year. If the finding is correct, then maybe something like 10% of the workers preferred being naked at home – hence are actual or at least potential naturists. But if the survey was done mostly in the summer, perhaps many who answered simply didn’t have air conditioning or want to use it. How many survey respondents were at home without others around? And were many of the respondents in Western Europe, where naturism is much more popular than in the U. S.? That would seem likely. But it’s an interesting finding anyway. When there’s no reason to wear any clothes – except the force of habit – why bother?
Many of these benefits are aspects of good mental health.
An especially important one that’s worth doing often is: “contact governments and nudist organizations to help with advancing nudism.” That should be done frequently! Include public officials at all levels – from your local community all the way up to state and federal officeholders. Those officials need to learn that naturists need smarter, less restrictive laws affecting naturist activities. They should also be reminded that naturism is good for the local tourist industry.
This is an (almost) incredibly good history of naturism in France, from its cautious beginnings in the later 1920s up to the incipience of its present state in the 1970s – a 50-year span. What makes it so excellent is that the author must have found and examined literally thousands of contemporary documents – news articles, public records, naturist magazines, etc. Today, France is probably the country with the most vital and flourishing naturist culture in the world. In part, this is due to the favorable climate of southern France on and near the Mediterranean coast, as well as a still decent climate (for Europe) on the Atlantic coast west of Bordeaux. But it’s also due to the prior existence, for roughly 25 years, of naturism in Germany. In spite of the conflict between France and Germany in WW I, many of the earliest naturists in France were visitors from Germany. Given Germany’s less agreeable climate for outdoor nudity, German nudists’ interest in French locales is less surprising.
Continue reading “Book review: Au Naturel“
After all, the setting is a rustic naturist park, where many of the people are naked. Horror of horrors. At least Wikipedia deigned to allow a (very) brief page for it – which mainly just lists the many accolades the movie has received.
A few films, such as Educating Julie and Act Naturally, that feature nudist park scenes have been made in recent decades. (Both are listed at IMDB.) But they don’t have the heft or mainstream critical approval that Patrick has. Unlike those other films, in Patrick the nudist park setting isn’t central to the plot, and the nudity is treated quite nonchalantly – as it should be. Check out the reviews below for more information. Unfortunately, I don’t know how you can actually see the movie for yourself.
In this case, Mary Wollstonecraft isn’t nearly as well known to the general public as her daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley – who’s famous as the author of Frankenstein and the spouse of Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Yet Ms. Wollstonecraft certainly deserves to be much better known. According to Wikipedia, she “was an English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights.” Indeed, today she “is regarded as one of the founding feminist philosophers, and feminists often cite both her life and her works as important influences.”
So what could explain why the sculptor, Maggi Hambling, opted for nudity in the Wollstonecraft memorial? Why should that be considered controversial or even disrespectful? Was it either controversial or disrespectful that Michelangelo chose to portray David nude? How about how Rodin chose to portray his Thinker? It’s quite likely there were very good reasons in both cases. So why should there be any difference for Hambling’s choice? Simply because Wollstonecraft was a woman?
I certainly don’t think there should be any difference, but I can only speculate about Hambling’s intentions. This appraisal of the statue posits that the figure isn’t a representation of Wollstonecraft herself but instead of Everywoman. Could it be that portraying the figure nude was meant to be a sign of empowerment? That unselfconscious nudity indicates strength, self-confidence, and equality with strong males?
Non-naturist organizations of various kinds have also used (limited) nudity as a way to get attention in addition to supporting worthwhile charities. Noteworthy examples include diverse sporting teams – often connected with an educational institution – that have also taken this route by selling calendars with coyly posed nudity. Recent examples include veterinary students at two Australian schools, as reported here. However, this sort of thing has at times been done somewhat clumsily, as noted in one example reported in an item below.
It’s rather unfortunate that U. S. naturist organizations have taken so little advantage of charity support for gaining attention and improving their image – as well as helping out deserving charities.
However, this relationship is complicated. Physical fitness is also important for good health. Steps taken to improve fitness, such as healthy eating and adequate exercise not only improve health, but also help improve body acceptance. There’s a positive feedback loop in the relationship among body acceptance, nudity, health, and fitness. Each of these things tends to reinforce the others. The healthier you are, the more you’re likely to enjoy being naked – and vice versa. This relationship was explicitly recognized by the earliest modern naturists over 100 years ago. Plenty of exercise and a healthy lifestyle were strongly emphasized.
“For people predisposed to take part in non-sexual nude activities body image, self-esteem, and life-satisfaction are improved by such participation. Now, research … suggests that for people who may not be predisposed to such activities, a nudity-based intervention may nevertheless lead to positive improvements in body image.”
This is another article on the same topic: Nudism: how it can actually boost positive body image
Since the website is dedicated to travel and vacations, not surprisingly it suggests the first steps into naturism outside the home may well involve travel or vacationing. There’s much good advice here. But the key thing to keep in mind is simply to be naked when doing what you especially enjoy. It doesn’t matter much whether that’s sports, exercise, cruising, camping, hiking, or going to the beach. Here’s the mantra: “Whatever You Enjoy Doing, Doing It Nude Makes It So Much Better”. Well, maybe not shopping or going out for dinner, but you get the idea.
Given the site’s dedication to travel and vacation, you should take a look at their page of related naturist information.
While most RVers looking for naked camping probably are already naturists, non-naturist RVers represent a promising group whose members might seriously consider the clothesfree option.
From the article: “To dress or not to dress? Probably not a question RVers ask each other too often. And probably not something which crosses the minds of those in the campground business. But believe it or not, there are a growing number of RVers who choose not to dress when they are camping, preferring to recreate at campgrounds in the buff.”
A number of other examples are cited, including PETA‘s antifur campaign, World Naked Bike Rides, last year’s Portland, Oregon Black Lives Matter protest, and FEMEN demonstrations in support of feminist issues.
Stéphane observes that “nudity will retain its ability to shock and bring attention to political and social issues.” And further, “While using nudity to expose injustice or promote a cause may seem cheap or exploitative to some, there’s no doubt that when one believes it’s worth it to be bare down to their toes in service of creating change, it’s bound to make headlines.”
Naked political and social protests have been discussed several times previously – most recently here.
She reports that most of her clients are male, and have always been respectful: “I have to say that I’ve never had to clean for anyone yet who has made me feel creepy. They’ve always treated me with absolute respect.” Her feelings about the work are very positive: “It’s definitely an unusual job, and I won’t do it forever – I still plan to be a gardener – but it’s got me out of a dark period, and it’s been liberating. I’ve got to tell you, I love it.”
With the pay being £45 (currently about US$62) per hour, it surely has a great advantage over waiting tables or driving for Uber. For anyone who enjoys nudity there’s the exquisite pleasure of working naked. And it’s certainly a much more socially acceptable job than working in a strip club.
Here are the negatives of this one: