The augmented N-scale

This is a somewhat revised version of a March 1999 article I wrote to suggest improvements to the N-scale, which measures the degree of one’s enthusiasm for naturism. The original article is here.

In the previous post here we considered the N-Scale, a tool for rating yourself and others on fondness for nudity. It’s a good start, but if you’re reading this, the chances are that you fall at the high end of the original scale. According to that scale, everyone’s bunched up together from a score of 5 to 7 (the highest).

It’s sort of hard to measure your “progress” when the range of scores is that narrow. In order to remedy that, I’ve come up with an augmented scale that renumbers the high end of the scale to include a few more milestones on the road to perfect nudity. The descriptions of higher levels have been reworded from the original. There’s no claim this is a definitive list. Every naturist is a little different from any other one. There can be differences at every level, and the steps towards more complete naturism may be taken in a slightly different order.

I’ll just start with Level 5. The descriptions of earlier levels still apply.

5. Uses home spa, sauna, and/or pool naked occasionally with family and friends. Would go naked outdoors in very remote beaches, hot springs, forest areas if encouraged, but may not have actually had occasion to do so recently. Occasionally naked at home for no particular reason. May not be comfortable being naked with strangers of the opposite sex.

6. Is reasonably comfortable with being naked around strangers in a friendly environment like a naturist club or camp or an established nude beach, but may not visit such places frequently. Prefers to be naked in private spa, sauna, or pool with family (and possibly friends). Deliberately naked at home sometimes when relaxing. May be naked outdoors in remote locations one or more times a year. May have revealed an interest in naturism to relatives outside of immediate family and to some friends.

7. Uses established beaches, hot springs, camping areas, and other outdoor locations naked at least several times a year. Doesn’t mind being naked with tolerant strangers in most situations. Deliberately naked at home often, though not necessarily whenever possible. Has visited naturist camps, clubs, or resorts one or more times, if convenient. Has started recommending that family and friends also consider trying naturism.

8. Prefers to be naked at home when circumstances permit. Encourages other family members to do likewise. Hardly ever uncomfortable being naked around tolerant strangers. Visits established outdoor nude locations regularly, if available. Tries to persuade family and friends to join self in naturist activities – and has probably been successful with some. Occasionally checks some naturist blogs or Facebook naturist groups. Has started to investigate naturist opportunities in other countries.

9. Doesn’t always insist on being naked, but strongly prefers it. “Nude when possible, clothed when practical.” May subscribe to at least one naturist publication. Prefers to stay mainly at naturist-friendly locations when traveling or on vacation – perhaps in other countries. Belongs to several online naturist sites or social networks, Facebook groups, etc. May have own blog, Instagram page, or Twitter account with naturist tweets. Has seriously considered starting a local naturist travel group.

10. Goes out of the way to be naked. Insists on being described as naked rather than nude. Doesn’t mind at all being naked with others who are fully clothed. Sometimes pushes the limits a little in being naked around people. Tends to bring up the subjects of naturism and nudity with friends, associates, or even strangers at any opportunity. May be a leader or officer of a local naturist group. Has this recurring feeling that it’s just not possible to be naked enough. Inclined to write about the wonders and joys of nakedness in blog posts, online naturist groups, comment sections of online news and opinion sites.

Letter of Recommendation: Naturism

It’s rather interesting, and unusual, to see a positive article on naturism in the New York Times or similar mainstream publications. Usually, whatever else the spin, a writer treats the topic with at least a little condescension. You know, something along the lines of “Well, it wasn’t as difficult to do as I’d imagined, and I sort of enjoyed it, but it’s tough to think that intelligent people (like me) take this very seriously.” Not in this case, however.

Good quote:

My friends and I hardly followed the naturists’ chaste, no-judge code to the letter, but the more we visited, the closer we approached a sense of ease. The discipline of public nakedness rewarded our efforts in proportion to our degree of exertion, the euphoria of being in the moment a direct byproduct of battling the innate and unignorable weirdness of our collective situation. … On the beach, consumed with the task of pretending this was normal, I was able to attain what I assume is something like Zen. Naturism required so much effort that, somehow, it worked.

The author, Kelli María Korducki, concludes:

Nakedness doesn’t democratize social experience, as the naturists seem to suggest. Instead, it offers something better: a shared preoccupation. It’s so awkward to act blasé about being naked around other people — people who are also, themselves, naked — that there’s nothing left to do but submit en masse to the social and afferent novelty. Take in the warmth of the sun on your bare butt, skinny-dip unaccompanied by a sneaky sense of thrill, try not to stare at anyone’s penile jewelry. It’s easier said than done.

What does she mean by “It’s easier said than done”? I think it’s more than just admitting some discomfort with her own nakedness and that it’s not easy to resist staring at penises, areolas, and other body parts that are “normally” covered. At least, not easy before one learns how to enjoy sharing nudity with others without undue attention to the naked bits. Nudity, perhaps with some effort, can become normal, so just enjoy it. People new to naturism should realize there’s a “degree of exertion” required initially. The effort is required, to begin with, in order to overcome many years of social conditioning that shared nakedness is “abnormal”. And it’s worth the effort.

Here’s how the experienced naturist blogger (Fred) at This is my place comments on the article:

If one were not preoccupied with nudity to some extent, one would never take to the lifestyle. This is true of any special interest. …

If you felt a sneaky sense of thrill at skinny-dipping, then good for you. You are enjoying yourself. People who wear penile jewelry want to be looked at. Keep at the nudie lifestyle for a while and it becomes background noise. I’m still not blasé about it 40 years into social or even private nudity. Why would anyone ever want to become blasé about something they enjoyed? Novelty wears off but the satisfaction ought to remain.

The same as with penile jewelry can be said about nipple jewelry, which is perhaps more common. Many naturists used to find such things “shocking”. Some still do. Even though they don’t find full nudity at all shocking.

It’s not unfair to say that people who enjoy social nudity like being seen naked. That’s a prerequisite for the full enjoyment. Part of the pleasure is because they are proud of having overcome embarrassment from being naked. Do not assume this is the same as being an exhibitionist. It’s not. Exhibitionists want to attract attention to themselves. That doesn’t work when most others are naked too. Exhibitionists also aim to shock people. Naturists intend the exact opposite.

Best summary ever of what social nudity is all about

Nudity and Friendship: Does it matter?

In part of this we read:

I found myself strangely intrigued with a blog post I reposted on my other blog a few days ago called I Socialize Naked. The young, female author made a rather compelling case for calling out social nudity for what it really is. “I would like to not be wearing clothes right now, and I would also like to be with my friends. No protest to mount. No fitness agenda. No underlying implication of inner healing or truth. I just like being naked, and it’s more fun to be naked with other people around.”

The inner quote here is from this: I Socialize Naked

I’d be hard-pressed to come up with as succinct an expression of what social nudity is all about. That is: It’s about having neither inclination nor need to wear any clothes when in the company of understanding friends, and without even having to negotiate permission. It’s friends totally accepting without question or comment concerning the degree of one’s nakedness. And this irrespective of the friends’ own preferences to wear or not wear clothes. With genuine friends, there is no issue whatsoever about one’s preference or choice to be naked.

And on top of that is the frank confession that, quite simply, “I just like being naked, and it’s more fun to be naked with other people around.” In other words: to be a naturist among friends is to have even more incentive to be naked.

As if to say, “If you’re really my friend, you’d better give me a damn good reason to persuade me to put on any clothes!”

How could there be a better summary of what social nudity is all about?