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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
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.