- A First Summer At Sunfolk
In March 2020 British Naturism, Britain’s national naturist organization, purchased a small landed naturist club that had been in operation since 1931, as reported here and here. The property, Sunfolk, is conveniently located about 40 km west of London. It’s also about a 5-minure walk from the better-known Spielplatz, which was founded only 2 years earlier.
Perhaps because the club had been overshadowed by neighboring Spielplatz, club members had difficulty in maintaining the facility. BN’s purchase will allow for needed redevelopment and safety work. Although BN will own the property, BN won’t directly manage it. The pandemic precluded naturist use during the summer of 2020, but it provided an opportunity for necessary work to be done more quickly, so normal operation could resume in 2021.
Sunfolk will no longer be a private members’ club, but will welcome members of BN and other naturist federations. BN will also use the facilities as a “campaigning” center where “influencers and policymakers” can learn about naturism first-hand and mingle with actual naturists. BN will also be using the property for naturist events and gatherings.
Unfortunately, naturist organizations in the U. S. haven’t seriously considered doing something similar. In Southern California alone, 4 naturist parks folded during the past couple of decades, as well as a considerable number of others elsewhere in the country. Here in the U. S., we just don’t have any naturist organizations that tried to help.
Realistically, because of large distances in the U. S., one place like Sunfolk would hardly be enough for the whole country. There should be several such places that could be managed like Sunfolk. There’s a desperate need for “influencers and policymakers” to learn what naturism is really like. But U. S. naturist organizations, apparently, don’t see that as part of their mission, or simply don’t care.
- 8 Incredible Experiences In Valley View Hot Springs
Here’s another naturist-friendly article from the mainstream travel site Travel Awaits. (Earlier articles were mentioned here.) The subject of the article, Valley View Hot Springs, is a 176-mile drive southwest of Denver, through Colorado’s San Luis Valley. Not only the hot springs, but all the experiences there, and the property itself, are entirely clothing-optional. Even the showers in the toilet building are co-ed. What more could a naturist want?
Any textiles who happen to visit unaware of the clothing-optional policies may not want to stay long. Yet, as the article notes, you may well find yourself sharing the place with families and their young children, couples of all ages, single men and women, mothers and daughters, and even some teens. In fact, there are about 11,000 visitors annually, so there’s lots of opportunity to chat and enjoy the company of like-minded others. But with over 2000 acres in the property, you can have solitude if you want it.
What’s there besides the springs? How about, as the article notes, “endless hiking trails”? If hiking naked amid unspoiled natural scenery and vistas appeals to you, this would be the place for it. The springs are located on a 2,200-acre parcel of protected land owned and managed by the Orient Land Trust, which is a non-profit organization, so you won’t have to pay excessively to enjoy your visit. If you do plan to visit, take note of advice in the article about things like making advance reservations, available accommodations, and the fact that there are no hookups or dump stations for RVs.
- Love Your Body: Own how you look in 2021
This article is from the free, “alternative” news magazine Now, of Toronto, Ontario. Being “alternative” means it deals with stories that almost all “mainstream” media would resolutely avoid. “Love Your Body” is actually a once-a-year feature of the magazine, appearing in January.
Accepting and appreciating the body one has – even if not exactly always “loving” it – is a concept most naturists understand very well. It’s necessary for people who desire to be completely comfortable and at ease being naked, whether or not in the presence of others. But the article isn’t about naturism per se, even though all six individuals profiled are shown fully and explicitly naked – without any image censorship at all.
The nudity here is totally appropriate, since a major theme (but not the only one) is about how people relate to their bodies. Other themes include feelings concerning gender, ethnic, and life-stage identity. These types of identity are entangled with each other, of course. Physical exposure of one’s body isn’t the only issue here, since emotional and psychological exposure is also involved. These things are often important issues for naturists – especially in the initial stages. However, the physical issues tend to disappear rather quickly the longer one is a naturist. Body acceptance is not only necessary for enjoying naturism, it’s greatly strengthened by naturist activity.
When naturists recommend trying out naturism to a friend, the usual reaction is negative. Possible excuses typically include a belief that allowing others (except for an intimate partner) to see one’s naked body is “immoral”, forbidden by one’s religion, inappropriately “sexual”, “socially unacceptable”, or something similar. Or maybe they fear being considered “exhibitionists” who get a thrill from “flaunting” their naked bodies. But more likely is that most people assume they’d be embarrassed to go naked, since their body isn’t “perfect” enough.
The usual – and appropriate – naturist response is that naturists are unconcerned about the appearance of anyone’s naked body. Why? Because physical appearance simply doesn’t matter, since body shame is psychologically unhealthy and needs to be overcome. Bodies come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. So what? Nudity isn’t just something naturists can get “used to”. More often it’s embraced enthusiastically.
So naturists are able to enjoy nudity’s pleasurable feelings, without concerns that others who respect them – other naturists in particular – might be judgmental about body appearance. Actually participating in naturism may well be the best way to overcome body shame and accept one’s body as it is.
This article from BuzzFeed News provides, on a single page, a summary (with pictures) of each individual’s take on the subject.
- Naturism during lockdown
Donna Price and her husband John are British naturists who’ve been written about here a few times. (Here, here, and here) Donna is now well-known in British Naturism, since she volunteered to help relaunch BN’s Women in Naturism campaign a little over 2 years ago. She’s been a prominent spokesperson for the effort ever since. John is an equally enthusiastic naturist, and like his wife is naked fulltime at home.
The news articles cited below seem suspiciously like deliberate PR stories, but that’s OK. Naturism fully deserves fair and accurate coverage in mainstream news media. That’s bound to bring it to the attention of people who’d otherwise have no idea what it’s actually about and may not even recognize the term.
It’s significant that the first article touches on “nude walks” in the countryside, since the next item after this one gives an example of how such activity doesn’t always go too smoothly. Donna says that “the majority of responses they receive from fellow walkers are ‘actually very encouraging’.” And also, the responses are “not shock horror, majority of the time, I can guarantee that. A lot of people just say ‘good morning’ and carry on.” There’s no mention of what the minority of responses are like. If the couple has encountered serious harassment, let alone threatened arrests, they’re not saying. However, it seems likely that a woman out for a naked walk with her male partner is a lot less at risk from hassles than a naked man by himself.
- False arrest for nudity in England
Half the stories here have been from Britain, and that could be since naturism gets considerably more respect there than in the U. S. (or most countries outside Western Europe, for that matter). The stories, however, aren’t entirely positive. Apparently there are still some British folks who haven’t yet been clued in that public nudity usually is legal in Britain, as long as it’s not sexual or intentionally offensive to others.
Officers became involved only “after receiving several reports of a naked pedestrian”. A search eventually located the “offender”, an elderly bloke who was strolling naked around rural Waldridge Fell in September, about a mile outside the market town of Chester-le-Street. Police then arrested him “on suspicion of outraging public decency”. Although detained and questioned, he was cooperative and was subsequently released with no further action. The Fell is uninhabited open space. It’s close to, but not visible from, a residential area.
The incident, however, didn’t make the news until three and a half months later, when the naturist Three Rivers Outdoor Club, based in nearby Newcastle, objected to a police Facebook post that summarized the incident but negligently failed to make clear that public nudity was generally legal in Britain. The group maintained that the post had put “them at risk after wrongly suggesting it was illegal to walk around naked.”
A spokesperson for the group told the local newspaper “Our events are usually a liberating and joyful experience, but during one walk last summer, one of the ramblers had water thrown over them, whilst the assailant told the group that they shouldn’t be walking naked in public. It is wrong for Durham police to post misleading reports that suggest that public nudity is illegal, and it puts us at greater risk of harassment in future.”
It’s interesting to read the comments on that Facebook post. Most are supportive of the naturist position. But a few are from the usual dimwits who agonize “but think about the innocent children who might see any naked people!” Even in Britain there are still some who are ignorant of both naturism and the country’s laws.
- Furious naturists blast Durham police for arresting elderly man who was walking naked through countryside – insisting being nude in public is NOT a crime
- Naturist club accuses Durham police of putting members at risk after Facebook post of nudity arrest
- Naturists criticise Durham police over Facebook post about arrest
- 10 Benefits of Sleeping Nude You Should Know
Last, but not least, here’s yet another article on the benefits of sleeping naked. The concept hardly comes as a surprise to almost all naturists. But it’s interesting how often it’s mentioned in more-or-less mainstream media. (See here for more references.) As noted in those references, sleeping naked can be a “gateway” to naturism. Perhaps naturist organizations should focus more on that and other gateways, such as naked yoga, naked hiking, naked exercise, naked life modeling, skinny-dipping in remote places, body painting, etc.
All these things (mostly) encourage full nudity, but usually outside of traditional naturist venues or in private homes. Naturists, of course, probably enjoy some or many of these things. People who have no problems participating in such activities ought to be comfortable with at least some forms of organized naturism. But it would be good if individual naturists and naturist organizations made more efforts for outreach via gateways to others who know little if anything about traditional naturism.
- Naturist travel and vacations
The website TravelAwaits seems to offer good information on a popular topic: travel and vacations. One nice feature is that it deals separately with a number of different types of travel, such as weekend getaways, family vacations, cruises, RVing and camping, budget travel, and a few others. Rather unusually for a travel website for the general public, naturist travel is also one of the types covered.
Although December is not exactly the best month for naturist travel in the northern hemisphere, there are 3 articles offered in that month:
- 8 Best European Nude Beaches
Lists of “best” clothing-optional beaches are common, of course. But this list is a good one. As the article says, “You’ve got to hand it to the Europeans. When it comes to vacationing, they know how to do it properly. They don’t think twice about taking off for three weeks in the summer, nor leaving their clothes behind with their laptops.” Three of the beaches are in France, which has long been a top naturist destination, as explained here. The article’s first choice is Montalivet, for good reasons. (It’s the beach pictured above.)
- The Ultimate Naturist Vacation Packing List: Things You Must Bring And What To Leave Behind
Frequent travelers know pretty well what they need to bring with them. But there are a few additions (and deletions) to consider for a naturist vacation. You will need just a few clothes (at least for getting to the location), as few as possible. Depending on exactly what type of vacation you’re considering – camping, nude resort, or cruise – there may be some additional things to include.
- 6 Reasons Nude Vacations Are Becoming More Popular
If you’re an experienced naturist you know how good being naked feels (when done in a nudity-friendly environment). And lots of fun activities are even more fun without clothes. Once you’ve discovered this, you’ll know why nude vacations are becoming more popular.
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
- 8 Best European Nude Beaches
- Growing up with nudists
If you haven’t experienced being a child in a family in which it was normal, or at least not unusual, to wear nothing, you may well be envious of anyone who’s had that good fortune. Here’s an article from someone who had that experience – in a naturist camp, no less – until he was an adult. He kept a cottage there, which he used off and on for 30 years after he left.
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.”
- Nudists bare all for journalist June Callwood
An actual 13-minute video from a 1961 TV interview of Michael’s parents.
- SLIDESHOW SPECIAL | Naturism in Niagara
A set of 40 slides, some in restored color, of historical views of Sun Valley Gardens in the early years. (The property has not been maintained and is now decrepit, as some recent pictures show.) There’s also a long recent article on the camp’s history.
- Nudists bare all for journalist June Callwood
- Local Opportunities for Naturism
Rye is a town in the southeast of England, about 75 miles and slightly less than 2 hours from London. It’s on the coast and has a population of about 9000. The article here appeared in the local newspaper and could easily serve as a glowing advertisement for naturism. For example, here’s how it describes the activities of the local naturist group:
“East Sussex Naturists is a loose social group of naturists who, until 2020 closed most things down, were arranging visits to local art galleries, pub meals, yoga classes, regular weekly swims at local facilities, countryside walks and cycle rides in Kent and Sussex, ten-pin bowling and more – yes, and all without wearing clothes!”
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.
- One in 10 employees enjoy working from home in the nude
That finding is rather surprising – but what it really means depends on the details. It’s from a survey by Kaspersky Lab, a multinational cybersecurity company – whose headquarters is in Moscow. Hmmm. Its main product is antivirus software. The company has been suspected, according to Wikipedia, of including malware in some of its software. But that’s not the issue here, whether or not the suspicion is correct.
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?
- 57 Reasons to get naked
My own list, with more detailed explanations, is here. However, if anyone thinks they need several good reasons to get naked, they’re missing the point, which is that anytime it’s safe and comfortable to be naked, no other reasons are necessary. Most people who already enjoy nudity already understand this. They know that being naked just feels really good. However, almost everyone else will need extra reasons, and the more the better. So the article offers 57 good ones to choose from. Most of the reasons are in one of these categories:
- Frequent nudity has a variety of health and emotional benefits.
- If you seldom wear anything you’ll save money by less often washing clothes or buying new ones.
- Becoming comfortable naked improves self-confidence and body acceptance.
- Going naked promotes a sense of freedom from unreasonable social conventions.
- Wearing nothing lets you just be yourself without needing clothes to project a particular image.
- Socializing naked with others promotes better relationships.
Many of these benefits are aspects of good mental health.
- Nudist New Year’s resolutions to make
I’ve already compiled one detailed list here. It’s divided into sections based on how much naturist experience you’ve had. But the list in the present article has a large number of suggestions (in no particular order). Some of the items are things you may already do, but can just as well usually be done… naked, such as reading a book or watching a movie. Others involve more extensive effort.
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.
- Sleeping nude
It’s kind of funny how often this topic is written about – as if it were a new idea to most people, who’ve never even considered it. Yes, there are very good reasons to sleep naked, as we’ve noted before. (Here and here.) But possibly one of the best reasons – which is almost never mentioned, except among naturists – is that sleeping naked all or most of the time is a “gateway” to naturism. If you go to bed naked often enough, you’ll realize that nudity is really comfortable. So you’ll have more motivation to be naked at other times besides when you lie down for the night.
Summary: Here’s why you should get into naturism as early as possible and not delay until you’re older.
It seems reasonable to assume that most people who read this blog regularly, or even only occasionally, have at least some interest in naturism or curiosity about it. But there are at least two types of readers. Some have more than occasionally enjoyed nudity at home or participated in social nudity. But others have little or no actual experience with either home or social nudity.
This series of posts may be of interest to people of both types. Those in the first category probably want to learn how to persuade others – such as friends or family members – to join them in naturist activities. Or else they’re enthusiastic naturists wanting to promote naturism to anyone who’s open-minded. On the other hand, people in the second category are still uncertain about whether they would actually enjoy naturism or whether it might be risky to participate in it.
In either case, it makes good sense to be clear about what the benefits of naturism are. Having a clear idea about these benefits is important whether the objective is to persuade others to try naturism or else to persuade oneself about that.
Continue reading “How to get started in naturism if you’re under 30, part 2: the good things about naturism”
- Why Germans love getting naked in public
Like almost all generalizations about particular societies and cultures, this is a popular stereotype that has some truth to it, but only partially. The truth here is that a larger percentage of Germans enjoy public nudity occasionally than in most other countries. Munich’s Englischer Garten (pictured above), which has had nude use since the 1960s, as well as banks along the Isar river, are popular places for public nudity. But the percentage enjoying public nudity is still hardly a majority.
Even if the percentage of Germans who are naked in public parks, beaches, spas, saunas, etc. is, say, 25%, it’s not certain whether the generalization is valid. There’s probably a greater tolerance of public and private nudity in Germany than in almost all other countries, and that’s good. But it’s unclear whether the trend of popularity of and tolerance for public nudity is up or down. The headline of the article is, at best, misleading.
The article itself observes that
“Since East Germany merged with the larger West in 1990 and restrictions lifted in the former communist state, FKK culture has declined. In the 1970s and ‘80s, hundreds of thousands of nudists packed campgrounds, beaches and parks. In 2019, the German Association for Free Body Culture counted only 30,000-plus registered members – many of whom were in their 50s and 60s.”
But the low figure of FKK members is itself misleading. It’s usually possible to enjoy naturism and social nudity without belonging to a large organization. Around the world, the tendency in most types of formal organizations – from scouting groups to fraternal lodges – is that membership has been steadily declining. But membership in a formal organization simply isn’t any more necessary for participating in social nudity than for pastimes such as playing tennis or chess. Most such things are personal lifestyle choices that don’t require membership in an organization – many of which do continue to exist.
Various factors can account for the membership decline. Many of them affect membership organizations in general, not just those related to naturism. There are, however, a few that may specifically affect naturism. For one thing, if there are increasing numbers of people interested in a particular clothing-optional activity, private and pubic businesses such as swimming pools and gymnasiums can satisfy the demand either on a pay-per-use basis, or even by public funding. For instance, a public swimming pool in Spain.
For an example specific to Germany, there are estimated to be about 300 spa/saunas in the country, with nudity expected in most or all of them. There’s one other thing to consider with Germany. The climate simply isn’t as favorable for naturism as in Spain, Croatia, or southern France. Many German naturists probably visit such places as much or maybe more than places in their country. They’re also likely to enjoy social nudity indoors at spas and saunas for much of the year – or in their own homes.
Private naturist parks are much less necessary when nudity is permitted in public parks and other facilities, as well as many outdoor areas (hiking trails, lakes, rivers, etc.). In countries like Spain, Germany, and even England and Ireland, nonsexual nudity is generally legal if it’s not intended to cause alarm or distress to others. So why pay dues to some organization just to enjoy not wearing clothes?
Another factor is that once an activity becomes more popular there’s less need to participate in it covertly in a private organization. The activity is, at least, respectable and tolerated, even if not preferred by a majority.
This suggests that the way forward for naturism in many countries isn’t mainly through large private organizations. Instead, it’s by establishing informal local groups and using them to promote public acceptance of naturism in local areas. The general public will have a better opinion of naturism if it earns favorable publicity and its members are respected local people. Larger national and regional naturist organizations are valuable when they regularly provide various clothesfree activities for their members. British Naturism is a good example.
- Erding Spa
Therme Erding is one of Germany’s most popular spas. In fact, it claims to be the world’s largest spa. It’s located 31 km from Munich and accessible via public transportation. There are both textile and textile-free parts of the spa complex. The saunas are textile-free, as is normal in European saunas. According to the article cited, which is from a travel agency, the complex includes a wellness, massage, and beauty treatment center. There are also overnight accommodations. So it’s quite possible to enjoy a multi-day clothesfree vacation right there.
- Should I share with my friends and family that I am a nudist?
Yes, absolutely! Provided, that is, you can handle the possible negative repercussions. I just wrote at some length about why that needs to be done – when you’re confident that naturism is wholesome and good.
Here’s the short answer. When you tell your family, and they understand, from what you tell them, what’s so good about naturism, they should support you. Some may even start to enjoy being naked themselves. Of course, it’s a problem if they’re not sufficiently open-minded to appreciate your explanations.
When you tell friends you trust to understand your viewpoint, don’t discourage them from telling others they know who will be sympathetic with the idea. Eventually, some of those others will be people who also enjoy being naked, and they can become friends with you.
Another reason to tell people you’re a naturist is that it gives you a chance to explain what naturism really is, what naturists actually do, why naturism is often misunderstood, and why misconceptions about naturism are wrong. Not only does this help improve the understanding of naturism, but it lets you explain why you enjoy it so much.
- Naturism As A Lifestyle
For many people who enjoy naturism outside their homes, the focus is on places to go – beaches, clubs, resorts, cruises, festivals, etc. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Many of these people also enjoy being naked at home. But for others, habitual nudity simply isn’t a part of their everyday lives. That is, it’s not part of an encompassing lifestyle. This could be for various reasons. Perhaps some living in the home aren’t comfortable with nudity, or there may be frequent visits from neighbors, friends, and relatives who might not even be aware of their host’s fondness for nudity. Everyone needs to organize their lives in a way that works best for them and those they live with.
However, naturism is most fulfilling when it can be a regular and normal part of everyday life. Nudity is quite compatible with most things one typically does frequently at home – preparing and eating meals, cleaning and maintaining the home, or just relaxing with music, books, or video entertainment. But being considered a “lifestyle” entails more than that. It’s a set of attitudes and values that the human body is sufficient just as it is, and has no need to be covered in everyday life, except for physical comfort.
Clothing has practical value for keeping the body warm if necessary. But it also has a social function that tempts people to “dress up” to impress others, indicate social affinities, or create a possibly misleading personal image. By eschewing unnecessary clothes, naturists show that they value personal authenticity.
The citied article originally appeared here (in a way that was needlessly difficult to read).
- Oh! Calcutta!: How nude 70s stage show could still rouse the critics
Few people born after 1989 – the year that Oh! Calcutta! was on stage in New York for the last time – probably have any idea of its significance. It was the first mainstream musical or dramatic production in which actors were on stage, fully naked and under good lighting for long periods of time. In much the same way as the Woodstock festival and naked hippies (1969), it represents just about the first time in recent history that the general public became aware that nudity need not be quarantined in art galleries, “nudist colonies”, or Playboy-like magazines.
I was fortunate to have attended several performances in New York and London. So what I can say about the show is based on actually having seen it, not merely read about it. As one of the actors, Linda Marlowe, is quoted in the cited article saying, “society has moved on and no one would accept a lot of it now. I’ve always considered myself a feminist but at the time I think we found the material less of a problem than we would now.” She also notes that the scripts were entirely the work of male authors, some of the sketches involve male fantasies, women are victims in some sketches, and there’s nothing from the LGBT point of view.
Well, sure. We’re talking about something that first appeared 50 years ago. Hairstyles, for example, popular with young males were also different at that time (long sideburns but few beards). Many of the sketches even then were regarded as “campy” – absurdly exaggerated, artificial, or affected in a usually humorous way. Many of them had sexual themes (novice swingers, a song about masturbation). However, some of the dance numbers, such as the closing act (watch here) and “Oh Clarence” were very good.
What, then, is the significance of Oh! Calcutta! for naturists today? Paintings and sculptures of nudes had been part of mainstream culture for centuries. Photography of nudes had been also since shortly after cameras were invented. But Oh! Calcutta! made artistic, live, open nudity something that the English-speaking general public could witness – if they chose to. It was an early, tentative step toward the normalization of nudity.
Nowadays live full nudity in public performances of many kinds isn’t exactly common – but neither is it quite rare. There are numerous examples:
- Spence Tunick “installations”
- dance performances
- performance art
- comedy nights
- magic shows
- stage plays
- outdoor Shakespeare plays
- performance art in public places
- An Interview With Holistic Business Coach Jamie White
Jamie White contends that “the problems we have in our personal lives are likely to impact our professional life.” Clearly, if a person in a position of responsibility has personal problems that occupy too much of his/her attention, the person’s professional responsibilities may suffer.
A situation where Jaime would be expected to swim nude troubled him. Since he had no experience swimming nude “It brought up a lot of fear, anxiety and worry in me.” Any unfamiliar situation, not just nudity, could have the same effect. After examining the fears and worries he realized they actually did more harm than good. He decided the worries were unfounded and interfered with obtaining something he wanted. So he dismissed them.
This is a good approach that naturists can use to persuade others that embracing nudity in suitable circumstances could be rewarding. As a naturist, by credibly explaining how naturism has enhanced your life, you can argue it’s worth the effort to overcome fears and worries about nudity. So you may gain another person to enjoy nudity with.
Jaime concluded that “if more people were openly naked for example say whilst swimming, sun bathing, in saunas, beaches etc. it would help people have more confidence in themselves and also less bodily anxieties.” And enhanced self-confidence is of value in becoming successful in many other activities besides naturism.
- Nudity and health
Here are three perspectives on a perennial naturist topic that’s been popular since the earliest days of naturism. It’s not always clear how nudity actually figures into these benefits. Perhaps the main thing is that naturists are more aware of their bodies than people who are almost always clothed. As a result, they’re inclined to take good care of their bodies. Clothed people, on the other hand, may be more likely to identify with what they wear than what they are underneath their clothes. Just a possibility.
Among naturists the practice of naked yoga has received considerable attention. There are some yoga studios that offer occasional classes where students, and often teachers, may be naked. British Naturism too offers live naked yoga instruction by video, as well as a forum for discussion of the topic. But yoga is just one type of fitness exercise. General naked fitness training has also been available for some time but receives less attention. It’s also available online from British Naturism. A few online commercial services also provide naked yoga and/or fitness videos, although nudity itself might be the primary attraction.
I may do a whole post on the general topic, but the post cited here provides a high-level introduction to the idea. After all, most people know that vigorous exercise is usually good for health. Exercise equipment like treadmills, stationary bikes, rowing machines, etc. has been available for many years. But it’s often neglected after a few months since, candidly, using it is rather boring. Being naked while using it, however, could be an effective solution for that problem. Certainly a good excuse to strip off, if you need one, especially if you sweat heavily.
- 7 Benefits of Sleeping Naked: You Really Should Know
I noted here that there are many articles on the health benefits of sleeping naked. This is yet another one. Of the 7 benefits cited, the most cogent may be that any clothing can become constrictive and interfere with blood circulation. That means less oxygen to all parts of the body and inhibited removal of CO2. When you’re asleep you won’t be able to adjust clothing that becomes too tight.
- Health benefits of being naked
Although rather skimpy on details, this piece suggests that “Wearing restrictive clothing can cause excessive sweating which may lead to inflammation of the skin follicles, rashes and breakouts. Going bare gives your skin a chance to breathe.”
- Naked Run 30: Bare Burro 5k
Naked running is an activity that’s popular with a certain subset of naturists. Since the typical race distance is 5 km – about 3.1 miles – participation isn’t exactly limited to super-athletes. Things like this are as much social events – with activities sometimes spread over a weekend – as athletic competitions. The event description itself notes that “it’s three days of sun and fun and runs and relaxation.” And that’s fine, since it’s for people who simply want to challenge themselves, especially if they can do it naked. The event described here – the Bare Burro 5K race – is held at Olive Dell Ranch in southern California.
If you’re interested in this sort of thing and southern California is conveniently located for you, another run, the “Bare Booty 5k Fun Run“, is scheduled for September 26, 2021, at DeAnza Springs Resort.
- Best Places in the World to Vacation Naked
I’ve mentioned the site, gogirlfriend.com, before as a useful resource for women interested in getting naked on vacation. The present article is subtitled “Top Nudist hot-spots that will blow your mind”. Among the possibilities listed are nude cruises, a mineral spa, a genuine nudist/naturist resort, an Australian beach, and a nude hot spring. All of these are high quality, although whether they’re truly “best” in the world is disputable. Unfortunately, most of the other options definitely offer “more” that isn’t naturist.
- The World’s Best Nude Beaches
Reports of the “best” beaches where nudity is acceptable and common (generally termed “nude beaches”) are a favorite of some mainstream media that want to attract readers interested in topics commonly considered “risqué”. A distinguishing characteristic of real naturists is that they don’t consider most beaches where clothing actually is optional to be risqué. But obviously, the writers of the article cited here aren’t naturists. Right in the article’s second sentence they use the term “naturalist” instead of “naturist”.
That mistake doesn’t necessarily invalidate their choice of beaches to write about. Any beach that most people would consider to be a pretty good beach would be fine with a naturist as long as it’s possible to feel safe and comfortable being naked there. The choice of beaches in this particular article is probably somewhat subjective. In fact, there’s only one beach that this list has in common with the beaches more objectively selected in this list – Valalta, in Croatia. But so what? Naturists should find any beach in either list quite agreeable, as long as nudity is actually common and accepted there.
Interestingly, some of the beaches in this article’s list are in Italy, Turkey, Latvia, or South Africa – which are not likely to be on the travel itinerary of most naturists. The beaches may, nonetheless, very well be considered fine by most naturists. Several U. S. beaches that most U. S. naturists know about are on the list – Haulover (Florida), Hippie Hollow (Texas), Little Beach (Hawaii), Black’s (California), and Gunnison (New Jersey). Even those beaches might be rather distant from most U. S. naturists – but at least a passport wouldn’t be necessary to visit any of them.
- Nude beaches and resorts near Toronto and the rising popularity of naturism
Many people, including naturists, would be surprised that Canada is another country with good and popular clothing-optional beaches. One that’s perhaps more widely known is Wreck Beach in Vancouver. But Toronto also has a popular nude beach: Hanlan’s Point. It’s at least sufficiently well-known to have its own Wikipedia page.
The article is more about naturism generally in the Toronto area than just the beach. It’s from the perspective of a woman who first went topfree on a French beach during a vacation. She found that experience “exhilarating, but also kind of scary”. But more experience with naturism gave the realization that being naked in a naturist place is no sweat, because “literally no one cares.”
She poses the question “What is it about being nude that can feel so overwhelmingly daunting for some, yet for others, it’s no big deal?” The experience of being naked with others varies widely, because everyone has different social conditioning – so “In fact, for many people, it’s empowering.”
- You should start sleeping naked: Here are 5 super convincing reasons
The general mainstream attitude towards nudity – as we all know – is mostly negative. But surprisingly, there’s one case where the attitude is not only positive, but sometimes downright enthusiastic. At least, that seems to be what one could conclude from reading a typical article in mainstream media about sleeping naked.
The articles usually cite a number of reasons, especially health benefits, from sleeping naked. The article linked here is just one of a huge number. Don’t believe it? Just try Googling “sleeping naked”. The resulting list just goes on, and on, and on. There are at least 200 articles, just since 2014. And there are additional reasons besides the health benefits – such as comfort due to the absence of restrictive clothing, and (of course) greater intimacy when sleeping with someone else.
That doesn’t mean that many minds will be changed as a result. It’s rather unlikely most people will come across any article on the topic just by chance. But naturists should bring up the topic as a way of introducing naturist ideas in a conversation with friends. If any skepticism is encountered about the health benefits, simply challenge the skeptics to go check with Google themselves.
When statistics are presented about how many people actually sleep naked most of the time, the numbers range from under 10% to 70% or more (at least for Millennials). You may find many among your friends actually do sleep naked, at least sometimes. But for those who don’t, just suggest they give it a try. Who knows? If people try it and make it a habit, they may be interested in exploring nudity more generally.
For experienced naturists, sleeping naked probably is almost universal. So here’s the naturist perspective on sleeping naked: Should I Sleep Naked? Yes, Start Tonight!
- Getting naked around strangers improves your body image, study finds
This was covered back in June, here. The present article provides more details of the experiment. Keon West, the researcher, himself observes “More replication is always a good idea, and it would also be good to test these hypotheses on some different populations. So far, the research has really focused on White, European participants.”
Not only that, but with only 51 participants – half in the experimental group and the other half in the control group – this is a pretty small sample. In addition, participants were volunteers who knew that nudity might be involved – not individuals randomly selected from the population. Still, it’s quite consistent with the experience of naturists who find improved body image after becoming involved in naturism. And that’s a good thing, even though it may be confirmation bias after having been told that social nudity improves one’s body image – and expecting that outcome.
- Nudist couple says lockdown has tripled membership of British Naturism
It’s already been covered that membership in some naturist organizations has surged in spite of a need for social distancing and even lockdowns because of the pandemic.
Just how big is the “surge”? Well, there are some misleading statements about it that need explanation. A statistic mentioned in one of the earlier articles is that since the start of the British lockdown in March 2020 the number of new members of British Naturism rose from 184 to 930 – presumably in the same period of time before and after. That’s a 5-fold increase (or 400%) – but only in numbers of new members. That’s absolutely not the increase in total BN membership. (In November 2020 BN advocated to Parliament for greater tolerance of naturist, non-sexual nudity and claimed a total membership of “over 9000”.) While the increase in new members is impressive, implying the total membership has “tripled” is rather misleading.
Nevertheless, something positive for naturism in Britain is certainly going on. The article here is based on an interview with BN activists Donna and John Price. They offer some observations that help explain what’s going on.
The couple has spent “most days dressed only in their birthday suits and doing everything from gardening to baking and household chores in the all together”. They’ve taken full advantage of their organization’s extensive online video opportunities for interacting with other naturists in spite of being mostly confined to their own property. As Donna explained, since “the events are virtual, they are open to people from all over the world, so we’ve met naturists we probably wouldn’t otherwise have crossed paths with. We’ve been doing all sorts during lockdown – yoga sessions, coffee mornings, cooking classes, life-drawing, discussion panels and evening drinks – all virtual and all naked.”
It’s also claimed that another reason for the sharp increase in BN membership could be that attitudes towards nudity – at least in Britain – are becoming more relaxed and less unfavorable. A BN spokesperson suggested that “the whole taboo around nudity is eroding. As the decades have gone by, we’ve become less prudish and repressed.” And furthermore, “nudity isn’t that scary subject anymore. Attitudes are changing. People may not call themselves naturists but are increasingly doing nude things and not thinking too much about it.”
Let’s hope that’s all correct. But progress also tends to experience pushback from people who can’t overcome their social conditioning and are intolerant of positive changes. Worryingly, the opposition to family naturist swims in England seems to be increasing – see here and another example next. Naturists need to fight back.
- UK naturists lose more naturist family swims because of hysterical right-wing Brits and Covid-19
- Blackpool’s Sandcastle Waterpark bans Naturists from hosting nude swim events with children
This example demonstrates perfectly what naturism is up against. It has nothing to do with the pandemic – except perhaps indirectly due to the increasing popularity of naturism during the pandemic. This event and an earlier one were sponsored by BN, and open to all members. It seems that similar swim events organized by local naturist clubs continue to be held without restrictions on children.
- Naked family swim at Alton Towers waterpark cancelled due to Covid-19
Alton Towers is a hotel with a water park and a theme park in Staffordshire. For 14 years before this year BN has rented the hotel and water park for a whole weekend in November, usually having a sell-out crowd of about 400 members of naturist families. But this year the event has been canceled, because it would breach pandemic protocols. So this is one negative for naturism caused by the pandemic. A previous report on the event is here.
- Blackpool’s Sandcastle Waterpark bans Naturists from hosting nude swim events with children
- It’s the nude renaissance: Why lockdown is a great time to get your kit off
The phrase “get your kit off” is a dead giveaway that the writer is British – and probably a naturist. Both suppositions are correct, as confirmed by the writer when she admits “Getting naked on a public beach is easily the most thrilling thing I’ve done since the start of lockdown. Thanks to my enforced hiatus from travelling this year, I’ve missed the heady rush of endorphins that exploring a new country brings.”
So here’s another reason that the pandemic has stimulated many more people to experience naturism – at least in Britain. The writer, Tracey Davies, lives near Brighton Beach, part of which is one of the most popular UK clothing-optional beaches. “It seems that lockdown has sparked a nude renaissance – which is why I headed down to our nudist beach to see what all the fuss is about,” Tracey confesses. Thus one impetus for a “nude renaissance” is that the monotony of being severely limited in options for new experiences has led to discovering a previously overlooked option that remains available – the pleasure of enjoying nudity in the sunshine on a clothing-optional beach.
Will naturism continue to increase in popularity when (and if) the pandemic subsides? Long-term naturists and new enthusiasts will need to continue exerting effort to keep the popularity of naturism increasing.
- The History of Nudity in the Western Region
The Western Region of AANR (the American Association for Nude Recreation), also known as AANR-West, comprises the states Hawaii, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming (and the western half of Mexico, too).
California, because of its mild climate and open-minded attitudes of many of its inhabitants, was a leader in the growth of U. S. naturism during the 1930s. Lupin, in the Northern California hills above San Jose, was established in 1935 and is still going strong. Fraternity Elysia was established a year earlier in the Southern California mountains above Lake Elsinore. It underwent a series of name changes, first to Olympic Fields, then McConville, then finally to Mystic Oaks – but closed finally in 2008.
The article here very briefly touches on various events in the history of AANR-West. There are also links to 7 other articles that provide more details on specific naturist topics and locations (mostly in California). This is quite far from a reasonably complete history, even of the early years. But it’s a nice high-level overview.
- If you go down to the woods today: adventures in nudist Paris
Many articles on naturism in mainstream media – such as this one – are written by women. That’s noteworthy mainly because (unfortunately) many more men than women are active naturists. Yet it’s good to have the perspective of a female writer. Although the writer is less likely to be or become a naturist (as in this case), she’s somewhat more likely to show naturists how reasonable others perceive them.
The reporter for this assignment, Pamela Druckerman, is actually having her first experience with naturisme (the preferred French term). Her first surprise was that almost everyone was male in the Paris park she visited, which was set aside for naturism. That severe imbalance isn’t typical of most naturist places, especially in France. But, unfortunately, it’s not too uncommon either.
Pamela notes that Paris does have “an active naturist subculture that includes this city-approved zone in the forest, weekly naked nights at a municipal pool and occasional clothes-free bike rides, museum visits and garage sales.” She doesn’t undress at the park, and doesn’t really have much to say about it. But she does meet one naturist woman there, “Marie”. Later she accepts Marie’s invitation to attend a naked swimming night at an open-air swimming pool for aqua-exercises – and actually gets naked there.
She doesn’t, however, particularly enjoy the experience. That’s in part for a surprising reason: “The naturist movement’s resolute non-sexuality bothers me too. Other people’s bodies suddenly seem demystified and banal. … Why take the pleasant erotic charge out of a leisure experience like sunbathing or swimming?” She also has body-image issues.
Although Pamela doesn’t find the nudity of others particularly objectionable, it’s clear that naturism really isn’t her cup of tea. And that’s fine. To be a naturist requires a certain taste for the pleasures of naturist nudity. Non-naturists, it seems, simply can’t grasp the separation of sexual and non-sexual nudity. Both are good. But they’re fundamentally different things.
That being so, Pamela clearly wasn’t a good choice for giving readers a reasonable feel for what naturism is actually about. This counts as a failure for mainstream media (The Economist magazine, in this case.) But it’s useful to help naturists understand why more people don’t share their enthusiasm.
- The naturist couple that travels the world naked
Mainstream media seem to consider it newsworthy that naturists would seek out – and find – the opportunity to enjoy nudity in delightful places around the world. Naturists having sufficient resources and/or determination for world travel, at least. Some of these places are widely known – to naturists, anyhow – while others are genuine hidden gems. This article features the well-known naturist bloggers Nick and Lins, of the Naked Wanderings blog.