- Naked dance performance – Doris Uhlich
Doris Uhlich is a dancer and choreographer based in Austria. According to her website, she
“has developed her own projects since 2006. The choreographer’s work frequently focuses on examining everyday gestures but also artificial ones, such as the strict code of movement of classical ballet in SPITZE (2008) and Come Back (2012). All her performances are investigations into beauty ideals and standards of body image, as in her piece mehr als genug (2009). Since her performance more than naked (2013), Doris Uhlich has also been working on the depiction of nudity free from ideology and provocation.”
There’s a long tradition of nudity in theatrical performances. Consider Isadora Duncan (1877-1927), for instance, who’s credited with being “the creator of modern dance”. Another article (Nude Vibrations: Isadora Duncan’s Creatural Aesthetic) states that Duncan “insists upon the human harnessing of earthly vibrations, the value of nudity and barefootedness”. Doris Uhlich has certainly carried on that philosophy.
Since 1969, full nudity in theatrical productions has less often received attention in choreography than in dramatic productions and musicals, such as Oh! Calcutta! (which did incorporate segments of ballet and interpretive dance). Uhlich’s work occupies an extensive space between theater and pure dance – but plays a much more essential role in the latter, where spoken dialog is absent.
- Doris Uhlich: Projects
- More than naked chords rediscovered (Portuguese, with English translation)
- More than naked, accords retrouvés (French)
- Naturists visit a Paris film library
In the past 20 years there have been a few occasions when museums have had special events – by reservation only – for an evening or two when visitors are able to be naked. In fact, nudity is usually required. (Shoes may be mandatory or not, depending on local regulations.) Mostly such events have been in Paris – as in the present instance – but a few have taken place in Austria, Italy, Australia, and elsewhere. It would be a well-kept secret if there have been any in the nudity-phobic U. S. Perhaps naturists in the States just aren’t too interested in “high-brow” events of this sort.
According to the first article cited below, “Parisian nudists descended upon the city’s film library on September 13 for an exhibition celebrating a famous French comedian. With COVID-19 protection measures in place, the only mandatory accessory was a mask. The Association des Naturistes de Paris (Paris naturist association) organised the event at La Cinémathèque. … The Paris naturist association has organized regular visits to museums.”
- How looking at myself naked in the mirror empowered me
Most people cringe, at least to some extent, when looking closely at themselves fully naked in a mirror. Partly this is because what they notice is the various ways their bodies fail to be “perfect”. Even though they realize that hardly any bodies actually qualify as “perfect”. But most people probably feel the same way about only their faces. Why else would they be so concerned with having their makeup “just right” (if female) or their facial hair exactly projecting a desired image (if male)?
Another aspect of this is the social conditioning people from a young age feel that there’s something inherently wrong with full nudity itself, that paying too much attention to “private parts” – even one’s own – just isn’t acceptable.
Is it any wonder, then, that most people dread the thought of their naked body being fully exposed to the scrutiny of others – especially strangers?
The article here explains why overcoming these attitudes is so important, and why seeing yourself naked in the mirror is a big help. Although it’s written from a woman’s perspective, much of it is relevant to men as well. Here are some key points, in the writer’s own words:
- Watching myself naked in the mirror was the start of my empowering journey with my body.
- I felt like a strong and independent woman who was ready to take over the world.
- I had learned to stand up for myself, to not believe in what others were trying to make me believe.
- I had found renewed self-confidence in the mirror glaring right back at me, making full eye contact.
- Once you accept and own your own vulnerabilities, there is really nothing that someone else can point out to you which will make you see yourself differently.
- Looking at myself naked every day makes me feel more comfortable in my skin every day.
- Looking at myself naked in the mirror has given me the power to know myself deeply. It has given me the power to ignore what others say about me and to make a move forward.
A key step to fully enjoying naturism is getting very comfortable with the appearance of your naked body just as it is. That doesn’t mean you can’t choose to work on “improving” your appearance – in your own opinion – if you so desire.
- Naturism during lockdown
Probably the most common story about naturism in 2020 is how well naturists have coped with the Covid pandemic. This wasn’t, intuitively, to be expected, since naturism is inherently a social thing – and in-person socializing is severely constrained by the pandemic. Nevertheless, naturist organizations in various countries have reported surges in membership.
There are several articles cited here about this counter-intuitive phenomenon. Here’s another one: ‘There’s nothing weird about being naked’: Inside the lockdown naturism boom. It says that, for example, a spokesperson for British Naturism claimed “The organisation has seen a 400 per cent increase in members since the start of lockdown, rising from 184 to 930 new members since the day restrictions were announced.” The article goes on to offer several anecdotal accounts of how people who are deprived of other sources of enjoyment – and have unexpected free time on their hands – have discovered the significant pleasure of simply being naked.
Another article (One Way People Are Dealing With the Constraints of Lockdown: Being Naked) delves somewhat more deeply into reasons that more people have discovered the pleasures of nakedness and naturism while mostly confined at home. What it boils down to is that confinement at home allows for dispensing with clothes – thus avoiding the trouble of deciding what to wear, getting dressed, and washing clothes that have been worn. Choosing to be naked directly confers additional benefits.
- Going naked allows people to become more aware of their own body, to get used to seeing parts of their body that clothes generally cover, and to become familiar with the overall appearance of their naked body.
- Limitations on where it’s possible to go causes frustration. Frequent nudity has mental health benefits to offset that, since familiarity with one’s naked appearance leads to increased body acceptance, self-confidence, and feeling empowered. (See the article above about looking at oneself naked in a mirror.)
- There are also physical health benefits from eliminating the restrictions of clothes, such as lack of discomfort and skin irritation caused by clothing, freedom for the skin to breathe and evaporate sweat, and improved blood circulation.
- The very pleasurable feeling of total nudity contributes directly to overall happiness and enjoyment of life.
- Wearing nothing while living with others who may also be clothesfree makes being seen naked and seeing others naked become considered normal and unobjectionable.
- Types of healthful fitness activities – such as yoga and using exercise equipment – are easier and more natural without restrictive clothes.
- Europe’s best nude beaches
People interested in finding the “best” experience of almost anything to be had for a limited amount of time, money, and effort naturally seek out advice from reliable sources. Understandably, when you want to visit a clothing-optional beach, you’d like to know which of the possibilities have the nicest sand, friendly people, easy access, good swimming, and so on.
Many lists of “best beaches” consist mainly of subjective opinions of writers who may or may not have criteria similar to yours. OnBuy – a UK online shopping site that claims to be “UK’s most trusted marketplace” – took a somewhat more systematic approach. In early September they consulted Google reviews for 50 European clothing-optional beaches that garnered at least 200 comments. The data was then summarized by averaging the number of “stars” in each review to single out the 10 beaches having the highest average rating. The results are here.
Spain’s Playa de Ses Illetes beach on the island of Formentera came out on top, with an average of 4.8 stars out of a possible 5. Spain had 2 beaches in the top 10. The remaining 8 countries, with 1 beach apiece, were England, Croatia, Portugal, Italy, France, Greece,, Germany, and Belgium. The following list includes some news reports that describe the findings.
- Last weekend’s most interesting race: a naked 5K
There was a report on naked running in the previous collection of articles. The subject also came up before here. The present report is about a 5K run at the Sunny Rest Resort in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. According to this report, there were “hundreds of competitors”. Check out the earlier reports for other such events. The only thing to add is that naked runs like this are a good example of how nudity goes well with activities centered on exercise and fitness.
- Nudity in protests
Nudity is not infrequently found to some extent or other in social or political protests and demonstrations. World Naked Bike Rides are perhaps the best known examples. Louis Abolafia – who (sort of) waged a naked campaign for U. S. president in 1968, using the slogan “What Have I Got to Hide?” – is an instance from more than 50 years ago. There have been many other examples since then.
Last year we had an extensive report on the subject here, and another example in a Black Lives Matter protest here. Well-known celebrities also went naked in a video to encourage voting in last year’s presidential election. (More about that here.) There was also this, about protest in Australia.
Two new examples turned up in September. One is another Black Lives Matter protest, which occurred in Rochester, New York, and was reported here and here.
The other example, which isn’t from either the U. S. or Australia, is probably more unexpected. Would you guess there’s a long history of women in some African countries using nudity as a means of protest? Evidently, according to a professional historian, there is: Undressing for redress: the significance of Nigerian women’s naked protests.
I’ll let the professor explain:
“Hundreds of women – mostly naked – staged a protest in the northwestern state of Kaduna, Nigeria. Wailing and rolling on the ground, they protested at the killing of people in ongoing attacks on their community. … The protesters, mostly mothers, demanded justice and called on the government, security agencies and international community to intervene. Such naked protests are not new in Nigeria.”
Although the focus of the article is on naked protests by women, it should be clear that using nudity in protests is powerful because it attracts attention to whatever the grievance happens to be. It also demonstrates that protesters will dare to violate social norms in order to communicate their resolve to bring about change.
“The female body is a site of immense power both inside and outside. Through naked protests, women engage in re-scripting and reconfiguring their bodies. These women who have stripped naked to wage a righteous war must be duly acknowledged.”
- Edmonton group clashes with naturists over nude bike ride
As noted, World Naked Bike Rides aren’t protests with just a single focus. WNBR participants are concerned with making various different points, such as the need to eliminate use of fossil fuels, concern for the safety of bike riders on public roads, and (of course) the pleasure and wholesomeness of nudity. But obviously, the fact that large portions of the population dispute or ignore these ideas is what makes demonstrating in favor of them necessary. And so there may well be counter-demonstrations to denigrate some or all of the original demonstators’ views. Although that rather seldom happens with WNBR events, it does occur.
The Canadian province of Alberta is just north of the U. S. state of Montana. People in both places tend to be politically and socially very “conservative”. That means they’re very strongly in favor of “freedom” for themselves – and just as strongly opposed to freedom for people they don’t like or agree with. As a result, the “conservative” freedom lovers are interested only in their own selfishly imagined “freedom” not to see naked people in a World Naked Bike Ride. Of course, they’re almost as fervently opposed to the WNBR message of curtailing the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. Especially since the nudity in WNBR events is very effective in calling attention to the event’s environmental message.
Recent articles on nudity and naturism, August 16-31, 2020
- Irish naturism
There seems to be quite a bit of naturist activity in Ireland recently. Here are some examples. All this publicity probably isn’t coincidental. More likely it can be attributed to (successful) efforts by the Irish Naturist Association (INA) to call attention to naturism in their country.
- Naturists in Ireland want to be connected to each other now more than ever
A reporter from the Irish Post and Independent joined a group of local naturists on White Rock Beach in Dalkey, south of Dublin. She wanted to learn why interest in naturism in Ireland appears to be increasing significantly in spite of the pandemic. The INA claims a 31% increase in new members between May and July. It’s speculated that the pandemic is behind the increase, since people interested in naturism have time on their hands and want activities that can be enjoyed safely (and nakedly) in the outdoors.
- Coastal Bodies Tour 2020
According to artist Ciara Patricia Langan, “The Coastal Bodies Tour started in 2019 as a response to an awareness of a problem within Irish society on how we feel about our naked body. The tour aims to document all coastal counties of the Island of Ireland. These photographs will be populated by adults of all shapes and sizes, representing inclusions and showcasing the diversity of human form.” Langan goes on to add that “Shedding the unwanted shame attached to nudity by shedding one’s clothing as participatory art in a controlled environment can liberate and amplify one’s own sense of freedom.”
- Naturists invited to participate in nude photoshoot on Co Kerry beach this weekend
This is a report on an outing planned by Ciara Langan for her project “to document a modern Ireland that embraces pro-social nudity and champions body positivity.” Langan described the project as “the perfect way to celebrate our beautiful bodies, every shape and colour and size, in outdoor gatherings.”
For previous recent reports on naturism in Ireland, see here, here, and here.
- Naturists in Ireland want to be connected to each other now more than ever
- Searching for the Threads of a Family Naturist Network
The U. S. has some not-so-bad naturist resorts. But even many of the best hardly compare with what can be found in European countries, such as France, Spain, and Croatia. Especially when rated on their appeal to naturist families. Why is that? Read blogger Dan Carlson’s article for an extended discussion.
There are observable facts that provide some answers. But underlying that, a significant part of the problem is in the attitudes and value system of most people in the U. S. – which is decidedly slanted to assume that children and naturism should not mix, and needs to move toward
“A value system with less paranoia about breast-feeding and nudity on TV. A value system that allows the average worker more than five vacation days a year. A value system where people don’t freak out when talking to their children about nudity and sex, and use real words like penis, breast, and vagina instead of amassing so much anatomy into the mysterious region of “private parts.””
The first way that values in the U. S. need to change is for nudity to become normal and routine in more homes. It’s not necessary for family members to be naked much of the time, but nudity shouldn’t be discouraged either. Let everyone enjoy being naked as much as is practical and comfortable for them. Children shouldn’t get the idea that certain body parts must be covered at all times. Until home nudity is normalized, naturism will continue to be crippled.
Beyond that, the value system in general should renounce the mistaken idea that nudity must not be allowed where children might see it – especially in the most popular and widely-used social media. Never mind that almost any 10-year old can easily find raunchy porn. That, of course, is how they’re likely to satisfy their sexual curiosity, given that many U. S. states don’t allow sex ed in public schools unless it’s of the mostly useless and abstinence-only sort. How could tolerance of nudity at home and visits to naturist places not be a healthy way for parents to answer their kids’ questions about the “facts of life”?
- Nude Hiking in the Alps
The Naked European Walking Tour (NEWT) is an annual event that’s been held since 2005. It “usually involves a week of naked hiking somewhere in the alpine mountains.” In most years, participants can choose either to bring their own tents or (for the less hardy) to stay in pre-arranged mountain resorts and huts. But in this case each day’s hike started and ended at a large Austrian guest chalet.
The tours were the idea of Richard Foley, editor/author of the excellent book Naked Hiking and creator of the Naktiv website. Extensive text and photographic records of previous NEWT events can be found on the NEWT page.
The report of the 2020 event (in the link above) relates that 30 men and 10 women participated. Their nationalities were mostly European: Irish, English, French, German, Dutch, Swiss, and Slovakian. The weather was mixed, with the first two days being too wet for hiking. Although the third day was dry, it was cold, so only an hour and a half was suitable for naked hiking. The last two days, however, were good for clothesfree hiking. The hikes involved as much as 10 miles of walking and elevation gains of up to 2300 feet, so being naked helped avoid overheating. Many members of the general public were encountered during the hikes, yet they “in general paid no attention to the fact that the forty of us were naked.” U. S. naturist should be very envious.
- In a Naked Pandemic Race, You Can Leave Your Hat On
Jen A. Miller, who writes a weekly letter on running for the New York Times, isn’t a naturist. But here she writes about her first run in a 5K race, where she, the runners, and the spectators were naked. The fact that most other races (of the clothed sort) had been canceled because of the pandemic was certainly a factor in doing this. And she hesitated, not because of the nudity per se, but simply because the idea of running naked “seemed so — uncomfortable.”
Nevertheless, she enjoyed the race, and in fact she finished “good enough for fifth place in my category. My award: a medal that I wore at [sic] around my neck with nothing but my sandals, bandanna and a fresh coating of sun block.” As far as the nudity of others was concerned, “With a full view of their entire, naked forms in motion, I felt appreciation, in the same way I’d look at a nice painting.”
- Nudity is not a perversion. The mind makes it so
Yoga teacher Luna Phoenix has been teaching co-ed nude yoga for over 8 years. She wants to assure everyone interested in yoga that learning and practicing it naked is not a sexual thing. Naturists, of course, won’t be surprised at that. Yoga is just one of many things that are significantly enhanced when done naked – without any sexual connection.
In Sanskrit, yoga practiced devoid of clothing is termed Nagna Yoga. “Nagna” is a cognate (i. e, born from the same source) of the English “naked”. This ancient concept is referred to by very similar words in other (northern) Indo-European languages like Swedish (naken), German (nackt), and Polish (nagi).
“In our practice, we start with an “unmasking ceremony”. In the “Unmasking Ceremony”, we remove our clothing in two parts as in layers to unveil the third mask of ours, (the TRUE SELF). We use the clothing as a symbol of the masks we place on ourselves to function with our responsibilities in the different circles we participate in. This ceremony allows you to go through a transition to alleviate any anxieties one may have to practicing Nagna Yoga. Stripping ourselves from the clothing allows us to uncover the masks so we may discover who we truly are.”
This is an excellent statement of the philosophical grounding of naturism. It’s not entirely about the world of “nature” – of which humans are a part – but also about the essential “nature” of every person, which isn’t obscured, disguised, or concealed beneath extraneous, “unnatural” clothing. For naturists, you are most yourself when you dispense entirely with clothes.
- Women and nudity
Mainstream publications, unsurprisingly, seem to assume that most women avoid being seen naked by nearly everyone, due simply to socially-instilled “modesty” or else genuine worries about the appearance of their naked body or inviting unwanted sexual attention. Any or all of these factors deter most women from an interest in naturism. But there are rewards for those who can overcome these concerns.
However, in fact, most benefits of nakedness that are cited often apply just as much to men as to women. Many men have body acceptance issues. And they’re also fully able to appreciate the many psychological benefits of wearing nothing that are mentioned by the women here.
- Meet the women who say baring all is a natural stress-buster that lets them shed their worries… along with their inhibitions
This article points out so many positives about nudity it could be an excellent advertisement for naturism. Seven women attest to the value of nudity – for a variety of different, but quite legitimate, reasons. Certain themes are often mentioned: freedom, comfort, relaxation, empowerment, stress relief, emotional healing, and body acceptance.
- TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson says that nudity has “the ultimate feelgood factor”. For her, nudity is relaxing, de-stressing, and it can be “be a healing experience”.
- Model Cara Delevingne “turns to nakedness whenever she is feeling upset or overwhelmed”.
- Relationship and sexuality coach Emma Spiegler says that removing clothes “is incredibly empowering”, since being “totally naked takes a lot of courage”.
- Administrative assistant Clare Clark “was brought up to be comfortable in my skin” and “was very at ease with my body growing into adulthood”. She realized that “perfect bodies” were unreal and not worth comparing oneself with. From visiting nude beaches, she found they were “a safer environment for women” and people there were uncritical of others’ bodies because “naturists are very accepting”. She now believes “removing your clothes is the ultimate stress reliever and the best form of mindfulness”.
- Musician Jess Maison grew up with parents “who are very liberated about nakedness”. From them she learned “to be proud of my body and not be prudish when it comes to my naked form”. She’s now “happiest in her skin when she is nude”. She now likes “to be naked at outdoor settings as much as possible”. Especially at “festivals where you can be naked. There is no sexual element. It’s purely about enjoying the freedom.”
- Sports facility manager Rosi Lee believes that “being naked in the company of other people is a great leveller and allows people to be open and themselves as they have nothing to hide.” She especially enjoys social nudity because “being naked with other people on the same wavelength is reassuring and comforting.” Besides that, there’s “nothing more relaxing than feeling the warm sun on your naked skin.”
- Executive assistant Maria Morris especially enjoys naked yoga, because it “makes me feel alive”. Furthermore, “I am at my calmest in the woods sitting cross-legged, breathing deeply, eyes shut — and naked.” Nudity goes very well with yoga, since “certain poses are easier when naked”. She cites many benefits from naked yoga, including “it releases so much stress”, “it makes me feel empowered and in control”, it “lets me recharge”. Most of all “it’s so liberating to be able to do yoga without anything on. I love it as it’s a brief moment in life where I feel truly free.”
- Naturist Victoria Vantage says her nude videos lead to proposals from fans of her bottom
Here’s an article about one naturist woman that’s a lot more what’s to be expected from a British tabloid like The Sun. Nevertheless, all but an obvious few points are much the same as in the previous article.
Victoria Vantage is a naturist and registered nurse. She says she discovered naturism when she volunteered to model nude for a life drawing class while at her university. In addition to continuing to model for art classes, she has made nudity a significant part of her life – doing “most household tasks naked” and also hiking and bicycling “in the buff”.
And why not? Being naked when doing chores makes them feel less tedious – and enhances the enjoyment of more pleasurable activities.
- Meet the women who say baring all is a natural stress-buster that lets them shed their worries… along with their inhibitions
- Three cyclonudists in France in September?
Although most WNBR events were called off this year on account of the pandemic, this report from Brazil’s Os Naturistas indicates that 3 are still on the calendar for Septimber in the French cities of Rennes, Lyon and Paris. (“Cyclonudista” is apparently another term for WNBR used in some places.)
Recent articles on nudity and naturism, July 1-15, 2020
July was a considerably busier month for naturist material than June this year. Although there was a great deal of pandemic yet to unfold, at least naturists weren’t losing interest. Of course, July is probably the peak month for naturism in the northern hemisphere. So there’s a lot to cover here.
- Artistic naturist photography
Artistic nude photography and photographic images of naturism are often considered completely separate categories. The first reference below provides good examples of how the two can be combined. As some of the images there show, images of unclothed people in natural settings make an obvious choice – but not the only one. The second reference is more strictly “artistic” in nature, but it uses naked bodies in abstract ways to communicate a message.
- Naturism: face, without fear, “the beauty of a naked body”
- Nude art photographer shows the irony of the exhibition during Covid-19
Note that the language in both of these items is Portugese, but a translation into English, Spanish, or French can be had by selecting the appropriate flag in the top right of the page.
- Naked Bike Ride 2020: ‘As Bare As You Dare’ But Don’t Forget The Mask
This item and the next one are further examples of how naturists are adapting to the pandemic. Some of the customary World Naked Bike Rides that take place in the warmer months were simply cancelled this year. But many others took place as usual. The ride pictured above was in Spain.
- From naked gardening to Yoga sessions at Zoom, see how nudists connect during blockades
Most naturist clubs and resorts everywhere did not open at the usual time, but many gradually opened one or more months late, and use of masks, social distancing, hand-washing, etc. were at least strongly recommended. Normal use of outdoor facilities, such as swimming pools and tennis courts was generally allowed, with mild restrictions.
To make up for the more limited options available, naturists also turned to activities like gardening and home improvement. And innovate, forward-thinking naturist organizations – British Naturism in particular – used video conferencing tools to provide entirely new services like panel discussions, virtual “pub nights”, and classes in yoga, drawing, and painting. (More about that here.) Such activities will certainly continue to be popular even when the pandemic eventually subsides. Notably, they can be accessed from almost anywhere in the world.
- Nudity in protests
Certain things that occur in “normal” times did not stop even during a pandemic – political protests in particular. In the U. S., in fact, there were numerous dramatic protests across the country in response to various incidents of brutal and totally unnecessary murders of Black men by undisciplined police officers and civilian vigilantes. The protests in Portland, Oregon were especially tumultuous – and led to threatening overreaction against protesters.
To call attention to the irrational police violence that included use of tear gas and rubber bullets, one very brave – and naked – woman staged a protest of her own. The protester, who goes by the name “Naked Athena”, explained that “being nude in public is nothing new” to her. Although police shot pepper balls close to her, she was unharmed and departed casually after about ten minutes.
Using nudity in social and political demonstrations and protests is, or course, not especially uncommon. World Naked Bike Rides are a particularly tame example. This case was quite a bit more daring – but it pointed out dramatically the vulnerability of all the protesters in the face of heavily armed police.
- ‘Naked Athena’: The story behind the surreal photos of Portland protester
- Protester dubbed ‘Naked Athena’ faces off with Portland police
- Portland’s “Naked Athena” Speaks for the First Time to a Local Podcast
- Portland protester ‘Naked Athena’ speaks out: ‘I am notoriously naked’
- ‘Naked Athena’ faces off with police during Portland protest
- Women in naturism
One of the most common questions that naturists and non-naturists alike wonder about social nudity is why more women don’t participate. (Look here for previous posts about this.) As the first of the two articles below remarks, “The answer is multi-faceted.” The problem extends far beyond the issue of having “gender balance” at naturist clubs and resorts. It exists just as much at clothing-optional beaches, World Naked Bike Rides, and other naturist events and festivals.
It might be tempting to reach for simple answers, such as that women are simply shyer about exposing their naked bodies, at least in the presence of men. But there are complications even in that. It’s tangled up, of course, with the issue of body acceptance – but that’s a problem for men too. And “normal” women’s clothing often exposes more epidermis than men’s clothing does. The first article below, despite its title, doesn’t attempt to go deeply into reasons for the problem. Instead, it offers various suggestions for what can be done to deal with the problem. It turns out that the techniques are basically alike for men and women.
The second article is a personal account by one woman who actually was quite daunted by the idea of being naked in view of men. This was more a result of being a survivor of sexual assault than of body acceptance. The woman may well never be a naturist, but she has managed to overcome her fear of nudity, in order to be able to enjoy it in situations that are comfortable for her.
- Immersion in Europe’s first naturist garage sale
Now here is a genuinely creative idea for promoting naturism – a carefully planned and executed “garage sale” in France, where nudity is required for visitors. (Events like this, except for the nudity, are also known as “flea markets”, “yard sales”, “tag sales”, etc.) This wasn’t some event with a few rows of folding tables in a dusty parking lot. As can be seen from the picture, it was in a clean indoor space with uniform, purpose-made white booths for the display of the merchandise. Rows were even neatly arranged in alphabetical order.
In countries like the U. S. that lack as many dedicated naturists as France, the event need not be as formal. It should be clothing-optional, but without requiring full nudity. Visitors who do opt for getting naked should be able to have their clothes stored neatly in a secure space. Obviously, nudity-phobic people would stay away. But anyone who might want to glean some insight into why naturists like being naked could drop in – and maybe doff some or all of their clothes as well – for a safe first experience in social nudity. Naturally, this could be arranged by a local naturist group, or even a few naturist friends who want to spread the concept of naturism.
Perhaps it sounds unlikely a small group could make this work. But suppose an existing naturist campground or resort did this, perhaps even on a regular basis. The general public would be invited. There could be a nominal entrance fee (maybe $5) or maybe none. (After all, many naturist places charge nothing for a first visit.) Food sales might help cover costs. Full nudity wouldn’t be required except, as usual, in swimming pools and spas.
Wouldn’t this be a great way to attract new members or regular visitors – especially people who are already somewhat comfortable with nudity, at least in private? This is only one of a number of possibilities for naturist places to attract new people. Vintage car shows are held at many naturist places now, but that’s kind of a special interest. How about bake sales, craft fairs, art/photography shows, yoga demonstrations, gardening classes?
Naturists really need to become more creative in how they promote social nudity.
- The History of Nudism: Europe
People have lived much of their lives happily naked for as long as there have been humans. But many naturists are aware that nudism and naturism as currently understood originated in Europe – mainly in Germany – around 1900. It took almost three decades to spread to North America. But those earliest decades established the basic features of nudism and naturism as practiced today. The couple that hosts Our Natural Blog narrates a 9-minute video that gives an overview of the beginning of contemporary nudism in its early years in Europe.
- International Nude Day, July 14
As noted in the report for June, 2020, July 14 was designated as “International Nude Day” by some New Zealanders in 2003 (or thereabouts). (In some countries it may be called “National Nude Day”). One had to wonder how widely celebrated this day would be. The answer, sadly, is: not a whole lot. There was little publicity about it at the time, and apparently only one national naturist organization did much of anything to promote it. That was the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). They even produced a 1-minute video to make note of the day – although it shows almost no actual nudity.
That was a little odd, since AANR is mainly a trade association that promotes naturist resorts and travel businesses. Unlike naturist organizations in some other countries, AANR does little organizing and promotion of naturist activities (such as festivals and beach events). British Naturism, for example, often does things like that (at least in the absence of a pandemic).
Exactly what would people who actually heard about it be expected to do on this day? Presumably, naturists who already enjoyed nudity would do so about as much as they would on any other summer day. But why would a significant number of others who’ve had no experience with social nudity suddenly decide to go naked on July 14? For that to happen, there’d surely need to be wide publicity of the great variety of possible naturist activities that could be enjoyed. Not just a trip to the closest naturist resort, but naked hiking, naked camping, visiting clothing-optional beaches, body painting, or just hanging out naked at home with family and friends.
The first article below is from NatCon, a regional naturist organization in Cornwall, UK. It does little but note the day, very briefly mention some benefits of naturism, and show the AANR video. Somewhat of a half-hearted effort, but more than most other organizations offered. The second article is from a New York tabloid that begins with a slightly dismissive tone, but says a little about two young body-positive women, one of whom, named Grace, posted some (non-nude) selfies on her Instagram account and posted on Twitter that “Our bodies are a beautiful thing that should be embraced and cherished. … Nudity doesn’t have to be sexual — it can be empowering and a symbol of confidence.”
Recent articles on nudity and naturism, 3/23/20
- Cyclists get nude for safety’s sake
On Sunday, March 8 there was a World Naked Bike Ride in Byron Bay, Australia – just one of many in the southern hemisphere on or near that date. (More are noted below.) Byron Bay is a smallish beachside town (pop. ~9200) on the eastern coast of Australia, 772 km north of Sydney and 165 km south of Brisbane (480 and 103 miles, respectively). With several fine beaches and a very moderate climate – average summer highs about 28°C (82°F) and average winter highs about 19°C (66°F) – Byron Bay is the quintessential beach/surf town.
Not surprisingly, it’s also an ideal place for naturism – especially since part of one of the local beaches (Tyagarah Beach) is clothing-optional. There’s even a local naturist association: Byron Naturists. Because of the town’s tolerant attitude towards naturism, it’s also not surprising that the local WNBR usually gets quite a good turnout. According to the article, “Fine weather on Sunday saw 180 odd people don their Birthday Suits for a spin around Byron on Sunday.” (Was “odd” meant as a double-entendre?)
There’s something especially interesting about photos in this article. Did you notice it? Right: there’s full-frontal nudity that hasn’t been blurred or pixelated at all. A number of other similarly “explicit” pictures accompany the online article. The article is on the website of The Byron Shire Echo – the local free weekly independent tabloid newspaper. It’s exceedingly rare for print/web media aimed at the general public to exert no censorship of such nudity. Naturists can at least hope this is part of a trend to making nudity more “normal”.
New Zealand: Nudists bare all for environment and body positivity
This ride had about 80 participants in Golden Bay, New Zealand, which is near the northern tip of the South Island.
South Africa: Bottoms up — Cape Town celebrates Naked Bike Ride
There are no figures on the number of participants in the ride, which was held on Saturday, March 7.
- Staying safe… and naked
I think Marc has said it just about right:
“If by the time you read this post you are not convinced the COVID-19, a.k.a. coronavirus, is a dangerous thing, well stop reading this article and go read the papers and view the videos on the WHO site. This virus is changing the world as we know it and it may be doing so even when humanity has contained and reversed the virus threat. Like any other human beings, nudists and naturists can play a role in stopping the spread of the virus, while remaining naked and continuing promoting our lifestyle.”
Is it possible there’s anyone alive and conscious (and not still in diapers) now who isn’t quite aware of the COVID-19 pandemic? Probably very few. But this is a naturist blog, so we’ll keep discussing naturism, for the most part. You surely know much better places to keep informed about the pandemic. And if you’re confined to your home, you can’t spend all your time worrying about the bad stuff. So set aside at least a little time to enjoy being naked – and thinking about your plans for when this eventually is over. Just do all you can to be still in good health by then.
We know the possibilities for naturist activities will be limited severely during the next several months. But that doesn’t mean naturism must be forgotten about entirely. “This too shall pass.” In the meantime, you can think about spending even more time naked in your own home – especially if you’re temporarily unemployed. Sure, that really sucks. But you’ll probably find that just being naked will cheer you up – especially as warmer days are not far off (in the northern hemisphere). And if you’re still employed and working from home – you can finally work naked.
Keep in mind that there are still some very good opportunities for enjoying naturism with negligible exposure to the virus – if you’re careful. For example: naked hiking and naked camping.
- Comedians Bare It All At ImprovBoston’s Naked Comedy Showcase
Given that The Naked Comedy Showcase “has been running for nearly 15 years”, and (at least recently) on the first Thursday of every month, it seems to have received very little media attention, and is hardly ever mentioned even in naturist publications. This is still more surprising, since the show takes place at a theater in Cambridge’s Central Square – a short walk from MIT and a slightly longer walk from Harvard.
It’s not a show put on by rank amateurs either. The venue is for comedians experienced in stand-up comedy – who also see value in the nudity. According to the article, “Naked Comedy shows regular people’s bodies, moving in nonsexual ways. That’s what Kendra Dawsey, a comic who’s done the showcase a handful of times, likes about it. “I should be allowed to have my body in its natural state in a nonsexual context,” she says. Performing in the showcase provides her with that opportunity.” Unlike the Naked Magicians, doing a striptease throughout the show, performers are naked the whole time. Certainly a very naturist attitude.
Amateurs – audience members in fact – are invited to perform too. “There’s even an opportunity for audience participation: [Andy] Ofiesh [who originated the event] invites audience members to walk up to the stage, undress behind the curtain, and tell a naked joke onstage.”
- More “best” nude beaches
It seems as though every country that has a nude beach ranked among the top 45 in the world wants to brag about it. That’s fine with me.
Portugal: Algarve home to two of world’s best “holiday destination for nudists”
Portugal is well-located on the coast just west of Spain, so it has almost as much coast on the Atlantic as Spain, despite having only about 18% of the land area. So historically Portugal has been intimately connected with the sea. During the 15th and 16th centuries it actually had the first global empire. Today tourism is one of the largest segments of its economy, with about 20 million foreign tourists per year. Two of its clothing-optional beaches (Ilha Deserta and Praia das Adegas) were ranked in the top 10, being 3rd and 6th, respectively. Check here for information about those two beaches – and many others where nudity is possible.
Croatia: Croatia has some of the best nudist beaches in the world – find out where
Croatia actually outshines Portugal in terms of exceptional nude beaches, having two in the top five: Punta Križ beach (#2) and Sovinje beach (#4). The first is near the northern end of the country, while the second is in the center. Both are considerably north of Dubrovnik, in the southern end of the country. Of course, Croatia has a long history with naturism – although that’s little known outside of Europe. In addition to the beaches, Croatia has some large naturist campgrounds. You can check here for much more about Croatian naturism.
- You can now eat Sunday roast in the nude
Naked dining events may no longer be possible as long as COVID-19 is a huge problem. But this one was scheduled for March 1, so (as far as I know) it actually occurred. British Naturism once again puts U. S. naturist organizations to shame by arranging events like this. Some local or regional naturists organizations in the U. S. may occasionally arrange naked dining events, but I haven’t seen any publicity for such things arranged by either of the national organizations (except, perhaps, in connection with larger gatherings they have).
The event in question here was held at a pub in the Bloomsbury district of London. According to the article, the meal featured “all the usual delights, including meat, vegetables and gravy.” So the food was evidently the standard British stuff – and only the nudity made it special. Attendees, however, were “also invited to join in on a naked swim before dinner.” Apparently, staff personnel working at such events have no problems doing so, since according to the event organizer, “the staff at places where we hold our events are happy to have us back.”
Recent articles on nudity and naturism, 3/11/20
- Best Beach Holidays for Nudists
Although summer is still about 3 months away in the northern hemisphere, travel services are already eager to use any incentive they can think of to stimulate travel in this current environment of pandemic fears. Even nude beach vacations. Naturists, of course, need little extra incentive, if they’re willing to travel at all. But perhaps even non-naturists might consider the possibility, as an alternative to long-distance air travel or that deluxe cruise they’d been thinking of. Many of the top-rated beaches are in southern Europe – Spain, Portugal, and Croatia, especially – but also some in France and Greece. Unfortunately for U. S. naturists, only 3 of the top-rated 45 beaches are in the U. S. – the same number as Canada. There’s a lesson in that – perhaps the U. S. travel industry is clueless about the potential of naturism to improve profitability.
Here’s an article, based on the preceding one, that singles out the top 18 beaches: The 18 best beaches in the world where you can be naked. And here are some UK aticles about local beaches from the main list: Dorset beach named as one of world’s top nudist destinations, Devon nudist beach named one of the best in the world, A nudist beach in the South West has been named one of the best in the world, Studland beach is named as one of the world’s top nudist destinations
- Nakation couple bare all as rising trend of naked holidays go mainstream
The article claims, with some slight exaggeration, that “From naked cruises, nude hikes and nude beaches to luxury accommodation where you walk around in the buff, nakations are taking the world by storm.” If only that were so! Interestingly, the article appeared in a South African media outlet. There is, in fact, some interest in naturism in that country. SunEden is probably the leading naturist resort, and a travel company, Amatungulu Tours offers a variety of “tour options for amazing nudist vacations”. As the article says, “in South Africa, it’s even possible to go on a nude safari.” That might be a bit more exciting than walking naked with llamas (see next article).
It’s not clear that the ugly neologism “nakation” is the best way to promote clothing-optional vacations, but nevertheless there does seem to be increasing mainstream interest in the idea – at least outside of the U. S. To be honest, except perhaps for Florida, the best “nakation” opportunities are in Europe and a small number of other countries, including Brazil and Thailand, as well as South Africa. The “nakation couple” (Nick de Corte and Lins van Wambeke) who were interviewed for the article observe that “Most resorts are near Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. Some tour companies now offer nude safaris.”
- You can go naked walking with llamas just one hour from Kent
In case you’ve run out of ideas for new things to try doing naked, you might consider walking with llamas. Not in Peru or somewhere like that. It can be done at a “llama park” less than 65 km south of London. The event is scheduled for June 11. Once again, this opportunity has been organized by British Naturism – surely one of the most helpful naturist organizations in the world. They understand that naturists want to do many more things naked besides just getting an all-over tan by the pool.
- Your Body is not a crime!
If you’re into fine art nude photography, you really should check out the Model Society – if you don’t already know about it. Their website describes their purpose: “Model Society is dedicated to restoring human beauty to its rightful place as a true work of art.” Among the offerings at the website are: a Community, where models, photographers, and artists can connect and collaborate; a Magazine, which “features the best figurative fine art in the world”; and an Academy, which provides eductional resources for models, photographers, and artists.
The link at the start of this entry contains a video showcasing some of the best work of Society members. It was, of course, censored by various social platforms, but is here shown uncensored. Naturists can wholeheartedly agree with the text accompanying the video that explains the problem:
“It is not just Facebook. This is the society that we live in. This is the climate of judgment and shame that you encounter when you share images of human nudity as art. It’s punishable for you to share images from classic works of art or a figure drawing class or even a mother breastfeeding her child. Censorship on Facebook is just a reflection of the bigger battle you face when you draw, paint or photograph a naked human being. We do not create this body of nude art to shock, offend, or arouse a mindless lust. We create so that all of us may come to see our shared humanity as a miraculous work of art.”
- Campus in Ohio boasts 17-year streak of naked dashes
The article is about Denison University in Ohio. Organized (and tolerated) streaking has been going on there for 17 years. Only 13 students participated in the first run of the week, according to the article, but on the final run of the week more than 50 were expected to join in. At Denison the event is part of “Naked Week”, which is (ostensibly) “a student celebration of body positivity and for raising awareness about eating disorders.” The article doesn’t mention any other planned naked activities. Although most students were just observers, those who did participate were enthusiastic about the experience. “It’s the most fun time that you can have with your clothes off but in front of 200 people,” one streaker reported.
College streaking has a long history. According to this article, it dates back at least to 1804. Other schools that have had streaks at some time or other include the University of Michigan and the University of California at Santa Cruz. Another article mentions 7 schools where streaking is allegedly “an organized sport.” Denison is one of them, along with Dartmouth, Williams, and Reed. A third article mentions several more, including Swarthmore and Harvard. A few other schools have had annual streaking events, including Princeton, whose events attracted hundreds of participants and occurred for almost 25 years. Sadly, with tuition costs being what they are today and the pressure on students to perform academically in order to have any hope of finding a decent job, streaking seems now to be generally considered a frivolity lacking the same audacious cachet it may once have had.
- 22 Amazing cities to join a World Naked Bike Ride in 2020
As usual, Nick and Lins know where in the world some of the best clothing-optional opportunities can be found. There’s general WNBR information in the article, and lots more on the official site and on Wikipedia. Actually, there are many more than 22 rides – the ones listed are just those with the most participants. Scores of other cities on 5 continents (all except Antarctica and – unsurprisingly – Asia) also have rides. Most can be found listed at the official site. And if you can’t find one nearby, you can organize one yourself – if you’re willing to work at it. Most of the events are in the northern hemisphere during the summer there. But Australia, S. America, and Africa also have WNBRs. In some places with sufficiently mild climates, there may be several events in the same city every year.
Perhaps as an indication of enthusiasm for clothesfree activities in the UK, that country was awarded “The Naked Wanderings 2020 Prize for Country of the World Naked Bike Ride.” The article notes that “there isn’t another country in the world that will organize so many naked bike rides in the summer of 2020. … If you happen to be in the UK in June and July, you’ll get the chance to cycle nude pretty much every weekend.” Just about all of the events are now officially approved, with full nudity generally acceptable (although how much there is varies from place to place). This is a noteworthy example of normalized public nudity.
- A snowy hot springs where clothing is optional after dark
There’s a certain allure to being naked outdoors in a chilly, snow-encrusted environment during the wintertime – provided you can spend the time soaking in 40°C H2O – especially in a natural hot spring. Strawberry Park Hot Springs is only about a 15-minute drive from Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA. By all means, call ahead to check on the local weather conditions and whether there’s available parking. In fact, read the Springs’ website carefully, since there’s a lot you need to be aware of (no dogs allowed, for instance). Unfortunately, clothing-optional bathing is allowed only after dark, when “children” under 18 are not allowed in the water. (Remember, this is in the U. S. – the so-called “land of the free” (except when nudity is involved) and the “home of the brave” (except for being terrified of letting kids see any adult nudity)).
- Hot springs in Colorado: Ghost town home to luxury
If clothing-optional is your passion, Dunton Hot Springs could be a better choice than Strawberry Park. However, it appears to be rather upscale – i. e. expensive. There seem to be no restrictions on either nudity (in the springs) or youngsters. The setting, especially during the winter, is at least as spectacular. Dunton is a former mining town – abandoned long ago, but whose cabins and public buildings have been restored to the status of a rustic but luxurious resort. There are different locations to enjoy the water, at a variety of temperatures.
The same source has a list of 16 of Colorado’s most sizzling hot springs – some of which are clothing-optional.
Recent articles on nudity and naturism, 8/01/19
- It’s time to push back against vilification of nudity by prudes
Body Art Vs. Protestors: Art Exhibition Or Exhibitionism?
The 6th Annual NYC Bodypainting Day event took place on July 20 at a park in Brooklyn. This is now recognized as a fully legal event – even though it involves public nudity in an essential way. It was a popular success despite the presence of half a dozen protestors pathetically objecting to art using human bodies as a canvas. The nudity involved here is wholesome and harmless. The handful of protestors should be pitied for their obsession that nonsexual nudity like this is “harmful” to children. In the words of one protestor, “It just isn’t right for the children to have to be exposed to that in a public park.” No. What isn’t right is for the few protestors to perpetuate the fallacy that children must be “protected” from seeing nonsexual nudity.
- Perspectives of an enthusiastic young naturist
The Joys of Sharing Naturism with Others
Addie, a guest blogger on Dan Carlson’s popular Meandering Naturist blog, offers two vignettes from her experience of one specific noteworthy pleasure of being a naturist: introducing others to the enjoyment of social nudity. At the end of the post, Dan provides 7 prescient pieces of advice on “How to Prepare to Share Naturist Experiences with Others”.
- An article on the World Naked Bike Rice… in Forbes?
Naked Bike Ride 2019: Nudity With A Message
As the article itself says, “This year for its 16th version, the event reached 70 cities in 20 countries from Argentina and Finland to South Africa and New Zealand”. So, the WNBR has been going on since 2004. It’s not exactly news, although it may be remarkable to have persisted this long – let alone having spread to 70 cities. The article notes that the purpose is “to expose the dangers of global warming and to protest against “car culture,” the world’s dependence on oil and other non-renewable energy sources, and in defense of cyclists’ rights and other environmental related issues.” And the tone of the article is actually positive. So why is a publication targeted at big business executives and other super-wealthy people promoting an event that highlights problems they are – to a large extent – responsible for? Perhaps it’s because such people, however selfish they may be, aren’t stupid. They probably enjoy nudity frequently on their private yachts.
- A young woman confronts objectification by celebrating nude recreation
The Dangerous Female Body?
It seems to many people that female naturists who are unafraid of participation in social nudity are simply allowing their bodies to be objectified. Melissa, a member of Calgary Nude Recreation, compellingly refutes that idea. She writes that “a friend of mine invited me to join her and another friend at one of Calgary Nude Recreation’s wave pool events.” And the result? “Nothing bad happened! No one made me feel uncomfortable, commented on my body, or acted as if they couldn’t control themselves around my naked female form.” In fact, she “felt less self-conscious while nude then I did with clothes on!” Far from feeling objectified, “Social nudity allowed me to feel less like an object and more like a person.” So she resolved “not [to] let someone else define my body’s intent or alienate me from my bodily autonomy ever again.”
- Sexual objectification is something all naturists should push back against
Stop the Sexual Objectification!!
The controversy focuses on the problem that too many commenters on Get Naked Australia make sexually objectifying remarks on certain images of young women. As the site curator says,
“Just because there is a young, “attractive” body on this page, does not mean she’s putting herself out there to be objectified. She is not asking for it! Maybe, she, like most other good natured people on this site, just enjoyed her skinny dip and wanted to share it with others in the hope they do the same? Maybe she doesn’t want to see your “great sexy ass” comments and “eggplant” emoji’s. Maybe she just wants to join in on the freedom that is being naked in nature? Just because she’s “attractive” does that mean she’s not allowed?”
Since this topic seems to require a lot more attention, I’ve put further remarks here: Controversies over Get Naked Australia