Why isn’t social nudity thriving?

As promised, we’re going to discuss the problems facing social nudity in the U. S. currently. It’s generally recognized by people who enjoy social nudity that there are lots of problems. Hardly anyone would deny that. A golden age for naturism and nudism this isn’t. (This discussion may apply to similar countries as well, though there are often differences.)

And as we observed in Naturism and creativity a week ago, explicitly describing what the problems are is the essential next step to dealing with the problems after recognizing their existence.

Let’s also keep in mind that, in spite of the problems, there are changes occurring in U. S. society which are potentially positive for social nudity. That has been discussed here, for example. These changes include:

  • There is rapid evolution of Internet services that potentially allow many new channels of communication between people who enjoy social nudity, and outreach to the rest of society.
  • Younger people always tend to stimulate changes in social sentiments and values, and this effect now is favorable to minorities that have previously been disfavored, such as gays and lesbians. It also is tending to moderate traditional taboos against various things that were considered “sexual” in the past. This even includes nudity to some extent, if what is now considered permissible in movies and cable TV is any indication.
  • Traditional mainstream media channels (e. g. broadcast TV and newspapers) are slowly but surely dying. This is eliminating the power of such media to act as gatekeepers to the kinds of information the public can access. (Unfortunately, a number of the most popular new media, like Facebook, seem to be performing the same role, at least as far as nudity is concerned.)
  • In a significant portion of the population there is a growing concern for the health and sustainability of the natural environment. This extends to a greater sense of identification with the natural world, and interest in “natural” food, “natural” healing, “natural” lifestyles, and appreciation for experience of the natural world. These have been very important themes in naturism all along. Being naked seems a lot more “natural” than wearing clothes.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s difficult to assess “trends” as they are going on, because the ultimate direction is often apparent only in hindsight. However, it’s useful to keep such things in mind, because various problems facing social nudity have in common that they result from a failure to take advantage of ongoing trends – the changing and more open-minded attitudes of young people, for example.

In spite of ongoing changes, it’s also as true as ever that the more things change, the more they stay the same – plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, as the French say. So many of the problems social nudity faces today in the U. S. are much the same as they were in Germany 100 years ago. It is only the fact that modern societies most everywhere have themselves evolved in positive ways that makes the difficulties for social nudity seem more puzzling.

But it’s good to keep things in perspective. Richard Ungewitter in Germany in 1906 self-published the book Die Nacktheit (English: Nakedness). Though the ideas were mostly not original with Ungewitter, the book set out many of the principles of nonsexual social nudity that are still prevalent today. The book was also rather popular, and earned Ungewitter a fair amount of money. Unfortunately, the “authorities” considered the book scandalous and pornographic. So Ungewitter had to spend most of his earnings to defend in court publication of the book. We can be thankful that our modern problems aren’t quite so severe – at least, as long as we just want to write about social nudity, rather than try to practice it other than on private property.

We’ll consider the problems that social nudity faces in several categories, with additional details in each.

Problems with public attitudes to nudity and understanding of social nudity

  • Most people have negative opinions about nudity in general: that it is shameful, embarrassing, or “gross”, that it should be enjoyed only in private, that it is psychologically unhealthy or physically unsanitary, harmful to children, etc.
  • Most people do not clearly distinguish nudity (even when one is alone) from sexuality in general.
  • Most people can’t understand what naturists/nudists find pleasurable about nonsexual social nudity.
  • Most people are also unaware of other benefits of social nudity, such as relaxation and reduction of stress, greater self-confidence, improved body acceptance, feeling of community with pleasant, like-minded people who take some pride in being a little unconventional, the ability to be more open with others, feelings of greater closeness to nature, etc.
  • Most people do not know how “normal” and nonsexual the activities actually are at naturist/nudist clubs and resorts, beaches, parties, and other social events.

Problems resulting from various fears associated with nudity and nakedness

  • Men who have no experience with nonsexual social nudity almost always fear being embarrassed as a result of having erections. (The fact this concern is so universal is an indication of the difficulty of finding even such basic information.)
  • Women generally have fears of unwanted sexual attention or even fears for their physical safety as a result of full or partial nudity.
  • People have fears, often legitimate, of disapproval from others as a result of participation in social nudity – e. g. bad reactions from friends and relatives, harm to a career or even loss of employment, ostracism from other social groups.
  • Both men and women have fears about involvement in unwanted sexual activities. Both also may worry about losing their partner to someone else in a sexually-charged environment.
  • People regard the community of people who enjoy social nudity as being something like a community with “alien” or unfamiliar customs and conventions, the unintentional violation of which will lead to embarrassment and social disapproval.
  • Most people have limited understanding of the many and complicated laws governing public or even private nudity (see below), and have legitimate fears of legal problems even when the laws don’t actually apply.
  • Many people have fears about participation by minors in nonsexual social nudity, though that is usually legal, and actually very safe.
  • Even when minors are legally participating in social nudity, there are legitimate fears about the legality of photography or video recording (even in private with one’s own children). The laws about this are very complex, inconsistent from place to place, and often applied incorrectly.

Problems with the national naturist/nudist organizations (AANR and TNS/NAC)

  • Individual naturists/nudists who aren’t “insiders” feel it is difficult to communicate their opinions and concerns to the organizations and actually effect reasonable changes. Members have little sense of influence on the organization. (There are no formal means of influence at all in TNS since it’s a private corporation.)
  • Neither organization is very good at communicating what they are doing and why to their membership, although AANR is somewhat better at this because of its monthly newspaper (The Bulletin).
  • Both organizations have failed to make significant use of the Internet to provide services to members.
  • Both organizations have failed to make significant use of the Internet to provide information about social nudity to the general public.
  • Both organizations have been losing membership due to lack of perceived value from dues paid.
  • The organizations have been unable to prevent a steady loss in the number of naturist/nudist clubs and resorts and of public locations (such as beaches) for clothing-optional recreation.
  • The existence of two separate organizations serving the naturist/nudist community is itself a problem due to lack of cooperation between the organizations.
  • The median age of members of both organizations is significantly higher than that of the general (adult) population. Neither organization is very effective in attracting young people to social nudity.
  • Both organizations have been much less successful in persuading women than men that social nudity is a safe and pleasurable activity.

Problems within the naturist/nudist community itself

  • People are reluctant to self-identify with “-isms” like naturism and nudism and to think of them as something to be promoted. They just want to have a pleasant naked day at the beach (for example), without any other responsibilities.
  • Many if not most people who enjoy social nudity occasionally or often do not feel part of a larger community of like-minded people.
  • There’s a great deal of apathy among naturists/nudists because of feelings of inability to improve general toleration and acceptance of social nudity.
  • There’s too much bickering and lack of cooperation among prominent nudists and naturists.
  • The community is highly fragmented into many small groups among which there is little communication.

Quality of information available about nonsexual social nudity

  • Although there are many sites that offer a little relevant information, most are incomplete and some are not entirely reliable. While information from the national organizations is fairly reliable (but occasionally out of date), it often leaves a lot of questions unanswered, especially regarding non-landed clubs.
  • There are few good, easy-to-find sources of up-to-date, reliable information about how and where to find existing naturist/nudist clubs and clothing-optional areas on public lands. The same is true about customs and expectations for participants in nonsexual social nudity.
  • Using online search tools to get information on “nudism” or “naturism” often produces many results that are definitely not relevant to nonsexual social nudity.
  • Many online sites that claim to offer “nudist or naturist” social networking are usually very ineffective and unreliable. This is especially true for women, who as a result usually do not use such sites. Part of the problem is that there are so many such sites, the chances are not good for finding compatible people as friends.

Miscellaneous other problems

  • In many parts of the country it is necessary to travel a large distance to visit a landed club/resort or attend events of non-landed clubs.
  • In most parts of the country there is a serious lack of places to legally enjoy nudity on beaches and other types of public land.
  • Present economic conditions make finances tight for most people, especially young people and young families. Although most naturist/nudist clubs and recreation spots aren’t especially expensive, having to travel long distances to reach them certainly can be. Finding the time to participate can also be difficult, with leisure and vacation time often very limited.
  • Many landed clubs still enforce outdated policies, such as restrictions on participation by “single” males or requirements to officially “join” the club after 2 or 3 visits.
  • Both older media (TV, newspapers) and many online media as well continue to censor images with nonsexual nudity, either completely or partially (blurring, pixelation) – perpetuating the misconception that most nudity is illicit, offensive, disgusting, harmful to minors, etc.
  • The laws of most local and state jurisdictions either criminalize nudity entirely in most public contexts, or make complicated and vague distinctions based on the degree of “offensiveness” or sexual intent, while still essentially criminalizing purely nonsexual nudity. Even if there are distinctions, they are often inconsistently and unpredictably applied. Mandated punishments can be very harsh, especially if the nudity is treated as a “sex crime” or there are repeated “offenses”. And exposure of female breasts is often treated as harshly as genital nudity.

I hope nobody reading about all these problems loses too much sleep worrying about their participation in nonsexual social nudity. The truth is that it is usually very safe, pleasurable, and unproblematic – in the right circumstances. Unfortunately, what these problems do cause is a very significant difficulty for most people in locating and being able to participate in the “right circumstances”.

The decision to seek out opportunities for nonsexual social nudity remains, after all, a very personal one. But the biggest obstacle is lack of opportunities, which is a result of all the problems listed above. For nonsexual social nudity to thrive it has to be readily available to all who want it, so there must be many others who also want it. And that’s not going to happen until there are solutions to many of these problems.

With so many problems, is it even reasonable to hope for solutions to many of them? I think it is, because the problems certainly aren’t independent of each others. For instance, a very good public relations campaign (meaning not the sort of publicity stunts that both national organizations sometimes support) could do a lot to improve public attitudes towards social nudity, and that in turn would help with many of the other problems. But high-quality and effective public relations campaigns are very expensive. Such things can work very well, for example in selling clothing or entertainment products to teenagers. But in that case, there’s lots of money to be made, so the campaign can pay off.

So a feasible campaign to promote social nudity will need to be incremental, and also very clever. And this is precisely where creativity of a high order must be employed. There are plenty of creative people who are already into social nudity. After all, it’s naturally attractive for people who able to think for themselves, not just follow the crowd, and think unconventionally.

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62 Responses to Why isn’t social nudity thriving?

  1. pipermac5 says:

    I have to wonder if a big part of our problem with access to legal-nude venues is economics. By that I don’t mean our ability to afford it. When social nudity was essentially “free”, it was well-accepted. Men and boys swam nude at Y’s and school pools all over the U.S., and getting caught skinny-dipping at the local swimming-hole didn’t result in arrest.

    With the rise in landed nudist clubs and resorts, those “free” opportunities have disappeared. There is big money to be made by nudist resorts that they wouldn’t make if swimming holes and nude beaches dotted the countryside. Nudity has become “commercialized”. I know it takes money to operated and maintain clean, attractive grounds and facilities, but there is also big money to be made also.

    I live in Florida, which is dotted with nudist clubs and resorts. As a result, free and legal public places where one can be nude are few and far between. Even with hundreds of miles of beaches available, those where nudity are allowed or at least tolerated are rare at best.

    What if it were legal to swim nude at a city or county pool, even on a limited basis? Those nudist clubs and resorts would lose business… What if it were legal to go nude at a significant percentage of our beaches? Those nudist clubs and resorts would lose business… What if it were legal to be nude in your own yard? Those nudist clubs and resorts would lose business… It is a matter of economics…the economics of nudist clubs and resorts.

    I have to wonder if the nudist clubs and resorts are in collusion with local and county law-makers, keeping public-nudity illegal for their financial gain. I know of a city pool which would be wonderful for nude swimming, but that would violate the county’s anti-nudity ordinance. There is a nudist resort about an hour away, which I know for a fact is frequented by people who live in proximity to that city pool. I have been to that resort and met those people, so I have first-hand knowledge. If that pool was to be opened up to a nude swim every Sunday afternoon, I would take advantage of it regularly, because I got to a church not far from that pool. I can’t afford to go to the resort that often.

    Even as AANR and TNS claim to be working for our rights, the very nudist clubs and resorts that support them and advertise heavily in their publications may be working behind our backs to keep us chained to them. It is a matter of economics… So is it any wonder that we aren’t making any real headway in getting social, non-sexual nudity accepted in our society? I don’t think so.


    • In the past (like 20 or 30 years ago) nudist clubs and resorts did tend to oppose nudity at public beaches and other facilities. However, I think that now most of them are supporters because clothing-optional beaches introduce far more people to social nudity and nude recreation. These people are then potential customers of the clubs and resorts when they are attracted by the amenities or just to get away from hassles present at the beaches. Note too that nudity on public lands is strongly opposed in most states, even those that, unlike Florida, have few or no clubs.

      • Clean Fun in the Sun says:

        The problems noted are good and valid points but I am with the naturist philosopher that most clubs and are smart enough to realize that “a raising tide floats all boats”, would agree with most of the problems noted, and are working on being part of the solution. (Perhaps not the best analogy in the current context, but you get my intended meaning.) The increase in the positive perception of nonsexual nudist venues by having more public opportunities available will provide far more customers for most resorts than customers lost. The biggest challenge will be to avoid negative perceptions for new and existing public venues due to the “wild west” culture that can develop at times without over site. A safer environment for guests is one of the drawing points of the family friendly clothing optional resorts for many nudists and naturists even if a free public option might be more convenient.

    • Exactly! What Steve (pipermac5) said.

  2. stephen russell says:

    More online marketing
    involve the members ( AANR TNS etc)
    Pro active to get members.
    Local social events ( members home to sample social nudisim by locale)
    Lobby states for more Nude Rec IE Hawaii alone.
    Hire new blood to PR Nude Rec.
    downsize AANR etc internal bureaucracy alone.
    Educate about Nude Rec IE Health wellness, Vit D
    & much more can be done.
    Pre screen guests IE do background check if sign up online pre home visit & have AANR & TNS run background checks alone or hire some service too.
    Survey members for ideas & vendors.
    Use Las Vegas Nudecon for new blood & ideas alone.

    More can be done.

    • Many good ideas there. I’m saving this comment for future reference. Of course, some things like lobbying and hiring good people to do PR costs money. Has to be funded somehow. What is “Las Vegas Nudecon”?

      • Here’s a page full of ideas on how to gain acceptance: http://academicnaturist.blogspot.com/2009/09/guerilla-naturism.html
        It’s my favorite when it comes to activist stuff. A lot to try!

      • That’s a very good article. I’ll probably write about some of the points that it makes. “Guerrilla marketing” is an approach that’s often worked in the past in certain circumstances. However, I think that it’s first necessary to understand what the root causes are that “We’re still at war with culture”. We need to be concerned with doing more than just treating the symptoms of the problem. We need to understand what the causes of the problem are, or else we’ll just keep having to treat the symptoms every time they flare up. Our society has an infection of diseased thinking that is hostile to naturism. We need to eliminate the infection, or at least get it much more under control, as has been done (only partially), for example, with racism. But as that example shows, it’s likely to be a long-term struggle. In the naturist case, it’s been going on for over 100 years.

  3. Reblogged this on Homeless On Wheels and commented:
    Great post!

  4. Nicky says:

    The problem with Nudism is the diversity issue

    • Could you say more about the “diversity issue”?

      • Nicky says:

        The problem is that Nudist today is not diverse to young single nudist, LGBT Nudist. Their are some who still live in the old days and make it hard for singles and LGBT nudist to get together at clubs that still hold to the old notions of nudism being a family thing

      • Yes, that’s certainly yet another problem. Naturism needs to be inclusive of everyone who agrees with its general principles. Singles have always been a tricky issue for clubs, though there are now many that are friendly to singles. LGBT people and Christians are in a similar position. They should be equally welcome in naturism and participate as equals in the overall community, while retaining there own “special” identities.

  5. Reblogged this on home clothes free and commented:
    Good analysis of the current state of the nudist/naturist community

  6. I agree with a lot of the concerns here. As a #ChristianNaturist group and an AANR member, we try to promote naturism while acknowledging and hopefully, resolving any Christian concerns and fears. We have contacted AANR letting them know we want to be a contact and a resource for them since we do not expect AANR or TNS to promote from a Christian point of view. We expect them to be a voice of reason the political and social community, while we focus on the Christian community. Hopefully we can all come to a working resolution for everyone. Our group is CNC or Christian Nudist Convocation #christiannudistconcvocation

    • It seems like most religious groups traditionally have their own special problems with naturism and nudity, rooted in ancient history and religious traditions. It’s not just Christians – if there were many more Muslims and Hindus in the U. S. there’d certainly be a lot of friction between them and naturism also. It’s pretty hard to be a naturist in countries where those other religions are in the majority. Since the various religions haven’t settled the differences among themselves, it’s questionable whether they’ll change their tune on naturism either.

  7. I’ve been hesitating at writing this, perhaps hoping someone else would bring it up first, but seeing as nobody else has, I guess I will (and will surely get flamed for it as well).

    It’s “the sex thing” — but not what you may be thinking. There is, of course, the perception among some that we’re a bunch of sex-crazed perverts waiting to pounce upon the unsuspecting newbie or curious first-timer. And this perception is strongly fought by organized naturism as well as many individuals. Perhaps a bit too strongly? While we certainly want to assure the general public that nudity, as a lifestyle, is not a sexual activity, and that nobody should fear sexual advances while at a naturist event, such efforts can become a double-edged sword.

    “How’s that?” you might be thinking. Well, Some people are so determined to desexualize naturism that their language has become unnatural. Some among us have taken it to the point that they seem unable to utter the words ‘nude’, ‘nudist’, ‘nudity’, ‘naturist’, ‘naked’, etc. without in the same breath compulsively proceeding or preceding it with the phrase “non-sexual”. And it can get just as bad in writing. Sure, the reader should be reminded that our interest in going about in our hatural state is not a sexual activity, but isn’t once enough? Maybe twice or thrice in a VERY long work, but not at each and every, fail none, mention of nudity or naturism.

    Why is that an issue? Well, two reasons. For one, it is awkward, and raises a mental flag. Makes one wonder why this particular tidbit is being harped upon. As Shakespeare once wrote: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Upon reading un-natually awkward repetitions of “non-sexual” one might wonder if, in fact, the writer isn’t trying to hide something.

    Or, and perhaps just as badly, the insistence upon tacking on “non-sexual” at every conceivable opportunity, might give one the impression that we are some odd collection of asexuals, when the truth, I’d venture, is that most of us have a perfectly normal and natural interest in sex, as do most of our clothed counterparts. While we’re not sex-crazed pervs, neither are we asexual prudes. The younger generation, which, of course, we must attract to the lifestyle if we expect it to continue, tend to have a much more open and liberal view of sexual matters, and may fear being chastized for expressing even the slightest bit of sexuality among what they perceive as the seemingly oxymoronic combination of a love for nudity and simultaneous hate of sex.

    Anyway…. sorry for being so long-winded. I’ll brace myself now for the flames, but hopefully there is at least someone else who not only agrees with me, but is willing to admit it.

    • Let me be the first to agree with you, Mike. I know I use “nonsexual” a lot in what I’ve written, and I realize it can sound rather defensive. The problem is, naturists are now, and have been from the beginning, in kind of a bind. We have to be as clear as possible in describing our beliefs, since they are so poorly understood by the general public. I can’t repeat often enough that this goes back to the beginnings and earlier – the difficulties Richard Ungewitter went through with publishing his book, for example. As far as young people are concerned, if you read some of the blog posts at the YNA site (http://youngnaturistsamerica.com/nudist-blogs-naturist-bloggers), you will see that they are also careful to say “nonsexual” a lot, while also stressing they are not against sexuality itself.

      I have been trying to stress the need to figure out the underlying causes for naturism being as controversial and as poorly accepted as it is with the general public. And I think that the society’s problems with sexuality in general and with genitals in particular are an important factor. Genitals, after all, are the main thing that are noticed (at least initially) when people are naked. I believe that our society’s sexual hang ups are going to need serious attention before naturism’s acceptance can improve. It’s actually possible for this to happen – since the situation for lesbian and gay people has been getting quite a bit better in recent years. But even there, fierce opposition towards alternative sexualities obviously remains in many quarters.

      I’ll be very interested to hear others’ perspectives on this issue, since it’s so central to social acceptance of naturism.

    • And let me be the second to agree with you. I am guilty of prefixing nudity with ‘non-sexual’, but I do restrict my use of this for exactly the reason you have highlighted. A lot depends on context and it takes careful thought when it is appropriate to use it. One alternative that I favour to try and ‘de-sexualise’ the word nudity where I think readers might make this fallacious connection, is to refer to ‘simply nudity’. At other times I prefer to refer to Naturism rather than nudism as I believe Naturism already implies nudity without a sexual element. Of course that is helped by the fact that the terms Naturism & Naturist are in more common usage on this side of the Atlantic. All of the above is why I prefer to be called a Naturist rather than a nudist.

      You may note that I habitually type Naturism with a capital N. This is a decision based on reinforcing the message that Naturism is a belief, just as you would normally type Buddhism and not buddhism (the INF have now adopted the ‘Statement of belief’ drafted a few years ago by BN). Here in the UK establishing Naturism as a belief gains us protection from discrimination under the Equalities Act, 2010.

      Our beliefs: http://www.bn.org.uk/community/files/file/608-bn-naturist-beliefs/ (sorry you have to download the PDF – someday I will persuade our webmaster to make it a normal web page!)

      • Ælf James says:

        Wow! It is more work to read that document than it is to get into my on-line banking. How ironic that a statement of naturist beliefs is swathed in so many layers of electronic wrappings.
        With regard to the statement itself I find it interesting that while it uses the term “simple nudity” (a term of which I approve) at no time does it define the term. The entire question of sex and sexuality is just never mentioned. This is fine for those of us who understand the norms of naturism but it leaves the neophytes wondering.

      • “How ironic that a statement of naturist beliefs is swathed in so many layers of electronic wrappings.”

        Edit: Apparently the commenter was replying to a document mentioned in another comment. (I don’t see new comments on a thread in the proper sequence, because of how they are presented by the blog software.) The document was a PDF file, for which the person who provided it (Brian Taylor) apologized in advance. The document itself is brief and seems like a pretty good statement on the whole. Since it’s intended for neophytes, it might help some to explain “simple nudity” a tad more. As far as sexuality is concerned, I agree with Brian that naturists may seem too defensive by referring to naturist-style nudity or “simple” nudity as “non-sexual” nudity. Since my reply here was based on a misunderstanding of what was being commented on, I apologize for the confusion. With long comment threads we all have to be careful to specify exactly what remarks are being referred to, such as by naming the source of the remarks, or quoting them. I’ll leave my original response here, below, even though it does not apply in this case.


        Perhaps you need to read more carefully, even though you seem to have some aversion to reading. Where in the article do you see any indication it’s intended to be a “statement of naturist beliefs”? My purpose in much of the material here is to write for experienced naturists/nudists and explain what I think could be done to better promote naturist beliefs. That includes discussing reasons that it’s been difficult to promote these beliefs in the past.

        Since the intended audience is experienced naturists/nudists, not neophytes, there’s no need to explain “simple nudity”. Sex and sexuality isn’t discussed in the article because we all know that the general public in the U. S. (and many other places) has very confused and conflicted view on the subject. Pretty stupid views, in fact. But trying to deal with the subject in this particular article would make it much longer (and you wouldn’t want that, would you?). I’m inclined to leave arguments over sex and sexuality to people who prefer to engage in that sort of discussion.

        Complicated issues require complicated discussions, and this article simply reflects that. People who don’t like complicated discussions and don’t like the work of reading should probably stick to Twitter.

      • Editor’s remark: Just to be perfectly clear, “you” in the following refers to Brian Taylor, a previous commenter on this post. See here for more information. (End of remark.)

        You claim that nudity is non-sexual, yet you have since been found guilty of downloading 120,000 child porn images from the internet which led to you leaving BN. I doubt that anybody is going to take anything that you say seriously after this.

    • pipermac5 says:

      I have to agree that we, as nudists/naturists, do tend to strongly de-sexualize our nudity. Perhaps we are trying to make our message, and our nudism, more palatable to whoever our intended audience is. I suspect that we are trying to not “offend” those who call themselves “Christians”, however there is a much deeper problem, which needs to be addressed. It is the fact that sex IS the final-taboo in churches.

      As a Christian, and a naturist, I have observed first-hand how any references to sex are dealt with in churches. My thoughts and observations are contained in one of my more recent posts on my blog. It is entitled “Sex…Holy-pursuit, or Guilty-Pleasure”. (http://pipermac5.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/sex-holy-pursuit-or-guilty-pleasure/).

      Christopher West, in his “Introduction to the Theology of the Body”, observed that when the church is presented with a picture of Adam and Eve in their unclothed, natural state, the church wads the picture up and tosses it in the garbage. Porn peddlers have retrieved that wadded-up picture and marketed it as something “desirable”, but in an illicit way. .Pope John Paul ll took the same picture out of the trash, smoothed it out as best he could, recognizing that in this sin-tainted world, ,it will never be completely restored to its original state, and he searched the Bible for everything the Bible says about us as human beings, and formulated a “Theology of the Body”. That is truly a landmark, ground-breaking work, which we, particularly as Christians Naturists, need to embrace whole-heartedly.

      We, as naturists/nudists, and particularly Christian naturists/nudists, need to be about the business of REDEEMING our sexuality, not denying it. For us, we ARE sexual beings, but sex is only one of MANY things we enjoy engaging while we are nude. I am a MAN,and make no apologies either for my “manhood” (male equipment), nor for my MANHOOD as a person. I am unmistakably a man, whether dressed or nude, and yes, as a man, I DO enjoy sex with the right person in the right situation, but sex is NOT the only activity I enjoy nude.

      We need to quit apologizing for who we are, because we are who God created us to be, because even if His image is wrinkled and tainted, we are still God’s image bearers. We need to exclude “non-sexual” from our nudist lexicon.

      • common sense says:

        The problem is that if we associate ourselves with a second taboo—sex—then this will give us an even more negative public perception. Society already finds nudity by itself highly offensive. We can’t afford to give them a second reason to not like us. In order to get laws changed we need to have a positive public image.

        Public image is also why I say “nudist not naturist.” We need to seem as normal as possible. Being associated with nature will make people think of us as the tree hugger type or that naked people want to be out in nature, both of which make us seem a little nutty.

        Companies that depend on repeat buyers to make ends meet are obsessed with having a positive public image. For example, the company I work for has the most ridiculous safety rules in order to ensure no one gets hurt and sues. If someone sued and won, this could potentially damage their public image, leading to fewer sales.

      • Sexuality presents complicated issues. Suffice it here to say that naturism has always stressed that it includes only nonsexual forms of social nudity. Naturism can also honestly say that it promotes healthy attitudes towards sexuality. For one thing, naturism emphasizes that giving unwanted sexual attention to others – whether clothed or not – is simply bad manners and should be avoided. For another thing, families that practice naturism can easily, without any embarrassment, teach their children about the human body, including its sexual aspects. This is positive sex education – which is desperately needed in our very sexually confused society.

        As regards “nudist” vs. “naturist” you only have to look at the history, for example http://maltanudist.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/exploring-the-origins-of-naturism/ . Placing a high value and significance on nature and the natural environment has always been a KEY feature, regardless of whether people call themselves “nudists” or “naturists”. It’s only logical that the term “naturist” should be preferred. There is nothing about wanting to be naked in nature or valuing the importance of the natural environment that should be considered “nutty” in any way whatsoever. Only a small subset of people would think that – those who use the pejorative term “tree hugger”. Naturists don’t routinely call themselves “tree-huggerists”, so this is a non-issue.

  8. Pingback: Why isn't social nudity thriving? | Nudism, Top...

  9. thomasberns says:

    I agree with Steve, here in Florida there are a lot of clubs that want to squash the movement at the public beaches because it would hurt their business. Why is it that a state with thousands of miles has only one legally-sanctioned nude beach (Haulover)? And we only have another one (Playalinda) that is semi-legal? It doesn’t make any sense!

    You made a lot of great points in the post. Keep up the great work.

    • Thanks for the kind words. I have a lot more to follow…

      You know much more about Florida than I do. Playalinda was absolutely fantastic when I was there (except for the mosquitoes). Haulover, of course, is a great success. As I understand it, perhaps mistakenly, other beaches such as Navarre that sometimes had clothing-optional use, were placed off-limits more because of local opposition than efforts of landed clubs. I also had heard that the owners of Cypress Cove were not opposed to free beaches. In Oregon, on the other hand, many beaches, both on the coast and inland, have nude use, even though there are also many landed clubs. Same is true in northern California.

      • Oregon is one of the least religious states. I find this correlation everywhere: less Christianity = more likely to accept us. I know a few Christians are nudists, but 95% of Christians DO NOT like us. Washington state isn’t that religious & having a nude beach was the third most voted for idea on the mayor’s site. In Germany, they aren’t religious, so the human body is no big deal. In neighboring Poland, most are Christian, so of course the video I saw showed they don’t like nudity. As America slowly becomes less Christian, it becomes more tolerant. Back when this was a Christian nation they would toss someone in the insane institution for going out in public with shorts on. Luckily technology is slowly influencing the culture away from our past (think gaming, Youtube, music, internet, movies, etc.).

        Christianity is the historical reason why nudity is taboo in America. I’ve taken several history classes so maybe I’ll give more examples later.

  10. Excellent, well written post. You seem to have covered all of the issues regarding naturism’s problems, but give few real solutions. I tend to have a more positive outlook on the naturist movement. When I first got into the lifestyle about 20 years ago, I didn’t even know whether like-minded people existed. I sometimes thought I was suffering from some mental illness. The Internet, thankfully, helped me realize I was not alone. Bloggers like ourselves are doing a great deal to benefit naturism’s acceptance. But I think we need to go further. We cannot preach that we have nothing to hide and that the human body is shameless while hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet. Unfortunately, too many nudist advocates do this and it makes it seem as though we have something to hide. This is why I recently came out on my blog as a naturist using my real name and posting a full frontal pic as God/evolution made me. People will never accept naturism if they do not first overcome their sense of fear and shame. Shame is the real problem. We can never hope to convince people they have nothing to be ashamed of if we are ashamed ourselves. One reason the gay movement was so successful was because gay people showed, time and time again, that they were proud to be who they were. Likewise, we need to show our naturist pride!

    • Yes, I haven’t written here yet much about solutions. I have written extensively about possible solutions elsewhere, and I have a fairly long list. However, I’m trying to go about this systematically. Before it’s reasonable to discuss solutions, we need to understand the problems better. So far, I’ve just named many of them. The next step is to try to identify some of the causes of the problems. Otherwise, how can we evaluate whether possible solutions deal with the likely root causes? I’ll have a long post on causes very soon.

  11. pipermac5 says:

    “Christianity is the historical reason why nudity is taboo in America.”

    Unfortunately, even those of us who ARE Christian Naturists recognize the truth of that statement. I am a “Naturist by Biblical Conviction”, and I would be hard-pressed to be able to convince my Christian brothers and sister in my church that being a “naturist” isn’t “immoral” or “sinful”.

    We can “thank” Victorian English prudery for that to a large extent. We really CAN thank the Gnostics, because they were the ones who introduced their “spirit good – body bad” heresy into the early church

    It hasn’t always been that way. In the Old Testament, “social-nudity” was VERY common, because:
    1) Ceremonial washings for religious purposes.
    2) No indoor plumbing
    3) Communal toilet facilities
    4) Communal bathing facilities

    Note that ALL the ceremonial washings were done in the communal washing and bathing facilities in the tabernacle/temple area.

    How often did the Jews undergo these ceremonial washings?

    Anyone who was ceremonially-“unclean” had to undergo a “cleansing” before they could even go to the tabernacle/temple to worship. Just a few of the reasons:
    1) Woman had her menstrual period (every month, unless she became pregnant)
    2) Woman had a baby
    3) Couple had sex (???/week)
    4) Man had a “wet-dream”
    5) Contracted a skin-rash, once it was healed-up (had to be done in front of a priest)

    Anyone desiring to become a Jew had to undergo a “mikvah”, or ceremonial bath…in front of a priest, also known in the New Testament as “baptism”.

    During the time of Christ, the Jews were still observing the ceremonial law, and the early Christian church adopted the “mikvah” as their mode of baptism. That continued for several hundred years after Christ…still performed in the same way.

    Interestingly, the requirement for these ceremonial washings is one of the reasons circumcision was such a “big-deal” for the Jews. An uncircumcised man wouldn’t have gone undetected for very long… Jesus couldn’t have been “announced” as the “King of the Jews” while He hung on the cross unless He was circumcised, because He was crucified NAKED.

    For a fuller explanation of this history, and why Christian Naturists DON’T believe the church has it right today, I would invite you to visit :http://thebiblicalnaturist.blogspot.com/. It isn’t my blog, but is written by a good friend of mine, who has researched everything he has written VERY thoroughly.


  12. j says:

    There are two important demographics that are missing from social nude situations. 1) Younger people 2) women.

    Younger people are concerned with fitting in with their peers. They see nudist venues as populated by older people, so it’s natural for them to stay away. Many nudist organizations have seen their median age statistics trending upwards.

    Women who are not brought up with nudism can be reluctant to participate. Women who do go to a nude environment can find themselves subject to unwanted attention and not return. The low rate of female participation is discouraging to males who might otherwise be interested in nudism.

    Get younger people and women to participate, and the negative trends will turn around.

    • “Get younger people and women to participate, and the negative trends will turn around.”

      Yes, of course, but that’s much more easily said than done. The national organizations, and various smaller ones, have been trying to do just that. Not much in the way of results so far. Getting more people of any kind to participate is the critical thing (by definition, really), though women and young people should be the priorities.

      There are a few reasons for the lack of success so far. (1) There hasn’t been enough research done to identify what are the main causes of lack of participation by women and young people. It’s easy to make guesses, but a smart marketing program needs to determine the most important factors, so that efforts can be targeted. Market research isn’t cheap, but you can be sure that smart businesses do it so that their promotional efforts are designed for the best results. We need to understand what sort of things will be most effective. (2) Once we do know what the best approaches are likely to be, we need to put adequate resources (i. e. $$$$) into whatever approaches are selected.

      This is why I identified “apathy” on the part of naturists/nudists as one of underlying causes for the poor growth of the community. Successful organizations need to have effective fund-raising before they can do almost anything else. There’s no free lunch.

      • Antandrian says:

        Not much sign of the sex imbalance at one-off mass nude events in an urban context like the Spencer Tunick photography sessions and the world nude bike rides. Quite often young women are not fully nude on the bike rides but they are there alongside their men, who are. These are the events where you will find the demographic who used to be drawn to the organised nudist movement – middle class, tertiary educated, gentle minded, critical thinkers, of a liberal disposition. They are still willing and prepared to be socially nude – but in a different, more open, more anonymous context.

        The balance has changed: the intensity of shame about being nude in public is fading, while the level of suspicion, cynicism and apathy about closed, hierarchical organisations is increasing.

    • Antandrian says:

      “Younger people are concerned with fitting in with their peers.”
      I think this is a central issue.

      There are two slow, broad trends in contemporary youth society that from the particular perspective of nudism are going in opposite directions. On the one hand, young people are increasingly tolerant or blasé about sex (including sexual diversity) and nudity, pushed along by the historically unparalleled visibility of sex and nudity in the mass media, films, the music industry, the internet.

      But on the other (and much less widely perceived and discussed), is a slow, progressive strengthening of peer pressure, meaning that young people are less and less willing to take a stance outside of their peer norms. That definitely includes anything at all ‘kooky’ like adopting a nudist lifestyle. Also as the original article mentioned, these is less and less inclination to make lasting commitments in terms of time or interests or beliefs, to anything at all. Immersed in a highly dynamic and non-stable society we are adapting by remaining permanently open and uncommitted in all respects.

      I suspect the organised naturist movement will fizzle out, because it has no relevance to how society is now and will be in the future. In more liberal countries (and San Francisco) it is being replaced by legal tolerance of nudity in public. The nudist movement was born out of the fact of universal non-tolerance. If you can now ride a bike through London or go hiking across the Derbyshire moors nude if the fancy takes you, you don’t need to be a card-carrying member of some movement or organisation, and indeed doing so carries undesired stigmatisation in contemporary society where as I mentioned above, commitment to organisations/causes seen as kooky, eccentric makes you a social pariah.

  13. I will join the many others in saying this is an excellent article making a number of valid points, many of which apply to the UK as well. We also suffer from the effects of arbitrary censorship by the likes of Facebook!

  14. Gary Mussell says:

    I think the metrics used in the article to prove a decline are wrong. Social Nudism is as strong as ever but those who practice it are not going to the landed clubs anymore because the parks do not provide the kinds of services the Millenniums are looking for. This is a hi-tech-hi-fun, hi-energy generation and so they do their group nudity by camping, hiking, and visiting secluded beaches off the grid. This business model of the Baby Boomers is now out of date. They keep searching for ways to make money from the Movement but that is the wrong question. The Movement has moved on, as the article says. So now the question is, how does AANR respond to keep itself relevant? For one, just rewriting by-laws and procedure manuals isn’t the answer. They need to transform themselves to provide services the next generation needs, and that isn’t just a bunch of old people lying around on chaise lounges.

    • Every “generation” thinks it’s special, and that previous generations are all f*cked up. Which kind of shows how undifferent the “Millenniums” actually are. (And isn’t the generally accepted term “Millennials“?) Add in the fact that the whole idea of “generations” is a marketing/merchandising scam designed to delude people into buying “new” stuff because there’s something icky about whatever the previous generations liked. People need to stop accepting the latest marketing lies like a bunch of sheep. Certainly should apply to naturists, who mostly (and supposedly) reject the need to own the latest “stylish” clothing.

      This sort of thinking just divides people up along imaginary lines, which is part of the reason that there’s so much fragmentation in naturism and many other social groupings these days. It’s all BS. But it’s great for selling “new” stuff and abandoning “old” stuff.

      Where’s the evidence that a lot of people are doing “their group nudity by camping, hiking, and visiting secluded beaches off the grid”? That sort of “off the grid” activity is possible only for a limited number of people – not, for instance, most families with young children. How will they have access to nude activities? And why are traditional nude beaches also continually being lost if they are somehow preferable to older, established naturist/nudist AANR-type clubs? Are nude beaches just too “Baby Boomerish” to tolerate? Could be, since that’s how marketing-driven hype encourages people to think.

      All that said, there’s no question but that change is needed in traditional naturism/nudism. Not because it’s what old fuddy-duddies supposedly love, but because it’s always had plenty of shortcomings all along. And if it’s true that “Millennials” are so “high-fun, high-energy” people, why aren’t they flocking to join organizations of their own like YNA and constructing a viable kind of naturism according to their own tastes? Instead, they seem to be expecting someone else (i. e. older people) to do it for them. Isn’t that sort of crazy?

      I’d love to see YNA successful and growing vigorously. But it’s not, as far as I can tell.

      • Antandrian says:

        Naturist Philosopher, I think you are missing Gary Mussell’s central point; you seem hung up on the idea that nude recreation has to be done under the aegis of some organisation or other. But not so, not any more. That is the core thing that is changing. The concept of being a self-identified, card carrying Nudist is old hat.

        From what I can see YNA is more of a lobbying ginger-group and information-disseminating service for those interested, rather than a club/organisation that you become a fee paying member of, which is more in line with the current generation who use the internet social media a lot.

        Most people that like to do stuff nude are not the mythical ‘young families’ that organisations cherish (cherish because they are seen as rule-abiding but vulnerable and therefore in need of a walled-off, landed club that’s highly controlled and safe), its mostly adults without young kids around, and in most parts of the western world (except most parts of the US), social proscription of nudity is weakening, and people just go off walking or swimming somewhere, nude if they want to, regardless of whether its something they do regularly and self identify as nudists, or a one-off and don’t. Its no longer illegal in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and New South Wales for instance. There was a good photo blog of an otherwise non-nudist Sydney walking group who did a nude canyon walk in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney a few days ago. I came across a father and two sons at a swimming hole on the upper Coomera River here in Queensland a few weekends ago, the father swimming nude, even though its still illegal here in Queensland, but usually no one can be bothered to make a fuss if its at an out of the way spot. I’ve also walked nude on popular walking circuits in the upland rainforests of southern Queensland, passing lots of people, no one caused a fuss. There are private groups within flickr that show private, informal groups of people going on similar nude hikes in the more remote parts of the US, too, in places they can pretty well guarantee they won’t be observed.

        Doing stuff nude is no longer so far-out that people that choose to do it once, sometimes or often need to set themselves apart from others and call themselves Nudists, and fall into the arms of some paternalistic, nation-wide, hierarchical single-issue Organisation. That was the way that the pre-baby-boomers did it, with committees and secretaries and treasurers and subscriptions, and its fading away.

      • I’m “hung up” on the idea that organizations are needed, because they ARE needed. And they are needed not because they can somehow guarantee a “safe” place for people (such as young families) to enjoy social nudity, though they do that to some extent, and that function is important. Except, I suppose, to people who haven’t had kids yet and may not even want to. I think that most young people expect to have kids eventually, and perhaps they should think ahead a bit more. Nobody’s going to be 25 forever. Or vigorously healthy either. Nor child-free, for the most part.

        I think people who can’t understand the need for organizations are reflecting their own limited experience. It’s possible to disparage YNA because it does lobbying and information-dissemination – but those are valuable functions. Especially in the U. S. (but I’m sure not ONLY in the U. S.), where nudity is hardly even tolerated. People who don’t know the U. S. situation well shouldn’t diss the value of lobbying groups. We have some VERY effective ones, such as the NRA and various groups that have worked for gay rights. Whatever you may think of those causes, their lobbying groups have been very effective. Naturist lobbying groups, on the other hand, have been VERY ineffective. We badly need much more effective groups, rather than none at all.

        By the way, Gary Mussell IS a member of naturists groups – Friends of Blacks Beach and the Southern California Naturist Association, for instance. These are social groups which also lobby in favor of the local nude beaches, which are under constant pressure. (Sorry, Gary, if I’m wrong about any of that.) I also mostly agree with Gary that our U. S. national organizations badly need to change drastically. But they (or any other group that’s going to be effective) MUST have the enthusiastic support of the people they represent.

  15. Antandrian says:

    Naturist philosopher, you seem to have interpreted my appraisal of YNA in a unwarrantedly contrarian manner. It is as though you subconsciously deliberately mis-interpreted my words (which are a neutral observation on the nature of an organisation) in order to have something to argue against. But in doing that you got off track and failed to back up your initial assertion that clubs and federated national organisations are necessary, with any further points.

    It seems you are very attached to the idea of a Movement; a Nudist Movement, of an organised body of people who consider themselves crucially distinct from mainstream society, with a mission to proselytise. Observation leads me to the view that being part of any Movement like that is passing out of fashion now. Not just with respect to not wearing clothes, but with respect to everything including politics. Societal trends develop and ideas spread and evolve in more fluid, more telecommunication-intensive, but less committed ways now. That is not to suggest that this modus operandi is more effective than having a movement (the fizzling out of the Occupy Wall Street movement for example), but is a neutral observation of how society is changing, of changes in people’s inclinations.

    Personally I think the best way to bring about social normalisation of, and social respect for, a personal choice not to wear clothes sometimes is constant exposure to people doing just that. I read a precis of a study in social psychology a few weeks ago that showed in statistically robust ways that living in a mixed race neighbourhood reduced race-phobia in everyone – even if people belonging to the indigenous or majority ethnicity chose to continue to avoid mixing socially with people of other races living immediately around them. The unavoidable day to day familiarity of simply being in a racial mix, every day, reduces people’s fear of, or antipathy towards other races. The same seems to be the case with homosexuality; a cycle of positive feedback kicks in whereby when homosexuals are quite open and relaxed about their sexual orientation, the proportion of people in the general population who think they don’t know or aren’t related to a homosexual declines, and consequently personal and collective antipathy toward homosexuals fades, encouraging still more open-ness from the homosexual minority. This has already happened in Britain, less so in Australia which is infamously homophobic and where a good proportion of homosexuals are still ‘in the closet’.

    But in contrast to ethnic and sexual minorities, the task of advancing social and legal acceptance of a choice not to wear clothes at times does not have to be couched in terms of minority rights. Because unlike being black or being homosexual, it is a free choice, a choice that potentially any member of society could make. And, I think it there is an advantage to articulating the argument for legal acceptance of a choice not to wear clothes in terms of general civil liberties (derived from a rational philosophical position) potentially applicable to everyone rather than presenting one’s self as yet another put-upon, badgering minority pressing for concessions from the majority.

    In democracies, the broad rule is that legislation controlling social conduct follows mainstream community standards, and movement of broad community standards in a liberal direction is why governments of some western countries have changed their legislation to be more permissive about being unclothed in the past 15 years. Hence I would argue that continuing general public exposure to people doing stuff without clothes on is what is most needed, particularly mass nude urban events like the WNBRs, and desirably, nonsexual nudity in social networking media. Broad familiarity with and public inurement towards the sight of other people not wearing clothes would be the soundest basis from which to lobby for doing so to be legally sanctioned.

    • Antandrian, my apologies if I misinterpreted your appraisal of YNA. You haven’t been very clear about it. But since you’ve been generally arguing against organizations, it seemed reasonable to suppose your appraisal would not be very positive. If you’d like to be clear about your opinion on YNA, please do so. Yes or no – do you think what they’re doing is worthwhile?

      I will continue to argue in favor of organizations I can support and which seem to be effective – there’s a whole lot still to be said. I’ll also be critical of organizations (like AANR and TNS) whose goals I generally agree with, but which don’t seem to be very effective.

      “Personally I think the best way to bring about social normalisation of, and social respect for, a personal choice not to wear clothes sometimes is constant exposure to people doing just that.”

      Although I’d very much like to agree with that opinion, I can’t. This approach has been tried in the U. S., and it hasn’t really worked, at least not in this country. Yes, we do have a few successful WNBRs and similar special events. But those are always one-offs, and they have never led to people being able to go naked – even occasionally, let alone constantly – so that nudity could become normalized when others get used to it. That simply does not happen here. Does that actually happen in Brisbane where you live?

      Are you aware of how this has worked out in San Francisco, one of the most tolerant cities in this country? Until last year there was no general law against public nudity there. A very small number of people did sometimes go around naked in public. Eventually a still small number made nudity their regular attire in a specific area. Far from resulting in tolerance, others objected to this so much that the city government passed a brand new law against public nudity. Now these people are attempting to fight the law, without any success so far. All they’ve got out of it is big legal bills. And our feeble naturist organizations have not helped them at all, even with paying the legal bills. I fault the organizations for this – but the real problem is the apathy in the naturist community I’ve been writing about. Hardly anybody in that community has come forward to help those protesting the anti-nudity law. Since there is no organization to help them, they are very much on their own. This approach is definitely not working.

      As you know, Steve Gough hasn’t had much success in the UK in getting nudity normalized there. All he has to show for his efforts is free room and board in various UK jails for most of the past 8 years. Yes, I know that many naturists in the UK are able to ramble around the countryside somewhat more discreetly than Steve. But they certainly haven’t been able to normalize nudity to the extent that Steve need not have to serve a life sentence for being naked.

      Would you risk going naked around Brisbane so that others could get more comfortable with nudity? Why or why not? Wouldn’t you feel more confident about doing that if there were an organization you could count on to, at least, pay any resulting legal bills? Or help support your dependents (if you have any) while you’re in jail?

      “Observation leads me to the view that being part of any Movement like that is passing out of fashion now. Not just with respect to not wearing clothes, but with respect to everything including politics.”

      “Fashions” come and go. They are the current style (important to people who give a shit about current style). They can and will change, swinging like a pendulum. Look, if you don’t like Movements or organizations because they aren’t fashionable enough for you, don’t join any. That’s fine with me. And don’t get involved with politics either. In fact, don’t even vote – voting just encourages politicians. I’m sure you’ll be perfectly happy with whoever does happen to win the elections.

  16. David Miller says:

    Very interesting post will reblog and tweet this out to my naturist followers.

  17. Rob says:

    Three observations I have not seen brought up in the comments (unless I missed the threads):

    In investigating the landed clubs nearby, I found none of them were clothing optional. So for a married couple with a reluctant spouse, just to go is pressure on the reluctant partner to be totally nude. Some partners can take more than the single clothed visit permitted at such clubs to overcome reluctance. So the many couples with one nudist and one partner accepting of that nudity but reluctant to participate (and I know from naturist forums this is common) are cut out.

    Naturism when it is promoted on the internet often is done so with the same youth and beauty emphasis used to sell things from bath products to clothing, and everyone knows that this “sell” is sexual. That wordlessly conflates naturism with sex. Why are we not using images closer to the messy reality of average bodies/figures/looks?

    There has been a cultural shift toward sexualizing nudity that can be seen in America’s Funniest Videos: Images of children used to be innocent enough that a baby but was not pixelated out. No more. Why is that? Kiddie porn. I think this is only one example of a counter-trend to the other trend mentioned in the comments of a greater acceptance of social nudity, i.e. World Naked Bike Ride and the like.

    • Thanks for the three points.

      Regarding club policies: Every club is different, based on the preferences of their existing members. Many are clothing optional, tolerant of singles, tolerant of body jewelry, etc. Many others are not. Policies have always been a problem in naturism. The current trend is toward greater tolerance, and that is good, but there are always laggards, and probably always will be.

      Regarding youth and beauty. These are personal characteristics that are widely considered to be desirable by most people. That is just human nature. I think it’s a mistake to think of such characteristics merely in sexual terms. There are other desirable characteristics, such as affluence and cheerfulness. We live in an overly materialistic, capitalistic culture where selling stuff is a high priority. So a variety of desirable features are emphasized in trying to persuade people to buy stuff. As individuals we should not discriminate against others based on such characteristics, but I can’t imagine marketeers not doing what they do. As far as naturism is concerned, we have to realize that we need to appeal to younger people for purely pragmatic reasons, and “beauty” is generally conflated with youth. However, in my opinion, sexuality is only one of the factors here, and that brings up the last point.

      We live in a culture that is extremely mixed up about sexuality and has unhealthy attitudes about sexuality in many different ways. There are various reasons for that, but it’s just the way things are. Nudity and sexuality can never be separated 100% in most people’s minds. If most people could be honest and responsible about their sexuality, this association wouldn’t be a problem. But that’s not the culture we live in.

  18. peter says:

    Thank you for the blog and the different responses,
    I am a Christian and a Naturist

    a Number of questions lead me to study the subject more
    • Does Scripture state that being nude is a sin?
    • When naked when having a bath or getting dressed, do the Lord and His Spirit leave you?
    • If being naked is wrong, and then it is wrong except where the word of God makes exemptions, not so? (No place for so called “common sense”)
    • Where does Scripture say a doctor can see you naked?
    • Where in Scripture does it say that men can see one another naked?
    • Where in Scripture does it say that women can see one another naked?
    • Where does Scripture say at what age you should stop seeing your children naked?
    • Was the sin of Adam and Eve their nakedness, or their disobedience to God?

    I don’t advocate nudity at any place, with disregard of the people that surround you. There is no new standard regarding nudity or not, the question is – Are nudity totally forbidden and a sin in all circumstances?

    Concerning word nude, nudity, nakedness – good and bad nakedness in the bible please have a look at my blog and comment http://naturisminsouthafrica.blogspot.com/2014_08_01_archive.html

    Have a blessed day


    • There are thousands of diverse belief systems on this planet. Many people having some form or other of Christian beliefs are also naturists. They, like everyone of generous and kind disposition, are quite welcome in our ranks. Naturists expect equal acceptance in return.

      One of naturism’s key principles is that people whose beliefs and lifestyle aren’t harmful to others are entitled to have as much pleasure from their beliefs and lifestyle as anyone else.

      Have a delightful naked day

  19. Adam Myers says:

    I feel that the main problem is due to the overall community being oddly anti-gaming. This might seem bizarre, but it seems that the shoe here fits. One of the most popular pastimes of late is video gaming and the fact that there is not a single serious nudist/naturist oriented video game speaks volumes. And it is not as if a small team couldn’t make one, indy games have a very healthy following. As further evidence, search nudist gaming party, first couple hits will inevitably be that lame hoax and then porn. If one of the biggest pastimes for millennials isn’t incorporated into naturism/nudism than is it any wonder it is dying off? It would appear that naturism/nudism is dying of thirst in the middle of Lake Michigan (gaming youth). Consider what kind of publicity, and interest gained hosting (or encouraging) nude Xbox parties, naturist Dungeons and Dragons, Nude Magic the Gathering tournies etc. Hell, even having some nude friendly animated cartoon comedies would improve turnout greatly. The main reason why people haven’t begun to disassociate nudity with sex is because there is little to no exposure in areas most frequented by young people. It would be like putting up all your advertising on a single house, ignoring all the other houses in your neighborhood. Just my 2 cents. https://www.truenudists.com/groups/8766/

    • You make very good points. The question is: who will develop the games? It takes a fair amount of talent to develop high-quality games. People in the games should look realistic (unless obvious cartoons). The landscapes, scenery, settings, etc. should also look realistic. Without the factor of realism, I’d worry that the games appear to incorporate nudity only for the sake of nudity, and aren’t really “naturist”. There would also need to be interesting action in the game, but that depends on what kind of situation is presented. For example, if the game were something like “Naked and Afraid”, the characters would have to cope with wild animals, finding edible food, dealing with (non-naturist) hunters, and so on.

      Or maybe I’m not enough of a game person to comment on what makes a “good” game. But in any case, I don’t think it’s something that can be done well without talent and skill. Talented people expect to be paid. Who’s going to foot the bill? Interestingly enough, back in the early days of personal computers, some of the best developers (reputedly) enjoyed working nude.

      • Adam Myers says:

        I agree with what your saying, but I am suggesting that the nude community could pool our talent and financial donations to kick off a media company dedicated to reaching out to this demographic via freelancer and kickstarter plus what ever the community brings. I am sure there are many talented developers and film makers amongst nudist kind.

      • Yes, pooling talent and resources is most desirable. But it hasn’t happened yet to any great extent with respect to other important activities, such as organizing naturist events, starting and operating local naturist clubs, or writing for mainstream publications. All of that could be targeted towards the younger demographic. But nobody seems to have figured out how to make it happen, except in a few places.

  20. Pingback: Why isn’t social nudity thriving? | Naturist Philosopher | Naturist Fab

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  22. Michael Lee Semiatin says:

    In my experience…
    My name is Michael, a 45 year old man in Virginia who has practiced nudity my entire adult life. It seems very tolerated wherever I go, the beach or river and even my own backyard. As long as I’m decent about it people seem to not care. At first there may be the initial shock, but then once they realize I’m not a creep (aroused, or touching myself) they seem alright with it. After all the thousands of times I’ve gone skinny dipping in broad daylight with people around, I’d venture to say about 98 percent tolerated my nudity, 1 percent were excited and 1 percent were totally offended. My neighbors were even cool with it… only twice in my entire life have someone called police and one of those was some crazy lady known for starting trouble. At first, it seemed a big risk but then became quite comfortable situations as long as I kept my distance and respected their space. Since the advent of camera phones you’d think they’d all be pic crazy or but no, it’s almost as if they feel they would be impeding on your privacy. I did get arrested once by that crazy lady, but the prosecutor dropped the charges. In general, I wouldn’t go shopping nude, but I see no reason not to enjoy somewhat discreet skinny dipping as it used to be the “norm” decades ago – yeah, I’m representin’… innocent and natural, liberating and healthy way of life called nudism.

    • My name is Michael, a 45 year old man in Virginia who has practiced nudity my entire adult life. It seems very tolerated wherever I go, the beach or river and even my own backyard. As long as I’m decent about it people seem to not care.

      Thank you very much for that information, Michael. In most of the stories here, people who encounter the various characters naked also have the very tolerant attitude that you describe. It seems, however, that some people who read these stories don’t actually believe this is possible. Well, as you testify, it definitely is possible. But that does depend a lot on where you live and how well you are known by the people who see you naked. It’s great that many people have this live-and-let-live attitude. This is exactly what naturists need to encourage – by doing precisely what you’re doing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work so well as in your case. The way naturists should proceed is to figure out who among their acquaintances should be most tolerant of nudity – and give them the opportunity to see how it works for you.

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