Nope. In fact, being a practicing naturist at home, or in other private settings, is rather controversial, especially in many or most areas of the U. S. Yes, no doubt millions of people, most of whom probably don’t even consider themselves naturists or nudists, do go naked around their homes. Often others in the families do also.
But, unfortunately, even several million people in the U. S. (with a population of around 320 million) make up a fairly small minority. Habitual nudity in families or even in private groups of naturists can be quite controversial.
First example. Here’s a recent article, Should You Get Naked Around Your Kids to Help Their Body Image? The author, a man, is fairly comfortable being naked at home. But he still has concerns:
As someone who is both male and grew up in a house where my parents wouldn’t put on robes until they felt like it (my mother would watch TV in her underwear; my dad would prance around the house in bikini briefs bought on sale at K-Mart), I can’t say it did much for my self-esteem. While I’m happy to wander around naked (too happy, some might say), I’m also self-conscious about my flaws. Not because I’m uncomfortable with nudity, but because, like in my household, I’m always worried that not having clothes on opens me up to criticism—and it does, often, no matter how much practice you’ve had at it. [Emphasis added]
Second example. A naturist group in Southern California – Huntington Beach, to be specific – had been using a municipal pool for members-only naturist swims for about 8 years, with tacit approval from facility and public officials. Clothing-optional swims for naturist groups in municipal pools are common in Europe, of course. Sometimes there are even regularly scheduled times when the general public can enjoy the pools naked.
But a few months ago a new city attorney was hired in Huntington Beach, and he quickly banned the naturist swims, based on an existing but ambiguous city ordinance against “public” nudity. Although the swims were private, being members-only, the facility was publicly owned – thus (according to the new attorney) justifying application of the existing ordinance, which had originally been adopted for entirely different reasons.
It seems that few people had objected to the swims for the past 8 years, including employees at the pool itself. For example:
Former HB lifeguard Keri Boyd emphasized on the city’s Facebook page that no one was ever forced to work the event. “They don’t schedule you to work these events,” she wrote. “It’s a private event, so it is posted in the office as an extra shift to pick up to earn more mula $$$ . . . It never bothered me when I was working. I never felt like it was a distraction from my job to have people swimming naked. ‘Oh, no, not a boob!’ ‘Oh, no, not a penis!’ ‘Oh, no, not a hairy muff!’ We’ve all seen genitalia before. Just a bunch of nudists doin’ their nudist thang and livin’ their life!”
But as soon as the banning of naturist swims became news, so that the general public learned about the swims, probably for the first time, a lot of negative reactions to the swims surfaced in the community:
On the same Facebook thread in which Boyd had urged people to get past their junior-high attitudes, her post was joined by those who were concerned that naked people in a pool were less hygienic than those wearing swimsuits, as if a $20 pair of trunks from Target were some kind of magical block between body and water. Then there were those who, upon learning of the event, said they were concerned that it took place just blocks from a public school; never mind that the events took place in the evening and on the weekend, when no kids are supposed to be at the school.
The objections, obviously, are ridiculous. But people will rationalize their prejudices in any way they can.
There’s an unfortunate tendency to “explain” the negative prejudices on the grounds that most people mistakenly equate nudity and sexuality. It is true that this blanket equation is as common as it is mistaken. But the problem is deeper than that. The Huntington Beach example shows there’s no evidence at all of overt sexual behavior at the naturist swims. (That’s a common excuse used for banning nudity at beaches that have been clothing-optional for decades.) It seems that nudity itself is still just too controversial.