So, you’re reading this now. Perhaps you were just randomly browsing. Or used a search engine. Or followed a link you came across on Twitter or Facebook. In any case, if you’re still reading, it’s not unfair to assume you’re interested in the topic, or at least curious about it. So I’ll assume that.
Perhaps, in fact, you have personal reasons for wondering and learning more about nudism or naturism. To be clear, I generally use those terms interchangeably, since there’s little agreement about how they differ. Sometimes I’ll also use “social nudity”, which means being naked in a group (of any size) of people who’re also comfortable with being naked around others. That’s a little more general than either “nudism” or “naturism”, which to some people suggest simply enjoying being naked in the privacy of your own home.
There could be several reasons why social nudity arouses your curiosity or interest. Maybe you simply wonder how people could want to get involved in such a thing. Maybe you actually know one or more people who are actually involved. Or maybe you wonder whether it’s something you might try yourself. You might already have tried it, or even found that you rather enjoy it. However that may be, unless you already consider yourself an expert in the subject, I hope I’ll be able to provide you with useful information about it – information that could be helpful if you want to become more involved with social nudity yourself.
I’m not going to go into the history of social nudity, or give a lot of specifics about where to find places to enjoy it, or discuss how social nudity is (or isn’t) accepted by the rest of society, At least, that’s not what I plan to get into first,
My first objective is to discuss how to consider whether social nudity could be something you’d be willing to try (if you haven’t already done so). I’ll write some about how to initially become involved in social nudity in case you decide that’s the direction you’d like to go. That will mean offering practical tips on things you ought to know to get along well in social nudity situations, and alerting you to a few pitfalls to be avoided. This isn’t really all that difficult. If you become seriously interested while taking the first steps, you could be on the way to making social nudity a part of the rest of your life. Even if you don’t eventually take that direction, at least you should gain some insight into how some people do become social nudists.
At the outset, I should be clear that this discussion will be limited mostly to social nudity in the United States, since that is the only place I have much experience with the subject. In other countries, things may be a little or a lot different from what they are in the U. S.
It’s also important to point out that all of this is about non-sexual social nudity. There’s nothing inherently wrong with social sexual activities that include nudity, but involvement in that sort of thing is strictly a personal choice that is not what will be discussed here. Legitimate nudist/naturist and social nudity venues strive to be “family-friendly” and don’t allow for open sexuality. Please respect that distinction.
The first topic to consider is: how one might go about deciding whether to investigate nudism, naturism, or social nudity in the first place, with the thought of maybe actually getting into it. There are, of course, many reasons why going in that direction might be quite difficult for some people. I’ll try to address various things that may concern you. For example, one may:
1. have accepted the social consensus that being naked around other people they aren’t extremely close to is a major taboo.
2. have children not yet adults, about whom one might be concerned over the effects on them of being with adults who are sometimes or frequently naked.
3. be under the age of 18 and afraid of what one’s parents or other adults might think of one’s having an interest in being naked.
4. have friends or relatives that one might expect will not be open-minded about social nudity and the effect of this on one’s friendship with them.
5. have negative feelings about the appearance of one’s naked body for various reasons, such as it’s not “attractive enough”, too fat or too thin, too old or too wrinkled, or disfigured in some way or other (amputation, burn scars, etc.).
6. feel embarrassed or ashamed about the appearance of one’s uncovered genitals or other sexually significant parts.
7. have a spouse, romantic partner, or significant other who might not be open-minded about when and where nudity is acceptable – and with whom.
8. be active in a religion or religious organization that is not open-minded about social nudity.
9. have employment that would be adversely affected if one’s participation became known.
I’ll try to offer helpful ideas and advice about the first six of these issues, at least in some cases. It should usually be possible to deal with these issues in a way that entails no drastic changes in one’s life but works out well for all concerned.
The last three issues, however, are a different matter. I don’t feel confident about offering advice on how to deal with them. Perhaps some suggestions offered related to the first six issues may help. But in general, it may be best to discuss the last three issues with a professional counselor, since how they are dealt with can significantly affects one’s life.
To continue, let’s suppose you’ve been able to address each of these issues, if they are relevant to you. And suppose that you then decide you actually want to try out social nudity in some way or other, with a possible goal of making it more than a minor part of your life.
So the next thing to address is: What actual steps should you take to get started and to proceed to the ultimate goal? I’ll try to offer some suggestions, such as:
1. Be naked occasionally, and more often as time goes on, when that’s comfortable to do and you’re alone or with others (e. g. immediate family) whom you know are OK with your nudity.
2. Always sleep naked. Healthy people (other than infants!) really don’t need to wear anything in bed (if there are enough blankets).
3. If you have a private backyard swimming pool, go in naked whenever possible, and invite others to do likewise (without exerting any pressure). If you like to sunbathe, you probably want to avoid tan lines.
4. Talk with friends and relatives, whom you consider open-minded, about social nudity and your interest in it. Telling others you enjoy being naked may not be easy at first, but it’s an important step, because it’s a kind of “coming out”. This step lets others know something important about you, and it also affirms the fact to yourself. You’ll feel more at ease being naked when you’re with these people, since they won’t be surprised to find you that way, and if they invite you to their residence, they’re more likely to encourage you to be naked if you feel like it and the situation is appropriate. (It might not be a good idea to be so open about this in social media like Facebook or Twitter, unless you have good control over who sees the conversation.)
5. Do some research on places relatively nearby where social nudity is accepted, such as clothing-optional beaches, nudist/naturist clubs and resorts, remote hiking and camping areas, clothing-optional bed & breakfast places, etc. Plan visits to such places, and invite others along who are tolerant of nudity.
6. Plan vacations to places not nearby where social nudity is possible. Vacations outside the U. S. should especially be considered, if you can afford them, as there are many countries that offer many more possibilities for social nudity than the U. S.
7. Find out whether there are nearby nudist/naturist clubs that meet in individual homes or other appropriate places to enjoy social nudity. Meet with members of such clubs to determine whether they’re people you’d like to have as friends and would welcome you as a member.
8. Investigate whether there are online social networks, discussion groups, “bulletin boards”, etc. that discuss social nudity, seem active, and have people whom you might like to have online conversations with. These may be found on Facebook and other general social networks, as well as in stand-alone sites. Blogs dealing with social nudity (like this one) not only provide information, but also allow for asking/answering questions in comment sections. However, avoid nudist/naturist “dating sites” like the plague. They’re almost always scams. You might have to do some searching and asking around to find suitable online groups, since many of them leave much to be desired when compared with offline in-person groups.
9. There are certain special events, in particular locations, where nudity is acceptable. Examples are Burning Man, occasional “World Naked Bike Rides” in many cities, naked marathon runs (often at nudist/naturist resorts), etc. To find out about such things it’s generally necessary to watch for notices about them via online networks, unless you’ve joined a nudist/naturist social group. Often there are other purposes to the events, but the possibility of being naked is an added attraction.
There are several very important points regarding these suggestions. To reinforce what was already mentioned, all of the suggestions here will be limited to ideas relevant to non-sexual social nudity. You shouldn’t have to worry about inappropriate sexual attention in legitimate groups, and you certainly should be careful to act appropriately yourself. There are simple standards of proper “naturist etiquette” that should be pretty obvious.
Secondly, there may be some significant differences in how it’s best for men and women to get into social nudity. Women do need to take certain steps more carefully than men do. For instance, men tend to participate in online naturist groups far more often and openly than women do. This marked lack of gender balance is likely to be daunting to most women, and that’s the main reason they refrain from more open participation. Both men and women need to realize that other participants in online venues are not necessarily what they represent themselves to be – in terms of gender, age, interests, etc. That’s pretty much inherent in the nature of online systems, which allow for hiding much more than is possible in fact-to-face situations. And we all know that even in the latter case, people can dissemble about themselves fairly drastically.
No matter what venue is involved, one should be alert to the social cues offered by others. When dealing with people you don’t know well, be cautious. Seek out people you trust for objective opinions about others you know less well. In an offline, face-to-face venue, it’s not a bad idea to come along with a friend or two, if possible. Women in most cases already know the routine. Visiting a social nudity venue isn’t really all that different from visiting the local bar or a party where you don’t know the hosts and other guests well. All that said, social nudists are generally pretty responsible, friendly, and easy-going.
Ahead of time think of interesting questions to raise with new acquaintances – things beyond the obvious ones everyone uses. Be careful about asking personal questions such as “where do you work?”, “how many kids do you have”, or “do your friends know you do this?”. Also be careful about “how did you happen to get into social nudity?” Some people may be more at ease with that question than others. Once you meet people you find simpatico is a better time to go into life histories. Try for questions you’d actually like answers to. At a commercial resort ask others what they like best about the place. They might well know things you aren’t aware of, like the best food at the resort’s restaurant or snack bar, or the fact that someone on the staff is an expert on local hiking and camping opportunities. You can also use your questions to let others know what interests you the most.
That’s probably enough advice for this introductory piece.
There’s something you may be wondering about if you’ve read this far. How many opportunities will you have to enjoy nudity if the best places for social nudity are not close to where you live? Will there actually be enough to go to the effort of explaining your interest in social nudity to people you know?
The truth is, you’ll need to spend some time thinking about how to discover or create the opportunities. If you happen to live alone or with others who are comfortable with your nudity, the obvious course is to start doing without clothes as much as practical. This will allow you to really have a “naked lifestyle”, where you needn’t bother wearing anything under normal circumstances.
Electing such a lifestyle does entail trade-offs in exchange for the comfort of not having to wear tight, confining clothes. You may need to keep your environment a bit warmer when you’re naked, or else adapt yourself to tolerate being a little colder. Perhaps wearing only a T-shirt is a good compromise between full nudity and cumbersome layers of clothing. On the plus side, if you don’t wear clothes in the summer, you won’t need to run the air conditioner as much, and saving on that could offset the cost of more heat in the winter. Another benefit is having a lot less laundry to do all year – and the cost saving of that. Reducing your dependence on clothes simplifies your life.
However, my purpose isn’t to sell you on the idea of being naked much more of the time. You may be perfectly satisfied to enjoy nudity only in times and places when it’s more practical and you can be with others who also enjoy nudity. On the other hand, if a fully “naked lifestyle” appeals to you, at least during warmer times of the year, then you won’t need any extra encouragement to go for it.