or naturism, is the practice of going nude or unclothed in social
and usually mixed gender groups, specifically in cultures where
this is not the norm. It sometimes occurs furtively in secluded
places in countries where appearing naked in public is illegal,
but enjoys widespread acceptance in other areas of the world.
Those who practice nudism are called nudists or naturists. Some
people believe that being naked with other people is necessarily
always sexual, or that nudism is morally wrong or pornographic.
Naturists generally reject these views. Typical activities are
sunbathing and sports, but some nudists prefer also to be nude
while working etc., whenever the temperature and the social situation
allows it (including when one is alone).
believe that the human body is nothing to be ashamed of, being
something that we all possess and ought to cherish. Consequently,
nudists participate in various social activities in the nude.
terms are used interchangeably in this article, some would draw
a distinction between the terms nudism and naturism. In this view
a nudist is one who sometimes chooses to go without clothes. A
naturist is one who embraces a philosophy that includes more than
occasional nudity, often environmentalism, vegetarianism or simply
more of a closeness to nature. Others would argue that the term
naturism implies snobbery, and there is no distinction. A visit
to a nude beach may entitle someone to be called a nudist, but
does not make one a naturist. Changing and showering in a locker
room probably does not qualify for either. Doing housework in
the nude might. Many nudists do so casually at home. An alternate
usage of these terms held by some North Americans is: nudist=nude
indoors, naturist=nude outdoors. The nudist or naturist label
is really a state of mind of the practitioner, instead of a strictly
defined classification imposed by others.
organizations do not allow people with body piercings on their
premises. (Presumably this rule refers to the foreign objects
in the piercings, not to the piercings themselves.) Most, however,
accept people of all sizes, shapes and types including those with
surgical scars, tattoos or interestingly trimmed (or absence of)
hair. Some nudist organizations do not allow unaccompanied men,
whereas most nudist organizations not only allow but encourage
unaccompanied women to join them. That this is hypocritical of
a subculture which promotes acceptance is a topic often debated.
not equivalent to exhibitionism. It is people who enjoy being
nude and who are not primarily interested in seeing others naked
(strictly, voyeurism) or being seen naked by others. That being
said, all kinds of people are attracted to the movement, for all
kinds of reasons. Many naturists are convinced that increased
exposure to the natural environment, made easier through nudity,
can result in numerous health benefits. Sunlight has been shown
to be beneficial in some skin conditions, and is required by the
body to make vitamin D. However, with the increased awareness
of skin cancer, wearing of sunblock/sun protection lotions is
now part of the nudist culture and is one of their frequently
discussed topics. Whereas nudist parents don't require their children
to put on clothes before going outside at a nudist club or beach,
most do require them to put on sunscreen lotion. Overall, naturists
often claim that they are more relaxed and in a better state of
mind when they shed their clothes.
like-minded people can make interpersonal interactions, such as
meeting new friends, easier and many nudist organizations are
really just social clubs. Indeed, some of these clubs have stricter
entrance requirements than some traditional up-scale 'country
clubs' - requiring references, a sponsoring member, a trial membership,
committee approval, and, due to fears about sex offenders, criminal
background checks (though this is normally only done on male applicants).
At the other end of the spectrum is 'unorganized' naturism in
which there is nothing to join, no one to pay, and only civil,
common and criminal law to serve as rules of etiquette. Many people
get their first exposure to the naturist movement through this
kind of informal nudism (e.g. a clothing optional beach, a friend's
place in the woods, a party on the shore; skinny dipping).
wear clothes if the weather demands it. Naturists are generally
accepting people, the general idea being simply doing things nude
that one would normally do clothed. However, manners are important.
The most essential thing to bring to any nudist site is a towel
to sit on. It is very poor etiquette to sit on a chair, bench,
or anything else where others might sit without your towel. Also,
never sit on someone else's towel. Other rules may include a prohibition
on cameras (including cell phone cameras), pets, weapons, loud
music, etc. Always check the specific rules before visiting a
new nudist site, as policies vary. Some nudist resorts, clubs,
or beaches require full nudity at all times (with exceptions,
such as when a woman is experiencing menstruation, or certain
days/hours for new visitors and cold weather). Most have this
policy only for the swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, hot tub bath,
etc., with clothing optional elsewhere. Recently, to avoid any
possible litigation, some privately owned resorts and clubs in
the USA forbid bringing any minor children from other families
without written permission in advance. A few even exclude children
of divorced parents without the written consent of the other ex-spouse
(unless they can prove full custody). Of course, this does not
apply to public beaches.
movements exist in Germany (called FKK or Freikörperkultur
- Free Body Culture), France and the Netherlands, and smaller
such organizations exist in many other nations. Social nudity
is practiced in many cultures, especially in the context of social
bathing, sometimes with mixed sexes.
Is Not Sex
and nudist organizations maintain and try to enforce a no sex
in public policy, (nude, not lewd) and it is rare to see obvious
signs of sexual behaviour (including staring or gawking) at most
sites. These are the stereotypical family-oriented clubs and beaches.
feel it is inappropriate for males to openly display a non-sexual
spontaneous erection. However, some believe it should be included
as a part of "body acceptance"— a key philosophy
of nudists. This has been the subject of endless debate on nudist/naturist
internet web forums. Under normal circumstances, the best advise
is to cover up with a towel, turn over (if lying down), sit down,
go for a swim, or otherwise minimize its presence until the penis
is in its normal position. For some activities this may not be
immediately practicable or even possible, and etiquette suggests
it then be ignored by everyone. Public nude beaches tend to be
less strict on this issue than private nudist resorts and clubs.
Also, there is generally much more tolerance of pre and post-puberty
boys having spontaneous erections than for older teens and men.
In no circumstances though, should the apprehension of having
a spontaneous erection keep someone, of any age, away from nudist
sites and activities. Nor, is it any reason for males to be ashamed
of their body, or desperately attempt to cover an erection by
hand. Nudists are generally understanding and polite people, and
know that any male could potentially have an erection at any time.
There is a balance between flaunting it and being ashamed. Those
still having concerns should discuss them with a person in charge,
as policies vary from place to place. One of the least tolerated
situations, though, would be a man wandering around for no obvious
reason while simultaneously having an erection. Overall, females
tend to be among the most tolerant on this issue, however, they
are often the first to complain whenever someone shows disrespect
in naturism has not been shown to be harmful and may even be beneficial
to childhood psychological development. Of course parents always
need to be vigilant to guard their children from sexual predators.
This applies equally to naturists as it does for non-naturists.
social anthropologist and author of The Naked Ape, suggests that
"If you perform nudity in public you destroy its value as
an erotic action." However, some fringe groups and gatherings
(such as Swingstock) are more like sex clubs and not considered
by most to be examples of true nudism.
refer to people who don't practice nudity as textiles. Clothing
optional or C.O. usually refers to a facility that allows and
encourages nudity but tolerates the wearing of clothes, whereas
a nudist facility usually insists on complete nudity where practicable
(to ensure that no one feels inappropriately dressed). Topfree
refers to an area that allows uncovered female breasts, also known
as topless (topfree being used since topless has a negative connotation).
A free beach is not so much one without an admission cost, but
one in which people can be entirely free of their clothes. A landed
organization is one that owns the real estate it is situated on.
Non-landed or travel clubs meet regularly at different locations
such as nudist resorts, bowling alleys, or swimming pools rented
for the purpose. A smoothie is a person who shaves off much of
his/her body hair.