9 Common Myths about Naturism that are WRONG

9 Common Myths about Naturism that are WRONG

For a very long time, naturism was not something people talked about. It was a dark part of society, a secret club, of which many had heard about but few really knew what was really going on behind those high fences of the naturist club. These kinds of places are an excellent food for rumors. It’s human behavior, if we don’t know the very truth about something, our imagination starts playing tricks on us. Add to that the secret ingredient of nudity and the imaginary stories become much more interesting than the truth.

 

This taboo and the myths linked to it are partly caused by the naturists themselves. Just by acting so secretly about our lifestyle, we give others all the reasons to think that we’re doing something wrong. Something shameful. Something we’re definitely not proud of. Quite ironic, in a way. Because in the world we live in today, the respect, equality, peacefulness, and serenity within naturism are actually things we should be very proud of.

 

One of the reasons why we started Naked Wanderings, was to show the world what naturism is really about. To break down the fences and open the curtains. Yes, we are naturists. Have a good look at what we do and tell us how conform that is with what you believed before. On the internet, more and more naturists decide to do the same. They become the true face of naturism and help to break down the myths.

 

If you’ve never tried naturism before, but you’re curious about what it really is, let’s start by explaining why some of the most common myths are totally wrong.

You might end up at a sex club

In the clothed world, we only undress for two reasons: To shower and to have sex. Since it’s quite hard to believe that people would drive for hours to end up in some secluded space just to get a bath, it’s not hard to understand why the myth focuses on that other part: We do so to have sex. As there are many other people involved, it must be the kind of sex that you won’t find in the average bedroom.

 

It was one of the ideas that shot through our heads as well when we were about to experience our first social nude experience. “What if we end up at a sex party?”. How incredibly awkward would that be? How stupid would we look when we have to explain that this was not what we expected? As in “Dude, you came to a place where people get naked together… what DID you expect?”.

 

Of course, that didn’t happen. Instead, there were very clear rules against sex in public areas and against scouting for possible sex-partners. It’s one of the foundations of naturism: non-sexual social nudity.

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Naturist places are full of voyeurs

When in the proximity of a nude beach or naturist resort, it’s likely that you’ll feel an urge to have a peek inside. Quickly check out the naked people. Everyone else must have that too, right? Aren’t nude beaches just places with a handful of naked people surrounded by a couple of thousands of spectators? Well… Did you ever actually go have a look at that nude beach? And did you just stand there in the middle, giving everyone a good gawk or did you feel ashamed for sneaking up on people and turn away as quickly as you came in?

 

There are of course people who find sexual pleasure in watching naturists from the bushes behind or who believe that our nudity is just for their entertainment. But those are fewer than you would think. If you completely want to avoid them, it’s much better to visit a resort than a beach, because resorts have staff that doesn’t tolerate such behavior.

Naturists only camp

Oh, how much do we dislike the term “naturist camp”. Or even worse: naturist colony. It sounds humiliating. As if we’re some backward tribe of lunatics that the world would rather get rid of altogether. But then Human Rights would get angry, so let’s just give them their little camp or colony where they can do their crazy thing without disturbing the normal people.

 

Of course, “camp” also refers to camping and in that sense, there’s definitely some truth in the term. For a very long time, the places where naturists got together were camping spots. During the last several decades, this has significantly changed. Today, every kind of accommodation available for the clothed traveler also exists for those who prefer to spend their time without clothes. Bed and Breakfasts, hotels, all-inclusive resorts, guesthouses, villas, and even cruises. If camping is not your thing, there are plenty of other options.

Naturists are hippies

Another myth is that naturists are all hippies, vegans, and those chaining themselves to trees whenever a piece of forest is about to be cut down. The Woodstock documentaries certainly helped to create that myth. Look at them hippies, they’ve smoked so much pot that they don’t even bother putting some pants on.

 

The naturist movement did flourish at the end of the sixties and even today, nudity is still used as a way to protest for the environment or against certain aspects of society. The World Naked Bike Ride or the FEMEN protests are examples of that. But definitely not everyone who joins those protests will call him/herself a naturist. And definitely not all naturists feel the need to join those protests. Just like not everyone who smokes pot or goes to San Francisco is a hippy. There is an overlap, just like there’s an overlap between naturists and CEOs, football players, and Nutella lovers.

Naturism is expensive

This is a myth that we’ve only started hearing recently. What do you mean, naturism is expensive? Where we are from, western Europe, there are naturist places for all kinds of budgets. Only when we started traveling, especially to regions where the options for the naturist are not as plenty as we’re used to, we realized that there’s some truth in this. When the balance of supply and demand is disturbed, it does happen that the one naturist place will give you less value for your money compared to the many clothed places. And it definitely feels wrong when you have to pay more for less, literally, pay more to be able to wear fewer clothes.

 

Unfortunately, the only way to fight these injustices is by lowering the supply. Stop going there until they are forced to drop their prices or give you more value. You don’t really need to go to an official naturist place. Why not go camping naked with some friends in the woods, have nude home parties, join non-landed naturist groups that rent spaces to organize their activities. You can make naturism as expensive or as cheap as you wish.

You need a perfect body to become a naturist

It’s one of the most common fears among aspiring naturists. To feel out of tone. We don’t necessarily want to be the most beautiful person at the resort (although we’d definitely like that) but we certainly don’t want to be the shortest or fattest, we don’t want the largest butt or the smallest penis. We don’t want to be the joke of the day.

 

Given the fact that most people will think like that, it’s only logical that it’s just the top models who dare to get naked among others, right? This is something on which you’ll have to believe our word until you’ve seen it for yourself. If you’re planning to visit a naturist place in order to see some real-life nude models, you’ll come back very disappointed. At naturist places, you will find the most varied range of bodies possible.

 

Since everyone can be a naturist, you will find every kind of person at a naturist place. The best way to imagine this is by going to the supermarket and have a look at all the other people. That’s exactly what a naturist resort looks like. Except that none of them will be wearing clothes and that they’ll be hanging around the pool instead of picking groceries from the shelves. Young, old, thin, thick, some might be your type, others definitely not. In naturism, what you look like doesn’t matter at all. It’s about who you are.

Naturism is for old people

We mentioned in the introduction that more and more naturists are showing their faces and breaking down the taboos. That’s only happening recently. Not too long ago, if a human interest show or a newspaper article did put the spotlight on naturists, the only volunteers they could find would be middle-aged or older. The only person in the family who stopped caring about what the outside world thought of her, was grannie.

 

As a result, naturism has quickly gained a very old-fashioned image. We didn’t know much about naturists, but we did know that they’re over 60 and don’t do much more than play petanque and go to bed at 8 pm. Not particularly the most attractive pastime for younger generations. So young people lost interest in naturism, actually making this myth more true than it supposed to be.

 

But we can tell you this: naturism is fun for all ages. The de-stressing effect, the positive effect that it has on your body image, and the friendly social scene don’t require a certain age to be enjoyed. Not only your grandparents will like it, but so will you.

You have to be naked 24/7

The naturist philosophy says: “Dressed when practical, nude when possible”. Many naturists interpret this like they should be nude whenever it’s not too cold, not too dangerous, and not too illegal. For some of them, this leads to high energy bills during winter months and a closet located at their front door. We’ve seen naturists get naked when the temperatures barely hit 15°C. Possible? Well, yes, they probably won’t freeze to death. Practical? Not that much, when you ask us.

 

Some naturist places really live to that philosophy, but those are becoming less and less. Most naturist places that we visited rather embrace the idea that if it really makes no sense to wear clothes, you should not wear any. But other than that, you just do what makes you feel comfortable. Swimming pools, saunas, jacuzzis, and nude beaches are typical places where clothes really have no purpose at all. But sports, for example, can be different. Some naturists love doing sports in the nude, while others find it very uncomfortable.

 

The large naturist resorts in Europe, which not only have a pool and a volleyball court but also restaurants, shops, yoga classes, and who knows what else, are typical examples of this clothing-optional philosophy. Some of the guests find it great not having to wear clothes for weeks in a row and being able to do everything naked. Others enjoy being nude on the beach or in the pool but do prefer a sarong while shopping or even like to dress up for dinner. “Dressed when practical” can be interpreted in many different ways.

Children don’t belong at naturist places

We only learned about adults-only naturist resorts when we crossed the Atlantic towards the Americas. At first, we figured that those places must be hidden swingers venues. “18+” is a term that we largely know as a movie rating. Yet, those appeared to be genuine, non-sexual naturist places that happened to have their reasons to not allow children. Some just didn’t have the facilities, others didn’t want to check IDs when serving booze and others just wanted to guarantee rest and quietness to their guests.

 

Interestingly, some of the guests we talked to at these venues had no idea about the existence of family naturism. Are there really places where people get nude with their whole family? Of course, there are! In fact, naturism started as a family-oriented lifestyle and most naturist organizations heavily promote naturism as such. Naturism is definitely something that can be enjoyed with the whole family and has several advantages for the children as well as for the family bonds. And there’s quite some chance that your kids will enjoy the freedom of being clothes-free very much!

15 thoughts on “9 Common Myths about Naturism that are WRONG

  1. Nice post with many valid observations. However, I’m afraid you misstated the effect of supply & demand on pricing. Prices come down when either supply increases or demand decreases (or some combination of both). Since we don’t want to decrease demand for naturism (to the contrary, we want more people to enjoy naturism), the only way to lower prices is to increase the supply by having more (not fewer) naturist venues available to meet the demand. In particular, the US needs more naturist venues that will attract young adults (particularly Millennials). But the unanswered question is: if we build it, will they come?

  2. Well written Nick and Lins. You clearly have learned a lot by travelling around the world to get to know hundreds of naturist resorts and thousands of naturists. I agree with Robeless Robert that we need more naturist resorts. The challenge is attracting guests during week days and during the cold winter months. The other challenge is to make money without having parties. The younger generation mostly like to party. The pubs make healthy profits. Can a naturist resort survive without parties? Is there resistance to change?

    1. Hi Lofty, Bare Oaks naturist resort attracts guests throughout the whole year. And they are located in Canada… Which has Siberian winters…
      It’s all about creating a community. If you just focus on vacationers, you’ll only get guests who come on a vacation. But if you adjust your activities to create a community, you’ll get more local visitors who just keep coming back. The best trick in the book is also the easiest one. Just ask your guests “What do we need to do or organize so you would keep coming back every weekend?”.

      When it comes to younger guests, there’s party and there’s party. Definitely not all young people want drunk parties until 4 am. But they don’t want to be put to bed at 9 pm either. Find a balance. Or better, find them a place. Again in Canada, there’s a naturist resort called Le Pommerie, which has a separate place for young people, where they can play music and have drum circles without disturbing the “oldies” 🙂

  3. Great summary. When I explain the experience of visiting a place like, say, Orient Beach, I say it’s kind of like being in a locker room. May people are nude. It’s nonsexual. It’s normal. It’s the closest analogy I’ve found.

  4. Naturism IS expensive. At least more expensive than living textile life.

    When you just want to go to a nude beach – then ok, you can have accomodation wherever you want (if any at all, when going on a day trip). But still, as nude beaches are rather limited in number, you are pretty likely to cover more distance to get there and pay more for transport. Textiles can choose just the nearest one.

    If you want to hike, you just choose a trail. But if you want to hike naked, you are forced to choose an off the beaten track (and likely pay more for transport). In most countries you also risk getting in trouble with law – if you want to avoid this, you have to visit a nudist resort with hiking trails. Such resorts are again limited in number, are far away (again transport costs) and are expensive (let’s face it, a resort with hiking trails has to be expensive). I have to pay extra for the ability to undress.

    If you want to go on a lazy holiday – pool, sundeck, drinks etc. – you can go wherever you want. But if you want to do it naked – you are again limited. And have to pay extra.

    Something free for all is a matter of big expenses for a naturist.

    1. Yes, but those are all your personal choices. It’s like people who say that traveling is expensive. Lots of people spend more on a two week holiday than we do in two months of traveling. Because they want to go to expensive destinations. Or saying that going out for dinner is expensive. But you can still choose between going to a 500€ place or a 10€ place.

      It’s the same with naturism. Money will open more doors, that’s for sure. But that’s the same with everything. If you’re flexible and inventive, you can experience naturism at a low cost. Such as organizing home parties as we suggest in the article.

      1. Yes, this is my choice to have naturist holidays. And I have to pay more for this choice than to have textile holidays.

        The problem is you don’t have 10€ naturist places. All are more expensive than that. This is my point – you have to pay extra for the ability to undress.

        1. It probably depends where you go. Here in France, we don’t think that naturist campings are more expensive than textile campings. And then don’t make you pay for the shower (probably because everyone would then just use the free shower next to the pool :-D)

      2. Well u cant choose between a 500e and a 10e place if u cant afford 500 for stuff like that .. so its not really a choice.
        Of course this applys to everything else as well, not just naturism.

        1. Are you poor because you can’t afford a 500€ place?
          Are you poor because you can’t afford a ferrari?

          More importantly, are you happier if you can afford a 500€ place and a ferrari?

          1. I dont understand the questions.
            Of course ur poor if u cant afford a once a year vacation that costs 500e.
            Ferrari? .. what person with a right set of mind wants to own a Ferrari .. Ferrari is not a communal usage care, its a prestige thing, and i have seen a poor person own a Ferrari yet, let me know if u did.

            But lemme reverse the question, would u be happy if u couldnt afford to travel around the world to see 100s of nudie places and live a nudie life on the road?

          2. We were talking about 500 euros/night.

            What we do is a life choice. This also means that we don’t have a financial buffer, we don’t have job security, who knows what will happen if we get really sick somewhere around the world, we can’t have a family of our own and we rarely see friends and family, etc. And that’s alright because we chose this lifestyle. And honestly, we think everyone can do the same. It doesn’t require any special skills. It doesn’t require a lot of money either. But you have to be willing to do it.

          3. *correction
            “Ferrari is not a communal usage care, its a prestige thing, and i have seen a poor person own a Ferrari yet, let me know if u did.”

            i ment to say that i havent seen a poor person own a Ferrari

  5. “Naturism is for old people”
    “Children don’t belong at naturist places”
    Emphatically no to both statements. However, retired folk are generally the ones with the time on their hands, and, if they have a decent private pension as well as the old age pension, or they have substantial life savings, they are the ones from this set who can most easily afford to indulge themselves in the Naturist pastime. It is unsurprising, therefore, that there seems to be a predominance of middle-class seniors in groups of Naturists. Although elderly myself, I abhor this. Part of the fun is that there should be a spread of ages from 9 months to 90 all together enjoying themselves. True, they will be doing this in different ways, but there should be a degree of commonality between them.

    “You have to be naked 24/7”
    I accept that this is (and should be) bogus. However, I think it is absolutely essential that “you can be naked 24/7”. After all, this is the point of the exercise. I deplore the rule some places have of designating “no nudity” areas within their boundaries. Once over the threshold there should be no worries about not wearing clothes if you don’t want to.

    1. It’s often said that elderly people have more time and therefore engage more in naturism. But we think that’s just a small part of the truth. Elderly people also have more time to read, but we don’t see a very distinct age difference at libraries or book shops.
      It’s definitely true that naturist resorts can be far away and come with a price tag, which might keep the younger, busier generations away. But resorts are just a part of the options. We notice that local naturist events and natural areas like hot springs tend to attract a much younger crowd than resorts.

      We’ve been to several naturist places that have “no nudity” sections. Often the restaurant or the shop. We also find this a bit weird. If you can spend a whole day seeing naked people, why don’t you want to see them over dinner? Yet, those places often do get lots of visitors, so there must be naturists who actually enjoy the fact that everyone has to get dressed in the restaurant.

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