Are all nudists exhibitionists?

We imagine that all long term nudists who are reading this will now raise their hands, ready to type a load of complaints at our address about how we can possibly ask such a question. But still, we hear this a lot. Both from textiles as from nudists, by the way. Does our urge to be naked among others mean that we want to be seen? Are we looking for confirmation by exposing ourselves naked to others? Do we gain any pleasure from it? Is nudism really as pure as we claim it is?


Some days ago we were talking to a British guy at Lemon Tree Naturist Resort in Phuket who told us that he sometimes considered himself an exhibitionist in his younger years because he loved to play with the boundaries.
“This stretch of beach is naturist, but only a meter further is textile… what if I wandered over to the textile part? Only for a couple of meters? Or maybe 50 meters? Or maybe a mile and a half…”
Should we call him an exhibitionist? Or a promotor of public nudity?


What’s an exhibitionist anyway?

When we were kids, it didn’t take long before someone explained the term exhibitionism to us. The topic was typically about an elderly guy in a long rain coat who would ask us if we wanted to see his popsicle or his little bird. We were told to yell “NOOOOO!!” and run away in the case of such an encounter because we would never see any candy and neither would the person in question have a bird in his pocket. This must have meant a major dropdown in memberships at the local ornithologist community but at least it kept the kids safe from harm.

New Cambium intext 4
According to our best friend Wiki, an exhibitionist is someone who exposes “those parts of one’s body that are not normally exposed” for reasons of “their amusement or sexual satisfaction or to shock the bystander”. Did our new friend at lemon Tree cross the nude beach border for his own amusement? We don’t know. Did he gain any sexual satisfaction? We doubt it. Did he shock some bystanders? Probably yes.


If we believe WiKi, our English friend was indeed an exhibitionist. But then we have to look at ourselves. We expose parts of our body that are “normally” not exposed on Instagram, on Facebook, Twitter and on this blog. We don’t do this to shock others and neither do we get any sexual pleasure from it. But we honestly can’t say that it’s not amusing. We have loads of fun taking the pictures and we receive so many heart warming comments that it would be awkward to say that we don’t enjoy it.


Is everybody nudist an exhibitionist?

Although we love WiKi, from time to time we have to disagree with them. Are all actions that include some kind of nudity with the purpose of creating some kind of shock actually acts of exhibitionism? We don’t think so. This would mean that all the members of FEMEN, all the participants of the World Naked Bike Rides and Eva Mendes, Alicia Silverstone, Joss Stone and David Cross among many other celebrities supporting the PETA action against fur should be considered exhibitionists.


Then what about “their amusement”? Aren’t we all, the nudists, getting naked for our own amusement? Because we like to be naked? Because we like to feel the grass between our toes and because we love to swim naked? Even if there are others around us?
Most of the time, the others will be nudists as well, but what about a clothing optional place? What if we arrive at this amazing beach with a few other visitors around and we think “what the hell, I’m going for a skinny dip”.
Does that make us exhibitionists?

What are “those parts of one’s body that are not normally exposed” anyway? We’ve spent the last couple of days in Phuket, Thailand and the things we’ve seen here could, according to WiKi, easily be categorised as exhibitionism as well. Those of you who have visited Bangla road at Patong beach during a late evening out already get an idea, are those sad women dancing on the tables in underwear exhibitionists?


Maestra Banner
Even in the day time, we saw men walking around in G-strings and women queuing at Burger King only covered by an amount of textile that would not be enough to make a decent handkerchief. Aren’t they exposing parts of their bodies that are normally unseen and gaining some kind of amusement from it?


The true exhibitionist

It seems like we have two choices here. Either we follow the description of Wiki and consider everyone who only receives the slightest satisfaction of being seen (not naked, but in general) an exhibitionist, or we focus on the last point. Those who get sexual pleasure from it. And even though we can imagine that the girl who’s completely aware of how her nipples are formed in that small bikini and they guy who loves to see the shape of his penis in his Speedo are often doing this with sexual intentions as well, we know that we can also have this type of visitors at a nudist place.
The question is how much it matters.

To us, an exhibitionist is a person who gets sexual pleasure from shocking someone else with their nudity. It’s still the person with the long rain coat or the woman who flips out her breasts whenever the cute guy from next door passes by on his bicycle.
We don’t doubt that they sometimes consider a nudist venue as their perfect hunting grounds, because let’s face it, we’ve all seen so many penises, breasts and vaginas that another one, how large or well focused as it may be, will rarely grap our attention.
And if they really want to let it all stand out, and this we do mean literally, they will be expelled.


To answer our question: We believe that few nudists are also exhibitionists. At least not in the way we understand the term.
What do you think?


Picture credit: The photos in this post are coming from Google and Twitter. If you find one of yourself and you don’t want it to be on our blog, let us know and we’ll remove it.

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30 thoughts on “Are all nudists exhibitionists?”

  1. In my opinion you are too stretch the concept of “Exhibitionism”)) With the same success can be folded and even “nudity” and leave only “shock” and “entertainment.” And ranked among the exhibitionists, those who in a drunken state, committing rash acts entertaining himself and shocking the passers-by. Or bump into philosophy and say that everyone who gets the pleasure of showing in social networks how they live “beyond their means” (buy expensive things on credit, or relaxing on the resorts that can’t afford it) and shocking that friends and family are also a little exhibitionist…P. S. sorry for possibly clumsy text, but I don’t know English))

    По моему вы слишком растягиваете понятие “ЭКСГИБИЦИОНИзм”)) С таким же успехом можно откинуть еще и “наготу”, и оставить только “шокировать окружающих” и “развлечение”. И причислить к эксгибиционистам тех, кто в пьяном состоянии совершает необдуманные поступки развлекая себя и шокируя прохожих. Или удариться в философию и заявить, что все кто получает удовольствие показывая в социальных сетях то, как они живут “не по средствам” (покупают дорогие вещи в кредит или отдыхая на курортах, которые не могут себе позволить) и шокируя этим знакомых и родных тоже немного эксгибиционисты…П.С. простите за возможно корявый текст, но я совсем не знаю английский))

  2. Humans are a very social species. Every human wants to be seen and appreciated by other humans. When being seen is blocked by the culture there becomes a deep desire to shed the block and be seen as yourself, to be accepted as yourself. Many show off with their body covered, but others want to actually show themselves. Making the desire to see and be seen into some psychological perversion is part of the way that an oppressive culture owns and controls people who long to be free.

  3. I personally see it as this.
    Exib has nothing to do with being nude, or sex ..i has to do with everything you can think of, its just that ppl only use the word for this kinda stuff.
    To me exib is a person that wants to stand out, to be seen by others, one that wants to be the center of attention planned ,not by accident.
    Therefore ,a nude person on a textile beach with 10.000 textiles is FOR SURE an exib , same would go the other way around.
    A person that slams the iPhone X on the table at some cafee in a country like mine where the avg income is 250$ is also an exib.
    A person that walks around with a hardon on a nude beach can but does not have to be one, depends how he walks and acts while walking.
    Its pretty much like when you have a 12yo girl playing nude in the sand and making a castle and when you have a 12yo girl with makeup .posing in a bikini making her self look like she`ll be on the cover of a Playboy…in this case its the intention/message of the picture that makes it sexual , not the fact that one pic is a nude one and the other isnt.
    And its not in the eye/brain of the viewer that make the pic sexual or makes a person an exib, its on the person being viewed.

    • how the person walks is or should be irrelevant unless a male nudist was deliberately playing with, pointing at, touching his erection in view of other people at a nude beach or at a nudist camp (resort) to deliberately get their attention then he is an exhibitionist

      • I’ve seen a woman leave the Jacuzzi and walk away in a very sexual way, not an ordinary walk. Never saw her again. Guess she thought the resort was for sexual entertainment.
        As a long time naturist/nudist, an exhibitionist is one who displays an erection at the beach or resort, not just for being nude unless in public on the street. The bike ride could be considered exhititionist being outside designated areas for nude use, but we flash past everyone so quickly they usually only smile or laugh.

  4. if non nudist (textile) people can’t change the way they see and/or think a naked (nudist) guy walking around erect at a clothing optional beach is an exhibitionist because he might or probably would do something perverted such as jerk it off then they have the wrong attitude clothing optional beaches should be naked (nude) only then the non nudist (textiles) can or should stay at home

      • Such places exist.
        There is a report on Ada Bojana in Montenegro where there
        are clothed guards enforcing disrobing.
        In Spain Article 18 of the 1978 constitution gives everyone
        the right to wear as much or as little as she/he wishes – in
        a public place (ie beaches included but not shops etc). It
        is a valuable freedom and reverting to a regime of strict
        conformity is not the way to go – unless public places
        become private, a VERY retrograde step!
        I live on a remote Spanish island for several months of
        the year and I value the right to be naked in public or
        to wear clothes if I so wish.

        • Indeed, we’ve also been to Ada Bojana. We don’t really know the regulation in Montenegro, but in some countries the beaches aren’t all public by default and thus a company can be the owner of (a part of) a beach and have their own rules. But even in other countries, Greece for example, some beaches are claimed by hotels and clubs and require an entrance fee although all beaches should be public. But you don’t want to be the one to tell that to the bouncer…

  5. The notion that all nudists are little exhibitionists is an idea that has been floated in the online space for many years now by the “open-minded” folks who have by and large hijacked the term nudist to promote and validate their particular sexual proclivities.

    Knowing that those proclivities cannot gain social acceptance on there own these exhibitionists and other who use nudity as a precursor to sexual activity wan to attach themselves to simple non sexual nudity as everyday activity. This association blurs the lines between the two and creates problems for new and long time nudists who already have to fight the social perception that nudists are people who want to get naked and walk around with an erection at a clothing optional beach. Pretty much any person I know who has been to a clothing optional beach has no interest in seeing his or any persons erection and they are not prudes as people like him are want to suggest.

    Wisconsin nudist lost the use of Mazo beach because of the this kind of idea. NY nudists lost Lighthoise beach because of idea. Byron Bay nudists in Australia are in jeopardy of losing their beach because of this idea.

    Historically associating simple non sexual nudity (naturist clothes free life) with sexual proclivities of a small group insistent on hijacking nudism has been bad for growth of nudism. Nothing has changed. Nudists or not exhibitionist because there is nothing inherently sexual about being clothes free. The sexual charge comes when a person gets undressed to expose/present themselves to the view of others in order to gain sexual response action or pleasure.

    I wish these exhibitionists could but own their own truth and be who they are without attaching to the nudist description. Though is is more and more common I for one cannot get used to the practice particularly but not exclusively in social media of associating nudism and exhibitionism.

    This genuine nudists doesn’t get clothes free for sexual reasons to present exhibit or show off my body to anyone. I could care less if any one on a clothing optional beach sees my clothes free body. It is exclusively for my freedom and comfort. I am a human being not just a body that is what I want people to see.

  6. I’m inclined to reduce the “e” word down to it’s root: exhibit. When I am hiking or utilizing a clothing-optional beach I am, in fact, showing myself to others. I suppose there is a certain excitement that comes from that but it is in no way sexual. I receive gratification from the idea that maybe, just maybe, the clothed person who sees me will be inspired to try it for themselves.

    • I agree with you Steve, I’ve never come across a naked hiker but if I had whilst walking in the countryside I would probably have asked if I could join him. I wouldn’t have the confidence to do it on my own. So you would definitely have inspired me as naked hiking is something that I want to do.

    • > I receive gratification from the idea that maybe, just maybe,
      > the clothed person who sees me will be inspired to try it for
      > her/his self.

      This is the greatest reward for a naked person – observing
      the free will of another person. Sadly it does not happen
      very often but it has occurred a few times for me.

  7. I believe the two are not mutually exclusive. For me, it’s all about the setting and the context. I enjoy non-sexual nudism for exactly what it is. It is freeing, natural, and fun. But, like everyone (nudists included), I am also a sexual being. If I’m in an appropriately sexy situation with an appreciative audience, I’ll get into showing off. And that latter situation is sexually arousing.

    The reason that many nudists insist that the two ARE mutually exclusive is to protect the name of nudism. Much of society does not understand nudism, and thinks that it must be a “sex thing.” So outspoken nudists go to extremes to paint themselves as completely non-sexual, to drive home the point that nudism has nothing to do with sex.

    But honestly? We’re human beings. We can enjoy nudity both sexually and non-sexually, and that’s OK. I am both a nudist and an exhibitionist, and I reject the idea that it is impossible to be both. The key (and this is so important) is that I only let the exhibitionist side out to play when it’s appropriate.

    • We could probably not have explained things better than you just did, thanks for that Patrick! Nudist venues come with a ruleset, or better, an etiquette, with which you have to agree when you visit such a place. But that does not mean that your your whole lifestyle has to be based on it. There are nudists/exhibitionists, nudist/swingers, nudist/golf-enthousiasts and nudists/whatever. That’s not important, but when at a nudist place one has to behave according to the etiquette.

    • I couldn’t have said it better. Let me begin with full disclosure: my wife accuses me of being an exhibitionist. It is true that since my youth I have never been concerned about someone seeing me naked. While I’ve only been a engaging in social nudity for about 4 years now, I’ve always been the first to get naked for skinny dipping and such; and the one who cared the least about being seen doing it. Even today when the textiles walk down through our beach on Big Hickory Island in Bonita Springs Florida I make no effort to hide from them. And, oftentimes I will engage them in conversation. If they don’t like it then they are free to walk back to their own beach. This is never done in an effort to exhibit myself for a thrill. However, as you probably already know, there is an extreme since of freedom one feels when we are comfortable being our true selves, the way God made us, warts & all, regardless of the thoughts and prejudices of others. So, if that makes me an exhibitionist, so be it. I’ll wear (no pun intended) the label proudly.
      Now let’s address the topic of sexuality& nudity. We nudist haven’t been neutered and we aren’t eunuchs. Lack of clothing on our bodies doesn’t change who we are, it reveals more of who we are. It’s all about context. You can bet your ass that I notice a well built woman in the nude. In my opinion, she is the pinnacle of God’s esthetic creation. However, that doesn’t mean I’m imagining her making passionate love to me at the mere sight of her; no matter how much I admire her beauty. (That being said, there is no requirement to be “beautiful” to be nude. I enjoy being around the opposite sex regardless of their “looks”. The more the merrier.) But, let her be flirtatious, or act in a sexual manner and it’s a whole new ball game.
      I am also of the opinion (I’ve spoken to many others who feel the same way) that clothing (ie. bikinis, lingerie, etc.) does more to sexualize the atmosphere than simple nudity ever has. I was struck by this the hardest the day I went to Haulover Beach the first time (my first nude beach experience). I drove up to Fort Lauderdale Beach afterwards. As I was walking down the sidewalk heading towards a restaurant I encountered a very well built woman wearing a tiny thong bikini. She made me stop in my tracks and, for lack of a better word, she made me “tingle” a little. It has stuck with me ever since how I had spent my entire day naked, amongst other naked people, some of them every bit as attractive as her, yet I didn’t once get that “tingle”. Nudity is like tofu, it absorbs the flavor of what’s mixed with it. This is very difficult for anyone who hasn’t engaged in social nudity to understand. Clothing or not, a social situation can be sexually charged, or as benign as tea & crumpets. It’s all about the context & intent; who you’re with & where you are. The situation dictates the context, and a lot of times the situation is fluid. A simple barbecue can become a raucous, randy party. What’s important is that everyone is comfortable with whatever is going on at the time. So, be kind, be joyful and enjoy this magnificent freedom the Good Lord has given us.

      • Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts about this Michael and we completely agree.

        Not minding to be nude among clothed people at a place where nudity is allowed certainly doesn’t make you an exhibitionist. Then you’re just a nudist enjoying his rights who’s comfortable enough not to care about the others.

        About the nudity and sex we’ve just published an article earlier today. And we also tackle the sensual difference between nudity and bikinis.
        We often try to explain this as follows: Let’s say we give you two presents, one you can clearly see that it’s an iPhone and the other one is wrapped in paper. Which one will you open first?
        Even though the second one could turn out to be a lollypop, you’ll still open it first because you’re curious what’s in it. This doesn’t mean that you won’t like the iPhone, it just means that there will be a tension to know what’s in the wrapping paper. Same with clothes 🙂

  8. Apparently some people don’t know what an exhibitionist is. An exhibitionist gets a sexual thrill out of exposing themselves to people who are not expecting it. Being nude on a nude beach, nudist resort, or locker room where people are expected to be nude is not being an exhibitionist. Shocking people by exposing yourself in a clothed space is exhibitionism.

  9. Do I get sexual satisfaction from being visible naked? No!

    Do I derive a certain satisfaction in having the confidence and freedom to allow others to see my naked body? Yes

    Give me what ever label you want, I’m just happy being me ?

  10. We are not fond of labels. However, that being said, in reality, aren’t all nudist exhibitionist and voyeurs to some extent ?? How else can we explain our joy of seeing others nude and also being seen nude by them ??

    • We think that certainly not all nudists are having joy seeing others naked or being seen naked. For many it’s just about the joy of being naked or the whole philosophy of naturism. Then why do they go to a social setting instead of just staying at home? To meet likeminded people for example, or because the options and facilities at home are much more limited than at a nudist place (who has their own nude beach, right?)

  11. I am a female nudist and I am an exhibitionist. I am 48 and have been an exhibitionist since I was about 20. I find the balance between the two lifestyles like a dimmer switch … not an on/off switch. I do get a little sexual excitement from being seen nude when not expected. I would not say from the shock value as much as from a surprise and interest value. As a nudist I feel the freedom of clothes free life and more from observing and slightly being observed. When my significant other and I go to a nude beach we often end up at the end of the day fluttering off somewhere and playing … maybe being seen having sex now and then. So, to me, nudity is subtly sexual.

    • We’ve met other nudists on our journey who say that they get some kind of sexual pleasure from being seen naked. Although this kinda goes against the standard definition of naturism saying that it’s something non-sexual, we really don’t care. If it gives you some pleasure, who are we to judge? And if you’re a woman, you have the advantage that it’s not physically noticeable. As long as you’re not bothering anyone with that, we think it’s fine.

      Having sex at the end of the beach is a different story. First of all it’s illegal (but so are many things) but secondly it also gives nudism a bad reputation. We like to call exhibitionists the hooligans of nudism. Soccer enthousiasts get a bad reputation and are controlled big time these days just because some like to pick a fight. For nudists it’s because some like to have sex in the bushes hoping that someone might see them.
      Why don’t you do this at a textile beach?

      • Let me answer for them. They don’t do it on a textile beach (at least I’ll assume they don’t) because the textile beach is full of caged birds. The naturist beach is populated by people who have eschewed these man-made impositions on their freedom. The main reason most naturist don’t have sex on the beach whenever the notion strikes them is not because they’re against it. It’s because of the scrutiny it will bring from the authorities. And, as a consequence, the loss of the freedom that they have. In essence, they’re giving up a little freedom to keep a lot more freedom. In my conversations with others about this topic I’m rarely met with an outright objection to it. It’s generally met with the attitude of “I don’t personally care. I just don’t want the unwanted scrutiny.” And, almost no one I’ve spoken to cares if an amorous couple wants to go back in the dunes or mangroves and get it on out of the sight of others. Hell, what’s more romantic than spending the day naked on the beach with the one you love? I’m in the “I don’t personally care. I just don’t want the unwanted scrutiny.” camp. However, with a caveat. I differentiate between people who seek out groups of other people to have sex amongst them just to get their rocks off and the loving couple who is enjoying their day at the beach and nature takes its course. In the end, they both can bring unwanted scrutiny and can be problematic. I can tell you that my wife (who isn’t a nudist, but freely associates with us) and I have made love on the beach once everyone is gone for the day and we have it to ourselves. And no, we weren’t hoping someone might see us. It was just a beautiful ending to a beautiful day in God’s creation that fueled our love for one another. Read the Song of Solomon. There’s lots of outdoor sex mentioned in that book. In summation, wisdom and good judgment need to rule the day. We’re never in this life going to be as free as we want to be, but we as naturist are freer than most, and for that I’m very grateful.

        • Few people will have any issues with the couple you’ve just described so perfectly. They enjoyed a beautiful day at the nude beach and eventually wander off in the dunes or to the far end to make the day even better.

          The problem starts when a line has to be drawn. What if this couple comes to the nude beach with the sole intention to get sexually excited? What if they see a visit to the beach as foreplay? What if they already start with some foreplay while they’re still among others? What if it’s the presence others which actually excites them? What if they start asking around for others to join them? Etc.

          Last year there was a big fuss in Belgium because a new nude beach was rejected. The reason the authorities gave was that the nudists would wander into the dunes to have sex and these dunes are nesting grounds of a rare bird.
          So we wondered: People go to the dunes to have sex at textile beaches as well! What’s the big difference?
          The difference is that nudism still has a negative name and by silently allowing others to do their thing in the dunes we’re not actually helping to solve that problem.

          We are well aware that this problem is mostly in the heads of textiles and not in ours, but yet we’re stuck with it.

    • Thank you for your honest response AJ. Normal humans don’t lose our natural sexual feelings when we take off our clothes and show ourselves off to each other.


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