The Bathing Suit Burden

Days in a row we have committed ourselves to roam the Sri Lankan coastline, beach after beach after beach, in search of that little piece of pristine paradise away from any temple or local’s eye, where we could finally be able to drop our pants and fully enjoy the sun.
But we have to admit that our quest wasn’t such an amazing success.
Did that disappoint us?
On one hand, it certainly did. It would’ve been amazing if we could tell you that the Sri Lankan beaches with their white sand and crystal clear ocean would be perfect for your next nakation.
But on the other hand, while many of our fellow nudies had to refrain themselves to saunas or any other indoor activities, at least we’ve spent our time on a tropical island.
So we’re certainly not complaining.


More than ever, the question arose: “Why the hell does anyone want to wear clothes on the beach?”. Or even worse, in the ocean.
In our post about the history of clothing, we’ve told you our ideas about how humanity started to cover themselves, which basics were of course for protection against the elements. But seriously, we dare everyone to spend an hour on a random Sri Lankan beach, have a regular dip in the sea and then try to convince us that the elements were requiring a coverup.
The Sri Lankan sunburns, the sand burns and the ocean water is warmer than the average shower we’ve had lately. If you’ve forgotten your sunscreen and your white ass starts to get a dangerous shade of purple, maybe we would understand, but other than that, no way!

Is it evolution?

We’re sure that most textiles never question the fact that they wear clothes on the beach. Which clothes they’ll wear, that’s something they do think about, but the option of not wearing any at all often slip their minds. It is what it is, they have been taught to wear bathing suits from a very young age, their parents did it, their grandparents did it and many before them.
Which is a bit controversial, isn’t it? Being clothed appears to be natural while being naked is something one has to consider.
Can we call this evolution?
Charles Darwin will probably wake from his grave and haunt us during the nights to come if he ever reads this, he believed that the strong survive, not the prudes (although being a Victorian he may have approved the clothing policy).


New Cambium intext 4
Do influences from government and popes and buddhas and industries evolutionary change who we are? And more important, can we ever reverse this?
Or is it just reluctance or laziness. Have we stopped questioning our way of living or the fact that there might be something better out there? Just around the corner, only one step out of our comfort zone.
Do we wear clothes because we’re supposed to? Just like we pay taxes and wait in traffic jams to go to a job we hate? (except that we don’t even complain about it).
We can’t ignore that it’s something deep, over the last 2000 years people have been telling us that we are supposed to be dressed, especially when anyone can see us and if possible at all other times as well. Only some of the world’s population have broken this boundary and asked themselves how life would be without clothes. Very few ever regretted this thought.


Is it modesty?

So we can blame evolution, the human unwillingness to change what they’re used to and their addiction to the rat race. But then Europe’s uprise of nudism in the 1920s should’ve had a much bigger influence, no? More people should’ve given it a try and noticed that it was not that far out of their comfort zone as they initially imagined. In fact, it was much closer.
Sometimes we receive the comment that being naked is not modest, not polite. You don’t pick your nose, you don’t spit on the floor, you don’t fart at the dinner table and you don’t let it all hang out on the beach.
Well, after having traveled a bit through Asia, we can tell you that people do spit on the floor, the same people who won’t show a single bit of skin within the knee-elbow-neck triangle. Of course, these are cultural differences and we should not compare the Asian habits with the European ones, but yet it proves that these rules are purely human-made.


People do stuff that’s considered rude to others all the time. Some spit, some fart, some yell, some swear and some don’t say thank you when the waiter brings their drink. It’s human, we do it all the time and if someone else does it we think “what a jackass”. But when more than the lumberjack’s standard allowed portion of butt crack is shown, all hell breaks loose. People cover their children’s eyes, spit, yell, swear, depending on their rage maybe also fart and reach for their cell phone to call the police. We’ve crossed a line here. This has to do with more than modesty.

Maestra Banner

Is it shame?

About 5 years ago we were in Brazil, more specifically in Rio De Janeiro for Carnaval. And we can tell you, everything you’ve heard about it is true and it’s often even a lot worse. People get drunk, have fun, mingle their tongues, find an empty spot on the beach and get pregnant. We’ll never forget the government signs on each street corner saying “Drink water, use condoms”. All of this hedonic partying is possible because people are covered, often even unrecognizable.
Other than the Carnaval madness there’s something else with the Brazilians, they care a lot about their bodies and they are very proud of it. It’s one of those countries where the most corrections on breasts, bellies and behinds are performed and they have about 7500 kilometers of coastline to show their corrections to the world. Any kind of textile is, of course, a factor that would hide their beauty, so they wear the tiniest bathing suits one has ever seen. And the most expensive ones if you’d count the price per inch of fabric.


But yet they do wear bathing suits.
More than once we thought we spotted a nudist on a textile beach because their bathing suits were so small and pulled up that they couldn’t really be seen with the naked eye. And we’re not only talking about women, Brazil is the place where it’s completely normal to meet your boss in his G-string on the beach, but naked? Oooooooh no!
Although nudism is certainly starting to boom in Brazil as well, most Brazilians (and we can pull this line through many other nationalities) will still opt for that little cover-up. That small part of our body that we don’t want the world to see. Are we ashamed about it? Are we ashamed to see others? In Dutch, the pubic area is called “schaamstreek”, which literally means “shame area”. We rest our case.




History has influenced humanity from so many sides to start hiding their nudity. To be ashamed of it and to be modest with it. Until the point right now that most people think that being clothed is our natural state. Much more natural than being naked. No matter for what reason, we can only hope that one day people’s eyes will open. That people will see that there’s nothing wrong with being naked. That we can roam Sri Lanka’s beaches in our bare asses.


Picture credit: Some of 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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12 thoughts on “The Bathing Suit Burden”

  1. It is so annoying that we need to cover our very natural bodies because others feel disgust about nudity. If you teach your child that the human body is disgusting/obscene/perverted then it is you that needs to feel disgust about yourself! About your mental status.

    • “If you teach your child that the human body is disgusting/obscene/perverted”
      I like this part of your reply in particular.

      When my kids were little I would share the bath with them, well they would just invite themselves in I think shared baths are quite common between parent and young child /siblings. But seems to stop as they start school.

      A couple of years ago I started to visit a local Naturist “beach” After having been a few times I noted there was a mix of ages and some family groups. My youngest would be nude anytime she could and the eldest was about 9/10 and had been part of a students short film regarding body image and media. So I asked her if she would be OK to go to the naturist beach, she could keep her swimming costume on or not her choice and if she was not comfortable we could move to the textile beach further down the lake.

      I hope I am teaching them their body is natural and nice, young kids always loose their clothes fast on warm days, its parents yelling at them to cover up.

      The wearing of clothes at all time is a social norm, one I do not feel bound too, FREEDOM for me please.

    • Why do others feel disgusted about nudity?
      Is this really what they feel or is it what their environment told them to feel?
      Of course we believe it’s the latter. If everyone has been telling you that the naked body is dirty and ugly and shameful, it takes a lot of guts (and quite some rebellion) to question those ideas.
      The public opinion about nudity or nudism won’t change from one day to another, but if we can bring it in the foreground, spread our ideas and show the world once in a while that it’s okay (and actually a lot of fun) to be naked, we’re taking a huge step!

    • The problem, Rick, is that people need to do the effort to question today’s standards. Our grandparents wore bathing suits, our parents did, so it takes some “looking out of the box” to decide that you (or your children) don’t actually need to follow their example.
      If you think that for us (we don’t know where you’re from, but let’s call ourselves “from the west”), who live in countries where nudism is somehow a bit accepted, it’s already a huge step. What must this be for people in other parts of the world?
      We are currently researching public nudity in Bali. Being a part of Indonesia, nudism over there is considered the same as engaging in pornography (the law literally says that) and one could get up to 5 years of jail for doing so. How to explain to those people that there’s nothing wrong with a naked human body?

  2. Oh Nick i think we talked about these subjects before,not here tho (if u recall who i am hah).
    Its a good subjcet that can be put on other subjects as well.
    And we kinda agreed that looking at it both ways, has sence ,so its hard to tell what is more normal.
    As i said the same thing can be said about other topic as , the famous 18+ consent thing (wich is funny cause in some places is 12+ and then at some its even 21+ ,hows that posibile? how can a law decide when can someone have a choice) ,sex subject (as if its so natrual and good , why does it have to be hidden and refered to as an 18+ thing on screen or off ,regardless).
    Its very hard to give a good anwser to all these questions ,that all will agree on , cause you can look at them from two angles , and both sides will have good points to why yes or why no.

    • We know that many topics can be seen differently from both the nudist as the textile side. And both sides will have their rights and wrongs. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t advocate one of the sides.

      From what age one should be allowed to see nudity or sex on tv is indeed something open for discussion. Naturists have gotten quite far during the years in making naturism a family thing and when it comes to sex, well, this just isn’t our fight.

      • Ah dont get me wrong, what i wanted to say is that is really hard to have everyone on the same page, meaning that that will literally never ever happen, no matter what the subject is.

  3. Thanks for using our photo. We loved that day! The whole summer! The freedom you get from (near or actual) nakedness is like nothing else.


  4. Last year I was in a changing room after swimming unfortunately it was textile so had trunks on until I was showering when they came off at which point a dad came in with his daughter now as a nudist/naturist I had no problem with that but the dad actually moaned at me when as his daughter was seeing a naked man who was not her dad so I said to him she needs to see naked people so it is not scary and we are all different shapes and sizes and why would you bring your daughter into th gents if you don’t want her to see body’s


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