For this post we would really appreciate your input because we only have experience with naturist sites in Western Europe and Brazil. We’ve been doing some research on the internet but except for some formal websites it’s difficult to determine how people at the other end of the world look at naturism.
So from wherever you are, please let us know how/if naturism is appreciated in your environment.
Is it legal?
Is it something you talk about?
Are there any official naturist sites or is it more an unofficial thing?These kind of things…
Alright, that said, let me tell you what we do know 🙂
The reason why we wanted to write this post was because of another post we’ve read on Travels of Adam: On nudity
It gives a clear idea on how someone from the USA, where in many states public nudity is not as commonly accepted as in Western Europe, experiences a public sauna in Germany (could be anywhere in Western Europe though) where nudity is quite accepted. Even though naturism still has a bit of a dark side over here, being naked in the sauna is a normal thing to do.
However, many visitors of saunas don’t consider themselves naturists and don’t visit other kinds of naturist sites.
Note: The numbers are only an indication, not scientifically proved…
Nudism in Western Europe
If we would calculate the total surface of naturist sites within every country and compare this with the whole surface of those countries, the Netherlands would win head and shoulders. For a country that small (total size about 40 000 square kilometers) the number of naturist sites is enormous: about 60 naturist campings, 120 saunas and 83 nude beaches.
Really, We tell you, this is naturist heaven.
In comparison, Belgium which is about three fourth the size of the Netherlands, right next door and has the same weather counts only 7 naturist campings, 12 saunas and one nude beach.
What does that say about the Dutch? Or about us Belgians? We’ll leave that in the middle.
Germany counts about 110 campings but only 5 beaches and 3 saunas.
France has about 144 campings and 126 beaches, but has much better weather than the previous. Also in France there is the world famous (or infamous…) Cap D’Agde, a real naturist village
Spain, which is roughly the size of France only counts 12 naturist campings and 65 nude beaches but quite some nude resorts.
A surprise to us was Great Britain which also counts about 50 naturist campings and several nude beaches.
Most of the other countries in western Europe only count a couple of naturist sites, or none at all. Another surprise for us was Croatia, which is quite know for its naturist tourism only counts about 15 campings. But they’re centralized in a small part of Croatia (Istria) and they’re really really big.
Nudism in the Americas
Except for Brazil and a couple of islands in the Caribbean, naturism is not widely spread in South and Central America. The main reason for this could be that people in general are more religious than in Europe and the governments can be quite conservative.
It’s more difficult to understand what’s going on in North America.
For most part of the last couple of decades Europe and North America walked hand in hand. They got big together and they shared the same interests. In the 20th century the upcoming of feminism and the sexual revolution (two important factors for the rise of naturism in Europe) happened at about the same time.
And yet what a difference concerning naturism…
There are some known naturist organizations in the USA but they seem to be very idealist in terms of the connection to nature and the disapproval of meat, alcohol and tobacco. But in most states there’s very little to be found for the recreational naturist.
We came up with a couple of reasons for that.
First of all, because of the history with the Puritans the Americans in general have more conservative ideas that the Europeans. But on the other hand, the Europeans in the beginning of the 19th century were also quite conservative but it didn’t stop them from going naked. So there must be more…
Law and politics could be an important factor. Where the law on nudity on TV and in magazines is quite loose in Europe, it’ s still very strict in the USA (remember Janet Jackson’s nipple gate). This in combination with the huge porn industry has probably created a strong connection between nudity and sex.
And a thing that’s easily looked over is the history of saunas. For many people (including ourselves) the sauna is the first step to naturism. In Western Europe we somewhat took over the old Swedish tradition of saunas. This is not the case for the USA.
And no, we did not forget the Canadians 🙂
Canada seems to be somewhere in between. Recent research has shown that 4 out of 10 Canadians walk around naked in their homes without even thinking about it. But in public it’s another story… In terms of naturism Canada is way more liberal than the USA but recreational naturism is certainly not (yet) on the same level as in Europe.
Nudism in Australia and New Zealand
The Aussie does what the Aussie wants to do and if the Aussies want to get naked there’s nobody who will stop them.
No seriously, it seems like Australia and NZ are doing quite well in liberating naturism. We haven’t been there (yet) but from browsing the internet there seem to be quite some naturist campings and resorts. Also the first naturist backpacker hostel was founded there, now that’s futuristic. We wonder how that is going…
Nudism in Africa, Asia and the Middle East
In the middle East there’s no such thing as naturism. Period. And of course it all has to do with religion and the lack of female emancipation. We won’t discuss this here because we’re planning to write a whole post about it later but as far as we know there’s a high probability that certain body parts will be chopped off if they leave the bathroom uncovered (1).
The exception here is Israel which does count several naturist organizations.
Maybe Dubai could also be different, if someone knows, please share with us.
Asia and Africa are much comparable with the Middle East for the exact same reasons (2). Although you might find some naturist beaches or resorts over there, they will be mostly be used exclusively by the Western tourist.
(1) It has pointed out to us that this is of course depending on the regime. Most Muslim regimes don’t use severe physical punishments for these kinds of crime.
(2) Note that we’re being very simplistic here. Depending on how you interpret “naturism”, it can be a very broad term. We chose here to narrow it down to the existence of nudist beaches and resorts and the laws on public nudity. Of course naturism can mean a lot more. Many countries have a history in clothes free living and social public nudity. Think about certain tribes in Africa and South America for example. Also the occurrence of nudity as a way of protest was not mentioned here and neither was private (home) nudism.
Much of the above information is based on what we’ve found on the internet. But we would really appreciate your insights!
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.