Why do teenagers turn away from nudism and is that such a big deal?

Why do teenagers turn away from nudism and is that such a big deal?

Toddlers are born naturists and not only literally (although they’re obviously delivered naked). In fact they might well be the most genuine kind of naturist there is, they don’t even question their nudity. Most of them will question clothes though and if they see an opportunity to get rid of them they’ll often take advantage of that. Our memory doesn’t go that far back, but we would like to remember the day when being nude was not an option anymore. Yesterday it was completely normal to run around the garden naked, jump through the sprinklers on a hot summer day while everyone smiled and agreed with your joy. The next day this was not possible anymore… Bathing suits suddenly became the norm.
What went through our heads?
Did we question this at all?

 

While naturist children get a lot more options to be naked and until a much older age, they are not exactly spared from having to wear clothes, even not when weather clearly asks for the least possible textile. They have to go to school, they have to go shopping and on the non-naturist beaches a naked 10 year old is just not done.

The difficult age

Children are adaptive and the naturist ones quickly learn that they live in two different worlds. The clothed one which includes many of their friends, their teachers and quite a lot of their family members and the naturist one which has other friends and mom and dad and grandma and uncle Ted.
Until about the age of 12, kids depend on their parents to make all important decisions. They might try to discuss some details such as bedtime or whether or not milk is good for you and that’s about it. But then a range of different factors suddenly come to interrupt that stability.

 

Hormones start rushing through our veins and we become very insecure. Add to that a lot of important decisions that suddenly have to be made and a group of friends of whom some are slightly further in the process and others slightly behind.
You need to think about what you want to study, you need to decide which music you like, you need to find a girlfriend or a boyfriend, you need to have sex for the first time and most importantly: you need to belong. At that age, you can’t afford to make a mistake. You’re a skater and you wear baggy pants and grow your hear and listen to some kind of punk music. You’re a nerd and have to know everything about the latest games and star wars and Stephen Hawking. Being a naturist isn’t often seen as the best choice at this age. It has very little visual aspects which make it easy to become one. Except the nudity of course, but let that be the one thing you’re currently completely uncomfortable with.

Another consequence of these hormones is that things start to grow in often pretty weird ways and right at the moment that you start to notice these things among others as well. We probably don’t have to go into detail which body parts we’re talking about. Naturist children have an advantage here, they’ve seen naked people in all different sizes, ages and forms and already kinda know what’s coming. But that doesn’t make them immune for this difficult age. Their minds are bombarded from different sides and they start looking for new role models that are not mom and dad. For the last twelve or fourteen or sixteen years they’ve basically lived the lifestyle of their parents and now they want to build their own. Preferably a little bit different than before, just for the sake of it. If the parents are into naturism, this is a very easy one to step out of. It’s not something you can talk about at school anyway and now you have the chance to do something rebellious and quit a whole lifestyle. At that age, kids don’t understand that it’s actually the naturism that is rebellious.

 

Snap and everyone has seen you naked

Bullying is not something new, it existed when we were kids, when our parents were kids and long before them. Kids were laughed at, excluded from the “cool” group and if you happened to have red hear and glasses you could be sure that high school was not going to be pretty.
As far as we can remember, bullying was always something on a small scale. Five kids picking on one, that kind of thing. The uprise of the phone with camera function in combination with the internet have completely changed this scene.
When we were kids, someone peeked under the door of the dressing room after swim class and told everyone that Tim had a little one. A rumour that was enough to give Tim a hard time for a couple of days until another rumour popped up. Today a cell phone goes under the door and soon kids from Sydney, Toronto and Saint Petersburg can make a joke of Tim.

The fact that kids don’t want to shower naked anymore after gym or any sports class is the base for many naturists to say once again that youth has become prude. We don’t believe that prudery is the main reason why they don’t want to be naked anymore among each other. Just like we don’t believe that prudery is the reason why less and less women sunbathe topless on European beaches.
Knowing that others see you naked (or topless) is not such a big deal. Knowing that one of the others can easily take a picture of you that can go viral before you even left the dressing room is something completely different. It’s a risk you just can’t take, especially not during those insecure years of puberty.

 

Can we avoid this?

There is no guidebook about how to avoid that kids grow body shame, there is no way to be sure that a naturist kid won’t ever turn into a textile. Their reasons for doing so can be so different. We’ve mentioned some before: shame, fear, rebellion, having found an interesting clothed lifestyle,… To solve this we should actually tackle the problem at the very source and make nudity normal. But that’s a long way to go.
The main question is: how much does it matter?
We’ve noticed that the fear of many naturists is that their kids will turn away from naturism. But that’s what kids do! We have all been experimenting with different lifestyles when we were teenagers.
More interesting is the question how to get them back into naturism after the puberty years are over. This is where we think the clubs and federation should focus on right now. 20 & 30 somethings. Make naturism attractive again for them and try to win a generation back.

 

PICTURE CREDIT: The pictures in this article are licensed as Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) by FYN.

6 thoughts on “Why do teenagers turn away from nudism and is that such a big deal?

  1. Great article. Very insightful. It is sad that we lose our youths when they hit puberty. On the bright side, many of them return in their late 20’s and early 30’s!
    One of the greatest compliments a youth ever paid me was at a naturist club (although it wasn’t until later when I spoke to his mom that I realized it). He was a boy that I played with for many years starting when he was small. As he got older he came to the club Less and less, but his mother still came regularly. After not seeing him for many months he was there one day. Age 12 or 13. I saw him away from the pool area waking around fully clothed. We talked a bit and then later he came to the pool area and stripped down to play with me in the water. After we were finished he quickly put his clothes back on. Later in the day I was taking with his mom and she said, “Wow, he never gets naked when we come here anymore. I he really likes playing with you.”

  2. The funny thing is our older children are fine with us being naked around the house and at the beach, and hardly even notice it, but none of them will go nude. It seems that they compartmentalize us parents as ‘nude but non sexual’ and yet still take the lead from textile society in categorizing all other nudity as sexual or shameful. I am still hoping that it will make returning to nudism easier for them if they choose to some day.

  3. WAAROM KEREN TIENERS ZICH AF VAN NUDISME EN IS DAT ZO BELANGRIJK
    WE WORDEN NAAKT GEBOREN. DE EERSTE BADJES ZIJN GEWOON BLOOT. OOK DE FOTO’S DIE DAN WORDEN GEMAAKT, HEBBEN NIETS OM ’T LIJF.
    OOK BIJ MOEDER AAN DE BORST IS DAN ONSCHULDIG.
    MAAR DAN BEGINT DE OPVOEDING. OH WEE ALS HET JONG BIJ DE EERSTE STAPJES EVEN ZIJN PIEMELTJE VASTHOUD.
    DAN MOET ER MAAR EEN BROEKJE AAN. NIET HET KIND, MAAR DE OUDERS VINDEN HET ONFANTSOENLIJK ALS HET BLOOT IN HET BADJE GAAT. MEISJES VAN ZES JAAR KRIJGEN EEN BOVENSTUKJE. WAT HEBBEN ZE TE VERBERGEN?
    NEEN, HET FANTSOEN WORDT ER VANAF DE EERSTE JAREN INGESTAMPT.
    DEZE FANTSOENSCULTUUR HOUDEN DE PUBERS OOK ONDER ELKAAR. TENMISNSTE IN HET OPENBAAR. VIA DE MODERNE MEDIA WORDEN DE INTIEMSTE GEHEIMEN GEDEELD.
    WANT OH HET IS ZO SPANNEND, DAT GENE WAT JE VOOR IEDEREEN GEHEIM MOET HOUDEN DAT JE DAN TOCH HEIMELIJK KUNT UITWISSELEN.
    NEEN HET ZIJN NIET DE PUBERS, MAAR DE OUDERS DIE HUN EIGEN KINDEREN IN PREUTSHEID EN SCHAAMTE OPVOEDEN.
    DIT WORDT GEHOLPEN DOOR JEUGDIG IMPONEERGEDRAG
    MAAR, ALLE TIJDEN ZIJN WEDERKERIG, HET ENE TIJDSTIP HEEFT LETTERLIJK NIETS OM HET LIJF DE VOLGENDE KEER ZIJN WE WEER ARISTOCRATISCH.

  4. Very well written.

    Me as a non nudie i wouldnt know but from what ive learned, alots of day 1 nudist kids stop being one when they hit puberty.
    Now .. i understand if a textile one goes wierdo on nude stuff, but why does a nudist one?
    As u said, they`ve seen it all ,all kinds of older ladies baggy old men, older teens then they are ,they even may have seen some “stuff” in person here and there at a resort/camp/beach … and with all of that , they still get shyed away?
    Why? Im sure its not cause they get horny often or such cause , well they got used to seeing nude ppl ,and nudeness shouldnt be a trigger for horniness for nudies, so its been said anyway..
    As i wrote once b4 about this, i think that being shy or whatever,is a born in thing, it comes with us, and it doesnt matter about the surrounding, or the subject.
    So still there must be a lil thing inside every1 thats asking..wait.. why would i want others to see me nude?(for whatever reason).
    But as u asked .. does it matter anyway ?
    Well, yes and no .. yes cause ..well ,u woudlnt write about it and ppl wouldnt talk about it often if it doesnt matter, and no cause, nothing really matters,at the end of the day.
    But its still very interesting , they still could go , without parents? to a nude beach or camp, or similar with their friends? Or to go with parents but be totaly separated somewhere at a resort so they can be cool and not hang around with “old” ppl? ,so they only be back for food lol .. but i guess they dont do that either? Maybe cause they treat all the ppl they know for ages like family and well .. they might wanna smoke? or do weed or drink or dfkjbsdf?.. so they dont want all those ppl to see or know about all that stuff? ..
    But if all of this is a reason, all of this is natrual to try or think about, then again, why be shy about it then?

    1. You asked an interesting question… is it because they get horny? This could well be a reason. Teenage boys in puberty tend to have issues with things going up and down beyond control and this could cause awkward situations. But why is the same with girls then?
      One of the things we loved as teenagers was to annoy our parents and by refusing their life choices that worked pretty well. We think that the same happens at naturist places. Also, just like you say, many teenagers like to experiment, smoke, drink, have some pot… Social control at naturist places can be a true pain in the *** for teenagers.
      But there are other reasons as well, we know that the son of one of the world’s largest promotors of naturism is interested lot in fashion. Is it rebellion or does he just happen to like it? It doesn’t really matter. Naturism is still a choice.

      1. Well thats a great questions for the girls lol ,good point.
        Tho i think its all in the head, and i agree as you said, all those rules at naturist places, i dont like them either, and im not even a naturist lol ..
        But its true, when in puberty , u dont know what u like, u know what u dont like, and thats to be told what and how to do, so no matter what it is, teens will always the the oposite of what they have been told not to do, again, because they had enough of 12 13 14 years of having it their parents way, now they want it their way.
        So ya, there is so much in that.
        But as i said its also in the head .. as i mentioned, they could go alone ,to a beach or a camp without the parents..so they would be “alone” ,but i guess they dont do that either or they are not allowed to ,by their parents or the resort it self because they are ..my god .. underage..
        So if you ask me, theres alots of naturist organizations,camps,resorts fault in this as well, alot of it.
        But as i said , its in the head as well .. you recall perhaps in the mail last year when i mentioned my nephew?.. well my niece, once they came back from the beach and she was in her swimming suit and blabla all normal .. after a lil while she went to take a shower to clean up from the sand all.. when she came out she had an undie and had a bra on , and when she saw me ,she went all shy like covering up..? lol ,like wtf? she was “dressed” the same way 10mins ago! ,the only difference was the name of the “dress” ,swimming suit -vs- unides and bra .. it looks the same, but still she felt the nudies and bra were …i dunno..embarising or what?
        So ya, alot of it is in the head as well.

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