What we learned from 1000 naturists

What we learned from 1000 naturists

Lately we’ve been seeing several discussions pop up about what naturism really means and who’s a naturist and who isn’t. We’ve seen them in the comment sections of our blog posts, in Facebook groups and on online fora and we started wondering about this…
In the past there was little room for discussion, either you were member of a naturist club and you were a real naturist or otherwise you were just that girl or guy who liked to be naked. And that was that.

 

Today many different kinds of naturist activities start being organised and some seem to start seeing things less clearly. Most of the negotiators in these discussions of course promote their ideas as the right ones and we’re not any different. Also on this website we talk about naturism like we see it. Which doesn’t mean everyone else thinks the same. Or has to think the same.
We wanted to learn more about this and created a survey with a couple of simple questions to figure out what naturism means to YOU.
It was a huge success. In less than 4 days we reached our goal of 1000 participants and had to close the thing down again or it would have taken us ages analyse all the results.

 

What does naturism mean to us?

Before we start talking about what you think, maybe (just for the sake of completeness) we should tell you again what our idea about naturism is.
So here goes!

 

To us, the terminology doesn’t matter a single thing. We often call ourselves “naturists” because that’s what most people do in Europe, but on our blog we’ve often been mixing between “naturist”, “nudist”, “nudie” and whatever else we can think of. Similar with defining the lifestyle itself, lately we started liking “clothes free” a lot so you can expect that term more often in our future blog posts.

 

Naturism (let’s just call it that from now to make this post easier to understand) means in our opinion to be naked in a non-sexual way with respect for yourself, for others and for the environment. This has to come with a lot of common sense. Does this mean that you can’t have naked sex anymore? Of course not. Does this mean that you have to change your gasoline fuelled car for an electrical one tomorrow? No. Common sense.
We think naturism can be practiced socially or alone and wherever you want as long as it’s more or less allowed by law and you’re not provoking anyone. We don’t think that you need to join a club or federation to be a “real” naturist and neither do we think that someone who only prefers to be naked at home, at a beach or on holiday should be considered less a naturist than someone else.

 

The largest advantages we’ve noticed from our naturist lifestyle are the respect we give and receive, the fact that it takes away stress, an increased body acceptance, the comfort of not wearing any clothes and the overall positive atmosphere that’s often found at a naturist place.
If we ruled the world, every public space would be clothing optional with designated nude-only and textile areas.
But enough about us, let’s have a look at what you think!

 

Who are you?

We didn’t ask many personal questions because for our “little study” they did not matter much. And in the end we believe that gender, skin color, sexual orientation, political preference and all those other things we might try to relate to each other don’t really matter in a naturist setting. We did ask for age and location because we thought we might be able to learn something about geographical and demographical differences.

 

Are we going to present you the opinion of the average naturist? The Joe and Jane Nudie?
No, we are not. Because we didn’t visit clubs or resorts or nude beaches around the world to ask our questions but instead the survey has been sent around via social media and e-mail. Meaning that the participants are at least connected to the internet and more importantly, they are active in the online naturist community. From our experience, those who are spending a lot of time reading about naturism and engaging in the many conversations around the subject are often the “elder” generations. Something we also see in the boards of many naturist clubs and federations.

 

We noticed a clear reflection of that in the age groups that participated in the survey. No less than 42% was between 51 and 65 years old. 28% between 36 and 50, 16% was above 65, 10% between 26 and 35, 3% between 18 and 25 and only two participants were below 18.
Does this confirm that youth is less interested in naturism or does it mean that they just prefer to enjoy the lifestyle rather than begin active in the organisation of it? We don’t know.

My Naturism - a survey about nudism

Another reason why these results are not completely random is that the survey was in English only, meaning that we obviously attracted a majority of native English speakers.
In total we received responses from people from 51 different countries (which we think is a pretty nice success) but the large majority of the answers came from the USA and the UK.
Continent wide, 51% of the answers came from Europe (26 different countries), 40% from North America (6 different countries), 4.5% from Oceania (2 countries), 2% from Asia (11 countries), 1.5% from Africa (2 countries) and 1% from South America (4 countries).

 

Shortly summarised, if you participated in this survey there’s about a 70% chance that you’re between 36 and 65 years old and a 25% chance that you’re from the UK or another 25% that you’re from the USA.

 

Naturism in practice

40% of our participants mentioned to be proud owners of a membership card, either from a club or a federation. This line could be drawn for most of the different countries although the Netherlands did stick out with almost 70% of the Dutch participants being member of a club or federation. In the US the large majority of members were connected to AANR.

My Naturism - a survey about nudism

About 50% of the participants call themselves a naturist and 35% prefer the term nudist. Interestingly, also 11% prefers no term at all. Other names that came forward a couple of times were “occasional nudist”, “casual naturist”, “clothes free”, “beach naturist”, both nudist as naturist and “naked person”.
Someone also chose the term “Master of sex”… Even in our survey some people clearly have rather unique opinions about naturism, luckily it was only one.

My Naturism - a survey about nudism

For the reasons why people become naturist we had given some predefined answers:

  • Out of curiosity: 62%
  • Introduced by friends of family: 10%
  • Through media: 5%
  • Accidentally: 5%
  • Born in a naturist family: 4%

 

The large majority of the participants tried naturism out of curiosity and we think that this is something the federations and clubs should be aware of. Some clubs are already having “open days” so people can have a quick look without being forced to become a member. From this survey it seems like this could clearly work. Also the “Bring a friend” campaigns which some federations promote have good potential since 10% of the participants were actually introduced by a friend or family member.

My Naturism - a survey about nudism

Also interesting are of course the non-predefined answers. Many told us that they became naturists because being naked has always felt good or because they remembered the feeling from their childhood. Several others told us that they got introduced by going skinny dipping and learned about the joys of swimming naked. And some also said that although they were not raised in a typical naturist family, nudity had never been an issue.
Other answers we do like to share with you were:
“I discovered it made me more conscious and present in my heart”
“I started a naturist business”
“I grew up in the 60’s 70’s”
“It’s a natural and logic consequence of a thinking mind”
“Grew up without air conditioning so it was a necessity”
“World Naked Gardening Day got me hooked – 2015”
“Always been casual about dressing, evolved from that”

 

Where people like to practice naturism also seemed to differ a lot. Multiple answers were possible at this question (in case you wondered why the percentages add up to much more than 100).
The majority of the participants is a naturist at home (83%) and in nature (77%). On holiday is also pretty popular with almost 60%. Saunas and wellness centres attract 44% and another 44% goes to naturist clubs. 34% Likes to practice naturism among friends.
Interestingly, only 9% claimed to be a 24/7 naturist, but that might be because it’s taken too literally. For most people it’s pretty impossible to actually never wear clothes. Maybe we should have replaced this with “I feel like a naturist 24/7”.

My Naturism - a survey about nudism

For those who added their own answers, everywhere possible was mentioned a lot. Some described this a little more like “Wherever I can legally be nude without offending others”, “Wherever it’s possible and comfortable and practical” or “Anytime I can and not get arrested”.
During events was also a mentioned several times, these go from WNBR to organised swims or hikes or yoga sessions. Hiking in general was mentioned and so was during work in the garden. Someone even likes to be naked in the garden but not inside the house.
6 People mentioned being naked at work, 4 of them actually work at a naturist place and the other two work from home.
Another one was this: “Anywhere that’s accessible for people with limited mobility, so not many places!”… Something to keep in mind.

 

Why are we naturists?

Why do we expose ourselves to others?
Why did we pick a lifestyle that’s often still a taboo?
Why do we sometimes have to walk for 30 minutes to get to a beach?

 

When we asked our “test group” what naturism means to them, following reasons stuck out the most (again, multiple answers were possible): Non-sexual nudity (80%), social nudity (77%), respect for myself and my body (78%) and respect for others (75%).
Respect for the environment came behind with 53%.
Between 30 and 40% of the participants also picked being away from materialism, being away from conformism and that it’s a family lifestyle.
Interestingly, only 15% indicated that naturism to them means a non-profit lifestyle, although that’s how it’s still described in the official definition by the INF-FNI.

My Naturism - a survey about nudism

A short anthology of other answers to the question what naturism means to you:
“a civilized community of humanists”
“Being the way we were meant to be”
“Primordial feeling of being closer to mother nature.”
“Fun, healthy lifestyle”
“Free of judgement and belief of social ‘norms'”
“A fun vacation choice”
“Connection with spirits”
“a celebration of the naked body”
“Freedom from societal expectations and pressures”
“Closer to God and nature”
“An environment where immediate judgements are suspended”
“A pragmatic approach to clothing”

 

In order to get a slightly different perspective about this we also asked our participants what they see as advantages of the naturist lifestyle. It’s not because something didn’t draw you over the line or is not one of the main values you believe in that you can’t see it as an added value. Again, multiple answers were possible and most predefined reasons ended up to be chosen by 50 to 65% of the participants.
Two did stick out though: The feeling of freedom that comes with shedding your clothes was chosen by more than 86%. On the other hand naturism as a way of protest only attracts less than 7% of our participants.

My Naturism - a survey about nudism

In the manually entered answers relaxation and less dirty clothes came back a couple of times and so did less luggage when going on holiday (tell us about it!).
Some answers we particularly liked were someone who mentioned that naturism is a middle finger towards all the bullies in his or her youth and someone who said that being a naturist means supporting the idea that something should be done against our miseducation and common opinion about our own bodies.
Someone else told us that naturism is part of the Wiccan spirituality (thanks for sharing this, we did not know that!) and the one we maybe like the most of all: “You cover a tree it dies”.

 

To finish our survey we wanted to look towards the future, what are we missing in our current naturist world? Or at least, what would we like to see more? (Again, multiple answers were possible)
More clothing optional places (86%), more public naturist places (86%) and more naturist places in nature (83%) appeared to be to most wished for by our 1000 naturists. Naturist hotels (64%) were asked for just a little bit more than naturist campgrounds (58%). Naturist restaurants ended up at 45%. Half of our participants would like to see more naturist clubs while only 18% would like to see more naturist federations. This is an interesting one… Is it because people have more trust in clubs than in federations? Does this mean that clubs should be in the foreground while federations should support from the background? Something we wish we could dive in deeper.
More books, magazines and websites about naturism reached about 30%. Which is kind of a pity for Alles Uit! and maybe even for Naked Wanderings as well but in the end it means that most naturists think that there’s enough information available. Which is a good thing.

My Naturism - a survey about nudism

In the manually entered answers many more examples of naturist spots were given like saunas, beaches, parks, events and (this is one we had never thought about but makes complete sense) retirement/nursing homes.
Better laws around naturism was mentioned several times and so were more family friendly naturist places. There seems to be a high request for naturist places dedicated to single men or at least where they are not discriminated. Also the LGBT community would like to see more acceptance.
Other interesting thoughts included more positive signs of naturism in the media, more ways to meet (genuine) other naturists, a better cooperation between federations on a global level and more solidarity between naturist businesses by engaging loyalty programs for example.

 

Have we learned from all this?

We surely wish that we had gotten a more diverse crowd but we know that we have mostly ourselves to blame. Time and (especially) resources have limited us to take this survey on a larger scale and via more different platforms. We do know that a more extensive study would certainly be something interesting.
Nevertheless we did learn a couple of things and most of all your answers have proved that we’re quite at the right end when we say that the naturist lifestyle is still very alive and that there’s a lot of possible progress to be made.

 

This blog post is already head and shoulders the largest one we’ve ever written, so we’re going to leave you with that. A lot of stuff to think about and to form your own ideas about how to move forward. Several of the topics of this survey will certainly be discussed again in some of our future blog posts, no doubt about that.

 

Thanks a lot to all of our participants!
Your opinions are very much appreciated! (except for the “Master of sex” who answered “sex” on every single question. You have a serious issues dude, get some help!)

2 thoughts on “What we learned from 1000 naturists

  1. “Master of sex” my πŸ‘ More like Master baiter!😹…And thanks for the survey guys!πŸ€— That looks very professional and must have taken a whole lot of work & time to doπŸ“š….It’s kindly appreciated and good stuff to know!πŸŽ“……Cheers!🍻

  2. Wow im mindblown!! This looks sooo pro! Hats off for this, amazing.
    I didnt even know u guys were doing this, but then again, i suppose it doesnt matter, since i aint a nudie.
    Im not gonna comment much the results much ,cause its what it is.
    Id just like to add something ,about the name of the thing, naturism nudism clotes free thing.
    As you i know, i do prefer if things are called the way they are ,hence i dont like that ,my way of naturism and ur way of naturism thing, as i wrote about that tons already.
    Also , well , we dont know how representetive the results really are, but two results are poking my eye in an interesting way.

    One is the age of participants, where you can see that ,not counting the oldest offered 65+ ,as the ages go younger, the % is dropping ,and thats interesting in the sence ,that its either a.theres a low % of under 18/25 nudies , b.they are not interested or allowed to participate in surveys , c.in a way they are indoctrinated to be ones cause they dont really have a choice when they are off to a holiday with their parents and they dont think of it as being nudies,but more like ,this is how it is, what can i do about it.

    The other thing is why people become naturists.
    Interesting to see that only 4% said that they were raised as ones ,that to me is an amazingly low number , i mean if i got it right,does that mean that out of 100 nudies only 4 are nudies cause they were raised as ones? wow , and an amazing 62% cause they wanted to check things out,this later tell me that its probably because of more and more social media nudity stuff from “celebs” ,and they also most likey tought theres more to it then to be just nude perhaps ,cause i dont see what else would raise that % so high compared to the other options.
    Also that 62% tells alots if u ask me about lots of other things non related to naturism.
    Many ppl try many things out of curiosity ,name what ever you want about whatever, regardless of anything.
    At the end ,you can say to something that u never wanna do it or try, but one says that he/she likes that whatever something, it must have been cause of curiosity,cause they have tried it and they like it, or not.

    And at the end, refering to the master of sex lololol ,well.. u have to be tolerant Nick`n`Lins, hah ur Naturists πŸ™‚

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