The Different Types of Social Nudity

When we started with social nudity, “naturism” was the only term we knew. The naked campsites in Belgium are called naturist campings and the clubs organizing naturist events are called naturist clubs. If we want to become a member, we have to ask the naturist federation. Everything was naturist.


Soon also the term “nudist” started to pop up, but almost exclusively in a negative sense. It was either used by naturists to point out other naked people who didn’t (according to them) comply with the naturist values but just liked to be naked for the sake of it. Or the term “nudist” was used by textiles to talk about naturists in a somewhat humiliating way.


When we started to include naturism in our travels, we noticed new terms. In Croatia for example, we were suddenly going to FKK beaches instead of nude beaches. It became a bit confusing. From the messages we receive from beginning and aspiring naturists, it seems like we were not the only ones finding it difficult to see the wood for the trees.

What’s naturism/nudism/Nude recreation/FKK

Now that we’ve spent many years as naturists and visited naturist places in many different countries, we’ve learned that the difference between naturism and nudism isn’t much more than a cultural thing. In most parts of Europe, naturism is the most common term. We talk about naturist resorts and naturist beaches. Also “FKK” is still used quite a lot. This is short for the German word Freikörperkultur, meaning “free body culture”. Since naturism as we know it originated in Germany, this was the first accepted term and still the one used in German-speaking countries and popular holiday destinations for German naturists.


In the USA, on the other hand, “nudism” is much more common. Does that mean that the American naked people have no interest in following the naturist values? Not at all. We’ve noticed that the philosophy of the American nudist and European naturist is exactly the same. Another new term which we found in the USA was “nude recreation”. We like that, because it gives a more practical indication of what nudists actually do. They recreate in the nude.


New Cambium intext 3
Also in South America, the term nudist is more often used. For a very interesting reason: “naturist” was already taken. Unlike in Europe and North America, naturism/nudism in South America is still relatively new. When social nudity started to get a foot on the ground in this continent, the eco/bio movement was already using the term naturism. So there was no other option than to go for “nudism” instead.


In the end, it doesn’t really matter how you prefer to call yourself. Naturism, nudism, nude recreation and FKK all come down to the exact same thing. It’s about being naked among others in a non-sexual way and about respect for oneself, the others and the environment.

What is clothing optional?

For naturists and nudists, nudity is of course a very important aspect. No matter if you go to a naturist campsite or a nude beach, you will be expected to take off your clothes. This creates a sense of equality, a bit like a school uniform. Everyone is wearing exactly the same outfit. You accept how we look and we accept how you look. It’s a basic but wonderful idea. But it’s definitely not the perfect situation for everyone.


Some people like to be nude on the beach, but don’t feel much for having dinner in a restaurant without at least some coverage. Others have no problem with walking around in the nude, but for their evening run or morning yoga session, they do feel more comfortable with clothes on. In the large naturist villages, you can literally do everything naked. Sunbathing and swimming, but also shopping, dining, cycling, play volleyball, do fitness, go to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, have a beer in the bar, sing a song at karaoke or dance the night away. Not everyone likes to do all those things in the nude.


Another difficulty appears when you are a nudist/naturist but your partner is not. How do you cope with this? Take two different hotels during your vacation? Spend your days at the beach on the border between the nudist section and the textile side?


Here’s where “clothing optional” comes into play. Clothes are an option. You like to be naked and we prefer to keep some clothes on? We can live happily next to each other at a clothing optional place. It’s mostly a live and let live philosophy. Everyone can do whatever he or she prefers (clothing wise at least). For some it’s the perfect solution but other nudists will say that it disturbs the balance because clothed people are hiding their bodies while nudists have nothing to hide.

What is swinging/lifestyle?

Another form of social nudity can be found at swingers places. “Swinging” (also called “lifestyle” in the Americas or “liberal” in other parts of the world) is basically a term for swapping partners. Swingers places are not nude obligatory by default, nevertheless most of those places do allow social nudity. The big difference between swingers and nudists/naturists is that most swingers places do allow public sex.


Visitors of swingers places come for all kinds of different reasons. Some like to swap partners, but others just come to watch. Some like the public sex while others still keep the sex behind closed doors. We’ve heard from people visiting swingers places just because they like the atmosphere and the frequent parties.


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Since there isn’t a single country in the world that allows sex in public places, swinging is only possible in private locations such as swingers resorts, clubs or private beaches.
So technically, naturist places allow public nudity in a non-sexual environment. Swingers places allow both public nudity and public sex.
Pretty easy, right?
Or isn’t it?

All in the mix

Although there’s, in theory, a very clear distinction between swinging and naturism/nudism, in reality, this does cause a fair amount of problems. A major reason for this is that some swingers resorts tend to hide behind the name naturist/nudist. Sometimes because they believe that a nudist resort will be more easily accepted by the town than a swingers resort. Or because they believe that for their guests the step to go to a naturist resort might be easier than going to a swingers resort. And some do so because they hope to play on both sides (pun intended) and attract both naturists and swingers.
Of course, it doesn’t work well this way. Naturists end up at a so-called naturist resort and see sex all around. For first time naturists, this can be a reason to never try naturism again.


There are other reasons why swingers tend to frequent naturist places. Naturist resorts are more common and are often much cheaper than swingers places. The perfect example is of course the nude beaches, which are free. This is the major reason why many nudists don’t really like swingers.


Every different kind of social nudity comes with its own set of rules, or etiquette if you wish.
At naturist/nudist places you’re not supposed to wear clothes (when the weather permits it) or to have any sexual activity in public.
Clothing optional places allow you to wear clothes or be naked, but also here public sex is off the question.
At swingers places, public sex is allowed. Whether you may or may not wear clothes is up to the particular resort.


As a swinger, you can perfectly visit a nudist resort. But stick to the rules and keep your romances behind closed doors. Similarly, as a nudist, you’re welcome to visit a swingers resort. But know that you might see other people having sex and be invited to join (to which you don’t have to agree if you don’t want to).
The choice is yours.


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10 thoughts on “The Different Types of Social Nudity”

  1. Oh.. my fav subjects … lol,its almost like u guys do this on purpuse heh j/k.
    I bet whenever u write these kinda blogs, u go like … o man..Iceman will be the one 1st to give hes “expertise” .. lol

    I wouldnt be me if id had to shut up, u might as well kill me then…

    “Since there isn’t a single country in the world that allows sex in public places, swinging is only possible in private locations such as swingers resorts, clubs or private beaches.”
    Totaly not true, i mean ,partly it is true in the sence that as an individual act its not allowed, but in a somewhat organized way it is, since u guys are open minded, nudies, been to San Francisco, im pretty sure u heard about the Folsom Stree Fair .. in the case u didnt, or for those that didnt, its basicly a BDSM fest held in the streets around Folsom streetn in SF in broad day light, ppl lierally have sex on the road ,walkways,if u have to go to details, the do pee stuff and so on .. in broad daylight on the streets ,so.. its not a club, not a private beach, its on the streets.And there is at least one more even where its done, it some kind of a dirt.. i dunno exactly i forgot .. its something to with with living in a desert ,dirt..whatever something like that.

    “There are other reasons why swingers tend to frequent naturist places. Naturist resorts are more common and are often much cheaper than swingers places. The perfect example is of course the nude beaches, which are free. This is the major reason why many nudists don’t really like swingers.”
    As much as this makes sence, (dont complain if u love capitalism) ,its not right to dont like them then, if its literally the same way with textile beaches/resorts, that are as far as i understand cheaper then nudie ones…so some places prolly nudies go to a textile beach or next to something pretty similar.

    Btw, what is public sex? Is it a specific setting where those that watch/see you, are there for that exact reason ,or its sex in a public place where both those who want, dont wanna see u do that but dont really mind about it either, are not “allowed” ,or do mind, can see you having sex?
    To me its the second one, cause thats public, the first option is an audience.

    • Ok, that BDSM street fair in SF is not technically in a private place, but we’re sure that there will be plenty of security and gates to pass through. So the chances that you end up there without knowing what’s going on are very small.
      Public nude beaches, on the other hand, most often have no security, no gates and sometimes aren’t even signposted. This makes them much more public than that fair in SF.

      We agree that it’s not fair to not like swingers just because they are swingers. Those are prejudices which unfortunately happen a lot and of which we think that they don’t fit in an accepting nudist setting. But, as mentioned in the post, they have to stick to the etiquette. If you move into a quiet neighborhood and start playing loud music all night, people will start disliking you as well, even without knowing you at all.
      It’s the same with nudists. We also don’t get naked on textile beaches. We respect other people’s rules and we like to have ours respected as well.

      What is public sex? That’s a very important question. And in the case of this blog, it has everything to do with consent. If everyone knows and agrees that sex might/will happen, we don’t see any issue. But there we’re back to the private places. Whenever a place is public, someone could just pass by.

      There are some nude beaches that have a section of which it’s known that it tends to get sexual. Sometimes you have to take a trail, sometimes it’s behind a huge rock or sometimes it’s in the dunes. At Zipolite beach in Mexico for example (one of our favourite nude beaches), you can take a 5-minute trail to a small secluded beach called “Playa de Amor”. Love beach. We probably don’t need to explain what’s happening there. Lots of nudists are against this kind of beaches, but we believe that they aren’t such a bad thing. For one, it keeps the swingers, voyeurs and exhibitionists away from the main nude beach. But also, people new to nudism see that there’s a strict distinction between the different kinds of social nudity.

      • Ok thats interesting for that Zipolite place.
        Once again as you know.. whatever i say isnt based on what i personally saw since i aint a nudie ,but i really did hear alots and read from lots of places that its basicly almost everywhere like that at that Mexico place as far as nude beaches go.
        I even read one guy say, and hes from here where i live (no need to mention it,but you guys know) ,that “said” (wrote actually) ,that hes been to many many nude beaches, and that he always saw sex/ual stuff, now of course i dunno if this is true or not , but from what ive read and stuff, i wouldnt bet much against what he said.
        Im not saying if that is good or bad , im just saying.
        And in reality if that Mexico place u described is such, im sure anyone that wants to see them behind the rocks will, and those that dont as well, cause ull always have some ppl walking around to explore the place ,or kids playing around .and honestly, i think its hard not to know if u have places like that that whats going on there, regardless of who you are.
        Having said that, i just wanna roll back to what i wrote “ages” ago, that im pretty 100% sure there are way more sexual things on nudie places then textile ones, and im not saying that as a good or a bad thing,im just … saying it, eventho i know it “hurts” the nudie community because they are preseting being naked and something not sexual ,and i agree with that cause its really not, naked is not sex, only thing i do mind is , the problem nudies have with addmiting the stated above about the more sexual stuff at nudie places ,as if its such a horrible thing.. better watching(intentional) ,seing(non intentional) ppl having sex, then killing each other..
        The real reason i think ppl get “upset” about it so much is because its “not legal” to have sex at a public place, so lets say a club or a beach dunno… they dont wanna see ppl do that cause they could be fined or worse ,get a lockdown on their buisniess… wich brings me to the point, most ppl most.. dont mind about the “stuff” but about the fines.

        As for that street fair in SF, again, i was never there so i cant say personally, but its on the streets ..there are no tickets.. i doubt any1 has the right to stop any1 passing there ,knowing or not whats going on , its still a street ,.. i mean .. what if one lives there?
        Anyhow, that thing has to be the most oddest thing on the planet ,i literally didnt believe what i was reading/seing when i found out about that thing,and its not even a new thing.. it goes back to the 70-80s or something.. and its crazy to believe it comes from the USA, that i find a very conservative nation not to say hypocrites when it comes to nudity and sex, and the same nation that allows that, but (as i saw in a walking around winter village NYC video the other night) you have a NO ALCOHOL BEYOND THIS POINT sign on the exit door of a improvised bar ..
        Yea.. everything is so odd these days.

        • In the case of Zipolite, you really have to know where you’re going, otherwise, chances are very low that you’ll find Playa de Amor. As for the kids, most parents just won’t allow them the leave the main beach. It’s still Mexico. But then again, kids that do know what’s going on might sneak away to have a peek. But that’s something up to the parents to prevent.

          As said before, we don’t care that the beach is there. As far as we’re concerned, we think that they should even make signs towards Playa de Amor, saying “sex beach” or something. So everyone knows what’s going on and can decide whether they go there or not. That’s the problem with other beaches like Cap d’Agde. It also has a known sex section but that’s right next to the main beach. Like right behind the bar. Within 10 steps you can get from relaxing in the sun to ending up in an orgy.

          Most nudists don’t care much about sex on the beach being illegal, it’s rather that it’s not allowed on nude beaches. It’s very frustrating to promote a non-sexual nude lifestyle and then people have sex in plain public on our designated areas. We’ve said it a lot of times before, if people want sex beaches, sure. Why not? Let them get a movement together and fight for their right to have sex in public. Do political lobbying just like nudists have done.

          Unfortunately, we also think you’re right that it will be easier to find sexual behaviour at nudist places than at textile ones. But then we’re mostly talking about public places like beaches. The reason is pretty simple. If you think nudity equals sex, and you have a desire for public sex, you are very likely to pick a place where there is already public nudity. Some people go to nude beaches just because it gets them excited. And some people have sex at nude beaches because they think it’s allowed because nudity is also allowed. It always comes down to the link between nudity and sex (at least in people’s heads).

          • “We’ve said it a lot of times before, if people want sex beaches, sure. Why not? Let them get a movement together and fight for their right to have sex in public. Do political lobbying just like nudists have done.”
            You see .. this is the fundamental thing i hate and dont agree on ever never about anything..
            I dont think ppl should lobby for anything..its forcing a view/decision on others, i mean … i might not even know how to explain what i wanna say how much i hate this.
            This is the exact reason so many things are made to be illegal or “not normal” in the first place ..
            Im not sure if a Sex Beach sign would in that sence be even a better idea as u suggest it.. now .. what i mean is i understand what ur point is ,but tbh, as u described it, and as i “learned” reading alots around and watching videos (best thing u can do without expiriencing a real thing) things are ,really like u described in Cap , but.. to me, the way i see things, the way it is there, is actually the righter or less hypocrte or less non jugmental or however u wanna call it way.
            Why? Its simple, its non labable, if that is a word at all lol.
            The thing is,ppl always talk about consent these days .. like , hey i dont wanna see that or this or do that … ppl say, i dont wanna go to a beach ,any kind, and see this or that .. but how much of things that u dont wanna see,or dont like to see, see every single day anywhere..? Does any1 ask ur consent to see someone on the street being hit by a bus? Or some car hitting a dog on the road? ..that word is such a relative thing .. if i walk downtown, ill hear tons of music from the caffee`s .. so if i dont like a specific type of music, and im hearing it without my consent, should i trash the bar? Of course, im not gonna go there ,sit there, drink coffee there, but i cannot not hear the music ,unless i wanna be Van Gogh or something..
            As far as the nudity is sex thing.. its really easy .. ppl that dont like nudie stuff only really use that ,for some reason to them a perfect excuse, to bash nudies ,as if either one of those two things is bad ,and then it makes me also wanna say that when nudies are pissed off about that, they are doing the exact same thing as the ones bashing the nudies ,making sex sound bad or wrong.
            So in the end it turns out almost as a fight between textiles and nudies where the textiles are saying that nudies are pervs cause they have sex at the beaches camps ,with every1 there seing that , and the nudies reply as , NO we are NOT having sex there, we are not pervs, maniacs and so on ..
            But at the end of the day it all comes down to the personal view .. you have ppl that think the way they are programed since birth to think, where everything is “written”(rules,laws,behaviours) and u just have to obey, then u have ppl that might wonder off from that path just a little, but only to their liking and them u have ppl like me lol.

          • Well, lobbying is part of a democracy. Especially for minorities. It’s either that or anarchy where everyone does whatever they want or dictatorship where everyone does whatever one person wants.

            The bar with the music is actually a good example. Because you walk away from it. Nudists can’t walk away from nude beaches if they all suddenly become sexual. Or they have to walk away from nudism in general.

          • Hummm i doubt its like that, actually ,to me its totaly the oposite..
            Democracy is nothing more then a rule of majority, hence its a legalized dictatorship that suits the majority. I mean just look at Brexit .. 49% have to suffer cause of what 51% want.
            Having to lobby for u to have ur interests, makes it even worse.. cause it means that u have to “fight”basicly ,in todays words, bribe, for something that you should have by default.And its even sadder as u stated that its spec “good” for minorities.. should there be even such thing as minority in a free world?
            Having said that, i can bet you that the dictatorship in Yugoslavia was better then many democracies around the world.
            As far as the music anology goes, the point was, its out there, everyone can see and hear it, rahter u like it or not, all u have to do is just move on to the next place.
            Sometimes u can have a little street where all the caffees are playing the same shitty music that you dont like .. you either gonna give in, or just leave to a totaly different place.
            The thing is, those same caffees, were playin just “yesterday” the music i prefer, but they adjusted to todays generation “taste”.The thing is, that u have to ask ur self .. why are u there? Are u there cause u like to be nude and on a beach? If so ,why does everything else matter then? Am i at the cafee cause of the music or cause of the good coffee, nice street, nice place, pleasent atmosphere ,whatever.. thats how i look at things ,thats why i never agree with anything today ,the way things work, ppl think … or should i say , dont think, but are lead to think.

          • Also that is a democracy… The power of the majority. It will sometimes be in our favour and sometimes not.
            It’s better to have 49% suffer than 51%. Well, it’s better to have nobody suffer, but when two parties are straight against each other it’s either us or them.

            The bar example wasn’t of course perfect. First of all, bars are private places. The owner decides which music is played and does so most probably based on the people visiting the bar. This is similar to social nudity. There are naturist clubs and swingers clubs. Like there are rock bars and dance bars.

            Let’s talk about hooligans. Hooligans have their own private places where they meet and start hitting each other’s brains out. We know that this happens, we couldn’t care less. But why do they go to soccer stadiums? When we enjoy a soccer game we don’t want to see two groups of people hitting each other. Even if we don’t directly get hurt, we don’t like it. More than that, it gives soccer games a bad name. Parents are afraid to let their kids go to soccer stadiums because they think it’s dangerous. People start linking genuine soccer fans with hooligans. We can’t even drink a beer in the stadium anymore because some people are afraid that we’ll start hitting each other.
            Now replace the word “hooligan” with “swinger”, “hitting” with “fucking”, “soccer” with “nudist” and “stadium” and “game” with “resort”.
            That’s how many nudists feel.

            Last year, a proposal for a second nude beach in Belgium was disapproved because the nudists would go into the dunes to have sex. Those are not the nudists… So not only does it bother us, it also harms us. It’s like disapproving a new soccer stadium because the visitors would use it to fight with each other.

            Side note: We’re not talking about swingers in general, only about those who misbehave at nudist resorts.

  2. Sadly, I think a lot of resorts go from nudist to clothing optional to swinger hangout for financial reasons. I remember frequenting Paradise Lakes in FL when I was in college, which was then advertised as a “family friendly” resort. I remember watching families with kids play volleyball. Today, you won’t see any of that there. All their ads have a focus on sex. It’s a sad situation.

    • Indeed, most often this happens for financial reasons.
      And it’s easy to blame the resorts for dismissing their decency and moving to the “dark side” because there’s more money to be made over there.
      But is that really the only truth?

      Of course, there are far fewer swinger resorts than there are nudist resorts. So it’s much easier to ask for higher prices to swingers.
      But also, the pressure that many nudist resorts get from their members is often suffocating. We’ve noticed more than once that the members dictate the prices and the activities. In cases where the average age of the members is pretty high, it’s not uncommon that the activities are adjusted to their needs. Their needs ONLY. Meaning that it becomes much less interesting for the younger generations.

      Especially in the US, we’ve met lots of young nudist couples who preferred going to swingers resorts than to nudist resorts. Swingers resorts have parties, nudist resorts often stick with the petanque tournament (we don’t want to generalize though).
      The occasional couple having sex next to the pool or invite to join someone in the room doesn’t bother them that much.

      If they don’t make nudist resorts interesting for 20 & 30-somethings, more of them will move towards the swingers resorts instead. Making it even more interesting for nudist resorts to switch sides.

      What bothers us the most about all this, is the time when a resort moves from nudist to swinger. They often don’t just rebrand, they rather open up to both. And then you get cases like Paradise Lakes. In fact, we almost booked there, until a friend from Florida told us that the place went swinger. We had no clue…


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