The Freedom of Going Nude in Public Places

Naturists tend to be easy-going people. We love to spend our days without clothes, relaxed, enjoying life in the nude. But if there’s one thing we like to complain about, it’s that we’re always stuck to designated areas. Like a fenced-off resort or a very well hidden nude beach that takes forever to get to, on an often dangerous journey via steep paths. Even in your own garden, which you’ve paid a significant amount of money for, you can only be nude when you don’t risk shocking the neighbors.


As if we’re little children. This is your playground and you stay there. Don’t you dare to go playing somewhere else! Those who do cross the line and get naked in places where they’re not supposed to (including their own garden, which happens to have a couple of windows pointing at) are reported as exhibitionists. Well, some of them definitely are. But there are so many others, genuine naturists and nudists, who love to explore nature in their most natural way. What are their options?

The Freedom of Going Nude in Public Places

The rise of nude hiking

Being naked in nature is one of the main joys of naturism. It’s in the name: nature-ism. The elements are just so much better enjoyed when you’re not stuck in artificial layers. Feeling the sun on your nude body, a gust of wind passing by, the grass between your toes. Those were the first things that we felt when we became naturists. Feelings that non-naturists may never get to know (at least not in their post-toddler-years).


A great way to get naked in nature is by going on a nude hike. Through forests and fields, skinny dipping in a river or a waterfall. You have to admit, how awesome does that sound? Feeling the elements without being bothered by sweaty clothes. Some naturist resorts are in such desolate areas that they can offer excellent nude hiking options. The Olive Dell Ranch and Deanza Springs in California, for example, both have a magnificent piece of desert to hike in. Or Yatan Rumi in Argentina where we found some of the world’s most splendid nature where clothes were not a requirement.


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But those are few. While many naturist resorts try to jump on the recent hype of nude hiking, this often results in not more than a couple of kilometers (miles, if you will) of easy trails on the property. The kind you do before breakfast and still aren’t hungry when you get back.

The Freedom of Going Nude in Public Places

Nude hiking in public places

Naturists who don’t happen to live near resorts with cool hiking trails don’t really have many options. Either they hike nude at public places, or they don’t hike nude at all. One of our first nude hikes on public grounds happened in California. Some friends took us to a part of the Pacific Crest Trail. For the first half-hour or so we had to keep our clothes on until we arrived on federal grounds, where the law didn’t particularly forbid wandering around in our birthday suits.


The PCT, a hiking trail running from the Canadian to the Mexican border, all the way through the USA, is one of the toughest in the world. And so are the people who hike it. The handful of clothed hikers we did encounter along the way, didn’t have the slightest problem with our nudity. They merely saw it as some welcoming entertainment. Or they looked at their smelly clothes and wondered why they hadn’t thought of that, months ago when they started the hike.

The Freedom of Going Nude in Public Places

Nude hiking around Paris

At the start of our Big Nude Tour de France, we were invited by a local naturist association called APNEL. Paris has 2 major associations, one is ANP (Paris Naturist Association), which fights for designated areas and events for naturists in the City of Lights. They are the reason why a public park in downtown Paris now has a naturist section.


The other association is APNEL, the Association for the Promotion of Naturism in Liberty. A group that strives for naturism outside of the designated areas. The friendly people from APNEL were going to take us on a nude hike in the green belt around Paris, not much more than a 45-minute drive from the Eifel Tower.


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We hate to say this, but we have some prejudices when it comes to meeting up with local associations. We always think that we will end up with a bunch of people who are twice our age and who will want to spend the better part of the day playing bingo or petanque. Nothing against bingo or petanque, by the way, but there’s a time and place for everything. A nude hiking day is not the time nor the place. Honestly, we had considered doing the hike on flip-flops. How hard would it get, right?


For the sake of showing some respect to the association, we ended up putting on sneakers instead before going to the meeting point. Although we were probably the youngest of the group, only a few participants could have been our parents. That was the first good sign, but we still expected a walk in the park. After about 15 kilometers (about 10 miles) of climbing hills, wading through creeks hip-deep, enjoying views we had never expected this close to Paris, and giving birth to some impressive blisters, we had to change our opinion about both local naturist associations and the people who engage in them. Damn, those French naturists could hike.

The Freedom of Going Nude in Public Places

Respect when going nude in public

One downside of this awesome nude hike in the forests around Paris was that we didn’t hike nude all that much. This comes down to two, for us, very important aspects of naturism. Number one is respect. As naturists, we respect each other, but also the non-naturists. Since we were on public grounds, we didn’t want to shock any non-naturist hikers who frequented the same trails on this sunny Saturday afternoon. So we hiked in the nude, saw others in the far distance, and covered up. Took off our clothes once again, until we ended up in a more inhabited area and got dressed once again. And so on.


The second important aspect, which isn’t really in the definition of naturism, is comfort. We just LOVE the comfort of not having to wear any clothes. When wading through the creeks, being nude was definitely the most comfortable state we could have ever been in. The dress-undress-dress-undress part of the hike started to bother us quite quickly. We don’t hate clothes. Although we would always pick a nude hike over a clothed one, we don’t really enjoy having to watch out for others at every step we take. Or dressing/undressing accordingly. It just started to feel more comfortable to stay dressed most of the time.

The Freedom of Going Nude in Public Places

When does respect become mutual?

This made us wonder. In the case of our latest nude hike, we were giving lots of respect without asking any in return. On the PCT, several years ago, we rather took the position of “we don’t complain about your uniform, you don’t complain about ours”. The latter definitely sounds the most logical to us. But then again, it was rather unlikely to encounter a Parisian family taking out the kids and the dog for an afternoon walk in the southern Californian desert.


If we want to have the ability to enjoy nature in our most natural way, is it better to expose people to our nudity? Or do we keep a sense of proportion, enjoying some parts in the nude while covering up at other parts?
We honestly don’t know. But we do wonder what you think.

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57 thoughts on “The Freedom of Going Nude in Public Places”

  1. I live in the U.S., and love nude hiking. I have 3 go-to public places that are nearby; just went to one yesterday. I think I agree with you on all aspects of this article. When I’m in an area where I may encounter more people, or families, I tend to get dressed more often. On more isolated federal properties I’m generally less discrete; at the most, wrapping something around my waist while passing someone. On the National Seashore we visit, most people don’t seem to mind if you stay uncovered. Great post; I enjoy reading all of them.

  2. We will never be able to live our lives naked publicly as long we are seen as pervs, exhibitionists, sex addicts and dangerous to kids. And my heart bleeds at this, because we mean no harm to anyone. At the contrary. As a matter of fact, to me, being nude is part of my identity, not just something that is fun to do. But hey, Nick and Lins, you guys are the best advocates that I can dream of, so keep up the great work.

    • Sometimes we wonder whether the fact that nobody likes the naturists is something that largely plays in our heads. As mentioned in this blog post, the clothed hikers we met on the PCT didn’t care at all about our nudity. Another example, 2 years ago we wanted to go skinny dipping in a river near a very small town in France. When we got to the river, there were 2 women fishing. The kind of women who probably rarely leave the town and might be pretty religious. We walked over to them, explained that we wanted to swim but didn’t have any bathing suits. We just asked if they would have a problem with us being naked. They said it was no problem at all.

      Of course, these are just small examples that don’t represent public opinion. But, as happens with many other minorities, we’re constantly told that the others won’t like us or our habits. While, in our experience, most others don’t really care at all.

      • Good reply. I think your examples are representative of my experience over half a century of hiking nude on public trails, and going nude in public. I have gotten far more encouragement from the public than objections. In probably thousands of nude encounters with clothed “textiles” I recall only one time when some teen boys laughed and snickered, and one time when some women walked off the path to keep a few meters distance. I also meet textile people who smile and say “I wish I had the courage to do that — be naked.”

        As you say, fear from the pubic, is all in the heads of would be nudists.

      • I so agree with this. I try to be respectful of others and I often end up asking people if they mind if I go naked and it’s rarely been an issue. I just got back from Cuba where I was on a snorkeling adventure with my son. I asked if it was ok I snorkeled naked and yep I was snorkeling naked. I was the only one out of a dozen of us but I didn’t care. On another vacation my boyfriend and I were on a 4wheeler excursion and there was a great photo spot so I asked if we could get naked for a picture. The guide said that was fine and I was thrilled we ended up with a group picture as a bunch of us (all strangers to me) followed me in striping down! I think this can help normalize nudity if you do it properly.

  3. Here’s the problem as I see it. People think of nudity as an active state of being and clothed as the default inactive state (which is exactly backwards but whatever). So when they see someone nude, they think of it as a choice to shove nudity in their faces because it’s active, whereas for clothing, even the most offensive clothing is thought of as more neutral, ignorable.

    I think a similar analogy would be gay people making out in public. Is it any different from straight people? No. But for gay people, it’s seen as shoving their sexuality down everyone’s throats, whereas for straight people, it’s the default state of being. I’ve seen gay people even today stop holding hands when they start seeing people stare, and it’s really sad.

    My personal opinion, though, is that hiding away from the world to protect their sense of offense and shame is the wrong way to go. People have to confront their biases in order to change them, and only popping up in their minds as a safe, secure resort away from them means they never have to confront their biases and nothing will change.

    • That’s a very valid point. We think that it has mostly to do with humans being comfortable with the things they know, while getting uncomfortable with/scared about the unknown.

      2 gay people kissing is an expression of their love and happiness. How on earth can you have anything against other people’s love and happiness? But, because it’s (relatively) unknown, it makes people feel uncomfortable. The same thing with nudity. There isn’t a more natural state of the human body. But we’ve gotten so used to wearing/seeing clothes, that nudity became something weird.

  4. I believe that respecting the textile-folks, we show that we nudists are not like the stereotypes they were fed on.
    The situation will rub off in a good way and soon, the textile-folks will try nudity. All we got to do is be the better example.
    Action better than words.

  5. I haven’t hiked nude much. But I work a lot nude in my garden. Part of my garden is on the other side of the street, a quiet rural road. When I work in that garden I can be seen from the road. But I still work there naked. I only have got one really bad comment, so I watch out more now. I know that most nudists do not agree with what I do. The Belgian law forbid acts of non-morality. But is simple nude an act of non-morality? For me not at all. If we keep on hiding in special nude zones it will never be common. I have put a nudist sign on my mail box and put on poster of Nude Gardening Day on my window. That’s my act of trying to make nudisme more accepted / tolerated.

    • That’s the big problem with those laws against “acts of non-morality” is that they are in the eye of the observer.

  6. This is an interesting read, which I find particularly interesting as I grew up in California, and we’ve spent a lot of time – much of it naked – in France. It seems counter-intuitive to me that you would feel more guarded about nude hiking ANYwhere in France than you would in California. (California has become increasingly conservative on such matters over the years; especially Southern California.)
    Given that naturism is more mainstream in France than anyplace else in the world, (at least more people know what it’s about,) I would think there would be more “respect” for meeting nude hikers there. That said, I’ve read about the random cases where local authorities have arrested a French person for walking naked in the countryside. Seems that’s, by far, the exception, but my sense is that France is becoming more conservative as well. I’ll be curious to know if you have different experiences as you make your way farther into the South of France. We did a LOT of (clothed) walking there and never once ran into a nude hiker, even en route to a nude beach. That always surprised me.

    • Naturism is indeed very common in France, but it’s also very much put in designated areas. Which isn’t really a surprise, with the many excellent (and large) naturist resorts and nude beaches, few feel the need to get naked outside of those areas. So public nudity isn’t really that common. While at places with limited opportunities for naturists, the naturists will explore other (more public) options.

  7. I believe that the public space should live to its name: it must public. This means accesible to everybody (and every body) and everyone’s likes that are not harmful to others. Clothing choices (incl. lack thereof) are not harmful. Is also has a very important role of constantly reminding that the society is composed of (very) different individuals. Without public space that is designed to meet strangers, you can no longer speak of one society.

    Also, I quite don’t understand the “respect” rhetoric. I don’t think I am obligued to show respect to strangers’ likes. Because the attitude towards nudity is a matter of likes, not of doing harm or compromising someone else’s freedom.

    Now back to reality: yes, exposing others to our nudity is the way to gain more freedom to be naked. Step by step, starting from remote places, getting the public used to the lack of clothing, until it becomes normal. Because the only reason it doesn’t fit within the norm is that people don’t do it.

    • This is a very valid, but also very dangerous road. Because how do you define “harmful”?
      For example, we had a discussion with exhibitionists one day. We said that there’s nothing wrong with social nudity because it’s natural and not harmful. They said that there was no difference with sex. They were absolutely right. If we say that we don’t want to see others doing their thing, they reply that they don’t want to see us without our clothes.

      But there is a difference. Public sex is harmful for the image of naturists, when it happens on a naturist beach. It might make people think that naturism is about sex. This is where consent comes into place, which is largely based on mutual respect (hence, the respect rhetoric in this blog post). Following this idea, we could say that there’s nothing wrong with public sex when it happens at a place of which everyone agrees that it’s ok to happen there. When we drag the line to social nudity, we’re actually advocating against nudity in public areas. Because there are already places of which everyone agrees that social nudity is acceptable: designated beaches and resorts…

      • I agree that this is a dangerous road but I don’t think there is a different one. I believe that more freedom is better than less freedom. I also believe that freedoms should be constrained only when it is necessary. Banning nudity from the streets is necessary for what objective? What or who does it protect? If you see a naked person on a street, there isn’t less street left for you because of the nudity. If you see a man wearing a skirt in a park, there isn’t less park left for you bacause of the skirt. If you see a same-sex couple holding hands, there isn’t less space left for you. You may not like it, you may claim that this is unsuitable for kids, but none of your freedoms have been compromised and no harm has been caused. Are people in my examples showing disrespect ot morals/tradition/people etc? You could argue this. But I don’t think this is a valid rhetoric.

        When you ask why should we draw the line between public sex and public nudity (because we feel this right, right?) and ban one while allowing for the other, I don’t have a simple answer. Because my previous points apply to public sex, too. Or should we? I don’t know. I can but point out a huge difference: sex is a behaviour, nudity is a state of clothing. We agreed to ban or restrict behaviours from public spaces (sex, peeing, speeding) and I would divert the discussion: where draw the line when it comes to showing affection. Why ban sex but allow for kissing? Because nudity is just a clothing choice. It doesn’t carry additional meaning by itself. I don’t remember when we agreed to constrain clothing choices. In the UK going naked is legal in all public spaces. So far it works.

        • You definitely hit a nail here with the behavioral/state of dress thing. The difficulty is to try to explain that to others. In Dutch, a synonym for naturist/nudist is “naaktloper”. Literally translated, that’s “nude walker”. Which makes it an action again…

          Anyway, if everyone would just do what they feel like, we’d end up in anarchy. There have to be rules and some kind of conformity in order to build a decent society. So we won’t fight for nudity to be allowed at any place, at any time. In our perfect world, nudity would be considered the same as a bathing suit. Can you wear it on the beach? Definitely. In your garden when the neighbors can see you? Of course. The park? Yes. A quick visit to the bakery around the corner? Why not?

          When visiting the bank to get a loan? Better not. In a fancy restaurant? Better not. At work? Maybe on Casual Fridays 🙂

          • Very good point on when it should be allowed to be nude. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time but couldn’t find a good starting point. Putting it on the same level as a bathing suit is a good idea. But how can we working on/fighting for it to be accepted?

          • The fight for acceptance is what we’re still struggling with as well. What we are sure about is that bringing naturism into public media definitely helps. For a very long time, naturists have bee crying for acceptance but kept hiding behind huge fences. That’s not how it works. We notice that the organizations that manage to put a face on naturism normally perform better. A great example is France. The national federation worked mostly in the background for years and the acceptance of nudity decreased. Only since commercial organizations like France4Naturism put their shoulders on it, hired PR people and regularly appeared in the media, France is seeing an uprise again.

            But there are different ways to accomplish that. Some federations prefer the activism-strategy for example. The British federation has legal people on board who support the members in case they get a lawsuit for indecent behavior (and of course, in the case when it was naturism, not exhibitionism). That’s also an approach that works.

            In this blog post, we make the difference between the 2 major organizations of Paris: ANP and APNEL. While ANP strives for more spaces for naturists, APNEL strives for more acceptance of nudity at public places. In our opinion, you need both, because both have their strengths. But general acceptance will take a long time.

            We don’t like to compare the naturist movement with the gay movement, because naturism is still a choice while sexual preference definitely isn’t. But in this case, we can learn from the gay movement. Only a couple of decades ago, it was unthinkable that public expressions of love between the same gender would ever be accepted. Look at where they stand now. There are possibilities, but there’s a need for people who want to stand in the frontline and for people who want to create a strong backbone.

          • Reframing nudity as merely a state of clothing is a great challenge before naturism as a movement. That’s of course if you want to achieve wider acceptance of human bodies and greater freedom for going naked outside of resorts. That’s in my opiion the way to go, as naturism for me means freedom. Being concealed in resorts (and paying for that) is not freedom.

            Last words from me on this topic. I think we are talking about two things: custom and law.

            Custom tells you to dress up in certain situations – and that’s fine. Fancy restaurant? I’ll personally dress up and not show up (at least not entirely, as dressing up =/= hiding genitalia) naked. At last one of purposes of clothing is to highligh certain moments.

            But this topic is about public spaces. And public spaces are no place for custom but for law. Nudity should not be outlawed as it does not harm anybody (it’s quite the opposite: the world would be better, if we could see more normal naked bodies). Should restaurant’s owner set up a dress code and not let in those naked? It’s up to them. Should those naked get fined? No, just as those in t-shirt and flip-flops wouldn’t.

          • Indeed, we also believe that it’s up to the place to decide whether they allow nudity or not. But since naturists are a minority, we’re afraid that we’ll keep pulling the short straw. So then the discussion turns back to custom. If people wouldn’t care about nudity, we might still be the only few naked people in the restaurant, but at least nobody will complain.

            This reminds us of a discussion we had in Brazil, there’s the big difference between people from Sao Paulo and those from Rio de Janeiro. Of course, this originated from soccer, but it’s also about custom and attitude. In Rio, board shorts are the most common dress code. You can do everything in board shorts, even go to the bank. While in Sao Paulo, people are more reserved and like to dress up. Both believe that their way is the way to go. Yet both agree that board shorts are the way to go on the beach 🙂

    • Good for you. 100% agreed. Respect has to go both ways or there is no respect. When meeting textiles on a trail I smile and offer a friendly “good morning.” But I don’t hide or cover. I get far more approvals than disapprovals.

  8. Perhaps to reframe our perspective, we should think about it this way: There are places where it is socially acceptable for a man to go shirtless (which is a state of undress) and places where it is frowned upon like a bank or a fancy restaurant.
    So maybe what should be advocated is that wherever a man is a able to go shirtless, women should be allowed to go topfree and naturists should also be able to go nude.
    One interesting side note is that I have been sharing a survey with non-naturists about nonsexual nudity, and even though I clearly stated that it is referring to nonsexual nudity; the people that were uncomfortable with nudity were also the ones that responded that they felt there was a strong correlation between nudity and sexuality. So perhaps, the key is to educate the world that nudity is just a a state of undress and not a behavior associated with sex. Maybe peoples minds will be changed about this perspective if we had more examples of nonsexual nudity in the arts. Currently as I see it, most nudity in movies, especially those made in America, is unfortunately linked to some sexuality.

    • The link with nudity and sex is still an issue, but we do feel like it’s slowly disappearing. Especially in Europe. A growing issue, however, is a lack of confidence. We tend to dislike people who are more confident than ourselves. People often turn to “shaming” to break down other people’s confidence. We have several friends who would never want to become naturists. Not because they think that it’s sexual, but because they think that they’ll be out of tone, that they’ll look uglier than the others.

      Or even worse, they don’t want their partner to see naked people because they might realize how “ugly” their spouse is. Complete baloney, of course, but it’s hard to convince those people. Although it’s pretty simple. If your girlfriend is really going to run away with the first larger penis she sees, or if your boyfriend will take off with the first pair of nice-looking boobs, you’re better off without them anyway.

  9. Great read! Two things that I have noticed make a difference when going nude in public places are gender and quantity. For example, a single male or a male couple hiking nude are more likely to have authorities called if they encounter textiles. But a male/female couple, a female/female couple, or a mixed gender group of nudists seem to get more leniency and viewed as harmless. Just my observation from speaking to other nudists that have tried nude hiking or skinny-dipping. At any rate, I cover up when I am nude in public and notice that clothed people are nearby. It isn’t worth the risk, and it isn’t fair for me to surprise people that are not expecting to encounter me nude, and therefore breaking the law, on their hike. I am also aware that I run the risk of ruining the opportunity for other nudists if a public complaint or charges are filed, as it may lead to the area may becoming patrolled.

    • We haven’t heard about groups of men running into more trouble than mixed groups, but we can definitely understand that this is true. It goes back to the link with nudity and sex and the fact that men cause more problems than women. You rarely hear about female rapists, voyeurs, or exhibitionists. So even people who consider nudity sexual will find women much more harmless than men.

    • I either hike naked alone (as a male) or with female friends, my wife or my sister and the reactions are always the same (which are usually suprised, positive or neutral but never negative) . So in my experience there is no difference. Might also depend on how you behave, if you act nervous or creepy it might trigger a completely different reaction from the other hikers as when you act like everything is normal.

      • That is what I noticed when I was naked outside, too. It is mostly about how you react yourself by meeting orhers (textiles) on public ground.
        Reacting neutral yourself, being kind, saying hello mostly is no problem, I’ve never had any trouble being naked and encountering others, neither being alone (I’m male) nor with my wife or with some friends.
        Although it felt more scary when I was alone on my way other hikers were as friendly and respectful ( or neutral) as if I were with ither nude people.

  10. One of the parts u mentioned in the comments with some exib u were talking with .. well they have a point.
    I think just as everything , its in the head.
    Why u as a nude think textiles shouldnt be offended by nudies, a exibi can say the same thing about public sex, where u as a nudie deffo wont agree with him…
    Its all a matter of levels ,same goes for arbitraty rules and laws.
    Just cause one doesnt like something, it doesnt mean it shouldnt be allowed or considered as not normal, cause there aint no such thing as normal, normal is not a definition of something, normal is a state u got use to from day one of ur life, no matter what it is, its normal to you.
    Same goes with this, so u as a nudie cant say that its not normal for ppl to have sex in public spaces, while at the same time u wanna be naked in those same spaces, and then there comes some textile, that will not want either of those to be in public ..
    But what if dont like some1s hair collor or what car they drive, or how they look? Should i shout for them to be baned from my eyes on the streets just cause i dont like this or that?… it basicly comes down to that.
    But talking about freedoms and tollerance, cant be taken seriously as long as theres a single exception.
    So at the end it all comes down to how much one really wants others to enjoy their own freedom. Freedom is not about you, its about others. Freedom is allowing others to do what i dont want, or like.
    I honestly never understood any law about nudity or sex, since why does any1 have the right to decide on others behalf ?

    • The conversation with the exhibitionists did get us thinking as well. But there’s a big difference. Naturists/nudists are organized. Like the group that we hiked with, APNEL. They are a legitimate organization striving for more acceptance of non-sexual nudity.

      Exhibitionists are not organized, they just try to ride the naturist wave because of the mutual aspect of nudity. Why are there more exhibitionists at nude beaches than at textile beaches? Not because more nudists are exhibitionists, just because it’s easier for them to blend in with nudists.

      We don’t have issues with any movement, just when they want to ride the wave with other movements that are not 100% compatible.

      About freedom and tolerance, you’re absolutely right.

  11. Good article, was pleasantly surprised to see myself in it (I’m one of the CA naturists in the pic).

    I liked the point about having to dress and undress and when trying to be nude becomes burdensome. I agree that for me being nude ideally includes not having to worry about my chosen state of dress. When it gets to the point that you are constantly redressing and undressing it’s almost not even worth it anymore.

  12. Here in Germany you’ll find two official nude hiking trails, one is near Undeloh, with is about a 45 minutes drive for me. If you ever happen to be in Germany and want to hike, let me know, I’d like to join if time allows.
    10 km througt the woods, pure wellness experience wirhout having to worry about textles. It is clothing optional, they can’t complain.

  13. I guess all readers of your excellent blog will agree that public nudity should be more accepted. And that is what we keep telling to each other, in our naturist bubble.

    How are we going to change to mind of textile people that they don’t mind seeing naked people?

    • For more than 2000 years, people have been told by all kinds of authorities that nudity is wrong and clothes should be worn. This is not something you can change from one day to another. But we see a positive evolution. Until a couple of decades ago, social nudity was only accepted in some countries in Western Europe, northern America, and the USA. Today, naturist places can be found on all continents except for Antarctica.

      Sometimes stories hit the news like “youth is becoming prude”, “people complain about a nude beach” and “wellness centers are stepping away from obligatory nudity”. What few people realize is that these are not trends but most often single cases.

      We believe that it’s important to keep the joys of social nudity appearing in mainstream media. It already has its effect. If you’d ask people what they think about other people getting naked, we think that you would be surprised about what percentage just couldn’t care less. But those are not the people that get in the newspapers.

      • But the thing is .. every1 has been told since forever what is normal or legal, and the oposite of it.
        I think , im not sure but i think i wrote about it b4 here that since day 1 of our lives, we have been subjected to norms rules and laws we`ve never been asked about nor we gave our consent to it.
        Now since these 2010+`s ,consent has been such a big subject ,i wonder how come no1 objects to any of the things.
        This what u mentioned is just a promil of those things.
        Its so funny about soc nudity thing, since i like ice hockey and follow ,well my fb is basicly just sports and nothing else, i follow pages, and there was this junior teams pics from the locker room, and i dunno if the pic taker/uploader was aware of it, did he do it on purpuse ,did he find it perfectly normal so he forgot its actually “forbidden” to post pic like that on FB or anywhere prolly , but one of the boys was butt naked.
        I came back later on to see if any1 has put a comment on that pic, and it was gone lol.
        This reminded me of one of Duchanes or how hes name goes from bare oaks, one of is podcasts about the subject of pictures.

        • Picture taking is indeed a whole other subject. The younger generations take pictures of literally everything, often not thinking about whether it’s actually ok (or legal) to spread them.

          • Ya tho this was prolly taken by a coach or some staff who runs the page.. anyhow what u said is one of my points, why is something legal or illegal to spread and who gets to decide that in whos name?
            LIke, just cause 70,80, or 99% of ppl doesnt like or in most cases just simply dont care about something, whatever that might be, does that mean it should be declared as illegal?
            Its the same thing the other way around.
            Benig topless in NY is legal for everyone, no exceptions,yet ,not that ive been there to see it, but from what ive seen on livestreams and pic, i saw 0 ppl being topless , i ment on females when i said this , so ya .. u CAN do it, but ppl still dont. Just another proof that ppl should decide on their own ,not laws/rules. Ppl`s lives and/or choices shouldnt be regulated.
            And if that would happen , ppl would judge less.

          • Walking around in bikini has been legal in NY for much longer than topless. But you don’t see many women in bikini in downtown NY either. You can find them in Central Park though. Just like you can sometimes find topless women there.
            What we want to say is that there’s a time and place for everything. It’s not because something is allowed that people will start doing so. But it does send a certain message.

            The decision whether something is legal/illegal is made by the lawmakers. They get elected, meaning that they will strive for what the majority prefers (otherwise they’ll lose too many votes). The thing is, there are always people in favor and people against (not just social nudity, but really everything). Often, the majority couldn’t care less. In those cases, it’s hard to get a change because politicians will prefer to keep things as they are.

            Let’s say 20% of people are in favor of public nudity and 20% is against. The other 60% don’t care. As public nudity is currently not allowed, the easiest way to keep the majority happy is to keep things as they are. If we do manage to get this changed, the odds will become in our favor eventually.

  14. It’s definitely at your own risk. Where I live if someone is offended by your nudity they can call the authorities for indecent exposure. If you get convicted of that event twice you will have to register as a sex offender.

    I could probably get away with it in our backyard because we are surrounded by one-story houses. I just have to make sure the gate is secure. In non-nudist parts of the US, you could probably get away with it if you live in the country.

  15. I go on naked hikes pretty regularly in the Netherlands and i don’t put clothes on quickly if i come across other hikers and i’ve never encountered any hostility. People either say nothing, greet you as normal or make some sort of funny remark.
    I respect people wearing clothes and i expect other people to respect me for not wearing clothes. I do only hike when it’s not that busy so i typically avoid nude hikes in the weekends during the day. I hike mostly in the morning on weekdays or at the end of the day during the weekend when almost everyone has gone home. I come to hike and enjoy nature so if i can avoid people i will. Hiking naked is a bit of a grey area in the Netherlands, the law states that if a location and time is suitable its not illegal to be naked. What suitable is is unknown but a couple of court cases made it a bit more clear. Hiking naked in quiet places in nature with not a lot of people around are is, shopping naked in a busy town square is not. To answer the question about whether or not to confront other hikers, i think you should. Stay naked, be normal about it and show them being naked is normal and just another dress code. It’s all about how you act about being naked, if you quickly cover up or apologize you admit you were doing something naughty, if you act normal and greet people like you always do you send a out a message, a message that says; i’m just a normal human being hiking, only i do it naked, no big deal. If enough naturists would do the same it would quickly stop being a rarity and become normal.
    Just my 2 cents

    • And i made a typo.
      “Hiking naked in quiet places in nature with not a lot of people around are is,”
      Should be
      Hiking naked in quiet places in nature with not a lot of people around is legal

    • That is exactly the way i noticed when I was too run around naked.
      Same way as it is in Germany I think (as netherlands is not so far from here).
      I even met groups of people on my (naked) hiking trail and did a very fine talk with them and it was not mostly about nudity but about normal things. And when I was out with the dog naked I had a group of others (non nudes) with which I frequently met to go out with the dogs around the lake or in the woods, no matter if I was naked and those were not. We knew each other and it was nothing more than normal to go taking the dogs out together.

  16. I live in the UK, specifically in England. I’ve been practicing clothes free recreation (I’ve always disliked the labels “Naturist” and “Nudist”) for over 40 years.

    In England and Wales public nudity is legal. The law states that nudity only becomes an offence if it done with the intention to cause someone alarm and distress. The Crown Prosecution Guidelines on public nudity (readily available online) makes this clear and specifically states that “naturists” going about their business should normally not be prosecuted. These are guidelines for the police and the prosecutors. There are a few caveats, but it is generally clear that naturists are not guilty of an offence. For a clearer idea It’s best to read the whole guide. I have taken to carrying a printed copy of it with me just in case it’s needed. But I’ve never had to use it.

    With that in mind, I have for many years enjoyed being nude not only at official or “tolerated” nude beaches, but also at regular beaches and other places, such as forest and country walks for example. The response I’ve had has been good. A minority give disapproving looks and an even smaller minority might say something.
    A regular location for me is a large area where there are two large beaches at almost right angles to each other, there is a large forest adjacent to the beaches and a large area of scrubland and dunes. The area is not officially naturist, but it is known that naturists use parts of it. I have regularly walked miles around the area and encountered many “textiles” in the forest, the dunes and on the beach.
    I always have a small backpack with me with my phone, bottles of water and snack bars, a pair of shorts and a wrap (sarong) just in case they’re needed, and the sarong doubles as something to lie on. But usually I can drive the 100 miles from home to the one of the car parks at the location (usually one in the forest) then get out of the car and walk through the forest to the beach, along the beach, including through a quite popular section where everyone is clothed, around a coastal path, sit and relax, swim, staying for hours, like from 10am and staying sometimes until 9pm or 10pm, then walk all the way back to the car and drive the 100 miles home again and remain nude the whole time – approximately 14 hours on the longest visits.

    I feel that we should be able to ne nude if we want to, at least for recreation purposes, and I have made it a bit of a mission over many years now to just put it out there. The more that people see nudity the more normal it will become.

    • We have similar laws, but not the police guidance. However I tend to go naked in government forests and elsewhere even when the “law” makes it illegal. People I’ve met mostly enjoy meeting a naked person. Our fears are mostly just training.

    • I agree to you, same as in britain it seems to be in germany. And I correspond to your thought, that the more it is usual to see naked people in an unexpected area the mire normal it would be.
      Unfortunately we found out that younger people don’t like to be naked anywhere and we wondered why. Maybe it is caused of the social media where people have be almost perfect shaped? Or is it because of smartphone cameras?

      • When you say “younger people”, which age groups are you referring to? We travel quite a lot to European naturist places in summer and we encounter quite a lot of young German couples and families.

        • I think i agree with Micha,as i said that b4 as well.
          Im not sure but i think he was, well.. i am for sure, refering to nudity in general, not nude naturist places.
          Of course u gonna see a baby a 7yo a 12o a 17yo 25yo there.. somewhere more somehwere less but ull see .. i think he.. well me, im refering to a more general view on nudity as a whole.
          Social media aka hot perfect sexy bodies are in ,others look like pigs, and of course all the mega drama hysteria paranoya with all these idiotic movements about “sexual abuse” has made the body a trend, it made it be a showoff ,and shame at same time.
          Back in the old days, like old old days no1 cared if ur nude or anything,because the focus was aimed at more important things and issues.
          So i got this theory that the more the rich the less the nude,eventho oxymoronly, most naturists are those with a fatter wallet.
          But thats where the social nudity that is like… more natrual and unplanned, is devided from naturism that to me is a lifestyle.
          In other words, one is a choice, the other isnt/wasnt.

  17. I’ve been hiking and walking naked in public places for more than 40 years. I’ve encountered thousands of non-naturists. Most appreciated seeing me. One woman said “I wish I (had courage) to do that.” Nothing bad has ever happened.

    If you cover up or apologize for being naked, you are admitting to yourself and demonstrating to others your belief that being naked is wrong or offensive. When you demonstrate that belief, others will pick up on your belief. Conversely, if you act as if being naked is a natural, polite, and normal choice, other people you meet will also pick up on that also.

    People enjoy seeing other people. They spend hours viewing nude images on Internet sites. They enjoy seeing naked people. We are a beautiful species and we do not need to hide or cover up as your French friends did when encountering clothed people. I quit hiding, covering, or apologizing more than 40 years ago. I say “good day” or “good morning” when we pass. I meet people. I’m always accepted as a variety of normal because I present myself as normal. I have never had any problems in 40 years of public naturist exposure.

    • We regularly notice that although naturists KNOW that they are not doing anything wrong, they automatically expect that others will not understand. In our opinion, most people do understand what naturism is and don’t feel all that offended by nudity.

      • I get far more approval than offense. Hiding, apologizing, or covering demonstrates that you KNOW you are doing something wrong of offensive. Far too many nudists demonstrate that deep belief far too often.

  18. A little late to this game…

    I believe in pragmatism over idealism. Our goals are idealistic. Our behavior should be pragmatic in terms of what is possible.

    There is a valid comparison to be made between gay sexuality and nudism. We are both “people of the closet.” Before you could have public displays of gay affection, before discrimination because of sexual preference was prohibited, there had to be a larger cultural change in what was considered acceptable. That change only happened because gays were numerous enough and activist enough to become a major player in one of our political parties. The same is true for people of color and the women’s movement

    Interestingly, all these “liberation” movements really started gaining steam during the ferment of the 60s.

    The cultural change started in specific strongholds and grew out from there. Now there are towns and communities where being gay is celebrated, yet there are still places where being openly gay is to risk your livelihood and well-being.

    I don’t see this happening for nudists here. The leading organizations in America are very conservative and extremely fractured. Since nudism is considered a hobby by most nudists and the closet can be well-appointed and comfortable, there isn’t a lot of activism out there. Note that the big publicly nude events in the US are NOT the brainchild of the nudist community, they were bicyclists (WNBR) and feminists (free the nipple) and artists (Spencer Tunick, et al.)

    Plus, since maybe .1% of the population is actively nudist, we have no political clout. If we wanted to make any kind of progress at all, a unified front would have to be formed with a larger group that was at least tangentially sympathetic to our cause. I sense an extreme reluctance to do that as well. The Naturist Society appears to be falling apart and AANR is far more interested in promoting clubs than it is in nudity in general.

    So I am not optimistic.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t do my bit for normalizing nudity. I ride in the WNBR, I run the Bay to Breakers nude, I do what I can for nude local theater.

    There are many many miles of empty trails in southern California and when I can I hike them nude. I do intentionally pick empty trails and I do a quick coverup until I can identify how someone I meet on the trail feels. The rural parts of this country are quite conservative. Plus I’d feel absolutely terrible to leave some woman in fear of sexual assault, even if the danger were entirely in her head.

    And even though nudity is perfectly legal in the National Forest, there are a number of ways the police can make your life miserable that you have no legal recourse against.

    What the other person thinks and feels matters and I think that being too much “in your face” risks alienating them and makes them a greater enemy of nudism. The last thing I want to contribute to is a groundswell of fundamentalists desirous of making nudity factually illegal in LA County or LA City. It is far easier to pass a law to please a small but vociferous pressure group than it is to get that law repealed.

    I often blog about my hikes and one of my blogs is below.

    • We don’t really like to compare naturists with gays because in the end, naturism is a choice. This also means that there could come a time when there are no naturists anymore, but there will never be a time when gays become extinct.

      The problem with AANR, TNS, and so many other naturist federations around the world is that they are getting stuck in bureaucracy and that they suffer from a negative image. We’ve seen many people complain about AANR on social media, but few ever do the effort of applying to join the board. It’s the quote that may or may not be from Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

      On the other hand, we also hear the stories from those who actually tried to join such a federation to make a positive change and ran into a wall of ignorance and “we have done things this way for decades, why would we change it…”.

      The good news is, that change can happen really quickly. We’ve actually seen proof of that at a naturist resort. Until 2 years ago, they had a number of residents, average age over 70, nothing really happened, no activities, few visitors, etc. The typical resort of which you think that it won’t last for another decade. Then a young couple took over the management. Now it’s sprawling with life, lots of families, lots of visitors, several events every week, etc.
      Important is that this happened with little to no investment. The facilities are mostly the same as they have always been, except for a lick of paint here and there. All that was needed were dedication, a fresh wind, and fresh ideas.

  19. “As naturists, we respect each other, but also the non-naturists. … So we hiked in the nude, saw others in the far distance, and covered up.”

    I was out yesterday bicycling naked on a popular public trail near Spokane, WA, USA. On my ride I passed numerous other people on bicycles or on foot. I don’t hide or cover. I respect their freedom to wear uncomfortable clothing and expect them to respect my freedom to choose not to wear clothing. Respect has to go both ways or there is no respect.

    Some of the textile people offered a warm “good morning” as we passed, same as they would for someone in an expensive bicycle racers uniform. Other people didn’t say anything. NOBODY voiced any objection to my nudity. Over 50 years of hiking and bicycling naked on public trails I have found that if I ACT AS IF nude is normal, it is accepted as a form of normal by everyone I meet. If you act AS IF you are ashamed, and cover or apologize when meeting textiles, then you project the belief that your nudity is wrong, shameful, and offensive.

    People learn by observing more than words. We spread knowledge of nude freedom a lot more by being seen naked than by writing to a nudist audience. I am proud of my body. I am not ashamed to be naked. I have no reason to hide or cover myself out of respect. I do not project shame or fear. I respect everyone I meet on the trails, and they virtually always respect me.

    • It’s definitely true that respect has to go both ways, but you can’t enforce respect. Naked hiking in public places in France is illegal, so we totally depended on the goodwill of others. And then you don’t want to provocate. Or maybe you do, but then there might be consequences.

      We do also agree though that the chance of negative reactions is most often much lower than most people think. We’ve been naked on plenty beaches where it wasn’t officially allowed and rarely got a negative reaction. But we don’t undress in the middle of the crowds, because that would be disrespectful. Instead, we look for an empty part of the beach and if someone walks up to us, they quickly realize that they are the intruders on our privacy and not vice versa.

    • Not everywhere is as forgiving as Spokane, WA.

      I happen to live in a very conservative area where that level of nudity would get you harassed. In a city, county or state park, you’d be ticketed, if not arrested, A nude man just puttering about his yard caused enough outrage that the Simi Valley City Council passed an ordinance against it. A similar thing happened in Burbank some years ago. Casual nudity in public even got ordinances passed in liberal San Francisco and Berkely.

      My “public” nudity is therefore limited to permitted events and remote trails. I behave more cautiously on more easily accessed trails than I do in the deep wilderness.

      I have encountered a number of people on my freehikes over the years. Had a few really positive experiences. Had some times when they pointedly ignored me. Got laughed at a couple of times. No definitely bad experiences. Some of the experiences included an expression of appreciation that I’d dropped my hat down as a cover until I judged their reaction.

      That made me appear unthreatening. “Threatening” is judged by their textile value system, not mine. There are sexual exhibitionists. There are sex criminals. Such people would not offer the courtesy of a cover-up. It tells them I’m not here just to show off my genitals, even if the hat goes back on my head as soon as it feels ok. It would pain me to know I was the proximal cause of negative feelings in others.

      It in no way indicates shame. I’m still naked, I won’t stay covered one second longer than I think is needed, and I’m still perfectly comfortable with my own nudity.

      OTOH, if I’m hiking to a known clothing optional hotspot (like Deep Creek Hot Springs) or REALLY deep in the wild, there’s no point. People deep in the wild are in a whole different class of critter. They are confident, self-reliant, and closer to nature.

  20. Hi Fred. Spokane, WA, USA is often thought of as a “conservative” area, at least politically. I really don’t think that matters. Yes, far too many nudists have chosen to remain hidden while reactionaries pass ordinances against bodies. It really takes courage to be “out there.” Few in San Francisco will protest for repeal of the anti-body law. But most of California doesn’t have a local ordnance so nude is legal. When nudists start pushing things change. BN is a big example.

    A huge part of the problem is that so few people have ever seen someone going about ordinary business naked that some are shocked and/or alarmed. The cure for that is to make nudity normal by frequent exposure.

    I’ve been naked in several other US states. I act AS IF I have nothing to hide, and I almost always get accepted as a normal, non-threatening person.


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