How to handle the taboo around naturism?

I’m sorry but we couldn’t find a conclusive answer to this question. Maybe you do?
Anyway, what we can give you is a kind of an analysis of the situation and we’ll see where we get from there…


As a human, we don’t like to be judged.
And why do you get judged? Because you’re doing something that’s not mainstream.
And people love to judge…
So if you’re doing something uncommon, you don’t talk about it.
Except for the Netherlands, where they have no taboos. ( To my friends of the Netherlands, I mean this as a compliment. Really, I envy how so many things can be talked openly about over there. I bet other countries even judge you for your lack of judgment).


no-nudism-plSo we should tell everyone we love to spend our free time naked?

No, not really, unless you think that’s the right thing to do.
We’re not different… As you can read in the posts about our first naturist experiences (here and here ), in the beginning, we told nobody.
Now we’ve moved on a little and we’re telling the people of whom we know they’re open-minded.
And in our opinion, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it a secret as long as you feel good about it. It’s part of your privacy. Only when the secret becomes a burden it’s time to open up.
There will always be people who won’t understand your choices. So don’t tell them. Simple as that.
However… It can be a lot of fun to see their faces if you do tell them…


But this way the taboo will remain, right?

Yeah, you’ve got a point there. We won’t become the liberators of naturism.
Fortunately, there are others who will…


New Cambium intext 3
The first European naturist organizations popped up about years ago, first in Germany but soon after also in the Netherlands (where else?), France and the UK. Since then they have been lobbying for naturist areas (campings, beaches, woods,…). With great success.
Currently, the Netherlands has about 60 naturist campings, 120 public nude saunas, and more than 80 nude beaches.
According to a recent survey, out of 17 million Dutch about 2 million are doing some form of naturism. Now don’t think that about one-tenth of the Dutch spends their days naked, the term naturism is very broad. People who like naked sunbathing in their own garden are also counted in. But the point here is that the lobbying really works and that as soon as naturism got out of the darkness a lot of people got interested.


I can give you another example.
Until 2006 naturism was forbidden by law in Italy. Today, only 10 years later, the country counts 600 000 naturists.


And then there are those who will fight for their right

Whenever there’s a taboo or a law, there will be someone who will rise against it.
Freedom is very important to naturists and whenever there’s a law forbidding naturism or trying to remove a naturist site, people get on the streets. Naked.
And it works.
If there’s one way to get media attention, it’s nudity. And with the support of social media, they reach a lot of people. People who didn’t know or care about naturism until they see the naked bodies on TV who are no different than themselves.


Lately, nudity is even used in protests for non-naturist related causes.
Think for example of FEMEN, the World Naked Bike Ride, Free The Nipple, and many more.


But still, in many countries, the taboo remains strict and the naturists chose to remain in the shadow (figuratively of course). So one could say that maybe because they keep hiding behind fences they keep the taboo alive? Maybe… Or they just don’t bother, as long as they’re left alone.


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Photo credit: “Femen activists protest against the Euro 2012 in Ukraine” by FEMEN / CC BY-SA 2.0
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19 thoughts on “How to handle the taboo around naturism?”

  1. This is a funny article. I am from the Netherlands but much of what you state is simply not true. First of all there are 17 million Dutchmen. Secondly, we experience a barrier to tell other people as well, since many people still think that nudity is connected to sexuality. Even in the Netherlands!
    But yes, would be nice if we could share our freedom with others….

    • Whoops, that number was a typo, I’ve updated it. Thanks for notifying.
      We might have used “the Dutch” in quite a stereotypical way in this article, but it does show a difference. And of what we’ve experienced, the Dutch are much more progressive about these topics.

  2. Hi there. I’m from Venezuela, which is a very conservative catholic country. I did have a lot of German friends with which I would go skinny dipping frequently. So as a Venezuelan (with Spanish roots) it can be a great deal to be nude in public. What I have learned, after living for 4 years in the Netherlands, is that nudity is not big a deal. I don’t need to label my self as a nudist or naturist to enjoy it. Most people here can and will get naked in public without being a member of an association or even scheduling this as a special event. It just happens. Say, for example, a wellness spa; they don’t say anything about nudity in their websites or brochures. They are by default clothes free (except for eating facilities) and they might mention the “clothes” days (about once a month) somewhere. So, I don’t proclaim I’m a nudist, not because of taboo, but because it’s like stating the obvious. Is like a guy saying “I’m straight”. So what?

    • Hi Max, there is indeed a big difference between Western Europe and the rest of the world in terms of acceptance of naturism. But it also became more of a personal thing. In the past naturism was a very social thing and everyone knew everyone in the naturist club.
      Now this has changed, many people go to the sauna to relax and have no interest in meeting others. They also don’t feel like they have to spread the word.
      Venezuela is indeed another story… We’ve been there twice and we can imagine that naturism is not done. Especially on the main land. We had heard about a naturist beach on Isla Margarita however, but we stayed with friends who weren’t naturism-minded so we didn’t go check it out.

    • Hmmm you have a point there, although it depends on how you look at it.
      We think that the taboo is mostly around being naked among others. If you tell people you like to spend your evenings naked on the couch, very few will be shocked.
      On the other hand, if you tell them that you like to spend your Saturdays naked in a designated area among other naked people (mixed sex) who you don’t know… Then they start asking questions.
      It that only related to the naked body or to the whole act of naturism? Something to think about…

  3. As a couple we have different views and reasons for how much we say to other people about preferring to be naked. Louise has a job where nudism sadly is a problem, so she doesn’t share nudist photos of herself online or say much that could cause the ‘wrong’ people to find out that she’s a nudist.

    We both see nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about being nudists but have worked out a compromise which so far has worked out OK. If we could we’d prefer to be 100% open about being nudists, it would make life much easier. In summer we spend most of our social life at nude beaches or visiting clubs and the homes of nudist friends, we’re naked most of the time we’re not working or shopping. If we could tell all of our friends that we’re going to the nude beach or to some friends to be nude with them life would be much easier. A good number of our close friends know that we’re nudists, they have no issues with that, however some others have made comments where we can tell that nudity is not something they approve of. We wish these people would try nudism before deciding!

    Nik does not have any problems with anyone knowing that he is a nudist. We have accounts on various nudist websites where Nik does most of the posting and sometimes he shares nudist photos. We belong to them because we enjoy meeting and sharing ideas and experiences with other nudists, local ones who we might have a good chance to meet and nudists from farther away who we might meet while traveling, or they visit here. We don’t believe that you can have too many nudist friends.

    If Nik gets asked the direct question – ‘Are you a nudist?’ he sees no reason to deny it, unless it might compromise Louise’s work. He doesn’t tell everyone, it is more on a need to know basis.

    We would both prefer to be fully open about our nudism, it is something we really enjoy and we have both been practicing for a long time. Louise’s family are all nudists and Nik first tried social nudism when he was a teenager, we both love being naked with friends.

    Its all because of those stupid ideas that the media and clothing and fashion industries among other groups spread about nudists, particularly in conjunction with sex. For sure, many nudists enjoy sex like a lot of other people do, we just don’t have orgies every time we’re naked together!

    • The problem is that some people will never understand. And you can ask yourself the question, who’s the strange one? The one that likes to be naked or the one that disapproves of something that naturally?
      From our experience, people who have an open mind will understand. Those who don’t have often little personality and are just following the masses.
      If TV says you should be clothed, they’ll be clothed.
      If TV says you should buy a nice car, they’ll buy the car.
      If TV says you should vote for this or that political party, they make the vote.
      And if ever TV switches sides, they’ll blindly follow.

      We think that the decision to be a nudist is still something personal and that sometimes it’s better that some people don’t know.

  4. The History of Naturism in Thailand from 1931 to 2009
    1931 Sarin Foothai registers sunbathing club.
    Thai publisher Mr. Sarin Foothai registered the first naturist club in Thailand as “Nikom Arb Daad” meaning Sunbathing Club. He published several books and pamphlets about the benefits of being naked in the sunlight – in particular dawn and dusk – and emphasized physical activity in the nude. The first year, the club had 98 members both men and women and of all ages. In 1932, the absolute monarchy in Thailand was overthrown by a military coup and eventually Sarin Foothai was forced to close the Sunbathing Club due to his links to the Thai royalty and suspicion that he would train a resistance to the military regime.

    2007 Naturist Association Thailand Co., Ltd. is founded.
    Founding members Ms. Disraporn Yatprom and Mr. Gregers Moller – incidentally both also publishers like Mr. Sarin Foothai – created the current day organisation as a limited company together with a few more members who are still active today. The members met for monthly nude dinners or clothing optional dinners, went on trips upcountry up to Kun Dan Dam in Nakornayok and explored hidden coves on Koh Larn where nudity could be practiced without bothering anyone. The association emphasized naturism / nudism strictly as a non-sexual life style – the conservative form of naturism which also Sarin Foothai followed in 1931. Swingers and other forms of nudity for sexual purposes are turned away.

    2009 Bruce Kendall moves the association forward.
    Bruce Kendall takes over as main organizer. He creates a new website for the association and moves member management to from the local forum on the previous hosting. Bruce serves the members with a steady flow of events, assisted by his wife Jai Kendall and Thai member Marc Pongsabutra.

    Yes we are still growing. New resorts are becoming members of Naturist Association of Thailand and new members are joining.
    Actually Thailand is the center of all things naturist in Asia.
    We are holding our 6th International Naturist Conference this June and we celebrate our 10th year of active naturism.

  5. update:
    Thailand is celebrating the 8th NATCON in May 2019.
    It is expected to be the biggest nude event ever held in ASIA.
    Thailand Naturist continues to grow and spread the joy of Naturism.

  6. Good article.
    “you’re doing something uncommon”
    The solution to that is for all of us nudists to go out and be seen naked until seeing naked humans is no longer so uncommon. Naked people would soon become a regular part of society. The cure is to quit hiding and go out to be seen. Everything we do in real life or media makes it common.

    “Except for the Netherlands, there they have no taboos.”

    I was on /reddit/nudism last week. Someone from the Netherlands posted asking how to be nudist when his parents criticized every time some nudist story was mentioned on media. Even in the Netherlands some are critical.

    • We hope you’re right. On one hand it seems like we’re moving towards more acceptance of nudity (see the popularity of public events like world naked bike ride) but on the other hand it seems like we’re being pushed away again (see the fuzz in the UK about a nude swim event).

      The thing about the Netherlands was mostly a joke by the way 😉

  7. Actually I don’t hide the fact that both my girlfriend and I are naturists. And we both supposedly come from a conservative country (i.e. Poland). That said, I remember my mum even telling me she’d go to nudist beaches back in the 60s/70s so no issue with the parents.
    What we don’t do because I don’t think its anyone’s business is volunteer the info to anyone we think. But if someone asks, we tell them we go to nudist resorts. Of course the first reaction is that nudism == swinger which is the first thing I point out that nudism != swinging.
    I’ve even told my boss – she’s a cool boss – and suggested she try it. The best reaction I got was from my 90 year old grandma – who said – if I was still younger, I’d do it too 🙂

  8. I think it’s a tough topic. I am sure that reactions would be different for lady naturist and men naturist when they would reveal a secret.
    I believe that many people relates naturism to voyeurism, exhibitionism or even worst…
    It’s hard to understand naturist until You try it.

  9. Good article and I can relate to it being British. You see, many British just cannot bring themselves to be naked and really don’t understand why some of us feel perfectly happy on a beach or swimming naked. I think you’re right – they struggle to see nudity without associating it with sex. I’m quite open about our visits to naturist beaches and Campsites but I think my age and general (if you like?) self confidence make it easy for me. But our first visit just 3 years ago to La Genese was a major step. Now, we just enjoy many places where we can live as naturists in the company of people who are happy not to hide behind clothes.

  10. We are a nudist couple who are quite open about our lifestyle. My workplace and most of the clientele know. And I get asked questions about it often. We had a nude wedding that was published in the countries nudist magazine as well as in a main stream coffee table magazine. 95+% of feedback was positive and a few death threats and calls for execution. Oh well. Cant please everyone so why try. And its easier to be negative on the internet. E thugs will always exist. But face to face we have never had a negative reaction. Maybe shocked a few. But its surprising how many people are curious.. The biggest hurdle for most is body shame.

  11. I’m a home nudist because my wife won’t go fully naked she says she would go topless , but if we ever had a nudist holiday and she could see others her age and shape and see she was the only one not to be completely naked she might change her mind. She’s worried about her body know she older and has saggy parts .

  12. I am moving into being more open. My email signature now includes Nudist among my important activities and I have a blog called (it is dormant right now as I work out some technical issues but there are several posts about nudist activities). I am beginning to think of myself as a “nude-vangelist” although not going to do public advocacy that risks arrest (yet).

  13. Nudists have to be SEEN in public places and on-line, etc., until seeing natural human bodies becomes normal and not something to fear. Hiding behind fences will never change the taboo.
    Freedom is about our lives, not about a quick vacation away from our lives.


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