Is the end of free naturist content near?

We remember a time when, if we wanted information about something, we had to jump on our bicycles and ride to the library. Where we had to scan through the books, looking for one that may answer our questions. We had to make sure to pick the right books because the limit was 4 at a time. And we also had to reserve time for reading, because after 3 weeks the books needed to be returned. The library was the only source of “free” information. If we wanted to keep the information for a longer time, we needed to pay for copies or pay for the book or magazine itself.

 

The internet totally changed that concept. Suddenly, all information was free and within easy reach. Especially when the smartphone came, most of the world’s knowledge is now just in our pockets. And yet, we mostly use our phones to post memes or look at cat videos, right?

 

Several years ago, the paywall for content made its entrance into our lives. Patreon and OnlyFans gave content creators a chance to earn money from their photos, blog posts, and videos. A true blessing, because before the paywall, we had to rely on advertising money. And we can tell you, finding advertisers for naturist content is all but easy.

 

 

Subscriptions on the rise

More and more vloggers started promoting their Patreon accounts in their videos and YouTube quickly realised that they were missing out on something. So they started their own subscription model, called Channel Memberships. As a YouTuber, you can publish paid content next to your “free” content, which your members can access for a monthly fee.

 

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Recently, Twitter also jumped on this track and allows its users to provide content behind a paywall. If… you have the blue check. We have to admit that it’s quite a genius idea from Elon Musk. With the blue check, your free content will have a wider reach than that of those who don’t have this check mark. But the check comes at a cost, so by providing the subscription option, content creators can earn their investment back, and even earn much more. Which will encourage them to actually use the subscription model in combination with the blue check.

 

 

Is the paywall the future?

During the last week, three naturist accounts that we follow(ed) on YouTube disappeared. Caro and Angy got kicked off the platform, and so was Slightly Crazy Vegan, and the account of Lavinia Naturist Resort. All gone because apparently, they provided “sexually gratifying content”. There are probably several more that we didn’t hear about.

 

We all know that there’s no sexual intent behind naturism, but we imagine that the people at YouTube believe that sexuality is in the eye of the beholder. Yes, them. YouTube is pretty much the only social medium where creators can make money from advertising. When that becomes impossible for naturist vloggers due to the ongoing witch hunt, many will be driven to platforms with paid subscriptions like Patreon and Vimeo.

 

 

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The paid content controversy

We set up a Patreon account at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Our whole “business model” was based on the fact that we could travel from one place to another and when that suddenly became impossible, our financial future turned a very dark shade of red. Today, we can say with all certainty that if it weren’t for the support we got on Patreon, Naked Wanderings would not exist anymore. Or maybe it still would but as a small side project next to another job.

 

We could have never imagined the amount of support we received via Patreon, especially given the uncertain times. But this isn’t the case for every creator on a subscription platform. We’ve seen so many Patreon accounts that hardly get any subscribers, even though they deliver much more paid content than we do.

 

The reason why our Patreon was successful was thanks to the years before when we created free content. We managed to build a community that values our content and that wants to support us for what we do. If we had started a Patreon several years earlier, let’s say a year after we started Naked Wanderings, we definitely wouldn’t have gotten the support that we get today.

 

 

Free is never free

There is this popular quote from the Netflix series The Social Dilemma that says: “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product!”. While the big social media companies have beautiful slogans like “bringing the world together” or “connecting people”, they really don’t care about you following your friend’s wedding live from the other side of the world or tracing back that long lost schoolmate. What they care about is your data, which they can sell to advertising companies for big money.

 

 
The question you want to ask yourself is: Do you want to pay with money that goes directly to the creator? Or do you prefer to pay with personal data that is being turned into money by companies that are already making billions? For us, the answer is clear… But who are we to say?

 

 

The 100% free internet is history

As we mentioned earlier, we don’t think that free content will ever go away. For the simple fact that beginning creators will need to produce free content in order to create a community that is willing to financially support them and/or buy their paid content. And also because creators like ourselves will always keep looking for an as wide as possible audience, and the only way to do so is by providing free content.

 

But we also believe that the internet where everything is free is history. And that this is a good thing. In the end, money is time. Subscription models allow content creators to earn money, which buys them time to create more and better content. It allows content creators to grow. And eventually, this will benefit all content on the internet, both paid and free.

 
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13 thoughts on “Is the end of free naturist content near?”

  1. Being somebody who first “logged on” in way-back 1994 and has since acquired a degree in economics (half a lifetime ago, at this point) it’s also ‘predictable’.

    One of the tenets of rent-seeking behaviour is to “locate stanglepoint that is free and begin charging for it”. In this case there’s a perverse interplay between the “moral objectionability” of the content produced by nudist creators, the prurient interest some people apparently have in seeing others in a state of undress, the desire of corporations to limit their liability, and the understandable desire of creators to actually monetise the time they devote to their effort (opportunity cost, I suppose).

    The problems are legion: ‘discoverability’ decreases, upfront costs have to be sustained by those (particularly of the younger generations — precisely those for whom the content might have the greatest impact) to get insight into the nudist/naturist community before they dip their toes into the clothesfree pool, and the fact that now naturist content is routinely paywalled at the same online sites that purvey pornography, further ‘confirming’ that those who put images or videos of themselves unclad online are just another brand of fetish or perversion with its specific target demographic willing to pony up the dinars for a flash.

    I’m really sure this is not the direction we should be willing things to go, but I’m really unsure what we could do about it.

    Reply
    • You are very right that there’s a whole side to this topic that we didn’t cover in this blog post. Mostly because there are so many facets that it could actually be a topic for another post.

      There are a lot of ethical questions to be asked here. There have always been people who watch naturist content for the wrong reasons. Is it wrong to accept their money, knowing that it could be used to create more genuine naturist content? But what with the creators who realised this “market” and started to cater specifically to them? And then there are those who sell nudity as “naturist” because they know that there’s a dodgy audience for that.

      And, as you mention and very importantly, if the free content becomes less or less valuable, how will the general public be informed about naturism?

      We personally believe that we should be working towards the concept that media outlets use these days: Provide a combination of free and paid content. You’ll get all the highlights and breaking news for free in your app, but for the more in-depth articles you need a subscription.

      Reply
      • You speak of the ‘freemium’ model, basically.

        I’m personally convinced (particularly by watching your peregrinations) that naturism is a large and strangely uncatered-to market. I ransack my brain regularly trying to brainstorm a manner of approaching it.

        Reply
  2. Very interesting article. Ian and myself have launched our Patreon account just a week ago and we wondered if this had prompted this piece of writing.

    We have a few very different reasons for monetizing what we do anyway which is teach live fitness classes for British Naturism. We’ve done this for nearly 3 years and it helps massively with Js mental health and sense of self worth. You wouldn’t know it but J is waiting for an Adhd referral to come through which would explain the rejection sensitive dysphoria, the constant need for dopamine and the adhd paralysis.

    Rowing the Atlantic in December 2025 is a huge undertaking and it costs £125,000, probably more now the price of everything has gone up. We are finding it really difficult with corporate sponsors and private donations don’t really scratch the surface. J has been promised money from all sorts of projects recently which have taken lots of effort for no or little reward. So it feels good to get back in control.

    Jooles also has a few health issues which have meant she is unable to work full time as we can’t predict when she will have ‘crashes’ with chronic fatigue. The way through long covid is to manage energy levels and keep pushing forward to gradually increase what you can do. This is working to an extend but does mean J does get incapitated. Never mind the hemi thyroidectomy causing hypothyroidism. From a financial aspect, we have never been so bad, many families are facing fuel and food poverty and we certainly are struggling.

    Trying to save for a huge adventure whilst struggling yourself feels like an impossible task.

    Some of your questions raised about whether non naturists might get off on the content and encourage the wrong type of follower have come true for us and it’s only the first week. The requests we’ve had aren’t horrendous but certainly not naturist etiquette and we’ve educated fairly directly, we hope that we won’t be providing sexual content.

    Another reason we launched the online fitness content was that people were asking for it. So knowing there was a demand for it was comforting.

    It needs to grow a lot more to make it viable but it is just the first week.
    Thanks for writing this article.

    Jooles and Ian
    x
    Team Stronger Twogether
    TwoNaturists
    SkycladAerobics

    Reply
    • Hi guys, congratulations with your Patreon! Lessons are quite good to monetise as they give your patrons something to participate in, which is more attractive than just something to watch or read. Nevertheless, to make Patreon work, you need a community that trusts you enough to give you their money.

      Concerning rowing the Atlantic, you need to ask yourself the question what’s in it for your followers. It’s very easy to get totally excited by an amazing idea, when you’re the one who gets to experience it. But from an audience point of view, what will they get if they support your journey.

      About attracting the wrong audience, this is something we thought about a lot and we always come to the conclusion that we can’t avoid it. In the end, the wrong audience will consume our free content as well, so we might as well monetise their presence. What we do see on Patreon is that they make our statistics go up and down. Especially because we don’t publish much “revealing” footage, some people are disappointed and don’t stick around for long.

      Reply
  3. Hmmm. The end of free internet content is not a good thing in my view – why would I want to pay for things I can get for free now? I pay a monthly broadband subscription and You Tubers get paid by advertisers if they get enough views so they still make money. And if I want to spent a bit more to get more content from a certain person etc. I join a Patreon. If that doesn’t earn enough for a creator then perhaps they need to work harder at it or get another job? I shouldn’t be forced to pay to keep them in their nice dream lifestyle…

    You Tubers do it because that’s their passion, like the two of you. It’s great to be able to turn that pasison into a full time job but its not really a tough, stressful job as it’s a passion, so that’s part of the reward you get for making that choice.

    Making everything ‘paid for’ only benefits the content creators, and they are doing pretty well already it seems to me, ‘working’ at their passion while the rest of us do the other jobs, you know the ones that have to be done so that content creators can go out there and make fun videos all day.

    Reply
    • True! The reason why we can provide “free” content on youtube is because we earn from the advertising. But YouTube gets stricter and stricter. We are forced to use lots of censorship to be able to monetise our content, but if there comes a day that we can’t talk about naturism/nudity anymore, it will be game over and we will need to move to paid platforms.

      Reply
  4. Advertisers have a voracious appetite. How do we know that when they come to content providers with subscription-based services offering to pay huge sums of money for their data, the continent providers won’t cave? TV used to be free until cable figured out they could create dual-stream income. Newspapers have been going the same route as they have transitioned to online news. Many streaming services still give you ads. Sell ads and ask subscribers to pay! Few businesses actually put the consumer first, and when some advertiser comes and offers you a ton of money for access to your subscriber data or wants to put ads on your site, you will cave without giving a thought to your paying customers.

    Reply
    • That’s very true, but isn’t this the case for everything?
      All online shops will ask for personal data (Name, email, phone, address, etc). Even if you go to a store, they’ll try to get your data by offering an insurance on electronics or by offering a discount card. Who’s to say what they do with your data?
      On the other hand, many countries have quite strict privacy laws these days, which make selling personal data illegal

      Reply
  5. I have to say your YouTube video about Charco Del Palo, was a very good insight about the village and what to expect on your prospective holiday..Thank you 😊
    When it comes to paying for people’s channels etc, the old saying “How long is a piece of string” comes to mind as you could pay a huge amount for lots of videos, media, information etc which is all the same or is not really useful or interesting (just like normal TV😂).If I had enough money to go on 2/3 holidays a year I’d probably choose yours to subscribe to yours is just so much more professional 👍
    I blog and post about our adventures but I’d never seriously ask people to pay

    Reply
    • Thanks!
      And no worries, we have no plans to put everything behind a paywall because we’ve always believed that free content is the only way to reach an as large as possible audience.

      Reply
  6. If naturism could easily be monetised then you can bet your life some advertising company would have cornered the market and everyone would be walking around naked.

    While the idea of wearing nothing as a valid clothing choice is perhaps the goal of many naturists and naturist organisations, I get the feeling that many naturists are glad that their philosophy is not easily monetised.

    Most naturists I know follow a model of reducing waste and consumption as part of the wider naturist philosophy.

    I would suggest that most people have a finite amount that they can spend on subscriptions and paid content, and I imagine that many people will have reached their limit. To subscribe to new content, they will have to let something else go.

    I would hate to see following naturism become the preserve of wealthier people who can afford it. There are millions if not billions of people in the world unable to pay for the basics in today’s capitalist world, let alone subscriptions to paid content.

    Nudity is our natural state and I don’t believe it should be commercialised.

    I salute those who can make a living out of naturism. I imagine that it takes considerable effort behind the scenes and isn’t the easy or glamorous lifestyle that some think it is.

    Despite my feelings toward the monetisation of social nudity, I do not begrudge you a cent that you have made from your endeavours. I thank you both for the contributions you have made to naturism and the work you continue to do.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the feedback, Steve!
      Actually, naturist content (well, all content really) was 100% monetised before the internet. You had to join a club or federation in order to get a magazine that would tell you where you can practice naturism in a social setting.

      Today, you can find all information for free on the internet. It’s a great model, because people get advertising with the content and the creators are paid by the advertisers. So everyone wins. Except the naturists… The reason why naturist content is hard to monetise has little to do with the philosophy, but everything with advertisers not wanting their ads among nudity.

      Reply

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