During our first years as naturists, we thought that we had a pretty solid idea of the scope of naturism. From our experience, naturism was generally practiced as a couple, most naturists are middle-aged or above (with the exception of a handful of naturist families) and naturists can be found on campgrounds, on beaches and in spas. It’s an idea that stuck with us for quite a long time. Until we started exploring what else the naturist world had to offer.
We soon found out that there was so much we didn’t have a clue about. Definitely in a practical way, when we found out about naturist events, hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses, all-inclusive resorts, and cruises. But also about the naturists themselves. We learned about the terms “nudism” and “clothing optional”. We learned about home naturism, about the working of naturist federations, and about gender imbalance.
One quite shocking thing we learned was the existence of quota at naturist resorts. Suddenly, the fact that we’ve always been allowed to enter any naturist resort without many questions asked was not as natural as it originally seemed. Our belief that naturism was something that’s generally practiced as a couple or family appeared to be founded on discrimination.
We’ve mused about single men in naturism before, so we’re not going to repeat that complete topic. We just bring it up again to mention that in this lifestyle where equality is seen as the highest value, where a penis is just a penis and a vagina is just a vagina, a penis without the company of a vagina is reason enough to not be allowed entry to the naturist resort.
Something we mentioned in that blog post is that single men are seen as trouble makers. By denying them entry, the resort is considered a safer place for couples and women. If we follow that logic, these “safer” resorts should automatically attract more women. When there are more women, more men could be allowed as well without disturbing the gender balance. Soon, this problem would basically just solve itself. But it doesn’t.
As you might already know, just like naturism, also traveling is in our blood. We LOVE traveling and we’ve been spending most of our free time on the road from the moment our very first paycheck was cashed. Today, we appreciate a large double room with a nice view, but back in the day, we were die-hard backpackers. The kind that stays alive on beer and street food and that sleeps in smelly 20-bed dorms just for the sake of saving a couple of euros.
What does this story have to do with the topic? Absolutely nothing. Except that we still follow some backpacker blogs and that’s how we stumbled upon this post on the Nomadic Matt website.
Independent female travelers will definitely recognize some of the points in that post. The constant “where is your boyfriend/husband” question, the “how can a woman do this on her own”, the “it’s irresponsible and you might get raped”, the guy who feels that he needs to take care of you, and so on.
Not having traveled solo for quite a while now, nor having slept in a smelly dorm, this blog post struck us for another reason. It’s hard not to notice the resemblance with single women in naturism.
Some time ago, we decided to do a test. A couple of days before the Zipolite Nudist Festival, when the nude beach was already pleasantly busy but not yet packed, Lins spent a couple of hours alone on the beach. Except for a handful of coconut and ice cream vendors, not a single person had approached her.
We immediately reflected on the afternoon that we’ve spent on the beach of Cap d’Agde, about a year ago. We were laying only meters from the sea. When Nick walked away for a skinny dip, before his toes touched the water, there was a stranger kneeling down next to Lins to strike up a conversation. Different places, different atmospheres. That much is sure.
Bringing in the experts
Given the current circumstances, we don’t really get the chance to test this on other nude beaches, so instead, we asked the opinion of three strong promotors of naturism, body freedom, gender equality, and/or non-sexual nudity.
Before we continue, we’d like to introduce our panel:
Cleo If you’ve ever seen one of Cleo’s Topless Topics videos, it’s unlikely that you’ll forget about her any time soon. She talks straight from the heart about everyday topics and things that happen in her life. And she does so bare-chested. By doing this, she wants to show her viewers that there’s nothing wrong or sexual about female breasts. Needless to say that Cleo is a strong promotor of #freethenipple, and Topfreedom.
Joy It’s hard to put a label on Joy, and if we’d find one, she’d probably be disappointed. Joy just doesn’t fit in one box. On her Naked Nomad blog, she talks about non-sexual social nudity and about being sex-positive. About the joys of being nude and about the harassment of those who dare to drop their clothes.
We could hardly think of a better soundboard for our questions.
Stuck in history and culture
One thing we’re certain about is that this male/female inequality didn’t happen from one day to another. So we wondered where this comes from. Cleo took us back in history, where continuous evasive depersonalization of women can be noted. Women are often seen through the lens of “are they sexually viable?” and “are they going to be a good mother?”. This behavior can still be found in comments today, that often focus on the appearance of women, rather than on who they actually are. Cleo mentions comments like “No way bro, she’s too ugly to fuck” but also the more subtle “I just want you to know that you are more beautiful without make-up, especially when you smile”.
Linda agrees that the perception is that women are considered mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives, and therefore shouldn’t participate in things like social nudity. When talking specifically about naturism, she mentions an interesting switch in how naturism has been pictured throughout history. Slowly the image of wholesome, family-oriented nudism gave way to sexualized depictions of nude women. Women were put in poses to emphasize their bodies rather than a message of non-sexual nudity. Men were often in the background or posed to make the women look like sexual sirens, inviting other men to explore their wanton desires.
The media played a big role in this, but we don’t doubt that also the commercialization of naturism and the marketing machine behind it didn’t do naturism all that good. We have to be honest about this, if we want to drag the attention of the people, a young fit female body rather does the trick than the average middle-aged man. We also notice this on Naked Wanderings, our Instagram pictures with just Lins perform significantly better than the ones with just Nick.
Also Joy pointed out that the objectification and sexualization of women play their role in the general acceptance of non-sexual female nudity. Women are often seen as more promiscuous if they enjoy being naked, while male nudity is rather seen as just being comfortable or in some cases (like streaking) as comedy.
The previous paragraphs somehow show that to people who see social nudity as indecent behavior, it appears to be more accepted when the subject is a man, rather than a woman. An interesting theory, given the fact that in the naturist world it tends to be vice versa.
As mentioned earlier, when it comes to harassment cases within naturism, men tend to be by far and large the black sheep in the community. After our very positive nude beach test, we wondered if our panel had ever faced harassment in a social nude setting.
Cleo told us about the time when she participated in a #freethenipple rally in San Diego, California. Although the goals of these rallies are to promote topfreedom and to desexualize women’s breasts, she was confronted with lots of staring, giggling, and picture taking.
The story of Linda is one that we have unfortunately heard before. During her first visit to a nudist resort, she ended up sitting next to a man at the dinner table who kept talking in sexual innuendos and kept outright propositioning her. Linda’s ex-husband thought it was all in good fun and did nothing to defend her discomfort. He told her that this is what was to be expected and to “roll with it.” Horrified and angry, Linda packed their bags and they left the same night. Her second experience at a nudist venue happened 30 years later. Because of this experience, Linda missed out on 30 years of being socially nude.
Before we make men take all the blame, Joy tells us about how she was yelled at once at a nude beach by a woman. She was a tourist who didn’t know that she was on a nude beach and was offended by Joy’s nudity. The woman didn’t think that this was something for the eyes of her children and, more importantly, her husband.
We got another interesting angle about this subject when we dropped the topic of harassment on a nudist forum and several men told us that they were regularly harassed at nude beaches as well. By other men.
Although many of the naturist women we talk to have a story to tell about harassment, they also confirm that these cases are rare. Unlike those who bring their naturist lifestyle online and become victims of almost continuous harassment. We’ve already blogged previously about the subject of online harassment of female nudists, but we were curious about the experiences of our panel.
If someone would try to harass Cleo in real life, we imagine this person running away five minutes later with tears in the eyes. But the online world is a different one. Cleo tells us that if you try nudity online, you really have to know what you’re getting into. You will receive so many gross comments that it won’t give you a lot of confidence to try social nudity in person. This, unfortunately, doesn’t only count for the online nudist, but also for the many others who read those comments.
Joy sees this problem from two different angles: “The Harassment level goes up because people feel like you are ‘putting yourself out there’ and they are able to maintain a certain level of anonymity.” If she had known what she got into when she first began sharing her naked adventures, she’s not sure if she would have started down the online path. But Joy has no regrets. She does sense the value of being “out there” and has made many mutually beneficial connections through the online naturist community. Even though she sometimes feels overwhelmed by the many fake accounts and the volume of people contacting her for no reason other than the simple fact that she likes being naked.
Linda is more careful and immediately blocks accounts that are fake, have the wrong intentions or promote porn. She does praise her amazing followers who don’t hesitate to put these occasional miscreants in their place by calling out their behavior which usually causes them to crawl back into the hole from whence they came.
If we would get a euro for every time we answered the questions “how long have you been a naturist” and “how did you start with naturism”, we could spend the rest of our days drinking cocktails on Zipolite beach. Seriously, it’s the one and only reason why we started this blog, just so we could give people the link instead of having the same conversation all over again. Nah, that last part is a joke, but the questions are true. And guess where they most of the time come from… Men.
Someone once told us that men like to talk about naturism whereas women have enough with just the experience. Joy absolutely agrees with this and it’s something she finds insanely annoying. To the degree that the incessant chatter of mostly male “newbies” on her favorite nude beach about the fact that they’re naked together, makes her immediately feel like putting her clothes back on.
Linda hadn’t considered this yet, although she agrees that the majority of people that contact her with naturist questions are men. She believes that it’s not just that women don’t want to talk about naturism, but often are afraid to talk about it for fear of being judged or too forward.
From this conversation, it would be easy to conclude that men are just perverted predators. Constantly on the outlook for a quick shag, preferably with someone who has already taken her clothes off. But of course, the problem lays on a much deeper level.
Ignorance is one important aspect. Linda told us about how she once intervened at a nude beach in Hawaii, where a man started harassing a single nudist lady when she turned him down for a date. He said, “Then why are you here nude if you aren’t looking for a date?”. Both people were obviously at the nude beach for completely different reasons.
In some countries, the membership card of the national federation is called a “naturist passport”. We were pretty furious when we saw this for the first time. As if some authority has the right to say whether you or us or anyone else can be a naturist or not. Today we’re wondering if naturist venues would be a much nicer place if we made every visitor take an exam first.
The historical luggage, which we mentioned before, is also something you can’t just change from one day to another. Neither is the fact that some people will purposedly keep hiding under the naturist umbrella in order of getting some kind of sexual gratification.
To use a huge cliché, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. The way we interact and perceive one another differs. And those who do take steps in the right direction often get the blame for the others.
We can say it’s ignorance, we can blame cultural and historical aspects or we can assume that it’s because male and female minds work differently and always will.
Joy keeps sending out the message that even though she’s naked on the web and even though she talks about sex, this isn’t an invitation for calling her names or engage in some absurd chitchat about being nude.
Cleo stresses the importance of topless events because the only way that we are going to make any changes is by being loud and proud about it and force people to start thinking about things like this. The more people that take their right to go topless, the fewer people that will go up to them and insult them. Eventually, even corporations like YouTube and Facebook (infamous for their censorship of nudity) might see that it’s more profitable to support this than to be against it.
Also Linda agrees that for women to feel like naturism is an option for them, we need a shift in how people react to female nudity. Offline and online.
When it comes to our two cents, we want to thank Cleo, Linda, and Joy for standing in the front lines for our cause to normalize naturism. Because we all know that those in front take all the dirt. And unfortunately, it might be like this for some time to come. After so many years, gay-bashing also still exists, and the cry that black lives matter has never been louder. Similarly, we fear that naturist women will keep being sexualized and slut-shamed. But doing nothing has never helped someone either.
Is this all the fault of men? No. The real enemy is a society that accepts this kind of behavior and objectifies women. And that’s why Cleo, Linda, Joy, ourselves and so many others will keep fighting this and showing the world that life can be so much better. Without clothes.
SIDE NOTE 1: If you want to support the normalization of naturism, support Cleo, Joy, Linda, and all the others who keep spreading the word about social nudity and sign the petition of Hector Martinez.
SIDE NOTE 2: Cleo replied to our questions in her very own way: With a video! Check it out here:
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34 thoughts on “Musings About the Double Standard in Naturism”
A very on-point article thank you for that. I often see that people who are not nudists misuse a nudist beach. They see a benefit in seeing nude bodies often reflecting on females. Yet they will be seen as nudists because they are nude on the beach as well. It’s a little bit like the demonstrations right now. They are fighting for a good cause and a minor group is vandalizing the city. Yet the real protesters are getting held responsible and set in a bad daylight.
It’s almost impossible to find a proper solution for this. Like you said society encourages this type of behavior.
For me, I haven’t had a really bad experience in real life other than not nudist being flabbergasted seeing me nude. But on the internet, I cannot count how many sexualized messages I received. But that makes my spirit even stronger to fight for better behavior towards men and women. Somehow in this new world, we lost respect towards other people.
Excellent comparison! A couple of rotten apples can really ruin things for everyone. We’re often surprised how so many people just don’t see this. The large majority of protesters don’t rob shops and set cars to fire. Just like the large majority of men on the nude beach behave perfectly well.
Media has a big hand in this, a story about someone who was harassed at a beach just sells better than a story about someone who had a great time…
I’m glad you made the connection with Black Lives Matter. Men are unconciously socialized in our culture to view women, even young girls as sexual objects first. And girls are socialized from a young age that appearance is the route to fulfillment in life. Like racism or homophobia it is incumbent on all of us to examine our conditioning and the assumptions of our culture. Men have the privilage to go most anywhere they want wearing what they want in safety, without fear or anxiety. Women don’t. Men need to not tolerate sexism in ourselves or in others.
Honestly, we were doubting whether we would make the link to Black Lives Matter and the gay community. Because, unlike sexual orientation and skin color, being a naturist is still largely a choice.
But this blog post is about much more than just naturism. And therefore we did think that the link is right.
As we mention, the problem isn’t the general behavior of men. It’s the behavior of some men and many others who tolerate their behavior
Yeah. There was some guy that posted a silly screed about how Naturism was “identity” for him, and rambled on, and on, and on, about how it was just like the oppression everyone else felt for things like being gay. I think the post was called, “Should we add an N to lgbtq?” Literally no one agreed with this. lol
I stated, in commenting about it, that I think its more like a religious affiliation. Sure.. there may be some grounds to making it a “protected” choice, and those protections should be something like, “You can’t tell people to stop wearing a cross, just because you don’t like crosses.” I personally don’t much like religion, so to me wearing one is symbolic, but its equally symbolic of, “I might be an asshole.”, as, “I believe in peace and love.” But, its still not something, despite my (and my brother’s – whose comment on the subject was something to the effect that he now checks his wallet is still in his pocket when ever such a person offers to “help” with something) distrust of the purity of some such people’s real motivations, that anyone should be denying, for some imaginary greater good. You do you, even if what you do I think is.. nuts.
And, that should be the category that nudity falls into, and the sort of protection it should get, and whether it grows, or starts to sink into oblivion, should be a result of its effects, or lack of a net positive set of such effects, not on whether or not a different bunch of people think naked people have cooties, or worse, are all sexual deviants. Their “opinion” on the subject shouldn’t be relevant.
The problem though is.. politicians are often a mix of lazy, ignorant, misguided, or flat out cruel. So.. There is no telling what sort of mess they would make out of expanding such a protection (including “accidentally” making nudity legal, but failing to add anything in about what happens to people that then assault, harass, rape, etc. anyone “under” that status). I.. have very little faith in the current political atmosphere of them not handing me a new ID that says, “Protected Nudist”, at the same time they tape a sign to my back saying, “deviant – harass as much as possible.”, then, of course, blame me, when someone watching their 3 hour rant on Faux News decided to “solve the problem.”
It’s true that naturism is much more linked to religion than to sexual preference. For the most important reason that naturism is still a choice (although some will deny this).
Naturism has more links with religion: It also started as a philosophy, things turned bad when some “leaders” felt like they should define the philosophy with sets of rules or regulations (you need to be nude all the time/you need to go to church every day) and both work best when you let the individual decide which aspects of the philosophy they want to adopt and which not.
For most religions, the dress code never posed any legal issues. The Islam with it’s covering for women is a bit borderline, but other than that, nobody cares whether you’re dressed like a Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist,… As longs as you’re dressed. For naturism… the dress code IS the problem for the outside world.
When it comes to protection, it’s a hard nut to crack. Since we’ll always be a minority, we’ll always be a vulnerable group. In this case, we do like to compare to the gay community. They gained lots of rights decades ago (in most countries) to publicly show their sexual preference. Yet, unfortunately even today, gay-bashing still exists.
I think you may have a bit of a rosy view of how religion and religious symbols get treated even today. lol Its not that long ago that certain people where dragged into camps for being, basically, the wrong religion. We still have right wing nuts screaming about anyone that isn’t Christian, or just the wrong sort of Christian, and blaming everything on there not being enough Jesus. The absolute paranoid fear these same people showed, and some still show, towards anyone Muslim… For many people one may as well “be born” a specific religion. Their only ability to make distinctions is the equivalent of deciding what is “acceptable” dress code – i.e., which version of their religion to obsess over, and cry how all the rest of them are wrong. The “dress code” does pose issues, but its usually something like, “We can’t have our kids dressing like that!!”, and some version of victim blaming, for having chosen a different option. Its rare for the self described “mainstream” ones to get all nuts over another “mainstream” symbol, but try wearing one that isn’t, in certain parts of the country, or even one that is currently symbolic of something they are scared of. Still, in principle, such things are “protected” – even if the adherents to them seem to often think only their specific faith deserves those protections (or needs them), and the thing it protects is their right to be assholes towards everyone else. I mean, how many of these people, quite happily, argue that freedom “of” religion doesn’t mean freedom “from” theirs, and the imposition of its biases and insecurities on others?
That said, sadly, people always form clicks, and adults don’t always grow out of it, so.. there is always probably going to be some level of “bashing”, of *every* imaginable group. The best we can probably hope for is that its relegated to something like one group of twits laughing at people who have a hobby they don’t understand – rather than being outright violent, hostile, and abusive about it.
There are plenty of “minorities” in that sense, ours just.. steps on a lot of other people’s paranoia, fears, and, often faith based, biases – and that always causes a headache, since they become vastly more irrational about it.
We were talking about the origins of different religions and definitely not about religion today (or not even about religion 2000 years ago). Just like in naturism, the origins of religion are based on respect. Some can still be found in the commandments of Christianity: You shall not steal, murder, commit adultery, etc. They were basically a guideline for having a decent society.
But then people try to make them their own, try to use them to gain power, try to put people on different levels. We’ve met naturists who believe that they’re better naturists than others. Just like there are priests, imams, etc who believe that their word is the only true one.
Islam, Christianity, and Judaism basically come from the same source. A belief in one almighty God. Except that one calls it God, and the others Jahweh or Allah. Yet they all fight each other.
Naturism and nudism also come from the same source. A belief in non-sexual social nudity and respect for one another. Yet some feel like different organizations and federations need to exist for both terms.
I watch quite a few people who.. lets say.. address the excesses of some religious people, so I am well aware of two things – 1) where most of them started, and, sorry, but the “big three”, as the west likes to call them (while ignoring the fact that far more than half of the planet doesn’t follow any of them), where borrowed from even earlier ones, and 2) there is nothing in the commandments (of which there are actually three sets), which are not found in virtually every single creed, religious or otherwise, which values human life in some way (though, much like at least “one” of those sets of commandments, which where meant only to apply to the chosen people, this didn’t apply to all humans in all cases, instead of just one’s own tribe.)
As for their origin being about respect.. Nothing in the OT was ever about respect – it was about obedience, and punishing those that didn’t obey. You only got “respected” if you where in the same tribe, possibly the same village, and going to the same temple. Everyone else was *literally* fair game to lie to, steal from, kill, etc. And, you can see this reflected, ironically, in the near universal cry of, “Well, we think all people deserve these things, except for maybe *those* people over there.” Its literally a brand spanking new, this century, hippie liberal, thing for “churches” to profess respect for everyone.
But, setting aside the rant on the subject of organized religions, you are generally correct. There is a seemingly inherent drive to create “groups”, and to then declare one’s own group as better. This is exacerbated by the fact that being smart little apes we are damn good at excuses our own biases, while still calling our group “better”. This trend can be found in European Skeptics – who sadly run some of the major magazines related to the subject, whose entire group background is steeped in a uniquely European sort of elitism, which isn’t “quite” racist, but is never the less exclusionary, and prone to willingly rejecting contrary information, in favor of labeling certain people “inferior”. They literally don’t recognize it in themselves. The atheist community went through something similar (with some of the same twits involved with both), and shattered like a snow globe into fragmented groups. The “We like a lot of non-scientific, conservative, misogynistic, exclusionary, ideas, we just also think god is silly, so.. we need to invent nonsense like Evolutionary Psychology, to make up our own fact-free mythologies, to explain why all these horrible ideas are really good ones!”, and.. everyone else went, “Wait, hold on… WTF, no!!!”
So, yeah, I get that it can, and maybe always will, happen. There is bound to be prejudices that the current generation of, “No, this just isn’t right. How can you claim that there is justification for this?”, types believe, which will be the next thing people fight over, 20-30-40-etc. years from now. And, odds are, the people fighting “us” over it will be right, or at least have a point we totally missed.
Naturism has, like the dead, but still walking around “new atheists”, and the, “European Skeptics”, and.. dare I say, religion, invented its own mythologies, which are supposed to tell everyone else how things “should be”, and what “consequences” there might be for it. And, the real reasons for those things are lost, in the same way that the Xian faiths seem to all forget than the commandments everyone “knows” about a) where almost entirely about property rights, and your wife, daughter, etc. where property, b) obeying god, and c) only killing the people god wants you to (that not being actually “murder” in the context given), and literally *nothing else*, never mind anything so grand, progressive, and/or humanitarian as people… mostly… most of the time, try to practice it (yet, often can’t quite keep themselves from labeling outsiders, of one sort or another as, “Well… maybe these rules don’t really apply to them. After all, I think they are ‘bad’.”
Honestly.. I think what will save “nudism” in the long run isn’t going to be nudist venues – not unless we get something like freaking Disney building a new park which is clothing optional, or Bezos suddenly turns naturist and decides to spend billions of his tens of billions building the same. Its going to be all the damn people who keep taking their clothes off at protests, having naked bike rides, or opening up “nude diner and a movie” places, and so on. Why? Because these people’s agendas are not about a “movement”, they are about doing something different than most people do, and the public, except for the minority who freak over it (and also do things like writing to Disney about the penis they found in the clouds on a DVD cover…), people will just, progressively, bit by bit, stop giving a damn about it, and the supposed “problem”. Its already happening. There are freaking people I work with who are, in every other way, so freaking conservative, judgemental, fear filled, borderline paranoid, and disconnected (in my opinion) from reality it makes me cringe every time they start talking about things with certain customers, and.. more than a few of them have expressed the view that nudity is, “not one of the problems we need to be worried about”, in one form or another.
Its kind of like.. digging in mud and discovering that some of it is diamonds. lol
What we can conclude is, that a world in which naturism is considered completely normal is utopia. Just like a 100% Muslim or Christian world is. There will always be pro and contra, lovers and haters. The fight will only result in power struggles. As we see today between religions and naturist federations.
The only difference we see is the adaptation to evolution. Most religions still focus on the needs of people from ages ago. Lots of federations still do the same thing. But in naturism, there is an evolution. Resorts are popping up around the world that don’t want to have anything to do with federations. They just want to create spaces for people who want to enjoy their time nude. Some voluntarily and out of ideology, others as a business concept.
From that point of view, we may not be that far away from a Disney or Bezos style resort. Although on a much smaller scale.
lol There are roughly 33,000 different Christian faiths, all of which generally think some, or all, of the others are wrong. There is at least 5 Muslim groups I know of, though I can only remember the names of three of them, and.. there is at least three Jewish ones, more or less – Orthodox, moderates, and.. ironically, atheist Jews.
I see very little to suggest having “everyone” be any specific thing, especially if its a over arching “faith”, which would ever be a Utopia. Without more liberal churches, and all the other people that don’t follow their madness, Evangelicals, literalists, and similar groups would, lacking anyone else to be paranoid about, eat each other alive.
I tend to suspect that a world which was 100% nudist would.. probably just fall into various groups of pretentiousness. lol It wouldn’t be any where near as mad and crazy.
Mind you, I have read at least one series, out of curiosity, and finally gave up on it as it got weirder and weirder, which suggests a terrible version of the world as it could potentially become (if politicians where even more insane than they have proven to be already). Permanude Universe – Where a group of teens, as in 18-19, decide to ignore the rules about clothing, and.. public indecency, and then manage to convince the state, first, and later, the fed, to pass a law letting people “sign up” to be nude all the time. Only.. it gets utterly mad.
The law is written as a “compromise bill”, so, of course, the “prudes” have to get involved. Since they, being “certain” that nudity isn’t normal, and people having to do it would be punishing, add in rules that let 1) people to be assigned it, in a court, 2) take a set time as a permanude in trade for fines or jail time, in cases of things like shoplifting, 3) parents “punish” kids by signing them up for it, 4) you can’t wear “anything” (or even own anything, including top sheets, or blankets, which might cover you), though later laws allow for only certain parts of the body having to be uncovered (this compromise being, of course, from the perves who also suggested making it punishment).
Then, in later books, you find out that went *completely* mad with this “protection”, with some states, one being Texas, breaking federal law by only implementing the “punishment” part of the laws, along with penalties to assaulting and harassing those in such a state, but not the “voluntary sign up”. And, of course, there is a “nudist” category, which is exactly the same, but you can be arrested for all the lewd conduct that the permanudes where insanely granted the right to do (which might not seem bad, except…) Also, every nutjob in the country gets granted similar “protections”, so the doomsday prepper gets to walk around every place with an AK-47, and far right wing Christians, or similar types, get to have cops actually arrest their kids, and jail them, or possibly strip them, etc., for “breaking purity laws”.
On one hand, the original premise, before all the crazy started (which I should have seen coming, given the author’s intent to write basically weird exhibitionist erotica), is kind of strange to compliment, and I get a good laugh each time I imagine certain groups of people having to suddenly confront the “existence” of such a law. That said.. the implications of how far all the groups, some potentially dangerous, or just imho nuts, could take such protections… is just terrifying.
Unfortunately, looking around and US politics in recent years… its also scarily plausible that someone *might* somehow manage to convince the fed, or even just a state, to pass something similar, knowing it cements their own, possibly abusive, in some cases, “life styles” in law, as protected, while merely giving up “letting” a few freaks walk around without clothes on. And, if you can rob them of the right to own clothing, or even bed sheets, etc… its just a bit to plausible to me that some would find that, “just punishment”, for choosing such a life style.
Mind, I would fight it tooth and nail, if for no other reason than it would seriously mess up cosplay, Halloween, and an endless list of other cases where I, and others “would” want to be wearing something, even if we spent the other 99% of the time not.
Honestly.. at a certain point the series goes from, “Huh, I wonder what that odd thing in the road is.”, to, “Oh, its a train wreck.”, to, “Wait, is there a 747 mixed into that too!!”, etc. Or, if you are a bit nerdy, think.. any fight scene, ever, in Dragon Ball Z, whether you, over all, really like the anime or not, but just “need to know” what is going to happen next…
Actually, this division is already happening within naturism as well. Even since the beginning, when there were naturism and nudism. Two different streams of non-sexual social nudity to which different people related. Until a couple of decades ago, the majority of people enjoying non-sexual social nudity were either naturists or nudists. They joined a certain organization to get a membership card that gave them access to certain venues.
Today, membership cards become more and more a historical artifact. Most places don’t really require them anymore (unless you’re a single man, but that’s another story). As a consequence, social nudity started growing. We meet more and more people at naturist venues who don’t call themselves naturist or nudist. They just enjoy social nudity for a variety of reasons. Many of them, for example, feel no need to be nude all the time. They like to swim nude and sunbathe nude, but when doing sports, having dinner, or even walking from one spot to another, they prefer to cover up. This caused an uprise of the clothing-optional principle. In the Americas, the term really got a foot on the ground. Especially in the Caribbean, almost all nude places are called clothing-optional. Also in Europe, the clothing-optional idea is growing, except that most places don’t call themselves as such.
Another example is the nude yoga movement. More and more people enjoy nude yoga but don’t necessarily do anything else nude. We think that all of this is great because different people like different things and only by recognizing this, social nudity can grow as a whole. But we need to be careful that certain “streams” don’t start to compete with each other. As is already sometimes the case with naturists and nudists.
Yeah, I definitely agree. I do think there needs to be some more direct advocacy, just to push things a bit (lest someone land in office and pull something like Texas’ good old, “No one has kids nudie camps here, and they know we all think such things are filled with freaks, so no one would want to, but.. just in case, lets pass a law banning them!”, method of dealing with the problem. It wouldn’t help at all to have most states, or worse, the fed, getting convinced by some fanatic purist group to define, “nudism in all its forms”, as, “an adult pursuit, for which kids are not allowed.” Mind you, with the direction some things are going, they would probably reopen a version of circuses at the same time, and give out free tickets for kids to watch prisoners being fed to the lions… But, heh, maybe I am just a bit cynical. lol
In any case, would be interesting to see something like the crazy Naked Smash tournament, televised or otherwise, but very public some place, like in one of the books by P.A. Choi https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VVRPKX4/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i35.
Interesting author. Sometimes he sometimes wanders into a bit of exhibitionism, and sex positivism, but most of it is, “People doing normal things, but naked.”, “Someone just decides they don’t want to bother with clothes that day, how do they deal with the world, and the world them.”, or, his kind of weirdly, almost supernatural, “A girl waders naked out of no place, talks to one or more people (in one case its a series of reports of these encounters), who have their views changed by the encounter, then disappears again.”
There are merits to comparing nudism to religion or orientation, but it implies beliefs and behaviors nudists may not share. The fact is, I was born naked, recognize the value textiles can offer in protection, but don’t wish to complicate their value further than that. A key issue is rights and responsibilities. Having any moniker or status doesn’t give anyone the right to be an asshole, although today’s political climate seems to focus on outdoing one another in uncivility, whether rude, lewd and crude with clothes or without. So the double standard is ultimately about rights and responsbilities. We all need to get along and respect one another. When we start doing that, naked nipples and glanses, though unexpected and not necessarily welcome, will seem like a better alternative over naked aggression. The best start, however, is leaving aggression out of and amongst nudist themselves.
Once you open this topic, it gets really complicated. As we say in English, “It’s a can of worms”. It’s very difficult to imagine women and men having equal roles as naturists, when throughout the last few centuries, it’s women who’ve been the ones eternally on display. That goes all the way from Great Art to the most awful pornography, and I have to say (without putting lots of time into it) it seems as if the web presentations of the three ladies who’ve helped you there are more of the same. They expect viewers to come and look at their pictures, an effect you say you’ve noticed when Lins is visible, versus when she isn’t. I hope there isn’t a financial angle: I’ve seen that in the past when there are pictures of naked women to see. On the other hand, when men create blogs, they’re typically anonymous and don’t use their own pictures. I think they assume nobody cares what they look like. So that’s a double standard for you!
On the other hand, it’s quite rare to encounter women communicating on an equal basis on discussion boards. Not that I can blame them, because they get showered with attention everywhere I’ve seen, and not all of it is pleasant. On the other hand, perhaps because lots of responses are guaranteed, it’s pretty common to see men imitating women on web forums.
I’ve settled into an expectation that online naturism is like real-world naturism: I go there to meet my male friends, and that’s the basis it all happens on. It’s actually a little unsettling to think women might get involved! I suppose that’s not a desirable situation, but it’s the way the world seems to work.
“I’ve settled into an expectation that online naturism is like real-world naturism: I go there to meet my male friends, and that’s the basis it all happens on. It’s actually a little unsettling to think women might get involved!”
This is very interesting because we’ve heard many men complain about the fact that there are no/few women to talk to. We like to compare this with a bar. Few men have ever complained about the lack of women when they go to a bar. Yet at a naturist resort, they prefer not to be around male friends…
You’re absolutely right that it’s a can of worms. But we don’t agree that there are more women exposing themselves than men. If you have a look at the several naturist social media, you’ll find way more images of male naturists than female naturists (also keeping in mind that half of the images of female naturists come straight from the web). Even on media like Twitter, the majority of personal naturist pictures, where people post pictures of themselves, are men.
We wonder if all of this relates to the very sexist expression “I’ll do the talking, you just look beautiful”. Men talk about naturism but show pictures of women…
It would be great to hear the female perspective more often. I ran a nudist club back in the 90s, and only 3 women applied for membership. One was transgendered, one was in her 70s and the third was a hoax, whose husband just hung up on me.
So I never heard the nudist perspective firsthand for about ten years. I was totally ignorant of most issues relating to it. I’ve been writing nudist related articles and screenplays for years now, and always felt I’m man-splaining too much.
Why should anyone care about what other people think?
I’ve always hated wearing clothes when it’s not necessary, as a child I would remove my pajamas after being put to bed then put them on again before I got up in the morning. I’ve found it difficult though to enjoy a clothes free lifestyle as an adult. I’m in my 60s and have been married or in a committed relationship all but 10 years of my adult life. I don’t want to visit places without my wife but my first wife was very prudish and my current wife isn’t interested in nude beaches or naturist resorts. In my ten year single period I tried to go to a couple of clubs but they wouldn’t accept single men. The only time I’ve been able to indulge in social nudity was at Burning Man in the Nevada desert. My wife loved the event and it was very naturist friendly when we attended. We eventually stopped going when the event became too large and self expression outside the norm, including male nudity, started getting suppressed.
Thank you for a well written and nuanced article. I too prefer the freedom of having the sun and wind on my skin than talking about it as a lifestyle of tribes, places and passports.
It’s a strange world for me a single nudist dad: unwanted by family nudism and irrelevant to all male nudism. One family resort told me I needed a signed waiver from the mother to bring my kids or a female escort to visit without them. The all-male places tend to be more gay and bi sexually oriented and definitely inappopriate for children. All are inconveniently located and expensive to enter.
All this means that my teen sons have gotten virutally no exposure to social nudity. For now they see nudism as their weird dad who forgets to put his clothes on. As adults, maybe they’ll redefine this nudism/naturism thing, but I question when any ism made the world a much better place.
Sorry pal, but its kind of ur fault ur so stuck up about sexual things .. i mean, is that a worst a teen son can see? Im pretty sure they saw 100x worst things online comapred to what they would see on some of the places u mentioned.
Besides, i recon there are tons of free nude beaches..cant u go there?
Thanks for thoughts Iceman. My sons aren’t allowed at a family place without their mom’s consent and the all male places are strictly adults only. It’s not a question of being stuck up about sexual things, but lawyers and threats of lawsuits involving children paralyzing what’s perfectly normal and healthy. Tons of nude beaches? I’d be glad to have one within 100 miles/150 km and question if I can find one within 500 miles/800 km. You’re talking the puritanical heartland of a big country!
Hey , thank you for the reply.
Ah , i see… seing the “miles” thing and the “lawsuit” thing, theres no doubt about it that ur form USA…
Ppl often call it, well .. actually Americans mostly or only, the land of the free… well all these “lawsuits” and consents, for sure dont make it so free in my eyes..
Here in Europe, from what ive learned here, there are tons of nude beaches, that are free, u dont need to be a member of anything nor have a policy of who can attend or whatever..
Yes in the US indeed, and the more prudish Midwest as well. I have lived in Germany (student) and Sweden (citizen) and understand and appreciate your European perspective. We both live on big continents and it’s a matter of finding a corner to call home, hopefully where we can also take our pants off and know all is well.
Thanks for an interesting post. I don’t go to nude beaches. Dry often, because I tend to get bored after a short time, and in Australia, you get burnt very quickly. I prefer beaches where there is a bit of surf so I can swim and keep entertained. My best experiences have always been where another beachgoer has come up and said hi, and we have been able to talk at length about.various topics. This is why I prefer nudist resorts, as you can always strike up a conversation in the spa and that keeps things interesting.
So many focus on the intent and behavior of the single male, not the practical or economic incentive of the resort owner. For any number of reasons (both harmless and sinister) many more single men will gravitate toward nude beaches and pools than single women. Fair or not, a facility with 20 single men for every female will drive away single females and more importantly couples. And oddly enough, it will drive away straight men eventually including the sightseers who started the problem.. Gender balance is a business necessity . Even hedo reigns in gender imbalance via pricing and daypass availability. Btw… even at hedo where theoretically anything goes..the common complaint is …wife felt uncomfortable because too many single men were gawking… keeping a reputation as a safe space and a positive culture is critical to a business and it gets tough if perceptions are skewed by gender imbalance…even well behaved males in large numbers are bad business
That is definitely true!
Some time ago, we’ve published a blog post about single men in naturism (https://www.nakedwanderings.com/musings-about-single-men-in-naturism/) in which we look at the issue from the different angles. On one side, we hear very sad stories about the discrimination of single men, but on the other side we definitely understand the resort’s choice to use quota in order to keep their business profitable.
Once again, capitalism shows its ugliness.. wherever it gets involved, everything gets fucked up..
Not everyone is going to have the same meaning for why be a naturist in the first place, and I don’t really think it is necessarily to mandate a reason! Naturist communities should absolutely not condone bad behavior by anyone! Being respectful to yourself and to others while being nude is paramount!! For the woman who has issues being around men, why not check out an all female naturist spot? They must have them! I definitely don’t agree with the concept of having to have an equal number of men and women! We are now in the 21st century! Many nudists are gay or lesbian also! I’m gay and was a member of an all male nudist community for just short of 30 years. I saw all kinds nudists and reasons for nudity during that time! Many men (like myself) just enjoy being nude because of how free it makes me feel and forces me to accept my own body image and respect all others around me! But I did see many others that used the nudity for sexual purposes! I think as a society, we shouldn’t punish if they encounter someone they like and the feeling is mutual and both are consenting adults
And that meeting leads to something more; but there is a lot to be said for saying NO and have that statement be the end of that train of thought! When it comes to an event like described above, if the other person doesn’t respect you saying NO and keeps trying, then they are bordering on harassment! Society definitely needs to teach respect! Much of that is learned behavior! Our bodies are our temples and should be treated accordingly, but the respect we give our own bodies, needs to be the same respect we also gives to all the bodies around us! No always means no, without exception. If people can always, every single time, respect that, then people should be able to enjoy naturism in all it’s different meanings!
Hi, you point out two very important values here: Respect and consent. When both are in place, not much can go wrong.
A good example is the nude beach in Zipolite, Mexico (where we’ve been spending the quarantine months). There is the main beach which is clothing optional according to the common nudist/naturist definitions. So non-sexual. But then there’s a secluded part which is called “Playa de Amor” (Love Beach). We probably don’t have to draw you an image. Many naturists would think it’s wrong to have such a section, but we believe that it’s actually an advantage. Different spaces are created for different needs and consent about what’s happening at which part of the beach is in place.
“Women are often seen through the lens of ‘are they sexually viable?’ and ‘are they going to be a good mother?'”
I believe this is inherent in males. Every male hominid going back as far down the evolutionary tree as you care to go felt this way. (The instinctual part lives in the amygdala and the hypothalamus, our “reptile” brain. The cerebral cortex is where the expression is shaped.) If they didn’t, their genes wouldn’t multiply. Maybe the species wouldn’t survive. Women don’t generally use the same criteria as men but the search for a mate is important to them as well.
While the drive is instinctual, it is modified and shaped by learning. We have not embraced a way to express it in a productive way. That would probably mean a lot of parental talks with children on topics the parents are simply too embarrassed to talk to them about. Like sexual etiquette. All boys want sex and they may want it very badly yet they get zero guidance at home and offering that kind of instruction in school at an age when it would be most effective is a nonstarter in most areas. It creates a lifelong pattern that becomes increasingly more difficult to change. I have no workable cultural solution, just a belief that we are slowly evolving into a better place.
“the commercialization of naturism and the marketing machine behind it”
Absolutely! “Pretty chicks get lots of clicks.” is a saying I’ve heard for any web site, not just nudist businesses. “Movie star looks” works well for men but even women tend to gaze longer at attractive women. This exacerbates the problem of attracting a huge excess of horny males.
It would be easy enough to change that perception by using ordinary middle age and older models but that won’t drive traffic.
Most of the people who see the ad will NOT be nudists. Textile impaired people cannot easily wrap their minds around nudism. People who do not see other people’s primary sexual organs regularly are oversensitive to it and cannot imagine not reacting. Probably don’t want to stop reacting.
Most online bulletin boards are not populated by ordinary nudists. They are populated by guys who typed “naked nudist girls” in a search engine and guess who they found. They are also populated by maladjusted males who are obsessing, hence truly endless threads on erections, shaving, and pubic jewelry that recur over and over while more fundamental issues get a couple of responses and die. And then there are the trolls.
“those who bring their naturist lifestyle online and become victims of almost continuous harassment”
While they were perusing that search results list, on page 17 they found your blog. It is an unavoidable fact of online life. Heck, I’ve even run into it on my own blog when I posted stuff about my own naturist experiences and I’m a fat old man.
Online naturism is best only tackled by people of strong mind, thick skin, and fierce will, doubly so if you are female. Some guys will see it as nothing but an invitation to cybersex. Others will start to fantasize and obsess, believing they are actually being nice. Be quick to delete noxious posts, block perverse posters, and drop disquieting followers.
And that is a great video. I will share it on my bog.
You are absolutely right that it’s very human to look at people of the opposite gender as possible mates. Because of human history, this means that men still tend to look for women with a higher chance of producing offspring and women look at men who will be able to support and protect them. It’s very neanderthal, but it’s still somewhat in our genes.
However, there are changes in this pattern noticeable. Once many religions declared that humans should be monogamous and choose one partner for eternity, we started to look for other qualities. Given the times, mostly physical aspects like “beauty”.
Now the times have changed/are changing again and equal rights and possibilities start making it interesting for men to look for aspects like education, power, etc in a woman. But of course, it’ll take a couple of centuries before our instincts and internal logarithms will adjust.
About online nudism, as we mentioned in the post, there are lots of people who seem to think that women who enjoy social nudity will be easier sex partners. It’s not a coincidence that most of those people are a bit sad. If you have difficulties finding sex partners, you’ll start to think irrationally. Because it makes absolutely no sense, women in naturism tend to be liberated and strong. Definitely not the kind that can easily be talked into doing something they don’t want.
There is also the double standard wrt age.