This post was last Updated on September 28, 2020
For us, the social aspect of naturism is very important. We believe that naturists and nudists are a community, a group of people that share certain beliefs and habits. This is improved by getting together at naturist venues, clubs, or events. Also the official definition of naturism, by the International Naturist Federation INF-FNI, states that “naturism is characterized by the practice of communal nudity”. It’s what naturists do, we get naked together.
During our travels, we quickly found out that this definition only describes a part of reality. We, being western Europeans, had never really considered this. We are lucky to live in a part of the world that has plenty of nude beaches and naturist resorts. We have nude spa and wellness centers when outdoor nudity isn’t comfortable. There are clubs and associations organizing naturist events. Even in a small country like Belgium, it’s possible to enjoy social nudity pretty much every day of the year. But not all naturists have those options.
Why naturists don’t enjoy social nudity
When we traveled to Asia, we quickly learned that we shouldn’t take the abundance of naturist options for granted. On the whole continent (which is pretty large), we only found naturist resorts in 2 countries: Thailand and Bali. In most other countries, social or public nudity was actually forbidden by law. Naturists in those countries either have to travel or join illegitimate groups if they want to get naked together.
Another big reason that we learned about was the reluctant partner. We are lucky to have discovered naturism together. But that’s not given to all couples. There are many naturists whose partner doesn’t want to have anything to do with social nudity. Sometimes they agree to visit clothing-optional venues together if those are available. Sometimes they let their partner go on their own, or sometimes the naturist partner is plainly denied social nudity.
Then there are naturists for whom it’s often physically impossible to frequently enjoy naturist venues or activities. In the USA, for example, it’s not uncommon that people need to drive more than 10 hours to the nearest nudist resort or nude beach. Not particularly something you like to do three times a week. Age or disabilities are yet another reason why some people just don’t make it to the naturist spots.
Lastly, we also found a large group of naturists who feel nothing for staying at naturist clubs or resorts. They don’t like the many rules or they don’t like the fact that they are sometimes required to be naked all the time. They feel nothing for shopping or dining or playing sports in the nude. Some naturists just want to spend their holidays on the nude beach, but once away from the beach they just want to wear clothes.
The uprise of private naturism
If we need to believe the official definition of naturism, there’s no such thing as “private naturism”. But of course, we know better. We have previously already written about home nudism and about nude home parties. With the internet, lots of Facebook groups, Whatsapp groups, and other online meetup groups started to appear, making it easy for naturists to find likeminded souls in their area and have nude gatherings at someone’s house. Especially in countries where social nudity is against the law, those appeared to be a blessing.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, many more people learned about the joys of spending their time in and around the house without clothes. These people often haven’t taken the leap towards social nudity yet. And maybe never will. Another result of COVID-19 is the “staycation”. A vacation at your own place. Or, in many cases, a vacation at a place that provides the same amount of privacy. Airbnb quickly noticed this shift in travel dynamics. After the first lockdowns, rental rooms kept seeing a big drop in bookings. We’ve all been urged to maintain social distancing, so it didn’t look like the smartest idea to move into a room in a stranger’s home for our holidays.
Bookings for private rentals, on the other hand, started to rise again. It’s easy to understand why. A staycation in your own home is one thing, but it does feel more like a vacation if you can stay in a house that’s not yours. Even if it’s in your own country. Interestingly, the same principle that people are now using to escape COVID, is something we’ve been using for years for nude vacations.
How Airbnb saved our naturist vacations
We made a huge mistake when we decided to travel to Sri Lanka. For some reason, we always figured that Buddhists would not make a big deal of public nudity. Maybe it was because of the uprise of nude yoga (which apparently has nothing to do with Buddhism) or maybe we just relied on images we’ve once seen about naked holy men (who were actually Hindu). Anyway, once we arrived in Sri Lanka, it was very clear that public nudity would be no option unless we wanted to risk jail time.
The best way to combine traveling to Sri Lanka with our naturist way of life was to rent a place with enough privacy to spend some of our time in the nude. Luckily, these places appeared to be abundant and quite decently priced. In the beach town Galle, for example, you can find plenty of options. Like this cool villa with a private pool.
Also in Malaysia, the number of private Airbnb rentals where clothes could be considered optional was plenty. And especially in Bali. The island does have a naturist resort called Au Naturel, but if you want to explore other parts of the island, private rentals are your best choice. This villa near Ubud, for example. Does it get more idyllic than this?
It’s probably not hard to imagine how Airbnb proved to be our perfect source for private nude vacations in Asia.
TIP: You can easily search for private places via the Airbnb Entire Places Page
Nude beach vacations, even when you’re not on the beach
When you think about it, this also solves a lot of the other before mentioned issues. If your partner feels nothing for spending a holiday without clothes and there are no clothing-optional resorts around, just rent a private place and both can have optimal comfort. If the nearest naturist resort is too far away for a weekend trip, you’re much more likely to find a private option on Airbnb. These private rentals are also often much easier to reach than naturist venues. And especially, if you feel nothing for naturist resorts or for social nudity, this proves to be the perfect alternative.
After the lessons that we learned in Asia (don’t trust that what you think is right but do some research dammit!), we did manage to pick our next destinations more carefully. Nevertheless, Airbnb kept coming in handy. To visit nude beaches for example. Many great nude beaches don’t necessarily have a naturist resort nearby. You can visit Black’s Beach in California from Deanza Springs Resort, which is a 2-hour ride away. Or just rent a private place in San Diego. The same for Wreck Beach in Vancouver or Gunnison Beach near New York.
Little Beach in Maui, Lady Bay Beach in Sydney, or Mpenjati Beach in South Africa. We can go on and on like this. Pretty much every nude beach in the world will have private Airbnb rental homes nearby where you can also spend your non-beach time without clothes.
Semi-nude tourism, the next trend in naturism?
As naturist travel bloggers, we search for naturist venues around the world and tend to spend lots of time inside the resorts. Often even neglecting the other tourist highlights. For many naturists, this is also their preferred way of traveling, as clothes-free as possible. But we also noticed that many others favor a mix instead. During the day, they visit museums, go hiking, check out towns or castles, or whatever else is available. But in the mornings and evenings, they spend their “relax” time as relaxing as possible. Without clothes.
Today, this is easier than ever. An apartment with a view on the Eiffel Tower, a place on Copacabana, a house in the jungle of Guatemala, or maybe a private island in the Philippines?