Smartphones at Naturist Resorts: Take em or Break em?

Smartphones at Naturist Resorts: Take em or Break em?

We often call ourselves the “digital generation”. The Internet found its way into our homes when we were early teenagers. Before we were allowed to drive a car, the squeaking modem sounds got replaced by the fiber that helped Napster infuriate the music industry. After that, we’ve just been experiencing one revolution after the other. We were the early adopters of social media. Well, at least of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, TikTok is still a big mystery to us. We were the first blog readers, podcast listeners, and Airbnb guests.

 

When we were kids, dad used to take out his big camera on family events. Take 24 or 36 well-positioned shots and then weeks later find out that half of them are dark or blurry. Our first party, our first kiss, our first time drunk remain undocumented forever. The pictures of our childhood cover not much more than the bottom of a shoebox. Today, our smartphones contain more photos than a whole village would possess in the early nineties.

We are the easy-photo-generation

We literally take pictures of everything. How we look when we get out of bed, the mess on our desk, oh look how cute the cat is. New stuff we see at the supermarket, the traffic jam, the sunset over the highway, still traffic jam, breakfast, lunch, dinner, the 4th beer with friends, the 7th beer, oh look the cat is being cute again…

 

Most of all, we like to take photos of our vacations. It sometimes bothers us, how people these days don’t seem to stop anymore to absorb the beauty of a park, a building, or a lake. They just walk by, snap, snap, snap, and figure that they’ll have a good look at it when they get home. Or not.

 

Taking pictures has become a part of our lives. We do so without thinking. If you’re about our age, or younger, and you meet up with friends, chances are that you’ll take a selfie within the first 15 minutes. That’s not even the second beer.

The generation/information gap

We got into a Twitter conversation the other day about taking pictures at naturist resorts. A generation gap quickly became obvious. Some wondered why on earth that someone would ever want to take a picture at a naturist resort. It’s not that you’re going to show it to anyone. And what if there are other people in it? How do I know that you’re not secretly taking pictures of me? What if the pictures get stolen and end up on the web?

 

The other side wondered why they shouldn’t take pictures at the naturist resort. We document our whole lives. It’s almost a habit. Who are we kidding, it is a habit. Spending a week without taking pictures of ourselves and our surroundings would mean a gap in our photo library. A gap in our memory. As if this week just didn’t exist.

 

Even if we don’t intend to take pictures, our smartphones are glued to our hands. We have friends and influencers to follow, Whatsapp groups that require our attention, messages need to be replied to, pictures to be seen, posts to be read. We need to engage or we don’t belong. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? The future will tell. The world isn’t going to stop if you put that phone away for an hour, you know. Yeah, dad, it’s not going to stop either if you miss the 7 PM news. It’s just what we do.

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How to handle smartphones at naturist resorts

The Twitter conversation moved on to how naturist resorts cope with this sudden device that has two high-quality cameras. Some mentioned that their favorite resort had a strict no-phone policy. If you really need to send out a Whatsapp message you have to go to the parking lot. Someone mentioned Bare Oaks Park, which has a photo point where you are allowed to take your selfies with the big sign. Several resorts hand out small stickers to put over the back camera of your phone, so everyone can easily see that you just can’t take their picture. And then we all wondered why those stickers aren’t standard procedure at every resort.

 

In any case, the potential risk is obvious. We’ve all heard the stories about people being blackmailed with nude shots. Kids being bullied and lives being ruined. Those things do happen. But how’s a stranger who secretly took your picture at a naturist venue going to know your name, find your address, and social media accounts? Find out who your close friends are? Most cases of blackmail happen with people we trust. People who we would allow taking our photo. In many cases, the victim has actually taken the picture.

Is banning the smartphone really the answer?

This makes us wonder. Does banning smartphones from naturist resorts really solve the problem? Does it really eliminate the risk? Today, online companies can deliver spy tools on your doorstep that would even make James Bond frenzied. High-quality cameras that fit in buttonholes or glasses. Cameras that are hidden in clocks or smoke detectors or that look like a plant or a rock (yes, we looked it up and they’re pretty convincing).

 

Doesn’t banning the smartphone give us a false sense of security? If someone has the intention to take pictures of naturists, will he or she really use the most obvious tools? We could go even further. With banning smartphones, aren’t we actually encouraging the villains to search for smarter tools? While they might otherwise just try with a phone and get caught.

The voyeur business

Now before you’re all freaked out and swear to never take off your undies again, there is an important side note. The number of people being photographed at naturist venues is really small. First of all, while voyeurism on itself is rarely considered a crime, capturing your image without your consent often is. Broadcasting (as in sending the image around or publishing it online) is often seen as a sexual offense. This could result in jail time, few are willing to take that risk.

 

Then where do all those naturist pictures online come from? Many of them are stolen from an official publication. Meaning that the persons in the pictures actually did give their consent. Our pictures get stolen all the time. This doesn’t really bother us if it’s for the sake of promoting naturism, but a lot more if it’s for someone’s financial gain. As with the example of blackmail, it’s a matter of trust. If the organizer of a naturist event asks if you’re okay with having your picture taken for the website, there’s nothing wrong with that. If that picture gets stolen from the website and published somewhere else, it’s not your fault. Nor is it the fault of the organizer or the club. It’s sad, but it does happen.

 

Another big chunk of the online naturist photos is fake. When we see all those “naturist” pictures passing by, perfectly clear shots of young women on the nude beach, often in a slightly suggestive pose, we can’t but wonder at which beach those were taken. We rarely see those girls at the places that we visit. There’s money to be made in the voyeur business, but the fines when getting caught are pretty high. It’s much more convenient to hire a couple of nude models, get their consent, and sell the photos as “hidden cam”.

How much should you care about all this?

Further down the Twitter conversation came the “So what?” question. So what if someone takes our picture? So what if our nude butts can be found somewhere among the thousands of other pictures on that person’s phone? So what if he or she sends it to a friend or in a Whatsapp group? So what if it appears on the internet?

 

When Selena Gomez or Justin Bieber dare to have a skinny dip in Cannes or the Bahamas, they can be sure that their pixelated bodies will cover the tabloids the day after. But we hate to tell you, you’re not Selena or Biebs. You’re much better obviously, but the world just isn’t that interested in seeing you naked.

 

During the last three years, we’ve spent more time on nude beaches and in naturist resorts than most naturists do in their whole life. Because we’re naturist bloggers, we’re looking at naturist content and naturist pictures every single day. Not once have we seen a picture of ourselves passing by. And even if that would happen, what are the odds that this content passes by the eyes of friends, colleagues, or family? And even if that would happen, so what?

21 thoughts on “Smartphones at Naturist Resorts: Take em or Break em?

  1. Personally I think that if naturism and clothes free living is to be taken seriously the same rules should apply as they do in a dressed depressed world. The hashtag #NormalisingNaturism should mean just that… Normal. Anything else just means being naked is something not normal, something most of us have been campaigning against for years.

  2. We used to be really reluctant to take nude photos of each other or ourselves with our smartphones because we’ve heard that “they” see every one that goes through the cell phone networks. However, we live in a world where there is ZERO personal privacy anyway, and even if we use our digital camera and download the photos to a portable hard drive, there is still probably a way that “they” can look at them.
    As I type this, I’m “working from home” at our old house in the country and my wife is back at home (essential job), so I have been sending her nudie selfie photos of myself out on the deck overlooking the river, walking down the (dead end) street just to make her laugh and miss me more. I’m sure that somebody somewhere else is also seeing them, but oh well!!!
    As far as getting blackmailed, I’d have to research it, but there was a story of some female singer/actress who was being blackmailed and the person threatened to post her nude photos online unless they were paid some sort of ransom (and still no real guarantee or assurance that they’d never publish them anyway) but the singer/actress beat them to the punch and published them herself AND got all kinds of praise for being so “body positive” and “sexually liberated”. I guess that I’d be tempted to do the same if someone tried that, because I honestly don’t care if someone sees me nude (accidentally in real life) or online some how. Even friends or family or members of our church (that wouldn’t ordinarily know that we’re naturists/nudists) would likely shrug and say “He’s always doing offbeat stuff, so here is yet another example…”. As I grow older I care less and less what “they” think of me and my wife. I’m happy with the choices that I’ve made for our lives, and my wife is too.

    1. We also kind of remember such a story about a celebrity. But can’t recall which one either. That’s a great proof of how even such juicy news is quickly forgotten 🙂
      And as mentioned in the post, celebrities are somewhat different. Much fewer people are interested in seeing the average Joe and Jane nude.

  3. I recommend that naturists take advantage of vimeo.com for when they want to express themselves, nude or not. Their more relaxed policy regarding nudity is potentially very appealing to naturists.
    Many have already have posted there and their views are increasing daily.

    1. That is wonderful for a place to share photos you have taken, however most places you still can’t take the photos to put there.

  4. As a professional photographer images being stollen is a big problem. It’s my living!
    As a naturist if people want to take pictures on the beach or other naked places I’m not worried. We should be proud we are #normalisingnaturism we aren’t doing anything to be ashamed of being liberated.

    1. The problem with online content is that lots of people seem to think that it’s free to reuse. Some people will “just” use your pictures on their media, others will actually ask money for your work. That’s just sad.

  5. I agree that the ban on phones is a bit much. I understand when most of these rules were written they said no photography, these rules were referring to cameras specifically, now yes we have the cameras on our phones but like you said we want pictures of ourselves and the surroundings to remember a trip. Why not normalize technology at nudist locations as much as most nudists say they want to normalize nudity to not have to be in a specific place to shed their wares.

  6. I take beautiful pictures of the nature I am surrounded by when I hike the trails at my nudist camp. I hike the trails alone so if I want to be included in the shot I use the timer. I never photograph others and I don’t post them anywhere on the web. They are for me alone to look at and reflect on all the wonderful days I’ve spent nude in nature. So when the harsh New England winter sets in I can warm my soul remembering those days past and looking forward to those to come.

  7. I had wanted to ‘try’ naturism for a long time and only got around to it in 2009 at 68 years old, on a public ‘playa nudista’ in Spain. I found a lounger at the beach cafe, took off my shorts and shirt, and discovered the sky didn’t fall. Later, I walked the length of the beach and back, twice, and the sky still didn’t fall. During those walks, I passed a local (I think) family of parents and two small kids, all naked. Mother was taking photographs of the family, including the kids, which I am sure would be shown to the rest of the family. I realised I could well be in someone’s pictures. I concluded that if I was going to walk clothes-free down the public beach, I could expect to have to live with the consequences (there haven’t been any). Now, cellphones with two cameras are everywhere; I say, live with it.

    1. There is definitely a huge difference between appearing in the background of someone’s family pictures and being the main subject of a picture. In the first case, there’s little chance that those pictures will ever leave that person’s phone and end up at unwanted places.

  8. I probably don’t have a picture that could blackmail me. I have been in the Finnish and Swedish TV a few times with no clothes on. Dressed only once.
    When photographing naturist areas, I don’t take a picture of anyone unless I ask permission, with almost non-existent language skills, it’s hard to ask.
    Basically, in those areas where I have been, is shooting prohibited.
    However, I have not noticed the controls.

  9. L&N – do you have any advice for people who are not celebrities, but still do have “public sensitive” occupations – local councilman, primary school teacher, etc ?

    Not that they are doing anything wrong, but prejudices present in society may ruin their professional life.

    “…But how’s a stranger who secretly took your picture at a naturist venue going to know your name, find your address, and social media accounts?…” google image search.

    1. Hi Zib, as mentioned in the blog post, the chance that someone who knows who you are stumbles upon a candid picture from you. How many pictures of naturists do textile people see on a monthly basis? Until they’re into voyeur porn, probably not that many.

      But you’re right, some professions are more sensitive than others and in the cases you mention (council, teachers,…) it could happen that people are actively looking for secret information about you. Google image search could be used for that, but then your name has to be tagged in the image. For example, if you Google “Nick & Lins”, you’ll see a lot of pictures of us popping up. But that’s because we or people we know have published those pictures. A stranger who has no idea who we are could never tag our name in a picture.

      If someone has the intention to hurt your public image, there’s definitely some risk. That’s why public figures need to watch their steps in everything they do.

  10. We should not ignore the deterring effect of cameras for people who might be willing to start with naturism. Going naked in public for the first time is already a significant step, and the possibility that someone might take a picture increases the barrier significantly.

    Allowing pictures is also to some extent schizophrenic . At many naturist places the partner of a mixed naturist/non-naturist couple is not allowed. You know, the philosophy ‘You see my butt only if I may see your butt’. But on the other hand it should be acceptable that someone takes pictures of a naturist that may be viewed afterwards by several unknown non-naturist people whose faces he can’t even see, let alone their body?

    It’s better to maintain a clear message ‘no photography unless people explicitly agree’ instead of ‘we can’t stop all cameras thus just feel free to take photos as much as you like’. It’s not because some people happen to drive too fast that we have to abandon all speed limits.

    1. Definitely agree! But there’s a difference between “no photography” rules and “no smartphone” rules. as mentioned in the post, the “no smartphone” rules might take some risk away (we’ve had to redo so many pictures because someone accidentally passes by, maybe not everyone does that), but it won’t stop those who intentionally want to take pictures of others.

  11. Hi, I just found your site and I am happy to see that a couple that ARE NOT Seniors have picked up the torch on naturalism. We have to teach the next generation. I have been practicing for decades, an ANR member, introduced my new wife to it 10 years ago and my son when he was in his early 20s. Naturalism needs fresh young, not so perfect bodies and faces.

    I will follow you on twitter. I own an entertainment company and DJ around the world and really want to start au naturel DJ parties with out being sleazy (hedonism).

    1. That’s also something the naturist world is waiting for, activities that are actually attractive to a younger audience. Like DJ parties

  12. Great subject and great article! As you know we regularly take photos of our naturist group events. I think it is a matter of respect and trust. We always ask our members permission or who wants to be in a posed group photo. We also do our best to watermark the photos as a way of discouraging them being stolen. Most of our members are fine with being in photos used to promote our group and naturism in general and trust how we will use these photos and where they will end up.

    I feel that the purpose of the photo is also important. Our photos are intended to give a realistic view into what occurs at our group events. Therefore, few photos are posed, many are taken at a distance, they will all clearly show that there is nothing sexual and that as we are a family group children are often present. This helps people join our group for the “right reasons”.

    This has allowed us to work with some resorts to get certain allowances within the terms of their photography policies, like turning a blind eye as they know we are taking photos of our members and grant them access to where the photos are posted. It has also helped with some behind the scenes discussions with social media platforms like Meetup and Facebook which in some cases have reposted photos that where initially picked up by their bots or have allowed the inclusion of some children when the photo does not display their genitals. I have also found that being “open” about what we do and the purpose of the photos creates trust with strangers that may be set up close to us at a nude beach or hot springs.

    Finally, some of these resort photo policies give the appearance that we have something to hide which only contributes to misconceptions from the “textile” world. We feel that these realistic photos in our albums as well as selfies on social media platforms are a great factor in slowly changing these misconceptions and show our true values and beliefs.

    1. That’s definitely true, Ron. In a previous blog post, we also talked about the need of putting a face on naturists and to show the world who we really are and what we really do. By saying/showing nothing, we just feed the misconception that we’re actually doing something wrong. And photos of course help a lot with that.

  13. Whilst it might cause problems for some people, I’m personally not that fussed. Not many people would want pictures of me anyway, and they wouldn’t know my identity. I wouldn’t post on social media where friends and family can see them. My pictures are for me, as a record of good times spent and places visited. I wouldnt take close up pics of others without asking though. I wish I could be more open, but I just apply commonsense. If I appear in someone else’s photo, its not a problem. I’m happy in the body that God gave me.

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