The Global Naturist Forum and the Future of Social Nudity

During the last several months, British Naturism has emerged as the pioneer of virtual naturist events. Online talks and workshops are organized on an almost daily basis during the covid pandemic and the cherry on the cake was their first Global Naturist Forum. Four sessions spread over two days, featuring naturist leaders and influencers from around the world.

 

With hundreds of participants during every session, it was definitely a success. It started off with the presidents of AANR and INF-FNI, the two largest international nudist/naturist federations, who shared their views about the current state of organized naturism and their visions for the near future. In the following sessions, individuals, naturist “influencers” and resort owners discussed the possibilities to grow and improve naturism. At the end, visionaries Stéphane Deschenes, Gregers Moller, and Edwin Kilby shared their ideas about a global and including future of naturism.

Who’s the naturist in the room?

During the first session, one of the panelists explained that there are two very distinct groups: naturists and so-called “nude bathers” (basically everyone who doesn’t comply with a certain set of requirements to be called a naturist). In her words: “These groups can live next to each other, but never together”.

 

Although we definitely disagree with this statement as a future vision, it was spot on if we look at where we are today. The online and offline discussions about the difference between nudism and naturism are endless. The USA actually has two different federations: one for naturists (The Naturist Society) and one for nude recreation (American Association for Nude Recreation). And lots of the people we met along the way who enjoy social nudity don’t want to be called naturists or nudists.

 

While everyone in the naked world shares the same ideas and values, the organization of it is scattered. In a movement where everyone is supposed to be seen as equals, some consider themselves better naked people than others.

 

How the naked world fell apart

Subgroups appear when people feel excluded. Back in the early days of naturism, the lifestyle was very restricted. You had to comply with a set of rules, values, and norms or you were not welcome at the naturist clubs. Pretty soon, people who also enjoyed non-sexual social nudity but didn’t really agree with the other requirements to be called a naturist, flocked together and became nudists.

 

What was already a minority, split up into two even smaller minorities. And then an interesting shift of mindset appeared in the western world. In the days when naturism/nudism/nude bathing/… was still often illegal and very well hidden, practitioners felt a strong need to belong. A need for a label that said that they were not creeps, weirdos, or perverts. Today, especially among the younger generations, the need for a label is largely gone. Instead, labels often feel suffocating.

Social nudity for every body

During the second session of the Global Naturist Forum, we looked at the possibilities to bring the naked world back together and to make it more inclusive for distinct groups like LGBTQ, BAME, women, youth, etc. How to unite such a diverse group of people who each has their likes, dislikes, preferences, and needs?

 

A key point was to embrace evolution. The whole world around us evolves, why should naturism remain the same as it was half a century ago? Not just in the sense of modernizing but also in embracing the different views, perspectives, and practices. Today, we often think in terms of “or”. We are a naturist or a nudist or a home nudist or a vacation nudist or a beach nudist or… What if we start thinking in terms of “and”? Can’t we be a naturist AND a nudist? A home nudist AND a vacation nudist?

 

Let’s face it, even the truest naturist doesn’t always get naked for the sake of connecting with nature. Sometimes she might just get naked for the comfort of not wearing clothes or to work on a tan. None of us is 100% one and 0% the other. The vacation nudist may also spend a lazy Sunday afternoon naked at home. The home nudist may also drop her clothes on a nude beach. If we would all admit that we’re a part of everything, we can start building on an inclusive future.

 

Global naturism (or whatever you want to call it)

During the last session of the Global Naturist Forum, we looked at how to implement this inclusive vision. The fact that the representative of the International Naturist Federation stated only a day earlier that this federation is meant to be for naturists and for naturists only didn’t particularly create a great foundation for improvement.

 

Additionally, social nudity is experienced in many different ways around the world. While we were discussing how to attract more young people, the president of the Thai federation mentioned that they have many young members and actually struggle to attract some elder ones. When the topic of gender imbalance came up, the Slovenian federation told us that 60% of their members are female.

 

This makes it obvious that strategies for including as many people as possible should be taken on a local level. On the level of national federations or even on the club level. Which brings us to the next question: Is there actually any use for an international federation?

 

The answer was yes. But not in the way that it’s organized today. The purpose of an international federation should not be to create rules and regulations. It shouldn’t tell national federations or associations which direction to follow and which tasks to execute. Instead, it should lead by example and vision and support the local organizations in their process to build a more nude-friendly world.

 

NOTE: This blog post is a mix of what’s been discussed during the Global Naturist Forum and our personal opinions.
PICTURE CREDIT: The images in this blog post are the property of British Naturism and should not be re-used without permission.

 
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9 thoughts on “The Global Naturist Forum and the Future of Social Nudity”

  1. FWIW, I am an AND. Also, We’ve been members of the Naturist Society for decades. I’ve often been tempted to join AANR as well, but their membership fee is higher, and I’m kind of cheap.

    Reply
  2. Nice summary.
    One thing i like about these blogs u guys make is, that i totaly trust u.
    I dont need to really go elswhere, for any info or news or whatevers, cause i know ull be on top of it and say it as it is.
    Now of course, that dont mean i have to agree with everything or the other way around ,but thats not even the point lol.
    Anyway, i came across um, i forgot hes name, i think hes one of the known nudies , and he like wrote that theres a lack of young nudies, like not young as 20-30yos, but younger then that, that go with their parents or alone if they have guts hah . I wouldnt know in person , but somehow i kinda knew that for some reason, and interesting cause i saw some old ,i mean like vintage nudie page ,where u actually can see lots of youths.
    Was the old days more progressive then today? All of this as a repper to that president that said that in hes country is more youth and less older ppl they have.

    Reply
    • Great question! Was youth more progressive back in the day than today. If we look at the western world, the answer is definitely yes. But it has to be looked at in the appropriate time frame. We’re not saying that youth from the sixties was more progressive than youth of today. But if you compare how progressive youth in the sixties was compared to their parents and how progressive youth of today is compared to their parents, you’ll notice a big difference.

      This also explains why the Thai federation has many young members and why we also found many young naturists in South America. In those parts of the world, youth definitely is much more progressive than their parents/grandparents.

      Reply
      • Oh i didnt even see the reply.
        Anyway, ok imma might sound stupidoo, but Thai, S America, are considered as not so rich places right?
        Dunno why but it kind of makes sence that ppl are kind of more honest, like .. i dunno even how to say it, but from what ive learned in life, poor if u wanna say it that way, ppl, are much more honest , like ..its not even openminded, but.. they just dont care, dont see a big deal about stuff,like ppl in the west do, mainly cause of all of these fake carers for rights and safety and all that crap, that makes every1 feel like they`re a criminal or something.
        I might not be able to find the right words to explain what i wanna say, hope u kinda understood.
        And this makes perfect sence to even what u wrote, in rich places, ppl were less hypocrites and fake moralists back in the days compared to now, and in not so rich places, ppl are more freeer now ,i mean thats what ppl can see thanx to soc media, but i think they always were that way.
        When ur standard isnt that high, and u got nothing to lose, u also got nothing to hide.
        So that kinda make sence to me, maybe the best way to describe it.

        Reply
        • We get what you’re trying to say. When life is a real struggle, you worry about more important things than when life is pretty easy (when you don’t need to worry about food or shelter).

          Nevertheless, in Asia and South America, culture and religion are still big influences. You can compare the power of the church in South America with Europe of the sixties. In Europe, we’ve seen a huge revolution against these old standards and it’s a similar revolution that we are seeing today in South America.

          Reply
  3. Everyone wants more and more people to be naturists but I’m afraid it could destroy naturism in the way as it is now.
    At the minute I find that naturist people are very respectful, peaceful, sensible, etc but if you get more and more people practising naturism it might change, I think that people need to “grow up” to become naturist.
    They need to learn what values are important in life and I can assure you that many don’t know.
    When I and my girlfriend went to naturist beach first time we didn’t plan to be naturist. We went there because I knew ( after I read about it ) that we can expect peace and silence as naturist beaches are less crowdy and that was what we needed on holiday after busy and tough year. We loved it from the begining, we could only hear each other, waves, wind and sometimes other people. When we chatted to other people when we went for walk we found out how friendly naturist people are. When we went for BN event most of the people has been 30+ old or even older, again very mature, sensible, respectful, etc and I truly wants the things to stay how they are now.
    I don’t want people to play loud music, leaving cigarettes bits everywhere, judge others or misbahave on the beaches and I got a feeling with bigger numbers it could be the case.

    Reply
    • You are absolutely right that we can’t put every naturist (or better: everyone who enjoys social nudity) under the same umbrella. We can even see this at the naturist resorts of today. Some are an oasis of peace and quietness, tucked away in nature. Others are big resorts with many facilities and activities and sometimes thousands of visitors per day.

      These differences have always existed and always will. The thing is, if we just define one kind of social nudity as the only true naturism, and the organizations only focus on the needs of that specific kind, the other kinds will be left out but will visit the naturist places anyway. Which may cause problems. When all kinds are represented, it’ll be much easier to make the difference.

      We don’t see a problem with a naturist party hotel, for example. As long as it’s presented in the right way. Then the party people know to go there and those seeking quietness know not to go there. But if we decide that partying doesn’t fit in the naturism scope and that naturist party hotels should not exist, there will still be naturists who like to party. And they’ll go to places where partying isn’t appropriate.

      Reply
  4. Gregers is a secret swinger. Nothing wrong with that; just be aware. “Naturism” is very different in Asia and almost always coupled with sex. I have seen how his clique interacts… the European men are often drunk and prey on the naive locals. That’s why he’s taking advantage of the system and environment there.

    Reply
    • Hi, we know Gregers personally and have met him on several occasions. We have met few people who have done more for organized naturism.
      Even if this would be the case, then he can perfectly separate one from the other and so there isn’t any problem for us.

      Reply

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