The Price of Naturism

Every now and then, the discussion about the financial aspects of naturism seems to pop up on social media. It’s one of those endless debates that live on a pilot light most of the time, but a little spark is enough to start yet another series of heated tweets. Recently, such a spark came from Hector Martinez (quite known for not fearing controversial topics), when he talked about how censorship on mainstream social media forces the naturist content creators to move to paid platforms like Patreon.

 

Although endless and often very repeating, we do kinda like this conversation. It shines a light on how people really think about naturism and how some aspects are often misunderstood. As our personal opinion about this topic is much more than what fits into a handful of tweets, we decided to write a blog post about it.

 

 

Naturism is, and will always be FREE

It’s interesting how some people like to shout that “naturism should always be free”. Because it is already free. There’s no question about it. Nobody can charge you money to call yourself a naturist and neither does it require any investment. Naturism is not something that one can own. It’s a philosophy, a belief, something in your head. Even better is that nobody can stop you from being a naturist. Your local laws may be against it, or your religion, or your partner, but as long as you believe in naturism, you are a naturist.

 

This is one of the main misunderstandings because these people confuse naturism with the facilities. While naturism is free, resorts and events are not. And we believe that it’s only fair that you have to pay for those. If someone invests time and money into providing you with a better naturist experience, these people should be compensated. We like to compare this principle with a sunset. Sunsets are always free, but if you want to enjoy them in a more comfortable way, you’ll have to buy a chair.

 

 

Are naturist resorts overpriced?

During our latest Live Q&A session, someone asked why naturist resorts often cost more than similar textile resorts. We believe that this is true in some cases, but that it often has to do with supply and demand. When we look at naturist campsites in France, for example, we don’t feel like they are more expensive than textile campsites. While they do have quite some advantages (other than the fact that you can be naked), their pitches are often larger and you rarely need to pay for the showers.

 

At the more upscale accommodations, you can see a significant difference. Rental apartments at Vera Playa, for example, tend to be more expensive during the high season than rentals in nearby textile urbanizations. This is because on the whole Spanish coast, there’s only one place like Vera Playa. If you want to experience the “naturist village” feel on mainland Spain, it’s your only option. So they have a monopoly from which they can benefit. It’s the same for many naturist hotels and guesthouses, they are often rare, so they can charge whatever they want.

 

We don’t want to say that naturist resorts are benefiting from their uniqueness, because there’s a lot going on behind the scenes as well. For example, they often have a shorter season than textile places, meaning that they need to make all their money for a whole year in just a couple of months. In some less naturist-friendly countries, there’s also the risk factor. If the neighbourhood turns against them or the government wants to shut them down, they’ll lose their business. A risk that we believe is worth compensating for.

 

 

Wasn’t it cheaper in the past?

We all have a tendency to romanticise the past, and we notice that this is something typical for long-time naturists. They look back at the eighties when camping pitches at the naturist club cost little more than nothing. But there are some factors that we seem to forget about. On one hand, the eighties are 40 years ago. Everything has gotten more expensive. If naturist venues would maintain the same prices today, they could probably not even pay the electricity bill.

 

Then there are the facilities, which used to be much fewer in the past. We have stayed at naturist campsites in France where a tent pitch costs up to 50€ per day. That is A LOT of money for a couple of square meters to set up your own tent. But you’re not just paying for the pitch, you’re paying for all the facilities as well. For the several swimming pools, the sports courts, the activities, etc. You pay for the package. It’s not that this is the only option though, we once wrote a blog post about naturist campsites in Europe for less than 30 euros per night. You’ll probably find even cheaper ones if you start looking at the really small clubs. But the whole package will include much less too.

 

Lastly, there’s the membership. Some decades ago, it was almost impossible to visit a naturist venue if you weren’t a member of a club or federation. This is an additional cost that people seem to forget about. We’ve noticed that a lot of the complaints about overpriced naturist resorts come from the USA, a country where membership cards are still a big thing. If you only go on one naturist vacation every year, and every time you need to renew the membership for every family member, it’s probably much more economical to visit a textile resort instead.

 

 

Promoting naturism as a business

Let’s get back to the original tweet, the one where Hector gave a pretty long rant to explain why you should support naturist creators on Patreon. Just like ourselves, creating naturist content is Hector’s (and his wife Francelli’s) full-time job. It’s their income. If they would give it all away for free, they would have to stop eventually. A question that quickly arose was whether it’s okay to turn the promotion of naturism into a business concept. Won’t this eventually hurt the values of naturism? Where does it end when we start commercializing naturism?

 

A valid fear, because there’s a very well known example of where commercial naturism has gone wrong: Cap d’Agde. It started as a huge genuine naturist destination, but the smell of money from the swinger and sex industries has turned the place into something completely different. What if Hector and ourselves and the other online promotors of naturism start doing the same thing? What if we start sexualizing naturism in order to get access to the swinger dollars?

 

It’s all a matter of trust. While some naturist resorts have turned swinger, many others have not. And we expect that the same will happen with naturist content creators. We’ve seen some of them turn to the dark side, to dubious OnlyFans accounts and webcam chats. You probably won’t even remember them, because as soon as you’ve seen this happen, you’ve unfollowed them. And that’s the beauty of this concept. You support the promotors of naturism that in your opinion bring value. If they change direction, they lose the support of the naturist community and their presence in the naturist world.

 

 

Should you support naturist content creators?

With the uprise of platforms like Patreon, a big fear is that all the good content will disappear behind a paywall. We won’t deny it, for us too, our Patreon page has become an important source of income. And from one day to another, we could decide to make all our content payable. You can still read this blog, but it’ll cost you 5$ per month. Wanna watch our pictures and videos too? That’s 15$. We could do that, but we won’t. Because even though this is our income, we will always stick to our goal of promoting naturism as widely as possible. And that can not be done if we only reach a small number of Patreons.

 

This is where we expect to see a distinction in the near future. Well, we can actually already see it today. You will find naturist content creators who will put all their best stuff behind a paywall with the goal of making money from their content. They will reach an audience that is willing to pay for unique content. On the other hand, you’ll find creators that will give most content away for free, with the goal to promote naturism. They will reach an audience that appreciates what they do and will pay to support their cause.

 

Eventually, the success of both is in your hands, because you decide what you do with your money. From that point of view, it’s a very democratic system. The content creators that earn the most, will be encouraged to do more of what they’re doing. The ones that earn the least will be discouraged and will eventually have to quit because it’s not sustainable anymore.

 

 

What’s the price of naturism?

We’ve mostly talked about naturist resorts and naturist content creators in this blog post, but there are many other forces that try to make your naturist experience better. We’re thinking about clubs and associations, about federations, about organisers of naturist events. While they are not always aiming to make a profit, they need money to work with. They need to be able to invest in infrastructure, and in promotion material, and to buy their volunteers a beer at the end of the day.

 

All of this determines the price of naturism. Well, not of naturism, because naturism is and will always be free. The price of your naturist experience. And once again, the choice is yours. If you don’t think that it’s worth it or if your think that it’s ridiculously overpriced, just don’t go. A sunset is equally beautiful when you watch it standing up or from a hot tub. The price of your naturist experience is whatever you want it to be.

 
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22 thoughts on “The Price of Naturism”

  1. There are resorts and beaches, where one may go on holidays. And there are local clubs, where one often visits on weekends. But there are also communities, where the homes are owned by part-time or full-time residents, and the focus is on those who live there. The latter have costs, but are driven by making an environment for residents that stay for months or years, and have housing that’s designed for long term comfort. This is a piece of naturism that’s often overlooked.

    Reply
  2. You forgot one major cost and hurdle for some of us: travel. When you live in a big city, nowhere near a beach or any other area suitable for outdoor nudity, a certain amount of travel is necessary. Gas prices are off the charts, plane tickets aren’t cheap, and the lodging, whether naturist or not, usually isn’t cheap either. Also, some of us have other considerations that prevent us from traveling very far, or for very long. Being a naturist by philosophy may be “free”, but enjoying that life is often prohibitively expensive or just impossible for many of us, the way things are now.

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    • That is definitely true, but it comes down to the same thing. Nude beaches or naturist resorts don’t make you more naturist, or a better naturist. They just make your naturist experience more enjoyable. But they come at a cost. And unfair as life tends to be, this cost can be significantly more for some than for others.

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  3. There is good and bad in commercial nudism. The nudist resort industry depends on keeping nudity illegal in all other public places. If nudity ever becomes legal on every beach there would be no point in hiding behind fences at a nudist resort. It is not an accident that the only county in Oregon where nudity is illegal is the location of the largest nudist resort in Oregon. County government is supporting a local business by passing a clothing required law with exception for private property. It is not an accident that big Nudist organizations such as AANR advocate nudity only in “appropriate locations” meaning their pay-for-play resorts. That is the negative side.

    The positive side is that the nudist industry has to promote nudity as acceptable as a form of occasional recreation — a departure from our ordinary life — a “sinful” wickedness people can indulge in and then go back to their ordinary clothed life. No cameras allowed so that your friends won’t find out about your “shameful” decadent vacation from your “real” life. It recruits more people to experience being naked, but at the same time opposes nudity as normal in “real” life. A two sided coin.

    On the other side we see nudist organizations like BN having some success promoting nude freedom in all public places. What some call “Free Range” naturism means going naked on public trails, parks, beaches, and even our front yard or neighborhood street. Free Range naturism is free. No commercial pay-for-play industry earns their living from it. I pay my annual dues to The Naturist Society even though they largely now support the pay-for-play nudist industry. They began as an advocate of Free Range public nudity, and are the closest we have in the USA to a nude freedom advocate organization.

    I suppose it depends on what sort of nudity each person wants. If someone is satisfied with a secret occasional sinful wickedness departure from their ordinary life by paying to hide in some nudist resort for a week, then at least they have some nude experience. I’m not satisfied with that. I am a naturist who demands recognition of “my body, my choice” of body cover or not. Control of my own body is the most fundamental human right. Calling me “obscene” or “indecent” or “offensive” for being seen by other people is among the most offensive forms of personal insult and psychotic misanthropy. It’s time for the Nudist organizations to stand for personal human rights, and stop their acceptance or even promotion of public insults against human bodies. It’s time to demand clothing optional as a fundamental human right and human decency.

    Reply
    • We believe that the idea of keeping nudity illegal because “if we’re the only place that allows nudity, they just have to come here” is the completely wrong way of thinking. Not from you, but from the resorts and organisations that you mention. Providing more free spaces will not be harmful to businesses. On the contrary, we believe that they would benefit from it. Lots of nudists have their first experience in a free place. If there are few/no free places, fewer people will try nudism. The resort is often the second step, “I’ve enjoyed the nude beach, what else is there?”. But if step one is missing, fewer people will go immediately to step two.

      Then there are the likes of people. There are those who absolutely like the freedom of being naked in nature. If that freedom isn’t available, we’re not sure that they’ll visit resorts instead. On the other hand, there are those who don’t like salty water and gawkers on the beach and will always go to resorts instead of free places.

      And then there is the travel industry. We believe that places where there are both nudist resorts and nude beaches are more attractive to the nudist traveller than places with only resorts or only nude beaches.

      The only way why that reasoning is actually valid is for crappy resorts. Resorts that are not well maintained and do little more than nothing because they will always have a certain clientele because they’re the only place that allows nudity. But for well-functioning, well-maintained resorts, it would actually be beneficial if there were free nudist spaces around.

      Reply
    • Your statement –
      ‘The nudist resort industry depends on keeping nudity illegal in all other public places. If nudity ever becomes legal on every beach, there would be no point in hiding behind fences at a nudist resort’ –
      may or may not be true in the US, but definitely isn’t in countries we have visited.
      The idea that naturism doesn’t flourish where public nudity is legal is disproved in Spain, for example.
      Your suggestion that naturists would abandon resorts if all beaches were clothing optional, as if that would be good enough – is also proved wrong by Spain. There, all beaches are effectively clothing optional, but there are plenty of good quality thriving naturist resorts.
      The beaches are a nice bonus, but not a factor for us. Much higher on our list of expectations from a naturist holiday is a place to stay where you can truly relax, enjoy the company of like-minded people, and have the option of 24/7 nudity. No amount of sitting on a towel on a clothing optional beach could ever achieve that.
      I must also say that it has never occurred to us that checking into a naturist resort is ‘hiding behind fences’.

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      • In the US there seems to be a more obvious difference (sometimes it even feels like a competition) between “resort nudists” and “outdoor nudists”. We expect that it may have something to do with the existence of two very large federations: AANR and TNS.
        In Europe, this difference exists as well but is less obvious. For example, Paris has 2 naturist associations: ANP and APNEL. One is striving for more designated naturist places while the other strives for more acceptance of nudity in general. We believe that both have their benefits. In the world of today, more designated places are important to help naturism grow short term. But more acceptance of nudity will definitely prove its benefits in the long run.

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      • “Much higher on our list of expectations from a naturist holiday is a place to stay where you can truly relax,”

        To each his own. I relax for about 5 minutes and then want something interesting to see and do. I find nudist resorts frightfully boring. I’m also not interested in a “naturist holiday” apart from a clothed every day life. Today I was naked at home. I raked the yard, stacked firewood, and walked in the woods. I was observed by some passing clothists, but that is not my concern. Being naked in every day life may not appeal to all nudists, but it should be recognized as a fundamental human right to control our own bodies. Your example of Spain is a good example of that recognition. BN has also gained ground advocating for a right to be naked in the UK. Not so with AANR in the USA which still insists that our rights to be nude apply only “in appropriate places” which means their pay-for-play resorts.

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  4. This is an excellent post, and I agree with all of its main points.
    It was worth reiterating that naturism is essentially free, unlike all other hobbies/pastimes I can think of (and all of the ones I do). It costs nothing to take off your clothes and enjoy the liberation that comes with it, but if you then want to go out into the world and mix with like-minded people, there is going to be a cost – but that’s true of everything else in life.
    When it comes to the travel and tourism aspect of naturism, of course it cannot be free, but in our experience of staying at various campsites and resorts in France, Spain and Croatia, we consider naturism to be generally good value.
    True, there is sometimes a premium to pay, compared with similar textile holidays, but considering naturism is still a niche and minority market (and always will be), then that is only in line with the rules of economics, which say that if you don’t want the standard product, you have to pay extra.
    We are probably lucky that we can afford to be members of a naturist club, and can still afford to go to Europe for naturist holidays, but if we couldn’t afford it, then we would probably drop some of our other hobbies so that it was within our means.
    One thing we would add (and I wish there was a more humble way of saying this): in our experience, naturist venues attract a better class of people, generally, so, once again, it is worth paying a little extra to be in good company.
    Much the same applies to naturism in the media. If you are interested in subscribing to get more, that’s fine; it’s up to you, but it’s not for us. We would rather spend our money on the next naturist holiday.
    Meanwhile, websites/blogs like this one generously provide free information for would-be naturists, and we should be very grateful for that promotion, especially as the more people who discover the joys of naturism, the cheaper it and better it will be for all of us.

    Reply
    • We agree that naturist venues tend to attract a “better class”, but interestingly, this has little to do with education or job. Naturists in general tend to be more respectful and open-minded.

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      • Yes. I didn’t mean ‘class’ in terms of supposed social status, just people who are more enlightened, friendlier, more interesting, laid back, etc. We haven’t met many naturists we didn’t like.

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  5. Nick&Lins, I have been reading your excellent posts sense Naturalist Dan keep referring to your writing before he disappeared. My question is, are you two what in the states we refer to as trust fund kids? Meaning you inherited your income and don’t have to work. You never talk about what you do for a living even in general terms. Just wondering because what you do is interesting and informative. Thanks

    Reply
    • Ha! We are definitely not 🙂
      Long story short, we saved quite a lot of money to enable us to travel for about 1.5 – 2 years. Along the way, we figured out that we could earn some money by providing marketing and publicity services to companies in the travel industry. Since then, this has been a way to extend our “journey”.
      Interestingly, we’re currently earning much less than we did in our office jobs before Naked Wanderings, and we’re probably working double the amount of time. But now we’re doing something we love and we can work from the most amazing places. So it’s definitely worth it.

      Reply
  6. Hi @Greenbare,

    I am a “free range” naturist just like you and I see this conflict of interests too.

    On the other side please consider this example:
    UE is now facing ongoing war in Ukraine, just behind UE eastern border.
    Some tourists may see eastern coasts as risky and choose western destinations for their holiday.

    Do Spanish or French hotels profit from this situation ? Of course, they do.
    Are they interesting in supporting this war ? Nonsense. The war brings more damage to them (in terms of general economic problems) than some short-term profit.

    I suppose it’s no different with the alleged conflict between free range and resort naturism.

    Reply
    • Hi @Zibi. Interesting analogy about the war. Conflict between free range naturists and pay-for-play club nudists has been an ongoing controversy at INF for decades now. I don’t follow their politics closely but I have read about arguments leading to election of officers at INF. Gains have been made in Europe and other countries.

      I personally agree that the club nudist resort model has done more long term damage to nudism in general than gains — which has hurt the resorts long term. Many businesses end up with an internal conflict between making enough profit today to keep the doors open, and creating long term prosperity.

      I side with the INF people who have advocated nude freedom internationally rather than hidden resorts and infrequent recreation. A century of resort- only nudism as done a lot of harm. We need to change that. Every nudist business will benefit, and mostly we free range nudists will benefit.

      Reply
      • We believe that the combination of both is important. There are several countries where public nudity, especially in natural places is legal (or at least not illegal): Spain, Portugal, the UK, Denmark, New Zealand,… They are setting a great example, but it’s not that these countries are known to have more naturists than other countries.

        A lot has to do with creating awareness, and that is best done through marketing. In France, a group of commercial naturist resorts called France4Naturisme has put large advertisements in the Paris metro. Yes, they are promoting their own resorts. But many thousands of people look at an advertisement about naturism every single day when they go to work. Such a thing can only be done with (quite a lot of) money, hence by commercial organisations.

        We agree that “hiding behind a huge fence and making sure that the outside world doesn’t get a glimpse” is something from the past. More and more commercial resorts are using mainstream media to promote their place, and with this, naturism in general. This in combination with organisations that strive for making nudity more acceptable and legal is in our opinion the way forward.

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  7. Well written post. As you know my wife isn’t into it but I’m not going to let that stop me, I’m going to enjoy it when I can.

    You are spot on about nudist opportunities in the US. Most of them are on the East and West coast. Texas doesn’t have a nudist beach and it’s on the gulf coast. It has a cove that’s clothing optional but you can’t undress until you get there.

    I slightly disagree that people who use OnlyFans are ‘dark side users’ Some could use it because it’s a platform that will allow them to post their pictures without having to cover their privates.

    Reply
    • It’s true that we can’t say that everyone on OnlyFans is there for sexual purposes. But there are other paid platforms that allow nudity (like Patreon), and everyone seems to know what onlyfans stands for. So for naturists, it would be smarter to stay away from there.

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      • Another free platform that allows complete nudity is MeWe, which is very similar in structure to Facebook – only minus the stupid censorship. There are many naturist sites on MeWe, including ours.

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        • Indeed, but we have 2 problems with MeWe:
          1. It attracts a lot of people with the wrong intentions.
          2. The owners of MeWe don’t care about naturism at all, meaning that tomorrow they can start denying nudity or worse, categorise it as porn.

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  8. Many of the nudist options near me are pretty expensive for spending one day in a nudist situation.
    the cost of admission is pretty expensive.

    Reply

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