Why Social Nudity is Larger than Ever

Is the end of naturism showing up on the horizon? Are we all becoming more prude than ever before? Are drones, smartphones, TikTok, and Instagram forcing our youth to put on another layer of clothing rather than take one off? Will new technology make sure that soon babies are born wearing pyjamas? Well, it is according to this article (except for the pyjama baby, we just made that up) and it’s the biggest bullshit we read in a while. Excuse our German.

 

The article popped up in our notifications around 8 am, when we were finally enjoying our first coffee. Finally, because three hours earlier our alarm had gone off and we had rushed outside to take shots for a video. We’re on the Croatian island of Rab, a popular vacation destination among Germans. Now if there’s one absolute fact we can tell you about German naturists, it’s that they are early risers. Forcing us to head out at sunrise if we want nude beach shots without naked German butts in it.

 

Our first reaction when we read the news about the decline of German naturism was “We wish”, spilling some coffee because yawning and drinking at the same time is an art we haven’t mastered yet. But then our irony turned into sadness. Why would someone want to send such false information into the world? Who’s trying to make naturism unpopular again? Apparently, it was the German naturist federation.

 

 

Long story short

If you haven’t read the whole article, here’s a quick summary. This year, the German Naturist Federation, aka the German Association for Free Body Culture (DFK) is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Unfortunately, the festivities have to be cancelled due to a lack of interest.

 

The president of the organisation presented to the media a variety of reasons, ranging from generation conflicts to the before-mentioned fear of phones, drones, and social media, to the somewhat old-fashioned attitude of naturist clubs.

 

During the last 25 years, the DFK membership has dropped from 65,000 members to 34,000, barely half. As their members are ageing, it’s not hard to imagine that the numbers are pretty scary. How many of these will be left in another 25 years?

 

New Cambium intext 1
 

 

The flaw in the statistics

One thing we immediately wondered was: “What kind of event were they planning to organise?”. Even though the numbers are dropping, they still have 34,000 members. That should be enough to organise a nice barbecue, have a band playing and, why not, do a bit of petanque and give people an entertaining afternoon. Had they been planning to hire the Rolling Stones?

 

Could it be, hypothetically speaking, that there’s something about the association or the event they were planning to organise that wasn’t very attractive? Even to their current members?

 

What disturbed us the most though, is their claim of a monopoly on naturism by creating a direct correlation between their memberships and the total number of naturists in Germany. If their memberships decline, it must mean that the number of Germans who like to go naked declines as well. Could it be though, hypothetically again, that these statistics say more about their organisation than they do about naturism in general?

 

To prove our point, let’s have a look at our own statistics. Over the last few years, our blog readers, YouTube subscribers, and social media followers have been continuously increasing. Using the DFK math, this would mean that naturism is growing. If we dive a bit deeper, we see significant subscriber growth between the ages of 35 and 55 and much less for 65+. We can easily conclude that more younger people are interested in social nudity and that the older generations are becoming more prude.

 

 

The disappearing naturist families

One day in late September, a Dutch lady wanted to talk to us about the disappearing young naturists. For the last 5 years, she had been coming to this lovely naturist campground in Italy and hadn’t seen a single family. Her conclusion was simple: Youth has become prude (and it’s all the fault of the internet).

 

We asked whether she always travelled around this period. She did. She loved late September, it’s quieter on the campgrounds and the prices are lower than in the high season. Had she ever considered that most children need to go to school in September and that younger people may actually enjoy the lively atmosphere in the summer months more than a relaxed one at the end of the season? She had not.

 

We just published a video about our trip to Formentera, the smallest Balearic island that is supposed to be a naked paradise. We went very early in the season and there were few other tourists. When we went to the beaches, we never found more than 10 naked people. This could make us conclude that naturism in Formentera is pretty much dead. On the other hand, there were hardly any clothed people either, so the nude vs clothed ratio was often 50% or more. If we extrapolate this, we could say that this is the most naked place we’ve ever been to.

 

Maestra Banner
 

 

The disappearing nude beaches

It is a fact though that nude beaches in Spain as well as in other popular vacation destinations in Europe are suffering. Especially during the summer months, the nude vs clothed ratio tends to drop to 30%, 20%, or below. This makes many conclude that the interest in going nude on the beach is declining. But here too are other elements to take into account.

 

One is what we call the “nude discomfort level”. Every naturist can handle a certain number of clothed people before it becomes uncomfortable to be naked. This differs from person to person. Some need a 100% nude to be comfortable, others are perfectly fine with only 50% nude. Others don’t care if the whole beach is clothed. The problem is the snowball effect. When your “discomfort level” is reached, you might find it more comfortable to wear a bathing suit than being naked. When even naturists don’t undress anymore, the ratio just keeps dropping faster and faster.

 

Another one is mass tourism. In Spain, for example, the number of tourists rises by about 2-5% per year. As the size of the country obviously remains the same, this means that every year, there will be more people in the same place. The main beaches are running full and visitors are packed like sardines. So many of them start heading out to the more remote beaches, which are traditionally only visited by naturists.

 

 

What’s a naturist?

Another interesting element is that, at least in Western Europe, the fear of nudity seems to disappear. There used to be a time when if a family spotted a naked person on the beach, they would put their hands over the children’s eyes and run off in the distance. More and more, we notice that the clothed don’t care about the nude anymore. Unfortunately not realising that they might be disturbing someone’s “nude discomfort level”.

 

Lots of naturists hate it when clothed people come to their beaches, and we can very well understand this. Yet, we believe that this general acceptance of nudity is a good thing and that it encourages many to give it a try. Creating different forms of social nudity along the way.

 

 
The other day, here on Rab island, we saw someone sunbathing naked on the beach, then putting on a bathing suit to go for a swim in the sea, and then taking off the bathing suit again to sunbathe some more. The same day, we kid you not, we saw the opposite. A person in a bathing suit on the beach takes it off to go for a swim and puts it back on once out of the sea. Why would they do that? We honestly can’t tell. We’ve probably been naked for too long to understand. But the point is, these people are very unlikely to become members of a federation and will thus never reach the statistics.

 

 

Why social nudity has never been bigger than today

We hope that by now, you understand why we were annoyed by that newspaper article. But it could be that you disagree with us. If you believe that a requirement for being a “true naturist” is that you join an organisation, the German association is right and German naturism is on a fast decline. The numbers prove it.

 

Unfortunately, we don’t have any statistics to prove our point because there has been no accurate research done about how many people enjoy social nudity in one form or another. But there are numbers that do indicate that we’re on the right track. Never before in the history of naturism, have there been so many different kinds of naturist accommodations. Only a few decades ago, if you didn’t want to go to a nude beach, you had to go camping. Today, there are hotels, BnBs, homestays, and even cruises.

 

During the last decades, naturists have started organising in more countries than ever before. While this used to be a European and North American thing, you can now find naturist organisations in every continent of the world. The newer ones, like in South America and Asia, typically attract a lot of young people.

 

Even in more conservative countries, naturism is on the rise. During our travels, we’ve met naturists from India, Malaysia, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Among many other countries where you wouldn’t exactly expect it. These people too, will hardly ever be included in the statistics. But there they were, skinny dipping in a resort pool. Maybe the newspapers should write about that.

 
Naked Wanderings Live Q&A

Support Naked Wanderings

Do you like what we do for naturism and naturists? Did we make you laugh or cry? Did we help you find the information you were looking for? Then definitely join our Patreon community!
 

Become a Patron!


 

15 thoughts on “Why Social Nudity is Larger than Ever”

  1. There has in fact been research, at least in the UK. British Naturism commissioned the respected pollsters IPSOS to conduct a survey in 2022. Details here: https://www.ipsos.com/en-uk/14-percent-surveyed-describe-themselves-as-naturists-or-nudists#
    And here: https://www.bn.org.uk/news/information/about-bn/675-million-naturists-in-the-uk-r1187/

    14% of those surveyed described themselves and naturist. This was a significant increase since the previous time such a survey was conducted.

    Reply
    • This very much shows the difference between British Naturism and the German federation. British Naturism has about 10 000 members, but instead of using that number, they conduct a survey that concludes that there are almost 7 million naturists in the UK. It’s not hard to see that 7M is a much more attractive number than 10K…

      Reply
  2. I believe all forms of naturism has become more common in recent times, wether it be on the beaches, skinny dipping, or simply weeding flower beds in the garden. It seems logical there will be a decline in the need for ‘ organised ‘ naturism such as clubs and membership of umbrella organisations. Here on the South West Coast of Ireland naturism is common place, and openly discussed, although quaintly called ‘ Communing with Nature ‘ . I do agree , though, it is difficult to define the statistics.

    Reply
  3. I am a naturist in Berlin, and don’t see any decline. My local park is an (unofficial) FKK-hotspot, still always busy with nude sunbathers and swimmers of all ages. There are also naked dance events in clubs, from the Schlagernacktparty to more ‘techno’-focused events. Berlin may be different from the rest of Germany, but for me, there’s simply no need to be a member of an organisation promoting FKK…

    Reply
    • We are not that familiar with FKK in Germany, but from what we learned in other countries, there’s no link between the number of federation members and the number of actual naturists in a country. Your comment proves that it’s more likely that the federation just fails to attract new members and that it’s not that naturism in general is declining.

      Reply
      • Also a naturist from Berlin here – and also member of a federation. Mostly because beeing official seemed to be easier when going on vacation as a single and wanting to support. But of course it is not nessesary to be a member for enjoying being in nature naked. Especially in Berlin where there are many many people enjoying the naked lifestyle from young to old. You both should come – you could check out the nude beach at Teufelsse or nude beach in Potsdam (Waldbad Templin). Then there is for example the Naked Tea Party of Berlin taking nearly place every month. All lovely people where I just visited their first festival for 3 days. What an incredible experience.
        I think the federations miss out offering something for the younger people by not handing over power to them. So they start orginizing themselves and start their own events.

        Reply
        • Exactly!
          Naturist organisations often believe that their decades-old model is still valid and attractive and that the fact that few younger people join means that young people aren’t interested in naturism anymore.
          We’ll put Berlin on the list!

          Reply
  4. The Guardian article contradicts itself. On the one hand it states that naturism is declining in Germany and then states that during COVID naturism rose.
    I agree with you that the DFK has been selective in coming to it’s conclusions.
    People may now be enjoying naturism in other ways, especially during a cost of living crisis.
    I also agree that non-naturists on naturist beaches could be putting naturists off. I find it annoying when there are large number of non-naturists on naturist beaches. My worst experience was at Mar Bella beach in Barcelona. However I don’t let it spoil my enjoyment of being naked on a beach after I’ve got over my initial annoyance.

    Reply
  5. Since I have never experienced any social nudity of any kind, and I live in an area that is VERY anti-nude, I really can’t say that it is growing or not. It appears to me that governments here in the United States are very much against any public nudity. You mention India, but individuals I have chatted with say that India is VERY anti-nude, except for a couple of religious sects. He claims that a person could be stoned to death by the average people. All I can say is that I hope that there is REALLY an increasingly positive attitude about public nudity SOMEWHERE!!!

    Reply
  6. Hey guys 🙂 As i kinda said it on bluesky..
    I dont agree its larger then ever.
    Now of course some may say i dont have a say cause im not a nudie, but im not a football player either but still talk about it so ..
    I agree that being a member doesnt paint the true picture, BUT , think like this..in the “old” days, there was no internet, but at the same time ppl were more scared and wanted privacy, so being a member of a club ment that ur 100% safe to be around the same ppl as u are, + u had that one club in the town or somting and thats it … today, theres no need for clubs,or memberships cause u have as u said , resorts, hotels, cruises..and u can find that all online with no1 knowing about it, so those things are becoing the “organizations” now, eccept theres no membership needed.. but again at same time, the only reasonu think u see more nudity is the excact same reason i described ..the “online” life, cause now u can see stuff all over the place ,including ur amazing vids and ur growing, but u also know that the growth of pages of nude ppl ,naturists in this case isnt just for that reason it self ..
    So all of these things are just painting a fake picture of “lager then ever”,.. just cause u see it more it dont mean its larger, same goes for those kids that fight in schools or do this or that .. it has been always, only there wasnt a phone to record it and post it online , so now we think theres more of it.
    On the contrary i think theres less social nudity (im talking about real life not the internet nudity) ,and many things related to it, this way or that way are being supressed by som new laws and ect ..u know general nudity,porn, kids being “exposed” to both, AI , ect..all these things arent shown now but will be in the future cause “thanx to it ” , it will create a new gen of prudes.

    Reply
    • The thing is, we can’t know how many naturists there are, therefore we decided to pick a title that’s the opposite of what the article said about Germany. But it has no foundation.
      It’s the same with football players, who do you count? Only those who play professionally? Also those who play in a club as a hobby? How about the kid who’s passionate about learning tricks after school?

      Older generations always like to predict what the next generation may look like, but most often they are wrong. In our experience, it’s the older generations that are much more afraid from social media, AI, etc than the younger ones.

      Reply
  7. Hello to everyone
    It seems strange to read the newspaper article.
    As a German naturist, I would like to say that the umbrella organisation DFK wants to maintain the monopoly from days gone by.
    It is the old club structures that are being clung to at all costs. Working and paying membership fees are still the main focus.
    That no longer appeals to people today
    The homepage is structured in the same way. Sport is still officially emphasised, but the concerns and wishes of our time are not addressed.
    I would like to use my limited free time to relax without clothes in the company of like-minded people. I can’t do that with my family. That’s why I’m looking for ways to realise my wishes as a naturist.
    A long time ago, I asked the association in our town about membership.
    But in addition to membership (with payment) in the local club, membership in the DFK has to be added.
    That’s too much bureaucracy and high costs, but not attractive enough for naked recreation. But that’s exactly what it’s all about today. Free time, naked company and a good time together.
    The DFK no longer picks us naturists up today, the association offers no added value.
    The remaining (old) members remain, but new members no longer join.
    People here are looking for other ways to enjoy social nudity together.
    This is why the official figures are falling and no longer reflect reality.
    It is a great pity. When I see what e.g. British Naturism is doing, the online offers and promotions. It makes me sad, there’s none of that in Germany.
    With this in mind, please read the newspaper article with caution.
    We naturists are still here and we have not become less.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the update! And you’re totally right, a lot of naturists don’t feel much anymore for the volunteer system. They just want to spend their time naked and don’t mind paying for it.

      Reply
  8. Great discussion, and while the guardian article can seem like click-bait, its great it can stimulate discussion!
    I think there will always be a place for naturist organisations but they will change as its much easier to get information now about where to visit and how, where as in the past this information wasn’t as available.
    From my experience, living in Sydney, social nudism is definitely growing, especially if you visit any nude beach in summer!

    Reply
    • Exactly, the organisations that adapt to the modern way are doing pretty well, it’s the ones that hold on to old systems that are suffering.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.