Why the Whole World Needs to Know that You’re a Naturist

Why the Whole World Needs to Know that You’re a Naturist

One of the biggest struggles within naturism is the taboo that’s still hanging like a dark cloud over our wonderful lifestyle. It’s so incredibly annoying. We have discovered this great thing in which we feel free and liberated, where people still respect each other, where we can fully enjoy nature and where we can feel confident about our bodies. And everyone else thinks that we’re perverts.

 

It’s a common point of discussion at the communal dinner table of the naturist resort. How much we feel misunderstood. How people just don’t seem to understand the beauty of naturism. We are being judged for doing something wonderful. Why don’t people see what’s really going on? What naturism is really about? Naturism would be so much better if the outside world would be more accepting.

 

And then on Sunday, we drive home, and we tell absolutely nobody about what we did last weekend.

The chicken or the egg

Of course, we don’t tell anyone. That’s what the conversation was all about. We’ll be judged, we’ll be called perverts. What we don’t realize, is that we’re actually feeding the taboo. That’s how the human mind works. Something people don’t talk about, something they’re hiding, must be something wrong. If your neighbor decides to build a huge wall around his garden, one that blocks your complete view, it must be that he’s doing something bad over there. He must be hiding something.

 

Nobody in the whole world has a good reason for wearing clothes on a warm day instead of going nude. But we’ve been hiding our bodies in clothes for centuries, so there must be something horribly wrong with them. Naturists understood that this is nonsense, that there isn’t anything wrong with our bodies, and that we shouldn’t be ashamed if others see us nude. But we’re doing exactly the same with our whole lifestyle. We hide it. We build a huge wall around it. And then we wonder why the outside world thinks that we’re doing something wrong.

 

We don’t realize that we’re stuck in a “chicken or egg” story. As long as the textile world doesn’t see naturism as it really is and stops judging us, we keep hiding it. As long as we keep hiding it, the textile world will think that we’re doing something wrong and judge us.

Naturism is for old fat men

Now don’t go running naked on Times Square or London Bridge with “I’m A Naturist” body painted on your butt. That won’t help much either. People will just think that you’re a lunatic. Or worse, that all naturists are lunatics. A similar (although less radical) thing happened in the eighties. Human interest shows became popular on TV and the producers were always looking for uncommon stories. It didn’t take long before they went on a search for the naturist.

 

The only naturists who felt comfortable enough to have their faces and blurred genitals shown on national television appeared to be old men with a beer belly and a strong opinion about what naturists should and should not do. It’s not very surprising that even today, this is the general perception that many have about naturists. Old fat men who keep nagging on and on about naturism.

Share your secret

We’re not blaming anyone here. We discovered naturism around 2008 and by 2010 not a single one of our friends, family, or colleagues knew about this. We felt like we were doing something shameful, we feared being judged. When we reflect on this now, it’s almost as if we lived in two different worlds. Inside the naturist resort we were all “This is SO awesome!” and once outside the gate, we entered a different reality in which we thought that we shouldn’t tell anyone about it.

 

We’re a bit overreacting here, it wasn’t that bad. Naturism was just our little secret. Our guilty pleasure. But then it got worse. We started visiting the nude spa more frequently, we went to naturist campings on warm summer weekends, during our road trips through Europe, we always searched for accommodations where we weren’t expected to wear clothes. Holes started to appear in our Facebook profiles. Friends said, “Oh we’ll be in France too in August, where are you staying?”. Mom invited us over for dinner, so we could tell her everything about our weekend away.

 

The secrets became lies. Until a moment when we just couldn’t stand it anymore. So we told a friend. And another one. And another one.

Be proud of being a naturist

Then the weirdest thing happened. We didn’t get any negative reactions. Some of our friends felt uncomfortable talking about it and quickly changed the subject. Others were really curious and asked a lot of questions. Some just said that they hadn’t expected anything else (“You two do weird stuff all the time, this is just the next thing on the ever-growing list”). And yes, although we always thought that none of our friends were naturists, by sharing our secret with them, they shared the same secret with us.

 

The more people we told about being naturists, the more comfortable we got with telling the story. When asked about our plans for the afternoon, we could just reply “the nude beach”. This improved our overall confidence too. There’s nothing wrong or shameful with what we do and the few who think differently… well, that’s their problem.

 

Here’s the thing, we are being judged constantly. If we buy a new car, change positions at work, have a new relationship, move to another place, drink an expensive bottle of wine, or buy the 4 layer toilet paper at the supermarket. We’re judged when we wear a mouth mask and we’re judged when we’re not wearing one. There’s nothing we can do about it other than accepting that some people will always think differently. Then why do we have to fear being judged for being a naturist?

Help naturism grow by taking ownership

We also have a huge herd-mentality. We constantly use our social group as a mirror. If all of our friends drive a Volvo, we’re likely to get one too. If all of our friends go to the gym, it won’t take long before we get a subscription as well and drop out after one week too. If our colleagues have an iPhone, we want one as well. If none of our colleagues take the train to work, we won’t either, even though it’s faster. If nobody we know is a naturist, why would we give naturism a try?

 

We (as in Nick and Lins) are often called “influencers”. That’s just a general term for people who share their thoughts about something online and managed to gather a group of listeners. In reality, everyone is an influencer. We all influence people in our social group. This is the power you can use to remove that dark cloud above naturism. By taking ownership. Yes, I am a naturist and if you’re interested, I’ll tell you all about it. If you have any questions about naturism, I’ll answer them. I will tell you what naturism is really about. Because I really know.

 

This doesn’t mean that all your friends, family, and colleagues will join you on your next visit to the naturist resort (if that is the case, you really are a great influencer and you should consider an online job) but at least they’ll know what it’s about. They won’t judge you, they won’t think that you’re a pervert. And you, you’ll be relieved from the secret. You won’t have to lie anymore about where you’re going. You won’t have to feel ashamed anymore. You will feel more confident about yourself and about naturism. It’s really a win-win.

16 thoughts on “Why the Whole World Needs to Know that You’re a Naturist

  1. Can the naturist community just come together to hire a graphic designer to make a cool contemporary logo that we make into stickers for our cars? They would be edgy and show your support for the lifestyle… pretty soon everyone would want one. Then, boom! Broad support for naturists everywhere. It’s all about branding, kids 😉

    1. We couldn’t agree more. Branding is really important. We’ve heard the idea several times before to create a universal sign or logo that represents naturism. One that’s not specifically linked to certain resorts, clubs, associations or federations.

    2. Yes!!! So many naturist societies, clubs websites look like Windows 3.1
      Branding is everything. If things look like they were done in the last century, it will be hard to get new people into naturism.

  2. A great article Nick and Lins. I “came out” at the start of 2019. Did not receive one negative remark. I felt much better as soon as I posted. And I discovered a school classmate (from many years ago) is also a nudist.

  3. Simple, contemporary logo YES!
    Badly needed. Something like the logos used for all the different sports internationally especially the Olympics.
    Simple, easily recognizable.
    -I’d love to have a burgee for my boat with that.

  4. I love this blog and I applaud this latest post, but I have to say that ‘coming out’ is not as some might think, for various reasons.
    Some of us have lives and careers that do not bear any close scrutiny; teachers, police officers and those with a high public profile, for instance, could all be put at a disadvantage by admitting they do something unconventional, however harmless and life-enhancing that is.
    We know there is nothing to be ashamed of in naturism (quite the opposite!), but don’t underestimate the power of bigotry and discrimination, and how it can be used against innocent people in certain circumstances.
    Admitting you’re a naturist also has an impact on people around you.
    My wife and I didn’t feel it was right to come out as naturists when we began doing it; our children were teenagers at the time, and teenagers have enough to contend with. We felt that burning an indelible image of naked mum and dad in their minds, at that age, and expecting them to defend that to their friends and enemies, was unfair.
    They are now in their late twenties, and I am proud to say they would probably think it is a cool thing for someone to do, but not necessarily your parents!
    However, our main reason for being closet naturists is my wife.
    I consider myself to have a ‘naturist gene’, but most people don’t have it, and the chances of both people in a marriage or partnership wanting to be naturists are remote. It therefore becomes an exercise in compromise, and if your non-naturist partner is uncomfortable with going public, it has to stay private.
    This brings me to what I feel is the biggest issue around the challenge of increasing naturist numbers, which is reluctant partners.
    The number of people practising naturism would probably treble overnight if a way to instantly ‘convert’ these reluctant (nearly always female) partners could be found – because a lot of frustrated naturists would then be free to do it, and they would all bring a partner with them.
    I therefore think that’s where our efforts should be mostly focused, because there are ways to convince them (and I do think a lot of would-be naturist men are approaching it wrong, but that’s another story).
    Sure enough, my wife isn’t a true naturist, and although she is OK with me being one and joins in naturist activities with me, including holidays and being a member of a naturist club, she mostly does it for my sake.
    I have worked hard at ‘converting’ her (although I don’t actually think people like her can be fully ‘converted’, and she still doesn’t consider herself a naturist), and I am eternally grateful for the concessions she has made. So when she says she wants to keep it a secret, we have to go with her decision.
    Part of the decision is based on the complications mentioned above, regarding our children, but her main reason is wishing to avoid the inevitable innuendo that would follow.
    She just doesn’t want the hassle of people adopting a (as we say here in the UK) ‘nudge, nudge, wink, wink’ mentality, and that would be so tiresome and inevitable. We just have to accept that nudity makes a lot of people giggle, and none of us will live long enough for attitudes to change enough.
    Speaking for myself, at nearly 60 years old and early-retired, I have reached the age when I don’t really care what people think of me, and if it was my decision, I would come out, but because it affects others, it would actually be a selfish thing for me to do.
    We would all like to see more people take up naturism, but we should be realistic and accept it is always going to be a minority interest. You only have to see the childishly simplistic messages that politicians peddle nowadays, and see how successful they are, to realise that many people just don’t have the intelligence or vision necessary to understand complex concepts (and naturism is complex), so they will never see the many benefits and pleasures it brings, and will never be sympathetic or accepting of those of us who do it. I don’t think these people would ever get beyond: “Take my clothes off? What’s the point of that?”
    So we should target those whom we think would truly enjoy it, if only they would give it a try; or those couples who would automatically be on board, if only the reluctant partner would give it a try.
    The good news is I believe it is ultimately about just getting them to be open to trying it; when they do, people usually seem to ‘get it’.
    And I think the best way of getting them to try it is to find new ways of getting positive messages to them – as this blog does.
    Finally, I would even say that being a secret naturist and being in a minority adds to the pleasure.
    In some ways it’s nice to be in on a secret, especially when you know it’s cool, and one of the reasons I love naturism is it’s unconventional, and an escape from the humdrum.
    Do we really want to be boringly normal?
    (Sorry this was a long post).

    1. We love it when people write longer comments than our blog posts! 😀
      It has to be said that not everything we write should be seen as a guideline. They are merely ideas. And we definitely believe that everyone should make these kinds of decisions for themselves.

      We don’t necessarily believe that having certain jobs or profiles is a reason not to tell anyone about being a naturist. At least not on our side of the world. We did hear stories about people in the US being fired for talking openly about naturism, on grounds of sexual harassment. But in Europe (probably including the UK), if a company would fire you for being open about your naturist lifestyle, you can probably sue them big time. Of course, there are other risks than being fired. Lots of jobs are known to have bullies (we’re thinking the police, the army,…). So it is something to keep in mind.

      Also for children, it’s double. Teenagers will never think that you’re cool, so that’s not something to keep into consideration. And we are big fans of family relations in which everything can be discussed. You can’t ask your kids to share your ideas or the things you enjoy in life. But you can ask them to respect your choices. And it sends the message that they as well can talk about everything with you.

      About the reluctant spouse, we believe that it’s important to take the weight of the nudity. As we talked about in our blog post Naturism as a Way of Living (https://www.nakedwanderings.com/naturism-as-a-way-of-living/), the nudity is just one aspect of naturism. Instead of focusing on the one thing that she doesn’t want (being naked among strangers), it’s much better to link naturism with the things that she does find interesting. A healthy lifestyle, comfort, peace and quietness, meeting friendly people, wellness,…

    2. Interesting post, thanks. I too have a bit of an issue with what Nick and Lins are proclaiming here (sorry guys!!) in that ‘sharing the secret’ is SO much more difficult for those of us who have not just reluctant wives, but wives that flatly refuse to ever consider getting their clothes off in public, at a club, beach or wherever. My wife is in that category and is just not interested, and is likely never to be. So on the rare occasions I can visit a beach, sauna etc. then it’s on my own or occasionally with one male pal who shares my passion to some extent. I would find it much easier to ‘come out’ to folk if it was both of us stating that we liked naturism as a couple but as it’s just me, it would just seem odd to most folk I think – the old ‘potentially weird single male’ problem of which I am acutely aware. I don’t need the funny looks and skepticism that I know would come my way as a result of fully ‘coming out’. However, some friends do know that I like to get my kit off on occasion, but laugh it off and treat it as more of a ‘he’s a frustrated skinny dipper’ sort of thing rather than anything else .
      It is what it is and I bear the weight of my misfortune with a glum resignation! I love my wife dearly but I’d be a happier husband if she could be at least a tiny bit more like Lins and join me from time to time. But it ain’t gonna happen…

      1. Thanks for your comment Dave! As mentioned in a previous comment, don’t see this post as a guideline but rather as an idea. If you don’t feel the need to “come out” as a naturist, there’s no actual reason why you should. But then don’t be the guy who’s all “People don’t understand us, we need more naturists,…”. Change starts with yourself.

        Of course, the case in which only one in a couple is naturist is a difficult one. We don’t think that your wife would appreciate it much if you’d started telling the neighborhood that you’re a naturist 🙂

        1. Thanks for the response I’m not the guy saying ‘people don’t understand us’: that’s what you mentioned in your article, not me!
          I know that a lot of people don’t get it and I just accept that. I also know that you have a blog to write and readers to keep interested which is why you headlined your article ‘Why the world needs to know…’ It’s an effective hook but it’s not true for many of us. The world does fine not knowing, at least about me, thanks very much.
          I think that you sometimes take for granted your privileged viewpoint on the situation- you are a couple that discovered naturism together, both love it, have plenty of places to go in your home country where you can get your kit off and have been having a wonderful time travelling all over the world for endless months mixing with fellow naturists who share your passion. So far so perfect. Very few other folk, if any, can compete with that in the ‘naturism is great’ stakes. It is more difficult than you seem to appreciate to just proclaim to everyone that it is part of your life, especially in the UK which is far less open about these things than Belgium, Holland Germany, Czech etc. So I choose not to, at least at present and that’s just fine by me. 😊

          1. Don’t get us wrong Dave, we’re definitely not saying that you’re that kind of guy!
            This was just the idea behind this blog post. We hear lots of people complain that naturism is such a big taboo and that there aren’t many naturists, but when we ask them what they actively do to put naturism in a better light, it’s nothing.

            As mentioned before, this blog post definitely isn’t a guideline, it’s just an idea that we wanted to share with the world. And we’ve learned that spreading ideas works better if we use words like “Why the world needs to know” than “Maybe if it’s not too much of an effort, you could also consider to”.

            In the end, with our blog, we don’t want to tell you what you should or should not do. That is completely up to you. But we want to get you thinking. We want you to consider your options. If you decide afterward that it’s much better in your case to not tell anyone, then please don’t!

  5. Great article.

    I started naturism this year. Came out slowly, hesitantly and carefully and I was shocked. Half of my close acquaintances turned out to be nudists too. The rest was accepting, nobody cringed.

    Another story: 7 random people at holiday table, 6 of them prefer nude beach. (No, it was not naturist resort)

    Multiple kilometers of unofficial CO beaches where textiles and nudists were mixed. No staring, no perverts, no comments, no problems.

    It happened in central Europe. In theory much more conservative than its west counterpart.

    It was my most enlightening experience this year.

  6. Bonjour, je suis un naturiste depuis l’âge de 20 ans mais non pratiquant. Ma femme étant réfractaire à être nue, avec nos 3 enfants. Maintenant retraités, elle a accepté depuis l’année dernière (65 ans) de nager et de lézarder nue avec moi sur une plage nue. Elle adore la sensation de l’eau sur sa peau pendant les baignades, mais elle s’entoure d’un paréo si on se promène sur la plage. Comme quoi, il ne faut jamais dire jamais ! Cette année, nous étions nus devant sa soeur qui était en maillot, c’était naturel. Si l’occasion se présente, nous en parlons librement mais nous ne lançons pas le sujet.
    Bravo pour votre blog, plein de bon sens, de bons conseils et des informations de qualités.

  7. Hey Nick and Lins – Just found this post. (I’m falling behind in your prolific publications!) GREAT POST!

    As you may know, we’re making our way across the United States (writing this from Phoenix, AZ), staying in naturist places wherever we can. I have to say, after SO much naturist travel in Europe, this has been a real education! Especially in the midst of a very contentious election!

    I think I can spin a blog post out of my thoughts about THIS blog post, but suffice it to say, things are a little crazy here in the US when it comes to naturism. And since we’ve spent most of our time up until now either on the east or the west coast, we’ve learned a lot about people just driving across the county, including ideologies that would make people reluctant to take off their clothes – let alone tell people about it.

    Anyway – super great post! Thought provoking for sure. Thanks for your work as world ambassadors of social nudity.

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