WHY BE NUDE?
Many Naturists would answer, "Why not be nude?" Why would you wear clothing
while swimming? You don't wear clothing in the bath or shower.
Naturists are not against clothing. Rather, we believe that you should dress
only when appropriate.
Being nude feels good. It makes people feel free. It takes away artificial
inhibitions that were forced upon us after we were born. Naturists believe in
body acceptance. Most report feeling less self-conscious on a nude beach than on
a traditional clothed beach.
The body parts which we cover are arbitrary. It has been suggested that we cover
the genital area because of its sexual nature. However, a quick survey of your
day would show that, that area is used for non-sexual purposes most of the time.
In fact, an equally sexual body part is your lips. Yet we do not have any
problems walking around with our lips exposed.
WHY JOIN A NATURIST GROUP?
Joining a Naturist group opens up a whole new lifestyle. Nude living greatly
increases the pleasures of camping, swimming, sunbathing, sports, and the
feeling of closeness with nature. The enjoyment of all of this is increased when
shared with others. Social nudity breaks down self-consciousness and barriers of
class, education, religion and race between people. Naturists realize that
clothing is not at all essential to moral living.
Naturist groups are made up of people representing a wide cross section of the
population. Naturist career choices range from homemakers to professionals,
tradesmen and secretaries to executives. Naturists are not unanimous on anything
except Naturism. Even on the purpose of Naturism they have a wide range of
opinions. They claim an above-average record in fields such as mental health,
marriage stability, race relations, reduction of juvenile delinquency, and, of
course, sex education, which is in great part, body education.
Many Naturist groups are made up of male/female couples with or without children
and a minority of single men and women. Other more progressive Naturist groups
welcome members without regard to marital status, gender preference.
IS NUDITY COMPULSORY FOR NATURISTS?
Nudity is not compulsory for Naturists, that's why the term 'clothing optional'
exists. Clothing has its purposes -- warmth and protection. Many Naturists feel
more comfortable wearing some clothing while participating in active sports.
There are also some activities that require one to wear protective clothing
while participating in them. But many activities --especially swimming -- can be
much more comfortable and enjoyable without the confinement of clothing. First
time visitors might need some time to adjust and may undress when they feel
comfortable. The conversion seldom takes long.
DO I HAVE TO BE NUDE ALL THE TIME?
No. Naturists prefer to be nude but dress when appropriate. We just don't
believe that clothes exist to hide our bodies. While Naturists do prefer to be
nude as much as possible, they also accept that appropriate clothing is
necessary to protect from sunburn, cold weather or the hazards of rough
work. Unaccompanied males must be nude, weather permitting.
HOW DO I ACT WHEN TALKING TO OTHERS?
It is often difficult for new people to know where to look. To a Naturist, there
is no difference between being dressed or nude. Try to act as you normally
IS IT OK TO LOOK?
Out of curiosity you may initially look longer at others' genitals and breasts.
Just don't stare. In time, you'll be less curious about these areas and
concentrate again on the face and eyes.
WHAT IF I MEET SOMEONE I KNOW?
They are there too, just as nude as you are. They are probably very comfortable
with Naturism, since they have probably been there before. They will probably be
happy to see you. Just think, you have discovered a mutual interest. You are
fortunate to be welcomed to the world of nude recreation by an acquaintance.
You have learned how extensive the world of nude recreation has spread.
ARE SINGLE PEOPLE WELCOME?
Most clubs welcome singles. However, many clubs try to maintain a balance
between the sexes. Check ahead for a club's policy.
WHAT ARE NATURIST EVENTS LIKE?
Naturist events that are held at resorts usually have a type of informal country
club atmosphere where men, women and children camp, swim, play and sunbathe
together and enjoy each others company without wearing clothes. These resorts
are usually on farm sized properties in quiet rural areas where much of the
natural beauty has been preserved or re-established.
Many Naturist groups do not own property but, instead, rent public facilities
such as bowling alleys, swimming pools, or indoor volleyball courts. In addition
to these activities, they have house parties and outdoor activities at members'
homes and properties.
Winter activities depend on available facilities. Such facilities at resorts may
include a swimming pool, sauna and game area. Other winter activities may
include skating, skiing, and snowshoeing.
Some Naturists form close friendships with fellow Naturists and, of course,
extend these friendships into their everyday lives with the sharing of a wide
variety of conventional social activities.
IS NATURISM COMPATIBLE WITH RELIGIOUS BELIEFS?
Some Naturists are devout church goers and others are not. Both Jews and
Christians should find Naturism emphasis on the dignity of the body congenial.
It is worth noting that Thomas Aquinas's Summary of Theology, the most influential
work of Roman Catholic thought, when discussing modesty, when discussing
modesty, treats clothing as a requirement of neither the law of God nor the law
of nature, but of human custom only.
Available information indicates that baptisms originally involved nudity. Recent
comments from the Pope regarding the restoration of paintings in the Sistine
Chapel indicated that nudity alone is not considered sinful by the church. There
are several organized Christian Naturists' groups.
The old testament tells us that God created man and woman in His own image and
they were naked. It is difficult to see how God's image is shameful or obscene.
Indeed, the Bible does not condemn nudity itself.
We have a local minister who is an occasional visitor. He is enthusiastic about
holding regular services at the resort. We also have hosted nude weddings.
DOES SOCIAL NUDITY EXCITE SEXUAL DESIRE?
Naturists as a group have the same sexual responses as everyone else, but they
know that the practice of Naturism proves that the naked human body is not
intrinsically erotic. Because Naturism satisfies our natural curiosity about the
human person of both sexes and all ages, it makes social poise easier rather
than more difficult and relaxes social tensions.
Most of the people who visit a Naturist club/beach for the first time are
surprised by the lack of sexuality. Some expect a sexually charged atmosphere,
since in North America, we see others nude in sexual situations such as love
scenes in movies, in magazines and in videos.
However, the link between nudity and sexuality is arbitrary. In Victorian times,
to see a woman's knees was very sexual because they were supposed to be hidden
all the time. We expose some parts of our bodies which are as sexual as those
which we hide. Our lips, for example, are probably as involved in sexuality as
our genital areas. Yet people walk around exposing their lips without causing
You will probably find that suggestively clothed people are more arousing than
completely nude people. It can be more sexual to wear a bathing suit which
subtly hides and emphasizes certain parts of the body.
That nudity implies sexuality is the biggest misconception that Naturists have
to fight. As a result, you may find them to be over-sensitive to it. This is not
to say that Naturists are against sexuality. They just believe, like most of
society, that there is an appropriate time and place for it. It also means that
there is nothing wrong with finding a person attractive, whether he or she is
nude or not.
A body does not automatically become sexual by the mere act of removing one's
clothing. Sexual intent requires deliberate sexual action, (choice making
behavior) by one who would have sexual interest. No open sexual activity is
allowed at Naturists events.
HOW DO CHILDREN REACT TO NATURISM?
Children usually are very matter of fact and accept nudism for what it is --
something perfectly natural. They show no particular curiosity in seeing adults
nude. However, they like going without clothing themselves, and they do like
sharing this with their parents -- it somehow brings parents and children
together. Surprisingly for many parents, children generally do not talk about
their Naturist life to playmates at home and school. They perhaps do not want to
be thought different. Even Naturist oriented children may become more
self-conscious during the years of body changes and peer pressure. These
children often resume Naturist activity later in life, usually in their mid
Anyone who has observed children knows that they are enthusiastic Naturists. We
have never seen young children who are self-conscious when nude. In fact, you
may observe them squeal with delight when they are allowed to run around nude.
It is only in their later years that they are pressured into being
self-conscious and adopt older people's phobias about the body.
We believe that it is healthier for children to grow up comfortable with their
own bodies. We don't think there is any advantage in teaching them to be ashamed
and embarrassed by certain parts of their bodies.
IS NATURISM SAFE FOR CHILDREN?
It is clear being dressed has not kept children safe. The best thing we can do
is teach our children the confidence to speak up when people do things which
make them uncomfortable. If they are not ashamed of their bodies, they are much
more likely to tell their parents when someone does things to them that they
don't like. Whether nude or clothed, children should know that being touched in
certain ways is wrong.
Although good parenting is by far the most important factor in raising children,
Naturism helps to promote their confidence and understanding about their bodies.
DON'T CHILDREN GET CONFUSED AS TO WHEN AND WHERE THEY CAN BE NUDE?
Everyone has to teach children when and where it is acceptable to be nude.
Naturists simply have more places where it is acceptable. Unlike non-Naturists,
we don't teach our children that nudity is wrong. We teach them that some people
aren't comfortable with nudity and that sometimes we need to dress for practical
reasons (e.g. weather).
WHAT DO NATURISTS SAY WHEN A NON-NATURIST FRIEND ASKS WHERE THEY SPEND THEIR TIME ON VACATION OR HOLIDAYS?
Most just say they are visiting friends who have country property. Many
Naturists tell close friends about their Naturist membership -- from this comes
the best source of new members. With each passing year, Naturism is becoming
more accepted even by those who would not consider it for themselves. According
to a national poll that was conducted in the U.S.A. in 1983, some 72% of the
population are receptive to, or tolerant of, the practice of nude bathing at
designated beaches. Privacy is fully respected in all Naturist groups and no
group will ever publicize your presence or membership without your explicit
permission. You can be sure that those who are known to be Naturists have
announced it themselves.
Photography at Naturist gatherings is very closely controlled. It is a rule that
no one is ever photographed without specific permission for each
occasion.Children may not be photographed without their consent and that of
CAN ANY REAL HEALTH BENEFITS BE EXPECTED FROM PRACTICING NATURISM?
Yes, real health benefits can be expected from Naturism if you share in the
interest and the activities available. One of the purposes of Naturism is to
promote optimum health through complete contact of the body with the natural
elements of sun, air and water accompanied by good nutrition and physical,
mental and social activity in an environment as free from pollution and stress
as possible. There is a noticeable air of relaxation in Naturist living which
provide a highly effective antidote for the stresses of modern society.
Perfect bodies are as rare at Naturists events as elsewhere. Respect for and
acceptance of all bodies of both sexes and all ages is a basic principle of
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO JOIN A GROUP OR ORGANIZATION?
There are two types of Naturist or Nudist organizations.
One is the "landed" club which owns property, generally including amenities such
as swimming pools, tennis courts, volleyball courts, an occasional private lake,
etc. Membership fees for an organization such as this must cover the purchases
and maintenance cost of all of these amenities among its members. Membership in
landed clubs gives a feeling of belonging, and being a part of a bigger legacy.
Members are endowed with a place to treasure as part of nature. Visitors to this
type of club or resort are assessed a daily ground fee.
There is no other place you can get a bigger and better return for your
recreation dollar. No other recreation center where you can go as often as you
like and meet like minded friends who enjoy the wonders of living freedom.
The other type of club is the "non-landed" club that will rent facilities and
host house parties. Fees for an organization of this nature are usually low
because the organization needs to support only the administrative expenses.
Event fees generally are assessed to cover the cost of gym or pool rental.
AREN'T ALL NATURISTS/NUDISTS EXHIBITIONISTS?
Exhibitionists expose themselves primarily to shock others. Exhibitionism does
not occur in Naturism. Exhibitionists find no thrill in Naturist environments
because of the lack of overt sexuality and their inability to shock anyone.
Naturists just want to be nude. If they like to be with others, it's because
humans are social creatures.
BUT ISN'T NUDITY ILLEGAL?
With all the available evidence, it boggles the mind as to why many laws exist
on the books to this day that mandate the use of bathing costumes. Even laws
that do not apply to nude recreation are being used to innocent skinny
dipping or sunbathing.
Although there are no U.S. Federal laws prohibiting nude recreation on Federal
lands (except at Cape Cod), in the early 1980's the use of "concurrent
jurisdiction" started allowing state and local laws to be enforced by officials
such as park rangers and Bureau of Land Management officers. This encroachment
onto Federal turf raises Constitutional questions and allows state and local
jurisdictions to limit or eliminate altogether many traditional sites suitable
for clothing-optional recreation.
If a man intentionally exposes himself to the proverbial "little old lady",
there is clear intent to do harm. The man knew that he would elicit a negative
response from the "little old lady"', and intended to do so by his actions.
However, if a group of people are skinny dipping and have demonstrated a concern
for others by either seeking a remote area or using a traditional or designated
(managed) area, then there is clearly no intent to do harm. This is why
Naturists continue to press for management rather than banishment; Naturists
would get the same treatment as other taxpayers and complainers need no longer
Legality varies greatly by jurisdiction. In Germany, you will find people
legally sunbathing nude in city parks. In Denmark, all but two beaches are
clothing-optional (i.e. nudity is permitted).
In most jurisdictions it is legal to be nude on private property so long as you
can't be seen by others outside the property. Consequently, all landed Naturist
clubs are legal.
I JUST HAD SURGERY AND HAVE A SCAR. WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK?
Naturists preach body acceptance. Being nude means having nothing to hide. There
is no perfect body and Naturists come in ALL shapes, size, ages, and colors.
Some have scars from surgery, some use wheelchairs, some are overweight, some
are too thin, some have tattoos and other body adornments, and some are
"handicapped" by being "normal".
MY WIFE AND I SHAVE OUR BODIES, WILL WE BE THOUGHT OF AS PECULIAR?
Body shaving is common among Naturists. Many who shave call themselves
"smoothies," a term which dates back to the early Olympics. Olympic swimmers
shave to improve the body's slide through the water. Olympic wrestlers shave to
reduce the hold-friction of their bodies. Many Naturists shave to feel the wind
and water on the full body and tan all over. Pubic shaving seems to be very
common among younger Naturists. Shaving the body is no more peculiar than
shaving the face and is no more likely to be noticed or criticized.
IF I DON'T HAVE A GOOD BODY, I DON'T WANT TO BE NUDE?
The concept of the perfect body is a myth. We believe that the stress caused by
the unrealistic expectations of society is very damaging. Naturists practice
body acceptance. When you visit a Naturist environment, you will find all types
of bodies. All shapes, sizes, ages, colors & em dash; many of them with the
signs of a full life.
WHAT IF I GET AN ERECTION?
This is the most common concern among men. However, we do not know of anyone who
actually had an erection on the first visit. The combination of the non-sexual
environment and the unfamiliarity of a first-time visit serves to minimize to
An erection is a natural part of life. Naturists realize this and will not take
offense as long as it is not being flaunted. If an erection does occur, a
strategically placed towel, a dip in a cool pool, or rolling over on your
stomach will take care of it.
Men, more than women, seem to be concerned about their physical proportions. Be
assured that we all come in various sizes, shapes and colors. Body acceptance
is an important part of nude recreation. During their first visit, most report
feeling less self-conscious in the nude than in traditional clothing.
WHAT DO I DO IF I'M MENSTRUATING?
Generally, women do the same thing in the Naturist world as they do in the
clothed world. Many use a tampon. If they prefer, they wear shorts or bikini
Menstruation is a normal part of being a woman and one which Naturists
ISN'T IT DANGEROUS TO EXPOSE MYSELF TO TOO MUCH SUN?
The removal of a skimpy bathing suit does little to increase your exposure to
the sun, but people exposed to the sun should be careful when they enjoy the
outdoors. Some evidence is suggesting that moderate sun exposure is good for
WHAT SHOULD I TAKE WITH ME WHEN VISITING A NUDE BEACH, RESORT, OR EVENT?
If you are going to a beach or other outdoor event, take a wide-brim hat,
sunscreen, two towels (one to sit on), sandals, sunglasses and water to drink.
It is also a good idea to have something to read, something to eat and something
to play with (like a volleyball or Frisbee). If you are going to attend other
Naturists functions, just bring any specialty item that may be appropriate for
the event and a towel to sit on. NUDIST ETIQUETTE
Generally, the same commonsense guidelines for behavior apply in the Naturist
world as in the clothed world. Be polite and respect the rights of others. When
visiting a club, make sure you understand the rules specific to that club.
* Gawking is impolite. It is OK to look, but always rude to stare (particularly
with binoculars or through a camera).
* For sanitary reasons, sit on a towel when using public seats or benches.
* Respect the environment. Stay out of environmentally sensitive areas.
Pack-out more trash than you brought in.
* Help keep the area clean. In clubs, use the trash cans. Bring your own trash
bag. Leave the beach cleaner than when you arrived.
* Get dressed when leaving established nude areas. Naturists are not trying to
* Follow all parking regulations and other posted rules.
* Do not engage in overt sexual activity.
* Respect the property of others.
* Get the permission of the club and subjects before taking pictures. In clubs,
check out club rules on photography before bringing out your camera.
* Respect the privacy of others. Many people come to enjoy nature and don't
want to be disturbed. It is good to be friendly, but take your cues from their
response and body language.
* Speak up for standards. If you see people who are violating the accepted
standards, please explain to them clearly and politely just how they are
violating the rules and what the proper behavior is