Naturism – What’s it all about?

This post is aimed at experienced and newbie naturists alike.

(Since posting this, couple of people have disagreed my personal take on the word nudists, I would just like to acknowledge that I am aware that in other parts of the world Nudist is used interchangeably with Naturism, I made this clear in my Post below. I did not intend to express that ALL Nudists are swingers/sex perverts or similar, only that those I see doing these things, I don’t call them naturists, I call them nudists because they are naked and they don’t fit into my understanding of Naturism.. that is all )

(For another girl’s explanation on being a Nudist you could check out this blog http://samanthagilmour.wordpress.com/category/nudist/)

I apologise for any grammatical errors, I just don’t have the time to proof read, otherwise I would not be able to post it for another few days!

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about ‘Naturism – What it means’ and invited you to comment on what Naturism means to you and you were very generous in your response. Some of you asked your comments to be kept private, which I have done and about 50 of you were happy for me to publish your comments.  If you have not seen this post and comments, it is here;

https://ladygod1va.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/naturism-what-it-means/

I know most of us are very busy so I would very much like you to know that I appreciate the time and effort you made to draft your comments.  Thank You.

I have read the responses and using my experience and what you have said on the above post, I shall try to express what I think Naturism is all about at present.

I am very aware that most people do not read long posts so I am going to try and keep it short & to the point.  If you wish to discuss anything further, please comment on this post and I shall respond.

Acknowledgement

I will acknowledge that I am not a scholar of naturism, nor do I hold a Doctorate in human behaviour.  However, over the years, I have been fortunate enough to have interactions with some very senior and knowledgeable naturists and some of their knowledge and understanding has rubbed off on me, as you would expect and I thank them for educating me.

I am not going to try and provide any definitive answers on naturism, because as you will see, it obviously means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.  However I will try to express what I think people see or use Naturism as and touch on what needs to be improved.

A lot of what I’m going to write here is about you, the Naturist, some of you may be offended by what I say, I do not apologise for that, if you find yourself being upset then feel free to express it in your comments because it is only through discussion that we can learn about the rights and the wrongs in order to progress Naturism in a way that we would like to see it.

What is Naturism

Naturism to me is a life style which involves some of the philosophies/Understanding noted below, you may or may not agree;

  1. Naked human body is the natural state and needs to be enjoyed in much the same way as we see and admire Animals’ bodies, furs, skins and shapes.
  2. Clothing/covering was invented by our predecessors in the early years of evolution primarily to survive in climates that our bodies are not naturally designed to survive in.  The Polar Bear would not survive in the Sahara desert, but the nomads could kill the Polar Bear & Survive on the Arctic Ocean.
  3. Clothing was also developed for another reason – To prevent unwanted sexual attention.  For example, most living things, Humans, Animals, Plants tend to use parts of their bodies to attract partners or method of re-production.  So as the Humans evolved, some bright spark must have hit on the idea that if they cover up the sexual organs, perhaps they can avoid unwanted sexual attraction.  This was probably the worst invention ever because instead of covering up the sexual organs to avoid unwanted attraction, our ancestors became more & more inventive and started to ‘decorate’ the covering to make it look nice, which in turn made the sexual organs even more obvious and attractive to the eye and so began the fashion industry!
  4. So what is more attractive, naked human body or one that is covered up to make it look sexy? Well I guess both because some naked bodies are attractive (the original problem remember!) They are the right shape or size for the attracted (regional variations accepted!) and you can take any  body & dress it up to look sexy.  However the important thing to note is that no matter how sexy the body is, after you’ve seen it a few times, it becomes ‘Normal’ and the sexiness is reduced to mild attraction or no attraction at all. HOWEVER, if the sexy (or made up sexy) bodies are re-decorated with different colours, shapes, materials, places, the attractiveness is reinvigorated and the sexiness is back.  Therefore you will agree that as there are probably no more than 10% of the population with naturally attractive bodies, rest of the world uses clothing to look more attractive/sexy.
  5.  Based on the above, you may begin to understand that when naturists see each other in the nude, it is not long before the nakedness becomes natural & sexiness can only be achieved by dressing up!  This is very apparent when you visit some well-known naturist resorts.  Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that naturists somehow become sexless angels.  There is a degree of enjoyment derived from being nude as a group, this enjoyment will no doubt be pleasurable but it doesn’t have to be overtly expressive.  I suppose you could say that some naturists may get a kick out of being nude amongst others and NOT being sexual.  It’s a bit like looking at a bed of flowers and relaxing rather than plucking them & spoiling it all just for short term pleasure.  The same is true for those who participate in nude protests like the WNBR, people enjoy being nude as a group but don’t go about assuming that just because someone is nude that they are somehow less than normal or open for sexual advances.
  6. Based on what’s been noted above, you perhaps can understand that because there is less focus on the shape/size/colour of the body, naturists tend to accept people as they are much more so than the same people would be on textile sites, where fashion and beauty are more sought after than amongst naturists.  Naturism is one of the few activities where money and good looks have less of an advantage than in normal life.  In my view, sometimes this is used by naturists to become lazy and not look after their body/health. Whilst I am fully behind the body acceptance culture, I am however against that being used to avoid looking after your health.
  7. What about the environment? Some have asked me before.  Do the naturists follow the same principles as naturalists or environmentalists?  The short answer is NO.  Very few naturists share the same thoughts as environmentalists, they enjoy the nature yes, but they don’t necessarily go out of their way to protect it.  This, in my own opinion, is not good, Naturism principles include respecting nature, so if you respect it, you should look after it.  I believe majority of the naturists pay little attention to global warming, re-cycling and good countryside practices.  I have not seen many articles in Naturist publications where they discussed environmental issues. This is not to say ALL naturists behave this way, but in my view majority of them fall into this category.  We should not be surprised about this, because after all, Naturists are part of the society in general and this is the state of the society in general.  I make this statement even though most of the Naturists I know are much more conscious of the environment needs than I am, this is because I know them through my involvement with the WNBR.
  8. Why is there is need to go naked?  This is a common question asked by those who have not experienced it.  In my view and in my life, nudity is normal. It is part of my life and wearing clothes is only necessary to protect against the weather and to get along in society as one cannot fight the world every day in the same way as Stephen Gough does and has dedicated his life to it.  So I guess the question is not whether there is a need to go naked but what is the need to get dressed.
  9. Am I a Naturist?  Do you have to be naked to be a naturist? This obviously differs for different people, some have to be dressed 24/7 other than when in the Bathroom, others live their whole life in the nude and only dress when absolutely necessary. You, I guess are somewhere in the middle.  How often you dress or not is not an indicator as to whether you’re a naturist or not. To me Naturism is a life style as well as a state of mind.  So you may only go nude on holidays but you have your naturist mind set all year around.
  10. Is Naturism Important? YES! Why? Because naturists are in general very liberal people, they accept others and look out for each other, this is a GOOD human characteristic that should be promoted in any way possible.  Life is not about wars and killing and fighting.. maybe not all Naturists are from the 60s with their ‘Spread the Love’ attitude but most love life in general.  It is better to have people around you who love life than those who just wish to destroy whatever is in their way.

I have expressed some of my thoughts on what Naturism means to me, so let me now express how that relates to people I know or communicate with;

True Naturist? There are far too many people using the label ‘Naturist’ to describe a state of nudity.  For example a ‘Naturist Sauna’ is a Sauna where you don’t need to wear swimming costumes.. well you SHOULDN’T wear swimming costumes in Sauna anyway.. so should this not be a ‘Traditional Sauna’?  A very large number of these Sauna’s are more than just Saunas, they attract swingers or people who find it difficult to see nude bodies in person, so they go there instead.  This leads to the ‘Naturists’ being associated with ‘Swingers’.  Same as most of the true naturists, I am not happy to be associated with these establishments or linked title.  This is one of the reasons why the public perhaps thinks there is a link between the two.  So if I had it my way.. I’d try to ban use of the word Naturist to describe these places.

Naturist or Nudist? Some people have asked me often.. what’s the difference between Naturist/Nudist; Although you can find many knowledgeable people on the internet who will give you the answer that there is no difference because they are used Interchangeably.  In my view there is a difference, and the difference is that, to me a Nudist is someone who likes to go nude wherever/whenever he/she can and could be for many reasons (nude swingers, nude holidays, swims, walks) but the underlying need is sexual most of the time.  Whereas a Naturist is someone who has a Naturist/Nude life style and has developed non-sexual naturist links. Maybe the Nudist and Naturist go to a club/Naturist activities regularly, however the Naturist uses it as part of his whole approach to life, whilst Nudist feels and forgets till next time.  You may disagree, however this is how I separate the 2.

Sex Seeker? A self proclaimed Naturist/Nudist who is able to go only as far as looking at naked bodies/naturist photos/magazines and gets turned on with own nudity. Maybe ends up masturbating each time so beings to link Nudity with Sex and may never grow out of it.

Likes the idea of being nude but doesn’t have the opportunity to practice it.  I get a lot of communication from other parts of the world where people say this.  They like the idea but just don’t even have the privacy of being able to go nude alone.  I can understand the attraction of what might appear to be life of freedom, especially for those repressed through religion but it is difficult to judge whether this desire is just sexual or otherwise.

Enjoy being nude when alone at home.  There are many who can only practice their Naturism whilst home alone.  I don’t see any problem with this. At the end of the day, you have to be happy with yourself first before you can share your happiness with others. It’s a life style that doesn’t have to involve others and it does not make you a less of a Naturist than those who are able to walk on he beach naked.

Enjoys being nude in open or public areas.  If you’re able to do this, the feeling is very exhilarating because the air/weather touches you and you feel at one with nature. At least I do. However there are others who do it because it gives them a kick of being nude in public, this may be a sexual kick or just adrenalin, to me this is not a good reason and is likely to lead to something undesirable.  If you do this, I would encourage you to try this where there is no risk of being seen and learn to enjoy the nature as I and most others do.

Would like to join a naturist organisation but for some reason cannot.  You don’t have to belong to any Naturist organisation to be a Naturist.  It helps obviously because it puts you in touch with like minded people, but it is not essential. If you’re single, I would encourage you to join a non-landed club/organisation and visit open events. Once you walk through the door, you will not be alone, as long as you have clean mind and no hidden agendas.

Naturist Club member but no one else knows.  This is the majority of the UK naturists, where not even their family knows about their membership of the Naturist Club. In my view, this is one the biggest problems holding back naturism.  If you are of clean mind and health and enjoy nude swimming or walking or whatever and have a paid up club membership then it is a significant part of your life.  It must be so difficult and stressful for some people to keep it as a secret from the family/work and society.  I know the situation is different for each person, but as I have had to go through some very painful experiences and have come out alive at the other end, I can only encourage people to do the same.  Once people realise that it is something you have honest and innocent beliefs in, they do understand and leave you alone.  It is the unknown that people get suspicious about.. if you won’t tell someone about something.. you must have something to hide.. so the theory goes.  I am not suggesting that Naturists should stand on their rooftops and shout ‘I am a Naturist’ Nor am I suggesting that you should slip it onto the Christmas Cards but if the subject comes up, just let it out.  No need to shove it down people’s throats, just tell them if they ask or there is a need to tell them instead of telling them that you’re off to visit your sick Granny for the 50th time in the year.

Goes nude/topless swimming on holidays.  There are MANY more people in the UK who do this than those who even admit to themselves that they want to be or are Naturists.  This is because when on holidays people get carried away with the crowd, they see someone doing something and join in.  There is nothing wrong with that.  They may even talk about it when they get home and boast of their activities, particularly the young.  This is great as this attitude helps the naturists, there is a potential of future naturists and support.  However, it is quite possible that most of these people will not indulge in any local naturist activities or whilst at home.  This is because they only let go when there is no risk, this is fear imposed by the society, they accept it and learn to live with it.  Some rebel against the society and start Naturist activities or Support, which is great.

Philosophically driven naturist & enjoys naturist lifestyle.  These are normally people who have lived their life and don’t care what others think, this is one of the major reasons why people think most naturists are old.  It is not till you gain the confidence of your own beliefs and stand up for what you are that you truly feel the freedom of Naturism.

Naturist campaigner.  Then you have people like me, who someone find the time to promote what they believe in.  There are 1000s of people doing the same thing as I do. However many of them are men which puts some others off.  There are some females who promote naturism through sexual activities, in clubs or elsewhere or even on social media, they sell the Naturist life style through sexual expressions, whether sexual photographs or parties, it does not help.  My policy is to keep sex away from my interest in Naturism.  Just because I’m nude doesn’t mean I want sex.  This is the image of many men and it puts other females off so they don’t show themselves in the social media.  We desperately need more females to stand up and say Naturism is fun and there is no shame in it.  I believe this is the key to any future society attitudes improvement. Men have the label of being dirty or dangerous, if we can reduce the number of ‘sexy’ females (if you believe what they say) and increase the number of normal people just discussing their Naturist interests, it will make a major difference in how the society changes for the better.

Social Media Naturist. There are plenty of people whose Naturist life seems to be a virtual one just. I have nothing against that but I do not agree with them doing it for sexual needs.   If they want sex, there is plenty of it on the Internet, why call yourself Naturist? I don’t get it.   I don’t think men with Naked Torso shots or shot of their Penis as their Avatar help either. It just looks wrong and dirty.  OK My Avatar is not a FACE but it is a very artistic photo which links to my profile where the user is able to get links to my blog and other social media sites with plenty of face shots.  So I do wish that Naturists would show their face somewhere and identify themselves with courage and clean mind, allowing them to stand up and say there is nothing wrong with what I believe in.

Naturist and Active swinger. If you are one of these, please stop using Naturism as a vehicle for gaining swinging opportunities.  Swingers are welcome to their activities, but their relationship with Naturism doesn’t help us.  We all know that people undress to have sex, but just because you strip before sex doesn’t make you a Naturist.   Of course there are Naturists (devoted ones for that matter) who may also be swingers, that’s fine if that is what you’re into, but the two are separate activities and should not be linked as one.  Whilst I was at Cap d’Agde last summer, unwittingly we ended up in ‘Adults only’ accommodation and seeing the type of cars parked outside and talking to the staff indicated that their guests were mostly very rich if nothing else, these were high grade business people with wealth and some of them were there for the swingers club events, I didn’t notice too many of them with sunburnt look, more like out of the offices with milky white skins, I can’t call them Naturists but they were in Naturist Camp so as far as anyone else is concerned, they’re Naturists!

The Perfect Naturist.  I don’t think there is one.  A lot of the good naturists I know have had failure in their lives, some have suffered rejection from family members which has affected them, others have suffered marriage breakdowns.  But the amazing thing is that these people are not bitter or sad because they feel that what happened to them is not necessarily as a result of their interest in Naturism, it’s more about how life treats us.  I have also met Naturist families who have sailed through life and children have grown up to Naturists or not, but I have never come across anyone who has told me that Naturism has ruined their lives.   My view of the perfect Naturist is someone who is happy and content with who they are.  They don’t have to campaign, don’t have to be a card carrying naturist, don’t even need to go on Naturist holidays, but just be happy with their body and nudity in general. Accept that as human beings we are born with skin only, it is the most natural state of physical being and there is nothing like being kissed all over by Nature itself!

48 Responses to “Naturism – What’s it all about?”

  1. Hall Says:

    Very well written. I fully agree with you.
    Keep on writing.

  2. Suzie Says:

    Wonderfully written! In the U.S. it doesn’t matter if you call yourself a naturist or nudist…you will be judged harshly. It would be great if I could walk my dog naked down the street without our neighbors calling the police and judging. It would be wonderful if my parents didn’t have to worry about their boss finding out that we love to live naked, without being fired from there job. Maybe with time, one day we can all come out of the closet and be free to live without clothes, without being judged.

  3. naganasukh Says:

    Excellent article. Would love to hear about how you became a naturist and first time experience of social nudity.

  4. Alex Says:

    I fully agree with you. Keep up the good work. I support you fully. Hope to meet you in eprosn

  5. Saurabh Says:

    Very well said article!! Specially point 4 and 10 are beautifully explained. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article, all those points even we can use to explain and promote naturism.

  6. jochanaan1 Says:

    Beautifully expressed, milady Godiva! I wish with you that more naturists would consider the environmental implications of our beliefs and practices, and begin actively to protect and engage with the natural world.

    Recently, after several weeks without the chance to get nude with other people, I went to a nude kirtan (a gathering to chant sacred texts, in this case Bible texts). As we stripped and sat down to sing, I felt an almost physical weight slide off my spiritual shoulders. My life is not unhappy without regular nude time with others, but this has become a need for me. The beauty of bare human bodies; the depth and honesty of our conversation; the relaxed way we accept each other as physical and spiritual beings–these are states that can’t be described, only experienced. And I hunger for them as I hunger for music and poetry and great stories. That is how I need naturism.

  7. utahan15 Says:

    keep on with whom you are~

  8. NICK ALIMONOS (@AlimonosNick) Says:

    It’s nice to see someone so passionate about naturism! While I don’t agree with your definition of “nudist” I don’t think anyone should judge you too harshly. After all, we’re all on the same team! I wrote a similar article in 2012 called ‘What Naturism Means to Me’ where I discuss naturist philosophy and its connection to environmentalism, feminism, equality, self-respect, and spirituality. I think you will enjoy reading it. Just click the link below! http://writersdisease.blogspot.com/2012/07/what-naturism-means-to-me.html

  9. Paul Says:

    I fully agree with the views you have expressed.

    Personally I like the expression “at one with nature” to describe why we choose to go naked. For me it is the one time where I am able to fully relax. My mind becomes clear, the nagging thoughts stop and I actually become present in the moment, my senses working to the full, hearing, seeing and feeling much of what I miss in the hum drum of every day life. If I were to spend more time naked then perhaps this benefit would diminish. I would expect that other people will have varying reason as to how active they would wish to be in a naturist environment. However, the basic principles that you have outlined remain.

    I can understand those who have tried naturism once or relatively few times having doubts and deciding against prusuing it any further. Most of us are brought up to beleive that it is wrong to be seen naked by others (unless by a partner or doctor) and even though their naturist experince may have been a good one, this will still conflict with their inner belief system leading to confusion and unhappiness. Your mind can and will gather enough evidence to back up your previously programmed values and without the support of others you are unlikely to pursue naturism. Doing it on your own as a beginner is not easy.

    I believe that the health benefits of naturism are more to do with mental health than physical health. In a world where self help books, life coaches etc have become the norm I am amazed that no-one has yet brought the benefits of naturism into the public domain.
    The public perception of naturism is wrong. Its progression can only be acheived if there is a common understanding of what naturism is and the benefits it can bring.

    In my view it shouldn’t be that difficult to change public perception and to even make naturism trendy. It just needs the right approach.

  10. Teresa Says:

    people seem to over analyse it all. i am just happy being ME. whether naked, or clothed.

    • Jacob Drake Says:

      Hey, Lady…just to let you know that overall I enjoyed your thoughts on the matter. An article that is too compressed often leaves out the thoughts someone might need. Anyone who needs a more concise reading will naturally skip over sections. Good article.

  11. Philip Baker Says:

    For Carrie:
    “Naturism is normal
    It’s just ordinary people choosing not to wear clothes when the weather and circumstances are appropriate. Our activities are no different from what most people do in their leisure time, other than the dress code. We’re not anti-clothes, we just know they are not always essential. It’s also a lot of fun! ” (BN)

    For others:

    I disagree with your statement about the invention of clothing being related to reducing sexual attention. I think its rather the opposite. Here’s a quote:

    ‘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 the 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!’
    http://baredanmark.dk/lang-en

    As for Naturism:

    In 1963, the British Sunbathing Association and the Federation of British Sun Clubs officially recognized the following definition for naturism : “A health movement which advocates the judicious outdoor practice of nude sun, air and fresh or salt water bathing, either individually, or socially in private grounds (sun clubs, naturist clubs) or secluded places, in furtherance of physical, moral and mental well-being.”

    The health aspects seem not to be regarded in the 21st century probably due to a campaign against exposure to the sun and the acceptance of stress in modern society (Every year, about one in four people in the UK may experience some kind of mental health problem. Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental health disorder http://www.webmd.boots.com/mental-health/default.htm).

    However the likely widespread deficiency in Vitamin D and the resultant poor health in Northern climates resulting from a lack of exposure of the skin to UV light is now becoming apparent. A starting reference is
    http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/news/media-office/press-releases/2010/wtx062545.htm.

    If you want to see the modern definition of naturism please see http://www.bn.org.uk/community/ccs_files/about/belief_with_intro.pdf

  12. John Thomas Says:

    Thank you for a thoughtful essay. Definitions are always hard to determine, and when no two people seem to have the same definitions of “nudist” and “naturist”, there is bound to be controversy. I wonder if swingers are more numerous in nudist/naturist venues than in the general public, or if they are more visible since we look out for one another more.
    As for point number 4, the costume designer Edith Head (that’s really her name!) said that everyone either looks better dressed or naked, except for Cyd Charisse, the dancer-turned-actress, who looked terrific either way. Or so she said.

  13. jimella Says:

    What an excellent analysis! I agree with almost all of it. I probably come under your “Philosophical” definition, but I am also a campaigner in a very small way. I am a great believer in John Stuart Mill’s view that everyone should be free to do whatever they like provided it does not impinge significantly and adversely on anyone else. That clearly includes the right to wear or not wear whatever you like anywhere, any time, with a few easily listed exceptions.

    On my reservations about what you say, first I understand your distinction between nudists and naturists, but consider it completely unnecessary. This follows from my second point. The principle of freedom mentioned above applies exactly the same to sexual activity as it does to what you wear – any time, anywhere, with whoever you choose (subject to consent of course) – it does not affect anyone else in any way. It’s just like eating an ice cream, gives pleasure, needs observation of appropriate hygiene and harms no one. Just like nudity, if it was normal to have sex in public, people would quickly get used to it and think nothing of it.

    Don’t get the wrong idea – I don’t have sex in public, but that’s because I obey the law even if I disagree with it, which in this case I certainly do.

  14. Peter Says:

    I would say that someone who calls themselves nudist and links it with sex is, a exhibitionist. Exhibitionists like to been seen nude, and gets a thrille out of it. Swingers could also be a word, but swingers are not necessarily happy nudity.

    Just some thoughts, by the way very well written article, and interesting to read (but rather long):

  15. northlondoner Says:

    Very well written and interesting article. As someone who finds a sauna or swim more relaxing and comfortable without clothes, I’m not sure which group of those you describe, not that I care about being part of a defined group.

  16. Colin H Says:

    I thought that this was an extemely interesting and well written blog. The vast majority of it I agree with completely. There are a couple of things I disagree with, but only a few.

    I don’t think clothes were developed to cover the sexual organs, they just drifted into being used for that purpose as expectations changed.
    I think the second major function of clothes was for social identification; either to show wealth and status or as a uniform, to denote a function.

    Your point about people using the acceptance of all body types as a reason to let themselves go was a very good point, which very few people would be brave enough to say.

    I disagree with your definition of nudism. I think that when nudism became associated with sex, porn, swingers etc the term naturism was invented to try to escape such negative sexual connotations. Swingers, exhibitionists and pornographers have now started using naturism as a lable in exactly the same way. I understand the desire to stop such things being classed under naturism, which is why you seem to have classed them under nudism. However I don’t think they deserve to be classed under nudism either. Both terms have been sullied by the same groups of people in much the same way. Naturism is simply the more recent term to be corrupted. Neither nudism nor naturism is about sex, swinging or exhibitionism. Naked does not mean nudist.

    I think there is a distinction and it has to do with the concern for the natural world. I think nudists and naturists share the same views regarding nudity and body acceptance, but naturists are more concerned about their place in the natural world.

    Having said that, I must reitterate that this was an excellent blog and I thoroughly admire all you are doing for naturism and the acceptance of nudity as something both natural and normal.

  17. Howard Anderson Says:

    I agree with almost everything you say and in addition, would like point out a few things.

    Clothing is often used to show social status so in some cases being nude shows poverty and low status. Indeed in some African tribes this is still the case, being nude is not a crime, it just says “I’m too poor to afford clothes”. This is a powerful incentive to be dressed. In the historical development of clothing, this is a significant consideration. Achieving and maintaining social status is important to some people, especially those who feel inadequate, clothes can hide their poverty in money and their poverty in self esteem. In western society one sees people who “must” wear designer clothes even though sometimes they are less warm, less protective, less convenient and more expensive, the wearer will sacrifice common sense to be seen, at least in their own perception, as having a higher social status. Nudity does not do this.

    On the issue of nudist against naturist, I think that what one person thinks of the difference is irrelevant, it is the widespread understanding of the word that counts. If I think “gay” means happy and cheerful it matters nothing, most people see the word in its new meaning. The same applies to nudist and naturist, most (non-nude) people I speak to see no difference in the words mainly because they never have to think about it, so to them, the “true meaning” is the same. In 1950, few if any would have imagined the word gay would change its meaning and hence at the time would have argued over its precise definition, a definition that involved gaiety. If by some chance the words naturist or nudist change their widespread meaning, there is nothing we can do to stop it. Language develops in its own no matter what we naturists/nudists think about it.

    There is indeed no need to “shove it down people’s throats”, but speaking of naturism is just like saying “I do family history” or “I play snooker”, they are simply statements of interest, they are not requirements for people to join Ancestry or the local snooker club. One trouble we face as naturists is this difference in perception, snooker is “ok”, naturism is somehow “different” so now I try to put naturism alongside my other interests, it is simply something I do. Other people play football, I don’t play but I don’t expect them to keep it secret either. Should they tell me about football, I simply listen politely. I have found people listen politely when I speak of naturism, especially if I use the same kind of tone and enthusiasm they use.

    In the past I too felt that when I mentioned naturism I was likely to be told I was “shoving it down people’s throats” but I have changed my view, now I think along the lines as described in my favourite quote, one written by Rudyard Kipling “The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

    Howard

  18. markcecil Says:

    Hi Ladie, Don’t let them get you down. I understood what you were trying to get accross. Your post have been very interesting. Was wondering about the world bike ride. Being American I don’t travel with a bike so I thought I saw what looked like rentals? Do you know if there are places to rent bikes for the event?? Thanks and keep your chin up and don’t let anyone get you down. I love your blog.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      Yes, if you happen to be in town on the London WNBR day, you will be able to rent a bike, there are plenty of rental shops and they are published nearer the date. Thank you also for the kind words.

  19. markcecil Says:

    Well Let me give you this point of view. I see a nudist and naturist as more or less the same thing. I find nudist to be more of the type of people who only go naked at say beaches or around the house. Naturist I think try to live more to what they feel is a more natural way of life. vegan/ vegatarians, don’t shave what needs to be shaved. As another blogger put it nudity does not lead to sex but sex leads to nudity. I find you don’t even need to be nude to have sex. Swingers may be nudist also. The main thig is Swingin about sex, Swingers go to swing clubs to find and share sex with people other then who they are married to or dating. You know you do my wife while I do your wife. That is swinging. Nudest / naturist are not out for anyother reason then to enjoy the freedon of being without clothes. Thats my take. Thanks for blogging.

  20. CarrieOnNaturism Says:

    Thought you were going to keep it brief?! Skipped through most of it cos I got bored…..!

  21. Ana (@telomericfusion) Says:

    Someone who calls themselves nudist but links it with sex is, a swinger maybe?

    • CarrieOnNaturism Says:

      Absolutely!

    • All-Nudist.com Says:

      Yep, that’s what they’re called!

    • ladygod1va Says:

      Not ALL who call themselves Naturists/Nudists can be classified as Swingers as it’s not just the married people who do it, there are couples and a LOT of singles. See http://www.myswingers.com/WhoAreSwingers.html . I’d be delighted if you can let me know what other name you would give to this category of Naturists/Nudists who are the biggest threat to the life style we love.

      • All-Nudist.com Says:

        They’re called ‘SWINGERS’, period. ‘Players’ if you want to feel like part of their crowd. Not ‘nudists’, ‘Christians’, ‘Africans’, ‘Italians’ or any other totally unrelated term which might happen to also apply to them. Anyone can be naked; not every naked person is truly a nudist/naturist.

        If someone doesn’t behave properly, by definition they CANNOT be called nudists any more than they can be naturists, as nudists/naturists subscribe to the SAME principles and philosophy. If you don’t subscribe to the philosophy, you are NEITHER; their principles are identical! It’s pretty simple. This is no secret and never has been to anyone in the nudist/naturist community except you, apparently.
        .
        NO ONE of any consequence has ever made the connection between nudists and swingers that you have. YOU invented it and should expect to be questioned as to why you would choose that particular minority to slander, driving a wedge between members of our community in the process.
        .
        The answer you now give is that you chose to re-name swingers as ‘nudists’ and labeled innocent people as swingers simply because you didn’t know what else to call them! Pretty lame excuse for groundless stereotyping, wouldn’t you say? And you’re sticking with it!
        .
        Not knowing something is excusable and is called ‘ignorance’. Anyone can be lacking facts. But deliberately spreading that ignorance is inexcusable and in this case, harmful. Why would you wish to continue to harm our community by standing by your original error?
        .
        Those people you refer to are swingers, no matter what else they may be in life. Call them that, it’s what they are. It’s not what we are, and that’s a fact.

      • ladygod1va Says:

        Thank you for your reply and I have no argument or disagreement with your take on nudists/naturists/swingers. I thought I had explained enough to say that I had not expressed it clearly enough and so it was an error. I’m sorry that you feel the need to be rude, but I shall not oblige. There is no point in me explaining any further. You go your way and I shall go my way. Have a good life!

  22. All-Nudist.com Says:

    Your ‘definition’ of nudists is undoubtedly the most inaccurate and ridiculous statement we’ve ever heard from someone professing to be a ‘naturist’. Your ignorance of the subject is obvious; your motivations for displaying such ignorance is not.

    You do a true disservice to those foolish enough to believe the nonsense you spout here; you should be ashamed.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      I think, I have obviously upset some people who regard themselves as nudists and are not doing it for sexual satisfaction. May I point out that I have said “Although you can find many knowledgeable people on the internet who will give you the answer that there is no difference because they are used Interchangeably. ” and what I have described is the way I separate the 2 in my mind. You cannot be upset by how I view the 2 term. If you wish to provide a more globally accepted description that everyone SHOULD use, please go ahead. I suppose you may be upset more so because your domain is All-Nudist.com, I make no judgement on you or anyone else who wish to call themselves Nudists. The aim of this post was to initiate discussion so some of the questions that get asked might be clarified, I’m happy to post your comments, good or bad.

      • All-Nudist.com Says:

        The terms are used interchangeably worldwide for a reason; because the differences between are so minor as to be negligible and are absolutely unnoticeable in practice, as we all look and behave the same when naked. For you to fabricate this fantasy from thin air is unconscionable.

        To correct another error of yours, we chose ‘All Nudist’ as all-inclusive to everyone in the nudist/naturist community as practiced and promoted by INF/FNI, AANR, TNS, FCN, etc., and as a term acceptable to and recognized by the entire worldwide community, unlike ‘naturist’ which some few militant elitists continue to see as a ‘superior’ version of nudism even as they betray naturist values by doing so.

        You say you make no judgement, as if that forgives you for speaking lies about people. Is that how you see it? You arbitrarily create a fantastical stereotype slandering a minority group, tell impressionable followers that you believe it to be true, then think you can deny responsibility and maintain credibility by ‘forgiving’ them? Wrong again.

        .

      • ladygod1va Says:

        I’m not sure where you’re getting your fantasy idea of who I am and what I am, you obviously don’t know me and I don’t know you. I don’t have any hidden agenda and at least I am using my time to promote naturism in as an open way as I can, which is a lot less than those who give naturism a bad name. If you want naturism/nudists to be fully understood for what they really stand for then perhaps you can try engaging in a civilised conversation rather than acting as a big bully, just because I did not express myself clearly enough on ONE statement.

    • Colin H Says:

      I think you are being harsh in your response to Ladygod1va. Every nudist or naturist I know seems to have a different view on what the difference between naturism and nudism is. This is hers. I don’t agree with it, but I think she expressed her view very clearly and in a way that was not intended to be offensive. There is no need to be so agressive.

  23. naturalian Says:

    Very good article – I consider myself a “naturist” as I truly enjoy the freedom of being clothes-free outdoors in natural surroundings, and whilst not wishing to offend “textiles” I feel I should have the right to my lifestyle and that my body is not shameful. Also I have been this way for 50+ of my 65 yrs and whilst in my youth and early grown-up days I was quite shy(and quite thin!) now I’m not either!
    Naturists are I hope becoming more accepted in general life, although I feel a resurgence in respect of the middle aged populace to a more restrictive conservative attitude!

  24. Jack Says:

    I just gave this another read and I’m confused by one section.

    “to me a Nudist is someone who likes to go nude wherever/whenever he/she can and could be for many reasons (nude swingers, nude holidays, swims, walks) but the underlying need is sexual most of the time.”

    How exactly did you come to the conclusion that the “need is sexual” if you call yourself a “nudist”? I call myself a nudist, but when I go nude it has nothing to do with sex. I go nude because it’s more comfortable and freeing. Nothing sexual about that.

    You’re making it sound like people who class themselves as naturists are better than those who class themselves as nudists.

  25. Brian Taylor - British Naturism Says:

    I will join the throng congratulating you on a well thought out piece most of which rings true with me and, I think & hope, most Naturists.

    There is just one item on which I will beg to differ: Your item 3: “Clothing was also developed for another reason – To prevent unwanted sexual attention.” Firstly, there are fully naked cultures who survive to this day and there would be more if it had not been for 19th century missionaries corrupting so many with their own moral codes. These fully naked cultures often have moral codes surrounding sexual behaviour that textile cultures would do well to follow!

    Secondly, I understand there is archaeological evidence that suggests the wearing of clothes first started as a means of decorating the body to increase sexual attraction and, again, to this day, those naked culture that have survived, do decorate themselves with items that, whilst not being what we understand as clothes, could be considered as the forerunner of clothes. I forget the name of the tribe, but our Research and Liaison Officer, Malcolm Boura tells of a present-day tribe where a young lady will put a skirt ON when she wishes to be sexually provocative.

    In item 7 I feel the truth of the situation is that Naturists are no different from the majority of the population. It is not what Naturism is about, so why would you expect a difference? The only possible reason is that Naturism is about respect, for each other mostly, so that might extend to the environment as well, but that doesn’t make it a campaigning issue for Naturists. My own experience is that Naturists are probably more inclined to be environmentally responsible, just not automatically pro-active environmentalists.

    I love your logic in item 8.

    I also like your various categories of Naturist/nudist – a distinction that is also geographical – America favour ‘nudist’, in Europe the balance is more towards ‘Naturist’. I personally prefer the term Naturist because, as you said, it is the least sexual of the terms, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying that a ‘nudist’ is doing it for sexual reasons “most of the time”. There are those who prefer the term ‘nudist’ simply because they think Naturist implies tree-hugging, etc. (equally untrue)!

    Like you, I am uncomfortable – resentful even – when Naturism finds itself confused with swinging, the worst being the Swinger’s spa masquerading as a Naturist Spa. Obviously they are too ashamed of the truth to tell the truth. Yes, I’m sure there are Naturists who are swingers, but there must also be stamp collectors who are swingers, yet stamp collecting doesn’t get connected with swinging, so why should Naturism?

    Oh to meet the perfect Naturist…

    Thanks Lady G for an excellent article.

    • ladygod1va Says:

      Brian Thanks for your comments, I wrote this in a hurry, just my thoughts and thanks for understanding my notes are not an attack on anyone but just a vehicle for discussion.

      I get a lot of emails from people who think they want to be naturists, I find that some times their reasons are not quite what and how I see naturism. I think I made too strong relationship between nudists and swingers, but i couldn’t think of another way to separate the 2 names. Swingers to me are couples, but it’s not just couples who try and use Naturism as means to sex. All in all I thought my views promote naturism, at the end of the day that is what I think I have been doing for the past 3 years. Hope to see you again soon.

  26. R J Natural Says:

    Wonderful!
    I have been waiting for your analysis since you posted the question.
    You did not disappoint.
    Thank You.

  27. homeclothesfree Says:

    Reblogged this on home clothes free.

  28. Jacob Drake Says:

    A very well-written and thought out response to what Naturism is to this author. In most respects I agree, with but a couple of points I feel differently, as the author knew I would.

    The first is that since evolution has never been proven as anything more than a theory, I disagree in how wearing clothes came about. To me, as a Natural Creationist (I do not separate my love for Naturism from my religious views, but this is not how I became a naturist), who believes in the tenets of the Sacred Scriptures (some would call this the Bible), I see the progression of wearing clothing as a moral and societal issue. As people began forming into religious groups those views they held in common on moral issues dictated that they would cover their bodies in order to avoid the pitfalls of being nude around members of the opposite gender. Naturally the Book of Genesis tells us that after Adam and Eve committed their transgression against their Creator they placed leaves over their genitals in order to hide their sin, hoping to cover up what they had done. Of course this was impossible, since their transgression was felt within their conscience and was not apparent openly and outwardly upon their flesh as they supposed. As they left their garden home and wandered about, having children and populating the Earth, their offspring of course began to cover themselves as their parents did, only because it was the accepted way by then and how they were raised.

    Then Moshe came and was given the Ten Commandments, as well as the fullness of the Ibry (Hebrew) Law (called the Mosaic Law in churches) and entire societies began living by these precepts as well as others similar to them.

    Many will disagree with this, but given there is nothing concrete to disprove what I have said, I stand on my understanding and belief in Scripture.

    Why am I someone who believes in being nude, if the Scriptures I read and hold to display a moral code of covering one’s body? Simply because as a Natural Creationist I have accepted the sacrifice of Yahshua ‘Mashiyach on the cross and the fact that in His sacrifice He redeemed me from my sin. With my nature of sin placed upon the cross, Yahshua eliminated the need for separating myself from my Creator. His own Word says that “‘Mashiyach has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us…” (Galatians 3:13) This means that since He has already BECOME the actual fullness of the “curse” that was placed upon our predecessors (Adam & Eve) and has fulfilled all requirements under the Mosaic Law for this curse, we as His followers need no longer separate ourselves from Him and our Father/Creator by covering ourselves with symbolic cloths, regardless the form and design these cloths take. In fact, we are in sin if once accepting Yahshua into our hearts and receiving His redemption we continue covering ourselves with clothes, for in this manner we are openly stating that the sacrifice He made was not sufficient for redeeming us and we still feel the need to hide ourselves from the sight of our Creator.

    Why do more people who believe in the Scriptures and Yahshua’s sacrifice not shed their clothes and live their lives nude as I do? Simply because they have placed themselves under a different “law” that dictates what they must do and how they must act and dress once having become a “Christian”. This is the Law of the Pharisees, although it is separated from that original group many centuries past, but has become a founding principle within the false doctrines of the mainline churches that hold to [most] of what they read in the Bible. These churches disagree on many points, but all concur that nudity is yet sinful, though in actuality it is the least sinful of anything a person having accepted Yahshua’s redemption could possibly do. It is in fact the true display of one who has accepted His sacrifice and holds it completely and fully within his/her heart and soul. Those who “say” they have “accepted Jesus [sic]”, yet continue to wear clothes and even insist upon it as being morally right, are yet separated from their Creator in part, for they have not understood the fullness of what Yahshua did when he hung upon that cross for them. They are as little children “dressing up” and “playing house”; they understand a little of what He did for them, but not enough to be completely free from their nature of sin.

    My second point where I disagree on what was written in this article I respond to is that statement made concerning what denotes the difference between a nudist and naturist. The author of this article places nudists in the camp of those who do so mainly for sexual reasons, while historical fact on the outgrowth of nudism/naturism in both the UK and the USA (as well as other places, but these are what I am most familiar with) disproves this as a notion that has no merit behind it.

    When the “modern” movement of not wearing clothes while in a gathering of like-minded people began these people mostly called themselves “nudists”, for they shed their clothes in favor of being nude. True, the places they congregated together in their groups was mostly and usually in the countryside where they were in campgrounds (whether formal or informal) out in Nature, so they could have called themselves “naturists” and indeed some did, but the majority continued to refer to themselves simply as nudists. It wasn’t until more recently, as decades go, that the term “naturist” came into more common usage. To many being a naturist as opposed to a nudist meant that they believed more than simply gathering together out in the wilderness or in a concealed club/campground for the purpose of being nude and then returning to wearing clothes once they went back to their homes and “normal” lives. These naturists believed that being nude was an integral, if not “the” most integral portion of their lives and that they should BE nude & natural at all times, except for when they had no choice but to allow the false laws of society to be imposed upon them. In this manner these people began living the entirety of their lives at home and elsewhere completely nude and even began seeking out avenues of vacationing which would allow them to be this way as well.

    Naturists, and I refer to what I term the “True Naturist”, believe that in being a Naturist they should be so with their entire being and lives. They believe in speaking out and trying to change laws to include them as sincere and honest members of society, as much as anyone else so that beaches and public lands include nudity and perhaps set aside portions of lands so that these Naturists may be who they actually are without the restrictions of the rest of society of those who cannot accept their natural nudity as allowing them to walk openly without clothes.

    So, in my view, nudists are simply those who enjoy being unclothed while in separatist clubs or events where others are likewise nude. Naturists are those who hold to being nude in all aspects of life and desire to even have laws changed so that if possible (one day, hopefully) we as Naturists can walk openly on the streets and in stores and restaurants exactly as we are without being discriminated against.

    This is how I see this topic.

  29. JuJu Says:

    I have to say, I enjoyed your blog. I really believe living a naturist lifestyle are mistaken for swingers and this must stop.

    I enjoy the lifestyle, because I enjoy a good summer breeze blowing against my nude body (priceless).

    I am guilty for not doing more to for the lifestyle, but I guess it’s never to late to start.

  30. Rick Says:

    Great article. I didn’t mind the length; there was a lot to cover and I think you covered it fairly and objectively.

  31. David Adams Says:

    Thanks that was well worth the read.

  32. Sumit Says:

    I do not have words to say thank you….. The kind of insight that you have provided here is unparallel to anything else. Yes you were the one and your different posts which encouraged me to take on this lifestyle. Till a few days back I used to link sex to naturism. I was so very wrong.. I understand now. I am so very thankful to you. All the very best. Keep up. God bless.

  33. freewilluk Says:

    Very good 🙂 but you didn’t listen to your own words lol ” i’ll keep it short & to the point “

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