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Women's Concerns

On Being Nude - The Debate

Being nude is easy - you do it in the bathroom every time you shower. All you have to do is take off your outer garments, closely followed by your undergarments and you're there. Being nude with that special other is also quite easy (and often, quite appropriate). It is accomplished in much the same method as showering, except it usually takes place in the bedroom. But taking your clothes off in front of a dozen strangers….now there's the trick. You see, this fantastically advanced society we live in says that it is shameful to remove our clothing in front of anyone who is not your spouse, your doctor or your masseuse. 

Why Nudity is Wrong

The "whys" of this dictum date back to Adam and the Apple Incident and were revived during the latter reign of her majesty Queen Victoria. They are: 

Nudity is inherently shameful according to the Bible of every religion - except the ones that come with a living Messiah and an FBI stakeout. Being nude incites maddened sexual passions which will inflame and destroy the fabric of our civilization. Your naked body is a forbidden temple, to be worshipped by your spouse, care-taken by your doctor, and refurbished by your masseuse. Now that we have that out of the way, there are several more practical reasons why clothes are in fact quite a useful habit: 

Stinging insects rarely bite through denim jeans. Sunburn hurts, and suntan lotion aren't cheap. Most of your orifices are not sufficiently flexible to act as a safe place to carry your wallet, keys and cigarettes. So where does this leave us? With a body that will never truly know the feel of wind caressing its every hair; that will never get an all-over tan. All that glorious shame that's lurking inside of you.

The "whys" of this dictum date back to Adam and the Apple Incident and were revived during the latter reign of her majesty Queen Victoria. They are: 

Nudity is inherently shameful according to the Bible of every religion - except the ones that come with a living Messiah and an FBI stakeout. Being nude incites maddened sexual passions which will inflame and destroy the fabric of our civilization. Your naked body is a forbidden temple, to be worshipped by your spouse, care-taken by your doctor, and refurbished by your masseuse. Now that we have that out of the way, there are several more practical reasons why clothes are in fact quite a useful habit: 

Stinging insects rarely bite through denim jeans. Sunburn hurts, and suntan lotion aren't cheap. Most of your orifices are not sufficiently flexible to act as a safe place to carry your wallet, keys and cigarettes. So where does this leave us? With a body that will never truly know the feel of wind caressing its every hair; that will never get an all-over tan. All that glorious shame that's lurking inside of you.

Why Nudity is OK

We've gone through the assumptions that tell us why nudity is dreadfully wrong. Now, a quick glance into the matter from a somewhat different perspective.

The human body is terribly common. Believe it or not, everyone has one. And mostly, they look fairly alike: the same amount of limbs, eyes, hairy patches and moving parts. That's why you can mass produce shirts.

The naked body is not equal to sex. Thousands of African tribesman will attest to it and tens of thousands of nudists the world over will back them up.

Sometimes, it feels great to be nude. Sitting nude on a picnic blanket on a sun-dappled river bank surrounded by trees on a warm day with a cool breeze among good friends and family can be heaven. 

We've gone through the assumptions that tell us why nudity is dreadfully wrong. Now, a quick glance into the matter from a somewhat different perspective.

The human body is terribly common. Believe it or not, everyone has one. And mostly, they look fairly alike: the same amount of limbs, eyes, hairy patches and moving parts. That's why you can mass produce shirts.

The naked body is not equal to sex. Thousands of African tribesman will attest to it and tens of thousands of nudists the world over will back them up.

Sometimes, it feels great to be nude. Sitting nude on a picnic blanket on a sun-dappled river bank surrounded by trees on a warm day with a cool breeze among good friends and family can be heaven.

Women's Questions

Most nudist resorts are places where a woman can feel free and safe at the same time.

You can glory in being a woman, with nothing between you and the caress of the sun. Get that all-over tan you've been wanting, without zapping yourself in an expensive machine. Relax, Do it the natural way. Feel good about yourself, inside and out. Nude recreation can be a getaway from the pressures of daily life.

As Safe As You Can Get

No nervous watching over your shoulder for the deputy sheriff. No arrests. No names in the paper. Your boss will never know. Your grandmother won't even guess. Adhering to the strict standards of the American Association for Nude Recreation, there can be no sexual overtures. No dirty old men. No gawkers. No one blabbering in your face when you'd rather be reading a book. You can have your own space.

Rearing Children

If you have children, bring them along. We have lots of grass and sand for playing, trails to explore, flowers to discover, trees to climb. Give your child the gifts of freedom and joy. For teens and adults, there's plenty of room for frisbee, volleyball, golf or other sports. 

Get Your Feet Wet

It's also Clothing Optional. (For most women, their nervousness last about two minutes; then they toss off their clothes and join in the relaxation.) Do you remember Skinny dipping when you were Young - the luxurious feeling of freedom and innocent fun that you flet back then? Rediscover what you knew as a child. Now you can recapture that innocence no matter what your age, occupation or Physical condition. Self acceptance and total relaxation are two of nude recreation's greatest contributions to today's woman 

What About...........?

Q: What special preparations should I make before visiting a nudist park?

A: Generally none at all, apart from those you would normally make to go anywhere

Q: Are children likely to be shocked by their first sight of nudists?

A: No. Children are natural nudists and usually take to it with a minimum of adjustment.

Q: What should I bring?

A: Bring towels, comfortable footwear, suntan lotion and sunglasses. You might also want to bring a hat, something to read, and any sporting equipment desired.

Q: What is the cost?

A: That varies from park to park and generally costs less than public RV campgrounds.

Q: Will I be embarrassed by my surgical scars?

A: No, you will not. Approximately one nudist in three carries some mark of surgery; these marks make no difference at all. Ignore them because everyone else will. Your personality will be noticed more than any scar.

Q: My figure, to say the least, is less than perfect. Will I feel out of place?

A: About one figure in twenty seen at a nudist park is exemplary; the rest will be like people everywhere. Actually, a person's physical proportions means less in nudist parks than elsewhere. Many nudists (male and female) will never take any prizes for physical beauty. Ladies who are disturbed by the thought that they might be less than ideal in this regard should put aside their concerns. The problem doesn't exist.

Q: Do women actually believe that a less than perfect body is ignored and accepted at nudist resorts and nude beaches?

A: No! Generally speaking, no matter what you say to most women, she will not believe that anything less than a perfect body is acceptable. American women have been indoctrinated for centuries that the nude body is shameful and Madison Avenue continues to drive home the unspoken image that nothing less than a perfect body is acceptable. Compared to European women, American women are shrinking violets when it comes to socialized nudity. In one sense American women are "strong, self sufficient and independent" and on the other hand their vanity and self image are controlled. Such is the great American contradiction and double standard.

Q: What about periods or menstruation?

A: Menstruation is looked upon as a normal, healthy function. The wearing of shorts or the the use of tampons enables women to enjoy most of their nudist activities. It is not a subject of notice or comment.

Q: Are there any religious implications involved in nudism?

A: Not at all. Nudists represent all major faiths and most of the lesser ones.

Q: Do men become visibly embarrassed during their visits to a nudist resort?

A: This is a personal question. The answer is "No," because nudist parks are not sexually stimulating. Many men fear this problem but instances of such embarrassment are extremely rare.

Q: May a married person visit the park without his/her spouse?

A: This is at the individual club's discretion. Family nudism is exactly that. Your first visit to a nudist park should be a share experience.

Q: Are unmarried adults eligible for membership? 

A: Yes, but individual parks have their own rules. It is best to check with them.

Q: Will my picture be taken?

A: Photography in nudist parks is very closely controlled. Some parks will not permit it at all. No one is ever photographed at a club without specific permission in each instance. Children may not be photographed without their consent and that of their parents. Some parks provide photo corners where you can take all the pictures you wish of your own family.

Q: If I visit a nudist park, will I be subject to publicity?

A: Of course not, unless you deliberately seek it out. Privacy is fully respected in nudist parks, and the American Association of Nude Recreation membership roster is never made public. People who are known as nudists usually announce it themselves. No park will ever publicize your presence without your explicit permission.

Q: Is it likely my wife would be improperly approached at a nudist park?

A: Of course not. If such a thing were to occur, you'd notify the manager at once. The offending individual would be ejected and their membership card would be picked up.

Q: Can I expect any real health benefits from nudism?

A: Nudism embraces traditionally healthy activities such as swimming, hiking, volleyball and outdoor living. Mental health is improved by the positive attitudes about self-image, healthy sexuality, relief from stress and just plain relaxation. Benefits specific to nudity may yet be scientifically proven whereby direct sunlight is valuable for all parts of the human body. Doctors have been known to prescribe nudism for skin problems and general well being. Pregnant women benefit from sunlight in the genital area and on their nipples making childbirth and breastfeeding more comfortable. Eyesight is improved by exposure to natural light. The body's circulation may be improved by the lack of constrictive clothing.

For First Timers

For your first time, go to a nudist resort (ie: one which is set in wide, open natural surroundings) - possibly a campsite with caravan and cabin stay. The great thing about these is that they are relaxed, with plenty of privacy when required and they generally have a central area with spas and seating where you can relax, socialize, and be among like-minded people. Spend a bit of money and go somewhere nice. This trip will set the tone of all your future nudist endeavors. You only have your first time once, so make it good!

Go somewhere at least a few hours drive from where you live. There are two reasons for this. (1) It lessens the chance of your seeing anyone you know - it's much easier to strip for the first time with only strangers around (trust me - any nudist will agree). Also, (2) it lets you feel that you are away from all the daily stresses and conventions of life. This should be a vacation, and a vacation is much more fun when you actually vacate your usual haunts. Also, you'll be more inclined to follow through if you make the whole experience into an adventure.

Men, I know you will not spend your entire visit to a nudist/naturist resort with an erection. You are no more likely to be erect after you've disrobed than you are walking around in your suit-and-tie. Granted, you may very occasionally become semi-erect (or even fully erect) but no more so (and probably less) than you would in fully clothed circumstances. Stop worrying about it. It simply will not be a problem. Any experienced nudist will tell you this.

Take a "security blanket". Your "security blanket" is something non-obtrusive which you can discretely use to cover your genitals. You won't actually use it but it'll make you feel a bit better during your first five minutes of nakedness. Some forms of a "security blanket"' could be a towel (not worn, but carried) a big satchel, a large cooler box, a deck chair, or a picnic blanket. I'm sure you can think of something.

Flirting/being flirted with can be uncomfortable or intimidating even when clothed. When you're nude it can be even worse. As any experienced nudist will tell you, nudism has nothing to do with sex, and flirting with strangers is frowned upon. Feel free to be affectionate with your established partner but please respect others' desire to be comfortable. If someone is flirting with you and you are feeling uncomfortable, do something about it, which makes it clear that his/her attentions are not welcome. If you feel like you are being harassed let the owners or staff know and they will deal with the problem. However, this problem will seldom be encountered in a nudist resort. It is more likely to happen on nudist beaches (which are free-to-access by all kinds of people, including gawkers - clothed individuals who like looking at nude people). That's why we only go to places which are somewhat out of the way (in terms of location), and where you have to pay to stay.

Pack at least two items of clothing: a comfy, button-up long-sleeved shirt (casual flannel is fine) and a pair of slops (or thongs, as they are sometimes called). I also usually take a jersey and a pair of sunglasses and don't forget the sun screen and insect repellent.

You are probably going to spend a fair amount of time sitting in the sun and reading. Bring several books and magazines depending on your length of stay.

Don't try to loose three inches off your buttocks/wax your pubic region into a perfect "v"/madly exfoliate your buttocks just because you will be going naked in front of strangers. Believe it or not, nobody will care how you look (except for commenting on that interesting piercing) and you will find that body shape, size or texture will cease being important in your interaction with others. Being nude makes all of these issues unimportant. However, you will not come to the full realization of this until you are nude among mixed company of like kind.'

Women's Issues With Nudity

It is certainly - and unfortunately - a fact that many fewer women than men seem to enjoy nudity, at least as measured by almost any index of participation in social nudity. At clothing optional beaches there are usually several times as many men as women. The ratio is even worse in online discussion groups for nudism and naturism. Only in private clubs and resorts, where deliberate balance policies are often applied, does the ratio seemingly even come close to one to one. Is this because men are more attracted to social nudity out of voyeuristic interest, exhibitionism, or other sexual motivations? Are women just less likely to find the experience of nudity (either privately or socially) enjoyable? Or is it something else?

One of the most persistent concerns/criticisms voiced by non-participants about the practice of social nudity in any of its various forms is that it must represent the ultimate dream/fantasy of the male voyeur. Though this is usually expressed by women, many men (both potential voyeurs as well as those who disapprove) may hold this opinion also.

Probably nothing short of actual experience can adequately rebut this opinion. Indeed, it may well be that many voyeurs do harbor this dream/fantasy. However, individuals who actually try the experience of nudity, either alone or in a social setting, usually find that being naked is so pleasurable and satisfying in itself, that the issue of voyeurism diminishes greatly in importance.

Mature, psychologically healthy people who like to be naked are either neutral about seeing others naked or find it pleasurable, but they still derive most of their satisfaction from being naked themselves.

What about individuals who are immature, inconsiderate, or otherwise are not in the best psychological health? The answer depends on the setting. Except for situations where access can't be controlled (such as beaches on public land), a community of people enjoying nudity (or some other pursuit where nudity is accepted even if not the main purpose) naturally tends to exclude individuals whose behavior is disruptive to their enjoyment, for whatever reason. Even in the remaining cases of public beaches, there is often a community spirit present among the regular users of such places that actively works to make voyeurism and other disruptive behavior distinctly unwelcome.

Just why do so many more men than women seem to enjoy social nudity? If an interest in social nudity is not a manifestation of male voyeurism (or worse), then what does account for the disparity in participation between men and women?

Although many men in our society are unable to appreciate the pleasures of nudity, there seem to be many more deterrents for women than for men. These include greater problems with body image, concerns about voyeurism and sexual harassment, reasonable (though unfounded) worries about physical safety, and simply the weight of social tradition that nudity is "offensive", indecent, lewd, and immoral - and more so for women than for men.

But even for women who personally have overcome these deterrents, are relatively at ease with being naked in public, and have even come to enjoy it (perhaps a lot), there remains one significant problem. Namely, because of all the extra deterrents to women, many more men than women choose to participate in social nudity, and consequently the remaining women may feel intimidated just by the sheer imbalance of numbers.

It is a classic self-fulfilling prophecy. Women are disproportionately deterred from social nudity, so there are fewer of them, and this itself becomes an added deterrent.

Why is it a deterrent? Not necessarily because of concerns about rude behavior or even physical safety if there are "too many" men around. It may simply be that women like to spend time socializing with other women, no more and no less when naked than when not. Women do differ from men in what tends to interest them, so at just about any kind of social gathering like seeks out like. Or it may be even simpler than that - if there are few women at naturist places, both women (and men) will readily assume women don't WANT to be at such places.

What can be done about the problem?

So we have a handle on the problem of gender imbalance in contemporary social nudity. The essence is that women face a number of deterrents to enjoying nudity that men don't, at least to the same degree. Therefore, in any random population many more men than women will experiment with social nudity. Hence in the absence of balance policies, the resulting imbalance adds a further significant deterrent - a feedback effect that makes the imbalance even worse.

Solution? The harmful feedback loop has to be broken. All deterrents and obstacles to the enjoyment of social nudity that affect women more than men must be identified and either eliminated, or at least reduced to the point there is no difference between men and women in their effect.

The approach for dealing with each specific obstacle or deterrent will depend on what it is, so let's look at a number of cases we can readily identify.

Cultural disapproval of nudity in general

The roots of cultural opposition to nudity in Western civilization go back at least two thousand years to the ancient near East. Although not without variation since then, the general attitude has been that nudity is "offensive", disgusting, and shameful. Except sometimes for poverty or servitude, no other association with nudity is recognized except for sexuality. Hence nudity itself if considered to be inherently "lewd", "indecent", and immoral.

Although this disapproval certainly affects both men and women, it tends to fall much more heavily on the latter. There are cultural traditions going back at least to the Greeks that nudity is appropriate for men in certain contexts like athletics. But for women, nudity is associated, at best, with slaves, and at worst with harlots and whores. "Nice" girls aren't supposed to let strangers see their "private" parts under any circumstances.

This cultural prejudice certainly has to be opposed by education and positive messages about nudity. The prevailing opinion about nudity itself has to be changed, so that it is rightly understood as something wholesome, pleasurable, enjoyable, rewarding, relaxing, and just plain "good" in and of itself, rather than a sexual adventure.

Since current attitudes towards nudity are harsher where women are involved, women will benefit more when it is possible for a person to say without embarrassment or shame that she/he really likes to be naked.

Social emphasis on body image

The tendency is very well recognized in which advertising and popular entertainment promote (to put it mildly) a very narrow range of body types as beautiful and attractive, while most other types are regarded as unattractive, repulsive, or ugly. But in spite of this recognition, these attitudes retain their power over our aesthetic perceptions through contemporary phenomena like the cult of physical fitness. Again, the harsh effects are felt disproportionately by women, since (it is believed) physical attractiveness is a woman's primary requisite for finding a mate (whereas earning potential is relatively more important for a man).

The fact of the matter is that only a fairly small percentage of the population, either men or women, come close to fitting the stereotypes of physical perfection - especially for people well beyond adolescence (though teenagers seem to be most acutely sensitive on this issue). Failing to recognize and accept this fact is simply a way for people to make themselves miserable.

Again, education about the reality of the situation as opposed to the general misconceptions is the best answer. Ironically, it is the widespread taboo on nudity which makes it so difficult for people to recognize the truth! If nudity were significantly more common, it would be a lot easier for everyone to see that most people aren't nearly "perfect", and that we'd be much better off accepting our bodies as they are. It's actually a conspiracy of silence, with commercial interests like the clothing, cosmetics, and advertising industries the primary beneficiaries.

Worries about physical safety

For many women, fear of rape is very real, and many men do not understand just how strong or widespread the fear can be. However, there isn't any evidence at all that most venues where public nudity is found present women with any greater danger of rape than similar places without nudity. A nude beach or a nudist resort is not a more dangerous place than a non-nude beach or resort. If anything, the opposite is true.

The basic fact is that, as far as rape is concerned, there's safety in numbers. Numbers, that is, of people whose very presence would deter a potential rapist. A woman completely by herself faces the largest danger, no matter where she is. In a situation involving public nudity, there are others around, by definition. Violent rapists are very angry, unhappy people. They certainly aren't the sort of people who are habituated to the pleasant, relaxing ambience of social nudity.

Yet again, the best way to overcome this deterrent to women's participation in social nudity is publicity about the facts concerning the true, benign atmosphere in which people who like to be naked usually gather. A woman who has any fears for her safety should be encouraged to investigate the possibilities for nudity which are available in her area - and make every effort to bring along a significant other or friend (or many friends) when checking things out initially.

Of course, for anyone who is interested in testing out social nudity with the maximum safety, an option that's usually available is to take the initial plunge by arranging one's own private get together or outing with others from one's own circle of friends who are also curious about nudity. There's no need for special equipment or unusual facilities to discover the pleasure of not wearing clothes. Let there be more public encouragement of naked ladies' lunches so that such things can be regarded as reasonable and fun (and safe) diversions, and the organizer not stigmatized as a total mental case.

Concerns about sexual harassment

As a result of much publicity, lawsuits, and government legislation, there is now widespread awareness of the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. Such lawsuits and legislation have (so far) little direct impact on what goes on outside of a work or institutional environment. So, unlike rape, harassment can be a real problem in gatherings of people enjoying nudity, just as it can be a problem at places where people aren't naked, such as a beach, a nightclub, or a private party.

Where sexual harassment is concerned, it will not work to proclaim that it doesn't occur at places where people are naked, because it can and does. In the abstract the potential is, if anything, even greater. In addition to all the usual openings some men will take advantage of to make unwelcome sexual remarks or advances, a state of nudity obviously affords many new ones. Staring and voyeurism, for instance. Or exhibitionism. Or pointed remarks about specific, private body parts. Or even excessive and unwelcome touching.

A program of education and sensitization is needed here too, but this time directed at men. It needs to become very well known that places which offer social nudity do not welcome men who have harassing behavior in mind. It needs to be equally well known that women can very easily develop a fondness for not wearing clothes, and at the same time be not one bit more tolerant of sexually harassing behavior.

Some men will probably never learn to curb harassing behavior, but they should learn very clearly where they aren't welcome. Most men who choose to participate in social nudity for its own sake already understand that sexual harassment is wrong, just as stealing and selfishness are wrong. But a few need occasional reminders, and they should be reminded when appropriate. Men who are attracted to social nudity for the "wrong" reasons, or who sometimes simply forget their good manners, can spoil it for everyone, just as inconsiderate or boorish people can take the fun out of any kind of social event.

Almost all naturist clubs, parks, and resorts now have formal policies that forbid harassment and provide for the expeditious ejection of anyone who can't comply. But many places go much further, unfortunately, with policies that exclude most males unaccompanied by a female, or even all males unaccompanied by a spouse. Such restrictions on the admission of single males to nudist/naturist facilities and events are one way of promoting a reasonable gender balance, of course. Such restrictions also help to minimize harassment, on the theory that an accompanying female will tend to keep the man she's with on his best behavior.

But there is a high price to pay for such policies. Limits on single males are not the best or ultimate solution to the imbalance problem. In the short run and for specific circumstances they certainly work, but the overall effect is to severely restrict men's ability to experience wholesome social nudity. Consequently, growth in the general understanding of the real nature of social nudity, and therefore its social approval, is curtailed. Women who've learned to like being naked certainly don't want that any more than men do.

Gender imbalance is a symptom, not the underlying problem (s). The latter must be addressed and fixed, rather than just the symptom. Increasing female participation in the enjoyment of nudity rather than decreasing male participation needs to be the highest priority. Recognizing the specific obstacles that stand in the way of this, and taking appropriate steps to deal with each one, is the way to go.

Copyright © 1996-2004 by Charles Daney, All Rights Reserved
Also see the next article below: "Not For Women Only"

Not For Women Only

Jan Braswell and her husband Chuck are members of Sandpipers Holiday Park in Texas. Please email comments to the author, Jan Braswell, at

This was written in response to, and with admiration for, the many single nudist men who retain their self-respect and respect for women despite being outcast. My hat's off to them, along with the rest of my clothes.

Some AANR clubs, as a matter of policy, limit the single men they allow as members or visitors in proportion to the number of single women. For the most part, we use this policy of gender balancing because we anticipate that "too many" single men might change the character of family clubs or be overwhelming to the "too few" single women who join. Such policies attempt to be fair, gender-neutral and effective. But the result is not. Too many men are being tipped off the scales unjustly. Too many women are still reluctant to join. 

Gender balancing, though well-intended, is a sign of gender prejudice to the detriment of men, and not truly to the benefit of the women it strives to protect from sexual harassment. It is true that most acts of sexual aggression are perpetrated by men, but it is not true that most men are aggressors. Yet because some of us have been victims of the minority who are, we have incorporated a presumption of guilt into our club policies. This does great damage to innocent men and no great service to anxious women. 

Victimized women and men, and those who love them, will certainly react emotionally to sexual aggression. But we must temper emotion with reason, balance traumatic reaction with considered response. It is necessary to our own healing to rid ourselves of unfounded fears. And we must not perpetuate a vicious circle, as we may do with policies that make trust and acceptance seem unnatural. 

Men have done well to listen with care to the fears and concerns of women. They work on the street as police officers, in the courts as lawyers, as legislators, therapists, writers, and so forth, in support of women's issues. But communication has been unbalanced. Let us learn from their good example and listen, with equal care, to their dismay over being treated unfairly. As AANR members, we pride ourselves on being especially sociable, communicative, and thoughtful. But we fall short if we remain clothed in unexamined assumptions, such as those underlying gender balancing. 

All of us have heard about or encountered problems caused by the occasional disruptive visitor. These incidents are memorable but not so frequent or unmanageable as to require more than normal caution and screening. Such isolated events are not enough to justify exclusion of men in general, especially since some of these disruptive visitors are women. Our primary justification concerns the skewed male-female ratio of willing newcomers. 

Mainstream single women are hesitant about our lifestyle, whereas mainstream single men are not. Why? Because: (1) both link nudity with sex since, for them, they usually occur together; and (2) males and females of all species have different biologically-based sexual imperatives. Balancing by the numbers prevents the "assertive" male from having a particular advantage over the "reticent" female. For this reason, preserving a tolerable ratio seems desirable, while we encourage more single women to join our clubs. 

But consider these four points against gender balancing: 

First, men in our society and in the AANR community are too easily presumed, without justification, to be sexual predators unless they can prove otherwise.

Second, this presumption is also clearly contradictory to the message that nudity is not sexual.

Third, we cannot reasonably expect all men to bear the burdens of all women. Nor should we expect that women have too little ability or responsibility to graciously handle unwanted advances as needed.

And fourth, the gender prejudice that underlies gender balancing is at least as destructive to our communal well-being as the isolated, manageable incidents of sexual aggression it seeks to counteract.

Prejudice against men undermines the ideals of gender equality. It is insulting, discriminatory and self-perpetuating. It is also distorting and misguided. Because nudity is not inherently sexual, it does not by logical or psychological necessity lead to sexual aggression. To anticipate that it will, as our policies imply we do, leads instead to suspicion and defensiveness by both women and men.

Furthermore, gender balancing has only one purported direct beneficiary, single women. A pro-male stance can accommodate all of the members we are blessed with now, those we stand to lose, and potential members on the outside looking in. 

Think of our established club members, especially couples, who are eager to uphold and contribute to a rewarding and progressive lifestyle. Consider that the predators, in whose honor we erect protective and exclusionary fortresses, might win in absentia: If we continue to let that pesky, perverted minority stay in the limelight, we simply reinforce antagonism between the sexes. This antagonism is more regressive than progressive. It is certainly not rewarding. 

Think also of the brothers and sons who grow up with us, but leave when they become adult singles and are no longer welcome. Our family clubs have abandoned them, along with their divorced or widowed fathers, uncles and grandfathers. If we don't trust them, they and their female companions will find each other elsewhere. If we don't change our policies, we can hope they come back after they are "safely" married. But we can't really blame them if they don't. 

And then think of the interested, mainstream singles who will indeed associate nudity with sexuality because of their mainstream experiences. We know they will only really understand otherwise after they have a different kind of experience with us. We also know they are interested in building supportive relationships with each other. AANR clubs are uniquely qualified to share the message that our sexual roles are complementary. This is a message mainstream single men and women are ready for. We should be sharing this message widely. We can, if we simply reach out to do so. 

Women need better reasons to join than those we now publicize. We tell men and women that nudity is neutral as regards sexuality. But a neutral message has insufficient appeal. We need more positive messages, and fewer negative ones, about our relationships. 

What may well appeal to most single women is the hope of finding exactly the kind of single man they most want to meet. If there were plenty of single men at AANR clubs, they may give up their health club memberships and come knocking on our gates. If we let the balance tip in the men's favor, and publicize how special they are, the women might be more likely to come. 

We still need to keep our eyes on the scale until we find a better way. But it might well be time to loosen our hold on that scale a bit. If we can develop appropriate methods to overcome discrimination and exclusion, we may actually make some real progress toward a more equitable solution to the problem that gender balancing solves quite imperfectly. 

A method worth contemplating is to encourage a significant number of the larger clubs to conduct orientation workshops to "initiate" all of their newcomers, families and couples as well as singles. Some clubs, such as Lupin and Kaniksu, have developed such workshops. AANR should actively support and assist these and similar efforts. 

A vital message to be conveyed in these workshops is that neither men nor women need be defensive. Both heterosexual and homosexual couples will no doubt be pleased with the relationship focus. Children can certainly benefit when they learn how to communicate with non-nudist friends. Perhaps established members would enjoy participating with prospective members as the program matures. 

All clubs should be more than willing to welcome traveling or relocated "leading-edge" AANR workshop graduates, regardless of gender or couple status. Some clubs are perhaps too small to host their own workshops. But if their owners and managers attend workshops at other clubs, they will be better prepared to help their members make a transition. Once they see the possibilities for themselves, more deserving, creative and hard-working men will be able to make the contributions they are so willing and able to provide. More women, also enlightened as to the possibilities, will be joining and contributing as well. 

We can publicize these workshops in mainstream women's groups, both professional and therapeutic -- with health professionals and in crisis clinics, for instance. Are we missing an opportunity to meet a mainstream need that serves our own as well? 

While keeping our eyes locked so rigidly on the gender balancing scale, we have lost sight of other weighty issues, such as misconceptions about men, and the suspicion, discrimination and exclusion these misconceptions breed. The alternative is to refocus on the naturally balanced and complementary views of both genders, to everyone's benefit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bring with me when I visit?

A towel is probably the most important item. It is used for a multitude of reasons. You should always sit on it whenever you sit on a chair or lounge. This is not only for personal hygiene, but also out of courtesy to others. You can use it to cover up with if you get too much sun on your shoulders, to dry off with after using the pool, sauna, or spa; and to lie on. A pair of sandals or comfortable casual shoes or thongs for walking, sunscreen, lotion, sunglasses and of course clothes to wear if it gets cool.

What is Nude Recreation?

Nude Recreation is a form of stress relief as well as a fantastic way to enjoy daily living, holidays, weekends, and vacations. It is also a very good way to get a "seamless" tan.

Why do people choose nude recreation?

There are as many different reasons for choosing nude recreation as there are different types of people and recreational choices. People who enjoy being nude are diverse in age and profession. Without the restrictions of clothing, we enjoy a sense of well being while participating in activities like swimming, hiking, volleyball, boating, tennis, and socializing.

Will I feel self conscious being nude?

After the first 10 minutes, most people begin to feel very comfortable. In the friendly, accepting atmosphere of a club you may soon find any self consciousness melting away. Most people say "I feel so relaxed! I wish I'd done this years ago."

Is there any way I can find out if I want to go nude without actually going to a nudist resort?

Sure. Try walking around your home nude, sleeping in the nude, doing your housework in the nude. Even watch TV while you are nude. Millions of people do just those things on a daily basis. Once you feel comfortable then it is time to try it around other people.

Where can I find places to go that I can be legally nude?

There are over 240 nudist resorts in the United States, not counting nude beaches. For a state by state list of nudist resorts and nude beaches as well as World Listings Click Here.

What is the difference between a naturist and a nudist?

There is little difference in the two terms. Most "nudists" tend to participate in social nudity via resorts, camps, and other similar settings, and they tend to practice social nudity for its own sake. "Naturist's" tend to be more active in their pursuit making sure that clothing-optional recreation is always available. Some naturist's/nudists do not participate in social nudity, and some do not have or desire to have any "political" associations with organized naturist/nudist groups. Some people who espouse naturist/nudist philosophy don't like the labels.

How do children fit in at nudist resorts?

Children participate at nudist clubs and resorts as they do in any other family environment. They are the ones who stand to gain the most from nude recreation because of the positive influences on their psychological development. Many mental health professionals agree that family nudity promotes a healthy self-concept during the formative years.

Does nudism create sexual arousal?

Being nude is not itself inherently sexual. Nudists at a park or club for the weekend are participating in recreational activities. Equating nudism with sex is a common misconception that may stem from the generally held belief that people are only nude during bathing and sex. Nudism is simply about enjoying being nude and accepting the human body for what it is.

How accessible are nudist resorts?

Resorts are secure and private. Staff members are careful about who enters their facilities. It's not easy for a nonmember to show up unannounced and gain entrance. Thus, if someone seems to be there for the wrong reasons the resort staff will handle the situation in the proper fashion.

What if I (a male) get an erection?

This problem occurs far less frequently than you might think. Nude recreation is just not that much of a sexual situation for most participants. If you get an erection at a nude beach or other social nude setting, naturist's generally yield a bit of elbow room to avoid making you feel uncomfortable; you should use your judgment to avoid making them feel uncomfortable. If necessary, take a swim or roll over for a short while or temporarily cover up with something. In any case, just use common sense and be considerate.

What if I (a female) am menstruating?

Again, this is a natural occurrence and it is one of the realities of the body with which women have to deal. If a woman is comfortable with one, a tampon is the simplest method of dealing with that time of month. If an external conveyance is preferred then she would wear shorts or bikini bottoms. For the most part, a woman should use what she feels is less obtrusive for her personally. Others aren't going to notice or object.

Is Nude Recreation Legal?

Yes, it is perfectly legal in areas designated as nudist resorts, clothing optional areas and of course nude beaches. Nudist resorts are legal in every state except Arkansas.

Do I have to be a member to get into a nudist resort?

No, not at most resorts. Everyone is welcome to visit at any time. Some resorts have a policy that you must call ahead first. It is wise to either visit their web site or call first before visiting a club in order to find out their particular policy.

Must I be nude all of the time if I go to one of "those places"?

Common sense dictates that when the weather is not conducive to being nude people should be dressed. Most resorts allow a person to get undressed at his/her own pace and some are clothing optional. Whispering Pines is clothing optional except for the hot tub and pool area.

I do not have a "perfect" body. Will people laugh at me?

Women are particularly enslaved and automatically conditioned to the American notion of the perfect figure or body. No, nudists do not laugh at others. They accept you for who you are and not for how you look. We all have blemishes, scars, and imperfections, and there is no such thing as a perfect "10". Tall, short, average, overweight, young or old, it doesn't matter. Genuine nudism is about total body acceptance no matter the condition. Think of the human body as a package. The package can be wrapped in gold foil and contain a lump of dirt. Then again the package can be wrapped in old newsprint and contain a rough-cut diamond. In other words, it is what is on the inside that counts.

Will people stare at me?

No. Nudists do not have a need, or the desire, to stare at others. Basically we are all the same and there is nothing to stare at.

Will I feel uncomfortable being around naked people?

Maybe for the first few minutes, but then you will forget that you are without clothes. Many people decide to get nude faster than they planned because they felt uncomfortable being the only clothed person around.

Are nudist resorts only for single people?

On the contrary. You will find single people, married people, couples, and many children at nudist parks. They come from all walks of life, all ethnic origins, all religions, and from all occupations. However, many resorts unfairly discriminate against single males and/or impose "gender quotas" against single males while readily admitting single females with no gender quota. If you are a single male check the resort's policy before a visit.

What if I meet someone at a nudist resort that I know? I would be mortified.

If you do meet someone you know, they are there for the same reason you are, and they will be just as surprised to see you there and will think nothing about it. Just remember, there is nothing wrong in being nude.

If there is nothing wrong with being nude, why has it been kept a secret so long?

It has not been kept a secret. Social nudism started in the US in 1929. It was brought to the US from Germany where nudism has been accepted for centuries. Europe has always accepted nudists and thinks nothing of it. But in the United States where people think they are so cool and "with it" most are still harboring inhibitions about the nude human body.

Why is organized nudism associated with sex?

It isn't, not to genuine nudists. Only those who are not genuine nudists and those who prefer to remain ignorant on legitimate nudism view nudity as sexually related. It is very common to assume that men associate nudity with sex while as many women, if not more, also think that legitimate organized nudism is associated with sex. Such people are not genuine nudists.

Isn't it wrong to have kids see you nude?

Why would it be wrong? If it is simple nudity without sexual connotations, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. In fact it has been proven that children who are nudists have many less hang-ups about sexuality and growing up than those who lead a "sheltered" life. If parents stopped trying to hide simple nudity from their children there would be a better understanding and more open communication between parents and children. Too often children are uptight about the changes taking place within them and are afraid to talk about it because they feel it is taboo. Seeing each other nude tends to break down those barriers and makes it easier to speak about one's feelings without fear.

Don't nudist kids experiment a lot seeing others nude?

No, in fact there is less experimenting in the nudist environment than in the textile environment because children being raised as nudists have no need to peek, check others out or to play doctor because they see it all without having it hidden. The mystery is not there. It is really a healthy way to raise children. They have more respect for each other, and for everyone else. They do not snicker or giggle when they see a nude body like a lot of kids do.

My husband wants me to try it, but I think that he would spend all of his time looking at other women.

If he wants to try nude recreation with you he is proud of you and wants you at his side.

What do I do if someone "hits" on me? (Woman) Isn't that common?

No, it is not common at all. It rarely happens, and if by chance it does, all you have to do is report it to the office and steps will be taken to insure that it does not happen again. That type of behavior is not tolerated among singles, couples or married and will cause you to be permanently evicted.

Do men walk around with erections all of the time like I have heard?

No, that is far from the truth. Erections are very uncommon because any man that is at the park is there only for the enjoyment of the sun and fellowship. If by chance a man gets an unexpected erection he will cover up with a towel, roll over onto his stomach, or otherwise hide it until it subsides. Any man flaunting an erection will be asked to leave the grounds and not return.

My wife wants to visit a nudist resort, but I am afraid that I will feel inferior once she sees all of the other men walking around nude. How do I handle this?

Everyone is different in some ways, but in most ways we are all the same. There is no reason to feel inferior because she most likely will be looking more into the eyes of everyone she sees and will not be paying attention to other areas. It has been said many, many times that there is more eye contact at a nudist park than there is in any other place. Feeling inferior about anything is nothing but emotional insecurity.

What is the best age to bring children to a nudist type place?

Any age is ideal. Probably the only time that it may be difficult for some kids is just at the time they are entering puberty. It all depends on how open you are with your children.

What are the ages that we will see at nudist resorts?

You will find infants to great grandparents. There are first, second, and even third generation nudists at lots of the resorts. 

So Your Partner Is Interested In Nudism?

We have never met, but I am taking the liberty to write you because I understand that your significant other has become interested in nudism or clothes-free recreation. You are wondering whether or not to share in this. My husband and I are nudists, and like you, we both experienced all the concerns and uncertainties the first time we tried it. All the vague fears and worries I fretted about proved groundless. I would like to help you experience and become comfortable with this lifestyle. I hope you will let me try. 

Perhaps telling about my first experience with nude recreation will lead you to that end. I was vacationing at a resort in the Caribbean. The first two days were spent on the beach sitting in a soggy swimsuit and being chafed by sand. I signed up for a day boat trip and picnic at a beach on an island away from the resort. As we were leaving, I discovered that the excursion was to an island with a nude beach! I decided to go anyway, thinking no way was anybody getting me out of my suit. I stood firm, and in fact, was the last person to give in and shed my swimsuit - I was the last one to get dressed to return to the resort. Why hadn't someone told me about this sooner? I was hooked, and that was over 30 years ago. The phrase, "nude when possible, clothed when practical," definitely describes me. I do wear at least shoes when vacuuming the house though as I have a habit of running over my toes with the vacuum cleaner. 

I admit that my first reaction was that this is something that was not an acceptable practice. I was unaware that there are national organizations and did not know anyone who could shed light on this relaxing way of life. The literature available today, some of which your significant other might have asked you to look over, tells it like it is. Everyone will tell you that once you have made your first visit, the feeling of apprehension will vanish. Until you experience a thing for yourself, words cannot tell you how you should feel or how you should act or react. 

Believe in your mate. You have a good relationship, and I'm sure your significant other has never asked you to do anything that was wrong or really unpleasant. Occasionally, we don't want to do some things at first, but since it means a great deal to him, it usually turns out fine. This too, means a great deal to him. When you decide to visit a club, give them a call and inform them that this will be your first visit. Contrary to what most people believe, you generally will not be asked to leave your clothes at the gate. You will be given a tour of the premises, where the pool or hot tub, or other facilities are located. If you are visiting a non-landed club, you will most likely visit with some of the members at a neutral location, i.e., coffee shop, after which you will be invited to an event. 

Some common fears of women with whom I have been in contact include being secretly worried that she wouldn't be as attractive to her spouse as she had been, compared with all the beautiful figures she was sure must be there. 

For the most part, there is a normal cross-section of the population. The solution for this particular lady was the security she felt in her relationship and that the relationship was based on more than just physical attractiveness. Another fear is what sort of people will I meet. You will meet doctors, lawyers, clergymen and women, taxi drivers, accountants, secretaries, warehouse- men, waiters, school teachers, moms, dads, grandparents, teenagers, infants. We are your neighbors, your friends. 

It's a wonderful feeling to meet entirely new people and enjoy new interests and activities. There is a peculiar thing you have to experience to believe, but there is a friendliness about nudists that you will generally not find in any other group. I have come to count our nudist friends among my closest. They seem to always be there for me, for us. 

Why don't you try your hand at being a nudist in your own home. Try sleeping nude, if you don't already--once you get used to it, you won't want to sleep any other way. 

That's the first easy step. Then, when you take your shower or bath, don't grab for a robe except for comfort. Do your nails or set your hair or just read the newspaper. I think you will enjoy it. If you exercise, try it without clothes, it feels wonderful. Wear whatever you need to feel comfortable. Since it's convenient and healthful at times to dispense with clothes, nudists do. We're not different from other people, just more comfortable. 

I hope I've been able to help just a little. Offer a compromise to your mate. Give him an hour of your time, you will wish you had sooner. 

Cheri Donna

Article courtesy of Cheri Alexander
Copyright © August 1997 - 2001 by Travelites, Inc. 
PO Box 90836, Columbia, SC 29290 
All Rights Reserved

Nudists Are Ordinary People Too
By Tamara Dietrich

If there's anything surprising about nudists - beyond the obvious lack of clothing - it's that they seem so darned ordinary. Strike that. One minor surprise was discovering that nudists can also be conservative Republicans. Robert Stofka, for instance, is a preschool teacher in Virginia Beach and avowed conservative who frequents White Tail Park in Ivor. He contacted me after a recent column asking nudists to step forward to test my working theory that "many good people frequent nudist resorts."

Ever since he was a young child, Stofka says, he's been more comfortable in the buff.

"People like to think we are somehow different than anyone else, but we're really a cross-section of society," Stofka says. "There are a good number of nudists out there, but because of the preconceptions of the general society, a lot of them don't come out."

Other nudists contacted me from across the country, and even from Canada. Articulate, well-educated, rational folk who challenge our basic, cherished notion of each other as - if we have nothing else in common - at least fully clothed.

This is from Dan, who says he's been a "card-carrying nudist since 1993, a skinny-dipper before that": "We are your neighbors, your doctor, your minister, the neighbor across the street with the tall privacy fence. Any occupation you see in your everyday life, you could also see in a nudist resort. The only difference is that the priest won't be wearing the collar, the policeman won't be carrying a gun, and the psychiatrist will be counseling on the volleyball court. The bikers will still have their tattoos and the amputees will take off their prosthetics to get in the pool. The Republicans and Democrats each argue for their position on the issues, but they can always agree on a cold drink or a dip in the pool."

Dan, who asked me not to use identifying information, says he has a degree in law enforcement/sociology, eight years in police work, a wife and daughters, and three years as a counselor and supervisor for the Florida Abuse Registry.

I also heard from Cindiee in the Northwest, who laments that "in the U.S., violence in general is pretty much tolerated in every media, but when Janet exposed a breast/nipple for several seconds, the whole country was in uproar and new legislation was introduced to clamp down on nudity and indecent exposure."

George Winlock, 63, a tax accountant for a major international corporation outside Boston, writes that he became a nudist 10 years ago "because I wanted to go skinny-dipping, which I had done years before but was unable to do so after the YMCA went coed and no longer had nude swims for men and boys." Winlock signed off his note with NIFOC (Nude in Front of the Computer), which is more than I needed to know, but shows he walks the walk.

Allen Parker is author of "Nudist Among Us," about a "Christian nudist family trying to survive life in a small conservative Southern town." He writes that it's loosely based on his own family's experiences.

From South Carolina, a state employee writes that she's been a nudist for most of her 56 years. "I have witnessed youngsters growing up without body shame, accepting themselves and others for who they are, not what they look like, own or wear," says Cheri Alexander. Her husband is a nudist, too, she says. "When I get home, off comes the outer trappings that society demands we wear in the normal course of a day. I lose that anxiety when those textiles are removed."

Nudists elsewhere seem acutely aware of Virginia's new law banning nudist camps for teens unless a parent or guardian is present. They see it as one more misconception of the nudist lifestyle by those who confuse nudity with sexuality.

"Anyone who has spent five minutes at a proper nudist resort or beach (not a swinger's club, which is something entirely different) will quickly realize that it is both quite possible and very natural to go about your normal business without clothes on, and not necessarily trigger sexual activity," writes Bill Cook, 30, a researcher with a doctorate in biology at Arizona State University in Tempe. His nudist wife has a master's in social work, he says, and works in mental health.

Nudists challenge our General Assembly's presumption that children need special protection at nudist camps. "There is simply no evidence that I know of that pedophiles are a worse problem at nudist resorts than in any other place; sure, there are some, but this is true everywhere," Cook writes. "It is also absolutely true that nudists are acutely aware of the possible repercussions of overlooking the presence of a pedophile, which is why nudist groups probably have more procedural defenses against sexual deviants than any other organization. The only reason this kind of legislation repeatedly comes up is that people who have never been to a nudist facility cannot imagine the possibility that sexual deviancy does NOT occur there."

A research assistant professor at a Pennsylvania university and father of two writes that he's been a nudist for 15 years and counting. "So far," writes Oleg Sokolsky, "it has not turned me into a pervert or maniac, has not adversely affected either my professional or my family life. "It is very unfortunate that in our society it is easy to hijack a term, redefine it, and taint the original notion. This is what happened with nudism."

For one man, the culprit is the "moral right-wing" using the fear factor of adverse "secondary effects" in the guise of protecting children to force its viewpoint into government legislation. He cites unsuccessful attempts in Florida and Texas to enact legislation similar to ours. In one Florida town, he writes, local officials who stood up to local religious leaders are now facing attempts to "remove the enemies of God from office."

"The Virginia legislature managed to amalgamate these issues well in its legislation," he writes. "Ban the nude youth camps simply because they 'think' there may be an issue at some point associated with child protection, when in fact, there was no evidence that this has happened at any time at the club in question, or in that state."

His passionate stand against the "stealth agenda of the ultra-religious" made me suspect he must be an agnostic. Or, at the very least, Unitarian. But he signed off as the Rev. D.M. Kirkpatrick of Boston, Mass. "Yes," he ended with a wink, "nudist clergy, and few agree with what is happening nationally."

Tamara Dietrich can be reached at
Article courtesy of The Travelites

What Is A Nudist?

A nudist is a person who believes that clothes are neither normal nor natural to the human being, but may be worn when special circumstances of environment or physical comfort would indicate the propriety of so doing. He does not conceive of the human body as being in anyway shameful in itself but carefully distinguishes between decent and indecent exposure. He accords to every part of the body an equally normal naturalness wholly devoid of any vulgarity or obscenity. In this view an elbow, a pubic arch, or a nose are equally respectable; a thyroid, a testicle, a mammary are just so many glands each with its particular but equally splendid function to perform.

The nudist holds that sun and air bathing are essential to the maintenance of health at its best; that there is no essential reason why the sexes should be segregated. He therefore believes and practices a non-segregated or social nudism in games, swimming, sun and air bathing and in outdoor sports generally; while in the home, within the family circle, he cultivates the clothe less life as being the normal life. The nudist believes, and hopes, that the limits within which nudism may be practiced with propriety will gradually broaden until the practice of social nudism becomes a common lifestyle.

What We Believe

We believe in the essential wholesomeness of the human body and all its functions.

We believe that sunshine and fresh air in immediate contact with the entire body are basic factors in maintaining good health and happiness.

We believe that the presentation of the male and female figures in their entirety and completeness needs no apology or defense and that only in such an attitude of mind can we find true modesty.

The Magna Carta of Nudism

Under proper safeguards and for the public weal we demand:

1. The elimination from our statute books of all legislation that makes social nudism per se an illegal thing.
2. The setting aside of at least some part of our public beaches, parks, picnic grounds and recreation centers where nudists may freely live the natural life in the open.
3. The constitutional right of a free press to print text and unaltered pictures which decently and naturally represent nudism as it actually is being lived and practiced.

Today these demands represent the rightful desire of a minority; tomorrow they may represent the priceless heritage of the majority.

Principles and Standards

Our goal is the healthy mind in the healthy body. This is not only a creed but a way of life. Sun, light and air are vital conditions of human well-being. We believe these elements are insufficiently used in present-day life, to the detriment of physical and moral health. For the purpose of health and recreation and for the conditioning of man to his world we offer a social practice, based on the known wholesome value of exposure to these elements and in the spirit of naturalness, cheerfulness, and cleanness of body and mind that they symbolize. We aim to make the fullest possible use of sun, light and air by a program of exercise and life in the open in such a way as will result in the maximum physical and mental benefit.

We believe in the essential wholesomeness of the human body, and all its functions. We therefore regard the body neither as an object of shame nor as a subject for levity or erotic exploitation. Any attitude or behavior inconsistent with this view is contrary to the whole spirit of the society and has no place among us.

The practice of our physical culture tends toward simplicity and integrity in all ways.

We invite to our membership persons of character of all ages and both sexes. Our purposes are not exclusively physical or cultural or esthetic but rather a normal union of all these. We make no tests of politics, religion or opinion provided that these are so held as not to obscure the purposes of our philosophies.

A Platform of Nudism

(PLANKS OF NUDISM, American Gynosophical Society, 1933)

We maintain that nudism
Properly rejects the theory of original sin,
Looks on life as being essentially pure,
Assists moral and physical cleanliness,
Never degrades--ever exalts,
Keeps our thoughts and actions clean,
Says that the body is more than raiment;

Offers physical, moral and spiritual comfort to all, foregoes conventional modesty and induces true propriety, chastity and morality, negatives the contention that the wearing of clothes is a moral or spiritual necessity, unites all sects and denominations in one brotherhood, demands pure motives of its adherents, inspires pride of body, and is a reminder that a healthy body should be a universal heritage, shows sex to be normally un disturbing and reduces it to its proper proportion in the scheme of life, makes the instruction of the young in the great facts of life a matter of simplicity, beauty and truth.

The Scope and Aims of Modern Nude Culture

Modern civilization with all its artificiality, repressive and inhibitive tendencies, prevents man from using the vital elements under natural condition as a nude animal. A better adjustment between the artificial and natural elements in life can be attained by the elimination of society's taboo on nudity, replaced by a sincere belief in the essential wholesomeness of the human body in all its functions.

If the individual, in a state of complete nudity, leads a natural, hygienic life in the open, has immediate contact with sun, air, light, water, warmth and cold, and takes well-balanced exercises, he will derive great satisfaction, regain hardihood, develop physical  fitness, a feeling of freedom, a distinct sense of the enlargement of his personality, and the maximum mental benefit.

The practice of nude culture in a group will satisfy man's gregarious tendency and will--by bringing the whole naked body within the scope of personality--give a more accurate impression and increase the significance of our fellow human beings. It will develop fully the urge for improvement in physical beauty, and enrich the mind by frank discussion deeper argumentation, closer contact and understanding co-operation.

Complete nudity in association with the opposite sex will furnish adequate knowledge of the physical make-up of the other, will obviate the abnormally erotic effect of the concealment caused by clothing, and will permit the full development of a sex life unhampered by false modesty and curiosity.

Young Adults and Naturism

Many people who investigate naturism and/or social nudity a little are surprised to find that (in North America, at least) it seems to be something that appeals mostly to people over 30. This was not always so, it does not have to be so, and it is something that needs to change in order for the pleasures of clothes-freedom to be available to as many people as possible. Young people who have looked into nudism and naturism or visited nude beaches are often dismayed to find relatively few in their own age group. Many (most?) others never even give the possibility of social nudity a thought since it seems to be so far outside the norms of society as they have experienced it. 

Yet there are reasons why one might expect young people to be more inclined to tolerate and have an interest in nakedness than older folks: 

Being naked is pleasurable and fun - and young people especially like what's fun.

Young people have the time and inclination to enjoy life and have fun. (They may feel that they have little free time - but they will have even less time when they are deeply involved with a career and have a family to support!) 

Young people have had less time to become entangled in social structures that might discourage an interest in nudity (e. g. a career, the rat race, kids of their own, etc.)

Having had less time to internalize social taboos, young people ought to be more daring and more inclined to try new and unusual things. Young people should be less worried about how their bodies look since they haven't suffered the bulges, sags, and scars of advancing age. Young people are less likely to be in a committed relationship where the other person is strongly opposed to nudity.

Unfortunately for all concerned - both the younger and the older generation - there is an unequal representation of age groups among people who like to be naked, especially in social situations. And this under-representation itself becomes a deterrent for young people to become involved with social nudity, just as it does with other demographic categories, such as women.

It hasn't always been this way. The generation of people who came of age in the 60s and 70s were more at ease with nudity (even though, statistically, interest in nudity was still rather outside of the mainstream). Perhaps this has more than a little to do with why this generation, now middle-aged, is more strongly represented in social nudity than younger people. People in this age range can recall (if they happen to be male) when it was normal to swim naked at the Y. They remember, fondly, the clothing optional parties and skinny dipping that weren't uncommon on campuses in the late 60s and 70s. They flocked in large numbers to the "free" beaches - many of which still are "clothing optional", but rather less heavily used. 

How can young people become more involved in clothes-freedom and social nudity?

Here are some general suggestions, both for young people themselves, and for anyone who wants to see clothes-freedom available to people of all ages. It shouldn't be a secret that only certain older folks know about.

No one's arm needs to be twisted to discover the enjoyment of nakedness. Just trying it once in a pleasant, supportive environment is usually enough to convince someone who has no entrenched hang-ups about nudity. The environment can be in the privacy of one's own home. "Just do it."

Keep in mind that the world of clothes-freedom, social nudity, naturism, or whatever it's called is very diverse. It isn't just one thing. It isn't (necessarily) a lifestyle you need to follow at all times. There are many different ways to enjoy it. There will be aspects of this world that are more to your own personal liking than others. Try to find what is right for you.

There are a number of specific, easy steps anyone can take to begin experiencing and enjoying the pleasures of clothes-freedom and social nudity. Here is an organized list of suggestions for how to get started that should be useful to people of any age.

Read and think about some of the reasons why young people are most often discouraged from trying social nudity. There are specific suggestions for overcoming each of the obstacles and deterrents. Look for online places where you can discuss clothes-freedom, social nudity, and naturism with others, many of whom have useful experience. There are many alternatives, such as discussion forums, chat rooms, mailing lists, and individual Web site guest books.

Get involved with various online groups which are specifically trying to help young people learn about and experience clothes-freedom. Some of these are places with the specific purpose of helping young people with a common interest in social nudity make contact with each other.

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