Nudity and religion

Religion in (my) school

Religion keeps confusing me. I know I’ve been at this before, but it is something so incomprehensible to me that I want to address it again.

When I was 15 or 16, which is quite a while ago, I made sure the catholic church removed me from their subscription list. I’d gotten into arguments with the priest who, in school, taught religion and got thrown out of the classroom quite often ‘for asking the wrong questions’. Even at that age I was aware that, if someone who is supposed to be a professional at his job (priest is a job, right?) and he can’t answer the most obvious of questions, then there’s something wrong with the background of his job.

It was around that time that I discovered nudism (as it was still called back then). That was the straw that broke the religious camel’s back: I asked the priest why Adam and Eve had decided to put on clothes when being naked was so much more comfortable.

This was the result, as it were. Words like ‘insolent’ and ‘blasphemy’ (that last one threw me, still does) were the last ones from the priest before I left that class forever.

The library was my friend after that.

Because of this ‘insolence’, I had to report to the headmaster, for being thrown out yet again. I explained my side of the argument, the priest called me a liar and Satan’s child (yay me!), and the headmaster decided I should stick to the library from then on and leave religion class behind me. In that library (yes, the school library) I read a lot about all kinds of religions and even more about nudism. Even back then, in the 1970s, our schools were so liberated.

Since being naked felt much better than religion, I read up a bit about the combination. Since the priest had gotten fired up so much, there had to be something.

Religion: the practice of shame and guilt (a.k.a. control)

Religion, for me (and many others), is the ultimate form of controlling others through shame and guilt. In Christianity, everyone’s born with guilt. The original sin. In Islam the body has to be covered all the time as that is ‘the law’ (of Islam), and exposing one’s ‘intimate parts’ is sinful.

Sin, according to Wikipedia, almost always refers to religion. Almost always? Yes, there is a trigonomy function written as sin as well, but that’s not the one on display here.

So, sin is a human invention. Sin is an offence to a God or divine law. It’s interesting that there are Christians and also Muslims who are naturists, despite their godly laws of sin and guilt and shame and what not. And the good thing for them is: their god hasn’t struck them down for being disobedient. Insolent. Shameful. Guilty. Any ‘striking down’ so far has come from people who stick to their holy books, be it verbally or literally (using techniques involving throwing rocks etc.).

Rocks should be used to hike over. Naked. Without the burden of some religion or god hovering over you for doing ‘the wrong thing’. Because being naked is natural. It is how we’re born.

Colours in naturism

Don’t get me wrong. This is not a post about body painting.

I’m going to delve a little into the side of naturism of other ethnic groups. People of colour. Black people. Hispanic people. And why? Because I have found that around 95% of the naturist contacts I have on the internet are white. Caucasian. Whatever kind of ‘colour’ you want to put on them.

Black naturist woman

I asked one of my non-white naturist contacts about this.

Do coloured naturists feel part of the overall naturist community?

I wondered about that, because the naturist community as a whole is a very open and welcoming bunch. At least, from what I’ve found and experienced.

Black nudists

As it turns out, it depends very much on the group such naturists wants to join. Sometimes they are accepted as they are, no problems come up. That is how it should be. However, there are times, so my contact said, that coloured people are not so easily accepted and in the worst case they are actually shunned.

I’m glad he told me that there are people out there in nudy-land (my words, not his) that do their best to make people of all genders and each ethnicity feel welcome. Which is how it should be.

Are there communities of coloured naturists?

The answer to this was that he hadn’t been invited to any, but he is convinced there are specific naturist groups for ‘other ethnic groups’.

nude play at the beach

As an aside, I have to throw in here that I hate differentiating between humans and humans this way. We’re all people, regardless of skin tone, and it would be nice if we could just get along. I’m certain most people agree.

Are coloured people as much into naturism as non-coloured ones?

I had to ask. And the answer was ‘no’. That didn’t surprise me. Part of that is in the upbringing, which brings religion into play but also the ‘being different’ as in skin tone. Dark people seem to be ‘watched’ more so they have to stay below the waves of attention. That prevents them from coming out into the open as naturists, or even it will prevent them from even trying. Which is a shame, in my view.

And now to you, coloured reader…

I admit that this is not an in-depth bit of research, that I’m just scratching the surface. So I would like to hear your opinions, your experiences and even your hopes for your (and others) naturist future.

Please drop me a comment and talk about what you have done, what you think and so on.

Naturism is for everyone.

Naturist kids

Note upfront: I have no children. I desire no children. I do desire children to have the best youth and life they can possibly have.


Let me kick off a few questions at the start. Do you have children? Did you take them nude venues like beaches and resorts when they were young? And if you did, do you think they suffered from it?

I somehow doubt they did. At our local nude beach I have seen kids play, swim and have fun, and no one had any issue with it. Hooray for free minds and people who feel good about being naked. I am sure you all agree.

This topic has been on my mind a while, especially since the number of protests from textile ignorants who claim that children should not be present at a naked swim organised by British Naturism.

Something that crawls up on me is the persistent refusal of these people to at least come and have a look. (Which would go against their textile habits, of course.) But how do they know that children will be harmed at such venues? We all know that kids are as safe as peas in a pod, but they don’t. They base their opinion on what happens in their world. The clothed, covered world, where nudity is a taboo.

Such people condemn us like they would condemn child molesters without knowing any better.

I for one am very glad that the owner of the water park, Mr Chaudry, spoke out against these people’s allegations, stating that the popular Stoke-on-Trent tourist attraction has been ‘unjustly accused of encouraging paedophiles’.

Good on Mr Chaudry. There should be more open minds like him around.

My parents weren’t naturists so their children weren’t brought up with the naturist idea. Still they were open-minded enough to let us choose our own paths and ways. I’m glad I walked down Nudist Lane, so to speak. Granted, I wasn’t a child any more, but I was still “young enough” in starting to fully enjoy it, knowing I would do so for a long time. Now I’m 59 and it seems as if I enjoy being clothes-free more and more each year. I have no explanation for it and I darn well don’t need one.

Nude child with bouquet (image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons)

If everyone’s kid would just be so lucky – and have an earlier start!

Children should be immersed in the lifestyle and later given the choice to continue or leave. It’s a part of growing up and making educated choices. Unlike those who remain in the textile realm and condemn us, the ones who know how good it is (mentally and physically) to shed our clothes and enjoy life the way we were born.

To everyone, including children, I proclaim:

BN (Be Naked), not BS!

Do nude whatever is possible

In case you didn’t know: it’s not a perfect world

Naturists and other clothes-free loving people often complain that the world isn’t accepting us the way we want. True, I immediately agree with you. However, we still have options to do what we want, be it in our home, in saunas, on nude beaches, nude resorts and any kind of venue that is organised by people with open minds. Like the British Naturism swim in a water park that attracted so much attention lately.

Compared to many people who have no opportunity to be as free as we are in their country, we can count ourselves lucky in a way. Of course, there are those who are in our league and they draw the short end in their country too. For instance in Egypt, where nudism is illegal. I once read an article by the Egyptian Nudist where he and some friends occasionally came together in someone’s home to have some relaxing nude time, and even that was risky for them.

The world is a weird place. Let’s be happy with what we can do, instead of constantly bemoan what we can’t. Life is too short to whine and complain, trust me. Suddenly you’re old and you should not look back in regret.

Instead, seize every opportunity to be nude and enjoy it. Be as open about your lifestyle as you can. Some can be very open, some risk big problems, so also don’t complain if someone who is not you, is not doing as you do. You shouldn’t judge someone’s seeming unwillingness to talk freely about his or her naturism or nudism. Their life isn’t yours.

Do you have good ideas? Spread them.

I think that’s the best thing you can do. If you have a clever idea to be nude without breaking your local laws, tell the world about that idea. You may not reach someone close very quickly, but the internet (think about places like Twitter and such) has a way to spread your idea like wildfire.

Don’t keep the good things to yourself; you could make a fellow human very happy.

In the case that you’re afraid people will know it was you who had the idea, tell a friend about it if you think he or she can spread the idea, or open an anonymous twitter account that isn’t easily linked back to you. I’m sure many naturists have something like that, and it works.

I hope I have motivated some people to look at the bright side of nude life. I’ve seen plenty of examples where ‘activists’ are not happy. Of course, there will always be unhappy people. As I said, it’s not a perfect world. But spreading good and positive ideas is one way to slowly turn that tide.

Nude hiking is the best

While you read this, I’m probably on my way home from a short vacation on one of the Canary Islands. These islands are wonderful for the naked tourist. No, alas, that doesn’t mean you can wander around in the nude anywhere without getting into trouble, but they offer lots of places where you can.

On Easter Sunday I was out for a walk. I had been looking forward to this particular one as it is a walk I can’t do at home (lacking mountains and the space to do it naked).

Walks like this are always good. I know that many of you, reading this, can and will agree.

For me, the experience of consciously taking my clothes off and going for a long walk (this one was about 3 kilometres long) is an almost spiritual experience.

I am peeling away the physical boundaries between me and nature. All of me will be able to feel the sun and the wind. All of me will be moving without being bothered (yes, that is really it) by the stuff other people demand I wear when in most kinds of company.

And the best thing: it’s free.

And then I mean free in the most literal meaning. No one who has a problem with me being how I want to be. Nothing holding me back except gravity (and I am very grateful for that one 😉 ).

Having this possibility to walk around clothes-free is truly amazing. The sad thing always comes when the walk comes to an end and I have to put the hot stuff on again. That moment tells me how unnatural it is to wear clothes in an environment that is made for bodily liberty.

I can hardly wait to go on another nude hike. Let’s hope the world will someday get its act together and understand that our lifestyle isn’t bad. That we’re actually preserving energy and water.

And let’s hope it happens in our lifetime.