How long would it take for nudity to be accepted?

Yes, isn’t that a fun question?

The bias against nudity removed

During a walk a while ago I suddenly wondered about that. Suppose that one day (and may it happen soon), there would be no more bias against the nude body, and we were all free to go naked wherever we want.

How long would it take before the majority of people would be fine with that? After how much time would people stop pulling out their phones to take pictures of yet another naked person walking by?

Here are my uneducated guesses

I think the first days would be bad. There would be outrage by the overly pious and ‘faint of heart’. Tonnes of images and miles of video footage would go online and I am sure we’d be mocked and called names too.

But after those first few days I think that more and more people would feel the urge to at least try this. Mostly after the first wave of pictures and video has come to an end.

Why just a first few days?

I base this guess on how quickly people get used to being naked when they try naturism themselves. Usually, it’s only a matter of an hour and often even less. When you see more nude people, the fact that they’re nude vanishes. I think the same thing will happen in the streets. It’s like the Carnaval in Rio: when 1 person dresses up and goes into the street, everyone will notice that person.

Carnaval, Rio de Janeiro

But if more than 20% of the population does it, there is some kind of critical mass that gets passed and then the dressed-up folks get not that much attention anymore. Now I am probably way off with the 20% for Rio but it’s not Rio I am talking about here. This post is about the number of people who want to go nude when the weather’s okay for it – and it’s okay for going nude much faster than the dressed community would agree. Simply because we know and they don’t.

And then, after a few weeks…

I think that after a few weeks the big acceptance will happen. When people notice that nude people are just like dressed ones. We won’t go around having sex all over the place, like they don’t.

I am convinced that there will be people who are going to do that though. And then it would be our responsibility to step in and stop that behaviour. It will have much more impact when a nude person stops other nude people from such behaviour than when we wait for the (dressed) police to come and do that. Showing the textile world that we, the nude, are against that, makes the most powerful sign.

Naked discrimination should stop

Nude, bodypainted girl being arrested

I think we all agree with this. It is my experience that most normal people (the ones in the street, not the politicians, religious zealots and other ‘influencers’) don’t have a big issue with nudity. It’s the media that make it a ‘big deal’, and then there’s the ‘lucky few’ who take it as an opportunity to put themselves in the spotlight, but if it’s not nudity, they would find something else for their own purpose.

That’s what irks me the most. During nude walks in England, I’ve met people, also older people, who didn’t give a damn about me being naked. They liked me being polite, wishing them a nice day. The normal things.

Also here in the Netherlands people don’t really care. I do notice there is a trend in the wrong direction going on, which has to do with the influences of the many restrictive cultures and religions that are coming in. And then there is Germany, where clothes-free recreation, FKK, was ‘invented’. They’re really okay with it.

Author: Paul

Promoting the clothes-free lifestyle.

21 thoughts on “How long would it take for nudity to be accepted?”

  1. Paul, you have a great dream and maybe it could work someplace small. I even share your dream, but it will never happen especially her in the U.S.. There are several reason. First, we have so sexualized the human body here that any mention or showing of it in public meets with great condemnation and law enforcement. Nudity is associated with sex and even pedophilia in even the most liberal of towns. Nudists are considered outcasts and creepy so we just keep to ourselves in our own private places. I’ve openly advocated for public recreation areas, and I’ve met with great resistance. I’ve even had a couple of city staffers say that I should not be so public about being a nudist because it will attract the attention of law enforcement.

    The second reason is that we are not victims that can be exploited for political gain. The LBQ…whatever community is seen as a voting block by one of our political parties so they are being exploited as victims for political gain. There behavior is publically condoned no matter how lewd because politicians want their votes. We are supposed to accept their lifestyle choices or else it is called discrimination. Nudists are just the opposite. We are ordinary, everyday people from all walks of life that understand that the human body is normal and natural. There is nothing to gain for politicians by legalizing public nudity.

    Unfortunately here in the U.S. we are currently motivated by politics so this wonderful idea will remain purely a dream. Nudity will become more restricted here and I assume in other countries like France and the U.K. too.

    1. I hear what you say, Bare (lacking better, I will use this as your first name ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
      It is not so much a dream as a thought experiment. It’s highly unlikely that nudity will be an accepted form of being, certainly in the Prude States of America, but not just there.

      I just wonder how long it would take for nudity to be accepted if the mindset
      and the law
      were to change on this topic.

      1. Paul:

        I use this moniker because of lack of acceptance. I’ve experienced some professional repercussions by being open and honest about being a nudist. It is not right but until I am out of the working world or at least totally on my own, I will have to stick with Bare Beach Bum.

        Those are the thoughts that we have to deal with here in the U.S. where nudity is considered a perversion even my ex-wife doesn’t understand. I’ve worked for decades trying to change the mindset of people including legislators on harmless social nudity. I always believe that education is the key but in our polarized society, people are very closed-minded. There are people at are open minded enough to listen and even accept nudity, but they don’t stick up for it because it isn’t a part of their lives.

        We all need to figure out a way to effectively change that mindset and everyone that enjoys practicing social nudity needs to actively live and communicate it to the public.

        Millennial are an interesting generation with respect to nudity. They are open to the concept but have been indoctrinated so much about unwanted sexuality and body shaming that they aren’t generally into naturism. I have convinced a few to join our activities and they have but fade away when they see that there aren’t people their own age in attendance. If we could start bringing this generation over then in a generation or so your vision/thought experiment has a chance of becoming reality unless by that time we have Sharia Law everywhere.

  2. The idea of society’s accepting mere nudity is one-dimensional. Somewhere I heard that making a change at the level you want to doesn’t work. You have to change at the contextual level. To reduce littering (I still see some trash on the street, but not as much as fifty years ago), spend a generation cultivating responsibility for the environment. Buckminster Fuller said don’t try to eliminate wrongs, make them obsolete. To make nudity okay, make sure women are unthreatened, don’t embarrass each other about what we look like, love your body, including its sexuality.

    1. Dear Thomas,
      Please do note that my post was a “suppose what if” one. Of course I “want” this, but I am real enough to understand this won’t happen anytime soon.
      Still, thank you for your input. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Although… I have plenty of experience with nudity in the textiles world. For a large number of people tolerance, at least, is only a few hours away.

    In some places, the tolerance is almost there, now.

    I am inclined to think the problem is best approached locally. Some communities are naturally more accepting than others. Anywhere that allows a WNBR that is actually nude is a good start. Obviously they can’t be too body negative or they’d never let it happen.

    Topfree equality is another very good sign. But you have to remember that just because you have a right it doesn’t mean enough people will embrace it for it to mean anything.

    1. I like your positive approach to my words, Fred. Thank you.
      It would be great to see a shift to more nudity. Climate change might be a definite reason. I took that as the basis for my book “Nude in Space” too, as it made all the sense to me.

  4. I would love to walk naked in the New Forest without worrying about what ifs – famillies etc seeing me. I have walked nude there often over 20 years but have been careful and carried a wrap or similar. Then extend this to other great open spaces, Dartmoor, Exmoor, the coastline, all beaches and so many other areas.
    To be naked without feelings of guilt. I know the law says I can but it is the “offence” bit that concerns us all

    1. IIRC, nudity is legal in the UK.

      I don’t find having a coverup to be a problem. IMHO it is a form of politeness until the public, in general, is more desensitized. A wrap would be more of a hassle than I care for. I always wear a broad-brimmed hat anyhow so it serves as a coverup until I can assess who I meet.

      I walk softly and open myself up to the sounds of nature. It is very rare that I am surprised such I don’t get the hat in place before the encounter. I also step off the trail so an not to crowd them. A bit of space makes textiles more comfortable when meeting a nudie on the trail.

      1. Nudity without the intent to shock people is indeed legal in the UK.
        If you feel you should cover up so as not to shock people, even when you don’t intend to, that’s a good way to do it. As long as you can enjoy nature. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. With even naturist organisations like the NFN jumping on the bandwagon of nudity being unacceptable near children (remember them a few months back writing in their magazine you shouldn’t take your children to a naturist resort or beach to avoid pedophiles…) I think we’re moving away from public acceptance rather than toward it, and not just because of the increase in the muslim (yes, I know you meant them, mostly) population (and to a degree the backlash against that from orthodox Christians).

    And even if it were suddenly legal everywhere to be nude in all places, I seriously doubt the harrassment that those who try it would ever end.
    That harrassment in turn would dissuade others from trying it, meaning the volume we’d need to ever get public acceptance will never arrive.
    Worse still, those who’d try it would in no small part be the last people we’d want to represent us, the sexual exhibitionists who just want to have sex in public parks and parking lots, reinforcing the sexualised image of nudity even further among the general population.

    And as I said, naturist organisations aren’t helping, not at all. It’s like they want nudity to remain something that’s a fringe movement, slightly naughty.

    1. Unfortunately, you are right. I see all that happening as well here in the Netherlands.
      I did like the thought experiment but we’re drifting back to 1699, it seems.

  6. I doubt this will happen, unfortunately. There is just too much religious extremism. And we nudists have to be political correct and respect other peoples opinions while often others don’t seem to have to respect our ways of live.
    As said above in another reaction, for a lot of people there is a direct link between nudism and sex. Those people never seem to have visited a nudist resort.
    As a genuine nudist I would love to be naked also outside my own house and like in Cap d’Agde be able to do my shopping naked and have a drink in a bar, naked. But this will stay a dream I am afraid.

    1. I know it won’t happen. It was just fun to play with the concept.
      Religion is the big killer, as it the influence of ‘foreign culture’ which is becoming more and more oppressive.
      For the reason that you state I wipe the soles of my feet with political correctness. It’s creating a totally fake worldview.

  7. https://aunatural.org/2019/10/12/making-progress-for-nudie-rights/

    We are too impatient. No civil rights struggle was won in just a few years. Most are never fully won. From many decades to well over a century of struggle and women and gays and minority ethnic and racial groups still can’t claim 100% equality and 100% egalitarianism in the US. The best you can hope for is that bigotry becomes the realm of outliers instead of tolerance being the realm of the outliers.

    Nudists are a small group. We don’t have the political clout of other larger minorities. Most of us are too fearful to ever become active in the movement. We succeed best when we work in an already tolerant local area than we do in large national areas.

    Still, look what we have gained in Britain.

    If we lose it it will be because we aren’t ready for freedom. We take our own insecurity and project it onto other people and then look at ourselves thru their eyes as we imagine they are seeing us. You will NEVER be free that way. Approach every encounter with “I’m ok. You’re ok.” in mind.

    Sure, I wear a hat I’ll drop down and I’ll step off the path to give them a few feet of space when I notice textiles approach as a demonstration of goodwill. This puts them at ease. It takes a few seconds to know if I need to keep it there out of consideration for any insecurity they might feel. Every time that hat has always gone back on my head.

    Courtesy is the lubricant that allows differing lifestyles to live together in peace and it seems in short supply as of late. One should always offer it even if it isn’t reciprocated.

    Nobody ever said that fighting for freedom was easy. Especially small minorities. The closet beckons. The turtle has a shell for a reason but must stick out its head to get anywhere. It behooves us to ally with other groups. Become politically savvy. Learn to tack back and forth rather than sailing into the wind. Value compromise. Value bits and pieces. Most importantly, take joy in what you do have and model being a nudie as the best person you can be.

    1. Courtesy is the lubricant that allows differing lifestyles to live together in peace and it seems in short supply as of late. One should always offer it even if it isnโ€™t reciprocated.

      I love this.

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