…when seeing a nude person.
As I wrote in a previous post, I’ve been exploring routes where I can walk naked. At least partially. Getting there requires being dressed, but the more nude walking time I can get, the better.
Over the last week I ran into a few people. Three, to be precise, and it struck me how different they can react. Don’t get me wrong; none of them made a fuss or had negative comments, but still, their reactions were quite different.
One morning, on a Sunday, I walked along the river. A great spot where I can go nude for 2km.
On the way back, I met a lady who was walking her dog. She simply kept walking towards me, said ‘good morning’, and walked on. Seriously, that was the best one of the three.
The second meeting was on a Tuesday morning, quite early, in a spot closer to home. (The river is about 1.6 km / 1 mile walking before I get there.) The trail is something like this:
Yes, it’s a great spot to walk, lots of trees and narrow tracks to follow, it’s never boring. Near the spot where I had to get dressed again, some 400 metres away, there was a lady walking two dogs. One of the dogs came yapping at me, I yapped back at it and it seemed to like that. The lady yelled at that dog (the other was on a leash) and she stepped to the side, turning her back at me while I passed her. I wished her a good morning, she didn’t reply. Again, no big fuss, but such a difference…
The third encounter was also of the dog kind.
I was getting closer to the last patch of ‘forest’ when a lady with, again, a dog, emerged from the spot where I had to go for the trail back home. She saw me, made a wide circle around me, keeping her dog close. She wished me a good morning as I said that to her, but she kept a large distance.
Perhaps she was scared that the dog would do something? I don’t know.
Three encounters in one week. All not ‘upset’ (okay, perhaps the second lady was a bit). I think that’s good.
15 thoughts on “How people react…”
Are the routes you use officially designated “Clothing Optional” or are they simply there for everyone to use? I think that there should be defined trails and park areas where nudists can hike or picnic without fear of reprisal. If someone knows that the area may contain nude individuals and they still enter the area there should be no adverse reactions from them. Lots of places and trails are probably known as having nudists present but there are no “official” notices that explain that. Most nude hikers that I have talked with have had mostly positive reactions from “Textiles” that they meet. I admire your willingness to take your walks in the nude and hope you continue to post your experiences with others.
As JTW said in the comment to Fred: over here in the Netherlands, any path that’s not close to a public road, or busy ‘area’, is theoretically OK as a naturist trail. Most people don’t know that, and this includes the police.
We have a law article (430a, which actually has its own website) that says so.
It all depends on the person you meet. They can ignore you (fine), greet you (better) or report you (not so fine) and then the long arm of the (local!) law has to decide.
You’re in an area that is probably a lot more tolerant than the US.
I’ve been freehiking for maybe 50 years now. I try to stick to empty trails and check the trailhead for other vehicles. There are still going to be close encounters of the nude kind.
If I’m hiking on the trail to Deep Creek, there will be a lot of encounters but everyone knows it is a nudie spot and nobody cares. Otherwise, I typically don’t see anyone but there are rare occasions. Almost got run over once by a bicyclist who just kept going. Another time I was surprised by an elderly birdwatcher. Yet another time by a couple of teenagers in the back of beyond. A couple of times I was setting up a nude selfie when someone walked up on me. The worst I can report is amused giggling.
Got chased by the police once when I was a teenager myself. (Long story but I got away.) A couple of times I hiked with textiles and they said it was cool if I went nude. Or I hiked out textiled but when the others turned back I let them know I was continuing nude.
So maybe once a year I meet someone on the trail. Most of the time I have a chance to strategically relocate my hat and step well off the trail, so that probably doesn’t count for a nude encounter. People make a lot of noise and often wear high-visibility clothes. They also tend not to see things that are not immediately in front of them. Most of the time you see people’s heads long before the rest of them and that is also true in the opposite direction. If you are hiking mindfully, you don’t get surprised often.
We have our share of social conservatives out here. It is legal to hike nude in the local national forests near me but that doesn’t mean some nervous person won’t assume you’re a sexual predator and pepper spray you or report you to the police as soon as they get cell service. Doubly so if they have a child with them. (Documented cases.) And then you’ll be detained on suspicion of something or other until they realize they can’t hold you any longer.
So I hike empty trails and I am usually remote enough that nobody I meet would care.
It’s hit and miss here (same country as Paul).
Technically it’s legal to be nude anywhere “not within sight of a public roadway”, but in reality in a lot of places local authorities ignore that and fine people anyway (leading to somewhat regular lawsuits).
And of course how other civilians react is very hit and miss as well. Some will be fine with it, but an ever greater number are incredibly moralistic about anything ‘outside the norm’ and will at best ignore you with a disapproving stare. And younger people may well become violent when forced outside their comfort zone and attack you.
Luckily I have only heard about things like that, never encountered them.
Yes, it’s getting more and more difficult here in the NL. I often long back to the happy days of freedom of the 70s when topless was normal and not so many people were so tight-assed.
I’ve had people threaten to report me to the police for being barefoot, FFS.
And that in Amsterdam, supposedly the most tolerant of all places in the country.
Not only is there no law saying you have to wear shoes (afaik there’s no such law anywhere in the world) but I often can’t wear shoes for medical reasons.
What the actual fuck?? I never heard of such a “law” or rule either (in fact, once saw a TV documentary about people going barefoot ALWAYS).
I think that living in a multi-cultural, multi-religion society makes people’s attitudes/convictions gravitate towards all those cultures/religions (maybe unknowingly), out of fear to be thought intolerant. And that, ironically and sadly, makes people less and less tolerant.
Does that makes sense? Because to me it feels like what is happening…
In the 70s and 80s this country wasn’t so uptight.
You would think that folks using the outdoors for recreation would have more important things to consider other than whether a fellow hiker is nude or not. We have some serious problems that need solving and a nude hiker on a trail is not one of them. Hopefully, a law enforcement person would seriously see the fallacy of a complaint and quickly dismiss the issue. It’s like the neighbor who complains if you are nude in your yard when he is 1/2 mile away and can only see you with some telescope, etc. Give me a break!!
Depending on country and location in the country the police will either tell the person filing the complaint that there is no crime going on, will come in force and drag you off to the cells, or anything in between.
Like where I live, I can be naked in my back yard and if the neighbours complain they’ll be told I’m doing nothing wrong and warned that I might instead file charges against them for peeking in at me (not that I would, nor would they, I have a very good relation with my neighbours).
But if someone were to see me that way from the street and I didn’t have a chest high or higher fence they saw me over or through I could get fined.
Similarly out in nature, when off the beaten track it’s technically legal to be nude in most places. But many cops and city councils don’t know this and will fine you, fines that will be overturned if you let the case go to court and have a halfway decent lawyer (but that may well cost more than the fine).
That’s why here you have to be extremely careful when taking your clothes off, there’s always a risk an overzealous police officer will fine you even in places where it’s legal and the cost and time required to have that (and the associated criminal record) overturned can be very high.
Exactly. It’s often the ignorance of the law-upholders that makes things very difficult, no matter how much you slap article 430a in their face.
You are lucky. In your country, perhaps there is another mentality. Now I tell you how in all probability the three meetings would have taken place in Italy.
The first lady would immediately call the police, the second would run away in terror, the third would also call the police. The police arrived and after forcing me to dress gave me a fine of 500-600 euros (at best), for “obscene acts”. The case then perhaps (in the worst case scenario) would also have ended up in the local newspaper which would have painted me as a maniac, a mentally ill man walking around naked in the woods.
There definitely is a different mentality here. It has been even better, more free than that, but it has never been so bad as the crap you are describing.
I know it’s hard to believe, but this is unfortunately the situation in my country. Of course, the climate here is generous and you could stay naked at least 6-7 months a year, probably the best country to live naked. But nudism / naturism is not accepted, nor known as an activity, there are thousands of beaches but those for nudists do not exceed 20 throughout the country. I know it’s hard to believe but this is the situation.
Oh, I believe it. I know that Italy is famous for it’s ‘issues’ with nudity and naturism.
Is there a law against nudity in ‘safe places’? I guess not, as there are nude beaches, as you say, but I am not sure.
Is this problem with nudity ingrained into the Italians? Is it something religious? (Wouldn’t surprise me.)
naturism is not regulated with a precise law, but only in a confused way, so if you do naturism outside the areas dedicated to naturists (usually fenced, very few and difficult to reach), you are committing an offense as outdoor nudity it is considered “obscene acts”. Yes, there are beaches dedicated to nudists but they are very few and many only frequented by gays or elderly people, I have nothing against them of course but being younger I don’t want to go to them, not to mention that to reach them I would have to go a long way. No religion has nothing to do with it. Quite simply many people don’t know about naturism so when they see a naked person they think he has bad intentions or is a sex maniac that’s why they tend to alert the police. Going naked, especially with the genitals visible, is not considered normal. The few people who know naturism disapprove of it as a form of exhibitionism or worse a disease. Obviously they talk without ever having tried it, even I thought these things before letting myself be persuaded to try. So you can’t go naked in the woods, in the countryside, etc. even if there is none. Naturism is allowed only in the “enclosures” of the structures or on the authorized beaches (which I do not attend for the aforementioned reasons). Doing naturism anywhere else is risky. I also happened to read in local newspapers about naturists defined as “crazy people walking around naked in the woods” referring to some nudist who, like me, needs to get back to nature and has probably been caught. But it doesn’t matter to me, I need to be naked, especially in the wilderness, it is a physical and psychological well-being that I can no longer give up. On the other hand, it seems to me that it is a normal need among naturists. I have been careful so far and everything has gone well. Here the weather is still good, if it continues like this I will be able to go naked hikes until mid-October.