During the COVID-19 years that now don’t hover over us so loomingly any more, I was pleasantly surprised to read, via many sources, that naturism was getting more attention and followers. Most probably because people were working from, and staying at home much more, and so they understood that clothing could be optional – or even completely discarded. (We all know what our preferred option is.)
The biggest surprise, in that area, was the boost in member numbers for British Naturism.
This made me wonder if the naturist organisations in other countries had seen a similar rise in interest in this lifestyle / way of saving on laundry.
I searched a lot of places online, and to my surprise I didn’t find any evidence about that. How can this be? Because I can’t believe that naturist organisations around the world would keep it a secret if their membership suddenly boomed. In this age of increasing prudishness (or ‘modesty’ as I heard people call it), an increase in the number of naturists and clothes-free folks is a very welcome fact.
I’m convinced that more people than just the British discovered the advantages of being naked around the house when the weather and the windows-situation allows.
If anyone has any more information or insights around this, I’d really like to know. Not because it makes me rich, but I’m simply quite curious about this.
It’s odd that textile people all want to look the same, and how nudists and naturists have mastered that.
What do I mean by that?
As I’ve often gone on about, it’s the fashion industry, which is doing its best to destroy our environment without telling anyone.
A new person has a new idea for a new line of clothing, and once that’s gotten
enough attention, everyone runs to the store to get it. To look the same. For this, the garment(s) come in lots of sizes, to make sure that every different body can look the same. I guess the basic idea behind this is that a model shows the item, and once you wear it, you look like the model. Presto, no diet or gym required! It’s like magic!
Say this to the clothies and they will laugh at you, probably, because they are all their own person with their own clothes.
Now let’s look at the non-clothies. That’s us, the ones who like to run around in the nude. It is my conviction that we’ve achieved what the clothies want with all their attempts to look the same.
If you look closely, you can see that all the people up there look the same. They’re all nude and happy, ready for a plunge into the water. And are they ‘the same’? No, they’re all different in their similarity. It’s the attitude that makes them (hence us) the same.
We all show the real ‘us’, instead of attempting to impersonate a model that’s being brushed up and photoshopped to be “perfect” (meaning “showing something that’s impossible to attain for anyone, even the model itself).
This was something I thought of suddenly, on the way home from an onsite visit to a customer. I’m glad I have a way to share this with the world. So, world, what are your thoughts about this?
We all want the entire world to become naturist. Or at least, that the entire world accepts naturists as sane and full members of society. We don’t want to be seen as weirdos, or – even worse – perverts and child molesters.
By now we all know that it’s easy to reach the entire world, because we have this crazy little thing called Internet. At the same time, we should realise that it’s not possible to change the entire world. Some folks will want to listen. Others are stuck in their ways and ruts so deeply that no mammoth tanker or Kenworth truck can pull them out of it.
It’s important to know where our boundaries are. Not in the way of self-limiting where we want to and can be nude in nature, but in the way of recognising who we can (try to) change (as in perspective about nudity) and who’s beyond help / hope.
Some people will keep running into the same wall forever, hoping to bring it down. Kudos for determination, but minus several hundred points for smart, because it is a waste of energy and time. Energy and time that can better be used to be nude with others, to enjoy the time we have. It’s also possible that such determination will have an adverse effect on that wall (those people who don’t want to see our ways). The people who keep trying will be seen as annoying, pests and other bad things, which is not helping the reputation of naturists anywhere. “The wall” has access to this crazy little Internet as well, and they can spread anti-propaganda towards naturism.
So let’s be smart about this whole ‘conversion’ thing. Don’t go out of your way trying to change everything and everyone.
Go where it’s convenient, where you have a proper chance for change. Let that do its work, because the more people are in a specific mindset, the more overall consciousness will shift. That shift will be slow, and we may not see the definitive change, but it will happen if we do this the smart way.
You may wonder what this is all about. Well… this is a bit about naturism.
The team of ‘No such thing as a fish‘ (which is a very entertaining British podcast) talks about facts they discovered in the past week. And fact number 1 in the above episode is… naturism.
Feel free to stop listening after the naturism part of this podcast, or not to listen to it at all (the section is about 12 minutes long), but I thought it worthwhile to share it here. I learnt a few facts about Eastern Germany naturism I didn’t know.
Oh, just in case there are sensitive people here: the team doing this podcast does not bleep out words as <bleep> or <bleep>, so proceed and listen at your own risk. Also the word ‘penis’ will be mentioned.
This is probably something people will never agree on. Should clothing optional be a thing?
I think that clothing optional is a nice idea but that it will never work to make naturism more accepted.
The social pressure, instilled onto almost everyone of us from a very young age, to wear clothes ‘or else’ is something that most people won’t ever shed of lose.
At best, clothing optional places are good for when people in and out of clothes are very happy and comfortable together, disregarding the fact that some are dressed and some are nude. It sounds very simple. But it isn’t.
Why is it that people in some prisons are stripped naked while their guards stay in uniform? To make a difference. You may say, “I’m a naturist, I couldn’t care less”, but that’s just the physical part. The psychological part is there, whether you want it or not. The naked person is the exposed one, the one who can’t hide anything (regardless if you want to or not – you have no option), while the clothed one is ‘in control’. Because of our textile conditioning that’s always there, no matter how you twist or turn it. (Again, excepting the lucky few, this is the last time I will add this, so remember that 😉
Folks in bathing suits will usually feel just a bit ‘better’ about themselves, because they are following the ‘civilised’ guidelines of wearing clothes. Even at the beach, no matter how ridiculous those things are, and no matter how open-minded they are towards nudity and naturism.
One of my sayings is “when everyone’s nude, no one is nude”. This creates equality. A nude banker is as nude as a nude construction worker or a nude astronaut. There is no equality in bathing suits vs nude people, and also – wait for it – no equality among bathing suit wearers. There will always be people with more expensive, fancier, more modern bathing suits than others, and so there is the social divide again that (my idea of) naturism aims to remove.
That’s why I think clothing optional will never really work.
Be who you are. Not who the world wants you to be.
This is one of the tweets I send out almost every day.
It sounds so simple, but if there is a group of people that sticks to it as much as possible, I think it’s the naturist community. The nudists, the clothes-free folks, the ones that drop their garments as soon as it’s convenient and possible.
Being real, being us, is what scares so many others. We’re not afraid to be ourselves, without artificial clothing additives. Come to think of it, the fact that we are us, with all our flaws, scars and odd bits showing, is what scares the textile the most, perhaps.
Because in their hearts they know they look like us. They too have their scars, dimples, wobbles, flab and whatever imperfection we have to show. With the difference that we show them and we’re fine with that. They aren’t. They feel safe in their artificial environment. In who the world wants them to be.
Yes. That sounds weird. Still, we do it. Maybe not all of us, but many. I’m convinced of that.
When we’re inside, out of our clothes, we’re still practising naturism. In the wintertime that’s usually the way I manifest the lifestyle, anyway. I know there are people who are braver than I am, and they go out into the cold no matter what.
My idea for that is: “Go ahead, have your fun while I have mine.”
If nature chases us inside, there’s no harm in saying you’re in your naturist attire when you’re naked. Being inside where it’s warm is in our ‘nature’, right?
I find it interesting to see how flexible ‘naturism’ is as a term and way of life. It can mean you want/need to be outside, in nature, but it can also be you’re in a natural (naked) state.
Of course, there are those who claim that, once you’re naked inside, you’re a nudist, not a naturist, but that’s a word-feud that will rage on as long as there are naked people, I’m sure, so I’m not going there.
I, for one, am happy with this arrangement. Especially since there is no one around that could give me any cr@p about being naked. My neighbours can’t see me so that’s fine. I’m on the 4th floor (5th for Americans 😀 ) , so people in the street aren’t bothered either.
A hot day. 2 priests are walking past a river. One priests says, “I would love to take a dip in there to cool down.” The other priest argues they have no bathing suits with them.
Priest 1 says, “That’s no problem. There’s no one around.” Number 2 is convinced, so the two throw off their clothes and jump into the river to cool down. Of course, 5 minutes later a tourist bus drives past.
The priests grab their clothes and run off. When they are safe from the viewers, priest 2 asks, “Why did you put your habit over your head instead of over your you-know-what?”
Priest 1 says, “I don’t know how they recognise you, but with me it’s my face.”
Note: that was the joke. From here things might get more serious, but no guarantee for that.
So why this joke?
Well… with nudists and naturists having to wear masks, I suddenly thought that some people who have never considered naturism, might feel ‘safe’ to give it a try. Because of the mask on their face. Because, as priest 1 said, “I don’t know how they recognise you, but with me it’s my face.“
Having that ‘fence of recognition’ there could give people a sense of safety to try something they would otherwise never try.
Maybe I am entirely wrong, but the idea that arose from the memory of that joke made me think of this.
Perhaps I am the only one, because not everyone knows that joke. Which is a pity. I think it’s a good one. And it might benefit the hopefully former naturists to give our lifestyle a try.
I saw this a while ago and had to save it. When I started writing this post, I heard just the latest episode of the Naturist Living Show and I remembered this image.
So what do these two have in common for me?
Naturism and nature
Most of the time I treat naturism and nudism as the same thing, simply because it’s easy. Now, however, for this post, I tear them apart. And here’s why.
Nudism for me is the desire to be naked as much as possible, wherever. To enjoy the feeling of being clothes-free, at home, inside, outside, anyside. (And yes, I just made that up.)
Naturism for me is the desire to be in touch with nature as much as possible, in the most natural state of being. This, you guessed it, is naked.
Being naked and as much in touch with nature always makes me fall in love with nature. For simply being able to be there, for feeling in my proper place. For the sheer exhilaration of sensing everything nature throws at me without being fenced off by roofs, clothes and stuff like that.
As the poster at the top says, it’s a revolution that starts inside us. I don’t believe that anyone wants to be nude without an inner desire, a drive, a sense of wanting it. In that respect nudism and naturism line up perfectly. Nudism, I might say, is the first step. Being nude. Natural. Naturism takes it a step further by being nude in nature.
But nudists can be in nature too!
I hear you. Nudists visit nude beaches, nudist resorts, nude venues and play nude volleyball / petanque / tennis etc.
Absolutely true and more be the power to them.
The difference here, for me, is that naturists are trying to be more aware of nature. Of the lifestyle they are carrying. Of respect and care.
If you, dear nudist reader, feel that nudists do the same as naturists, then that’s wonderful. I’m simply laying out the difference for me.
I am convinced that people being naked in nature is the best thing that can happen to nature. It puts us in our place the way we naturally are. Clothes make you less vulnerable and therefore more prone to damaging nature. Rough nature that damages your skin? A solid coat or shirt handles that. Difficult ground? Massive boots solve that. A terrain is hard to get through? Joe, hand me that bulldozer.
The natural human
I understand that sometimes things like that need to happen in the name of advancement, but the way humanity is abusing our planet at the moment, with plastic crap everywhere (even in our food!) and pollution all around us, we’re not doing anyone or anything a favour.
Falling in love with nature might be the best thing that can happen.
When you love something, you care about it, you nurture it, make it better. You don’t rip it apart for most profit.
In the podcast which I mentioned above, Stephane mentions ‘Ethical naturism’. I think that captures all my words in a very nice way. Still, my words will stay up here.
Thanks for reading this far. I hope this post made some sense. 🙂 Please, fall in love with nature.
What do these two have in common? This may seem a strange question but there is something to it.
Have you ever tried to explain naturism to a person? I have. You may have as well. And did it work as in did you make someone go along, become a naturist or at least try it? Not exactly for me. If you managed it, do share your magic in a comment, we’re all curious.
I think naturism and oranges share the same trait: they have to be experienced to be understood. Try explaining the taste of an orange to someone who has never seen or heard of one.
Imagine someone coming up to you and talking about a purple thing you can eat. It is triangular, you need special tools to open it but it tastes great. It can taste a bit salty, or sour, or bitter-sweet, “but you’ll love it”. Would you know what this person is talking about? Do you think you would like it? (I admit I wouldn’t since I made the whole thing up right here.)
That goes for oranges as well, even when they aren’t purple. And for naturism, which isn’t orange unless body-paint has been applied.
We all know naturism is a great thing. A great “fruit”. The trick is to make others eat it. It’s always worth trying to convince someone but, as with oranges (or aforementioned purple fruit) it may not suit everybody’s taste.
The power here is to accept that.
That doesn’t mean I would give up on someone. Give the talk as well as you can and leave it at that for a while. If they are genuinely against it, they won’t mention it again. It’s your guess and estimate to figure out if you want to bring it up again.
Maybe you triggered their curiosity but they need time to get to the point where they want to know more. Or they read about it and they want to experiment/experience it on their own for a while. Golden tip here: if you talk about naturism and you encourage someone to read about it, make sure you have valid references on the web, don’t let people look for naturism on their own. We all know where that leads!
Maybe… who knows… they will find a way to naturism as if they would find a way to the store where triangular purple fruit is sold. With the tools to open it. And then they might surprise you:
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