Nudism in Canada

Something interesting I found on LinkedIn (of all places):

In June, the results of the 2014 survey on Canadians’ experience and attitudes toward nudity and naturism were released.

Identifying the size of the naturist movement has always been challenging. While it is easy to count visitors/members of clubs and associations, that represents only a small portion of participants. So how many naturists are there? What is the market potential? Those questions were first answered through a 1999 survey. But were the results still relevant a decade and a half later?

To update the data, determine trends, and reaffirm the original conclusions, Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park coordinated the efforts of the Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN) and the Fédération Québécoise de naturisme (FQN). A new survey was commissioned using an Ipsos panel to ask a similar but more in depth set of questions. The survey was designed, implemented and interpreted by Mark Wilkins Communications.

The results show that interest in naturism is up from 1999. Here are some of the conclusions:

  • Just over 2-in-3 Canadians (69%) claim to have engaged in at least 1 of 6 naturist behaviours tested. The exact same proportion claim to be open to doing so in future. Experience and openness are notably stronger amongst males, and, regionally, Albertans compared to Canadians living elsewhere.
  • At roughly 6-in-10 overall, experience with sleeping in the nude and openness to doing so in future outstrips experience with and openness to other behaviours to a significant degree.
  • This is followed at close to 1-in-2 by experience with / openness to walking around one’s home in the nude.
  • At roughly 1-in-5, a third tier of experience and openness is represented by swimming in the nude (not in mixed company scoring higher than doing so in mixed company particularly when future behaviour is considered).
  • Finally, experience with visiting a naturist / nude beach of resort reside at roughly 1-in-20, but rises significantly to the 1-in-10 range when considering openness to doing so in future.

Regionally, Canadians demonstrate several noteworthy differences in their openness to various naturist behaviours:

  • Albertans have greater experience with and are more open to naturism in the home setting (sleeping, walking around) than Canadians elsewhere.
  • British Columbians and Ontarians lead the way in terms of experience with nude swimming, but Albertans show the greatest openness to consider doing so in future (both in unmixed and mixed company).
  • While British Columbians have the most experience with visiting nude beaches, Albertans and residents of the Prairie provinces are most open to doing so in future – and also lead in terms of openness to visiting a naturist resort in future.

Finally, while younger Canadians (< 25 years of age) have not to-date shown a greater proclivity to naturist behaviours (their experience being generally on par with that of Canadians aged 35+), they do demonstrate a higher openness to engaging in all in future (exception: sleeping in the nude, to which Canadians of all ages are roughly equivalent in terms of openness).

When we collapse across public behaviours (ie. swimming nude in mixed company or going to a naturist/nude beach or resort), we find that 1-in-5 (21%) Canadians have engaged in such behavior and that 1-in-4 (25%) are open to the idea in future.

You can read the complete survey at:


Looking at paintings in the nude

Nude art-watchers

Yes, you’ve seen this image before. I posted this earlier, before the evening of going to see paintings of Vincent van Gogh. That evening has come and gone, and was enjoyed not only by me but by lots of people.

The idea was fabulous, I think. This year is Vincent van Gogh year in the Netherlands so there are many galleries and exhibitions with his work. One museum in Amsterdam had a set of 200 excellent reproductions on display and the NFN, the Dutch Naturist Federation, had arranged a special opening on Saturday evening for their members and invitees. I don’t know how many people came but I saw plenty of them. And the art was amazing. It was a very special feeling to walk through a museum and look at art when not being dressed, simply because I had never done this before. The space was nice, good for bare feet (even when many people wore slippers or even shoes). The light was great. The paintings and the information with them were amazing in detail, and the several booths with 3D imagery of how certain paintings were made were very entertaining. Not everyone was so thrilled with them, but then people are people. All different.

It was a fantastic experience and I hope that the NFN will be able to organise something like this again. I’m good to go!

No wrong way to be naked

A picture taken on August 19, 2012 shows nude women under a sun shade and sunbathing at lake Grillensee in Naunhof near Leipzig, eastern Germany.
A picture taken on August 19, 2012 shows nude women under a sun shade and sunbathing at lake Grillensee in Naunhof near Leipzig, eastern Germany.


It’s become a summer tradition for a nudist to encourage me to switch my bathing suit for a birthday suit. The first time was last year at Hanlan’s Point Beach, the stripped-down portion of the Toronto Island. Though I had swum naked earlier in the day, a man who is basically the beach’s ambassador of nudity approached me and my friend as we were about to leave. He said we really should have felt comfortable shedding our clothes sooner. It made me very uncomfortable.

My next solicitation happened last weekend in Ottawa when a friend and I stumbled upon a secluded inlet on Meech Lake known as “Little Beach.” A man was tanning naked beside a woman in a bathing suit, and another guy who looked north of 60 pulled down his leopard-print Speedo and dove in the water. We looked at each other like “Ah, it’s that kind of joint.” As we were packing up to leave Mr. Leopard Print walked over and encouraged us to check out the many Ontario naturist organizations (to a layman, naturist and nudist are interchangeable). We smiled politely and tried to act like we were in a hurry. He didn’t take the hint.

There’s something off-putting about being evangelized by someone who is naked when you’re fully dressed. But if you can look past the proselytizers, nudist communities might be one of the best places to build self-esteem. Body images issues that keep women (and some men) from joining a nudist community actually dissipate in buck-naked environments.

The idea is counter-intuitive. If you’re insecure about your body, isn’t being naked around others like being a vegan locked in a slaughterhouse? For most of us (and for the record, I’ve never been a nudist group member) these events seem like an ideal breeding ground for insecurity, especially given the fact that almost 100 per cent of women admit to having at least one “I hate my body” moment each day. But while the regular world is obsessed with how nude bodies look, nudists have a different mentality. Rather than aesthetics, they’re are obsessed with how it feels to not wear clothes.

In Ontario, there are are about 16 clubs or resorts where people who want to be naked can swim together, have barbecues or take vacations. During the colder months, the Ottawa Naturists/Naturistes de L’Outaouais (ON/NO) rents out Ottawa-area pools for its 200 members.

Because we’re all a bunch of 13-year-olds, “nudist community” seems synonymous with “orgy.” But the motivation to bare all is a lot more wholesome. The man at Meech Lake said he likes swimming nude because he can dry off naturally and doesn’t have to deal with wet bathing suits (and no matter how prudish you are, swimming naked just feels better. Admit it). Still, the fact that nudism doesn’t appeal to women in particular isn’t surprising.

My Facebook feed is full of stories about women’s bodies being judged – from the bikini-clad Edmonton mother who was taunted for showing stretch marks on a beach to the woman who says Instagram removed her butt-selfie because of her weight (to bolster her case, see the untouched tome of Paulina Gretzky cheek-shots). But nudist communities aren’t concerned with traditional beauty standards. There is no wrong kind of naked.

Being around naturists is actually like the reverse of the nightmare in which you’re standing naked on a stage in front of clothed people. Everybody fits in. All the parts we fetishize become like wallpaper nudists no longer think about. I spoke with a gender transitioned woman who said joining the ON/NO helped her feel accepted as a female. A British woman joined a nudist community after an operation left her with a huge scar on her torso. She told the Daily Mail she went from not being able to undress in front of her husband to being confidently naked around others. Yet as women, surmounting our own insecurities is only half the battle.

We also have men to worry about. When cops and politicians imply that we’re just a too-short-skirt away from rape, that message makes ditching the skirt seem like a bad idea. But nudist communities have us metaphorically covered. Since more men are drawn to nudism, organizations try to balance the gender ratio of members they admit to make women more comfortable. The majority of parks in Quebec do not accept single men and ON/NO created a bylaw that puts them on a waiting list if the male-female ratio exceeds 2:1.

And contrary to popular belief, nudist communities aren’t populated by gawkers and sexual predators. The ON/NO, for example, has a pretty intensive screening system for new members that involves at least four meetings in a mix of clothed and nude settings to make sure no creeper alarm bells go off. If more women knew how safe these communities are, they could reap the body-image benefits of being au naturel around others.

Of course nudism isn’t for everyone. I’m not even sure it’s for me. But I know this lifestyle doesn’t deserve the stigma it receives. Sure, having naked men convince you to get naked on a beach doesn’t foster a wholesome image. But for most people who go bare, nudism is an escape from society’s scrutiny of their bodies. It certainly sounds a lot better than cutting carbs to fit into that bikini.

Angelina Chapin is the blog editor for Huffington Post Canada.

Staying clean – naturist style

Staying clean is important. We probably all know that. Sometimes it’s impossible to stay clean. You can slip in the mud, crawl through your garden while weeding, have someone accidentally toss a bucket of fish entrails over you (okay, less likely than the other two but I enjoyed the mental image). All these things make you dirty. At least not so clean. And guess what: naked people have the advantage here.

Above is an image of three kids who were playing in the mud. Nothing but good of course, fun should be had anywhere possible, but… you see it coming… the kids need a shower and the clothes need a good washing. And drying. And ironing. And folding.

And here is a bunch of naked people, also muddy. They take a shower, dry off and they’re done. No need for laundry, drying clothes, ironing clothes, folding clothes. Nothing beats the human skin in ease of cleaning. That’s why I think that more people should dress in it.

Why Nude Photos are Important to Naturism

Original article to be found at the aanaturist-blog.

Imagine if you will that this blog wasn’t about naturism, but about camping and backpacking.  In my theoretical camping blog I’d write about my travels, offer advice, discuss issues within the camping/backpacking community, and show you pictures of my trips.   No one would get upset about pictures of Yosemite or the Grand Canyon.  But in reality my blog isn’t about camping, but nude recreation and the naturist lifestyle.

Since its early days, naturism has been portraying the nude human body in photography.  In fact, it was nudist magazines that set the legal precedent for nude images to be published.  Up until 1958, it was illegal for nudist magazines to be mailed by the U.S. Postal Service. In SUNSHINE BOOK COMPANY v. SUMMERFIELD, The U.S. District Court of Columbia ruled that nudist magazines could be mailed.  This decision also created the precedent for Playboy and other magazines to be published.

The nude human body is the core of our lifestyle, it’s what defines our philosophy and our outlook.  And when discussing our way of living, how can we describe it?  Sure I can drone on forever about nude recreation in words and sentences.  However, nothing describes who we are or what we believe than a picture. Many of my readers recall that my own foray into naturism began by seeing images of non-sexual nudity.  Naturist photos act like ambassadors to non-naturists, demonstrating what nude recreation is like.

Seeing nude photos helps eliminate equating nudity only with sexual activity.  For the vast majority of Americans, nudity is akin to sexual activity.  Movies, TV, and the internet teach us that mere nudity is only erotic.  Seeing non-sexual nudity is the first step to removing society’s warped conditioning.

Nude photos also fosters body acceptance.  I used to hate how my body looked.  I thought I wasn’t the “ideal” body, or a body fit to be a naturist.  But seeing many different people nude has changed my outlook.  I have finally learned to accept myself, and accept others.

Now I’m not naïve, I know that our lifestyle attracts the wrong people.  It’s a sad fact.  Our photos can be exploited by some really sick and warped minds.  Case in point: naturist photos used to show pictures of entire families, but now because of a few perverts, no naturist in their right minds would allow photos of their children to be posted online.  Another sad fact is that the term “naturism” has been hijacked by the porn industry.  But this isn’t the fault of naturism or nude recreation.  Blaming naturists for having their photos exploited is like blaming a woman for being sexually assaulted because she was wearing a risqué dress.  The accountability should be placed on the victimizer and not the victim.  I’m not going to stop being a naturist because of a few losers.

Nude photos are a part of naturism.  Nudity is part of the naturist experience, but the biggest part of the naturist lifestyle is what takes place between the ears and not the legs.  Nude photos serve only as an example of  what naturist activities are.  There is nothing shameful about the naked human body.  The only “shameful” part of nudity is those who exploit it for the wrong reasons.


Nudist dating sites.

I wonder if the way that some nudist dating sites are ‘promoting’ themselves is smart or rather damaging to the general concept of nudism.

As comments on an article about the World Naked Bike Ride in Clacton (UK) I found this:

My gut feeling says that this is not good for the image of nudism. What do you think?

Yet another single male nudist. Best to avoid him.

Post found on NakedHistorian:

There are a lot more single men than single women naturists.  This is a major issue that has been much debated for decades and yet nothing seems to be changing.  If anything the situation is getting worse.

I think a major concern for single female naturists is feelings of vulnerability. In a clothed social environment women are far more likely to have unwanted attention from men than the other way around. To be honest, men seem far more likely to get unwanted attention from other men than from women. This is why women usually go clubbing in groups. For security, as much as for company.
In a naturist context the single man, not anticipating unwanted attention, has far fewer qualms about going to nude social events than a single woman.

Whilst the gender balance is intended to prevent women from feeling overwhelmed by too many men and getting lots of unwanted attention it fails to do so.
The insistence on a ‘gender balance’ further exacerbates the issue, as it gives any single male nudist a further reason to try to get close to any single female nudist. The desire to get friendly with women, who have an interest in nudism, in order to have someone with which to go to nudist events etc, is likely to be seen by the lone female as having a sexual motive. (It may, but it may not. It is impossible to tell at first) Hence even more unwanted attention for any single females and more reason for women to avoid naturism.
I’m yet another single male naturist who has been denied membership of my local naturist group on the grounds of gender and I know a few others in the same circumstances.

Read more at the source: Yet another single male nudist. Best to avoid him. | Naked Historia.

Nudists and tan lines

You probably heard about this: True nudists have no tan lines.

I’m sorry, I think that’s bollocks. I think most naturists and nudists will agree with that to a certain extent.

We don’t live in a world where everyone can go naked all the time wherever they live. Imagine going naked in this busy street. You’d be picked up and sent off to a “safe place”. So you wear clothes, a t-shirt. That gets you tan lines. And so you can’t be a true nudist.

But not to worry! I think I have found the solution for that! Look here!

Wear a burqa or a niqab! It will protect you from tan lines, and it will allow you to go naked underneath! Problem solved!

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