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  • Sheryn
    Sheryn

    Keep Naturism Naked!

    We try and keep the content of this website upbeat and bathed in sunshine - you can get your fix of grumbling and grey skies elsewhere, but here at BN we always have a smile on our faces. After all, Naturism is an exhilarating, uplifting and fun experience that makes you feel great! Sometimes we hear worthy, serious debates on the issues that face us, the challenges, stories of persecution, the law being misunderstood and we all know the trials of making people understand Naturism, but there is another growing trend that threatens our very existence.

    Clothes. In Naturist places.

    I’m lucky to travel a fair bit in my work, both in the UK and overseas. Having been a Naturist since the early 1990s I also have more than a few years of experience - and I don’t like what I’m seeing.

    Newcomers could be forgiven for imagining that a changing room exists behind the entrance to a Naturist resort, and everyone is forced, perhaps under the gaze of a particularly strict headmistress-type to undress fully and immediately. Of course, that’s not the case, and in the main, people are left to grow accustomed to the surroundings and strip off when they feel ready.

    But for most of us, once the clothes are off, they are off and we revel in the need not to think about what to wear. The climate sometimes dictates that you put something on but one imagines that a Naturist resort is selected because of the desire to be nude. And, yes, I know that there are new people, hesitant people, reluctant partners, children and teenagers - but nudity is what marketing people call our ‘USP’ (Unique Selling Proposition) and so perhaps like a windsurfing or golfing holiday where you’d expect to see lots of windsurfers and golfers, being nude and being amongst nude people is the default position.

    But what’s happening is that there are more people in resorts dressed than nude and the only place where you are likely to encounter the opposite is the swimming pool where nudity is obligatory (hallelujah!) or the beach. It can make a lovely change from the home routine to dress for dinner, but equally, so is taking advantage and experiencing the joy of eating without a stitch on, contrary to our behaviour in 99% of the world’s eating places.

    So what’s it all about?

    The main culprit is the resorts themselves. On one recent trip, it was made clear that nudity was not permitted in the restaurant (all day, not just the evening), the onsite shop, reception and even the beach bar. You don’t always plan in advance your visit to those places and so you have to spend your day in a state of prepared-ness. This has the effect of people not only having to carry a cover up or more, but in many cases, they don’t bother to undress at all. Many people passed me on my (nude) travels around the site with t-shirt and shorts on. I even saw a woman cycling to the shop one morning in a one-piece bathing costume. Newcomers will naturally pick up clues about etiquette or ‘normal’ behaviour and the more that dress, the more will follow that lead. Even I have felt uncomfortable being naked in a Naturist resort…crazy. I whipped off my T-shirt dancing to the band in the bar one night as I felt hot…no one followed my lead.

    Sometimes I have found that the rules are not enforced. I’ll often visit the site shop naked and wait to be told off, but I never have been, the same in reception areas. I expect the rule is often a local authority thing - a bye-law that the site have to at least pay lip service to by putting up signs. I’m no anarchist, but of course, most people will obey them.

    I’ve attended fitness classes, yoga and pilates, mid-summer in beautifully hot places, the sea shimmering in the distance - but everyone sweating fully dressed in lycra, leotards and t-shirts. An onsite spa didn’t insist that bikinis were left in lockers though at one place, I did discover that volleyball must be played naked, even by children and teens.

    Resorts that have scuba or sailing schools often advertise them outside the resort and non-residents come and take advantage. That’s fine, great actually, for normalising nudity but of course they keep their kit on, including on the beach after their session. Sometimes restaurants are open to non-residents and the rule is not ‘When in Rome’ but that the Romans must put their clobber on.

    Actually, eating and drinking is a particularly interesting subject to study. I can’t fathom if it is based on rules, custom, or practice (I guess it differs from place to place) but almost all of the places I’ve been people dress to eat. Is it as simple as wanting to enjoy their meat and two veg without looking at, er, someone else’s? German and Dutch Naturists I know look at me boggle-eyed when I talk about eating nude as if I’ve suggested they coat themselves in raspberry jam and dance a tango.

    Sometimes people say they are dressed in deference to the staff. You’d never really expect staff to undress - it’s hard enough to find good people without adding that requirement, but surely if they’ve taken a job in a Naturist place they’ve accepted the dress code. You do see some of them naked round the pool or on the beach. One resort does insist all staff work without clothes and they are inundated with applications every year. The owner of that resort has also written an article about how the sarong is the destroyer of Naturist worlds. Good man. And while I’m on other authors on this same subject, please see the article ‘French Dressing’ in BN208, Summer 2016. BN Members can download it from the BN website.

    Some places have a rule about dressing after a certain time of day, or when inside the buildings. They are popular places so it can’t be a problem, but it means you need a much bigger suitcase…

    Many Naturists champion the idea of ‘clothes-optional’ places and especially beaches populated by the swimsuited, the topless and the nude, happily co-existing. However, when we choose a Naturist resort for a holiday it’s not unreasonable to expect nudity not to be limited or only tolerated. It’s easy for me to sound like a grumpy old man, but we have relatively few places already to relax without our clothes without that freedom being eroded inside those very places.

    Thanks to Rob Hargreaves for the image which whilst not taken with this article in mind, perfectly illustrates the point!

    Andrew Welch

    andrew.welch@bn.org.uk

     

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    AndynPatti

    Posted

    Spot on Andrew... and on the naturist caribbean cruise ships you can be naked in some restaurants and not in others.... go figure!! And in the theatre on board there's a big sign saying no dressing gowns......but naked or clothed you're fine.

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    37 minutes ago, AndynPatti said:

    a big sign saying no dressing gowns

    An enduring memory of the only naturist club that I have visited was the number of shabby dressing gowns on show! It looked like breakfast time at the sanatorium. Quite right to ban the dreadful items.

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    kevin greene

    Posted

    I have always been a stubborn sod and a northern one at that.  If I don't find it cold, then I WILL NOT put on clothes.

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    Naked Wanderings

    Posted

    Interesting thoughts Andrew!

    Especially because we are promotors of both naturism and clothing optional. This may sound a bit controversial, but let us explain. It's not because we are big fans of clothing optional that we believe that all naturist venues should become CO. We understand that many (especially beginning) naturists don't feel comfortable among a bunch of clothed people. Just like some textiles will never feel comfortable among naturists. So separate places should exist for both of them, no argue about that. But we believe that the rest of the world should become clothing optional, filled with naturist who don't have an issue with textiles and textiles who are not bothered by nudity.

    In your description, a "naturist" is someone who wants to spend all or at least the most of his/her time naked. But what about people who only like skinny dipping? What about those who like to sunbathe naked but prefer to be clothed the rest of their time? What about those who feel comfortable being naked around their tent or bungalow but don't want to cross a whole campground in the nude? Today, there are many different ways in which people engage in (some kind of naturism). 

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    Naked Wanderings

    Posted

    There is no black and white anymore and those people don't fit in in a "standard" naturist venue but neither in a textile place.

    When there's an onsite restaurant at a naturist place, we always (except when it's too cold) go there naked. We've been to quite a lot of places and it happened before that we were the only nude ones around. We did not care, and we have never been told to put on some clothes.

    Appreciation comes from both ways. As naturists we want to be accepted by the textiles, but we also have to accept them. And therefore we promote clothing optional.

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    As it was my first time at Vera Natura, last year, I was surprised, how few places, on the nudist beach, didn't cater for nudists, you had to cover up, needless to say, they lost a customer. 

    The best place, was the pirate bar, it was always busy, more nudists, less clothing, here's hoping to get there, this year 

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    buskerinthebuff

    Posted

    I was once on a campsite in the UK where a textile family was staying with naturist relatives for quite a long stretch of the School Summer Holiday season. Basically they occupied a pitch. The campsite was at times full and naturist people could not get on. It seemed a shame to me that people who were not naturist and had no intention of trying it were keeping naturists off the site. 

    I have noticed at the Waterworld swim in Stoke that sometimes newbies start by wearing costumes or wrapped in towels, but quickly take them off to join the norm'. Equally, when the swim was run by The Excellent Wirral Naturist Group it was expected that naturists would be nude. The swims were generally well attended and new folk just accepted the rules and joined the rest of us nude. I guess the message to give to new naturists is that you are more conspicuous dressed than you are undressed. If you want to go unnoticed whilst you acclimatise, take your clothes off. 

    I may have gone off point a little. Having to dress for food and shops on naturist sites is bizarre. I guess they might argue its an hygiene thing, but that doesn't stack up. I wash my body everyday and my outer clothes every few days, which is cleaner? I have eaten nude, with other nude people often and remained as fit as a butcher's dog. 

    Here's an idea, tongue in cheek of course. As they are food outlets, they could get a discount on big rolls of clingfilm so you could wrap your middle bit, chest to ankles, on the way in. You'd still look nude, but be hygeinically wrapped. 

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    Isn't it a sign of the times that we are even having this conversation?  Naturism, with a great deal of promotional hard work, has been gradually becoming acceptable and talked about without childish giggling about naughty bits and now we seem to be reverting to it being something we don't want to admit to and the thought that perhaps we should be covering up a bit more and all this is down to so called naturists, not the textile part of the population!  What went wrong?!

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    buskerinthebuff

    Posted

    Yes, I think that is a good point. If we don't accept naturism in all areas within naturist sites, how can we expect none naturist to accept us. Perhaps we need to be a bit tough to get what we want and do our best not to use the parts of sites etc that insist we dress, although practically, you do have to eat.

    I'm quite sure that if I had to go back to my accommodation to get some clothes to go back to the restaurant and there was food in the fridge, I'd think, you know what, I'll eat that instead and stay nude.  

    You've got to hit 'em where it hurts, right in the pocket. 

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    brian.johnson

    Posted

    It is well known that most Religions dictate rules to which their adherents must OBEY. With most Religions this includes prescriptive rules on the clothes that must be worn.

    I'm afraid I don't see see Naturism as a Religion but as a FREEDOM to wear appropriate clothes for the activity/conditions.

    Insisting on Nudity goes against all my principles on FREEDOM so I am very much in favour of Clothings Optional.

    Remember the last BN POP suggested there were about 4 million Naturists/Nudists in Britain. How many of these people have ever visited a Naturist Resort or Naturist Club? I suspect a very small percentage. What most of them they want is the FREEDOM to be naked when the sun shines without having to visit a Naturist Resort.

    The BN emphasis should concentrate on this concept of FREEDOM. EVERYWHERE!!

    Individually we need to be prepared to be the only people who are Naked and we mustn't be embarrassed by being Naked when everyone else is wearing clothes.

    I have often been the only one Naked on a beach which is nominally Naturist but is over-run with clothed tourists. I have certainly been the only one Naked on numerous occasions when skinnydipping at lakes, rivers and beaches in the mountains and coast (away from the main beaches). I treat the wilderness as Clothings Optionall. I don't wait for Naturist designation.

    Fight for FREEDOM, not RULES.

    Beach at edge of Resort in Spanish Catalonia

    5a7f5d6243e4c_DSCN0471(2)edit.jpg.f1fc7051f7aa267b43c053ba12433f95.jpg

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    It is really difficult these days to find anywhere where pure naturism is acceptable. Resorts in Europe are insisting that we are clothed at certain times and in certain locations. Clubs can dictate when we are allowed to be naked and when you are not. At last years INF Petanque there were many Europeans who wore track suits for the whole weekend whilst British players were naked. We have been made to feel uncomfortable in naturist settings and over the last few months have reflected on what we really want from various so called naturist organisations and events. I have to say that the most comfortable we have felt in the last 12 months was at Nudefest last year and are looking forward to July 2018. There is a feeling that we need to go 'underground' and exercise our right to be naturists in our own homes and gardens, with our close friends and in private villas on holiday. Sadly naturism is becoming taboo amongst the naturists. 

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