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Naturist/Nudist purists discourage newbie nudists

English: nudist nudism naked
English: nudist nudism naked (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been thinking about this for some time. As a newbie to social nudism it has been my experience, that’s my experience. It may not be yours, but when I started exploring nudism I experienced some long time nudists/naturists expressed such purist views to me that it discouraged the practice. As a newbie I kept hearing so many negative things about what I had to do to prove I was a true nudist that it really slowed my progress into social nudism.

Here are a few comments I encountered

    1. If you aren’t nude 24/7 you are really a nudist.
    2. If you are only nude at home then you aren’t a real nudist.
    3. Real nudists never talk about sex
    4. Real nudists don’t cover for anyone.
    5. real nudists let everyone know they are nudists because they are not ashamed.
    6. if you don’t go out into the woods and commune with nature you aren’t a real nudist/naturist.

The purism can also creeps into the online nudist world

  • If you don’t have a picture of yourself with your face online then you are ashamed of being a nudist and not a real one.
  • if you aren’t using your real name online you are not a real nudist
  • if you don’t have the right kind of pictures on your blog you aren’t a nudist

Thankfully none of this stopped my eventual move to practicing social nudism. But it sure did slow and delay it because I kept wondering if I was going to measure up. Now I know there are standards by which we define what is and is not nudism and naturism. But I think that sometimes some longtime nudist/naturists in their passion for practicing nudism/naturism do not understand and/or accept the experience of today’s nudie newbie.

I believe this is why there is such a rise of new nudists groups for and by young people. Their experience of the world and foray into nudism does not match up with that of the longtime nudist purists. I think what is at play is a “This was good for me it should be good for you” phenomenon. “This is what I went through so you should go through. ” This is often seen in long standing organizations/groups that are struggling to deal with fast changing world-views. Folks I that situation revert to known patterns.

In a world before the net and smartphones and technology things were simpler. No cameras meant no bulky SLRs that did not also serve as a person’s primary or sole communication device. A nudist image was one taken at a nudist camp or a resort not necessarily at a public beach where anyone go true nudist or troll camera in hand. It was a time of either or now it is both and.

Some longtime nudists/naturists who are not fluent in the postmodern world are most comfortable with the hard distinctions that make nudism what is is for them. But that can get lost on post modern newbies like me who struggle to figure out where to fit our interest or desire to be nudists in our lives without exploding everything. The irony of the hard distinctions of the purists is to some degree nudism/naturism is about acceptance. Not trying to fit everyone into a single box, but the purity passion can have the opposite effect.

So what’s a newbie nudie to do.

  1. Talk to many different nudists longtime and new, old and young, black, white and other. Go at your pace. Don’t let what one or two persons say determine you level of comfort or participation. Ask yourself why you want to practice nudism in the first place and let that drive your pace.
  2. Follow a couple simple principles; it’s not about sex. You can talk about sex, but nudity among nudism is non sexual. One size, or approach does not fit all. Don’t buy into any stereotypes you hear nudists are as varied as anyone else. You must find your way and it may not match anyone else. But keep taking bay steps.
  3. When in Rome do as the Romans do. Be prepared to follow the norms and conventions of any group you participate in. Research the convention and norms of any social nudist group experience and only participate in those in which you feel comfortable following the norms. So clothing optional maybe your speed at first, then don’t go to an event or venue where you are required to be undressed all the time. Don’t join any nudist sites where you have to give out lots of personal information if you aren’t comfortable with that.

Well that’s it for now, what does the reader think?


Photo by zappowbang

About the author: Earl D
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19 thoughts on “Naturist/Nudist purists discourage newbie nudists

  1. I realize that this post is over 4 years old but I figured I’d add my 2-cents anyway. I’ve been seeing these “definitions” of who is and is not a true nudist for as long as I’ve been a nudist. I’ve not that I don’t fit most of them and it hasn’t kept me from being a nudist. Over the last decade I’ve come up with my own definitions and they only apply to me but not all the time. Labels are for clothing and, like clothing, they don’t always fit well and can be quite uncomfortable.

    “Your beliefs should never be imposed on anyone..including yourself.”

  2. Thanks for a really interesting article and fascinating thread, particularly the comment: ‘Those are just NAKED activities where naturist principles are not being observed’. That’s a really helpful distinction and I’m glad to have been given this understanding.

    I find – and I’ve blogged on this site about it recently – that ‘owning up’ (wrong words) to being a naturist is hard when you are new to it. This has nothing at all to do with being ashamed – it’s about hesitating to deal with other people’s reactions/projections/imaginings. That’s a lot to ask of someone who is just starting out.

    The naturists I’ve met are thoughtful and considerate and have encouraged me to take my time and do what I felt comfortable with – as a result of which, I naturally felt much more comfortable more quickly. I’ve not encountered attitudes like those described in this article (yet?). I’d be disturbed to be told I wasn’t a real naturist because someone else is somehow more hardcore in their behaviour. There’s no surer way to behave like a cult than that – pushing the idea of the One True Way is the very opposite of being welcoming and inclusive.

    1. Liz thanks for the comment. I resonate with your experience that was also my perspective when I started out. Much of the response to which this piece was directed came from people online. It was very different when I had more real life experiences. Since that time I have come to the conclusion that people online often press a hardcore view because they have not or do not have many real life experiences of naturism and nudism. It is there way of shoring up their bona fides.

  3. I’m not a crusader, nor do I have any desire to change anyone’s thinking about anything. I’ll be happy to make suggestions and recommendations if I’m asked, based on what I know works for me, and I heartily recommend the naked life to everyone. Another general practice that I find works for me, and might work well for you, too, is going where I’m celebrated, not where I’m tolerated.

  4. While I sympathise my view is I don’t care about titles. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest if people don’t want to call me a nudist or naturist or whatever. I will be naked whenever I please, wherever I can, as often as I can. If I’m not allowed to be a member of a club because of that then that is a club I don’t want to be a member of. I will be naked for my pleasure and benefit and no one elses.

  5. Our local club has a slightly more enlightened attitude,if new prospective members are nervous,they can stay clothed until they feel comfortable to be naked.The only places where nudity is mandatory are the pool and jacuzzi.This attitude helped our 11yr old daughter make the transition into naturism without any trauma!

  6. This is encouraging. It reminds me that there are purists everywhere. I’ve had people tell me I wasn’t black enough, that I didn’t behave how they thought I should, that my interests and drives weren’t normal for a black person, that I should wear my hair a certain way and eat chitterlings. So it makes sense that I would need to press on, no matter what people say, continuing the journey on my own terms.

  7. I’d like to add another one to the list though: If you’re under 18 but not with an adult you can’t be a nudist. Even the web page says “If you are under 18 please leave this site unless viewing with a parent”.

  8. I’ve heard comments to the effect of “If you go to a nudist resort and just lie around the pool, you’re not a nudist”. These people believe that you should be out there freehiking and communing with nature. Sorry, I go to a resort to relax and unwind, not to work out.

    1. There are indeed those who think a naturist must live naked in the woods eating bark and grass! There are also those who think you must be a muscle-builder to be true to naturism’s Germanic beginnings. Some think we should all be vegans and practice yoga; all are trying too hard to make naturism more, and less, than it is.

      At heart, it’s folks who have agreed to get along, that’s all. Some things have been found right from the start to be necessary for that to happen and one of those things is that sexplay will be no more openly engaged in than it is in Textile society, not such a great imposition.

      The ONLY reason sex needs to be mentioned regarding social nudism is that Textiles assume that nudism is ALL sex. That assumption is based on the fact that people are nude together; no other reason. We must continually assert otherwise because there are always new folks coming in with the wrong ideas.

      All that nudist talk about sex comes down to getting that idea across, not that we’re prudes or old fashioned; just that NORMAL behavior is expected. A lot of the things newcomers hear come from that premise and misunderstandings about what it means.

      Sex is a powerful thing and keeping it in is proper place is all we ask. It’s those who refuse to do that who cause the problems and the sometimes seemingly stupid restrictions we find in nudist venues, not because nudists are asexual in any way.

      There’s often a little overkill in behavioral standards but our history tells us that once let out of the box, that particular animal can wind up tearing everything apart. No need to worry, just behave as you would at any family getogether and you’re acting like a true nudist!

      All that other stuff about health. nature, diet and exercise? Great ideas for those who like them, but not necessary to be considered a nudist/naturist. If anything, those nude hikers are usually breaking the law and THAT is not a naturist principle, nor is parading around in public offending other people. Those are just NAKED activities when naturist ideals are not being observed.

      Give us a pool, a cool drink, and a decent book and we’re happy! Say we’re not nudists if you want, but our nearly 3 million readers and millions more nudists/naturist worldwide might disagree! πŸ˜‰

      1. Yes! I was going to comment as I got upset reading the post. You said exactly what I was thinking. Our purpose is not to break the law. We are here to enjoy the freedom of living our lives as clothes free as possible WHERE and WHEN we can not everywhere.

  9. It’s very good to hear the viewpoint of someone newish to nudism, a voice that isn’t heard very often. It’s a shame that you ran into some strange ideas about naturism, we’ve heard most of them espoused at one time or another by self-styled ‘experts’ on naturism. “You’re not a nudist if you wear a hat!”

    We try to dispel some of these misconception on our websites but it’s hard to cover all the bases all the time, and so very easy to forget exactly what a newcomer sees from their perspective. Our simple philosophy and lifestyle can appear quite confusing, especially with every Tom, Dick, and Harry chipping in with their own ideas of what makes a ‘proper’ nudist!

    Silly demands aside, all naturism requires is an attitude of respect and courtesy towards others, and those encompass proper behavior and tolerance; nothing more than we hope for but rarely find in society in general.

    In naturism, as in any group activity, you will find differences of opinion about specifics and these differences, if over-stressed, can create the impression of ‘rules’ which are in fact, personal preferences. We should keep this in mind when talking to newcomers lest they, like you, mistake them for laws written in stone rather than simple disagreements over details.

    Thanks for bringing this up, it’s food for thought and possibly another article in the making!

    Love your summation for newbies, very good! Would like to see more writing form you; good naturist writers are hard to find!

  10. I do think the point about not being ashamed is a good one. Sure, when you first are getting into it, you want to be cautious. However, if you never own up to being a nudist how will you infect, uh, I mean, influence others? πŸ™‚

    You are absolutely right about finding your own way. Some of the things you mentioned are good things, but they are not for everybody.

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