Naturism and nudism are social lifestyle. Although many naturists are home nudists, it’s advisable to share our naturist practice with others. It brings another dimension to naturism and provides many benefits: body acceptance, increased self-esteem, more social connections, and enhanced sense of freedom. This has been documented numerous times, including in the third chapter of my book Becoming a Nudist.
For many people, including myself a few years ago, it’s not easy to talk about naturism. There are many prejudices and misconceptions about naturism: sexual deviancy, lack of morality, indecency, inaccessibility, secrecy, and even unsanitary. These prejudices and misconceptions about naturism are not based on fact, but rather on misguided beliefs, stereotypes and more often than not moral, cultural and religious indoctrination. By educating oneself and being respectful towards those who participate in naturism, these misconceptions can be dispelled, as you will see here.
In this post, I will give you seven ideas that will help you share the benefits of living clothes-free with others, friends and family. Those may not be easy, at least at the beginning, to put into action. But you may discover quite quickly actually that it’s easier than anticipated and more often than not very well received or leads to indifference. Remember though that it’s important to be patient and understanding when sharing the benefits of living clothes-free with others. Not everyone may be interested, and that’s okay. Ultimately, the choice to go clothes-free is a personal one and should be respected.
1. Lead by example
To lead by example in naturism means to embody the principles and values of the naturist lifestyle through your own behavior and actions. Naturism is a lifestyle that promotes nudity as a way to foster body acceptance, respect for oneself and others, and a closer connection to nature. As a naturist leader, leading by example involves:
- Being comfortable with your own nudity and being willing to be naked in appropriate settings. Get naked with friends and family, even if they are clothed. Yes, I know this may be hard or even impossible for some of the readers, however, it’s the best way to show and tell what naturism is about.
- Respecting the boundaries of others and ensuring that everyone in the naturist community feels safe and comfortable. This can violate the previous point where I told you to get naked with friends and family who may not feel comfortable with you being naked. This is a fine line but one that you want to discuss crossing with the tips I describe in this post.
- Encouraging body positivity and self-acceptance by treating all individuals with respect and without judgment. This applies to you being naked with others and making them understand that there’s no evil in a naked body.
- Modelling a healthy and active lifestyle by participating in activities such as hiking, swimming, and other outdoor activities. Encourage to practise those activities naked.
- Promoting a culture of inclusivity and diversity by welcoming individuals of all ages, genders, races, and body types to participate in naturist activities. This also applies to nudity. You may be naked while others are clothed.
- Educating others about the benefits of the naturist lifestyle, including the physical and mental health benefits, as well as the social and environmental benefits. Naturism has many benefits and explaining to them is often a door to understanding our lifestyle.
Leading by example in naturism requires a commitment to the principles of the lifestyle, and a willingness to promote those values through your own actions and behaviors. By doing so, you can inspire others to embrace the naturist lifestyle and create a positive, supportive, and inclusive community. Nudism and naturism are not what many people think they are. Education is therefore key.
Here are some ways to educate others about naturism:
- Share personal experiences: Sharing your experiences and the positive impact it has had on your life can be an effective way to introduce others to the lifestyle.
- Explain the benefits: Naturism promotes body positivity, self-acceptance, and a closer connection to nature. It also has physical and mental health benefits. Be sure to emphasize these benefits when talking to others about naturism.
- Dispel myths and misconceptions: Naturism is often misunderstood, so it is important to address common myths and misconceptions. For example, people may assume that naturism is sexual in nature or that it is only for certain body types or ages.
- Provide resources: With the internet, there are some many sources of information about naturism: blogs, podcasts, books. My book series, Nudism, is a great gift for textiles who want to understand naturism and nudism. Share these resources with others so they can learn more about the lifestyle.
- Host events and activities: Hosting events and activities such as group hikes, beach trips, or social gatherings can be a great way to introduce others to the naturist lifestyle in a safe and supportive environment.
- Be respectful and non-judgmental: When talking to others about naturism, it is important to be respectful and non-judgmental. Remember that not everyone will be interested in the lifestyle, and that is okay.
By educating others about naturism in a positive and respectful manner, you can help promote acceptance and understanding of the lifestyle, and create a more inclusive and welcoming community.
3. Share research
When I have discussions about naturism and nudism, I generally share some naturist books and magazines that I find relevant for the audience. However, the one thing that proved to be really helpful to convince the more reluctant are scientific studies that support the benefits of going clothes-free. Here are four:
- Improved body image and self-esteem, and greater life satisfaction: A study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, by Dr Keon West, found that naturist activities can improve body image and self-esteem. Analysing the results of three studies, one large-scale (849 people surveyed), cross-sectional and two prospective. It was found that more participation in naturist activities predicted greater life satisfaction – a relationship that was mediated by more positive body image and higher self-esteem. This study uses a very scientific approach, peer reviewed, to establish its conclusions, although, as it’s customary in serious scientific papers, it does not draw a definitive conclusion but calls for more research. However, this sentence makes me really think: “Public health practitioners … may come to see naturism as a cheap, almost universally available means of promoting healthy body-image, positive self-esteem and overall life satisfaction.”
- Increased vitamin D levels: Vitamin D is an important nutrient that is produced in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that naturists had higher vitamin D levels compared to non-naturists.
- Improved cardiovascular health. Although we cannot directly link naturism and cardiovascular health, there’s an indirect link in the sense that the naturist lifestyle promotes natural living, physical exercises and exposes its participants to better social relationships and leads to less stress. Many scientific studies establish the link between improved cardiovascular health and exposure to natural environments, increased physical activity, and reduced stress levels.
- Enhanced social connection: Naturism is often a social activity, and research has found that it can enhance social connection. A study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that naturists reported higher levels of social interaction and satisfaction compared to non-naturists.
These studies suggest that naturism can have a range of physical and mental health benefits, as well as promote body acceptance and social connection.
4. Be respectful
It’s important for balanced human interaction to be mindful of other people’s opinions and beliefs. Don’t try to push or impose our own views on others, and being open to different perspectives help create an atmosphere of trust. This attitude goes with naturism, a topic that can be highly controversial for many.
Showing respect and being respectful when sharing naturism involves being aware of others’ boundaries and beliefs, and being sensitive to their feelings and reactions. When sharing naturism with others, it feels important to be open and honest about our own experiences and beliefs, while also being respectful of their beliefs and perspectives. Sharing experiences helps others to understand what naturism is and how they could be part of this narrative. Although, they may not share your interest in naturism, respect their right to their own beliefs and opinions, as long as they show respect.
In your opinion about naturism, embrace diversity and inclusivity, and recognise that naturism is a lifestyle that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, genders, races, and body types. This is particularly important for people who may have religious concerns, questions about body shapes or a tendency to link nudity to sexuality. Naturism and nudity may create unwanted tension due to hard-core belief. Learn how to release that tension by respecting their point of view.
By showing respect and being respectful when sharing naturism, you can create a positive and supportive environment that promotes acceptance and understanding of the lifestyle. Not everybody will become a naturist. However, being respectful to non-naturist and seeking respect for naturism are ways to have naturism understood and more widely accepted.
5. Start small
Every journey begins with one step. That one step you can do when it comes to naturism is to talk about it to friends or family members who you trust and who may be open to the idea. Here’s the path I’m following when I want to introduce nudism to friends, with the maximum chance to get a yes when I will ask to give nudism a try.
It starts with choosing the right time and place. The most important is to be in a comfortable and relaxed environment where you all feel at ease, and where can have a private conversation without interruptions. Talking about nudism, naturism and nudity can lead to some awkward situations. Hence the need for privacy and comfort.
It’s important to open the conversation with complete honesty about your position regarding nudism and the fact that you’re a nudist. It may surprise the people you talk to. Acknowledge and accept their surprise, and explain to them what nudism means to you and how it has affected your life. Explain also what nudism is about and demystify the relationship between nudism and sexuality.
My experience is that although it’s important to talk about you and your relationship with nudism, it’s more important to ask for their opinion. Ask your friend for their thoughts on nudism and if they have any experience with it. It’s important to listen to their perspective and to be open-minded to their opinions.
When you listen to what they have to say about nudism, respect their point of view and own limits. They may not be comfortable with the idea of nudism, and it’s important to respect their boundaries. Don’t pressure them into participating in anything they are not comfortable with. However, ask them what would influence them to try nudism. This question puts the baton between their hands. It makes them think in an unconventional way, because you ask them to see themselves trying. Of course, you may get the typical “nothing” answer.
Because you want to keep the conversation respectful and non-judgmental, remind them that everyone has different views and opinions, and that you accept and appreciate those differences. However, ask the last killer question: “If I were to invite you to spend a day at a nude beach, event or resort, would you join me, knowing that you could stay clothed if you were not comfortable enough to get naked?” I had zero no to this question so far. This leads to the next step.
6. Offer to go together
Offering to go to a clothes-free beach, event or resort together allows others to see for themselves the positive aspects of living clothes-free, while being with a seasoned nudist friend. Here are a few tips to increase your chance to have a really successful day and create a new nudist.
- Choose the right time and place for a first nudist experience. It’s important to pick the best possible place for your friend’s first nudist experience. You want them to have a genuine nudist experience, far from gawkers and exhibitionists that cripple some nudist beaches. A nudist event or your preferred beach is generally the best pick.
- Lead by example. Let your friend know that you will be naked the entire time while at the beach, event or resort and that you will like to invite them to join you. However, let them know it’s ultimately their choice to get naked, so they can take their time and feel comfortable.
- Respect their boundaries and make it clear that there’s no pressure. It’s difficult for most people to get naked in front of others for the first time. It’s particularly true when you know this person for long and have always seen him or her clothed. Your friend will probably not be comfortable at first. It’s normal and expected! Don’t pressure them. Let them come to their own decision.
- Provide guidance and explain etiquette. Being naked for the first time with others generates a lot of questions. The last part of this post provides some answers to common questions. While it’s normal to demystify naturism and nudism, explain what’s going to happen at the beach, event or resort and explain the not-written rules. You can also refer to my post Nude Beach Etiquette.
- Congratulate and display hearted gratitude. When your friend joins and gets naked. Congratulate her or him. Don’t need to shout to the whole world, but a few words will show that you really care and are really happy that she or he moved beyond her or his fear.
- Debrief and ask for feedback. On the way back from the beach, event or resort, or a few days after the day, have a conversation about the experience. Ask what she or he thinks about the day, how she or he felt, what she or he learned that day, and if she or he would go again. If you have the opportunity, hit the nail on its head by offering a nudist book or magazine. It’s a display of gratitude while encouragement to continue the nudist journey.
I’ve done this multiple times and it worked every single time. It’s a great satisfaction on two levels. First, to let others, outside of your nudist circle, know that you’re a naturist. Second, to embark them into your nudist journey so they start theirs. To me, being a nudist is also being an advocate to nudism. This blog plays this role, but direct engagement with other people is a powerful way to explain what naturism is and open to the door to others.
Finally, it’s important to listen to the questions neo naturists have, and be ready to answer them in a clear and reassuring way. This is the last part of this post.
When you start talking about naturism to textiles, concerns and questions emerge. Listen carefully to those concerns and questions, and provide non-judgmental, factual information to help dispel any myths or misunderstandings. Here are some concerns and questions others often have and how to answer them.
- Isn’t nudism sexual?
No, nudism is not sexual. Nudism is about being comfortable in one’s own skin and enjoying a natural, clothing-free lifestyle. It’s about accepting and respecting the human body in all its forms and appreciating its beauty without any sexual connotations. For sure, society, culture and religions have for ages sexualise the human body, but it should not be so and we can be naked for the physical and mental comfort it provides without having sexual arousal.
- Is nudism legal?
Nudism is legal in many parts of the world, including in designated nudist resorts, beaches, and private properties. However, it’s important to check local laws and regulations to ensure that you’re not breaking any laws.
- Isn’t nudism only for certain body types?
No, nudism is for everyone, regardless of body type, age, gender, or sexual orientation. In fact, one of the main principles of nudism is body acceptance and body positivity, which means that everyone is welcome and celebrated for who they are.
- What about hygiene?
Nudists are typically very conscious about hygiene and cleanliness. Nudist resorts and beaches often have facilities for showering and washing, and nudists are encouraged to carry a towel to sit on and to maintain good personal hygiene.
- What if children are present?
Nudist resorts and beaches typically have strict rules about appropriate behaviour, and the safety and well-being of children are always a top priority. Nudism is not about exposing children to sexual content but about teaching them body positivity and respect for themselves and others.
- What if someone gets aroused?
Sexual arousal is not a common occurrence in nudist environments. However, if it does happen, it’s considered inappropriate and disrespectful to act on it. Nudists are expected to behave in a non-sexual manner and to respect each other’s boundaries. Sex is a matter of consent and of privacy. In a nudist environment, sexual behaviours are forbidden in public.
- Do nudists have to be completely naked all the time?
While nudists typically prefer to be completely naked, there are some situations where clothing may be necessary, such as during inclement weather or for practical reasons. However, the general rule is to be as clothing-free as possible. But don’t worry, in any nudist settings, people will understand your possible discomfort and will give you ample time to get used to nudity.
I’m sure that you understand that nudism is a lifestyle that promotes body positivity, self-acceptance, and a natural way of living. Whether you have been a nudist for years or are considering exploring this lifestyle for the first time, sharing your experiences and knowledge with others can be a powerful way to promote understanding and acceptance.
By sharing the benefits of living clothes-free with others, you can help to break down misconceptions and promote a more positive view of nudism. Whether it’s through social media, conversations with friends and family, or inviting someone to visit a nudist resort or beach with you, there are many ways to encourage others to explore this natural and fulfilling way of living.
To make a real difference, it’s important to approach the subject with respect and sensitivity. Listen to people’s concerns and answer their questions factually and honestly. Avoid being confrontational or judgmental, and instead focus on promoting the positive aspects of nudism, such as the sense of freedom and body acceptance it can provide.
By committing to share nudism with others, you can help to create a more accepting and inclusive world. You can be a role model for body positivity and self-confidence, and help others to feel more comfortable in their own skin. So, let’s work together to promote the benefits of living clothes-free and encourage others to explore this liberating and natural way of life.
Strip, Stay Nude, Live Nude and Share the Nude Love!
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I live in a fairly large Midwestern city. I do not have the money to go to nudist resorts, nor can I afford the membership in the local club. My wife is not a naturist -so in their eyes I am “single male” and subject to the prejudices and restrictions.
Accordingly, I have talked to all my closeby neighbors about my nudist proclivities. Happily, no one seems to care (even in one case a police woman) I am free, therefore, to hang out on my porch, and even in my yard, completely naked – weather permitting.
LIVE SIMPLY, LIVE NAKED
I’m disgusted, but what’s the point of talking about things like ‘accepting the nude’, ‘accepting yourself and others’, and then doing some sleazy sex discrimination? It’s an absurd nonsense!!. I too have been a nudist since 2017, luckily I have never suffered discrimination (also because I denounce those who practice it, discrimination is a crime!!). But how can we talk about acceptance of the body, if there is discrimination even among us nudists??. It does not make sense…
We are not credible.
I’ll definitely read Dr. West’s article. Thanks. Including family into naturism? I had 50 negative scenarios immediately appear in my head. Then I realized that the family members in the scenarios would have a very similar reaction if I said I practiced yoga or Tai Chi. It’s not about the topic. It’s how they view me. Maybe it would be advisable to pick people who have a track record of listening to you with an open mind.
Friends are a very different matter. If I mention I go to nude beaches or naked yoga they are intrigued.
A very good article. The all 7 steps are somewhat difficult to follow where nudism is illegal. However even in constrained countries, one can try to implement these 7 steps to the extent possible.
You provide a lot of good advice. Nudists badly need to share with clothists. The whole hidden beaches, hidden resorts, and hidden lives of nudists over the past century has taken even the occasional sight of a human body out of common experience. Many nudists treat their nudism as an occasional dalliance, a secret and perhaps shameful vacation from their real lives.
It’s time to change all that. We all need to go more public with naked human bodies. We need to proclaim that nude is not shameful, not fearful, not indecent, and not offensive. We need to stop being camera shy and stop prohibiting vacation pictures at nudist venues. We need to stop hiding nudism, and stop hiding our own bodies from our clothist communities. Nudism is our lives, not a shameful dalliance to be done only on rare vacations.