Asking Better Questions

Naturism FAQs: Just because the questions in red strikethrough below are the frequently asked ones, doesn’t mean they’re the best ones…

Moving from: What if I see someone I know at the naturist park / I’m a single male / my spouse is reluctant?
Moving to: What can I do to get more people I know involved in social nudism?
Running into someone you know at a naturist venue is like running into someone you know at the supermarket, the dentist’s office, or the gym. There you are, living your life, and what do you know?, someone else is too. Besides, the same way that you want your loved ones to eat a healthy diet, get their teeth checked, and exercise regularly, you should want them to feel the elements all over their bodies, develop a more positive attitude toward their own bodies and those of others, and respect the natural environment of which we are a part.

Nature, exercise, body acceptance (courtesy GRAUNA)

Moving from: What if I’m overweight / pale / disabled / scarred / pierced / burned / tattooed / I’ve had a mastectomy, etc?
Moving to: Have you ever noticed that flowers are nourished by soil and water, bloom in the sun, set their fragrance loose on the breeze, and then they wither and die?
All of us are here but a short time before we shuffle off this mortal coil. Who among us dares to limit the right of anyone, regardless of any condition–physical or otherwise–to experience the sun, the wind, the water, the sand all over one’s body, and the companionship of social nudism? Our bodies are not statues but living organisms that vary in condition and appearance from day to day and year to year. Do your best to be healthy, and respect that all bodies are good. That’s body acceptance.

Moving from: What do I do if I have my period / get an erection?
Moving to: What are the benefits of naturism on sexual health?
Because being nude means exposing those organs most associated with sexuality, social nudism literally brings sexuality into the light as a common part of our humanity. But social nudism is just one part of naturism, which should include being conscious of the importance of physical activity, mental alertness, and a healthy diet, and how these all relate to the natural environment. All of these factors influence a healthy sexuality at all stages of life, and sexuality is an inalienable aspect of the body acceptance that naturists practice.

Moving from: What if I’m approached by a photographer / a swinger?
Moving to: Do I accept that no system is perfect, and that there will always be those with less than sterling motives?
You’re enjoying a fine restaurant meal when an acquaintance approaches and tries to sell you his car. You’re enjoying a movie at home when the doorbell rings and someone wants to sell you magazines or convert you to another religion. We tolerate these interruptions, more or less, because we know consent is key. Without your consent the sale or the conversion won’t happen. Similarly, if you’re approached by someone who wants to take your photo at a naturist park, it won’t happen without your consent (many parks use a colored wristband system to indicate photo consent). You may be startled or offended by a swinger’s proposition, but a loud and clear rejection is all you need. Ideally, these would not even be worries at a naturist park, and naturist parks are mostly successful at eliminating them, but the world is not ideal.

Moving from: Isn’t nudism a crime / a sin / inappropriate for children?
Moving to: How can it be that we willingly allow governments and churches to limit something so inherently natural and healthy?
Naturists tend to be patient and tolerant to a fault, because they understand that attempting to run around ripping people’s clothes off isn’t going to win any converts. Naturists see the long game, and they believe that the truth will out. “Try it, you’ll like it,” could be a naturist motto. Naturists also train on an obstacle course where they’re thwarted by dishonest purveyors of other products related to nudity–whether legal products or not–who seek to jump on their bandwagon, to benefit from misguided prurience and imperfect search engine algorithms. The best defense is honesty and openness. We don’t need more laws attempting to delimit, with ridiculously impractical precision, the parts of our bodies that can’t be exposed, or religious strictures shaming us over our bodies and their functions.

In fact, the best answer to all the FAQs about naturism is: Just try it already. You only live once. If for whatever reason you have a bad experience, or cause a bad experience for others, you won’t be back. But most probably you’ll have a good experience, and because you only live once, you’ll make the decision to live more nude.

Related: An excellent post by Stéphane Deschênes on Bare Oaks Blog proposing understandings of recreational naturism and ethical naturism along a scale of attitudes and practices, and how to move from the former to the latter.

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