04 January, 2008

Youth & Naturism (or The Future of Social Nudity)

Disclaimer: I have yet to actually get involved in any kind of social nudity, so my knowledge of such facilities and institutions is purely based on circumstantial online research. However, to my merit, the following is the opinion of a person who would like to get involved in social nudity, but has yet to find the kind of opportunities he would like to see and would be interested in participating in. By the way, I am currently 23 years old.

There appears to be a significant push in the nudist community to recruit younger members (meaning 18-30, as opposed to 40-60 and above). While some may consider this proof of unsavory intentions, I believe it has a valid basis. Youth is the future. And having youth is a good way to start attracting more youth. How many 20 year old budding nudists want to go hang out with a bunch of 40 year old nudists? No offense to the elders, I have great respect for them, but a lot of times young people just want to hang out with other young people. They don't need people to give them advice about life and tell them what to do, they want people who are currently going through the same kinds of things they are going through and that they can sympathize with. So how come the average age of a nudist is so high?

From what I can tell, it's complicated. The whole "family" appeal has something to do with it. Nudists want to convince non-nudists that their chosen lifestyle is wholesome, and a good way to do it is to show how it's perfectly safe for a family. Because nothing's safer than a family, right? You've got kids, and you've got people in love (within the confines of marriage). But the problem with that is, families tend to consist of older adults and younger children. There are plenty of 20-somethings that do not have a family of their own. They don't have a wife or husband, nor a few kids in tow, to enjoy a nice vacation in a classy resort with. They also might not have a whole lot of money, if they're still students, or if they're just getting started in the job market, to spend on expensive resorts. And even if they did, would they really want to go to a place that's largely catered to older people?

Supposedly, there are nudist swingers' clubs, but I don't think this is the answer, either. I have no interest in the bar and club scene, regardless of what people might be wearing. And I'm not interested in going to a place specifically for the purpose of hooking up. I wanna make connections with people, too, but I want them to be with people that do the things in life that I enjoy doing, and to me, drinking at bars and dancing at clubs is not one of my hobbies. Besides, it seems like there'd be a lot of sexual tension in a place like that, and that doesn't exactly help the nudist cause in general.

And then, there are relatively informal, un-landed clubs. Which, I guess, are basically groups of friends all united in their practice of nudism, who get together to hang out in the nude at one of their places, or perhaps on neutral ground they've been able to rent or borrow for their particular brand of fun. But to me, this just seems like a bunch of friends getting together and having fun. Either you're part of the group, or you're not. There's not so much a sense of 'event'. You're just hanging out.

What am I looking for? Well, for one thing, I would love to go to an outdoor rock concert on a warm day, and be able to enjoy some good music clothes-free. Sure, if you go to the right concerts, you might be able to get away with that, but particularly within the counterculture of music, don't you think advertising nudist bands who play nudist concerts would be a great draw for younger nudists? I guess maybe nobody thinks there'd be enough of a draw to make it a worthwhile endeavor. Well, that's a shame. I think, with a little time and a lot of effort, we could really improve society's acceptance of nudity with events like this. And the more people try it, the more friends they'll bring, and the more accepted it will be. It's a way of bringing nudity out of the private sector and into the world around us - where people are exposed to it more (pointedly not in a disrespectful or forceful manner, though), and it's easier for people who are curious to try it, without making too much of a commitment.

Speaking of commitment, I hear people sometimes say that they are "card-carrying nudists". Apparently, this means that they are members of one of the national or perhaps even international associations for nudists that exist, and have a membership card to prove it. I'm sure they get benefits, like acceptance to all kinds of resorts and whatnot, and it might be a way to prove that they're legitimate, but something about it puts me off. Why should I have to join some team and carry a card just to be a nudist? For one thing, there's the obvious question of where the hell I'm gonna keep the card, if I'm not wearing anything. All it takes to be a nudist is the simple act of taking off your clothes (assuming you're doing it for that reason - undressing for a bath itself does not a nudist make). But the only card you need to carry is your bare skin. The rest is in the mind, and I don't want to carry around another label. My only membership is to the human race.

I'll keep thinking about this, and if I come up with other good ideas for fun things I'd love to be able to do in the nude, I'll mention them in the future. Sports events are another possibility, though something I wouldn't be quite as interested in, personally.


  1. The funny thing is... a lot of older science fiction writers thought we'd all be nude by now.

    I've always gotten the impression that card-carrying nudists were somehow safer in belonging to the organization. You know, some kind of screening to make sure no sexual predators, no crazies were trying to find nudist areas for personal gratification.

    As a nudist, it must be hard to find a partner; you have to find someone accepting of your hobby, or at the least, not convinced that it makes you some kind of sexual fiend that would be dangerous around children. In today's day and age, the idea of wanting your children to be naked is probably quite a dangerous thing to express to anyone.

    I think the idea of a nudist rock concert is interesting, but considering that there are always people who take advantage of that kind of thing... one or two bad apples could ruin it for everyone, then The Man would come in and shut it all down "for the good of all".

    Maybe I'm just overly pessimistic.

  2. Maybe you're just being realistic. The feeling I have is that the reason a lot of this stuff is as unaccepted as it is is because of those bad apples. Just because there are people out there who would do some pretty heinous things, people become over-protective. You hang out with nude people? Oh, you must be having sinful orgies! You encourage your children to run around the house naked? You must be incestuous pedophiles!

    Welcome to the real world. It's the few bad apples that ruin it for everyone else. But I feel that I don't deserve to have my dreams crushed by people I don't even know. Just because they screwed it up, doesn't mean I shouldn't get a chance. Maybe it's too idealistic, but I don't wanna give up just because somebody else couldn't live up to the standards I set for myself.

    And yeah, I think that's one of the major benefits of carrying a card. It's a kind of validation, something people respect. But who's to say somebody with ill intentions couldn't sneak into the ranks? And do I need to be part of the group just to be accepted for who I am? Realistically, it has practical benefits, but ideally, I have rebellious feelings against it. I was always the lone ranger type, anyway - dealing my own sense of justice, without carrying a badge.

  3. Card Carying Anything ain't my bag. It's just Nazi paraphenalia, having those cards and such.

    I have never heard of these Nudist swinger's clubs. Please give me links? Sounds like my kind of thing. I suppose I'd have to be 21 though.

    My main jive with nudism other than the potential squareness is simply the fact that it is at resorts. I don't really wanna go to some fancy resort and have to pay money just to be nude. A nudist coffee house would be spectacular. I guess a nudist beach would be up my alley.

    Family Nudism can get kinda weird. I was on a site for Family Nudism that was selling this DVD consisting strictly of approx. 10-17 year old naked girls. They even had, like, a Miss Nude Jr beauty pageant or something. And I was gonna buy it because it was the greatest thing I ever saw, but I couldn't shake the feeling that it was some kind of a police sting operation. And hey, there's another way that the 1980s are all about being conformists -- Sting! What a tool. Hahaha. Wow wait a minute... The Police... Sting.... is it just me or am I starting to believe that the 1980s music scene was literally masterminded by underground conformist entities to square the world?