Nudists Reveal Surprising Details About Their Lifestyle.
You might think a nudist camp is a no-holds-barred kind of place. After all, you're already breaking one of society's biggest taboos. But it turns out there's more to being naked than being naked...
This piece is based on an AskReddit thread. Link available on the last page.
1/15. I was born at a nudist resort, actually lived there for a few months (my parents had a cabin there when I was born), and spent most of my childhood going there with my family in lieu of the more typical parks and beaches most kids go to.
My father, sister, her children, and I all still go out there a few times a year. My dad is on the shareholder's board, handles the newsletter, and is a more hardcore nudist than I am; he never wears clothes unless he has to because other people.
I have seen thousands of people naked in my life, but never once have I seen an erect one in person (obviously, I am female). Sexual behavior of any kind is not allowed at the resort (except on your own rented/owned property, never in any of the common areas).
A huge part of the reason is that kids are present. We're here to be comfortable in our own skins, out in the peace and quiet of nature, no clothing required, but it must be family-friendly.
New members go through serious screening to prevent perverts (read: pedophiles) and those who have the wrong idea from getting in. One violation, and you're out faster than you can say, "It was an accident!"
Also, no guests without a shareholder's approval and escort. For the same reason: keep out the wrong sort.
Nudists can be rather elitist, I suppose, but it's necessary to ensure that the kids are safe.
2/15. My parents were nudists when my sister and I were little, so by default, we were too. The only unspoken rule I ever noted was when children were little enough to be at genital height, you knelt, or placed a towel in front of your junk.
It always seemed more 'I don't want a kid to mash me in the junk with their face accidentally' as opposed to 'don't show my kid your privates! It was fun growing up like that.
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3/15. Just because someone is at a nude beach or nudist colony, doesn't mean they want sex all the time (some of the nudists, themselves, need to keep this in mind).
I go to the beaches because they're probably the one place I'm not thinking about sex.
4/15. Taking pictures (without permission) is strongly discouraged. Same can be said for ogling (especially if you're the ogler with clothes on).
I regularly frequent nudist gatherings in town and when cameras come out, it doesn't take long for the mob of angry nudists to put that activity to rest real quick. I've also seen people chased off for getting a full eyeful while wearing clothes while the object of their attention is most definitely not.
That said, there is a caveat to note here: if the camera is pointed at a model off in the corner, with no other people in view, it's totally fine. It comes down to consent and reasonable expectation of privacy.
5/15. I'm 21, and went to a nudist resort. We were the only people there under 40. Maybe under 50. They had a rule about no genital jewelry. It draws attention to the genitals, which is inappropriate.
6/15. The times that I have been at a nudist beach, I have discovered that there is the 'perfect' amount of eye contact that establishes you are friendly and wish the other person/couple a good day; however, if you go a second past it, then you are creepy!
7/15. Don't sit on anything other than your towel. No one likes butt sweat
Most nudist establishments are completely non-sexual. You shouldnt do anything there that you wouldn't do with clothes on.
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8/15. Had a former co-worker who frequently spent his weekends at a nudist camp. I was shocked to hear that he took his children. I said, "I can't believe they allow children there!" He responded, "I would never go to a nudist camp that wasn't family friendly. Being nude is not about sex, it's about not wearing clothes. If kids aren't allowed, then that clearly isn't the case."
9/15. You should never call it a "nudist colony"; that's considered pejorative.
Also, some nudist communities have non-nudists move in because they inherit the property or something, and the nudists get really pissed off at the fact that people wear clothes to board meetings and such. "It's not clothing optional, it's nudist!"
10/15. I can't overstate the importance of the unspoken law of "only sit on your own personal butt-towel, nothing else." While not a big enough issue to get you thrown out, this rule is so ingrained in club members that my dad follows it at home, even in the chairs that only he uses anyway.
About the only ones that don't have a towel over one shoulder at all times (or have it draped over whatever spot they've claimed to sit on) are the little kids.
I think part of the reason why towels are so ubiquitous is because they're also super handy for hiding accidental erections.
11/15. My parents owned and operated a "nudist camp" from about 1955 until 1986. We lived on the property, so I was raised as a nudist.
Before I start, I think some distinctions need to be drawn between nude beaches, nudist camps and nudist resorts.
Nude beaches are generally under-the-radar public beaches that are used by people who want to swim nude. There are some that are formally recognized by the local authorities and limit the wearing of clothes, and others that are remote enough that the police don't bother them much.
Quite a few unofficial nude beaches have areas where it's considered OK to have sex, but it's generally frowned upon to do that where you can be seen from the beach. (continued...)
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Nudist camps are more like a private campground where people can come for a day, a weekend, or a few weeks.
Life centers around the pool or lake, and sports and games like volleyball, horseshoes, badminton and table tennis. There's usually a small cafe or snack bar, and a lounge for socializing when the weather is bad.
Nudist resorts are kind of like the camps, but are run sort of like condominium associations and cater to permanent residents, but allow some short-term visitors.
At these latter two kinds of places, it's understood that you are there mainly to enjoy living without clothing, so the expectation is simple: if it's reasonable to be nude, be nude.
That means that if it's cold, or raining, you wear clothes. If a woman is on her period, she might wear panties or brief shorts.
Some people worry about erections but it's generally not a problem, because it gets to be normal to see nude people and that takes away some of the thrill.
When I was a teenager, my non-nudist friends from school were obviously really keen to come and visit me at home. They were all worried about getting an erection, and exactly zero had that problem when the day came to visit the first time.
Some commenters have said that it's prudish and inconsistent to be intolerant of erections. There is some truth to that, but remember that the local authorities are generally opposed to the nudist camps, and any suggestion that is was a place where there was open sexual activity, especially since there were always young children around, would be all the excuse they need to shut it down.
So nudists in general want to make sure any sexual activity remains private and feel that too much open sexuality is not a good idea.
12/15. I went to an all-women's music festival last year. It's not a nudist thing per se, but it's very clothing-optional and many women choose to go around in various states of undress. (continued...)
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Showers are also communal, so there's plenty of public nudity. I was uncomfortable for the first day or two, but by the end of the week, I went topless most of the time, and walked back from the showers nude.
Children were allowed to run around nude if they wanted. That was jarring to me the first time I saw two girls around ten completely undressed.
Then I realized that it was actually kind of cool - they had the opportunity to see all kinds of women being comfortable in their bodies and they were learning to be comfortable in their own bodies. Where's the harm in that?
13/15. At 12 or so, I went camping with my family in France. We were at the beach, when I said to my parents that I needed to go back to the campsite to get something.
After 15+ mins of walking, I was lost. I didn't know how to ask anyone for help because i didn't know any words in French except 'hello' and 'thank you.'
I walked into a camp that looked like the one we was staying at, but every person I saw was naked, I didn't know where to look and I felt incredibly awkward and embarrassed. I didn't want to ask anyone for help because they were all naked and I also couldn't work out if anyone was English (back when I was 12 you could normally see who was English based on their clothes)
I finally saw a girl who I had seen at the beach the day before, I knew she was English and I also thought she was very pretty the day before and now I was looking at her naked. I was very very very embarrassed but I had to ask her if she or her parents knew where I should go, she didn't know so we walked back to her tent.
My parents always told us if we get lost ask for help from as adult who has multiple children.
We get to the tent and her 3 sisters are all outside naked, I must have been bright red with embarrassment. None of them covered up and I was acting weird because I felt uncomfortable. I was only 12 and hadn't been around nudists before every time I looked at one of them I couldn't help but look at every part of them and then look away.
One of the older sisters who was about 15 said that her mum and dad had just piped to the shop (5 min walk) to get some milk. (continued...)
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I waited with the girls for a few minutes while awkwardly talking and then her mum and dad arrived they both quickly put a towel in front of themselves and told the girls to do the same.
I explained that I was lost and the mum put some clothes on, so did the daughter who was my age and they walked me to the entrance of my camp. I said thank you then and went and got what I needed, went back to the beach and when asked why did I take so long I just said that had a drink while back at camp.
I never told them that I actually got lost, walked into a nudist camp and had to ask for help. But I was very grateful that those people were so compassionate and kind.
Like many nudists, they were respectful of the values of others, and didn't want to have unintentionally sexual encounters with "normals" like myself. It just never occurred to those poor girls that it might have been unusual for me to see them naked.
14/15. This may sound like a small thing, but mosquitoes. I've been to 2 nudist camps, and neither had mosquitoes. I have no idea how they make that happen, but they really ought to share their secret with the world.
15/15. It's not a taboo, really, but there aren't many young adults at our club. Most of the members are in their mid-30s or later, usually married couples who bring their kids along. Often, they were also brought up in nudist culture, or got into it while looking for some way to instill a love of nature into their children (we're on almost 400 acres of protected forest, with a lake, river, tons of hiking trails, an awesome waterfall; there's great hiking and camping out there).
I have seen naked people of pretty much every shape, size, and age, and many are not exactly what is conventionally considered to be attractive, though I think almost everybody looks just fine naked.
As far as I'm concerned, clothes or no clothes makes no difference to me at all, no matter what body type you have, and that seems to be the prevailing point of view at the resort. Perhaps the utterly non-sexual nature of the place, together with perspective.
Laws should always protect the people, ALL the people!
Laws are amiable. We know this. They often change with the times, with enough revolution that is. Laws are there to protect and serve, however they can be too complex and just downright odd and often absurd.