Naturism FAQ - Part 2: Concerns about Naturism

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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013

 

 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013

FAQ - Part 2: Concerns about Naturism

 

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In our second instalment of questions frequently asked about naturism, we look at concerns people might have or things they've heard about the lifestyle.

WHAT ABOUT THE DANGERS OF THE SUN?

 

The naturist lifestyle is not just about lying around in the sun. Nonetheless, all people whether naturists or not, should take care in the sun and use common sense to avoid sunburn. Because naturists spend more time outdoors earlier in summer than the general population, they build up a tan more gradually. This avoids the danger faced by others of getting sunburnt in the rush to get a tan during limited summer holidays. Also naturists have been aware for a long time of the dangers of overexposure to the sun and they have adopted sensible preventive measures. Naturist venues tend to have lots of shade so people can get out of the sun.
No-one would disagree that sun BURN is dangerous, but recently, there has been a lot of literature about the benefits of sun EXPOSURE. This is due to the production of vitamin D which protects the body from many diseases including rickets, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease amongst others.

 

IS NATURISM APPROPRIATE FOR FAMILIES?

 

Absolutely! Naturism is about body acceptance and body awareness, which makes it appropriate for everyone. Therefore, families with children are welcome at naturist venues and events. Naturists do not deny the sexual nature of human beings, but they reject the all too prevalent view in our society that nudity and sex are synonymous and that children should be "protected" from nudity regardless of context. Nude is not lewd.

 

IS NATURISM GOOD FOR CHILDREN?

 

Children take to nudity like ducks to water. We all know how much children like to run around with no clothes on. Children are rarely self-conscious when nude. It is only as they get older that they adopt some of the social stigmas associated with nudity. When children reach puberty, they often are embarrassed about the changes in their body. But those brought up in a naturist environment develop a healthy attitude to their bodies and realise that this is nothing to be ashamed of. At most clubs, no pressure is ever put on children to undress if they don’t want to.

 

IS NATURISM SAFE FOR CHILDREN?

 

Cases of children being upset by the sight of nude people are extremely rare. At a naturist club, children are completely safe. Members are screened before acceptance and will have their membership terminated if they behave inappropriately. Because they do not want this, it is never an issue. So it is a much safer environment for children than at (for example) a beach, where any member of the public can be present.

 

MY BODY ISN'T PERFECT AND I'M EMBARRASSED ABOUT IT

 

The concept of the perfect body is a myth and one which leads to a lack of self esteem and stress. At a naturist club, you will find all shapes, sizes, ages and colours but naturists will like you just as you are. Many people have scars, bumps, blemishes and the sign of surgical procedures. It isn't at all important what your body is like because people accept you in your entirety, as you are. Nudist clubs are a reflection of society at large - people come in all shapes and sizes.

 

WILL I HAVE TO UNDRESS AS SOON AS I ARRIVE?

 

Most clubs allow newcomers several visits to get used to the joys of naturism. But the expectation is that when suitable weather conditions prevail and you feel comfortable, you will shed your clothes. Naturist clubs do not usually allow bathing suits to be worn in the pool, spa or sauna. But once you have experienced the joy of swimming naked you won’t want to wear them anyway. On naturist beaches, there is no expectation to undress, since they are clothing-optional. But if you go there and remain dressed, you may arouse suspicion and be approached as to your intentions.

 

HOW DO WE GET OVER OUR INHIBITIONS?

 

Nobody expects you to undress the minute you arrive on your initial visit, but in most cases you will quickly feel the relaxed atmosphere and see how comfortable nude people are with one another. Once you feel comfortable, which usually takes only a few minutes, you will probably feel like stripping off. But if you are still unsure, you will be given time to do it at your own pace. If you realise that naturism is not for you, your clothes will stay on and you will leave. In all honesty, few can resist the call of naturism once they have experienced it.

 

WHAT IF I’M READY TO JOIN BUT MY SPOUSE (PARTNER, OR FRIEND) ISN’T?

 

This is common. Typically, women are more wary than men of clothing-optional venues. But everyone, male and female, has "body issues." For some, the idea of being seen nude—and seeing others nude—is filled with psychological tension. A spouse, friend or partner can help reduce the tension, but only if caution and sensitivity are exercised. Remember, every naturist had a "first time." Many who were most reluctant initially are now avid naturists. And remember, too, that there is a fine line between encouragement and coercion. Don’t cross it if you want to introduce someone to naturism.

 

WHAT IF I MEET MY NEIGHBOUR OR BOSS AT A NATURIST CLUB?

 

They obviously have the same interests as you, so there will be no problem. There is no shame in being a naturist. You will find that you will enjoy new activities together that you didn’t do before. They would fully understand and would want to protect your enjoyment of naturism rather than jeopardise it.

 

I WANT TO KEEP MY LIFESTYLE PRIVATE - WILL MY PRIVACY BE COMPROMISED?

 

Clubs affiliated to the NZNF understand that privacy is paramount to members and their families. There is never any requirement to be publicly identified. Most clubs do not allow photos to be taken around the grounds and have 'official photographers' for special events only. Photos at events are taken only with your permission and you should also be advised for what purpose or publication the image is being used. A lot of clubs adopt a "first name only" basis and professions are also not mentioned. 

 

WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILIES SAY IF THEY FIND OUT I AM A NATURIST?

 

They won't find out unless you choose to tell them. But if you try and hide the fact that you are a naturist, and they find out, they will wonder why you haven’t told them before. They may therefore think that it is something you are ashamed of or that it is something undesirable. But generally people are really interested in the subject. Just answer their questions honestly and openly and show them that being a naturist is a genuine lifestyle and something to be proud of.

 

MY FRIENDS MIGHT THINK I AM MIXING WITH UNDESIRABLES IF I SAY I'M A NATURIST.


If your friends think that, they are speaking without knowledge and have assumed wrongly that nudity must mean amorality. Your friends couldn't be more wrong, so invite them along to the club to show them the truth. Naturists cover the complete range - singles, partners, married couples and most clubs are family orientated.

 

WHAT IF I GET AN ERECTION?

 

Believe it or not, this almost never happens, especially if you are honestly worried about it, since anxiety and embarrassment are pretty much incompatible with erections. Most newcomers find it so natural at a naturist club that after a few minutes, they forget that they are naked. And in that same short time, you realise how non-sexual the situation is. The most important sex organ in the body is the brain, and if you aren't thinking sexually, your body will not respond sexually.
Of course, sometimes spontaneous erections do occur, but what is most important is what you do next. The best thing to do is ignore it and concentrate on whatever else you are doing, lie on your stomach or wrap your towel around you. If all else fails, a dip in a cold pool or ocean should fix it!

 

DOESN'T COMMUNAL NAKEDNESS CAUSE SEXUAL EXCITEMENT?

 

Social conditioning has convinced a large part of the population that nakedness equates to sexuality. Consequently many people believe that men and women can not mix together naked without them becoming sexually stimulated. This is totally wrong. Being naked is a natural state and it is the experience of naturists worldwide that they can associate socially with other naked people without sexual arousal. Naturists believe that sex is a normal, healthy part of life, but one that should be enjoyed by consenting adults in private.

 

WHAT DO I DO IF I AM MENSTRUATING?

 

This is a natural occurrence and it is one of the realities of life. If a woman is comfortable with a tampon, then this is the simplest method of dealing with the situation. If a sanitary pad is preferred, then she would wear a sarong, shorts or bikini bottoms. For the most part, a woman should use what she feels is less obtrusive for her personally. Others aren't going to notice or object.

 

WHAT IF WE RECEIVE UNWELCOME ADVANCES?

 

This rarely happens. If it happens at a club or organisation simply report it to the person who met and showed you around or to a committee member and steps will be taken to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Everyone should feel comfortable. Behaviour that requires an apology is not tolerated.

 

For more information, go to our Benefits of Naturism page.

 

Posted by Donna Miller at 2:45 AM No comments: 

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2013

FAQ - Part 1: General Questions and Answers

Do you have questions about naturism and the naturist lifestyle? You might find the answers below...

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WHAT IS NATURISM?

 

INF-FNI Definition: "Naturism is a way of life in harmony with nature, expressed through social nudity, linked to self-respect, tolerance of differing views together with respect for the environment".
Naturism is the practice of going nude, especially in a mixed social setting and is a lifestyle choice. Another term for it is 'nude recreation'. It is a feeling of freedom and, for many, social nudity is
personally liberating. Through it, we come not only to accept ourselves but others as well.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF NATURISM?

 

Self-esteem is greatly enhanced in the nudist lifestyle - our own self-esteem increases when we accept ourselves for who we really are. Nudists respect each person's individuality and easily accept others for who they are rather than what they might be wearing. Some people say that when they shed their clothes, they also shed the stress and entrapments of their busy lives.

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NUDIST AND A NATURIST?

 

No difference really. Some places around the world use the word nudist and others use naturist. The words can also relate to two different philosophies which have nudity in common. Naturists can be defined as having a broader philosophy which encompasses a more holistic approach to being naked. In contrast, a nudist is a person who just likes to be naked.

 

WHO ARE NATURISTS?

 

Broadly speaking, anyone who practices nude recreation, social nudity, or both. There are millions of naturists worldwide. No longer confined to small, secretive enclaves, today’s naturists have a variety of recreational and social outlets, whether it be in clubs, saunas or at the beach. There are naturists from all professions and occupations. Naturists are a cross-section of society. Some are young, some are older. Some are married, some are not. Some have strong religious beliefs whilst others have none. Naturism is a great equaliser.

 

WHAT DO NATURISTS MEAN WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT "SOCIAL NUDITY" AND "NUDE RECREATION"?

 

When naturists talk about "social nudity" and "nude recreation" they mean just that—naked group social activities. At a club, many play sport, including volleyball, petanque, tenniquoits or the naturists’ version of tennis – miniten. Others mow the lawn around their campsite or cabin, do the housework or just relax with a good book. For the more adventurous, there are nude hiking, kayaking, and scuba diving — even skydiving. Most things that can be done clothed can be done unclothed—and usually it’s a lot more enjoyable.

 

WHY DO PEOPLE CHOOSE NUDE RECREATION?

 

Nude recreation embraces the pure joy of living - to relax and be nude is to let yourself be totally free. Nude recreation is a great way of getting back to basics - experiencing and appreciating nature in the most natural way possible - and totally unwinding. Relaxation, stress relief, positive body image, and increasing self-esteem are just a few of the reasons people choose the nudist lifestyle.

 

IS NATURISM OFFENSIVE?

 

It is hard to believe that some people do find something as natural as a naked body offensive. It is probably more embarrassment that they are experiencing. But the philosophy of naturism is not to offend.

 

IS SOCIAL NATURISM LEGAL?

 

In New Zealand, it is legal to be naked in appropriate public places, such as beaches. It is not the lack of clothes that is the issue but the behaviour that goes with it. Nonetheless, while laws that specifically prohibit nudity and equate it with "indecent exposure" are rare, that should not be taken as an invitation to get naked "anytime, anyplace." In general, commonsense should prevail, and in most situations, a sharp distinction is obvious between lewd behaviour and simple nudity, such as sunbathing and skinny-dipping.

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CLUB AND A FREE BEACH?

 

Free beaches are public areas which have become nude through use by naturists, and thus do not require membership. Clubs are private grounds which are owned by the members and therefore have their own rules. Most clubs will allow you two or three visits before you need to decide whether to join or not. Once you belong to a club, you are given an International Naturist Federation membership card, which allows you to visit any club worldwide. As clubs are owned by their members, it is common etiquette that you phone before visiting and pay any fees.

 

BEACH VS CLUB?

 

Fewer rules
Less expensive
Bigger range of people (not all known to everyone)
Clothing optional
Sand in the volleyball court!

 

CLUB VS BEACH?

 

Members screened, so a safer environment
Regular members who make it easier to make lasting friendships
Clubhouses, pools, spas, and other amenities
No sand to get into everything
Indoor spaces when the weather gets bad
Social activities

 

ARE THERE OTHER GROUPS APART FROM CLUBS WHERE I CAN PARTICIPATE?

 

In New Zealand, there is Free Beaches NZ Inc., which is affiliated to the NZNF and protects the rights of people who use public beaches for the practise of naturism. Also, there are a group of naturists called NZ Nudvan Club who enjoy travelling the country with their campervans, caravans or tents, visiting different places. Once a month they get together to hold a rally. There are two commercial naturist parks which have all the facilities of a regular camping ground, plus a number of naturist homestays, which are private homes owned by naturists. These offer bed and breakfast, on-site vans or camping and are a good way of easing into naturism. The owners can answer all your questions and being a more private setting, it is a good place to start if you are not sure about the naturist lifestyle. If you are not sure about joining a club just yet, then you should consider becoming a member of the New Zealand Naturists. This is a good way to find out about the naturist lifestyle and clubs in your area, which one day you might like to belong to.

 

I DON’T HAVE TO JOIN A NATURIST CLUB TO BE A NATURIST, DO I?

 

Of course not, but a lot of people say the naturist experience is greatly enhanced by joining a club. Whether you skinny-dip, go to clothing-optional beachs, or just lie naked in the sun in your back yard - you are living the 'natural style of life' - naturism.

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EXHIBITIONISM AND NATURISM?

 

An exhibitionist will expose their body to shock others or seek attention. Naturists do not agree with this type of behaviour. An exhibitionist will soon lose interest at a naturist club as the “Wow – look at me” factor is non-existent. Naturists just enjoy being nude.

 

DO PEOPLE GO NAKED ALL THE TIME AT A NATURIST VENUE?

 

Certainly not. When the weather is bad, or you are performing some task where clothing is required for protection, or you are getting sunburnt, it is perfectly normal and sensible to wear something. We all have different tolerances to heat and cold. Naturists go without clothes when it is sensible to do so, e.g. when swimming, playing sport, or just relaxing. Women when menstruating often wear shorts or a sarong and can do so without any problem.

 

NUDITY MUST BE SEXUAL – RIGHT?

 

Wrong! The public have a misconception that nakedness must be sexual as most people only undress to take a shower or have sex. But naturists know there are other situations (i.e. normal daily life) where you can be naked and feel good without it being sexual. Naturists are not against sexuality but agree that there are appropriate times and places to experience it. A totally naked body is less sexual than a person wearing a skimpy bikini or G-string and people will always find others attractive, whether they are dressed or not.

 

HOW DO I BECOME A NATURIST?

 

Perhaps the best way to become a naturist is with the help of a friend or spouse who is a naturist. Another option is to contact a naturist venue near you from this web page and arrange for a visit (see Locations & Events). All naturist organisations welcome new members and do their best to ease them comfortably into the world of naturism. You don’t have to take your clothes off right away – do it gradually if you prefer. Or, if it simply doesn’t feel right, just leave. You can always come back and try again. But remember: if you go to a clothing-optional beach and remain clothed for too long, people might start thinking you are there for the wrong reasons.

 

DO CLUBS WELCOME SINGLE PEOPLE OR JUST COUPLES?

 

Most clubs have a number of single members. But to maintain a balance of gender, all clubs have various rules about their membership demographics, so you should contact the appropriate club to find out their stance on this.

 

WHAT SHOULD I TAKE WITH ME TO A NATURIST VENUE?

 

The same things you would take when going to the beach (except a bathing suit)! Also some warm clothes (in case of a change in the weather) and of course an open mind. And a towel to sit on, if you do strip off.

 

ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL RULES?

 

The same rules apply in the naturist environment as in the clothed environment. Always respect the rights of others. When visiting a club, as when visiting other's homes, respect their rules.

• Always carry a towel with you to sit on.

• Don’t stare at others. When talking to others, act just as you would if they were dressed.

• Don’t engage in overt sexual activity.

• Many clubs do not allow cameras or camera cell phones, so check out their rules before visiting. Always ask the permission of subjects in the photo BEFORE taking the snap.

• Get dressed when leaving the club. Naturists are not trying to offend anyone.

• Respect people’s property.

• Respect people’s privacy. Many people go to their club to relax. Be friendly but not overbearing.

• Report any misconduct to a member of the club committee.

 

For more information, go to our Benefits of Naturism page.

 

Posted by Donna Miller at 6:43 PM No comments: 

 

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