It seems that naturism or naked recreation was much more valued in the past American history than it is now. For example, Ben Franklin enjoyed taking a cold bath in his birthday suit, and often did it outdoors. Walt Whitman, a famous poet, enjoyed naked sunbathing. He also poetically promoted the joys associated with swimming in the buff. Perhaps President Theodore Roosevelt had been inspired by Whitman’s advice, for he was known to hike down to the Potomac River and jump in naked. But running around unclothed outside isn’t as popular as it used to be, and in most states, it is downright prohibited.
It is interesting that the pandemic seems have opened up naturist opportunities to many people, either by allowing them to work comfortably from home or through personal expressions of freedom. It has also become a symbol for environmental concern. Nudist clubs and organizations in the U.S. and Europe reported a surge in membership since 2020. They claim there are many benefits to living an naturist lifestyle.
So let us get down to the bare facts of the matter as we explore these benefits…
10 Ways to Feel Comfortable in Your Skin
People don’t know what to expect when they visit a nude-beach for the first time. They aren’t prepared for hot sand and cool water. But one of the first things they’ll definitely notice upon arrival is that everyone will be smiling! The simple fact of the matter is that naked recreation is good for a person’s mental health. A naturist lifestyle is a joyous, happy way of life. This is what a University of London psychologist is trying prove.
In 2018, Dr. Keon West of Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, published results from three studies he conducted on naturist activities, trying to gauge the level of happiness such a lifestyle might bring. His first study involved 850 Brits of different backgrounds and ethnicities. He found that people who participated in group nudist activities were happier with their lives and more content with their bodies. This satisfaction was also higher if they did it more often. It seems that the more people are able to relax together, the more they feel comfortable with themselves.
Two additional studies were done at large public nudist events. Participants were interviewed before and after removing their clothes. After experiencing group nudity, participants were found to be happier with their bodies and content with their lives.
Over the years, researchers have found that negative body issues can be a serious psychological problem. This is made worse by the images of beautiful bodies that flood us via social media and magazines. Dr. West suggests that a naked group function might be a cost-effective and practical way to relieve the burden of body dissatisfaction. He admits that more research is needed on this subject.
This should lead to some interesting research projects for the future.
9 Great Ways to Increase Your Social Life
Nudist lifestyles are a great way for new friends to be made. All over the country, there are naturist clubs, organizations, and hidden beaches, and many of them feature hiking groups, volleyball tournaments, and even cocktail parties—all in the buff! The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) has existed in some form ever since 1931, when a New York State judge released a group of nudists who were being held at a club. The AANR is affiliated with more than 180 clubs and resorts throughout North America and has served over 213,000 individuals.
The Naturist Society is another advocate group that shares a similar affiliation. It has been around since 1980 and has a quarterly publication (unofficially known as N magazine). It has over 20,000 members. If you can’t find a clothing-free comrade through these two organizations, you’re really not trying hard enough.
You might even want to show up naked at a venue. You can always start with Black’s Beach in the La Jolla section of San Diego, California, when you’re in town. After hiking down a long, precarious trail, you’ll reach a stretch of uncluttered, pristine beach more than a mile long where nudity is tolerated, and upon arrival, you’ll agree it was worth the trek.
You’re allowed to romp around in your birthday suit, or however, beneath the 300-plus-foot-high, precipitous cliffs atop of which lies a popular glider port, and as you look around, you’ll notice that for the most part, people are in groups. You’ll see volleyball teams and horseshoe tournaments, friendly barbecues, and Frisbee dudes. No matter what people are doing—whether surfing, drinking, fishing, or birdwatching—it’s a safe bet they’re doing it as a group activity.
And that’s what makes it all so special. Anyone can hang out naked alone at home (yawn), but it’s much more fun to enjoy fellowship with like-minded people who help empower our desire to express ourselves nude. And at beaches like Black’s, groups of regulars are watchful for bad behavior such as lewd conduct, picture taking, or sexual aggression. They’re also protective of individuals (generally females) who might fall victim to such harassment. Nude recreation is not just for women. We’re talking bosom buddies through and through.
8 Reap the Benefits of a Better Night’s Sleep
True naturists understand the benefits of sleeping in the thigh. You get a better night’s sleep when you cool down, and you drift off much quicker, so it’s definitely time to ditch that flannel nightgown or fleece pajama pants. And try to keep your bedroom around 65°F for best results. Not only is a better night’s slumber good for your mental health, but it’s also great for your physical well-being. For one thing, sound sleep is a prerequisite for healthy skin, and since naturists generally show off a lot of skin, it’s a full-circle win-win!
Sleeping naked in a cool room also helps keep your waist trim as you’re more likely to burn calories while in bed, and women who sleep nude rather than in their knickers—which can collect sweat—are less likely to suffer from yeast infections. Men also have the benefit of cooler testicles, which results in a higher sperm count at night. This leads to increased fertility. All this makes one wonder why a young couple would choose NOT to sleep nude together…
While we are on the subject, slumbering together naked stimulates a couple’s relationship in more than just sexual ways. The hormone oxytocin is released in both partners when they touch their skin. This hormone seems to have a bonding influence on couples. Research shows that oxytocin is a factor in keeping couples together. It stimulates eye-to–eye contact. And that’s about as good as it gets.
7 Tips to Have Better Skin and Bones
Nudist lifestyles have many benefits for your skin in the morning. In hot weather, clothing can cause bacteria to build up in sweaty areas, which can lead to pimples, rashes and other skin problems. The skin can also be irritated by harsh chemicals that are used to make textiles wrinkle-free and stain-resistant. Restricted clothes, especially underwear can cause discomfort by having straps and bands that dig into our skin, leaving permanent creases. Some clothing can be so itchy that it is almost unbearable! Imagine being forced to wear a thick woolen sweater to a summer party at the pool.
Nude sunbathing, on the other hand, is a good source for vitamin D. Vitamin D is vital for strong bones, teeth and immunity. The human body processes the vitamin through exposure to sunlight much more efficiently than through diet or supplements—and without the risk of overdosing as our bodies also know when to stop making the stuff. It all depends on the time of the day, skin tone, geographic location and sunblock used. Is that confusing?
Any seasoned naturist, however, knows how to best “mine” vitamin D while sunbathing. And the first and foremost rule is that the more skin exposed, the better the yield (plus, it’s a lot more fun that way). The best time to enjoy noontime is when the sun is directly overhead. Our bodies are able to absorb the solar bounty more efficiently the closer we live to the Equator. Because melanin blocks vitamin D production, sunbathers with lighter skin may be able to produce more vitamin D faster than those with darker skin. This means that some people might need to stay out longer. Sunblock is not recommended for prolonged exposure. To get the best vitamin D, one might allow his skin to turn pink before applying it. This should take about 15 to 20 min.
A naturist lifestyle is a comfortable and healthy choice, from our skin to our bones.
6 Everyone Is on Equal Ground When They’re Naked
The most satisfying and pleasant feeling that naturists can bring about is not one of their physical abilities. It’s an emotional sense of being equal with everyone else—cuz everyone’s starkers! We choose the outfits that we wear each morning to represent ourselves to others. There are businessmen who don fancy suits that boast opulence, and chefs who wear white aprons that announce their trade. First responders wear uniforms that command respect and admiration, while workers wear orange vests that reflect a life of manual labor. Our clothes are our badge of social strata. We often find it difficult to look at another person if their outfit is more prominent than ours.
Throw a naked party in the garden and you have solved the problem! Unclothed people can meet for the first time and see themselves as human beings without any pretense of costumes. It could be that you are shaking hands with an artist, an attorney, a plumber, or a preacher. And what a genuine handshake!—just two individuals, naked and vulnerable, offering greetings from equal ground without presumption or duplicity! You might have just made the acquaintance of a grocer or an airline pilot, and either way, it’s all good.
The Japanese have a term called “hadaka no tsukiai,” which means “naked relationship” (sometimes called “skinship”), but this by no means implies sexual intimacy. It is a common ancient practice to bathe together in onsens or bathhouses on equal terms without using any pretense. Communal bathing has gone on for hundreds of years in Japan—and many other parts of the world—while hot springs across the U.S. are increasingly becoming intolerant of nudity, either only allowing it after dark or totally banning it altogether. This is a trend Americans might want to reconsider as “skinship” seems to be a pretty cool way to make a new friend.
5 Swimsuits are for Suckers
Nothing is more relaxing than diving into a pool or lake naked. The coolness of the water all over your body sans the restrictive swimsuit is pure bliss to the point you wonder why everyone doesn’t swim that way. If you haven’t tried it yet, imagine yourself heading to your favorite beach in a natural suit. You will emerge from the water feeling free and comfortable. Imagine the sensation of feeling refreshed and rejuvenated when you emerge from the surf, with the sun warming every curve of your body. You’d run the risk, however, of never wanting to wear a swimsuit again for life!
Swimming nude has even been recommended in a professional journal of the U.S. Public Health Service, at least regarding dealing with the swarms of sea lice that afflict Florida’s southern Atlantic coast each summer. The misnamed sea lice are actually jellyfish larvae that get caught between a swimmer’s skin and bathing suit, and once they start biting, they leave an eyesore of an itchy rash that can last for days. Nude swimmers never have a problem with sea lice; unfortunately, despite advocacy for ditching swimsuits by an official government journal, public nudity—with little exception—is a punishable offense in the state of Florida (and the other 49 too), with the possibility of felony charges. Sea lice will not disappear soon.
There was a time when skinny dipping into the creek or backwoods pool was as common and natural as eating apple pie. And no one had to be a nudist or nurse to do it. It was just right, especially on a hot day. And it made sense, too. Because 100 years ago, not every household had indoor plumbing, making bathing difficult. Funny how back then, the guys at the swim hole hadn’t a clue they were involved in felonious activity.
4 Feeling One with Nature
It’s common nowadays to feel estranged from Mother Nature, and there’s no better way to re-establish a strong connection to the natural world than through nudist recreation. It’s a beautiful sensation to have the warm sun and a light breeze accentuate your nudity as you traipse along a backwoods trail or open stretch of beach. And while people have been running around naked since Adam and Eve, the modern-day naturist movement as we know it with emphasis on “nature” was born within the German Empire of the mid-nineteenth century.
Lebensreform is a German term for various social movements that sought a more natural way to live. One example was the Freikörperkultur, or FKK, which was, and still is, a naturist way of life encouraging mental and physical balance by enjoying nature while naked. This lifestyle was quite popular until the Nazi Party of 20th century attempted to stop it. The movement had already spread to other nations in many forms, and the U.S. was one of them.
If you look through a comprehensive list of nudist camps and resorts throughout the States, you’ll notice two themes they all share. The first, of course, is naturism; the second is the concept of “nature” itself. Non-nudists would be unable to imagine going outside without clothes, but true naturists would wear their clothes if they could! Naturist gatherings are often held at the sea, lake, woods, or up a mountain.
The Bare Mountain Retreat is located just 30 minutes away from Boise, Idaho. In the summer, naked hiking to the top of the mountain will allow you to enjoy a stunning, alpine view that will not be forgotten. The Mountain Air Ranch is located in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, 20 miles from Denver. Visitors can enjoy 10 miles of private hiking trails through a pristine coniferous forest full of foxes, birds, and deer—and none of the aforementioned need to wear a stitch!
So, whether it be backpacking or birdwatching, gardening or glamping, if you’re going to be a naturist, you’re going to have to experience a lot of nature. You should be careful of poison ivy.
3 Great Ways to Stay Active
Naturists love to relax on their favorite beach towel and enjoy the sun. But more often than not, they’re up off that towel and breaking a sweat…
Nude hiking is a great way to start summer. The Naked Hiking Day celebration has been established for June 21st. It is almost becoming a holiday in the naturist community. While many choose to celebrate the day on private property, others go a little more adventurous. Since there is no federal law against nakedness, many hikers opt to wear nothing in national parks and believe they are exempt from the law. In reality, however, they are at least subject to disorderly conduct charges. It’s risky business either way you look at it, but the concept of safety in numbers pertains to naturists also. You might consider the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, which are both very popular with backpacking nudists in the first days of summer.
Although nude volleyball may seem like a fun and easy way to enjoy a day at the beach, it is very serious. Every year, the Superbowl of Naked Volleyball takes place on the weekend after Labor Day. There are more than 90 teams participating. This is a major tournament with more than 1,500 competitors and spectators each year. Non-nudist players can still compete. However, all must be naked on the court except for footwear. The festival has become so popular that ESPN hosted a team in 2009, which included a senior journalist who wrote an article on the festival for their magazine. Yes, just like the other players they were required to remove their clothes when they stepped onto court.
There’s naked surfing, naked horseshoes, naked tennis, and even, if you look hard enough, naked skiing. And after partaking in all that arduous activity, you’d probably be mighty grateful for the opportunity to lay back down upon your favorite, comfy beach towel…
2 A Great Way to Get into Politics…
…or at least protests. Take GoTopless Day, as an example. Each year on the Sunday closest to Women’s Equality Day, which falls on August 26 (the anniversary of the enactment of the 19th Amendment), women march with their breasts exposed in cities across America. This is in honor and support of gender equality. The logic behind this is that the denials of voting rights before 1920 and the intolerance of women going naked in public are both gender-based decisions. These nipple friendly protests are held in cities including New York, Venice Beach, Denver, and others. However, COVID-19 seems like it has shut down several of them, as it has all other protests. But not to worry, guys, you’re welcome to march too. Ironically, many men who wear brassieres often do so. It’s amazing!
Perhaps a naked bike ride could satisfy both your activist and naturist needs. Since founder Conrad Schmidt conceived the World Naked Bike Ride in 2003, it has grown immensely in popularity across the world, and each year participants strip down, don a helmet (hopefully), and “Bare as You Dare” on bikes and the occasional skateboard. Although the original purpose of the event was to protest war, it quickly evolved into a statement against oil dependency and a celebration about the human body.
These festive bike rides are held annually in 70 cities representing 20 different countries. But the theme has been narrowed to bicycle advocacy. On various dates, the WNBR was held in dozens cities across the United States. Despite the fact that many communities have strict laws against naked exposure, there have been very few arrests. Most people are figuratively blind to the events as long as bikers keep moving.
If naked protests are your favorite pastime, San Francisco is the place to be. People in San Francisco have been known to gather in the streets over issues such as police brutality, sex-worker right, and the 2008 Olympic torch controversy. Hell—there are actually naked protests over the nudity ban the city had to pass in 2012 (mainly due to all that naked protesting). But really…if the cold winds whipping across the Bay Area can’t even get San Franciscans to keep on their clothes, how effective can the stupid ban be?
1 Leafless Longevity
Ever wonder why nudist camps have so many older people? Many reasons can be given for why older people aren’t able to join nudist camps. Another theory is that older nudists are a result of a generation of flower-child sexists who often strip at concerts and protests and have old habits that die hard. But studies also suggest that naturists live longer than the random “textilist,” a term for someone who insists on wearing clothes. So cast away that figurative fig leaf and stock up on Ensure because the odds are you’re going to be around for a while if you live naked…
Some people never nude while they are bathing. Dr. David B. Agus argues that this is a bad thing in his 2014 book, A Short Guide for a Long Life. Instead, one should make an effort to look at themselves naked in the mirror at least once per week. Skin cancer and other medical issues can be detected by looking closely at rashes and blotches.
The group setting allows us to avoid ignoring any warning signs our body might be sending us. And when we’re back home alone looking in that mirror, it’s also a good idea to take note of areas of our bodies that could use improvement and jump on those issues too. For a healthy feeling of skin comfort, be sure to give yourself compliments when you see your waist shrink or your complexion improve over time.
In 2015, Dr. Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at University of New Mexico, stated that longevity is dependent upon minimizing stress, proper exercise and a good social life. He also suggested that fun activities that bring laughter are key to your success. This sounds a lot like a day at a nudist resort. But does a naturist lifestyle actually promote longevity or just leisure time?
Benjamin Franklin lived to 84 with his naked cold air baths. This was quite an accomplishment in his time. Helen Mirren, an actress who admitted to enjoying nude recreation at age 76, is still vibrant, healthy, and beautiful. Christiane Lecocq is the proof of the pudding (no snickering).Christiane Lecocq, founder of the French Naturist Foundation, died in 2015 at the age 103.
So…while you might encounter a large group of old folks at your local nudist club, what you probably won’t see are walkers, wheelchairs, and oxygen tanks. You’ll be seeing healthy, happy, active people enjoying life, laughter, and longevity—and all while working an all-over tan.