It seems paradoxical to be writing this article in the cold gloom of mid-December, but it may also seem paradoxical that the over-arching organisation of British naturists, called simply British Naturism (BN), has seen a very sharp rise in the number of people wishing to become members this year. This in spite of the present pandemic crisis when our opportunities for getting out and meeting others has been restricted,
In return BN has offered much in the way of virtual events to these new (and existing) members from discussion groups and virtual pub evenings to yoga classes. This reflects the recent widening of horizons that have been available to naturists living in the UK. Before we go any further you have not misread the word as “naturalists”; indeed it is “naturists” who believe in a clothes-free lifestyle and meet socially with others of like mind.
Historically naturism has been practised in the home, within the high-fenced confines of sun clubs (which are like social clubs) or at certain “official” or “unofficial” naturist beaches, that are often difficult to access. That nudity in public places is illegal is a common if understandable misconception.
It never has been illegal but now with the legal position clearer and recent police guidance on how to deal with any public complaints clarified we may expect naturism to be met with more frequently. After all naturists like to do all the things other people like to do, such as taking a country walk.
Good for physical and mental health
Going without clothing has been shown to have a beneficial effect on both physical and mental health. For example, sensible moderate exposure to sunlight enhances the creation of much-needed vitamin D on the skin. Nudity also helps to relieve stress and anxiety and even anger, particularly necessary in the restrictive world of 2020. Perhaps this is why there has been an increase in people going nude at home and in their gardens this year.
So when we have regained “normality” which hopefully will be during the first half of next year what opportunities will be open to naturists? East Sussex Naturists is a loose social group of naturists who, until 2020 closed most things down, were arranging visits to local art galleries, pub meals, yoga classes, regular weekly swims at local facilities, countryside walks and cycle rides in Kent and Sussex, ten-pin bowling and more – yes, and all without wearing clothes!
There is World Naked Gardening Day in May each year and World Naked Bike Rides, framed as protests to demonstrate the vulnerability of cyclists and our dependence on fossil fuels, are popular events in many cities worldwide, including, in the UK, London, Brighton and Folkestone each year. People will line the streets on these occasions, cheering on the participants showing that there is a great deal of goodwill towards naturists out there.
BN is seeking and gaining a higher profile in the country; television studio interviews have taken place, and the organisation was invited to submit written evidence to a Commons Select committee (Women and Equalities) on “Changing the Perfect Picture: An Enquiry into Body Image” which has been gathering information from people and organisations on what causes poor body image and the impact of advertising, social media and government policy.
Source: Rye News
Original publication 17 December, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 3rd January 2021
Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.