For a group that’s all about public activities, we’re fairly private. We don’t do interviews much, we don’t generally accept invitations to go on podcasts. People don’t seek us out. We like to think we’ve had some influence on social norms around toplessness, but we’re not “influencers” in the Instagram sense. People rarely send us swag and ask us to promote it. And we like it that way.
Which made it all the more unusual that in the past few weeks we got approached by two total strangers asking if we’d tell the world about their cool thing.
One was a fellow in Berlin who wrote to say he’d spent the past three years creating an app called NATURISM that “lists nudist beaches, resorts, hotels and spas in 68 countries.” Would our members and readers of our blog be interested?
Well, not all our members consider themselves naturists; enjoying an afternoon in the park without a shirt on doesn’t necessarily mean going clothes-less all or most of the time. But many of us do like nude beaches, and though this isn’t the time to travel the world, eventually it will be again (one hopes). So, sure, why not, we downloaded his app and took a look.
It’s a handsome-looking app, but a little underpopulated. You can learn that there’s a beach near Berlin called “Badestelle Krumme Lanke,” where we guess you can swim naked, but aside from the name and “Category: Beach” there’s almost no information, no photos, no reviews. The place gets a rating of 3 stars (out of 5) for “Nature,” 2 for “People,” and just 1 for “Cleanliness.” Okay. And…? There’s a map so you can find it, and in the corner of the screen it shows the temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius. That’s about it. Same for Belgium’s “Thermen Dilbeek” hotel, same for “Gunnison Beach” in New Jersey. Only Gunnison gets just 1 star for everything. Is that fair? Maybe it’s no Krumme Lanke, but the people have always seemed nice to us. Who’s assigning these stars anyway?
We know it’s hard to get a new service like this off the ground; probably TripAdvisor also looked empty before anyone was using it. But will people ever fill this thing up? Who knows. For now it’s a nicely built edifice with no one inside. A quick Google search will probably find you lists of all the same beaches, resorts, hotels and spas. We’re not saying you shouldn’t download the app — we did, after all — but don’t expect too much.
Original publication 11 July, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 31st July 2020
Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.