I stand at the top of a cliff looking over the Mediterranean Sea on the island of Agistri in Greece.
I’ve just hiked and “scrambled” (a new hiker’s term I learned for this experience — when the hill is too steep to walk normally, but not quite extreme enough to qualify as rock climbing) my way up a narrow, rocky path through the pine forest, with no map to guide me but the ocean on my left telling me I’m heading the right way.
I’ve reached my destination. Below me is a hidden beach nestled between the sheer cliffs, and sunbathing on it are roughly twenty or thirty naturists, also known as nudists.
An old, fully clothed man is sitting in a lawn chair a little way away from me on the rocks, and as I squint at the cliffs trying to spot a path down to the beach, he yells something in Greek and gestures for me to come over to where he is.
“Milate Anglika?” I ask as I approach; it means “Do you speak English?”
“No English,” he says, but gestures to his eyes indicating that he is going to show me something. I join him at the cliff edge and he points out a steep path around the rocky outcropping below us that leads to the shore.
“Efcharisto!” It means thank you, and I am so grateful I do prayer hands and bow my head too.
As I start to leave for the path, he calls after me and starts speaking in Greek again and pointing to his lower calves and then to my hiking shoes. I have no idea what this could mean, and I don’t know enough Greek to ask him, so I just pretend to understand and assume I’ll figure it out as I go.
When my wife and I started our first Clothing Optional B&B in 2011, we had no expectation of making it a larger business. We simply wanted to take advantage of having a large home with beautiful grounds that was now just shared by two of us since we were now empty-nesters. With our backgrounds and experience in the naturist world, customer service, hospitality and food & beverage…we knew we wanted to offer an “experience” for our guests and not just another bed and a breakfast. We were gratified and pleased with the response we received.
From the beginning, our guests were so complimentary and shared that they wanted more places where they could have a similar naturist experience. The concept of building a network of similar naturist bed and breakfast destinations with a low key, quality experience began to form. The dilemma was how to have more locations, but still have some influence on the guest experience. So, in formulating the plan we knew that screening & vetting of hosts, training, inspection and follow-up was the only way we could assure the level of quality at each location.
Certainly the “home-sharing” business model is big right now. However we also knew in that mass-market model there was NO screening, NO training, NO site inspection and NO follow-up on the guest experience other than guest reviews (which are sometimes less than reliable). We also felt that the large home sharing business model is the Wild, Wild West of the hospitality industry.
“We knew that given the nature of having people visit private homes and be nude there, we had to do more to make sure the guests and the hosts had a positive experience. We have always felt a real responsibility in providing that quality assurance.”
Although we were the first such network of Naturist Bed and Breakfasts in the world, since we started building the network there have been other sites pop up offering nudist B&B stays that have a similar model to the typical “home-sharing” model. No screening, no training, no site inspection and no follow-up. Some of those sites have built up to 200+ locations in less than a year, while we have stayed in the 8-10 location range.
I am sure you know what I mean. Prude social media. Did I hear someone say ‘Facebook’? Ding! Right in one. That one is, as far as I know, the most tight-assed, buttoned up place that allows murder and porn while being on a witch hunt against naturism, right?
They are against nude images that show ‘too much’.
This up here is too much. Totally unsafe. You can clearly see body parts. Something that Facebook is against, unless – under conditions – it’s meant to be art. They decide what is art. Or unless it’s ‘educational’. They decide what is educational. (See, you’re picking this up quickly!)
This up here is Facebook-Safe. I hear what you say: this is bonkers, mad, crazy, bull-shit, BS, insane, unreal. In short: this is Facebook.
Mobilization over the Natura World urbanization dispute and the risk of losing 100 houses
An open war between two communities of neighbors of the same urbanization of Vera Playa has faced for years the defenders of nudism and what they claim their right to be dressed as they wish in the common spaces.
Although the tension between the neighbors of ‘Natura World’ originated more than two years ago, these days the confrontation has experienced a new episode with the protests made by a significant number of ‘textiles’ at the gates of the Courts of Vera and the Provincial Court of Almeria. One of the reasons for the claims that took place last week is the judicial file of the lawsuits filed against the community of ‘nudist’ owners. In the lawsuits, the defenders of strolling through the common areas dressed as everyone wants, say they reflect the alleged discrimination they live at the doors of their homes.
The president of the association of those affected by ‘Natura World’, Juan Pedro Peláez, explained days ago in the SER chain that the community of owners made up of nudist neighbors (and backed by justice after a judicial journey) even put Doors in the pool “so you can not enter with a swimsuit” getting to hire security guards, always according to the president of the platform. A confrontation in which he had to mediate until the Civil Guard.
This part of those affected (the majority, since according to textiles would be around 400 families compared to 80 nudists) also criticizes that these accusations are then “denied in the courts” and lament the filing of the lawsuits filed. “The judge says that the minutes – from the community of neighbors – are retouched but not too important. And it has all the importance, ”says Pelaez, who describes the situation by comparing it with a kidnapping. “We are more than 400 kidnapped families because they have changed us to door keys,” he denounces publicly. This other part of the community has placed its hopes now in achieving a judicial victory in higher instances, hence they have started again with the mobilization.
Yesterday, I went with my family to Volcano Bay, Universal Studio’s newest waterpark in Orlando, FL, and what really surprised me was the number of thong bikinis on display. We’re not talking a few bold teenagers here and there. In nearly every crowd waiting for a slide, you could easily find someone, from a middle-aged woman to a mom pushing a stroller, with 80% of her butt-cheek exposed. Some of these swimsuits left very little to the imagination, so that from the rear, at least, these women looked almost naked. I remember when thongs were made illegal in Clearwater, at the beach nearest me, but now you can see them at a waterpark, with young children milling about, and nobody raises an eyebrow. When did this happen, I asked my wife? Oh yeah, it’s in fashion now, she told me. Such a matter-of-fact answer, of course, doesn’t explain HOW thongs came to be seen as everyday normal, but I really shouldn’t be surprised. As we have seen on TV, the gluteus maximus is no longer a part of the body we censor. We have moved up in the past hundred years, from the ankle and the knee to the thigh and the bare buttocks. All that remains is the female nipple (which should come next) and finally, the genitals. It’s really only a matter of time (though we may not see it in our lifetimes) before full frontal nudity becomes the norm, even at Volcano Bay. Which reminded me of this piece I wrote back in 2015 (updated for 2019).
In a word, NO.
It is a popular misconception that nudism is going the way of disco. These are the same people who believe the 60’s were one big Woodstock/orgy fest. But one historian argues (whose name escapes me), with a list of charts and graphs, that people were actually a lot more conservative during that time than we imagine. And all I could think while reading his book was Duh! What would be the point of a counter culture when what you’re countering is generally accepted? What followed after the sixties, however, was the much more permissible seventies, where premarital sex dropped off the list of taboos and drugs came into frequent use (today, marijuana is legal in most states). But modern nudism has been around long before the sixties, since the Germans exported it to America in the 1900s. The resort I visit, Lake Como in Land-O-Lakes, FL, was founded in the forties. The only thing we can say about nudism during the sixties was that, thanks to print media, and magazines that allowed for nudity, like Playboy, public awareness about the lifestyle grew dramatically. But just like everything else attributed to the decade, there was a lot less casual nudity going on than people imagine. The difference between now and then? Nudism is no longer news. It has fallen so far under the radar, in fact, that when Caliente, the largest clothing-optional resort in the country opened in Tampa, nobody noticed. Decades prior, there would have been police raids and neighbors protesting. But the lack of fanfare is precisely what nudists have long been striving for. Nobody wants to be counter-culture forever, unless you’re a rock band looking to grab headlines. Nowadays, nudism is so commonplace, you can visit any number of travel sites to book a “clothing optional” vacation, or “nakation.”
According to Forbes magazine,
The nude travel business, while skimpy on clothes, is covering itself with profits. The Kissimmee, Fla.-based American Association for Nude Recreation estimates that nude travel is a $400 million global industry–up from $300 million in 2001.
I was first introduced to nudism on the Greek islands in the nineties. Back then, the only option for going nude was at the beach. Today, three new resorts have opened up, Vritomartis Naturist on Crete being the most popular. Clothing optional venues have been popping up all over the world, in fact, from Mexico to the Caribbean to Thailand, each larger and more luxurious than the last. Castaway Travel even offers nude cruises, something that would not have seemed possible two decades ago.
Despite all of this commercialization, it is important to note that nudism does not and should not = venues. This would be like measuring acceptance of homosexuality by how many gay bars have opened. First and foremost, nudism is a social movement, not a marketing venture. Some people feel that resorts are antithetical to the movement (I know I do), that we should not have to hide behind concrete walls, far from other people, to live the way we want. The purpose of nudism is to change attitudes toward the human body, to rid the world of harmful, sexist, outdated taboos. In such a world, “clothing-optional” would be redundant. This is one reason why, in recent years, younger people have been moving away from organized nudism.
If you’ve ever wanted to have a beer in the buff with your friends, here’s your chance.
Stitch Bar in Sydney’s CBD is holding a one-off event later this month where you can have a few drinks on a Sunday arvo in the nude.
“Bottoms Up Sydney” is the brainchild of The Young Nudists of Australia (YNA) who created the event after seeing similar ones being held around the world.
“We’ve seen it happen in France and in the UK and across America and even in Melbourne, so we thought, ‘Why not Sydney?'” Matt from YNA told news.com.au.
Now when most of us think of nudists, we tend to picture, how should we say … slightly older people. But that won’t the case at Bottoms Up Sydney, Matt hopes.
“We would love a crowd of young people,” he told news.com.au. “They’ll get to experience something different and who knows, they may like it and then decide to try a nude beach or something similar in the future.”
The Richters promoted healthy living and nudism from the comfort of their ahead-of-its-time restaurant.
Mrs. Richter’s cookbook isn’t just about food. For Beauty Salad I, she recommends tender asparagus tips with mint sauce, not because it tastes good but because it will “induce light perspiration, aiding circulation and clearing the complexion.” In fact, all of Vera Richter’s recipes were about a way of life. “Food is the answer to our problem to have a sound mind in a sound body,” she wrote in the cookbook’s opening. She was one of the essential figures of the Los Angeles healthy living scene, opening a chain of famous raw vegan restaurants alongside her husband, John T. Richter.
They might have fit the perfect hippie image, only this was 50 years before the word entered the lexicon. But even the earliest hippies would be influenced by the Richters and their desire to promote the tenants of the German Lebensreform movement.
Vera was born Verna May Weitzel to German parents in Pennsylvania. In 1903, at age 18, she graduated from the Butler Business College and accepted a job as a stenographer in Pittsburgh. By 1910, she’d moved to Los Angeles, where she met John. John had arrived in LA after working as a doctor of chiropractic and naturopathic medicine in the Midwest. They married, and perhaps it was Vera’s business acumen that got their restaurant, Eutropheon, started. However, it was John’s commitment to the ideas of Lebensreform, or life reform, that inspired the raw vegan cuisine they served.
John’s father, a German immigrant and pharmacist, had wanted him to be a doctor, but while studying at Rush Medical College in Chicago, John became more interested in natural methods of healing, including movement cures and the Battle Creek diet, a cooked vegetarian regime developed by John Harvey Kellogg to promote energy and general well-being. John saw great results with patients and even followed the diet himself, but he still felt a “general lack of energy.” That was when he learned about Dr. Benedict Lust and his uncooked food diet in a naturopathic magazine.
When we were reading that post again we felt that something was missing. Although the information is still quite accurate, most of what we wrote were things we had learned from the internet. Our only naturist experiences had been in a handful of European countries and honestly, we didn’t know that all that much about the global naturist lifestyle at the time.
Today, after almost two years of traveling around the world, we thought it was time for a re-write. Not only have we visited many naturist places, we’ve also gained a lot of personal experiences about how things are handled differently and we had the chance to talk to lots nudist club members, naturist federation board members, nude resort owners and so many other naturists and nudists.
It wouldn’t even be possible to put all that information in just one blog post. So we decided to split it up in three different posts. Today: Naturism in Europe.
Nudism and naturism as we know them today originated from Western Europe. In the first half of the 20th century groups of people from mostly Germany and the UK got together to enjoy being naked in the company of others. Without the whole thing turning into an orgy. Just like today, people had different reasons to enjoy nudism or naturism but back in the day the most common one was because of the health factor (both physically and mentally) which was achieved by being naked in nature.
Which seems like a pretty sensible idea in the aftermath of the industrial revolution.
Historians and psychologists don’t always agree about at which point non-sexual social nude lifestyles started to flourish and what exactly was the trigger for them to grow into what we know as the naturism and nudism of today. Since we are neither historians nor psychologists, we can only guess. Just like with everything in history, it was probably a mix of reasons, coincidences and being in the right place at the right time.
How about doing a physical activity that involves yoga concentration and posture, with acrobatics and, to complete, Thai massage movements? All these features can be found in the naturist acroyoga!
The technique has long been famous among celebrities, but the goal of high demand is all the benefits that exercise can bring to your body, body and mind. Do you want to include a different practice in your routine? Naturopathic yoga instructor Fred Schinke reveals the benefits of naturopathicacroyoga.
Unlike most sports that aim only at overcoming results, the naturist acroyoga provides much deeper physical and mental work. The first point is that you need a partner to perform the fundamental movements of the technique, which means working together and especially mutual trust. In this way, the technique helps you overcome fears, insecurities and deal better with others, perfect for those who are shy or have anxiety and depression.
Not to mention that your body also benefits from this exercise. All movements help strengthen muscles by working the abdomen, arms, legs and spine.
If you are already a yoga practitioner, even better, since you will have more strength and flexibility to perform acro movements. But that does not prevent inexperienced people from practicing the technique. Sport is welcome for all people, but before starting, it is essential to consult a doctor to see if everything is fine with your joints, spine and overall health. And be sure to ask the expert if he is free to practice the exercise!
There are positions that are essential for this activity. However, it is important to always practice them with caution, without exceeding the limits of your body and with the help of a professional in the field.
“Don’t know about you but when I wore a younger man’s clothes I lusted after women and wanted to have sex with them. Nude or clothed, it was all the same. The human reproductive drive will not be denied.”
Yes Fred, this is a common feeling among young men. There were many women out there who I lusted after. But then I grew up.
“If I didn’t lust I would never date, never have sex, never marry, never have children. I would react to an interesting girl like a sister – or maybe a close buddy. And the species would be dead if everyone felt that way. Romantic love – pair bonding – is a product of sexuality.”
Maybe. Perhaps the urge isn’t so much “lust” as it is simply the drive to be intimate with someone. We all want someone to share our lives with, and sex is a valuable part of that bond. But it’s not the entire bond or the entire reason for the bond. I would hope your spouse is also your buddy, not just your lover.
“The difficult part is not being a creep about it. And how to feel lust yet not pursue the matter; to just be happy the world contains such marvelous creatures. There is no school for teaching appropriate vs inappropriate techniques to woo or to seduce. Lots of punishments in a futile effort to deter bad behavior but no actual direction in what good behavior is. Empathy, sadly, is not a universal human trait.”
Unfortunately self-control is also not a universal human trait. Lust is a choice. You might find a woman attractive, but you don’t have to feed a sexual desire to have her. The feeling you speak of is attraction, not lust. Attraction can be quite difficult to control, and may even lead to arousal. But lust is a choice. To covet a woman is something you have to think about.
Maybe a big part of the problem is then we confuse the terms lust, attraction, and arousal. Attraction is generally something we don’t control. We are attracted to what we are attracted to. Nudists are no different then everyone else and still find the body of other people attractive. If it looks good it looks good.
The beach itself is beautiful, but what makes it remarkable are the demographics it attracts and the liberating sensation unique to this place.
It was another Sunday morning on Balmins Beach. A group of naked old men were gathered in a circle, one of them holding hands with his unclothed 5-year-old granddaughter. The old guys were chatting and chuckling, oblivious to the fact that the little girl’s eye line was located at a pretty interesting angle.
“Oh my God,” drawled my visiting American friend, a New York assistant district attorney. “That’s a crime scene right there…”
In the U.S., maybe, but here in Catalonia, Spain, being publicly naked on a beach is still the ultimate sign of liberty. On Balmins Beach in the cosmopolitan town of Sitges, famous for its association with Picasso and Dali and the jet set of the 1960s, the right to be naked and proud is as deeply ingrained as the insistence on speaking Catalan or the unspoken pressure to eat a weird kind of barbecued leek called calçots on Sundays in the winter.
But even by the standards of Catalan nudist beaches, Balmins, 30 minutes south of Barcelona by car, boasts a demographic unparalleled by any other nudist beach I’ve ever been to. Calçots eaten with the traditional almond and red pepper Romesco sauce is actually a great combination, but the reason I bought an apartment in Sitges 17 years ago is Balmins Beach with its utopian mix of gay men, Catalan bourgeoisie, and senior citizens and their grandchildren.
They all co-exist in a fascinating way that reaches its apotheosis on weekend mornings when imperious Catalan couples are out in force with their pristine sun loungers and their copies of La Vanguardia. As they liberate bosoms from bras and buttocks from underpants, they hardly notice the gay men with expensive cock jewelry strutting along the shore. The gays will, however, respectfully defer their frolicking when they pass groups of au naturel women of a certain age, ample legs planted confidently in the surf discussing the latest Spanish royal family scandal or the best way of cooking cuttlefish and potato stew.
During a walk a while ago I suddenly wondered about that. Suppose that one day (and may it happen soon), there would be no more bias against the nude body, and we were all free to go naked wherever we want.
How long would it take before the majority of people would be fine with that? After how much time would people stop pulling out their phones to take pictures of yet another naked person walking by?
I think the first days would be bad. There would be outrage by the overly pious and ‘faint of heart’. Tonnes of images and miles of video footage would go online and I am sure we’d be mocked and called names too.
But after those first few days I think that more and more people would feel the urge to at least try this. Mostly after the first wave of pictures and video has come to an end.
Nude Concert Raised Nearly $350K for Cancer Research
What do you get when you mix six tribute bands, lots of naked people, and a passion for finding a breast cancer cure? Nude-A-Palooza! Hosted by Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in Kissimmee, Florida, Nude-A-Palooza is an all-day charity concert, now in its 12th year, that has raised nearly $350,000 for breast cancer research. Held on Saturday, October 19 beginning at 12 Noon, the event is open to the public and features six bands with tributes to Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Blondie, Santana, Doobie Brothers and Prince.
“We have different bands every year,” says Regis Pearch, Cypress Cove’s Director of Activities and Nude-A-Palooza event coordinator, “we work hard to include bands and genres for a variety of tastes. The tribute artists are among the best from the Orlando area and it’s amazing how much they look and sound like the originals.”
Not surprising for a nudist resort, Nude-a-palooza is a clothing-optional event where spectators can choose to enjoy the event au natural. “Spending wholesome time outdoors in the nude is what we’re all about here,” Pearch notes. “Many people come to the concert and decide to participate nude, but nudity isn’t mandatory. It’s also about enjoying awesome music and knowing that you’re there to support a good cause.”
That cause is breast cancer research, awareness, and support. According to Cypress Cove General Manager Peter Sewall, “being able to raise nearly three-hundred-and-fifty-thousand dollars over the past eleven years has been an honor for us. In past years, proceeds have gone to Rock Pink and the American Cancer Society. This year, proceeds go to Ribbon Riders a 501(c)(3) nonprofit made up of lady motorcyclists that host fundraising events to help breast cancer patients with their medical costs.”
Tickets for Nude-a-palooza were just $30 per person, and raffle tickets to aid the benefit were only $20 for 40 tickets. For 2019 event information, visit Cypress CoveNude-A-Palooza or call Cypress Cove Nudist Resort at 407-933-5870.
My selfie birthday present this year was modeling nude for a drawing class. I still can’t decide why I wanted to do it. Defiance? (Who exposes all at 77? —they told me I was their oldest model ever.) Vulnerability? (Nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of.) Playfulness? (Keeping my silly streak alive). Whatever, it was fun, and doubly so because I convinced Louisa to join me for the evening. She now holds the record as their oldest female model, at 68.
I broke the nudity barrier when I was 19 and an engineering student at the University of London. I’d signed on for a two-month summer student international exchange program. My destination country was assigned, not chosen, and I was thrilled to be going to Finland, especially as it involved a cruise from London to Helsinki through the Baltic Sea on a small Soviet passenger boat.
My host engineer in the Finnish Ministry of Works in Mikkeli, Eero Tiensuu, invited me to spend my first weekend there at his family’s lakeside summer home. After dinner in the long summer twilight, he announced we’d be going to the sauna. I said I’d get my bathing suit. “No need for that,” he said, laughing. “This is Finland!”
We—mom, dad, three sons ranging from 6 to 12, a 14-year-old daughter, and one very nervous Brit—trooped down to the lake where the pine sauna sat at the water’s edge. I tried to act cool as everyone stripped off in the little anteroom before going into the sauna proper. For this kid at that age in that era, we’re talking about a quantum leap. “Problem?” asked Mr. Tiensuu. “No, I’m fine,” I stammered as I clambered awkwardly out of my clothes. Inside, I sat on a bench with the boys facing mom, dad and daughter, trying not to look. Or at least trying to make it appear like I wasn’t looking. Until then, nudity and sex were practically one and the same thing for me.
“Dutch people want to be naked in the sauna” Amersfoort: Every year, around 1.8 million Dutch people go to the sauna. Despite the fact that people have been entering the sauna naked for hundreds of years, more and more wellness complexes offer a swimwear day in the Netherlands.
Does this mean that the Netherlands is going to waste? Not according to the branch organization. ” With swimwear days, the wellness resorts tap into a large new target group of people who want to relax, but feel reluctant to do so. Ultimately, many swimwear wearers switch to a bare sauna visit. ”
Most swimwear visitors come to see others not seeing them without clothes, although some women find it acceptable if this is with women. Bare Simply! – interest group for nude recreationists – notices that people who spend more time recreating naked start feeling more positive about their own body. Especially seeing other naked people reinforces that positive self-image. Because ‘the perfect body’ that is often shown in the (social) media is rarely found in real life. Almost everyone has something that he feels insecure about.
A large survey among 1,300 Dutch sauna visitors shows that only 17 percent of them visit such a bathing suit day in the sauna. About half of these sometimes go naked into the sauna, the other half only go to the sauna with bathing suits. The research shows that visitors to swimwear days are mostly relatively young people and people for whom a sauna visit is relatively new; they are visitors for whom going naked to the sauna is too big a step. Almost half of the wellness resorts in the Netherlands respond to the swimsuit wish.