On an average weekday, you might find Parisian Laurent Luft enjoying a swim at the city’s Roger Le Gall swim center.
Like many of us, Luft’s currently missing his laps in the pool, which is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and France’s lockdown rules.
But unlike many of us, Luft usually swims in the nude.
He’s the president of the Association des Naturistes de Paris (ANP), the French capital’s active naturist group that’s been stripping off in the City of Light since 1953.
As well as swimming sans clothing, Luft usually spends his time hosting ANP-organized nude trips to art galleries, sunbathing au naturel in a sheltered spot of Paris’ Bois de Vincennes park or arranging other activities such as clothing-optional bowling nights and restaurant outings.
During lockdown, Luft and the Parisian naturist community have gone virtual, establishing nude yoga and cooking classes on YouTube.”
It doesn’t really make up for the real face-to-face contact that we are used to, but it’s something to keep the association alive,” Luft tells CNN Travel.
Naturists believe that embracing a clothing-optional lifestyle allows people to be more liberated and to free themselves from the constraints of society.
“There’s nothing like opening the door of your tent one morning or your caravan and just stepping out into the sunshine with nothing on, it really is the most wonderful feeling.”Andrew Welch, commercial manager for British Naturism
Right now, due to shelter-in-place orders and lockdown restrictions, many people are spending a lot of time at home, and many have found themselves rethinking their attitudes to work, leisure and lifestyle.
British Naturism‘s commercial manager Andrew Welch tells CNN Travel there’s been a rise in naturism in Britain over the course of the UK’s lockdown.
He suggests that, for some, deciding not to wear clothing could be the natural next step to spending all day in your PJs or your sweats, no longer required to wear smart office wear.
Welch also connects this uptake to the shift to a slower pace of life and a growing appreciation of the sights and sounds of nature. Plus, Welch reckons that the naturist community’s pivot towards the virtual world has allowed more people to connect with like-minded individuals from across the country — and the globe.
Luft says he’s seen a similar shift in Paris: “People have been following our videos [and] sent emails saying, ‘You’ve inspired us to give it a go.'”
Original publication 1 June, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 19th June 2020
Reference to an article does not infer endorsement of any views expressed.