From public nude beach closures to private nudist clubs "going textile", nudists (at least in the U.S.) have seen a marked shift in the social-nude-landscape over the last decade. This trend is fresh on our minds after the announced clothing-mandatory policy by DeAnza Springs Resort this week. Such changes signal a broader question in the nudist community: Is nudism shrinking? As commercial interests encroach on formerly clothing-optional spaces and societal attitudes fluctuate, the state of nudism and its public acceptance seems more precarious than ever.
This week's #UndressedThread explores these issues, seeking insights and perspectives from our community.
Your experiences, thoughts, and votes on this pressing issue will help us better understand the changing landscape of nudism. Share your insights, and let's explore ways to ensure that the nudist community continues to thrive! 🪐
I voted 'definitely shrinking' but I ought to qualify what I mean by that. Naturism as I first discovered it was as a closed community activity - basically a social club where everyone was naked. It was not easy to gain admittance if you were a young lone male. I, and I suppose others like me, conducted our naked activities in nature - on beaches and the countryside - while at the same time there was a growing acceptance of nudity more widely in society. Now I find there are fewer unstructured opportunities. For example our regular swim at the University of London Olympic sized pool was terminated when it was redeveloped and I find now that there are fewer swims as providers change their policies. Beaches where I used to go naked (including places like Studland) tend to be closely controlled and even raided by the authorities. Yes we have naked bike rides in Central London, but one can't sunbathe naked in Hyde Park without attracting the wrong sort of attention. But there are other opportunities to be naked - spas, festivals and swinger-friendly venues - it's just that simply being naked with other people now seems to need to serve some other purpose (protest, commercial or sexual) than simply enjoying being sociable without clothes...
Our spaces are vanishing, but more significantly, the communities they made possible are disappearing with them. These communities were our foundation. Without them, the organizations become increasingly irrelevant, our national/international networks collapse, and our political influence is drastically diminished, if not eliminated. The nearest club around here that is not a swinger club is a 6-8 hour drive away. Many states have one club, and some have none. People will likely continue to go on solitary hikes and swims, as they always have, and those with the resources will fly to Florida once every summer to visit a resort or beach (if they can hold on), but I'm not sure that's enough to sustain the movement.
Charles Daney has been writing about the shrinking nudist landscape in the US quite astutely for some time on his great substack, Revitalizing Naturism. He also discusses his perception of the issue there this morning, expanding on our DeAnza report. It’s worth checking out: https://naturistplace.substack.com/p/the-disappearing-opportunities-for
As I don't live in places where in the naturism is either shrinking or growing, I may not be right person to comment about this. I live in India wherein naturism is not allowed & hence no question of shrinking or growing. However after going through the articles, feedback, it seems that more over the naturism opportunities are shrinking..
I responded “Remaining Stable” because I believe that how people choose to participate in nudism is changing. Younger people coming into or newly experiencing nudism seem to not be as interested in clubs, and lean more toward experiencing nudism on their terms. With that said, I do believe that there are forces in place that can significantly hinder our ability to enjoy social nudity and as a movement we need to be aware and ready to protect our freedoms. So, while I don’t think nudism is shrinking because I do feel there is robust interest, we do need to be concerned about where we can enjoy nudism.
Growing - as a mindset. The Millennials are much more open to understanding their bodies and those of others. The GenZ are familiar with beaches, hot tubs, saunas, and pools where everyone is naked and many have tried it with no ill effect. While the Boomers are fading from nude beaches and retiring to warm areas where they pickle-ball and party gently with peers. None of them are like the Great Generation that won WWII and built many clubs and resorts with their personal sweat-equity. Structured, organized nudism/naturism is fading not unlike newspapers and interest driven publications, which have gone on-line. It used to be in order to find who and where to go skinny-dip, it was a process of letters and contact magazines with card carrying official nudists. Now anyone can look on-line and find a meet-up group in their community. This is my feeling as there does not appear to be an easy or clear way to quantify the numbers. While the existing organizations are loosing numbers, not unlike churches, the population is reporting it is more engaged and accepting of the human body, not unlike reports of increased spirituality, but in both cases without the dogma.
I think it depends on who you ask. Yes, a lot of clubs are closing or going to the "dark side", but there is an online community booming right now of new naturists. There is your blog and podcast for one, what Stéphane, his podcast, and Bare Oaks have been doing for a while now, Nick and Lins and their travel blog, etc. The problem lies in, a lot of the owners of the clubs/resorts that are closing (becoming textile or swinger clubs) are older, and not only do they not know how to promote their establishment and make it appealing to young people and families, but they also don't know how to promote naturism properly or are scared to. Because of this, the "moral police" are currently narrating the message, which is inaccurate. There is some serious PR that needs to be done by those leading the movement. Hopefully, with the AANR convention coming up people will get motivated.
An interesting ask may be "Are membership nudist clubs declining in popularity?" As a trustee and resident at NYC-area Rock Lodge (est. 1932) the answer is yes. Lower attendance; especially under-40.
My view point is from naturist beaches in the SF Bay Area. They still seem to attract a diverse mixed crowd of all ages -