News of the Nude, Feb. 2024

Volume 14: A whirlwind whimsy of worldwide without-wear wonders

This month has been a rollercoaster for news related to nudism and naturism. Among the myriad threads and themes that emerge from the juxtaposition and aggregation of all the headlines in this edition of News of the Nude, there’s one particular point I’d like to highlight: The battlefields in the fight for nude privileges and body freedom are public spaces. Beaches, park lands, and city streets are where this culture war is being waged, and it’s the right to be nude in these areas that seems to be at the forefront of the nudism movement. This isn’t to imply that clubs, resorts, campgrounds, and private lands are not involved in this struggle, but, in this moment, the predominant battlefield is public.

We uncover numerous narratives from this conflict, spanning the front lines in Australia and the US—tales of battles hard-fought, valiant victories, and conflicts ongoing. Stories unfold of confrontations in courts, on streets, and of course, online, in those privately-owned public spaces.

There are also stories not directly tied to nudism but to nudity at large: narratives of nude expression, protest, stories of Naked Bike Rides and Naked Man Festivals, naked censorship and other such nakedness coming from all around the nude world, from Australia to Nigeria, from Honshu to Hawaii, from Minnesota to the Metaverse.

I’m amped to get to these news stories, but before we do, there’s some excellent news about this newsletter that I’m excited to share.

Planet Nude welcomes NAC & NEF as Anchor Sponsors

I’m thrilled to announce that Planet Nude has gained the support of two new Anchor Sponsors: The Naturist Action Committee (NAC) and The Naturist Education Foundation (NEF).

Since 1991, the Naturist Action Committee (NAC) has worked to advance and protect naturist rights in North America. Focused on the responsible use of public lands for nude recreation, NAC operates with a volunteer board and emphasizes community involvement to integrate naturism into society.

The Naturist Education Foundation (NEF), first established in 1991, supports naturist initiatives and preserves its history. As a charitable organization, NEF educates the public and leaders about naturism, promoting acceptance through resources and events.

Both organizations trace their origins to the efforts of Lee Baxandall, a key figure in the modern Free Beach Movement in America (and a personal naturist hero). Baxandall’s dedication to promoting body acceptance and nude recreation led to the establishment of these organizations as formidable forces in the fight for naturist rights and freedoms. Regular readers will hopefully have no trouble finding positive associations between the visions and values of these orgs and those that we try daily to represent here on the pages of Planet Nude.

Lee Baxandall at Elysia in California, 1985

With Planet Nude’s commitment to editorial integrity and independence, the support from NAC and NEF is a perfect fit. This partnership enhances our platform by providing our readers with expert insights from decades of advocacy and activism for nude rights. It promises to enrich our content, ensuring our reporting and analysis are more accurate, informed, and legitimate. This collaboration is a testament to our shared values and the enduring influence of champions like Baxandall. We are optimistic about the positive impact this partnership will have on our community and the naturist movement at large.

Paid subscriber shoutout

The above announcement marks a new chapter for Planet Nude with sponsorships enhancing our newsletter, and I want to assure readers that we don’t enter this new phase lightly. We promise to approach these partnerships with careful consideration, prioritizing our commitment to our readers, and seek only relationships that will support and expand our work, which, silly as it may seem to some, we believe is extremely important. I want to emphasize that our subscribers, both free and paid, are the foundation of Planet Nude, shaping its identity and existence.

As such, I want to express gratitude for the incredible support from our new paid subscribers this month—your contribution is immensely appreciated! Here are a few messages we’ve received this month:

Paid subscriber messages from the month of February

Many subscribers don’t leave messages, so there’s a larger support base than mentioned here. It’s essential to know that Planet Nude isn’t just a newsletter; it’s a community, and a true naturist-run business. Paid subscriptions are our lifeblood, enabling us to fairly compensate our contributors and artists. This commitment to fairness and quality is what your support upholds. Thank you to each of you for making this possible!

Go paid

Whether you’re a paid subscriber, a free subscriber, or just an occasional reader, we value you at Planet Nude. Thank you for being a part of this community.

Now, with that out of the way, and without any further fuss, let’s get to the headlines. 🚀

Nudist beach in Australia threatened with closure: ‘Not consistent with values’

Marc Stapelberg | News Regional Media | Source

At Tyagarah Beach, near Byron Bay, Australia, a dispute has erupted which has been all over the media in the last few weeks. The controversy centers on the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service’s (NPWS) plans to revoke its status as a clothing-optional beach, citing misalignment with reserve values and concerns over anti-social behavior and safety. NPWS asserted that nudity is “not consistent with the values the reserve is managed under.”

Nudity at Tyagarah is a tradition that has been in place since 1998, but after a recent survey which determined that the NPWS has jurisdiction over the beach, not the Byron Shire Council, the NPWS recommended to the Council that the beach’s clothing-optional status be revoked.

In response, over 150 nudists rallied on Sunday, February 18th, drawing press and international attention to the beach’s significance to their community and lifestyle. A petition was also launched by by Byron Naturists president Bradley Benham—currently with over 6,000 signatures—seeking to preserve this public naturist space, emphasizing responsible enjoyment by many.

Locals protesting closure of Byron Bay nudist beach win reprieve until winter

As a result of the public backlash and persistent advocacy from the nudist community, protestors have successfully won a temporary reprieve for Tyagarah Beach, delaying the decision over the revocation until the end of June. Despite the NPWS’s initial push for immediate action, the extension allows for further community consultation and deliberation.

The situation mirrors many threats to nude beaches from Parks Departments and similar agencies occurring in the United States, as we have written about quite extensively here on Planet Nude recently. As in those other cases, it’s troubling to have state agencies either asserting or implying a moral code to the recreational activities that may be allowed to exist on state-controlled lands.

Supporters are encouraged to sign the petition and support Byron Naturists. 🚀

Sign the petition

Wisconsin’s legislative halt brings a tentative victory for naturist rights

The Wisconsin State Capitol dome in Madison | Phil Roeder

In a significant development reported first by Planet Nude, efforts to advance anti-nudity bills SB 477 and SB 478 in Wisconsin have stalled, marking a temporary victory for naturist rights in the state. These proposed laws, which aimed to tighten public indecency regulations and limit minors’ participation in nude events, have been met with opposition from a modest coalition of naturist organizations, LGBTQ+ advocates, and women’s rights activists, but with the Republican supermajority in the senate, the bills passed through the committee process on a party line vote repeatedly over the five months that the legislature was in session. In the end, it seems the bills were not prioritized highly enough and ultimately never made it out of the Assembly Rules Committee.

Despite this tentative win, concerns linger about future legislative attempts to impose similar restrictions. The proactive efforts of the Naturist Action Committee, the American Association for Nude Recreation, and the broader community, as documented by Planet Nude since October, are due significant credit, but the fight for naturist rights in Wisconsin is far from over, especially considering recent bans on public nudity on state lands by the state’s Department of Natural Resources.

Following the halt on Wisconsin’s controversial anti-nudity bills, our Change.org petition remains active, ready to mobilize if similar legislation emerges. This approach keeps us prepared, linking over 900 supporters committed to our cause. We invite you to sign, joining our proactive effort to #KeepBodiesFree in Wisconsin. 🚀


More on this:

‘Nudism is freedom’: Naked cyclists take to San Francisco’s streets

Danielle Echeverria | The Chronicle

With the apparent death of the bills targeting World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) in Wisconsin, WNBR season is officially underway. In the US, it officially kicked off in San Francisco, as the World Naked Bike Ride unfolded through the city’s bustling streets on February 10th, embodying a celebration of freedom and activism. Originating at Rincon Park and winding its way towards the Castro, the event reportedly drew a varied ensemble of participants. Adorned in nothing but body paint, minimal attire, or fully embracing nudity, they championed the cause of nudism as a form of liberation.

The city’s embracing attitude toward nudity in events like WNBR (with no fewer than five local rides planned for 2024) and the popular Bay to Breakers run (taking place on May 19th) starkly contrasts with the legislative hurdles faced by similar events in places like Wisconsin.

Kudos to the organizers of the San Francisco event, who by all accounts, managed the ride with attentiveness and caution for the safety of participants. Well done. 🚀

Japan’s millennia-old ‘naked man festival’ ending because of population decline

Japan’s millennia-old Somin-sai festival, more famously known as the “naked man festival,” has come to an end due to the country’s aging population crisis. Held at the Kokusekiji Temple in Iwate for over 1,000 years, the festival saw men, clad only in white loincloths, compete in near-freezing temperatures for a talisman, symbolizing prosperity, health, and fertility.

Just last month, the festival made headlines when it announced it would allow women to participate for the first time, however the initiative was apparently insufficient to reverse the trend of declining engagement during this year’s festival, which occurred on February 17th. Organizers cited the difficulty in finding young participants and the strain on aging locals as reasons for the festival’s conclusion. 🚀


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Meta’s Anti-Nudity Algorithms Go After AI Artists

“Meta’s algorithms find artist Simone Garcia’s (also known as “cymoonv”) collaborations with AI offensive”

In this piece from Hyperallergic, Meta’s anti-nudity algorithms have started to negatively impact AI artists by mislabeling their work as offensive or sexually suggestive, regardless of the artistic intent. This has led to issues such as shadowbans and reduced reach on platforms like Instagram, affecting artists’ visibility and careers—a problem very familiar to naturist influencers and businesses.

The push for more transparency and accountability in content moderation has highlighted the challenges artists face in navigating these algorithms, especially when using generative AI tools for their creations​.

Instagram Censors NYC Art Show About the Nude Body

Installation view of Nudity is not Radical! in the rear exhibition space including (left to right) works from Ellen Hanson, Victoria Dugger, Riika Sormunen, Ava Tuitt, and Humberto Maldonado (image courtesy Kravets Wehby Gallery)

In a a specific example of the above story’s point, a New York art exhibition called “Nudity is not Radical!” faced the paradox of its theme as Instagram flagged its account for sharing artwork depicting a naked body.

The show, at the Kravets Wehby Gallery, was reportedly inspired by the scandalized reception of Édouard Manet’s “Olympia” and sought to present nudity beyond a sexualized context. It featured a range of works that explore themes of gender identity, race, body image, and more, challenging conventional perceptions of the nude figure.

Alexandra Rubinstein, “The Venus Trap” (2023), menstrual blood on canvas

A key piece, “The Venus Trap” by Alexandra Rubinstein, which uses the artist’s menstrual blood to depict a nude male figure, triggered Instagram’s censorship algorithms. Both the gallery’s and its owner’s accounts faced restrictions for posting a cropped image of the artwork.

This incident highlights an issue that we often try to highlight here on Planet Nude. that is the ongoing struggle between artistic expression and social media content policies. It’s a complicated, but increasingly important topic to navigate, as people spend more and more time online and these spaces we share—de facto “town squares” as they’re often referred to—are highly public, unlimited in capacity, but operate under the strict control of a privately owned space.

Clearly this dialogue is relevant to the wider culture at this time, as evidenced by the fact that even as I write this very summary, more news comes out about the debate being platformed by the highest deciding court in the country…

US Supreme Court to hear landmark social media cases

Graeme Sloan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on landmark cases that could dramatically alter social media’s landscape, focusing on whether states like Texas and Florida can limit platforms’ content moderation powers. These laws aim to prevent companies from removing posts, raising First Amendment concerns. The outcome could redefine internet freedom, impacting how platforms manage content from hate speech to misinformation.

With broad implications for online discourse and the 2024 elections, the decision will test the balance between free speech and the right of platforms to curate their environments, marking a pivotal moment in the fight over digital expression.

Artists, as ordained as society’s truth-tellers and provocateurs, are at the forefront of this dialogue. And not just digital artists or those working with AI. One artist in Texas is using old school techniques to speak truth to digital power…

The Houston Artist Helping Her Neighbors Send Nudes

Nyssa Juneau

In Texas, artist Nyssa Juneau is highlighting this nuanced topic of artistic expression versus social media policies in a creative way with her own unique project, Send Nudes. Collaborating with Art League Houston, Juneau’s Project offers individuals a consensual, intimate opportunity to have their nude portraits drawn, giving them nudes that won’t trigger social media algorithms—a unique way of sidestepping digital risks while embracing body positivity.

Participants, spanning a wide age range, seek Juneau’s expertise for various personal milestones, finding the experience liberating and affirming. With a focus on safety and privacy, Juneau’s work connects the ancient art form of portrait painting to modern narratives around self-love, dignity, and the celebration of diverse bodies, away from the digital gaze. 🚀

What is your stance on social media’s handling of nudity and artistic expression?

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Visiting Nude Saunas in Austria and Germany Without Feeling Awkward

Chuchu Wang

Valeriya Safronova’s article in The New York Times explores the culture of nude spas in Austria and Germany, emphasizing the normalization of nudity in these communal spaces. Through her own experiences, Safronova describes the aufguss ritual in thermen—resorts offering a mix of wellness activities—where nudity is mandatory. The piece contrasts European openness with American conservatism towards nudity, noting the psychological benefits of communal nudity, including increased self-confidence and life satisfaction. Safronova’s narrative also offers practical advice for first-time visitors, advocating for respect and open-mindedness in embracing this aspect of European culture. 🚀

Shocking moment: Nudist strolls right past Old Bailey — and no one bats an eyelid...

In a remarkably unremarkable event that somehow merited international attention, a man nonchalantly wandered through London’s busy streets naked, notably passing the Old Bailey, and was met with nothing more than passing glances from the unfazed public. Clutching a coffee and wearing only a backpack in the rain, his presence sparked a brief police search due to concerns for his wellbeing, which quickly concluded without incident.

This occurrence, while treated as sensational by The Sun, highlights the mundane reality of public nudity in London and the UK—a place where such acts are perfectly legal. The only truly sensational aspect of this story is the newspapers’ choice to cover it.

On X, Jérôme Jolibois, a noted Belgian public nudist, raised an important point about the necessity for people to engage in this sort of non-obscene, perfectly humdrum public nudity even more often in London and other municipalities where it is legal:

“This is legal and never forget: Laws are maintained by useage, they are lost by non-usage.” | Source: @JeromeNaturel

Learn more about Jérôme on Naked Age:

Hawaii introduces legislation to change indecent exposure laws

Spectrum News Hawaii | Source

In a story we shared first on Planet Nude, Hawaii introduced bills HB 1873 and SB 2251 on January 18th, 2024, led by Democrat Scott Saiki, aiming to strengthen indecent exposure laws to protect minors. These proposals seek to increase penalties for exposing minors under sixteen to indecent acts, changing the offense from a petty misdemeanor to a misdemeanor.

Unlike broader anti-nudity laws in states like Wisconsin, Hawaii’s legislation specifically targets actions intended to offend, with a focus on protecting children. This approach has sparked debate within the nudist community, concerned about the implications for non-sexual nudity. But that wasn’t the only story about Hawaii that we covered this month.

Little Beach needs friends

DOCARE raid on Little Beach | Source

In this deep dive piece, we learned about the Friends of Little Beach (FoLB), who are battling with Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to preserve the right to nude sunbathing at Little Beach, Maui. Facing increased enforcement and police citations, FoLB has initiated an alert system to warn beachgoers of police presence. Despite legal obstacles, the group has gathered over 5,000 signatures advocating for Little Beach’s clothing-optional status, and have sent their petition to Governor to act.

In writing the article, I learned as much as I could about the strategic efforts of FoLB volunteers, who engage beach visitors for support. The story of Little Beach exemplifies the ongoing struggle for naturist rights and the need for broader support to counteract bureaucratic overreach and cultural biases against simple human nudity. 🚀

Original stories on Planet Nude:

Woman prosecuted for exposing breasts in public loses at Minnesota appeals court

In Minnesota, a woman’s appeal against her indecent exposure conviction was denied by the Court of Appeals. Eloisa Plancarte, 27, was arrested in July 2021 for exposing her breasts in a convenience store parking lot. She challenged her conviction, arguing it violated her constitutional right to equal protection, as men are not prosecuted for exposing their chests. The court’s decision was divided, with a 2-1 ruling supporting the lower court’s judgment. Judge Diane Bratvold dissented, stating the evidence did not prove Plancarte’s actions were lewd. The majority argued that intentional exposure of fully exposed breasts in public constitutes willful and lewd exposure. For proponents of body freedom and gender equality, the judgement may set a dangerous precedent. 🚀

Why Americans Suddenly Stopped Hanging Out

Alec Soth | Magnum | Source

According to this excellent piece in The Atlantic by Derek Thompson, the United States has seen a dramatic shift from its once-extroverted society, where forming and joining social groups was common, to a period of significant social withdrawal. This decline in community engagement, first noted in the 1970s, has accelerated in recent years. According to Robert Putnam’s “Bowling Alone,” Americans have increasingly disconnected from social organizations, a trend that’s particularly stark among teenagers, who now socialize in person far less than before. From 2003 to 2022, socializing face-to-face has plummeted across all age groups, with the most considerable drops among unmarried individuals and the youth.

While this story is not directly related to nudity or nudism at all, I believe it carries many takeaways for social organizations, including those in the nudist community like the Naturist Society and the American Association for Nude Recreation. These groups, like many other social and professional associations as this article points out, are currently experiencing a strong decline in membership, which has reached critical and existentially threatening levels.

These organizations must innovate to re-engage communities and foster connections. Emphasizing in-person interactions, leveraging digital platforms for outreach, and creating new, appealing events might help counteract the broader trend of social isolation and rejuvenate membership and participation.

Can America’s nudist institutions survive the larger downward trend? How do you see the movement adapting? 🚀

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Firefighters rescue naked hiker in the Chatsworth hills

Totally serious, this story first found its way to me when a close friend texted me the link to ask whether or not I was the person they’d caught. Ha! I was flattered by the association, but happy to inform him that I haven’t been nude hiking in a while. Looking at the video, the naked person in question certainly bears a resemblance: he is a lanky white guy who seems to have a roughly similar build to me.

Anyway, the official story is that an unusual rescue operation in the hills of Chatsworth north or Los Angeles, the LA Fire Department was dispatched following reports of screams. Upon arrival, rescuers found a man completely naked, with the circumstances of his nudity remaining unclear. Despite minor injuries, the man was airlifted to safety and evaluated on the scene before being planned for ground ambulance transport to the hospital. The hosts of KCAL expressed their bafflement at why someone would choose to be nude in nature, a sentiment that might seem alien to those familiar with the joys of freehiking.

As an avid freehiker, I can’t help but feel a bit sad for the hosts’ incredulity—after all, if you know, you know. 🚀


Fury as popular Aussie nudist beach allegedly targeted by vandals: ‘Won't deter people’

Vandalism at Armands Beach, a popular nude beach in New South Wales, Australia, has sparked local outrage. The beach, legally clothing-optional since 1993, saw its signage promoting its status destroyed. The local community and the Bega Valley Shire Council condemned the act. 🚀

Nudist beach set to shrink - Surf Coast Times

Photo: Toa Heftiba

Elsewhere in Australia, Point Impossible, a popular nudist beach along the Great Ocean Road, is set to reduce in size after a recent review by the Great Ocean Road Coast & Parks Authority found that the signage indicating the clothing-optional area was incorrectly placed. This realignment brings the signage in line with the originally gazetted boundaries, resulting in the beach’s designated nudist area shrinking by approximately 300 meters.

Michael James from the Australian Naturist Federation expressed support for the change, emphasizing the importance of clear boundaries to protect beachgoers from potential legal issues. This adjustment leaves Victoria, Australia, with three legally recognized clothing-optional beaches, including Point Impossible, with a significant majority supporting the continuation of these designated areas. 🚀

Coalition condemns arrest of 30 nude women protesting Sule’s election verdict

Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State | Twitter:@NasarawaInvest

In Nasarawa State, Nigeria, the arrest of 30 nude women protesting the gubernatorial election verdict has drawn widespread condemnation. The women, protesting unarmed to express their dissent against the Supreme Court's decision, faced charges of public disturbance. Advocates call for their immediate release, criticizing the handling as a violation of their rights to peaceful protest and expression, highlighting a significant clash between governmental authority and civil liberties. 🚀

I was horrified my husband was a nudist — now I’m one, too, but we’re not pervs

Simon and

, familiar faces to readers of Planet Nude as regular contributors, have once again made headlines with their nudist lifestyle, a story that has been picked up by multiple international outlets this month, including (but not limited to) the Daily Star, Wales Online, My London, and the New York Post. We’ve commented before in past editions of News of the Nude about the Berriman’s unique ability to draw press headlines. Part of this is because they’re so unashamed with their nudism, they don’t mind being profiled. But it’s also because of the power of their story. Their journey from Helen’s initial skepticism to embracing naturism together highlights not only personal transformation but also the broader conversations about body positivity and freedom that naturism provokes. Becoming quite widely known for their habbit of challenging societal norms and misconceptions about nudism, the Berrimans’ experiences offer insights into the naturist movement’s impact on individuals and society, and lessons for individuals and organizations looking to be more visible with their advocacy in the media. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Helen about her and Simon’s frequent appearances in the news for an episode of the New Nudist podcast, where we delve deeper into their advocacy and the visibility it brings to the naturist cause. 🚀

More from Helen Berriman:

What I learned by talking in front of an audience, naked

Sam Gaetz | Source

I like to try to end things up on a lighter note.

In this story from Toronto Star, Lindsay Mullan shares insights from her one-woman show “Tease,” where she explores the intersection of comedy, nudity, and societal perceptions. Performing a monologue naked, Mullan challenges the audience’s discomfort and stereotypes around nudity, revealing deep-seated fears and insecurities. She observes that while her nudity initially shocks, it eventually becomes secondary to her message, proving ideas have more power than the novelty of nudity. This unique blend of humor and vulnerability offers a fresh perspective on the complexities of sexual objectification and body shaming, making a case for the empowering potential of artistic expression. 🚀

That wraps up this month’s News of the Nude. As highlighted earlier, the spotlight has been on beaches, witnessing numerous challenging battles, with a handful marking significant victories. Currently, as spring seems to be making its entrance in Southern California, my home, I’ve already indulged in my first visit of the year to the local nudist club last weekend, enjoying a hike and even earning a slight sunburn. With days stretching longer and the warmth of spring teasing us, I’m eager to immerse myself fully in the season’s offerings. The beach is calling my name.

So, until our paths cross again next month, you’ll know where to find me. 🪐

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News of the Nude
A curated monthly collection of nude and nude-adjacent news items.
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