Frequently Asked Questions
What is the etiquette for visiting a naturist location?
Generally, the same guidelines for behaviour apply in the naturist world as in the clothed world. Be polite and respect the rights of others. When visiting a club, make sure you understand the rules specific to that club.
- Gawking is impolite. It is OK to look but always rude to stare (particularly with binoculars or through a camera).
- For sanitary reasons, sit on a towel when using public seats or benches.
- Respect the environment. Stay out of dunes or other environmentally sensitive areas.
- Help keep the area clean. In clubs, use the trash cans. On clothing optional beaches, bring your own trash bag. Leave the beach cleaner than when you arrived.
- Get dressed when leaving established nude areas. Naturists are not trying to offend anyone.
- Follow all parking regulations and other posted rules.
- Do not engage in overt sexual activity.
- Respect the property of others.
- Get the permission of subjects before taking pictures. In clubs, check out club rules on photography before bringing out your camera.
- Respect the privacy of others. Many people come to enjoy nature and don’t want to be disturbed. It is good to be friendly, but take your cues from their response and body language.
- Speak up for standards. If you see people who are violating the accepted standards, please explain to them clearly and politely just how they are violating the rules and what the proper behaviour is.
Are single people welcome?
All clothing optional beaches and most clubs welcome singles. However, many clubs try to maintain a balance between the sexes. Check ahead for a club’s policy.
What if I’m ready but my spouse (partner, or friend) isn’t?
This is common. Typically, women are more wary than men of clothing-optional venues. But everyone, male and female, has “body issues.” For some, the idea of being seen nude—and seeing others nude—is filled with psychological tension. A spouse, friend or partner can help reduce the tension, but only if caution and sensitivity are exercised. Remember, every naturist had a “first time.” Many who were most reluctant initially are now avid naturists. And remember, too, that there is a line between encouragement and coercion. Don’t cross it if you want to introduce someone to naturism.
Can I take pictures?
Be very careful when you get your camera out. Venues usually have strict rules in relation to photography, as understandably many people may be sensitive about pictures of them naked appearing where they don’t want them. Make sure you know the club’s policy on cameras before you start snapping away. Make sure you have the express permission of people you are taking photographs of (if you’re a professional photographer, ask them to sign a model release form), and try your best not to get anyone else in the background in the shot. If you’re on a beach, again, exercise caution. By all means, take photos of you and your friends, but don’t point the camera indiscriminately, and especially not if there are children around.
First Time Information
Do I have to be naked?
No-one should ever force you to do anything you don’t want to do, and many naturist venues have a relaxed attitude towards first-timers and let them go at their own pace. However you should always check the venue rules before visiting. Venues that describe themselves as ‘clothing-optional’ are generally recommended for first-timers as they don’t insist on people being naked all the time. The only place where you are very likely to be told to be naked is in the swimming pool.
Isn't nudity sexual?
Most of the people who visit a naturist club/beach for the first time are surprised by the lack of sexuality. Some expect a sexually charged atmosphere, since we see others nude in sexual situations such as love scenes in movies, in magazines and in videos.
However, the link between nudity and sexuality is arbitrary. In Victorian times, to see a woman’s knees was very sexual because they were supposed to be hidden all the time. We expose some parts of our bodies which are as sexual as those which we hide. Our lips, for example, are probably as involved in sexuality as our genital areas. Yet people walk around exposing their lips without causing mass arousal.
You will probably find that suggestively clothed people are more arousing than completely nude people. It can be more sexual to wear a bathing suit which subtly hides and emphasises certain parts of the body.
That nudity implies sexuality is the biggest misconception that naturists have to fight. As a result, you may find them to be over-sensitive to it. This is not to say that naturists are against sexuality. They just believe, like most of society, that there is an appropriate time and place for it. It also means that there is nothing wrong with finding a person attractive, whether he or she is nude or not.
What if I am self-conscious about my body?
Once you are among like-minded company (for example, at a naturist club or on a clothing optional beach), you will soon find that, although we are all different, we are all the same too in that very few of us are perfect. Lumps, bumps, wrinkles and scars are what make us normal human beings, and naturism is all about body acceptance. Far from feeling self-conscious, if you join in you will almost certainly forget your hang-ups in no time. In fact, if you’re the only one who’s dressed, you may feel even more left out. Young, old, fat, thin – it really doesn’t matter. However, if going naked among friends makes you think more about how you could look and feel healthier, then this too is a good thing – but it must be for yourself, and not to please others.
I’m a man… will I get an erection, and what will happen if I do?
This is a very frequently asked question, to which the answer is: it’s very unlikely to happen. Contrary to popular opinion, nudity in its simple state is not sexual, and naturist clubs are not sexualised environments. The diversity of young, old, fat, thin (see above) should mean that sex is the last thing on your mind. If you’re nervous or stimulated and it does happen, the best thing to do is to cover yourself with a towel, roll over on to your front until it subsides, or take a dip in the pool. The worst thing you can do is walk around openly displaying it.
I’m a woman… what if it’s my time of the month?
Don’t worry at all – it’s perfectly normal for women to wear bikini bottoms or sarongs if they’re on their period, and everyone will understand and not think twice about it. You won’t be asked to remove them.
What is naturism?
Naturism, or nudism, is basically a lifestyle enjoyed without clothing. But for different people it can vary. Some like to go nude as much as possible (subject to the weather and legal requirements). Some people like to visit clothing optional beaches or venues. Others prefer to be nude only at home or in private. For some it’s a social thing, and for others it’s more solitary. It really all depends on the person.
Is naturism appropriate for families?
Absolutely! Naturism is about body acceptance and body awareness, which makes it appropriate for everyone. Children benefit greatly from a relaxed attitude to nudity from an early age. If they are taught that the naked body is something to be hidden from others, this can lead to hang-ups about body image in later life. Therefore, families with children are welcome at most naturist venues and events. Any venue or event that purports to be “naturist” but excludes children should be viewed with scepticism. Such exclusions are appropriate in some cases. A gruelling nude hike or a late evening dance at a club or resort come to mind. But the exclusion of children is sometimes misinterpreted as a signal that an event is sexual in nature. Naturists do not deny the sexual nature of human beings, but they reject the all too prevalent view in our society that nudity and sex are synonymous, and that children should be “protected” from nudity regardless of context. Nude is not lewd.