Since I still have no content to post here is an essay I wrote for school it isn’t super great but I think it could be worse so here it is…
We often think of clothing as a form of protection, but what if I told you that there are people out there that believe clothes tend to do the opposite of what we mean to use them for and would rather go without when possible, these people are called Naturists. The concept of naturism has been around as long as clothes have though it didn’t always have that name. I plan to go over what exactly naturism is (including going over some of the misconceptions and lesser known details), How naturism is beneficial (not only to the individual but to society as a whole), and since I am not exactly an authority on the subject where you could go to learn more.
To start with what exactly is naturism? Well the exact definition changes depending on who you ask but for the moment let’s go with this one: Naturism is a lifestyle in which a person only wears clothes when necessary and remains naked when possible. While I feel that this isn’t the most accurate definition and applies to the term that is more commonly used in America nudism (more on the difference later) this will do for now. To get more in-depth though nudism general defines the act of doing normal daily activities sans clothes whether in a private or social situation in a non-sexual manner and environment. Activities include: reading, watching TV, playing games/sports, cleaning, walking /biking/swimming, going to a designated naturist/clothing optional park, resort, or club, etc. So that’s what naturism is so how about what people think it is?
One of the most common misconceptions is that because there is nudity involved it must be sexual. This is simply not true in fact the truth is that the human mind grows accustomed to nudity at a very rapid rate thus causing simple nudity to be unable to cause arousal in most people. Well then what about the opposite argument that naturism must kill the sex drive? This is also inherently false. Nudity is not inherently sexual to begin with it is the mystery surrounding nudity that tends to make it seem that way. Two more common misconceptions are that all nudists are old/ugly and that all nudists are young/beautiful in this case the first holds more water but still has many holes. While there does seem to be a lack of younger naturists in parks and resorts probably due to poor advertising and a lack of activities aimed at younger people but this doesn’t mean that young naturists are non-existent or even really that rare. In fact there are even national associations of young naturists all around the world.
Now let’s get back to the terms naturist and nudist. What is the difference? Well again it’s different based on who you ask and in America they are used pretty interchangeably but to me nudism is simply taking your clothes off once in a while meanwhile naturism is not only a lifestyle it is also of philosophy based completely on respect. Respect for others, respect for yourself, and respect for the environment.
This brings us to the next point. Why is naturism a good thing? Well let’s start with the physical benefits of taking your clothes off. Some studies have shown a drop in fertility and a rise in the chance of infections caused by wearing clothes excessively. Not to mention that being naked in the sun allows you to absorb more vitamin D which can help prevent certain cancers and other illnesses and while you can get too much UV exposure if you aren’t careful the benefits of the sun far outweigh the risks.
Well that’s some the physical benefits (there are way more than I can fit) what about the mental ones? While this does mix a lot with the next part which is social benefits I will try to keep from repeating myself. Let’s start with self-confidence, self-image, etc. Companies and advertising tend to push out images of the “perfect body” first off these images are photo shopped almost guaranteed which makes such a body impossible for a real person. Despite that however people still strive for that image and will ruin their bodies with surgeries, implants, “diets” (aka starving themselves), etc. They allow the way they see themselves to be so warped by comparing themselves to this “perfect image” that they become completely miserable. Naturism helps solve this by allowing people to see all kinds of bodies and realize that theirs is perfect the way it is. Naturism also helps build relationships. It tends to be that people are more open in a clothes-free environment this is most likely because when it’s all out there what is there to hide. This strengthens relationships by lowering the number of secrets kept between people.
Well since we are already crossing into the social/societal benefits how about we start in on them? Well to start with Naturism helps with the way we view other people. Society, clothes, and media tend to push people to view each other based on their position or ranking. Naturism solves this by bringing everyone to the same level. When no one is clothed everyone is equal I believe this helps put an end to problems such as racism and sexism. Another problem naturism helps with is caused by porn. Porn has been proven to warp the way people see each other often making people view each other as sex objects or making them believe that sex without consent is ok. Naturism helps this by allowing people to really see other humans as just that another human. It somewhat comes back to the equality of everyone being naked it also has to do with the fact that it allows you to see other humans in their pure and natural state without being in a sexually charged environment.
Now before I conclude this I must once again say I am not an expert on any topic I have brought up and I want to direct you to other better sources. A great place to start is the Naturist Living Show podcast it is run by the owner of a naturist resort in Toronto Canada called BareOaks he is also a former member of the International Naturist Federation or INF. The podcast is audio only so if you are looking for it for the wrong reasons all I have to say is good luck. You can find it at naturistliving.bareoaks.ca. Another great source is the American Association for Nude Recreation or AANR’s website.
In conclusion Naturism is the lifestyle and philosophy of being naked whenever possible to better learn to respect yourself, others, and the environment. Naturism tends to reverse problems caused by clothing and society such as vitamin D deficiencies and warped perceptions of the human body. Finally there are a few other good sources for information about naturism such as the AANR website.