Published: by National Naturist Information Centre
Date: 27/02/2014

A General Guide to Naturism

Naturism is the practice of going without clothes. However all naturists have variations of what naturism actually means to them. Opinions may vary quite widely so this article was written as a general information guide and in accordance with the principles of most naturists in the UK or British Naturism.

A Leisure Activity

In the UK, Naturism is largely a leisure activity, or more precisely the dress code when engaging in leisure activity. That is not to say that naturists oppose wearing clothes: they don’t. Naturists usually wear clothes when at home or with friends and when going about their normal business. But when it comes to activities such as swimming and sunbathing, naturists often prefer to do it without clothing.

Places Where Naturism Takes Place

A lot of UK naturism takes place in peoples back-gardens especially where there is privacy. Privacy however is not a pre-requisite for naturism: it’s just that most naturists tend to feel more comfortable if they know they are not being watched. Beaches are an obvious choice for naturism but naturists tend to prefer the relative seclusion of quieter beaches away from public view and ideally where there are other naturists there already. There are also clubs, which are sometimes referred to as ‘landed’ or ‘non-landed’ depending on whether the club has it’s own premises or not. Landed clubs offer naturism within the security of gated private grounds and amongst like minded people. Non-landed clubs will often hire leisure facilities, organise walks and other outdoor activities and arrange visits to landed clubs. The influence of European style Spas which travellers often experience in places such as Germany, The Netherlands and Scandinavia has also begun to develop where naturism is not only the obvious choice for clothing but managers and owners are realising that there is a demand for places where people want to relax without worrying whether parts of their body are exposed, even momentarily.

Is Nudity Compulsory?

Nudity is not normally compulsory within naturism. It is expected that people will wear clothes if they are cold or need some protection from the sun. People will arrive and depart from any naturist event fully dressed and then disrobe while they are there. If the event is ‘temperature controlled’ such as those at swimming pools and leisure centres everyone is likely to be unclothed for the event and swimsuits are usually banned at these type of functions. For Spa type facilities, robes or gowns are often worn. Beaches are usually public places and so people can wear whatever they choose. At clubs people generally stay dressed unless it is warm, want to sunbathe, or go for a swim.

What Types Of People Are Naturists?

Naturism exists across all social classes, races and religions but many naturists keep quiet about it due to an often groundless fear about what people might think or say. You probably know people who are naturists but they just have not told you so, or they prefer to keep what they do in their leisure time as their own business. This is particularly common for those who work in large organisations or where they have a position of authority and control and perhaps do not want staff talking about them and possibly trying to undermine them. There are also those who work with children who feel that the children’s parents might not like the idea that they are naturists and are those from religious cultures where nudity is often frowned upon due to possible sexual connotations.