Nudism Isn’t Sexual. Except When It Is — Separating the two

As nudists we grow accustomed to constantly declaring that nudism isn’t sex. We explain that we don’t go nude in order to provoke sexual arousal but rather because of the physical comfort we feel from being without layers of constraining fabric and due to the rise in self-confidence and body acceptance that nudism promotes. But do we speak truthfully when we attempt to separate our lifestyle from sex?

Speaking from personal experience, many who practice public nudity are very much in it for the sex. We can argue that such posers are not authentic nudists. They have merely infiltrated our ranks recognizing an opportunity to hide their cruising and prowling in plain sight. Yet here they are. This often leaves non-naturist confused and unable to make the distinction between nudity and sex. Sadly, many of us naturists haven’t done much to set them straight.

My own story

I started my nudist life in my teens although at that time it was limited to sleeping in the buff. Once I had gone off to university, even that habit faded away and it was not until my mid-twenties that my affinity for nudism resurfaced. And it did so only when I began to live with my first partner. I was twenty-four and perpetually horny. Being in a new relationship with an equally frisky man meant a lot of love-making and play. It was just simpler to forego the textiles which did nothing but slow the action.

I’ve written before about my first public nudity experience which occurred at a clothing-optional resort in Palm Springs, California, USA. It was for gay men only and sex was as thick in the air as the smell of chlorine from the swimming pool where men waited, stalked and hunted each other. No one, I suspect, was there with the primary intention of evening out his tan lines. Neither was I.

Only after years of taking advantage of nudist sites for the purpose of cruising, did it begin to dawn on me that I was enjoying the nudity more than the sex. Likewise, I began to recognize the self-confidence nudism was giving me as well. The sexual adventures became an occasional side-effect of being in the buff. And eventually, I learned how to separate the two things and to embrace nudity for its own sake.

How non-nudist see it

I have good friends that live near a family-friendly clothing-optional beach and they have regaled me with stories of the sandy and seedy orgies they have witnessed while seated comfortably on their terrace. These sex scenes have come in every shade of gray imaginable and erupts in shadows along the periphery of the beach as night beckons. Do those contorted bodies constitute a majority of the people who frequent this beach? No. But they are definitely present. Of course, the families casually picnicking and playing on the beach at other hours is not what gets talked about. It’s the sex. And so, for some the beach is synonymous with perverts and perversion and so is anyone who goes there. The outsider doesn’t understand the difference between the two groups so lumps all the people at the beach into the category of sexual hounds.

Nudist Planet Nudism isn't sex

Making our purpose clear

As nudists, if we fail to understand this phenomenon, we will never be able to make a convincing argument that our lifestyle is not a primarily sexual one. We have to acknowledge that many in the naturists community are only using it to cover their sexual activities. I see it constantly, from the faceless members of nudism groups in Facebook who prowl for photos and hookups, to those fucking in the reeds or dunes at clothing-optional beaches. Yes, I was once one of them. Of course nudists like to have sex as much as non-nudists and I hope you are having it as often as you desire. We can not pretend that we are celibate and lose all thoughts of physical contact once our clothes are off. Firstly though, we need to draw a line in the nudist beach’s sand, one that acknowledges the duality of the nature of naturism. From there, we can work to make it clear why the non-sex-seeking set are nudists.

Only by being visible and out about our lifestyle can we begin to change minds. The public at large needs to see the families who practice nudity together. They need to know that most naturist see nothing sexual in being nude among others. Still more importantly, they need to replace the images of dicks, tits and ass that they associate with nudism with the face of someone they know, respect and care about. Only then will our protestations that nudism isn’t sex fall on something other than closed minds and ears.

11 thoughts on “Nudism Isn’t Sexual. Except When It Is — Separating the two”

  1. A fantastic and amazing job here, Kenn! Thank you for addressing this issue in a very nonjudgmental manner. Yes, there are those who use nudity as an excuse for willingness and availability. Yes, they do tarnish the image of nakedness as something natural and uplifting. I appreciate your call for solidarity in combating the stereotyping of all bare practitioners as lewd and lustful. Much love and many naked hugs, my friend!

    1. Thank you so much Roger. I’m afraid I’m starting to sound like a broken record. But visibility for me really is the key. It has proven to be so effective in the LGBT struggle.

  2. Sometimes, we nudists/naturists sound like we are asexual. That’s why I don’t like to hear the words that naturism/nudism is not sexual. We are fundamentally sexual creatures. The truth is that naturism/nudism is no more sexual (and probably a little bit less so) than going to a textile beach. But naturists/nudists still find each other attractive and have sexual thoughts. We fail to convince textiles when we sound like asexual creatures.

    Yes, some people come to the movement looking for sex. In most clubs, they’re usually excluded fairly quickly. But on public beaches it is much more challenging.

    Those who seek out sex at nudist/naturist venues are usually the ones who believe that the movement is ABOUT nudity. That’s why I prefer the term naturism to nudism because it takes the emphasis away from nudity. But even in Europe where “naturism” is by far the preferred term, there are lots of people who believe that it is just about nudity and therefore about sex. I’ve seen adult entertainment clubs in Europe that advertised “naturist girls” on the billboard outside.

    I agree, the solution is to be visible and speak up. It is about moving people from being “recreational nudists” to “ethical naturists”. Rather than continue proselytizing here, I’ll just provide a link for those who want to know more: http://www.BareOaks.ca/ethic

    1. Thanks, Georges. I hope to get back to Volos some day. I spent a couple of nights there 5 years ago and enjoyed it.

  3. Thanks Kenn for this awesome article. Someone had to bring this up finally. That’s a huge problem for me when guys stare you up and down and you know they’re there cruising instead of enjoying the naked time. It gets annoying with some people.

  4. Indeed in Missouri I learned that there’s a new nudist resort called Natural pines that is an adult only resort that allows sexual activities in the open. Known as adult playground. And then there’s a gay and lesbian nudist resort and one family oriented nudist Resort the other one show me Acers closed.

    1. Like many people, the owners of that club have confused naturism with sex. Or they are intentionally using the blurred idea to market. But to my mind, that is a swingers club not a naturists resort.

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