Not Preaching to the Choir: Engaging Non-naturists

As nudists/naturists how are we ever suppose to advance naturism if we confine and conceal ourselves and our lifestyle from non-naturists? Socializing with other nudists can be amazingly rewarding. But engaging non-naturists is paramount to building tolerance for naturism.

Blocking out communication

Nudist Planet Engaging - Non-naturists

Photo credit: Warwick Rowing Calendar

“If you follow/post porn, I block you” reads the disclaimer on a Twitter account I follow. Quite often I come across post or profile descriptions on Twitter about blocking other profiles. Most state that anyone who posts pornography will be barred. Others go so far as to block anyone who follows other profiles which have posts deemed to be pornographic. Of course, all users have the right to this action. However, I have chosen to simply not follow – or to unfollow – sites with seem to be primarily pornographic. This caveat means that I do not shun accounts that have occasional sexual content. Likewise, I most definitely do not deny someone based on the content of other profiles that they subscribe to.

Why? Well, for various reasons, but primarily because doing so would eliminate the chance to educate the user about what naturism/nudism truly is. Or at least what it represents to those of us who practice nudity for our own benefit and comfort rather than for sex or to stimulate others. Maybe it’s the professional educator in me. Or maybe it’s due to the fact that I have always identified as a member of so many minority groups. But I see these opportunities as “teachable moments”. They provide a chance to explain who we are.

When someone new follows me, I check their feeds to see what type of posts they have. If they are primarily porn, I just don’t follow back. Or I’ll send a private message letting them know that Nudist Planet is not about sex. Hopefully, they’ll stick around. Only in this way, can I ever hope to help them realize what being a nudist really means. If I merely block them, I’ve lost that chance. They will just seek sexual stimulation elsewhere believing I’ve blocked them for some other reason. If we as naturists do not work to change minds, who will?

Engaging non-naturists

For whether or not we like it, many people – perhaps most – associate the word nudist with sex. True nudists know this which is why some among us prefer the word naturist. But as with blacks and the word nigger, and gays with faggot – don’t worry, I’m both so I can use these terms, – we need to reclaim the word nudist. This however, starts with acknowledging the associations of the word and interacting with those who make them. This is why Nudist Planet is not Naturist Planet. I cannot educate someone whose attention I do not have.

Still, not blocking people on social media can only do so much for engagement. We also need to communicate directly to them. And continually represent through our own posts/likes/retweets/follows what our lifestyle entails. Yet, this is still only one channel. We have many available to us.

How to connect

Some that I have chosen include this very website, especially the Bare Voices series, the items in the Nudist Planet Shop and video channels. To gain the ear of non-naturists, visibility is key. They have to know that we are here and to see who we are. Take the stories in the Bare Voices series. The intent of these is to demonstrate that nudists are everyday people. And to give individuals a chance to recount how they got started in naturism and the benefits they have derived from practicing it. Hopefully, this will prompt curious yet hesitant would-be naturists to give it a go.

Likewise, the items in the shop are to help us be more visible. In this way, we can easily identify each other when in clothed environments. But more importantly, we can let the larger world see what a nudist looks like. And see us as nudists in completely non-sexual contexts.

In the end, only through direct engagement can dare to change hearts and minds. And communicating to a deaf ear, or a blocked door, is pointless.

Nudist Planet

8 thoughts on “Not Preaching to the Choir: Engaging Non-naturists”

  1. So I’m curious as to how this site will engage with the non-nudist, as you suggest in the article. I see the value in having nudist / naturists telling their story but if theses stories go unread by the target audience then the exercise is purely academic.

    What is it that will draw them to the site to read these articles?

    Here’s an example of what I mean. These guys http://www.nakedwanderings.com are traveling the world as nude as possible and are using the publicity generated by their various tv, radio and other media appearances to promote living a less clothed lifestyle. Yes they use real nudists stories as part of this approach, we’ve got ours there http://www.nakedwanderings.com/blog/2018/04/16/naturist-talks-kim-peter-australia/, so there’s some support for your approach.

    From our personal observations people seem to be driven more by experiences than concepts, of course this is just our view, and this couple is certainly having a few that they share making their online presence very popular. We actually hat their page mentioned to us by two of our non-nudist friends which in itself isn’t bad going but one of them, a couple we always considered ‘never nudes’ actually decided to try out social nudity.

    Genuinely curious on your thoughts on this.

    1. One way the Bare Voices help reach others is that those profile often share the link with their larger circles. These people may only know the person being profiled, but once on the site, they can see others. Also, the more such content there is, the more like that someone thinking about trying social nudity will stumble upon it.

      Also, this site and associated social media has drawn a lot of attention from people who aren’t really naturists. They are more interested in the sexual aspect. But once they see that is not what Nudist Planet is about, it give me a chance to explain. Again, you have to get their attention first.

      As far as Naked Wanders, yes i follow Nick and Lins as they travel and share. In fact, I am doing something very similar in traveling the world seeking our nudists and naturist places. My travels are much slower though as my financial means do not allow more. Honestly, I’d love to have the same opportunities for media appearances but so far it hasn’t happened. But as I have traveled (in Asia until now) I have had a lot of contact with non-nudist and been able to talk about what naturism is.

  2. Sometimes, not always, but occasionally, those that you reach through your sites that you create, do alter their perspectives on nudity and sex. For that reason, I applaud what you do here and elsewhere, Kenn. Not everyone is receptive to your message but those who are become allies rather than adversaries. Continue the good work, my friend! Naked hugs!

  3. We never block any users from following us. Why would we? Whatever their other interests are, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be nudists. Most porn stars are nudists because they need the equal tan. Does the fact that they’re porn stars make them less as a nudist? We don’t think so.

    The discussion about the terms “nudist” and “naturist” have been going on for centuries and there will never be a right or wrong. Funnily, in Europe the term “naturist” is generally accepted and “nudist” has a negative undertone. In the USA it appears to be the other side around.
    So maybe instead of trying to claim the word, maybe it’s time for a new, universal word?

    About promoting towards non-nudists/naturists, we don’t really think that t-shirts and towels will do the trick. There’s a lot of work to do to make nudism attractive again to the younger generation and the best way to show people who we are is through clothing optional places, we think.

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