10 Naturism and Nudism Myths

| September 11, 2014 | 21 Comments

10 Myths About Naturism and Naturists

Naturism and Nudism Myths:

As naturists, there are certain false assumptions we hear over and over again, and myths that are perpetuated by the media. Here we debunk 10 popular myths about naturism and naturists.

Myth #1. Naturists / nudists are naked all the time.

Most of us can’t be naked all the time. Even if we live in a nudist club, it’s still necessary to venture outside, and that usually requires pants. How often one can be naked depends on climate, location, what nudist spots are nearby, etc.

Are all nudists like Bart Simpson? By YNA

Are all nudists like Bart Simpson? Some are, some aren’t.

Also, many nudists don’t want or don’t have a need to be naked all the time. Some people get home and immediately undress out of constricting, uncomfortable work clothes. Others switch into pajamas or take off only their top or bottom. (Of course there are also those who can’t be home nudists because of who they live with.) Many are happy to just partake in nudie time outdoors, when it’s hot out.

Myth #2. Naturists and nudists want to be naked everywhere.

I don’t know about you, but I have no interest in being naked on a NYC subway train. Naked is fun, but not everywhere. Most nudists are happy to have their own section of a beach. But it would be nice if it weren’t a serious crime to be seen naked, without any lewd behavior involved. We find it obscene and oppressive that it’s illegal to simply show body parts that most people have and that most people have seen.

Nudists Want To Be Naked 24/7 YNA

Nudists Want To Be Naked 24/7?

Myth #3. Nudists are “this” and naturists are “that.” As in, there are set definitions of “nudist” and “naturist” within the community.

We asked 9 leaders in the nudist community what it means to be a nudist, and we got 9 different answers. There are no set definitions in the community at large, though we have defined these terms ourselves here in The YNA Guide to Nudism. In this article, we use nudist and naturist interchangeably.

Myth #4. Nudists live in colonies.

There are no nudist colonies. Nudists don’t colonize. Nobody in the nudist world says “colony.” This is a term that the media keeps using, and it just won’t die. The proper terms are nudist resorts or clubs.

Myth #5. “Nudism is sexual” and “nudism is not sexual.”

Nudism is not about sex, but it can also be a bit disingenuous to say it’s “not sexual.” Given the strong association between nudity and sex in our culture, many nudists are quick to insist that nudism is not sexual, but almost to the point of rendering themselves asexual. Most humans are sexual beings. It’s not as if we enter a nudist setting, and our sexuality disappears (nor is it suddenly an uncontrollable force).

Nudists have sex, still experience sexual attraction and express affection in public, whether naked or not. The point is, nudist settings are no more sexual than public textile settings. Most people on nude beaches behave the same way they would on a textile beach. They talk, they skinnydip, laugh, sunbathe nude. People can control their behavior whether naked or clothed. There’s a time and place for everything.

Myth # 6. Nudist couples’ sex lives must be diminished because they see each other naked all the time OR nudists have more sex because they see each other naked all the time.

Sexuality is in the mind, and your sexiest body part is actually…your brain. There are many things that trigger arousal and people don’t need nudity to get turned on. If the first part of this myth were true, we’d all be doomed to sexless marriages and relationships. But there are couples who have been married for 40+ years and still have healthy sex lives.

As for the second part, we’d say nudists probably have better sex because they tend to be more comfortable with their bodies. But do they have more sex than the average person? We’d have to do a study to find out.

nudism naturism myths misconceptions nudists naturists sex sexuality YNA

Naturism Nudism Myths about Sex and Sexuality


As explained in myth #5, nudists don’t become super aroused and jump each other the minute their clothes come off. They have sex behind closed doors just like everyone else.

Myth #7. The nudist / naturist population is primarily made up of old, retired people.

Nudists can be found all over the world and range in age from newborns to centennials. Some nudist clubs or clothing-optional locations are filled with young naturists in their 20’s and 30’s.

Other clubs have predominantly older, retired empty-nesters.

nudist youth naturist living show bare oaks podcast interview felicity YNA

Naturism and Nudism is NOT Only For Older People

Many would say the latter describes most clubs in the U.S., and we might agree with that. But the nudist demographic all depends on where you go. In the U.S., nude beaches and clothing-optional hot springs tend to have a lot more young people. In European countries such as France, there are large resorts and beaches that are very popular among young people. As a fact, there is no lack of young people in the nudie world.

Myth #8. Nudism is dying.

There have been quite a few articles in the last few years that report on how old nudists are trying to get more young people involved to keep nudism alive. But nudism is not some outdated, obscure lifestyle that’s about to vanish as all the elderly nudists head to their graves.

Certain nudist clubs and organizations may be losing members, but naturism is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. And that’s not about to change. Young Naturists America has been growing rapidly since we started in 2010. Many young people are into naturism, but for many reasons, many of them aren’t joining clubs, resorts or organizations.

When clubs and resorts close down, I believe it’s because they failed at business and marketing. They likely failed to attract any new members for some time, let alone young ones. As for organizations, a diminishing membership means that some things aren’t working and changes are needed. But none of this means that naturism itself is dying.

Myth #9. The people on the nude beach are always the people you “don’t want to see naked.”

No, man. You’re just being confronted with the reality of what bodies actually look like. What were you expecting, the scene of a Playboy photo shoot? This is real life. There is no Photoshop. Learn to see the beauty in it.

Oftentimes, when a person is “disgusted” by average bodies, it is just a reflection of their own discomfort with their appearance. As Bob Belcher once said, “Nude beaches are full of overweight, out of shape old bodies and I don’t wanna go there and realize I look exactly like that.” (In actuality there are people of all different body types and ages at a nude beach, but you get the point.)

So work on your body image and try to do a little less judging of others.

Also, if you’re going to the nude beach for the purpose of looking at others’ bodies for your own sexual gratification, that’s called a voyeur. Naturists don’t like voyeurs.

Myth #10. And sort of on the flip side of that, you have to be slim and toned to join a naturist club or place.

Naturism is not about showing off how fit, toned and tanned you are. It’s about acceptance of people just as they are, regardless of what they look like. On a nude beach, no body is perfect, and everyone has flaws.

myths nudism naturism bodies body acceptance all bodies are good bodies YNA

We say all bodies are good bodies :)

There are all types of bodies, and no one should feel like they’re not good-looking enough to be there. A naturist setting is the one place where you can feel like you are good enough!

This article about 10 popular myths about naturism and nudism was published by – Young Naturists & Nudists America YNA

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Category: Social Nudity Blogs, Nudism and Naturism

About the Author ()

Author of Felicity's Blog. Co-founder of Young Naturists America. 3rd-generation nudie. Avid reader. Feminist. 70% vegan, 30% vegetarian. When I'm not busy eating, I'm writing about naturism, censorship, topfree equality, body image and other fun topics. I like feedback, so plz leave a comment when you've got something to say!
  • JoseKunj

    I love being naked and nude wearing no clothes..but why…its like an addiction….I dont even intend to do all that.But even then i go naked at home and do weird things…..Going to beach and take off all clothes and trying to show my naked body at least to someone..BUT WHY ALL THIS?? HELP I LOVE TO STAY NAKED WEARING NO CLOTHES COMPLETELY NO DRESS
    Help me!!

  • BillSchroer Thanks, Bill! :)

  • BillSchroer

    Great article, Felicity!
    You’ve covered a lot of the bases succinctly and with great insight.  This would be a great primer for naturists/nudists to use with those considering nudism, with the media or to family or friends who want to know what its about.

  • pavelgkozak

    FelicityJones pavelgkozak

    You are used, dear Felicity, to apply the usual definition of orientation: the object definition.

    Yet, sexuality is richer. (Whether I prefer coital or oral …or massage /extasis-centric/. Giving or receiving. The entire body or just the erotogenic zones? With only one person, or alone or in a group? With a drop of pain? To see the others, in the light? Some persons even prefer the solo-sex…)

    Also the hetero- and the homoerotic standards can be relational: “man-for-woman and in the same time woman-for-man”. Not only considered as the orientation of an individual – which can easily position the individual as a hunter/attacker …with the law consequences! 

    In this sense, we can call this basic inborn motivation “orientation” if we prefer to be naked-under-Sun, naked-for-ourselves and naked-for-the-others.

  • pavelgkozak I’m not sure you’re familiar with the definition of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation has to do with what gender(s) you’re sexually attracted to. That doesn’t change whether you’re dressed or clothed. If you’re a guy who likes only women, you’re sexual orientation is heterosexual whether you meet them in a sauna or at a bar.

  • pavelgkozak

    FelicityJones pavelgkozak
    Sexual orientation is something inborn which the others would hardly empathize.

    That the nudist sexual orientation has not been treated on the scientific and widely civilization plane does not mean that it is not an orientation. Only that we do not yell, we do not visualize ourselves outside our consensual spaces. – And contrary, the textile co-inhabitants cannot easily intrude into the nudist-beach, because soon they would be ask to denude …which is a dissonance with their sexual orientation.

    Recently I was present on a witty lesson for programmers how to date a girl (using the programming apparatus for them to “understand” what is a woman like). Yet, the speaker suggested not to invite the girl to a sauna. He was simply of the majority sexual orientation! I wanted to cry from the auditory that “there are people who meet directly (even without an explicit date) just naked”! (Unfortunately, there was no discussion after the meeting.)

  • pavelgkozak I have absolutely no idea how you can argue that nudism is a sexual orientation.

  • MerrillKaitz “Very sexual nudism” is like an oxymoron, if you’re referring to behavior. Part of the most basic definition of nudism is that it doesn’t involve sex or overtly sexual behavior in public, and most nudists agree on that. But maybe you meant they had a sex-positive ideology?
    Throughout most of its history in the U.S., nudists have strongly dissociated themselves from sexuality, and I think that was necessary to some extent. Nowadays, we don’t see a problem with being sex-positive while emphasizing what naturism is and how it relates to sexuality.

  • MerrillKaitz

    pavelgkozak MerrillKaitz Yes, it appears we’ve understood one another correctly :)

  • pavelgkozak

    MerrillKaitz pavelgkozak
    I am not a native speaker. I relate to Hume who wrote his Treatise. 
    If there is a serious scientific treatise about nudism-and-sex (which will hardly be soon), it must embrace any aspect. (Is it a disorder? I don’t know. I only live with this orientation, so I can consult the definition of normalcy from the textbooks of psychology.)

    If I understand you, dear Merrill, I mean “recognize on the scientific plane”.

  • MerrillKaitz

    pavelgkozak Interesting thesis. I’m guessing you don’t mean “treat” in the sense of treating a disorder, but in the sense of “recognize.”

  • pavelgkozak

    Nudism is a sexual orientation.

    Sexologists do not treat it because the influential majority of them are a prolonged hand of the churches.

  • MerrillKaitz

    Very  nice, well-balanced article. Good handling of the sexuality issue. Naturally, some will find the presentation too positive about sex, and some will find it too negative… but that’s the point. There is, as there should be, a spectrum of individual and group beliefs. Back in the 70s… unsurprisingly… there was a very sexual branch of nudism… later, there was perhaps a too strong backlash and drift to being strictly asexual… as one who believes that sex, like the body, is natural… I hope the pendulum keeps swinging (no pun intended) in that direction.

  • stilldonnie

    It is strictly a matter of freedom. Should the government have the right to dictate what is proper and what is not. If we were not so hung up on this matter we would not pass such ignorance to our children. What exactly are you afraid of. Were nudity an accepted perogative there would not be such an issue people could make their own choices.

  • Gromit801

    Nowadays hasn’t changed. CA has lost two nude beaches because the locals used the sexual behavior card. What is more disturbing, are people who are too dense to understand that the nudist taboo on overt sexuality in the nudist environment is not a taboo on their private life sexuality.

  • VictorcarlosLara

    yes like it its great this publication

  • Gromit801

    I think Myth 5 is a little off. Nudism is not sexual, but it is sensual.

  • Eddie Gamble Thanks, we think it’s an important point! It is sort of its own article in this Q&A on naturism & sexuality, which I recommend everyone read: https://youngnaturistsamerica.com/nudism-and-sexuality/ 
    In the past naturists felt the need to make themselves as a-sexual as possible in behavior so as to have greater legitimacy. Nowadays, I think it’s better to be forthright about sex, and it’s beneficial to naturists to talk about sex & have a connection to the sex-positive movement.

  • Nat Biss

    Great article. I will use it to explain all my non-nudist friends what naturism is.

  • Eddie Gamble

    I’m really glad that somebody with a little credibility has addressed, however briefly, the extreme anti-sexual attitudes of many hard core nudists,,,as in #5 above,,,,”many nudists are quick to insist that nudism is not sexual, but almost to the point of rendering themselves asexual.”  This might be worth an entire blog page by itself, exploring these sexual taboos of nudism.

  • Toga1cat

    Bingo !!!….. Felicity