What Can Naturists Do To Make Society More Accepting of Naturism?
Recently one of our YNA facebook group members posted a statement about the need for us naturists to get more aggressive in promoting our lifestyle. One of the main points was that we can never fully realize a normal life of nudie fun while we are constantly looked down upon by greater society, and in some cases outright persecution by the law.
The question discussed in the post, which is also discussed widely in the greater naturist community is, what can we actually do to make society more accepting of our naturist lifestyle? In attempting to answer this question I noticed that one of the main problems is that such dialog can quickly become highly theoretical, esoteric and far too idealistic.
When one deeply ponders all of society’s hang-ups with nudity, it seems almost hopeless that we can make any significant change. But you know what?? I really don’t believe that! It really isn’t hopeless.
I don’t want us naturists and nudies to over-think this thing to the point of ‘analysis paralysis!’ We can intellectualize any problem to the point of throwing our hands in the air and giving up. So, even though dialog is sometimes helpful, real change doesn’t come by talk alone. It comes by taking action.
When we actually engage the public with nudity in wholesome activities, people’s perceptions change – what’s more, it’s only when “their” perceptions change that we will be able to ultimately see changes in laws. So without any further intellectualization of this problem I would like to address some real practical things you can DO to change people’s perceptions. Here goes:
1) Come out of the closet – Start by telling the people you trust most that you are a nudie. You cannot ever be an effective agent of change as long as you continue to hide your nudity.
Our personal experience of ‘coming out’ to our close circle has been very positive. It took some time to summon the courage to come out, but once we did, almost everyone we have shared our nudie stories with has responded positively. This has included family, friends, and trusted work colleagues.
Of course we understand there are some sensitive situations out there, and you must use common sense. There are some people with whom you may never share your nude life – but in our case those are the minority. At the end of the day, if someone truly likes you, they would not care and might even be intrigued.
2) Host a nude dinner for someone you are close to and trust. Someone who has never experienced social nudity before. We have invited many textiles to dinner where we are nude. Sometimes the guests join us and get nude and sometimes they do not.
But in all cases they have adjusted to our and / or their own nudity quite well. By doing something as normal as sharing an evening of food together, people begin to see that getting naked is a simple matter of freedom and comfort in your own home and skin.
They understand (maybe for the first time) that it is not an orgy or swinger party, but rather just a normal social experience with the freedom of being sans clothes.
3) Go skinny dipping often at locations where there is a history of nudity being tolerated. Almost everyone knows of a place out in nature somewhere, where people skinny dip. Find that place and do it. If you are there first you can set the tone by being naked – if people arrive after you they will either leave, join you, or ignore you.
That has been our overwhelming experience – we have never experienced anyone making a complaint to law enforcement, although one must always exercise some caution. Nudity in remote natural locations is generally not viewed as offensive and most people accept it. This has the effect of normalizing nudity in a setting that makes sense to most people – after all, it is not much of a stretch for people to accept someone swimming in the buff.
If you arrive at a place and there are already clothed people there, do not get naked without asking them first if it’s ok – especially if there are children around (not because the kids will mind, but because the parents might). We have done this many times and have yet to be told that anyone would be offended by our nudity.
4) If you live in a state or city where nudity to any extent (topfree, or total) is legal then by all means, organize a group outing of nudies to a park or beach that is typically textile. We recommend a group, because it is more secure and more likely to make an impact of being normal and customary than if it is done as a solitary act which may be more easily labeled as exhibitionism.
The more diverse the group in terms of age, gender, race, etc. the better. It is probably best to organize such an activity at a park, beach or natural area, as nudity is likely to be more acceptable in such a recreational setting as opposed to Main Street. If you happen to encounter a negative response, do not respond in a negative way.
Be respectful of the fact that people aren’t used to encountering topfree or naked people in public and may need a little time to adjust. If they’re open to talking it’s a good idea to ask them about their reaction.
5) Invite a textile friend to one of YNA’s many nudie events, or to go with you to your favorite nudist resort. Don’t be discouraged by a ‘NO’ answer.
Keep inviting different people until you find someone who says yes – they are in fact out there!
6) Organize a body painting party – invite nudie friends to model, and perhaps textile friends to paint or help out. Nudity and art go pretty much hand in hand in most people’s minds.
Do this in your home or backyard – someplace “safe.”
Remember that the most important step is the very first one – you need to come out of the closet. If you continue to hide your nudity it is impossible to change anyone. Once you make that all important first step, none of the ideas presented here are out of your reach.
In fact you can likely think of many more things you can do nude in your own home and invite your textile friends to come along. We can only hope to change society one person at a time. We need to talk less and do more as naturists because, at the end of the day, actions speak louder than words.