Are You A Nudist Or A Naturist? I just like to hang out naked!

| February 2, 2011 | 9 Comments

Do we Need Nudist Naturist Labels? Or Can We Just Hang out Naked?

Can We just Hang out in the Nude?

Hang out Naked: Growing up, I never once called myself a naturist… It was always nudist. I started using this label once we started YNA, and I’d actually really like it if this turned into the mainstream term for what we enjoy.

As YNA, we consider these terms (generally) synonymous, but some have their own idea about what each one means or what kind of connotation they have. I’ve heard some say that naturists are more politically active in naturism / nudism beyond just frequenting nudist places. I’ve also heard that in England they use the term ‘naturist’ to describe someone who takes it more seriously as a lifestyle and goes nude every day, all the time.

Some say the word ‘nudist’ has negative connotations from the past, and now it should be “naturist”! It’s not uncommon for the media to misuse the term, associating it with indecent exposure or inappropriate sexual behavior. It’s also not hard to see that “nudists” are very often made fun of in the media and often used to make jokes! I have noticed this most with the phrase “nudist colony,” which has always been used for jokes and definitely has a connotation of being dorky, awkward, and unpopular.

Some people have proposed that we do away with these labels entirely because we’ve moved beyond them, and the words have lost their legitimacy.

Hang out Naked

Nudist Cartoon – Not That Kind Of Hang Out Naked

Perhaps one day we’ll reach a point where we become the “normal” ones, and everyone else has to call themselves “textilists”! But anyway, that’s after we take over the world. ;)

What do you guys think? Do you like to just hang out naked? Do you label yourself a nudist or naturist or prefer no label at all? Has the word nudist been too beat-up over the past few decades to be legitimately used anymore? Would people react differently when you first mentioned it depending on what term you used?

This Post about nudist naturist labels vs. someone who just likes to hang out naked was published by Young Naturists and Nudists America – YNA

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Category: Social Nudity Blogs, Felicity's Nudist Blog, 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!
  • Christopher

    I agree with Fez, no title is necessary. I'm nude when I can be, so I wouldn't know what to call myself, anyway! :P

  • Fez

    Great article. I personally like not having a 'title' at all, cos I myself cannot really see any significance in differentiating the two. Although I've described myself more as a nudist when people ask, I just feel it's unnecessary as I'm just a person who likes to be nude..that's it!

  • Sam

    I have found that with a "label" comes a certian expectation to enforce what this label stands for. Im not a nudist, i just like being nude at the beach.

  • Dave Armstrong

    As to the rainbow flag: When I'm promoting the Clothing Optional Beach here in Delray Beach,FL I carry the Rainbow flag for the same reason, People really do not know the meaning of the rainbow flag and always ask me if its a gay flag, or what country i'm from etc…Then one day this christian lady stopped me and said hey thats a gay flag. I told her that that was her perception but I also said she was correct, But God had First created the Rainbow in Genisis chapter 9 verse 13,14,15,16 & 17 and she was floored with her mouth wide open. She couldn't believe I said that. I carry a huge Rainbow flag 3'X 5' from the rainbowdepot.com too!

  • Dave Armstrong

    Nudist: is someone who practices nudity 24/7 no matter what or where they are.
    Naturists: is someone who practices nudity 24/7 (BUT) tries to protect our way of life from the abusive public and fights for what we believe to be a wholesome, healthy way of life for us all. We also have lobbists in D.C. that keep laws in place for nudists & naturists Safe.
    Palm Beach County Area Representative for the Naturist Action Committee. Delray Beach,Fl

  • natureboy

    I agree with the definitions as proposed by Brklyn Paul. I would add that Nudists seem to go out of their way to be nude even if it was uncomfortable to do so. I prefer to go without a label as I simply don't dress when I don't want to.

  • j

    No need for names. Some people go to nude beach at every opportunity. Some go only occasionally. Some have gone in the past, but not lately. Some people want to go, but don't for various reasons?

    Who above is a nudist (whatever) ? Can't really say exactly.

    No need to figure the correct label. We don't need labels in the first place.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you guys for these comments! It seems people have different opinions on the difference between nudist and naturist. I'm up for just doing away with these labels.

  • When it comes to the use and reclaiming of terms, a lesson might be taken from the world of the Rainbow coalition (LGBTQ). How Gay is that?! Well it's fairly Queer, but it does make people stop, think & ask questions rather than quietly assuming.

    Ultimately I feel it's better to find terms that make rational sense, ones that say what I mean and mean what I say… and then work on demystifying cultural assumptions on the day to day. It's the reason and way that a woman can identify as gay, that queer speaks volumes when it's full meaning is understood, and how Bi is just shortcut for being beyond the gender and sexual binary.

    So here's how I've always understood the nudist/naturist terms:

    Nudist: someone who just likes to be without clothes, wherever it's comfortable let's do it. Of course there is an underlying sense of hedonist caution throwing into moderate winds… and I think this is where the negativity comes from, but that just needs to be challenged with reality. The more non-kooky nudists out there, the less that image will stick.

    Naturist: those who enjoy being nude, but exclusive to natural settings.. like beaches, mountainside hikings, and camping weekends. But these folks would not be naked just for the sake of being naked if it were indoors.

    And don't forget..

    Naturalist: bird watchers and butterfly catchers are members of this team. When I speak about Nudist and Naturist, I always clarify this term as those who study nature, because I've seen reporters use it to describe me, and it's just not me.

    Ergo, I'm a nudist. And I'll join a naturist jaunt (sailing in the buff anyone?) any day, and I'm happy to go nature watching so long as I can be naked as a jaybird. I long for the day that I can get a coffee at Starbucks without the clothes that bind.

    Just my humble opinion.