Naturist Women and A Story of Sexual Harassment

| April 8, 2016 | 34 Comments

Naturist Women and Issues With Sexual Harassment Online

Guest Blog by: Stéphane Deschênes

It can be tough for a woman to be a naturist on the internet. First they have to wade through a variety of websites that call themselves “naturist” or “nudist” but are just portals for people who like to objectify and hyper-sexualize bodies. Then if they actually identify themselves online, they can easily become the victim of an intense psychological and emotional assault. Guys who say they’re naturists are just seen as odd or eccentric. But women open themselves up to abuse. If they’re older, they’ll often be the subject of ridicule and criticism about their looks. If they’re younger, they frequently face a barrage of inappropriate suggestions and questions about their morality. Frankly it is a surprise to me that any woman who inquires about naturism online ever makes it to Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park.

naturist women sexual harassment naturism nudism bare oaks yna

Andrea with one of her children at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park

This predicament was made very clear to me recently when I met a new member of Bare Oaks. Andrea is currently the mother of two very young children. Her first visit about two years ago was because she was looking for a place to hang out with her first child during her maternity leave. While she had never been to a naturist park, the idea appealed to her and Bare Oaks was not far from her home. Her husband was not interested but not opposed to her going. It was an ideal activity for her to do during the day while he was at work.

As is the case with many if not most people who visit for the first time, she loved the experience. So much so that this year she became a member.

Andrea is not one to hide who she is. Because she loved Bare Oaks she invited her friends. She wrote openly on her Facebook profile that she enjoyed being there. She proudly posted a picture of herself at the park. But that’s when she almost dropped out. The reaction she got shocked her and, as is typical of victims of sexual assault, caused her to question herself. It was not a physical sexual assault but it was a psychological attack. And also typically, it came not from a stranger but from someone close — her brother-in-law.

Fortunately, Andrea has a strong character and a supportive husband. She decided to fight back, and she shared her story with me. It started innocently enough on Facebook:

B-in-L: A nudist park? Have you been? Prob lots of old fat people

Andrea then proceeds to explain what it is really like. When he asks about her husband, she explains that he was not interested. The conversation then shifts to talking about him going and he says:

B-in-L: I don’t think it would go over well if I went with you :-P

Andrea asks why he would not bring his wife. To which he responds:

B-in-L: obvi you weren’t getting what I was saying…

While it is impossible to get the tone of his message, she is starting to get a feeling that he might be getting the wrong idea. So she says “Well you two should go then. But this place is family orientated. You might be thinking of an adult only place.”

Astonishingly, he is not dissuaded. He continues with “I like to be naked but I like to have fun too… so def couldn’t go with you…trouble…lol… Im trying you figure you out you strike me as a very fun person. are you sexual?”

He then switches from Facebook messenger to cellphone text messages. He asks her if her husband is home, if her phone is normally locked and then sends the following messages:

B-in-L: Send me a fun pic when you can…then I know we have trust ;)

B-in-L: Hope you’re good with that..I will return one right away

He had also said he was at work. So either he already had a photo on his phone, was planning on taking one at work, or was just trying to deceive her into sending one. All three options are somewhat unsettling.

Quite naturally, Andrea was shocked and initially tried to treat it as a joke. Of course, she never sent any photos. But as time passed and she reviewed the comments, she realized what a massive breach of trust this was. She decided to tell her husband. She also concluded that since he seemed willing to betray his marriage vows, she owed it to her sister-in-law to inform her.

Her husband was supportive, but the reaction of others was disturbing. Her brother-in-law apologized to her husband; but not to her. Her sister-in-law blamed her for causing the situation. You know, the old you-were-asking-for-it argument.

What puzzles me is what her brother-in-law was thinking. Why did he think that this type of gambit would work? Had it worked for him before? Or had he watched so much pornography that he had come to believe that this is what women want? Why did he ignore her clear message that her naturism was not sexual? Why did he think it was worth risking his family relationships? I guess I’ll never know the answers to those questions. But it does worry me that there are men out there who have been led to believe that this is appropriate behavior.

Young Naturists & Nudists America

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Category: Feminism and Women's Issues, Nudism and Naturism, Nudist Blogs

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  • Dolphinholder

    I work astate job that has certain rules about not making them look bad in the public’s eye.ike how a teacher has to always look respectful because they teach kids.

  • AdamLeeMyers

    catholics killed millions simonb23276 Not all conservatives are against nudism.

  • Dolphinholder

    Catholics, we are forced to little known sites because facebook doesn’t allow us the freedom to post comments as well as tasteful picture. But we are also on more well known sites as well if one just cares to look. Do i come across Christian sites just out of the blue, no, but if i Google for a site or info i can find it. So you arguement is invalid.

  • Dolphinholder

    PeterVernon True, I am in few sites as well, one was invaded by a prude and gave us problems with posting nude lifestyle pics, not porn. But for the most part when a conversation would start, never really here any responses from women. To me this is sad, how can we have open discussions and get both views if one gender is afraid to post or reply because of how some will hassle them (instant messages that are inappropriate or unwanted). In general, if we want this to grow, we all have to work together to make it better. If someone wants to instant message someone asking for pics or otherwise, they should be outed and removed from the group for the protection of all.

  • Dolphinholder

    nightwolf1166 I think you are going to extremes here in some of your statements. Yes, there are women as well as men who are into sexual attraction more (I don’t like the perverted example you used). I know plenty of men afraid to be free because they are afraid of embarrassment, from erections (one thing a woman does not have to deal with if she is aroused) as well as size. But men can be just as shy as women because of their body appearance as well. But women then also have a bigger issue as well to deal with, their monthly friend can make going nude an issue that men don’t have to deal with. 
    Point being, what is needed more is tolerance and understanding!

  • PeterVernon

    We’ve been very public about it and have lost no friends as a result. Sure they may talk but that just normal family gossiping.

  • PeterVernon

    so Kim and I get 10% off. Great!
    But that’s just us.

  • PeterVernon

    I’m either incredibly socially inept or just to down right ugly to bother with but I’ve never received from women advances of a sexual nature online, at resorts or other venues. Well to be honest there is one notable repeat offender that’s been doing it for more than thirty years and the situation has even escalated to the point where she will Skype me at the office from the shower, those otter phone cases are great just don’t have your PC attached to a projector at the time, but I’m actually ok with that.
    On the other and Kim has not been so lucky. With approaches via messaging asking some very personal, intimate would be a better word, questions as soon as they find out there’s a different side to our lives.
    I will not say your assertion that women also do it, they may well, is wrong however the brazen way than men do it and the regularity with which it occurs would mean these incidences would be lost in the noise.

  • nightwolf1166

    I agree there are too many pervrts out there. But I’m also tired of hearing all the blame on men. I know and have seen women be just as perverted as some of these men if not worse. Even now you act so innocent like you have never looked looked at a handsome well sculpted man and thought (I would like to his shoes under my bed) kind of thought.
    The B-L was a jerk I agree but there are a lot of good men out there as well.
    From a mans point of view I have seen mostly women who were self continence about being nude they think themselves ugly or fat. Then there are those who are affected by the perverts. Men on the other hand don’t really care about how they look. They think ( I don’t want to see another mans thing , that would make me look gay ) there are those who mite be imbaressed by their penus size. And others are worried they may get an erection. Women don’t have that problem.

  • PeterVernon

    While I’ve not seen these sorts of interactions it should be blindly obvious to people that they are a regular part of online life.
    In a number of nudist / naturist Facebook groups I’m a member of there is the recurring posts from administrators about the harassment of female members, normally via PM’s. These women seem to all follow the same three states of contributor, watcher, leaver.
    I guess sitting there and just watching isn’t enough to avoid unwanted advances just being on the members list seems to make you a target.

  • Dolphinholder

    Sadly i would not be able to post it online in a public area because of my job, just like a school teacher who would most likely be fired.

  • Dolphinholder

    Sadly we have to hide somewhat because people are to closed minded

  • Dolphinholder

    Sadly there are too many men that are pigs as well, like the one in this story, the b in l. But this problem is not just related to naturist women, sadly it happens to all women. In the case of naturist men, they are considered preverts. Now please do not take this next comment as being sexist or making lite of women’s issues, but just to face the issue that both sexs face issues as naturists. It is easier for a woman to walk around nude and not be arrested as compared to a man. What my real point is that we need to stand by each other and educate the public that we are not perverts or threats, but just the same as they are, only more open and comfortable with ourselves.

  • foxycdn

    Wow what a dirt bag.   Her brother in law clearly got it wrong when she invited him along to Bare Oaks.  A very typical egotist man  jumped  to sexual inuendo, expectations  and conclusions. Hes to blame not her.    I would agree there is a double standard in lifestyle situations like this. 
    But i have to say she has got balls to go there alone.   Some people need to research the naturist lifestyle before judging folk.   I totally agree with her blog perhaps find a female relative or friend to join you.  Youll get a far better result and no expectation or  misunderstandings.  Bare oaks has been operating for many years with excellent spotless facilties in a country remote location for members to enjoy complete privacy. Fyi ” Its the textiles that make it sexual, not nudity”.

  • Stephane Deschenes

    WoodyMiller2 I did not say that you do not watch porn. I read your response. I’m very aware that there are other sexualities and sensitive to it. (you’ll note a  reference to that in one of my other responses to a comment) However, this was clearly an article about how heterosexual men react to women. To be more specific, my comment to you is that while hetero porn does not affect you directly, there are still huge societal implications. The concept of porn is not the issue. The problem is how men and women are portrayed in hetero porn.  I can’t comment if those problems also exist in gay porn.

  • WoodyMiller2

    Stephane Deschenes WoodyMiller2 I diodn’t say I do not watch porn, I do not watch heterosexual porn. There are other sexualities. Sexual imagery was been around as long as humans have been.  Perhaps it is the attiudes of “some men” which need to be examened rather than an entire discourse. I will look into Gail Dines. Thank you for the information.

  • Stephane Deschenes

    WoodyMiller2 Even if it does not affect you directly, the societal implications of pornography are frightening. I recommend reading “Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality” by Dr. Gail Dines or listening to her being interviewed for this episode of the Naturist Living Show: http://www.naturistliving.bareoaks.ca/2011/01/pornography.html

  • WoodyMiller2

    Stephane Deschenes WoodyMiller2 Okay, thanks. I don’t watch straight porn.

  • Stephane Deschenes

    AndreLeonard1 So true!  The internet has made it much easier to meet like-minded people. But as you point out, it has also opened us up to the crazies.

  • Stephane Deschenes

    LarryBerube Thank you for sharing your experience and for your support!

  • Stephane Deschenes

    WoodyMiller2 Because in a lot of pornography (if not the majority) women are portrayed as always wanting sex and just needing a little “push” to just jump on the first man who shows interest. It’s obviously a fantasy but one that some men believe.

  • WoodyMiller2

    I am curious as to why you would conflate this man’s behavior with watching pornography?

  • j238

    Stephane Deschenes j238
    Keeping wit the chess analogy, think a few moves ahead.  It’s great when someone becomes a public role model.  But, if there’s a backlash of some sort, he or she will bear the brunt it.  After that he or she may find the original enthusiasm isn’t there any more.  That’s not in anyone’s interest.  
    If you can share & advocate in a setting where everything will be positive, terrific!  But, lacking that, consider a little prudence.  
    BTW, I never blamed Andrea for anything.  In my original post, I put the blame where it belonged.

  • LarryBerube

    My gf’s ex filed a complaint to the sheriff and DCF twice because we went to Cypress Cove with her 4 year old. Saying it was perverted, sick and disgusting. It was dismissed. She has been harassed on Facebook at least a dozen times and cleared out those people from her friends list.
    The most disturbing episode though was when we went to Playa Linda beach a couple weeks ago. The four year old, now 5, was playing in the waves when a woman walked down the beach and sat down near where he was playing. Short while later a man who was clearly drunk joined the woman. And when he looked up and saw the boy playing in the water he got up and ran over to our tent ranting that we had ruined everything for him. Having a child playing in the waves nude was child porn according to him. We exchanged barbs and he finally left. The woman walked over to us and apologized for him. She said it was his first trip to a nude beach. He had to get blind drunk in order to go. I’m writing all this so that the woman in this story understands that this is very common and we shared her frustration.

  • AndreLeonard1

    Sadly the internet is both blessing and curse. For everyone seeking a meaningful dialogue and information exchange. There is an equal number of ‘nut’s ‘perverts’ and ‘fruitcakes’ one must be on the lookout for.

  • Stephane Deschenes

    JohnAP Heterosexual men have a sexual reaction to women (clothed or not) — that’s a biological fact. The fact that textiles have a different reaction to nudity is learned. They lack experience with the natural unclothed body and have been conditioned by society to associate nudity with sex. It is very much a learned behaviour and a century of naturism/nudism is the evidence.

    Similarly, disrespectful attitude towards women (nude or not) is not a biological reaction. It is a learned behaviour. Women should not expect it from men. But sadly few are surprised by it because of their experience. Neither men or women should accept it as fact!

  • Stephane Deschenes

    I’m sure we would not get many takers j238. But that does not mean that people who are brave enough to speak up should be blamed for it. We need to support them and encourage them when jerks react negatively. We need to blame the aggressors for the transgression.

    If you can’t be public for your own reasons, you should at least be a strong supporter of those who do. Because without them, the movement will never go anywhere.

  • j238

    Stephane Deschenes j238 Chess players plan their strategy based on the assumption their opponent will make good counter moves. 
    In my interactions with people, if the reasonably foreseeable negatives outweigh the foreseeable positives, I usually choose some restraint.  
    Try an experiment.  Offer a 10% discount to every Bare Oaks visitor who checks in publicly on their FB account.  Maybe more with a photo like the one on this page.  See how many takers you get.

  • It’s fairly obvious that a lot of men have an immediate sexual response when they see, or just hear about, a woman being naked. It’s as if we say “If I can see it, I can have it!” Normal considerations of manners get thrown away very quickly at this point, because the woman is imagined to have already made the first move. This poor clown seems to have thought that his sister-in-law was advertising to anyone, and being family, he had a chance of being first in line. What a gem of a husband he must be. 
    Male behavior isn’t exactly a secret to women. If we ever hear of a woman, or women generally, being unwilling to participate in naturism, we could ask ourselves what women expect men’s attitudes to be.

  • Stephane Deschenes

    KurtMoffett j238 True, but there will always be people who are intolerant of all kinds of things such as gender, religion, political beliefs, sexual preference, etc… I think we should not live our lives around their lack of sensibility. My choice is to be me and work around them. If they try to rally people against me, then I fight back. Most people in this world are reasonable and will support other people who are reasonable. We need to recognize that there is more power in the silent majority than the vocal minority.

  • KurtMoffett

    Stephane Deschenes j238 I agree with you, Stephane, but still I’m cautious about what I post and even what I say to certain people. There are people who will never understand what nudism is, no matter how many times you explain it to ’em. It’s like politics – you’re never gonna get a hardline conservative to support a Democratic initiative and vice versa. Sad but true.

  • Stephane Deschenes

    j238 Why?  If there’s nothing wrong, why should you hide who you are just because somebody might not react appropriately? What else should you hide because somebody might not react appropriately?

  • simonb23276

    Sad that there is a lack of education that leads people to think Naturism is Sexualism or sexually orientated – and yes I know Sexualism is not a real word but itis the only way i can describe the false assumptions that some people(male and female) make about a pure and natural way of living. It is sad that the human body is not accepted more readily in its natural state without some people assuming nude means sex or sex orientated

  • j238

    The guy was off-base, definitely.  I wonder if he’s had a history of awkward situations. 
    On the other hand, most people (including) F & J) don’t go public with their naturist activities.  No big deal to most people.  But a few people won’t handle it properly.  
    I’m not blaming Andrea for this, but it’s best to share only when you are 100% confident the people around you will react appropriately.