Nudism and Values At Young Naturists and Nudists America

| February 27, 2015 | 15 Comments

Ask Not What The Young Naturists Can Do For You Personally!

Prompted by a discussion in our main Young Naturists and Nudists America FB group:

Jordan’s Views On YNA and Nudism:

I co-founded Young Naturists America about four and a half years ago. While my partner in crime, Felicity Jones, is a bona fide third-generation nudist, my parents had never identified as nudists or naturists. As a kid we would travel around the USA and when possible, we would stay at nudist resorts / naturist campgrounds. They never pressured us kids but I guess we just took it as an opportunity to run around and have fun with other kids (back then there were lots of kids in naturism).

During those early years, I remember that my parents always put a strong focus on why we did things as opposed to what what we did. For us, as a family, we were taught that we are all equal and that we should not judge others based on appearances.

As I grew older, many of those values stuck with me. When I reached my early teenage years, I kept thinking and wondering why society puts such great importance on what a person looks like or the stuff they have. I could not wrap my head around the fact that people cared more about stuff than they did about substance.

Young naturists and nudists america logo

Young Naturists and Nudists America Logo

As I grew older, these issues kept bothering me.

As the internet developed and expanded, I noticed that so many of these issues were becoming more and more apparent. Throughout my early 20’s I was pretty absent from social nudism, for many reasons. But when I reached my early 30’s I decided it was time to revisit those childhood safe-havens that I remembered so fondly.

I quickly discovered that like society at large, the nudist community had changed as well. Just like in mainstream society, based on my world views, many of the changes were not positive. The fond memories of judgement-free and acceptance-based communities were not there. In their place, new nudist clubs had evolved that were far less accepting and much more restricting.

Being a single guy, most places would not let me visit. The places that did allow me to visit were not filled with kids and young parents. As I researched more and more, I quickly discovered that not only had this new nudist movement become more judgmental, it became increasingly more exclusionary.

My research led me to discover that so many clubs had restrictive rules for people. They weren’t accepting people’s self-expression and the clubs had this new un-trusting attitude. Nudists, I thought, are supposed to see the human body as innocent, but these newly discovered rules say otherwise.

I found it so upsetting that a club would bar entry to men and women that had nipple piercings, but allowed earrings. As if to say – you are welcome here as long as you behave like you have absolutely no sexual parts (kind of like those old ASA nudist magazines where they would blur out the genitals and made the people look less human and more alien).

I decided to see if things could be changed. At the time, I was a member of the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). So I thought…what better organization to speak to about such issues, which I believed were so out of touch with what the naturist movement should be about. Long story short, I got no answers.

At the same time, I noticed a shift in society at large. The internet had spawned off new ways to connect and communicate. But as it became easier to connect, more and more people were becoming more judgmental and far more critical.

So I reached out to Felicity, whom I had met at Rock Lodge Nudist Club in NJ. After passing her mom’s vigorous 2 hour investigation I got her approval to include her in this new venture that is Young Naturists America.

Growing up in a clothing-optional, nonjudgmental household offers you a far different outlook on life and human interaction. What we as childhood naturists have taken for granted, was the simple fact that while we may not have some of the superficial social issues to deal with within our close surroundings, others still have to deal with far greater social pressures.

This is what lead to YNA becoming a more value-driven movement.

YNA is a social acceptance movement and NOT just a nudist focused organization. The nudist movement has so many issues today and is nowhere near as value-driven as what it used to be (at least how I remember it). YNA is here to educate the public about a vast majority of social issues that many may not even realize exist.

Body Image Issues – We feel the naturist movement can and should do way more to address body image issues today. YNA has published a ton of articles about body image and probably more in the last 4 years than all the other main nudist organizations combined.

Sexuality – Sex and sexuality should not be a source of shame. Yet most of the nudist clubs and organizations will go out of their way to discourage such discussions. Since mainstream society behaves in much the same way, we use our platform to explain and educate people about sex and sexuality issues.

Social Acceptance – Nudist clubs and organizations say they promote acceptance but they really send mixed massages when they discriminate against genders (mostly single men but even single women, too), freedom of self expression (such as nipple piercings) and so forth. We are encouraging clubs to change their policies and have been severing relationships with those that don’t.

Censorship – Today’s society is reverting back to the days when Modigliani’s art was considered pornographic and unsuitable for public display. Statues are being removed from public view, art is still being censored, artists are being arrested (Andy Golub is a great example) and the female nipple is deemed evil and has become a symbol of our religious value driven and patriarchal society. Felicity herself was arrested for being top free during a completely legal art performance in NYC’s Wall Street.

Legal Issues – America has, in a way, launched a war against the nudist community. Nude beaches are closing and more legislation is getting passed that hinders our ability to practice and enjoy our way of life. By publishing, promoting and informing the public when such issues arise, we are helping to open people’s eyes to such issues. We also help NAC (the only true legal maven when it comes to legislation) increase their reach and awareness (we also encourage people to donate to NAC as they are over worked and far too under funded).

Felicity and I are constantly engaging with mainstream America. We engage with the biggest media and news outlets regularly, we constantly are researching and raising awareness about social and acceptance issues and we are always working with and supporting the art community (just like we did for Andy Golub’s 2014 New York City BodyPainting Day).

All of this does take time and we do rack up expenses. Right now, we have to work other jobs in order to keep YNA going. We rely on our members to help us fund this venture. But too many people, while they do support what we do, don’t see value in helping us keep the lights on.

So with that in mind, we would like to ask people to help keep us going. Though it is difficult to ask, we do need money to survive. Yearly membership is only $22 / year – for that you get the satisfaction of knowing we can keep at it. While we do offer member benefits, we don’t want you to sign up for those reasons.

If the fact that we don’t have events in your area deters you from signing up that is great! We would rather have to close up than have to create more events just to get more members. Events are expensive and time consuming, and we would rather not take away from our advocacy work. If we have to spend most of our time doing events, then we won’t have the ability to promote core issues we feel need to be discussed.

So unless more people donate, or more people really step up and start shouldering the responsibility, we will be forced to have less events.

For those who feel we don’t need money then just tally up the costs of filing corporate taxes, site management, development, research assistance and don’t forget TIME! if you don’t think our time has value, then by all means, don’t support us.

I wrote this post as I feel that every now and again, it is good to remind people what we are about. Please feel free to comment below with any thoughts you may have. Are we doing a good job? A bad one? Is there value in what we do? Or any other thoughts.

For those of you who do support what we do, you can donate and / or become a member here: Young Naturist America Membership

Young Naturists and Nudists America YNA

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Category: Social Nudity Blogs, Nudist Organizations, Nudism and Naturism, Nudist Blogs

About the Author ()

Jordan Blum is a lifelong nudie and co-founder of Young Naturists America.
  • j238

    As you’re shifting to engage in more advocacy, in you opinion what’s been your biggest success so far in that area?

  • jma123

    You guys are great, keep up the good work. You both get it and are an inspiration to all of us.

  • jochanaan

    Is it outmoded and outdated? Granted, the more restrictive aspects should be liberalized, but the core beliefs are still very much current and needed, even more so now that we are even more divorced from nature than we were in the 1930s.

  • jochanaan

    We have a precious, open secret, we nudists, that society *must* hear and understand for its healing. Thank you, Jordan and Felicity, for bringing it to folks who desperately need it.

  • Eddie Gamble

    JimOlsson Innocent until proven guilty. You cant filter them out so you allow equal rights to all with the prerequisite that everybody knows, one strike and you’re out.

  • Eddie Gamble

    I think its a subtle form of snobbery when you have to meet basically unreasonable prerequisites in order to join a group where your membership is acceptable and appropriate. I once tried to join a High School alumni group on Facebook but they would not accept me because, although I had gone through 12+ years of school with these people, I took an early out at the beginning of my senior year to go on to college and did not graduate with the class. Picky, picky, picky! Similarly, why cant membership to a nudist group be based upon a person’s love of social nudity, rather than meeting stringent requirements like what kind of body jewelry you wear, do you have any tattoos, are you male or female and what is your sexual orientation, (none of your business), what race and ethnicity are you, etc. If I come to the gate bearing a handful of cash,,,,,even if I badly need a shave or am wearing beat up jeans and several piercings and tats, haven’t been in a relationship for years,,,,,,as long as I keep my hands off the merchandise, there should be no reason to reject me from joining.

  • itoure101

    It may be a great time to increase advocacy, fundraising, and fun THROUGH events, similar to WNBR, because actions often speak louder than words. With the current mayoral administration it may be possible to get a permit and NYPD support and assistance for any such event.
    Great article! Thank you Jordan for all you guys do to bring awareness and possible resolutions to important social issues

  • itoure101

    It may be a great time to increase advocacy, fundraising, and fun THROUGH events, similar to WNBR, or Free The Nipple, because actions often speak louder than words.

    Great article! Thank you Jordan for all you guys do to bring awareness and possible resolution to important social issues.

  • JimOlsson

    There is this naturist ideal of nudism sans sex that, in my experience, rarely occurs “in nature.”  My first experiences nude were at Black’s Beach in southern California.  There were people down there that used the beach as soliciting grounds for sex parties, etc.  Now, several decades later, the chat rooms at sites which promulgate the naturist ideal are over run with horny old duffers who will mount anything sporting warm moist cavities.  How do you filter out elements that defile the ideal? Answer: I don’t think you can.

  • DarrynLoveridge

    I think what is happening today is that people are trying to continue to use a nudist philosophy which is outmoded and outdated, with many of its values stuck in the 1930s. Social change along has changed wider society and our nudist movement as a whole. ‘Family friendly’ places is especially one ideological shortfall. I mean, what exactly constitutes a family circa 2015? Not the traditional nuclear family of Mom, Dad and 2.4 children. We have single mums with children, single dads with children, gay male and female couples with children, polymorphous people in relationships with children and not to forget, couples without children which can be comprised of either gender. The ideological ‘family friendly’ nudist organisations need to wake up to social change and not pursue ideals which no longer apply to us.

  • Infidelis

    Great blog Jordan.

    I agree, things have changed and we as a society are regressing back to the years of mindless and false modesty which I thought we had finally overcome during the ’70s and ’80s. But even in Europe people, especially the young, seem to be less involved in social nudity as well as bra- and topless freedom. What’s more, the sun phobia brigade have successfully instigated the fashion of full body cover not only for the beach and outdoor pools, but also in covered or indoor pool areas.

    Keep up the good work Jordan and Felicity and all the other helpers in YNA, your efforts are badly needed.
    Hermann Brenner

  • BattleTrek47

    You guys keep up the good work, you have my full support.

  • livefyrebob

    Jordan and Felicity —

    Thanks for all you are and all you do for humanity.

    These quotes are from a theist, Jan van Rursbroeck, and I hope they are received in the spirit in which they are offered:
    “Sink down to that imageless nudity which is God.”

    “This is the meeting and the unity of God in our spirit, our bare nature.”

  • Andy Golub

    Thank you for what you are doing. You guys take on deep seeded American issues in an articulate and patient way. :)

  • NotanlinesGuy

    I think you guys are doing a great job and are trying to create a much better nudist community Than has been going on for many years. I tend to agree with most everything you guys post, and the direction you’re trying to take things and will support you as much as I can.