Nudist Dictionary and Comprehensive Social Nudity and Naturist Guide

| December 11, 2013 | 17 Comments

Nudist Dictionary and Everything You Need To Know About Nudism, Naturism and Social Nudity

Below is our nudist dictionary and general “intro guide to nudism”. After you’ve read through and familiarized your self with the basics of nudism, these articles below will provide you with some additional and more in-depth information about nudists and social nudity related issues:

Nudism, Social Nudity and Nudist Dictionary / Guide by YNA:

Nudist Dictionary and Guide – Below we have put together a comprehensive nudist dictionary and guide to nudism, naturism and social nudity in general. We define the terms, answer commonly asked questions and explain different aspects of the nudie world. Click the hyper-linked words for more information about a particular term.

Nudist Dictionary and The Main Terms in Nudism:

Nudism – Nudism is defined in the dictionary as: “The belief in or practice of going nude, especially in secluded, gender-mixed groups for reasons of health.”

Naturism – Naturism is defined in the dictionary as: “The practice of going naked in designated areas.”

Nudist – A Nudist is a person who enjoys nonsexual nude recreation and social nude activities in sanctioned public locations and / or in private ones.

Naturist – A Naturist is a person who enjoys nonsexual nude recreation and social nude activities with a major focus of interest on those activities that take place outdoors, in nature and/or on public land. This group also believes that Naturism and environmental issues are intertwined.

Nudists – People (more than one) who practice nudism.

Naturists – People (more than one) who practice the Naturism.

Naturalist – A person who studied and / or works in the field of nature. Example – A biologist. Naturalist is listed here as it is often confused with naturist.

Nudie – We also understand that there are some people who don’t like labels and especially hate the old world terms of nudist and naturist. Therefore we came up with a third category for such nude-friendly people – Nudie.

The definition of a Nudie (YNA Nudie) – A person who believes in the benefits of nonsexual nude recreation as it pertains to the broader issues of acceptance and social responsibility. For this group of people, nudity is not the main focus but rather a tool that is used to teach people about acceptance, tolerance and compassion. Some causes that a nudie would be advocating for are: body acceptance, prevention of online and offline bullying, working to end body shame and tackling censorship of “innocent” or simple “nudity.” (These are just a few examples.)

Acceptance of others is what YNA believes nudism and naturism should be about! Nudies want to challenge the belief that a naked body should be private only. They preach against “body shame” and believe that nudity is natural and nothing to be ashamed of. By making it (nudity) commonplace, they can remove the social stigma from being nude in a social or public setting.

Young Naturists Young Nudists – YNA, which stands for Young Naturists (& Nudists) America is a young nudist and young naturist organization with a major focus on social responsibility, tolerance and acceptance. While our name has the term “Young” in the title, we accept people of all ages. All are welcome as long as they are young at heart and adhere to our code of ethics and values.

YNA Nudist Dictionary and Guide to Nudism

YNA Nudist Dictionary and Guide to Nudism

Nudist Dictionary and Naturist Related terms as well as general information relating to nudism and naturism:

AANRThe American Association For Nude Recreation – a national (U.S.) nudist organization that has been around since 1931, dedicated to promoting nude recreation / nudism.

ASA – American Sunbathers Association – is the former name of AANR. The name was changed from ASA to AANR in 1995.

Beach Ambassador – Appointed people who are tasked with educating others on nude beach rules and etiquette as well as patrolling nude beaches with the hopes of eradicating lewd or illegal behavior.

Blog – A website that regularly posts ideas and content from a specific company or individual’s point of view. It reflects their opinions.

Body Image – The way a person perceives their own body.

body acceptance body love nudism naturism YNA

Body Love

Body Acceptance – is about people accepting their own bodies as they are. It’s also about accepting others regardless of what their bodies look like and not judging people based on their body shape or appearance.

Body Love – Loving and accepting the way your body looks.

Boobie Traps – Slang for Bras.

Bullying – Is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively to impose domination over others.

Cyber Bullying – Is the use of Information Technology / Internet to harm or harass other people in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner.

Closet Nudist – Someone who keeps their love of naturism a secret from others.

Clothing Optional – Is a policy where person can chose if they want to wear clothing or not (or just be partially covered).

Donald Duck – Donalding / Donald Ducking It / Ducking It – A person who only wears a top (or shirt) but leaves themselves exposed from the waist down, with genitals in full view.

Exhibitionist – A person who gets sexual gratification when others see him / her in a state of undress.

Free Hiking – Hiking nude / naked.

Free Beaches Movement – An independent movement dedicated to allocating areas of public lands that could be used by people while nude.

Gay Naturist Resort – A naturist or nudist resort that typically caters to the gay male population.

Gymnosophy – (from Greek – gymnos “naked” and sophia “wisdom”) was a philosophy practiced in Europe and the USA from the end of the 19th century to the mid 20th century. The practice involved nudity, asceticism and meditation.

Home Nudist – A person who practices nudism or naturism at home only.

INF – The International Naturist Federation – encompasses most of the world, but not yet recognized in the USA.

Lee Baxedall – Founder of The Naturist Society (TNS)

Lifestyle – The term on its own is used by nudist and naturists to describe individuals who are swingers or who partake in sexual activities with others. It’s also used in reference to nudism as the “nudist lifestyle.”

N Magazine – A quarterly magazine that is published by The Naturist Society (TNS).

NAC – Naturist Action Committee – Formerly the political wing of TNS (The Naturist Society) but is now a completely separate entity.

NaKation – A Naked Vacation – A vacation to places where wearing clothing is not required.

Naked – The state of undress. A person who is nude / not wearing clothes.

Nake n Bake – the act of smoking pot while naked.

Naked City – A small designated area within a festival where nudity is allowed and usually mandatory. This term is mostly associated with Burning Man.

A “Naked House” – usually refers to the environment/home a person grew up in where the parents, siblings, and family walk around naked at any time without shame and teach the children that nudity is no big deal.

Naked Party / Nude Parties – These are events / parties where the participants are expected to be nude / naked. When at a nudist or naturist setting, these events don’t involve any overt sexual behavior.

Naturist Resort  – A resort / physical location where people go to practice Naturism.

Naturist Society, The — See “TNS”

Nekkid – A slang term for Naked / Nude / Being in a state of undress.

Nipplegate – The term used to describe the incident where a an exposed female nipple (of a real person or cartoon) caused a stir in society. Example – The New Yorker Facebook page was removed because they posted a cartoon where “Eve” had two dots that represented her nipples. Facebook deemed that image as lewd and removed the page. Read more about it here: Naked Cartoons and Censorship.

Nude – The state of undress. A person who is naked / not wearing clothes.

Nude Beach – A beach where people are not required to wear a bathing suit or clothing.

Nude Model – A person who is hired or volunteers to take part in an artistic endeavor that would require him or her to be naked.

Nude U – A program that was started by AANR with the hopes of helping young people become ambassadors for nudism to spread the word and educate others.

Nudette – Slang for a female who is nude (as in – a female “dude” that is nude).

Nudester – A person who is a Hipster and also a nudist.

Nudie Gods – Are the gods that can sometimes be summoned by certain YNA members who have the ability to channel them.

Nudie Name – A name that is bestowed upon a YNA Nudie. Please note that ONLY the nudie gods have the power to give a YNA Nudie their official and recognized Nudie Name. This is considered an honor.

Nudist Blog – A blog that posts content that is connected and usually directly related to nudism / naturism. These blogs are usually is written by a practicing nudist / naturist.

Nudist Colony – The media and many people in mainstream America keep saying Nudist Colony – a very outdated term. So for the record, nudists today do not live in colonies (colonies are where bees and lepers hang out); nudists live in communities. Please make note of the above two comments before you visit a nudist resort or naturist club (you don’t want to anger any nudies now do you!).

Nudist Club – A place where nudists congregate to socialize and be nude. Some are privately owned and others are “co-ops” – cooperatively owned by all the members (more on this below). You can visit for a day, or most have different levels of membership for regular visitors. A nudist club can also refer to a social group of people who meet up in different nude / clothing-optional locations. This type of club is usually referred to as “non-landed.”

Nudist Resort – A destination such as a hotel or other location where nudity is embraced and expected, in a non-sexual atmosphere. It’s also used as a synonym for nudist club.

Nudity In The Up-space – A week-long event that takes place in Brown university and centers around the benefits of nonsexual social nudity.

Oh! Calcutta! – A controversial Broadway show that featured a significant amount of full frontal nudity. [Read more about it in our censorship article.]

Pudding Toss – A popular activity in naturist / nudist communities and festivals where participants throw pudding at each other while naked.

Sex Positive – An approach to sex and human sexuality that embraces the full benefits of sexual interaction as healthy and uplifting, based upon the premise that sexual expression is good and healthy and that societal repression or control of the individual’s sex-drive is bad and unhealthy.

naked retreat skinny dipping upstate new york yna

Skinny Dipping

Skinny Dipping – Swimming while in a state of undress / while naked.

Social Nudity  – The act of being nude or naked with one or more people.

Social Nudism – The act of practicing nudism with one or more people.

Streaking – The act of running naked in a place where nudity is not accepted or expected.

Textile (adjective or noun) – Used to describe a non-nudist, someone who wears textiles / clothing. Also used to describe non-nudist locations – As in “that beach is a textile beach and the nude beach is 500 feet up the road.”

Textile Beach – A beach where one must wear clothing that will conceal their genitals, butts and breasts (the last one pertains to women only).

TNS – The Naturist Society – a national membership organization founded in 1980 with a mission to advocate for nude use of public and private land. TNS publishes a quarterly magazine called N Magazine.

top-free national go topless day nyc

Topfree Day in Central Park, Photo by Zandy Mangold

Top-Free / Topfree / Topfreedom  – The preferred term for a woman who is not concealing / hiding her breasts and nipples.

Topless – The state where a man or woman has their breasts / chest exposed – Not wearing a top.

Topless Beach – A beach where women (and men) are allowed to be without a top, but both sexes must keep their butts and genitalia covered.

White Tail or Cottontail – Nudists use this term to describe people who do not have a full body tan – people whose butts are white due to the lack of exposure to sunlight.

WNBR – Short for World Naked Bike Ride. Created by an organization named Critical Mass, this event is meant to protest the overuse of fossil fuels with the hopes of increasing the use of alternative energy resources. This event takes place in different cities at different times and calls attention to environmental issues, biker safety and body shame.

YNA – The abbreviated name of Young Naturists America, which is sometimes referred to as Young Naturists and Nudists America.

Nudist Survival Guide: Must-have items when taking part in a social nude event.

Towel – Always have a towel to sit on or to dry off with after a swim.

Sun Screen – A must for any event where you will expose your skin to the rays of the sun.

Bug Repellent – Since most of your skin is exposed, you would want to limit the chances of getting bug bites.

Diva Cup / Menstrual Cup – Many nudist / naturist women prefer using a menstrual cup such as the DivaCup during menstruation.

Pouch (or bag) – You will need a way to carry your phone, keys, money – due to the absence of pockets when naked.

Nudist Etiquette – Know what is considered acceptable behavior and what is not BEFORE attending any naked event or location. This will limit the chances of you being asked to leave.

Activities that can be found in most naturist clubs, nudist resorts or naked parties

Nude Swimming / Skinny-Dipping

Naked Hot Tubbing – Most clubs / resorts have indoor or outdoor hot tubs (or jacuzzis) where people can warm up and relax, especially at night or in cold weather. Given the close proximity of people, hot tubs tend to be a place where people talk and get to know each other.

Sauna – The full benefits of a sauna can only be achieved while naked. Saunas are also a place where people socialize.

Naked Body Painting – A fun activity where people paint each other and express themselves through art.

Bonfire (camp fire) – On colder evenings this is an especially enjoyable naked activity.

Drum Circles – A fun activity where people play drums and other musical instruments together, usually done around the camp fire.

Nature Hikes – Nothing beats connecting with nature in the most natural way. Be sure to take something to cover yourself with just in case you get lost or find yourself in a non nude-friendly location. This is one activity where shoes are strongly suggested!

Nude Volleyball – Many resorts and clubs will have a volleyball court – some might play it in the pool, others on grass, sand or a court. Since this is such a popular sport in the nudie world, some nudist resorts host tournaments that attract pro and amateur players who will play nude because they want to compete with the best!

Pétanque – A game that originated in France that involves tossing metal balls in a sand court. Courts can be found in many nudist locations. It is a great way for people to meet and socialize.

Nudist Dances – Many nudists will hosts dances to mark special occasions such as 4th of July while others might have them on set dates (monthly, weekly…). Dances at a nudist resort can be like the same sort of party you’d find at a public bar. These dances can be also be more low-key and family-oriented at some resorts. It depends on the place.

Pot Luck – A staple of many a nudist gathering. Basically a dinner party where every guest brings a dish. Make sure to bring enough to feed at least 4 four people, if not more, when attending a pot luck.

slip n slide nudism guide young naturists america

Slip n Slide

Slip ‘n’ Slide – A big flat outdoor slide laid out on a grassy area, covered with soap and water for sliding! Arguably an essential part of any great nude event and favorite activity of many YNA’ers.

Horse Shoes – Throwing horse shoes used to be an activity that could be seen in most nudist clubs and resorts. This is not the case these days but it can still be found here and there.

Movie Screening – Nudies are no different than clothed people – Nothing beats watching the Big Lebowsky naked with a white Russian drink in hand (robes are not required) ;)

Naked Hula-hooping – A recent spike in interest in this activity and its popularity at festivals has made Hula-Hooping a common activity in many nudist and naturist gatherings. Especially among the younger people.

Nude Yoga – Yoga is practiced by millions of people every day and while the idea of doing Yoga while nude might seem off putting (downward facing dog being the biggest one) once practiced most people find that it their preferred way doing Yoga.

Camping – Many nudist resorts and clubs will have an allocated area for camping and tenting. This makes the experience more natural and affordable.

Common Questions, Answers and FAQ’s about Nudism and Naturism:

Body Hair & Pubic Hair – Some have none, some a little, some a lot No One Cares! Shave, don’t shave, do whatever you want and don’t give it a second thought!

Sex – No sex or as a good friend puts it – no pursuing orgasms in public. This is sure fire way to get you banned from any naturist or nudist group or location. While holding hands, kissing and other forms of showing affection are perfectly fine, natural overt sexual activity is unacceptable. Act as though you have two 5 year old kids sitting right next to you and you will be fine.

Orgies – A great misconception is that nudists and naturists get together and have orgies. This is NOT the case and if that is something you are looking for then look for it elsewhere – not in a nudist / naturist setting.

Looking – Human beings are just that – human. We are curious. There is nothing wrong with looking. Just don’t gawk or stare! If you do, you may come off as creepy and make others feel uncomfortable. Creepiness can result in you being asked to leave and not come back.

Touching – Touching is fine; we do this every day in the textile world. Behave as you would with clothes and remember that those 5 year old kids are watching. As long as it is innocent and not sexual – you should be fine. That said, don’t go around hugging strangers – even if that is your MO in the textile world. Respect people’s personal space and never make unwanted advances.

Topics of Conversation – While many older nudists might feel uncomfortable talking about certain topics, you should not feel like there are things that you should NOT be talking about. Common sense plays a major role and if you sense that the topic is making people uncomfortable, quickly drop it and move on. Just like you would in the textile world.

Nude Beach Etiquette – While this should be common sense, many people feel they can get away with overt sexual behavior (or even feel it’s the right situation for it) because they are not wearing any clothes. Overt sexual activity, lewd behavior, drugs, binging on alcoholic beverages and being rude and obnoxious can not only get you arrested but that type of behavior puts the nude beach at risk. Nude beaches are taken away all the time, and it is every single person’s job to approach anyone who is misbehaving. You can ask the beach ambassador (if there is one at that specific beach) to take care of the perpetrators, or ask a friend and even a stranger to approach them and get them to stop. We’ll parrot the well-known NYC subway slogan: If you see something, say something! Otherwise you become part of the problem.

Naked Party Etiquette – Again, no overt sexual activity or pursuing of orgasms. Whatever is considered unacceptable behavior at a regular bar or club is unacceptable at a naked party. Be a bit more sensitive to people’s personal space, don’t wave privates in people’s faces and don’t you dare start grinding on someone you don’t know! Also, keep an eye on people who might seem “off” and make the organizers aware. Again – if you see something, say something!

Children – Be a bit cautious when interacting with kids. This is one issue that could spiral out of control even if your intentions are innocent. Some people overreact and everyone is very aware of everything that has to do with protecting the children.

Adult Only Resorts – Adults-only resorts generally means that people under the age of 18 won’t be admitted. It does not automatically mean it’s a sex party place or that there will be a sexual vibe. But if you plan on visiting one, read their website or call ahead and ask why they have that policy in place.

Clothing Optional – Means you have the option to be naked or clothed to whatever degree you’re comfortable with.

Co-Operative Clubs (or “Co-Ops”) – Are clubs that are owned by the members of the community who live there. You can think of it like a business that has a board of directors. Co-op clubs tend to have more rules and might be a bit more clique’ish because there tends to be an established group of members, some of whom might live there.

Private or Privately Owned Clubs – Are clubs that are owned by an individual. One person makes the decisions. There is no board and it’s not a democracy. It is just like any other privately owned business.

No Single Men? – Some clubs have a “no single men” policy. The reason behind this policy is that men tend to be more open about being nude and tend to seek it out much more than women. Some clubs feel that if there is an overwhelming disproportionate ratio of men to women, they might run the risk of turning off potential women who are new to the nudist lifestyle. Don’t be offended; just realize that they are trying to do what is best for their club. If you get turned away, you can try early in the next season, while people are still signing up.

Groups and Cliques – Every club and location is different. If you feel like the people are not welcoming or make you feel like an outsider then simply leave and go try a different place. Don’t let one place or group of people ruin the experience.

Nudist Clothing – This might sound like an oxymoron but some nudists like clothing and see it as a form of self-expression.

Erections – Erections, while a natural occurrence are perceived as sexual. If you get an erection then wrap a towel around your waist, turn over if you are sunning yourself or jump in the pool. Flaunting an erection could be grounds for getting you kicked out.

Nipple Piercings – While most places are becoming more accepting of nipple piercings, some places are still too close-minded. If you have one then do your research on that facility, or call ahead and ask what the policy is.

What types of people will I meet / see – You will see people from all walks of life. There is no set demographic.

Swingers – A slang term for people who take part in sexual activities with others. There are many types of swingers but just know that swingers are people just like everyone else. As long as they behave and understand that there is a time and place for everything then they would be welcome at a nudist location.

Driving While Naked (DWN) – While it might seem like your car is your own space, legally you could get charged with indecent exposure. Each state is different and laws change all the time, so make sure to know the law before you bare and drive. Click here for a list of nudity laws by state.

Naked In My Backyard – As previously mentioned, laws change all the time and vary from state to state. Some states might require that you have 6 foot fence as a visual barrier in order to be nude outside on your own property. Again – check the law before you tending your garden au-naturel.

Naked At Home and Open Windows – It is perfectly legal to be nude in your home. The issue becomes more complicated if you decide to keep your window wide open and stand there naked. In some states that could be considered indecent exposure because you are acting in a way that could be perceived as exhibitionism.

Guests and people visiting – Even if it’s your own home, you probably want your guests to feel comfortable. If you would like to be nude, then simply tell them ahead of time – don’t spring it on them as that could lead to a very uncomfortable situation for everyone.

Lingerie Parties / Leather and Lace Party – Some nudist resorts have lingerie parties. This does not mean that it is a sex party – if you see that event listed and you plan of visiting then call ahead and ask for more information.

Genital Piercings – There still are resorts that won’t accept people because they have genital piercings – if you have such a piercing then you should surely call ahead and ask if that might pose an issue.

Picture taking – This is a sensitive topic for many nudists. People tend to be very private and don’t want naked pictures of them floating around the web. Make sure to ask about the photography policy and make it a point to not get anyone in the background!

Cameras – This goes hand in hand with picture taking. Never walk around with a camera as this might cause people to feel uncomfortable. Also know that some clubs have rules about where you can use your cell phone and electronic devices since everything is equipped with a camera these days. If anything you should always ask permission before taking photos and be aware of where you’re pointing your camera.

Privacy – Privacy is a big issue as well. Don’t post on someone’s Facebook wall about any nudie activity unless you cleared it with them ahead of time. Never tag people in images unless they told you it’s okay. Always respect people’s wishes.

Background Check – Many clubs will run a background check on you. This is standard practice in many nudist places so if there is something they should know about, make sure you tell them BEFORE they find out on their own!

Sex Offenders List – Is an open and accessible directory of people who have been convicted of a sex crime / lewd act. This is a tricky topic since some people might be listed because they went streaking in college or because they went skinny dipping and got caught. Be up front about it and know that this is an issue most clubs know about.

This comprehensive guide to nudism and nudist dictionary of terms was compiled and published by – Young Naturists & Nudists America

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About the Author ()

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