Nudist Teens: How Do We Educate Teenagers About Naturism?

| January 13, 2013 | 57 Comments

Teenage Naturist Issues And Education Teens About Sexting, Nudity And Naturism

Nudist Teens Issues:

Teenage Naturist – As I was listening to an online broadcast from a European radio station today, I heard a report about a new picture-sharing app called Snapchat. This app allows users to send messages (including pictures) which self-delete within a time period specified by the sender – usually a few seconds.

Snapchat was initially considered to be something of a solution to the issue of “sexting,” where young people take nude photos of themselves to send to someone, only to have the photos inadvertently forwarded to others. Since the messages on Snapchat can’t be saved or forwarded, the logic goes, discretion is preserved.

Unfortunately, Snapchat really offers no such solution. The Achilles Heel of the service is that nothing prevents the recipient from photographing their communication device’s screen with another camera in another device before the message self-deletes.

My intention here, however, is not to write a review of Snapchat. But the way that some young people are using their camera-enabled phones and other devices in conjunction with services like Snapchat illustrates a particularly difficult challenge for the naturist movement – how to educate teenagers about naturism.

Two Nude Naturist Nudist Teen Girls Just Hanging Out Naked by YNA

Two Nude Naturist Nudist Teen Girls Just Hanging Out Naked

When discussing nudism and naturism, we don’t talk about (or to) nudist teens very much. We talk a lot about how many naturists are of an older generation, and there is an urgent need to get younger people involved. We talk about very young children, and are generally in agreement that naturism is not harmful to them in any way. But we don’t talk about teenagers – specifically those who are 13 to 17 years of age.

A documentary like My Daughter the Teenage Nudist is about as close as we’ve gotten. While the film is good and generally portrays naturism in a positive light for young people, it is important to note that the people in the film – not the least of which is the teenage daughter mentioned in the title – are 18 years or older, which makes them legally adults almost everywhere in the world.

nudist teen girls and boys

Nudist Teen Girls and Boys At The WNBR

“Legally” is the key word here, because I believe it’s the key to understanding why we don’t specifically address naturism for teenagers. Since nudity is so widely equated with sex, we know we can start getting into a problem area once we begin to mix the two below the age of 18. But in today’s society people jump to the conclusion that that if an individual is nude anywhere near a person below a certain age who is not their child, then that individual is guilty of engaging in sexual acts with a minor until proven innocent.

So does this mean that we shouldn’t talk about teenagers and naturism? Or that we shouldn’t talk TO them about it? I hope not. We know what the alternative is. The misunderstanding and outright persecution of nudity, often tied in with slut-shaming, among teenagers has led to bullying and suicide.

Nudist Teen Girls and Boys

Nudist Teen Girls and Boys Hiking Naked

There was the recent case of Amanda Todd who was exploited, blackmailed and shunned by her peers for showing her breasts on a webcam. We need to figure out a way to address this age group regarding the healthy expression of naturism.

To begin this discussion, I think it is important to understand two things (which most naturists are likely to agree with). The first is that young people are capable of understanding that nudity can be non-sexual. The second is that we should take issue with the term “sexting” – at least in part. Taking a nude photo of oneself and sending it to someone else does not have to be sexual in nature.

I recall very clearly that I understood the difference between sexual and nonsexual nudity by the time I was in my early teens, and that was before the internet. Many other naturists have said the same. I also know that if I’d had access to a modern-day smartphone or digital camera, I probably would have taken photos of myself nude. Would I have sent them to anyone? The 30-something me says no, but remembering the 14-year-old me…well, who knows?

nudist teen girl

Nudist Teen Girl

And now we have this great digital research and communication tool called the internet, which spans the world and seems to contain quite literally everything anyone would want to know about any possible subject. If only the internet had existed when I was 13 – my mind reels at the possibility of having been able to figure out what naturism is and connect with other naturists much earlier than I did.

The problem today, however, is that the phrase “nude teenager” and sometimes even “Naturist Teen” is internet-speak for “child pornography.”

Typing the phrases “nudism questions for teenagers” or “naturism for teenagers” – or any other phrase containing variants of the words “nude” and “teenager” – into Google will return plenty of search results, but nothing close to what we would consider good information about naturism.

Access to electronic communication devices with built-in cameras and photo services such as Snapchat, therefore, provide teenagers with what for many of them is likely their only outlet to engage in nude behavior.

Assuming they did not grow up in a nudist family (which applies to most teenagers), any given teenager probably lacks the ability to go where most naturists congregate – private resorts and legal nude beaches. For one thing, most private naturist resorts will not admit unaccompanied minors for various reasons. Also, most teenagers under the age of 16 can’t drive. And those teenagers who can drive may not have a great deal of time to get to and spend time at a nude beach – that is, if there is even one located nearby.

Nudist Teen Girls and Boys Cooking Naked

Nudist Teen Girls and Boys Cooking Naked

If they can somehow get to a publicly-accessible nude area, they may not (and probably should not) go alone. This brings up the idea of trying to talk about naturism with friends in order to find a partner to go with. Most teens probably find this idea frightening as well, and given the stigma of being a naturist, they likely don’t know of a relative or friend who could accompany them either.

Combine this with myriad state-by-state laws regarding public nudity, and it’s no surprise that teenagers stick to something simple like photographing themselves with their phones.

So what are we naturists to do? It’s a shame that we are not addressing this age group. They are going through a critical period in their physical and emotional development, in which they are forming a lot of opinions about their bodies – many of which will last for decades to come. We know that some of these teenagers will eventually become practicing nudists and naturists. They are the future of the movement, but right now they are being told that nudity is bad. And the spreading of nude photos via “sexting” is not helping the issue.

It seems to me that there is a huge information vacuum that needs to be filled. If there are good naturism resources specifically for teenagers out there somewhere, I haven’t been able to find them. One action item I would propose is assembling a free downloadable guide to naturism specifically for teens, giving some outlines as to what they can and can’t do (or shouldn’t do). It could also provide links to good blogs and web sites that positively portray naturism, which would help teens avoid the dense internet forest consisting of porn sites that masquerade as naturism / nudism sites.

I don’t really have any answers beyond that. The main purpose of this blog posting is to get the discussion started.

What do you think? What, if anything, can we do to educate teenagers about naturism?

This article about education a naturist teens was published by – Young Naturists And Nudists America

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

About the Author ()

Erik Jakobsen works in New York City, lives in New Jersey and has been an avid nudist for 25 years. He is a frequent contributor to YNA's blogs.
  • DarioWestern

    @cfinnegan1976  I actually quite agree with your statements.  Political correctness never solves anything, least of all social acceptance of naturism.  Parents should be black or white about nudism with their children: either it is a good thing and is nothing to be ashamed of or forbidden to be talked about with other people, or it is a bad thing that only adults should practice.  You can’t be a fence-sitter about this way of life.

  • macguffen

    Marcnude You would be surprised how well Christ is represented among the naturists.
    I, for one, am a Christian naturist.
    Check out: naturist-christians [dot] org

  • PeterGeorgeMackie

    Here is a link to a very good site for teenagers about naturism:  chatbocks [dot] com/board/viewforum.php?f=9&sid=18fe8ac680945b094b3c19cb2761ea76

  • Marcnude

    I know exactly how you feel Annabell!!! I am also a sophomore in high school. I am the only one in my family open to the idea of social nudity, and at the time no one else in my family really knows that much. Sometimes I’ll go to bed naked when I can, but even then I have to keep the covers on very well because my family comes in and out of my room at night. Acquaintances of mine usually understand when I tell them my fascination with naturism, but even then, when I do find others like me we still have no opportunities to socialize naked. I’m really considering once I get into a dorm in college talking to my roommate about the way I will be spending most of my time in the dorm naked, and maybe I can convince him or her to participate as well. To be honest the closest I’ve ever been to social nudity was going into a large public bathroom and taking off all my clothes. Sadly, no one even came into the bathroom while I Was in there so I wasn’t able to really spread awareness about naturism and nudity. I really do enjoy the small bits of time I. Get to spend naked, but overall it’s hard for me to get a chance too. Most of the time I just end up going commando because it’s the closest I can get to nudity. Oh well. I definitely plan to take each and every single opportunity to socialize in the nude as I. Can in the future. I’ve even considered being a Christian missionary to nudist resorts and nudist beaches, because that’s probably the one place most Christians never try to reach. Not only would I be helping to spread the gospel but I would have limitless opportunities to be naked in public!!! It’s a win win all around.

    • nNark

      What’s great about posts like yours and AnnabellElizabeth’s is not just your willingness, but your clear desire to spend more time the nudist way. Great because, well, you can! Since being introduced to nudism, I’ve really wished that I would’ve even heard about such a thing when I was a teen. It’s a big enough thing for who I am today that I know I would’ve turned out quite a different person. Not that I’m unhappy, but that, wow, I could’ve been exploring more open and open-minded living all this time! And, to have a few fellow nudist teen friends, as a bonus? Man… I can’t even imagine how cool that would’ve been.

      The last, most tenacious holdouts are teen boys, of course. The most body-shy of all, and understandable. But, it would be good to have more of them join the community, for the overall advancement of naturism.

  • Marcnude

    I guess in response to Felicity’s comment, I think that the only time nudity should be rated R in a movie should be if it is part of a sex scene or something. I mean, really. Otherwise I feel nudity should really be rated PG- Parental Guidance. In other words, it really should be more like they alert people it contains nudity and let kids and their parents decide whether to watch it or not.

  • AnnabellElizabeth

    I am a sophomore in high school and I have been an at home naturist for about 2 months. there are only a few people that know but I am really open about everything with others so if they ask I would tell them. one day I bought a nightgown that was flowy and had lace on the top. once I put that on for the first time, It got me thinking that we were all born naked so where’d we get the Idea to wear clothes. I ended up not wearing any clothes to bed after a while seeing as it was more comfortable and then gradually not at all at home (except for around my parents). I’ve always been an outcast and had different views than other teenagers my age. I already knew about all the misconceptions of naturism and how the body isn’t just sexual. I live in a large city and currently attend a catholic highschool where the dress code is fairly strict so Obviously I’ve never been nude in public but I hope to someday when I’m in college or so. :)

    • All-Nudist

      Oh you poor dear; Catholic high school! My wife Angie was raised in Catholic school and it took her decades to get over it! Well, mostly over it; once a Catholic, always a Catholic! ;-)
      You have a jump start on her though, she didn’t even begin to think about getting naked until she was in her 40’s and I dragged her to the beach! There, the realities of body freedom overcame her prudish upbringing and she’s been advocating for nudism ever since! Go for it!

    • PeterGeorgeMackie

       You will probably get opportunities when you are in college or when you leave home.  I would try to find out if there is a naturist beach near you.

    • ErikJakobsen

       Annabell – Your experience seems similar to many people who eventually identify themselves as a nudist. Since you are a member of the group we’re talking about – are there questions you have about nudism that you haven’t been able to find answers to? If there was some kind of guide to nudism and naturism for young people, what would you like to see in it?

  • PeterGeorgeMackie

    Contrary to what most people think, there are a couple of genuine sites that allow teenagers to communicate with each other about naturism and to learn more about it. These sites appear to be very well-monitored and I have found no evidence of any untoward activity on either of them.  The best site I know of is Cat’s chat at chatbocks [dot] com/board/viewforum.php?f=9&sid=79dc39e71b71b8282a961dd17481e37c
    The other site I know of is the Naturist-Christian website, which has a section for teenagers at naturist-christians [dot] org/forums/viewforum.php?f=56
    I would strongly recommend both these sites to teenagers of all ages who want to know more about naturism.

  • natureboy1776

    just want to say thanks for deleting my earlier comment that included a link to a great source for young people to learn about nudism. That is not a good way to spread good information.

    • FelicityJones

      It wasn’t deleted, another user marked it as spam. It has since been restored to appear.

      • natureboy1776

        Thank you for restoring it.

  • cfinnegan1976

    There’s an important point to be made which others will most definitely take issue with. A great many practicing nudists are horrible representatives for the lifestyle. They drink, smoke, are obese and as a result make us all look like lazy freaks. Not exactly appealing to anyone, most especially younger “kids”. We need to be realistic about the society we’re living in. Want kids to really get involved? Then be a good and proper representative with respect to the way the world currently is!
    Also, if you happen to be a nudist parent then please stop sending mixed messages. You say you want kids involved and then you tell your own kids to be secretive about their lifestyle. Not cool! When I have kids I’ll actually encourage them to go completely nude as often as possible, even in public. And yes, everyone will be most welcome to talk with them and photograph/video them. I’ll certainly be doing a lot of both! And guess what, all my nude photos/videos of them will be online for public viewing. Why? Because I actually care about being a good representative for the lifestyle and so will they.

    • j238

      It’s easy to say what you’ll do if you become a parent.
      I don’t know of any parents who approach naturism that way.
      If you do become a parent, and take on all the associated responsibilities, you may decide to exercise a little more discretion than what you have described.

  • All-Nudist

    Here’s a current article from Bare Platypus which has some suggestions for the young nudist wannabe:
    ‘Advice for the Young Nudist’

  • Naked_Christian

    I, for one wish that there were a way that I could have gotten information about naturism when I were a preteen. I thought I was the only young boy that wanted to take off all his clothes and enjoy nature naked.
    I would have had a much better time of it and not have been saddled with self recrimination.

    • All-Nudist

      I wonder how many kids grew up somewhat messed up in the head for thinking that same thing. My family (Steve’s) was quite casual about clothing but there was still the abysmal ignorance common to kids when it came to bodies, nudity, and sex. They were definitely intermingled even before I knew what sex was! So young and already programmed by society to be confused about that stuff!
      But yeah, I always got naked whenever possible and then felt guilty about it. Later, when ‘nudist colonies’ came up on the radar, the images and ideas were creepy and I didn’t really consider going to one until MUCH older. Such a waste of time until then!

  • natureboy1776

    A good source of information for young people interested in nudism/naturism is “International Young Naturist Organisation”;refferedby=2046
    It is a great forum that is well moderated and has good security.

  • rodgerscountry

    This is a very interesting article with some good points made. Speaking from a UK perspective it is as you say, a very difficult age group (by which I mean under 18’s generally, and particularly those of 16 years or less), to communicate with if their parents are not involved with naturism themselves. This is due to the general view held by many that nudity equals sex. Therefore given the fact that most young people can access the internet, care has to be taken about what information national Naturist organizations can put on their websites that is specifically directed at younger people. This is to avoid accusations of “grooming” youngsters.   
    I was taking to a friend a few days ago who said that when he was in his teens, some forty years ago now, he felt that he was strange because he was seemingly the only one with a desire to be naked. Obviously with no internet it was even more difficult for young people in those days to find out about naturism. Nowadays the problem with the internet is sorting out the naturism from the sex.

  • SteveYnaNY

    “Teenagers don’t show any interest in naturism .  .  . accept that.” 
    This is a relative statement and also cultural, i.e. very American.  My wife Susanne (a native German) and I lived in Germany for a number of years, and we started our family there.  I clearly recall a day at a small lake swimming and camping.  Adolescent kids were romping about naked near without a care in the world, very interested and happy to be naked and free.  They were roaming all about, even far out of sight of their parents.  No one freaked out, no one molested them, no one called the cops, and people were peaceful and happy.  Also, we routinely let our children play in the nude, even at an extended family gathering of our German family, and the only person who thought about complaining and did, was the one stodgy American present.  My observations having lived in both USA and Europe, is that this nation is for all intent and purpose, nearly insane with its compulsive fears and taboos surrounding nudity.    There is no reason that children, teenagers, and adults, should not be able to happily coexist in nude, family oriented activities of all kinds.   Like any other public activity parents should be around to supervise their children. We simply must find ways to challenge our culture and educate, and live out our lifestyle in a way that proves its benefits, dispells fear and myth, and actively polices inappropriate behavior from time to time as may be necessary. As far as letting teenagers into nude Yoga with a parental permission slip, why not?  There are many responsible adults witnessing every moment if depositions are ever needed!

  • scubyw

    @TwoMetreMan Did you report the incidents of masturbating on the beach? With a camera handy in those situations the evidence would make it easy for the police as well. These kind of things seem to happen all over the world and I think that we (naturists) are not assertive enough. As a result, it keeps happening and drags down the public perception of nudity, while it has nothing to do with it.

  • j238

    Teenagers generally don’t show any interest in naturism.  It’s not unusual for naturist-raised children to cover-up when their bodies start changing. 
    There isn’t much going on in this area.  Accept that.

    • FelicityJones

      @j238 “Teenagers generally don’t show any interest in naturism.” -> Oh? How did you come to that conclusion? And for those “few” teenagers who are interested, what about them? Regardless of how many are interested, they still need good information and guidance, and ignoring them is not going to help anything.

      • pacificinvasion

        @FelicityJones  @j238 I don’t buy that at all. Just because one or two teens dragged to a nude club by their parents show ambivalence doesn’t mean that ALL teens are disinterested.  I wanted to be a naturist since I was 13, and I’ll bet you most young adults who joined as adults felt the same way.

      • j238

        @FelicityJones Teenagers interested in naturism can go their local library, thumb through the card catalog and find books on the subject, which explain how non-sexual it all is.  They’ll understand once they finish reading those books. 
        Oops!  What I meant to say is that teenagers interested in Naturism can use Google and find sites explaining how naturism is non-sexual.  There are hundreds of them! 
        Given that every teenager knows how to use a search engine, your point seems redundant.

        • FelicityJones

          @j238 First you claim no teenagers are interested. Now you say the ones who are can just use a search engine and find everything they need? Gee, we didn’t think of that. Thanks for your input.

        • j238

          @FelicityJones I used the word “generally,” so I haven’t contradicted myself.

  • TonyYoung

    Great article. This is why I recommend that naturist books be made available to them. Teen Sci Fi fans go to the library and to conventions; teen sports fans go out for sports. Why can’t  naturists have the same outlet?

  • scubyw

    One issue that blurs the issue of nudism/naturism (I prefer the term naturism) and sex is censorship. As an example, and I’m sure you can think of many other examples yourself, we recently had a few attempts to break the skinny dipping record. It was given quite a lot of media coverage. This showed that there were families, including kids of all ages, watching the events. I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of participants would be classed as adults (18+). However, when it was screened on TV during the news, relatively close-ups were blurred to prevent viewers being offended. In New Zealand, simple nudity, as in these events, is not an offence, especially not in places where you can expect it. Media coverage should respect that legal view and not blur it. Blurring puts it in the same league as pornography and for anyone watching, especially kids, gives the impression that it is wrong and must be blocked. A simple warning that the item contains nudity at the start of the coverage should be more than sufficient. Perhaps we should stand up and protest against the censorship of simple nudity.

    • cfinnegan1976

      I agree! And we need to stop censoring ourselves so much out of fear we’ll offend the textile masses. @scubyw

  • IsisPhoenix

    Great Article.  I know this is something I have struggled with in being a naked yoga teacher.  I have had a handful of teenagers reach out to me wanting to attend class and have turned them down saying that needed to be 18 years of age or older.  It was something however that felt like an unresolve in my system.  Why did I have to wait until my early 20s to find/explore naturism?  I feel like I would have been a healthier and happier child if  body-positive and nudity-positive examples were set for me, but I also didn’t necessarily want my parents setting them for me.  A nude positive community would have been lovely to experience especially among my own peers.  I also felt protective of myself, I didn’t want to cross any legal lines and thought it best to wait until someone was considered an adult and the idea of a teenager being accompanied by an adult parent also rested uncomfortably in my system.  I’m glad Erik is bringing this up to discuss and share about.
    I also recall teaching yoga at Rock Lodge a family friendly naturist retreat and having an incredible healing experience when I witnessed a mother and her teenage daughter practice yoga side by side next to each other.  Something I previously viewed as taboo was disarmed as having the potential to be incredibly healing and dare I say holy.  
    Would love to hear your thoughts.
    Always Learning,

    • @IsisPhoenix 
      Holy, indeed.
      Perhaps therein lies the real power that those who currently wield it “on our behalf” do not want us to regain…

      • IsisPhoenix

        @TwoMetreMan Mmmm.  Indeed.

    • FelicityJones

      @IsisPhoenix Ya know, nudity is so often labeled as “adult” in mainstream society that it makes sense that with social nudity one would automatically think “18+.” I think in movies all it takes is a glimpse of breasts or genitals to give it an R rating, thus unfit for kids under age 17. And everybody is so paranoid these days about sexual harassment and pedophiles and getting sued because their actions or language towards a child / teen were taken the wrong way. But nudity doesn’t have to dictate an adults-only situation, as you’ve obviously seen at RL. So why not let in teenagers to nude yoga? Because they could go home and tell their parents who could freak out and sue you (for what, I don’t know, exposing a kid to something they could easily see in the mirror or locker room)? Because the class might start attracting pedophiles? I think people in general need to stop being paranoid and stop hiding the human form from teenagers who could really benefit from social nudity and seeing others’ bodies, rather than being told their breasts / genitals are dirty and shameful.
      Anyway that is just my rant! I think if you want to invite those teenagers, then the best thing to do is ask them to get a written permission note from their parents, the same way private resorts do. And I think teenagers could really benefit from nude yoga :)

      • j238

        @FelicityJones  @IsisPhoenix  In some perfect world teenagers will take an interest in naturism for all the right reasons.  
        Realistically, since there are plenty of full-grown adults in naturism for the wrong reasons, you can’t expect hormonally-charged teenagers to come to naturism with the right attitudes.  
        It’s great to introduce children to naturism so they might get past all the hang-ups and obsessions.  Miss that opportunity, wait for adulthood, not adolescence.

        • FelicityJones

          @j238  @IsisPhoenix No, you’re making incorrect generalizations. Erik is an example just above, and I know others with similar stories. They take an interest in naturism as young teenagers and not for sexual reasons, but because it feels more comfortable to be nude.
          Just because some teenagers reject naturism in their teen years, doesn’t mean everyone is like that. Believe it or not, there are teenagers who go to and enjoy being nude at their home nudist club. If there are teenagers who do think naturism is about sex, don’t you think it would help to have resources out there for them when they look it up?
          There’s no good reason to deny them information or deny them access to family naturist events or activities.
          Even if they decide to participate for sexual reasons, they’re quickly going to realize that your typical nudist club is far from being a sexual place, and disappointment will ensue. Maybe they’ll leave and go back to it as an adult, maybe not. The point is, you can’t rule out this entire age group.

        • @j238  “…Realistically, since there are plenty of full-grown adults in naturism for the wrong reasons…”?????  Based upon what information? – and what are the “wrong” reasons anyway?
          “We see things not as they are, but as we are”  –  Anais Nin

        • j238

          @TwoMetreMan Based on the fact that at *every* visit I made to Lighthouse Beach since mid-summer 2011, I’ve seen guys masturbating on the beach.  
          If my lady wasn’t such an enthusiastic nudist, I’m sure she would have quit after the second incident.

        • @j238 Did you approach these guys and explain to them that their actions were inappropriate in a public/naturist setting, or contact the local NPS rangers or the local naturist user groups about them?  It’s only via education that such behaviour will be altered – yes?  If we’re not happy about a situation, then surely the responsibility lies with us to do something about it at the time, rather than complain about it afterwards?
          My view is that clothing-optional beaches such as Lighthouse represent an interface between naturists and the rest of society and, as such, provide an opportunity for we naturists to show what standards we espouse and live by.  If we fail to address such chances at education about appropriate, socially nude behaviour, then we are the ones who lose ground by not visibly standing up for what we believe in.  It’s a choice, and may not always appear to be a pleasant one if we consider doing it personally, but that’s why the local beach users or the local Rangers are a fall-back option.  If society was better-structured around sex and its valid and joyful place in our lives, then these “guys in the grass” wouldn’t need to find their release in such sorry circumstances.

      • PeterGeorgeMackie

        @FelicityJones  @IsisPhoenix
         I would have to agree.  It would make good sense first to find out exactly what the law stands on this matter and, if you really believe is something strongly enough, even to risk being taken to court and prosecuted and then defend your position in court if you have to.  If you are articulate enough and can explain yourself properly, it could bring about a change in attitudes,or in interpretation of the law, if any such law actually exists.
        The Naturist-Christian organisation did this, regarding photographs of minors, and won the case.  Others should follow suit.  Just as women only got the vote in Britain by breaking the law, no-one ever got anywhere by kow-towing to bad laws or to mistaken social attitudes.

    • ErikJakobsen

       This is one of many questions I think we should be interested in finding the answers to. I did a random sample of the web sites of clubs/resorts in the northeast, and many mentioned in their policies that “unaccompanied minors” we not allowed. Others didn’t mention age at all. Is 18 a bright line in the sand when comes to people attending a nudist gathering – whether it’s a resort or a nude yoga class? Maybe it is.
      And then there are nude beaches, which don’t require anyone to show ID as far as I know.
      If we don’t know the answers to these questions, I think it’s safe to assume teens aren’t going to know either.

      • IsisPhoenix

        @ErikJakobsen Great research.  Shows our learning curve in this.  I wonder if there are any state laws about this?

  • SteveYnaNY

    I think this is a very good article which adresses a very important issue; one which needs far more discussion. I would like to suggest that the key to discussing naturism with teenagers is their parents. When parents understand the benefits of naturism first for themselves, they can begin to understand its benefits for their children.  We should encourage new parents among us to involve their children early on, before they are teenagers.  We should provide meaningful and helpful dialog and experiences to assist them in this process.   
    In regard to teenagers and naturism, one of the most exciting things about YNA is that it is reaching out to main stream America and bringing new people in.  This is a great opportunity with respect to children and teenagers. If new naturists encounter good dialog, wholesome education, and experiences related to introducing their future children into naturism, then when the time comes and they start families and have children of their own, they will be more likely to involve them in naturism.  Without parental and family support the picture is bleak – with it, everything changes.
    Key benefits of naturism, such as body acceptance, understanding sexuality etc. are topics that should be addressed within the naturist community in detailed ways helpful to aspiring naturist parents.  The discussion raised by YNA, and seminars at events such as the Northeast Naturist Festival are making strides in this direction, and we need to support them and keep up the good work.
    All of this requires  long term vision, and focus on family and parenting as a part of naturism. I realize this approach does not directly answer the needs of the teenager today whose parents aren’t involved in naturism.  But we can begin to consider the solution to this immediate problem in a much broader and long term way. Even though success will not happen overnight, it is possible.  Second generation naturists among us already, now leaders of our movement, like Felicity and others, are a testimony to this fact.  Thanks to them and their families for leading the way.

  • ChristopherJudson

    First off this is a good article. Secondly I think the above mentioned documentary is a good place to start, considering that anyone can watch it online for free. When in comes to starting the conversation, I’m not sure. I think most of us either grew up nude or discovered nudism on their own (like myself).

  • lovinglife40

    I grow up as a nudist. I went to my first resort around 6 we moved to one when I was around 12. We never really talked about it and had to hide it from other family members for awhile. It was a neg. experince for me living there and dealing with school, friend not being able to come over with out a note from a parent and boys ect. I didn’t learn bonderys till very late in life. That being said I still go to nudtist resorts as an adult but my children didn’t till they were old enough and were comfortable. My father still lives there two of them are not and my middle son is and goes nude when he visits which isn’t often. I think with teens hormones and the confusion of been a teen that being nude is sexual and there are perves out there even in the naturist community.  I have very personal and mixed feelings about it but glad to see people talking about it !!

    • PeterGeorgeMackie

       Of course, not all teenagers will react in the same way to changes in their bodies.  When I went through puberty (in the late 60s), the changes in my body and awareness of my good looks made me want people to see me naked.  I know from looking on other websites that there are still teenagers who feel the same way and would wish to give them every encouragement possible.  I, personally, believe that it is only the attitudes of the media that are making problems here.

      • Y’know, that’s an interesting point that isn’t discussed too often (?) – that young energy knows its own physical beauty and (innately?) loves to share it and enjoy it openly, honestly, beautifully. To simply revel in the delight and joy of being alive and physical and human. And it’s so damned natural – and we, as a society, have buried it under “sin” and “guilt” and all those other negative, punitive labels we attach with such flowing, conditioned, knee-jerk reaction.
        Big Pharma needs to create a huge dose of Social Enema so that we can get over ourselves!!! :)

  • All-Nudist

    One step in the right direction might be to contact AGNF (, the association of young French naturists ages 14 to 27, and find out what they’re doing for outreach to younger folks.  This INF organization reaches worldwide among different cultures and could have a lot of information to offer!

  • Eddie Gamble

    I think that for teenagers, whose hormones are running wild as their bodies are just starting to mature, nudity invariably has a strong sexual component. These girls who send nude pictures on their phones to boys are not doing it for the love of naturism, but to tease and turn on young guys who are thrilled to see one of their female friends naked, and then use that picture for personal sexual purposes.
    I know when I was a teen, many years ago, nudity was limited to skinny dipping,,,,if you had a private spot and a group of willing people,,,,and it was usually mostly guys. If there were girls in attendence, many times they’d be dressed. On the rare occasion that they might be nude too, the horny boys would be like vultures, vying for their attention, trying to hook up with them for a sexual encounter.
    The only other nudity I experienced as a teen was in private with my girlfriend during sex, and if I was lucky, a sexual foursome with another willingly horny couple. I think that nudity without sex comes with maturity, and not before.

    • PeterGeorgeMackie

      @Eddie Gamble
       As sonmeone else mentioned previously, if you went to certain countries in Europe, you would find attitudes to be very different.  Just last year, I volunteered amongst disadvantaged teenagers – joined later also by some younger kids - in Slovenia.  We were camped at a very out-of-the-way place where there was no running water or electricity for about ten days.  It was roasting hot weather and there was nowhere else to wash so we would all go swimming in the nearby river several times each day.  From time to time, there were some young women swimming naked in the water and no-one batted an eyelid.

  • melissastarr

    I love this post!  One thing that I thought of right away as I read this is that there are, to my knowledge, only two youth summer camps for nudist kids in the USA- one in Florida and one that seems to go back and forth between NY and SC.  Kids love summer camps and I’ve personally attended the one that’s not in Florida.  This camp is soooo amazing- the kids have a lot of fun but also get to debate hot topics just like this one and come to their own conclusions about things.  The kids who go to these camps come from nudist families and most (though not all) have participated in nudist activities before.  But, as you said, what about the kids who aren’t growing up in nudist homes?  What about those kids who just enjoy being nude and don’t know how many possibilities there are with being nude, what with beaches and resorts and such?  What about the kids who feel most comfortable being naked but their parents freak out about it… where can the kid go to talk about what to do in this instance and for reassurance that being nude is fine?  I think one of the reasons that there are no resources out there for nudist  (or nudist wannabe) kids/ teens who aren’t from nudist families is the big liability issue… we’re so concerned that a kid will “tell” and we’ll be sued that we are scared to talk, though, as we see in the Amanda Todd situation, we, as nudists, can see how understanding that our bodies are beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of could very well save a life.

    • @melissastarr I wonder what that “suing” for simply providing naturist information to a teenager would be based around?  Telling some facts?  What “liability issue” is involved??…
      Having seen a French film clip last night that involved two teenage naturist kids, I am reminded again that this scenario is primarily an American one.  Not exclusively, granted, but ‘AllNudist’ referred to a French teenage naturist organisation above (AGNF), so patently, in that country, there exists a far more sensible and less hysterical approach to the whole issue of nudity and young people.
      Mind you, the French also have a healthy, laissez-faire way of holding the whole topic of sex, and maybe therein lies another of the underlying issues here in the USA – ??  There seems to be a national paranoia about anything to do with sex, as though it is always the ultimate sin and something that is assumed (sic) to be “bad” in all cases, rather than simply a fact of life and a beautiful one at that.  I don’t see much honest, joyful celebration of sex in everyday USA society, unless it’s hooked to a dollar bill in some way…….

      • ErikJakobsen

        @TwoMetreMan  @melissastarr

      • ErikJakobsen

        @TwoMetreMan  @melissastarr
         I think what Melissa means is that we would have to be careful about what we say. For example, we don’t want to say something is OK to do when it’s actually illegal. We also wouldn’t want to recommend anything that’s potentially dangerous even if it’s legal.

        • @ErikJakobsen    Wouldn’t that be simple common-sense about anything one ever supplied to another, whether naturist-related or not, Erik?
          I’m trying to figure out what “liability” could be involved.  The litigiousness of current USA society means that anyone can sue you for anything they deem (sic) “inappropriate,” so I guess that adequate insurance against such ridiculousness would be needed, regardless.
          I’m not being negative or aggressive here – just trying to be clear about concerns that may not actually have any real basis or worth for consideration…
          “Some of your griefs you have cured
          And the sharpest you have survived,
          But what torments of pain you endured
          From evils that never arrived.”
          ~~ Ralph Waldo Trine ~~