Why do so many people new to naturism discover things we have been saying for decades? Weren’t they listening?
For me, at least, half the Cosmo article was paywalled. That alone could explain some of the reason that most people don't know what naturist have been saying for well over 120 years (only about 100 years for things in English).
But there's a much more serious problem. How many people, really, ever read naturist blogs or naturist newsletters? Almost NOBODY. We almost entirely are preaching to the choir about how wonderful naturism is. Mainstream media like Cosmo, The Atlantic, NY Times, etc. hardly ever write serious articles about naturism - even fewer without paywalls.
What about online social media? Twitter, even in its crippled condition still reaches many naturists - but certainly not the general public as far as naturism is concerned. Facebook and Instagram are pathetic. Reddit may be more sympathetic to naturism - but still, only naturists notice that.
British Naturism has been far better at reaching the general public in mainstream media (in England). AANR and TNS do much less well. There are a very small number of smaller organizations that have done better, such as Shirley and Richard Mason's B.E.A.C.H.E.S. FOUNDATION. (Shirley reached out to me this past week. We talked for about 1 1/2 hours and I promised to help publicize their latest project. How many actual naturists - outside Florida - let alone the general public - know much of anything about that organization? See here https://www.beachesfoundation.org/fundraiser for the project in question.
We naturists are nearly invisible to the general public. How can it be a mystery that the public doesn't know what we've been saying?
End of rant.
They "discover" it because they didn't believe it. The assumption is that it is propaganda, not information. It disagrees with everything else they've been told and what they imagine it would be like.
"There might be nudity in my sexual activity but there is never sexual activity in my nudism.
-Marie Willa.", the quote itself is the crux to have better understanding of naturism. Very well written article..
The entirety of the article is behind a paywall, unfortunately, so I can't see context but given that this is Cosmo mag, I would be surprised that there isn't something sexual mentioned -- it goes with the readership. Labels do suck, though.
I think this view of a new person's experience is critical to always bear in mind... and to celebrate. Maybe more stories about that liminal period before/after first time experiences would be helpful for bridging understanding. There's a lot of entrenchment on views of nudity and shouting over the chasm can definitely feel futile.
This typifies why I dislike labels, such as nudist or naturist. People have their own definitions of the label, which can vary widely. If I say I’m a naturist I know what I mean - but you might have a very different concept, and that way much confusion lies!
I prefer to describe myself as someone who prefers to be naked over wearing clothes, losing the label and - I hope - any confusion over “what” I am.
Labels undoubtedly help to short-circuit many conversations, and I will accept “naturist” if I have to, but they also have their downside.
my experience(opinion of course) as a naturist for decades and a member of British Naturists, AANR, and TNS is that there is a philosophical difference between Family Naturists and Nudists. Most of the time, 90% those differences are of no concern. That 10% though can impact the vulnerability of the shared nakedness.
To Simplify what I've experienced many not all, but many Nudists just want to be nude. The philosophy reflects the tone, "you leave me alone and I'll leave you alone". Their nakedness is associated with personal freedom and independent mindedness.
What I've experienced by many Family Naturists is a philosophy of connection to the Earth, Health and wellbeing of our physical form. They tend to eat healthy, don't smoke/drink much, and exercise. Their nakedness is associated with connection to others and reflects an interdependent mindedness.
interesting to note and this is only from my personal experience and it would be interesting to read research on the matter. I believe(opinion) there is a higher probability of swinging or open sexual behavior with people who identify as Nudists. Family Naturists have a higher probability of polyamerist community though the still less of a chance for open sexual behavior.
why is it important that Swingers may identify more with Nudists than Family Naturists? Money and the cost of resorts enter into the picture. Here in the states we have had problems with naked friendly clubs allowing swinger activity on the property as it helps pay the bills. Maybe this happens also with naturist resorts though I have not personally experienced that happening.
thank you for the article and the platform for me to share my thoughts and observations. It is of course demanding of a much more complex conversation; emotionally, psychologically, culturally and economically.
It comes as no surprise that if there is largely only one narrative, people will be surprised when what they previously viewed as fact, is discovered to be opinion and only part of the story. Naturism fits that bill. The astonishment that no one stared, they didn’t feel fear, they felt acceptance and understanding, and that it wasn’t a solely sexual experience... Shocker!