I read some comments online recently regarding the propensity of so-called “Genuine Naturists” to criticise or look down upon those nudists and naturists that support a sex-positive outlook and their criticism of anything sexual in the naturist scene.
It seems that there is a divide between those naturists who advocate non-sexual, family-friendly nude social activities, and those who prefer a more “anything goes” hedonistic approach to their clothing-optional behaviour.
I can only talk for myself, and from my own experience, but to me there is a vast difference between being sex-positive and being sexually confronting or even exhibitionist.
I like to think of myself as sex-positive. I believe that everyone has the right to be sexually active in whatever way is important to them. Having said that, I feel that sex is a deeply personal matter between consenting adults. I also feel that sexual connections are best left to the privacy or intimacy of the couple (or group) involved. Behaving in a sexual way in public or in view of people going about their normal business is, in my opinion, inappropriate and lacks common courtesy.
A couple of my readers have commented that they feel that there is no such thing as non-sexual nudity, just the same as there are no non-sexual people. We are all sexual beings, and labelling ourselves non-sexual naturists is disingenuous.
Just because we are all sexual beings, does not mean that we have to display that sexuality to all and sundry. We are all biological beings required to evacuate our digestive systems regularly, but we don’t share this behaviour in public.
I guess if the world was an ideal place, and everyone behaved within the bell curve of social acceptability, then there would be no need to use the non-sexual descriptor. Naturism itself, is for many, outside the boundaries of social norms. Bearing in mind that those boundaries change influenced by time, attitudes and even geographical location.
From my point of view, adding non-sexual to the naturist activities helps define the behaviour and manage expectations, of both participants in the lifestyle and the general public. The fact that there are repeated examples of people willing to push the boundaries and engage in voyeuristic or exhibitionist behaviour, necessitates the use of the term non-sexual for clarification.
To the average member of the public, many of whom have been conditioned to equate nudity with sex, seeing that I am involved in non-sexual nudity puts me in an odd but harmless category of eccentrics, and affords me a level of tolerance. Without specifically excluding sexual behaviour, there is greater scope for misunderstanding and public opposition to my spending time naked.
By labelling myself as a non-sexual naturist, I am telling others unfamiliar with the naturist philosophy that while my behaviour might not be their normal, I am not going to behave in a sexual manner, which is a significant concern for many non-naturists. Basically, I am dealing with a major social misunderstanding before it has the opportunity to gain any traction.
The non-sexual part of the label only applies to my naturism, not to my humanity, and I am not renouncing my human sexuality by using the term. I am setting the expectations for my behaviour and trying to lessen the discomfort for those who might feel threatened by nudity.
My main concern is that as the naturist community fight for acceptance with the general public, any hint of overt sexuality as part of the philosophy damages the message and gives credibility to the arguments of the puritanical critics who consider simple nudity as a gateway to debauchery and deviance.
I fear that just as some people claim to be nudists in a misguided attempt for sexual stimulation, some are claiming to be sex-positive to try and justify their sexualised behaviour.
I dispute the assertion that “Genuine Naturists” or “Non-Sexual” naturists are not sex-positive. It is possible to be sex-positive without displaying sexual behaviour. Furthermore, it is possible to be sex-positive and naked, without displaying sexual behaviour.
Rather than the need for naturists to have to use the “non-sexual” descriptor, perhaps those wishing to include sexual material in the naturist world should label themselves sexual naturists. While none of us particularly like using labels, sometimes it helps to clarify things a little.
Sex-positivity regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally positive. The key word there is consensual. Engaging in sexual activity in a naturist (or any) setting where others have not consented to view is not being sex-positive. It is exhibitionist. If exhibitionism is your thing, then own it and call it what it is. Don’t hide exhibitionist behaviour behind the mask of sex positivity, it weakens the label for everyone.
Being sex-positive does not mean that I want to have sex, with you, with anyone, with everyone, or at all.
Thank you for reading, have a comfortable day.
I agree with you. Humans are a VERY SEXUAL species, and we don't become asexual by taking off our clothes or becoming nudists. The Nudist Association's mantra "nudity is non-sexual" has hurt organized nudism for decades. Of course nudists are sexual beings. Our species didn't multiply to almost 10 billion by being anything less than very sexual. Organized nudism needs to come to terms with the fundamental sexuality of our species. That doesn't mean fucking in public on beaches, but neither does it mean attacking anyone who flirts or invites a suitable partner. We all need to accept our humanity, and stop driving away normal humans.
As ever the discussions that cover social nudity and sexual behaviour reveal how different individuals' takes on this can be.
Regarding the idea that there is 'no such thing as non-sexual nudity; if nudists/naturists are merely doing as textiles do, but without clothing, how much overt sexual behaviour in everyday textile social situations is the norm in people's eyes? If I see textiles hiking, at the beach, relaxing in their gardens, playing sports, dining in restaurants etc etc in social situations, I don't see much that could be interpreted as overtly sexual, other than maybe things like teens flirting. I do know nudists who have met in social circles that I am involved with and then started relationships, so I guess there was a spark between them during their initial encounters, but I've seen no behaviour in public between them, other than how I might see established nudist couples behave socially, holding hands, a quick kiss, an arm around each other. All of which is no different to what I see in everyday textile situations. In my opinion claims that there is no such thing as non-sexual social nudity is an attempt to blur the lines at the least. I've socialised regularly in nude environments since my teens, many, many years later and after numerous social nudism experiences, I stick by what I've stated above. Yes, there are environments and clubs which aim to attract both nudity and sexual behaviour, many misuse the naturist/nudist terms in seeking participants/members, as the porn industry has done.
As far as I am aware nudist/naturist clubs and societies have membership clauses which state that sexual behaviour will not be tolerated. Beyond 'organised' social nudity there can be confusion/blurring of lines. Many people will have seen 'meerkats' near public nude beaches, lurking in dunes and bushes spying on nudists as voyeurs. Others will see people 'cruising' in those same areas, their sexuality varying. This is much like you could see in locations where 'casual swinging or dogging occurs, its not nudism as I understand it or experience generally. Where public social nudity occurs this can be used as a screen for other activities, claiming that there is no non-sexual social nudity fits alongside this in my view. Nudists are not angels and also have sexual desires, people do see others that they find attractive, much like they might across a room or similar while dressed. But I don't see them immediately behaving in a sexual manner once this has happened.