Sharing Your Naturism

Recognizing the difficulty in sharing the nudist experience with non-nudists, AANR and TNS (The Naturist Society) have assembled a team of human behavior experts who pooled their knowledge into a comprehensive reference on how to successfully share nudist experiences with others entitled "Sharing Your Naturism."

The resulting articles appear in the print versions of AANR's The Bulletin and TNS' N Magazine and will be published below each month.

Do you have a comment or question about Sharing Your Naturism? Share your comments here

How Long Should You Wait To Tell The World You're A Nudist? (Part 2)

Second in a series

Negative Comments Positive/Assertive Responses
There’s nothing you can do nude that you couldn’t do with your clothes on. We find it more relaxing to be able to conduct normal activities like swimming or gardening without the need for clothing. And there is something almost therapeutic to being comfortable in one’s own skin.
I just don’t get it . . . it’s certainly nothing I would ever do. Sometimes trying to explain nudism is like trying to describe a flavor . . . it can be difficult if one hasn’t experienced it. Yet, thousands of families have discovered the positive and healthy benefits derived from nude recreation.
The thought of looking at old naked bodies seems kind of disgusting. OR I am not in such great shape to want to show it off to other people. Our philosophy is one of acceptance: that the natural body is beautiful despite size, shape, or condition. And it is about who you are as a person, not what you look like.
I have heard that these nudist colonies are filled with swingers. The family nudist resort that I am affiliated with is a member of AANR and TNS; this means we guarantee to uphold a stringent standard of behavior and family values. By the way, we refer to our clubs as nudist campgrounds, parks, clubs, or resorts.
I can’t believe that you would do that! Thousands of people have discovered the many positive, wholesome benefits of nude recreation. In fact, it is one of the fastest growing demographics in the travel industry.
I’d probably get sexually excited looking at some of those women. In my many years of experience, this rarely ever occurs because social nudity is not sexually stimulating. For example, there is nothing provocative about conducting normal activities such as sitting around talking, playing volleyball, or cleaning up the campground without clothing.
I was brought up to be modest. As I was. Modesty can be defined as appropriateness, and those of us who are nudists are only clothing-free where it is deemed acceptable and appropriate.
My religion doesn’t permit this. I accept that there are religions that forbid nudity. However, some folks believe this to be the case but discover that there actually are no sanctions against nude recreation.
Allowing kids to be nude around adults is pretty dangerous. We believe that removing body shame and allowing kids to be the natural nudists that they are is wholesome and healthy. Family nudist clubs typically protect our children with security plans that include things like photo ID’s, background checks, and close behavioral observations by staff and members.
Aren’t you afraid that your kids are going to tell their friends and then their parents won’t let them continue their friendship? We have thought about that. We have also taught our children that we have “inside” information and “outside” information and that our way of life is part of our inside information because some people don’t understand it. Frankly, our children don’t understand why!
You raised us kids to believe we should cover up and now you are telling us you are nudists? We were also raised that way and we followed that until we had the chance to experience naturism. It is really a healthy and wholesome way of life and we wish we had learned about it a lot sooner.

Part I of this series addressed the benefits of sharing with friends, family, and colleagues that you are a nudist or naturist, while recognizing situations where this information might cause repercussions. However, most people tend to accept the enjoyment of nude recreation with little difficulty when presented thoughtfully. Part II offers some scientific principles used in marketing, public relations, and health education that will help you prepare to tell the world you are a nudist or naturist.

Scientifically Based Approaches To Acknowledging You Are A Naturist Or Nudist

Assertiveness Training

Assertiveness training teaches people to express themselves effectively in a way that protects their personal rights and integrity while recognizing the rights and integrity of the other person. Assertive people communicate clearly, respectfully, and with confidence, or, in other words, they express their needs, beliefs, or concerns in a calm and controlled way. Assertiveness training also teaches people the difference between passive and aggressive communication. In the role play exercise that follows, assertive responses are paired with negative comments to demonstrate how to defend nudism without becoming defensive.

Inoculation Theory

Inoculation is the process of preparing in advance an appropriate counterargument to protect you from a future verbal attack. This is often taught using role play, a form of simulation where individuals act and speak as if they are portraying a character. An essential component of role play is practicing within a secure environment not only how to respond appropriately to challenging questions and comments but learning what not to say.

Inoculation helps you to rehearse and be prepared with a spontaneous response to challenging statements or questions rather than being caught off-guard. Since some people may assume nudists’ lives are somehow inferior to their own, all nudists should have their own “elevator speeches” prepared in advance about how nude recreation has improved their lives or the life of someone they know. TNS and AANR pamphlets and magazines such as “N,” “Naturally,” and “Going Naturally” demonstrate positive life experiences and are great resources to hand out. (Note: the AANR Bulletin may be less useful for this purpose as it tends to focus on news of interest to nudists rather than on nudist experiences).

Unfortunately, most nudists have encountered ill-informed and prejudiced people who are critical when learning about the individual’s enjoyment of naturism. The following role play exercise will prepare you in advance with a variety of assertive, non-defensive, factual, and calm responses when confronted with challenging comments. Readers should role play these situations with a small group of friends until everyone is comfortable and confident. You may also want to create and role play your own scenarios, and practice being relaxed, articulate, and spontaneous.

While these approaches are helpful in sharing your nudism, people may continue to have doubts about how acceptable your activities really are. Part III will address why people hesitate to reveal they are nudists and some strategies for telling this important information.

Editor’s Note: This article and the articles that follow in the series are based on the work of the Joint AANR/TNS Ad Hoc Committee on Sharing Your Naturism.