Social Nudity And Nudity Laws
Social Nudity is widely misunderstood by those who are on the outside looking in. Those who believe in living life in a nude setting will refer to the lifestyle as Naturism or Nudism. It refers to the practice of going nude any place, any time. It is considered to be social because those who participate take part in social activities that are generally attended while in clothing. Nudists (those who practice social nudism) have a complete acceptance of their bodies and do not feel the need to hide behind clothing. Whether in private or public, they are so comfortable in their own skin that no adornment is necessary. It is the general population that has a problem with acceptance, not Nudists. Clothes are not considered necessary unless weather or other natural conditions require added protection. Regardless of the time or place, the members of a Social Nudist community are free with themselves. It is not a matter of flaunting their bodies or trying to be scandalous. Social nudists believe the human body is a thing of beauty and there is no reason to be embarrassed by it.
Social Nudity takes place in many places around the world, at all ages and with both genders. Throughout North America, there are many popular nudist
locations with nude beaches
in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. While public nudity
is illegal in many states, most states do have nudist resorts
that are designed specifically for Naturists
. California and Colorado are two of the most inviting states for those who wish to participate in the naturist lifestyle
. Traveling across the globe, France is widely recognized as a country that accepts the human body and freedom of expression. Vacation packages for social nudists are now being promoted in many other parts of the world, such as Croatia, New Zealand, Corsica and South Africa. This way of life is becoming more accepted by others. People who do not participate may not understand, but live and let live is becoming a popular philosophy.
Social nudists are not self-conscious about their bodies. Living life without clothing, they accept themselves in the same way that most people accept the appearance of their face or hair. There is debate among Naturists about added adornment to the body, such as anything added to the genital area. Some would claim that this is inappropriate, drawing attention to a particular area of the body with sexual connotations. However, the pure nudist would argue that every part of the body is innocent and complete acceptance should allow a decorative flair on any area of the anatomy.
There are different rules of etiquette followed by Social Nudists depending on the group and location. Some prefer bringing a towel with them to use when sitting in order to maintain good hygiene. Men, in particular, may have a towel on hand to deal with the potential for erections. However, this is another topic that is up for debate. Complete acceptance should mean not having a problem with the natural reactions of the human body. If women are not required to cover up, why should men be forced to do so? The whole point of being a Social Nudist is to achieve freedom from the restriction of clothing and social expectations, to experience all of the sensations in nature in the way human beings were born.
Social Nudity Laws - Social nudity or naturism / nudism while widely accepted and even endorsed in many European countries, is still fighting an uphill battle in the USA. Naturists have been accused of endorsing pornography, child sexual abuse, and many other offenses as a result of their chosen lifestyle. Naturists have been forced for decades to hide their lifestyle from the people around them, which in itself makes people think they are ashamed, or have something to be ashamed of. Naturists do not go about without clothing for kicks, it is part and parcel of their system of beliefs.
Many states have laws prohibiting naturists, or nudists from using public beaches, national parks, or other recreational facilities. Most lawmakers recognize that this is unfair, but as naturists make up the minority of their vote, they would effectively be courting political suicide to fight for their rights.
There are places all over the US that have areas set aside for 'clothing optiona
l' use, although there has been a constant struggle between the textilist community and the visiting naturists. To many non-naturists, or textilists, public nudity
is wrong and immoral. Textilists tend to think that naturism is little more than legally recognized pornography, exploiting children as well as adults, and that it leads to ever increasing episodes of rape and child
sexual abuse. In truth, naturists do not go about without clothing for erotic purposes, and in fact view that as antithetical to their values.
In Brevard County, Florida's Canaveral National Seashore, certain areas have long been recognized as 'clothing optional', although as recently as 1995 naturists who go there have been threatened with receiving citations or being placed under arrest, due to the county anti-nudity ordinance. However, the northern section of this recreational area, Apollo Beach, which is in Volusia County, is still recognized as being clothing optional in some areas. In 200, an agreement was reached between the Naturist Action Committee and the National Parks Service in Volusia County to set aside a portion of Apollo Beach for use by naturists without fear of harrassment.
In California in 1972, a court case was decided in favor of simple beach nudity, stating that it did not constitute indecent exposure. Naturists should be aware, however, that all counties have their own ordinances, and in some, like Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, 'simple beach nudity' will get you a fine and a citation with no preamble. In most California state parks, naturists are tolerated until or unless a private citizen lodges a complaint. However, in the more remote sections of certain parks, it is unlikely that there will be many people who would go that far, so naturists should feel safe enough in visiting them. If, by chance, a park ranger should appear and request that you put your clothes on, you should do so, and remain clothed for the remainder of the day. If you carry your activities to other than nude sunbathing, you can expect to be prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 314, and should expect to be required to register as a sex offender for life if convicted.
At the federal level, there currently is no law that either allows or prohibits public nudity. As it has not yet been decided whether naturism should be allowed under the constitutional right of freedom of expression, laws allowing or prohibiting nudity are written on a state by state basis, and can be over-ridden by local jurisdictions. Some legislation at the municipal, county, and state levels seeking to limit public nudity is actually an attempt to control the behavior of patrons of topless bars, XXX pornography and similar venues. The particular wording of such legislation can, however, limit the freedom of bona fide naturists, even in their own homes. In some cases, even thong bathing suits are prohibited on public beaches.
Many states in the US have laws concerning indecent exposure and or public lewdness, although they tend to have different ideas of what actually constitutes 'indecent' and 'lewdness'. What it truly boils down to is that if appearing somewhere in the nude will offend, alarm, or cause affront to any other person, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, or worse depending on what exactly you do while nude, who you do it in front of, and the age of the offended party. There are many local laws that more closely cover naturism or public nudity, and those are the ones that naturists should make themselves aware of. Naturism on a public beach that is clearly noted as being clothing optional is fine in some counties, but may be illegal in others, and on a beach that extends through two or even three counties you are not likely to know when you have crossed the line.
In the US, there are many states a naturist can go to where they will not be harassed, but again, that is also dependent on local area laws and statutes. In Alaska, for example, naturism is illegal. There are no laws protecting a naturist lifestyle. In Arizona, there are two notable resorts that cater to naturists, but state law prohibits public nudity. In Arkansas, only same sex public nudity is legal. Not only is public nudity allowed in Colorado, you will find many resorts that are either clothing optional, or expressly for naturists. In fact, while in those first three naturism is illegal, in many of the others you will find only some local laws prohibiting it.
The American Association for Nude Recreation
(AANR) and The Naturist
Society(TNS) have guidelines for promoting a family orientated atmosphere at both recreational areas and in clubs, and they strive to strictly enforce those guidelines. As such, they do not advocate pornography of any kind, and as stated previously, frown on using naturism as an excuse for immoral behavior, eroticism, or deviant sexual tendencies. Non-naturists, or textilists, cling to the belief that naturism is just a means to publicly expose themselves for their own, or others', personal, sexual gratification. Being a naturists is not solely defined by going about their daily lives sans apparel, however. Theirs is a whole system of values and beliefs that encompass such things as ecological awareness, vegetarianism, sometimes even teetotalism, to name a few. Admittedly, there may be some people who try to become members for that purpose, there may even be some clubs that operate outside the bounds of the AANR and TNS. Those clubs might even allow or encourage deviant behavior, but they should not be confused with naturists.
Nakedness has long been a touchy subject in contemporary culture, but history tells a different story. Anthropologists don't know when humans began wearing clothes, but it's doubtful it pertained to modesty - their best guess is that clothing protected our ancestors from the elements (wind, rain, and so on) or were used as religious or cultural decorations. In ancient Greece, nudity was admired and celebrated, especially in strong athletes. The original Olympics took place entirely naked, and the word "gymnasium" actually means "a place to train naked"!