"Extra-legal" Nudity?

Not so much of a "blog" entry as a somewhat longer passing thought which I wanted to toss out as another discussion point.

I notice that a lot of you (most?) are from Europe. I'm in the States. America, as you probably know, doesn't have the most progressive legal attitude towards options for being nude in public places. I am lucky enough to live in Northern California, which does have a wide variety of very good options. My primary outlet is the ocean and river beaches around the area I live, and also a few inland swimming holes.

Perhaps interestingly, while there are many areas of coastline that are generally considered to be "nude beaches," they are recognized as such only by tradition and the prevailing norm, not by legal status. There are only a couple beaches in the entire state that are defined as legally clothing-optional, actually.

Around the area I live, there are perhaps a dozen or so small beaches that are most definitely what I would call true "nude beaches," in that they are well known and long-established as such–at least by locals, semi-secluded, and nearly all visitors choose to be totally naked. But there are other areas where the status or protocol can sometimes be up in the air, or in question, or use by nudists is more sporadic. These I tend to call "clothing optional" beaches because typically no more than half the crowd is naked, and nudity may also be confined to specific, more discrete areas, or perhaps a few people remove their swimsuits to sunbathe nude, only, and cover-up to walk around or engage in other activities. Nudists and clothed users tend to get along just fine, and there seems to be no surprise or conflict.

There are still other locations, however, where the overwhelming major of visitors do tend to keep their clothing on, but by persistence of tradition or the way the beach itself is geographically situated, occasional nudity still occurs. There is one area in particular that I enjoy visiting. It is a part of the National Seashore, within which simple nudity does not consist of a legal offense in terms of park officials being on the lookout for it or enforcing any prohibition against it. It's a very, very long and beautiful stretch of beach that is great for long walks. More often than not it is far too cold and windswept to enjoy being nude there out in the open, but on those occasions when it is, it's one of the best places I can think of to go for a long, naked walk along the ocean shore. The beach is large and open enough that one could potentially walk for a mile or more without encountering another person. There are many, many semi-private little nooks and coves here and there, and these are where most nudists tend to set-up along the beach. For myself, I always tend to feel a bit brazen about my rights at this particular location, and–like I said–if it is warm and sunny enough I am not going to keep my clothes on and I make no effort to be discrete.

My very open and casual nudity has never seemed to me to be a problem. Clothed people notice me, some do a double-take, some are clearly surprised to see a totally naked woman strolling happily along the beach in full view, but never have I experienced any sort of truly negative reaction.

There are plenty of other such areas where I tend to be more bold about nakedness than others–I tend to always "push the envelope" a bit. It's not my goal to brazenly offend anyone that truly would rather not have to see nakedness if they really feel that strongly about it. I also don't want to stir-up undue trouble or make a scene. I'm not trying to draw attention or make any sort of "protest" per se. But I do often feel as if there are small opportunities to appear naked in areas where perhaps I'm not quite "supposed" to be, and thus at least convey to open-minded non-nudists that it's not that big of a deal (and that perhaps they might like to give it a try!).

What do the rest of you think about this? Is it a good idea to explore these sorts of boundaries with or without "legal" consent, or is it better to fight the fight strictly through the avenues of official policy?

102 thoughts on “"Extra-legal" Nudity?”

  1. I attended the SF board meeting in 2012 where they had the public address the board with their feelings and concerns about nudity. We nudists had been kept informed by the leaders of our group and greatly outnumbered the anti-nudity people.
    One woman was there with her baby. She described herself as a lesbian and stated she was tired of seeing penises every time she left her building and didn't want her child to have to see them.
    A few others rightly complained about the illegal lewd activity that one or two perverts would perform in public.
    The police complained that they were unable to differentiate between lewd (illegal) activity and simple nude (legal) activity and wanted a new law.
    Most others just didn't want to see nude people complaining that their presence in a small plaza at the center of the controversy stopped them from using it.
    A neighborhood small business association called a emergency evening meeting and drafted a letter of complaint about the nudity despite the fact they were in the minority in the association.
    An international opinion group (Zogby) conducted a phone survey in SF prior to this period. In excess of 60% had NO problem with simple nudity.
    This is why public nudity is now illegal in SF.

  2. Firstly I want to say thank you Joanne for the sensible view and direct approach that you speak about in your blog. I am in 100% agreement with you. My wife and I have the idea that we live naked at home just as much as we want to do. Whoever comes into our home, or even just to the door somedays, must accept nakedness. We push the boundaries a little further everyday, if we do that in a steady, calm and unobtrusive way then we don't seem to have that many objectors. It is often odd to realize out of the blue that I am standing in my garden talking to a passing stranger and I am naked! The slight and very quick 'top-to-toe' inspection by the eyes of the rarely surprised visitor or guest, must register approval, we have never yet had any strong vocal rebellion or rebuke.
    So please Joanne, carry on the excellent attitude and make many more folk realise that 'naked is natural' and no harm will come to any person, their soul or their bodies ! !

  3. When it's so difficult to establish a new naturist area, and so easy to get clothes optional beaches invaded by textiles, nudists should keep fighting for our space.
    In many beaches there is a no man's land between the nudist and the textile sections. I think it's important to also be nude there. Most people go there looking for a quiet place and wouldn't be offended by a nude body. It has happend to me more times to see a previously clothed person get naked as he/she discovers it's possible, than to receive negative comments from intolerant people.

  4. Our local nude beach used to be 'officially' recognised but no longer is, yet its still used by many nudists in a generally relaxed clothing-optional way along with hikers, dog-walkers and textile users. The traditional nudist area is a smallish cove but because the coastline is mostly backed by high cliffs with few access routes own to the beach its long been the case that nudists use much more of the beach, its not overlooked by settlement either, a few parts of the coastal cliff-top path look down onto the beach, this is often 100m above though.

    You can walk the 2 kms from town at low tide along the coast to the nude beach, I sometimes do this with my partner, friends or solo. Once round the first point, about 400m you're out of view of the town. When going this route this is where I usually get naked, sometimes others do so as well but not always. The beach is often wide enough to not have to pass right by textiles. I'm like Joanne, I don't want to force my nudity on others but like to be naked where if feels right to be free If you see anyone else along there the chances are that they're nudists going to the beach though not many are naked, sometimes they're hikers or dog-walkers, most locals know of the nude beach users. I've never had a problem through being nude when we've encountered textiles. Like Joanne there have been occasions when conversations have started when we've met people, generally nudity wasn't mentioned but a few times it was and been of the positive sort – of the 'good for you/wish I was brave enough' type.

    Similarly you can walk nude for another 2 kms the other side of the main nude beach. We're lucky to have such a place nearby, if you don't make the most of it you may well lose it, textiles might takeover etc. So I believe in 'pushing the envelope' similarly to how Joanne describes, its a wild and natural place, nudity feels so right there so I enjoy it naked as much as possible.

  5. I think it is like that in most places in Canada too. The nude beach that signs from the criminal code of Canada outlining the penalties for nakedness, yet is patrolled by provincial (state) officers who encourage you to stay in between the yellow post on the beach (1 mile) It is a nudge-nudge win win scenario here. Frankly most of my naked time is very close to home at a location by the river. We have never even seen a law enforcement officer and are quite sure that if we did, absolutely nothing would happen. It is time for the laws on simple public nudity to change.

  6. This topic was brought to mind again, recently, with the photo of myself that I just posted. If I'm remembering correctly, the location is somewhere along the Pt. Reyes National Seashore, which is "regulated" in the same manner as National Parks and National Forests. I.e., there is no specific, legal "ban" on simple nudity (In fact, "nudity" isn't even legally defined).

    As I've learned, legal restrictions on being nude outside always reside within civic/local ordinances, only, and once you are in an area not governed by those, the only restrictions that typically come into play are vague, federal or statewide prohibitions against "lewd behavior."

    In Marin County, specifically, there are of course a dozen areas that are truly "nude beaches" in the sense that they are densely populated and by tradition almost everyone is totally naked. But (perhaps oddly?) those beaches are mostly County property, and thus by Marin County law (which defines visible genitalia as lewd), it's technically illegal for all those shameful penises and pussies to be out on such incorrigible display (LOL). But local law enforcement generally couldn't care less, and will even happily direct people to the "nude" beaches should they inquire.

    What's interesting about it is that at the aforementioned National Seashore areas, where there is technically no law preventing one from disrobing, nudity is exceedingly rare. The beaches of Pt. Reyes are so breathtakingly amazing that I simply cannot imagine keeping my clothes on, there, on the rare occasions that it's sunny and warm enough to get undressed. It's miles of clear, open, sandy beach, and strolling totally nude up and down the length of it is a breathtaking experience. It feels absolutely wonderful.

    And I must say that a part of the experience that makes it so refreshingly exhilarating, and so much fun, is the very fact that it is, indeed, so uncommon for people to take off their clothes. It's mostly an area for beachcombers, in the first place — less typical for sunbathers, that is. So as sparsely populated as it is, it can be such a blast to walk along, right out in the open, and be seen nude by clothed passers-by. I always just smile and interact as if there is absolutely nothing unusual about me having no clothes on. The reaction is almost always overwhelmingly positive. People smile and sometimes gawk a little, and some seem occasionally to be simply surprised or confused. But no one has ever had any manner of "negative" response to me. I've gotten into friendly conversations with folks that I see, and stood there before them talking for several minutes, with the subject of my nakedness never coming-up as a point of conversation 🙂

    I love California 😀

    • I was at Point Reyes once many years ago with The Nature Company when o worked for them. What a beautiful place to be…I would have loved to bump onto you.
      I think you must know that if a man were out nude on the beach, no have made small talk. The police would have been called on "the naked pervert." A woman in the nude is regarded much differently than a man. Men are considered a threat and women a curiosity.

  7. I truly believe that the more people are "exposed" to non-sexual nudism, the more acceptable it will become. In fact, it is a prerequisite. So I applaud and thank you for your openness which as described seems very appropriate and well done.

    Unfortunately, the fear of being convicted of any public act and its potential to placed on the "list" is very intimidating for me as I am very active in coaching Special Olympics and would not want to jeopardize that.

    What would help is mainstream media covering nudism in a more open and positive way. Most everything I've seen is with either too much emphasis on titillation or just too much giggling about people being nude.

    I need more nude time 🙂

  8. Pushing the edges of legal – sounds like my approach to naturism here in Canada. There are always places that beg to be explored, places that promise privacy – at times – it just pays to know those times and then explore while nude.

  9. There are in fact some textile hiking forums in the US Nik where the subject of nude hiking has and does come up and there are several such threads in the archives. One in particular that I can't remember the name of at the moment is centered on hiking the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire (USA) and bagging peaks. The general reaction is not openly hostile though there are a couple of trouble makers there as there are elsewhere in the textile world. A typical reaction can be summed up as "eeeyoooo!" There are a handful of nude hikers on this site that speak up for our sport, myself included and that usually gets a friendly debate going for a while. Then it dies off. Haven't been there in a year, hence my failing memory of its URL.

    As for pushing the envelope gently or being nude in more places more frequently……two ways of looking at the same concept IMHO. It certainly can't hurt to be more visible to textiles as long as in so doing, we maintain our dignity and convictions without being openly confrontational. The last thing that we should want to have happen is to be seen taking plays from the playbook that is jealously guarded by the militant prudes, those for whom putting themselves in the right place at the right time and thus being offended makes their day. Lest we be perceived as more of the same, just of a different flavor.


  10. I'm not really tempted to research whether there are textile blogs where participants worry about what to do should they encounter naked people unexpectedly, I suspect there's not much activity on this subject.

    Should we worry much about 'pushing the envelope', instead just be naked in more places, more frequently?!

  11. If I remember correctly, the noisy wheel gets the grease.
    The people with the right to vote didn't hand it to the disenfranchised. Women fought for the right.
    A nude woman walking on a street won't cause an alarm as long as there is no danger and certainly not on a beach.
    Totally nude women are common in movies, men less so. I think women have to lead the way. One nude man on a corner is a pervert.Two nude men are weirdos. Three nude men and two nude women are a protest group.

  12. I agree with you Liam. Some gentle and persistent civil disobedience does seem to be an essential element in our endeavors to make our species of God's creation fully legal. Others have discussed the idea above that doing the panicked "two legs into one leg dance" with one's shorts (those who resort to other choices of cover, myself included get the drift) sends a bad message about what should be a normal state of non-attire, Nik hit this notion square on above. I have long subscribed to this theory and have firmly followed my beliefs along that line of behavior more often than not in the past with generally favorable reaction, yet not always. I am generally most comfortable continuing without cover during surprise encounters. However recently, in observing the range of textile reactions to cover or no cover has lead me to conclude that there is a time and place for covering which sends a more favorable message about naturism to those types who might be truly uncomfortable in my naked presence. That is to slowly and casually cover up while being within open sight of them as I approach. Trying this upon some of those types, I have seen the initial frown fade into one of appreciative acceptance. It is clear that they know that I was naked before the encounter and that I will most likely be shortly after we pass, yet the act of covering in a matter of fact manner without haste seems to convey the idea that I respect their feelings. Their nod of approval both through facial expression and sometimes through verbal comment conveys to me that they have just acknowledged my nudity and don't mind that I might continue as soon as our ways are parted even if they have not yet reached a level of personal comfort that would allow a relaxed face to face discussion with another fellow naked human. I feel that in such cases, I have just succeeded in spreading the gospel to an incrementally larger audience, one person at a time. Sometimes thats what it takes.


  13. I am also one to 'push the envelope' when I feel that I can. Used to frequently go to a local state park where one lake was very uncrowded versus other lakes. On a summer day, you might see 30 people spread out around various spots of the shoreline. I would be nude all day, knowing that I could be seen from across the lake or from people who were down the shore on the same side as me. If people came walking by my spot, I would (usually) have enough time to notice them and put on shorts or at least cover up with a towel. Then strip again once they passed on by … was 'caught' on a few occasions where I was not paying close attention, but nobody ever freaked out on me.
    With enough space between us, there's no reason I cannot coexist with a non-nudie on the beach.
    Used to also go to an old gravel pit and be naked along with clothed 'beachgoers' who never seemed to mind … until one day the cops showed up, but that is another story 🙂

  14. I still believe it will be many years in the US before nudity is acceptable. With the current political party believing carrying an AK47 in the open one of our "inalienable rights," nudity is just considered an immoral act and we should have to be registered sex offenders.
    Gotta love America…always behind, but denying it.

  15. This is a similar thing but not quite the same: You all might be pleased to know (if you don't already) that in New York City where it is legal for anyone to be topless wherever it is socially acceptable (parks, on the street, etc.) there is a club whose mission is basically to remind everyone that women are part of "everyone". They spend a lot of their summer sunbathing in urban parks wearing only shorts or knickers, and photoblogging so the whole world knows about it. https://coedtoplesspulpfiction.wordpress.com/

    • They have their work cut out for them. Apart from one friend, the only topfree women I've seen in Central Park have been three or four in number and each very discreet about it. It seems strange to go to all the trouble of having laws changed without enjoying the fruits of the labour.

      But then in a country where there were battles to gain equal voting rights for all adult citizens, a good polling booth turn-out is still only around 60% of the eligible population.

  16. The place that I spend the most time naked other than my home is close by along the St. Lawrence river, it is reasonably quiet because it is difficult to get to, far by foot and hard by bike. If ever I get busted, it will not bother me much because and fine will be just the price of entry to a resort many times. Considering I have been there nearly a hundred times, the effective price of admission is very low. Anyway, I don't think cops will do it cause it'll take them all afternoon to bust a couple old naked guys. So yes, I am pretty brazen about it.

    • It's funny in a way. People people everywhere and yet so much empty unused land everywhere.
      Canberra is full of reserves that are for the most part abandoned. That's not to say that they aren't used. Joggers, cyclists and people walking their dogs all use them. Thing is, this land spends 99% of its time with nobody there.
      I use that to my advantage of course. What it underlines is just how petty the law is.
      It would be interesting to have a legal share way in the same way urban streets have share ways built into them. Cars, pedestrians and cyclists all dynamically negotiate a way to where they're going without injury to anyone.
      Law is probably like a contract with penalty clauses. The clauses are a bat you can bash the other party to a pulp with.
      Nobody needs to follow the letter of the contract so long as you work together to deliver the outcome. This works so long as nobody looks at the bat. The second somebody so much as glances in the bats direction, you know it's all over.

  17. Great blog entry, Joanne. My own opinion is that we need to "push the envelope". No progress comes without effort. <a href="http://www.naktiv.net/legal/asinine.html">Freedoms</a&gt; are very rarely "handed down" to the masses. It is up to us to create an environment in which it is safe and acceptable to be naked in whatever contexts we choose.

    In terms of legal frivolity, here are a few <a href="http://www.naktiv.net/legal/experience.html">examples</a&gt; where it is plain to see that legal enforcement of anti-nudity opinions, is just that, based largely on personal opinion in nearly every case.

    • "It is up to us to create an environment in which it is safe and acceptable to be naked in whatever contexts we choose." That's a great ideal, and motivation to keep getting naked in places where not many others do, yet!

  18. I have been nude a number of times in places where it is not really legal. I don’t do it to be an exhibitionist, I don’t want to offend other people so I try not to be "in their face" about it. I don’t do it where I feel my being nude would do more harm than good. The reason I do it is because keeping my way of live secret is not going my help my goal of making public nudism more acceptable.

    • "….my goal of making public nudism more acceptable." The more of us who are not secret nudists and prepared to 'push the envelope', especially where we practice public nudity, and behave acceptably, hopefully our choice to be naked will be recognised more widely.

  19. I like to 'push the envelope' regarding the places I am naked at, like you I don't want to offend people who'd rather not be confronted by my nudity either. I simply prefer to be nude, if I'm somewhere where I feel I can enjoy nudism without major issues I most likely will do.

    My nearest nude beach has no nearby parking or settlement. All routes to it involve a minimum of 20 mins walking. At low tide you can reach it along the coast from either direction, both ways are backed by high cliffs with very few points along the coastal path at the top of them with clear views directly onto the beach. It takes at least 30 mins to walk to the traditional nudist area. From both directions you are soon screened from settlement by going round points. Once past them I usually walk nude unless its very windy or there are lots of textiles about, which is rare, as do some other nudists on their way to the nude beach.

    Most other people you might meet are coastal hikers or dog walkers, they will invariably know that nudists use the area. The beach is quite wide at low tide so you don't have to walk close by but sometimes you may come across other people while going round some of the large rocks on the way. I've never had any problems from being nude in these closer surprise meetings, sometimes conversation starts, nudity has often been discussed as its an obvious topic and always positively, good for you comments not being unusual.

    I mention all of this as its at a place I use a lot, I've walked nude there a few hundred times at least. I feel very comfortable doing it naked, its the 'normal' way to be there for me. I've done it with friends who were not used to being nude there, sometimes they were far more wary of meeting anyone. Its similar to how I feel when I'm nude hiking in an area I'm not familiar with. I may be hiking with other nudists who do know the places, people I've socialised nude with a lot, but familiarisation does seem to make a big difference.

    Having said that I'll take the opportunity to be nude anywhere I can be. There are too few places where we can be nude, taking the chance to do so where we're not 'supposed' to be that way is hard to let pass.

    • I walk in a national park that is on my way home from work a few times a week. I know it's not legal, so I try to be careful. In our area there is no where legal to be nude. I guess I'll keep taking my chances on the trails. I only bumped into someone once, with no bad consequences.

      • All these comments of going nude "where it's not really legal", but to my knowledge, in most places it's not illegal to be merely nude as long as you're not being lewd or sexual. So technically it is legal to be nude in so many places where people suspect otherwise. Of course convincing an ignorant cop or prudish citizen could be difficult and potentially costly. And then there is the "disturbing the peace", "causing offense" etc. types of charges that could be claimed. Ironically, National Parks may be some of the areas that do have specific rules against nudity.

  20. I live in the U.S. in Tennessee. We have no beaches nude or otherwise. We do however have several TVA lakes with miles and miles of shoreline. Much of that shoreline is undeveloped and sometimes difficult to get to. A friend of mine from childhood and I would sometimes get into his old truck and go down to the lake at one of those isolated places to swim, without suits of course. This particular place was at the end of a washed out dirt road and while there we could always hear another vehicle coming, except for this one day. While sitting there in our folding lawn chairs I heard a voice behind us. My immediate thought was that it was too late to try to cover up so I didn't. The man came around to in front of us and started a conversation. My friend and I chatted with him for several minutes and he then went on his way. The man never once seemed to make notice of our nudity either visually or verbally. There have been other occasions where I was surprised while naked and have yet to have a negative reaction.

    I have never considered myself one to "push the limits" but based on my experiences and people's reaction to my being naked on public land I have become more and more open about being a nudist. I truly believe that it is up to us to be open and frank about being nudists and maybe convince the general public, one at a time if necessary, that we as a group are good people; we just prefer to have the freedom of being naked.

      • I think if we take your line on encountering people while we're nude, especially in natural places, the meeting is less likely to be a bad experience. If the other person(s) have obviously see that we're naked, frantically covering up can imply that we feel we are doing something, or we have some shame about nudity etc. Acting 'normally' when meeting people like this can make it much easier. I've found that people we've met in natural places, away from settlement, are often into nature too, walkers, naturalists etc, they don't tend to react to our nudity in ways we might encounter should we turn up naked in a town centre.

  21. I respectfully disagree with you Steve on your point made immediately above. If I were the advertising director looking to fill ad space in a publication either dead trees or cyber variety, I would be turning to where the money was sitting waiting to be spent in order to help pump up my revenue stream. Yes, the resorts by default do control the major portion of the money stream, but they alone cannot keep the AANR alive and healthy in this age of greying boomers. I met the current president of the AANR Florida last winter at the TNS winter gathering. Significantly, AANR Florida is the only single state sub-group of the AANR within the national organization, a fact which does speak to the concentration of commercialized nudism that exists within the state. Yet this man to my knowledge is not affiliated with nor does he have any direct background within the industry. He is quite interested and actively advocating to develop more permissible nude usage of public lands with an emphasis on places other than beaches and he is beginning to find some receptive ears within the national group. I find this development refreshing, coming as you say Steve from within an organization that has been historically driven by the nudist resort industry. It has been suggested to me that AANR has other black spots on its record as well which have occurred over its time span of existence, however there are rays of hope becoming evident that the group is slowly evolving its focus. There is ample awareness from within that their membership list is faltering and that some of the new energy to be found within the nudist community is coming from the "free range" naturist movement. Time will tell.

    I also believe that it is a myth that resort operators have much to fear from any rise of popularity of officially sanctioned nudity on public lands. If anything they have much to gain from an increasing understanding of and tolerance for social nudity by the broader public. For example, there are no laws concerning public nudity on the books in Vermont, so it is entirely possible to discretely use public lands there for nude recreation activities. I have been happily doing so for years. Yet there are at least three nudist resorts thriving in the state. Likewise in those parts of Europe where nudity in public places is freely tolerated and/or legal, there are also very successful nudist resorts operating in those same countries or close by. The reality is that just as in the textile world, there are plenty of people who will gladly pay for the amenities, comfort, and security of special interest focused resorts and are willing to patronize them.

    Just as a textile might do, if I am contemplating a stay of several days at a naturist resort, besides considering the on site amenities and social opportunities, I look for interesting things to do off site in the area for those times when I get restless just sitting inside those green walls. I don't bother to put on clothes when I drive out of those gates. Why would I want to bother with finding clothes to put on for off campus attractions if their were some interesting and preferably legal clothes free options available near by?

    In my humble opinion, the two concepts of free-range nudity and caged nudity for profit can not only coexist but mutually benefit from each other. Both are attractive options for me personally in my life, each serving different needs.


  22. I believe that one of the biggest reasons we don't have more public lands available for nude use in Florida is because we have so many nudist resorts. All a person has to do is a 30-second scan through the AANR Bulletin to see where the money is coming from, and it is resort-advertising. AANR headquarters is just a stones-throw from Cypress Cove, which always has a big display ad. Also, the majority of AANR Directors are elected from among resort-representatives. With resorts controlling the money-stream, public nude-use lands are low on the totem-pole of priorities. AANR does get behind some drives to get more public nude-use lands, but only where there are no resorts. They aren't going to shoot themselves in the foot by backing anything that might reduce resort revenue-stream, and thus advertising revenue.

    Money rules the roost even in nudist circles. Don't forget the Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.

  23. I think we need to remember that nudists are a very small minority and aren't view in a very good light in the US. With the wealthy right wing conservatives in power, it will be a long time before we will feel safe enjoying nature in a natural way.

    As a birder and a naturalist, I've seen what big business can do when they push their weight around. Our parks are being turned into wastelands to feed their profits and "create" jobs. Getting areas for clothing optional enjoyment is not a priority unless a profit can be made.

    There is a "nudist resort" fairly close to me…and if I was wealthy, I could go there. They post that they only want couples and families which also pushes me out.

    I love the feeling of being out on nature, but not the insecurity of possibly being arrested trying to prove a point.

  24. I live in the heart of the "Baptist-belt" – Polk County, and the anti-nudity ordinance reads like it was written by the Baptist ministerial-alliance. They have even legislated how much of a woman's anatomy must be covered by her bathing suit.

    I was able this past summer to go outside naked after dark because the park is pretty much deserted after the snow-birds go north. I still had to be careful and watch out for roaming golf-carts.

  25. How nice it would be if the police could politely inform the "wrong" people that our nudity is not a police matter. There are rare places in the world where that is precisely the case. There are other places where the law has changed in that direction and the reality of the situation is gradually catching up. The UK might be one such place judging by my experience there. There are plenty of places here in the states where it may be reasonable to push the boundaries gently and the UK, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, even Vermont in the US are examples to which we here in the states could aspire in our endeavors for change. However there are many places, more places by far where it would be imprudent to even poke at these boundaries gently. We all have our own comfort zones to abide by and yet we all must live within the same general set of boundaries. In an ideal world it should be left for us to work these things out between ourselves. The sad fact is that the law is involved in areas of our lives in which it has no business. I agree with you David, "it is not fair."


  26. I love to hike in area parks in the nude, but I am always worried that the "wrong" person will see me and notify the police. It's not fair that there are so many places available to other special interest groups but not for us.

    I've been lucky and have only had one surprise while hiking and he didn't mind in the least, which REALLY surprised me! I think because I am very comfortable and happy with the way I look(obviously, that's why I post so many pics!) and I was paying more attention to nature than what people may be around.

    I always have a pair of shorts in hand to put on quickly if I hear someone coming in my direction. I'm not quite brave enough to push the boundaries. Real life as I call it always gets in the way.

    • Real life as you call it is only bound by the limits of your own mind.

      About 3 years ago I started hiked naked on public land. Shorts in hand, nervous and apprehensive, but still enjoying the experience when I'd convinced myself I wasn't going to encounter anybody else.

      Last summer I reached a point where I was comfortable enough to strip almost straight away and be damned the consequences. I bumped into a couple of people and found the experience was better than not encountering anyone at all.
      It helps you realise just how self involved many people are, and how little they seem to care about something a little out of the ordinary, but in the right environment etc, nothing to get crazy or alarmed about.

      My enjoyment level now with little to no concern is significantly higher than it was constantly worrying whether I'd bump into others.
      You do need to find your own comfort zone, but at the same time if you contain yourself to the same safe boundaries all the time you'll never discover that freedom is a state of mind.

      • Good points made. I have always been a little on the uptight side and being nude is starting to break that problem down. There have been a couple of times that ive stripped completely in my car and went from the parking area to the trails and back again with only a little concern.

  27. The situation where I live in Australia is probably not dissimilar to the U.S. who Australians seem to aspire emulating.
    I personally find the country very conservative. By the end of next year I hope to be living back in NZ again where the situation is totally different. There is no law against public nudity.

    Here in Australia I hike on nearby public land and nearby National parks naked. I've even gone for evening jogs in parkland just bordering our suburb naked.
    Any beach that isn't too crowded is fair game, and on public beaches 99% of the time I'll change in the open or sunbath naked with a towel handy.

    The majority of my attitude is thanks to the Naktiv site and conversations I've had here. If nakedness is normal and you're not ashamed of yourself, your body or what you believe in, there are a few things you should ideally be doing to make nakedness normal.
    Use your real name as suggested in the guidelines.
    Behave in a manner that is normal and comfortable for you while getting out there.
    If you change at the beach like its a perfectly normal thing people will basically accept it.
    If others come across you naked, and your body language reflects your mindset, which is cool and calm, they won't react like you're doing something wrong.

    I think your attitude and approach are spot on. I've found at home around my wife (who's not into the nude thing) and kids, and in public, hiking parks and the like, both your vibe and reaction are crucial.
    You do need to respect other people's sensibilities, but also gently expand the boundaries. A relaxed sense of humour and easy going attitude go a hell of a long way to defuse what might otherwise be a tense or difficult situation.
    I love that cafe scene out "Pulp Fiction". 'Are we cool Yolanda?'
    If you're cool the people around you will be cool. A classic line from my wife is "Are you decent?" My response with an easy going smile, "Close enough not to matter."

    I think anyone who believes in the normalcy of nakedness should be doing what they can where they can to demonstrate what they believe in. In needs to be relaxed. No body likes people knocking on their door cramming their religion down your throat. The same goes here.

    • That's my experience in Oz too. I've met up with clothed people on beaches and bushwalks when I've not been wearing anything (often not even carrying a towel to fling on) and have had just one negative reaction (that from a redneck off-duty cop when I was all of fifteen years old). That one exception aside, reactions have been either neutral or positively accepting and often fun, ranging from smiles, giggles, applause and "Good onya's" to being asked to pose in snapshots with clothed passers-by to people who've said "You can be nude here? Great!" and stripped off too. So that's one negative to several hundred (possibly more) neutral to positive.

      I'm a lot more cautious of extra-legal nudity here in the US. Attitudes vary much more from region to region.

  28. Joanne, I have be doing this very sort of pushing the envelope exploration of peoples attitudes in the way the I live my nudist lifestyle for years in the Northeast of the US. I have probably encountered as little hostility to my open nudity here as has Richard in the UK, but there is no question that we here in the US are up against a more prudish mindset and certainly more legal impediments then I have experienced in much of Europe during my travels. I find the fact the many Europeans behave like grown up adults when encountering casual nudity refreshing. Walking free in a massive urban public park in Munich…..hoisting some brews with friends while sitting totally naked at a table amongst other textile patrons outside on a village green in front of the local pub in Sussex in the UK…..sitting naked with 35 other fellow naturists from NEWT amongst the textile patrons in the garden of an Alpine public house enjoying fine food and drink…..all of these public behaviors fetching nary a glance in our direction…..these are freedoms that I have enjoyed in Europe that could only be a pipe dream at best in most parts of the US.

    I share my sympathies with you Joanne and advocate for your quiet-activist mode of compassionately endeavoring to change prevailing attitudes here in our home land by setting an honest example and by employing such extra-legal means whenever necessary, convenient or inconvenient.


  29. I am in Florida, and we only have one truly-legal nude beach, and that is Haulover. Playalinda and Apollo have been used by nudists for many years, and a person can generally get away with being nude, but don't push the envelope. Social attitudes are very conservative here, so public nudity would be seriously frowned on, and could land a person in jail. I pretty much stick to going to a nudist resort.

    • Your advice and concern Steve is well taken and well founded however I have found plenty of room and opportunity for nudity in Florida and generally positive acceptance on the part of those who have seen me nude during my activities. Make no mistake, I don't go around looking for accidental encounters there or at home here in MA, but they do happen occasionally. I have also run into a surprising number of people in Florida interested or working actively to ease the law or at least establish more officially sanctioned or tolerated opportunities for nude recreation on public lands besides beaches. They are still in the minority there as in most places and as you say Steve many parts of the state are very conservative. That said, I don't believe that Florida is any more dangerous than other states, maybe even less so than Massachusetts, my home state. Which is another way of my acknowledging that any form of nudity in either state still involves considerable risk.

      I and my friends have enjoyed hiking the long stretch of open beach between Playalinda and Apollo for many miles entirely nude with no problem from the public nor from the rangers. We have kayaked naked in some of the beautiful rivers there, and nude backpacked sections of the Florida Trail with no problem and with the implicit knowledge of the local rangers. I never let my guard down but Florida has become one of my favorite destinations for free range nudity during our long winters.


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