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?