Clarification on the terms of Naturist and Nudist

Naturism. It’s not just about shedding your clothing and getting naked. So what is Naturism?

Naturism is to be in tune with nature with the elements of life and nature around you. It’s like the expression being high on life where you comfortable in your skin without any negativity around you. The love of the sun over your skin, the breeze across your skin and the feeling of the earth on your bare feet. Experiences like this are often heightened more so with a friend, family member(s) or a loved one where you and who you’re with, can experience it together. Just remember, much like the textile world, lewd behaviour is frowned upon in the Naturist community when in the public. There is nothing wrong with being intimate — it’s a natural human behaviour. However, if you want to be intimate with your partner, please do that in the privacy of your home where you wont offend somebody.

Nudist. What’s wrong with the term and why do so many people get confused with the term?

The problem with the term nudist is the media and porn industries use this term all the time and this is why people rather be called a Naturist than be called a Nudist. But is there a difference between the two terms? In the Naturist community’s view there is no real difference. I think the main reason why people rather be called a Naturist is due how the media and porn industries portray the term to be something sexual when using the term ‘nudist’.

You may use either term really. Places in Europe rather use the term nudist. Maybe because Europe has already divided nudity and sexual behaviour as being two different things. That to be naked isn’t a sexual statement and by simply being naked is being normal or natural.

Naturism is a lifestyle that isn’t judgmental. As long as your being yourself and enjoying the high on the clothes free life — yes we all have flaws on our bodies, who doesn’t? I have many scars from sports, surgeries, and acne. This does not stop me from enjoying my life. Am i worried that people will in a figuratively manner point fingers and whisper to others on my flaws? Not in the least. Naturists aren’t judgemental in that way because we respect one and other for our character. Unlike in the textile world where judging people is all around us. people judge others on the bus, metro/subway, malls, on the street, even in our very home where they feel they though was a haven from negativity.

Stop the body shaming and being judgemental on others. Learn self-respect for yourself and of others. You’ll find you will see and feel what it is to feel true freedom and have a much better respect of even the little things around you. You only live once, enjoy it now because even if you tell yourself that if people usually live to 100 years — that 100 years FLYS by fast!

42 thoughts on “Clarification on the terms of Naturist and Nudist”

  1. I am thinking of @William Nethercott's post and the quote he recorded: "Nudists should be prosecuted for child abuse and have their children taken away from them."
    I have also seen similar comments in varied places.

    Also I have seen many times the comment "psychological studies show that children raised in a nudist environment fare better than those raised in clothed homes" but I am not aware of the actual studies.
    I would love to see a big court case where the parents are prosecuted but the study reveals the truth to the public.

  2. Although we prefer the word 'Naturist' to convey our choice to be clothes free at any suitable opportunity, we try to avoid any confusion when we see that glazed (fazed) expression of bewilderment, by saying "We like to wear no clothes whatsoever when we can."
    This kind of direct truthfulness often deflates any argument or confusion before it can grow or fester. If the person(s) we are speaking to object to social nudity then we say the problems are happening inside their own minds.
    Our physical actions are perfectly usual & amiable even though we are naked, it is just the perceptions other folk have about nakedness.

  3. With all the differences of opinion I think Ill stick with nudist or nakedist. I would say Christian Nudist if nobody would get upset.
    I am a person who prefers being nude who also has respect for nature and my fellow man. I throw in naked to reconnect with the alternative meaning of vulnerable.
    I can remember nudist discussions years ago referring to the "new term" naturist as a way of avoiding the nude inference.

    • Interesting.. How terms and their connotations evolve! I never thought about it that way. Why would a naturist want to avoid the nude aspect of naturism? Maybe because other people did not like the nude aspect, but did fancy the nature aspect? And just to avoid annoying questions about nudity and exhibitionism and shame, the term naturism got popular?

      • No, not quite. Naturism evolved as a new group, out of the 70's, of people who weren't content to pay their dues to go to a club to get naked with others. They wanted to get naked with others on beaches and where ever and started promoting nudity as natural, as in our natural state. That is where the term came from and where the rejection of "nudists" as political organizations or clubs, comes from.

  4. Ooh, this is getting a bit deep. I like what Scott is saying. I think we all agree that we are happiest and/or most comfortable when not wearing clothes although there may be more to it depending on who you are and your own personal taste. I had originally thought that nudist was an outdated term. I always used to favour the term naturist but I have come to think that nudist fits me better but I have no strong preference for either term. Maybe we need a single generic term like "The Unclothed"? On the other hand, don't take this comment very seriously. Furthermore, I haven't a clue about how to get the rest of the population out of its bad habit of judging other people's bodies but we would all be happier without it. That's enough of my rambling for now.

  5. Labels, labels, so many labels. I agree that terminology is important, but the more terms are introduced and used, the more room there is for confusion. Same with gender and sex and sexual preferences. Many people do not know the difference, but the one who knows, gets hurt if you use the wrong term.

  6. To me, a nudist is just a person who is nude whenever possible. I don't think most people think nudism is about sex, but they think it is improper to be nude most of the time. Naturism (capitalized) seems more a movement to allow nudity almost anywhere and anytime, especially in nature. defines Naturist as a pretentious nudist.
    John: I'm going to the nude beach.
    Amy: Oh, you're a nudist?
    John: No, I'm a naturist.

  7. Excellent post Scott, I agree with what you are saying.
    I personally think that there is a distinction between nudism and naturism, I think that naturism is just a bit more than shedding your clothes for the only reason that it feels good and thinking that others must accept this. A naturist likes to be naked but not only because it feels nice, naturist likes to connect with nature and other likeminded people. Being nude removes boundaries and status. Naturist are very aware of nature’s fragile balance this is being reflected by their lifestyle. Naturism is a lifestyle that isn’t judgmental, I certainly agree with that and for me naturism is about acceptance and respect for others too.

  8. From my experiences, here in the U.S., dealing with organized groups who identify as either nudist or naturist, "nudists" seem to be more about the club, the organization, and going to a gated resort to enjoy nudity; whereas "naturists" tend to have a view of nudity as a lifestyle, as natural and even a birth right, wanting to enjoy their nudity in unrestricted natural environments.

    • Having considered what the essential differences between the two terms might be, I have come to the same conclusion. That being said, but why the difference? I live year round in a nudist community and as such when the weather is warm I am nude. If that is not a lifestyle, I don't know what one would be. The term Naturist being used in parts of the world other than the U.S. could be because in those countries nudity is thought of differently. The nudists in the U.S. tend to be religated to clubs either landed or non-landed. Even the AANR is essentially an organization supporting the nudist clubs, mostly landed.

      • Well, most "card carrying" nudists/naturists I've met in my neck of the woods tended to belong to both AANR and TNS, mainly for any additional possibilities they may offer to socialize comfortably.

  9. I have long observed that perhaps the best way to take the bite out of criticism is to own it. Say something like, "You bet your sweet ass I am." Denial is weak, wimpering, and nobody believes it. Claiming the criticism is powerful.

    Decades of equating naked with porn/sex is not going to go away, and its not going to go away because there is some truth in the criticism. Maybe not everyone who gets naked is doing so because of sexual desire, but SOME people do get naked because of and during sexual activity. Probably a lot higher percentage of nudists feel some sexual excitement than the "true nudist" crowd wants to admit.

    The position of power is to own it. Lets face it, humans are sexual creatures. All of our parents were sexual even if a few of us are not, and most of us are. When you own it they can no longer criticize you. "You better believe it Jack, what's it to you?" How can they criticize you after that? They can't. You have take the position of power. Being sexual is not a "body flaw." Sex and sexual feelings are a natural part of being alive, just as much as wrinkles.

    Lets not keep denying and keep being a weak denier of our natural human sexuality, its a losing position. Lets just own our bodies and our power.

  10. Very good blog. I don't think people in general understand what naturist means but they think they know what nudist means (incorrectly). I recently posted an opinion on a UK website to the effect that British Naturism should promote body acceptance and combat shame. There were many replies, the vast majority of which were positive but there were 2 or 3 negative comments. I will try to reproduce the really sad one here, although I may not have the words quite right "Nudists should be prosecuted for child abuse and have their children taken away from them. And it is nudists NOT naturists. Naturist is just a political term intended to make it sound more acceptable." I don't believe we will ever get through to such people, regardless of how much effort is put into explaining what we mean but Scott has the right message to deliver. It may be that many people will be prepared to listen and we should keep putting our point of view across but there will also be many who will not want to hear.

  11. A fine post, Scott. Reclaiming the terms nudist and naturist from the porn industry just isn't possible, unfortunately. Some people will never get the idea, but neither will the others unless we demonstrate what we mean. We need to lead by example, and not be afraid to be seen where being Naked Online is OK, and with head held high.

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