It's time nudists got real about sex.

Posted by me at Nude Movement:

I sometimes masturbate to pornography.

Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s soft.

And I have sex. And I get turned on at the sight of the naked human body.


And yet here I am, a family-friendly, non-predatory, humanitarian naturist and ‘nudism activist’, fighting regularly for non-sexual freedom of the human body.

Am I wearing The Emperor’s New Clothes?

The first time I ever went dancing was at a Burning Man underground dance party fundraiser in Sydney.

I was already a nudist, and I was finally ready to allow myself to dance for the first time in my life after an upbringing of conservative, ultra-strict Christian values and rules-following.

Into the night I danced nude as Burning Man embraces all forms of peaceful self-expression, and for five hours I was nothing more than joy and music, movement and body, with no drugs and without a tingle of sexual arousal felt in my body the entire time.

And yet, if something had happened down there, once upon a time as a fledgling nudist it would have been a problem with me.

When I first became a ‘naturist’, there was nothing sexual about it at all. It was a health therapy and powerful relaxation technique for this stressful fast-paced world we live in, and it plays that role now as it ever has.

I was excited. I discovered something that could help other people. So I got involved in the nudity-loving community at large, drinking up the philosophy and etiquette of what made up ‘family-friendly’, ‘ideal’, socially-acceptable naturism.

I was still a Christian at the time, and because I saw in my heart not one speck of sexual desire or dalliance in these simple activities I was doing (whether nude hiking or beachgoing or social meetups), I passionately committed to the mantra of nudism that states, ‘Nudity does NOT equal sexuality.’

I spent weeks and months deconditioning myself from being aroused at the sight of bodies that I am attracted to, and successfully dampened that part of my sexual energy – all in the name of this newfound ‘freedom’ I had discovered.

I made myself immune (you could throw anything at me): I achieved what seemed like the epitome of safe, non-sexual, social nudity, and I patted myself on the back. It was hard work.

But as I matured further in my journey of nudism and sex (exploring the latter, also for the first time, again because of my upbringing), I realised what I had become.

I became a monk-like, zen, Kumbaya asexual naturist, and I was living an utter denial of reality.

A few times during this period of ‘purity’, I ‘failed’ – caving in to pornography once again. And not this time because I was a Christian, but because I was a ‘true nudist’ – a ‘real’ naturist, who didn’t do that sort of thing.

So I grew up.

And I started accepting reality.

This is the truth I finally realised, and the truth the entire nudism world must embrace if it wants a place in today’s increasingly sexualised and porn-saturated world:

Nudity can be BOTH sexual and non-sexual.

Nudity is a sexual thing.

Nudity is a non-sexual thing.

Both statements are true. They are true for different contexts, and for what you want to choose (or the way your body works – asexuality is a thing).

We are sexual beings, we are sexual creatures, and the truth is that simple non-sexual nudity CAN operate within our wider context of being attracted to each other.

It happens in the change room at the local pool. It happens when you take a shower, or take a dump. It happens when you put on your clothes in front of your partner, after sex.


Two extremes, two statements, at either end of the spectrum.

One extreme is decided aversion to non-sexual social nudity: a fear of desensitising oneself from what one is attracted to, and as a result losing what is a huge part of the compelling excitement, and experience of sex.

The other extreme is the decision that desensitisation is the only way to safely practice non-sexual social nudity – because only then will you gain the comfortable trust of others who want that freedom too.

Today I am calling for a radically different decision to be made.

We do not have to make a choice between these two freedoms. We do not have to make a trade-off, a sacrifice, a side-picking. It does not require painful negotiation or hard work in every moment!

What it takes is an emotional courage and intelligence, and we are damn ready as a society to take this conscious step.

What it takes is a little letting go of fear…

Are you ready to take this step of faith? Or do you think you will lose something?

Our civilisation is ripe overdue for a mature, honest conversation about our body and all its functions. It’s time to stop being ashamed of how it works, why we pursue what we pursue, and why we (diversely) enjoy what we enjoy. As a lover of non-sexual social nudity, I love the human body – it’s damn sexy – and I’m not ashamed of that! I’m proud of my balance.

We need to stop being afraid of each other, and instead be curious to understand each other.

True freedom is balance. True freedom is the middle ground. True freedom, is choice.

You have that choice and power! You have the power inside you to respond to the human body in whichever of these two legitimate, safe, and humane ways, that you want.

And you ought to have the freedom to choose.

It’s time to call out The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Because it’s time. That we got real.


24 thoughts on “It's time nudists got real about sex.”

  1. What is sexual depends on the situation and the person's thoughts and behavior. People are conditioned to think nudity is sexual by having separate rest rooms, showers and changing rooms for sexes. We are taught people can't be nude together and still respect each other and behave appropriately. That's obviously not true or there would be frequent sexual assaults at nude beaches and resorts. People of both sexes shower together with no problems. Some clothes can be sexual whether intentionally or not. For example, a woman wearing tight "fanny" short shorts and a skimpy tank top in Walmart where everyone is clothed may be seen as more sexual than if she is wearing nothing at a nudist resort. She should not be shamed or ridiculed for wearing less either. A person can be almost completely covered and still considered sexual by some people. I think that nudists should keep pornography and explicit sex out of nudism-themed photos and videos so people do realize it is not about sex.

  2. Here's some related information from Felicity Jones of Young Naturists America that speaks to the subject at hand:

    Myth #5. “Nudism is sexual” and “nudism is not sexual.”

    Nudism is not about sex, but it can also be a bit disingenuous to say it’s “not sexual.” Given the strong association between nudity and sex in our culture, many nudists are quick to insist that nudism is not sexual, but almost to the point of rendering themselves asexual. Most humans are sexual beings. It’s not as if we enter a nudist setting, and our sexuality disappears (nor is it suddenly an uncontrollable force).

    Nudists have sex, still experience sexual attraction and express affection in public, whether naked or not. The point is, nudist settings are no more sexual than public textile settings. Most people on nude beaches behave the same way they would on a textile beach. They talk, they skinnydip, laugh, sunbathe nude. People can control their behavior whether naked or clothed. There’s a time and place for everything.

    Myth # 6. Nudist couples’ sex lives must be diminished because they see each other naked all the time OR nudists have more sex because they see each other naked all the time.

    Sexuality is in the mind, and your sexiest body part is actually…your brain. There are many things that trigger arousal and people don’t need nudity to get turned on. If the first part of this myth were true, we’d all be doomed to sexless marriages and relationships. But there are couples who have been married for 40+ years and still have healthy sex lives.

    As for the second part, we’d say nudists probably have better sex because they tend to be more comfortable with their bodies. But do they have more sex than the average person? We’d have to do a study to find out.

    As explained in myth #5, nudists don’t become super aroused and jump each other the minute their clothes come off. They have sex behind closed doors just like everyone else.


  3. Oh my god thank you so much for saying this (and saying it so well) knowing especially not charged the subject is for so many nudists. A lot I would like to say on the subject but I would only say that people, as a whole, tend to move towards extremes – especially to differentiate us from our 'opponent' groups. If one group says "they are nude so they are perverts" then there is the natural reaction to go the other way and say "I am completely asexual". Nudists don't want to be put in a box of a textile lifestyle and yet let themselves be put in a box of anti-sexualism. The hardest place to stand is always in the middle. Nudism is not about sexualism, of course, but don't mistake that for the belief that nudists cannot ever BE sexual. After all it is all about control (rather than repression) of oneself, right?

  4. Good rant there Jim. We are sexual beings. We all are. Sexual attraction and sexuality is how our species survives. Any member of our species who is not a sexual being gets a Darwin award and drops out of the gene pool.

    Pretending that nudists are somehow not sexual is just silly. Of course we are all sexual. Of course we all enjoy sexual thoughts and feelings. Of course we all masturbate and fuck and do other sexual things. We don't get more sexual naked, and we don't get less sexual clothed.

    We all enjoy looking at other people. I read a psychological study once (about clothed people) which concluded that everybody (all of us) decides whether we want to fuck someone within 5 minutes of meeting, and all of us decide that question about everyone we meet. Mostly we decide we don't want to with that person, but not always. And, of course, that applies as much to women as to men. Pretending that we don't "check out" the people we meet is a silly lie we tell to each other.

    Thanks for your advocacy of reality among nudists. We can be polite to each other while enjoying our bodies and being honest about our feelings. Nudity may include being sexy, and sexy is OK for everyone.

    • Absolutely, and you only need to compare the comments made about the pictures of the female form and that of males, even by the most 'no sex here' followers to realise the amount of denial present. Whilst this may not be an appropriate forum for the discussion of sexual feelings, I think that it is only right that we, as naturists (or whatever you want to call yourself) acknowledge that it is as natural as being naked – in fact more so.


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