Naturism
Overview
Naturism or nudism is a cultural
Cultural movement
A cultural movement is a change in the way a number of different disciplines approach their work. This embodies all art forms, the sciences, and philosophies. Historically, different nations or regions of the world have gone through their own independent sequence of movements in culture, but as...

 and political movement
Political movement
A political movement is a social movement in the area of politics. A political movement may be organized around a single issue or set of issues, or around a set of shared concerns of a social group...

 practising, advocating and defending social nudity
Nudity
Nudity is the state of wearing no clothing. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic. The amount of clothing worn depends on functional considerations and social considerations...

 in private and in public
Public nudity
Public nudity or nude in public refers to nudity not in an entirely private context. It refers to a person appearing nude in a public place or to be seen from a public place. It also includes nudity in a semi-public place, where the general public is free to enter, such as a shopping mall...

. It may also refer to a lifestyle based on personal, family and/or social nudism.

Several other terms ("social nudity", "public nudity", and, recently, "clothes-free") have been proposed as alternative terms for naturism, but none has found the same widespread public acceptance as the older terms "naturism" and (in much of the United States) "nudism".

The naturist philosophy has several sources, many of which can be traced back to early 20th century health and fitness philosophies in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, though the concepts of returning to nature and creating equality are also cited as inspiration.
Encyclopedia
Naturism or nudism is a cultural
Cultural movement
A cultural movement is a change in the way a number of different disciplines approach their work. This embodies all art forms, the sciences, and philosophies. Historically, different nations or regions of the world have gone through their own independent sequence of movements in culture, but as...

 and political movement
Political movement
A political movement is a social movement in the area of politics. A political movement may be organized around a single issue or set of issues, or around a set of shared concerns of a social group...

 practising, advocating and defending social nudity
Nudity
Nudity is the state of wearing no clothing. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic. The amount of clothing worn depends on functional considerations and social considerations...

 in private and in public
Public nudity
Public nudity or nude in public refers to nudity not in an entirely private context. It refers to a person appearing nude in a public place or to be seen from a public place. It also includes nudity in a semi-public place, where the general public is free to enter, such as a shopping mall...

. It may also refer to a lifestyle based on personal, family and/or social nudism.

Several other terms ("social nudity", "public nudity", and, recently, "clothes-free") have been proposed as alternative terms for naturism, but none has found the same widespread public acceptance as the older terms "naturism" and (in much of the United States) "nudism".

The naturist philosophy has several sources, many of which can be traced back to early 20th century health and fitness philosophies in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, though the concepts of returning to nature and creating equality are also cited as inspiration. From Germany the idea spread to the UK, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and beyond where a network of clubs developed. The model of German naturism
Deutscher Verband für Freikörperkultur
The Deutscher Verband für Freikörperkultur is an organization based in Hannover, Germany, founded on November 6, 1949 to promote the interests of naturists in Germany...

  is to promote naturist family and recreational sports, with the DFK being a member of the German Olympic Sport Federation (DOSB). French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 naturism developed on the basis of large holiday complexes. This in turn influenced Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 and the United States. A subsequent development was tourist
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 naturism, where nudist resorts would be built to cater for the nudist tourist, without any local base. This concept is most noticeable in the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

.

From early days, clothes-free beaches
Nude beach
A nude beach is a beach where users are legally at liberty to be nude. Sometimes the terms clothing-optional beach or free beach are used. Nude bathing is one of the most common forms of nudity in public. As beaches are usually on public lands, any member of the public is entitled to use the...

 and other types of ad-hoc nudist activities have served those who wish to take part in naturist activities without belonging to any clubs. In the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, this is termed "free-range" naturism.

Naturism can contain aspects of eroticism
Eroticism
Eroticism is generally understood to refer to a state of sexual arousal or anticipation of such – an insistent sexual impulse, desire, or pattern of thoughts, as well as a philosophical contemplation concerning the aesthetics of sexual desire, sensuality and romantic love...

 for some people, although many modern naturists and naturist organisations argue it need not. The lay public and the media often oversimplify this relationship.

Naturism today

The word naturism was used for the first time in 1778 by a French-speaking Belgian, Jean Baptiste Luc Planchon (1734–1781), and was advocated as a means of improving the 'l’hygiène de vie' (natural style of life) and health.

According to the international definition adopted by the XIV Congress of the International Naturist Federation
International Naturist Federation
The International Naturist Federation or Federation Naturiste Internationale is the global umbrella organisation representing official national naturist societies.-Membership:...

 (Agde
Cap d'Agde
Cap d'Agde is the seaside resort of the town of Agde, France, on the Mediterranean sea in the département of Hérault, within the région of Languedoc-Roussillon. Agde can be reached by TGV SNCF train direct from Paris or Lille whilst the closest airports are Béziers-Cap d'Agde en Languedoc, with...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, 1974), naturism is:
"a lifestyle in harmony with nature
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

, expressed through social nudity, and characterised by self-respect of people with different opinions and of the environment
Environment (biophysical)
The biophysical environment is the combined modeling of the physical environment and the biological life forms within the environment, and includes all variables, parameters as well as conditions and modes inside the Earth's biosphere. The biophysical environment can be divided into two categories:...

."


The International Naturist Federation explains:
"Each country has its own kind of naturism, and even each club has its own special character, for we too, human beings, have each our own character which is reflected in our surroundings."


The usage and definition of these terms varies geographically and historically. Though in the United States, naturism and nudism have the same meaning, in Britain there is a clear distinction. Nudism is the act of being naked, while naturism is a lifestyle which at various times embraced nature, environment, respect for others, self-respect, crafts, healthy eating, vegetarianism, teetotalism, non-smoking, yoga, physical exercise and pacifism as well as nudity.

In naturist parlance, textile or textilist is a non-naturist person, non-naturist behaviour or non-naturist facilities. e.g. the textile beach starts at the flag, they are a mixed couple - he is naturist, she is textile. Textile is the predominant term used in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 ('textilist' is unknown in British naturist magazines including H&E naturist
H&E naturist
H&E naturist is an 84-page monthly commercial magazine focusing on the naturist and nudist lifestyle, through articles on travel, health and culture, as well as various features on arts and books with a naked theme.- History :Health & Efficiency was first published in 1900...

), although some naturists avoid it due to perceived negative or derogatory connotations. Textilist is said to be used interchangeably, but no dictionary definition to this effect exists, nor are there any equivalent examples of use in mainstream literature such as those for textile. Clothing optional and nude optional (US specific) describe a policy or a venue that allows or encourages nudity but tolerates the wearing of clothes. The opposite is clothing compulsory; that is, prohibiting nudity. Adjectival phrases clothes free and clothing free prescribe where naturism is permitted in an otherwise textile environment, or define the preferred state of a naturist.

The social nudity movement includes a large range of variants including "naturism", "nudism", "Freikörperkultur
Freikörperkultur
Freikörperkultur is a German movement whose name translates to Free Body Culture. It endorses a naturistic approach to sports and community living. Behind that is the joy of the experience of nature or also of being nude itself, without direct relationship to sexuality. The followers of this...

 (FKK)", the "free beach
Nude beach
A nude beach is a beach where users are legally at liberty to be nude. Sometimes the terms clothing-optional beach or free beach are used. Nude bathing is one of the most common forms of nudity in public. As beaches are usually on public lands, any member of the public is entitled to use the...

 movement" as well as generalized "public lands/public nudity
Public nudity
Public nudity or nude in public refers to nudity not in an entirely private context. It refers to a person appearing nude in a public place or to be seen from a public place. It also includes nudity in a semi-public place, where the general public is free to enter, such as a shopping mall...

" advocacy. There is a large amount of shared history and common themes, issues and philosophy, but differences between these separate movements remain contentious.
See also: labels, associations and terminology for an extended discussion and disambiguation.

Types of naturism

Naturism is practised in many ways: Marc Alain Descamps, in his study written in French, classified the types as: individual nudism, nudism within family, nudism in the wild, social nudism. To that we can add the militant naturist, campaigning or extreme naturists.

Personal and family nudism

Nudism is often practiced in a person's home or garden, either alone or with members of the family.

There are differences of opinion as to whether, and if so to what extent, parents should appear naked in front of their children. Gordon and Schroeder report that parental nudity varies considerably from family to family. They say that "there is nothing inherently wrong with bathing with children or otherwise appearing naked in front of them", noting that doing so may provide an opportunity for parents to provide important information. They note that by ages 5 to 6 children begin to develop a sense of modesty, and recommend to parents who wish to be sensitive to their children's wishes that they limit such activities from that age onwards.

Bonner recommends against nudity in the home if children exhibit sexual play of a type that is considered problematic.

A United States study by Alfred Kinsey
Alfred Kinsey
Alfred Charles Kinsey was an American biologist and professor of entomology and zoology, who in 1947 founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University, now known as the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, as well as producing the Kinsey Reports and the Kinsey...

 found that 75% of the participants stated that there was never nudity in the home when they were growing up, 5% of the participants said that there was "seldom" nudity in the home, 3% said "often", and 17% said that it was "usual". The study found that there was no significant difference between what was reported by men and by women with respect to frequency of nudity in the home.

In a 1995 review of the literature, Paul Okami concluded that there was no reliable evidence linking exposure to parental nudity to any negative effect. Three years later, his team finished an 18-year longitudinal study that showed that, if anything, such exposure was associated with slight beneficial effects, particularly for boys.

Social nudism

Social nudism is nudism in a social context, either at one's home with friends or with acquaintances at a nudist event or facility, such as a naturist club, community center, resort, or other facility. (The terms are loosely defined and there are some regional differences.) At naturist events or venues clothing is usually optional, except by swimming pools or sunbathing lawns where complete nudity is expected, weather permitting. This rule is sometimes a source of controversy among some naturists. Staff at a naturist facility are sometimes required to be clothed due to health and safety regulations.

Facilities for naturists are classified in various ways. A landed or members' naturist club is one that owns its own facilities, while non-landed (or travel) clubs meet at various locations, such as private residences, swimming pools, hot springs, landed clubs and resorts, and rented facilities. Landed clubs can be run by members on democratic lines or by one or more owners who make the rules. In either case, they can determine membership criteria and the obligations of members. This usually involves sharing work necessary to maintain or develop the site.

Some clubs have stricter entrance requirements than some traditional 'country clubs', including the requirement to supply references, a sponsoring member, a trial membership, committee approval and/or, criminal background checks. UK clubs are now required to have child-protection policies in place, and designated child-protection officers. Many clubs promote frequent social activities.

The international naturist organizations were mainly composed of representatives of landed clubs. "Nudist colony" is no longer a favored term, but it is used by naturists as a term of derision for landed clubs that have rigid non inclusive membership criteria, and in meta-data on naturist websites.

A holiday center is a facility that specializes in providing apartments, chalets and camping pitches for visiting holidaymakers. The center is run commercially, and visitors are not members and have no say in the management. Most holiday centers expect visitors to hold an INF card, that is be a member of their national organization, but some have relaxed this restriction, relying on the carrying of a trade card. Holiday centers can be quite small, just a couple of hectares or large occupying over 300 hectares. In a large holiday center there will be swimming pools, sports pitches, an entertainment program, kids' clubs, restaurants and supermarkets. Some holiday centers allow regular visitors to purchase their own chalets, and generations of the same families will visit each year. Holiday centers are more tolerant of clothing than members-only clubs; total nudity is usually compuslory in the swimming pools and may be expected on the beaches, while on the football pitches, or in the restaurants in the evening, it is rare.

A naturist resort is, to a European, an essentially urban development where naturism is the norm. Cap d'Agde
Cap d'Agde
Cap d'Agde is the seaside resort of the town of Agde, France, on the Mediterranean sea in the département of Hérault, within the région of Languedoc-Roussillon. Agde can be reached by TGV SNCF train direct from Paris or Lille whilst the closest airports are Béziers-Cap d'Agde en Languedoc, with...

 in France, naturist village Charco del Palo
Charco del Palo
Charco del Palo is a small village on the Eastern coast of Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands. It is located in the municipality of Haría, near the villages of Mala and Guatiza. The village was established around 1970 by the German entrepreneur Gregor Kaiser. In due course, it has developed into a...

 on Lanzarote, Canary Islands, and Vera Playa
Vera, Spain
-External links: - Sistema de Información Multiterritorial de Andalucía - Diputación Provincial de Almería - Vera town information....

 in Spain are examples. Here there are apartment blocks, with privately-owned and rented apartments. For some residents this is their year-round home. One finds all the usual facilities of a small town. In the US usage, a naturist resort can mean a holiday centre.

Freikörperkultur (FKK) (see article in German) literally translated as free body culture is the name for the general movement in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. The abbreviation is widely recognised all over Europe and often found on informal signs indicating the direction to a remote naturist beach.

Nude beaches

Clothing is optional at nude beach
Nude beach
A nude beach is a beach where users are legally at liberty to be nude. Sometimes the terms clothing-optional beach or free beach are used. Nude bathing is one of the most common forms of nudity in public. As beaches are usually on public lands, any member of the public is entitled to use the...

es (or free beaches). Some beaches have been clothes free beyond living memory, and their status has been formalised by becoming official nude beaches, while others, though not official, have become unofficial nude beaches through toleration by local authorities. In some European countries, such as Denmark, all beaches are clothing optional, while in others like Germany there are naturist sunbathing areas in public parks, e.g., in Munich  and Berlin.

A feature of bathing on a nude beach is the anonymity it offers, where membership of a club is not required with detailed application processes, nor pre-booking of visits.

Though free beaches developed separately from national naturist bodies, these bodies are taking an interest and helping to protect them legally, and through the publication of guidelines of acceptable behaviour. In North America, the Free Beach Movement was the name of a group that was opposed to the direction of the official nudist organisation, the American Association for Nude Recreation
American Association for Nude Recreation
The American Association for Nude Recreation is a nudist organization in the United States. Founded in 1931, the organization advocates nudity and nude recreation in appropriate settings. The AANR charters approximately 259 independent U.S. nudist resorts and parks...

, and set up the rival body The Naturist Society
The Naturist Society
The Naturist Society is a national naturist organization based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. It publishes a quarterly periodical called Nude & Natural which documents and coordinates naturist activities and provides information about issues related to naturism. The Naturist Society was established...

.

Other nudist activities

Various people engage in nude recreational activities, either as individuals or in groups. These activities include nude swimming (sometimes called skinny dipping
Skinny dipping
Nude swimming, colloquially called skinny dipping, is a term used to describe swimming naked.-Etymology:The term skinny dip, first recorded in English in the 1950s, includes the somewhat archaic word skinny, known since 1573, meaning "having to do with skin", as it exposed the naked...

) in a river, lake, swimming hole or other body of water; nude snorkeling and nude diving; nude canoeing or kayaking (sometimes called canuding); nude hiking (sometimes called free hiking
Naked hiking
Naked walking, also known as naked hiking or freehiking, is a sub-category of the modern form of social nudity....

 or naked rambling) in the remote countryside; or cycle riding (free riding)
World Naked Bike Ride
World Naked Bike Ride is an international clothing-optional bike ride in which participants plan, meet and ride together en masse on human-powered transport , to "deliver a vision of a cleaner, safer, body-positive world."The dress code motto is "Bare as you dare"...

 in remote areas and in organised groups through cities; as well as other more traditional nudist sporting activities.

Campaigning naturism

  • Vincent Bethell conducted The Freedom to be Yourself
    The Freedom to be Yourself
    The Freedom to be Yourself campaign was founded in 1999 by Vincent Bethell. The group, according to Vincent Bethell is about "the right to be naked in public". The campaign is about non-sexual public nakedness...

     campaign.
  • Day Without Bathing Suits. It began in Spain in 2007. From 2009 is extending all over the world.
  • Steve Gough, UK walker who has walked from Lands End to John O'Groats naked.
  • Spencer Tunick
    Spencer Tunick
    Spencer Tunick is an American photographer. Tunick is best known for organizing large-scale nude shoots. Since 1994 he has photographed over 75 human installations around the world.-Biography:...

     mass nude photography.
  • Mark Storey
    Mark Storey
    Mark Storey is a board member of the Naturist Action Committee and has testified at anti-nudity legislation hearings all over the United States....

     is a member of the Naturist Action Committee
    Naturist Action Committee
    The Naturist Action Committee is a nine-member volunteer committee that functions as the political adjunct to The Naturist Society , based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin...

    , directed by Bob Morton, a sister organisation to the US The Naturist Society
    The Naturist Society
    The Naturist Society is a national naturist organization based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. It publishes a quarterly periodical called Nude & Natural which documents and coordinates naturist activities and provides information about issues related to naturism. The Naturist Society was established...

    . He co-founded the Body Freedom Collaborative
    Body Freedom Collaborative
    The Body Freedom Collaborative is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the integration and acceptance of non-sexual social nudity in a variety of public and private settings...

     in Seattle with Daniel Johnson
    Daniel Lorenz Johnson
    Daniel Lorenz Johnson is an American permaculturist, artist, activist, community organizer and writer who has worked for the advancement of various progressive/social liberalist causes through interdisciplinary, collaborative projects involving grassroots politics, media art and popular culture...

    , Washington state in the US, whose goal is to bring attention for the need for legal clothing-optional beaches through "guerilla pranksterism", among other approaches.
  • Anarcho-naturism
    Anarcho-naturism
    Anarcho-naturism appeared in the late 19th century as the union of anarchist and naturist philosophies. Mainly it had importance within individualist anarchist circles in Spain, France, Portugal...

     is a tendency within the anarchist movement that advocates naturism
  • The Sex Party of British Columbia
    Sex Party (British Columbia)
    The Sex Party is a political party based in British Columbia, Canada, that contests provincial elections to promote libertarian and sex-positive attitudes towards sexual education, pornography, indecency laws, and prostitution. It describes itself as "the world's first registered political party...

     (Canada) promotes normalization of all parts of the human body and destigmatizing human sexual organs. It would pass legislation requiring all public parks and beaches larger than one hectare to designate areas reserved for nudists.
  • The former Dutch party Naastenliefde, Vrijheid en Diversiteit would have passed legislation to make public nudity
    Public nudity
    Public nudity or nude in public refers to nudity not in an entirely private context. It refers to a person appearing nude in a public place or to be seen from a public place. It also includes nudity in a semi-public place, where the general public is free to enter, such as a shopping mall...

     legal everywhere, provided that a towel is used when sitting on a public bench
    Bench (furniture)
    A bench is a piece of furniture, on which several people may sit at the same time. Benches are typically made of wood, but may also be made of metal, stone, or synthetic materials. Many benches have arm and back rests; some have no back rest and can be sat on from either side. In public areas,...

    .
  • Starkers! and the emergence of clubbing culture and naturism developed in London.
  • The short-lived Naturist Lifestyle Party in New South Wales
    New South Wales
    New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

    , Australia aimed "to bring naturism fully into the public eye, with view to getting an equitable allocation of public resources to those who support the naturist lifestyle."
  • Gerald Ganglbauer
    Gerald Ganglbauer
    Gerald Ganglbauer is an Austrian Australian publisher diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at the age of 48 years. Since then he has been an ambassador for Parkinson's support groups.- Life :...

     convened Free Beach Action NSW, a lobby group for naturism in New South Wales
    New South Wales
    New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

    .


Nude protests have a long history: Doukhobor
Doukhobor
The Doukhobors or Dukhobors , earlierDukhobortsy are a group of Russian origin.The Doukhobors were one of the sects - later defined as a religious philosophy, ethnic group, social movement, or simply a "way of life" - known generically as Spiritual Christianity. The origin of the Doukhobors is...

, Women's Institute Calendar
Calendar Girls
Calendar Girls is a 2003 comedy film directed by Nigel Cole. Produced by Buena Vista International and Touchstone Pictures, it features a screenplay by Tim Firth and Juliette Towhidi based on a true story of a group of Yorkshire women who produced a nude calendar to raise money for Leukaemia...

.

Philosophy

Naturism had many different philosophical sources and means many things to different people. There is no one definition. In 1974, the INF defined naturism as:
Naturism is a lifestyle in harmony with nature, expressed through social nudity, and characterised by self-respect of people with different opinions and of the environment.


At one end of the spectrum are the nudists who just enjoy a nude life style, and at the other are the naturists, who have deeply held beliefs and see communal nudity as just one of many important principles.

Gymnosophy and religious nakedness

In the 4th century BC, Alexander the Great encountered, in India, wandering groups of naked holy men whom he dubbed the naked philosophers. (Gr gymnos: naked; sophist: knowledge). The philosopher Onesicritus
Onesicritus
Onesicritus , a Greek historical writer, who accompanied Alexander on his campaigns in Asia. He claimed to have been the commander of Alexander's fleet but was actually only a helmsman; Arrian and Nearchus often criticize him for this. When he returned home, he wrote a history of Alexander's...

 investigated their beliefs and lifestyle. Pyrrho
Pyrrho
Pyrrho , a Greek philosopher of classical antiquity, is credited as being the first Skeptic philosopher and the inspiration for the school known as Pyrrhonism, founded by Aenesidemus in the 1st century BC.- Life :Pyrrho was from Elis, on the Ionian Sea...

 the Sceptic was impressed and incorporated nudity into his philosophy. The Gymnosophists were Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

s, but Jain and Ajivika
Ajivika
Ājīvika was an ancient philosophical and ascetic movement of the Mahajanapada period of the Indian subcontinent....

 monks practiced nudity as a statement
Nudity in religion
-Abrahamic religions:The Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all recount the legend of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden found in the Hebrew Bible, who are not aware that they are naked until they eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. When they discover...

 that they had given up all worldly goods. Nudity was not a new concept to the Greeks as the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 (founded in 776 BC) were exclusively male and nude events. Gymnastics and gymnasium share the same root word (Gr gymnos).

Historically, the Adamites
Adamites
The Adamites, or Adamians, were adherents of an Early Christian sect that flourished in North Africa in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries, but knew later revivals.-Ancient Adamites:...

, a Gnostic sect, practiced religious nudism
Nudity in religion
-Abrahamic religions:The Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all recount the legend of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden found in the Hebrew Bible, who are not aware that they are naked until they eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. When they discover...

.
Another religious sect, the Doukhobors, migrated from Russia to western Canada. They practice or practiced occasional nudity, such as while working in the farm fields. Members of one of the three subdivisions of Canadian Doukhobors, the small radical Sons of Freedom group, went so far in the 1900s as to publicly strip in mass public demonstrations to protest against government policies which were meant to assimilate them. Today, Christian naturism
Christian naturism
Christian naturists are Christians found in most branches and denominations of Christianity who practice naturism or nudism. They find no conflict between the teachings of the Bible and living their lives and worshiping God without any clothing, believing that covering the body leads to its...

 contains various members associated with most denominations
Christian denomination
A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. In the Orthodox tradition, Churches are divided often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Technically, divisions between one group and...

. Although beliefs vary, a common theme is that much of Christianity has misinterpreted the events regarding the Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is in the Bible's Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. Literally, the Bible speaks about a garden in Eden...

, and God was displeased with Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

 for covering their bodies with fig leaves
Fig leaf
A fig leaf is the covering up of an act or an object that is embarrassing or disagreeable. The term is a metaphorical reference to the Biblical Book of Genesis, in which Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover "their nakedness" after eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and...

.

The first English naturists adopted the name Gymnosophy as a thinly disguised euphemism for their pastime. The English Gymnosophical Society
English Gymnosophical Society
English Gymnosophical Society was a society of like minded persons established some time during the early 1920s to discuss naturism. A few years later it renamed itself the "New Gymnosophy Society" and began holding organised meetings at The Camp in Wickford, Essex in 1924 thus forming the first...

 was formed in 1922 and became the New Gymnosophy Society in 1926; they purchased land at 'Bricketts Wood' to become Britain's first nudist colony. One of the first members was Gerald Gardner
Gerald Gardner
Gerald Brousseau Gardner , who sometimes used the craft name Scire, was an influential English Wiccan, as well as an amateur anthropologist and archaeologist, writer, weaponry expert and occultist. He was instrumental in bringing the Neopagan religion of Wicca to public attention in Britain and...

, who in 1945 established the 'Five Acres Club' nearby, ostensibly as a nudist club, but as a front for Wicca
Wicca
Wicca , is a modern Pagan religious movement. Developing in England in the first half of the 20th century, Wicca was popularised in the 1950s and early 1960s by a Wiccan High Priest named Gerald Gardner, who at the time called it the "witch cult" and "witchcraft," and its adherents "the Wica."...

ns, as witchcraft
Witchcraft
Witchcraft, in historical, anthropological, religious, and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. A witch is a practitioner of witchcraft...

 was illegal in England until 1951.

The Digambar, one of the two main divisions of the Jain
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

 religion of India, remain skyclad, or naked, though generally it is practiced by males. Digambar means 'clothed with the sky'. Wicca
Wicca
Wicca , is a modern Pagan religious movement. Developing in England in the first half of the 20th century, Wicca was popularised in the 1950s and early 1960s by a Wiccan High Priest named Gerald Gardner, who at the time called it the "witch cult" and "witchcraft," and its adherents "the Wica."...

ns have adopted this wording and some practice their rituals skyclad.

Naturist ideals

Individuals have formed nudist groups for a variety of specific purposes. It is generally agreed by naturist organisations that eroticism
Eroticism
Eroticism is generally understood to refer to a state of sexual arousal or anticipation of such – an insistent sexual impulse, desire, or pattern of thoughts, as well as a philosophical contemplation concerning the aesthetics of sexual desire, sensuality and romantic love...

 and blatant sexuality have no place in naturism and are, in fact, antithetical to its ideals, as noted above.
  • Ecological
    Ecology
    Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

     or environmental
    Environmentalist
    An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement, "a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities"...

     — rapport with the natural world.
  • Health
    Health
    Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person's mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain...

     — bathing in the sun, fresh air and water (balneotherapy
    Balneotherapy
    Balneotherapy is the treatment of disease by bathing, usually practiced at spas. While it is considered distinct from hydrotherapy, there are some overlaps in practice and in underlying principles. Balneotherapy may involve hot or cold water, massage through moving water, relaxation or stimulation...

    , thalassotherapy
    Thalassotherapy
    Thalassotherapy is the unproven medical use of seawater as a form of therapy. The properties of seawater are believed to have beneficial effects upon the pores of the skin. Thalassotherapy was developed in seaside towns in Brittany, France during the 19th century...

    , heliotherapy).
  • Diet
    Healthy diet
    A healthy diet is one that helps maintain or improve general health. It is important for lowering many chronic health risks, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer. A healthy diet involves consuming appropriate amounts of all essential nutrients and an adequate amount of...

     — moderation with alcohol
    Alcohol
    In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

    , meat, tobacco
    Tobacco
    Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

    , drugs
    DRUGS
    Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows are an American post-hardcore band formed in 2010. They released their debut self-titled album on February 22, 2011.- Formation :...

    ; seeking out health foods and adopting healthy eating to prevent obesity
    Obesity
    Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems...

    . This can extend to teetotalism
    Teetotalism
    Teetotalism refers to either the practice of or the promotion of complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages. A person who practices teetotalism is called a teetotaler or is simply said to be teetotal...

     and Vegetarian
    Vegetarianism
    Vegetarianism encompasses the practice of following plant-based diets , with or without the inclusion of dairy products or eggs, and with the exclusion of meat...

     or Vegan
    Veganism
    Veganism is the practice of eliminating the use of animal products. Ethical vegans reject the commodity status of animals and the use of animal products for any purpose, while dietary vegans or strict vegetarians eliminate them from their diet only...

     eating habits. The latter two also interface with having respect for the environment.
  • Agriculture — avoiding unnecessary fertilizer
    Fertilizer
    Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

    s and genetically modified organism
    Genetically modified organism
    A genetically modified organism or genetically engineered organism is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one...

    s. Against factory farming
    Factory farming
    Factory farming is a term referring to the process of raising livestock in confinement at high stocking density, where a farm operates as a factory — a practice typical in industrial farming by agribusinesses. The main products of this industry are meat, milk and eggs for human consumption...

  • Medicine — should be natural if not entirely homeopathic
    Homeopathy
    Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine in which practitioners claim to treat patients using highly diluted preparations that are believed to cause healthy people to exhibit symptoms that are similar to those exhibited by the patient...

  • Psychotherapy
    Psychotherapy
    Psychotherapy is a general term referring to any form of therapeutic interaction or treatment contracted between a trained professional and a client or patient; family, couple or group...

     — as a way of effecting personal changes
  • Rapport with other humans — equality and respect. An anti-war, pro-world government stance
  • Pedagogy
    Pedagogy
    Pedagogy is the study of being a teacher or the process of teaching. The term generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction....

     — children should be respected as equals instead of being patronised
  • Spirituality
    Spirituality
    Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

     — man is no more than an animal, and nudity has a place in religion.
    Nudity in religion
    -Abrahamic religions:The Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all recount the legend of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden found in the Hebrew Bible, who are not aware that they are naked until they eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. When they discover...

  • Dress — nudism, as clothes are unnecessary, unhealthy and build social barriers.
  • Sports — to develop a healthy body.
  • Arts
    ARts
    aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

     — should be to develop individual talents, not as a means of financial exploitation
  • Tourism
    Tourism
    Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

     — to understand other peoples' culture, concentrating on camping to remain close to the earth.
  • Liberty
    Liberty
    Liberty is a moral and political principle, or Right, that identifies the condition in which human beings are able to govern themselves, to behave according to their own free will, and take responsibility for their actions...

     — no one has the right to tell others or their children that they must wear clothes.
  • Pollution
    Pollution
    Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

     — less clothing to manufacture and maintain means lower carbon footprint.

Naturism and the Romantics

Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse...

 American writer, A Sun-bathed Nakedness:
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist...

, In wildness is the preservation of the world., Walking
Walking (Thoreau)
"Walking" is an essay written by Henry David Thoreau, . Between 1851 and 1860 Thoreau read the piece a total of ten times, more than any other of his lectures...

:
Naturism was part of a literary movement in the late 1800s (see the writings of André Gide
André Gide
André Paul Guillaume Gide was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career ranged from its beginnings in the symbolist movement, to the advent of anticolonialism between the two World Wars.Known for his fiction as well as his autobiographical works, Gide...

) which also influenced the art movements of the time specifically Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter...

 and other Fauve
Fauvism
Fauvism is the style of les Fauves , a short-lived and loose group of early twentieth-century Modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong colour over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism...

 painters. This movement was based on the French concept of joie de vivre
Joie de vivre
Joie de vivre is a French phrase often used in English to express a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit. Joie de vivre"can be a joy of conversation, joy of eating, joy of anything one might do… And joie de vivre may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy...

, the idea of revelling freely in physical sensations and direct experiences and a spontaneous approach to life. Later this movement became called Naturalism.

Naturism for health

Sunlight
Sunlight
Sunlight, in the broad sense, is the total frequency spectrum of electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun. On Earth, sunlight is filtered through the Earth's atmosphere, and solar radiation is obvious as daylight when the Sun is above the horizon.When the direct solar radiation is not blocked...

 has been shown to be beneficial in some skin conditions and enables the body to make vitamin D
Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. In humans, vitamin D is unique both because it functions as a prohormone and because the body can synthesize it when sun exposure is adequate ....

, but with the increased awareness of skin cancer
Skin cancer
Skin neoplasms are skin growths with differing causes and varying degrees of malignancy. The three most common malignant skin cancers are basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma, each of which is named after the type of skin cell from which it arises...

, wearing of sunscreen
Sunscreen
Sunblock is a lotion, spray, gel or other topical product that absorbs or reflects some of the sun's ultraviolet radiation on the skin exposed to sunlight and thus helps protect against sunburn...

 is now part of the culture.

Naturism and equality

Many people say that being nude in groups makes them feel more accepted for their entire being — physical, intellectual and emotional. They say that they tend to be more accepted, in spite of differences in age, body shape, fitness, and health. Without clothing, one's social rank is generally obscured. They report feeling more united with humanity, with less regard to a person's wealth, position, nationality, race, and sex.

History of social nudity

Nudity in social contexts has been practised in various forms by many cultures at all time periods. Social nudity is most frequently encountered in the contexts of bathing
Bathing
Bathing is the washing or cleansing of the body in a fluid, usually water or an aqueous solution. It may be practised for personal hygiene, religious ritual or therapeutic purposes or as a recreational activity....

, swimming and in sauna
Sauna
A sauna is a small room or house designed as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions, or an establishment with one or more of these and auxiliary facilities....

s, whether in single-sex groups, within the family or with mixed-sex friends.

It is difficult to nominate exactly when naturism started as a movement. In 1903 Paul Zimmermann opened the first club, Freilichtpark, near Hamburg. By 1951, the national federations united to form the International Naturist Federation
International Naturist Federation
The International Naturist Federation or Federation Naturiste Internationale is the global umbrella organisation representing official national naturist societies.-Membership:...

 or INF
International Naturist Federation
The International Naturist Federation or Federation Naturiste Internationale is the global umbrella organisation representing official national naturist societies.-Membership:...

. Some naturists preferred not to join clubs, and after 1945, pressure was put to designate beaches for naturist use. The two groups did not cooperate until 2000.

From the middle of the 20th century, with changing leisure patterns, commercial organisations began opening holiday resorts to attract naturists who expected the same - or better - standards of comfort and amenity offered to non-naturists. More recently, naturist holiday options have expanded to include cruises.

The spread of philosophy and the rise of formal communities

The earliest known naturist club in the "western" sense of the word was established in British India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 in 1891. It was founded by Charles Edward Gordon Crawford, a widower, who was a District and Sessions Judge for the Bombay Civil Service at Thana. Evidence for its existence is only known by a few letters he sent to friends, and the club which had three members, reportedly closed in 1892.

In the early 1900s, a series of philosophical papers was published in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Dr. Heinrich Pudor, under the pseudonym Heinrich Scham, wrote a book titled Nacktkultur, which discussed the benefits of nudity in co-education and advocated participating in sports while being free of cumbersome clothing. Richard Ungewitter (Nacktheit, 1906, Nackt, 1908, etc.) proposed that combining physical fitness, sunlight, and fresh air bathing, and then adding the nudist philosophy, contributed to mental and psychological fitness, good health, and an improved moral-life view.

The wide publication of those papers and others, contributed to an explosive worldwide growth of nudism, in which nudists participated in various social, recreational, and physical fitness activities in the nude. The first known organized club for nudists, Freilichtpark (Free-Light Park), was opened near Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 in 1903 by Paul Zimmerman.

Germany

German naturism was part of the Lebensreform
Lebensreform
Lebensreform was a social movement in late 19th-century and early 20th-century Germany and Switzerland that propagated a back-to-nature lifestyle, emphasizing among others health food/raw food/organic food, nudism, sexual liberation, alternative medicine, and religious reform and at the same time...

 movement and the Wandervogel
Wandervogel
Wandervogel is the name adopted by a popular movement of German youth groups from 1896 onward. The name can be translated as rambling, hiking or wandering bird and the ethos is to shake off the restrictions of society and get back to nature and freedom...

 youth movement of 1896, from Steglitz
Steglitz
Steglitz is a locality of the Steglitz-Zehlendorf borough in the south-west of Berlin, the capital of Germany. The locality also includes the neighbourhood of Südende.-History:...

, Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 which promoted ideas of fitness and vigour. At the same time doctors of the Natural Healing Movement were using heliotherapy, treating diseases such as TB
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

, rheumatism
Rheumatism
Rheumatism or rheumatic disorder is a non-specific term for medical problems affecting the joints and connective tissue. The study of, and therapeutic interventions in, such disorders is called rheumatology.-Terminology:...

 and scrofula
Scrofula
Tuberculous cervical lymphadenitis refers to a lymphadenitis of the cervical lymph nodes associated with tuberculosis. It was previously known as "scrofula".-The disease:...

 with exposure to sunlight.

The Nacktkultur refers to a network of over 200 private clubs in Germany which promote nudism as a way of connect the individual to nature. It was coined in 1902 by Heinrich Pudor and published as a 3 volume treatise in 1906 connecting nudism, vegetarianism and social reform. However, its roots might go back as far as the 1870s. Its major promoters were Adolf Koch and Hans Suren. Germany published the first journal of nudism between 1902 and 1932.

The movement went on to gain prominence in the 1920s, portrayed as both health giving but also for its Utopian ideals. It became politicised by radical socialists who believed it would lead to a breaking down of society and classlessness. It became associated with pacificism
Pacificism
Pacificism is the general ethical opposition to war or violence, except in cases where force is deemed absolutely necessary to advance the cause of peace....

. In 1926, Adolf Koch
Adolf Koch
Adolf Koch was a German school teacher and leader of the Freikörperkultur movement in German in the 1920s and 1930s....

 established a school of nudism encouraging a mixing of the sexes, open air exercises, as part of a programme of "sexual hygiene". In 1929, the Berlin school hosted the first International Congress on Nudity.

During the Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 Gleichschaltung
Gleichschaltung
Gleichschaltung , meaning "coordination", "making the same", "bringing into line", is a Nazi term for the process by which the Nazi regime successively established a system of totalitarian control and tight coordination over all aspects of society. The historian Richard J...

period after Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 came to power, nudism both benefited from official recognition and sponsorship for its health benefits, and was persecuted as officials argued over the concept of Nacktkultur. In March 1933, Prussian Minister of the Interior Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as "The Blue Max"...

 passed laws limiting mixed sex nudism, as a reaction to the increasing immorality of the Weimar state. In January 1934, Reichmaster of the Interior Wilhelm Frick
Wilhelm Frick
Wilhelm Frick was a prominent German Nazi official serving as Minister of the Interior of the Third Reich. After the end of World War II, he was tried for war crimes at the Nuremberg Trials and executed...

 passed edicts restricting nudism amongst fears of it being a breeding ground for Marxists and homosexuals .

The ban lasted one month. Within a year nudism was being practised with full state support again. However, prohibition did not mean the end of nudism and supporters including even SS leaders. The rules were eventually softened in July 1942. Nevertheless, all naturism clubs had to register with Kraft durch Freude
Kraft durch Freude
Kraft durch Freude was a large state-controlled leisure organization in Nazi Germany. It was a part of the German Labour Front , the national German labour organization at that time...

, which meant excluding Jews
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and Communists
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

. Also, they had to keep all activities well out in the countryside so there would be virtually no chance of being seen by others.

After the war, East Germans were free to practice nudism, chiefly at beaches rather than clubs (private organizations being regarded as potentially subversive by the government). It quickly rebounded in the west
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 also, and today, united Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 has many clubs, parks and beaches for nudism.
Since German reunification
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

, however, nudity is said to have become rare at some locations in the former eastern zone. Vacationing in Mediterranean France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 at the large Cap d'Agde
Cap d'Agde
Cap d'Agde is the seaside resort of the town of Agde, France, on the Mediterranean sea in the département of Hérault, within the région of Languedoc-Roussillon. Agde can be reached by TGV SNCF train direct from Paris or Lille whilst the closest airports are Béziers-Cap d'Agde en Languedoc, with...

 resort also became popular for Germans when it opened in the late 1960s, and Germans are typically the most commonly-seen foreigners at nude beaches all around Europe.
  • Heinrich Pudor
    Heinrich Pudor
    Heinrich Pudor was a German Volkish-nationalist pundit and a pioneer of nudist culture in Germany. He took the pseudonyms Heinrich Scham and Ernst Deutsch.-Life:...

     wrote on methods to improve social hygiene in his book Nackende Menchen und Jauchzen der Zukunft (Naked people and the future of Mankind) and then Nacktkultur (Nude Culture). It prescribes an austere lifestyle and nudity.
  • Paul Zimmermann, opened the Freilicht Park in Lübeck which was open to those who subscribed to Nacktkultur principles.
  • Richard Ungewitter wrote Die Nacktheit (Nakedness) which sold 90,000 copies, prescribed a similar Utopian lifestyle, where everyone would be nude, eat only vegetables and abstain from alcohol and tobacco. In his Utopia, everyone was to be Germanic with blue eyes and blonde hair.
  • Adolf Koch, a left wing primary school teacher, sought to use social nudity to free the people from 'authority fixated conditioning which held proletarians in deference of their masters: parental authority, paternalism of the church, the mass media and organs of law and order. He used Organic-Rhythmic exercises in Berlin schools in the 1920s. In 1932 there were about 100,000 Germans involved with Naturism, of which 70,000 were in Koch's Körperschülen schools.
  • Hans Surén taught nude gymnastics to soldiers for five years, and on being forced to leave the army, he wrote in 1924, Mensch und die Sonne (Men and the Sun) which ran to 61 reprints. Later, in 1936, Surén proposed physical exercise and naturism as a means of creating a pure German race and of beauty. In the early 1940s he was out of favour and arrested. By 1945, he had turned full circle and was writing religious texts. Though never a member of any FKK club he was awarded honorary membership of the DFK
    Deutscher Verband für Freikörperkultur
    The Deutscher Verband für Freikörperkultur is an organization based in Hannover, Germany, founded on November 6, 1949 to promote the interests of naturists in Germany...

     in 1952.
  • Nudists became a large element in German Left Wing Politics. The Proletarische Freikörperkulturbewegung subsection of the Workers Sports Organisation had 60000 members.

France

From 1857 Dr. Duhamel spoke of the importance of heliotherapy, and worked with children suffering from tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 on the beach at Berck
Berck
Berck, sometimes referred to as Berck-sur-Mer, is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France and lies within the Marquenterre regional park, an ornithological nature reserve...

. In 1903 S. Gay created a naturist community at Bois-Fourgon. In 1907, supported by his superiors, Abbé Legrée encouraged the students at his catholic college to bathe nude on the rocky beaches near Marseille
Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

. A report on German naturism was published in la Revue des deux mondes
Revue des deux mondes
The Revue des deux Mondes is a French language monthly literary and cultural affairs magazine that has been published in Paris since 1829....

.

Marcel Kienné de Mongeot, who came from a noble family and who was an aviator in the Great War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, is credited with starting naturism in France in 1920. By then he was a journalist who wrote a defense of the dancer, Malkowski, in the journal Vouloir. His family had suffered from tuberculosis, and he saw naturism as a cure and a continuation of the traditions of the ancient Greeks. In 1926, he started the magazine Vivre intégralement (later called Vivre) and the first French naturist club, Sparta Club at Garambouville, near Evreux
Évreux
Évreux is a commune in the Eure department, of which it is the capital, in Haute Normandie in northern France.-History:In late Antiquity, the town, attested in the fourth century CE, was named Mediolanum Aulercorum, "the central town of the Aulerci", the Gallic tribe then inhabiting the area...

. Others quickly followed as did local opposition. His victory in court established that nudism was legal on private property that was fenced and screened.

Drs. André and Gaston Durville opened a naturist health centre, edited the La vie sage (1924) and bought a 70 hectare site on the Île du Levant
Île du Levant
Île du Levant , sometimes referred to as Le Levant, is a Mediterranean French island off the coast of the Riviera, near Toulon. It is one of the three that constitute the Îles d'Hyères of France. The island is 8 km long, 2 km wide, and located in the Gulf of Lion...

 on which they established the Héliopolis
Île du Levant
Île du Levant , sometimes referred to as Le Levant, is a Mediterranean French island off the coast of the Riviera, near Toulon. It is one of the three that constitute the Îles d'Hyères of France. The island is 8 km long, 2 km wide, and located in the Gulf of Lion...

. The village was open to the public. Dr François Fougerat de David de Lastours, who was gassed in the Great War and was saved by exposure to the sun, in 1925 wrote a thesis on heliotherapy and in that year opened the Club gymnique de France. Jacque de Marquette wrote on naturism and vegetarianism. In 1936, government minister Léo Lagrange
Léo Lagrange
Léo Lagrange was a French Under-Secretary of State for Sports and for the Organisation of Leisure during the Popular Front...

 recognised the naturist movement.

Albert and Christine Lecocq were active members of many of these clubs, but after disagreements left and in 1944 founded their own travel club Club du Soleil. It was popular and had members in 84 cities, becoming the worlds largest naturist club. In 1948 they founded the FFN. In 1949 they started a magazine, Vie au Soleil and in 1950 they opened the CHM-Montalivet
CHM-Montalivet (naturist resort)
CHM-Montalivet is the world's first naturist holiday resort located south of Montalivet, in Vendays-Montalivet, France...

 at Montalivet
Vendays-Montalivet
Vendays-Montalivet is a commune in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in southwestern France.-Demography:-References:*...

, the worlds first naturist holiday centre. In 1951 they assisted in the formation of the INF
International Naturist Federation
The International Naturist Federation or Federation Naturiste Internationale is the global umbrella organisation representing official national naturist societies.-Membership:...

.

The Quartier Naturiste at Agde
Cap d'Agde
Cap d'Agde is the seaside resort of the town of Agde, France, on the Mediterranean sea in the département of Hérault, within the région of Languedoc-Roussillon. Agde can be reached by TGV SNCF train direct from Paris or Lille whilst the closest airports are Béziers-Cap d'Agde en Languedoc, with...

 opened offering a different form of social nudity. In 1975, Euronat
Euronat (naturist resort)
Euronat is a naturist holiday resort near Montalivet, in Grayan-et-l'Hôpital, France.After the success of CHM-Montalivet it was apparent that there was a need for even more capacity. Euronat was founded by Hubert Lacroix in a pine forest 1 km away from the beach...

, the largest holiday centre (335ha) opened 10 km north of Montalivet
Vendays-Montalivet
Vendays-Montalivet is a commune in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in southwestern France.-Demography:-References:*...

 which was running at capacity. In 1983 the FFN was accepted as an official tourist and youth movement. SOCNAT provided the management and financial stability to the movement and runs 5 centres in France and one in Spain. Holiday centres started to form cooperative marketing groups and aim for 5 star status. Publicity material was of a quality indistinguishable from textile holiday companies.

In this benign climate, Randonue
Naked hiking
Naked walking, also known as naked hiking or freehiking, is a sub-category of the modern form of social nudity....

, an unauthorised form of naturisme sauvage has become popular, and areas traditionally known for discreet sunbathing have been revisited. Naturist is accepted and can even be practised on many popular textilist beaches.

As of 2007, France has 150 members clubs offering holiday accommodation, 50 holiday centres, official naturist beaches, unofficial beaches and many homes where naturist swimming and sunbathing is normal. Naturism employs more than 3000 people, and is estimated to be worth 250 million Euro to the French economy. France is represented on the INF
International Naturist Federation
The International Naturist Federation or Federation Naturiste Internationale is the global umbrella organisation representing official national naturist societies.-Membership:...

 by the FFN.

Poland

First reported naturist society was established in 1897 in Grudziądz
Grudziadz
Grudziądz is a city in northern Poland on the Vistula River, with 96 042 inhabitants . Situated in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship , the city was previously in the Toruń Voivodeship .- History :-Early history:...

. In pre-war and post-war Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 naturism was practiced in closed and secluded areas. Reported places for naturism were Zaleszczyki (in today's Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

) and Otwock
Otwock
Otwock is a town in central Poland, some southeast of Warsaw, with 42,765 inhabitants . It is situated on the right bank of Vistula River below the mouth of Swider River. Otwock is home to a unique architectural style called Swidermajer....

. Under the communism regime, Poland's naturism became unofficial and was practiced mostly by the artistic boheme near Krynica Morska
Krynica Morska
Krynica Morska is a town and coextensive municipality on the Vistula Spit in northern Poland with 1,364 inhabitants . It has been a part of Nowy Dwór Gdański County in Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999; previously it was in Elbląg Voivodeship...

, Międzyzdroje
Miedzyzdroje
Międzyzdroje is a town and a seaside resort in northwestern Poland on the island of Wolin on the Baltic coast. Previously in the Szczecin Voivodeship , Międzyzdroje has been in Kamień Pomorski County in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999. Międzyzdroje has a population of 6000 .It is...

 and Dębki.

In the early 1980s
1980s
File:1980s decade montage.png|thumb|400px|From left, clockwise: The first Space Shuttle, Columbia, lifted off in 1981; American President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev eased tensions between the two superpowers, leading to the end of the Cold War; The Fall of the Berlin Wall in...

 naturism became popular mostly due to increased interest in media
News media
The news media are those elements of the mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public.These include print media , broadcast news , and more recently the Internet .-Etymology:A medium is a carrier of something...

. As the pop
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

 song "Chałupy Welcome To" (about the naturist beach in Chałupy, featuring beach nudity in the clip) became the 1985 summer hit
Summer hit
A summer hit is a term in entertainment industry which refers to a title released and peaked in its popularity during summer and often later quickly faded away..Rick Lyman, a culture reporter for The New York Times, wrote:...

 in Poland, the nude seaside locations like Chałupy or Rowy
Rowy
Rowy may refer to the following places in Poland:*Rowy, Łódź Voivodeship *Rowy, Pomeranian Voivodeship *Rowy, Podlaskie Voivodeship *Rowy, Garwolin County in Masovian Voivodeship...

 became known to an average Polish sunbather. Polish Naturist Society was formed and after the number of lawsuit
Lawsuit
A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint...

s naturism became tolerated in selected "unofficial" beaches and distant spots.

In today's Poland naturism is practiced in number of the seaside and inland beaches. The most of Polish beaches are actually clothes-optional rather than naturist. Among the most popular locations are Międzydroje-Lubiewo
Miedzyzdroje
Międzyzdroje is a town and a seaside resort in northwestern Poland on the island of Wolin on the Baltic coast. Previously in the Szczecin Voivodeship , Międzyzdroje has been in Kamień Pomorski County in the West Pomeranian Voivodeship since 1999. Międzyzdroje has a population of 6000 .It is...

, Grzybowo, Rowy, Dębki, Gdańsk-Stogi
Gdansk
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, at the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.The city lies on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay , in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the...

 and Piaski. The most popular inland locations include Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 (Wał Miedzeszyński), Kazimierz Dolny and Kryspinów near Kraków
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

. In the winter season, naturism is practiced by organized groups in Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 and Tri-City. Public naturist events are held bi-monthly in Poznań-Koziegłowy
Poznan
Poznań is a city on the Warta river in west-central Poland, with a population of 556,022 in June 2009. It is among the oldest cities in Poland, and was one of the most important centres in the early Polish state, whose first rulers were buried at Poznań's cathedral. It is sometimes claimed to be...

 and Łódź waterpark.

Slovenia

A Swiss doctor called Arnold Rickli opened a light bathing clinic in the Austro-Hungarian town of Veldes (now Bled
Bled
Bled is a municipality in northwestern Slovenia in the region of Upper Carniola. The area, within the Julian Alps, is a popular tourist destination.-History:...

, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

) in 1853.
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