More nude dining

It’s a trend! Well, sort of. Kind of. A little bit. OK, two recent examples. Wrote about the other one here, not so long ago. But I have heard of others from time to time.

Anyhow, this one’s in Scotland, and in a private home rather than a restaurant.

Naked lunch? Make it dinner

Nude dining may not be everybody’s ideal way to spend a Saturday night, particularly in the company of strangers. But in a surprising number of Scottish dining rooms, people are willing to bare all before the breadsticks arrive and only cover up again as the carriages are called.

Sadly, that “surprising number of Scottish dining rooms” seems to be a slight exaggeration. The article discusses only one example. It does allude to naturist B&Bs in Scotland. And it should not surprise anyone that when naturist friends get together for a home-cooked meal at someone’s flat or country estate, the wearing of clothes is as little to be expected as the telling of truth by prominent government officials.

What’s interesting here is that these clothes-free epicurean gatherings involve mostly complete strangers, to each other and to the hosts, Richard and Roxanne. Evidently, it’s all about good food and good times, with no hidden (sexual or commercial) agenda. The hosts

have made the choice to be more discreet, offering three-course dinners at their detached home, somewhere near Edinburgh. The evenings are entirely free of charge.

“Lots of people think there must be a catch. To be honest, I think we’d get more people coming if we charged,” says Richard, who wishes his surname to remain confidential. “But we do it for social reasons, not to make money. We have dinner, blether for a few hours and then the guests go home. Nothing more.”

Richard and Roxanne do it simply for the pleasure of nude company. There is even a website to get the word out: Nude Dinners.

As you might expect, however, there is a vetting process:

Swinging is strictly off the menu, a no-nonsense approach that is spelt out on the couple’s website. To safeguard against undesirables the couple chat with people over the telephone first. Couples are not given the home address but instructed to meet Richard at a nearby hotel. Here he assesses the couple’s sleaze potential over a pre-dinner drink. If the couple pass, which all have until now, he shows the way to his home where Roxanne gives the guests the final once-over. Only after this final check, lasting about an hour, do the clothes come off.

Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. And it looks like a good approach to meeting interesting people who share a preference for being naked. For all of you out there who don’t have convenient access to a naturist/nudist club or resort and haven’t found it easy to find nudity-loving friends who are also civilized and maybe even urbane and cultivated, this looks like a promising way to go. Put up a website like Richard and Roxanne’s, exchange links with them, mention the site at a few online forums… and see what develops.

Originally published March 2, 2006

Political support for naturism in Canada

Canada’s in the midst of a federal election. Naturism isn’t an issue in the election, but the Federation of Canadian Naturists has queried the major parties in the provinces as to their opinions on naturism anyhow.

Here’s one response, circulated on an FCN mailing list:

From: Bob Dixon
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 21:59:59 -0700
Subject: Federal Election Interview: Answers to your questions about Nudism

Hi folks, please read and pass on to the greater nudist network

Attached below is a Q&A discussion between Steve Critchley, WCANR President, and Nancy Love, the Liberal Party candidate in the Yellowhead (AB) riding in the current federal election. It is gratifying to see a candidate with the time and care to address questions about nudist/naturist issues. It is also exciting to see that she espouses a very favorable position relating to these issues.

Bob Dixon
WCANR Trustee

Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 17:41:04 -0000
From: “Nancy Love, Yellowhead Liberal”
Subject: Answers to your questions about Nudism

Steve Critchley
Western Canadian Association for Nude Recreation

Hi Steve,

Please find below the answers to the questions you sent me. If I can be of further assistance or you have additional questions please do not hesitate to contact me personally.


1. Do you believe that people who enjoy nude sunbathing should be able to do so without interference from officials as long as they do so at a beach that is accepted for that purpose?

Answer to Question 1: The answer to this is simply Yes.

2. Local and provincial governments now set aside public land for special types of recreation such as tennis, surfing, and hunting. Vancouver and Toronto have set aside areas for nude sunbathing. Do you think more special and secluded areas should be set aside in other parts of the country for people who enjoy nude sunbathing?

Answer to Question 2: The nudist community has proved to be responsible, respectful, and representative of a diverse community. Where appropriate, areas should be made available so that this part of the Canadian society can excersise their rights.

3. In general, what are your views of nudists and naturism in Canada?

Answer to Question 3: As I gain a greater education on Nudism, especially within Canada, I see how important it is to ensure there is a safe and respectful attitude towards those who are practicing nudist. Living in Western Canada I see the value of places like Wreck Beach and such organizations as the Western Canadian Association for Nude Recreation. I believe in what WCANR stands for and how they hope to work with North American associations such as the American Association for Nude Recreation and other organizations such as FCN to protect such places as Wreck Beach and local clubs in Canada.

I look forward to gaining greater insight on your organization and hearing about ways that I can be of assistance as a sitting Member of Parliment. I want to be able to represent your views and those of all Canadian nudists in Ottawa.

Thank you very much for your questions and support.
Nancy Love

Nancy Love
Yellowhead Liberal

Originally posted January 13, 2006

Germans go naked into freezing lake for good health

Brrrrrr. I think I’ll pass on this. Do these folks have antifreeze in their veins?

Germans go naked into freezing lake for good health

BERLIN (Reuters) – Saying ice cold water is good for their health, a group of about 30 naked Germans jumped together into a Berlin lake for their annual Christmas swim on Sunday.

Wearing nothing but red Santa Claus caps, the naked men and women aged between 25 and 73 went cheerfully en masse into the Oranke Lake in northern Berlin, which had temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit).

“It feels great even if it’s not quite as cold this year as in the past,” said Kathrin Hornack after her five-minute swim. Last year the lake was colder and in previous years it was sometimes filled with chunks of ice.

“What more could we ask for?” she said. “The sun is shining and it’s a lovely day in the lake.”

Originally posted December 26, 2005

INF definition of naturism

The International Naturist Federation adopted a definition of naturism at their 1974 world congress. Since I never can find that definition easily when I need to refer to it, I’ll put it here:

Naturism is a lifestyle in harmony with nature, expressed through social nudity, and characterized by self-respect of people with different opinions and of the environment. Social nudity constitutes an essential characteristic of naturism, fully exploiting the beneficial effects of the sun, the air, and water. Naturism restores the balance between physical and psychic dimensions, with leisure spent in a natural environment, through exercising the body, within the fundamental principles of hygiene and dietetics. Furthermore, Naturism fosters many activities by nurturing creativity. Complete nakedness is the “best-possible suit” to realise the return of humans to nature, and it surely is the most visible mark of naturism, even though it is not the only one. Nudity has a balancing effect on humans by reducing the tensions caused by the taboos and provocations of modern society, showing the way to a more simple, healthy, and humane way of living.

I think that’s pretty good, though one can quibble with it in various ways. It’s sort of long, making it a little tough for newcomers to take it all in at once. It makes “social” nudity a requisite, though many naturists feel they are practicing the lifestyle even when they are naked by themselves, especially in the outdoors. And so on. This isn’t the place to go into a detailed essay about it. (But if anyone wants to talk about it, feel free to comment.) I just wanted to put it up here.

Originally posted November 26, 2005

Lots of people like nudity

It seems as though over the last several weeks various people, mostly other than long-time naturists, have been writing very positively about nudity. Nice trend. Here are some examples I’ve found…

5 myths about nude vacations (October 14, 2005)

The idea of taking a vacation in your birthday suit may take some getting used to. But nudists aren’t deviant septuagenarians and their resorts aren’t sleazy hideaways. The truth is, nudists are often the people next door, and if nothing else, a nude vacation can lead to many new discoveries.

The author here is Christopher Elliott, who (according to the article credits) “is National Geographic Traveler‘s ombudsman and a nationally syndicated columnist”. He’s talking about his introduction to nudism in Europe, which he accidentally stumbled upon “as a college student hiking through the French Alps many years ago”. The “5 myths” mentioned are standard canards that people who are ignorant of naturism tend to spread among themselves.

Nude sensation (October 19, 2005)

Standing naked in a classroom with all eyes fixed on one’s bare body is the type of story read about in trashy teen magazines under the heading “My worst nightmare.” But senior Joey Feaster assumes this position frequently. And he doesn’t even find it scary.

Feaster is a nude model and one of a handful of people who model in the buff for figurative drawing classes at USD. Nude modeling continues a tradition going back to Greek art, and if that fact alone isn’t enough to entice prospective models to lose their clothes, the Fine Arts department pays $20 per hour out to models.

This is from the student newspaper of the University of South Dakota, by reporter Alana Bowden. Obviously, it’s about nude art modeling. Imagine… actually getting paid a lot more than minimum wages to go naked. Sounds like it’s actually not easy work. But it has its rewards:

Posing nude is not only important for the sake of art, but it can be an exhilarating personal experience. Feaster looks back with pride on the newfound independence he’s found through nude modeling.

“My reward, would be my self-confidence with myself, as well as my body,” he said.

Photographer gains self-esteem from social nudity (October 14, 2005)

I have always found social nudity to be a fascinating thing. What would life be like sans clothing? What would my life have been like if, instead of being embarrassed and even ashamed of my body, I could have seen first hand that I was no different than anyone else?

I finally decided to find out, and I called Oaklake Trails Naturist Resort.

So wrote Mark Schuster, who is Assistant Director of Photography (not clear where, perhaps Missouri Southern State University). Despite serious last-minute second thoughts about his visit, Mark discovered it wasn’t as traumatic as so many who haven’t tried social nudity fear:

Like most people who have never experienced it first hand, I had certain ideas about what a nudist resort would be.

To my pleasant surprise, all of the positive things were reinforced, and all of the negative things were proven to be groundless. For one thing, the atmosphere at Oaklake Trails was not one of extreme sexual tension, as may be expected considering everyone was naked, but was actually less sexually charged than, say, your normal municipal swimming pool. It’s hard to explain, and it seems illogical, but it’s true. These people were not flaunting their nudity.

They were simply existing in a state of undress, as commonplace at Oaklake Trails as firemen wearing protective outfits before running into a burning building.

It seemed to me that social nudism would be good for my body image and self-esteem, and it was. I’m not in shape and I have issues with my body, but in talking to people who were willing to take the time to look below the surface at who I really am, I learned that my body has just as much validity as any other.

Samantha Bennett, a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, introduces a story about nudity in Germany, and how organized naturism in Germany is declining… because nudity is common enough there that one doesn’t need to belong to anything in order to enjoy public nudity.

In Germany, it’s all nudes, all the time
[Link still valid!] (October 13, 2005)

For reasons regular readers may remember, I am considered something of an expert on nudism. I have this exalted status because, while most people have in their lives been nude, I am one of a tiny handful of Americans who have been nude in public. To be honest, I don’t know why the talk shows haven’t called.

Nudity is a big deal in this country. I participated in an art installation in Cleveland in which more than 2,700 people disrobed as briefly as possible on a very chilly morning so an artist could take a picture of the whole crowd of us, and I am still hearing about it as if I had been Miss September.

“So what’s it like to be naked?” people ask me (usually men, for some reason).

However, Samantha is an American writing for other Americans. And there’s a subtext to the article. Through her sassy attitude — which I really like — she’s expressing her hearty approval of nudity, and the message that it’s the people who don’t like nudity who are weird.

Finally, we have an interview with a long-time naturist — Jennie Trisnan, who lives near Croydon in the UK.

Happy to be… a naturist [Link still valid!] (October 19, 2005)

To most, naturism is a hobby which raises a few eyebrows and prompts a titter or two.

But to those who regularly shed their clothes, it is a chance to get back to nature and a great way to combat the stresses of everyday life.

Jennie Trisnan was introduced to naturism around three years ago and hasn’t looked back since. She spends most weekends indulging her hobby at one of two clubs close to Croydon and insists they are just like any other social club. Except that sports, amateur dramatics, dancing and drinking in the club bar is all done in the nude.

What does Jennie like about naturism?

“For me it’s like being primitive. Being at one with nature and leaving the outside world behind you. I’ll often take a tent and just go to the club for the weekend and relax.

“I like to go barefoot, even when I’m walking in the woods. The only thing I will wear occasionally is a scarf when it gets a bit cold.”

“My family don’t mind really. I don’t tell everyone in my life because people do tend to judge you, but the ones who do know think it fits in with my personality.”

Jennie believes her passion is something she shares with a significant portion of the population – even if they don’t yet know it.

She says: “I’m convinced many people would think about giving it a go, they are just stopped by what other people might think.

“Doesn’t everybody want to feel free and liberated? Just to be accepted for who they are? I am sure many people want that but are just too scared to try it.”

Originally posted October 27, 2005

Teaching in the nude

This item isn’t new. It appeared in March 2004. But since we were just talking about what a neat place Denmark is for naturists, it seems like a good time to mention it here.

Teaching in the Nude: The Danish Experience

This is an essay by an American college exchange student, Wendy Scharf, of St. Lawrence University. An education major, in 2001 she studied in Denmark under the Danish International Study Program

As part of her studies in child development and diversity, Wendy got to help teach a class of four-year-olds.

So there I was, standing in the locker room. There were eight four-year-olds (boys and girls) the two teachers (both women, around the age of twenty-five) and me. It was a Wednesday, which means it is a swim day. As everyone around me began shedding his or her clothes, I felt my heart skip a beat as I wondered where I was going to change.

”Um. Do I just take off my clothes and change right in front of the children?” I asked, sheepishly.

”Well, unless you plan to swim in your clothes, I think it would be a good idea to take off your clothes!” was the Danish response. They were not used to my cultural views on nudity, but I was. Well, seeing as I did not want the children to think I was strange, I took a deep breath and stripped down.

Although the teachers and children didn’t swim in the nude, no one other than Wendy gave a second thought to showering nude before and after. And then it was time for a sauna.

Once I entered the steamy box, I was greeted by naked people – they were everywhere! I glanced around, hoping to find someone with a towel wrapped around them, but no luck.

Everyone was sitting on their towels. So, I did like the majority. I consciously smoothed my towel on the bench and sat down, fully exposed, between two of the children. I just sat there, aware of how naked I was, aware of the fact that there was no part of my body hidden from anyone’s view. We must have sat there for about twenty minutes. Just sitting, stark naked, in a sauna with eight four-year-olds and two teachers – a classroom field trip.

That twenty minutes may have seemed a lot longer to Wendy at the time. But of course it isn’t long at all, and yet it had a dramatic effect on her.

I look at my self naked in a different way now. When I am naked, I am just naked. Roaming around in the nude with a group of people who find it normal is such a mind opening experience. I was the only one in the locker room who felt uncomfortable, no one else thought anything of my nakedness. And this has made me view nudity in a different way, in a more positive way. I recommend this sort of experience for everyone!

My Danish experience with teaching in the nude is one I will never forget, and it is one I cannot fully explain in words, hence the word experience. But I often wonder, will I one day get to teach in the nude? I could just imagine! But I will probably have to stick with wandering around my dorm room naked – it is good to start small when converting to the nudist way! Only in Denmark do you come home with such a tradition – just wait until my family sees what I have picked up over here!

This is how just one good experience with nudity can affect intelligent, open-minded people. Anyone who hasn’t tried naturism and has been afraid to but is curious about it should read this story. Even if one isn’t in a situation like Wendy’s, when presented an opportunity to try social nudity, the best advice is just to dive right in, and don’t look back.

What’s even more interesting about this story is that this “official” website promoting a Danish educational experience to American college students evidently chose Wendy’s essay with the idea of making their program appeal to American students. It suggests they wanted to get the attention of students who could appreciate the horizon-broadening possibilities of a Danish experience.

Now, if we could just ship all of our students over there for a semester or two of this. Just might open a few eyes and minds to enjoying nudity rather than fearing it. Minds that are a bit more open might do wonders for our American educational system.

Originally posted September 14, 2005

Denmark is for naturists

Membership boom for nudist groups

More and more people are joining nudists clubs in Denmark. Over the past three years, the number of members in the national nudist club, Danish Naturalists, has risen by 30 percent.

What we really want to point out here is that this item is found on Denmark’s official web site!

Can anyone imagine such an article being featured on the official website of any U. S. state? Even without the tasteful nude photo?

But then, Denmark is a country of intelligent, civilized people, and so it appreciates, rather than persecutes, naturism.

More info on Danish naturism at the Scandinavian Naturist Portal.

Originally posted September 7, 2005


Canuding simply means canoeing without being burdened with clothing. It’s a popular form of nude outdoor recreation.

We just came across this interesting account of canuding in Canada, although it’s several years old. It’s a report by a Buffalo (NY) naturist about a canuding trip that seven adults and three children enjoyed for five days in 2001 on several lakes in Canada.

One of the most charming details of the story is how well the nude people were received by clothed people they met. Near the end of the trip, the naturists disembarked on a floating dock and were actually welcomed by the folks there. Eventually

there was a mix of nude people and people with suits on, all having a grand time… Then a small boat pulls in loaded with more kids. Four girls and two boys. Two of the girls were the younger daughters we had met the night before and the rest were neighbors. They joined in swimming and one of them took our kids out in a 3 seater paddle wheel boat, to trip between the barge and the tower. The barge btw had a motor on it and was able to go out on the lake… It had a picnic table, umbrella, grill for cooking and was made for partying away from shore.

Now we have our six adults and three kids nude and semi-nude mixing and having a great time with 6 girls and 3 boys ages 6 to 17 with suits on…

Other parts of this naturist’s site are well worth reading too. From here you can find stories about canuding the Weeki Wachee in Florida, being topfree on a main street in West Palm Beach, FL, and topfree at a bus depot in Toronto, Ontario.

For more on canuding, have a look at the Yahoo discussion group for nude canoeists and the Web site of the Paddling Bares Canoe Club based in New Jersey.

Originally published July 16, 2005

New Zealand National Nude Day

This may be a bit out of the way for most readers, but it’s a neat idea. New Zealand will be having a National Nude Day on October 8 this year. That’s spring down there, remember. At least you have plenty of time to plan.

Can’t vouch for this personally, but it is claimed that on this day people can and will enjoy public nudity in many locations — in addition to places where it is already accepted and common, such as many New Zealand beaches.

If nothing else, you might want to consider buying their Nude Day T-shirt. Its connection with New Zealand is subtle and not obvious, so it should make a good conversation starter…

Originally published June 19, 2005

Canadian naturist festival

North America has three national naturist organizations: the Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN), the Naturist Society (TNS), and the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR).

Each has its pluses and minuses. Membership in any one of the three is open to naturists regardless of country of residence. Many U. S. naturists actually prefer to belong to the FCN for various reasons, even though it’s the smallest of the three. One reason, at least in my opinion, is that it has the best publication: Going Natural.

All three organizations sponsor “gatherings” and “festivals” for their members to get together with other naturists outside their local area. The FCN added this feature only last year. Their second annual festival will be August 4-7 at a naturist club in the Montreal area. U. S. naturists, especially in the northeast, should give this one serious consideration, perhaps as an opportunity to visit Quebec and get to know its naturist resorts and locations better.

Originally published June 19, 2005