Changing on the beach

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Changing on the beach

Postby Dino on Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:05 pm

I haven't been on a textile beach in France for more years than I care to remember. I'm curious -- is it still commonplace for people to strip off and change into swimwear on the beach? It certainly used to be. And what about elsewhere in Europe?

Of course the practice of textiles has little to do with naturism, but I'm curious to know how changing societal views of nudity are reflected. There certainly seems to have been a change over the years in the US and UK, where even changing openly in a single-sex locker room is much rarer than in my childhood. Are only Anglophones affected?
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby sandy_beach_cat on Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:58 pm

Spain a few years ago it wasn't a problem, but then it wouldn't be would it?
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby nudecamper on Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:46 pm

I walk along the beachfront on French seaside towns in the summer & oddly enough it has never really entered my head to check how people change on textile beaches. I really can't see how you can gauge anything from how people change on textile beaches. Certainly not societal attitudes anyway. It's just personal choice.
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby Paulus on Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:12 pm

On the beach we frequent in Tenerife it's peculiarly common for beach goers to arrive in full clothing and change into swimwear on the beach, making various degrees of effort to be discreet.
The older one in particular are most likely to just strip and pull on their swimmers in plain view. Others make a token gesture with a towel. While some make such hard work of holding a towel round themselves I have to wonder why they didn't come to the beach with their swimwear under their street clothes.

I always arrive at the beach wearing my "tanning" suit under my clothes. I wouldn't call it swimwear. I'm not a big swimmer but I like to get as near an allover tan as is legal on non nude beaches! :)
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby nudecamper on Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:53 am

Yes but I bet they don't strip completely naked & then put their shorts on. More likely they keep their shirts on until their swimwear is on while others as you say make a token effort with towels. So a bit like Clacton beach really. As in naturism it's the old who care less about being seen naked which is why most naturists are older folk. One might use a towel on a textile beach out of respect for others, not because one personally cares if anyone sees one's genitals.

I don't think it reflects attitudes to nudity in any society though & it does not make any country more or less tolerant of naturism. For example ther are plenty of naturist venues & beaches in Holland but it is because Dutch naturists are well organised not because the Dutch in general are more tolerant of nudity.
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby Dino on Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:21 pm

Thanks for the replies. I don't mean to suggest that the practice of changing on the beach reflects general views on naturism, but it says something about a country's view on nudity in general if (as used to be the case in some countries) it is relatively common to change without more than a token attempt to remain hidden while doing so. I have read much about the decrease in popularity of toplessness among the younger beachgoers in France and wondered if it extended to a new coyness about brief nudity while changing, and what people's recent experience of other European countries was.

In the past, I have observed Germans to be even less coy about changing in public than the French, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear it is still or more so. The Scandinavians seem pretty comfortable with it too. I don't know about the Dutch.
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby Dino on Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:26 pm

P.S. On a similar note, I remember many years ago swimming pools in France where people would remove and rinse their swimsuits in the mixed showers without anyone batting an eyelid, but I don't know if it happens any more.
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby nudecamper on Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:43 pm

There are certainly more naturist campsites & naturist beaches in France than there were decades ago so I would guess those of us with no body issues prefer to use naturist facilities. It is illogical to wear swimwear while swimming but most folk do & if they do then why would they want to expose themselves on a textile beach?
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby Dino on Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:20 pm

And yet there used to be those who clearly didn't mind stripping off briefly to change on the beach or in the shower but who didn't stay that way or (I assume) consider themselves naturists.
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby sanua_chap on Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:42 pm

Dino wrote:And yet there used to be those who clearly didn't mind stripping off briefly to change on the beach or in the shower but who didn't stay that way or (I assume) consider themselves naturists.


I agree. We often talk as if most people have a thought-out position on public nudity.

I suspect it is much more common for people to feel comfortable with brief (or no-so-brief) nudity here but not there, without having any real idea what it is that makes those situations different for them. And whether they consider themselves to be naturists is a completely different matter altogether.
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby nudecamper on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:02 pm

I think most people would like to be naturists if they could get over the naked bit. Most people I know have no real objection to nudity but for various reasons they will say naturism is not for them. Generally it's to do with body issues, ie they can't get over the naked bit.

As for changing on a textile beach do not posters think that while one might have no problems with exposing one's self briefly one should use a towel out of respect for other beach users? Or are we happy with forcing our naked bodies on those that may not want to see naked bodies? We would certainly object to anybody who failed to 'respect the nudity' ie get naked at a place of naturism so should it not work both ways & far from reflecting general attitudes to nudity those who strip off to change on a textile beach in any country are just showing a lack of respect for other beach users?

Or perhaps people being less inclined to strip off in front of others these days is down to much more (internet driven)discussions about attitudes to each other, attitudes of men towards women & so on so maybe most of us are more respectful towards the feelings of others than perhaps we used to be?
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby Dino on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:17 pm

nudecamper wrote:As for changing on a textile beach do not posters think that ... one should use a towel out of respect for other beach users?


I think the premise of my original question is that it seemed to be a common practice on the beach in France (and Germany and elsewhere) to change without bothering with a towel, and that no one either sought to offend or took offence. I agree it would raise eyebrows on a textile beach in the UK or US to change without at least hiding under a towel, and as it might offend others it should be avoided. But my question is about observations of other cultures.

I was in Sweden last summer and saw numerous instances of people swimming or sunbathing naked in only slightly out of the way places (in parks, etc.) that were more or less in view of the public, but no one seemed to be showing off and no one objected. As far as I know, it is still acceptable there to change on a beach without covering, but I didn't see anyone in the act of changing, so I don't know.
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby The Tibetan Hat on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:42 pm

Dino wrote:
nudecamper wrote: I agree it would raise eyebrows on a textile beach in the UK or US to change without at least hiding under a towel, and as it might offend others it should be avoided. But my question is about observations of other cultures.


I'm fairly doubtful it would actually offend anyone, at least in the UK. The few seconds involved in the pants off/trunks on routine isn't going to bring the skies crashing down, and that's it if anyone even notices. That most people don't change that way, doesn't necessarily mean it is taboo.

Of course it would bring an end to the towel dance, which can be quite entertaining, and even as a naturist I think it would be a shame to see that die out.

More broadly, while it is wise to pick your moments carefully, if there is a natural setting and a body of water involved, it can surprising how relaxed other people can be about nudity. I've skinny dipped in secluded lakes and rivers, and occasionally been discovered by others who were just as happy to take to the water in swimming costumes, or have a picnic nearby, and been friendly about it. Given the right setting, where naturism seems perhaps more understandable, I think people can be more open-minded than we often imagine.
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby nudecamper on Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:49 pm

Nobody is going to get arrested for changing on the beach without a towel. So really it's down to how one considers others. It's nothing to do with what is & what is not acceptable in various different countries. Of course it's ok to be naked in a place where others are unlikely to see you naked. Countries such as France or Sweden do have more than their share of deserted beaches where one can be naked so you are more likely to find 'unofficial' places where you can sunbathe naked.

What I think is being missed here is that people in continental Europe are no more tolerant of public nudity than those in UK or anywhere else. It's easy for example if you go naturist camping in Holland to think that country is tolerant of nudity. I thought that until a Dutch naturist pointed out that the only Dutch people I knew where naturists! What the Dutch are as a race is highly organised. If you want to go nude then there are designated places for naturism. Anywhere else you keep your clothes on.

The French way is that seaside towns encourage all forms of tourism very much so because tourists spend money. So all tourism is catered for. Naturism is popular so facilities are provided, ie naturist campsites & beaches. The beaches in front of towns though are not naturist & I have never noticed anybody strip naked while changing, maybe some do but no more or less than on a UK beach.

At Montalivet where I go the naturist beach fronts the campsite for about 1km. Next to it is a textile bungalow park & they employ a 'pants policeman' to request that naturist beach users put their pants on if they are walking into the textile section. So 'attitudes to nudity' are no different to UK it's just that France provides better naturist facilities.
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Re: Changing on the beach

Postby Dino on Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:10 am

Is the site functioning? There doesn't seem to have been a post for a week.
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