Is naturism in decline?

Talk about general nudism

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Is naturism in decline?

Postby Spieler on Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:35 pm

Since we have contributors here from all over the world this seems to be the obvious place to pose this question. Here in the UK membership of the Central Council for British Naturism (CCBN) has plummeted from its high point of 20,094 in 1993 to around 11,500 now.

Membership of The Naturist Foundation, the UKÔÇÖs only naturist charity, was 1,509 on 30 September 1971, the most recent publicly available figure (30 September 2007) was only 494. At Spielplatz, one of the oldest clubs in the country, membership was around 700 in 1980 according to contemporary press reports of its fiftieth anniversary celebrations. It is now about 120. At Oakwood Sun Club in Essex membership was 90 in 2006, according to its website itÔÇÖs now down to 75. Everywhere in UK clubs the story seems to go on in this dismal way.

It could be though that people are forsaking clubs for beaches and isolated country areas. This makes them effectively uncountable because they donÔÇÖt need a membership card to do these things. So my question really comes down to the following: Do you feel naturism is in decline in your country?

It is difficult to tell in the UK. Clubs certainly seem to be having a hard time, but then people may just be turning their backs on organised naturism and going for the ÔÇ£free rangeÔÇØ version instead.
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby curiousnude on Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:01 pm

I think numbers are down because of the internet, why pay to be a member of a soicety to find out info about naturism when you can get it for free online?
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby nudecamper on Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:34 pm

Certainly the internet has made it much easier to find out info & if you just want to go naturist camping in France in the summer you don't really need to be a member of a naturist organization, most(but not all)French campsites won't ask for a card. I ceased my membership of BN yrs ago when the membership fee went up to(imho)a ridiculous amount. I joined the French FFN which is still cheaper. I only belong to that as my French site of choice(CHM Monta)does require cards but this is only because they run their own rival(to FFN)ONE Naturist organization. Just a money making thing.

Naturist organizations are, I think irelavent to most naturists, they just want to get naked when the sun is shining. There are precious few naturist beaches in the UK anyway, so much for BN. Membership of the Naturist Foundation dosen't require membership of BN & members of the former are generally dissmisive of the latter. We camp as casual campers at the Naturist Foundation & have never been asked for BN cards.

Is naturism in decline in the UK? probabley & us naturists are all getting older, our kids have grown up & don't 'do' naturism anymore. We go UK naturist camping on the few warm summer weekends but like other naturists we know, our main summer holiday is spent in southern France. We ain't been to our local(St Osyth)naturist beach in yrs, its rubbish, really.

Having said that I(& my wife)certainly still enjoy our naturism but only because we mainly 'do' it in Holland & France. The Dutch seem to have the best attitude to naturism, its still a family thing there & Dutch campers usually make up the majority of campers on French naturist campsites.

For us Brits the best way to enjoy naturism is to get ourselves over to France in the summer. It aint that expensive, car & camping gear is all you need, ferries from Dover are cheap enough, ┬ú60 return if you book early & hopefully the ┬ú/Ôé¼ rate will improve again for next summer.
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby barelee on Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:37 pm

I don't think Naturism in the UK is in decline at all. It has just changed the way it happens. At one time the privacy of clubs was essential as naturists were a very small minority and needed to keep a very low profile.

These days many people have gone naked on holiday and people can be nude on beaches without having to join clubs or declare themselves as naturists, just people who go to nude beaches.

Studland Beach, in particular, can be absolutely packed, with thousands of naked people on a good summer day. What numbers were there when the clubs were at their peak? Far fewer I expect.

The challenge to the clubs and organisations is not a lowering in numbers but greater competition and freedom. Perhaps they should be opening up and becoming more open to casual visitors rather than staying as members clubs? Personally I am usually nude at home, only go swimming if I can go nude (Alton), and only go to beaches and saunas if I can do it naturally. Do I see any need to join CCBN or a club? No. I see no benefit to me to do so, and I don't think I'm unusual in that.
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby northlondoner on Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:47 pm

I agree with barelee- it's also easier to go abroad for a holiday that includes beaches or saunas/spas. I have never belonged to British Naturism, as I don't need to do so to access facilities and I do not see them as fulfilling the other reason for a national organisation, that of campaigns for more facilities (and to keep the ones that we have).
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby Spieler on Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:50 am

barelee wrote:I don't think Naturism in the UK is in decline at all. It has just changed the way it happens. At one time the privacy of clubs was essential as naturists were a very small minority and needed to keep a very low profile.

The challenge to the clubs and organisations is not a lowering in numbers but greater competition and freedom. Perhaps they should be opening up and becoming more open to casual visitors rather than staying as members clubs?


Some very interesting opinions and facts are emerging here. Thanks for these; they were the kind of responses I was expecting to get when I started this thread. In many cases they support the opinion IÔÇÖve been forming myself over the last couple of years. Naturism isn't declining it's just changing in shape whilst staying much the same size.

I fully agree that the challenge to clubs comes from greater competition and freedom. The great shame though is that CCBN, with its outdated and club focused mentality, seems to be doing its best to stifle competition and freedom. If CCBN was really interested in public acceptance of naturism we would have clothes optional areas in public parks by now or at least a vigorous campaign to obtain them. Of course, if we had them that would probably drive a number of clubs out of business and CCBN doesn't want that.

I also agree that the clubs need to be more open. Here again though CCBN falls down. For example it is fond of making solemn pronouncements about the unacceptability of discrimination against single people, but when cases of this are brought to its notice it simply ignores them. It has no control whatsoever over the conduct of its constituent clubs (and indeed continually emphasises that they are autonomous organisations), consequently the ones that treat prospective members in a contemptuous manner - and there are plenty of those - are being allowed unchecked to ruin the perceived reputation of the others and probably the reputation of naturism in general.
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby Sudokufan on Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:41 pm

Echoing other comments I would have to say no. Its just that the format of it for want of a better word has changed drastically thanks in large part to the internet. Sun clubs and naturist organisations are imho predominately middle aged in members and outlook. I feel that hiding yourself away in them defeats the efforts of trying to make naturism more mainstream. How many people for instance go on holidays abroad and quite happily head to a naturist beach/resort without feeling embarassed about it. Most probably don't think of themsleves as naturists doing that.

Look as well at the various websites and forums that are online (like this one !!) which show naturism as NORMAL. They do infinitely more good then the clubs and organisations. I was a member of the naturist organisation here in Dublin but didn't renew as they had nothing to offer. Ok to go to the swims would be nice but being on at bad times made it impossible so I kept my cash. Instead I go nude when I want at home and feel more of a naturist from being online and seeing there are others out there who think the same.

Thats the way naturism is going and I suspect will survive because of it
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby barelee on Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:26 pm

Let's look at it another way.

Perhaps Naturism IS in decline, but nude recreation is increasing a lot.

It may be a question of semantics but perhaps it simply is that people are getting naked as a choice of something to do, rather than as a 'lifestyle'. If so I think public acceptance will come on leaps and bounds.
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby Glawster2002 on Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:23 pm

barelee wrote:Let's look at it another way.

Perhaps Naturism IS in decline, but nude recreation is increasing a lot.

It may be a question of semantics but perhaps it simply is that people are getting naked as a choice of something to do, rather than as a 'lifestyle'. If so I think public acceptance will come on leaps and bounds.


I did read an article in one of the newspapers earlier in the summer where they said that nude beaches had never been more popular, so I think there's some truth in what you say.
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby northlondoner on Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:10 pm

I'm sure that for many people in the Netherlands, Germany and some other places, a sauna is not a 'naked sauna', just one that happens to be without clothes. In France there are people who sunbathe naked on some beaches. If any divide is broken down that is no bad thing- there's nothing wrong with clothes optional in my view.
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby barelee on Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:02 am

Absolutely right! I was lucky enough to spend a few hours at Therme Erding last week. What a pleasure to enjoy some sauna-ing without having to care one iota about covering up. I guess most of the people there would not call themselves naturists or nudists but it's Germany and a sauna so it's clothes free. Wonderful 8)
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby Richardson on Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:44 am

This summer there was an artical in a Seattle paper that posted a Genis record for the largest number of nudist in a family pool. The picture showed a woman covering her breasts. Several clubs in the Seattle area, one is family only and no singles allowed.

Can't say for the USA, weather it's up or down. I do know I wish I had some friends that were nudists to go hang out with :P Running around the home or out side at night is ok, but when it's just you and your daughter, not the same. Wife promised to join me this summer when it was hot :cry: but didn't. maybe I'll trade her in for someone who will :wink: . We're moving to the country as soon as we can, 2 or more miles form the nearest neighbor, bet you'd see some skin then no matter what time of day. :D
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby Tasha15 on Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:32 pm

i don't think its in decline just because membership to organisations is falling. Yes the internet has made the info you need more accessable.
The beach i go to in North Wales and have been doing for years seems to be increasing each year in numbers and more families which is great.
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby bugaboo2 on Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:17 am

I know where I live the attitude is generally anti-nudity. I would also have to say that I don't hear of very many young nudists, I think some of that is due to the fear of child nudity, so people are afraid of raising their children as nudists, therefore when they reach maturity, after years of dealing with the cruelty that can be puberty, they are very body conscious.
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Re: Is naturism in decline?

Postby soccerboss on Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:41 pm

Tasha, is the beach you're refering to Morfa Dyffryn by any chance? I ask because we plan on taking a family trip to wales and were considering some close to that beach, but we are always concious of whether our kids will see any other kids there . But if as you say , it's getting more popular with families then that would be good for our kids.

Steve 8)
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