This gets a bit complicated, but the short answer is “no.” As indicated above, there are public beaches where nudity is absolutely legal. So too are there private clubs and resorts that are either clothes-optional, or where nudity is really needed. Legality is seldom an issue at these locations. Yet, while laws that expressly prohibit nudity and equate it with “indecent exposure” are uncommon, that shouldn’t be taken as an invitation to get nude “anytime, anyplace.” If you undress in the village square, you’re likely to get arrested for something—be it indecent exposure, disturbing the peace, or creating a public nuisance. Even if the law is on your side, public nudity is problematic in many authorities. An arrest sometimes depends not on what the law says, but on what authorities or prosecutors believe it says or want it to say. In some areas, women continue to be harassed for breastfeeding in public, and parents are still prosecuted for taking innocent nude photos of their kids. In more enlightened jurisdictions, a sharp distinction is made between lewd action and straightforward nudity, such as sunbathing and skinny dipping (for a state by state review of nudity laws, go to NAC & NEF). Part of the TNS assignment is to highlight the difference between lewd and bare through instruction and community outreach.

Is naturism proper for families?

Absolutely! Naturism is about body recognition and body consciousness, which makes it suitable for everyone. Thus, families with kids are welcome at naturist places and events. Any place or event that purports to be “naturist” but excludes kids should be viewed with disbelief. Such exceptions are appropriate in some instances. A grueling naked hike or a late evening dancing at a club or resort come to mind. But the exclusion of kids is sometimes used as a sign that an occasion is sexual in nature. The Naturist Society doesn’t have any interest in passing judgment on sexual activities among consenting adults; nevertheless, TNS adamantly rejects using the term “naturism” as a cover for intercourse. Naturists don’t deny the sexual nature of human beings, but they reject the all too common view in our society that nudity and sex are interchangeable, and that children should be “protected” from nudity no matter context. To repeat: nude is not lewd.
How do I become a naturist?

Just you understand if naturism is appropriate for you. Some individuals love being bare in the privacy or their own home or flat, but can’t picture being naked on a public plage or in a resort. That is all right. Nudism is not something that should be compelled, either on yourself or others. Possibly the best means to “become a naturist” is with the aid of a friend or spouse who is a naturist. Obviously, that’sn’t always possible. Another alternative would be to contact a naturist organization near you (chances are there’s one; see Organizations). Most local and regional naturist groups welcome fresh members and do their best to ease them into the world of naturism. If fails, why not simply take a look at your nearest nude beach, hot spring, or swimming hole? You do not have to take your clothes off right away; do it slowly if you favor. Or, if it only does not feel right, just leave. You always have the option to come back and try again. But remember: if you go to a clothing-optional site and remain clothed for too long, people might start taking you for a gawker.
Imagine if I am prepared but my spouse (partner, or friend) isn’t?

This is common. Commonly, girls are more leery than guys of clothes-optional places. But everyone, male and female, has “body issues.” For , the notion of being seen nude—and seeing others naked—is filled with psychological anxiety. A spouse, friend or partner can help reduce the tension, but only if care and sensitivity are exercised. Recall, every naturist had a “first time.” Many who were most unwilling initially are now avid naturists. And remember, too, that there is a line between encouragement and coercion. Do not cross it if you want to introduce someone to naturism.
Alright, being a naturist is all well and good. But I don’t have to join The Naturist Society to be one, do I?

Of course not. But the naturist experience is greatly enhanced by membership. TNS advantages range from the financial (club/resort entrance and Skinny-Dipper Shop discounts) to the social (Events and Organizations) to the informational (N Magazine and NAC/NEF). TNS membership costs about as much as a brand new swimsuit—and it doesn’t shrink, bind or fade! Join now and find what you’ve been lost. A whole fresh world of body independence awaits.


Upscale Naturist Paradise:
Hidden Beach Resort
story and photographs by Michael J. Cooney


idden Beach Resort is
a brilliant, all-inclusive holiday
for naturists, and an easy, safe
drive just south of Cancun. The food at
Hidden Beach is outstanding and the staff
Joy in anticipating your needs and
Tastes. With the April 2011 closing
of Jamaica’s Breezes Rio Bueno (previously
Grand Lido Braco), Hidden Beach will, for