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The BN / Ipsos Naturist Survey October 2022


The BN / Ipsos Naturist Survey October 2022


The results of what has been described as “the biggest survey ever into naturism” found that 14% of people now describe themselves as naturists or nudists in the UK. That is an estimated 6.75 million – or one in seven adults.


The survey involved 2249 people aged 16 to 75, it was conducted by the polling firm Ipsos, under the instruction of British Naturism. It offers what is possibly the most accurate portrait of naturism in the UK. It was conducted online which could be considered as a better way to get honest answers about naturism than by a face-to-face survey. The survey used a representative cross section of the UK society with a scale balance of age, gender, ethnicity and background.


The previous survey held in 2011 resulted in an estimate of 6%, and the previous survey to that in 2001, a mere 2%. So there is possibly great cause for celebration in this upturn. 14% of the British public considering themselves as naturists suggests that naturism is not as minority a recreational choice as we may have previous thought.


Other than suggesting that 10% of all adults in the UK would describe themselves as naturists and 4% as nudists what does the rest of this survey share?


When asked to choose from the list below of things they had done (not as a young child):


Sunbathed without a costume

Swam without a costume

Been on a foreign naturist beach

Visited a British clothing optional beach, resort or club


21% choose swimming and 39% chose at least one option.

In another question:


22% of people said that they had been naked in company at least once in the last 12 months (either in person or via video conferencing). This was not to include nudity with partners or family but to include being engaged in naturist activities. 13% stated they had done this at least 3-5 times.


What is heartening, and maybe to many rather surprising, is the results that are found when you break down the survey into age groups.


23% of the 16-24 year bracket described themselves as naturist or nudists.

47% of the 16-24 year bracket had taken part in naturist activity in the last year, with 24% at least 3-5 times.

55% of the 16 -24 year bracket had chosen at least one of the choice of four activities at some point in their life, 55% of the 25-34 year bracket did likewise.


Are these figures very likely to be accurate? Well we have noticed more and more members of ANW sharing younger birth dates in recent months. It does feel that there are younger naturists out there looking for ways to connect to naked recreation. Also if you are an older naturist, ask yourself this, when did you start? I was in my early twenties. So what about your neighbours and friends. I have been making a mental note of this throughout my life and I have known a lot more people (not through naturism – I must add) who have spoken about being on a naturist beach or skinny dipping than people who haven't. Sit in a pub with ten people and bring it up, you will be surprised, I know I always have been. As soon as one person admits it then most of the others will follow suit. I have always conservatively estimated the number of people I have heard from to be about 65%.


One negative aspect of the results of the survey was that about 2/3 of those that described themselves as naturist/nudists were men, the imbalance of men and women within naturism is something that hopefully time will continue to put right.


What does this mean for naturism?


In terms of BN it seems very much to support the idea that the new initiative they have been working on for some time could not be ready for launch at a better time. They are preparing to move a head with a new campaign, with a separate website called EveryBody. Naked recreational activities aimed primarily at the more youthful naturist, with a emphasis on body positivity. There will be a festival organised for August 2023 and they will be looking at offering a naked element to other events, activities and festivals. Basically harnessing the idea that being naked is about feeling positive, having fun and that EveryBody is for every body and their body.


This has to be a step in the right direction – encouraging greater participation in socially naked activities and hopefully inspiring people to take the joy of that and find themselves life long supporters of naturism.


If we look at the number of people who consider themselves as naturists/nudists:14% and the figure that have had at least 3-5 naturist activities in the last 12 months:13% . And then look at the equivalent figures for the 16-24 year bracket : 24% and 23%. Then it suggests that those regularly involved in naturist activities are also happy to describe themselves as such.


It is the 25% of people who have chosen one of the four activities and the 8% of people (23% of those 16-24) who have been involved in a naturist activity over the last 12 months who as naturists we may find great interest in. How do we encourage them to take that next step? How do we suggest to them that it is worth pursuing naturism? Initiatives like EveryBody may really help.


At ANW we have always welcomed all people who respect the idea of naturism and the community. You do not have to consider yourself a naturist or a nudist. You simply have to be interested in finding out more, considering the idea of taking your first steps, maybe wanting to find a beach, maybe wanting to ask questions.


We have always believed that tags and labels are unimportant, it is behaviour that counts. We are obviously very happy with the term naturist, it is a word that describes what ANW is about. Being naked is partly about getting back to nature, being dressed in your natural state, and social nudity is actually incredibly instinctive. It feels right – naturism is a way of finding our hidden nature. But you do not need to wear a tag to enjoy it, naturism is about wearing nothing.


Our hope for those that do not fear social nudity is to find a comfort in being naked and to feel that they can answer yes to the idea of being a naturist in surveys, just as they may answer yes to being right handed or liking chocolate. No stigma, no hidden concerns and no worries.


This survey is positive news. We can recognise that in all likelihood we live very close to other naturists, we probably have other naturists among our family, friends and work colleagues. If we go into a pub with fifty people an average of seven of them will be naturists. If we go to a football match with 35 000 fans then 5000 of them may be naturists.


Does this help? We should feel we are able to talk about naturism without fear of being completely isolated. That we should be able to share views about naturism on the internet without concern of being brandished a pervert. We should also bare in mind that 39% of people have participated in one of those four naturist choices shared above. So that is about 20 of that fifty in the pub, and about 14 000 of the fans at the football match. This means that even if not all of these people consider themselves as naturists they should be able to understand and appreciate what naturism is about.


People can sign in to ANW and connect with fellow naturists knowing that they will be meeting normal people just like them. It is not a decision that they should be concerned about, they will be joining an over growing community of people who enjoy having social nudity as part of their life. People can go to beaches and strip off knowing that it is not unusual to want to do such a thing. People can book holidays, join local clubs, local swims and national bodies knowing that they are supporting something that is a relevant part of today's society. This may be a British survey but there is no reason at all why its results cannot be seen as a guide for other nations to consider.


The growth of naturism is really based on people trusting it and having empathy for the idea of social nudity. If we can work on those numbers and encourage a growth in honesty about the simple pleasure of being naked then we will see an even bigger growth of people feeling comfortable about trying it, not feeling embarrassed about talking about it and the idea of protests about it would be laughable.


Maybe the next survey in 10 years time may show a huge swing to 60% of people being happy to be called naturists and 95% of people answering yes to taking part in a naturist activity in the last year. We have all witnessed the way fads and trends take hold of our modern world and become the new normal. Naturism is poised for such recognition. It is healthy, positive, fun and easy. It gives confidence and strength and can work hand in hand with many of the other ideals we hold as important in the 21st century.

For more information about this survey do visit British Naturism

ANW welcomes all individuals, couples and families who are respectful and interested in naturism and invite all genuine naturist organisations, clubs, events, venues and other opportunities to be part of the ANW community and work with us to encourage the growth and acceptance of naturism around the world. If you have any questions email Anna and Steve at [email protected]

If you want to find out more about ANW before joining then check out more Public Articles or read through the User Guide


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