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An Interview with ANW members Janina and Nigel


As part of ANW's want to enhance understanding and appreciation of naturism we are sharing a selection of interviews with ANW members to show that naturism is for everyone, and to explore the all important human element of the naturist and ANW community. ANW believes in safeguarding naturism with a genuine, healthy and respectful approach to social nudity and in doing so has an ever growing membership of friendly and appropriate users.

We also believe that naturism unites us and connects us. Beyond national boundaries, age, gender, religion sexual orientation and culture. These interviews aim to show that ANW members, like naturism itself, come from all over the world with many different backgrounds primarily connected by our mutual respect and understanding of social nudity.


We are delighted that Janina and Nigel from Essex, England have taken time out of their hectic schedule to share this interview with you.


Tell us a little about yourselves. If naturism is a label are there others that you would say describe you as a couple?


There are certain truths that you only believe when you experience them. Ours is that you are more busy in retirement than you ever expected. No slippers by the fireplace for us. We are heavily involved in volunteering with five worthwhile community groups as well as our personal interests in art and badminton; and we have two adult children who won’t move out (!) and four dogs! So our label is: Extremely busy.


How does naturism fit into your home life?


When the warmth permits it, we have no problem in being naturist at home in the presence of our adult children or in the garden that is overlooked by our neighbours. After all it’s our life. There is no doubt in our minds about the physical and mental health benefits of naturism. We make a point of telling our friends of our naturism – to do otherwise would be dishonest.


How did you first get involved in naturism and what were your initial thoughts?


We discovered naturism later in life – about 6 years ago - having been invited by friends to a naturist club. All our trepidation and inhibitions disappeared in the first 15mins and any embarrassment about body image evaporated being replaced by a positive sense of freedom and self-confidence. Who would have thought that naturism would do that – but it does.


Janina recalls:


In our case, Nigel was up for it more than I was, but on the first day I was converted. I would say I wish we had done it earlier but we are where we are and we are making the most of it while we have the time to enjoy it.


Talking about naturism


There is the classic misunderstanding about naturists that we correct when we talk with our friends. Many people associate naturism with “swinging” or some other form of sexual activity. That is not what naturism is about. If you are looking for that then there are other places to go – but not in the world of naturism.


Has telling family and friends ever had a bad effect on a relationship?


We take the view the honesty is the best policy. Of all our friends, we only had an adverse reaction from one couple – but it didn’t dent our long term friendship.



Naturist Experiences


When we visited our first naturist club we thought it was the only one in the UK. We picked up a magazine by British Naturism (BN) and were amazed to find there are naturist clubs all over the UK with so many opportunities to engage in Naturism as part of an organised group. We also joined two naturist swims not that far from where we live – didn’t even know they existed before. This is where BN and ANW play such an important role in getting the message out there.


You are members of a local club - tell us more:

We are members of a well run naturist club. It's about 50 mins drive from where we live but worth every mile. It’s an amazing venue with our own private wood and log cabins. There are modern facilities including a heated pool, pavilion, sauna and sports courts and a vibrant social calendar. You have to go through an enrolment process as it’s a club run by the members for the members. It’s not a pay-as-you-go type venue. This means there is none of the blatant commercialism that might be the case elsewhere. We have a constant flow of new members and it is a safe comfortable environment for people who are new to naturism.



Do you think if one of you had disliked naturism the other would have carried on and could this have worked for you both?


It does work for both us, but hypothetically: Nigel plays badminton twice a week but it is not for me, I enjoy painting with acrylics but it is not for him. It is good to have your own independent interests otherwise it would be an unhealthy controlling relationship.


Naturism isn’t for everyone but if body- confidence is the issue, then from my experience give it go and you may be surprised how our perception of the world changes.



How would you best explain naturism to someone new to it and what advice would you offer to them?

You can be a naturist by yourself but you are missing out on the all important aspect of social nudity.


Naturism strips away barriers between people. We find that naturists are far less judgemental because it doesn’t matter what car you drive, what size of house you live in or what clothes you wear – it’s their personality you see in naturists and not their body or trappings of their status. Naturism is a great leveller. My advice would be; be yourself, love yourself and enjoy a new sense of freedom.



Our introduction to Naturism was through personal invitation but clearly the interest was lingering there for us to take up the offer. If none of your friends are naturists then you need to be informed that naturism exists, is legal and very popular. This where the likes of ANW provide a worthy service.



What do you think naturism has taught you about yourselves and do you think it has changed you in any way?



There is no doubt that Naturism has brought us closer to Nature. There is something about being naked in the sun (or rain), feeling your bare feet in contact with the earth, even raising your arms into the air and feeling a sensation all over your body that is unobtainable when you are clothed. There is also something spiritual about it. Nigel will often do his Christian Mediation in the nude and has written about it in the Christian Naturist Fellowship newsletter.

Could you tell us about the Christian Naturist Fellowship and your own involvement.



Nigel updates the CNF website and produces their newsletter. We attend the three face-to-face meetings (held at different Naturist Clubs), and CNF meeting at BN national events like at Alton Towers and Blackpool. In August (2022) there were 44 CNF members present at one event in Kent.


The joint team leaders hold an informal weekly Bible Study via Zoom. We are simply a fellowship of Christians who are Naturists - and there to support each other. There are a lot more Christian Naturists than people might think (whether linked to CNF or not). God created us - just as we are. We are mortal human beings with all our faults and imperfections; naked before God with nothing to hide.



Do you think that there are certain people better suited to naturism and others that are not suited to it and if so why do you think that?


There are people, sadly, who cannot bear the thought of being naked in front of anybody else, or who dare not look at themselves naked in the mirror. This group may think they are not suited to naturism, but actually, Naturism might be exactly what they are seeking to overcome their phobia of nudity.


There are many people who would love naturism to free their inhibitions and they just need a nudge to try it.



Tell us about naturism in the UK : the legalities and opportunities.


The law is quite simple; it’s legal in the UK to be a naturist. What is illegal are certain obvious acts with a sexual connotation, and there are places where naturism would clearly by inappropriate – such as in a UK shopping centre! However, there are many naturist rambling walks, naturist swims, and naturist only weekend events to attend. Even the Christian Naturist Fellowship has regular “church” events in the nude – who would have thought that!


How do you see the future of naturism developing over the next 30 years .


I think society has turned a corner and naturism is on the increase, this is supported by an

independent poll conducted by BN that shows the trend more pronounced in younger people. From an attitudes perspective, the obsession with having the perfect body, as promoted by advertisers, has passed on. The trend now is more about being yourself rather than trying to be somebody else.


What are the biggest problems that naturism is currently facing?


The biggest challenge is in fulfilling the demand. Naturist events, whether they be at a naturist club, visiting a museum, naked swims or anything else won’t happen unless someone is prepared to organise them. Therein lies the problem and it applies to all sorts of specialist societies whether they be radio hamming, for example, or some other non-commercial interest. Our culture has moved to a pay-as-you-go mentality rather than a long-term commitment that may involve volunteering your time.


Lots of ideas for how to get involved in naturism but too few people are prepared, or able, to volunteer their time to make it happen.


What do you think of clothing optional policies?


This is a topic where people have equally valid but opposite points of view. When we started I would have loved the idea of clothes optional. Sort of starting at the shallow end of the pool rather than jumping in at the deep end. But I have changed my mind. Clothes optional applies equally to everybody regardless of sex (male or female), so you can end up with more people clothed than unclothed and this acts as a deterrent to disrobing rather than an encouragement. I now understand why it is important to keep naturist events naturist.



Are there any aspect of naturism that frustrates you?


I can understand why some people are reluctant to admit their naturism. The same applies to Christians who are afraid to admit they are Christian, or a gay who is afraid to come out. This is a pity as they are allowing other people’s judgement to determine how they live their lives.


Has there ever been a specific day, location, venue, activity that at the end of it has made you think - this is naturism at its best?


Janina replies: Oddly enough it was when I was naked talking to a group of dressed men (as they had just arrived) in the car park at our naturist club. It didn’t cross my mind that I was the only one naked. Total acceptance.


One the other hand, we did have a bad experience at a UK naturist beach where I was the only women and men came over to say “hello”. This is where we learnt what the expression “meerkat” means. That is why, personally, I would recommend female newcomers visit an established naturist club or an organised naturist event rather at an unregulated beach.



Five words you would use to describe naturism that people who haven't tried naturism may not have considered:


Liberation from other people’s judgement.


Five words would you say doesn't describe naturism that those same people may wrongly consider to be true:



Subterfuge for promiscuity or voyeurism.



If you closed your eyes and imagined yourself as Naturism what would you be.


I would be a breeze blowing through the long grass on a summer’s day and then into the woods to envelope the trees, branches and leaves. A closeness to nature, unseen but fully present.



Your naturist regrets.


I suppose the cliché is the lament that we should have done it earlier. You can’t change history so we are making the most of it now.



Why do you think people should join ANW? What can existing naturists get from it and how about "newbies"?


Firstly, and importantly, ANW requires verification so there is a level of protection there. Also, ANW is very strict on moderation of content on the site. That being the case, the personal profile section allows you to express yourself – in words and photos - in a way that you couldn’t do with non- naturists. Of course, anything published on the net can be screenshot and used nefariously, but you can’t spend your life in cave afraid of what others may say or do. The forum on your profile allows you to publicly acknowledge the freedom you have found as a naturist and this is a big psychological step forward for a newbie.


Independent globe-trotting to beautiful beaches and exotic locations is an exciting part of naturism - but there is a long history of local clubs, social meet-ups and national bodies - how important do you consider these aspects of naturism to be for today's naturist and the future growth of naturism?


Foreign travel to exotic location is wonderful – if you can afford it – but it’s all over in two weeks. Being part of a naturist club in the UK, and some clubs have amazing all weather facilities, is a financial bargain. Yes, many clubs expect you to help keep costs down by participating in work days but even they can be great fun with a real sense of achievement. British Naturism holds many events throughout the year (in the winter too at indoor places) and we have been to lots of them – thoroughly recommended. So naturism in the UK is just as vital as being abroad.



If you could go anywhere in the world as a naturist where would it be?


That’s easy. On our bucket list is to walk down the street naked, cross the road naked at a pedestrian crossing while the cars wait and then go into the supermarket naked. That’s the ultimate in naturism.


Haven’t done it yet but we know where you can do exactly that.


You are also involved in Naked Heart Walk could you tell us something about this and why you think naturists like to get involved in charity runs etc.


The Naked Heart Walk is a partnership between British Naturism and British Heart Foundation. The idea to give potential naturists an excuse to try walking naked in the presence of others at a safe location while raising sponsorship for charity. I don’t know if you can extrapolate that into naturist being more caring than any other section of society – but we know that when we visit naturists venues we feel safe and that is because of the type of people they are.


You have been happily married since your student days. In your experience do you find the relationships of naturist couples are stronger and happier on average?

In our experience naturists come from all strata of society. Some are happily married, many are single, for others this might be their second or third marriage and some are not married at all. Our “secret” of being happily married is to keep no secrets. Often it is the betrayal that is the deepest cut so it is a shame when some naturists feel the need to conceal (lie) about their naturism from their partners. Even if your partner says it's not for them, at least let them know and you'll both be stronger for it.


ANW thank Janina and Nigel for sharing these wonderful insights into their lives and naturism.

ANW welcomes all 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]

© 2022 Janina and Nigel and All Rights Reserved