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An Interview with ANW Member Natur-Al from Spain


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. Again ANW are delighted to welcome
Natur-Al from Spain.

1 Tell us a little about yourself and your part of the world.

I’m a single English guy from the East Midlands who has been living in Spain for some 16 years. Recently retired, home is a small, traditional Spanish town, not far from Madrid.

2 What was the attitude towards nudity and naturism in your homes and upbringing as a child and teen?

I would say my upbringing was quite typical for the 1970’s, in which as children we were taught the values of morality, ‘correct’ behaviour, politeness and respect. Within a relatively strict framework based on the lines of ‘step out of line’ and you will at best be reprimanded and most likely ‘punished’.

Conversation about sensitive topics such as sex and nudity were avoided, or should I say ‘none existent’. There were certainly no shows of nudity around the house and I had no knowledge of naturism.

School education, on anything remotely resembling ‘sensitive issues’ was limited to two or three classes as an 11 year old, quite inappropriately called ‘sex education’. Which were little more than an insight into the birds and the bee’s and how to produce babies!
Certainly I think, for myself, that strict upbringing helped ferment a somewhat adventurous attitude, that to some degree I still carry with me to this day. Very much on the lines of ‘tell a child they can’t do something and through their inquisitive nature they quite naturally will want to do it even more’ or ‘portray something as being taboo, without adequate explanation or open conversation as to why, then that ‘something’ then becomes naturally far more intriguing’. Personally, if I become aware of something that provokes an interest within me, then I set out to explore, inform myself, learn more and try things out, and that has certainly been true of my ‘journey’ into naturism. Obviously, with that kind of attitude and approach to life, more especially at a young age, it can be easy to come ‘unstuck’, especially without guidance, which can lead to a few awkward, uncomfortable life experiences. However, as with the lyrics of a famous song, I can honestly say that ’Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention!’....’I did it my way!’ Certainly, referring specifically to naturism, I have had no regrets whatsoever.

3 If not covered in two - how did you first get involved in naturism and what were your initial thoughts.

I first became aware of naturism, when I was maybe 17 or 18. I was actually perusing the ‘naughty’ magazines that where invariably on the newsagents ‘top shelf’. When in amongst them I spotted H+E magazine. I remember my attention being drawn to it, thinking ‘this looks different to the rest,’ ‘those people look normal, real.’ My initial reaction on subsequently reading H+E, was one of total acceptance of what was to me, at the time, a basically ‘unknown pursuit or activity’. I certainly never thought ‘this is odd or strange’ or
‘how can people be like that?’ albeit at that relatively early age, I don’t remember having any appreciation of naturism as a lifestyle choice. What I did however realise, was that naturism definitely wasn’t about sex, nor was it pornographic. An aspect which I can remember discussing with a school friend who had a similar, open minded, inquisitive nature to myself. However, unfortunately I cannot recollect the detail of such discussions, apart from maybe something on the lines of what H+E actually meant. I certainly wasn’t put off by any lack of any sexual content within H+E magazine, and naturism must I imagine have sparked some interest, as I subsequently bought the magazine on several other occasions in those early years of my awareness.
I can’t even think it was just about seeing people naked, as buying any ‘top shelf’ magazine would have satisfied any such sexual interest, and pornography was already something I was fully aware of.
If there was any fascination with the nudity on display in H+E, then it was just that, eh, these are ‘real people’, these are ‘normal people’.

My next experience of naturism, was a few years later, when on holiday in Ibiza and visiting a beach frequented by nudists, although it was quite obviously a mix between nudists and textile sun worshippers. Again nothing stuck me as particularly strange or abnormal, it was just people enjoying themselves on holiday. At that time, maybe because I was in the company of relatively unknown people, who were all wearing swimsuits, I cannot remember having any interest or desire to want to strip off myself.

The first time I actually went nude in public, was on a nudist beach in Mallorca, when I was 26. I was actually with my ex-wife and at the time we were on our honeymoon! We visited a small cove, knowing it was classed as a naturist beach and keen to experience such an environment, and maybe ‘dip our toes’ in the water. Almost everyone on the beach were naked. I was soon the first to pluck up the courage to strip off as it just felt the natural and normal thing to do, then within no more than 30 minutes, my wife followed my lead. We must have enjoyed ourselves, as we subsequently returned to the same beach several times that same holiday and on subsequent holidays, going nude straight away without any inhibition whatsoever. Even that ‘male shrinkage’ that men can experience when exiting the cooler waters of the sea, ended up being a source for amusement and laughter, rather than one of embarrassment. Especially when we got the holiday photos back from the processors!

4. Do you think that your initial reasons and attitudes towards naturism have changed since then and

I don’t really think my reasons and attitudes have changed over the years. As right from the start I have been open to and welcoming of the experience, as well as being comfortable with my own nakedness and that of others. What I would say is that I am now more informed about naturism as a whole and have more experience, which all adds to the enjoyment. Certainly visiting and staying at the naturist resort of Vera Playa (Almería, Spain) took my naturism to another level, beyond just going naked on the beach and in the back garden. Spending all day and night naked, walking naked along the street, visiting bars and restaurants where being naked is welcomed, socialising in a naked environment, all has helped bring about a far greater appreciation of what naturism is all about, especially as a lifestyle option and choice.
Just being in, being a part of such a relaxed naturist environment has been so rewarding and prompted me to want to incorporate naturism ever more so into my everyday life. There is often debate and discussion around the terminology, ‘nudism’ and ‘naturism’. Whereby some see them as being ‘one of the same’ and others tend towards the thought that nudism is more associated to people who just go naked for the enjoyment of it, whilst ‘naturism’ refers more to the incorporation of other lifestyle choices, in addition to just the enjoyment of being naked, principally ‘nature’ as the name itself suggests, but also, living in harmony with the environment, diet, healthy living etc.

Personally I am at ease with both of those definitions. Everyone is free to live their enjoyment of being naked however ‘best fits’ for them and however they feel most comfortable as an individual. There are no rules and regulations, no obligation, that one should strive to encompass these other aspects into their lives, in order to maybe feel more ‘worthy’ more ‘genuine’. It is not a competition, nor are there any ‘exams’ to pass. It is just the simple pleasure of enjoying being naked and being true to yourself in a totally relaxed manner. What I have noticed though, through my own personal experiences, is that simply through being naked, in addition to becoming more self confident and at ease with your body and ‘who’ you are, you can also almost feel yourself quite naturally  becoming more connected to nature, your surroundings, the natural world and even the human race.

5. Tell us about your naturist adventures so far.

After those initial experiences of going nude on a naturist beach in Mallorca. It almost became a must do holiday activity and when planning holidays we intentionally searched out places where we knew we could go nude on a nearby beach. I have since been naked on several beaches in Mallorca, Corfu, Skiathos (and it’s wonderful ‘Banana Beach’) and more recently the Spanish mainland. During which time I have never witnessed any untoward or what could be considered offensive behaviour. Even on Banana Beach, I remember us being in the sea and chatting away with guy who was alongside us, when he asked ‘have you seen the little fishes?’ take into account, this was a rather well endowed guy and his manhood was floating on the surface of the sea, clearly visible amongst the ‘little fishes’ that were swimming around us. I am not even sure if he even realised, such was the innocence of the situation and certainly neither my wife or I, saw it as anything untoward, no more than maybe a touch of humorous exhibitionism. That is something which I feel is often key in such situations, having a healthy, relaxed mental attitude, not taking things out of context and certainly not seeing or imagining more into any given scenario than it actually warrants. What is for sure, the memory of those ‘small fishes’ certainly gave us many a laugh during the following years!

Nowadays, since my move to Spain, my holidays are primarily spent in the Cabo De Gata region of the mainland, where there are a wealth of nudist beaches and naturist opportunities. To which (maybe quite boringly?!?) I rarely feel the need to look ‘further a field’.
There is also the wonderful, totally naturist alcove of Vera Playa, which since I first discovered it a few years ago, has become a ‘must stay’ destination. Just being naked 24/7 in such a relaxed naturist environment has been such a rewarding experience.
So much so, that even my ‘home life’ has now evolved to more fully incorporate naturism. Spending all my days and nights naked and only pulling on a few clothes when it is necessary to do so, or because it gets a little chilly. Albeit, when out in the garden, because it is partially overlooked, I tend to be more discreet. Not wanting to ‘create scandal’ or provoke unease with the neighbours and being especially conscientious with respect to being seen naked by any children they may have.
If on occasion someone happens to ‘catch a brief glimpse’ then so be it, however, primarily out of respect for others, I certainly refrain from ‘flaunting’ my nudity when outside the house. That more or less brings us up to the present day. When just a few weeks ago I decided to join the ANW community. The prime motive being one of a desire to hopefully get to know other naturists.

6. You have moved to Spain from the UK tell us a little about your reasons.

I first started feeling an affinity for Spain, its people and its culture many years before actually moving here to live. A desire to effectively communicate with Spanish people, right from those early holidays spent on Mallorca, prompting me to learn the language. Then over subsequent years, my visits to Spain became ever more frequent, developing what I become lifelong friendships with many Spanish people. All this serving to increase my interest in Spain as a country in which I would like to live, to such an extent, that many people used to say I was living in England almost like an exiled Spaniard! As one can imagine, to eventually make such a move and begin a life in a new country, many things have to first ‘fall into place’ and it was many years before on a personal level, that I felt the time was right and everything was possible. Especially since I would have to work and earn a living here in Spain, which in itself needed much preparation and studies, to ensure such a venture didn’t end in failure and had more than a fair chance of success.

Whilst my move to Spain was not motivated by any naturist considerations, the great climate is certainly more conclusive to a naturist lifestyle. Especially in the south and south east of the country, where the temperatures are good all year round. There are also an abundance of beautiful beaches many of which are either officially naturist or naturist tolerant.

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

Naturism could be said to have several ‘tiers or levels’ of both interest and participation. There are those who simply like to go naked once a year, when they visit a beach on holiday. Others whom in addition to holiday naturism, choose to incorporate it more into their daily lives in the home and garden. Some who take it somewhat out of a ‘natural comfort zone’ and enjoy naked hiking and camping in what are not officially designated naturist environments. Whilst others choose to incorporate nature and other lifestyle choices, such as veganism, the environment etc, etc within their love of being naked. Many enjoy community naturism and join clubs and societies. Some even take on active roles in promoting naturism.

What is important to understand, is that naturism is not a competition and is accepting of all. Almost everyone starts by ‘dipping their toes in the water’, be that a bit of naked sunbathing in the privacy of their back garden, stripping off on some remote beach, or visiting a naturist beach when on holiday. Whilst for many people, their enjoyment then so often leads to a natural and growing interest and desire to incorporate ever more naturist activities into their lives. You don’t subsequently have to ‘advance through the ranks’. Everyone is free to choose whatever feels good, whatever is ‘right’ for themselves.

The secret to enjoying naturism, is to be and feel comfortable and relaxed in whatever you do. Do not worry about how you think you may look to others, be happy in your body and with who you are! We are all unique and you will almost instantly realise that naturists come in all shapes, sizes, ages and colours and that you are no different. Nobody is out to judge you. More likely is that you will feel like you are part of a supportive and happy community, like an ‘extended family’ and embracing naturism into your life, you will feel increasingly happy within yourself and with who you are. You will feel a connection, not just with yourself, but with nature itself, even with the whole universe.
Believe me, naturism is so rewarding, both physically and mentally. It perfectly harmonises with so many beneficial life choices. It’s liberating, you will feel a sense of wonderful freedom in both mind and body. But probably, most important of all, it’s enjoyable!
Try it ........ you will like it!

8. If ANW wasn't about naturism but something else what other life choice/hobby/interest/passion...would have made you consider joining it?

Personally I have many varied and quite diverse interests, hobbies and passions, in addition to naturism.....some of which are in almost prefect harmony with naturism....whilst others have no direct link whatsoever. That, when I think about it, in itself represents a perfect example of how naturists are not strange, weird people, they are totally normal individuals, like everyone else on this wonderfully diverse planet where we all live.

I joined ANW principally as a way of opening up ‘avenues’ to hopefully get to know other naturists, even make some new friends and who knows, maybe even have the pleasure of meeting some of them in the future. There was also the thought, that in addition to becoming more informed and aware of naturism, it would also keep the naturist element of my life, more ‘alive’ on a daily basis.....and help avoid or at least serve to alleviate those ‘post holiday blues’ after so thoroughly enjoying and being so totally immersed
in a naturist environment.

My interests, to name but a few, include art (I love painting), listening to music (many different genres), football, darts, golf, cycling and sport in general (more now as a spectator), reading, nature, exploring new places, medative practices and philosophies etc, etc.
Would I join websites similar to ANW but based around any of these other interests?’ probably I cannot, certainly now as I am writing, see any beneficial aspects that would enhance or that I feel are ‘lacking in my life’ with regards to my enjoyment and interest in these ‘other’ pastimes and

9. What do you think naturism has taught you about yourself and do you think it has changed you in any way?

Naturism has certainly made me more ‘wholesome’ as a person, a more ‘rounded’ individual.  I am more aware, but less self conscious. More confident in general (but with still ‘work to be done’ on overcoming my initial ‘shyness’). I am definitely more knowledgeable and think as a person I am more receptive, more appreciative, more considerate.

I am also more in touch with my five senses, even my sixth sense! and through naturism in unison with some simple medative practices, now live more ‘in the moment’, more ‘in my body’ and ‘less in my head’ over thinking and worrying about this, that and the other. It could certainly be said that naturism in so many positive ways has helped in enhancing and creating a greater appreciation of many of life’s true values.

10. 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?

Naturism is for everyone! Some people may think or even believe they are not suited to naturism, maybe because they see themselves as being over weight, physically unattractive, have a disability, etc, etc. However, naturism is all-encompassing. There are naturists of all shapes, sizes, ages, gender, fitness levels and skin colour.

Naturists have a naturally happy, positive disposition and are none judgemental. When we are naked, we are all as one, stripped bare of all the social stigmas that so influence the typically clothed world in which we live. Obviously, for people who live their lives very much in the public eye or hold roles of sensitive responsibility, there is an inherent need for extra caution, primarily due to the intrusive, sensationalist, even repugnant nature of the press and some social media outlets, which often seek to scandalise, create shock and horror stories, whilst breeding little more than misunderstanding, confusion, discrimination and judgemental social attitudes. However, that is not to say, that such people can’t be naturists and enjoy being naked. They just obviously and unfortunately are forced into a situation of having to be more careful, more considerate, more discrete, not just as naturists, but in everything they do.

11. How does your country consider naturism? How do the laws stand supporting naturism? What are the national and local opportunities like?

Spain can be regarded as a generally a reserved, catholic country, where socially allot of emphasis on ‘correct behaviour’. It can certainly be said that Spanish people are brought up to be respecting of others and despite the fact that they love socialising and having a drink, alcohol fuelled behaviour problems are extremely rare, when compared to the UK for instance. It is also somewhat strange that most Spaniards live in homes, flats, apartments etc, with little or no outdoor space, yet they so love to be outdoors. That to a great degree is a consequence of Spanish building regulations, which limit construction of dwellings to within designated ‘urban’ communities, and concentrates the population in areas where there are the most work opportunities. Which in itself, results in there being vast expanses of unspoilt countryside to enjoy and explore.

Spain does have its own official naturist organisation, F.E.N (Federación Español de Naturismo) Which I have seen often ‘proudly’ stating that in Spain, you are allowed to go nude almost anywhere,
with a few exceptions, such as inside public buildings. However, I would counteract that, by saying that such a statement is based far more on fantasy than any reflection on true reality. As, for sure if you went walking naked down the street, anywhere apart from the designated naturist area of Vera Playa in Almería, you will most certainly be reprimanded and arrested by a local police officer! Although due to the wording of Spanish law, they may struggle to actually enforce any charges, if you have done nothing more than just ‘to be naked’. An example of this, would be one I actually witnessed in October of this year. Where a middle aged man was naked with his ‘clothed’ partner on a beach, not classified as being naturist. Some local
police ‘beach patrollers’ appeared and there ensued a very heated argument, as the police officers evidently told the man to ‘cover up’. This despite the fact the naked man was well behaved and the ambience on the beach was perfectly harmonious, with its relatively few inhabitants primarily being all in a similar age bracket. What resulted was that despite a heated argument, the man remained naked, which gave me the impression that the police officers, whilst they could ‘ask for conformance’, maybe
couldn’t actually enforce such?

What I would say, is that in general, Spanish people are quite accepting of naturism and come across as a people who adopt a ‘live and let live’ attitude, so long as it doesn’t create problems for themselves and their families or disrupt the harmony within their community. You will certainly see quite a few Spanish naturists on beaches, even though naturism most definitely isn’t widely practiced within the Spanish community as a whole. Opportunities to practice naturism away from the beaches, in my experience and to my
knowledge are very limited, certainly here in central Spain and the Castilla La Mancha region where I live.
Several times I have conducted an internet search, for local naturist opportunities, places where naturism is practiced or at least accepted and the search results invariably come up as ‘nil’, and in actual act are more likely to throw up publicity for gay saunas in Madrid. Which in itself is a perfect example of how the internet, on which we all are ever more reliant, can both misinform and fuel misinterpretation
So the reality of the situation here in central Spain, is that whilst there are a few isolated, rural spots, maybe on the shore of an inland lake, where you may find naturists, they are few and far between. In Madrid itself, I have seen some publicity for occasional ‘one off’ days where a swimming pool will hold a ‘naturist day’ or welcome naturists during a ‘specified time slot’ but again, these are more ‘rare’ than ‘common place opportunities’.

For some 20 years now, Madrid also hosts an annual naked bike ride in the city centre. Whereby each year, it is chosen to draw attention to diverse social issues and not just naturism itself, of which recent examples have been, ‘Safer cycling’ and ‘Bodily freedom and the right to self expression’. In my opinion, such activities seek to draw attention by the creation of ‘shock value’ and do little or nothing at all, to favour the acceptance of naturism. It could even be argued that they create the negative perception, that naturists are just a bunch of radical exhibitionists.

12. How would you like to see the future of naturism developing over the next 30 years and do you feel these ideas are achievable. Give reasons.

Whilst science and technology advance at an incredible pace, and in which thirty years can be classed as a ‘long’ time. Unfortunately that is not the case with regards to social attitudes. Were it can in some instances take many generations to bring about change. Therefore I think we have to be realistic in what we hope for, accepting and welcoming small but positive evolution. What I would hope for, is that through education and increased awareness, social attitudes towards naturism become ever more accepting and positive. One aspect which is definitely achievable, as it is solely dependent on ourselves as individuals, would be that naturists become more at ease with themselves, proud of who they are and their lifestyle choices and so feel more comfortable in ‘saying I am a naturist’, ‘I enjoy being naked’, and don’t feel any necessity to hide ‘who I am’ from society.

It is so evident that men are generally far more at ease with this than their female counterparts. However, for naturism to become ever more accepted in society, it is essential that ladies, couples and families become more confident and less self-conscious about expressing themselves. Certainly the more naturists talk openly with friends and in their ‘social circles’ of their joy of spending time naked and of their experiences, then society will become more conscious of naturism as a lifestyle choice and pleasurable activity practiced by ‘normal’, ‘everyday’ people. That in itself would be a major step forward in fermenting a greater acceptance of naturism, which in turn would contribute towards the changing of social attitudes which are so necessary to promoting naturism in a favourable light and facilitating other positive developments which are by and large beyond the individual and require legislative change by the powers that be, in order to be achievable.
Of which such desirable examples would be; Naturism, becomes something talked about in the school classroom, be that as an individual subject matter, or as part of a wider ‘lifestyle choices’ topic. Which in turn would encourage children to talk about it at home with their parents. Who would then have to ‘open up’ to such conversation and naturism would then become far less of a ‘taboo’ subject.

The creation of more naturist environments, such as Vera Playa in Spain, which to a great extent requires ‘investors’ to ‘come on board’ in response to a ‘supply and demand’ scenario. The passing of legislation to determine more beaches and natural beauty spots as ‘clothing optional’. Certainly this should be the case with beaches and areas that are not in built up tourist urbanisations. However such change is dependent on local and national government, who whilst they have a duty to represent the majority vote, are all too often influenced by their own personal ambition and a need to appear as being ‘politically correct’ so shy away from showing public support for anything not regarded as ‘mainstream’. We can only hope that one day, more politicians throughout the world that are either naturists or naturist ‘friendly’ ‘come out’ and are voted into office regardless of their public disclosure of their interest in naturism. It would also be nice to see more TV documentaries on naturism, with interviews by naturists, not afraid to show their nakedness. Hopefully, if we continue to show ourselves as an ever expanding, responsible group (body) of normal people, that is something the media moguls will view with more interest.

13 What are the biggest problems that naturism is currently facing? Do you think these are worldwide concerns? Are these problems any different from when you first became naturists?

There are certain aspects which it could be said have always existed, within the modern world in which we live. Of which possibly the most notable are; Escaping social stigmas associated with the naked body. Especially, but certainly not limited to, the perceived thought and attitude that naturists are in some way perverted, simply because they enjoy being naked.

Achieving greater acceptance of naturists, naturist activities and naturism as a lifestyle choice. Then there are more localised issues, where in some individual countries, due to their beliefs and laws, naturism is totally prohibited. In addition to these, but certainly of equal or even greater importance, there are aspects which are more to the forefront in recent times and which certainly need to be addressed, as in essence they greatly affect the possibility of achieving positive advancements within the previously mentioned issues.
As a consequence of greater social awareness, there is an obvious need to protect children, whilst finding ways of welcoming more families into the ‘naturist community’ and into an environment where all can feel safe, secure and free from harassment.
Then there are the issues related to use of the internet and misuse of some social media facilities, to which we are all ever more reliant on, and form an integral part of our daily lives. Yet give rise to so many reasons for concern, especially in the way they manipulate and even ‘seek to control’ public opinion. Whilst in addition they become ever more responsible for adequately maintaining our privacy and the protection of our personal data and images. Certainly there is an ever increasing need for more traceability, legislation and facilities to punish infringements. Albeit, the internet has now become so expansive that it is almost impossible to adequately monitor. Even many major service and social media providers, whilst claiming to be creating
an ever more enhanced user experience, fail in their responsibilities or prefer to ‘turn a blind eye’ due in no small part to the vast sums of money they generate. What is for sure, is that if someone does an internet search for naturism or naturism opportunities
in their local area etc. they shouldn’t then be confronted with innumerable links to pornographic or sexual content! This in itself is one of the main contributors to the misconceptions related to naturism and one which severely hinders the overcoming of social stigmas.

14. If the world was accepting of naturism - happy to take on a clothing optional policy in most situations - how do you think it would change the way society works - what positives could you imagine and do you think there would be any negatives?

In response to that question, I instinctively picked up on what I believe is the key word ‘IF’ the
world was accepting of _ _ _ _ _. I have purposely left that ‘blank space’ because unfortunately we live in a world where so many people are discriminated against and share in the same struggle to achieve a greater and justified level of social acceptance.

Unfortunately, society as a whole, has a resistance to change, to evolve, yet that is what the world has been since day one, a story of evolution and with respect to naturism, it could even be said to be an evolution by going ‘back to our roots’ one of re-encompassing many natural values which have been lost along the way. Just writing that, there is an evident ‘paradox’, because ‘evolution’ is naturally associated with ‘moving forwards’. For naturism to continue to evolve as an acceptable lifestyle option, there is a need for continual, small but positive steps. You couldn’t for instance, suddenly make walking down the street of any undefined area, clothing optional. As for sure, a single person, or just two or three people, suddenly appearing naked in your local community, would be very prone to discriminative acts, insults and maybe even aggression. For that reason, I believe in small steps, such as making more beaches and countryside areas, clothing optional. The creation of more ‘clothing optional’ social events. The creation of more ‘naturist
environments, communities, social spaces etc’ are all positive steps that will increase understanding, awareness and ultimately acceptance of naturists and naturism as a natural lifestyle option and choice. Certainly in an ideal world, where naturism was fully accepted, then I believe society would become less class orientated, less self-centred, less secretive, more natural and more at ease with itself. As these are just a few of the many benefits that one almost instantly becomes more appreciative of once you become accustomed to being naked in a social environment. Through stripping away the social barriers of being clothed, people would also be more accepting of each other and far less judgemental.

Whilst people would obviously retain their inherent personalities, naturism would also most likely promote a more friendly, sharing social environment and given time, even peoples personalities would be likely to evolve into better versions of themselves. Would a social acceptance of naturism give rise to any negative aspects? In order to minimise any potential negative aspects, I feel it is important that acceptance of naturism is one of gradual evolvement and not one instigated by drastic, radical changes in regulations and social law. People have lived in a clothed society for centuries and as much as we as naturists ask for respect and acceptance, we also have to be appreciative of the opinions and lifestyle choices of the clothed population. We cannot suddenly expose them to confront nudity in their everyday social environment and expect acceptance.

What is needed is a gradual increase in social situations whereby naturists and the clothed community can learn and adapt to harmonious living. That said, and taking the original question ‘per say’, then if naturism were to be totally, universally accepted and acknowledged for what in essence it is, ‘the joy of being naked’, then I am in truth struggling to think of any negative aspects. Certainly none that don’t already exist in a ‘clothed

15. Are there any aspect of naturism that frustrates you or annoys you or you feel let down by? Are there any answers that you can think of to put these things right?

I certainly don’t feel these are issues that annoy or by which I feel let down by......however, yes, if I’m honest there are a few aspects which certainly frustrate.... Albeit, with open debate and discussion, many of these issues have solutions or can be at least improved upon. As frequently when we openly and honestly talk about aspects relating to naturism, more often than not, we find that we are all on the ‘same page’. That in itself, is one of the great attributes that naturists have, whereby through being aware of these issues and concerns, we are always open to seek out, or at least via open dialogue reach agreement on what would be desired, appropriate solutions or improvements. Even if some of those may be outside of our direct influence to change. The fears that prevent naturists feeling more confident in ‘revealing themselves’, showing images, sharing personal information, even on trustworthy dedicated naturist community websites etc. Is all rather frustrating, even if to some degree, understandable. However, just imagine if we all hid away. What message would that send out? It would certainly create or add to the ‘air of suspicion’ that already is evident within certain sectors of society, one in which we would all come across as a very dodgy group of individuals. Especially when one considers this same group of people are the one’s that go naked on public beaches etc.

Naturists are on the whole, a group of extremely well balanced individuals. They are responsible, respectful, well behaved, decent people and extremely conscious of not doing anything which may portray their joy of being naked in a negative light. Yet there still exists a feeling that naturists need to paint themselves as being ‘whiter than white’ in order to combat many of the social stigmas that continue to be associated with naturism. Resultant that they feel obliged to constantly state and reinforce a list of ‘rules’ and protocols relating to correct behaviour. Were as those lists of rules and protocols could be quite adequately be covered by one ‘cover all statement’, ‘Genuine naturists do not promote or tolerate offensive behaviour, lewd acts, displays or
comments of a sexual nature, neither within a naturist environment nor in any other public domain, inclusive of naturist websites’. Alternatively, there is an equally valid point of view, that the mere mention of these ‘undesirables’ actually serves to reinforce their link to naturism. So it would be far more beneficial to state the ‘what naturism is,’ ‘what naturists are’ and in doing so, focus more attention on the positive aspects of naturism.’

One other ‘pet gripe’ is the quantity of poor quality of books about naturism, especially the ones written as novels. Whilst obviously there must be exceptions to this generalisation, I must have started reading so many over the years, only to abandon them after a few chapters, as whilst a touch of humour is always welcome, many are nothing more than ‘stereo-typical’ accounts that serve little more than to trivialise and even poke fun at naturism, whilst offering little in the way of helping people wanting to ‘get into’ naturism or becoming more comfortable in their bodies. Even many factual writings about naturism seem to state little more than ‘the obvious’. So especially for newcomers, but also for ‘seasoned’ naturists, you will understand and get a far greater appreciation of naturism and the naturist community, by reading the many informative articles posted on a responsible website like ANW. With the added benefit, that you can also ask other naturists regarding any concerns, questions etc, that you may have.

16. 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 - and why?

Most definitely, some four years ago, arriving at Vera Playa in the car and seeing people walking naked along the street. The feeling of wow! This is paradise! This is ‘home’! Then walking naked along the streets myself and sitting naked in a bar, restaurant, or on its
terrace, long after sundown, enjoying a nice leisurely drink.

17. Do you speak to friends and family about your naturism? How has that been? Do you have any tips? Has it ever had a bad effect on a relationship?

As I have mentioned in one of my previous answers, I believe talking openly about naturism and our experiences is one of the most essential and valid ways in which we can all promote a healthier acceptance of naturism within society.
Do I personally do that enough? Most definitely no! Whilst I don’t make any conscious attempt to hide my naturist enjoyment and experiences, neither do I openly ‘shout’ it from the rooftops. I suppose that is something quite common with many naturists, whereby as much as we may want to be more ‘open’, we are still to a great degree conditioned by our upbringing and the social stigmas historically associated with naturism as being an ‘abnormal’ activity.

Certainly my family, being of traditional lifestyle values, would still not approve of my naturist choices, however, now being an adult, they would no doubt be accepting of such. From my experience, involving none naturist people in conversation around naturism (certainly here in Spain) is far from easy. Maybe because they don’t really approve, maybe because they don’t have any real interest and little or no knowledge of the lifestyle. Any attempt at opening a line of conversation or telling someone of my times going naked on the beach, is almost a none starter. They may well listen with interest, amazement, even amusement, but rarely if ever take up the opportunity to participate in conversation.

I suppose to a great degree, naturism is just like any other topic of conversation, whereby for instance, you wouldn’t naturally try and strike up a conversation about football with someone you know full well has no interest in such. Yet when I am in the local bar, chatting with friends and where my naturist pursuits are now quite well known about, people will often have a friendly laugh about my experiences, often throwing in the typical male jokes about a ‘tripod’ on the beach, but all in good humour and with none judgemental or sexually offensive inference. Often it is easy to perceive even a sense of admiration in their reactions, that whilst they wouldn’t necessarily go naked themselves, they respect the ‘courage’ or ‘freedom’ of one who does. They certainly love to tell other people about my exploits, which is a trait typical of the Spanish persona. I’ve even recently taken to wearing a ‘Vera Natura’ T shirt, as an open expression of love of naturism and based on the theory of attracting like minded people, maybe even open doors to some
naturist conversations.

What is for sure, talking about naturism and my own personal experiences has never created any problems or harmed any relationships.

18. What five words would you use to describe naturism that people who haven't tried naturism may not have considered and what five words would you say doesn't describe naturism that those same people may wrongly consider to be true.

Five words describing naturism that are so very true and should be considered and appreciated by
everyone. Naturism most definitely is .......

Five words describing naturism which people may wrongly perceive to be true – and what naturism definitely isn’t;

19. If you were to close your eyes and consider naturism as an animal, a colour and a food item what three answers would come to mind?

‘HIPPOPOTAMUS’! – they wander around naked, don’t worry what they look like to others, love to sunbathe and even produce their own sun screen to protect their skin.
‘FLESH’ in all it’s wonderful variety of tones.
‘PASSION FRUIT’, a healthy passion for life and juicy on the inside!

20. Do you have any naturist regrets?

I honestly can’t think of any regrets whatsoever. Maybe just a few ‘I wish I had’s’ which in turn prompt a few ‘want to do’s’. Such as having more photo’s of my naturist experiences. Obviously, for any individual, taking full length quality, in focus photos of oneself isn’t the easiest of tasks. So I certainly wish I had on occasion asked more people if they would be so kind as to take a photo of me. I also wish I had taken the opportunity to interact more with other naturists. Partly due to my reserved nature and initial shyness, then in part due to maybe being far to over sensitive to the aspect of respecting peoples privacy and the thought that ‘these people are on holiday together, they most probably don’t want company’, especially that of a single guy, I have all too often shied away from such interactions. Just maybe, such sensitivity becomes more pronounced through being naked, than it would be in a clothed environment? Certainly I would say that can be the case, especially with people who are new to naturism. However, now as I feel ever more confident in my nakedness and in naturist environments, I feel much more at ease with ‘breaking the ice’ and ‘exchanging a few pleasantries’. Certainly now when I look back, I think how ‘silly’ I was, being so reserved and overly sensitive. As since I have been making a greater effort to strike up conversations with other naked people, my whole naturist experience has been enhanced and become much more ‘rewarding’ and enjoyable.

Then following on from this desire to be more communicative and interact more with other naturists, I now hope to expand my knowledge of other languages, at least to the extent of a few useful words and phrases. As when you meet people on the beaches, or in naturist communities like Vera Playa, you soon appreciate just how multi-national naturism is, and how wonderful it would be to share in the delights of different cultural experiences etc. 

21. Why do you think people should join ANW? What can existing naturists get from it and how about "newbie’s"?

‘A Naturist World’ (ANW) is a relatively new community of naturists whose website was created a few years ago. It is a secure platform which offers many benefits for both experienced naturists and those interested in ‘dipping their toes’ into naturism for the first time. Professionally run by a team of dedicated naturists, it is likely to become the ‘reference’ for all other naturist web communities worldwide.

In addition to having an ever expanding data base of locations where naturism is practiced, many with personal reviews by naturist members, it also has many forums which help to inform about the naturist lifestyle, whilst offering the opportunity for open discussion and the expression of opinions relating to many naturist topics, in a friendly community environment. In deed, it is the embracing, welcoming, friendly nature of its members that is the very essence of the website. Many of whom go on to create their own ‘groups of particular interest’, create ‘blogs’ in which they relate and share personal experiences, or simply post updates of what they have been up to.

All of which help and encourage people to feel normal and more confident in their naturism, by promoting a feeling of togetherness and relaxed harmony, in which many new friendships with like minded people are possible.

22. What would you say are the main differences between the way naturism is treated and enjoyed between the UK and Spain - what could we learn form each other?

I have never practiced naturism in the UK, apart from sunbathing naked in the back garden. So my impressions of naturism there are purely based on other people’s experiences which I have read about either in H&E or on the ANW website.
Spanish people, with their strong Catholic roots, are also tolerant people. They will rightly defend and protect their families and local community, however if something offers them no harm, or threatens to disharmonise their way of life, even though they may have no interest in naturism, they tend to have a ‘let it be’ attitude. We can always learn more and develop a greater appreciation. That is where publications like H+E and especially the ANW website are so important and valuable.

23. Have you spent time as a naturist abroad in other countries- and if so have you found any differences good or bad about the way these countries treat naturism and naturists?

If we take Spain as being my home, then I have only spent time as a naturist abroad, whilst on holiday in the Greek islands of Corfu and Skiathos. I haven’t even practiced naturism in the UK, with the exception of ‘soaking up the sun’ in the garden. So I can’t really say anything of value with regards to how other countries treat naturists and naturism in general. As personally, and I’m not just referring to naturism here, I don’t like, nor due I feel it is appropriate to make judgements or express unfounded opinions about aspects of which I have little or no knowledge and even more so, without any personal experience. Oh, and yet isn’t that just what many people in society, from the general public, right through to persons in positions of power and influence, do when they ‘pass judgement’ and influence opinion about naturism and public nudity?!?! When, in reality, the majority of those who express negativity, almost for sure, have never been naked in the public eye, and maybe not even in their own back garden. So in essence, they have no true knowledge or experience on which to base such judgements and so should refrain from doing so!
Based purely on my naturist experiences in the Greek islands. Then I would have to say, the impression was very favourable, both on naturist beaches and naturist tolerant beaches, where I felt totally relaxed and comfortable in a harmonious environment. As to whether Greece has liberated policy regarding naturism and it is widely accepted as a lifestyle option, or whether it is viewed more as ‘taking advantage of a tourist opportunity’, I just don’t know, so cannot give an opinion.

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

I have to admit that nowhere specific springs to mind. If I was younger and fitter, then I imagine an experience on a deserted island (but with someone for company) like Lucy Irving’s ‘Castaway,’ would certainly be an exhilarating experience! But being more realistic, anywhere with a naturist community where you can be naked 24/7 would be just fine with me.

25. Some clubs and events discourage single men. As a single male have you ever had any incidents where you have not felt welcomed within naturism? What are your thoughts about such attitudes?

I am well aware of the restrictive measures than many naturist clubs place on single male membership, albeit to date I haven’t applied to be a member of any.

Whilst in some instances, their motives may be purely to try and maintain a ‘healthy’ balance between male / female / couples membership numbers. Such policies can be very frustrating for single male naturists, even serving to make them feel unwanted within the naturist community. Even though it is quite evident that there are many more single males than females, who actively enjoy naturism, especially in the public domain.

Naturally, naturist clubs, societies want to encourage more female membership and certainly the naturist world as a whole would wish for this and that ladies could feel safer, more secure and so more confident in their naturism. Much of this, once again a consequence of social stigmas and whilst not wanting in anyway to trivialise such real and genuine concerns, such as the perceived link between nudism and sex. I feel, such are often portrayed as a far bigger issue than it actually is in reality. Even to the extent of ‘brainwashing’ people into being overly wary and untrusting of any single male individual. Whereas the vast majority of single male naturists are perfectly well behaved human beings, who are fully respectful towards female naturists, and offer no threat to them whatsoever.

Unfortunately it is the consequence, as in other social scenarios, of the unacceptable behaviour of a minority spoiling it for the majority, not just for women but men alike. This certainly should not be a determining factor in naturists clubs denying or restricting male
membership. As they always retain the right to ban / expel any member who behaves inappropriately or causes offence. Taking this topic beyond the ‘confines’ of naturists clubs, these unfortunate ‘social stigmas’, believe me, can and indeed do create many insecurities for genuine single male naturists. Were it is not uncommon for them to be self conscious and overly concerned as to how they are perceived, both by female naturists and couples. Almost creating social barriers, whereby single males then become less
likely to act in a normal, relaxed manner, as they may back away / refrain from even exchanging a few pleasantries, a nice smile, as they subconsciously may feel, they are not welcome.

Similar could even be said of single males when thinking of sending a friend invite to a single woman or a couple on a naturist community website, they can become overly conscious that even such innocent ‘advances’ are not wanted. I would even hazard a guess, that even in reverse, a woman would think two, three maybe even more times before sending out a friend invite to a single male, for the inherent fear of projecting herself as ‘being available’ or ‘sending out any other message’ aside from pure, genuine friendship.

Likewise couples are far more likely to send a friend invite to another couple or a single female member than they ever are to a single male.
Oh, I don’t know, maybe that is just me being overly sensitive and taking things to an opposite extreme. However it is certainly a perception that seems to ‘hover’ there in the back of the mind. Which just goes to show, how we are all, influenced and affected by this totally undesirable nudist-sexual inference. Regardless of whether we are male, female or a couple.

26.Any other thoughts and considerations to add?

Maybe just a few personal reflections and tips on how we can all become more comfortable and accepting of our bodies and so more at ease being naked.
There are many simple meditative and yoga practices, which incorporate a few deep breaths, a few gentle body stretches and movements, that can help us connect with ‘ourselves’, to get ‘in touch’ with our bodies, which in essence are ‘our very own life force’.

Getting ‘out of our heads’ and ‘into our bodies’, is so key to us becoming more appreciative of our bodies, to us learning to love our bodies with all their perfect imperfections and so become more confident and far less self conscious in our nakedness. Through conscious breathing, feeling each breath giving life to our bodies, through gentle touch, we awaken all our senses. Promoting a conscious awareness, not of what people may or not be thinking, but of whom we really are.

For our bodies with all their perfect imperfections are who we truly are. They are our ‘life story’, the very essence of our existence. Beautiful, heavenly creations that far too often we take for granted or maybe even become embarrassed about because of what we see as their imperfect form. Yet what we should be doing, is learning to give thanks to our body, to celebrate our bodies, where even such simple thought processes such as ‘talking to our bodies’, telling our bodies and their various parts that we ‘love
them’, thanking them for all they have done and do for us each and every day, can have such a massive psychological benefit, in making us feel comfortable, relaxed and proud in our nakedness. We are all beautiful and when we feel good on the inside, our whole body radiates with such beautiful joy.
We can all learn to live more ‘in the moment’, to take joy and pleasure in every moment, to be at one with nature and ourselves. Raising our sensual awareness and through our senses, allow our bodies to feel, to just be in the moment, liberating our bodies and senses from our manipulating minds which constantly try to tell us ‘this and that’.

To rejoice in our nakedness. For once we feel at ease with who we really are, feel relaxed and totally comfortable in and with our bodies, then any fears, nervousness and insecurities we may have had about delving into naturism, getting naked, they along with out clothes just quite simply and naturally melt away.

If this has happened to spike an interest in you, maybe even a desire to feel a greater connection and love with your body, to feel more at ease with your nakedness. Then I would certainly recommend a book, entitled ‘Embracing Your Wild Feminine’ by Joy Moates. It is a book written primarily for women, but I would say, equally of value and interest to men, couples, everyone really. Whilst it’s not about naturism in itself, it does embrace some aspects and certainly, perfectly harmonises with a naturist lifestyle. With so many simple lifestyle practices, tips and suggestions of ways to feel good about ourselves and be fully relaxed in our bodies, helping us to connect with ourselves and our natural essence, in all of our naked beauty.

ANW thank Natur-Al from Spain for sharing his wonderful opinions. Natur-Al from Spain has already written  a blog for ANW called A Naturist Paradise - The beaches near San José (Cabo De Gata, Spain).

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]

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