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An interview with ANW Members and naturist family A & C from Holland


As part of ANW's want to enhance understanding and appreciation of naturism we are sharing a selection of articles and interviews with ANW members exploring naturism around the world. 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.

ANW also believes that naturism unites us as people. Beyond national boundaries, age, gender, religion sexual orientation and culture. These articles show this connection through mutual respect of social nudity. Inspiring people to get involved with naturism and the various naturist opportunities the world has to offer.

ANW is delighted to be interviewing A and C, parents of a naturist family from Holland. If you are already a signed up user of ANW we recommend you read the more complete ANW member version complete with more photographs and links. 
Tell us a little about yourselves and your part of the world.
Dutch family of four, with Dad (A) working from home in software, and Mum (C) working as a teacher. We used to exercise a lot, but nowadays we're just trying to stay afloat with two young sons in our lives!
What was the attitude towards nudity and naturism in your homes as a child and teen?
In both of our childhood homes, nudity was a necessary evil for bathing. The idea that you could live life without covering up was pretty much unheard of.
How did you first get involved in naturism and what were your initial thoughts.
A. got into contact with naturism by a long bike ride in hot weather, where he wanted to cool off--and thus the first visit to a naturist beach was born, and he liked it.
After we met, C. was open to the idea, and after a few unpleasant experiences (there are some beaches you don't want to visit close to sunset), she was won over. Leaving a few incidents aside, neither of us have worn a bathing suit since.

Do you think that your initial reasons and attitudes towards naturism have changed since then and how?
Not really. For both of us, the main motivation was "clothes aren't necessary to feel good in your own skin," and in summer it's just more practical. We have never had a more philosophical bent about it.
So, even though neither of us have been exposed to naturism in our youth, we both took to it naturally, pretty much without thinking twice.
Tell us about your naturist adventures so far.
Adventures? We're not that adventurous? 

Vacations are usually spent on French campsites. We left behind the tent life a while ago because of a bad back, but still love the atmosphere of a campsite. We like visiting beaches, but on the days the weather is nice enough here in Holland, they're pretty much impossible to reach. We try to go there once a year, because the boys like messing around in the sand and sea!

And finally, ever since we bought our first home, we've made sure no one could see into our garden, to enjoy our freedom in our own domain.

Do you think if one of you had disliked naturism the other would have carried on and could this have worked for you both?
We don't want to force anything onto our partners, but we feel that the quality of life might diminish a bit if vacations were spent in a textile resort, and we might even stop going on vacations at all. One-party nudity in the home would be fine.
How would you best explain naturism to someone new to it and what advice would you offer to them?
Naturism is just regarding your skin as another type of garment, and all the practical benefits and comfort that come with it. Why mess around in a small shower cubicle, when you can chat to your camping neighbour while showering in the open? Why have a wet sticky bathing suit on your skin even after swimming?
After you've internalised the "why do I need this"-mindset about clothes, do be judicious about sharing your newfound lifestyle, not everyone might be as open minded as you are.

What were your main reasons for joining ANW?
We joined for two reasons: to try and get some contact with like-minded people, of which there don't seem to be all that many, and to support your mission of, in our words, "normalizing nudity."
What do you think naturism has taught you about yourselves and do you think it has changed you in any way?
As mentioned, we don't have much of a philosophical bent about it. If anything, it has shown that the things we really need are few.
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?
We've found that naturism is sort-of self selecting for people to be just ever so slightly more civilized. Though we do know very civilized people who would hate the idea of being naked (or even being close to someone who's not wearing clothes), and people who like being naked that are not fun to be around. It takes all kind of people, but the average is just slightly above :)
There doesn't seem to be a prototypical naturist.
How does your country consider naturism? How do the laws stand supporting naturism? What are the national and local opportunities like?
Being Dutch, we have a pretty robust legal framework for naturism, with plenty of official nude beaches, and a few resorts. That said, we have found that the famous Dutch open attitude towards nudity has been changing, seemingly because of the increased polarisation in all of our western society. For instance,
How would you like to see the future of naturism developing over the next 30 years and do you feel these ideas are achievable.
We would love it if no naturist movement would be necessary at all, and practical nudity would just be accepted. We don't really see that happening, though, for reasons highlighted elsewhere.

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?
We would love that, but only if it combines the judicial situation with a moral acceptance of making a clothing choice in either direction. We don't have a vision of utopia where social acceptance of nudity would lead to a more caring and loving society--it would just be a practical concern.
What are the biggest problems that you think naturism is currently facing?
The societal attitude of judging anything slightly out of the ordinary as evil (as in the link above) is harming acceptance, and might even lead to its extinction. I don't expect it to be outlawed, but just becoming practically impossible outside of our own garden. It seems that the vast majority of the population is ambivalent, but very driven to keep their heads down by a vocal minority.
This does seem to be a problem from the past decade or so, although that's probably just us growing older.

Are there any aspect of naturism that frustrates you or you feel let down by?
The current demography is worrying; we once made the mistake of camping in the off season, where we were met with what felt like a nursing home made up of caravans. Vacations in the high seasons show that there are plenty of families still in naturism, but it seems to be getting less and less.
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? Maybe you both have different reasons for different days?
Our best nude beach experience was in our early days, first time visiting a beach on a really sunny day with plenty of families around. This was immediately after the disconcerting experience mentioned above
For A, the best nude life is friction free: rolling out of bed, making coffee, putting on flip flops, and... that's about it. It doesn't matter whether that's at home, or at a resort, or anywhere else.
For C, it would be being anywhere that's hot enough to not need to put on anything when going around the morning business--such as picking up fresh croissants from the campsite's baker.
Do you speak to friends and family about your naturism?
In our experience, many people are ambivalent about it ("fine if you do it, but don't bother us with it")--which is probably the attitude towards a majority of societal subjects for 85% of the population.
We're rather careful in sharing information about our lifestyle, but also will not lie when asked about it. This has sometimes led to negative responses or people keeping their distance, especially for friends of our kids (or rather, their parents).
We don't have a gold master for breaking it to people. We've found that it is very hard to judge how people will respond. Nowadays, we just try to keep on the safe side.
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.
Phew, that's a hard one. Things like "free," "easy" come to mind, but nothing very specific.
As for the words that don't associate with naturism, we don't like phrases that confirm people's suspicions like "oh, no, naturism has nothing to do with X," since that places the focus on those. Let's go with "cold" and "power tools"!

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?
A: our robot lawn mower (lounges around the lawn all day long), white, and sushi (we only order sushi when it's really hot, and have rarely eaten it dressed)
C: cat (lying around in the sun), yellow (sun), sushi
Do you have any naturist regrets?
If one thing, it's misjudging parents of our kids' schoolmates and being a bit too open about our lifestyle, and maybe ending some friendships :(
Why do you think people should join ANW? What can existing naturists get from it and how about "newbies"?
For us, it's a nice way to share a little bit about our lifestyle without the negative repercussions of main stream social media, and without overburdening our naturist friends with WhatsApp pics of our green garden and all too pale skins.
How important do you consider national bodies and local clubs in naturism today and for he future growth of naturism?
We're not that into organized naturism. Still, while we never join the annual barbecue, we are members of our local naturist club, because we want to support them monetarily and by upping the membership count (for e.g. in relation to local municipalities, it helps for an interest group to have a larger number of members, especially families).
So, the benefits are not necessarily in the social aspects directly, but in the influence the group has on local decision making.

You have visited various countries in Europe as naturists - have you found any differences in the way naturism is viewed and supported in these countries?
Our main experiences are,
- France: not very accepted socially, but the country is large and green enough to have some very nice resorts;
- Spain (mainly Canary Islands): not that many commercial options, and those that are, are mostly dated. However, the attitude toward nudity on beaches is great: no need to go and find a designated nude beach, just find a spot that is not too crowded and no one will bat an eye.
- Croatia: very secluded. Tolerating those people with their bits hanging out seems like a necessary (commercial) evil even for camping staff.
You go to a local swimming session is this run by a club or by the pool itself - tell us a little about it and how important is having some local regular connections to other naturists?
I feel like a horrible person for saying this, but: the social aspect is not that important to us. We do visit a weekly nude swimming evening in winter, but that's (a) because we like to swim and play around in the water, and (b) because none of us has a bathing suit.
If you could go anywhere in the world as a naturist where would it be?
A: I love being on my own for a while. My ideal situation would be somewhere in the middle of nowhere, cabin in the woods-situation, allowing me to just wander around and lounge in the shade having a beer--no pants in sight, of course.
C: My ideal situation is a silent place with enough shade but warm enough where I could lay all day reading.
You have brought up your children as naturists - can you explain what that means to you as parents and what you feel it offers your children?
We're not so sure our children even think of themselves as naturist. They just go about wearing whatever they want, which more often than not is a zero-piece suit. We haven't really made a conscious effort to raise them naturist, it's just part of how our family life goes. We love them to be comfortable in their own skin.
How do your children view naturism? What thoughts do you have on the future of naturism within your family as the years progress?
Both our kids positively hate wearing swim suits and love being naked when the weather allows it--but again, mainly for practical purposes, and less for ideological reasons. They understand Grandma doesn't want to see their birthday suits, and are reasonably flexible in that extent.
We honestly don't expect any issues with them growing up. Nudity is not just a holiday thing, it is a practical part of life.
As for a thirty year future: we hope to be the grandparents with that awesome garden the grand kids can run around naked in, hoping both of them find a partner that accepts and embraces their garment choices.
Thank you. Do you have any final thoughts to add?
Only to say we love the idea of helping to grow the community somehow, probably by being active as a family.
ANW thank A and C for sharing this fascinating interview with ANW. 
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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