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An Interview with ANW Member Duncan and Vivienne - From Worcestershire, England


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.

We also believe that naturism unites us and connects us. Beyond national boundaries, age, gender, religion sexual orientation and culture. These articles aim to show our connect through our mutual respect and understanding of social nudity. Inspiring people to get involved with naturism and the various naturist opportunities the world has to offer. 


We welcome Duncan and Vivienne from Worcestershire, England:

Lanzarote 2004

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your part of the world.
We have been married 52 years and have always lived in the UK, variously in London, Southampton, Gloucestershire, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight and now Worcestershire. Duncan was an accountant turned general manager in manufacturing, Vivienne has been an HR professional, full time mother, teacher and an ordained Anglican priest. We have 2 children (now independent), 4 grand children and one great-grand child.

2. What was the attitude towards nudity and naturism in your home and upbringing as a child and teen?
We were both brought up in happy, conventional homes where naturism was not even considered, and nudity only happened in the bathroom. Neither saw their opposite sex parent in the nude as a child.

3. How did you first get involved in naturism and what were your initial thoughts.
Duncan always enjoyed wearing as little as possible, which in his teens turned into skinny dipping in rivers and the sea. This naturally led to remaining naked on the beach or river bank, because it just felt right. Vivienne tried it after we were married and took to it quickly, feeling no body shame. After that it just became our normal way of carrying on when near water. Then it spread to anywhere where it was practical.

4. Do you think that your initial reasons and attitudes towards naturism have changed since then and how?
No. We went naked when it felt right to do so, and we still do, though nowadays we do look for opportunities, such as taking naturist holidays and going to naturist swim clubs.

5.Tell us about your naturist adventures so far.
Too many to list! Virtually all holidays are to naturist destinations,( including our family while growing up). Members of naturist clubs and swims. Naked in the garden in summer.

6. You were a member of your naturist national body for many years how important do you see these bodies to be for individuals and for naturism within your country and what do you consider their roles should be in promoting and supporting naturism?
We think that a national Naturist Body could be very important in getting Naturism more accepted by the general public, and the law. Though we were members of British Naturism for many years we are no longer so, because the petty politics emanating from its leadership just became too much. Also it was becoming an entertainments organisation concerned more with partying than campaigning for naturist freedom. It is a pity, because a properly run national Naturist organisation could do a lot of good. 

7. You are also members of local swim clubs: tell us a little about the role they play in your naturism and their relevance to the naturist community.
We both love swimming, and doing so naked just adds to the pleasure. So as well as being fun and healthy it gives us a way of staying in touch with like minded people. It’s part of our life. 

8. How would you best explain naturism to someone new to it and what advice would you offer to them?
Explaining in words is difficult, so the advice is really just to try it, as experiencing it is what it is about, not talking about it. Do it in a situation where nudity is practical and natural first time – a swim or a beach is ideal.

9. What do you think naturism has taught you about yourself and do you think it has changed you in any way?
It has led us to accept ourselves and others for what we are, and in that way it has made us less anxious about our appearance (not that we were  much concerned anyway!)

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?
Not really, it is a matter of personal choice, and we know all sorts of people who are naturists. 

11. How does  your country consider naturism? How do the laws stand supporting naturism? What are the national and local opportunities like?
Though the law in the UK does not ban public nudity, it is still not widely accepted so most naturism happens in private premises or in quiet places like beaches or the countryside. There are lots of naturist clubs around the country and some non-landed swim clubs which hire public premises for private events. There are a few official naturist beaches, and a lot more unofficial ones which are safe to use so long as you are sensible. You really only need fear the law if you do something outrageous when nude.

12. How would you like to see the future of naturism developing over the next 30 years and do you feel these means are achievable?
We would like to see public nudity become fully accepted everywhere so people had a genuine choice of whether to wear clothes. This does not seem likely however as bigotry is deeply embedded in society, and the spread of Islam is bound to be an inhibiting factor. 

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 a naturist?
Ingrained bigotry in society and the spread of Islam. Also every official naturist organisation seem riddled with factions and infighting which mean there is little cohesion.

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?
It would not change society very fundamentally, just make it nicer for people who choose to go naked. It might help reduce body phobias and reduce sexual crime as it would de-mystify the human body. 

15. Are there any aspect of naturism that frustrates you or annoys you or you feel let down by?
The petty politics within Naturist organisations is a cause of annoyance. However as this is rooted in human nature, no remedies come to mind!

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?
Lots! Usually when the weather has been good and we’ve been naked all day, preferably near a beach. It is just so relaxing and lovely. Some of the French and Spanish resorts have been memorable e.g. Euronat, La Jenny, Serignan Plage, Vera Playa, El Portus, Monte Marina.....the list goes on.

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?
When it naturally comes into the conversation we are open about it. Mostly people are politely interested, some not, but no one has ever shown any antipathy.

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.
Naturism is: exhilarating, natural, relaxing, liberating, healthy.
Naturism is not: sex-y, rule-bound, expensive, illegal, shameful

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?
A seal, sky blue, ice-cream. 

20. Do you have any naturist regrets?

21. Why do you think people should join ANW? What can existing naturists get from it and how about "newbies"?
To be part of a like-minded community, and to get information about naturist opportunities and news. It is all too easy to start to think you are the only one, and you’re not.

22. If you could go anywhere in the world as a naturist where would it be?
Our local high street (in good weather!). Because that would mean nudity had become normalised.

23. If ANW wasn't about naturism but something else entirely what other life choice/hobby/interest/passion...would have made you consider joining it?
None. Too many people try to pull other things into naturism. There are plenty of other organisations for other things. Let naturism stay as naturism.

24. Many naturists incorporate naturism into the daily home life - how important do you think that is to naturists?
Can’t answer for others, but it’s the way we live, when practical, so it is pretty important to us. 

25. You brought up your children to enjoy naturism. Is it something that you would do again today? What advice would you offer? What reasons should they consider for bringing the children up as naturists?
Yes we brought our children up to consider nudity to be normal and OK. They grew up without hang-ups as have their children. So yes, we’d do the same again. They go a bit of gentle ribbing at school in the lower teenage years, but later we came to be viewed as ‘cool’ by the other kids, some of whom said they wished their parents weren’t so stuffy.

26. You have done a lot of travelling. Have you found differences in the way naturism is promoted and treated in various countries both by naturists and also by non-naturists? Do you think there is any one country that seems to have the best attitude?
France is best as society is so accepting, and the facilities are good. Then the Canary Islands & Spain, but of course the weather helps. Germany, Netherlands, Sweden are accepting, but don’t have the weather. The USA / Canada / Australia seem to consider it to be something which is only OK between consenting adults in private -  New Zealand a little less so. You can forget it throughout Africa and in Islamic countries.    

27. Any other thoughts and considerations to add?
Only to say that the internet has its place, but it is not an end in itself. Naturism is about doing it, not just talking about it, and it is not a spectator sport.

Blackgang Beach 1998

ANW thank Duncan and Vivienne for sharing their experiences and thoughts in this interview for 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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