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Get Naked

naturistsGetting naked in public has never felt like the natural thing that it should be for me.  I have done the right thing when I've stumbled across a nudist beach, but I've not felt that relaxed about it.  Why for some of us, is it so terrifying or comical? And what makes it feel so different to be wearing small strategically placed pieces of material on the beach to nothing?  And perhaps irrelevantly, why is being in a bikini acceptable whereas being seen in your underwear (outside of an appropriate setting) is embarrassing?  I plan to challenge my inhibitions and visit a naturist resort...one day.

The naturist movement began in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century and soon spread to other countries where its popularity is still growing today. Millions of people visit the multitude of naturism resorts and campsites and enthusiastically get involved in an array of sport activities.  It is not thought, generally, to be a sexually charged atmosphere and in many places families are welcome.  For those looking for something more hardcore, lifestyle resorts offer an openly erotic and sexual scene. 

Of course tribes, in parts of Africa or in the Amazon Basin for example, have always lived daily life naked or partially covered, and are only changing now under the glare of the Western eye.  Perhaps we should be learning from them rather than influencing them into our self-conscious, body-critical ways.  Then maybe people will take pride in the bodies again, and stop the abuse of over-eating and under-exercising.  Here are some fun suggestions of where to start -

mudslingingRainbow Gathering - These are held in different countries and are hippy 1960's style festivals without alcohol, and for many, without clothes.

The Japanese are not afraid to get (near) naked at festivals throughout the year.  The Hadaka Matsuri in Saidaiji has groups of men in loincloths jogging round the town, in decidedly chilly February, and once steam comes off their bodies they are dosed with freezing water to purify them. This practise began in 767 AD.  Another is the Mudslinging Festival in Chiba. 

Running of the Nudes, (full details) arranged by PETA, occurs 2 days before the first bull run in Pampalona, Spain, in July each year.  The participants wish to demonstrate against the unnecessary cruelty shown to the bulls during San Fermin, and show organisers that there are other harmless and fun ways to be entertained. Since the nudes first began in 2002 the number of runners have doubled each year, with around 1000 naked or semi-naked participants in 2011.nakedbikeride

World Naked Bike Rides have taken place in cities all around the world, including Brighton in the UK, to draw attention to the green benefits of a car-free society and reduced emissions, and the need to take care of our cyclists on the roads.

Maslin Beach Nude Olympics (full details), in Adelaide, celebrates the body in a series of events including 3-legged races and the 'best bum' competition.  It is held around Australia Day in January annually.

bodypaintingEastern Naturist Gathering (full details of this and other Naturist Society events) is a huge week-long affair, held in recent years in Massachusetts at the end of June, encouraging naked recreation as the way forward.

If you wish to venture into the naturist world with caution, there are some options. Get in the mood by attending the Italian Body Painting Festival (full details) in July which is a creative extravaganza that would make your eyes pop: practise your best bland expression before joining the Strip Poker World Championships in London: or try a clothing-optional, alternative, themed festival, the Burning Man in Nevada, where nudists may be the minority but are completely accepted. (full details)

If you prefer to bare all in a smaller setting, view QuirkyAccom.com's Naturist accommodations here