REC.NUDE FAQ--The Questions, Part I of III

Archive-name: nude-faq/part1
Version: 4.0
Last-modified: 1995/03/31

Changes this month: none.

Additions marked by + in column 1.  Modifications marked by | in column 1.

Copies of this article may be obtained by anonymous ftp to under /pub/usenet/news.answers/nude-faq/part1.Z.

   1: What is REC.NUDE?
   2: What does CO, thong, etc. mean?
   3: Why nude recreation?
     * 3.1: But isn't it illegal?
     * 3.2: Isn't nudity sinful?
   4: Won't I offend someone?
   5: What is the difference between a naturist and a nudist?
   6: Appearance Concerns
     * 6.1: What if I (a male) get an erection?
     * 6.2: What if I (a female) am menstruating?
     * 6.3: I just had surgery and have a scar. What will people think?
   7: But doesn't nudity equate with sexuality?
   8: Does one go naked all the time?
   9: What if I meet somebody I know from work?
   10: How does one explain to kids when nudity is/isn't acceptable?
   11: Where can I find a CO beach/resort near me?
   12: What should I take with me when I visit a nude beach or resort?
   13: I would like to participate in REC.NUDE, but am afraid to post. Is
   there is an anonymous posting service?
   1: What is REC.NUDE?
          From the REC.NUDE charter: "REC.NUDE serves as a medium for
          exchange of views, news, philosophies, and ideologies relating
          to the nudist and naturist lifestyles.
          Here you will find discussions of locations to enjoy nature
          naturally, notifications of legal proceedings affecting
          nudists/naturists, notices of gatherings and trips, and
          spirited discourse on issues relating (most times) to nudism."
          REC.NUDE is NOT a place to pick up someone.
          Harassing/threatening mail or posts are NOT desired or
          condoned. See question 7 (and its answer). Flames may be
          directed to ALT.DEV.NULL.
          General cross-posting of messages in NOT encouraged, especially
          not with the various newsgroups. Threads get confused
          and the discussion quickly gets "off track".
   2: What does CO, thong, etc. mean?
     * AANR - American Association for Nude Recreation (was ASA)
     * ASA - American Sunbathing Association (obsolete, now the AANR).
     * Bulletin, The - AANR's publication.
     * Canuding - canoeing in the nude.
     * CCBN - Central Council for British Naturism.
     * CO - Clothing-Optional
     * ESA - Eastern Sunbathing Association, AANR eastern region
     * FANR - Florida Association for Nude Recreation, AANR Florida
     * FCN - Federation of Canadian Naturists.
     * IMO/IMHO - In My (Humble/Honest) Opinion
     * INF - International Federation of Naturists.
     * N - Nude & Natural magazine, published by The Naturist Society.
     * NAC - Naturist Action Committee.
     * Naturist - not to be confused with NATURALIST. see question 5.
     * NIFOC - Nude In Front Of Computer.
     * Ob[xxx] (e.g. ObNude, ObBeer) - Introduces an on-topic statement
       following an off-topic statement. "Ob" comes from the word
     * Thong - in this newsgroup refers to G-String style swimwear.
     * TNS - The Naturist Society.
     * Top-free - naturist preferred term for what is commonly referred
       to as topless (topless has gained undesirable connotations from
       association with strip bars).
     * WSA - Western Sunbathing Association, AANR western region
   NOTE: nudists do no live in COLONIES -- that is an antiquated term
   that should not be used.
   3: Why nude recreation?
          Some would retort, "Why not nude recreation?" A more
          informative answer would point out that most naturists wear
          clothes only when appropriate.
          If it's 20 degrees and a blizzard outside, wearing clothes
          makes quite a bit of sense! Conversely, it makes little sense
          to go to the beach to "take the sun" and then cover some of the
          body with itty-bitty little strips of synthetic (or even
          natural) cloth.
          The feeling of the sun, wind, and water on your body brings you
          closer to the surroundings around you. Not having to worry
          about sand and salt in clothing adds to your recreation (of
          course, wise use of sunscreens still applies here, as much as
          on a clothed beach).
          When you add to this the growing body of knowledge from
          researchers and sportswear industry leaders that dysfunctional
          dress - too tight or skimpy swimwear - is damaging to health,
          it becomes clear that nude recreation is the logical choice in
          many situations...
        3.1: But isn't it illegal?
                ...even with all this evidence, it boggles the mind as to
                why many laws exist on the books to this day which
                mandate the use of bathing costumes; even laws which do
                not apply to nude recreation are being mis-applied to
                innocent skinny dipping or sunbathing.
                Although there are no U.S. Federal laws prohibiting nude
                recreation on Federal lands except at Cape Cod,
                concurrent jurisdiction became the catch phrase in the
                early 1980s, allowing state and local laws to be enforced
                by park rangers, Bureau of Land Management officers, and
                the like. This insidious encroachment onto Federal turf
                raises Constitutional questions and allows state and
                local jurisdictions to limit or eliminate altogether many
                traditional sites suitable for clothing-optional
                Western Europe is generally more tolerant, especially of
                top-free bathing. Areas in public parks are specifically
                set aside for the purpose of CO recreation.
                In light of all this, you've got to believe that naturism
                has much to offer if its participants brave legal and
                physical barriers to partake. Try it, you'll like it!
        3.2: Isn't nudity sinful?
                Plenty of naturists find no contradiction with their
                religious beliefs, Christian or otherwise -- in the US,
                The Naturist Society has a Special Interest Group called
                "All-Together Christians". The perceived danger is that
                it leads the weak to sexual temptation. Naturists just
                want Puritanical evangelists to not make judgements that
                affect their lifestyle.
   4: Won't I offend someone?
          "Offense"...the age old question (intent v. action).
          Offense is in the mind of the beholder, true. But, legal
          questions turn on intent; actions by themselves do not imply
          that any offense will automatically follow.
          If a man intentionally exposes himself to the proverbial little
          old lady, there is clear intent to do harm; the man knew that
          he would elicit a negative response from the little old lady
          and intended to do so by his actions.
          However, if a group of people are skinny dipping and have
          demonstrated a concern for others by either trekking to a
          remote area or using a traditional- or designated (managed)
          area, then there is clearly no intent to do harm.
          This is why naturists continue to press for management rather
          than banishment; naturists would get the same treatment as
          other taxpayers and complainers need no longer complain.
   5: What is the difference between a naturist and a nudist?
          Some people will tell you nothing. Some people will spell out
          the difference- in great detail. There is little difference in
          the two terms as espoused by the American Association for Nude
          Recreation and The Naturist Society, the US's two largest CO
          organizations. Americans have been arguing the point since at
          least the 1930s, while Europeans seem to have little problem
          using the terms interchangeably. Most "naturists" feel a
          closeness with the outdoors and are sometimes termed "beach
          people". Most "nudists" tend to participate in social nudity
          via resorts, camps, and other similar settings, and they tend
          to practice social nudity for its own sake. "Naturists" tend to
          be more active in their pursuit making sure that
          clothing-optional recreation is always available.
          NOTE: Some naturists/nudists do not participate in social
          nudity, and some do not have or desire to have any "political"
          associations with organized naturist/nudist groups. Some people
          who espouse naturist/nudist philosophy don't like the labels.
          NOTE: Not everyone who goes to a "nude beach" or "nudist
          resort" espouses nudist/naturist philosophy or ideals -- just
          as sitting in a hen house doesn't necessarily make you a
          chicken, sitting on a nude beach does not make one a nudist.
   6: Appearance concerns
        6.1: What if I (a male) get an erection?
                Most males get erections. Now for the news: these natural
                occurrences in most cases are periodic and predictable.
                Erections occur periodically during sleep and as the
                result of internal stimuli (slam a cup of coffee and
                They also occur naturally as the result of external
                stimuli meeting particular notions of sexuality. Since
                each male has different criteria for being aroused, it is
                difficult to assert that this erection was caused by that
                This problem occurs far less frequently you might think.
                Nude recreation is just not that much of a sexual
                situation for most participants.
                As in any social setting, the Golden Rule applies. If you
                get an erection at a nude beach or other social nude
                setting, you and the group you are with are the best
                judges as to whether or not it is appropriate. Naturists
                generally yield a bit of elbow room to avoid making you
                feel uncomfortable; you should use your judgement to
                avoid making them feel uncomfortable. If necessary, take
                a swim or roll over for a short while. In any case, just
                use common sense and be considerate.
        6.2: What if I (a female) am menstruating?
                Again, this is a natural occurrence, and it is one of the
                realities of the body with which women have to deal.
                If a woman is comfortable with one, a tampon is the
                simplest method of dealing with that time of month. If an
                external conveyance is preferred, then she would wear
                shorts or bikini bottoms.
                For the most part, a woman should use what she feels is
                less obtrusive for her personally; others aren't going to
                notice or object.
        6.3: I just had surgery and have a scar. What will people think?
                Naturists preach body acceptance. Being nude means having
                nothing to hide. There is no perfect body and naturists
                come in ALL shapes, sizes, ages, and colors. Some have
                scars from surgery, some use wheel-chairs, some are
                overweight, some are too thin, some have tattoos and
                other body adornments, and some are "handicapped" by
                being "normal" :-).
   7: But doesn't nudity equate with sexuality?
          This hot potato receives much discussion. Many naturists
          believe that the connection arises artificially in a society
          where many people see the opposite sex nude only in sexual
          situations. Suffice it to say that the practice of naturism and
          the pursuit of naturist values and philosophy allows one to
          place sexuality into its natural perspective.
   8: Does one go naked all the time?
          No. That's why the term "clothing-optional" exists. Clothing
          has its purposes - warmth and protection. Many naturists feel
          more comfortable wearing some clothing while participating in
          active sports and there are some activities that require one to
          wear protective clothing while participating in them. But many
          activities - swimming, especially - can be much more
          comfortable and enjoyable without the confinement of clothing.
          NOTE: As stated earlier, wise use of sunscreens is advocated,
          as is the use of hats, and yes, even T-Shirts to shade/cover
          yourself to keep from getting too much sun.
   9: What if I meet somebody I know from work/school/supermarket?
          Remember they are there too, just as naked as you are. Be happy
          to discover that person shares something in common with you.
   10: How do you explain to kids when nudity is/isn't acceptable?
          It can be very confusing to kids that nudity is acceptable in
          some places but not others. Some parents worry about what their
          kids might tell others about you and how those others might
          react. There are wide ranging opinions on this, and bringing up
          the subject on the net is likely to result in an interesting,
          lively discussion. Below is one such opinion which could
          probably be tailored to meet the needs and circumstances of
          many families:
          I have been very careful to raise my kids to believe that it is
          perfectly normal and acceptable to be naked whenever they want.
          I hope that they will grow up to be instrumental in changing
          the way people think about nudity. I have tackled the issue of
          "what other people think and feel" this way. I tell my kids
          that "some people do not like to be naked, and it makes them
          very uncomfortable to see other people naked. It is their right
          to feel that way and you should try not to make them feel
          uncomfortable. That would be rude. If you are at a friends
          house and you would be more comfortable being naked, ask their
          mom or dad if it would be okay. If they ask you why you want to
          be naked, tell them that you are more comfortable that way and
          that you are always naked at home. If they say no then you must
          respect their wishes. If you ever feel uncomfortable or afraid
          when you are naked then you should put your clothes on and ask
          to leave. If you have friends over to our house and you want to
          be naked, go ahead. If your friends do not want to stay or do
          not want to come back after you are nude, you will have to
          decide if you want to be naked or not. I will be happy to help
          you explain your point of view to your friends." I never want
          my kids to think that nudity is wrong in any way.
          For their protection they have known the proper names for all
          body parts male and female) since they learned to speak. They
          have been told that if someone touches them and it makes them
          uncomfortable in any way) that they should go straight to mom
          or dad and tell us. But I have always told them that it is okay
          to be naked. As they get older they will have to deal with
          society's pressures. Until then I intend to show them how it
          could be.
          It is very complicated trying to empower the kids to make their
          own decisions without bowing to society's pressures. And we
          have to protect our children from those who are not mentally
          stable enough to deal with nudity. I don't want my kids to be
          outcasts. They need to know when to compromise. If they have
          the confidence and maturity to demonstrate responsible nudity,
          then maybe they can help others deal with it. Perhaps they can
          help our society overcome the stigma associated with nudity.
          --Contributed by Paul Dumais
   11: Where can I find a CO beach/resort near me?
          This question is always welcome in REC.NUDE. Richard Mathews'
          Beach FAQs and Part II of this FAQ give some directions and
          some sources for finding out some of this information, but the
          readers of REC.NUDE are generally pretty willing to give the
          latest information, also. Remember, when writing to a
          naturist/nudist club/resort for information, enclose a
          self-addressed, stamped envelope for the reply.
   12: What should I take with me when I visit a nude beach or resort?
          Take a wide-brim hat, sunscreen, two towels (one to sit on),
          sandals, sunglasses, and water to drink. It is also a good idea
          to have something to read, something to eat, and something to
          play with (like a volleyball or frisbee or your tennis
   13: I would like to participate in REC.NUDE, but am afraid to post.
          Is there an anonymous posting service?
          Yes and no. Most REC.NUDE participants feel that a full
          anonymous posting service is not needed and would cause more
          problems than it is worth. There is nothing wrong with nude
          recreation and one should not be afraid to post to REC.NUDE.
          That being said, there is the fact that some people are
          close-minded and some people may be hassled for posting here --
          some may lose jobs. To allow these people to post messages, the
          following people have volunteered to accept e-mail and repost
          the messages to REC.NUDE. All the "couriers" reserve the right
          to edit and/or reject postings they deem inappropriate.
          + richard@West.Sun.COM (Richard M. Mathews)
          + (Bill Arnett)
          + (Sam Drinkard)
   This information is a compilation of the FAQ that existed before I
   took over, material gleaned from nudist/naturist publications and of
   course, email and postings from REC.NUDE. Permission must be requested
   before copying or posting Copyright @ 1992-1995 Michael
   Corrections, additions, positive comments/criticisms, updates and
   requests for current copies should be addressed to:  The most current version of this FAQ is always
   available at
   Relax and enjoy, naturally!
Michael O'Neal-Petterson