Naturists Campaigning for Naturism

Naturist Campaign for Public Nudity

Posted on behalf of John Wood.

Would anyone be interested in joining me to start a new campaigning team to promote naturism and public nudity in the UK?
Subject to enough public support, the idea is to arrange naked/clothing optional protest marches through British town centres campaigning for public nudity to be accepted by the general public and the authorities.
An ideal team would consist of several people having different aspects of campaigning and protesting experience. Anyone who could build and maintain a website would also be a bonus.
Please email me at naturist4life@outlook.com  to take this idea further. Please note that any work will need to be on a voluntary basis.
Thanks in anticipation,
John Wood.

32 Responses to Naturist Campaign for Public Nudity

  • Most definitely! I will email you at some point this week. AC

  • Yes , yes, yes!

  • I’d like to help. Email on its way, but the time I have available for anything like this is very limited

  • Hi John, YES good idea! I invite you and ALL NAG members to call / text me direct on +447985185332, Yours NATURALLY! Roger

  • P.S. I should like to receive follow up comments via email. Roger

  • Sorry to be negative about this idea, but I don’t believe naked protest marches through town centres are likely to achieve acceptance of public nudity by the public or by the authorities. It is much more likely to provoke vociferous, and possibly physical, opposition from those who are appalled at the sight of public nudity, and to result in the arrest of naked marchers.

    I believe people’s readiness to tolerate public nudity is contextually related. On beaches, in the countryside, and possibly in large parks, there is probably a substantial feeling that nudity can be accepted so long as it is not obviously confrontational. But my gut feeling is that that tolerance would not extend to town centres.

    I think acceptance of public nudity will gradually increase if more naturists go naked in places that are seen as natural locations for going clothes-free. Town centres, in my view, are not amongst these.

    Still, if enough willing protesters want to take up John’s idea, I’ll be interested to see the result.

  • Like Chris Lamb, I’m afraid the idea is likely to be counter-productive. The obvious parallel is with gay-pride marches. They have been successful in getting the gay community recognised as distinct and deserving the same rights and acceptance as the heterosexual majority. For naturism to be better accepted we need to do exactly the opposite: emphasise that naturists are not a distinct sub-set of the population; that most people enjoy being naked at certain times and could be healthier in body and mind if it were easier in appropriate situations. It’s the prudes who are the vociferous minority, imposing their will on others, not us.

  • My suggestion is to have one day exhibitions on naturism in town centres using empty space such as unused retail units or anything that put the idea of naturism in the public eye.
    We have tried engaging the local press without much success and are now trying public talks.
    I think Chris Lamb is right and that the first step should be toward gaining acceptance of public nudity outside of big urban areas. Obviously the World Naked Bike Ride is successful as a protest, but not for body freedom/naturism.
    Philip Baker

  • When you say ” We have tried engaging the local press without much success and are now trying public talks.”- who is “We” please? I’d be very interested to hear details of what has been happening.

  • I am the Treasurer of the Eastbourne Naturist Swim Group and I have two good friends who are keen supporters of some of my ideas. I will report how our talks go – the first will be in St Leonards in mid January. I don’t want to give details, because I don’t want the audience to be entirely naturist. I will give the talk in early February in Eastbourne. We will report on how they go to you and Nick Caunt.
    It may be possible to arrange a talk in Brighton and if so I was going to refer this opportunity to Norman Donachie BN LASER group chairman).
    In September we held a swim under the Great British Skinny Dip banner. We managed two very short mentions in the Eastbourne Herald with an article promised, now expected in Ecetera magazine, but we have not seen anything as yet.
    Philip

  • I’m inclined to agree with Chris Lamb too. People (the public) need to accept nudity in places where it is most likely to be encountered. Beaches, Open countryside, woodland, parks etc.
    It needs to be done subtly, rather than in protest. Firstly, the law enforcement personel need educating so that when a report is made, after considering the nature of the complaint, providing there has been no criminal offence committed, it should be made clear to the complainant that simple nudity is legal and no action needs to be taken.
    Recently, I attended a naked sauna party in a pub garden in London. It was very well attended and later in the evening, quite a few people filtered through to the bar area naked or at least topless amongst the locals and public. There were bands performing and naked people dancing on the stage! Did anyone take offence or complain? NO! Perhaps if these or similar events took place, people would get used to nudity in public places.

  • Another port of call is the media, in how they report instances. To reduce the sensationalism. I read recently where a celebrates three daughters bathed in a hot tub (wait for it…) NAKED!!!!! They were sisters and actually in a ‘private’ environment. I think one of them posted a pic on Facebook and the papers got hold of it and….

  • I’d be interested, but like others above I think it better to start low key. A number of naked rambles close to large towns or cities would be a start, then once this starts to be accepted then walks through the town centres.

    To start with town centres would, to me, seem a little confrontational.

  • How would you propose to educate the law enforcement personnel?

  • So what would you propose to actually do to gain the acceptance you favour?

  • I’m in Huddersfield. My police force needs educating, as they arrested Stephen Gough twice, in Halifax and Hebdon Bridge if my memory serves me well.

    Instead of a protest through town centres walks along canals which start or end near a town centre is one possibility. Walking trails too or from prominent landmarks is another.

    Clothing Optional days at various venues with grounds. Not nudist days, as mixing with textiles without prejudice is what we are after, isn’t it?

    A well publicised day with national newspaper and local radio interest would be good to raise the profile of both naturism and public nudity.

    Those using public right of way would be simpler to organise.

  • Good ideas, but they won’t happen unless someone comes forward to actually organise them and others to take part in them. Would you organise such an event?

  • I am already doing it, not protesting but organising or getting other people to organise naturist events in public places across England and Wales. Picnics, skinny dipping, cycle rides, jogging, walks are just a few things I have done in 2017 and are planning for 2018. I am hoping to add volleyball to the list in 2018 if I can get enough people interested. I use Facebook naturist meetup groups. Anybody can have a go at organising naturist events on the naturist meetup groups. I did try to organise events on the BN website and forum but is not set up for that and BN overreacted when I deleted my old posts and blocked me from the website. In some ways it is good as now all the events are on Facebook and it is less work keeping track of people that are planning to attend. I am always looking for people happy to organise and host naturist activities in public places if you want to be apart of what I am doing.

  • The WNBR work through sheer weight of numbers. I’ve done Brighton twice and most smile or cheer but, some standing further back just stare disapprovingly but, are outnumbered so they do nothing.

    Other natural places to make a point are clothes shops changing cubicles, eg charity shops. It has to be 50/50 male/female though. Males only will just be misinterpreted. The female(s) would lead the way to gauge reaction then, the males follow.

    I would not advocate advance publicity though. At the risk of slipping in to paranoia, an especially nasty person (they exist) could come along with acid. Since the press helpfully educated the whole country about this, how to get it etc everyone now knows about this form of assault. Small groups quietly making their point is the way. Even the WNBR has minimal national publicity in advance.

  • I think this gives some useful pointers. Each summer our club has a naturist boat trip from Exmouth, going along the sea front and far up the River Exe. There’s food, drink, live music and dancing. Nudity’s to be seen through the large windows of the saloon and on the open upper deck. Friendly waves are exchanged with other pleasure boats and moored yachts. Upstream, the river narrows and the boat needs to turn in a basin right in front of a quay and pub with tables outside, always prompting many more smiles and waves. The event’s always a huge success and I think it offers some good lessons:

    (1) It is not a self-conscious ‘demo’ but a group of people being seen enjoying themselves. What it implies is not “we are different but you ought to accept us” but “we’re like you – don’t you wish you were in here with us?”.

    (2) There is a normal mixture of males and females socialising. Too often naturism is portrayed as a ‘sad group of fat old men’.

    (3) Weather permitting, there is 100% nudity. Too often the ‘Naked’ Bike Ride seems to have more body paint and bikinis than frank nakedness.

    Incidentally, the boat crew are always completely unfazed. One remarked “We often get groups of commandos from Lympstone – they ‘re always taking their clothes off!”.

  • I’m all for promoting naturism and public nudity in the UK, and elsewhere. I am inclined to agree with those suggesting public acceptance of nudity might be better approached through approaches like the designation of sections of public parks for nude use, or the one of using empty shops etc as venues to up the visibility of naturism in the public eye. While I’d love to be nude in city centres on more occasions than WNBR events I’m not sure that a naked protest is for the best currently. I’m open to being shown that I’m wrong though!

  • Sadly, it has been decided to discontinue the idea of a naked protest because of the lack of support. Most people agree with you NudeNik.

  • I wouldn’t say ‘sadly’. I think a different approach is needed. I personally don’t think a town centre is a place to be naked ‘yet’. The public aren’t ready for that. We need to be accepted in more ‘appropriate’ places, where nakedness is practical and beneficial. Beaches, open countryside, woodland, gardens, parkland, saunas, lakes, and eventually swimming pools. When the public get used to encountering naked people in these places, then maybe it will extend to front gardens and then eventually beyond. Baby steps!

  • I might agree that nakedness in town centres might be unusual, even opposed by some people, but I can’t see why you consider it not ‘practical or beneficial’. In my experience the World Naked Bike Rides show that it is both practical and beneficial to be naked in town centres – and in fact meets with a lot of approval, and virtually no opposition.

  • I am doing my bit. I have done lots of non-naturist beaches, open countryside, woodland, gardens, saunas, mixed Spa at Guildford Spectrum, lakes, Frensham ponds in view of the cafe, rivers. Done lots naturist picnics, naturist cycling in multiple places, naked running in public places. I am hoping to play some naturist volleyball but need more people.

  • Sorry Duncan, maybe I should have reworded. What I mean to say is, on a beach, it is ‘more acceptable’ We have ‘Naturist beaches’. Our goal should be to make ALL beaches acceptable by the general public as places you would ‘expect’ to see nakedness. WE know that it is perfectly legal but most of the public don’t. I personally think a ‘protest’ is too aggressive and I’m not sure it would be well received. The WNBR, is accepted as a fun event and video footage shows a positive public reaction.

    We need to get people used to encountering nudity in places where proximity is a choice. A town centre doesn’t always offer this choice.

  • Those who argue against naturist use of ‘textile’ beaches, say that proximity is not a choice for them as if they are to use the beach at all they will see naked people. The WNBR is indeed received as a fun event (albeit with serious messages), despite the proximity of naked people in city centres.

    I prefer the description ‘demonstration’ to protest as it is a little less aggressive.

    Though I can agree that as a practical matter of taking small steps at a time, beaches are a better target than city centres currently, I still ask the question “if it is OK for nudity to become normal on beaches, why not elsewhere?”. When you see how closely packed some beaches become, the proximity argument doesn’t seem very strong.

  • People seeing someone naked at a
    reasonable distance is something they are going to have to get used to. I think common sense prevails. I don’t think it’s a particularly good idea to sit or lay naked next to someone who is clothed, especially if they were there first. On the other side of the coin, if you were there first and they choose to position themselves close to you, it is their choice and so have no grounds for complaint. I don’t particularly like to hear people using bad language in public but it’s not against the law so I have to put up with it. If there is something I don’t want to see, I don’t look. Maybe the way to go, is to choose a spot within sight but not within speaking distance. That way, you cannot be accused of harassment, or intending to cause alarm or distress as you are a safe distance away. Eventually, people will get used to it and may even indulge themselves!

  • Great news from the BN legal team! Read the College of policing briefing notes.

    There have been the following agreements made with Board of The Police College which has updated its briefing notes to all officers and is disseminating the material internally with effect from 10th April 2018.

    There is no designation of places for Naturism.
    Section 66 of The Sexual Offences Act does not apply.
    Section 5 of The Public Order Act does not apply.
    Section 4A POA will address intentional behaviours directed towards victims by use of genitalia.

    Further, There are no by-laws that can be applicable to Naturism. A 2015 case accepted that Naturism was not a behaviour and not disorderly.
    The Naked Carpenter case showed that Section 5 Public Order Act could never apply. (if cases were competently defended) and Section 66 Sexual Offences cannot apply as there is no sexual context nor any intent.

    The link Law & Policing on the face of the Membership cards issued since January 2018 now links to

    Definitive information from the police Guidance for England & Wales Guidance for Scotland Photography including Children This platform is available on any smartphone or computer to all members, police, solicitors.

    The Legal Team

    https://www.bn.org.uk/campaigning/policing/

  • It is sad that BN is quick to take credit but makes no mention whatsoever that NAG worked on this project for at least 12 months before BN joined in what was, essentially, a NAG initiative. Duncan Heenan did a lot of the initial work, and gathered a small group of NAG supporters to help. I was involved in formulating a letter, together with naturist activist Brian Johnston, which was formally sent by NAG to all police forces, and drew a good response in terms of them providing information.

    After several years of NAG working on this, latterly with BN, we now have the new guidance to police officers. A similar process initiated by NAG and joined by BN, led to the CPS issuing new guidance on how to handle evidence in situations involving law-abiding naturists. No doubt BN must have a motive for not mentioning that NAG was the pioneer in what became joint collaborations? Sadly, this lack of acknowledgement by BN is repeated on other ongoing joint projects as well.

    NAG supporters will know that NAG perseveres in campaigning initiatives which sometimes take years to achieve. The active involvement of NAG supporters in this work is crucial.

    John Paine

  • It’s a great achievement and everyone who helped to bring it about, in both organisations, deserves the warm gratitude of all naturists. The next time my wife and I undress on an ‘unofficial’ beach we’ll certainly enjoy greater peace of mind, thanks to their efforts.

  • I completely agree that the work of everyone in NAG and BN as a joint effort, should be acknowledged.
    At the end of the day, we have a positive result and clarity as to where we stand. We don’t have to be looking over our shoulder anymore.
    Although this is a fantastic achievement, the public will still need ‘breaking in’ into acceptance and I hope people will be sensible and not be too blatant.
    Thanks to all involved in this remarkable achievement!

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