A little while ago, we invited all our registered users to participate in a short survey, asking what made you interested in naturism in the first place. As promised, here are the findings. We cannot claim that this survey was anyway scientific, and while the results are perhaps not unexpected, I hope you will find them interesting just the same.
Once duplications and failed attempts to participate were eliminated, we had 107 replies, which is 27.6 percent of all registered users. However, it should be noted that we did not get 107 answers for both questions. This is because of the way the survey was constructed and one potential answer (skinny dipping) did not occur to us. Strange but true.
The first question we asked was: What made you first curious about naturism? The most frequent reply selected was that they stumbled upon a naturist beach by accident (27: 25%), closely followed by watching a TV programme or news item about naturism (23: 22%) and reading an article (22: 21%). Brought up in a naturist family was selected nine times (8%), yet boy/girl friend is a naturist just four (4%); friends talking was selected eight times (7%), while a club open day or planned visit was selected six times (6%). Another eight respondents didn’t answer this question at all, which at least one relates to the missing reason for their curiosity (skinny dipping), but obviously, we cannot state that 7% of respondents became curious about the naturist lifestyle through it as we were only told of one instance.
From these results, it would seem that naturism benefited most from people accidently coming across a beach where naturism was already being practiced, and what made them stay rather than walk away was considered with the next question, it does not consider why; why they decide to join the nudists and take their clothes off. They must have been primed somehow, and this is where TV programmes and/or articles in newspapers and magazines have been helpful. However, in the UK at least, these are written at the behest of the journalist/publication therefore the representative organisation will have less control over the article’s content. TV, or any visual medium seem to be more difficult, in that of the main channels in the UK (BBC 1 & 2, ITV 1 & 2, Channel 4 and Channel 5) only Channels 4 and 5 seem to be prepared to give nudity (which is not the same as naturism) more than an occasional screening. BBC and ITV have shown naturism as part of their holiday programming in the past but this was in the late 70s, early 80s, when naturism was popular. Vlogging (a visual blog for the uninitiated) might be the answer, especially if the aim is to attract under 35-year-olds but then there would be the issue of which platform to use. The most popular platform is YouTube, but their rules do not allow even partial nudity and operate rules similar to Facebook. This would mean that men would be filmed from the chest up, while women would be reduced to talking heads, or filmed at odd angles with an arm across their chests. The less popular, but one that allows full nudity, is Vimeo.
The second question was: What made you stay to become a naturist? The answer that was selected most was ‘found nude more pleasant that wet swimwear’, which had an overwhelming 74% (79) of the replies. The next highest was ‘meeting people that accepted me and my body’ that was selected by 23 people (21%). Of the remaining responses, each were selected by one or two people (1-2%), including one person who did not answer this question.
Little can be gained from these replies, other than the fact that most of 107 respondents thought being nude was ‘more pleasant’ than wearing wet swimwear. This would only apply if the person was near a body of water. What if they are elsewhere, why would they take off their clothes and remain undressed until the initial embarrassment of being nude in a public place disappeared? More thought was needed for this second question, with its limited list of possible replies to select from and the most popular answer is too broad to draw any definite conclusions.
Despite there only be two questions to this survey, it is acknowledged that flaws in the survey prevent us from drawing any firm conclusions from it. However, as an exercise in constructing a survey using Google’s survey tools, some advancement has been made. We are also pleased with the number of responses we got and hope you will continue to support this initiative to gain a greater understanding of what naturism is, and how we could perhaps advance the lifestyle.
We’ve used an informal style here, would you like the results to be reported this way, or would you prefer something more formal? Please let us know in the comments below. (If you are visiting us for the first time, or you haven’t been compelled to write anything in the past, you will need to register first.)
5th March 2018