Eight years ago, when we launched Naturist Action Group, we had two aims; to campaign for the lifestyle’s wider acceptance and to represent a broad range of views within UK Naturism. We thought we had a reasonable grasp of the issues involved, and we had the beginnings of a plan.
Today though, NAG is announcing what will arguably be its biggest project to date, it is an attempt to learn more about UK naturism, the opinions of naturists in this country to find out how we think collectively. Let me ask the question that must be forming on your lips by now: Why?
In part it is in response to Rayner Otter, who last year wrote an essay [H&E Naturist, March 2017] about what he saw as the future of naturism following his nine-years of observing the European naturist scene. You could say, I’m putting my money where my mouth is, for I argued that naturism didn’t need conclusions based on observation but from robust research [H&E Naturist, July 2017]. To be fair, Rayner responded generously saying he too agreed with the premise. However, as a British-based organisation we are chiefly concerned about UK naturism, so the survey we shall be conducting will be restricted to those living in the United Kingdom, or British nationals living abroad while maintaining strong links with the UK.
The other part is that it’s really time we took a look at ourselves; are we serving naturism and naturists well? Are the things we think we know, accurate. Could we do things differently, better, smarter? And finally, can we describe the British person attracted to the lifestyle in any detail?
These are our goals and while I cannot promise we will achieve all of them perfectly we shall, with your help, make a good attempt.
This survey is for anyone 18-years and over, so married couples or co-habiting partners can complete separate questionnaires, as can any adult children. Once you have completed the survey, please share this post on social media, or by whatever means is available to you, with your naturist friends and family, encouraging them to complete it too. We want as many replies as possible, from the young and old, male or female, Black, Brown or White, computer savvy or not. The more replies we get, from as broad a spectrum of society as possible, the more accurate the survey will be.
UK NATURISM SURVEY— Closing date for replies: 31/12/2018.
If online forms are not your forte then we have a Word document (.docx) that can be used either as an editable electronic document on your desk top or printed, to be used as a paper survey. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “Survey” in the subject line and you will receive a reply within 24hours. Or send a self-addressed envelope (DL or C5) with a first- or second-class stamp to: UK Naturism Survey, c/o Reg Barlow, 6 Brunswick Street, Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD16 4PL and a pre-printed paper survey will be posted to you. Surveys returned by post and postmarked 31/12/2018 will be accepted. Just follow the instructions provided.
Many thanks for your co-operation, and don’t forget to share.
18 November 2018
We are posting this on behalf of George Davis, and is of particular interest to our friends from the United States, as he compares San Francisco with London and New York.
A Tale of Three Cities
by George Davis
(George Davis is the author of two books: Naked Yoga, and Weapons of Mass Deception. He is co-editor of Free Your Body; Free Your Mind. As a body-freedom activist, he has been arrested more than twenty times, including an arrest for making a public speech on the Capitol Mall in Washington, DC.)
Do you remember George Carlin’s “7 Dirty Words” that you can’t broadcast or publish? That was 40 years ago… but the ban on such words still exists. And word-censorship is not the only in-your-face censorship that is going on.
If you are curious about the real purposes of routine media censorship — the kind that occurs in plain sight in mainstream newspapers and public TV broadcasts, converting words like ‘fuck’, ‘shit’, ‘cunt’, and ‘nigger’ into ridiculous gobbledegook like ‘f**k’, ‘s**t’, ‘c**t’, and ‘the n-word’ — then this tale is for you. If you wonder why Facebook and other social media will not allow you to post pictures showing female breasts, or images of your clothes-free vacation, or of the Australian Nude Beach Olympics, then this tale is for you. If you suspect that somehow this censorship is designed to make you stupid, socially controlled, and unable to perceive the world realistically, then this tale is for you.
On the other hand, if you feel that this this kind of censorship is a step in the right direction for human society, then this tale is probably not for you. If you think that social media are doing you and society a great service by censoring harmless images, and if you feel that our ability to deal with life and with the world is improved by mystifying and tabooing the human body, then this tale is not for you. You should do a mental delete, skip this tale, and move on to another diversion.
My tale is about the growth and social/cultural ramifications of the Body Freedom Movement in the three leading cultural centers in the world: London, New York City, and San Francisco. What is ‘body freedom’? It is the concept that your body and all of your body parts, including penises, pussies, and breasts, are normal and natural. You would think that this concept would be uncontroversial, since most people agree with it. Yet, the Body Freedom Movement is currently the Rodney Dangerfield of political movements. It gets “no respect.”
Aside from being a writer, as a Body Freedom activist, I will ask you to re-transmit this document by May 18, 2017 to anyone you know who has any political, cultural, or artistic leanings via email, your social media, or blogs. If enough people know this story, a potentially revolutionary (or more accurately re-evolutionary) game-changing court decision will occur.
The tale itself
Once upon a time, on an ordinary planet like trillions of others in a universe suitable for carbon-based life forms, there dwelt a dominant species, Homo sapiens (Latin for ‘wise ape’). The species’ control of the planet’s resources derived from its large brain which was capable of developing language, tools, fire usage, agriculture, and social organization. Homo sapiens’ undisputed mastery of Earth has only existed for 5,000 years, a sliver in time compared to a universe that has already existed for 14 billion years.
Let’s fast forward and snapshot the year 2017. Looking at Earth from space you might never guess that its land areas are divided up by Homo sapiens into nation-states whose boundaries are set by oceans, rivers, longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates, and most importantly by accidents of history — wars, colonial settlements, dynastic marriages, and the like. Almost every individual Homo sapiens has a nationality. Over the past few centuries global wars have been fought between nations — wars like the Seven Years’ War, the Crimean War, and World Wars I and II. In 2017 and recent decades, there have been no national wars between states. However, in recent years, there has been a nationalist resurgence characterized by groups and events like America First, UK Brexit, Russian annexations in the Ukraine, and “strongman” regimes in several nation-states.
Homo sapiens divides itself into
Just a brief message to remind you all that the photo competition for 2017 is now open for entries.
The theme is Living Naturism, an opportunity for you to show how we live with non-sexual social nudity while at home, enjoying the beach, walking the countryside, relaxing at a club or on holiday. The possibilities are endless.
We may have mentioned before that, apart from donations, the competition is how Naturist Action Group gets its money and the more we have, the more could possibly do. While distinctly UK-centric, some of our actions has an international dimension and will assist naturism as a world movement.
And one last thing, please share this with your other naturist networks.
Chairman, Naturist Action Group,
In my last post on the subject of the INF World Congress in New Zealand, I did say that the story had run its course until the special Congress in Vienna. Fellow NAG Management Collective member, Duncan Heenan, begs to differ and wants the last word… for now.
22/02/2017 – Following representation from Hans van Asperdt this article has been amended for accuracy.
The sad saga of INF and its disputed Presidency rumbles on, and has descended into a war of words which is little more than an evasive slanging match between INF’s EC and anyone who dares to criticise their crass actions. The story has leaked into the UK national press, and probably internationally too. This has upset the INF EC who were trying to keep it quiet, and who have responded by denying things which were not asserted in the first place, leaving some readers even more confused. However, it is important to remember that the main issue is that the Federations which own INF voted in a new President, Armand Jamier, and voted out the old President, Sieglinde Ivo. They did this because they were unhappy at the way INF was being run by Mrs Ivo and her EC; principally that it was just not doing enough to promote and protect naturism. INF’s EC is now trying to cloud the issue with a smokescreen of spurious procedural and
Feminism & Naturism
Came across a two-part article from 2012 by CP Reece again recently that looked at feminism and the part it can play in the naturist cause. Or is it the other way around? Anyway, Reece states that naturism is a good thing for feminists, and women generally, because of our desire to respect others for who they are, not for what or their appearance, which is largely true. I say that simply because, if it was why is it there so few women in naturism. Is it because in reality naturism is dominated by men and most women are put off, assuming that naturism is just another way of getting into their knickers? Is British Naturism unique (in a good way) in having two women at the top in both Chairperson (and what’s wrong with chairwoman I ask) and President coming from the distaff side of the human race? Then why haven’t these women championed naturism to their sex more?
Looking at NAG, the management collective is all men and I say that as one of them, and one of my personal goals as far as NAG is concerned is to have an inclusive management collective, but where do I find the women prepared to participate? Perhaps my successor as chairman …woman …person …whatever should be a woman. First though, it would be nice to have some on the Management Collective. Any candidates?
The article is published by the blog, the f-word; contemporary UK feminism, and while part one looks more towards Reece’s own discovery of naturism, part two is more philosophical and marries the two isms together.
The Naked Servant #1
This will go against the grain of any feminist, but there has been a lot in the news lately about a UK company seeking female cleaners. It has even spread internationally. Nothing unusual in that, you might say but as the Manchester Evening News explains, while these women can earn £45 per hour doing the dusting and hoovering, they do it naked. Naturist Cleaners began in London two years ago and is a service to the naturist community. Prices start at £65 for the first hour and £55 per hour thereafter. Although the article states the cleaners are not obliged to be naked themselves, it warns anyone tempted that their clients may well be as the majority of them are …well naturists.
Go to your local cleaning company though and you are likely to be charged about £25 and £20 for the same terms so you pays your money and takes your choice.
The photographs that accompany the article are of (young) women dusting, presumably naked, with body parts covered by the silliest emoji you’ll ever see.
The Naked Servant #2
Not to be outdone, in the same week that Naturist Cleaners advertised for female staff, the Yorkshire Evening Post told of Yorkshire-based company that is looking for men to butler in the buff. Well, that isn’t strictly true as the “party butlers” will still be required to wear the traditional apron, white collar and cuffs, and of course, black bow tie. I am not sure if this discriminatory or not, but these part-time jobs are offered with an hourly rate of £25 per hour.
So, in theory, you could have an entire household, family and staff, going about their business without clothes. A kind of Downton Abbey in the buff!
…as the ancient Greeks
We are told that ancient Greeks would exercise nude, and why we lost that habit has been covered elsewhere. But the Southern Daily Echo tells us that down in Southampton, personal trainer Helen Smith is trying to revive the practice. It has been designed to fit around popular naturist swimming sessions at Oakland pool.
Smith described her sessions as a ‘gentle boot-camp’ and while the ten participants for the first session were aged between 33 and 70, it is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. She told the Southern Daily Echo: “It’s really useful to be able to see exactly what the instructor is doing; if you’re wearing a baggy t-shirt you can’t always tell what position your body should be in if you’re doing the plank for example.”
Smith believes she is the first trainer to offer a session like this and quoted by the Mirror as saying: “The focus is to allow people to take part in a normal activity, but naked, so people don’t feel they are doing anything unusual.”
Naked cleaners, naked yoga, naked exercise, whatever next?
Boost Confidence, Go Naked.
What the preceding items basically boil down to, is that naked people are fairly confident and comfortable in their own skin. And this is the conclusion of writer Zahra Barnes in an article from 2016 for Self, an online magazine based in the US.
As so often with articles like this one, Barnes explains what naturism isn’t before going on to tell her readers why it is a good thing. Barnes explored how accepting naturism is of people that are different, people of colour for instance, yet naturism in this country is overwhelmingly white. NAG asks are we doing enough to explain to black and Asian people what naturism is? Even if they don’t join us, at least they will have a proper understanding of what naturism is rather than continue with perceptions gained from internet pornographers.
In the end Barnes declined Felicity Jones’ offer (of YNA fame) to join them on the Bodypainting Day, stating that she wasn’t brave enough. This is despite her writing: ‘“Why can’t I just live my life naked?” The thing is, I can. … Nudists and naturists participate in plenty of normal activities like swimming, camping, and karaoke without clothes.’ This leads me to think that Barnes is not totally sincere in her admiration of people living life sans clothes. She could have given it a try, at least. Maybe, what we really need is an outreach programme of our own, rather than relying on journalists to do it for us?
Correction: Police College
It is strange how memory can be so fickle.
Last November I referred to our success in getting the Police College to include training in the CPS guidance on nudity in public. Shortly afterwards I was hauled up onto the naughty step by the project leader, Duncan Heenan, to explain what did happen.
Reference to the CPS guidance on nudity in public is now made on the police’s national decision-making computer system, therefore making it available to any front line police officer. It is not known if there is a training solution on offer by the College of Policing at this time.
My apologise for unintentionally misleading readers, but still say that such training should be made available and officers encouraged to take it, and perhaps incidents like that encountered by Anne Robinson, also related last month, will be a thing of the past.
Home Naturism for non-naturists
One of the best – and worst – aspects of the Internet is the reappearance of old articles, so nothing is ever forgotten. In 2013, Young Naturists America got a rather knotty problem, which I put to you now, roughly four years later. A non-naturist woman wrote to them explaining that for reasons that she didn’t need to go into, she was living with friends while her youngest son (then aged 12) was living with her sister (she didn’t say where her other, older children were living). The friends lived in a small apartment and are (were) comfortable with casual home nudity, which the writer explained didn’t bother her, even though she preferred wearing clothes herself. Her male friend had children by a previous relationship and when they (and her son) were in the apartment, the policy was that the minimum of clothing at least would be worn. So far, so good.
The friends then decided to buy a large house and invited the writer and her son to move in with them for as long as they needed or wanted. This, the writer said was a very generous offer and one she obviously needed to consider seriously. The problem was that now they were to be a ‘part of the household’ the female friend expected casual nudity would be the norm and the writer to explain ‘things’ to her son. The male friend and the writer thought – as a child would be permanently present – clothes would be the norm. This difference of opinion was put down to a lack of communication and in the end the female friend said she would ‘try to remember’ to put some clothes on when she left the bedroom or bathroom but would not promise in case she ‘forgot’. Now the writer was trying to understand the casual home nudist and the etiquette they applied when non-naturists were in the house.
So here are my questions to you:
Are you a home nudist, if so, what is your household policy if non-naturists come for a visit, however long?
What would be your advice be to this non-naturist considering living as part of a clothes optional household with her son?
Please use the comments section below for your answers.
Save Energy, Go Naked
It’s summer. it’s hot but instead of cranking up the aircon, one-in-ten of us strip off, according to research conducted by British Gas (Sunday Express, 01/08/2016) .
The survey asked 2,000 people how they kept cool in summer and rather than the traditional methods of opening windows or closing curtains, some of the respondents said they ran about naked instead. Other solutions offered were turning off the hot water and taking cold showers instead, or having a BBQ in the garden rather than turn on the oven needlessly. Another was to hose down the kids in a paddling pool in the garden before bedtime instead of giving them the traditional bath.
OK, there aren’t many UK residential properties with air conditioning, but by using different methods to keep cool during a summer heatwave, we Brits can save up to an even cooler £780 per year. It isn’t just about saving money, of course. By generating and using less energy means we are pumping less CO2 into the atmosphere, one of the main contributors towards climate change.
Sushil Umrao, one of BG’s Smart Energy Experts told the Sunday Express that: ‘Summer is the perfect time of year for people to ‘power down’ and save on energy bills’ and ‘let nature do some of the work like drying the washing.’
Or like saving on having to wash your clothes in the first place by not wearing them.
When nude cyclists started to invade Seattle’s Solstice Parade in 1991, the city had a choice to make: to accept them as an extreme form of self expression or to get the police to crack down hard.
Beyond Naked is a documentary following four first-timers on the ride, exploring our fears and awkward fascination for the naked body. This winner of Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival in 2013 is available for rent (US$4.99) or to buy (US$7.99) as a downstream through Vimeo.
The Art in Protest
When professional photographer Trina Cary posted a nude picture of herself to Facebook, the last thing she thought would happen was being banned from the social media site for five days.
The portrait showed Cary covering her breasts with her hands and a thorn bush hiding her genitals got the photographer banned for posting ‘inappropriate content’. Yet, Cosmopolitan quoted Cary as saying that far more explicit content went unreported and not sure why she was being targeted.
Inspired, Cary sent out a call for models on Facebook and invited three to join her for a project where they would be photographed nude but for censor tape covering their breasts and pubic areas. 32 women turned up.
The women’s magazine quoted one participant as saying, ‘This weekend I got to be part of a pretty incredible project. We as women are so frequently told our bodies are dirty, or need to be hidden, or that there is something wrong if we don’t meet certain standards. This is about owning and loving ourselves. And about not being complacent when people want to censor us.’
The entire photoshoot can be seen on Trina Cary’s website.
Nude and Famous?
Blogger Jillian Page pondered on being a famous naturist by imagining the US President and First Lady as practicing naturists. As the president and his wife strolled naked along the shoreline, they would be followed by his Secret Service bodyguard of course, but they would be outnumbered by a gaggle of paparazzi snapping away like mad.
Page’s thoughts were generated by an article picked up by Esquire about Heidi Klum, who explained that her parents took her to public nudist beaches as a child. She would like to take her children to such places but the paparazzi would make such visits impossible.
Shame. Shame that Klum (pictured above) cannot still enjoy as an adult something she enjoyed as a child. Shame that her own children cannot find that same joy. Just to feed somebody’s pathetic need for gossip.
Here’s another update on the San Francisco situation. It is an email received today from George Davis, who originally started the Body Freedom movement there, and is still campaigning against the City Ordinance which made public nudity illegal. Though George started the campaign, it was largely taken over by Gypsy Taub, and the two headed it together for some years. Sadly a personal spat between the two happened last year and they are now campaigning separately ( does this scenario sound familiar?). If I get a report of how George’s speech goes I’ll post it here:
The latest document released by the INF following the World Congress last year has made available. Somewhat in the reverse order of the stuff published previously, INF has now released the minutes of the Central Council meeting 15th November 2016 in New Zealand.
Despite the fact that the minutes are written by Jean Peters (who you would think, would clean them up as much as possible to make him and Sieglinde look good), the arrogance of the EC is obvious. They repeatedly blame the federations for the problems of the INF. You can also read between the lines and see the frustration of the two CC members (Kay and Huub) who are not part of the EC. Almost every suggestion or question they ask is dismissed. I have said in the past that the INF seems to have developed an existence of its own separate from the Federations which own it, and this is proof that the process is well advanced and wholly destructive of any useful purpose INF may have regarding wider naturism. Note the comments about dropping numbers. Does it sound familiar? Do the excuses that it is other factors, ‘not our fault’ sound familiar too. And yet, these are the people who claim to speak for naturism on the world stage.
In the Voices section of The Independent in 2014, an article by Andrew Welch was published, which passed us by at the time, but has popped up more recently on social media. Any opportunity to explain naturism to a wider audience should be welcomed, and as it has been shared 520 times according to the website at the time of writing, the article obviously caught the public’s mood. However, I think we should make sure what is published is at least accurate.
Let’s start with the article’s headline – The UK is too prudish: We should follow Munich’s example and legalise public nudity – this is actually misleading, misrepresenting UK law. Admittedly, Andrew was not responsible for that but looking deeper into the article it shows where that misunderstanding may have come from. The opening paragraphs refer to laws that let naturist zones in places like Munich’s Englischer Garten exist. As it was explained to me, these laws were first past by the Weimar Government between the wars, and when they expired, Munich’s municipal government decided to pass new laws explicitly allowing public nudity in certain places. This explains the difference between UK and German law. In Germany, everything is banned unless there is a law giving permission to do it. In the UK, everything is permitted unless there is a law preventing it. So here, public nudity is legal, but causing ‘harassment, alarm or distress’ in another person, possibly through your nudity is not (s5, POA: 1986).
The article is correct in two things. The provisions of the Public Order Act 1986 are not well understood, even by front line police officers, and that our (British) society is to blame. Too many people still automatically link nudity with sex, hence the calls for naked riders in WNBR to be arrested by members of the public. Break that link in peoples’ minds, and naturism well on the road towards a more general acceptance. It is the breaking of these bonds to Victorian attitudes that NAG is seeking. Surveys like the Ipsos-MORI mentioned would help, if it was published but the only people who have seen its details are the lucky few at the head of British Naturism, who commissioned it in the first place. Unpublished, the survey is useless but Andrew still thought it worthy of a mention. Even so, assuming the survey is accurate, four million (possible) naturists in the UK is a start to understanding the problem but not the entire answer.
For Londoners though, they should be comforted that the swimming session in Bloomsbury isn’t the only place in London to enjoy naturism and NAG is working to gain acceptance for those who enjoy the lifestyle in the capital’s larger open spaces. As ever, your support is essential to our efforts and is greatly appreciated
Known for her acerbic wit on The Weakest Link, last October Anne Robinson looked at Britain’s Secrets, including interviewing a naturist couple – Mike and Wendy – from Bedford.
As reported by the Daily Express (20/10/2016), the encounter left Robinson wondering if the great British public wouldn’t benefit from seeing more people nude in public. If they did, posited the journalist then perhaps our younger generations wouldn’t seek ‘perfection’ as depicted by manipulated photographs in magazines.
This came after Mike, Wendy and Robinson went to a park, and the article described how ‘passers by looked on in shock and horror’. Eventually the police were called. On arrival the officer threatens Mike and Wendy with arrest. It just goes to show that NAG needs to continue its efforts to get front line police officers trained in CPS’ guidance about naturism and public nudity.
One interesting aside, the newspaper asked its readers if they would try naturism in a self-selected poll. Of the 539 votes cast at the time of reading 77 per cent said they had already tried it, and only four per cent said they never would. The poll is not representative of the newspaper’s readership, let alone the UK population. Still extra questions did came to mind for the 415 readers of the article that said they had already tried naturism, like are they still naturists or did they try it once, years ago and never since? See what I mean about asking the right questions?
With over 200 visitors to Somerset last summer, Nudefest is to return to Thorney Lakes in 2017.
Details are still a little bare (groan) says Somerset Live (19/10/2016, but last year’s entertainment included nude visits to a local motor museum and cider brandy producer. Nudefest 2017 is scheduled for between 3 and 10 July 2017.
Book early seems to be advice, or be disappointed.
2017 – the year naturism takes off?
In his blog, Bare Thoughts, Harmen J Pordon wondered if 2017 will the year that naturism ‘takes off’. The evidence he uses to come to that conclusion is lots of tiny things, like: the pop-up restaurant Bunyadi in London, with its 40,000 waiting list, the greater frequency of social nudity on TV and programmes like Naked & Afraid, and the growing number of visitors to spas and saunas.
Pordon might well be right of course, but the evidence he cites is not hard evidence. It is just a feeling developed from a myriad of sources, not necessarily connected and we humans can be so fickle. What is in vogue one year can be passé the next, and suddenly the moment is gone. It is not guesswork – or gut feelings – that naturism needs, it is hard evidence derived from research trying to dig deeper than the observable events that give rise to feelings such as this. Yes, Bunyadi had a substantial waiting list, but did they all come from London or from a wider area? Just recently I mentioned in this column an article where the creator of Bunyadi said that a proportion of his guests were French. Did they make the trip to London especially? Pordon says the visitor numbers to spas and saunas are on the up, where did he get this from and for what country? What might be true for, Holland say, might be false for the UK or France.
Having said all that, Bare Thoughts is still a good read and should not be ignored just because of the faults in one post that I’ve highlighted here. I have no illusion that someone cannot pull apart one of my blogs just as effectively.
Nude Eating in Spain
It’s a bit like London buses, you wait ages for one then three or four come together.
Following in the wake of Bunyadi in London, and news that a similar restaurant had been opened in Tokyo, and another in Paris soon, we now learn from the Daily Express (28/10/2016), that another naked restaurant is to be opened this month, this time in Tenerife.
Entrepreneur Tony de Leonardis says that his new restaurant was inspired by Bunyadi in London, and is not so much about nudism, but looks beyond that concept, according to the article.
The San Isidro restaurant will offer meals cooked with organic food and local wines, and cost between €70 and €80, with reservations already being made in late October.
Prompted by an earlier article about the advantages of introducing young children to the natural world, Norman Bateman wrote to the editor of the Morpeth Herald (23/10/2016) imploring parents to become naturists. The article he cited said that children, who learnt to love nature at an early age, usually loved the outdoor life.
According to Bateman, letting children play in the safe environment of a naturist club has benefits beyond them taking to the flora and fauna around them. Bateman explained that he and his wife watched their grandchildren grow up to be fully rounded adults and more mature than their contemporaries, after enjoying a clothes free childhood.
Have you let children play naturally in a naturist club, either your own or grandchildren, and seen something similar?
WNBR & Naturism
The writer of another blog, this time The Naturist Page informed his readers that he was no longer a co-organiser of the Montreal leg of WNBR. He gave his reason thus: ‘I felt like I was no longer co-organizing a World Naked Bike Ride, but rather a voyeurism event where it was like: “Oh hey, come gather around and snap photos of the genitals!” which was not the idea behind the WNBR at all.’
Now I should admit that I’m a World Naked Bike Ride lightweight, having participated in just one (London) but observed others. In London at least, however, you could not fail to notice the horde of snappers with large telephoto lens attached to their cameras. The one exception was the ride in Southampton where it was hard to spot them. The obvious difference between them is the number of riders, London has roughly 1,000 riders every year, Southampton, that year, had roughly 50-something. It is therefore easier to be anonymous in London.
It does surprise me, however, just how many naturists treat this as an annual event for them. As many of the organising collectives are at pains to point out, the WNBR is a protest, not a naturist event. I think the confusion has arisen because of two things. First, many of the organisers are naturists, in the UK certainly and perhaps around the world. The second reason is that the collectives’ work so hard at organising the ride itself, they seem to have forgotten to tell people what the protest is about. The original ride was calling for less dependency on the motor industry and fossil fuels, with a little bit of body acceptance (positivity) thrown in. Only later did individual riders add their own pet peeves, including calls for greater acceptance of naturism. Also, naturally naturists took to the rides to be nude in a public place without any doubt that it was legal and now it seems the majority of the riders are naturists out to enjoy themselves.
As worthy as the WNBR is, in my opinion it is time that naturism stood on its own two feet. If we want an event to promote naturism generally then we should organise one. But I am also of the opinion that if WNBR is to continue as a protest then it needs to state its aims more clearly. Perhaps pick a single issue, like climate change, and promote it widely?