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[rec.nude] REC.NUDE FAQS Part 2 of 5

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Archive-name: nude-faq/part2
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Version: 1-Jan-08
Copyright: (c) 1998-2008 Dennis Kirkpatrick
Maintainer: D. Kirkpatrick <>

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
  REC.NUDE FAQ Part 2 of 5: The Newsgroup Itself - REV:  1-Jan-08
  Maintainer - Dennis Kirkpatrick - 

  ** Rec.Nude is NOT Google Groups.  Google Groups is an interface
  that can access Usenet Newsgroups (of which rec.nude is a part)
  as well as Google's own private groups.  If you are reading this
  file from Google Groups, please take a moment to educate yourself.
  See this FAQ Part 1, Section 1.

  This part of the rec.nude FAQ introduces the concept of naturism and
  answers many questions about naturism.

  Table of Contents:

  1.      But first, a semantic note

  2.      What is naturism?

  2.1.    Clothing optionality

  2.2.    Body acceptance

  2.3.    Separation of nudity and sex

  2.4.    Concern for the environment

  2.5.    Activism

  3.      Arguments for nudity

  3.1.    Comfort

  3.2.    Health

  3.3.    The equalizing aspect

  3.4.    Cleanliness

  3.5.    Convenience

  3.6.    It's fun!

  4.      Rebuttals To Arguments Against Nudity

  4.1.    Shame

  4.2.    Embarrassment

  4.3.    Gender-specific embarrassment

  4.4.    Feelings of inadequacy

  4.5.    Vulnerability

  4.6.    Fear of sexual consequences

  4.7.    Fear of gawkers

  4.8.    Religious teachings

  4.9.    Fear of legal consequences

  4.10.   Concern about sunburn and skin cancer

  4.11.   Cleanliness

  4.12.   Safety and comfort

  4.13.   Offending others

  5.      Nudity And The Law

  5.1.    Choose remote areas

  5.2.    Carry & post signs

  5.3.    Know the law

  5.4.    Support local & national groups

  5.5.    Vote

  6.      Nudity And The Sun

  7.      Endmatter

  7.1.    Revision History

  1.  But first, a semantic note

  There are two terms that are commonly used to describe the way of life
  rec.nude deals with: "nudism" and "naturism". Some people prefer one
  or the other, some use either term, and some use neither. (This will
  be discussed later in the FAQ.) Feel free to substitute your own
  terminology in your mind as you read.

  2.  What is naturism?

  There are probably as many answers to this question as there are
  naturists. One common definition is the one suggested by the
  International Naturist Federation in 1974:

  "Naturism is a way of life in harmony with nature characterized by the
  practice of communal nudity, with the intention of encouraging self-
  respect, respect for others and for the environment."

  (It should be pointed out that naturism does not necessarily have to
  be enjoyed in a "communal" fashion. Many naturists enjoy being nude by
  themselves, or just with their SO's, or in numbers that aren't really
  "communal". Of course, there is nothing at all wrong with this.)
  The main tenets of naturism are:

  2.1.  Clothing optionality

  Naturists believe that, while clothing does have some practical uses
  (such as for warmth or protection), many activities are better
  performed nude. In many cases nudity is more comfortable, healthy, or
  fun than wearing clothes. Naturists do not intend to force everyone to
  go nude; rather, they advocate the optionality of clothing when and
  where appropriate.

  2.2.  Body acceptance

  Too much emphasis is put on the perfect body by clothing-obsessed
  society. Naturists know that almost no one has a perfect body, and
  that beauty can be found in bodies of all shapes, sizes, colors, and
  ages. Nudity is the means to the goal of body acceptance; when nude,
  the full beauty of the human body is exposed, creating pride in what
  you've got and reducing the desire for what you've not.

  2.3.  Separation of nudity and sex

  For hundreds of years, people have assumed a connection between nudity
  and sex - after all, the only time many people are nude, other than
  while bathing, is during sex. Naturists reject this assumption. Nudity
  does not automatically lead to sex - and, incidentally, you can have
  sex with your clothes on. The two are quite simply not related.

  2.4.  Concern for the environment

  Nudity is a natural state. Naturists often choose to go nude in the
  remote, undeveloped areas of our planet. The feeling of standing nude
  atop a mountain peak cannot be duplicated! But in order to preserve
  this opportunity for future naturists, we must take care of our
  planet. Too much damage has already been done; we might not be able to
  repair it, but we can avoid further damage.

  2.5.  Activism

  Naturism is not the majority opinion - not yet, anyway - so naturists
  must, out of necessity, be advocates for the practice of naturism.
  Naturists have lobbied for the designation of clothing-optional areas
  on public lands, the repeal of laws that ban simple, non-sexual
  nudity, and many other related causes. Recent years have seen a rise
  in activism and a decline in the closeted anonymity that typified
  naturism in the past. (It should be noted that there are naturists who
  prefer not to get involved in the politics of naturism, and some who
  support some of the politics but not others. As with non-naturist
  politics, there is a spectrum of opinions, and it's impossible to
  categorize all naturists with one brush stroke.)

  3.  Arguments for nudity

  Why did naturists decide that nudity is worth speaking up for?  There
  are several appealing things about it:

  3.1.  Comfort

  Anyone who's spent any amount of time in ill-fitting, uncomfortable
  clothing knows how good it feels when it's not being worn. Clothing
  is, by nature, something foreign to the body, and its presence is
  always known to the wearer. When you're not constantly being reminded
  that you're dressed, it's easier to think about other things! There is
  a tremendous feeling of freedom when nude. Once you have been swimming
  nude, you'll never understand why anyone would ever want to wear
  clothes in the water.

  3.2.  Health

  Medical research has shown that clothing can be unhealthy in certain
  situations. For example, evidence supports a hypothesis that wet,
  clingy swimsuits can constrict the flow of bodily fluids. Eliminate
  the swimsuit, and you've eliminated that problem!  Anecdotal evidence
  suggests that disease-carrying insects like to hide under clothing -
  another potential advantage for the naturist.

  3.3.  The equalizing aspect

  Thoreau wrote: "It is an interesting question how far men would retain
  their respective rank if they were divested of their clothes."  All
  other things held equal, when nude, a king appears no different than a
  peasant, a doctor no different than a steelworker, a wealthy CEO no
  different than his lowest-paid employee. Thus, these classifications
  disappear and the playing field is leveled.

  3.4.  Cleanliness

  Dirt, sand, and salt accumulate in clothing. It is a lot easier to
  stain clothing than skin. It is a lot easier to rinse skin than to
  wash clothing.

  3.5.  Convenience

  Society says you must have clothing at all time when in public. Even
  the simplest tasks, such as stepping out your front door to pick up
  the newspaper, require you to get dressed. A naturist's outfit is
  always easily available. Sleep nude, and you are already "dressed"
  when you awake.

  3.6.  It's fun!

  This is the best reason for going nude, and requires no further

  4.  Rebuttals To Arguments Against Nudity

  Here are some rebuttals to common excuses for keeping the body

  4.1.  Shame

  Centuries of oppressive thought have convinced many people that the
  body is a shameful, worthless object that should be hidden. Nonsense!
  The human body is one of the most elegant, masterful and valuable
  things on earth. There are few things in existence which compare to it
  on an artistic, technical, or philosophical level. Celebrate the human
  body! It's one of only a handful of truly unique creations.

  4.2.  Embarrassment

  Some people are afraid of running into someone they know while nude,
  or - worse - being seen by someone they know (or someone they don't)
  while nude. Remember that you will be around many other people who
  will also be nude. You may be momentarily embarrassed at first - this
  is normal - but as you spend more time nude, you will realize that if
  everyone is nude, no one has cause for nudity-related embarrassment. As
  for the possibility that you'll run into someone you know - well, if
  you like them, you've got something new in common to talk about?
  Besides, what is there to be embarrassed about? They are there, too,
  for the same reasons as you.

  4.3.  Gender-specific embarrassment

  Naturists know that both erections and menstruation are normal, so
  don't be afraid that your body's natural occurrences will offend other
  naturists. An erection is embarrassing, but rare, and easy to hide -
  just grab a towel, roll over, or jump in the water. Most naturists
  won't even comment about it. (Don't fear the erection your first time
  - most men will tell you they were too nervous for it to even be
  possible!) Women may feel uncomfortable being nude during
  menstruation. No one will be offended if women choose to wear shorts,
  tampons, etc. during these times.

  4.4.  Feelings of inadequacy

  Many people refuse to go nude because they feel that their height,
  weight, build, features, etc. are unacceptable. There is no need to
  feel that you must conform to a standard of beauty or acceptability,
  especially one you had no part in creating! Naturists come in all
  shapes, sizes, colors, ages, and beliefs. Naturists have even
  undergone surgeries, mastectomies, etc., and have the scars to prove
  it (many have said that naturism helped them further accept these
  scars.) In naturism, there is no ideal of the perfect body other than
  yourself. If you can accept yourself for what you are, you will have
  no problem overcoming your perceived imperfections.

  4.5.  Vulnerability

  By stripping away clothing, you strip away the armor that protects you
  from an unkind world. Some people fear this. Naturists believe
  vulnerability is a good thing. Think about this: in a naturist
  setting, everybody is vulnerable. The shared vulnerability creates
  respect and caring for your fellow naturists. Besides, most of your
  vulnerability probably comes from the awareness that you are nude - an
  awareness that becomes less important to you as you spend more time

  4.6.  Fear of sexual consequences

  Many people are afraid that if they go nude, they invite unwanted
  attention, possibly even rape. Naturists decry sexual harassment and
  sexual assault, and are committed to creating an environment where
  women and men may both feel safe and non-threatened. Don't let this
  fear prevent you from trying naturism - harassment and assault are
  very rare, and are not tolerated by naturists. (And, by the way,
  naturists enjoy healthy sexual lives like most everyone else - but
  they enjoy them in private, like most everybody else.)

  4.7.  Fear of gawkers

  By "gawkers" we mean the people who hang around naturist areas solely
  for the thrill of seeing naked people. Gawkers are not a problem in
  most areas, but you may encounter them from time to time. Don't let
  them make you feel uncomfortable.  Instead, you should make them feel
  uncomfortable and out of place. Either they'll leave, or come around
  to our way of thinking.

  4.8.  Religious teachings

  Some world religions are firm in a belief that the human body was
  created, and should forever be regarded, as a sinful object. It is
  worth remembering that all men and women are born nude. (A popular
  nudist slogan, meant only partially in jest, is "If we were meant to
  be nude, we would have been born that way.") In the Christian
  tradition, Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden only after they
  clothed themselves, in rebellion against God. And some people believe
  that the display of the nude body is a glorification of its Creator.
  Rejection of the body is the work of man, not of God.

  4.9.  Fear of legal consequences

        See "Nudity And The Law" below.

  4.10.  Concern about sunburn and skin cancer

        See "Nudity And The Sun" below.

  4.11.  Cleanliness

  Some will ask "What about bodily excretions that I am used to having
  caught by my underwear?" Naturists are mindful of this, and it is
  common naturist practice (and a rule at many naturist facilities) to
  carry a towel to sit on.

  4.12.  Safety and comfort

  Naturists do not claim that nudity is always appropriate. Clothing
  does have its practical uses. Clothing is a good idea in cold weather.
  Clothing is a good idea when frying bacon. No naturist will disagree.
  That doesn't mean that clothes should be required all the time. We
  should all be allowed to use common sense to decide when we should be
  clothed and when we should not.

  4.13.  Offending others

  Doesn't nudity offend some people?  Well, yes. Walking nude down Main
  Street will offend others. It may also do harm to the naturism
  movement. But going to a private naturist resort or traditionally nude
  area should not offend others. If somebody passes a sign that says
  "nudity permitted ahead", it is their fault if they take offense. 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.

  The arguments for nudity outweigh the arguments against. The opinions
  against may be more popular, but ours are more sensible. If you are
  hesitant to try naturism, try to decide why you feel this way, then
  find out if your hesitance is justified. More often than not, you'll
  find that it's not. Naturism's advantages are much greater than any
  perceived disadvantage. Give it a shot!

  5.  Nudity And The Law

  Nudity in private clubs, homes, and the like is legal in most areas.
  You generally need not concern yourself with the law if your nudity is
  confined to a private place. Laws prohibiting private nudity are
  uncommon and generally unenforceable. (Note, though, that there could
  be problems in private places that are easily viewable from public
  places, such as through an open window of your home. If the offended
  person has to go to some trouble to be offended, it is more likely
  that they could be in trouble for being "peeping Toms".)

  Public nudity is a different story. Depending on your locality, simple
  public nudity may or may not be legal. There are some jurisdictions
  which explicitly prohibit simple, non-sexual nudity, and some which do
  not prohibit public nudity, but in many areas public nudity is
  prosecuted under the codes for indecent exposure. Cases in various
  jurisdictions have begun to establish a precedent that simple public
  nudity, absent any malicious or sexual intent, cannot be construed as
  indecent. However, we are far from achieving the goal of total
  decriminalization of public nudity. Check with authorities and be

  There is no prohibition against simple nudity on federal lands.
  However, depending on where you are, the federal authorities may
  enforce any local or state prohibitions. This is called "concurrent
  jurisdiction." See a composite by the Naturist Action Committee at 

  Some federal lands may also engage in specific operational regulations 
  that restrict nudity.  One should educate oneself to risk before 
  venturing nude in untested areas.  It is usually a good idea to 
  consult local naturist orgznizations for such information.

  In many areas, the tide is turning in our favor. Government is
  realizing that there are more important things to worry about than
  harmless nudity. And as naturism grows worldwide, people are realizing
  that naturism is good business, too. However, many governments choose
  to ignore the current progressive trend and keep their heads buried in
  the sand.

  Naturists should not live in fear of the law; they should know the law
  and make it work for them. Naturists are being cited for simple nudity
  under ordinances that, in many cases, do not ban public nudity unless
  lewdness or malice is present. This must change. Believe it or not,
  the law is often on our side; it takes an informed naturist to know
  when it is. Here are some things you can do to avoid arrest:

  5.1.  Choose remote areas

  The further you get from civilization, the less likely it is that you
  will run into easily offended people. Even if you do run into somebody
  who claims they are offended and will complain, bear in mind that in
  most cases, complaints must be made in writing. Most people will not
  go to the trouble to make a written complaint, and most authorities
  won't act without one. Nonetheless, if there is a complaint, and you
  are far enough from civilization, you can be out of the area before
  the authorities arrive.

  5.2.  Carry & post signs

  This may increase your chances of being left alone by the easily
  offended. If people are informed that nude persons may lie ahead, a
  defense can be made that they were warned and chose to be offended,
  thus theoretically invalidating their legal basis for objection. A
  commonly-used sign, which has been used successfully for this purpose
  in many places, reads "Attention: Beyond this point you may encounter
  nude sunbathers."

  5.3.  Know the law

  Go to the library, or talk to an attorney. Find out what is prohibited
  and what is not in your area. You may be surprised! Laws in many areas
  do not appear to prohibit simple nudity in public, and court decisions
  have upheld this opinion in some cases. In most areas, law enforcement
  officials know when they can and cannot arrest you, but in some areas
  the officials are ignorant. An informed citizen is the mortal enemy of
  improper law enforcement, so know your rights.

  A composite of state laws regarding nudity can be found atthe web site
  for the Naturist Action Committee at <>

  5.4.  Support local & national groups

  Naturist groups have made significant inroads recently towards the
  elimination of improper laws. Nude areas at New Jersey's Sandy Hook
  and Miami's Haulover Beach have been authorized thanks to the efforts
  of local naturist groups. National organizations such as the Naturist
  Action Committee <> are constantly
  working to make the legal world friendlier to naturists. These groups
  deserve whatever time, money, and support you can give.

  5.5.  Vote

  Vote for mayors, supervisors, sheriffs, etc. that support naturism.
  Vote for people who will stand up against pressure from zealots to ban
  activities not normally considered illegal. The state should not be
  our adversary - the state should be on our side!  Send a message to
  government that you expect both support for naturism, and an
  unyielding stance against anti-nudity extremists. Remember, the
  government is in your service - not the other way around.

  6.  Nudity And The Sun

  Naturism has often been associated with the all-over tan. (The word
  "sunbathing" has been used as a euphemism for years.) However,
  research has shown that the sun can be harmful when taken in excess,
  and that things aren't going to change for the better. Skin cancer, in
  particular, is a major concern for active naturists. This doesn't
  necessarily have anything to do with nudity - nudity exposes only
  slightly more skin than a swimsuit - but it has everything to do with
  the long hours in the sun favored by some naturists.

  This is not to say that you shouldn't sunbathe. Sunbathing is not
  deadly if done in moderation. Use a sunscreen. Avoid sunbathing during
  the middle of the day when the sun's rays are the most intense. Limit
  your time in the sun to avoid burning. Above all, be sensible. Know
  what you're doing and what the possible consequences are.

  Nude activity doesn't have to depend on the sun. For example, you
  could hike nude through a shady forest, or enjoy a nude jog in a warm
  spring shower. Indoor naturism is popular as well. And skinny-dipping
  by moonlight is a time-honored tradition. So, naturism can be enjoyed
  in and out of the sun. The best strategy is to do each when
  appropriate, and don't overdo your sun exposure.

  7.  Endmatter

  Copyright 1998-2008 - Dennis Kirkpatrick
  All rights reserved.  <>
  Contributions to this FAQ have been added by numerous persons since the 
  rec.nude newsgroup was founded.  This includes the various FAQ maintainers 
  and newsgroups users as well.  This body stands as a compilation of these
  efforts over time and serves as both newsgroup charter and FAQ.

  While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this
  document, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or
  omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information
  contained herein.

  This document may be reproduced and distributed in any medium,
  physical or electronic, so long as the entire document, including this
  copyright notice and the modification date below, remains intact and
  unchanged on all copies. Commercial redistribution is permitted, but
  you may not redistribute it, in whole or in part, under terms more
  restrictive than those under which you received it. If you have
  questions regarding reproduction and/or distribution of this document,
  please contact Dennis Kirkpatrick at:

  The latest version of the FAQ is always available at the following

  rec.nude     - posted on or near the first of each month or
                 within the first 7 days (+/-) of the month.
  rec.answers  - same as above.
  news.answers - same as above.

  Your news reader program can be back-dated if you miss these postings.


  Using an FTP or "Anarchie" type program you can access the FAQ from
  this public archive.


  *( is no longer a reliable reporitory for Newsgroup
   FAQ files.  The site appears to be abandoned and has not updated
   in several years.)

  7.1.  Revision History

  This document will carry a revision history by date.  Any time a change is 
  made to any of the five sections of this FAQ the revision date will change 
  on each section to reflect the revision date of the FAQ as a whole.  The
  revision dates will be carried in last to first order with the most recent 
  change at the top of the document.  This will allow readers to know when
  the FAQ was last updated.

  Revision  1-Jan-08 -Updated various segments to current standards.
  Revision 31-Mar-07 -Updated various sections to current requirements.
                      Removed as safe repository for FAQ.
  Revision 10-Oct-05 -Updated various sections to current requirements.
  Revision 16-Aug-03 -Updated link to Prodigy Message Board & other updates
  Revision  1-Jul-02 -Issued various corrections & updates as noted within.
  Revision  1-Nov-01 -Various updates to links and addresses.
  Revision  5-Mar-00 -Updated various web links to current requirements.
  Revision  1-Sep-99 -Updated listings for AOL, Compuserve, Prodigy, and
                      other reference material as necessary and submitted
                      by newsgroup users. Parts 1, 4 and 5 effected.
  Revision  1-Aug-98 -Updated Posting Locations of FAQ and various URL
  Revision  1-Jul-98 -Added FTP locations for FAQ.
  Revision 31-May 98 -Added HTML locations for FAQ and other link updates.
  Revision 15-May-98 -Changed information for the Nude Travel section on
                      the AOL system in Part 5 of the FAQ.
  Revision 21-Mar-98 -Corrected URL for Fed de Quebecoise de Naturisme
  Revision  1-Mar-98 -Adjusted 4 part FAQ into 5 to conform with limits of
                      web browser sizing.
  Revision 1-Feb-98 - Carried over from previous FAQ maintainer and updated
                      FAQ maintainer contact info and some access info
                      regarding the AOL Naturist/Nudist posting areas.

  Revisions Prior to January 1998 not documented.

  Please do not e-mail the FAQ maintainer with questions that may otherwise
  be answered in the newsgroup FAQ or the associated Beaches FAQ.

D. M. Kirkpatrick
FAQ & Charter Maintainer - Newsgroup: REC.NUDE

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