Difference Between Nudism and Naturism

Difference between nudism and naturismThis is one of the most widely asked questions (next to “is nudity illegal”) and so, in this post, we discuss whether there is a difference between nudism and naturism. As it is a post, please feel free to add your own comments and thoughts below but please keep it civil 🙂

I think the concensus of most people is no, there is no difference between nudism and naturism but in some scenarios, that may not be the case. I believe it is cultural and I will explain my reasoning in this post. Firstly, though, some definitions. The Oxford dictionery defines a nudist as “a person who engages in the  practice of going naked wherever possible” whereas a naturist is “a person who goes naked in designated areas”. The dictionery does continue by saying a naturist is also a person who worships nature however my definition of a naturist is the same as the definition for a nudist – they are, for all intents and purposes, one and the same.

But the term “naturism” is an derivative of the word “nature” so is the naturist someone who prefers to be at one WITH nature or AS nature intended? In essence, I believe it is the latter but certainly being as nature intended in nature is a fantastic feeling – and having had that experience on a number of occassions, I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

As I said above, I believe that some people believe that there is a difference between nudism and naturism and I alluded to it being a due to culture. What I mean by this is that, in my experience of naturism, there are a number of people from different parts of the world (mostly America and the Indian sub-continent but not neccessarily restricted to those areas) that actually believe nudism is a prelude to some form of sexual gratification and that by announcing you are a nudist or naturist, you are saying that you are open for pornography, “playing” on web cam or the swapping of intimate photos.

If we go back to the dictionery definition of a naturist/nudist, it is simply a person who likes to go naked wherever possible – it doesn’t say “a person who likes to go naked wherever possible and engage in all manner of sexual activities”. In fact, the concept of naturism is not about sex at all (see post on sex and naturism here), it is merely about being able to enjoy the benefits of nudity in a non-sexual environment where everyone can feel safe and be at one with nature. It is where you are free to simply sunbathe, swim, play games or just socialise with other naturists.

To give an example of the misconception some people have, this is the exact profile from someone’s Twitter account:-

“nudist couple #Live #SEX #CamGirls #NSFW | #PicATweet #VIP #LiveCam #HOT #Nude #Boudoir #Photography #Nudist #Swingers”

a perfect example of what a nudist is NOT and this is not just restricted to Twitter, a popular web site has hundreds of users all purporting to be nudists however the vast majority are just interested in the sexual side to human nature. As an experiment, I joined recently, entered the chat room and launched the web cam. Within seconds, there were 13 men watching my cam and within a minute I had 4 private chat windows open and it wasn’t long before they were asking for private cam sessions – no need to guess too hard what was on their mind! Another recent example from Twitter was an image of a woman, posed in a provocative way with the caption “Can I tease you a little bit? #naked #nude #nudity #nudism #nudist #naturist #naturism please RT”.

It is clear that there are either two things going on here; 1) either people are unaware of what nudism and naturism are really about and think it is all to do with sex or 2) they are aware that it is non-sexual but are using it as a method to market their own images or ideas. If the latter, it is a wasted effort as real naturists will simply block the accounts.

Therefore, although there does not seem to be a difference between nudism and naturism in terms of the actual lifestyle, there is a distinction in what some people believe it means. I think it is therefore really important for real naturists to actively promote the lifestyle and get the message out that it is a lifestyle choice for some, it is about simply enjoying nudity either solo or socially and that there is nothing sexual about it.


2 thoughts on “Difference Between Nudism and Naturism”

  1. I see where you are going with this, by definition a naturist enjoys being in the nude, so we could be considered to be nudists too. But I never say that I am a nudist when the subject crops up! I am happy to tell people that I am a naturist, most of our friends know that ‘er indoors & I like to swim & sunbathe nude whenever the opportunity arises, but there is an underlying “weirdness “ to being viewed as a nudist! Maybe the fact that we prefer our nudity to be confined to the beach (occasionally the back garden when the neighbours are on holiday!) and that we have no desire to go to a naturist club or resort where nudity is more or less compelled means we are not really nudists.
    Maybe nudists embrace social nudity completely, to the extent that they are comfortable in a nudist environment like a club or resort, whereas naturists prefer their nudity to be more spontaneous and less organised.

    1. Very true and I always use the term naturist as well – I think there is a tendancy to consider “nudists” to be people who just like to engage in nudity with whatever designs they have in that and that is partially where our problem as naturists lay; the public consider us all to be the same.

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