Depending on whom you ask, there could be no difference. In Europe, the term naturist is the most common, with nudist being the older term.
In North America, some people use the two words interchangeably. Others define two different philosophies which have nudity in common. Those who find a difference define naturists as closer to nature and more interested in free beaches, and nudists as people who practice nudity more in an urban club setting.
Not all people who practice naturism/nudism like the labels. They don't see themselves as different from anyone else. As well, not all nude people at a free beach or club espouse the naturist/nudist philosophy.
Most of the people who visit a naturist club/beach for the first time are surprised by the lack of sexuality. Some expect a sexually charged atmosphere, since in North America, we see others nude in sexual situations such as love scenes in movies, in magazines and in videos.
However, the link between nudity and sexuality is arbitrary. In Victorian times, to see a woman's knees was very sexual because they were supposed to be hidden all the time. We expose some parts of our bodies which are as sexual as those which we hide. Our lips, for example, are probably as involved in sexuality as our genital areas. Yet people walk around exposing their lips without causing mass arousal.
You will probably find that suggestively clothed people are more arousing than completely nude people. It can be more sexual to wear a bathing suit which subtly hides and emphasizes certain parts of the body.
That nudity implies sexuality is the biggest misconception that naturists have to fight. As a result, you may find them to be over-sensitive to it. This is not to say that naturists are against sexuality. They just believe, like most of society, that there is an appropriate time and place for it. It also means that there is nothing wrong with finding a person attractive, whether he or she is nude or not.
Exhibitionists expose themselves primarily to shock others. Exhibitionism does not occur in naturism. Exhibitionists find no thrill in naturist environments because of the lack of overt sexuality and their inability to shock anyone.
Naturists just want to be nude. If they like to be with others, it's because humans are social creatures
Clothing-optional (CO) beaches are public areas which have become nude through use by naturists. Clubs are private grounds which are owned either by individuals or by the members. They are private businesses.
Of course, to live nude when the weather permits; great respect for the individual; calm and tranquillity; respect for the environment; conviviality; irreproachable hygiene; nothing particular to bring with you ... only a bath towel to sit on. Naturist centres and clubs fulfil the need for comfort and safety according to each individual’s preferences. On the agenda is a range of equipment for sporting and leisure activities in a naturally preserved area.
The naturist sites from one to four stars, especially the Natustar camp sites, offer you – as also textile camp sites do - a wide range of possibilities for your naturist holiday in France and Greece. Small camp site, club-camping, near the coast or on the country site.
Our naturist sites can propose an offer adapted to your wishes: active family holiday; discovery week-end; relaxing holiday. With Natustar it is up to you to choose your kind of holiday!
A naturist site is a place of liberty and a place where you can relax. Your decision to come to a naturist site implies that you have chosen to enjoy your holiday naked and to respect the nakedness of all other persons present on the site. In order to really experience naturism, without having the feeling that you are observed or judged, it is important that you are naked and that the people around you are naked as well. Naturists do prefer to be naked, but they dress themselves if this is necessary. Clothes do give warmth and they protect us in certain working conditions, against sunburn, or for other medical reasons.
Many women use a tampon if they have their period. Others wear shorts during these days. Having your period is part of the life of a woman and naturists do understand if a woman wears shorts at this time.
The rules of conduct can differ per naturist centre, on some sites you can be asked to come dressed to the restaurant or the shop. In general however the rule is that one is naked, provided the weather allows it, but most people dress to go to the bar or restaurant. Please contact the site of your choice for more information about their rules.
It is often difficult for new people to know where to look. To a naturist, there is no difference between being dressed or nude. Try to act as you normally would.
It is OK to look. Out of curiosity you may initially look longer at others' genitals and breasts. Just don't stare. In time, you'll be less curious about these areas and concentrate again on the face and eyes.
They are there too, just as nude as you are. They are probably very comfortable with naturism, since they have probably been there before. They will probably be happy to see you. Just think, you have discovered a mutual interest!
All CO beaches and most clubs welcome singles. However, many clubs try to maintain a balance between the sexes. Check ahead for a club's policy.
The same things you would take when going to the beach (except a bathing suit!): a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, two towels (one to sit on), a chair or mattress, something to read, and something to play with (volleyball, Frisbee, etc.).
When visiting a club, you will probably need some money. On a CO beach, you may need water and food, since there may not be places to buy anything.
Generally, the same common-sense guidelines for behaviour apply in the naturist world as in the clothed world. Be polite and respect the rights of others. When visiting a club, make sure you understand the rules specific to that club.
Gawking is impolite. It is OK to look but always rude to stare (particularly with binoculars or through a camera).
For sanitary reasons, sit on a towel when using public seats or benches.
Respect the environment. Stay out of dunes or other environmentally sensitive areas. We can lose access to CO areas by damaging the environment.
Help keep the area clean. In clubs, use the trash cans. On CO beaches, bring your own trash bag. Leave the beach cleaner than when you arrived.
Get dressed when leaving established nude areas. Naturists are not trying to offend anyone.
Follow all parking regulations and other posted rules.
Do not engage in overt sexual activity.
Respect the property of others.
Get the permission of subjects before taking pictures. In clubs, check out club rules on photography before bringing out your camera.
Respect the privacy of others. Many people come to enjoy nature and don't want to be disturbed. It is good to be friendly, but take your cues from their response and body language.
Speak up for standards. If you see people who are violating the accepted standards, please explain to them clearly and politely just how they are violating the rules and what the proper behaviour is.
The first moments can be surprising. But after having visited the ground, any anxiety will have quickly disappeared. The time of adaptation varies from person to person, from a few seconds to a few days. But the feeling of freedom experienced by the naturist is intensified by the fact that the look of the other naturists is concerned with the being and not his appearance.
This is the most common concern among men. However, we do not know of anyone who actually had an erection on the first visit. The combination of the non-sexual environment and the unfamiliarity of a first-time visit serves to minimize the issue.
An erection is a natural part of life. Naturists realize this and will not take offence as long as it is not being flaunted. If an erection does occur, a strategically placed towel, a dip in a cool pool, or rolling over on your stomach will take care of it.
Generally, women do the same thing in the naturist world as they do in the clothed world. Many use a tampon. If they prefer, they wear shorts or bikini bottoms.
Menstruation is a normal part of being a woman and one which naturists understand.
The concept of the perfect body is a myth. We believe that the stress caused by the unrealistic expectations of society is very damaging. Naturists practice body acceptance. When you visit a naturist environment, you will find all types of bodies. All shapes, sizes, ages, colours&emdash;many of them with the signs of a full life.
The removal of a skimpy bathing suit does little to increase your exposure to the sun, but people exposed to the sun should be careful when they enjoy the outdoors.
Sexuality is in the mind. It is an artificial form of sexuality that causes a person to be aroused merely by seeing a body part which one does not normally see. Attraction does not depend on whether people are nude or not. In fact, you will probably find them more attractive if they are wearing suggestive clothing.
We believe that naturists have healthier sexuality, since they are more comfortable with themselves and their bodies. Naturists can enjoy the sexual act with their partner without feeling self-conscious about their nudity.
In Article 330 of the penal code of 13 May 1863, nudism was likened to exhibitionism, equivalent to indecent exposure. Today, Article 222-32 of the new penal code (in application since 1st March 1994) states: 'sexual exhibition imposed on the sight of a third party in a place accessible to public viewing may be punished by one year’s imprisonment and a fine of one hundred thousand French Francs.
In an administrative circular, the legislation states: 'incrimination has been expressed in such a way as to rule out any possibility of bringing action against people practising naturism, in places specially devoted to this.' Therefore, to live as a naturist, happy and free, you have only to become a member of a club or frequent centres approved by the FFN (French Naturist Federation).
Because of the direct contact with the natural elements, especially that of the air on the skin, naturism gives an undeniable sense of well-being. But above all, the spirit of tolerance brought about by practising collective nudity re-establishes moral values. As the naturist feels good about himself, he can have healthier and more authentic relations.
Naturism, through the values it transmits, corresponds to those people who seek themselves, by becoming aware of social problems. Naturism is about an inner sense of well-being, enabling better relations with others, in Nature that is preserved and respected.
One can experience naturism on his own, as a couple or with a family, but it is for sure more difficult for teenagers to be naturist. Living naked becomes less spontaneous and more embarrassing and very often - despite the requests of their parents to be naked - teenagers are hiding their body with a towel.
It's important to be tolerant but also clear about the rule to be naked in a natursit area. Some of our camping and resort have created an “ethic keeper” to find better solution between the young people and the adults.
Anyone who has observed children knows that they are enthusiastic naturists. We have never seen young children who are self-conscious when nude. In fact, you may observe them squeal with delight when they are allowed to run around nude. It is only in their later years that they are pressured into being self-conscious and adopt older people's phobias about the body.
We believe that it is healthier for children to grow up comfortable with their own bodies. We don't think there is any advantage in teaching them to be ashamed and embarrassed by certain parts of their bodies.
It is clear that being dressed has not kept children safe. The best thing we can do is teach our children the confidence to speak up when people do things which make them uncomfortable. If they are not ashamed of their bodies, they are much more likely to tell their parents when someone does things to them that they don't like. Whether nude or clothed, children should know that being touched in certain ways is wrong.
Although good parenting is by far the most important factor in raising children, naturism helps to promote their confidence and understanding about their bodies
Everyone has to teach children when and where it is acceptable to be nude. Naturists simply have more places where it is acceptable. Unlike non-naturists, we don't teach our children that nudity is wrong. We teach them that some people aren't comfortable with nudity and that sometimes we need to dress for practical reasons (e.g. weather).
Everybody that has been observing young children will agree that they are naturist ... by nature. Children do not worry about being naked. It is remarkable to see how happy children are if they can be naked. It is not until a later age, around puberty – that children may get problems with being naked, also because of the influence of opinions of “the society”. Naturists are of the opinion that people need to have the possibility to grow up without being ashamed of their body.
On many Natustar sites you will find a children’s club that proposes animations and activities for children.
If you don't find the answers to your questions contact-us and we'll respond as soon as possible.