He Tried a Naturist Club for the First Time

In season 1 and episode 1 of James Dunlop Discovers, the filmmaker decided to try out a naturist club. In good fashion, he partook in all the activities in proper attire (no attire at all). Good on him. What did he think of his experience? Watch and see. Although I didn’t like his very last statement, I liked much of what else he had to say about his peculiarly special day.

I loved what others had to say as they were interviewed. Two in particular, Peter and Siobhan, were special to see and hear on this video. They are friends we have not had the privilege of meeting in person, but have seen many times on zoom as they are part of the Christian Naturist Fellowship. Her honesty at 4:23 to 5:14 is so refreshing and inspirational.

Naturists might not like that pixelation was used, but I’m fine with it as this censored version will ultimately reach more people in the mainstream, which need to understand its message.

Watch and comment below. What’s your reaction to this 14 minute documentary?

AI on Naturism

We certainly live in interesting times. AI technology is getting smarter and smarter. These advancements are cause for some genuine concern. Photographers and designers alike are campaigning against AI generated images. Programs like chatGPT are writing copy for different people or brands, or even probably doing homework for some students. I have not messed around yet with any of this software, but had seen some friends and influencers ask questions about naturism that were pretty interesting.

I’ll start with my son. He gave his AI a personality who answers all questions based solely on what is regarded as biblically sound theology without regard to being hip or relevant to the times. It was programed to not know about any of church history from the Roman Catholic era and on. Based on this programming, it said:

“I apologize, but as an AI language model, I do not have beliefs or perspective on religious matters, nor do I have a personality. I can only provide information based on the data I was trained on. However, I can tell you that the Bible is a significant source of information for Christians and provides a basis for their beliefs and practices. Being a ‘personality’ that bases its responses on biblically sound theology, would likely prioritize following the teachings of the Bible above other considerations, regardless of whether they are ‘hip’ or ‘relevant to the times.’”

I’d say we’re off to a good start! He then asked the program, “What are your thoughts on naturism?” It said:

“According to biblical teachings, nakedness is typically associated with shame, which resulted from Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Therefore, nakedness should be avoided and modesty should be upheld. While there are some instances in which nudity is acceptable, such as in medical situations or during bathing, deliberately choosing to be nude or promoting naturism would not align with biblical teachings on modesty.”

Oh no! AI, you searched and found the same old knee-jerk reactions we always hear. Calling simple nakedness a shame and opting for modesty (which does nothing to curb lustful thinking if one is set on thinking in that manner). I had high hopes for you to answer biblically, but you went with the cultural opinion instead!

My son pressed in and challenged that kind of reasoning and asked, “Was nakedness before the fall of Adam and Eve something to be ashamed of?” It said:

“In the biblical account, Adam and Eve were naked in the Garden of Eden before they sinned and they were not ashamed. It was only after they disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that they became aware of their nakedness and feel shame. Therefore, from a biblical perspective, nudity in itself is not inherently sinful or shameful, but it is the context and motivations behind it that matter.”

Thank you! This is what we’re saying too. Much better this time over your first answer. My son continued his intelligent query asking, “So with that context, is the idea of Christian Naturism bad?” (He knows the answer, but just wanted to see what chatGPT would say to this.) It said:

“Based solely on biblically sound theology, nudity before the fall was not considered shameful or sinful. However, after the fall, sin entered the world and brought shame and awareness of nakedness. the Bible teaches that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and that we should present them in a way that honors God.

Whether Christian Naturism is bad or not is a matter of personal opinion and interpretation. Some may argue that it is not appropriate to be naked in public or that it may cause others to stumble, while others may argue that it is a way to appreciate God’s creation and embrace the freedom and purity of the pre-fallen state. Ultimately, Christians should prayerfully consider their actions and the impact they have on others, as well as whether it aligns with Biblical principles.”

That’s a bit of a mixed bag, but mostly good. Yes, let’s not let the fallenness of this post-fall state discourage us from doing all we can to restore the innocence of the pre-fall state in all areas. Maybe it should read this post we wrote about Immanentizing the Eschaton! All in all, not a bad job summarizing what the internet has to say on the subject.

Another friend got this result:

“Christian Naturists argue that since we are in God’s image, there is nothing inherently sinful or shameful about the human body in its natural state. 

Another argument is based on the concept of innocence. In the Garden of Eden, before Adam and Eve sinned, they were described as being naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25). Some naturists argue that this state of innocence is something to be celebrated and recaptured through the practice of naturism. 

There are also some passages in the Bible that speak about the body being a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Some naturists argue that by embracing and caring for our bodies through naturism, we are honoring this principle and treating our bodies with the respect they deserve.”

It’s like it read my mind! But it’s not just Christian Naturism. Naturism in general is easier for AI to defend.

Another friend said ChatGPT is an impressive tool, especially that the developers went out of their way to make it unbiased (just spit out information it has access to). He asked it to outline the benefits of naturism and then outline supporting studies that prove it. Impressive? See what you think:


The benefits of naturism, or social nudity, can include:

Increased body positivity and self-esteem: By being in a clothing-optional environment, naturists feel comfortable and confident in their own skin, leading to higher levels of body positivity and self-esteem.

Improved mental health: The freedom from clothing and the relaxation of being in a natural environment can have a positive impact on mental health and stress levels.

Better physical health: Naturists believe that exposure to sunlight and fresh air can improve overall physical health.

Increased sense of community: Naturism can foster a strong sense of community and social connection, as people from all walks of life come together and bond over a common interest.

Reduced environmental impact: By not wearing clothes, naturists reduce their environmental impact and promote a more sustainable lifestyle.

In addition to the benefits above, naturism can also offer:

Increased self-awareness: Being in a clothing-optional environment can help individuals become more self-aware and in tune with their bodies.

Improved relationships: Naturism can help individuals form deeper connections with others, as well as improve communication and intimacy in relationships.

Freedom from societal norms: Naturism allows individuals to break free from societal norms and expectations, which can lead to a greater sense of personal freedom and liberation.

Enhanced sense of spirituality: For some, being in a natural environment without clothing can enhance a sense of spirituality and connection to nature.

Increased levels of physical activity: Naturist activities, such as hiking, swimming, and playing sports, can encourage physical activity and lead to improved health.

Note: Naturism is a personal choice and should always be practiced in a safe, consensual, and respectful manner.

There have been several studies that have explored the potential benefits of naturism. Some relevant research includes:

Body image and self-esteem: A study published in the Journal of Social Psychology found that naturists had higher levels of body satisfaction and self-esteem compared to non-naturists (Perry & Schleifer, 2003).

Mental health: A review of the literature on the effects of nudity and physical exposure to nature on mental health found that social nudity can have a positive impact on reducing stress and improving mood (Gören, 2013).

Physical health: A study conducted by the International Naturist Federation found that sun exposure and being in nature had a positive impact on physical health, including improved immune function and vitamin D levels (INF, 2014).

Community: Research conducted by the American Association for Nude Recreation found that naturist communities have a strong sense of social connection and community, with people from all walks of life coming together to form tight-knit communities (AANR, 2015).

It’s important to note that these studies are limited and more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of naturism.

<end quote>

Paraphrasing Tool – QuillBot AI is another service which returned the following:


The following are some advantages of naturism or social nudity:

Increased body positivity and self-esteem: Being in an atmosphere where clothes is not required makes naturists feel at ease and confident in their own skin, which raises their levels of both of these traits.

Better mental health: Being unclothed and unwinding in a natural setting can both be beneficial for mental health and stress reduction.

Healthier body: According to naturists, exposure to sunlight and clean air can lead to a healthier body in general.

Increased feeling of community: As people from various walks of life come together and bond over a shared interest, naturism can generate a strong sense of community and social connection.

Reduced environmental impact: By being naked, naturists lessen their impact on the environment and encourage a more sustainable way of life.

In addition to the advantages mentioned above, naturism can provide:

Increased self-awareness: Participating in clothing-optional activities can make people more conscious of their bodies and more in tune with themselves.

Naturism can help people develop closer ties with others and can enhance communication and intimacy in relationships.

Breaking free from cultural expectations and conventions is possible through naturism, which can result in a stronger sense of freedom and emancipation for the individual.

Increased spirituality: For some people, being in a natural setting without any clothing can increase their sense of spirituality and connection to nature.

Enhanced levels of physical activity: Outdoor pursuits like swimming, hiking, and sports can promote physical activity and improve health.

Note: Naturism is a personal decision and should always be carried out in a responsible, courteous, and consensual way.

In a study that appeared in the Journal of Social Psychology, it was discovered that naturists had better levels of body satisfaction and self-esteem than non-naturists did (Perry & Schleifer, 2003).

Mental health: According to a review of the literature on the benefits of social nudity and physical contact with nature for mental health, these activities can help with stress relief and mood enhancement (Gören, 2013).

Physical well-being: According to a study by the International Naturist Federation, spending time outside and in the sun are good for one’s physical well-being, including vitamin D and immune system function (INF, 2014).

Nudist communities have a strong sense of social connection and community, with people from all walks of life joining together to establish close-knit communities, according to research by the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR, 2015).

It’s critical to remember that these studies have limitations, and further analysis is required to completely comprehend any potential advantages of naturism.

<end quote>

One naturist influencer known as Naked Wanderings asked, “What can be done to make societies more relaxed about nudity?” It said:


Making societies more relaxed about nudity would involve a shift in cultural attitudes toward the human body, which is a complex and multifaceted process. Here are come potential ways to promote greater acceptance of nudity:

  1. Education: Providing education about the human body and its natural functions could help dispel myths and misconceptions about nudity. This could be done in schools or through public awareness campaigns.
  2. Expose people to nudity in non-sexual context: Seeing nudity in a non-sexual context, such as in art or in communal bathing settings, can help people become more comfortable with the human body.
  3. Encourage more open discussions about nudity: Talking openly about nudity can help reduce the stigma surrounding it and promote greater acceptance.
  4. Challenge social norms and conventions: Questioning why certain parts of the body are considered taboo or indecent can help shift cultural attitudes towards nudity.
  5. Encourage legal reforms: In some cases, legal reforms may be necessary to protect the rights of individuals who choose to be nude in public settings.

It’s important to note that promoting greater acceptance of nudity is not about forcing people to be comfortable with something that makes them uncomfortable. Rather, it’s about creating a more inclusive and accepting society where people can choose to express themselves and their bodies in ways that feel authentic and natural to them.

<end quote>

Finally, one naturist influence named Hector Martinez asked, “How will AI change naturism?” Interesting question. It said: 

“It’s challenging to predict with certainty how artificial intelligence (AI) will impact naturism, as it’s a social and cultural phenomenon that is not directly related to AI. However, AI could potentially be used to enhance the naturist experience in various ways, such as by providing more immersive virtual reality experiences or by creating more realistic digital avatars for people who wish to engage in social nudity in virtual environments.

Additionally, AI-powered image recognition technologies could be used to help ensure that non-consensual nudity is not depicted or shared online, which could potentially make naturists feel more safe and comfortable sharing their images and experiences. However, AI could also potentially be used to invade people’s privacy and violate their consent, which could harm the naturist community. Ultimately, the impact of AI on naturism will depend on how it is developed and implemented in the future, as well as the norms and values of the naturist community itself.”

Hmm, I don’t what to think about some of that. It will be interesting to see how and where these advancements go. 

Have you played around with any AI asking questions about naturism? If so, share what you found in the comments!

What did you like or not like about what you read here? Comment away.

“Imagers” by G S Royal

I was at the grocery store and saw a new item I was considering purchasing.  Upon checking the Nutrition label, I discovered it had far more carbs per serving than I expected.  I thought, I’m glad I read the label; labels are good to have!  Well, sometimes yes, sometimes no.In this case it gave me some factual data on which to make a decision.  At other times, a label can be quite misleading. This becomes troublesome when the label is used to define and categorize people. We’ve ‘labeled’ people based upon politics, ‘labeled’ people based upon gender, and ‘labeled’ people based upon skin color while knowing almost nothing about the individuals themselves. We then are prone to making knee-jerk reactions based upon tradition, cultural conditioning, and even religion without giving a second thought to the possibility that we may be wrong.  Proverbs 18:13 (KJV) has something to say about that: 

“He that answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame unto him.” (emphasis mine)

In one modern translation, it says:

“Listen before you answer. If you don’t, you are being stupid and insulting (GNT).”

So when someone says, “All fish are bad,” you might want to question that label.  I know a person who condemns any food that is ‘white and creamy,’ with mayonnaise being at the top of his list.  I’m glad I didn’t take his labeling at face value. Look at all I’d be missing!

Let’s consider another label we might be misinterpreting: Nudist (or naturist). Was your reaction to that word negative or positive?  And what was it based upon?  (Are you finding yourself described by Proverbs 18:13, as I once was?) 

I have friends who refer to themselves as Christian nudists—as do thousands of others. I thought I knew what that meant and questioned how can that be? How can they reconcile their nudism with their faith in Christ?  Wanting to know, I began to do some research. I’ve read books and blogs, talked with them, searched the Bible, read the writings of others who have sought the same answers.  This led me to pastor David L. Hatton, an ordained Wesleyan minister with 25 years of experience as a Labor & Delivery nurse.  For years he wondered why working daily with nude women during the birthing process didn’t cause him to lust.  He’d been taught growing up that it was inevitable, that men’s brains are wired that way.  He knew it wasn’t a sexual orientation issue; he was happily married and had fathered 12 children!  He began to question what he had been taught then launched into the Scriptures and early church history to find answers.  He shared the results in his first book, Meeting at the River, and followed that with a series of short essays in his book entitled, Who Said You Were Naked?Hisresearch produced a paradigm shift in his regard for the naked human form, causing him to reevaluate what he had been taught earlier. It has for me as well. 

I have learned what Christian naturism is, and what it isn’t.  It isn’t a bunch of perverted souls gathering together using the name of Christ to justify their nefarious activities.  It isn’t sexual or exhibitionist, nor does it have anything to do with nature worship, or the veneration of natural phenomenon—for example, celestial objects such as the sun and moon and terrestrial objects such as water and fire.  Naturism actually began out of an effort to protect the body from the ravages of pollution in Germany when the industrial age got into full swing.  A movement began to take shape proclaiming what the people needed were more of the natural healing elements of fresh air, sunlight and water.  Maximum exposure to those elements was aided by the removal of clothing.   They also included several things we find supported in many churches today: vegetarianism, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, and disciplined exercise.

Currently, the International Naturist Federation defines naturism as:

the practice of communal nudity making the maximum use of the natural agents of sun, air and water. It restores one’s physical and mental balance through being able to relax in natural surroundings, by exercise and respect for the basic principles of hygiene and diet. It encourages many activities that develop one’s creativity. Complete nudity is the most suitable clothing for getting back to nature, and is certainly the most visible aspect of naturism, even if it is not the only one. It exerts a steadying and balancing influence on human beings, freeing them from the stresses caused by the taboos and provocations of today’s society and shows the way to a more simple, healthy and human way of life.

Christian naturists want us to be more perceptive of the actual truth. They want the world to see the human body for what it really is: God’s finest creation, not something lewd, immoral or shameful. They insist that the nude human body should never be sexualized or associated with pornography. Yet, without these strong convictions, some believers have abandoned respect for our God-created nude form, resulting in God’s imaging handiwork being dragged through a cultural sewer of filth overflowing from the sex-focused obsession with nudity that characterizes so many secular and religious minds.

None of us wants to be told how to live, so why do we think we have a right to tell others how to.  Actually, I think our penchant for pointing out—without one dab of grace—everything we think is sin, has caused the church to be avoided by so many.  Perhaps we should stick to sharing the good news of the Gospel and leave the work of conviction up to God.  While we are faithfully handing out our condemnations, let’s consider Romans 5:8, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (ESV).” And aren’t we quick to affirm our need to be more Christ-like? 

Listen to James 3:8-10 (RSV): 

8 but no human being can tame the tongue—a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so.” (emphasis mine)

The late English pastor and theologian, John R W Stott, once wrote:

The hallmark of authentic evangelicalism is not that we maintain the traditions of the evangelical elders. It is rather that we are prepared to reexamine even the most long-standing evangelical traditions in the light of Scripture, in order to allow Scripture, if necessary, to judge and reform our traditions. Evangelical traditions are not infallible; they need to be reexamined. They need to be judged. They need to be reformed.

Why shouldn’t we be ready to accept what the Bible has to say on a controversial subject, instead of hanging on to mere tradition and blindly accepting the opinions of others (including mine).

Regarding Naturism, most detractors are good church-going people who think they are honoring God by condemning those who live as naturists. In some ways, prudery has been elevated to the value of Scripture. That’s a slap in the face of the very Creator whom we try to serve!  

I find this quote of Liz Egger to be quite compelling: 

As a naturist myself I find it astonishing that a religion can worship a particular deity yet regard its most miraculous creation—the human body—as obscene and wicked and so shameful it should be hidden from view.

Why is this so important for the church to see?  We have rightfully fought the influence of pornography within our culture. What we need to see is that our prudish view of naked humanity is itself, a pornographic one that fuels the very fire we’ve been trying to extinguish. As one Christian naturist put it:

If we take an honest look at the world, we can’t help but see that our culture of body shame, and hiding the human body, does nothing to stop breeding sexual perverts and predators.  This very culture only contributes to that which we claim to be fighting against.  We must see that it’s time to try something else. 

Perhaps naturists are living out a level of respect for our bodies that we’ve never had or shown. While naturists have been waging a war against the pornographic view of the body, we’ve fought hard to solidify it even more firmly in everyone’s mind.  It’s a shame all the clothes we wear to hide the image of God cannot hide our ignorance as well—except from ourselves. 

But are our physical bodies actually an image of God? Genesis 1:26 is the deciding factor for establishing that the human form embodies the image of God:

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…(NIV).

And in the very next verse we read the first reference to physical gender:

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.  

Then four verses later:

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

And did that image become a shameful thing with original sin?  Did God suddenly agree with Satan’s opinion?  Really?  Many of us are ignorant of God’s purpose for creating humanity.  When He said, “Let us make mankind in our image,” we are what He came up with!  And He pronounced us “very good.”  We’re also ignorant of why Satan hates the sacred image we embody.  Satan doesn’t want us to bear God’s image; he wants us to bear his!

The late Pope John Paul II, in his landmark Theology of the Body, helps us understand: 

The body, in fact, and only the body, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine.  It has been created to transfer into the visible reality of the world the mystery hidden from eternity in God, and thus to be a sign of it.

My friend, Evan, has noted, “Since the day of the first sin in the garden, Satan has been about destroying the image of God seen in the human body.”

To quote Pope John Paul II again, in his 1981 book, Love and Responsibility, He writes, “Nakedness itself is not immodest.” He goes on to explain that immodesty presents itself only when nakedness serves to sexually arouse.  Yet, Western culture has so sexualized the body that we’ve come to equate any nudity with a sexual event or situation.  It isn’t the nude body that’s indecent; it’s the thoughts we’ve been conditioned to think when we see it.

I think we have been unfair to our Christian naturist friends.  Since labeling seems to be an ingrained necessity, what if instead of labeling them nudists or naturists, we call them IMAGERS.   Imagers are people who recognize that we are made in the image of God and see others that way with respect and honor.  With renewed minds (Romans 12:2), they have come to see our nude bodies as God sees them: beautiful creations that merit respect, not derision, deserving to be held in honor, not contempt—the very image of God, not an avenue of temptation or the inevitable object of lust. Imagers see the whole person, refusing to separate the body from the soul that owns it for the purpose of objectifying certain body parts. Imagers reject the cultural conditioning that tells us our bodies are ugly, shameful, and obscene, that they should never be seen by anyone.  Simply say, “They are imagers,” or, “I’m an imager.” Questions can then be answered without having to deal with preconceived notions that immediately arise with the other labels.  Some imagers will tell you how this new way of seeing people has freed them from porn addiction. Others will tell you how their renewed minds have freed them from body shame and self-loathing. Others will attest that the prudish view of the body taught by well-meaning parents—and the church—was what kept them in bondage. 

A renewed mind that sees others the way God does?  That can only be a good thing.  In that sense, perhaps we should all become imagers! 

G S Royal ©2023

Myths of the Naked Body

The following is a repost from a friend named Randy. Used with permission.

In the West, particularly in the United States, society has been convinced over time to accept several myths about naked bodies as truths. The acceptance of these myths as truth has lead to a myriad of issues, but those issues are another discussion. Most of these myths are derived from well meaning members of the Christian church over the last couple of centuries. Like the well meaning Pharisees of Jesus’ time who used man made rules to try to keep from breaking the commandments, many Christian use these myths the same way — as truths to try to keep themselves and others from sinning. Some of these myths are loosely based on scripture others are just based on speculation.

Myth One

Naked Bodies are Not Natural. This one is largely based on tradition. They reason and argue that clothing and covering the body is the way it has always been. Many go so far as to believe that clothing is what separates us from the animals and is the beginning of a “civilized” society. After all, you never hear of anyone in “civilized” society growing up naked. It only happens with “those savages,” “those naked savages.” Yet, after man was created, naked by the way, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31 NAS95). “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25 NAS95). God never changed his mind.

“If people were meant to be nude, they would have been born this way.” — Oscar Wilde

But that has not stopped the Church from pushing the second myth.

Myth Two

Naked Bodies were/are Commanded to be Hidden by God. Many people look at the passage in Genesis where God provides skins to Adam and Eve as proof that God wants clothed humans. In reality, Adam and Eve started it, not God. They are the ones who created clothing for themselves. They are the ones who invented clothing. “They sewed fig leaves together and they made themselves loin coverings”(Genesis 3:7 NAS95).

They sewed leaves together, who does that? In our current age hunters and snipers come to mind first. Why did they cover themselves? Were they hiding from other people? Who, since only they existed? From each other? From the animals? Maybe from the serpent? Or from God? Up until this point they had walked naked with God in the Garden. Now, Adam and Eve have made camouflage and are actively hiding from God. But, why? Why did they decide that they needed to hide from God? Again, these questions need more exploration, but now is not the time.

As the story progresses God asks the question, “Who told you that you were naked?” Reading between the lines we can expand the question, “Naked? I never said anything about you being naked. Who told you that you were naked?” In the book Uncovering the Image, Bob Horrocks points out that this question God did not, even as Adam and Eve had covered themselves, see their nakedness as a problem.

Yet, God does provide our first parents with skins of animals, surely that means we are to cover ourselves at all times. Paul Bowman postulates:

“It is reasonable to believe that if God had actually condemned nakedness he would have told Adam that, because he had sinned, he was no longer free to be naked and unashamed of his body, After all, God did decree several consequences of the sin they committed.” (Nakedness and the Bible)

Bowman goes on to point out that immediately following God giving them skins, he banishes them from Eden, and sets a guard so they cannot return. Why garments of animals skins outside the garden? We must look at one of the consequences of their sin:

“cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”” (Genesis 3:17–19 ESV)

It appears to me that this wasn’t and act to cover their sinful flesh but another of God’s acts of love toward his beloved creation, partial protection from the environment that was cursed because of them. There is also the belief in many circles that the animal skins were a foreshadowing of the shedding of Christs blood for our sins. Bowman also rightfully points out, If God had given Adam and Eve clothes intended to conceal their bodies — new and improved clothes at that — it would have been a ratification of their efforts to conceal their sin! It is unthinkable that God would ever reward sin, or even reward any efforts made to conceal the results of sinful behavior.”

Myth Three

Naked Bodies are Aways Sexual. Really? We are born naked, not sexual and Job says we return naked, not sexual. Bathing is typically done naked and is normally not sexual. Physical exams and surgery are at least partially if not totally naked, and definitely not sexual. Additionally, throughout the history of the world there have been many naked societies. If naked bodies were always sexual those societies would not have been able to exist because of twenty-four-hour-a-day sexual activities. Our western culture has driven and continues to drive the sexualization of the naked body. “Actually, the loin cloth on an otherwise naked body does call direct attention to the covered area, and it would therefore very likely create titillation by its removal in a sexual situation. On the other hand, observations of daily Life among naked tribes indicate the sight of genitalia in Nude society is not in itself erotic”, Aileen Goodson. “Complete nudity in itself is not erotic. It becomes so only when preceded by or contrasted to a state of dress. In this limited context then, all clothes become somewhat immoral, if we define immorality as inciting sexual interest. Habitual nakedness may indeed be capable of elevating man to a higher mental plane…” Dr. Marylnn J. Horn, “The Second Skin: An Interdisciplinary Study of Clothing”. Dr. Horn goes on to say, “It is the undressing, not the being nude, that is sexually arousing, because it leads the viewer to the association of a sexually intimate experience.”

Myth Four

Naked Bodies are Obscene or “Gross I don’t want to see that.” If humans are created in the image of God then this statement are a spit in the face of our creator. “How is it possible for the human body, which was created in the image of God, to be offensive to anybody? Satan would love to see God’s greatest creation be considered offensive”, (unfortunately, I have misplaced the reference for this quote). Our society is currently in a body image crisis. We see it in the way we treat our bodies from eating disorders to body modifications. Liz Egger laments, “As a naturist myself I find it astonishing that a religion can worship a particular deity yet regard its most miraculous creation – the human body – as obscene and wicked and so shameful that it should be hidden from view.” David Hatton rightly opines, “When people teach that the human body is dirty or obscene, it creates fertile ground for pornography. This is why porn addiction is so strong in our society, even among Christians. Our culture is inundated with a sexualized view of the body. I’m sorry to say that the church has been a key player in spreading that idea.” We need throw off the obscene view of our naked bodies and return to a healthy view of the naked human our form. We were created in the image of God, with penises, scrotums and a broader shoulders or with vulvas, vaginas wider hips and larger breasts. Beautifully made in our differences and similarities.

Myth Five

Naked Bodies Harm Children. Let’s be clear upfront. We are discussing NONSEXUAL nakedness. We have already pointed out that not all Nakedness is sexual.

There are not enough studies on the effects of exposing children to nonsexual nudity. Most of the child development experts, e.g. Dr. Spock, Dr. Brothers, and Dr. Dodson to name a few, have laid out the arguments against exposure to nakedness without any studies to back them up let alone justify their conjecture and opinions. Dennis C. Craig and Dr. William Sparks engaged in a five year study to explore how exposure to nudity affects children. Here are their own conclusions:

“The experts seem to agree that a child should not be overstimulated sexually. Since we consider that wise, we raise a few questions: Is it more detrimental to emotional growth to spend “all ones waking hours” attempting to see the hidden bodies of others than to be raised in a physically open family situation where nudity is taken for granted? Is it not possible that the child who casually learns about other people’s bodies has more time to spend on studies and other pursuits?”

“The experts warn about the terrible guilts and frustrations which will develop in a child exposed to nudity… We found normal childhood problems of adjustment, but we also found a group of adults seemingly satisfied with themselves, and very willing to raise their children as they were raised, with nakedness as part of their every day lives.”

“We were told that when children saw their parents nude , they would be overstimulated… But when we spoke to the adults who grew up in a nudist environment, we were told that it was more stimulating for them to goto a regular beach, where everyone wore suits, however small, than to play volleyball or sun at a nudist park where everyone wore nothing…”

“Without previous studies on which to base their conclusions, the experts told us that children, especially during the years from nine to thirteen, should not be allowed to see their parents nude because it would be harmful to them. It seems clear to us, now, after five years of study that this unfounded bias and conjecture has been very misleading. But, more than that, it has caused real harm to more than one generation of American children.”

“We live in a time when the human anatomy is examined, extolled, studied, and lectured about, and at the very same moment is also exploited, ridiculed, and excluded from social acceptance. We insult ourselves by calling our bodies obscene, pornographic, lewd, base, dirty, immoral, or evil, and in so doing deny the basic truth of our own existence. Our anatomy is us— and it is none of those terrible things.”

“There are some families who have learned what Margaret Mead and others were trying to tell us about the need for understanding our natures and not hating our physiology. These singular adults have created in their children individuals more resistant to the negativism of our modern society. They seem at ease with the rigors of living together in a society dependent, sours is, on our ability to relate to one another with love and understanding.”

“What we learned was that the viewing of the unclothed human body , far from being destructive to the psyche, seems to be either benign and totally harmless or to actually provide positive benefits to the individual involved.”

—Dennis Craig Smith and Dr. William Sparks, Growing Up Without Shame.

There are a few, very few, other studies out there that have taken on this issue and similarly concluded that nakedness harming children is in fact a myth and that exposure to real human bodies in a nonsexual setting can potentially be beneficial.

“The existence in so many places of the tendency toward nudity is not a testimony to the fallenness of man. It is rather a testimony of the original condition of man … The inner desire to be naked and unashamed is a longing to get back to our original perfection.” — Philo Thelos

Black’s Beach Hang Glider

How I went from a circumspect life to running around in my backyard in the nude.

This is a guest post, and a wonderful story from a new online friend, Chuck Douglas.

I believe our cultural and/or religious inculcation to avoid nudity or being seen nude, or seeing others nude, runs very deep for most people. Overcoming that, assuming one wishes to, isn’t quick or easy and even if we wish to, still isn’t easy. Most people are raised to believe that being nude is only about sex or bathing or maybe at the doctor’s office so social nudity runs against a lifetime of training for most of us. My parents were Mennonites-turned-Baptists and I was raised accordingly. Sex or nudity was a nearly forbidden topic and surely those people who were nudists could only be perverts. Because I was raised so strictly — movie theaters were places of sin and I never entered one until I was about age 17 — that I should develop a predilection for naturism seemed unlikely.

My interest in naturism did happen to begin in a rather unlikely way. Growing up under my parent’s strict rules I happily left home at 19 to embrace fun in whatever form would give me a rush. I had no taste for drugs and not much for booze, adrenaline was much better and legal.  About a month after leaving home I bought a motorcycle and went motocross racing and later became deeply involved in the new sport of hang gliding.  When I was young I’d give most things a go, dangerous or not.

Long about 1974 or ’75 I was at Torrey Pines State Park in San Diego to fly my hang glider. I was an early adopter of the sport of hang gliding and Torrey with its 400ft cliffs facing into the ocean breeze was a great place to fly. Below the cliffs was the well-known Black’s Beach, then an unofficial nude beach. I’d known since high school that there was a nude beach way down there below us but I had little thought to explore the possibilities.

A bit after taking flight from the top of Torrey Pines, the wind slacked, and my hang glider lost enough altitude that I couldn’t land back on top of the cliff. Black’s Beach here I come! Now, I still hadn’t really thought about the reality of landing on a nude beach, just the details of landing on a crowded beach.  As I cruised in for a landing a number of people moved aside for me.  I landed, put down my hang glider, and some guy stark naked walked up to me and said “Those things are far out! How much do they cost?!” I replied, “Doesn’t look like you can even afford a bathing suit let alone a hang glider!” He laughed and asked more questions. Then a very attractive young woman, totally nude >gulp<, walked over smiling and started asking questions about hang gliding.  Hang gliding was new back then so it always attracted some attention when you flew and the location of a nude beach was no exception. More naked people gathered around the glider talking and asking questions as I set about folding up my glider.  To say I was distracted by all the naked women around me would be an understatement. Up to that moment at age 23, I’d never seen another naked woman in person apart from my wife.  I was enough of a gentleman to try not to stare but it was tough not to grab more glances than I should.  But people were so polite, so friendly and a few suggested I shuck off my clothes and join their beach party. Perfect strangers invited me to their beach party! I grew up in California and no beach I’d ever been to was as friendly as that one. I noticed after a bit, too, that there was no “rocket in my pocket” as I might have expected. How can you be around so many naked people of the opposite sex and not be aroused? Had I been overwhelmed and struck impotent by a nude beach? It was puzzlement and my first inkling that nudism isn’t about sex.

Normally, packing up a hang glider back then was a 5-minute job but I took about 45 minutes that day do to the many distractions. The cliff path is a bit of a challenge anyway and I wasn’t anxious to start that trek. Carrying an 18ft long, 35lb hang glider doubled the effort.  Someone kindly offered me a cold soda.  More conversations and more trying not to stare.

I came away feeling that the nude beach scene was something special, something I’d like to try again.  I was a risk taker so to me it was one more risk, less dangerous than flying from a 400ft cliff. A couple of days later I went back to Black’s Beach sans hang glider and hiked the long, sketchy path down the cliff to the beach.  I found a reasonable spot on the sand not too close to anyone else and threw down a beach towel, took a gulp of air, and took off all my clothes. Suddenly everyone on the beach stopped what they were doing and looked at me laughing and pointing! Okay, no, no they didn’t. No one noticed one more naked person on the beach. Turns out there was nothing more amazing about my body than anyone else’s body, nor anything uglier or weirder. I was and am pleasantly average.

I knew, lacking sunscreen or shade, I couldn’t stay long on the beach. I hadn’t planned well.  I lay out there for about 40 minutes, going in the ocean once, fully afraid that I’d be grabbed by a shark or an orca and the news would be screaming “Conservative Christian Man Killed By Orca At NUDE Beach!” Everyone I knew, my wife, parents, friends, and pastors, would KNOW what I’d done! I’d been nude in public. I’d watched naked coeds from the university nearby play volleyball. Worse, total strangers had seen my willy! Horrors! No sharks or orcas grabbed me, though, so once I relaxed a bit more it felt wonderful to be in the water. Out of the water, I got dressed for the rather arduous trek back up the cliffs. I had much to think about the rest of the day and indeed, over the next 35 years or so.

I really wanted to get involved in visiting a nude beach again but the woman I was married to back then absolutely refused to consider it. Subject not open for discussion. I pushed naturism out of my mind for the next three decades or so aside from an occasional nighttime skinny dip in my own swimming pool. When I found myself single again in 2000 and living in Arizona, I decided to at least work on getting some tan on my white body, and shape up a bit to be presentable as a single person. I worked outdoors a lot so I had a nice “farmer suntan” with a brown face and arms and a pasty white body. I begin laying nude in the walled backyard of my new home getting a bit of an all-over tan.  I connected with a local naturist group but that never really went anywhere.Time moves on and recently the bug to be nude again struck me, in part because I’m now married to a lovely woman who is at least willing to be naked on our patio and in our backyard. We are talking about visiting a nude beach or resort on vacation next year and I’m very hopeful about that. I’ve been mostly nude around the house during the late summer and in the backyard, too. Our backyard is semi-private and on the days our next-door neighbors work, I’m more or less free to lay out nude or water plants around the yard. I may even mow the yard naked one of these days. It’s a long way, 47 years, since my unexpected airborne arrival at Black’s Beach and yet I feel like the fun part of the journey is just beginning and this time with my lovely wife’s support.

The Treasure Trove of Fig Leaf Forum

I’d like to devote a post to the treasure trove that is Fig Leaf Forum. Long time Christian naturists will be familiar with this resource. Newcomers need to become aware of it! I suggest everyone sign up for free access to the archives right now if you haven’t already.

From 1994 to 2014 Fig Leaf Forum published 700 newsletters that still hold relevance today. The archive, therefore, is a gold mine of information and encouragement for anyone exploring Christian naturism or nudism. Editor and publisher John Kundert has provided an invaluable resource for free to all who would simply write in to request access.

There is plenty to read on the site without signing up, but after signing up you have more to read than you’ll have time available. You can really dig through the weeds and get a lot of your questions answered.

One of my favorite of resources on the site (after signing up) is “Apologia.” It’s a robust 136 pages itself! In the introduction of this downloadable pdf are the following descriptive words:

What’s presented here is the result of many hours of prayerful reflection and careful research into the Bible. The questions and objections in this apologia are very typical of what most Christian critics think of nakedness and nudism. We should never run from hard questions, but instead should seek good answers. Challenging questions and objections like these provide us with opportunities to think through the reasons why nudism is important to us. This process gives us a chance to emphasize the realities and dismiss the falsehoods.

It’s hoped that this collection of questions, objections and responses will provide an introduction to the naturist idea and movement, and describe it from a Christian point of view. It’s also hoped that it will challenge the thinking of skeptic and enthusiast alike, perhaps showing both some new and different perspectives.

It’s truly a blessing to have this resource and the table of contents in which you can go directly to the question or objection you’d like to study. I should mention that the whole archive is keyword searchable! When you log in you can launch LISA to begin an exploration. LISA (Linked Searchable Archive) offers a better way to read and search Fig Leaf Forum’s vast newsletter back issue collection. 

I’d like to end with one of the samples of what you’ll find on the site reproduced here, since it’s public anyway. Go here to read on their site and perhaps even save a printable and foldable version of this tract. What follows is some of the text from this introductory piece…

“Who told you that you were naked?” That’s what God asked Adam in Genesis 3.11. If you’re a Bible-believing Christian who cares about the source of your beliefs, you would do well to ask yourself that very same question. Who told you what you currently believe about being naked?

Did you know that there are lots of Christians who are also social nudists? That might seem like a startling claim, but it’s true. Christian nudists number in the thousands and are located all over North America and in many other parts of the world. If you belong to a large church congregation in the United States or Canada, there’s a very good chance that you have nudists within it.

Just what is nudism, anyway? Nudism (also called naturism) is the practice of going without clothing in social settings (generally in mixed-gender groups of all ages) in the belief that doing so is beneficial. Governed by strict behavioral boundaries, a defining characteristic of genuine social nudism is that it’s purposefully chaste.

Why would a Christian want to be a nudist? Nudism offers numerous benefits to physical, mental and spiritual health. For starters, it simply feels good! Being unclothed when the weather is warm is very comfortable, and once you’ve gone swimming or been in a hot tub without a swimsuit, you’ll never want to wear one again! On a deeper level, social nudism offers a unique feeling of closeness and trust unavailable in usual settings. It helps participants overcome poor body image. It offers children and teens a way to avoid unnatural and often unhealthy curiosities about the body. It affirms and reinforces the fact that there’s nothing shameful about the way God made us. It offers a tangible way for believers to embrace God’s view of the human body. In fact, it gives us an opportunity to literally be God’s image bearers! Last but certainly not least, it offers common ground for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with unbelieving nudists willing to receive it.

The Bible actually mentions nakedness quite often. If you carefully study the passages that talk about physical nakedness and pay close attention to the context in which they’re found, you’ll discover that it’s never described as being inherently shameful or inherently sinful. After all, we were created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1.27), “naked” and “not ashamed” (Genesis 2.25). And God declared all this “very good” (Genesis 1.31). After Adam and Eve sinned, they made loincloths for themselves out of fig leaves (Genesis 3.7). That seems like an odd thing for a husband and wife to do, don’t you think? In Genesis 3.11 God asked, “Who told you that you were naked?” Question: According to the Bible, who else had talked to Adam or Eve in the Garden besides God? Answer: the serpent, also called the devil or Satan (Genesis 3.1, Revelation 12.9). Just as Satan had lied to Adam and Eve about what would happen if they ate the forbidden fruit, he also lied to them about the goodness of their God-given nakedness. Adam and Eve believed Satan when he told them to hide the way God had made them, and to fear their nakedness (Genesis 3.7,10). They should never have listened to Satan’s lies about their nakedness … and neither should we!

(Please visit Fig Leaf Forum to read the rest of this tract at figleafforum.com. I can’t recommend this site enough!)

The Freedom of Naturism

These are my highlights and thoughts on excerpts from this book on Kindle: “The Freedom of Naturism: A Guide for the How and Why of Adopting a Naturist Lifestyle” by Augustine Rae

(My own thoughts will be in italics.)

Location 31

Another word for “naturism” is “nudism,” which should be rather self-explanatory. Due to Judeo-Christian-Islamic influence, however, there are a lot of negative connotations associated with it. Despite the separation of church and state (at least in the West), religious sensibilities still play a very powerful influence over civil law, which is why you can be arrested for being naked in public. Even the irreligious, as well as those of an atheistic bent, have been conditioned to think of nudity as being something wrong. It is associated with vulnerability and shame at best, or with sexuality and arousal at worst.

This is what makes this innocent and even healing activity seem nefarious to so many. It is unfortunate that a state of mind (that comes from a state of undress) which has so many benefits is disregarded almost wholesale without a second thought. Those who are courageous enough to investigate the naked truth for themselves will likely reap the rewards their open minds have allowed them to see. Even those who ascribe to the Christian faith can not only reconcile the practice to their faith, but find it enhancing their relationship with their Creator God.

Location 39

Adam and Eve ate of the apple of knowledge in disobedience of god’s law. And what did they learn? The first thing they learned was the difference between good and evil. The second thing they learned was that they were naked. And thus was born the fashion industry.

While this book is not a Christian or theological book, I like that line that “thus was born the fashion industry.” That could seem like an over-simplistic and not the point of the passage sort of treatment of the text, but it’s not far from the truth. Clothes really were man’s idea (or the serpent’s influence), not God’s. See Genesis 3:11 and God’s “Who told you…” question.

Location 52

Naturism is antithetical to all of these [standards of dress]. It does not seek to conform to any societal definitions of modesty—quite the opposite, in fact. It believes that going about naked (sans penis gourds, sarongs, and waist strings) whenever possible, is the ideal condition because it’s natural, hence its name. It also feels incredibly good!

Modesty is a much bigger issue than what is worn by a person. Search this blog for the keyword “modesty” and discover what real modesty is. And yes, modest nudity does feel incredibly good!

Location 125

Think about it. Clothes define people’s religious, cultural, and ethnic identities. Examples of this include the headscarves worn by some Muslim women, the turbans worn by Sikh men, or the Stetson hats worn by some in the American south. Clothes also reflect socio-economic status, separating the haves from the have-nots; think of Giorgio Armani versus cheap Chinese fake knock-offs. In the work force, they are sometimes used to denote hierarchy—especially the differences between blue collar and white collar workers, or between supervisors and underlings.

All this make me wonder— Jesus cursed the fig tree. The fig tree! We’ve been trying to use fig leaves since the beginning for problems that they cannot ever resolve. Why was it a fig tree that he cursed? Hmm…

Location 132

Naturists also believe that nudity is the default human condition. They argue that clothes are a manmade invention and that our ancestors managed without them long before the discovery of fur, leather, and fabric. They also cite the health benefits of the sun (in moderation and with protective creams) and of exposure to the elements.

I suffer from some undiagnosed skin sensitivity conditions that dissipate when I’m fully nude for extended periods of time. I have linked these closely to my having to wear clothes and the sun focusing on exposed areas like my face when all else is covered. I’ve also noticed that I can be fully nude on a sunny cold day (46 degrees the first day we visited a naturist park), and we were fine, as the body acclimated and the sun could hit us all over. We would’ve been cold with clothes on, but were just fine without them. This is to say nothing of the therapeutic and psychological benefits of naturism as a natural antidepressant and stress reliever.

Location 135

From an ecological perspective, clothes generate an industry of waste. What’s hip today won’t be so tomorrow, forcing people to buy new fashions in order to remain proper and up-to-date. One must also consider the expense involved in cleaning, as well as the amount of chemicals and water used.

Going by what is deemed popular at any given time is not usually the smartest approach to anything. It’s taken me some time (and age) to come to this realization!

Common Misconceptions about Naturism:

Location 227

1) Nudist and naturist venues are places where people have sex

Most such places have strict policies in place which put a ban on public sex, photography, and outright exhibitionism—especially since many are open to families complete with grandparents and children. Outright voyeurism is therefore prohibited in many places, such as the banning of cameras. Violators are often expelled, blacklisted, and prosecuted.

Friends and family who we’ve told about us often wonder how such a practice could be family-friendly. Well, it is. You have to see it to believe it. And the judgments we often have are in our own minds and not based in reality. You have to have the right frame of mind, and unlink nudity to sex in your thinking.

Location 235

2) Nudist and naturist venues are sexually stimulating places

Virtually everyone who’s gone to such a venue finds the truth to be disappointingly otherwise. When everyone around you: men, women, children, the young and the old, are naked, sex is often the last thing to come to mind. Within a day or two, most forget that they and everyone else around them are nude. It’s called conditioning, as well as social acclimatization. Wearing a Frankenstein outfit may make you stand out at any other time of the year, but when Halloween comes around, chances are that you’ll blend right in with everyone else. In a strictly nudist setting, it’s the clothed person who stands out and gets stared at.

I’ve heard Stephane Deschenes say something to the effect of “Many come in for the wrong reasons, but they stay for the right ones.” That was certainly the case for me!

Location 244

Sexual arousal as a result of visual cues is a cultural construct, the product of social conditioning.

Wow! So true. It’s every guy’s reservation about even the thought of being around so many naked people, but it’s not an issue. Since embracing naturism and the truth of arousal being relational and not visual (as even the most popular Christian books promote this lie), I’ve easily ensured that only my wife is capable of making me aroused sexually. Naturism hasn’t negatively affected our love life in any way. Quite the opposite is true. Now we are drawn only to each other in sexual ways. Temptation for anyone else is gone. We base our love not on the exterior, but on our relationship (see www.mychainsaregone.org). I can’t claim this for every naturist, but Christian naturists see this dynamic very clearly.

 Location 251

Many find that it’s clothing that’s sexually stimulating, or at least, various states of undress. When nothing is left to the imagination, however, the fire surprisingly tends to die out.

There is clearly a disconnect in thinking that if certain body parts are covered, then it’s less “sexy” than if all was exposed. This comes from a pornographic mind and what’s needed is a renewed mind. Clothing and attitudes entice. A modest nude does not.

Location 260

Naturist venues are open to everyone: men and women, young and old, the beautiful and the otherwise. Even those who want to go to these places often stay away because they feel insecure about their bodies. These insecurities are exactly what naturism seeks to address, among others. It teaches that textilists are inherently judgmental and shallow because of clothing. Clothing is an artificial construct, subject to fashion, culture, religion, and even politics. As such, people are taught to judge others by how they look and by how well they try to fit in or not.

One of the many things I love about ethical naturism and core beliefs behind it.

Location 286

Since a number of these venues are family-oriented, many believe that children become sexualized at a young age. Registered nudist and naturist venues for families have strict rules that only allow children in if they are accompanied by their families.

It’s a misconception to say naturists are immoral people. They can be. So can non-naturists. The other common argument is against pedophilia. Naturists would agree pedophilia is terrible! That’s why background checks are done and everyone is protective of the little ones. Remember, a pedophile is often hiding and not out in the open exposing themselves. Clothing hasn’t stopped immoral people from their crimes in the outside world. The sad truth is that in many ways, kids are safer in family-friendly naturist venues than they are outside of them.

Location 291

Children and Nudity This is perhaps the biggest problem textilists have with naturists. With all the pedophilic scandals out there, many believe that children who grow up in naturist communities or with naturist parents become sexualized at a young age. Some have even argued that children who grow up in such a setting are victims and that their parents’ rights over them should therefore be terminated. Such accusations have prompted official studies into the matter, both here in America, as well as in Europe. There are a number of these studies available, so feel free to look them up on your own. The studies found that there is no correlation between pedophilia and nudity in the home. In fact, the sexualization of children is higher in more conservative, textilist families than in nudist or naturist ones.

Location 302

Studies of cultures where social nudity is the norm, or where social nudity is considered acceptable in certain situations, reinforces such claims.

Location 314

it is not group nudity that causes pedophilia or the sexualization of minors. Most victims of sexual abuse grow up in textilist homes, after all.

Location 319

Textilists who accuse naturists of pedophilia are not only hypocrites, they also reveal their own insecurities and repressed fantasies.

Naturist Ideals

Location 326

1) Nudity is natural. Nudity is the default human condition. Being naked, especially when outside, allows people to develop a greater rapport with nature. It also reawakens the human body to sensations that have become dulled through years of being covered up, making people more in tune to their body’s wisdom.

I’d say there’s even a spiritual component to the spiritually minded. I don’t worship creation, but being as created in creation does connect me closer to my Creator. I can’t explain it, but it’s a powerful experience.

Location 332

2) Nudity is healthy. Many naturists claim that being naked, especially in nature, has healing benefits, and that it can strengthen the human body against disease.

Location 336

Increased exposure to sunlight (in moderation) also increases the intake of Vitamin D which combats osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.

Location 343

…clothing provides fertile breeding grounds for fungi and bacteria, which can result in body odor, yeast infections, athlete’s foot, and even urinary tract infections.

I had a reaction under my arms recently from my shirts. I spent a week at a naturist park, and no issues at all. The day we left and I had to put clothes on again, I had discomfort in the same spot!

Location 347

Tight belts, ties, and girdles can impede breathing. For men, tight pants increase testicular temperature, which lowers sperm count and reduces fertility. Surely there’s no need to get into the problems caused by tight shoes and high heels? On the topic of footwear, have you visited a pediatrician, lately? They’re now recommending going barefoot. It’s been found that going barefoot stimulates your brain into growing extra neural connections, which can prevent Alzheimer’s, boost memory, and improve cognitive ability.

It’s no wonder the clothes tend to come off at the first opportunity after a long day!

Location 354

3) Nudity promotes sanity. Many social nudists claim that they have less hang ups about their bodies and are more accepting of their physical shortcomings. They also believe that their lifestyle encourages a sincere respect for the opposite gender, while others claim that it reduces porn addiction.

This is so true. In the case of porn and respect for others, the renewing of the mind through a robust understanding of Imago Dei (image of God) with naturism as a catalyst has not only reduced by porn temptation, it’s eradicated it completely. Nudity does also promote sanity. I tend to get stressed more if I have extended periods of time without being able to be naked in nature as God intended from the beginning.

Location 360

4) Nudity promotes equality. This was discussed earlier. Without clothes, people have little else by which to connote social and economic status. Also, it becomes harder to denote religious, cultural, and political affiliations. As to one’s racial background, naturists argue that skin color and body hair aside, people tend to be pretty similar from the neck down.

In a naturist setting, you remember people physically by their hats or sunglasses or tattoos. You also get to the know the real them, and that’s more memorable in the long run.

Location 366

5) Nudity encourages honesty. Naturists believe that clothing promotes dishonesty and encourages hypocrisy. They insist that one of the reasons people become superficial is because they can hide behind clothes which can be tailored to make them seem other than what they are.

That’s exactly what I was just thinking and saying. We should all just ditch the fig leaves and stop hiding!


This book is an easy, short read, and a great guide to freedom through naturism. Purchase your own copy here.

Don’t Try Naturism!

If you love how Hollywood and Madison Avenue dictate what the standard of beauty should be for everyone, don’t try naturism. Naturism intends to see beauty in everyone and in every body, regardless of whether or not they look like something out of a fashion magazine!

If you love fake and airbrushed images of people that are virtually impossible to replicate without the aid of technology and software, don’t try naturism. Naturists know that the standards of beauty that are upheld by society are a fantasy. They actually prefer and celebrate real bodies as they are. So if you love Photoshop manipulation of images, don’t try naturism!

If you love looking at your own reflection in the mirror and scowling and feeling down on yourself, don’t try naturism. The practice of naturism may lead to body acceptance, and could result in you actually loving yourself— not just the body that is keeping you alive, but also the person you are under your skin. So if you love to hate your body, don’t try naturism!

If you love getting embarrassed over any talk or mention of basic human anatomy, don’t try naturism. The frank and matter of fact way they talk about body parts is too mature for most audiences (not sexual, mind you, but not immature). So, if you love being immature, don’t try naturism!

If you love bouncing your eyes every time they determine there might possibly be an attractive person in your peripheral view, don’t try naturism. Christian naturists have reported that issues with chronic lust and porn compulsion tend to vanish completely after embracing naturism. And instead of being hyper-vigilant at all times for the ever present threat of visual stimuli, they’ve learned to change their mind and heart about how they see others as being made in the image of God and worthy of respect and dignity. So if you would rather live constantly on guard for such things in constant fear, don’t try naturism!

If you love having tan lines, don’t try naturism. They have all over tans and got them the natural way (no spray tan or tanning beds). Keep those tan lines and don’t try naturism!

If you love being in bondage in your own skin, don’t try naturism. You may not feel like you’re in bondage, and that’s the bondage working! If you were to try naturism, you might be overcome with a feeling of freedom and liberation you never even thought you needed, but can’t believe you never had before. Stay in bondage to your own body shame and don’t try naturism.

If love wearing bras and even do so when you are at home by yourself, don’t try naturism. Naturists prefer the natural state to those unnatural and painful inventions. They also are less likely to develop breast cancer, as a result (Search for “Dressed to Kill”).

If you love packing suitcase after suitcase of clothes for your vacation, don’t try naturism! Naturists prefect taking “nakations” where they basically only have to pack towels. Becoming a naturist will ruin you to any other type of vacation. Just don’t try it!

If you love being superficial, phony, or even fake around people and enjoy others hiding who they really are, don’t try naturism! Naturists tend to be open about who they truly are, not hiding anything physically or other. Their conversations and relationships go deeper and connect on a level that is quite uncommon. Avoid this level of human (non-sexual) intimacy. Don’t try naturism.

If you love spending lots of time and money on clothes and laundering them, don’t try naturism. Everyone loves doing loads and loads of laundry. Naturists don’t have to do as much or worry about what to wear. Safe yourself the terror of becoming hassle-free. Don’t try naturism.

If you love the constrictive feeling of clothing and the feeling of wet, clingy swimming costumes, don’t try naturism. When what we’ve come to know as the swimsuit was invented in the 18th century, the way everyone one else swam for centuries prior (naked – skinny dipping) was finally done away with! That is, except for naturists who keep up that dreaded tradition. They even call such innovations nasty names like “shame suits.” Keep the damp sogginess for yourself, and don’t try naturism!

If you love tan lines, limiting your production of vitamin D, and smothering the largest organ on your body, don’t try naturism. You could instead order vitamin D pills by the bottle and avoid what naturist have wrongly claimed to be a “wonderful sensation of an air bath on the skin” simply by not trying naturism, ever. The body can breathe just fine through layers and layers of clothing!

If you love having mental health issues, don’t try naturism. It’s been touted as a natural anti-depressant and many have claimed it’s helped bring healing to everything from anxiety to PTSD and so much more. But we have drugs for all those things, so don’t even worry about trying naturism.

If you love sleeping in your clothes despite studies proving it is unhealthy, don’t try naturism. Otherwise what would happen to the pajama industry. Or pajama parties? Naturists say sleeping naked is great and comfortable. But at this point why would you believe anything they say? Don’t try naturism.

AFE News

Here’s a quick note to update you on what’s going on at Aching For Eden (AFE).

We’ve surpassed two years, now, of having one post a week since we began this blog. Thank you for reading! It’s because of you that we keep this going. Thanks also to those of you who have contributed to the blog by writing occasional guest posts. This helps us keep fresh content week after week. Keep it coming!

Aching for Eden is and always will be free, of course. If you’d like to give in a monetary way, check out the new swag page. There are currently three t-shirt designs where you can look great (if you have to wear something) and we get a small kick back and any tips. It’s not necessary, but it’s there if you are so inclined.

We’ve added some new memes to the memes page, as well as some new resources in the newly reworked resource page. Perhaps you’ve never looked at those pages. Now’s a great time to check it out!

ISO a digital artist. If anyone knows of a digital artist who is a believer, who would have a heart to volunteer his/her skills to a special project, have them contact us through the contact us page. Thanks!

AFE was ranked by Feedspot as #14 out of the top 35 naturist blogs of the year. They rank sites based on traffic, social media, and freshness. This came as a surprise to us. We happen to be the only Christian site on the list!

AFE has been cited repeatedly in the book, “A Whole Nude World” by Michael Douglas. The website is also mentioned in a short story by our friend, D.H. Jonathan in a book (Holiday in the Nudist Colony). The story is a sequel to his novel “Life Models” which you can buy on Amazon here.

Progress on our book has stalled a bit, but it’s Phil’s intention to try to work more on it in the rest of the year. We’re hoping for a release sometime next year. Stay tuned, and subscribe (at the bottom of the home page) so you don’t miss any great new content!

Lastly, Phil was featured recently  in a CNF (Christian Naturist Fellowship) newsletter. You can read his short column in the image below:

Surface Level Understanding

Can you imagine learning to fly an airplane by only reading manuals? Having read about how to safely and effectively lift the plane into the sky and maneuver it in the air and land again, would you be so confident as to try to fly alone? Book learning cannot be the sole piece of pilot training required to successfully take to the air. There must be a practical and hands on approach to learning with one who is an instructor or at least already a pilot in order to have the best results and avoid a crash, serious injury, or death. This is true of most learning: to drive a car, to play guitar, to lift weights. You would not rely on having book smarts alone for any of these disciplines. What is needed are hours of practice, reps, building muscle memory, conditioning body and mind for the task you are learning or training to do. Otherwise you are left with only a surface level understanding. One must consciously and intentionally move from the theoretical to the experiential to enjoy the rewards of whatever is being learned.

I believe the same is true with the belief and practice of naturism. I say this because I know of many who are currently in the place of being interested in and not opposed to the idea of it, but have yet to actually try non-sexual nudity in a naturist park or nude beach. I know this because that was me for a time as well. I suppose some people jump in the deep end (literally and metaphorically) on a whim or impulse and have an immediate “baptism” or adoption of a new way of life in one instance. For others, as it was with me, it starts with curiosity, research, and a time of pondering before an attempt is made of trying the theory out in real life. There are moments of “dipping your toes in the water,” staying nude after showering and doing regular things nude around the home. There are sometimes opportunities to trek outdoors nude by yourself when plenty of privacy is afforded. For me, I joined a community of naturists online before I had been socially nude in a shared physical space. 

Then came the moment for the proverbial “ripping off of the bandaid.” Sink or swim. After I had learned all about the practice and encouraged my wife to learn with me, we had a moment where we conducted a grand experiment. We were going to go beyond the theoretical and move swiftly into the practical and experiential. Our “diving into the deep end” would take place in Florida with 5 other Christian naturist couples in one clothes-free airbnb for a whole week. We would see if all we had been learning was true or not.

It was and it did not disappoint! Transformative is an understatement. Watching YouTube videos, reading articles, interacting with naturists online, reading books, even studying the Bible and praying all led to this moment of taking our clothes off and interacting with others as we really are without anything to hide behind. The head knowledge gained during that time had to be transferred to our heart and to the rest of our body. Superficial knowledge alone was not sufficient to convince us of life change, but the real life application did the trick, and immediately! There is no going back now.

The whole point of this article is that “believing in” is not enough. There has to be a doing. Also, learning the history, the benefits, and the therapeutic effect that naturism can bring a person is not near as convincing as is trying it out for yourself. Neither I nor anyone can convince anyone just by singing the praises of naturism with words and stories. Having your own experience is the only way to fully know and understand what we try to communicate. You want a full understanding and not one that is only surface level.

Surely, some who try may find that it’s not for them. My take on that is that there is some shame or religious indoctrination or something else to work through in those cases. The very activity of naturism could be the cure they need, but they need to commit fully. One author suggests two visits will solidify the positive effects of naturism. If your first experience is awkward or too nerve racking, he suggests to give it a try a second time, and then decide if it’s for you or not. For most earnest seekers of truth, I believe the first experience will be life changing.

I’ve often said that the only down side to naturism is that it ruins most textile activities or vacations. A “nakation” where you can go clothes-free for an extended period of time is amazing. It keeps you ready for the next time, which usually can’t come soon enough. When you see your friends and family enjoying clothes-obsessive activities during their recreation time, you can’t help but think to yourself, “You’re doing it wrong!” They aren’t. They are just doing what everyone does. I just know of a more satisfying and relaxing way for me to rest and play.