Nudity, Nudism and our Society – Part 1

by Mel Kanner

This is the first in a series of articles examining the changes that I have observed to the practice of nudism over the years and our society’s view of nudity.

My first introduction to nudism was in the mid 50′s as a teenager, when I saw a nudist magazine on a newsstand, which I bought and hid from my parents. There were lots of pictures, all with the genitals air brushed away. There were many articles showing nude people doing mundane things, like playing volleyball, sitting around a picnic table, swimming. There were also many articles on the “philosophy” of nudism.

After a while I got tired of looking at the pictures. So now I knew 
what women looked like without their clothes on (sort of, there were still those air brushed parts.) I turned to the articles. They portrayed nudism as a better way to live: healthier, fewer social problems, fewer esteem problems, etc. Very convincing and I vowed to try it as soon as I could. When I reached the magic age of 21 I wrote to the nudist camps in my area. I have now been a nudist for over 50 years.

Over the years there have been many changes:

  1. More nudist venues — not just “camps”, with 40 or 50 members, located in out of the way, out of view, plots of land, but, major resorts with pools, hot tubs, stores, restaurants, bars, rental units, tennis courts, etc. — country clubs where one can be nude.
  2. More acceptance by the general public. AANR has done an exceptional job with its PR campaign to educate the public about nudism. It is now almost old news for the media, the tee-hee factor is almost gone.

Those are positive changes, but there are also some disturbing, regressive changes that concern me.

The first is a change in attitude by the public (primarily in the US) about nudity and children.

(to be continued)