Sunday, August 28, 2016
Naturist or Nudist? Part I
Naturist? Nudist? What's the difference? I'm often asked. As far as I'm concerned, there is no major difference between the two and I suppose it is individual preference over which label (name/term) to use. When posting on Guys Without Boxers: Bare With Pride, most of the time I employ the two interchangeably in an effort to be as inclusive as possible. After all, we naturists/nudists are discriminated against enough as it is without me being offensive on a nudecentric site.
However, I am by no means an authority on naturism or nudism, I'm merely a practitioner on living bare or clothes-free, socially. I imagine that there are purists who choose to self-identify as one or the other for a reason. In an effort to be as respectful as possible, I hope this posting here helps to clarify and to distinguish the differences between the two and to raise awareness of the diversity of all of those who appreciate, embrace and support the philosophy of living bare (without clothing).
Wikipedia defines naturism as a way of life in harmony with nature characterized by the practice of communal nudity with the intention of encouraging self-respect, respect for others and the environment. Nudism is defined as the belief or practice of going nude (without clothing or covering) especially in secluded, sexually mixed groups for reasons of health.
At face value, apparently, very similar definitions with almost identical outcomes: the freedom to live without the burden of having to wear clothing. But once you consider the descriptions independently of one another, it is soon obvious that there are some discrepancies and what initially appeared to be minor variances aren't quite as simple as the original thought.
By definition, nudism is a belief and/or practice. Naturism is a way of life. True, both results are the same, body freedom and clothes-freedom, but the essential elements differ. The nudist, through nudism, is the act of living nude, naked or without clothing. The naturist, through naturism, is a philosophical lifestyle. Both are conscious choices based on comfort (living bare) but for a variety of reasons. A nudist may be naked because he/she feels more relaxed without clothes. A naturist may be naked because he/she feels closer to nature and the natural world without clothes.
For example, whereas a naturist subscribes to the philosophy of living in harmony with our natural world and being a practitioner of environmentally-conscious efforts the same is not true for nudists. A nudist may or may not practice environmental conservation. He/she could litter profusely and may be completely ambivalent regarding "green" concerns or issues. Both may embrace the idea of living clothes-free but for differing reasons.
More than likely, a naturist is idealogically inclined to be of a similar mindset and worldview with other naturists more so than their nudist counterpart. Naturists are more culturally in-tune with each other than nudists. As a group, nudists are more diverse and aside from their preference of living clothes-free may not share any other common denominator.
Naturists are more inclined to a sense of community than are nudists. Both groups recognize their affinity with each other through their preference for nudity instead of clothing. However, beyond that unique bond, the unity dissolves. Naturists, because of their shared lifestyle and philosophy towards the environment are connected to one another in other ways. Nudists, on the other hand, are connected to each other through a bond of nudity and often little else. There is a lack of kindred spirit or camaraderie beyond the desire to be naked.
Nudists are more prone to homophobia than naturists. Naturists, as a group, have more of a live-and-let-live worldview and are usually more tolerant of others. Nudists, on the other hand, are a broader community and more diverse than naturists. They generally range in the socio-political spectrum from one extreme to the other and include more of a xenophobic outlook. Extremists from either persuasion tend to favor the nudist camp as opposed to the naturist community. Of course, not all nudists are homophobic just as not all naturists are inclusive.
Continued with Naturist or Nudist, Part II on Sunday, September 4, 2016.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Bare With Pride