Friday, May 04, 2018

Off to the Garden of Eden

Photo Courtesy of JayManCan aka JayManGrow (Wikimedia Commons)

Adam and Eve were the original world naked gardeners, so why not follow their example?
In large parts of the world, spring is about to erupt. Even Britain is predicting 27 degrees this weekend, Taiwan is heading across the 30 degrees, and countries which are leaving summer behind hopefully still enjoy an autumn balmy enough for some nude sprucing.
The eternal problem of course is what kind of garden people have. I myself don't have a garden worth that name. Living high up in a building, there are plants on the floors of the balconies. I might venture out there in my natural state, but it won't take long before either the neighbors or the police who are regulating traffic several floors lower might get an eyeful of what I'm up to.
I  used to live in the countryside, which was much more friendly to naked gardening, at least from the size and vision angles. The garden was huge, and a considerable part of it was lined by walls of 2 meters and higher, not allowing any neighbors or passersby to see what was going on inside.
That of course is the ideal place to spend the first Saturday of each May, World Naked Gardening Day. You don't have to worry about any non-naturist or sensitive neighbors or passersby, you just do your thing, and not just on May 5 this year, but every warm day.
I'll probably never again own a patch of garden where I can enjoy truly 100 percent naked gardening, though I've always dreamed of living in a totally naturist community, where I never have to wear any clothes any day, except when it's too cold, but then, I would pick a spot in a warmer climate anyway.
To all those lucky enough or brave enough to spend a true World Naked Gardening Day, my best wishes. If you're not gardening and happen to be in Paris, with tickets already booked, this Saturday also marks the naked tour of the Palais de Tokyo Museum.


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Thursday, May 03, 2018

Everybody Can Be Botticelli's Venus

Photo from Emily Ratajkowski's Instagram account @emrata

I've said it many times before on this blog, especially around the time I announce my Celebrity Naturist of the Year. Just because a famous person likes posing nude or issuing nude pictures to the world, does not mean they are naturists.
For most celebrities, we just don't know whether their preference for nudity only exists in front of the camera or extends into their daily lives. As celebrities, they are unlikely to appear at nude beaches with Jack and Jill Naturist, but will prefer a more private environment, at a villa or on a yacht near an isolated beach.
Emily Ratajkowski is a case in point. She became famous for wandering topless in the Blurred Lines pop video, condemned by many  as an example of pure sexism. Since then, she has been frequently posting topless or 'near-naked' pictures of herself on her Instagram, ensuring they get picked up by the world media.
Is she a true naturist? Difficult to tell. Eva Mendes, Heidi Klum and Rosario Dawson - to name but a few of my past Celebrity Naturists of the Year - are known to hang around naked in their homes or on the beach. If you look at the past Instagram offerings by @emrata, you must come to the conclusion, that at least when she's at home or at a villa with pool, Emily Ratajkowski enjoys it too.
Of course, there is the issue of looks and fame. The all-too-frequent reaction to nudity is that it's allright if the person in case is good to look at, but if they somehow don't conform to general ideals of beauty, they should remain dressed.
This is where naturism comes in. At a naturist resort, on a nude beach, it doesn't matter whether you look like Emily Ratajkowski or not. Everyone is free to enjoy the sunshine and the water on his or her skin, and doesn't have to worry about what other people will think. Not only social class distinctions disappear with the clothes, but notions of beauty as well.
In the naturist world, everybody can become Botticelli's Venus, just like Emily Ratajkowski.
Maybe that's an idea for a new photo album, people of varying body types posing for The Birth of Venus. Anyway, whether she's a naturist or not, I personally feel Emily Ratajkowski - and other nude-friendly celebrities like her - are promoting the idea that nudity is OK, nudity is relaxation and nature.
Kim Kardashian also went 'one step further' with her most recent nude post, according to the media: http://www.tmz.com/2018/04/24/kim-kardashian-almost-shows-off-vagina-nude-photo/


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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2017: Kate Moss

British supermodel Kate Moss is the Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2017.
Before I hear you shouting 'what?,' let me explain again that the  Celebrity Naturist might not be a true naturist who hangs out at the campsite each month or who regularly holidays at one of the well-known naturist resorts or nude beaches, but someone who is famous and who has - willingly or not - contributed to the wider acceptance of nudity.
Of course, your first reaction might be that Kate Moss is too sexual, too commercial and too unlike other 'real' persons to be considered for this honor.
Yet, despite all her ads for fashion, her sexiness and sometimes provocativeness, the negative aspects of her lifestyle, one still can't help but feel that Kate Moss sees nudity as something natural and free, and not just as a pose to get in to help sell some clothes, perfumes or magazines.
Yes, she is beautiful and shaped unlike 99 percent of other people, but does that mean that she thinks other people can't go nude?
Her relaxed attitude to nudity, and the frequent holiday shots of her topless or less, show that she is more than just a model.
Like Australia's Elle MacPherson, Kate Moss makes you feel she sees nudity as a normal aspect of life, of humanity.
If because of her, one woman anywhere else feels that yes, she too can do things without clothes, whether sunbathing, swimming, sitting at home naked, wandering around the house or garden naked, then Kate Moss deserves her title of Celebrity Naturist of the Year 2017.
As we are looking toward 2018, one would only hope that more celebrities are brave enough to come out and say they are naturists, just like over the past few years many have 'outed' themselves as gay.
(Photo above by Rankin.)



Thursday, December 28, 2017

Real Naturists of the Year 2017: Naked Wanderings

 Belgian couple Nick and Lins of Naked Wanderings are our Real Naturists of the Year 2017.

They discovered naturism and decided to travel around the world and visit naturist resorts, hotels and beaches along the way.
It might not sound original to people who have been naturists for, say, 30 years, and have spent every annual holiday naked at resorts or campings in Spain, France, Croatia or Florida, but it's the enthusiasm that counts.
Nick and Lins went from not knowing anything about naturism to raving enthusiasts, so much so they don't want to have any other holidays but naturist ones and they are willing to travel the world to find out different naturist and cultural experiences.
It feels like what I would have wanted to do. I've been around at least part of the world and had naturist experiences on three continents, but at a much slower rate, spread over several decades.
It all began for me in what was then Yugoslavia, at Koversada in present-day Croatia, and over the years I practiced naturism, mostly on nude beaches, in places like Santa Barbara, California, the Swedish island of Oland, Biograd na Moru again in Croatia/Yugoslavia, Greece, Groede in the Netherlands, Valalta near Rovinj in Croatia, Bredene in Belgium, and Pattaya, Thailand.
The world has grown much smaller since and the naturist part of it much larger, with naturist beaches or resorts now available from Peru and Brazil to South Africa, New Zealand and Thailand.
We wish Nick and Lins the best on their travels, and as any traveling couple should have, they place their reports and opinions on a blog - www.nakedwanderings.com - and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Do Celebrities Hurt or Help?


British supermodel Kate Moss has recorded a promotional video for fashion house Saint Laurent. The unanimous focus in media reports was on her appearing topless in the ads, which, first of all, for Kate Moss, is nothing out of the ordinary, and secondly, for any European woman on the beach, is not that far out of the ordinary either.
So do celebrities appearing topless or naked, either on the beach themselves, or in ads and on posters, help or hurt the cause of non-sexual social nudity?
The ads of course are never related to naturism, since they are only topless and mostly not related to typical naturist activities such as swimming, sunbathing or beach sports. They also only feature 'beautiful' people, models with the body sizes, dimensions and looks unlikely to come in for criticism. Too many comments on naturism go in the direction of body shaming, such as saying people who are not models should not go naked in the first place.
There is also the sexual dimension, which in ads for fashion will always be there.
As long as the ads are not overtly sexual in nature, I believe that ones like the Kate Moss photos above do help in making social nudity more acceptable.
That's why each year, by the end of December, I  come up with a 'Celebrity Naturist of the Year' award as well as a 'Real Naturist of the Year' winner. It's difficult to tell whether those celebrities are true naturists, some of them are, some of them aren't, but I still believe they play a role in promoting social nudity in a world where false modesty is making a return.
For the full Kate Moss/Saint Laurent video, visit Harper's Bazaar at http://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/fashion/fashion-news/a13985773/kate-moss-in-new-sixties-inspired-saint-laurent-video/
Photos courtesy of Saint Laurent, as published in The Sun and The Daily Mail UK.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Naturist dining, the French way

(Photo courtesy of tweeter anpnaturiste75 as shown at Taiwan's Apple Daily website)

Eating in the nude  might still sound strange or even dangerous - due to the risk of hot substances like soup and coffee spilling - but is making inroads into the culinary scene.
Of course, any naturist has eaten naked before - at home or at naturist resorts. When I visited a Croatian resort about a decade ago, my biggest surprise was that you could actually not be naked in their restaurant, but luckily they had a beach bar and a pool bar where that was not a problem, and it shouldn't be anywhere.
The new trend is that nude or naturist dining is expanding outside the relative isolation of the naturist resort into the "mainstream" - unfortunately still textile - world. After an experiment with the Bunyadi in London earlier this year, we now have a full-time naturist restaurant - the O'Naturel in Paris.
The media reports, which you will find easily if you search online, all mention the somewhat temporary appearance of a naturist park near Paris, a phenomenon which has been more than temporary in nearby Germany.
O'Naturel works only with reservations, is only open for dinner from 7:30 to 11 each evening, and closes on Sundays and Mondays.
Due to the nature of our society, the privacy of the customers has to be guaranteed by heavy curtains outside, while inside there are seats for 40 guests.
As a naturist myself, I am more concerned about the quality and pricing of the food. According to media reports, prices for a dish start at 32 euro.
Every attempt to bring more acceptance for naturism in society at large, whether by opening a new resort such as the Phuan Naturist Village from my previous post, or launching a naturist restaurant, is a worthwhile endeavor that deserves our support.
While our ideal that non-sexual social nudity becomes completely acceptable, and that we therefore can walk around and dine or brunch naked whenever and wherever the weather allows, might still be far away, a venture like the naturist restaurant brings it one step closer.
The restaurant's website is www.restaurant-onaturel.fr and of course, they also have a Facebook page.
You can find the Chinese-language Apple Daily Taiwan report at https://tw.news.appledaily.com/international/realtime/20171107/1236617/

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Thailand's latest naturist village: Phuan

Thailand has taken yet another step forward to cement its position as the leading destination for naturists in Asia.
This month, the Phuan Naturist Village opens its doors to guests in Sattahip, the next town on the coast about 20 km south from Pattaya, which itself is a mere one-and-a-half-hour bus ride from Bangkok and from its international airport, Suvarnabhumi.
Of course, Pattaya itself already has a naturist hotel, the Chan Resort, in an alley or "soi" off busy Thappraya Road, the street which links Pattaya to the Jomtien area to the south.
While the Chan Resort is a hotel building with swimming pool within reach of public transportation and the lively city, Phuan Naturist Village is more of a resort with 5 bungalows, 4 villas and a swimming pool with waterfall set in the countryside.
The website www.phuannaturistvillage.com also says there is a game room, a fitness room, karaoke and sauna, and the pool is 7 by 17 meters large.
According to a story on a Dutch naturist website (https://www.puurnaturisme.nl/home/nieuws/12263-vier-zussen-starten-naturistenresort-in-thailand), the village was founded by four sisters, who chose the name 'Phuan,' which means friend in Thai. Nevertheless, the website itself says it was one young Thai woman who was 'converted' to naturism, talked to her friends about it, and persuaded them to open a naturist resort together.
Anyway, we wish them all the luck.
It's great for Thailand to be able to lead the way on naturism in the region, with a vibrant naturist association and already several naturist resorts spread out over the country from north to south. The country has become an example for the establishment and expansion of naturism in a country which on the surface, looks like it might not welcome the practice.