A feeling of freedom, for my body, a piece of humble pie after standing in front of other people as I was, with all my flaws, sharing common values with other holiday-ers and their children, mostly. It is also a great opportunity to meet people with different backgrounds, from different social classes, coming from all over Europe and the opportunity for children to learn about their differences and specificities. Also, being surrounded with rgeous landscapes, feeling the warmth of the sun and the water on my skin, different types of activities, a certain « douceur de vivre ».
As happened for a lot of naturists, I met a naturist family on a day out at the beach, and they encouraged me to stay at a naturist campsite. It only took an afternoon for us to be enthusiastic about it. That was 30 years a and we never returned to a « traditional » campsite ever since.
A day at the beach is great to meet people, discuss and realize that in the end, we’re all the same. I’d also tell them that it’s such a great feeling to live naked! Most naturist clubs open their doors to people who are interested on a specific day every year. Some naturist campsites give a specific welcome to newcomers so they can feel comfortable.
Would you say there’s a difference in the way you need to manage a naturist site and a traditional site?
Of course, because a naturist area is all about self-respect and respect of others. In practical terms, rules of cohabitation are respected – quieter, cleaner areas, relaxed and easy-ing communication between holiday-ers. I’ve been at the head of a naturist campsite for 30 years and I’ve never had to deal with a scuffle at the bar!!!!! Naturist people are faithful to their favourite site, they like to meet their friends from the previous summer again. The downside is that owners need to be more careful with their management of the environment (« green key » or other eco-rating), with proper implementation of their amenities in the natural environment.
How do you avoid bookings from malicious persons? What’s your approach of security?
When someone books on their own for the very first time without being part of any club, we make a copy of the ID card and someone from the site pays them a visit to discuss. Besides, there’s a lot of self-discipline. A person acting in an inappropriate manner, playing with children or stuck to their phone gets noticed right away. Naturist sites are fenced areas and some use a video surveillance system to avoid intruders!
If a malicious person still manages to get in, they’re usually noticed immediately as they are the only one wearing clothes …
It’s a cultural issue, often resulting from a religious background. Protestants, mainly in Northern Europe, cast a different look on the naked body which is not linked to sexuality. Sports clubs’ and swimming pools’ changing rooms and showers don’t separate genders. Being naked is not such a big deal, it is even mandatory in saunas.
In Southern Europe, decency is often linked to the Judeo-Christian heritage and practices that say nakedness is inappropriate and related to sexuality. However, things are changing in Spain and in Italy. In the latter, a law has been passed recently to allow naturist associations to ask for a dedicated area in every town.
What’s the future of naturism? This is one tricky question for someone who can’t look into a crystal ball! The future of naturism can only be a bright one since its healthy and virtuous values are more and more relevant. The INF’s definition (International Naturist Federation) will certainly appeal to each and every one:
« Naturism is a way of life in harmony with nature, characterised by the practice of communal nudity, with the intention of encouraging self-respect, respect for others and for the environment ».
Quite the contrary actually – a naked body is far less indecent than a skin-tight garment, a thong or a low neckline. Naturist people act very carefully not be indecent: no hugs or contacts, no make-up, they look at each other in the eyes. Women in particular appreciate this behaviour a lot.
Interview realised on 4th septembre 2018.