Imagine two boys. One has visited a nudist club
many times with his family, the other may have only rarely seen a parent
unclothed, and they may have seemed embarrassed when that happened.
The non-nudist boy says to
his friend, "Look what I've found!" as he shows the nudist kid a copy of Playboy
or some similar magazine, which he found somewhere.
As they look at the
pictures of scantily clothed, erotically posed women, the boy who has seen
hundreds of people of all ages and body types, will probably think, "I've seen
lots of naked people before. Why does he want to sneak looks at this?" He
might also think, "This isn't even what most people look like."
Growing up without shame
Puberty can be a very
difficult time for adolescents; their bodies are growing rapidly, their
genitals are changing, body hair is developing. Some kids feel clumsy. Many
are embarrassed by the changes that are taking place. They can become VERY
body-conscious. At that time, a wise parent will try to keep lines of honest
communication open but still give them privacy and time to be alone in their
room or with their friends. Most adolescents would rather be ANYWHERE except
where their parents are.
All these things happen to
nudist kids, too. The one big difference for kids who were lucky enough to grow
up in a nudist environment is that those kids have literally seen those
changes take place, as their older friends and/or siblings went through that
difficult time. Because of that experience, they are better prepared for it
We read in the papers
almost daily of some teacher, youth leader, church official or some other
trusted individual who took advantage of a child in a sexual way. With hundreds
of nudist clubs in North America, that problem almost never takes place at our
A family which is open
enough to have experienced nudism, just like a healthy non-nudist family, is
also open enough to have discussed sex abuse with their children. These
children know that they can tell their parents immediately if they ever suspect
that something is wrong.
We have been told by
authorities that the reason nudist clubs have a very low incidence of sex
offenders is that we have the reputation of prosecuting those individuals, while
until recent years, many other organizations have "swept those problems under a
rug", more concerned with their public image than with the safety of the people
they should have been protecting.
Historically, sex abusers
have felt much safer committing their misdeeds within organizations which have
tried to cover up their problems with molesters.
You may find it
encouraging to know that Bare Buns, and many other nudist clubs, have a very
good relationship with law enforcement agencies. Some of their officers are
members of our club. You can be certain that if we were doing anything
illegal or immoral, they wouldn't join.
Instead, they would very quickly close us down!
Another fact to ponder:
Almost all sex offenders are males. At a nudist club, it would be very easy to
tell if a man were to become sexually excited.
Some other interesting
Surveys show that overall,
adults who were reared as nudists think of their childhoods as having been
stable. They also find that nudists tend to be very slightly better educated
than their non-nudist peers.
We don't present this
information in an attempt to try to make ourselves appear to be "better" than
our non-nudist friends; instead, this information could explain some other
interesting observations about nudists' lives:
The divorce rate is lower
among nudist families, and their children tend to make better grades than
similar children in non-nudist families. We don't think that this is BECAUSE
the families are nudists; it's more likely that the marriages are more stable
AND their kids make good grades AND the families are nudists because the family
members tend to communicate a little more openly with each other in their daily
Learning to accept and
respect all bodies
In spite of what Madison
Avenue would have us think, human bodies really do come in all sizes, shapes,
and conditions. Few are "beautiful" using Hollywood's standards. We think it's
helpful for kids to learn this early on; you may be aware that in those parts
of the world where nudity is acceptable at places like the beach and public
saunas, there is a much lower rate of eating disorders and suicides among youth.
In those cultures, where
kids see all types and ages unclothed, they learn acceptance of the maturing and
aging processes; they don't think they have to have face lifts, boob jobs and
collagen injections to become socially acceptable; they don't grow up thinking
"You are what you wear".
They've probably never had
a case of a kid being killed for his tennis shoes or his Eddie Bauer jacket!
We think that when Americans
learn to accept the body as natural and wholesome, many of our social problems
which stem from body acceptance will decline.
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