Nudism, Naturism, Exhibitionism, Voyeurism: What’s the Difference, and Why Do I Care?

In a previous post about the Discrimination of Men in Nudism, I briefly discussed what happens when you enter the term “nudism” into an internet search engine. Honestly, the results were rather bothersome to say the least, and if you are/were investigating the authentic nudist lifestyle, then you would be sadly misdirected by the common misconception that nudism equals porn. For your everyday or practicing nudist this is nothing new, and you have learned to sort through the bullshit online to find relevant websites and content. However, for those exploring, it can really turn you off to the idea of nudism for you and your family.

This is going to be a rather daunting task to take on, but I want search engines to be displaying actual nudist content and not some video uploaded to PornHub or some other disgraceful website. More often than not you must enter specific search terms into your search engine to find what you are looking for. Therefore, with this post I hope web crawlers will read my title and tags to bring this content closer to the real search results people are looking for.

Nudism

Follower submitted

When doing a search for nudism the first result is the website like purenudism-photo, which appears to be a website loaded with videos, pictures, and other media. Honestly, that website kind of scares me because it doesn’t look legit, and there are loads of child images on it that doesn’t set well with me. Sadly, this is what you get. So let’s really look into what nudism is and why I practice it as often as I can. Wikipedia has nudism and naturism is defined as:

Naturism, or nudism, is a cultural movement practicing, advocating, and defending personal and social nudity, most but not all of which takes place on private property. The term also refers to a lifestyle based on personal, family, or social nudity.[1] Naturism may be practiced individually, within a familial or social context, or in public.

I don’t necessarily disagree with the definition, but I’m not too keen on the lumping nudism in with naturism. Granted they have similarities in practice, but I see naturism as something a little different. I’ll talk about that next.

Nudism is a lifestyle where one chooses to not wear clothes while doing things anyone else would do while clothed. For example, Saturday, May 2 is Naked Gardening day, and next month we have Hike Naked Day which falls near the first day of summer. These are examples of events where you can practice nudism outside, and possibly with the company of others. Some choose to live their life 100% in the nude except when social norms calls for clothes (i.e. work, dining out, shopping at the mall, etc). What a day it will be when nudity is…normal.

You don’t have go out in public or participate in social nudity to be a practicing nudist. There are a lot of people in this world who don’t wear clothes at home, but will never go out in a social setting while nude. You may have a next door neighbor who live naked 100%, but once they exit the confines of their home the textiles go on. So if you’re one of those people who don’t like wearing clothes at home, but won’t do it socially with other nudist, then, guess what, you’re still a nudist. Albeit a home nudist.

If you like to be naked in a non-sexual, non-perverse way, and you enjoy the feeling it brings you to let your body be free, then let me welcome you to a wonderful life of nudism. I’m glad you’re here.

Naturism

Holly a.k.a. Mountain Mermaid

Like I stated above, nudism and naturism have very common similarities. They both believe in living a nude lifestyle free of social norms and limitations, but there is one key difference that I see which puts them into two separate categories. The XIV Congress of the International Naturist Federation (Agde, France, 1974) defined 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 for the environment.[2]

If you go back and read the definition of nudism you can see the distinct difference of the two. Naturism has more to do with the your harmony with nature and the environment. This is the definition that I see myself fitting into the most. I love being nude at home and other places as it permits, but I truly feel that I am complete when I am in nature with nothing to separate me from my primal purpose as a being from and for this Earth. Personally, I love nothing more than to take a hike back into nature and remove my clothes to be one with nature…alone. I will take a blanket and sometimes just sit and mediate with my eyes closed, and I will listen to nature talk to me. The wind blows forcing the trees to speak, birds chirp and sing their songs of excitement, and the small streams whisper faintly into your ear. This is where I truly feel at peace.

Additionally, I see folks who are nudist and advocates for the environment as naturist too. The participants of the famous World Naked Bike Ride are a prime example of naturist. They believe in protecting the environment from harmful pollution and the destruction imposed by mankind. They may not be your everyday nudist, but taking your clothes off in nature or support of nature empowers you to call yourself a naturist in every sense of the term. Coincidentally, those who participate in the WNBR may also be labeled as exhibitionist protest because they are seeking a reaction or disruption. More on that in a minute.

Regardless if you’re a nudist, naturist, or a textile environmentalist, I strongly encourage you to seek a spot in nature where you feel safe and just take your clothes off. Close your eyes and listen to what nature speaks to you. Mother Nature truly talks.

Exhibitionism

Exhibitionist in public

Here is a topic and label that I see getting mixed up with nudism and naturism all the time. People and the internet can’t always seem to get it right, and this misconception is perpetuated by the overabundance of porn sites perverting us. Shall we begin?

Exhibitionism is:

the act of exposing in a public or semi-public context those parts of one’s body that are not normally exposed – for example, the breasts, genitals or buttocks. The practice may arise from a desire or compulsion to expose themselves in such a manner to groups of friends or acquaintances, or to strangers for their amusement or sexual satisfaction or to shock the bystander.[1]

Ah yes, can you see where people may get the wrong idea about nudist? Read the first line again. “…act of exposing in a public or semi-public context those parts of one’s body that are not normally exposed – for example, the breasts, genitals, or buttocks.” We may be prone to “expose” ourselves in the sense that we take off all of our clothes, but there is on very distinct, and very important difference between nudist and exhibitionist:

exhibitionistic sexual interest is acted on with a non-consenting person or interferes with a person’s quality of life or normal functioning, it can be diagnosed as exhibitionistic disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5)

Oh yes, there it is. An exhibitionist’s primary purpose for exposing oneself is to gain disruption or to get a reaction from the offended…

A research team asked a sample of 185 exhibitionists, “How would you have preferred a person to react if you were to expose your privates to him or her?” The most common response was “Would want to have sexual intercourse” (35.1%), followed by “No reaction necessary at all” (19.5%), “To show their privates also” (15.1%), “Admiration” (14.1%), and “Any reaction” (11.9%). Only very few exhibitionists chose “Anger and disgust” (3.8%) or “Fear” (0.5%).[12]

Herein lies the difference. Nudist and naturist do NOT seek to gain a reaction from anyone else, but choose to live clothes free because it’s liberating and does NOT cause any sexual stimulation. An exhibitionist gets some erotic or simulated drug reaction by acting out their desires in exposure of themselves. Exhibitionism can be classified into several categories:

  • Anasyrma: the lifting of the skirt when not wearing underwear, to expose genitals.
  • Candaulism: when a person exposes his or her partner in a sexually provocative manner.
  • Flashing: the momentary display of bare female breasts by a woman with an up-and-down lifting of the shirt or bra or the exposure of a man’s or woman’s genitalia.
  • Martymachlia: a paraphilia which involves sexual attraction to having others watch the execution of a sexual act.
  • Mooning: the display of bare buttocks by pulling down of trousers and underwear. The act is most often done for the sake of humor, disparagement, or mockery.
  • Reflectoporn: the act of stripping and taking a photograph using an object with a reflective surface as a mirror, then posting the image on the Internet in a public forum. Examples include “images of naked men and women reflected in kettles, TVs, toasters and even knives and forks”. The instance generally credited with starting the trend involved a man selling a kettle on an Australian auction site featuring a photograph where his naked body is clearly visible; other instances followed, and the specific term “reflectoporn” was coined by Chris Stevens of Internet Magazine.
  • Streaking: the act of running naked through a public place. The intent is not usually sexual but for shock value.
  • Telephone scatologia: the act of making obscene phone calls to random or known recipients. Some researchers have claimed that this is a variant of exhibitionism, even though it has no in-person physical component.

Engaging in protests may also be looked at as an act of exhibitionism, but the reaction sought may not be one of an erotic or sexual desire. For example, the WNBR I mentioned earlier. This is a peaceful protest against oil and our over-dependence on automobiles, and how it negatively affects the environment. Proof can be seen from the world-wide stay at home orders and how airborne pollutants have drastically reduced. Side thought: I hope this virus outbreak helps us realize the impact we have on the environment and more people get to work from home.

Exhibitionism was a longer section, but I felt it warranted a much deeper explanation than “if you take your clothes off with people you’re an exhibitionist”. If you are one does not imply you are the other or both. You can be an exhibitionist and a nudist as long as you don’t mix the two, or claim to be one but exhibiting traits of the other. Basically, don’t run through the city park naked screaming you’re a free nudist. You just give the real nudist a bad name.

Voyeurism

Voyeur creeping

I’m pretty sure most of you understand what this is, but I wanted to ensure my due diligence and cover it since it’s an item we all have to deal with being nudist. People are going to look. They want to look and see what you and I look like in the buff. I think it’s the natural sinful behavior of humans, and some take it to the extreme by acting it out in person. You don’t even have to be looking at people naked to be considered a voyeur, although it’s usually the case more often than not that a voyeur is looking to get a quick peek of someone naked or in an intimate position.

The American Psychiatric Association has classified certain voyeuristic fantasies, urges and behavior patterns as a paraphilia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) if the person has acted on these urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty. It is described as a disorder of sexual preference in the ICD-10. The DSM-IV defines voyeurism as the act of looking at “unsuspecting individuals, usually strangers, who are naked, in the process of disrobing, or engaging in sexual activity”. The diagnosis would not be given to people who experience typical sexual arousal simply by seeing nudity or sexual activity. In order to be diagnosed with voyeuristic disorder the symptoms must persist for over six months and the person in question must be over the age of 18.

Well, the way I read that is if you look at or watch some who is naked, and you do so in a sexually deviant way then you are a voyeur (i.e. porn, hidden camera, and nude venue gawkers). So, if all you do is peruse Twitter, porn “tube” sites with “nudist” videos, and visit nude venues/events to just look at naked people, then please stay away. You’re rather creepy and no one likes the bad stigma you bring. However, if you are a nudist or interesting in nudism, and you see people and images in a non-sexual way without erotic fantasies or thoughts, then you can rest assured you don’t fall into this category. Please stay around for more and joining us as brothers and sisters in nudity. Unfortunately, we have to be careful because it’s easy for one to creep into this realm or at least skirt around the edges of it. Keep your thoughts and intentions pure.

Concluding

Brooding disposition by Chill Photograpie

The unfortunate problem with the culture of nudism is the lines between various “ism’s” gets blurred very easily, and to those who don’t truly know the meaning of each tend to either perpetuate the problem by ignorance, or website owners using the nudism/naturism term as a money making fetish luring in predators and creepers. There are so many sites that pop up reusing the same garbage hoping to either make money from their site, or refer them to a porn site in an affiliate program. Is there a way to stop this machine or at least slow its growth? Probably not. Your common porn sites use nude, nude women, nude men, nude beaches, nude (insert term), nudist, nude yoga, and any other term we use to describe things we do in our life that is not sexual. The best advice that I have to offer is to encourage each real and authentic nudist to either start their own website, blog, forum, or other place on the web so that we can, hopefully, push real content to the top of search engines. Until we can dominate the search engines our community will struggle to grow like it should.

I know there are closet nudist out there, and they probably feel alone or freakish because nudism is equated to some form of porn fetish, but reaching those in need will be harder if they have to dig too deep into the search pages. Hopefully, with the growing number of social media accounts and groups we can show the world what the real difference is.

Get naked, live naked.

Alexis

2 thoughts on “Nudism, Naturism, Exhibitionism, Voyeurism: What’s the Difference, and Why Do I Care?

  • It feels very natural for me to be naked. I’ve always felt very comfortable when I’m nude. I think of being a nudist like I do about being a gay man, I was born a nudist just like I was born gay. It is who I am.

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