nudism

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nudism

or

naturism,

practice of going without clothing in social settings, generally in mixed gender groups and for purposes of good health or personal comfort. Governed by a strict set of rules, the practice of nudism is purposely nonerotic and nonsexual. As a social and philosophical movement, nudism began in Germany in the early 20th cent. and spread throughout Europe between the two World Wars. It originated as a protest against strict Victorian codes of behavior and sought to alleviate the ignorance and shame caused by hiding the human body. Nudism also represented a challenge to the traditional dichotomy that celebrates nudity in artistic representation but condemns it as a practice in everyday life. Stressing nudism's supposed benefits to physical health and mental well-being, contemporary adherents of the movement maintain that its practice aids both exercise and relaxation while promoting stress relief, positive body image, and increased self-esteem.

In the United States, nudism as an organized movement began in 1929 with an upstate New York picnic organized by German immigrant Kurt Barthel and achieved some popularity in North America during the 1930s. Today nudism, which commonly includes sunbathing, swimming, sports, and other social activities, is usually practiced at clubs, camps, and parks and on special nude beaches. The Denmark-based International Naturist Federation, which has a membership of almost 500,000 in more than 60 countries, is devoted to worldwide nudist activities. The largest North American advocacy group, with a membership of nearly 50,000, is the Florida-based American Association for Nude Recreation, founded in 1931 and until 1995 known as the American Sunbathing Association.

nudism

[′nüd‚iz·əm]
(psychology)
Intolerance for wearing clothing, with a morbid tendency for the individual to remove her or his clothing.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The most obvious kind of desire, of course, is sexual, but in The Nudist Museum it is utterly thwarted by the sheer number of bodies.
The council said 40 nudists were seen at one time cooling off in full view of passers-by during last month's unseasonable hot weather, upsetting families walking and cycling on the sands, and prompting country parks manager Neil Perry to warn of the council's intentions to crack down on the issue.
With about 500 members, the Willamettans - one of six Oregon groups that participated in Saturday's skinny-dip - claims to be the largest nudist club in the Pacific Northwest.
He also believes nudist colony status would protect genuine naturists and members of the public from voyeurs and exhibitionists.
The Three Rivers Outdoor Club has written to Hartlepool Borough Council asking for a section of the beach to be formally designated for nudists.
The head of Palanga lifeguards Jonas Piroznikas said he supports the idea of legitimizing the nudist beach, but it would be better if naturalists would be situated further from family beaches.
But Gwynedd Council voted earlier this year to make the unrecognised nudist beach official, and warning signs of the area's status are due to go up this week.
In several incidents that can only be described as incredibly awkward, papal pilgrims hiking in the nearby forests have crossed paths with nudist sex parties.
Kitts and Nevis, blasted for banning a gay nudist Windjammer cruise back in March, stunned us by going on a gay-friendly charm offensive.
The latest example comes from Virginia, where the ACLU is attacking a statute that requires a parental presence at nudist camps for juveniles.
We are always looking for new destinations to break up the monotony," says Donna Daniels, a nudist for more than 30 years and president and co-owner of clothing-optional travel agency Castaways Travel in Houston, Texas.
One of the few travel markets resistant to terror anxiety turns out to be nudist vacationing.