SCNA Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a Nudist/Naturist?

Naturism is not a radical new idea. The philosophy is thousands of years old. In ancient cultures as diverse as the Japanese, Roman, Hawaiian, and Greek, non-sexual social nudism was common. Skinny-dipping, or swimming without suits, was also common in many parts of the United States until the early 20th century.

Among those who practice this way of life, the consensus of opinion says just doing housework alone in the nude, doesn’t really qualify as being a nudist. Changing and showering in a locker room probably does not qualify either. What all practitioners agree is that exposure to other unclothed persons outside the home is usually seen as the defining moment that causes one to be able to declare he/she is a social nudist or naturist.

Many non-nudists believe that being naked with other people is necessarily always sexual, or that nudism is morally wrong or pornographic. Nudists/Naturists generally reject these views. Objections against being nude are often religiously motivated, even when they start out as a cultural taboo. Some peoples have started wearing clothes only after missionaries argued that that is more civilized. However, there are many devout nudists who attend services regularly and argue that they do not need to shed their morals with their clothes. Also there is a Christian sect that practiced religious nudism, the Adamites. There also are several Christian-based nudist resorts and travel clubs scattered across America.

At one end of the spectrum is unorganized naturism in which there is nothing to join, no one to pay, and only civil, common and criminal law to serve as rules of etiquette. Many people get their first exposure to the naturist movement through this kind of informal nudism (e.g. a clothing optional beach, a friend’s place in the woods, a party on the shore; skinny dipping).

Among organized nudists, the need to exist in as crime-free an environment as possible is taken very seriously, and potential members often go through strict screening procedures before being allowed inside. Persons who think of nudity as foreplay are more correctly defined as swingers and not nudists. These people are warned that solicitation for sex is strictly taboo and will get you tossed out of a club or resort very quickly. As a result nudists claim that their children (and spouses) are far safer from potential sex predators in a nudist environment than they are in the textiled world. Nudist organizations maintain and try to enforce a no sex in public policy. The common mantra is Nude is Not Lewd It is rare to see obvious signs of sexual behavior (including staring or gawking) at most sites. When sexual or drug misbehavior occurs it is usually done by non-nudists in unorganized environments, such as by people (usually men) up on the cliffs looking down on the nude beach-goers.

Some nudist organizations do not allow people with body jewelry below their neck on their premises, as these often have sexual connotations. The same applies to certain tattoos, although both these rules seems to be less and less enforced since body piercings and tattoos are now becoming more commonplace in the general public. Almost all clubs accept people of all sizes, shapes, ages, and types including those with surgical scars, or interestingly trimmed (or absence of) hair. Some nudist organizations do not allow unaccompanied men, or have established quotas in order to better achieve gender balance at their venues. The same policy does not usually apply to single women, and some see this as hypocritical in a subculture which promotes acceptance. This topic is often debated within naturist circles.

Remember, the terms colony and camp are now considered arcane and are no longer used except by the uneducated public press. Read some additional nudist terminology.

SCNA - Where skinny dipping is good clean fun!


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Southern California Naturist Association

A 501(c) California Non-Profit Corporation

23679 Calabasas Road Suite 940

Calabasas, CA 91302

(818) 225‑2273

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