Monday, 4 August 2014

Plea for a New Subathing Area for London

We look longingly across to our German neighbours who have long been able to enjoy naturism in city parks without a resulting collapse of society and general morality.  This is not a cue for you to hit me with some German history.  You know what I'm getting at.

It's not just Germany either, there are many places around Europe, and indeed within the UK, where outdoor naturism is sanctioned.  Sadly, none of those places can be reached with an Oyster card. 

We have posted the BN survey which suggests there are around 500,000 naturists living in London.  So where do we go when the sun comes out?  The only officially recognised naturist sunbathing spot in the whole of Greater London is the tiny, concrete floored, cattle-pen at the men's pond in Hampstead.  If you prefer to lay your towel on grass, or if you belong to the other half of the human race, this is not even an option. 

We like to think of London as a beacon of diversity and tolerance, so why is the capital so singularly lacking in facilities for naturism?  We would like to have a dedicated sunbathing area, somewhere central, like Hyde Park, which would be open to everyone. 

Who would pay for the tall screening fences, I hear you ask?  The German's don't need fences, so why would we?  Are we so different to our continental neighbours?  The beauty of the park proposal is that it would cost nothing to build.  Absolutely nothing.  It just requires a bit of tolerance.

Naked Sunbathing and The Law

Sunbathing naked in a public place (that includes your own garden) can be done, but if you want to get away with it you might have to brush up on the law.

The British Naturism handy guide to Public Place Naturism has the following to say:
There is no general prohibition of nudity and Naturism is not a criminal
offence, per se. Nudity is legal in a much wider set of circumstances than is
sometimes assumed and “a balance needs to be struck between the
Naturist's right to freedom of expression and the right of the wider public to be
protected from harassment, alarm and distress” (Crown Prosecution Service
(‘CPS’) Guidance on nudity in public).
Every case of nudity is considered on its facts. According to CPS Guidance,
unless there is a sexual context or intent to cause alarm or distress then “it will
normally be appropriate to take no action unless members of the public were
actually caused harassment, alarm or distress”
. Even in these circumstances
“regard still needs to be had to the question of whether prosecution is in the
public interest”.


See the full text at:
http://www.bn.org.uk/community/files/download/669-public-place-naturism-portable-legal-guidance/




Sunday, 20 July 2014

Time Out article - Oh my. That's a bit of all right.

"I'm consumed by awkwardness right up until the moment I slip into the water, and then... Oh my.  That's a bit of all right.   Far from being an introvert's worst nightmare, swimming naked in the middle of the city is a liberating, near-heavenly experience."

"I've learned a lot from stripping in this city.  I now know that nudity's a great ice-breaker, and that naturists are an incredibly friendly bunch."

May, Gareth & Perugia, Jonathan. Nude Awakening. Time Out London, 17th June 2014, pp.37-38.

View Here

Friday, 11 July 2014

Dining Out



TripAdvisor currently lists 1,075 hotels and 16,890 restaurants in London.  To the best of our knowledge not a single one of these is clothing optional.  Just for fun, if we apply the 6% population finding from BN’s 2011 UK survey, we could expect 64 naturist hotels and over 1,000 naked restaurants, caf├ęs and kebab shops.  I’m quite sure you can get a cup of tea and a hob nob whilst wrapped in a towel at various spas (using the broader definition), but I’m talking about going out for a nice meal with friends.  I want napkins, table service and perhaps an amuse-buche.  Is that too much to ask for?  Apparently it is. 

Our clothing sends out so many signals about who we are, or who we want people to think we are.  It is a barrier to a true understanding of ourselves and other humans.  Bare your skin.  That’s the real you.

You probably won’t find yourself dining in the buff at a Charlotte Street eatery anytime soon, but you might do in a club, a holiday resort or at home with friends.  I don't want you to be unprepared for the experience, so brush up on naked dining etiquette with this link, and remember, always sit on a towel and think twice before you reach over for the Daddy's sauce.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

A Dalston Pop-up

This Youtube video from Little Red Hen is a spoof report of the opening of a naturist pop-up café.  It mocks naturism in that all-too-familiar way.  Ha ha, a naturist.  The joke is on us.
http://youtu.be/ovdNXSSj-iQ

So here's the really funny thing.  I felt that I should be offended, but actually I laughed along, and then I thought, what a brilliant idea!  A naturist café is exactly what this city needs.  And we know that there would be no lack of customers.  We believe that there are 500,000 self-defined naturists in the capital alone, equivalent to a city the size of Manchester.  Imagine there wasn't a single place to get a cup of tea in Manchester, and then someone opened up a café.  It might just be successful.

One final word to the script writer.  If you do ever find yourself in a naturist pop-up café, and think you might be in danger of spilling hot tea on your lap, order the ice cold frappaccino, or something with a straw.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Proper Naturism

A question which consumes a good many column inches is what is or should be the true definition of naturism.

It is terribly important to some people that the right sort are encouraged and courted whilst the wrong sort are shunned and excluded. There is great anxiety that “proper” naturism will be brought into disrepute otherwise.

For example, some folk are greatly exercised by whether or not those people who join the World Naked Bike Ride can be considered genuine naturists. This is very strange because, as far as I know, no-one ever asks whether or not those same people are genuine cyclists.

If someone riding a bike is, by definition and whatever else they may also be, a cyclist, why is it not also the case, that someone who has chosen to be naked in a social but non-sexual context is self-evidently, at that moment at least, a naturist?

Who is welcome at our naked swim? Anyone who just wants to swim naked, be they a proper naturist or not.

Why does Naturist London exist?

We are a community of volunteers who promote and organise social naturist activities in London, supported and assisted by British Naturism. We believe in the benefits to mind and body that social naturism can bring and welcome the participation of all regardless of age, sex, sexuality, race, religion or disability.

Why does Naturist London exist?
Because we live in the largest city in Europe with a population of 8.3M people, yet there are very few facilities for naturists.  A British Naturism survey in 2011 found that 6% of UK respondents would define themselves as "naturist".  That means there could be 500,000 naturists within London.  The same survey found that 22% had swum naked at some point, which equates to  £1.8M skinny dipping Londoners.   
 http://www.bn.org.uk/articles.php/_/news/nearly-4-million-naturists-in-the-uk-r97

Our aims are practical.  We want to provide and support events so that London's sizeable naturist population can meet up and practice social naturism in a friendly environment.   the swim has been much more successful than we might have hoped, and using this success we have helped to provide assistance and promotion to others who wish to set up events or classes.  

We are not a campaign group, we don't evangelise, we don't need to convert anyone who doesn't want to be converted.  We believe that if we can find venues for social naturism, we will always be able to attract enough people to fill them. 

Why don't you have a gender quota at the swim like many established clubs do?
Because gender quotas are inherently discriminatory and have no place in the values of contemporary society. 

Why don't you have a membership system and vet new participants?
Why should we have any interest in keeping a database of personal details?  We work on the basis of trust.  We make it clear that our events are non-sexual and our punters understand that.  There is a fear in some quarters that any new person, when stripped of clothing, becomes a risk.  What nonsense.  If we provide the context, people respond to that and behave appropriately.  

   

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Butterfly World 28.06.2014

A trip out of town under threatening skies.  After a very damp day in the city,  we headed out to St Albans with some trepidation.  In fact, the weather stayed dry and mild as we joined a group of seasoned naturists for a tour of the Butterfly World Project. 

They have some top notch gardens and wild landscaping designed by Chelsea winners to attract and house all sorts of creepy crawlies.  At the centre is the vast circular foundation for the yet to be funded "biome".  Whilst waiting for an economic upturn,  you can enjoy the current tropical butterfly house.  It was an amazing and peaceful experience to wander naked through their home. 

As the evening wore on,  it got a little chilly, so a quick sprint around the outer perimeter of the site was in order.  The less energetic had discovered the huge fan heater in the butterfly house.

Being naked in a beautiful place amongst great company is a rare treat and I will definitely go to the next one.

Monday, 30 June 2014

NKD Training 29.06.2014

The first session run by NKD Training last night was a great success with 18 attendees in the Gym Clinic.  Our trainer, Paul, guided us through a pretty intense body pump excercise session.  Starting with a warm up, then splitting into 2 groups, one on cardio machines and the other doing squats and shoulder presses with dumbbells, before changing over.  When I felt I could hardly go on, we moved on to the circuits section, being split into beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. 

The whole experience was amazing.  Under Paul's upbeat guidance, I worked much harder and pushed myself far beyond the point where I would normally give up.  The fact that we were doing all this naked, was entirely liberating and natural.  There was no time to stop and contemplate this, since we were all there to work hard and sweat!  I wasn't at all strange, or odd, or awkward.  Just a feeling of complete euphoria, pushing your body beyond its normal range.

The instruction was clear, concise and inclusive, for people of all abilities.  I am by no means a fitness freak and would not normally hunt down a body pump class, but sometimes you step out of your comfort zone and find something new that is unexpectedly amazing. 

If you are interested, book a place at:
www.nkdtraining.co.uk