Dating for Naturists: Can I fit “Naturism” into my Tinder Profile Description?

Meet Addie Foster!

Actually, if you’re an avid follower of the Meandering Naturist, you’ve already met Addie, first in a rather poignant post about her first experience with social nudity, then somewhat vicariously as the subject I wrote for a piece about navigating the German spa culture.

We’ve known Addie for quite a long time, and by now, she’s become something of a surrogate daughter to us, though I first came to know her through professional endeavors where she once inquired about my obsession with European travel, and I ended up telling her about our quest to find a place where our kids – also about her age – would find a sense of normalcy in a naturist place. She and my daughter have since become fast friends as well.

This is her latest installment. I’m hoping she’ll become a regular on my blog as she has most definitely embraced the naturist ideal, and I think she has quite a lot to say about helping us seasoned type naturists understand what’s in the cards for the future of naturism here and abroad. Thanks for that, Addie!

[Photos are either from our personal archives, or a few additional pics from clothesfree.com]

– Dan Carlson, blogger

Dating for Naturists: Can I fit “Naturism” into my Tinder Profile Description?

“Happy Hour. 🍷 Travel. ✈️ Likes Getting Naked.🌴”

. . .[backspace, backspace, backspace, backspace].

“What’s the coolest place you’ve traveled? Mine is an all-naked island near Corsica!”

. . .[delete, delete, delete].

Writing a Tinder, or Bumble, or Hinge, or Coffee Meets Bagel profile as a 26-year-old heterosexual woman is difficult for numerous reasons. But as a hopeful long-term naturist? Yikes. Any mention of “naked,” and you’re sure to get a series of creepy messages. “You like taking off your clothes? Me too. Wanna try tonight?” And in one sentence you’ve moved from the idea that “I like sitting with my friends on nude beaches” to “Let’s have sex before we even know each other’s last names!

This confusion of sexually available/easy and naturist is something that I’m constantly trying to figure out. I’ve settled on decidedly not including naturism in my dating profiles, but if I’m on the road to find a potential life-mate, the candidate would at the very least have to look interested at the mention of a naturist beach in the south of France or a nude spa in Germany. You would think that’s a given—what dude in the 21st century wouldn’t be interested in going to a swim up bar in a naked spa in Germany with his girlfriend? Unfortunately. . . a lot!

But that also might be a bit of a relief. Because when you match with 5 or 10 or 20 people a day, that’s a lot of potential life mates. And many of them actually might be nice dudes. But if on the second date, they give you a look of confusion/apprehension/fear/disgust at the very mention of naturism, you get to cross them off the list, and narrow it down to 19 or 9 or 4. Whew-thank God-on to the next one!

I don’t mean to make this sound dismal or difficult (though dating is inherently difficult, naturist or not). In fact, there’s nothing more intriguing than watching a person’s eyes light up as they state casually, “Wow. Never tried it, but that seems kind of awesome.” And that makes the whole endeavor worth it-the thought that there ARE other people out there who are capable of understanding, and actually prove to be more interested in you as a human after the mention of naturism (not only as a potential sex-mate, but as a human being with real interests and thoughts!)

Finding a future life mate is not easy; my naturist and non-naturist friends share in that sentiment. But I suspect that in the end, my interest in naturism will become an important point of departure for a new relationship filled with many things that I actually enjoy doing (*hint: it’s not sitting in the Ramada Inn swimming pool in New Jersey).

Does “naturist” belong in the average Tinder profile? Not unless you’re looking for a reason to attract creepy comments. But should it come up in the first or second date? Yeah, probably! Because unless you’re looking to spend the rest of your days packed like a sardine on the Jersey shore, wondering if your bikini is cute or sexy or modest enough, it’s worth mentioning, so that you simply can know if Joe is the kind of guy with whom you should “not pass go.” However, if Joe ends up hiking with you in the nude to a hidden gem of a beach off the coast of Thailand, then it was probably worth having those less than ideal conversations with Tom, Richard, and Kirk! Happy Tindering!

Nakation for Dummies

So I have made repeated mention in recent posts of my daughter and 20-something friends – mutual friends, I might add – who have become increasingly naturist-curious; a true bonanza for a long time naturist blogger who throws a small party every time he gets a new follower on his blog. This, in an age where nudism is frequently dismissed by Millennials as something my slightly deranged, post-modern hippie parents threaten to tell us about…

“Anyway, your father and I just booked on a nudist cruise to Aruba.”

“NOOOO!!!!! MOM, don’t tell me THAT stuff! Just STOP”

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Day-dreaming in Croatia

It’s strange to me, really. I was a late bloomer, who wasn’t even old enough to bloom during the Summer of Love. By the time I came of age, we were in the Reagan era, California was cracking down on nude beaches, free love was under fire from the emerging religious right, and the AIDS crisis was just about to erupt on the horizon. But the bizarre part of it all to me is the dichotomy of the strange relationship 20-somethings have with immodesty. I know quite a lot of people in this age bracket, most of whom are not especially religious, don’t think twice about a one-night stand (Do we still call this casual sex?), are as likely as not to make out with a new acquaintance at a party, frequently wear seductive clothing in casual settings, but would never consider going to a nude beach or resort. What’s up with that?

What’s up with that, says this humble blogger, is that we’ve made the whole thing seem damn weird and unmanageable! Try visiting a nudist resort in the United States and it costs a fortune (Like $50 for a day visit), and only that after you submit a full FBI check to prove you’re not a sex offender or puritanical ax murderer! Go to the wrong place in Europe, and you inadvertently end up at a naked geriatric center pondering your mortality in disbelief that skin could possibly have that kind of elasticity. Turn the other direction in France, and you might find yourself in Cap d’Agde, the most infamous of naked places in the world, where your inhibitions and misconceptions about naturism will turn into a nightmarish collage of men in studded collars and lesbian sex on the beach. (I know, Cap d’Agde fans – the place can be great for naturism, but send an unsuspecting newbie there? Yikes!)

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Family nakation at La Jenny

And thus, a few thoughts for the newbie naturist who finds the idea of no tan lines and swimming without wet nylon a least at bit alluring.

  • Leave the country! Assuming you’re reading this in the US of A, (or even in Great Britain,) you need to go someplace where people aren’t freaked out by nudity. The family naturist resorts on the southwest coast of France (La Jenny, Montalivet) are by far the most normal in terms of demographics, but they are difficult to get to, and the weather can be iffy. Croatia would be a good alternative, but the time and place means everything. If you go before school holidays, you’re back to the geriatric thing. Do your research before you go.
  • Go to a spa in Germany or Holland. Check out the website for information about FKK or Texteil Frei days, which for many of them is everyday. Elysium near Rotterdam or Therme Erding near Munich are particularly impressive, and draw huge numbers of young couples and singles who don’t consider themselves nudists, but don’t think twice about getting naked with others. It just feels normal.

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The view over Origan naturist camping in France

  • Search the blogosphere for things written by naturists. A lot of it is rubbish, and you’ll know right away this is not going to be helpful. But now and again, you’ll find a blogger who gets it, knows where to go, and when to go there. Send them a message and see if they answer. I’ve found many of our favorite places that way, on the basis of personal recommendations, greatly reducing the chances that you’ll waste your time and money, while irreversibly damaging your psyche!
  • Read Yelp and Trip Advisor reviews before you go – not just a few, but drill down. Many people adore Gunnison Beach in New Jersey, as it’s one of the only substantial and recognized nude beaches in the entire country, but if you read enough reviews, you’ll also learn about some of the oddities of the place as well. In fact, American nude beaches have big issues with gawkers, which is pretty much a sure-fire way to get your girlfriend to say, “Never again.”

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Therme Erding near Munich

  • Decide if you’re an “all in” or “ease in” person. “All in” means you’ll be more comfortable if everyone around you is naked, and you just need to follow suit. “Ease in” means you’re seeking a mixed crowd where nudity is permitted by not required, but also means you put it out there while others around you may not. You can usually figure that out from the aforementioned trip review sites, but it’s an important distinction.
  • Go high-end, or go low-end, but beware of the middle. Though a bit counter-intuitive, you either want to stay at a nice naturist hotel like Vritomartis in Greece or Heliotel in France, or find a place with lots of tent camping –  not miles of trailer camping – but tent camping. Why? The places in the middle tend to attract the folks who parked their travel trailer on a plot in 1967 and haven’t budged since. Lovely people, they may be, but if you’re looking for a youthful vibe, seek out the tent campers. Check out Camp Full Monte in Montenegro, or Belezy in France. Valalta in Croatia seems to have struck a nice balance, but not so much before schools let out in early July.

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Naturist camping on Corisca

  • Beware of naturist/nudist message boards if you want to feel normal about the whole thing. Like the blogosphere, there are some very cool people out there who have a lot of helpful information, but receiving a nude pic from a lonely guy in Atlanta is probably not the introduction to social nudity you’re looking for.
  • Seek out resources geared to people in your demographic. Perhaps the best one out there right now is The Young Naturists Association (YNA) run by Felicity and Jordan out of New York. They have done more to promote a positive image for social nudity than anything I’ve seen on the web for quite a long time. I have yet to attend one of their events (I’m told I’m welcome, despite the fact that I’m not quite a young naturist anymore) but from everything I’ve seen, they’ve got it right, including a blog that is thoughtful, intelligent, and informative. My guess is the people they have attracted to the cause have similar traits.

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Naked feeding time in South Africa

Dunno! Perhaps there’s no rocket science to be found in this post, accept to say that a bad first foray into naturism is more often than not the last foray into naturism. We started young – just months after we were married (remember, our kids are in their 20s now!) so we’ve been at this for a while. To a large degree, our naturist travels have defined our relationship; when our naked travels have taken us to places we would never thought to have visited, where we have met people we would have never had reason to talk to.

Start young. Before you have children. Before life bogs you down. Have more questions? Ask Naturist Dan! We naturists love to advocate for our cause.