Socks off: rambling and nude modelling on the solent

Having been away in China for two years, I have missed having any opportunities to enjoy naturism. Nudism is not legal in China and if anything the government have been getting even more restrictive in recent years. Coming back to Britain for my brother’s wedding, I was staying in Dorset, away from my regular naturist friends in South Wales. I had arrived too late for any of the WNBRs, but I did hear about a group known as “Socks off” who were organizing a naked walk near Southampton. The group are on Meetups and advertise on the BN website, but I heard about them through a friend on Facebook.

The group, led by Emma and Peter, is mostly based near London and is made up of people with an interest in nudism and life drawing. I had never tried life drawing, but meeting up with a nudist group, just over an hour away, seemed good to me. Clearly, being in Dorset, I did have the option to visit Studland beach, but I am not really a sun worshiper and know no other local nudists, so the idea of going to a beach, alone seemed quite dull.

The people organizing the walk had arranged for it to be on a Monday, in order to avoid seeing too many other people. This limited the number of people able to attend, as many of the members of the socks off group were working.

A couple of people were coming down on public transport, so we had arranged to meet at a pub near the Fareham train station and car share over towards Titchfield Haven nature reserve. From there we planned to walk west along the shoreline, following the Solent Way as far as Hamble, ending at the spit opposite Hamble point marina. On the way there, or back the plan was to stop for a picnic and do a bit of life drawing.

We were mostly professionals or teachers around our 40s. I did not know any of the people attending, but whenever I have attended any naturist events, I have found people to be very friendly and welcoming. We got chatting right away and very soon, it was like we were all old friends. Emma wanted to get a few photos of the group, but some of the group were uncomfortable about having photos shown online, so out of respect to them I am not going to post any recognizable photos of the others.

At first people kept their clothes on, as there were windsurfers and dog walkers near the carpark, and we wanted to avoid any confrontations. Further along the beach we stripped off, but the others in the group were keen to cover up if we saw anyone approaching, and I followed suit. We also covered up when passing through the Solent Breezes caravan park. When I was with the South Wales group we would usually remain naked, unless there were people with young children nearby, but this group were more inclined to cover up at the first sign of textiles nearby.

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This does bring up the question of whether we should have to cover up when we meet people out in the countryside. Legally it is not necessary. A naked person is not breaking the law simply by being naked, only if they set out to shock or distress people. Yet some would argue that as there is such an expectation for people to wear clothes, being naked in a place where it is unexpected is likely to cause shock or distress.

In my experience of naked hiking, there has only been one person who has voiced annoyance at seeing a group of naked people. He was a dog walker. When hiking in the hills, people have always been very friendly. Sometimes they laugh, sometimes they just say good day, other times they comment on it being “good weather for it” or say that we are braver than them.

my feeling is this:
If it is a big event, like the WNBR or the midsummer skinnydip, most people will accept it as an amusing novelty and will just laugh or wave at the crowds of naked people.
If you are in the great outdoors, far from towns and cities, the people you will meet are ones who love nature, don’t want to feel confined, want to be healthy and are open minded. Simply being so far from civilization seems to make nudity accepted.
Lying on quiet beaches you are usually fine. Most people will accept that nude bathing and skinny dipping are appealing, even if they don’t want to do it. As long as you are in a quiet spot, rather than a busy, crowded beach, people who might be offended will just steer around you.
If you are in a town or village, people will be shocked and offended. They will see your nudity as an unwelcome intrusion into what they expect. Currently nudism is accepted by most people, as long as it is either discreet or has a carnival feel.
The difficulty, I think, is when you are in quiet rural areas, not far from towns and villages, where people like to walk their dogs.

Dog walkers are often town and village people, not outdoors people. They are not necessarily people who love walking, or the countryside. They go out because the dog needs to go out. They have a routine and they are upset by things that disrupt their routine. Seeing a naked person on their walking route is like seeing a naked person walking trough their village. It feels like a more personal intrusion.

In an area that is frequented by dog walkers, I think it is wise to cover up, if you want to avoid confrontations. Even though we covered up, there were a few dog walkers we passed who seemed to be actively trying to avoid looking at us.

We had a pleasant walk and on the way back we stopped off for a picnic and some life drawing. The weather had not been great and there had been a few drops of rain, but it passed quickly. I have not done much drawing since I was a child, so I volunteered to be a model. We just did a few ten or fifteen minute poses. This is the first time that I had ever done any life modelling, but the artists seemed to be very pleased with my performance, saying that I seemed like a natural and that it was a great pose to use. Fifteen minutes seems a lot longer when you are trying to stay completely still and there was a cold breeze coming in off the water.

There were several groups of people who walked past, within sight of us while we were drawing, but they didn’t voice any objection to a bunch half naked, or naked artists drawing a naked man. It seems that nudity in art is more socially acceptable than naked walking.

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After the life drawing we returned past the caravan park and tried to continue along the beach. The tide had come in during our walk and it was a bit tricky to get back onto the last stretch of beach.  We had to walk over the sea defences to get to the beach, while the waves were lapping over them. Since we had just walked through the holiday park, we were dressed doing this and Emma’s trousers got pretty wet.

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On the other side of the sea defences the beach was empty, so we could strip off again, for the last couple of miles. As we neared the end of our walk, we decided that despite the weather, it would be nice to strip off and have a swim. We stopped in a sheltered area, near a few small trees and all of us except Peter eventually took the plunge.

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The water was not too bad, once we got in. While we were swimming we saw an old couple walking along the beach. At first we thought that we should stay in the water until they passed us by, but they were walking very slowly. We nearly all got out of the water before they reached us and there was no doubt that they had seen several naked people walking tenderly up the pebbly beach. As they walked past they smiled at us and said. “You’re braver than us.”

All in all, it was a lovely day. The weather was overcast, but not too cold. There had been no trouble from passers by and my first experience of life drawing had been quite fun.

If you feel like going for a naked ramble sometime, why not look online for any groups in your area. I am sure you will enjoy it.

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How the minions spent national nude day

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The Accidental Nudist sails the Big Nude Boat

Formerly clothes free life visit our new home clothesfreelife.com

Confession time: I’m an Accidental Nudist.

I wrote that post tongue-in-cheek prior to being part of the Big Nude Boat that sailed February 9th-17th on the Carnival Freedom with Bare Necessities. I argued with people that I was not a Nudist (with the capital N) because I didn’t go to nude beaches, resorts or go out of my way to nudist functions. I defended being an occasional nude model who didn’t care one whit if other people got naked.

That’s right. I dug in my heels, cleared out my trench and fired away at everyone who called me a Nudist.

The fine people here at Homeclothesfree asked me to write a review on the Big Nude Boat, and because Opportunity knocked, and I like to see what Opportunity is selling (and I was going on the cruise anyway), I agreed to write about my experiences on board…

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Cardiff WNBR 2015

Cardiff was once again host this year to yet another naked bike ride. This was the 8th time there has been a WNBR in Cardiff, although I have only participated in three.image

The message of the ride was clear for all to see.

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The naked bike ride in Cardiff was started by Nick Wysoczanskyj, but this was the first year he was not able to participate. Fortunately there were a good core group of people, led by Mike Ambler, who had been regulars at previous rides who were ready to step into his shoes.

This year everything was done extremely well and those to took part said that it was an excellent example of the WNBR done right. The screen was erected, to allow a little privacy when changing, and to separate the participants from the merely curious, until the ride began.

There was a bit more body painting this year, with several very colourful participants.

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As well as the body painting, the marshalling was spot on. The marshals and first aiders were all clearly identified, even if they were completely named. Mike, in blue, led the way, with Becky, the first aider, at the rear of the ride.

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The ride was the longest yet, for Cardiff. 8.5 miles, through the city center, to the millenium center and back to Roath park. The weather was good and there was a fairly even mix between male and female participants.

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There was only one incident of note during the ride. A bus driver tried to cut up the cyclists, forcing his way through the lines of bicycles in a very aggressive way, placing many people at risk. The marshals acted firmly, to stop the bus and prevent an accident. Afterwards the organisers contacted the bus company to make a formal complaint and were told that the on-bus video showed that the driver had been at fault and would be punished for his action. The incident served to illustrate exactly why these rides are needed. The roads are not safe for people who want to use an environmentally friendly mode of transport.

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After reaching the millenium center the riders stopped for a bit of fun, splashing in the fountain and doing a bit of acrobatics.

Not everyone wanted to get completely naked, but the dress code is “bare as you dare”. Riders can wear as little, or as much as they are comfortable with, either keeping their underwear on, or covering their face, to give a measure of anonymity. There were even a few fully dressed participants, who had just decided to join the ride on the spur of the moment.

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Those who took part thoroughly enjoyed the event and many of them made good friends there and got together afterwards for a naked midsummer BBQ.

The motivation of the individual participants varies. Some were nudists, who want to support any event that makes nudity more commonplace. Others were students who wanted the thrill of doing something crazy. Several were badly injured or disabled during cycling accidents and although not comfortable with nudity, take the core cause of the ride very seriously. Most were supporting the environmental message for one reason or another.  If you care about the environment and the safety of cyclists, then why not join us next year?

For flickr users, there is a group for the Cardiff WNBR, with a great many other pictures, from this and other rides.

https://www.flickr.com/groups/1551539@N25/pool/

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Naked photography at China’s forbidden city is most definitely forbidden.

Earlier this month there were several articles, following on from a story in the South China Morning Post, about a scantily-clad or naked model photographed amid the tourists at the former imperial palace in the centre of China’s capital.

The model posing for the photographer. Photo: Chinanews.com

One of the photographs, posted by the photographer Wang Dong on his social media account, showed the woman leaning on a handrail in front of a hall with crowds of tourists nearby. The photographer, also known as Wanimal, has been heavily criticised on social media for carrying out a photo shoot of a near-naked model in the Forbidden City, the former imperial palace in the centre of Beijing, according to newspaper report.

Many internet users said the shoot was shameless and had profaned historical relics after a number of pictures showing the naked woman posing in front of white marble handrails and sitting on the head of a marble dragon circulated on the internet, The Beijing News reported.

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The photos above are from wanimal’s website, http://wanimal1983.tumblr.com/

Construction of the Forbidden City began in the 1400s and the former palace is one of China’s biggest tourist attractions.

Officials at the Forbidden City, now known as the Palace Museum, have recently stated in a press conference on Tuesday, that it had completed its “investigation” of the incident.

It seems that investigators were quite thorough. Shan Jixiang, director of the Palace Museum at the Forbidden City, told the press the museum collected evidence from 20 sets of cameras completely exposing the perverted photographer’s plot: From buying tickets, to getting naked, to taking photos.

“We very much welcome artists from all over the world to make artistic creations,” Shan said. “But the indecent photo shoots not only go against social morality, order and good customs, but also harm the relics and the dignity of the cultural heritage. This should be condemned by all society.”

According to People’s Daily, China’s public security law stipulates that those who “molest others or purposefully appear naked in public” may be subject to five to ten days in jail.

This seems quite harsh and as the artist himself pointed out, there were no complaints about the photoshoot from tourists, as nobody witnessed the photography taking place.

The funny thing is, none of this made news until the images were posted online and the world became appalled.  According to Mr. Dong, he and the others involved were not disturbing anyone, and nobody could see what they were doing in.  “I was just getting on with my work and did not affect anyone else.”

In fact, no tourists lodged any complaints, so it’s hard to imagine that any decency laws were technically violated.  Even The Mirror, who previously reported on the incident, states, “As no-one complained about his actions it is unlikely that any further action will be taken because it cannot be counted as a public disturbance.” however, it now seems that their predictions were probably wrong.

Defending his work, Dong explains that some people simply “do not understand expression” and that nudity in art is no new invention.  While some are outraged by the fact that he shot nude at this place, some followers are using his tumbler to send him encouraging messages. It seems very unfortunate that officials in China seem to be becoming increasingly intolerant of public nudity, while there does seem to be a lingering public interest in nude art and nudism. Yet currently there seems to be little prospect for nudism in China.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/1814407/outcry-over-sexy-photo-shoot-beijings-forbidden-city

http://shanghaiist.com/2015/06/17/forbidden_photo_shoot_investigation.php

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Naktiv: The Nook | The Naturist Page

I am a keen supporter of social media for nudists which is not really a sex site claiming to be naturist. The Nook is a genuine naturist community and well worth joining.

The Naturist Page

Naktiv

Tired of facebook with their censorship rules? Getting frustrated because you can not use an alias on Facebook because of the Real Name policy? Check out Naktiv: The Nook at http://www.naktiv.net. It’s a social media like facebook, for Nudists, Naturists and comfortableists(People comfortable with nudity but don’t call themselves nudists, etc)

Naktiv is very active with moderating the site and is a nice alternative from Facebook and is worth at least checking out. May we remind you, that The Nook isn’t a Naturist site! it’s focus is promoting non-sexual and social nudity — but its not a Naturist site.

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Nudefest

I keep meaning to go to nudefest, but I am usually working or out of the country, so I have not yet managed to attend.

Naturist Holidays in Europe

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I promised several people I would write about Nudefest, the UK’s biggest clothes-optional (but largely clothes-free) festival. It is easy to find out some basic information about the week from the British Naturism website, but from a non-BN member’s perspective, in my opinion, it’s a littlehard to find out what’s it’s actually like to attend. Experiences are often written up in BN’s magazine but this is only available to members once they’ve joined. Given that I went to Nudefest before joining BN, I feel this is a bit ‘wrong way around’, so here’s my blog where anyone can read it.

This blog got a little long, but was fun to write given that almost everything to do with my time at Nudefest has been a brilliant life experience 🙂

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Just for a sense of humour.

A short nudist cartoon, with a very simple message.

The Shaven Circumcised Nudist Life

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When did we get so scared?

the sl naturist

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When did we get so scared? by guest columnist Phillipa

Twenty odd years ago, as a teen, we holidayed at my aunt’s farm in rural Britain, a fairly wild, inaccessible and out of the way place. I set off with the idea that I would hate it terribly. I wanted to be hanging out with my friends for six weeks, not stuck out in the wilds for three of them.

Life on a farm seemed like it would be boring. It also felt scary. No noise at night. No light at night. Dogs….were they dogs? Might they be wolves? 🙂 …howling in the dead of night. (Note: there are no wolves in Britain)

My cousins, twins, a few months older than me, were maybe glad of a new face, but they initially seemed less sophisticated than me, a city girl.

Mobile telephones (cellphones) were in their infancy back…

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” Skinny Dipping threat to all “

An interesting article on the recent incident in Northern Ireland which has caused such outrage.

The Naked Truth.........

sunday worldmail online

In the news recently there’s been a story running about two guys in Northern Ireland who have been castigated and threatened with being  placed on the sex offenders register just because they fancied a cool dip in the sea on a hot day and went skinny dipping. The Police Service of Northern Ireland  took to social media in a misguided attempt to warn others in the country not to follow suit in the hot weather and that skinny-dipping was  not a good idea.

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The message was clear it said
“We are treating this kind of behaviour extremely seriously and will be continuing to take action against anyone who decides to do the same. The PSNI also said :
“There are young children in these areas too” and went on to say “You could end up with a criminal record and placed on the sex offender register. Please enjoy the weather…

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