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This report is courtesy of the Federation of Canadian Naturists. Visit the website for further information.

How to Introduce a Friend to Naturism

Do you enjoy visiting nude beaches and resort but have friends, relatives or partners who feel reluctant to join you?

Are you single and find it difficult to attend naturist resorts by yourself?

You may be single, but you are not alone. Many others face the same situation.

How Do You Encourage Someone to Consider Trying Naturism?

Naturism is about respect for one's body, for nature and for each other. Because of the wholesomeness of these principles, naturism has always been a social, strongly family-oriented activity.

Thus Canada's 40 naturist resorts and most of those throughout the world, plan most of their activities for couples and families with children.

Resort owners consider it important to keep the numbers of men and women as equal as possible to ensure everyone feels comfortable. As a result, most resorts limit the number of single persons allowed to attend; a few clubs accept no single persons unless they bring a member of the opposite gender.

Even outside naturist circles, single persons in their 20s start to feel isolated and left out of activities as their friends marry and have children. Most people do not expect to remain single forever, but it does happen. A person can also become single again at other periods in one's lifetime, due to choice or circumstances.

Therefore, it important to find single friends with which to share hobbies and interests. We assure you we know how difficult it is, especially for some shy or introverted persons, to make friends, let alone bring them to a naturist setting. However, it can be done and is being done.

More single men than single women initially try to participate in naturism. There are many reasons for this.

1. Men are more willing to try things on their own; women tend to want to do things with other girlfriends and may feel reluctant to suggest trying naturism.

2. Finances. The average woman's wages are less than those of the average man. Many women are not able to afford a car to travel to a naturist resort. A single mother's income is often limited and may prevent her and her children from participating.

3. Men tend to be the dominant gender so if a marriage breaks up, it is likely the man who keeps the naturist membership. This, unfortunately, reflects the society we live in, rather than naturist values.

4. Advertising, movie and televisions portrayals of women often make them feel inferior if they do not have a supermodel's body; they may fear comparison with other women.

5. There may be other reasons, such as a dislike of roughing it.

On the other hand, while women are the gender most reluctant to try naturism initially, they are also the most enthusiastic gender once they have experienced it.

However, finding a friend who might be interested in naturism is just as difficult for women as it is for men.

Natural Nudity is Healthy

Naturism is wholesome, healthy and not linked to sexual ideas or activity. Non-naturists often do not understand this because movies, television, music and advertisements so often portray nudity and sex as the same. Pornography has also given nudity a bad name.

A naturist woman's new boyfriend may not believe that, when she goes to a nudist resort, men who see her nakedness do not accost her. He may become jealous and greatly bothered by this.

On the other hand, a naturist man's new girlfriend may be suspicious of his motives and may be wary of giving naturism a try.

What Can We Do About It?

As with most problems, a good way to resolve it is through respectful communication. You and the friend you would like to attract to naturism must have confidence and mutual trust in each other. People need to be reassured, not coerced, so be honest -- deception always backfires.

1. Tell the friend about a good place to go to where you would like to spend time with him or her.

2. Emphasize the positive aspects of the club -- the family atmosphere, the rules of behaviour making it a place where people feel safe, the facilities, activities and so on.

3. Once you have a friend's interest and he/she understands it is a place where people behave with respect towards one another, make sure you mention the lack of bathing suits. Explain that nudists have the common sense to know when and where it is appropriate to be nude.

4. Make it clear to the friend that he/she is not obligated to be nude on the initial visit at most resorts. (There are exceptions, so call ahead to check; if nudity is mandatory, make sure you say so.) He/she is welcome just to see what the resort is like and is free to leave any time.

5. Call the resort in advance and inform the owner you will be bringing someone who is a newcomer to naturism. Resort owners are happy to help make your friend feel welcome on his/her initial visit.

Sometimes naturist friends and acquaintances can be of help before the initial visit. Meeting some of them to see what they are like, before visiting the club, may help your friend break the ice.

Naturist brochures or magazines, such as the FCN's 'Going Natural', may help give your friend some insight into the lifestyle. If he/she is hesitant to look at the publications or a naturist video in your company, do not push it. Suggest he or she take them and look them over alone. Do not force an immediate decision. It takes more time for some people to decide than for others.

Most important of all, use your common sense and some sensitivity in bringing up the subject. Human beings all react differently to different subjects, so use your judgment on what type of material to give someone to look at. Items expressing the family atmosphere will usually make people feel at ease the most, but it is a judgment call on how best to approach the subject with each friend.

Ultimately, most of the solution rests with you. Use common sense rules of etiquette, courtesy and respect.

Accept your friend's decision if he/she does not wish to participate. Naturism is not for everyone, but then neither is white-water rafting, stamp collection, gardening, eating chocolate nor watching Hockey Night in Canada. Perhaps another friend will be interested. After all, there are about 500,000 naturists in Canada already!

Meanwhile, there really is much empathy for your situation. You are not the only person trying to deal with this issue.

Respect Others; Get Involved

When you do attend a naturist resort alone, people will accept you more readily if you have consideration for others. Others probably will not appreciate it if you use meeting someone new as an opportunity for a pick-up.

Sometimes a person may be alone because he or she is shy and would welcome someone to talk to or play tennis with. Other times, people may simply prefer to enjoy quiet time to themselves reading a book under a shady tree. So instead, get to know the other individual as a friend or respect that person's privacy if he or she wishes to be by him or herself.

Also, people accept single persons more readily when they try to be active in any naturist organizations they do join. There are all kinds of volunteer activities you can help with. Write the FCN to offer your help and find out what you can do, or offer to help the resort owners organize an event.

If the resort is not admitting more single males at this time and turns you away, do not become hostile or defensive. It will not make it easier for people to accept you next time.

Is it important to understand the club owner is doing his/her best to make the single women at his resort feel comfortable. Having too many men tends to drive women members away. Often people do not want to believe, this, but it is, nevertheless, true, both in naturist and non-naturist settings.

Instead, take the positive approach. Do your best to find a friend of the opposite gender to bring, and do get involved when you attend.

For More Information:

The Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN) is a federally-incorporated, non-profit health organization based in Toronto, with the aim of promoting body acceptance and naturism throughout Canada. A membership includes a subscription to its quarterly magazine, Going Natural.

Federation of Canadian Naturists
PO Box 186 Stn. D
Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada
M9A 4X2

Homepage: Federation of Canadian Naturists
Phone: 416 410-NUDE

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