This entertaining article about German naturism from The New York Times Style Magazine illustrates how different naturism (or nudism if you prefer) is in different countries. The article discusses German attitudes, fleetingly compared to US, and the differences, as we all know, are huge. Can you imagine city centre (center) parks in DC or NYC allowing clothing optional sunning? Nope, nor me! World’s apart.
But so are the differences within Europe itself. UK is more reserved, as one would expect, and naturists are expected to cover up in public with bare acceptance at nudist beaches, France is the naturist destination of choice for many but is only now getting round to public naturism away from designated nude beaches, Italy is still trying to decide, but Spain – the repressed country of my childhood under Franco – is head and shoulders ahead with nudity no longer illegal anywhere.
We often hike along a France/Spain border trail wondering what reaction we would receive from the authorities of either nation. A moot point – there are hardly ever any other hikers, let alone anyone in a uniform.
Nevertheless, cultures are different and must be respected. But roll on the day when we can all enjoy total freedom of public unclothed recreation in cities, countryside and coastlines and bask in open acceptance by the masses of any western country.