Irish Naturist Blog

Naturist Blitz March 2016
Ireland

Advertisements

 

Welcome to the Irish Naturist blog where you are invited to share your naturist experiences, from the first timers to the more seasoned naturists.

Click here for a retrospective view of our incredible experience of the NATURIST BLITZ in MARCH 2016, organised by Irish Naturist Association.

Here the video of the Naturist Blitz Program: Naturist Blitz March 2016

And here our best memories in pictures:

Best pics 1

Best pics 2

 

My naked triple decker

We all know the feeling of waiting ages for a bus and then all of a sudden three come along at once !! Well that is best way to describe a recent weekend in Cork.

Ten years earlier I had rocked up to the Customs House in Dublin at 2.30am along with 3,000 others for the Spencer Tunick Dublin photo shoot. It was a major leap into the unknown  , nervous energy was abound , tension palpable as the countdown to disrobing drew ever nearer. Like all things that scare you , once you take that leap of faith , you look back and wonder what all the fuss was about.

Fast forward and now I find myself registering for not just one public nude event but three and all on the same day !!

Saturday June16th 2018 , first up was #1000bodies photo shoot. This was a homage to the Spencer Tunick Cork shoot from 10 years previous. The 9am start was a lot more pleasant that its’ pre-dawn predecessor, the location was kept secret until the last minute. All that the participants knew was that it was walking distance from the City Centre. After a leisurely stroll , we arrived on site , got a debriefing on what to expect …. and then got debriefed !!

Pic 1

Credit Photo : David Hegarty                                                       Credit Artist : Ciara Langan

The location was a public park out by the University , surrounded on three sides by a six foot hedge. The ever thoughtful organisers decided to ease the concerns of any of the first time models by erecting a makeshift clothesline along the open side. As the wind picked up and people eased into the photo shoot , we laughed aloud at the feeble efforts of the volunteers to protect our modesty. By this stage the hesitant shy and reserved amongst us had transformed into radiant bubbly self confident individuals and it is this which will be their lasting legacy of partaking in such an event !

Pic 6

Credit Photo : David Hegarty                                                       Credit Artist : Ciara Langan

In total about 10 or 12 different poses were captured , the punters on the open top tourist buses got more than they bargained for !! We had performed the Mexican wave in a giant nude circle and our photographer got so consumed by the occasion that even he undressed on top of the scaffolding to capture us in all our glory ! By then two hours had elapsed and it was a wrap as they say in the biz !

Pic 2

Credit Photo : David Hegarty                                                       Credit Artist : Ciara Langan

This view was shared by seasoned veterans such as a retired couple from the UK who were participating in their fifth WNBR this year – “It was amazing , most colourful we’ve done , and fantastic atmosphere “. Whilst the bike ride was due to start at 3pm , the bodypainting kicked off as soon as the photoshoot was over. The buzz and positivity emanating from the studio was electric , it was a mosh pit of cyclists , artists and volunteers ; all embracing life , love and happiness.

If the #1000bodies was the base of our naked sandwich , then the naked bike ride was most certainly the filling. Cork is unique in World Naked Bike Ride ( WNBR ) community in that the majority of the participants tend to be bodypainted. This was my first bike ride and WOW it did not disappoint.

Pic 7

This view was shared by seasoned veterans such as a retired couple from the UK who were participating in their fifth WNBR this year – “It was amazing , most colourful we’ve done , and fantastic atmosphere “. Whilst the bike ride was due to start at 3pm , the bodypainting kicked off as soon as the photoshoot was over. The buzz and positivity emanating from the studio was electric , it was a mosh pit of cyclists , artists and volunteers ; all embracing life , love and happiness.

Pic 3

Credit Artist : Ciara Langan

Throughout the two hour bike ride right in the heart of the city  (it took us twenty minutes to get down the main shopping thoroughfare )  ,we encountered nothing but overwhelming positivity and unbridled joy from the public. The abiding memory of the day , will be the beaming smiles on all those that we encountered.

Pic 8

Credit Photo : David Hegarty

If we achieved nothing else but to temporarily improve a passers byes’ mental wellbeing or taught someone the lesson that LIFE is for living or that your body is beautiful exactly as it is or that it pays to push yourself out of your comfort zone , then just being a fleeting witness to the bike ride would be deemed a success .

Pic 4

If you were fortunate enough to participate then you can multiply those benefits to infinity and beyond !

Pic 9

Credit Photo : David Hegarty

If the Bike Ride was the filling , then finishing it off and meeting the Mayor on the steps of City Hall was the dressing on top. His diary was quite interesting that week as two days earlier his office had greeted Charles & Camilla to the city , quite an eclectic 48 hours !!

Pic 10

Credit Photo : David Hegarty

We completed our naked sandwich by heading off to the clothing optional after party in a nearby beer garden. We enjoyed the outdoor BBQ , mingled seamlessly with the non-bike riders and the embraced the freedom of the day by drinking au natural well into the evening. For those who can’t comprehend the concept of non sexual social nudity , I only wish that you were present in that pub as there was no voyeuristic or exhibitionistic overtones as all integrated naturally.

Pic 5

Credit Photo : Stephanie Power

So as I look back on that epic day what were the life lessons learnt  …..

Am I the same person at the end of the day as I was at the start ? The answer is a resounding NO.

Am I more confident and in a happier space at the end of the day ? The answer is a resounding YES.

Did we bring a smile to the faces of thousands of people ? The answer is a resounding YES.

Will I actively encourage others to do the same ? You’ve guessed it , the answer is a resounding YES.

North East Skinny Dip – England 2017

NESD 1I am very late writing this but last year, on the 22/23rd September 2017, I, along with 400+ people did the annual North East Skinny Dip at Druridge Bay, England.  Men and women of all ages and different shapes and sizes stripped off their clothes and ran into the freezing cold North Sea to raise money to the mental health charity, MIND and to celebrate the autumn equinox.

This was my second time taking part in the NESD, as I had done this dip in 2015.  When I did the first dip, it was my first time stripping off and running naked into the sea with hundreds of people that I didn’t know.  At the beginning of the event, I was so nervous about the occasion and if people would look at my body but once I got into the sea, it was fine and I found it exhilarating.  It was an experience that I would never forget and something that I would have to do again in the future and maybe considering doing naturism.

Fast forward 2 years later, I am back in the campsite at Druridge Bay on the Saturday evening wearing my Irish hat and necklace, being greeted by new and familiar faces and arrive to a massive, roaring fire and people playing guitars, singing along, having a drink or two and a dance and enjoying the warm up to the event.   I met numerous people from different parts of the country who arrived for the first time telling me how they heard about the event, why they wanted to do it, etc.  It was very interesting hearing some of the stories that they told and how they’ve overcome adversities in their life and want to have a new experience.  I felt very sympathetic hearing their stories and although they were very nervous as first timers, I was able to share my experience of the event and told them that “once you do it, you will be back here again.”

At 6.15am on Sunday morning, revellers started to gather in packs preparing to make their way to the beach to bare all.  We were welcomed by beating djembes, beach barbeques, photographers and fire dancers.  Whilst the time was ticking, I brought face-paint with me and decided to get the words “Póg mo Thóin Depression” on my back in the Irish colours with the help from a few volunteers.  Many people were asking what it means especially the organiser of the event, Jax Higginson and taking pictures of my back.

póg my..

Not long to go, I noticed a woman with her kit off posing for the cameras, I decided to join in and get my bare Irish bum and my Irish hat into the picture whilst looking into the glorious sunrise.

North East Skinny Dip

It comes to 7am and Jax, the organiser is getting us to do scissors jumps and warm up whilst others are already taking their clothes off.  Next thing…..3…..2…..1…..strip!   WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!   Hundreds of naked people men, women and kids are screaming, laughing and sprinting into the baltic North Sea.  While trying to hurdle the freezing, incoming waves, I started receiving high fives, hugs and kisses from people I had met the night before and when I did the dip two years ago.  I don’t remember how long I was in the water for but I can tell you that I was frozen to the core and could barely speak due to my teeth chattering.

NESD 2

It was again a fantastic experience and never fails to disappoint.  It doesn’t matter how old, what shape or size you are, anyone can take part.  I’d highly recommend you to do the North East Skinny Dip for the invigorating experience and for a great cause.  Hopefully we get a few Irish people to come over as apparently there is a planned naked Mexican Wave taking place at this years dip.  You can’t miss it. 😉

Irish visitors at the London Naked Bike Ride

London Bike Ride Event 2018 - 5

LONDON NAKED BIKE RIDE

On June the 9th as the Red Arrows passed overhead on route to Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queens birthday, across London I along with many others off all ages, shapes, sizes and nationalities where stripping off as we prepared for the London leg of the WNBR.
Initially the message of the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) was a protest against a growing oil dependency while celebrating the power and individuality of the human body. In 2006, there was a shift towards simplifying the message and focusing on cycling advocacy. While the ride does include and appeal to participants from social nudity circles, the ride is not focused on promoting social nudity directly as much as cycling. Google WNBR for more details.
Prepared with the hire bikes we gathered in a beautiful park overlooking Tower Bridge, although we were large in numbers there were many more on-lookers and tourists all clicking their cameras, enjoying the view and excited as they learned why the event takes place.  With fabulous weather the merry band of naked cyclists hit the road to cheers and applause. Our route crossed several bridges with traffic coming to a standstill as we passed.  There are many possible reactions with some people covering their eyes, others cheering and the odd textile cyclist stripping off and joining in, however overall it was all very positive and encouraging. We passed many of the famous landmarks, enjoying conversation and laughter with whoever was cycling or roller-skating beside you.  There was even a number of folks running naked.
London Bike Ride Event 2018 - 4
Having stopped at County Hall (beside the London eye) for a photo opportunity, the coordination team behind the event need to be congratulated as the scale of the event was about to unfold.  Our group slowly made its way to a square north of Oxford Street and it was was very impressive as other groups arrived and the numbers grew to an estimated three and a half to four thousand naked participants! With music bouncing out of many a cyclists carry bag the final leg of the trip brought is through Covent Garden, around Piccadilly Circus and towards Buckingham Palace as we ended our 3 hour London cycle full of natural positive energy and having made many new friends.
London Bike Ride Event 2018 - 3
On Sunday morning I along with many others from the previous day took a train to Brighton to participate in what has become known as London “phase 2” the Brighton WNBR, however for me the Brighton event puts London in the back seat.
London Bike Ride Event 2018 - 2
Arriving to the start location we were welcomed with a live band and parents and children dancing naked enjoying the great weather.  There were ice cream wagons, family picnics, dogs running about and a lovely positive atmosphere. Local volunteers introduced themselves and enquired where I had travelled from and confirmed it was OK to take pictures etc. As the departure time approached I noticed several police arrive on bicycles positioning themselves to escort the group and with a burst of loud applause bikes were mounted and our group of three thousand colorful naked and body painted people hit the road.  Several participants were pushing or pulling children in side cars, friends and family members were supporting those in wheelchairs or blind  and the city of Brighton was out to welcome one and all. Traffic stopped as route brought us through the many historical parts, along the sea front and passed many restaurants and coffee shops all offering support and encouragement.  There was two official stops on route all prepared with live music, refreshments and photo opportunities and then maybe two hours later the group finally made its way to a beach location for a mighty bbq and party.
London Bike Ride Event 2018 - 1
A week later the WNBR took to the roads of Cork, unfortunately I could not attend. However, I returned from the UK on a natural high, full of positive energy, confidence knowing I will return next year – join me?

 

Nudity beyond the mirror – Life and Art face to face naked in Dublin’s In-Spire Gallery

 

 

Uno

The Body / Le Corps

 Inspire Gallery Tuesday, 29th May

In collaboration with a collective of nude photography artists, Irish Naturist Association had organised a private viewing of their art for an evening in late May. The appeal of the event took the organisers by surprise: Over 100 people registered to attend a extraordinary nude visit to the Art Nude Ireland exhibition The Body” on 29th May 2018, which forced the Event Team of Irish Naturist Association to split the audience into two groups, allocating them different time slots.

The images on display were representing the gamut of the genre of art nude photography: a series of 48 pieces with essentially equal representation of the work of the models and photographers of the Irish and French collectives, covering a wide range of contemporary nude themes.

But on this particular occasion, both the art and the view would meet eye to eye in the same setting – in the nude. Photographer Paul Brady undressed as well for this unique event. With his presentation he explained to his naked audience some details concerning the making of his collective and their art. And also the challenge that Ireland has yet to embrace the beauty of nude photography, which is something this exhibition aims to fix.

He explained that while nudity has long been accepted in other art forms, such as painting and sculpture, when presented as a photograph, the nude is too often associated only with sexuality. By showing the highly varied work of its members to a wide audience Art Nude Ireland aims to show that nudity in photography can be portrayed in as many ways as in any other form of creative expression. ANI Members create work individually and also work together as a collective.

The members of Irish Naturist Association had already enjoyed the pleasure of an artistic talk -also in their birthday suits- on “Finding a valued place for the body in our culture” by photographer Doug Ross, co-founder of Art Nude Ireland.

The managers of In-spire Gallery, where the exhibition took place, showed themselves equally delighted for the opportunity of this naked collaboration.

Undoubtedly, venue, artists and audience will soon surprise us with further ventures, we’ll keep you posted!

 

Group

 

 

“If the Spanish Naturist Federation did not exist, nudism would already be banned from nearly all Spanish beaches” – Ismael Rodrigo, President of the Spanish Naturist Federation

dia-nudista-piscina-municipal-madrid-body-image-1469611173-size_1000_1000

24  July 2016, Day Without a Swimsuit, in an outdoor pool in Madrid

 

INTERVIEW WITH ISMAEL RODRIGO, PRESIDENT OF THE SPANISH NATURIST FEDERATION

 

1) Hi Ismael! Could you please explain about the history of Spanish naturism? How did it all start? 

FEN (Federación Española de Naturismo) was founded in 1981 through the amalgamation of the Catalan Naturist Club (CCN), a disbanded Mediterranean association, a Basque association (ANV), and a disbanded Andalusian Association.

2) When did Spain get its first nudist beach?

Up to 1988 there was the offense of “PUBLIC INDECENCY” in Spanish Criminal Law. However, since the end of Franco’s dictatorship there were already isolated beaches which had a nudist tradition. With the arrival of democracy these beaches were included on a list by the Department of Ministry of the Environment that classified them as nudist beaches.

The legal change that allowed the decriminalization of nudity came along after some problems on beaches in Galicia that led to a ruling by the Supreme Court condemning a nudist. The Spanish legislators realized that the problem was with the Law.

The ruling of the Supreme Court showed the need to amend the Spanish Criminal Law, abolishing the offense of public indecency. For this, the Act 122/000046 of March 17, 1987 deemed the concept of public indecency “completely incompatible with a democratic and pluralistic system”. As a consequence, public indecency was ruled out as unconstitutional.

The Spanish Parliament passed a law in 1988 specifically removing the element of public indecency and also amended the existing ‘Coastal Act’.

In the new Coastal Act the previous reference to competencies with moral content that the old Coastal Law of April 26, 1969 made in its article 17 attributed to it by the so-called “morality police” disappeared.   Therefore, as early as 1988 and with the new Coastal Law, it was clear that   the municipal competences on the beaches do not enable the Town Councils (or anyone) to   act as “morality police”, since this function was found in the old Coastal Law and has been specifically suppressed in the current one . We are not therefore faced with a case of legal vacuum that can be left to the discretion of the Council, but a   specific and desired suppression.

This resulted in the removal of the nudist classification on beaches made by the coastal website. From then on, all beaches were deemed for free use (naturist or textile) by all the citizens.

3) Is it true that it is totally legal to be naked everywhere on the Spanish coastline?

In a democratic state of law “everything that is not expressly prohibited by law, is allowed.” It is the so-called “principle of legality”. The security forces and bodies of the state and the courts cannot force anyone to act in a certain way based on their personal opinions, but only on the basis of the Law. This principle is incorporated in the European Charter of Human Rights and in all the Constitutions (in the Spanish in article 25). After the above it is clear that you cannot persecute anyone for bathing naked (after the abolition of article 577.1 on public indecency on beaches), but it is also clear that you cannot even criminalise nudity anywhere in the national territory, since the offense of general public indecency was also abolished (articles 431 and 432).

FEN only promotes nudity when clothing is clearly unnecessary and even harmful, that is, especially for bathing and sunbathing, but also defends the right of being naked on any other environment, for example on the street, should someone wishes to be naked.

For this reason we contact the city councils that try to issue bye-laws or any other type of dress code regulations and we explain to them that they are illegal. Generally, their legal advisors confirm that we are right and withdraw the prohibitions in draft phase. If they persist in continuing with the prohibitions, we submit our appeals, and if they reject them, we file a suit against the particular councils.

In recent years we have lost court cases in three important councils: Barcelona, ​​Cádiz and Valladolid. The Supreme Court is composed almost entirely of very conservative judges (the speaker who was allocated the case is a recognised member of Opus Dei).

The Supreme realised that we were right to say that fundamental freedoms cannot be regulated by mere local bye-laws, since they are constitutionally allocated to Laws. However, the Supreme Court chose to declare that if any council wishes to regulate the nudity on its beaches, it may do so. For this purpose, the only argument they based it on was to state that Naturism is not an ideology, since if it were so, it could only be regulated by an Organic/Constitutional Law or Act.

It is evident that no Court can decide that an ideology ceases to be so, and this is the opinion of all the jurists who have pronounced themselves on this matter. Furthermore, Cádiz Council, for example, banned nudism on the beaches of the capital, but said nothing about the city, so there could be a situation where people could go naked from their houses to the beach and only there they would have to get dressed, and could only get undressed again after leaving the beach to go home.

The current situation and the actions taken by our Spanish Naturist Federation and Associations are as follows:

We have appealed to the Ombudsman, who has fully agreed with us.  Same as all the consulted jurists, the Ombudsman keeps advocating that Naturism or Nudism is an ideology and therefore the Judgements of the Supreme are incorrect.

The FEN appealed to the Supreme Court, basing its arguments on “ideological freedom“, but during the process the case of Stephen Gough, based on “freedom of expression “, came to the European Court of Human Rights, which stated the following:

“The applicant has chosen to be naked public in order to give expression to his opinion as to the inoffensive nature of the human body …. The Court is therefore satisfied that the applicant’s   public nudity can be seen as a form of expression which falls within the ambit of Article 10 of the Convention   and that his arrest, prosecution, conviction and detention constituted repressive measures taken in reaction to that form of expression of his opinions by the applicant. There has therefore been an interference with   his exercise of his right to freedom of expression.”

The European Court of Human Rights continues by noting that the only restriction to the Right to Freedom of Expression is the one established in the second section of Article 10, and that any restriction on freedom of expression must be established by Law:

“An interference with the right to freedom of expression can only be justified under Article 10 § 2 if it is prescribed   by law “,

(source: http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-147623)

 

For this reason, the Spanish Naturist Federation uses before the city councils this ECHR ruling, which is above any European national Court.

The Federation works with the purpose of getting withdrawn such illegal bye-laws in the few town councils where they are in force. Thus, on March 26 2018, the new “Bye-law for the Protection of the Urban Environment” came into force in Valladolid, replacing the former “protection of citizen coexistence and prevention of antisocial actions”. The prohibition of nudism is removed and Valladolid recovers the normality enjoyed by the majority of town and city councils, where nobody would come to the idea that the clothes of citizens could be regulated by mere local bye-laws.

This constitutes a very important victory for Naturism, since Valladolid is a city without coastline, which makes the concepts even clearer. And of great importance to the Spanish Federation of Naturism, which has fought for years for this achievement.

Cádiz and Barcelona have committed to withdraw their Bye-laws too.

The Spanish Naturist Federation encourages the submission of motions in the autonomous parliaments. Thus, recently the Parliament of the Region of Murcia approved on 27th September 2017 a motion accepting the text that we proposed without modifications, and that we reproduce here for its importance and brevity:

The Regional Assembly urges the Governing Council to take the necessary measures in its area of ​​competence to:

 . Promote the elimination of regulatory obstacles that prevent the practice of nudism, encouraging the   elimination of municipal bye-laws   that might refer to the clothing of citizens, understood as the right to freedom of   expression, since the exercise of this right is   reserved to the law and can not be the direct object of regulation by municipal bye-law, and instead protect and / or promote the values ​​of Naturism, as values ​​of our society.

 . Create in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, along with the eight   municipalities with beaches of the Region and the Federation of Municipalities, a commission of   study and evaluation for the declaration of “Naturist tradition zone”, in order to   facilitate sports and recreational naturist practice in the Region of Murcia.

 . Study the feasibility and possible exploitation of the growth potential of the   naturist tourism, in order to make it a factor for the regional development of zones   that preserve their natural environment, working with associations and entrepreneurs of the   tourism sector to attract tourism that respects the environment, sustainability   and respect for the human body.

4th. Signposting as “Beach of naturist tradition” those beaches where  historically, some users do not use clothing for their use and   enjoy them, and with information about “respect for values” with indication   of the police, so that both those who wear clothes and those who do not wear   they can denounce behaviors contemplated in the Spanish Criminal Law “.

4) How many naturist associations do you have in Spain? How many members have you got altogether? How many naturist resorts? How many nudist beaches?

The Spanish Naturist Federation is made up of 17 associations (http://naturismo.org/asociaciones-naturistas/ ) with about 3000 members with an annual ID card and stamp of the International Naturist Federation. On our website are reflected the holiday resorts that we have approved and which are about 12 (http://naturismo.org/vacaciones/). As for nudist beaches, in reality all beaches are clothing optional unless there is an illegal bye-law against which we would be working. On our website we point out quality beaches with established nudist tradition, which are close to 500 (http://naturismo.org/playas-nudistas/), all of them with their position in Google Map to make it very easy to reach.

 

5) Does naturism also happen in inland Spain?

Of course. ADN, Madrid Naturist Association, organises nudist excursions in the mountains. In the summer, ADN arranges with Madrid City Council the clothes-free use in some swimming pools some days: At least the “Naturist’s Day” (first Sunday in June) and the “Day without a Swimsuit” (third Sunday in July, Spanish initiative approved by the International Naturist Federation). The “Day without a Swimsuit” encourages people not to wear a swimsuit on any beach, river, lake or public pool, and there are concrete meetups in Madrid and other cities. The mixture of naked families with a majority of textile families does not cause any problems, and the media report on it naturally, pointing out that the use of a swimsuit should not be imposed in all bathing places as it happens with the top-less practice.

We also have inland naturist campsites such as “Las Grullas”.

6) Which are the most popular events the naturist associations organize in Spain? How many people can you reach out to?

The South European Family Meeting, held every year in “El Portus” (http://naturismo.org/actividad/vacaciones-naturistas-portus-2018/) with funding from the International Naturist Federation brings together more than 200 people from all over Europe, including Ireland. Another meeting that brings together many members is the one on Bank Holiday May in “The Temple of the Sun”, during which a race is held, also funded from this year onwards by INF (http://naturismo.org/actividad/30-aniversario -adn-aapnt-temple-of-the-sun /).

The awareness raising events as the aforementioned “Day without a Swimsuit” also bring together more than 200 “brave” people in the agreed public pools of Madrid. The naked bike rides of Madrid, Valencia, Valladolid… also appeal to many nudists, although this activity is not organised by our collective.

7) We can hear from time to time about court cases in relation to naturism in Spain. Tell us what that is all about.

The Spanish Naturist Federation is always alert (through Google alerts, press, partners, politicians…) of any attempt to criminalise nudity. Despite our continued presence in the media (see https://vimeo.com/naturismo), from time to time, a city council announces a bye-law with nudophobic contents. As soon as we have knowledge of it, we contact that council by phone and send them the legal documentation of the European Court of Human Rights, the Ombudsman etc. and we explain how other City and Town Councils have eliminated such regulations and have even decided to promote naturism in view of the tourism data we also provide. If they do not accept the evidence, we submit legal appeals against the City/Town Council decision and we put pressure on them with shame campaigns in the media. If they still go ahead with their bye-law, we have two months to go to the Regional Court. When we lose the court cases, we resort to the Supreme Court. All this costs money, so after having suffered some economic problems we now insist more on the phase of allegations and pressure via the media. We threaten with criminal demands, where they would face potential jail sentences, on impeachment grounds against the mayor and even councillors voting in favour, for once warned by means of allegations it is impossible to ignore that the intended bye-law is illegal. Criminal demands are free of charge and more frightening.

8) Can you explain the role of the Spanish naturist federation and associations in the development of naturism in Spain? Is there a ‘free scene’ too, informal groups of naturists?

FEN works with other NGOs that defend freedoms. For example, it has an agreement with the “International Human Rights Foundation”, which is the NGO with the most followers on Twitter (@ declaration, with 673,000 followers, ahead of Green Peace Spain). We encourage the creation of groups based around the defense of a natural environment or beach, putting them in contact with each other and encouraging them to form as an association and join the FEN. This year this work has led to the birth of a new association to protect Cantarriján Beach, and two other ongoing projects, in Racó del Conil and Mazarrón. The FEN has been working since 2005 with the Ministry of the Environment for the care of traditional beaches. The ministry considers us a reliable organisation when it comes to establishing which beaches have the most nudist tradition. We work with the regional parliaments: Our goal is to achieve this year the existence of Proposition no Law in all regions declaring that nudism cannot be prohibited and asking the city and town councils to collaborate with us to spread positive values ​​towards the human body brought about by Naturism and the tourism potential that it can entail.

More than half of Spaniards have tried nudism at some stage, according to surveys. Only between 1% and 7% oppose free nudism on all beaches. Joining a naturist association would not appear too essential in this context. Therefore, we try to disseminate the message that if our Spanish Naturist Federation did not exist, nudism would already be banned from nearly all beaches, since through our work we have managed to remove over a hundred bye-laws in the draft phase and most likely several hundred councils have not considered following the same path because they avail of the information we have been spreading since at least the year 2000. This protection and promotion work of our ideology contributes to the growth again in Naturism -after a brief lapse of time with diminishing membership due to the global economic recession.

Activism, and not only recreational activities, is a key element for membership acquisition in our country.

9) Do you believe social acceptance towards naturism is increasing in Spain and internationally?

In general yes, with small ups and downs. We are concerned to note how American censorship of social networks is normalising the concealment and the pixilation of nudity. In Spain nudity had never been censored before in the context of beaches, naturist events, awareness raising actions (bike rides, nudist races, animalistic rallies, feminist movements…) and in general, all nudity not linked to sex. At any time they could appear naked on television. However, in recent times self-censorship has been taking place in some television channels -and I’m saying self-censorship because the laws have not changed. This censorship does not fit into our culture and is being introduced little by little, by infection of what is being exerted in American and Anglo-Saxon media.

Another worrying matter is the fact that nowadays everyone has a video camera in their pocket, that is, their mobile phone, with instant access to social media. Some people are afraid of enjoying naturism on the beach because of the possibility of being photographed and posted on some website. It is impossible to fight against this, hence the only solution is to normalise naked bathing so that eventually there is no social difference between a picture in your birthday suit or in swimming wear, and people do not mind if it ends up on the Internet, since you are not doing nothing wrong, but quite the opposite. Fighting from the naturist movement against the photography of natural nudes, of our nudes, is an impossible battle. Our efforts should therefore be directed towards education on two levels: it is not correct to photograph strangers on a beach (whether they are naked or not), and we should not obsess over if someone takes a naked picture of us, as it is a pride to belong to that minority that does not use clothes when it is not needed and only harms the human being, sexualising his body and depriving him of a freedom without any rational cause whatsoever.

 

10) Have you ever encountered problems, like confrontations with the Spanish police, opposition from local residents, etc.?

On very few occasions. Sometimes there is an uninformed policeman/woman, but the problem is over as soon as they are asked to call their headquarters and consult with their superiors (usually better informed).

That 1% of the population that opposes nudity does not usually go to the beaches because the mere sight of people with little clothes causes them mental problems. Their work against nudism is usually limited to trying to influence politicians from platforms organised via the Internet. The few fines that have been issued against some nudists could easily be withdrawn if the affected party has contacted our federation. It is easy for any lawyer to win cases, given the amount of legal material available to us, even if there is an illegal bye-law, as it has happened in Cádiz in which the council was ordered to pay the costs of the trial.

11) Ireland is struggling now to get its first nudist signage. Can you comment on it? 

We note with satisfaction that developments in Ireland are not emerging alone, but due to the direct work of Irish Naturist Association. This proves once again how necessary it is to join naturist associations.

In manifold general meetings of the European Federations and the International Naturist Federation we have requested -without any success so far- the creation of a common fund so that the national federations are encouraged to face legally anti-nudist bye-laws. We are advocating the creation of a Legality Commission that can compile the diverse legal works, focusing in the advances in Spain, Holland, New Zealand, etc… and analysing the setbacks to learn of them. A commission that can explore advances at the level of the European institutions, that compile and elaborate material that defends nudity as a human right, one of the most basic ones. Irish Naturist Association, British Naturism, French Naturist Federation, Portuguese Naturist Federation, New Zealand Naturist Federation, Belgian Naturist Federation…, they all support this line, which we hope will end up by becoming a majority.

Regarding beach signage, we are not sure it is a good idea: when a beach is designated as “nudist”, people tend to interpret that it is prohibited in the rest of the beaches and they would say “go to your beach” if they see you on another one. And even if a beach is designated as a nudist area, dressed people will keep coming, for it is a public space and you cannot force anyone to undress.

The problem is that if it is not signposted, spaces of naturist tradition can be lost. The solution we have agreed upon in the Spanish Naturist Federation is to let each local association decide its policy according to the specific problems in their areas. When the non-existence of a nudist sign does not restrict naturist practice, it is best not to ask for it to be signposted. If, on the other side, there seems to be problems, it is good to put a sign that does not exclude other beaches. Usually it is requested to put a sign reading “Beach of Nudist Tradition”, and sometimes it is added: “respect our values”, and a police phone number in case somebody interprets that it is a place allowing for sexual acts in public, which it is prohibited in Spanish legislation if there are minors around.

Some city councils promote some beaches for nudism, but we always ask them to clarify in their promotional writing that you can be naked on all the beaches. You cannot force anyone to undress for the same reason that you cannot force anyone to get dressed.

1432208444_984727_1432228582_sumario_normal The beach of Es Caragol, in Mallorca

Women-in-Naturism Action in Ireland – June 2018

Women-in-Naturism Action in Ireland – June 2018

 

We hide our personalities behind our outfits but being naked allows you to be your real self. When you get dressed again you feel as though you’re putting on a disguise, to make yourself respectable for the rest of the world.

Whenever you’re putting on a different outfit, whether you’re going out, putting on a uniform, or staying at home, you’re wearing something to reflect the behaviour and personality you think you should have in that environment. When you’re naked, you don’t need to do any of that, you can be what you feel. You don’t have to pander to whatever you think everyone else expects and it gets rid of class distinctions.

Like any hobby, naturism brings diverse groups of people together. You interact whole range of people you wouldn’t necessarily interact with in your day to day life and everyone is so genuine.

There’s nothing particularly interesting about looking at a naked body really, so when you’re talking to someone you’re actually listening to what they’re saying and trying to understand it, rather than getting distracted by their body or clothes. The conversations are more profound and genuine that way. Being naked removes all artifice and pretence, and so you can connect with people on a deeper, more honest level.

However, women face much greater pressure with regards to body image and sexual objectification than men do. Women may feel particularly nervous about participating because of the way that the female body is sexualised in the modern world. but it’s actually clothing that sexualises everything.

The fact is there are an array of sociocultural factors lined up to make women feel insecure about their bodies and as a consequence are less enthusiastic about the prospect of spending time naked around other people. Unfairly men simply aren’t subjected to this to nearly the same degree. They have less to fear from being objectified, and there’s much less pressure on them to look a certain way.

Naturism promotes messages of body acceptance and is against objectification at every level. While negative body image is indeed a barrier, naturism itself offers an alternative to the men and women who are made miserable by this culture of body shaming. It’s one of the great things about this lifestyle and one of the best reasons to participate and support it.

After you go to a swim or event you’ll feel so good about yourself, women become more and more accepting of their bodies. And become more confident in general, if one can take my clothes off in front of complete strangers, you’ll feel you can do pretty much anything. Half the time you forget you’re actually naked, you just feel so natural and comfortable. You can just be yourself – it’s so freeing.

Also, by seeing how many different bodies there are out there you realise how ridiculous it is to compare yourself to other people – we are all so different. Why would you compare yourself to someone else when you are so unique?” Everyone is on an equal footing, being nude is extremely relaxing. You feel comfortable in your own skin and it feels normal, organic, liberating, empowering.

 

Women in naturism June 2018

Irish Naturist Association firmly believes  in the positive benefits of naturism and with our Women-in-Naturism Action seeks to encourage women to try it out:

Therefore, we are delighted to be offering free entry for women to all our nude indoor swims in June 2018:

Dublin 4 on Saturday 2 June 2018 from 5pm to 6pm – Book here your free place

Cahir on Saturday 2 June 2018 from 7.30pm to 9pm – Book here your free place

Wicklow on Sunday 3 June 2018 from 6pm to 8pm – Book here your free place

Ballinasloe on Sunday 10 June 2018 from 6pm to 8pm – Book here your free place

Cahir on Saturday 16 June 2018 from 7.30pm to 9pm – Book here your free place

Dublin 10 on Sunday 17 June 2018 from 4pm to 6pm – Book here your free place

Monaghan 24 June 2018 from 6pm to 8pm – Book here your free place

Secret Garden – World Naked Garden(ing) Day 2018 in Ireland

World Naked Gardening Day 2018

In our preparation for World Naked Gardening Day, members of the event team visited Corke Lodge to assess its suitability as a venue. Alfred Cochrane, the owner was unfortunately abroad, however he had instructed his head gardener to show us around. We were immediately struck by its homely intimate character. Everything about it seemed to tick all the boxes: location, discreetness, layout.

This ‘ancient garden’ of box parterres was punctuated by architectural follies which emerge mysteriously from the dense boscage of evergreen oaks and American cedars. The writhing cork oak tree with deeply corrugated bark was the garden centre piece. We were informed that it’s apparently the oldest known cork oak tree in Ireland. On the northern side of the garden I came across a Sequoiadendron giganteum (Giant Redwood) which is rare in Ireland.

Also, avenues of cordyline palms and tree ferns, dense planting of sword-leaved New Zealand flax, and clumps of whispering bamboos lend a magical atmosphere to this radiant imaginative creation – there and then we decided this was the venue for our World Naked Gardening Day 2018.

On the morning of the 5th May the weather could not have been better. We had 40 people pre-booked to attend. As I arrived at Corke Lodge the gardens looked more impressive since our first visit. Three weeks of early summer growth had sprung the garden into life. Refreshments were on offer and much appreciated by those who had made the long arduous journey.

After undressing and with initial greetings over with we mixed freely and at ease. The feeling of being naked whilst wandering through this beautiful horticultural paradise was real harmony with nature. Some lay on the grass to embrace the sun’s rays while others were feeling more energetic and engaged in some improvised volleyball. The sounds of nature were interrupted by the humming noise of a ‘drone’. One of our members had brought one along, which provided splendid photographic opportunities.

For the first time we had an unusual special guest: a 6-year-old pet rabbit named Lilou. I have to admit I hadn’t come across a rabbit on a leash before. But nonetheless she was most welcome proving to be popular amongst some of our members.

Our host then appeared to welcome and wish us well. We invited him to address us. He explained about the Dublin Garden Group and gave us a full account of the gardens history. He told us how the architectural follies were salvaged from the demolition of Glendalough House which had been owned by Erskine Childers.

The house and gardens as it presents itself today was restored and furnished in 1980 by Alfred, who is an architect by profession. It pioneered the current trends in historicist restoration of country houses and was featured in a number of local and international publications.

Overall it was truly a magical day, great to catch up with fellow members who I haven’t seen in a long time. I did manage a minute little gardening activity with the means of a trowel that I found. This particular venue was perfect for us and no doubt enhanced by the fantastic weather we had on the day.

A video of our naked tour: