Welcome to the FAQ, here you will find frequently asked questions commonly asked about naturism.
- Do I have to identify as a Naturist/Nudist? Do I have to call myself one of them? Do I have to Join anything?
- How long will it take to be comfortable?
- Do I have to undress right away?
- Where do I look when I talk to someone?
- What if I see someone I know?
- Won’t it desensitize me to sexuality?
- What if I get an erection?
- What if I’m menstruating?
- What if I don’t look good enough to be nude?
- Are tattoos, piercings, makeup, etc allowed?
- What about Children?
- Are there lots of young people?
- I am single, can you help me find someone?
- I am looking to be more sexually adventurous, is this the place to do it?
Do I have to identify as a Naturist/Nudist? Do I have to call myself one of them? Do I have to Join anything?
No, just like you can go to a vegetarian restaurant, eat vegetarian food and enjoy it without being a vegetarian. We provide an environment where people can be naturists and follow the values of naturism. But not everyone here does and you don’t have to either. For some of our members/visitors, it is simply a recreational activity because they enjoy being free of clothing.
You may want to review the page on Defining Labels.
How long will it take to be comfortable?
Everyone is different. Some feel instantaneously comfortable the minute they shed their clothing. Others need a lot more time to adjust. We all know that logically, there is no reason to be uncomfortable with our bodies. But emotionally, that’s a different story. We have gone through years of socialization which has taught us to be embarrassed, ashamed and even offended by our own image. So naturism is a form of therapy to help us reconnect with ourselves. When it comes to our bodies, many of us have the symptoms of an emotional disorder called a phobia. (gymnophobia: fear of nudity) To treat a phobia, you need to first recognize it. Then treatment is all about desensitization through exposure. (pardon the pun) So it may take a person many visits to get comfortable and it may take some effort. Likely it will be an ongoing form of therapy since few of us live in a naturist world. In mainstream society, we are constantly bombarded with messages that reinforce gymnophobia. But naturism does provide an antidote. It should be taken liberally and frequently. Fortunately, it becomes quite delightful with time. In fact, it can be addictive but only with positive side effects.
Do I have to undress right away?
Currently Arbutus Park Club is offering mostly swim nights. We understand that people new to naturism need some time to adjust, however the pool area is a clothing free area during our events. We do though encourage you to take a towel into the pool area for when you sit on chairs and benches. So if you do need a bit of time, be discreet, find a quiet spot where you can take some time to adjust. We have experienced though that most people will find that if they join us the awkwardness quickly subsides (5-10 mins).
Where do I look when I talk to someone?
Of course, the polite thing to do is to look at people in the eyes when you are talking to them. But it is okay and normal to look at the entire body. Out of curiosity you may initially look longer at others’ genitals and breasts when you are new to naturism. Just don’t stare. In time, you’ll be less curious about these areas and concentrate again on the face and eyes.
What if I see someone I know?
They are there for the same reason you are so nobody will be embarrassed. They will probably be happy to see a friendly face that shares their interest in naturism.
Won’t it desensitize me to sexuality?
Sexuality is in the mind. People are aroused at seeing nudity because their minds have been trained that way. But if that was the only source of sexual arousal, couples would lose their sex drive very quickly. Yet couples still report a satisfying sexual relationship even after decades together. Naturists dispense with the artificiality of a sexuality based on hidden body parts. Instead they can focus on a complex and intimate sexuality. Furthermore, naturists are comfortable with nudity so they don’t experience any self-consciousness about their body.
What if I get an erection?
This is the most common concern among men but it is also a very rare occurrence. The combination of the non-sexual environment and the unfamiliarity of a first-time visit serves to minimize the issue. But an erection is a natural part of life. Naturists realize this and will not take offense as long as it is not being flaunted. If you get an erection, a strategically placed towel, a dip in a cool pool, or rolling over on your stomach will take care of it.
What if I’m menstruating?
Menstruation is a natural and accepted part of life. Many naturist women use tampons, which allow them to take part in naturist activities unhindered. Some women who are not comfortable with tampons use alternatives like menstrual cups. If you prefer to use sanitary napkins, wearing bottoms is perfectly acceptable. However, since wet pads lose all ability to absorb menses, expand, and begin to disintegrate, they don’t fit the bill at our swim events.
At other events, if you choose clothing to control your period, please make sure that the item is consistent with naturist values. In other words, it should not be enticing or suggestive. It should not serve as a fashion accessory. Please select an item that is subtle and functional.
What if I don’t look good enough to be nude?
The fact you are asking yourself the question is exactly why you need to be nude. Naturists take their clothes off for themselves and out of respect for others. Each person is unique and there’s no such thing as a perfect body. Naturism is a form of therapy that will help you realize that bodies comes in all shapes and sizes. With time, you’ll come to appreciate that all bodies reveal the marks of a well-lived life.
Are tattoos, piercings, makeup, etc allowed?
Yes but what it means depends on you. Is it about hiding or enhancing any of your body parts or is it just an accessory that conveys your individuality? Are these decorations a means of self-expression or are they intended to elevate yourself above others? Only you can answer those questions. We provide an environment that makes it easier for people to accept who they are. We can’t force anyone to do that but your behavior may betray your intent. You need to determine your motivation for these adornments and whether it is consistent with naturist values.
What about Children?
What about children? Children are the most natural naturists, as gymnophobia is a taught part of socialization, they are often less affected by this societal effect. They benefit from naturism in many ways. But people do have many concerns. Which is why we created a page devoted to these concerns Children in Naturism.
Are there lots of young people?
There are people of all ages and sexes in a ratio that is roughly proportional to the population of Canada. Young people are often busier with their social life, schooling or starting their career so they sometimes find it difficult to schedule in events. On the opposite end of the spectrum retired people have much more free time. Although there are people of all ages at our events and beach areas, if you only want to be surrounded by young nimble bodies you will definitely be disappointed. That is not what naturism is about.
I am single, can you help me find someone?
Arbutus Park Club is a place where people come to relax and enjoy the benefits of naturism. While there are single adults who come to our events, they are not likely there because they are trying to meet anyone. In fact, they may be looking for seclusion and an escape from the dating scene. If you do attend our events, you should be mindful of this possibility when approaching them because your advances could easily be misinterpreted as harassment. Please note our Policies, specifically state that any behavior that requires an apology is NOT acceptable.
You may want to review the page on Making Friends in naturism.
I am looking to be more sexually adventurous, is this the place to do it?
NO!! Despite a century of telling people that naturism is not about sex, this fallacy remains. That’s likely because naturism and nudism have also been continuously exploited. From the very beginning of the movement, there have been people who have exploited us. They go against the very core values of our movement. They objectify our bodies and sexualize our activities. They turn our philosophy into a source of personal gain. (money, sex, power, pride, etc…) Some of them even pander to deviants but conceal themselves beneath the cloak of legitimacy that naturism provides.
People are inherently sexual but a true naturist environment is no more sexual than walking down the street. In the May 1987 edition of the Journal of Sex Research, Dr. Marilyn D. Story concluded that nudists had a lower incidence of deviant sexual behavior than the general population.
If this question is at all relevant to you, we strongly suggest you have a further discussion with one of our staff before attending an event.