Saturday, April 23, 2011
Naturism or nudism is a cultural and political movement practising, advocating and defending social nudity in private and in public. It may also refer to a lifestyle based on personal, family and/or social nudism.
Several other terms ("social nudity", "public nudity", and, recently, "clothes-free") have been proposed as alternative terms for naturism, but none has found the same widespread public acceptance as the older terms "naturism" and (in much of the United States) "nudism".
The naturist philosophy has several sources, many of which can be traced back to the health and fitness philosophy in Germany in the early 20th century, though the concept of returning to nature, and creating equality are also cited as inspiration. From Germany the idea spread to the UK, Canada, the United States and beyond where a network of clubs developed.
Social nudism is nudism in a social context, either at one's home with friends or with acquaintances at a nudist event or facility, such as a naturist club, community center, resort, or other facility. (The terms are loosely defined and there are some regional differences.) At naturist events or venues clothing is usually optional, except by swimming pools or sunbathing lawns where complete nudity is expected, weather permitting. This rule is sometimes a source of controversy among some naturists. Staff at a naturist facility are sometimes required to be clothed due to health and safety regulations.
A holiday center is a facility that specializes in providing apartments, chalets and camping pitches for visiting holidaymakers. The center is run commercially, and visitors are not members and have no say in the management. Most holiday centers expect visitors to hold an INF card, that is be a member of their national organization, but some have relaxed this restriction, relying on the carrying of a trade card. Holiday centers can be quite small, just a couple of hectares or large occupying over 300 hectares.