Frequently Asked Questions

What is Naturism?
"Naturism is a way of life in harmony with nature, characterized by the practice of communal nudity, with the intention of encouraging self-respect, respect for others, and for the environment."   — International Naturist Federation

Naturist, Nudist, or Clothes-free Recreation?
Nudist is an almost exclusively U.S. term, while Naturist is the more common designation worldwide.  The latter emphasizes Naturism’s traditional advocacy of a natural lifestyle:  a healthy diet, physical exercise, and outdoor activity, among which body freedom (nudity) is one important element.   Some Americans use Nudist to refer to those who visit nudist resorts, and Naturist to designate those who prefer more open settings – beach, stream, field or wood – but this distinction is not universal.  Naturists, or Nudists, comprise a diverse demographic group in education, occupation, political views and religious affiliation, united in the belief that our human bodies are a gift of nature or of nature’s God, not objects of shame.  Names aside, 25% of Americans have tried clothes-free recreation – skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing  (2006 Roper poll) – with surveys showing strong interest in nude recreation opportunities among American vacationers.  See Media Center for documentation.

Is Naturism a moral practice?

“Sexual modesty cannot then in any simple way be identified with the use of clothing, nor shamelessness with the absence of clothing and total or partial nakedness. There are circumstances in which nakedness is not immodest…nakedness as such is not to be equated with physical shamelessness.  Immodesty is present only when nakedness plays a negative role with regard to the value of the person, when its aim is to arouse concupiscence, as a result of which the person is put in the position of an object of enjoyment. The human body is not in itself shameful... Dress is always a social question, a function of…social customs. In this matter there is no exact similarity in the behavior of particular people, even if they live in the same age and the same society. The principle of what is truly immodest is simple and obvious...If someone takes advantage of such an occasion to treat the person as an object of enjoyment (even if his action is purely internal) it is only he who is guilty of shamelessness… not the other.”

                                                              – Karol Wojtyla (later Pope John Paul II), Love and Responsibility,
                                                trans. H.T. Willetts (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1981), pp. 176-192.
Thanks to Jim Cunningham of Naturist Life International for this excerpt.

Doesn’t the practice of Naturism offend some people?

This is true – just as current American public dress standards offend some people.  Among the 26% of Americans that do not approve of allowing skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing at accepted sites
(2006 Roper Poll), there must exist a wide divergence of subjective levels of offense, including those offended by bare midriffs, bare legs, and even bare (female) faces.  No universal standard short of complete veiling will satisfy everyone holding these varied minority positions.  Naturists are not exhibitionists, and therefore seek places where others will not be offended.  Designated clothing-optional areas, marked by signs,  allowing but not mandating nude use, solve this dilemma, since those who think they might be offended need not visit these areas.  This pragmatic and equitable  solution simultaneously minimizes the opportunity for offense and enhances the freedom  of choice of American citizens.  This model has a history of success at numerous beaches worldwide, the most notable example in the U.S. being the clothing-optional section at Haulover Park in South Florida, open to naturist use  since 1991.

Are there currently any clothing-optional beaches in the Tampa Area?

At this time there are no legal clothing-optional beaches in the Tampa Bay area. Tampa Area Naturists was founded just for this reason. If you would like to become a member of Tampa Area Naturists and help our cause, please visit our MEMBERSHIP PAGE.  



Return to Home Page
Tampa Area Naturists, Inc. PO Box 923 Lutz, Florida 33548-0923