European Naturism from a Nordic Perspective

Nudism In Norway and European Nudity
Nudism In Norway – Last summer, my family was at a sand vacationing jointly with another family that we have understood for years. Shortly after we arrived at the strand, the father of the other family stripped his youngest child who was perhaps three years of age at the time nude and sent the kid to play at the edge of the water. Almost as an afterthought he turned to me, with a look of anxiety on his face, and said You know it’s OK that he is nude, right?
Now, a small context this plage wasn’t in the United States, but in Norway. It’s customary in Norway, and throughout Scandinavia for that matter, for young children to play naked at seashores up until the age of about seven or eight.
The father asked me if I knew it was OK struck me as odd at time, but in retrospect makes perfect sense. Despite the fact which he and I are both Norwegian, and we were in Norway, he still felt the need to assess with me to make sure I did not believe he was mistreating his kid in some way. But because he and I both live in the U.S., and have spent a considerable part of our lives here, we’re keenly aware that the sight of naked child in public immediately conjures images of child pornography rings and psychotic sex offenders.

Naturism In Norway – Famous nude statue by artist Gustav Vigeland found in a sculpture park in Oslo, Norway
The American perspective of nudity as sexual at best, and criminal at worst, is the single largest issue the nudist community confronts. We often wish that everyone in America had the same approach as residents of more liberal nations. But why are those states like this in the first place? It is often joked that many Americans can not even find North America on a map let alone nations elsewhere. So we don’t anticipate many folks to know what makes other nations tick socially.
For me, I can only speak for naturism in Norway, that is my country of origin. But many of the countries of Europe and elsewhere share particular social characteristics are extremely distinct from America and that make the people’s perspective of nudity considerably more forgiving. They comprise:
Mandatory Sex Education
Sex education is mandatory in Norway. There is no abstinence only option. (Like most countries, Norway isn’t subdivided into states that have powers different from the national government.) So there’s absolutely no shielding children from the realities of sex and the human anatomy. Sex teachers have long asserted that talking to children early and often about sex goes a long way toward removing the taboo surrounding the matter, and makes them less likely to engage in it recklessly since they know the potential impacts. It’s no wonder in America, then, the demonization of sex and the equating of nudity with sex has made people fearful of exploring naturism.
National Broadcaster
Like many nations, Norway has a government- beach handjob as well as independently-owned media outlets. The mission of the national broadcaster is to present the news to not earn money. It’s funded by a little licensing that households pay. Compare this to the United States, where media is just not only 100% independently-owned, but a considerable part is possessed by a small group of big businesses.
To keep the readers and the viewers coming, privately-owned media needs sensational reports as well as the everyday news. And because sex and nudity are the most-banned of all the forbidden fruits, they make to discover the best news stories particularly when sensationalized. Nudity is rarely depicted positively in American media, and is often presented in the context of what can only be called Naked Crime narratives about people committing offenses while they happen to be unclothed (not because they have been naked, though that significant distinction is intentionally obscured in many instances).
Since national broadcasters aren’t profit-driven, the sleaze degree is close to zero. (For an English language example of a national broadcaster, look up the British Broadcasting Company [BBC]).
Lesser Role for Faith
The nations of Scandinavia are known because of their near-complete dearth of spiritual fervor. Despite espousing Christianity near the end of the Viking Age around 1,000 A.D., has declined significantly in Scandinavia over the past few decades. Around 20% of Scandinavians consider themselves believers, when compared with a much greater percent in the States.
Religion is perhaps the prime driver of anti-nudity opinion, both in America and other conservative countries (though we in the naturist community recognize, praise and support the contribution of spiritual naturist groups who are striving to exemplify that beliefs and nudism are not mutually exclusive). Perhaps the most extreme example of body-pity is the burqa, a total-body cloak that is needed to be worn by many Muslim girls.
As for Christianity, the dominant faith in America, we need not look any further than the first novel of the Bible to understand why numerous adherents are naked-averse. The story of Adam and Eve is one of the Bible’s best-known narratives – and perhaps among the most misunderstood. Much to the detriment of naturism, Eve’s actions in the Garden of Eden fall under the Naked Crime type. God was not displeased because Adam and Eve were naked. Rather, they’d bitten into the apple from the Tree of Knowledge which God had expressly forbidden. He was tipped off simply by the fact the next time He saw them, they had covered up their littles. Nudity did not lead to the offense. But the offense was perpetrated while unclothed.
These are just a couple of many differences that make the battle for bare acceptance that much more challenging within America. I am not proposing that we can snap our fingers and transpose European social ideals on our own, as fine as that would be. But what we do need to comprehend is the totality of the powers that are working against naturists.
As much as girls are under-represented in the naturist community, so are young adults of both genders. Despite all of the messages they receive about how nudity is poor, many of them do not believe it at least not fully. Our mission mustn’t only be to practice naturism in defiance of these negative perceptions, but to teach and provide chances for the nude-interested. Young and old, girls and boys. This conflict is going to be uphill all the way, and none of the challenges in our course are going away any time soon.
European Naturists and Naturism In Norway and other Sites and Posts About Social Nudity by Young Naturists andYoung Naturists America
Tags: youngsters and kids, culture, europe, norway, sexuality, the bible
Class: Nudism and Naturism, Nudism and Naturism In Europe, Nudist Kids and Problems with Nudity and Children, Religion and Nudity, Societal Nudity Websites
About the Author (Author Profile)
Erik Jakobsen works in Nyc, lives in New Jersey and continues to be an avid nudist for 25 years. He is a regular contributor to FKK’s websites.