European Naturism from a Nordic Outlook

Naturism In Norway – Last summer, my family was at a sand vacationing together with another family that we have understood for years. Shortly after we arrived at the plage, the father of the other family stripped his youngest child who was perhaps three years old 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 worry on his face, and said You know it is OK that he’s nude, right?
Now, was not in the USA, but in Norway. It is standard in Norway, and throughout Scandinavia for that matter, for young kids to play naked at seashores up until the age of about seven or eight.
The daddy asked me if I understood it was OK struck me as odd at some 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 abusing his child in some way.
Nudism In Norway – Famous naked statue by artist Gustav Vigeland found in a sculpture park in Oslo, Norway
The American view of nudity as sexual at best, and criminal at worst, is the single greatest issue the naturist community confronts. We frequently wish that everyone in America had precisely the same disposition as residents of more liberal states. But why are those nations like this in the first place? It is often joked that many Americans can’t even find North America on a map let alone nations elsewhere. So we do not expect many folks to understand what makes other nations tick socially.
For me, I can only speak for nudism in Norway, which is my country of origin. But many of the countries of Europe and elsewhere share certain social characteristics are extremely different from America and that make the people’s view of nudity considerably more forgiving. They include:
Mandatory Sex Education
Sex education is mandatory in Norway. There is absolutely no abstinence only option. (Like most countries, Norway is not subdivided into states that have powers separate from the national government.) So there is no guarding kids from the realities of sex and the human body. Sex educators have long argued that talking to kids early and often about sex goes a ways toward removing the taboo surrounding the subject, and makes them not as likely to engage in it recklessly since they know the potential effects. It is no wonder in America, then, that the demonization of sex and the equating of nudity with sex has made people afraid of investigating naturism.
National Broadcaster
Like many nations, Norway has a government-owned broadcast company as well as privately-owned media outlets. The assignment of the national broadcaster is to present the news never to generate income. It’s funded by a small licensing that families pay. Compare this to the United States, where media is just not only 100% privately-owned, but a substantial portion is possessed by a little group of big firms.
To keep the readers and the viewers coming, privately-owned media needs sensational stories along with the regular news. And because sex and nudity are the most-banned of all the forbidden fruits, they make for the best news stories particularly when sensationalized. Nudity is seldom depicted positively in American media, and is regularly presented in the context of what can only just be called Nude Offense stories about individuals committing crimes while they chance to be nude (not because they are unclothed, though that significant distinction is intentionally hidden in many cases).
Since national broadcasters are not profit-driven, the sleaze amount is close to zero. (For an English-language example of a national broadcaster, research the British Broadcasting Company [BBC]).
Lesser Role for Religion
The nations of Scandinavia are known for their near-complete dearth of spiritual fervor. Despite espousing Christianity near the end of the Viking Age around 1,000 A.D., religious involvement has declined significantly in Scandinavia over the previous few decades. Around 20% of Scandinavians consider themselves believers, when compared with a much higher percent in the States.
Religion is probably the prime driver of anti-nudity sentiment, both in America and other conservative states (though we in the nudist community understand, praise and support the contribution of religious naturist groups who are striving to illustrate that beliefs and nudism are not mutually exclusive). Possibly the most extraordinary case of body-pity is the burqa, a complete-body cloak which is required to be worn by many Muslim women.
The narrative of Adam and Eve is among the Bible’s best-known narratives – and potentially among the most misunderstood. Much to the detriment of naturism, Eve’s activities in the Garden of Eden fall under the Naked Crime category. God wasn’t displeased because Adam and Eve were naked. Rather, they had bitten into the apple from the Tree of Knowledge which God had expressly prohibited. He was tipped off only by the fact that the next time He saw them, they’d covered up their littles. Nudity did not lead to the offense. But the crime was committed while bare.
These are just a couple of many differences which make the challenge for naked acceptance that much more difficult within the United States. But what we do must comprehend is the totality of the forces which are working against nudists.
Just as much as women are under-represented in the nudist community, thus are young adults of both genders. Our mission must not only be to practice nudism in defiance of these negative perceptions, but to educate and provide chances for the unclothed-interested. and old, girls and boys.
European Naturists and Nudism In Norway and other Websites and Posts About Social Nudity by Young Naturists andYoung Naturists America
Tags: youngsters and youngsters, culture, europe, norway, sexuality, the bible
Type: Nudism and Naturism, Nudism and Naturism In Europe, Naturist Kids and Problems with Nudity and Children, Faith and Nudity, Societal Nudity Sites
About the Author (Author Profile)
Erik Jakobsen works in New York City, lives in New Jersey and has been an avid nudist for 25 years. He is a regular contributor to FKK’s sites.