All going swimmingly…

The Great British Skinny Dip has got off to a flying start this #septembare, and there’s still the rest of the month to go!

Down in Devon, Torbay Sun Club welcomed forty people to their skinny dip at the usually non-Naturist Hollicombe Beach in Paignton.  Those who attended included a coupe from Germany and two women who had skinny dipping on their bucket lists!  With good local press coverage and several new members, the event has been a resounding success.  One of the ims of the event was also to try to help convince the local authority to make the beach Naturist – hopefully an aim that will be realised!  Another beach dip, at Climping in Sussex, didn’t get great weather, but those who attended raised £75 for ‘Safe in Sussex’.

Diogenes in Buckinghamshire once again partnered with Rennie Grove Hospice Care and hosted a sponsored skinny dip at the club, enjoying beautiful warm sunshine.  Of the thirteen who attended, eleven were new to Naturism and some have since requested membership forms.  All the visitors were impressed by the welcome they received, and the first timers all loved their first experience of Naturism!  One of the event’s aims, aside from helping a great local cause, was to normalise Naturism – there’s no doubt that this was realised.

The very beautiful Beacon Tarn, near to Coniston in the Lake District, attracted an increased turnout of twenty four this year – up from fifteen last year.  The weather, while better than last year, was still damp, however the hardy souls who took part had a great ramble up to the tarn and enjoyed champagne picnic as well as a bracing dip in this wonderful setting.  Afterwards, many of the group headed for a warm up and some refreshments in the Black Bull in Coniston – a fitting end to a wonderful event.

The regular swim run by Noah’s Ark in Surrey were pleased to have four new women come along – three of whom had never swum naked  before.  All have said they would return – very encouraging!

Back north again, this time to Yellowcraig  on the Forth, where a dawn skinny dip was held in aid of Marie Curie.  Another stunning location, enhanced by the magic of the sun coming up over the horizon, the twelve skinny dippers enjoyed the wonderfully calm waters and the organisers are grateful to the RNLI for providing safety cover.

Keep an eye on http://greatbritishskinnydip.co.uk/events/organised-events/ for all the events yet to come. You have nothing to lose but your clothes!

Luke’s Blog – Part 4

© British Naturism

Hi, I’m Luke and I’m skinny dipping for the first time this Septembare.  In this post I’m going to consider male concerns about skinny dipping.  I’ve taken advice from very credible sources and also found some random but useful nuggets from elsewhere that others, who feel as I do, may find useful.

I have been told that for some men there’s the common concern of showing signs of arousal.  I’ve read reassurances that it’s not likely to happen because it’s a non sexual environment.  I believe that.  For me, however, I want a plan B as a safety net, and maybe a plan C too in case the first net has a flaw in it.  As someone who has spent most of my life clothed, for whatever reason, simply being naked might cause a problem.

In advance of my dip, I have been conditioning my mind to normalise nudity by watching the Great British Skinny Dip or Naked Attraction programmes again on the Channel 4 website.  I have spent some time naked at home getting comfortable with it and developing self control.   In doing so I have reassured myself that it is possible to be distracted whilst naked, maybe by reading or doing the ironing (carefully!).

On the day of the GBSD, I have been told to remember the other people are not glamour models, they are normal people who queue with us at the supermarket, and the human body is only sexy if our minds allow it to be.  Even if we do find someone attractive, luckily we chaps have an automatic safety valve which knows when it is the wrong time and place.  I have practised distracting myself with thoughts about work or the tax return (!).

As a last resort, as all Naturists carry a towel, it is possible to use that and then head for the water to cool off!

Next time I’ll be considering how, on the day of my Great British Skinny Dip, I’m going to make sure I get myself along to my chosen Land of Hope & Glory.

Thanks for reading.  Back soon.

Luke

Press release: Great Britain urged “Skinny Dip this September for Health and Wellbeing”

This September, locations across the UK will once again be encouraging people to shed their inhibitions, and their swimming costumes, to try the liberating experience of costume-free swimming in a repeat of upbeat and fun initiative –  The Great British Skinny Dip – which sets out to show the health benefits of costume-free swimming.

Venues across the country are preparing to welcome people to take the plunge – and it’s not only Naturist clubs who are doing so!  We have beaches, leisure centres and even a beautiful Lake District tarn!  Buoyed by the successes we saw in last year’s campaign, this year we have pulled out the stops to make it even better.

Andrew Welch, Commercial Manager for British Naturism  says “Last year’s first event was a great success, with people across the UK shedding their preconceptions and taking their first costume free swim, and their smiles said it all – this is a liberating and truly life affirming experience. It was filmed for a Channel 4 documentary – The Great British Skinny Dip – which aired in February and took 70% of the viewing share on its inaugural showing.  Repeated many times since, the documentary has really generated interest for this year’s events and gained converts.

Although the event is designed to be fun, there are some important underlying aims.  People are often brought up to cover their bodies instinctively, sometimes with unwelcome consequences.  When people harbour feelings of body shame this can result in an unwillingness to exercise, with consequences for both physical and mental wellbeing.  The Great British Skinny Dip sets out to counter that and show people that the human body comes in all sorts of diverse shapes and sizes – and, you know what, they’re all okay!  It’s also pretty pointless to put on a piece of clothing just to get it wet again isn’t it?”

Individuals should keep an eye on our dedicated website at www.greatbritishskinnydip.co.uk and especially the event listings to find out about events in their area – taking the step into costume-free swimming is such a liberating experience that it can change people’s lives!  We’d love as many people as possible to enjoy a skinny-dip, challenging themselves to try something truly different.

 

-Ends-

 

Resources and contacts:

For information/contacts for individual events/venues please see the contact details given in the event listing

For general information and background:

Media and PR – Andrew Welch andrew.welch@bn.org.uk 07774 955138

 

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/greatbritishskinnydip

Twitter: @GBSD2017  #septembare

Website: www.greatbritishskinnydip.co.uk

Notes for editors

The Great British Skinny Dip is a project being run by British Naturism,  the UK’s officially recognised Naturist organisation. It exists to support and unite Naturists around the UK and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, although its predecessors were in existence since the 1930s.

Amongst the aims of BN are to campaign for more places to be made available for Naturism and to protect Naturists against discrimination and Victorian attitudes to the human body. www.bn.org.uk/campaigning/index.php.

Fact – in law, there is no offence of nudity. Various pieces of legislation and common law are often mentioned in connection with Naturism but they are rarely relevant. See Crown Prosecution Service guidance on Naturism for details. There is inadequate protection against prejudice, misunderstanding of the law, and abuses of the law, and that can result in Naturists finding themselves in difficulties

In the UK, there are over 130 sun clubs, swim clubs and holiday resorts and many beaches used regularly by Naturists. Membership of BN is around 10,000 people with many more being members of clubs affiliated to BN.www.bn.org.uk/activities/placestogo.php.

YBN (Young British Naturists) has a membership of young men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 who get together at clubs and beaches many weekends. They represent the UK at the International Naturist Federation (INF) Youth Rally held annually. http://ybn.org.uk.

Naturism is good for you! Naturists report improvements in well-being, stress, chronic illness, self-esteem and body image. It’s also a sensible choice of dress when the weather is warm. Naturists are normal people. The only difference between activities inside and outside of Naturism is the dress code.

It is a fallacy to believe that naked children are any more at risk in a Naturist environment. Unaccompanied children are not permitted in Naturist places and the community spirit that pervades ensures that a watchful eye is present. Despite the perception, there are far fewer problems in Naturism than in more “public” places where children and adults mix. Mindful of the need to be aware of child safeguarding issues, however, BN have a robust child safeguarding policy, code of practice, and a Child Safeguarding sub-committee that meets regularly and runs workshops on the subject, sometimes to groups from outside the Naturist world.

For the media, there is a dedicated “Media Centre” at www.bn.org.uk/index.php/mediacentre, which contains useful information for those wishing to write about Naturism or to feature this wonderful world in their publications or programmes.

 

 

 

 

Luke’s Blog – Part 3

© British Naturism

Hi, I’m Luke.   I’m going to skinny dip for the first time this septembare.   I’ve got concerns but I’ve thought about it a lot and now I’ve got solutions too.  In this post I’m going to explain why my body’s ok to reveal, and why yours probably is too.

I’m happy just to be a healthy weight and aim to be somewhere around the middle of the green bar on the body mass index.  Luckily I’ve held myself back from developing an Adonis-like physique, which I feel might have drawn attention to myself if I was self conscious as a newbie.  So another benefit of skinny dipping is to encourage me to eat healthily and be active because I want to look at my best.

I’ve got body hair in the usual places, and I’m happy to keep it because it’s natural and comfortable, although I may tidy myself up by snipping a few long ones.  Just recently I noticed some random patches of hair on my back and carefully used a razor and a mirror to remove them quite easily.   So skinny dipping has also prompted me to consider my body appearance, something I should have done long before now.

It really doesn’t matter what we look like.  Often when people take up running as beginners, they feel self conscious and so run later in the evening when it’s dark, as I did when I started out.  Then I realised that it didn’t matter if people saw me running because I felt pleased with myself that I was running and they weren’t, and I also felt a sense of belonging, knowing that there were plenty of other people out running like me.  I guess the same applies to skinny dipping.  What’s important is that you’ve bothered to turn up and take part, and so it really doesn’t matter what you look like.  I guess when you’re naked you might feel less judgmental anyway, except on maybe the weather and the water temperature.   I can see how why they say being naked is a social leveller.

Finally, there are plenty of pictures and videos on the internet of naturist events like Streak for Tigers and World Naked Bike Ride, and TV programmes available to watch again such as Naked Attraction and the GBSD documentary.  Seeing people in those contexts help me to realise naturists are all shapes and sizes, and it helps to normalise nudity in my mind.

Next time I’ll be reflecting on how to overcome gender specific concerns, and how I’m going to battle past any daemons on the day of the dip.

Thanks for reading.  Back soon.

Luke

Luke’s Blog – Part 2

© British Naturism

Hi, I’m Luke.   I’m going to skinny dip for the first time this septembare.   I’ve thought about it a lot and I’ve got a plan to help me through it.  This time I’m talking about why I want to do it.

I enjoy running and swimming.  Since learning about the Streak for Tigers event at London Zoo and the Great British Skinny Dip, I’ve been curious to know how both running and swimming feel naked.  I want to feel the water everywhere when I swim and feel the breeze everywhere when I run.   I’m ok at running but could be better so I’m inspired by ancient Olympians who competed naked to harmonise the body with the mind.   If it worked for them then it might work for me too.

Skinny dipping feels exciting because it’s new, scary and perhaps seems a little naughty too.   It seems naturally a little scary and new to us newcomers who have spent almost all of our living moments so far clothed.   It also perhaps feels a little ‘naughty’, knowing that it’s disallowed in some places.

It develops confidence, and here I’m trying to pinpoint exactly why.  Maybe it’s because if you’re confident about your body then you’d become more confident generally.  Maybe it’s because when you can comfortably be yourself and chat to others whilst naked, in what some people might refer to as a vulnerable state, then you’re likely to be really confident doing the same when you’re clothed.   Maybe you feel confident because it’s a leveller and you suddenly feel on the same level as others with you.  Or maybe you gain confidence just because you’re so pleased with yourself for taking that leap of faith in yourself by removing all of your clothes.

Another way of developing confidence is to step out of your comfort zone, which is how it feels to us newcomers.   Stepping out of your comfort zone will make that zone larger.  Baz Luhrmann (in his Everybody’s Free song) advised, “Do one thing every day that scares you”.   Baz also advised wearing sun screen, good advice for naturists and is probably more effective these days than the layers of olive oil and sand which those ancient Olympians had to rely on.

Another reason I want to do it is to lighten up a bit.  I’m quite sensitive and I think skinny dipping will help me not to take myself too seriously but to laugh at myself instead.

I’ve also been told, with enthusiasm, that being clothes free feels very liberating.  I can’t wait to try it.  All these benefits are to be had from just wearing less at the pool.

Next time I’m going to reflect on why my body is ok to show, and why I reckon yours is too.  Thanks for reading.  Back soon.

Luke