Naturism and Exhibitionism — Do they Coexist?

Exhibitionism is a four letter word in naturist circles. Ok, actually it’s a 13 letter word, but you get the point. It’s generally agreed upon among naturist organizations and well experienced Naturists, that Naturism and Exhibitionism cannot operate in the same spheres. It’s because, at least in part, the mingling of these two worlds is what confuses non-naturists about just what naturism is all about. But….is that really true? It probably comes as no surprise that it isn’t a simple answer.  
Im going to operate on the assumption that you have a pretty good idea of what naturism is all about. Sure, you many have your own tweaked definition that fits you and how you enjoy naturism. But, we’re all pretty close and generally in the same neighborhood.  

How about exhibitism though? I used to always think that I knew exhibitionist behavior when I saw it. “I mean….hey, those two are going at it right there in front of everyone. Must be exhibitionists.” Ok, yeah, I’d say that’s probably the case. But how about if one of the many aspects of being nude that find enjoyable, is being seen. I’m not talking about flashing or shocking anyone. I’m simply talking about the fact that others are seeing you nude. Nothing sexual going on. Just nude. Are you an exhibitionist? Is your nudity exhibitionist behavior?  Personally, I don’t think so.  

Webster defines exhibitionism as:1a : a perversion in which sexual gratification is obtained from the indecent exposure of one’s genitals (as to a stranger)
b : an act of such exposure

2 : the act or practice of behaving so as to attract attention to oneself

So, let’s peel that back a bit. For our discussion, let’s use an example. A non-naturist friend is over at your place. Just a friend. You’ve discussed naturism before and that yiu often go nude at home. The friend says they don’t mind if you do so with them around. You take them up on it and go nude. You find that not only do you enjoy the opportunity to be nude, but you also realize you take some enjoy,net from being seen nude. You enjoy it on a different level than when you are nude alone.  

Ok…now let’s apply the definition. “A perversion”. Really? Sure, exhibitionist behavior can be a perversion I suppose. Someone sitting in front of an open window, nude, masturbating as people walk by. That would fall under this umbrella. But how about what I described? Nah. Not even close. We’ll move on.  

“Sexual gratification is obtained”. What constitutes sexual gratification? Do I have to orgasm over it? Do I fanticize about it. Does it get me sexually aroused. Does my mindset transition from a naturist activity to a sexual activity? What if I simply enjoy being viewed, just as I might when I’m well dressed? I think this is the key factor — why are you nude? What’s driving the train? Is it about gratification? Or is that simply one of many factors and sensations you enjoy? I argue, it’s generally the latter. I’m not nude around others mainly because I enjoy them seeing me nude. But likewise, I’m not denying the fact that this is an emotion I experience when nude. 

“….obtained from the indecent exposure of ones genitals”. This seems to imply that leaving your genitals exposed is inherently indecent. On that line of thinking, all naturists are exhibitionists. So….no.

The second definition, “….to attract attention to ones self” seems off the mark as well. I’m nude because I want to be. You just happen to see me nude. Doesn’t mean I’m trying to attract attention to myself. I’m not saying, “look at me, look at me….I’m nude”. I’m just nude….and you’re there….seeing me.   

Exhibitionism frequently gets brought up regarding naturist men with erections. Simply having an erection, partial or full, is seen as a clear indicator to the man’s motivations and mindset. Anything short of flaccid, and your leaning more exhibitionist than naturist, particularly if you don’t hide it from view. I’ve been pretty wordy on that aspect in other posts so I won’t cover all that territory again. I’ll just say that — it depends. In some circumstances erections can very well be an indication of exhibitionist activity. But in others, they are purely innocent, noting to fear or feel the need to hide. It just depends.

So…..I don’t see a whole lot to connect naturists with exhibitionists, at least not my personal brand of naturism. They are separate activities. But, there are aspects of being nude that some might label as exhibitionist that I don’t feel are. I don’t enjoy naturism to provide sexual gratification. That is not my motivation. But yes, I admit, not only do I not mind others seeing me nude, sometimes I quite enjoy it. I’m proud of my nude body and my naturist life. Being seen by others nude, only reinforces where I am, who I am, and how far I’ve come. It’s not sexual. It’s not a fantasy. I’m not shocking or offending anyone. I’m just talking about being nude.  



9 thoughts on “Naturism and Exhibitionism — Do they Coexist?

  1. Pingback: Naturism and Exhibitionism — Do they Coexist? | Naturist Story

  2. I think it was in Phillip Carr- Gomm’s book, “A Brief History of Nakedness” that he talked about the exhibitionist part of naturism, but within the context that clothed people are looking to “get noticed” all the time. It’s part of human nature to want to see and be seen. The naked part may or may not be perverse.

    Worth looking up if you’re interested. Thanks for bringing up this topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Exibitionism is a broad term.
    If you use it as the “joy of being seen”, then there are indeed quite some naturist who you can call exhibitionists. But as Dan said before, there will also be a lot of textile exhibitionists.
    But normally people use the term for someone who enjoys the shock people get when they suddenly see a naked body. In that case, the exhibitionists will get little joy on a nude beach 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sorry but I am unhappy that the image at the top of the article is being used for this purpose. This is my image and is copyrighted for Vigla Natura Ltd please remove and if you wish to use my images in the future please ask. Thank you


  5. I think you nailed it here. Nudism and exhibitionism aren’t the same thing. I find the discussion about erections particularly interesting. Even though I’m open to being shot with an erection when posing for a sensual artistic shot, I wouldn’t want to roam around a nude beach or a nudist resort with one, because I believe it really does send the wrong message.

    That said, I’d agree that erections are not necessarily sexual. I’ve gotten them in situations when I’ve been far from aroused, but was rather embarrassed.

    I once got a big, strong nude hug from a lady at a resort, which resulted in an unintentional yet pronounced erection, and nobody who saw it was offended, in fact everybody just laughed it off.

    In any case, I fully agree that you can enjoy being seen naked without getting a sexual thrill out of it and it crossing into the realm of being exhibitionism. There are features about my body that you can’t see or appreciate when I’m clothed, and I’m proud when people can see all of me, and just because those may be intimate parts doesn’t mean I get a sexual thrill just because people see them.


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