L.I. TRAVASUNS FAQ: What is Naturism?



Questions Women Often Ask

        answered by Norma Mitchell

I need to lose at least 20 pounds! Won’t I feel embarrassed because I’m out of shape?
There are always people who are in better and worse shape than us – no matter where we are. However, you’ll find that strangers are often much more accepting of the way we look than we are ourselves. In fact, you’ll usually get absolutely no reaction at all from those around you. Of course, most Americans feel a bit self-conscious their first few minutes at a clothing optional beach! Once you relax into it, you’ll be okay.

What can I do if I receive unwanted attention?
Being at a clothing-optional beach is no different when it comes to handling "mashers." If a man speaks to you (or openly stares) and his attention is unwanted, just tell him you’d appreciate some alone time. If he doesn’t get the hint, don’t be afraid to ask  a beach ambassador (in the blue safari hat) to handle the situation for you. Don’t allow anyone to be rude to you.

If I am having my period, can I still go to the beach?
Sure! It’s not unusual at all to see a woman wearing her bathing suit bottom. If you prefer no tan lines, here’s a tip: just insert your tampon string end up. Sounds strange, but it works!

Is it safe to bring my kids with me?
You should supervise your kids the same way as at any other beach. Kids love to play naked! It’s fun for them to feel the freedom of skinny-dipping. Don’t be surprised if it becomes an opportunity for you to answer some of the natural questions they’ll have about the differences in genders.

I have scars from a couple of operations. Won’t people stare?
Of course you’ll notice differences in bodies. You’ll see amputees, mastectomies, scars from operations and burns, withered limbs and paraplegics. But Naturist etiquette dictates eye contact when you’re speaking to someone. Everyone accepts each other as they are. No one expects you to have a perfect body.

Will I see people having sex on the beach?
People who enjoy nude recreation distinguish between simple nudity and sex. This is a county park and the rules are the same here as on any public property. If you see anyone having sex (even if it’s by themselves) please report it to the lifeguards or beach ambassador. They are committing a lewd act and will be arrested.

Questions Men Often Ask

        answered by Michael Kush

How do I act with my wife, girlfriend, or partner at the beach?
Just like you would in any comparable public setting. Shows of affection — a kiss, a hug, an embrace — are not out of place. But any sexual play or foreplay will not be tolerated by your fellow Naturist beach users, and may lead to your arrest. Remember, families are often present with young children at the beach, making any sexual activity a felony under Florida law.

All the considerations discussed above apply equally and impartially to gay and straight individuals, and to gay and straight couples. SFFB/FNA promotes a policy of no discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, marital status, disability or sexual orientation.

I’m afraid of getting an erection.
This is a common fear with first-time visitors, but one that is drastically exaggerated. Certainly, after the initial adjustment of a first visit, when the cultural bias of associating nudity with sex usually vanishes, it’s something that is almost unheard of. If it should occur, cover up with a towel, lay on your stomach, or go into the water until it subsides.

I’m a single male. Can I meet women at the beach?
The same rules of courtesy apply at a clothing-optional beach as at any other beach. Incessant staring, sitting too close to others without an invitation, voicing rude comments, or making unwelcome advances are totally out of place. Some beach users welcome company; others want to be left alone and are not interested in socializing. Those who have come not to enjoy the beach but solely to make unwelcome advances can be assured of little success and of a strong likelihood that they will be asked to leave by the lifeguards or police if their conduct is offensive to others. Behave with civility and you can’t go wrong. More than a few now-married couples first met at Lighthouse beach. It is a wonderful place for social encounters, to make new friends, and — sometimes — to find romance. Just remember: as at any public gathering place, friendliness is not necessarily an invitation to romance, and sexual conduct on the beach is both unwelcome to your fellow beach users, and illegal.

    What Is Naturist Etiquette?

Naturist Beach Etiquette.

Following a few simple rules of common courtesy ensure that everyone’s visit to the beach will be an enjoyable and memorable one:

Respect our non-naturist neighbors
A swimsuit or appropriate clothing must be worn outside of posted clothing-optional areas. The Naturist beach itself is clothing-optional; nudity is not required, and those who choose to wear swimsuits are welcome, as long as their behavior otherwise meets accepted standards.

Respect others’ privacy
Sit at a comfortable distance from others. Respect your neighbor’s space. Looking is normal, but staring is rude and unacceptable behavior. Lewd or derogatory comments are immature and unwelcome. Keep music volume low.

No sexual activity is allowed
Our community of responsible naturist beach users has zero tolerance for lewd behavior. Long Island Travasuns actively supports the arrest and prosecution of all sexual offenders. New York Statute  _____forbids any public lewd or lascivious activity under any circumstances; _______ calls for felony penalties of up to 30 years in jail for sexual offenses committed upon - or in the view of -minors.

Ask first! Practice common courtesy, and ask the consent of your subjects before taking any photos. Minors should never be photographed without the express consent of parents. Commercial photography requires a county permit and a signed release from all subjects. All photography must be without lewd content.

Keep It Clean & Pristine
Don’t litter. Keep the beach clean - pick up stray litter you find. Glass containers are not allowed on the beach. Smokers, cigarette butts do not belong in the sea or on the sand, dispose of them properly. Stay out of the dunes and other environmentally sensitive areas. There are no trash cans at Lighthouse Beach, so take out anything you bring in.

Do Your Part
Do your part as a good citizen to keep the beach safe and secure for all. Don’t tolerate inappropriate behavior, but report it to the Travasuns Beach Diplomats, the Park Rangers, or the Police at once.


    Who Created Fire Island Lighthouse Naturist Beach?


Nude Beach Etiquette from The Naturist Society

205 Arguments and Observations In Support of Naturism - Complied by K. Bacher

The Naturist Society - FAQ

Naturism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

7 Rules


Promote Naturism


Talk openly about the naturist movement and especially emphasize the openness and decency!


Give as much information as possible about the naturist movement in every possible form.


Invite representatives of the press-to naturist events. Are these events on a site where the nudists are members out, ask the press people to do the same. Who clothed in naked company will never understand the idea of naturism.


Search co-operation with public institutions, especially with the public administration.


Prevent that sex in discussions with outsiders, is the main theme. We do not deny that sexuality in the life of every human being has a great significance, we do not want to over-valuation of the sex, because we are ordinary people.


Do not be angry if someone is negative about the naturist movement. It is better to be talking about it as you are silent about naturism. Issued false or malicious allegations will be disproved but equal.


Trachte, positive remarks about the personalities of well-known naturist movement to publicize. Nudism or Naturism is precisely a form of modern civilization.

from: nudism 7 / 1977

Insofar as this "7 Rules", which the Dutch have been developed, and indeed still are significant, even after 25 years.

Go to the Site Map


FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


What Is Naturism?


    Introduction to Naturism.

Introduction to Naturism

So, why would you want to take off your bathing suit to go swimming? Yet for most of history, the question would have been: "What’s a bathing suit?"

It was only in the 19th century that bathing suits became first fashionable, and then customary:

"At Seaton while Dora was sitting on the beach I had a bathe. A boy brought me two towels as I thought, but when I came out of the water and began to use them I found that one of the rags he had given me was a pair of very short red and white striped drawers to cover my nakedness. Unaccustomed to such things and customs I had in my ignorance bathed naked and set at nought the conventionalities of the place..."

—Rev. Robert Francis Kilvert, Diary, 24 July, 1874
Quoted by Cec Cinder in The Nudist Idea.

The modern nudist or naturist movement, starting first in Germany, and then spreading to England and eventually to America by around 1920, was a reaction to this Victorian attitude of shame at the human body. The new card-carrying nudists established private "camps" or resorts, often with some resistance from authorities; today, nudist resorts and travel companies are increasingly seen as legitimate, mainstream business enterprises.

However, many skinny-dippers cannot be identified as formal nudists. Benjamin Franklin swam and "air-bathed" nude; Presidents J. Q. Adams and Teddy Roosevelt went skinny-dipping on public lands. And many older Americans may still fondly remember skinny-dipping at the old swimmin’ hole (now largely replaced by the water theme park).

But in the 1970s, as development started encroaching on traditional nude-use areas, and some decided skinny-dipping was immoral, skinny-dippers started to organize to protect them. It was then the term free beach was coined, modeled perhaps on the usual German term for naturism  Freikörperkultur (free body culture). It is often seen abbreviated as: FKK.

Long Island Travasuns. Org  is an outgrowth of this movement, as is The Naturist Society.

Today millions of people go "au naturel" each year at beaches in Europe, and often in family groups. Haulover Beach in Florida sees hundreds of thousands of nude users each year, and Gunnison Beach at Sandy Hook in New Jersey sees about as many users during the Summer. On Fire Island we are fortunate to have a number of nude beaches, the most popular being Light House Beach adjacent to the Fire Island Light House. Despite the success of Haulover, Light House Beach and Gunnison, officials are still often skittish about nude recreation, and sometimes assume citizens are opposed. But to see what most Americans really think, check out the 2006 polling data that shows that 74% of Americans think nude bathers should not be hassled at beaches accepted for that purpose.

View NEF/Roper poll

Naturism maintains that there is nothing inherently wrong with nudity at appropriate times and in appropriate places. It is really the intention of the nudity that is the issue. (See quotes at right.)

If you are unsure, a visit to a designated clothing-optional beach like Light House Beach will be a truly enlightening and liberating experience. Nudity is optional, and you can wear a swimsuit if you are uncomfortable being nude -- although we suggest you "go native" as soon as you can. You will soon discover that you are really not naked after you remove your clothing, but rather remain clothed with the natural radiance that is the gift of Nature or of Nature’s God. Human dignity has nothing to do with clothing; it has everything to do with attitude, and the respect we maintain toward one another.

Eden was not just a place —
It endures as an attainable state of mind.

First Visit to a Naturist Beach

    First Timer Questions

First time visitors are often apprehensive about what they will find, and how people will react and interact with them. RELAX! Naturists are neither voyeurs nor exhibitionists. Rather, they have decided to accept themselves, and others, just as they are.

Nudity is NOT required!
Fire Island’s Light House Beach is clothing-optional. You can wear a swimsuit until you get comfortable. If you find after a while that you are uncomfortable being dressed in the presence of others who are nude -- you’re a Naturist! Take your clothes off and relax.

It’s all about sex, isn’t it?
Not at all. It’s about accepting yourself as you are, and others as they are. Whether a person is 7 or 70, there’s more to them than just the physical body. When the body is completely and freely revealed, there is no increase in purely animal sexual allure, rather the reverse. When the physical form is a given, rather than a speculation, we are free to concentrate more on the inner person in our interactions. It may be counter-intuitive to those who haven’t experienced it themselves, but Naturism is essentially a de-emphasis rather than an emphasis of the body. Needless to say, sexual activity is illegal at Fire Island’s Naturist beach, just as it is at any public beach.

People will stare at me
Naturists may look at you; they won’t stare. Naturists aren’t uncomfortable looking at any part of another person’s body. People come in all shapes and sizes, and Naturists just don’t fixate on any particular body parts. They’re more interested in you as a whole person.

I don’t look good nude
If you think that, do you think you will look any better in a swimsuit? If you think you’re overweight, do you think any comfortable swimsuit will make you look thinner than you look nude? If you’re think you’re too thin, do you think any swimsuit will add muscles to your physique?

How do I talk to a naked person?
Exactly the same way you would talk to someone who’s fully clothed. At first, you may find you make an effort to avoid looking at certain parts of a person’s body…. but as you acclimate, you will find that there’s no real difference between our various body parts. If you then glance at a so-called "private" body part, it will be no different than glancing at a person’s hand, belly, or thigh when he or she is dressed in "ordinary" swimwear.

What about gawkers?
There are sometimes a few people who come to a Naturist beach more to view than to participate. That’s their problem, not ours -- unless their behavior is rude and disruptive. If it is, they will be asked to leave by the lifeguards or the police. Most of us are there to enjoy the sun, the sea, and the fellowship of other Naturists at the beach. Just remember: You’re the one with self-confidence and respect for yourself and for your fellow Naturists. The vast majority of your fellow beachgoers are with you. Don’t let anyone spoil the experience for you. Also, not everyone who is not nude at the beach is there to gawk. Some like the atmosphere at Lighthouse Beach, but prefer not to be nude themselves. Others may be newcomers who need a little time to gain the assurance that it is okay for them to undress.

    Should We Bring Our Kids?

Naturism has always emphasized family values. Nudist resorts and parks welcome parents with their children. Families enjoying Naturism together are especially prevalent at beaches in many European countries, and families increasingly come with their children to Lighthouse beach. Because Naturist groups tend to include individuals ranging widely in age and physical characteristics, children are shown that people come in all varieties, and that the inner person is ultimately more important than outward physical appearance.

In a safe and nurturing Naturist environment, children learn to appreciate physical differences between the genders naturally, in the presence and under the guidance of their parents, eliminating the urge to explore this on their own, without proper supervision. No reputable study has shown that Naturism is anything other than beneficial to children in establishing sound psychological adjustment, self-confidence, and social development. There are, however, two important considerations to keep in mind when children are involved:

Because of our prevailing American culture, some children may already have been influenced to associate simple nudity with shame or sexuality. Adolescents, unless having had earlier experience with Naturism, can be uncomfortable with nudity until they have reached a certain level of maturity. Clearly, children who are not comfortable with family nudity at home should not be forced into a public Naturist environment. 

Some jurisdictions have enacted laws that, though intended to protect children from harmful exploitation, restrict their participation in Naturist activities. While we disagree with the view that non-sexual nudity in itself is harmful to children, parents should be aware of local laws and act with due prudence.

Zero Tolerance Policy
The Suffolk County Police,  the Travasuns Beach Ambassadors, and Lighthouse Beach Naturist beach users will not tolerate sexual predators at Fire Island’s Lighthouse Beach.
In cases where sexual activity is directed at minors, or performed in their presence, New York State statutes provides for felony criminal penalties of up to 30 years in prison upon conviction.
Long Island Travasuns are committed to pursuing the arrest and prosecution of all sexual offenders.

Emergency Contact Numbers

If there is any problem at the beach, you can contact:

Fire Island National Seashore Park Rangers:

Suffolk County Police:

Just call 911 in an emergency


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