According to the International Naturist Federation, “Naturism is a way of life in harmony with nature, expressed through social nudity, linked to self-respect, tolerance of differing views together with respect for the environment."
Brisbane Naturists believes in putting respect for nature and the natural environment first, together with care and respect for the human body through means of maintaining a healthy diet, exercise and natural healing remedies. Please note that we are a family oriented community, and we do not encourage any forms of inappropriate behavior. We are NOT a swingers group or a lonely hearts group - there are plenty of other places to go if you want those kind of activities. On some occasions we might organize special activities for single naturists looking for love (e.g. Valentine’s Day events), but our main focus is on families and couples.
We believe that the human body is sacred and needs to be treated with respect. Therefore, we do not allow smoking, over indulgence in alcohol or illegal/illicit drug use at any of our events. We do not, however, have issues with tattoos or piercings as long as the piercings are unobtrusive, this is a family naturist group not an exhibitionists group.
Although naturism has always been around in some shape or form in human history, it did not become a formalized movement in the modern world until the late 19th Century when it originated in British India. In the 1890’s, German health experts and philosophers started writing about the benefits of exposing the body to the sun and water as well as the growing fitness movement which included hiking in the woods and lakes, calisthenics and aerobics. Since the 20th Century, naturism and health and fitness have become virtually symbiotic. This is also evidenced by the recent growth of nude yoga and meditation classes being held around the world.
Whilst naturism was rapidly embraced by much of Europe in the early 20th century, it did not come to Australia or the UK until the 1920s, and then the USA and Canada in the 1930s. In 1931, the American Sunbathing Association (now the American Association for Nude Recreation) was formed and the Australian Nudist Federation was formed later in 1968. Whilst clubs had already formed around Australia, it did not have any legal clothing optional beaches until 1975 when Maslin Beach in Adelaide was open to nudists by the then South Australian premier Don Dunstan, after an attempt to get Stockton Beach legalized in Newcastle in 1972.
Queensland and Tasmania are currently the only two states in Australia which do not have any legal clothing optional beaches. The Free Beaches Association of Queensland (later Free Beaches Australia) was started in 1988 to lobby MPs to legalize several beaches for nude recreation, in particular Alexandria Bay in Noosa, and Buchan’s Point in Cairns. Other unofficial beaches in Queensland include: Rocky Bay in Magnetic Island (off the coast of Townsville), The Spit in the Gold Coast and Deadman’s Beach in North Stradbroke Island. In 2015, the FBA was disbanded and there are no current organizations in existence to solely lobby for clothing optional beaches in Queensland, except for a Facebook supporters group.
“What do I do about unwanted erections?” and “What do I sit on?”
The answer to both questions is: “Carry a towel with you”. Erections sometimes don’t know when they are not wanted, especially if a boy is reaching his adolescent years and is feeling awkward about his budding sexuality. Many younger people accept this as being a natural male reaction. If you feel uncomfortable about it, take a swim or a cold shower which will contract the veins in the penis. If you are sunbathing, then turn onto your stomach until the excitement eases. Regarding sitting down, we have a motto “If your butt is bare, then cover the chair”. Always sit down on a towel regardless of whether you’re on the grass, sand or a seat.
Are you a nudist group or a clothing optional group?
Brisbane Naturists believes that naturism is a philosophy as much as a lifestyle. We believe in clothing optionality for first timers to the lifestyle to get adjusted and to ‘try before they buy’. However, with your third visit to our community you will be expected to go nude with others (weather permitting). For girls and women who are menstruating, you can opt to wear a pair of briefs if you are feeling uncomfortable but there are a growing number of them now who do not believe that menstruation is anything to be ashamed or uncomfortable about. Jessa O’Brien, who teaches nude yoga and meditation classes in SEQ has said she’s even coached classes whilst being on her period and feels no shame or embarrassment about it. Part of naturism is also about living low impact lifestyles, so the less clothes you own and wear (especially in the summertime) the more you save on water and electricity when doing laundry.
Does Brisbane Naturists subscribe to any religious, spiritual or political ideologies?
The answer is “not necessarily”. We come from all walks of life just like the rest of society, and we welcome people of all religious and spiritual persuasions as long as they do not try to be forceful about other people unwilling to adopt them. There are several naturists who are of the Pagan/Wiccan persuasion, as well as Buddhists and “New Age” people, but there is also a growing Christian Naturist movement which has discovered that there is a difference between Christianity, churchianity and Bibleianity. The founder of the Brisbane Naturists group is also a Christian himself and has attended Christian services at a couple of naturist venues in Brisbane several years ago. Check out the Brisbane Christian Naturists group on Facebook for more information. On an international basis there is the Christian Naturists Association group headed by Cameron Bennett and in the UK the Christian Naturist Fellowship group. Australia has a small, disorganized Christian naturist movement.
Do you endorse other naturist/nudist groups or venues around Brisbane?
A: There are a number of naturist groups and venues around Brisbane which have been around for years or recently formed. Brisbane’s most well known nudist venue is Pacific Sun Friends based in Donnybrook near Caboolture. They have been around since 1978, and run by James and Jan Bishop. Others include: Inspired Nudist Stay in Wakerley; Balkaz in Caboolture (they don’t have a website anymore); Club 29 (a gay men only nudist club in Fortitude Valley); Town & Country Naturists (in several locations around Brisbane - formerly known as the Adam & Eve Club).
What do you charge for your meetups?
A: At the present, the meetups we hold on the second Sundays of a month are free, as are indeed our beach and hiking trips (though gold coin donations are welcome as well as chipping in for fuel if car pooling). We are not presently a formally incorporated club, but once we have got to the stage where we can form a committee then we will charge people to attend the events we organize. We will also give discounts to students and people who are on government subsidies like Newstart, Austudy, Abstudy and pensions.
What will happen if you are a married man and you become widowed or divorced whilst a member of this community?
A: You will be treated very much the same as before. The only times we will restrict entry to married men is if they attend our meetups with the intention of cheating on their spouses, or if they cause trouble at meetups especially if under the influence of alcohol or have been accused or witnessed to be sexually harassing other members. This also applies to single men and women (married or single) who also behave inappropriately.
What is Brisbane Naturists’ stance on sex and sexual behavior?
We believe sex is a natural force and sexual behavior is fine between responsible and consenting parties. However, just like every other community, club or social group we do set boundaries as to what is acceptable behavior. Brisbane Naturists condemns sexual harassment and drunken and boorish behavior. This includes: unwanted touching, indelicate and unwanted comments about the size and shape of other people’s bodies, making requests and demands for sexual activity at events, verbal sexual harassment, inappropriate jokes, ogling and leering at other people’s bodies. With the exception of blind and visually impaired people, we do accept that we are all visual creatures and we are all attracted to aesthetics. We all give each other the ‘look over’ but not to do it in a way that makes the other party uncomfortable. Any inappropriate sexual behavior will see the offender removed from our community and reported to the authorities. There is also a group on Facebook called Nudist Hall Of Shame which documents news reports of people who have misbehaved at nudist placed and online. This is based on the original website by Nikki Craft, a former TNS member and feminist activist who documented news stories about inappropriate, immoral and criminal behaviour happening at nudist venues in America since the early 1970’s.
What is your stance on the use of cameras and camphones?
Unlike some naturist and nudist groups and clubs, we do not have blanket bans on cameras or mobile phones being used at our events, but we do believe in consent. If you wish to take a photo of someone, ask for their permission first. Also play it safe and do not photograph minors at our events unless appointed as an official event photographer.
Are single males welcome at your events?
Although naturism is an all inclusive lifestyle, most of its practitioners (at least in Australia) tend to be middle-aged to elderly people and single males. Brisbane Naturists is putting more focus on the younger generations, couples and families. We don’t and won’t exclude single males from formal meetups, but we do wish to get a balanced demographic of people. We had an incident a few years ago at one of our movie nights whereby the invitation was open to all and the only people who turned up were single males and one male/female elderly married couple. Even though there was no inappropriate behavior, the wife felt very uncomfortable being the only woman present at the event and they tried to dodge out of paying the cover charge. There is definitely safety in numbers for the women.