International Young Naturists Organisation

Naturist Resources => Blogs, Videos, Articles about Naturism/Nudity => Topic started by: Wombling Wurzel on September 16, 2015, 02:41:19 pm

Title: Study: Group Nudity is Good for you
Post by: Wombling Wurzel on September 16, 2015, 02:41:19 pm

by Justin McLachlan

Getting naked with a group of strangers is apparently good for humanity’s soul.

I came across an old study recently, from 1968 in Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, about a naked marathon. Marathon, in this case, being “twenty-four hours of intimate, intensive, authentic human interaction, uninterrupted…” Basically, this guy, Paul Bindrim, got a bunch of people together to sit around and talk with each other and said, oh, please feel free to take off all your clothes if you like. It seems to have gone very well.

In less than one hour and a half from the beginning of the marathon on Friday evening all participants were bathing nude in the Jacuzzi pool. Although two participants had been referred to the marathon specifically because of anxieties relating to sexuality and nudity, it may be assumed that most of the participants who were willing to attend the marathon were, by and large, ready for the experience.

The entire session was recorded, so Bindrim was drawing on real dialogue for his paper, which in a way is quite interesting. They had the typical concerns that most have in these situations, mostly self-consciousness, but that quickly faded away to self-acceptance. Bindrim concluded that clothes, in some situations, might be a kind of barrier to emotional intimacy.

 Nudity apparently facilitates group interaction in a marathon. Seventeen of the twenty participants felt that the factor of nudity increased their ability to open up to each other emotionally and to achieve a greater degree of authenticity and transparency. The group integrated and seemed to become therapeutically functional more rapidly than clothed marathon groups.

Bindrim’s theory is that all that intimacy didn’t necessarily have to do with being naked per se. In the experiment, group members were allowed to touch each other, even in overtly sensual ways like hugging and kissing, as long as it didn’t devolve into an all out orgy. He notes, correctly, that sensual body contact, the kind you might experience when two people are naked, is “generally considered to be an invitation to sexual intimacy.” But since we generally don’t have sex with or even invite the possibility of it with every person we meet, body contact between most people is inhibited. It’s rare, aside from the occasional hand shake or hug, to even touch our close friends, right? “Since body contact is frequently essential to emotional expression, this taboo of touch blocks a vital avenue of communication,” Bindrim says.

 This is most clearly observable in relationships between males who are inhibited in their expression of love, since they may not embrace or experience tender body contact without the implication of homosexuality. The nude marathon seems to eliminate this confusion by encouraging sensuality while inhibiting sexuality, thus increasing the range of permissible emotional expression for both sexes.


Anecdotally, I’m not sure touch is necessarily the key here, though I’m sure he’s not wrong about how it helps. When I was in college, I lived in a newer dorm that had bathrooms with shower stalls, instead of the gang-type shower rooms some of the older dorms had. This, apparently, was a tragedy that befell us, and our RAs took it upon themselves to remove the shower curtains from the stalls (they also lowered the dividers between them so we could talk over them).

As a freshman I found this invariably odd and disconcerting, mostly because there was nothing to prevent a draft from making me cold while I toweled off. This was also a private Christian school, and homophobia was (and is) a big problem. Still, in the end, I think they were on to something. The school tried to foster strong life-together bonds on the campus, something akin to the Greek system at other schools, only created by which floor or wing you lived in on. As Bindrim tells us, this kind of semi-public nudity can foster that type of emotional intimacy, to a point. But really, live in a dorm long enough and you’re going to see more naked people than you probably care to.

Ultimately, I’m not sure what we do with this research, and judging by the dearth of follow-ups or scientific curiosity about nudity in general, I gather most experts don’t know either. Still, the next time you’re confronted with a chance for group nakedness — say, at a spa or bathhouse or a Spencer Tunik photo — just think, maybe it’ll do you some good.
Title: Re: Study: Group Nudity is Good for you
Post by: INnudeguy on September 16, 2015, 06:23:54 pm
I'm so glad you found and posted about this.   The fact that this was done way back actually underscores the validiy if his findings.   Pretty much everything that was said still holds true today.   Great find thanks for posting. :indeed
Title: Re: Study: Group Nudity is Good for you
Post by: nudatio on September 17, 2015, 09:23:14 am
Very interesting article! I've felt for a long time that being nude with another nude person allows us to open up to each other faster.
Title: Re: Study: Group Nudity is Good for you
Post by: DrgHybrid on September 18, 2015, 01:22:47 am
That's great...just too bad I have no one to hang out with in the buff. Curse you panhandle of Texas!
Title: Re: Study: Group Nudity is Good for you
Post by: lord_george on September 22, 2015, 03:33:10 pm
Title: Re: Study: Group Nudity is Good for you
Post by: nudetrail on September 26, 2015, 02:20:55 am
for women on a beach, if there is a group nude they are more comfortable I agree 100% it is great for you.
Title: Re: Study: Group Nudity is Good for you
Post by: Density on October 13, 2015, 12:58:48 pm
This is an interesting read and study. It reminds me of the time when I had my first nudism interaction. For him it was as natural as ever since he had more experience with social nudism than I did. he was not pushy into making get nude but rather allowed me to go at my own pace in which i went from shirt, to pants (being in undies at this point), then 15 mins later into nude. Afterwards we literally opened up about ourselves (likes, dislikes, etc) and even had some wine together. It was a great experience and there was no sexual stimulus about it. On my second visit I immediately got nude and once again we just had conversations on end with him even telling me more of nudist expeditions since my first visit. To this day I still enjoy and welcome his company.
Title: Re: Study: Group Nudity is Good for you
Post by: nudiecouchsurfer on October 13, 2015, 06:46:25 pm
hey mate, this is a great article, thanks for posting, i especially agree with their finding that being nude social gave the 'ability to open up to each other emotionally and to achieve a greater degree of authenticity and transparency'

Interesting about the comments about college, I've found the same thing about mates who get to be nude with incidentally - like after a surf in showers or getting ready to go out at night, definitely makes a more open and relaxed friendship
Title: Re: Study: Group Nudity is Good for you
Post by: steve tanner on November 20, 2016, 03:32:11 am
I am SOOOO excited about the thought of when I finally get to meet some other nudist/naturist, and me get to just hang out with them all outside, finally, totally NAKED!! :) some day!