Nude Recreation Week is celebrated across the United States every year in the week after Independence Day, from July 4 to 11 this year. Also known as National Nude Week, the week aims to celebrate life outside the limitations of clothing. While some of us might find it embarrassing or plain weird to go out in public without clothes, there are thousands of nude enthusiasts who look forward to a week of shedding their clothes and living more naturally. The week celebrates the human body in its most natural form and encourages us to let go of our inhibitions and misconceptions regarding nudity.
History of Nude Recreation Week
‘Free beaches’ or nude beaches became popular in America in the 1960s and 1970s. Some people are of the opinion that these beaches were usually populated by hippies and beatniks who wore little to no clothing and undertook shady activities. But, in reality, these beaches were visited by regular members of society. Families, couples, and children would go sunbathing and swimming, without clothes.
In 1974, the superintendent of the Cape Cod National Seashore imposed a ban on all nude sunbathing on Cape Cod’s beaches along the Atlantic Coast. The ban was brought about because of the overwhelming number of nude people who were thought to be a public nuisance. Lee Baxandall, a local activist, protested this unfounded ban by forming a group called Free the Free Beach Committee. This committee held a nude beach celebration where thousands of displeased nudists turned up to protest the ban. Since no one was summoned for nudity, the event turned out to be a great success.
As word spread across borders, a group from the West Coast contacted Baxandall in the hopes of forming a joint effort. Thus, the first Nude Weekend was held in Cape Cod in 1978. After its success, it was decided that the Nude Weekend would be held every year from then on. Baxandall founded The Naturist Society in 1980 and he used all his resources to promote Nude Weekend across America. In 1992, Nude Weekend turned into Nude Recreation Week. The celebrations have now been embraced by many nudist and naturist organizations. Nude Recreation Week aims to raise awareness about naturism and clothing-optional opportunities among the general public.
Nude Recreation Week timeline
Sandro Botticelli’s famous painting, ‘The Birth of Venus,’ depicts Venus in the nude.
“After the Ball” is the earliest known film to show nudity.
King Edward VIII gives permission for the first nudist beach.
Michael O'Brien streaks at a rugby game between England and France — it is one of the most famous instances of streaking.
Nude Recreation Week FAQs
When is National Nudity Day?
National Nude Day is celebrated on July 14 in the United States.
What is a Nude Weekend?
The first Nude Weekend was held in Cape Cod in 1978 to protest the ban of nudist beaches.
Can I be partially dressed for Nude Recreation Week?
Yes. If you are uncomfortable with being fully nude, you can choose to be partially dressed.
How to celebrate Nude Recreation Week
Celebrate in your pool
Can’t go to a beach? No problem. Strip down to go skinny-dipping in your swimming pool or jacuzzi. You can also invite some friends over to join in.
Celebrate inside your house
If you aren’t comfortable with being naked in public, consider simply not wearing clothes at home. You can spend the entire day in your birthday suit without feeling hot in the summer sun.
Attend a nudist party
Celebrate Nude Recreation Week in style by attending a nudist party. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people and feel truly comfortable in your own skin.
5 Facts About Nudity That Will Blow Your Mind
Sleeping naked is quite common in England
30% of people in the United Kingdom sleep naked compared to 12% of people in the U.S.
There’s a National Nude Day
National Nude Day is celebrated on July 14.
Shopping in the nude is a thing
11% of online shoppers say they shop in the nude.
The Olympics used to be nudist
In ancient Greece, athletes would compete stark naked in the Olympic Games.
Streaking is an old practice
The first recorded act of public streaking was in 1799.
Why we love Nude Recreation Week
Going without clothes makes you feel free and liberated. There’s no pressure to dress well or look a certain way, and you get to be your true self.
It’s a relief from the heat
Since the week is observed during peak summers, you get to say goodbye to itchy and burdensome clothes. Enjoy the cool wind on your bare skin!
It encourages body positivity
Today, you don’t have to worry about how clothes look on you and you are encouraged to feel comfortable in the skin that you were born in. The week promotes body positivity and inclusivity among both men and women.
Nude Recreation Week dates