Naturism or nudism is a cultural and political movement advocating and defending social nudity in private and in public. It may also refer to a lifestyle based on personal, family and/or social nudism.
The naturist philosophy has several sources, many of which can be traced back to the health and fitness philosophy in Germany in the early twentieth century, though the concept of returning to nature, and creating equality are also cited as inspiration. From Germany the idea spread to England, Canada, the United States and beyond where a network of clubs developed. The model of German naturism is to promote naturist family and recreational sports, with the DFK being a member of the German Olympic Sport Federation (DOSB). French naturism, on the other hand, developed on the basis of large holiday complexes. This concept in turn influenced Québec and then the United States. A subsequent development was tourist naturism, where nudist resorts would be built to cater for the nudist tourist, without any local base. This concept is most noticeable in the Caribbean.
More recently, clothes-free beaches and other types of anonymous nudist activities have served those who wish to take part in naturist activities without belonging to any clubs.
Naturism can contain aspects of eroticism for some people and at different times in history, although many modern naturists and naturist organisations argue it does not, while the public and the media often simplify this relationship.
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