Many people who investigate naturism and / or social nudity a little are surprised to find that (in Holland, at least) it seems to be something that appeals mostly to people over 36. This have not to be so, and it is something that needs to change in order for the pleasures of clothes-freedom to be available to as many people as possible. Young people who have looked into nudism and naturism or visited nude beaches are often dismayed to find relatively few in their own age group. Many (most?) others never even give the possibility of social nudity a thought since it seems to be so far outside the norms of society as they have experienced it.
Yet there are reasons why one might expect young people to be more inclined to tolerate and have an interest in nakedness than older folks:
1. Being naked is pleasurable and fun - and young people especially like what's fun.
2. Young people have the time and inclination to enjoy life and have fun. (They may feel that they have little free time - but they will have even less time when they are deeply involved with a career and have a family to support!)
3. Young people have had less time to become entangled in social structures that might discourage an interest in nudity (e. g. a career, the rat race, kids of their own, etc.)
4. Having had less time to internalize social taboos, young people ought to be more daring and more inclined to try new and unusual things.
5. Young people should be less worried about how their bodies look since they haven't suffered the bulges, sags, and scars of advancing age.
6. Young people are less likely to be in a committed relationship where the other person is strongly opposed to nudity.
Unfortunately for all concerned - both the younger and the older generation - there is an unequal representation of age groups among people who like to be naked, especially in social situations. And this under-representation itself becomes a deterrent for young people to become involved with social nudity, just as it does with other demographic categories, such as women. It hasn't always been this way. The generation of people who came of age in the 60s and 70s were more at ease with nudity (even though, statistically, interest in nudity was still rather outside of the mainstream). Perhaps this has more than a little to do with why this generation, now middle-aged, is more strongly represented in social nudity than younger people.
People in this age range can recall (if they happen to be male) when it was normal to swim naked at the Y. They remember, fondly, the clothing optional parties and skinny dipping that weren't uncommon on campuses in the late 60s and 70s. They flocked in large numbers to the "free" beaches - many of which still are "clothing optional", but rather less heavily used. How can young people become more involved in clothes-freedom and social nudity? Here are some general suggestions, both for young people themselves, and for anyone who wants to see clothes-freedom available to people of all ages. It shouldn't be a secret that only certain older folks know about.
1. No one's arm needs to be twisted to discover the enjoyment of nakedness. Just trying it once in a pleasant, supportive environment is usually enough to convince someone who has no entrenched hang-ups about nudity. The environment can be in the privacy of one's own home. "Just do it."
2. Keep in mind that the world of clothes-freedom, social nudity, naturism, or whatever it's called is very diverse. it isn't just one thing. It isn't (necessarily) a lifestyle you need to follow at all times. There are many different ways to enjoy it. There will be aspects of this world that are more to your own personal liking than others. Try to find what is right for you.
3. There are a number of specific, easy steps anyone can take to begin experiencing and enjoying the pleasures of clothes-freedom and social nudity. Here is an organized list of suggestions for how to get started that should be useful to people of any age.
4. Read and think about some of the reasons why young people are most often discouraged from trying social nudity. There are specific suggestions for overcoming each of the obstacles and deterrents.
5. Look for online places where you can discuss clothes-freedom, social nudity, and naturism with others, many of whom have useful experience. There are many alternatives, such as discussion forums, chat rooms, mailing lists, and individual Web site guest books. There are lists of such sites here.
6. Get involved with various online groups which are specifically trying to help young people learn about and experience clothes-freedom. Some of these are places with the specific purpose of helping young people with a common interest in social nudity make contact with each other. You'll find several such groups in the following list of external links. (And getting involved means actively taking part, not just talking about doing something.)