No shy people please! Why Naturism should
experience a revival, especially among young

people, and what the sight of “leathery, flabby”

buttocks can do for our own body feeling.

The first time always costs a lot of overcoming.

I still know how, suddenly, I felt completely dif

ferent when I saw the panel with the inscription

“Naturism” on the way to the “Dechantlacke” in

the “Lobau” (Austria). The idea of taking off my

clothes in front of many strangers turned into an

embarrassing nightmare in my mind’s eye. My

boyfriend at that time, who had a hippie mother

and who was a true naturist fan, persuaded me

to try it at least once. Maybe it was my educa

tion that initially got in my way. In my family

nudity always was a taboo. And, even if that had

not been the case: of course, visiting a naturist

site is not for everyone. Although Vienna and

naturism have a special relationship.



That among the usual naturist visitors one finds

mainly elder people, quickly got also clear to

me on my first visit at the Dechantlacke. Me

anwhile that is four years ago. Today I can say:

nude bathing is getting popular again among

young people. It seems to me that during the

years I regularly do it, more and more people

of my age are nude at those places. But that

varies from bathing place to bathing place, as

well as that it depends on the weekday of the

visit which kind of clientele one may encounter.

I still know that at my first visit there also was

a group of students who had settled directly on

the water. They were all as talkative as they were

naked. One of them was plucking a guitar. Then,

slowly, as I myself also dropped one garment

after the other, I felt more and more comfor

table. Somehow it reassured me that so many

elder people were around us, because seeing

how “real” bodies look alike had put me back to

reality. With the whole #Insta madness and the

filter-optimized bodies one sees every day in the

network, you actually lose the connection to rea

lity. Perhaps naturism is the ideal counter-blow

to all these rigorous expectations of our bodies

and an instrument with which one can take ac

tion against the oversexualization – especially of

the female body.

Those people one can see on the lawn are not

Hollywood actors, fitness bloggers or – if you like

Naturism? For sure!

 But normal people, like you and

me. Some of them had a bit more on their hips,

others were completely hairy or looked ten years

older, because their skin was already so strongly

tanned by the sun. The categories of beauty in

naturism are different from that outside. Beauty

does not mean to have the hottest, fitness-trai

ned body, or the most fashionable swimsuit. It

is much nicer to see how such bathers enjoy the

water and the sun on their bare skin, or how a

group of students relax by the water, eating and




Laura is 28 years old and still remembers her

first naturist bathing day. She was 17 at that time

and had accompanied her older sister and a few

friends to the Lobau. Nudity was quite normal in

her parents’ house. She grew up in a house with

a garden, where here mother used to sunbath

topless during summertime. “At the beginning,

being nude at the Dechantlacke was quite normal

to me. But soon I noticed an elderly man who

stared at me. Only then it got very unpleasant to

me”, she says. This unspoken, number-one rule

in the naturist world was broken: Thou shalt not


Although this rule is so obvious, one can never

be sure that all people will comply. In the extre

me case, the counter-action always helps: “Why

do you look that stupidly? “ Most gapers feel

caught in this confrontation and, embarrassed,

look away.

“If you do not make a big deal out if nudity, you

are on the safe side”, Laura knows. There are

some bathing places in Vienna that are so to say

unofficially-officially open for nude bathing. The

se include, in addition to the Dechantlacke, one

side of the “Ziegelteich”, or some sections of the

“Donauinsel”. During my research, I came across

one question for which the opinions differed a lot.

Do we really have to be totally naked at a naturist

site if this is not a regulated nude zone? In other

words: Is it really mandatory, for example at the

recreation area in the Ziegelteich, to pull down

clothes, if this is not being checked?

Laura has a clear opinion to that: “I feel bad and

being observed, if someone comes to the naturist

bathing place who does not undress. For that,

you can simply go to another place for bathing,

where you have to wear clothes. I know many

people who would not even undress in a sauna

if that would not be mandatory. But for naturism,

this should always be valid.

Markus is 33 years old and from time to time

visits a naturist bathing place in Vienna. There is

a designated naturist zone in the “Gänsehäufel”

where everybody must undress – that simply is

the rule there. But in the Lobau I do not need to

undress. I think that should be up to you whether

you want to be naked or not. Personally I prefer

to keep my swimsuit in the Lobau, because I just

feel better there.” Laura as well as Markus seem

to be right, out of various reasons.

At the end, the incredibly good feeling of the cool

wetness and the hot sun on the skin wins – wit

hout the annoying synthetic material. That way

nude bathing is also a sustainable affair for the

environment. So, what are you waiting for?