Germany has long been known as one of Europe’s – if not the world’s – most nudist friendly country, with social nudity practised almost anywhere, including urban public parks, riverbanks and lakesides.
Now, however, times are changing.
According to Kurt Fischer, president of the German Federation of Naturist Clubs (DFK), total membership for Germany’s 145 clubs have fallen two percent a year to about 40,000. The largest contingent is currently in the 50 to 60-year-old bracket, and members under 25 have become rare.
Fischer blames radical changes in people’s working lives, with irregular hours making it hard to commit to FKK clubs and associations.
“Twenty years ago almost everyone had the weekends off,” he said. “Now in almost all jobs, we must be flexible and free time is dictated by the employer.
“This is a problem for organisations that have their own structures and that want to bring people together for an event at a specific time.”
He also cites the changing demographics of the country, pointing out that young people with immigrant backgrounds and from Muslim cultures, where the unclothed body remains taboo, have proven impervious to the lure of nudism.
No need to worry about the future of nudism in Germany just yet though.
Between eight and 12 million Germans still engage in nudism in the summer months said French geographer Emmanuel Jaurand, author of a comparative study on the nudism in Germany.
In his study, Jaurand concluded that Germany remains committed to “urban public nudity that is uninhibited and quiet” and “detached from any sexual connotation”.
So that’s alright then.