Monday, November 30, 2009

Naturist Education Foundation 2009 California Poll

If you ever had any doubt that the California Department of Parks and Recreation was going against the will of the people in banning nudity at San Onofre Beach, the 2009 Naturist Education Foundation poll shows that in California there is strong support for nude sunbathing, overwhelming acceptance for the personal rights of people to be nude in their homes or on their property, and clear rejection of the notion that most Californians are offended by nudity. A whopping 62% believe that the DPR should establish clothing-optional areas in state parks.

The Naturist Action Committee Advisory on the poll can be found here, and the entire poll results are here.

This is a scientific poll conducted by Zogby with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Highlights are that 79% of respondents agree that people should be able to enjoy nude sunbathing, 70% agree that areas should be set aside for nude recreation, 68% agree that people have the right to be nude in their homes or on their property even if occasionally visible to others, and 60% disagree that they are personally offended by the non-sexual nudity of others.

Another astounding number is that 40% or respondents have personally gone skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing with others. That calculates to approximately 10 million people in the state of California alone.

Contrast this important work being done by the NEF with the lame self-serving poll conducted by AANR last month on its blog.

Congratulations and thanks to the NEF and this watershed poll on which naturists can begin to build a system of public lands for the personal liberty and human right of being nude in nature.


Anonymous said...

So it's a matter of the loudest getting the attention. Instead of being a government of the people, for the people. It's a government for the most vocal. Even if it's against what most people want. But we cannot offend the small sampling of people that have a problem with something.

Chris said...

That is very encouraging. What now? I'm assuming that the DPR doesn't read the NAC's website on a regular basis looking for ways to better serve its customers, so how do we help drive this point home where it matters? Will the NAC organize any public relations efforts around this news, or otherwise see that it cuts through the noise and reaches a wider audience? The idea that such a large fraction of the population is interested in nude recreation is very valuable, since it weakens the stigma surrounding nudism and makes the prospect of organizing, communicating, and advocating much less scary. Very few people want to be the only naked person in the room, part of some weirdo lunatic fringe, but 40% puts us in respectable underdog territory.

It would be great to see this hit the net in a big way. Does anyone at TNS or AANR have the organizing power to get this on digg or reddit a couple thousand times?

Nudiarist said...

Chris, you nailed it. This is prime material for generating interest and going viral, but I fear that the NAC/NEF/TNS organizations are woefully inadequate when it comes to public relations. They are all substance with no glitz, while AANR is the opposite. A professional PR firm is what is needed to spread this message around.

Anonymous said...

I feel the AANR has no interest in nude beaches, they feel when there are no public places to get naked, then whoever wants to will be forced into one of their clubs.

Facts don't lie, and it looks as if the public wants public naked places. A publicity firm might help as would some good attorneys and lots of cash for both of them.

The only way this is going to get solved is in the Supreme court.

Academic Naturist said...

@Nudiarist - I don't think they're going to use this to 'go viral'. They haven't done that with their Roper polls either. I expect they will use this poll as leverage against the DPR officials, and possibly in court, not in a PR campaign.

I bet that somewhere in the DPR policy it says that they must act in favor of the majority. NAC will make sure they do.

And lets not forget to thank California for such wonderful feedback!

Nudiarist said...


I don't know if you are making an assumption, or if you have inside information, but for the NEF/NAC/TNS to sit on this poll for possible "leverage" in a future lawsuit is not only foolish, it's contrary to the naturist cause. These organizations profess that naturists should be 100% open about their lifestyles and identities, yet once they have solid evidence that naturism would be widely accepted in California, they keep that under wraps except to the privileged few who receive these alerts.

I just checked the TNS Facebook page. Not a word about the poll, only some sort of juvenile request for testimonials about what "your TNS membership means to you". Nobody cares about this insider crap, it's like the self-serving AANR poll they took a month ago.

No, the Zogby poll on naturism in California should be handed over to a professional PR firm to take this viral. This is a tangible, scientific and positive development, an opportunity not to be squandered.

Chris said...

Nudiarist, you are certainly right about TNS lacking a little something in the glitz department. It's so much worse than that, though. The TNS website has the best of intentions, but it utterly fails to do its job. It's ghastly in every possible way, effectively selling the message that TNS is outdated, out of touch, and just a little less hip than the guys in my grandpa's golf league. As I've seen noted in various places, there aren't as many young nudists as there used to be, and this isn't helping. The Facebook crowd is largely driving youth culture these days, and they can spot a clueless website from a mile away (contrast that with ~8ft, the distance at which they can tell said website has naked people on it). This is a clueless website. Just look at that color scheme, and the fact that the text is nearly illegible against the horrid low-res beach backdrop. Behold the ugly green buttons and the vintage 1996 layout. Revel in the quaint "Site Map" feature, a fad that I vaguely remember from my high school days. The whole ensemble makes me kind of queasy. Sadly, AANR is only marginally better.

Is there a way that I can donate to TNS and earmark the money for a good web designer? Things are bad enough that it won't take much to make a huge difference. Then the few young people who stumble across the site might actually stop to read and look around.

Nudiarist said...

Chris, TNS has its head in the sand when it comes to having a robust Internet presence. Tracy, the person who created the TNS Facebook page, had this to say: "TNS has had the great fortune of controlling their own site and content so they can make updates at a moment's notice. I think this is important for such a grassroots organization. They shouldn't have to pick up the phone and call someone across the country to make the changes they want. We can all continue to provide feedback and suggestions, as appropriate, about the website." That astounding quote can be found here:

Without Lee Baxandall, The Naturist Society is a ship without a rudder.

Academic Naturist said...

@Nudiarist - No inside info here, just opinion. They aren't exactly keeping it under wraps, since the info is available on their website.

If this gets the same treatment as the Roper polls, naturists will start citing it everywhere they can.

I don't think they're going to shovel money into a PR campaign centered around a California poll. (Maybe AANR will?) Should they? Yes! But TNS just doesn't have the money right now, as far as I know. I'll suggest it to them anyway.

TNS/NEF/Anyone could pitch it to the media, which is free. I don't think the media would bite though since it's just a poll, especially outside of California. Now, give it a year or two, and I'm sure the media will bite when NAC brings California nude beaches back from the dead (and with DPR backing) using this poll. If given a choice, this is where I think the money should go for right now.

Academic Naturist said...

..And another thing! The findings in this poll really aren't new. The 2006 Roper poll showed that 84% on the west coast approve of letting people skinny-dip (compared to 79% on the California poll). Setting aside land for it? 54% nationally and 70% in California approve, both indicate a majority. Actual participation is a minority. The only real flip is that California approves of nudity in the backyard, and the rest of the US doesn't.

Nudiarist said...

Hi AN,

Not keeping it under wraps and actively promoting something are two different things. Why spend the money for these polls if the data remains insider information?

Both you and I know that the media loves a good nudity story. If someone escapes a fire, it's generally noted first that the person was naked, and second that the person sustained burns.

As far as I know, it doesn't cost a lot of money to do an in-house press release. Check out - Tom Mulhall uses that service, and his releases show up in Google news.

Look, except for the magazine and a renewal notice, I get nothing from TNS/NAC/NEF. I've donated TWICE to NAC and never received the courtesy of a "thank you", or a newsletter. TNS never sends out e-mails, or at least I don't get them. AANR has a blog, a forum and a newsletter, so at least they are trying.

If the organizations don't have the money, they need to raise it by getting more members. A press release with the California poll results would be a start. Getting interviews with California media would also cost little or no money. Why not contact the reporter who wrote the story about California spending $42000 fighting nudity at San Onofre?

I just really don't understand the mindset of the TNS administrators, who seem to be more focused on the magazine and the gatherings than on making any real progress in spreading the word, or mounting a real membership drive. Last I looked they were hoping for 1000 new members in 2009. Aim low, and you end up shooting into the dirt.

Anonymous said...

Interesting result. What's also interesting, though, I think, is the huge disparity between those who seemed to support nudism in the poll, and those who actually try it. That is, surely, not that high a percentage have actually participated (as in actually showing up to nude beaches or nudist resorts). I'm not saying it's a bad poll, just that the numbers don't add up. What it tells me, though, is that there are a lot of people out there who are "getable," but we're not closing the sale. I think that a good additional question in the poll could have been something like "if you answered 'yes' to supporting nudism, and if you haven't tried it yourself (as opposed to something like just skinny dipping with a small group of friends at night or something like that), what has prevented you from doing so?"