Naturism on the rise in Paris as naked events soar

More and more naturist events are popping up across Paris and Ile-de-France, spearheaded by groups such as the ANP

The practice is growing in popularity, as a naked bowling tournament, swimming pool sessions, naked yoga, dining clubs and even an exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo gallery, are scheduled in coming months.

Figures from the Association des Naturistes de Paris (ANP) suggest that 88,000 people practice naturism in Ile-de-France alone, with events accommodating their lifestyle on the increase.

This week saw the third annual “no textile” bowling competition in Paris, organised by the ANP, which attracted over 100 people to bowl in the nude.

Speaking to 20 Minutes, vice-president of the ANP, Cédric Amato, 27, said: “We wanted to show that we can do whatever we want, while naked, while fighting stereotypes. You care much less about how you look when you are naked, also surrounded by naked people.”

Similarly, naturist club sessions are a regular fixture at the Roger Le Gall swimming pool in the XIIth arrondissement, along with naked yoga classes and gym sessions at the same place.

Paris O Naturel (also XIIth arrondissement), which claims to be the city’s first naturist restaurant, also hosts regular dining sessions affiliated with the national group the Fédération Française de Naturisme (FFN), which was founded in 1953.

In addition, more and more events have taken place in the past year, since the popular creation of a naturist-only zone in the Bois de Vincennes last summer (below).

The most high-profile outing set for the next few months includes a 100%-naked naturist day at an exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, named Discorde, fille de la nuit.

The free museum event already has 25,000 people “interested” on its Facebook page, with 3,500 people saying they plan to attend - of which most are aged 18-34, with a good mixture of men and women.

Mr Amato said: “At one point, we had to communicate, but could not be too obvious about it. Now, over the past three-to-four years, there has been a real opening. The media is talking about naturism more as a form of well being. More and more young people are practising, and we are speaking more loudly.”

Indeed, a (full-clothed) ANP event in Paris was recently attended by mayor Anne Hidalgo and first deputy Bruno Julliard, who spoke with Mr Amato and others about how naturism is growing in the capital and about how the practice impacts urban spaces.

In an interview with cultural magazine Technikart, Mr Julliard commented on the rise, saying: “Although I do not practise naturism myself, I am very tolerant on this subject.”

The ANP is also lobbying for a change in the law, in particular articles 222-32, which state that “sexual exhibition imposed on the sight of others in a public place shall be punished by one year’s imprisonment and a fine of €15,000”.

Mr Amato added: “Naturism is not a phase or fashion. It is a real urban need. We are no longer a minority. We are going to change habits and minds. 2018 is going to be the year of naturism.”

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