Ireland may be facing a nude awakening with more and more people stripping off and taking up naturism over the past two summers.
The Irish Naturist Association (INA) is reporting a 68% rise in membership over the past two summers.
On Newstalk Breakfast his morning, the association’s spokesperson Stephen Bolton said lockdown has seen a surge in interest.
“I think it is due to people working from home,” he said. “It is 18 months now this week we have been in lockdown.”
“People have gone from wearing their formal wear to work to wearing their favourite tracksuits bottoms or leggings to wearing nothing on a nice warm day.”
He said there are lots of reasons people enjoy stripping off in nature.
“It is a comfort thing for a lot of people,” he said. “Not having tan lines as well is a big thing for a lot of people.
“It’s reconnecting with nature; feeling the breeze on your skin is beautiful feeling and if you’re going for a swim in the sea or in a lake or whatever like that, your togs will hold water for half an hour where your skin doesn’t. So, it is a comfort thing."
Mr Bolton said the time spent indoors has also left people feeling the urge to reconnect with nature.
“I think it’s maybe the sensory deprivation we have been dealing with as well,” he said.
“If you are sitting in front of TV screen to, if you are lucky enough to have a spare room, moving to the living room to watch the TV in the evenings – you know, you are not getting out and enjoying the air, not feeling the earth, not feeling the nature around you.
“Maybe that is why people are moving towards it just a little bit.”
He said the INA ‘absolutely’ expects interest in naturism to continue growing in Ireland.
“We have all been on staycations for the last year and half as well,” he said. “People have become more aware of their local beaches, their local woods, somewhere they can go to and just hang out.”
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