Nude life

The term "Nude life" is a metaphor for the essentially reduced human existence. Nude life, however, also describes the many-sided experiences and values of a life in daily nudity deviating from daily grind, which our ancestors and many peoples in the early days, as well as even a few peoples up to the present time, had or have as a self-evident daily routine. Actually, naturists of our days consciously cultivate that lifestyle.

So, this is about the practice of nude life. The term "nudevent" is a coinage of "nude" and "event" with the two "e" joined together. It is used to translate the German coinage "Nacktivität", from "nackt" [en: nude] and "Aktivität" [en: activity, event]. Probably, the German active naturists Anita & Wolfgang Gramer from Berlin created that coinage. In their book »1, 2, Frei – Das NacktAktivBuch«, they described the range of nude activities at that time.

They also offered seminars and therapies, with the help of which one could experience the healing and helpful effect of being nude together. The positive effects of nudity include the strengthening of personal relationships, mutual consideration and attention.

The most common type is, of course, nude bathing, respectively nude swimming, which is associated with the nude stay at the beach or in the meadow at a bathing lake. This is virtually the essence of the nude and is regular practice for millions of people. Due to booked trips to destinations for nude being, about 8 million aficionados of naturist life are to be taken into account in Germany, and 2 million in France.

Of course, naturists practise the usual beach activities such as beachball, featherball, beach volleyball or pétanque («boule») also in the nude, which is the first step towards nude sports.

It is remarkable, however, that naturists practised nude activities for a long time only in more or less limited areas, i.e. on beaches or at lakes (tolerated or officially declared) for nude bathing and swimming, on naturist camp sites, or on club grounds.

In the last decades, the naturists conquered more and more the open country: Nude joggers make their daily run in the town's forest, nude hikers meet for nude day-walks in the most beautiful natural parks, nude cyclists are on the way on mountain bike or touring bike, and not only at the World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR).

Nude cyclists in the <i>Münsterland</i> (Westphalia), Germany
Nude cyclists in the Münsterland (Westphalia), Germany

Explanation of terms and comments by native English speakers

At first, we had choosen "The naked life" as the more a less literal translation of the German "Das nackte Leben". This title then has been used for a menu item of the English part of the natury website and as subtitle for an informational brochure.

The German adjective "nackt" [en: bare | naked | nude] connotes

  • "unbekleidet" [en: unclothed] as well as
  • "bloß | nur | nichts weiter" [en: merely | only | nothing else].

In English, we then had a try with "The bare Life" instead of "The naked life".

The motive for that choice was, that the responsibles for an exhibition of paintings some years ago in England, which English artists created in the 2nd half of the 20th century, had choosen "The bare life" as the title. The paintings have partly nudes as subject, while others have different ones. In 2014/15, the LWL Museum in Münster (Westphalia), Germany, presented that exhibition to the public with the German title "Das nackte Leben". Some of the paintings can be looked at by means of a blog (text in German). Instead, the German museum could also have choosen "Das bloße Leben" as the German title, like a short form of an imagined English title "LIfe, nothing but the bare life". So, that is why we had a try with "The bare life".

»'Das nackte Leben' needs the definite article in German, but not in English: Naked life, Naked living, Living naked, Nude life, Life in the nude, Nude living, Living nude, Living in the nude, are all satisfactory and equivalent English phrases for the same idea.

In English 'naked' has the negative connotation of lacking something (usually clothes), and can be applied to anything that is devoid of something expected.

'Nude', by contrast and used often in reference to painting and sculpture, has the more positive connotation of simplicity, lack of unnecessary clutter or adornment.

'Bare' is a more general term for the lack of something: 'a bare body' does imply nudity of course, but 'a bare life' might just mean a minimal existence. So, in response to your specific question, 'The bare life' has the unnecessary definite article, and doesn't of itself simply nudity, although it would in the context of your web site (therefore much the same as in German).«

Comment: Bernard, England

»Bare in English can mean unclothed, but it can also mean barren, bleak, or having little content or joy. So I would not recommend "The Bare Life" as your subtitle under Naturism. "The Naked Life" is a correct description, but it does not add any element of positive emotion. Personally, I would vote for "Living Naturally."«

Comment: Milt, USA

For the concerning main menu item, we follow Bernard's suggestion of "Nude life".

We prefer to use the coinage "nudevent" [over "na(c)ktivity"] as well as the terms "nudity", "nude", "in the nude", and "in the buff". In contrast, we use "naked" and "nakedness" to express something negative. In order to emphasise certain own activity, we choose Richard's "naktiv". Pls take into account, that these principles may not be applied in some cases, e.g. own text in English and translations to English by native speakers, who follow their style, or with titles of exhibitions, plays etc.

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