A nudist community
(or in Europe, naturist community
) is a group of nudists/naturists
who choose to live together on a permanent basis where clothing is optional. The term nudist colony
was once a term for nudist communities, especially among non-nudists, but is eschewed by most nudists/naturists due to negative connotations that became associated with the term. There are two objections to the term: the term nudist
is not used by European naturists - it connotes a lack of the family-oriented cooperative philosophy, though this connotation does not seem to apply in North America, and the word colony
is politically connected with imperialism and authoritarianism. It is different in francophone communities. In France, many communes invested in landed sites by the sea for summer recreation both by adults and children. These were named "colonie des vacances". Most French school children would spend a week a more each summer at a colonie
, which are in many ways analogous to the American summer camp
. The international links within naturism explain how the term arose.
Modern naturist resorts, camps and parks often cater to vacationers and/or day visitors and thus may not have a community of naturists who live on site on a permanent basis (other than possibly the owners/operators). Such places that cater to families all demand an INF card as identification and have child protection policies. Common activities in nudist/naturist centres include swimming and tennis or miniten.
A related concept is a naturist village, such as the naturist part of Cap d'Agde or the CHM-Montalivet, where some of the people are permanent residents.
A few isolated societies have retained from ancient times a customary life with little or no clothing. They are mostly in the Amazon basin, sub-Saharan Africa, and New Guinea. These few peoples still manage to avoid ongoing efforts to force them to cover themselves, with or without further cultural assimilation.
A nudist colony plays an important role in the Inspector Clouseau film A Shot in the Dark.