Naturist Bookshelf (Book & Movie Reviews)

Welcome to our Naturist Bookshelf page.

Here are a number of books & movies that we have bought that talk about the Naturist lifestyle or aspects of social nudity.

We will undertake a brief review of these books that may still be available from Amazon.

The book tells a complete story, and features what has become a gloriously disparate cast. In addition to Loxie and Zoot, who run The Koala Bares naturist resort, there are singles, couples and families. It doesn't stop there: we get young and old - from several ethnic backgrounds - thin and fat, shaved and bushy, you name it!

To provide the final element of the real world, we have the local town of Koala Bay. This provides not only a large collection of bit-part actors, but also the primary baddie: Councillor Tex Tyler.

As part of his election campaign, this bigoted anti-nuddy wants to close down the naturist resort. A secondary anti-nuddy is local TV reporter Kylie.
Yarns Without Threads Online review - November 2003 Reviewed by Tim Forcer

I cannot recommend this book enough, apart from supporting the work of Stephen Crowley (a fellow Australian) it is just a good read and as the review above says the depictions are "real world" it would be a great gift for those who are considering Naturism or for a fellow Naturist.

Stephen will even sign the copy for you or hand draw one of his characters on the inside front cover. The cost is very reasonable so do yourself a favour get a copy today.

We have put a link to Stephen's web site and order page just click the image of the book above.

Highly Recommended

Therapy, Nudity & Joy
(The therapeutic use of nudity through the ages)
By Aileen Goodson PhD
Elysium Growth Press Los Angeles, 1991

As a trained Hypnotherapist and Naturist I was immediately drawn to this title, and I was not disappointed.

This book is a wonderful review of the experiential field of psychotherapy using nudity to achieve significant therapeutic breakthroughs.

The book starts off with the paper by the author “Experiment in Nude Psychotherapy” from 1967. Anyone who has been exposed to the history of the Human Potential Movement will recognise some of the luminaries that weighed into the discussion on the use of social nudity as a therapeutic tool.

To quote the author:
“ The goal of Therapy, Nudity & Joy is twofold: first to serve as an introduction to the value of nudity as a therapeutic facilitator, to break through the walls of resistance usually associated with unconventional new thought, especially as it relates to nudity and the sexual/sensual areas of life: second, to encourage and motivate further exploration by researches and therapists in the behavioural sciences.”

This is an easy and fascinating read and by looking at this subject as it does from a historical (1960-80’s) perspective it  provides an insight into the successes and prejudices around this type of therapeutic application. 

It also highlights  some of the long standing issues confronting society today, being a lack of self-esteem and lack of positive body image and shows a way forward to positively addressing these if we have the courage to appropriate the therapeutic benefits of the “nude experience”.


Nudism in Australia
Magnus Clarke

This book is a must read for any Australian Naturist as it documents the history of Naturism/Nudism from its European roots to its uniquely Australian evolution.

One of the topics covered includes the early establishment of Sun (Nudist) clubs and the issues that they faced both from the law and society perceptions.

Magnus Clarke follows this through the eyes of the editors of the Nudist Magazines of the time. It is fascinating the role that the editors and owners of these publications had in the advocacy of the lifestyle in the early days.

Like our American cousins there was great debate as to the distribution of the magazines through the mail and they ran an ongoing risk of obscenity charges.  This is regardless of the fact that all the images were airbrushed to conceal genitals.

Then there was the sexual revolution of the 1960's, the new found body freedom that went with those times. In the late 60's there was the first publication of photos of topless models in mainstream magazines.

The first legal clothing optional beaches were proclaimed in the mid 1970's together with the increase in membership of nudist clubs.

In the early 1980's the thought was that by the turn of the new century nudity would be common and society would be totally supportive of nude recreation.

Ahhhh were it so, no one could have foreseen the rise of conservatism that has eroded the advances made in this area.

Today our clothing optional beaches are under attack, women do not have the same right as men to be top free and even breastfeeding in public is frowned upon!

We now pay the price of this increased gymophobia (fear of the naked body) with body image issues effecting both our young women and men.

Although out of print this book is highly recommended and worth the effort to track down.

Highly Recommended.

Nudity -a cultural anatomy

Ruth Barcan
Berg Publishers (2004)

Ruth Barcan, an Australian, has put together a scholarly work that is an important addition to the discussions on nudity in society and she does so using a broad framework.
The book is broken down into four sections followed by the authors own conclusions. These sections are:

1. Nudity/Clothing Dialectic

2. Metaphor of Nudity

3. Unnatural Nature: Mess, Savagery, Perversion, Crime

4. The Nude Republic: Celebrity, "Ordinaryness" and Identity.

The work is full of referenced sources and looks at a number of important areas that makes up society's current attitudes. It is interesting how often Barcan will use the world of Fine Art as a barometer of society comfort with the naked form.

For me, the most thought provoking chapter was Unnatural Nature: Mess, Savagery, Perversion, Crime, to quote the author:

"This chapter is a study of nakedness in some of its perverted, monstrous or criminal guises. It examines, by turn, the "messiness" of hairy nakedness, the uncultivated nakedness of the "savage", the "deviant" undress of the nudist and the criminal nakedness of the pervert." (p143 p2)

Before we get up in arms about the term deviant in relation to nudists what Barcan is referring to is the mindset by society. She goes on to contextualise the use of the word "deviant" from a sociological point of view.

Her discussion on the "savage" was most thought provoking especially the colonial view of the world when it came to the Australian Aboriginals and the South Pacific Islander people whose culture quite appropriately had no issue with their naked state until Europeans came on the scene.

She also quotes the underlying economic bias that influenced the encouragement of "clothing the naked savages."

"It is found in a speech made in 1884 to the Manchester Chamber of Commerce by explorer Henry Morgan Stanley, in which the relations between colonialism, clothing and profit are laid shamelessly bare.

......Stanley's suggestion is that if all the inhabitants of the Congo Basin could be persuaded to buy one Sunday dress each then it would necessitate the sale of 320,000,000 yards of cotton material." (p159)

He then goes on to project the revenue to be generated if material for 2 Sunday dresses and 4 every day dresses could be sold at £16,000,000!

Barcan makes the comment that even today transactional corporations continue to use the same tactic. A contemporary example of "economics of civility" is a French lingerie firm currently (2003) engaged in persuading woman in rural India that they "need" to wear underwear. This project is enhanced by "educational" seminars at Universities and Beauty Salons.

Overall a scholarly work that is well written that fulfills its title by providing a look at nudity in relation to the culture that experiences it and this short review can in no way do it justice.

This book is currently still available through Amazon and would be an excellent addition to the bookshelf of any Naturist who wishes to consider further nudity in it's cultural framework.

Highly Recommended

A Brief History of Nakedness

Philip Car-Gomm
Reaktion Books Limited 2010

"Here's a suggestion: stop reading and start taking off your clothes." So begins the first line of the Introduction of A Brief History of Nakedness.

In this 280 page hardcover book Car-Gomm reviews the social, religious, political, aspects of nakedness along with discussion of nakedness in the performing arts.

Car-Gomm has published extensively on various aspects of Druidism so unsurprisingly he commences his discussion with nakedness and religion.

He first looks at the Pagan world, Wicca, Druid, Kabbalah, the original Gymnosophists of India, the Jains, the Hindu Naga Babas, Christian and Judaism and then finally Nakedness as its own Spiritual Way.

In the political realm Car-Gomm explores nakedness as a political act. He points out that stripping can can be an active or passive activity.

Being passive it can be a humiliating experience, actively taking your clothes off can be empowering as it can become a potent and provocative means of protest or effecting change as in the example of the legend of Lady Godiva or the Breasts Not Bombs protests.

Car-Gomm then turns his attention to the history of organized Nudism and visits the societal and political landscape of the late 19th and early 20th Century from whence the movement arose, through the liberating 60's and 70's, then to more recent times.

Interestingly there is also a section that is then devoted to "the streaker" and the climate that saw this activity become part of our cultural landscape.

We then look at "the musical that changed everything" - Hair as Car-Gonn reviews nakedness and the stage, TV and in films.

Finally in the postscript, we learn that the inspiration for writing this book came when the author discovered the simple pleasure of baring it all at the age of 49.

To quote: "On the hottest day of the year in 2001, in researching a biography, I found myself walking around one of Britain's oldest naturists resorts, Spielplaz in Hertfordshire, pausing to swim in its pool, and rest in the shade of its magnificent trees, wondering to myself 'Why had it taken me almost half a century to discover this delightful pastime?'

A sentiment that we can both heartily endorse.

Overall 'The Brief History pf Nakedness is an easy and engaging read and you are sure to learn some interesting facts along the way, even if you are well read on the subject.

A contemporary publication it is available from Amazon or local bookshop.

Highly Recommended


"Getting back to nature never seemed so unnatural."

Watch the trailer.
'Act Naturally' is a fish out of water comedy about two estranged step-sisters who inherit their recently deceased father's nudist resort. Leah Collins (played by Katie L. Hall, who also co-produced and co-wrote the movie) plays the adopted daughter while Charlie Tillerman (Liz Lytle) plays the biological daughter.

This independently produced film directed and co-written by J.P. Riley, it has won accolades in a number of independent film festivals and because of the positive promotion of the Naturist lifestyle it has found a supporter base in the Naturist community.Following a number of successful independent screenings including selected clothing optional cinema sessions. I first heard about this film through an interview of J.P. Riley by Stephane Deschenes on the Naturist Living Show.

Having just watched the pre-theatrical release DVD, which is intended to raise funds to assist the recovery of production costs and to produce a print for theatrical release, I can say that my wife and I enjoyed the film and agree that the overall the Naturist lifestyle is portrayed in a very positive light.

The majority of the film is set in the fictional Bare Lakes Nudist Resort and the story is told through the eyes of the two daughters who are both confirmed "textiles". There are very few "cringe" points and a lot of humour as a Naturist viewer, there is sexual relationship intimated, it is of course not shown, however it is within the storyline so there is no connection between the social nudity and the sex.

This film is fun and well worth the viewing, it is a pity that it has not been picked up for commercial release because it would stimulate discussion about social nudity and perhaps encourage the 30'something demographic, for whom it will have great appeal, to try social nudity.

Also there is a strong body acceptance message in the film which, for me, was the best naturist message to come through.

All in all, this is the best film depicting the lifestyle to date.
4.5 suns / 5

If you wish to purchase the Act Naturally DVD and check it out for yourself, you can do so at the official website at

Please support this independent naturist film by purchasing your own copy of this movie instead of duplicating it or downloading it.