Local nudists living in Catalonia, Spain, have so much beef with clothed tourists visiting their beaches that they’ve launched a campaign against them.
Fifty-six-year-old Segimon Rovira has frequented the beaches in Catalonia, Spain, and has always done so in the comfort of other nudists. Now, he acknowledges that there have been more and more sunbathers in their swimsuits visiting the area.
“Before, people would arrive at a nude beach and either leave or strip down,” said Rovira. “Now they stay and keep their swimsuit on. But what they don’t realise is that if there are a lot of them, they end up making us uncomfortable. It’s a lack of respect.”
Rovira and other naturists in Catalonia are now fighting back, with a campaign aimed at protecting the decades-long tradition associated with 50 or so of the region’s beaches.
“Nudism is not banned in Spain, you can do it on any beach,” said Rovira, who leads the Naturist-Nudist Federation of Catalonia. “But so as not to bother people, we prefer to go to beaches that have traditionally been nudist and where most people are naked. We want people to respect this.”
The association started by sending a letter to the Catalan government asking for a meeting to address what it described as “the discrimination that nudists face on the beaches of Catalonia.” The collective has yet to receive a response but has already started thinking of potential requests, from beefed-up signage for nude beaches to a public awareness campaign that could help foster respect for naturism.
The threat of travel bloggers and those who don’t respect the nudist tradition has led to steadily eroding naturism in the area. “There are nudists who have stopped going to some beaches because they are too crowded and there are too many people wearing swimsuits and they feel uncomfortable,” Rovira said.
The hope for the campaign is to help ensure that certain beaches remain safe spaces for naturists and help to keep the tradition going. “Starting to practise naturism when you’re surrounded by people in clothing is very complicated,” Rovira said. “That’s why we think it’s important to have nudist spaces where the majority of people are nude so that people are encouraged to try it.”
The association recently created a video to help with their campaign, which depicts two tourists who stumble across a nudist beach and soon go from gawking to stripping down.
“We do it for the feeling of freedom,” said Rovira. “There’s no comparison between swimming in the nude and in swimwear. You’re more free, more calm and relaxed.”