Britain: still a nation of nude prudes

November 05, 2014, 9:26 AM GMT+0

British people tend to feel uncomfortable naked and are rarely nude in the house or sleeping – and most agree they are too easily offended by sex and nudity

Not only are British people notoriously shy about sex, studies have found that in recent years the nation is having less of it. Due to busy lives, stress and money worries sexual appetites have been in decline; the sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s, it is said, “came and went”.

New YouGov research looks at the naked lives of British people, and finds a general sense of embarrassment over bare skin.

59% of British people are either out-and-out uncomfortable naked, would prefer not to say or are unsure, while 42% are comfortable in the nude. Women (63%) are significantly more likely than men (36%) to feel uncomfortable naked.

Additionally, very little time is spent naked in Britain. Only 22% say they often walk around the house naked when no one else is in; fewer than one in three (29%) sleep naked in normal temperatures; and three in four (73%) have never gone skinny dipping.

It would be difficult to tell if British people’s attitudes to nakedness were unusual without a comparison, but research by YouGov in America has found that fewer agree their co-citizens are too easily offended by sex and nudity (52%) than do British people (65%). Americans are also more likely to have swum naked (35% compared to 27%).

The Naked Rambler

Last week the well-known British naturist Stephen Gough lost his case at the European Court of Human Rights after claiming his repeated convictions and imprisonment, totalling more than five years, amounted to repression.

People tend to think his sentences were too harsh (49% compared to 30% who think they were about right and 5% who say they were too soft), however when looking at cases of naturism they tend to view the public’s right to protection from distress (50%) as more important than the right of expression of naturists (31%).

See the full poll results