Men and women alike may benefit health-wise from nude sunbathing at nude beaches
Worldwide popularity of nude beaches
As holidays and vacation times arrive, a huge human migration toward warmer climates and sunny beaches takes place all over the globe. The vast majority of travelers head for so-called “textile” beaches where bikini tops and speedos are commonly worn, often to the discomfort of users. The more open minded and health conscious among us prefer to sunbathe “naturist” style, or completely naked. I vividly recall my very first experience nude- sunbathing with friends in Monterey, California. I found it to be incredibly exhilarating, yet non-sexual in nature. Surprisingly, the great majority of beach goers disagree. They often equate nudity with sexuality and go so far as to support laws making nude sunbathing illegal, sparking heated debate. Opinions on the subject tend to vary according to many factors including nationality. In 2012, the world famous travel company Expedia conducted its so-called annual “flip flop” survey which is an informal survey of beach goers and their habits including nudity. The company found that Germans and Austrians were the most favorably inclined towards nude sun bathing with 15% of German survey respondents indicating that they definitely sunbathe nude. (Deustchland ueber alles!) In contrast, only 2% of Brits said that they went naked at the beach, about the same percentage as among Yanks. Among Mexicans, some Latin Americans, and persons of Middle Eastern origin, the percentages are even lower. Keep in mind, however, that informal surveys of this sort may possibly be tainted by statistical response bias, and that the actual percentages may be higher due to many survey participants not admitting to this activity. See Spanking FIT‘s “Education & Sex” category for more examples of this phenomenon.
Most famous nude beaches
For those open minded people in favor of nude sun bathing, an abundance of legally “free” or “naturist” beaches are available worldwide. Among the more famous are: Cap d’ Agde located in southern France; Red Beach in Greece; It Trance in Mallorca, Spain; Wreck’s Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia (go there in summer); and beautiful Black’s Beach in the good old U.S.A. (San Diego area), enjoyable all year long. Another American favorite is (excuse the local language) “Bare Bum Beach” near Salt Lake City, Utah. For a comprehensive list and illustrated nude beach evaluation see Spanking FIT: International Nude Beach Evaluation; Feb. 2015.
Health benefits of all over sun exposure
There is little doubt that sun exposure produces outstanding psychological benefits for many; but, just how healthful is it from a physiological viewpoint? On the down side, we are all aware of the dangers of over-exposure, especially when it comes to the more sensitive anatomy parts; for example, breasts, genitals, etc. You are already aware that an association is claimed between sunshine and cancer of the skin. Nevertheless, a sensible amount of sun exposure is absolutely essential towards maintaining good health for most human beings and even, yes possibly, in preventing skin cancer! Let’s begin by reviewing the Vitamin D/ Sunlight connection.
How the body uses sunshine to make Vitamin D
Right below the epidermis or top layer of our skin are cells called keratinocytes that produce pro-vitamin D3. In response to Ultraviolet B light exposure, the pro-vitamin D3 is converted to pre-vitamin D3 (cholecalciferal). The pre-vitamin D3 is slowly transformed into Vitamin D3 in the skin with heat from sunlight acting as a catalyst. Vitamin D3 released from skin cell membranes is collected by so-called VitaminD-binding protein and brought into the blood plasma and transported by blood stream to the liver. The liver then converts it to Calcidiol. The Calcidiol circulates throughout the body where the kidneys convert it to Calcitriol. It is Calcitriol that plays a significant role in Calcium metabolism and in controlling absorption of Calcium from our intestines.
Abundant health benefits of Vitamin D
As you already know, Calcium is required for mineralization of bone, bone growth and transformation. Men and women alike benefit by reducing their risk of fracture and osteoporosis. Conversion of Calcidiol to Calcitriol within other body cells is also believed to be a requirement for proper immune system health, and in preventing various types of cancers. (Please see footnotes 1 & 2 below) Since the explained conversion takes place in our skin cells as well, limiting sun exposure on certain private parts of the anatomy may actually promote the development of skin cancer there and not hinder it, contrary to conventional belief! (Another argument strongly in favor of the nude sun bathing.) It seems clear that exposure to sunlight is the simplest and most natural way for obtaining adequate Vitamin D, with the previously explained health benefits for both women and men. According to the peer-reviewed paper “Estimated Equivalent Of Vitamin D Production From Natural Skin Exposure” published in Journal of American Academy of Dermatology; 2010, 62(6): 929,e 1-9: with 26% body surface exposure, it takes 8 minutes to synthesize only 400 I.U. of Vitamin D3 (that estimate is based on exposure of Type III skin to midday summer New England sun). Since sunbathing nude increases body surface exposure, it also accelerates the process of natural vitamin D synthesis; and, by reducing required exposure time, it lessens the risk of sun burn on exposed skin.
Additional non-vitamin health benefits of sunbathing nude
Sunlight exposure is also indicated for a variety of skin conditions including acne, psoriasis, eczema, and fungal infection. By bringing blood to the surface, sunshine helps to heal both skin rashes and abrasions. Wearing of textile bathing attire may exacerbate these conditions due to skin friction. Moreover, clothing often traps particles of hair, skin, and dirt and acts as a breeding ground for microbial organisms.
Male with low T? Try nude sunbathing
Are you a man with low T symptoms or undergoing low T treatment? More and more men are doing this risking serious side effects. (See: “Male T-Replacement Should be the Last Resort“; Spanking FIT, Jan. 2015) Or, perhaps you’re just looking for an extra boost. You should know that there’s a vitamin D-testosterone connection which is especially relevant to your health. In “Effects Of Vitamin D Supplementation On Testosterone Levels In Men”, by S. Pilz, et. al. Hormone and Metabolic Research; 2011;43(3):223-5 researchers at the Medical University of Graz in Austria tentatively established a link between Vitamin D and testosterone production in men. Their study, which was randomized placebo-controlled, consisted of 54 subjects of which 31 received treatment consisting of 3,332 I.U. of Vitamin D daily for a year. There was a measured rise in testosterone levels for this group from a mean of 10.7 nmol/L to 13.4 nmol/L. Since the normal range for the age group involved (20-49 years) is considered to be 9-55 nmol/ L., the results translate into about an 8% increase over the normal range midpoint of 32 nmol/L. (The actual rise for the study group was over 25%!) Despite the statistically significant differences obtained, I agree with the study authors that further validation of results should be obtained.
Does exposing male genitalia to sunlight dramatically increase testosterone levels?
Recently, popular fitness websites and magazines have quoted a study by medical “pioneer” Abraham Myerson, M.D. which was published in the journal Endocrinology in 1939. Myerson is quoted as claiming that exposing the male genitalia specifically to sunlight can promote up to a 200% increase in testosterone levels. However men, before going out and exposing your genitals to sun and risking the possibility of burning them and getting arrested, bear in mind that the study was conducted with small samples so that it is not possible to properly evaluate the results statistically. Nevertheless, given the understandable concern that many men have regarding their testosterone levels, the well-established negative consequences of “low-T”, and the dangerous therapy side effects, an attempt to duplicate Myerson’s results in a more modern scientific manner should be made, in my opinion. As a final note, I wish to point out that there is great irony in all of this. How is it, we may ask, that an enjoyable activity like nude sunbathing, with its potentially great health benefits, could be considered by many to be socially taboo? For another similar example, be sure to read Spanking FIT’s article in our “Education & Sex” section: “Worried About Safe Sex? Try Kink, the Safest Sex on Earth”.
Thank you very much. Let me have your thoughts. Dr. Garrett
footnotes: (1) “Vitamin D supplementation for prevention of mortality in adults”, by G. Bjelakovic, et al published online in 2014, makes reference to several randomized clinical trials performed to investigate whether Vitamin D3 can reduce cancer mortality. Spanking FIT performed an independent meta analysis of these trials using Fisher’s method from his famous work “Statistical Methods for Research Workers” (1932) and concluded that Vitamin D3 statistically significantly decreased cancer mortality, in agreement with study authors. (2) In “Vitamin D and Calcium supplementation reduces cancer risks” by J. Lappe, et al, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition researchers obtained statistically significant results indicating that supplementation reduced cancer development risks. This study was, in the words of its authors, the first randomized clinical trial that administered enough supplement to raise serum calcidiol levels above ” a biologically meaningful level”.
Creative commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/