Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Why Nudist Don't Get Erections

Presents an excerpt from the article 'Nudity,' by Leonard Blank from 'Psychology Today' dated June 1969.

Lawrence Casler, of the State University of New York at Geneseo, studied 115nudists, removing his own clothes to minimize defensiveness or false responses. One of his major findings: Nudists are not sexually aroused by the sight of unclad bodies.

Why don't nudists react as we expect them to? Casler believes that sexual arousal is a learned response to nudity and that the naked body arouses us only under certain conditions. Anthropologists do not report unusual promiscuity or a higher birth rate among habitually naked primitive tribes; nor is there any other sign that such groups are more sexually active than their clothed neighbors.

Under what conditions, then, is the unclad body an erotic object? The answer seems simple. In non-nudist life, we see the opposite sex undressed during love making, and conditioning causes nudity to become associated with sexual excitement or behavior. Nudists, on the other hand, associate the naked body with volleyball. The body becomes deconditioned as a sexual stimulus.

Male nudists have reported, however, that immediately upon leaving the nudist camp they are stimulated by women wearing ordinary clothes.

--excerpted from "Nudity" by

Leonard Blank, June 1969.

[Blank's article, part of a cover package on nudity, accompanied a story looking at the then-hot trend toward all-nude group therapy sessions.--P.D.]