Users of Bois de Vincennes claim peace is being disturbed by voyeurs and exhibitionists
Naturists in a Paris park have complained that voyeurs and exhibitionists are spoiling their naked enjoyment.
The nudists say they are being pestered in an area of the city’s Bois de Vincennes where for the last two years they have been allowed to shed their clothes.
An area of almost two acres of the park is set aside for naturists between April and October. When it opened in 2017, City officials insisted no inappropriate behaviour would be tolerated, a message reiterated on a sign at the entrance to the zone.
But a number of naturists have complained their peace is being disturbed by the “reprehensible” actions of some non-nudists.
One, Bernard, told Le Monde: “Voyeurs and exhibitionists come and bother the women … of course they are afraid.” He added: “Sometimes there’s a police unit that comes by but if they don’t catch anyone in flagrant délit, they can’t punish anyone.”
Others complained of “perverts hiding in bushes”.
The local mayor, Catherine Baratti-Elbaz, said police had been asked to increase park patrols after reports of “voyeurism and exhibitionism”, but the police commissioner, Hugo Arer, said he had not received any formal complaints this year.
Laurent Luft, the president of the Paris Naturists’ Association, who was involved in choosing the Bois de Vincennes site as a naturist zone, said the problems were being exaggerated.
“After I heard of these complaints I spoke to a male friend who goes to this naturist area every single day; he told me he’d never seen any sordid activity or activities that don’t correspond to the idea of naturism,” he said.
He admitted the experience might be different for women. “If I was a woman I’m not sure if I’d go there, but lots of my female friends do. Any nudist area like a beach, or even an ordinary beach where there are women in bikinis, will attract an element of frustrated men.”
France is one of the world’s leading naturist destinations with 4.7 million nudists, 2.1 million of them French, according to the French Federation of Naturism.
“Nobody has been arrested in the Bois de Vincennes naturist zone. It’s a beautiful place and if we abandon it then they [voyeurs] have won; except they haven’t because then they wouldn’t have anyone to look at,” Luft said.