CW: mostly oblique allusions to things gross, bad, and heavy (no details)
I'm not really sure there's a taboo around nudity specifically. It is illegal or criminalized to be naked in many contexts, certainly, but people still do it—when they think they can get away with it—and, more importantly, they still talk about it and depict it in art without too much hesitation or censorship. I suppose this must vary from place to place and time to time, but I am talking about my own experience in North America.
I think being naked corresponds to vulnerability as well, and that makes people uncomfortable. To the extent that people have feelings about their bodies, that can be as much of an issue as the fact that nudity renders them more physically vulnerable.
Those feelings about being vulnerable, however, are taboo—at least in many men's spaces, but again, this is what I can talk about. Men don't talk about their feelings, and many men subscribe to the idea men should not talk about their feelings. This is a terrible idea for many reasons, but it is widespread.
It is accurate to say then, I think, that talking about nudity and/or nudism means having a conversation that is likely to shoulder up against some taboo subjects—which is to say, subjects that people don't have a lot of experience talking about, that people might feel are dangerous to talk about in one way or another (i.e. will people think I am actually inappropriately and/or perversely interested in some of these things just because I'm willing to talk about them?), that they might feel are better not discussed, and which certainly will make different people feel differing degrees of discomfort.
I think the most relevant taboo subjects are as follows:
- piss, shit, and other bodily fluids (because people have concerns about hygiene)
- mental health and feelings (because some people may have strong, not necessarily “rational” emotional reactions to seeing naked people, or to being seen naked by others)
- naked kids and teenagers in various settings (because people are deeply worried about both abuse and about being pegged by others as abusers)
These topics, of course, are taboo in themselves—and that's a problem. There needs to be more serious discussion, and consideration, of the real social problems that attend to each of the aforementioned subjects. Otherwise, those problems are going to fester longer and with a greater amplitude of suffering and discomfort than they might otherwise have to.
I personally don't want to shy away from any of these topics, to the extent that it would be worthwhile to discuss them within the ambit of my writing on nudism. I think, too, that people would be a lot better off if there was more frankness about all sorts of things. More confident, maybe, and less guarded. Maybe fewer people would get hurt, or not get hurt so bad, and those who did get hurt could maybe heal a bit better.
In any case, it seems that—whatever the subculture's faults might be—the naturists have kind of figured this stuff out. They are obviously quite frank about their bodies, and perhaps that prepares them to be frank with respect to other subjects. All the landed clubs and formal associations have zero tolerance policies regarding anything even approaching creepy behaviour as far as kids are concerned. The ubiquitous first rule of naturist etiquette is to never seat your bare ass on a couch cushion or other seat that another person might use later (instead, you put down a towel first), and that's because people long ago had a sensible conversation about butt germs. There certainly seems to be a lot of space for people to first-time visitors to clubs to have weird emotions about nudity, with basically every association and club having a long part of the FAQ dedicated to such issues.
I don't know the details, but I assume what happened is that adults had conversations about these subjects, maturely. Then they made some decisions. It should be possible for anarchists to do the same, about anything to do with clothes or nudity, or anything else entirely.