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Minigolfing in Trondheim... butt naked

The List attended one of the more… unique events held in Trøndelag — the second iteration of naked minigolf night at Trondheim Camping.

Photo: Jéleena Rai

A naked journalist walks into a bar

It was like a scene straight out of a nightmare. On a snow-heavy Trondheim night, I found myself standing in the middle of a bar filled with strangers — completely naked. Being on my own, I felt incredibly exposed and worried. What am I doing here? I get self-conscious wearing shorts as they reveal my knees, and now I’m naked?!


But this initial shock only lasted a second. I soon noticed how relaxed the atmosphere was. The windows were covered and the heat turned up to make the bar nice and toasty. A group of people enjoyed a round of minigolf while others played board games and chatted over pints. Just like a normal night out — except people kept their snus cans in their socks… because no one was wearing pants.


What sort of people would I find here? And why did they come?


Safe freedom

I sat down with Martin (25) and Sara (21), a couple playing Jenga. For them, the novelty of the event was its biggest attraction. “I mean, where else can I be naked in this city, especially this time of year,” says Martin laughing and gestures to the freezing temperatures outside. They found the idea of being naked in public scary but also exciting. “And once you’re here it’s weirdly normal, yet no less fun.”


Looking around, it’s clear there are more men than women attending, about 70-30 split, so I’m curious to know how Sara feels at an event like this. “When I was talking about this with my female friends, they said they’d be worried about men staring or being inappropriate,” Sara explains. “I understand them, but I’ve found this is a really safe space and I can feel relaxed.”


Photo: Jéleena Rai

The local naturists

Close by, Johnny (46) and Ole (42) are enjoying ice-cold pints as naked as the day they were born — although with a few more tattoos. Johnny is covered in monochrome illustrations from his toes to the top of his head, appearing fully clothed among the naked attendees. Johnny and Ole are both part of TNF, Trøndelag’s naturist community, and take every chance they get to attend naked events.


“Being a naturist is about freedom,” says Johnny, as Ole jokingly cuts in “and showing off your tattoos?” They both agree that casting off clothes in a non-sexual way allows people to feel better about themselves and freer. “All body pressure is gone as soon as you take off your clothes,” Ole explains. “There’s much more pressure to look good when you’re wearing a bikini or a speedo than being simply naked.”


Phoneless fun

Henrik (32), Thomas (32), Maia (28), and Karen (24) agree with the naturists. They all have had different upbringings here in Norway in regard to nakedness. Some often went with friends and family to naked saunas, while this is a complete first for Karen. “I thought I would never do anything like this, but it sounded like a cool challenge.” In the past, Karen struggled with body image issues but after practising body awareness meditation, she was ready to take this step — along with the support of coming with friends.


Maia attended the previous naked minigolf event and had a great time and keeps encouraging people to experience non-sexual nudity as it alleviates body pressures. She admits it was a bit daunting entering the bar at first because when men sit at tables they appear ‘less naked’ than women. However, the minigolf adds a fun dimension as it evens the experience in some ways and also gives people something to focus on while they get comfortable.


“The biggest adjustment might be not having a phone though, you almost feel more naked without a phone than clothes,” Maia says laughing.


Photo: Jéleena Rai

Making new friends, naked

“The openness you feel here is a big by-product of not having a phone. Not being constantly entertained changes the social dynamic,” says Håkon (30). His friend Sindre (30) also adds that just showing up to an event like this signals you’re an open person, which creates a unique atmosphere. Joining them at their table are couple Christer (24) and Ragnhild (24) — who they just met for the first time.


Christer and Ragnhild struck up a conversation with the friends, which they say they would never have done on a normal night out, but something about tonight made them more open. They were hesitant before coming, but it’s been one of the best experiences they’ve had. “I put on weight during covid and was both worried about men staring or other women judging me. But that’s completely gone now that I see people of all shapes and sizes coming together naked.”


Naked minigolfing is definitely a weird and challenging experience, but everyone I spoke to said they’d do it again and bring as many friends as possible. So this definitely won’t be the last naked event we’ll see here in Trondheim.


This article originally appeared in The List Spring Magazine 2023.

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