Just imagine living the leisure life with no clothes on–golfing, swimming, and sitting at the tiki bar enjoying that margarita naked as a jaybird, a life where the phrase “no shirt, no shoes, no services” doesn’t exist. How the hell do you play strip poker at one of these clubs? Thought provoking, isn’t it? As a person who chooses the life-with-clothing lifestyle, a member of the majority sector of our society, you have to admit that we cannot help but be remotely curious about passing a sign that says, “Nude Beach”. Dang! It’s just natural to want to take a peek at “those people” who strut their stuff within the confines of private property. How can they do that?
Those people, commonly known as naturists, choose to live their recreational lifestyles without clothes. Now, the operative word here is “choose”. Once referred to as nudists colonies, it seems this sector of our society have shed their old label for a more modern term, naturist. I had the gifted opportunity to hold a conversation with one just for this article.
Nudism is nothing new. Some of the most famous paintings and sculptures are of nude bodies of both men and women. These nude works of art obviously depict the peak of perfection when it comes to creating a piece of art of the human body. Kind of not a fair depiction, because no body is perfect (hold that thought). Naturists are actually comfortable in their own skin, so to speak; and accept the human body for what it is, including how it functions. They feel that they and their fellow peers have “a sense of moral and intellectual superiority that stems from their belief in body acceptance in an age of prudery, even to the extent of being able to see the body as non-sexual” Their motto is, “Nude is not Lewd.”
Demographically, the naturist society is predominantly white, college educated, and over the age of 40; and there is a non-distinction of social class at their clubs and resort areas. There is no need to “out-do” the other with name brand shirts, jeans, or the latest shoes and purses. The majority of our society, which I will refer to as non-naturists such as myself, chooses a lifestyle with the body clothed, recreational or otherwise. Why? I interviewed over 100 people via email and in person posing the following questions:
- Would you be open to the idea of visiting a naturist resort? Why or why not?
- If not, what do you base your decision on?
- Do you feel being naked is directly associated with sexuality?
- If you would like to participate in a nude resort area and your partner did not, would he/she be offended?
After compiling the answers, the number one issue was self-esteem–not religion, not upbringing, nor morality. It’s very obvious that our society is highly self-conscious about their own nakedness, even in front of their partner. The second issue was cleanliness–sitting on a pool chair where some other bare-alls were just sitting was just not cool with them. The responses to the last question were the other partner would let them indulge, but not without some hurt feelings or attitude adjustments. And the people I asked in person? Their responses were just a flat-out, “Hell, no!” Again, the number one reason being self-esteem. (Do you see something wrong with this picture?)
Almost all of the participants believe being naked is directly associated with sexuality. It is human nature to be stimulated by the site of a naked body of the opposite sex, which presents the issue of arousal. Women don’t really have to deal with this much except for the puff of a cool, brisk breeze; but for males, it’s a natural reaction to most anything. I brought up this subject with my naturist fellow, and his response was, “Yea, it happens”, and that fact is addressed. He informed me that the rules are mandatory men must carry a towel or wear a hat to cover up that pecker when it decides to have a mind of his own. Heck, the men I know would have to have one sewn into a jock strap. Gives a whole new meaning to “ball cap”, eh?
Then there are the bodily functions issues to deal with that no one wants to talk about even with their clothes on—scars, mastectomies, incontinence, menstruation, and other related issues that can be chosen to be hidden from a clothed society. At these clubs, all this is accepted for what it is, and here is how they handle it. If you break the rules, you will be asked to leave or your membership could be cancelled and all privileges revoked.
Everyone must carry a towel to sit on anything, anywhere, including poolside. There is no overt-sexual behavior tolerated in the common areas. No flaunting, hitting-on of the opposite sex, or sharks in the pool. If you want to have sex, you must retreat to your room or cabin. Women on their time of the month are allowed to wear a bikini bottom. Now, if that ain’t screaming “I have my period”, nothing is, right? Tattoos and piercings walk a fine line, and are frowned upon. Of course, you can’t cover a tattoo; but all sexually suggestive piercings must be removed while visiting the clubs.
Most of these resorts and clubs are located on privately owned property. There are smaller clubs, usually around 50 to 100 members that are located in an area possibly near you that cater to private naturist parties in private homes with pools, saunas, and spas. Naturists are quiet and stay within their designated locations. However, they do get harassment from local governments even when the government says they can be there. Most of the friction comes from revenue or ordinances. These clubs and resorts are businesses, and are run just like any other hospitality business. For your enjoyment, there are traditional clubs, family resorts, swingers clubs, and clothing-optional clubs for those who would like to “test the waters” per se. And unfortunately, just like the rest of the hospitality industry, club memberships are dwindling and the promise of the influx of younger blood is waning.
Lastly, as a typical American society, we tend to make fun of people even with their clothes on. I can just imagine what kind of damage some people could do at one of these clubs. If we cannot accept our own selves for whom and what we are, how can we accept others’? Is our vanity so vulnerable that we have to hide ourselves under the cloaks of clothing? Do our clothes give us confidence, strength, and make us who we are? Regardless, clothes or no clothes, we are always naked; and we can still be an ass even when cloaked under our most famous labelers.
After our interview, my naturist fellow asked if I wanted to attend the resort with him; and I’m seriously thinking of doing just that. (Now, where did I put that sunscreen?) Hey! Catch you from the other side of the fence or wherever!