25 Comments
Sep 20, 2022·edited Sep 20, 2022Liked by BOPBadger

From an American's point of view, I can tell you the restrictions are justified. A small number of horny single guys can ruin it for the rest of us. And with the staggering number of child grooming and molestation cases out there I would never take my kids to any naturist club or park now. I don't want to hear it. What families do within the law on their property is not my concern. But if I don't feel my children are 100% safe I have a duty to not take them. Now many clubs are 21+ only and I get it.

But the restrictions are also isolating resorts in smaller towns who can't take chances.

The naturist market is shrinking.

The problem with landed clubs are cliques.

Cliques kill clubs. If you are not in line with the clique you will be pushed out. I've had it happen.

I also noticed once you get yours, you stop caring about the cause. The club I was pushed out of, when I had first joined I mentioned trying to start a nonlanded club as I'm an hour away from the closest club, intending to partner with that club. "That will hurt our business." That's their mindset!

The effort itself died when virtually everyone on the Facebook group were out of the area, despite express statements that it was only for my general area as we have nothing in that region, and they were almost all men.

Cliques with that knowledge don't want everyone.

A seperate club the membership frankly bitched and moaned about everything, didn't lift a finger to volunteer, basically some were there just to drink beer and stare at titties.

God forbid you stick your neck out and advocate for a couple of acres of land in public parks for skinny dipping. We think of only beaches when most of us aren't close to one. There are literally millions of acres of public land in America, and we can't lift a g-damn finger to get some fully committed to naturism? If I could go skinny dipping on public lands I wouldn't bother with club politics anymore. I don't want to hear "grey area" arguments. We need dedicated spaces with dedicated signage like the nude beaches.

I don't expect a church service at nightly dances at AANR clubs. I don't want an orgy at them. I do expect best behavior. I have seen one club have swinger ads on their website. Sorry, not for me.

Big cities with big memberships are not in danger. But isolated resorts in small towns are dying out. The club I went to was three hours away (I ran events there), the owner got fed up with all the drama from the members and just runs the campground with no events. Took down his Facebook page. I don't fault him. The park is likely for sale.

It's the law of diminishing returns.

I wouldn't invest in a naturist club in a small town. Why would I if members think just paying dues is enough for the cause?

It is the consequence of a mentality that says "I've got mine."

Not for much longer.

"The less that you give, you're a taker."--Ronnie James Dio, "Heaven and Hell"

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Sep 19, 2022Liked by BOPBadger

I'm picking up on the points made about new visitors to clubs finding it difficult to engage with others there.

I do not know what the reasons for these experiences are; situations, locations, personalities, expectations etc can vary considerably.

This is not my usual experience from visiting new clubs in the UK. There have always been some people who have been very friendly, not universally, some have been more reserved. I found it to be a similar experience when staying at nudist resorts/clubs in Europe too. Overall I consider the nudist community to generally be friendlier, more open to engagement than in the clothed world, exceptions do exist.

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Sep 16, 2022Liked by BOPBadger

They're relevant, but only part of the landscape. A similar question is 'why does the NZNF have such a focus on clubs?' British Naturism at bn.org.uk doesn't, for example. I would be much more engaged if NZNF promoted events, communities, locations, benefits. Move away from clubs and into the 21st century. Looking at Go Natural one would think clubs are the only thing on offer. There's no mention of the upcoming WNBR (another for example) Also the admin of Go Natural needs to optimise the site for searching - its pretty much invisible to search engines.

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Sep 19, 2022Liked by BOPBadger

As a BN member I have got really fed up with the heavy promotion of Sunfolk by BN. Sunfolk is a long-established naturist club NW of London, BN bought it to save it from disappearing. A lot of investment was needed and is in the process of being made. At times it might be easy to feel that half of the UK naturist activity is centered around Sunfolk if you just read BN blurb. I believe that BN has +9,000 members, there are millions in the UK who relax naked to some extent, most have no idea about Sunfolk and possibly enjoy their naturism all the better for it.

I get that BN have to blow their own trumpet for business reasons, but quite often it dominates their take on UK naturist news in their magazines and website.

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author

Brent, thanks for your observation. It would be interesting to hear a response to these questions from the NZNF.

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Sep 12, 2022·edited Sep 13, 2022Liked by BOPBadger

The owners of the venue may not have an issue with minors and nudity but the larger society might have issues with it that would be problematic for the owners. Protests can happen, government agencies can get involved, fundamentalist activists can make up all kinds of false, lurid, and alarmist stories for the media which will get slurped up immediately because they make great clickbait..

A very small number of people can make a business unprofitable and the business would lack the resources to defend itself. I have seen more than one family swim get shut down because a hand full of religiously constipated people saw an opportunity to rally the faithful "in defense of the children."

The owners of the venue would not be out of line for going either way.

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Sep 12, 2022Liked by BOPBadger

A few months ago I had a short discussion with a young New Zealand naturist in comments on my blog. I did a little research, and it apprears that almost all (landed) NZ naturist clubs are member-owned and essentially private clubs. So members are responsible for maintenance and operation of the facility. I could find only one clearly public and commercial place that welcomed naturists in general. So NZ clubs don't seem typical of most landed clubs I know about, especially in North America. I don't know why this situation exists. But it seems likely that there need to be more commercial clubs in NZ that will be open to any naturist - for the simple reason that they need visitors to handle the expenses.

Gender balance is a separate and very complex issue that I've written about on my blog. But one reason that member-owned clubs continue to exist is that most members know each other, and in addition they can be choosy about who to admit. This enables them to have a better gender balance, since women generally will feel more comfortable when they know most other members.

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Sep 12, 2022Liked by BOPBadger

I'm a black longtime nudist. I'm also a gay man. Gender balance assumes that all males are heterosexual, which is simply not true. Gender balance also has not prevented men who are part of straight couples from coming on to me and my partner while at nudist resorts. These advances were quickly rejected, but I know what it feels like to get unwelcome advances. That behavior is not appropriate. Gender balance won't fix that.

As to improving racial diversity, a LOT of nude resorts and clubs are based around tanning. Resort photos always show white people around a pool tanning. I, along with most black people, find that extremely boring. Frankly, I already have a tan. I'd much rather hike, camp, or just sit around and talk. I've never seen a club with any kind of accommodation for handicapped folks, so it should not be a surprise that none are there. I've never even seen a photo of a handicapped person at a resort. I think I've seen one photo of a black person at a resort, but it was only one photo. As far as I know, I've also never seen a photo of a lesbian or gay couple in an ad for a resort.

I keep wishing and hoping that the nudist movement would wake up and would join the 21st century, but they seem determined to stay exactly where they were in the 1950s. And they wonder why their numbers are dwindling.

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author

Larry, you make some very good points about gender balance. I had written from my observations where the majority of naturists seem to be white males. I had not considered the issue of sexuality, as for me, it is irrelevant. I am sorry, although not surprised, that you and your partner get hit on at resorts. In NZ, I have not experienced that kind of behaviour at clubs, although perhaps it just doesn't happen to me. I do however, get plenty of approaches online.

You are right, gender balance won't fix it.

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Sep 13, 2022·edited Sep 13, 2022Liked by BOPBadger

Only really familiar with Olive Dell here in the US. I live adjacent to the 10 million people living in a great climate for nudity and a politically liberal city and the closest club is still a fifty mile, hour-long drive away. Landed clubs out here have been disappearing. The density of nudists is too low and the property values are too high, I guess.

Olive Dell's gender balance is maybe 3-1 and a lot of the guys I meet there are gay, which in a weird way helps the imbalance a bit. Can't say for sure but either there wasn't any lesbian population or it was very small. I see a slightly younger crowd there because they do things younger people like. There's also a bit of trans representation. There are a few blacks and Hispanics but it isn't in proportion to the population. It is "family friendly," which typifies most (not all) California clubs.

I don't think it is the club's fault but rather a simple fact of black and Hispanic culture in the area. You don't find a lot of blacks or Hispanics on the local beaches either.

Most of the nudie activity out here is the result of non-landed clubs like the Southern California Naturist Society which got its start when a very important local club (Elysium) went out of business.

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I've been a member of an unlanded naturism club for several years, but haven't been to an event since the pandemic started.

I do miss the social interaction at swim events, but in truth I don't find those events embracing the holistic approach to naturism that interests me. Rather, they are simply social nudism gatherings, with a couple of summertime events that actually take place in more natural surroundings.

I understand all you are saying about the rules and regulations some clubs adapt, and I get your frustration about the male-female ratios some clubs insist upon having. It is something of a patriarchal attitude, I think.

Still, landed clubs probably do meet the needs of many people, especially those who live in city settings and can't sit out in the backyard in the buff.

So, yes, I think there is a place for landed and unlanded clubs, but they must adapt to the times. Having said that, parts of the U.S. seem to be going back in time where men dictate what women can and can't do with their bodies, and it wouldn't surprise me to see some legislation in very conservative states barring women from baring it all at such events.

Personally, I live in a forested setting where being naked is not an issue. Perhaps that is why I am more interested in a holistic approach to naturism.

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author

Jillian, Thank you for your comments. I think that many people are after that holistic aspect of naturism and landed clubs don't seem to fill that role. True they do meet the social needs of many, but only for those who live near those facilities. I am also concerned by the seemingly backward attitudes developing in the US.

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"many of the rules and barriers are in place to protect members from unwanted behaviour by people using nudist clubs as a pathway to voyeuristic sexual gratification"

One large barrier to recruiting young and female members is the perceived and perhaps common anti-sex attitudes of many nudist clubs. We are a very sexual species, both women and men. Meeting suitable person for a sexual encounter is a very common activity among single humans. If any club excludes single people looking to meet a suitable sexual partner, they will be driving away almost all young single people, and even older single people in their 40s or 50s. Of course it is the formerly single sexual nudist people who become the families that they want to recruit. What better lifetime members than a young family who met at the club?

The whole nudist movement badly needs to come to terms with pervasive human sexual behavior. It's everyone, not just some "perverts," who are a very sexual species. Even in my late 40s, my favorite activity at my favorite clothing optional retreat was meeting nice single ladies, and enjoying a late night together with a plastic cup of wine in the hot pool. Many single women go where they can meet eligible men. Ban the single men, and single women go elsewhere.

I also found many clubs very boring. Being nude is nice, but I sit there naked for a couple of hours and I'm bored. The exclusivity and resulting lack of social interaction is a problem.

Another pervasive problem that landed clubs have is the "keep it hidden" body negativity. I get that their business model depends on being the only place people can be naked, but an attitude of opposing general nude freedom in public places to "not offend" clothists conveys the message that nudity is "offensive" and somehow "wrong" or "shameful." That message is also conveyed by the "no cameras" rule, and the "sit on a towel" rule. We promote "body acceptance," but your body is too "unclean" to sit on our plastic chair. We promote "nude is normal," but we are ashamed to be in a picture. We promote acceptance of body "parts" being seen, but you better go hide when those parts are doing their common biological functions. Despite saying "body acceptance" often, there really isn't much body acceptance, and in fact just the opposite is coded into rules at many nudist clubs and organizations.

So I don't go to clubs any more. I've become a "Free Range" nudist/naturist. I go naked in public places. I take pictures and post on Internet. I'm not ashamed of my life or my old man body. You should live so long.

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Sep 12, 2022Liked by BOPBadger

Your comments are right on target.

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Sep 9, 2022Liked by BOPBadger

Fortunately for us our club Oaklake Trails in central Oklahoma incorparates all the things you have suggested. Most of the problems when they arise are quickly dealt with, even to the point of a permanent ban. It is a great family friendly facility with many amenities which makes the whole experience very nice and enjoyable.

T & K

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I wonder what are the "problems" that get "dealt with" or a permanent ban? As a business model that doesn't sound very welcoming. It sounds snobbish, exclusive, and overly limited.

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Oh so you think banning someone for making unwanted sexual advances towards others and potential pedophile issues along with stealing is a bad business model. It's more than just common sense, it's about creating and keeping a safe environment for everyone including families.

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Slippery slope arguments don't work either..

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Laughing ....... well thank god you aren't a member here!!

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author

Sounds like you have a wonderful facility to enjoy.

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Sep 9, 2022Liked by BOPBadger

Like everything, it's not perfect but becuase of the way it is run and a large grounds and facilities it is very nice and the membership has more than doubled over the last 3 years.

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Sep 9, 2022Liked by BOPBadger

We are in New England. Moved here from California. When we tried visiting some New England naturist clubs, (rare as they are). We were, at best, underwhelmed. At the last club, we were basically ignored. Sure we got a "tour", "there's the clubhouse, there's the pool, there's some rental cabins, there's some cabins for sale, enjoy your visit." Not a single member ever bothered to say hello, or welcome to the club. We left after six hours of wandering about by ourselves.

There is a non-landed club that we joined and went to several of their events, but my wife was uncomfortable being more often than not, the only woman there.

I observed about ten years ago that Naturist clubs' business plan seems to be to go out of business. Nothing has changed my mind.

My wife is retiring next year and I would like to look at retiring in Canada, except that we are finding that retirees can't participate in the National Health system because we haven't been paying into the tax system before retiring.

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My experience with clubs was mostly the same as you described. I found it lonely and boring at most clubs.

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Totally agree, Steve. As I mentioned in an article I wrote almost 2 years ago, the landed clubs do have a place and a role to fill, but are not the answer when it comes to normalising the choice to be naked in public spaces or promoting the concept of "clothing-optional" in society at large.

The main paradox, of course, is that while Naturists maintain that being naked in a social setting is quite normal, natural, non-sexual, and healthy, as well as being quite legal and morally "right", the clubs and resorts are hidden away in seclusion behind high walls and hedges, out of sight from the community. The question, then, in the minds of the public is if social nudity is as normal and innocent as Naturists claim it is, then why the secrecy? Why hide away as if they are doing something sinister?

In our particular non-landed group, all our activities are, by necessity, in public spaces - the Hauraki Rail Trail, public beaches and rivers, DoC hiking tracks, etc. We constantly meet and chat with clothed people, including kids, during the course of these activities. If there's one thing we've learned it's that the vast majority of clothed people don't care one bit about meeting naked folks in these appropriate environments and many even express positive comments. At worse, a minority of people look the other way and say nothing. The fear of offending in the minds of Naturists is grossly unwarranted. There is nothing offensive about the human body, and most clothed people here in New Zealand realise that, in our experience.

UPDATE: The Oropi hot pools monthly event is in the process of being re-started, albeit with an 18+ age restriction. The first one is on September 12.

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Sep 12, 2022Liked by BOPBadger

Glad to hear that your activities are in public places. I have also learned over half a century of nude in public places that the fast majority of clothists enjoy meeting naked people, and many wish they had the courage to be as free as us naked people.

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