Is the end near for dedicated naturist resorts?
The business model in use by the US nudist/naturist community has been outdated for some time now and now the chickens have come home to roost so to speak. Because the organization that have leading failed the change with the times they have become irrelevant and sadly their membership but the clubs and individuals are falling away. We have reached a tipping point and there is no going back. Sadly there is no compelling vision beyond tons of small groups trying to build community on their own. Suspect those will just become cliques with little appeal to a broader not naturist audience.
The intersection of economic and social changes are making interplay uncertain. In addition to the ongoing gentrification of established places in many countries, on my mind is that we're at the start of the largest wealth transfer in history. $80+ trillion between now and 2045. So while we're seeing impacts of those currently in power, I'm wondering how well we've set up the receiving generation to be invested in naturism.
The growing gap and loss of middle class is concerning because upper-class people don't have the same vested interest in a common facility. We know that the concentration of the super-rich is a global problem and the only favourable item right now is the volume of those in the middle and lower class part of the system. Will there be enough critical mass to make it work?
I land on the side of spaces -- owned, rented, or otherwise -- being needed to keep things going. Even the digital space is vulnerable to censoring, as many platforms have shown us. But particularly for a practice as embodied as naturism, having a space where people can gather, even if it's just to freely be in nature, is critical.
Distance is problematic but also a reality. I'm a member of a landed club and it takes me a bit over an hour to drive there. It's a destination vs a local diner. That's okay.
I think it would be great if there were an anonymous space where groups who are setting up alternative ways of gathering could share advice, ideas and resources. Ideally, the larger associations would take a lead in this, but I'm not convinced that there is enough entrepreneurial energy there.
Most existing clubs formed when land was cheap and isolation was easier. They were formed by individuals with specific ideals and took shape almost like religious communities. There was never any intent to change because they already had the form the originator wanted and new members didn't join unless they already agreed with how things were. Adapting to changing conditions or planning for an unknown future didn't happen because they already had their truth at hand. Change could only be bad.
Adapt or die. That's an iron rule of existence. All nudist resorts and organizations are businesses. Doesn't matter if they are cooperatives or mom/pop shops or corporations. Even a charity is fundamentally a business. Capital will eventually flow to the most profitable ventures. The conditions of 80, or even 30 years ago no longer exist. Most clubs have a declining supply of revenue, increasing expenses, and will eventually disappear.
I don't believe for a heartbeat that the number of naturists is increasing in the US. If anything, it is decreasing. If anything, existing naturists are moving back into the closet. The pendulum has swung to the right - and not to the libertarian right but rather the religious right.
If the naturist community could do anything as a whole, I'd focus efforts on those states with liberal attitudes. I'd focus on the right to be nude in public spaces because private spaces are vanishing. Not going to happen on a large scale.. You can't fight from inside a closet. You can't fight alone but naturism is too politically fragmented to pick another group to ally with. You won't fight for a right you don't yourself exercise.
States are becoming hostile, cultural conservatives are discovering naturists are an easy target because there are so few of us. I can't say we are "ashamed" of being naturists but most of us are frightened of being doxed about it. Most textiles see social nudity as a sexual *statement,* even those who understand it isn't necessarily a sexual *act.* Conservatives see it as a sexual act in and of itself. We can't change that.
Unlike Europe, we never reached a critical mass. Never enough of us to matter. Europe is more secular and fundamentalist religionists have less sway there. (Most of those left for America 2-400 years ago. We still remember the Puritans and Pilgrims and they were just a small part of the migration.) Being "outed" as a nudist is much less likely to get you "canceled" there. Once critical mass is reached, people feel secure enough to be a part of that group and the group becomes normalized. That why you can have naturist resorts and beaches through Europe, even though real estate is as expensive there and beaches are more crowded.
But all pendulums swing back, no matter how hard people try to hold it in place. Give it another decade or two and maybe the pendulum will swing back
Rapidly approaching 60, I am far from being a young nudist, but I too have little need for landed clubs, campgrounds, etc. My partner of over 35 years is a textile, making acceptance into these clubs as a “single” male a bit complicated, leaving me feel like an outsider from the get-go. I have been to three campgrounds (2 in Quebec and 1 in Ontario, Canada), all a 1.5 to 2-hour drive away. I find these places very clique-ish and, contrary to what I hear on nudist podcasts, no one makes any attempt to include the “newbie” so you come in on your own and you pretty much remain alone for your stay. Better off at home or at a naturist beach … much less costly and at least it does not feel weird to be alone.
Well you’re right about naturists not being much of a commercial proposition - with the possible exception of sunscreen sellers! We are actively against one of the biggest commercial enterprises in the world, the clothing and fashion industry.
I suspect landed entities like Lupin have largely had their moment; they were created in a time when there was no other way to be naked. Nowadays many of us get to be naked at work ie working from home, so less need for somewhere special to go for a few stolen hours of our version of freedom.
We were members of Lupin for 16 years until we moved to Massachusetts. A state with no nudist facilities. We missed being only 15 minutes from Lupin. Sometimes we didn't feel like preparing dinner so we went to Lupin for some Hot Tub time and dinner. A lot of Lupin's land can't be developed because it is in a watershed area.
The only clubs near us are hours away and remarkable cliquish. Needless to say, we have not met any other nudists near us that we care to socialize with.
Some small details first. DeAnza Springs was sold about a year ago and recently adopted a no-nudity policy. Sad, but that's the breaks. As for Lupin, as long as any club is owned by an individual (or family), it's inevitable there will be changes, sooner or later. Lupin is almost on the doorstep of Silicon Valley, which has some of the highest real estate values in the U.S. It may actually be better for Lupin as a naturist place to relocate somewhat farther out - there's plenty of land available (mostly forested or agricultural) for a cheaper price. Also, much of Lupin's land is forested too, not easily developable. So the value of developable land per acre is much higher.
You wrote: "As more and more people own up to being home naturists and finding other ways to spend time naked, do we still need dedicated naturist venues?"
Yes, absolutely, they're needed. Where else can more than a few naturists gather together any nice day to enjoy nudity and make new friends - without fear of harassment or legal problems? At least until some future time when public nudity's generally legal. How long's that gonna take?
You wrote: "There is an argument that the naturists benefiting from these facilities should put their hands in their pockets and stump up with some form of joint ownership model to keep these places going."
That's already the case for many U.S. naturist parks and resorts, and has been as long as naturism's existed. My understanding is that the same is true in New Zealand. But frequently such places are very restrictive of non-member use. Can't just visit any day you want.
You wrote: "I would argue that the majority of naturists in the world are not members of landed clubs and do not live near or use the facilities that these clubs offer. Most naturists are naked in their homes or at local beaches and other outdoor spots."
There's much truth to that, but it's unfortunate. Social nudity is, or should be, a large part of naturism. Being naked only at home or on one of the (very scarce) beaches where nudity is OK just isn't satisfactory for many naturists. (I know N.Z. is MUCH more tolerant of beach nudity than the U.S.)
As already noted, there need to be places where naturists can meet together to make new friends. A personal social network of like-minded individuals can grow at a rate in proportion to its size. That's why it's important to build real-world social networks for a specific purpose, such as naturism. That's true for many other interests, like hiking, bird-watching, or quilt-making. But naturism's a little different, since it needs dedicated spaces - as long as public nudity is legally problematical. (Hiking, bird-watching, etc. already have dedicated spaces.)
You wrote: "Perhaps the closure of traditional naturist places is a clarion call for naturists everywhere to put on their thinking caps and look to solutions for the future."
Dedicated places for nudity will be possible only if enough people want them. Having more publicly-accessible clothing-optional beaches would be nice, but in many countries that's a real uphill battle.
The solution is crystal clear, at least for naturist who seek to enjoy SOCIAL nudity. It's the basic law of supply and demand. Naturists who want places to be naked outside their homes must work hard at cultivating demand for naturism to open-minded family, friends, and acquaintances. Let's stop fooling ourselves there's any other good solution.
I understand how fearful of doing that most naturists seem to be. But persuading others of the value of naturism is the only effective solution. Having many more naturist blogs, mailing lists, social media posts, etc. while anonymous is a weak approach, at best. Non-naturists are scarcely aware of such things, and have little trust in people they don't actually know if they happen to notice the opinions of random others.
I agree but nevertheless, the loss of this wonderful and venerable landed club will be a great loss to those of us who live in the Bay Area. I am a regular visitor, although not a member as it's a long drive.
Fortunately a group of Lupin lovers have created this website to explore options.
Advantages of a nudist club set up as a corporation:
Indeed. com: Limited liability for shareholders. ...
Ability to raise funds. ...
No life limit. ...
Easy ownership transfer. ...
Tax-deductible expenses. ...
Attractive to investors and employees. ...
Glen Eden Sun Club is located in the same area as De Anza and Olive Dell resorts is a corporate run resort run by its members.
I have never been a member of a landed club, I have visited one once but the value statement to me just didn't add up. I was raised and still am a naturist and like BoPBadger would love it if being naked was a valid clothing option everywhere. Beyond protection clothing adds very little value and in many circumstances is very detrimental. It creates division and an us and them mental attitude. It creates enormous amounts of pollution, both in its creation, disposal and even its use. It has to be cleaned using chemicals, often sheds microfibers and has a limited built in life. While accepting the need for protection in certain circumstances what value does it add? Do you learn more in a museum because you wear clothes. Do you enjoy a music festival or art gallery more because you wear clothes. So it goes on. I think not. So maybe one day no clothes will be an acceptable clothing option.
Maybe part of the problem is activists who want a landed club 24/7/365.
I see some Groups, clubs, and other businesses cater to different clientele at different times.
Women's day / week? Gay days / weeks? A textile resort except for two weeks in July [especially useful if other clubs had different dates, permitting naturists a circuit of vacay spots]. If we can have govt facilities and parks having a gender diverse week why can't we have a naturist week? Why can't an area have some hiking trails clothes optional on certain days? Would a struggling naturist resort do better with targeted marketing?
There is also possible compromise arrangements. I go to a textile resort thar has a lengthy beach. A significant portion is signed as nude beach. It has the same amenities as the textile section, eg loungers, bar delivery. I haven't noticed any issues.