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Giving landed clubs some love.
Many of my blogs may have been perceived as a tad critical of landed clubs and their relevance in modern times. I have challenged the way some are run, their attitudes to single males, their failure to cater to younger naturists and their reluctance to embrace or even accommodate digital technology.
A recent survey suggested that there were nearly 7 million people in the UK who identify as naturists or nudists, and yet around only 9,100 are registered as club members. While I don’t know the numbers in other parts of the world, I imagine the situation is similar. I expect many more people to identify as naturists than there are naturist club members.
To many readers, I may come across as being against landed clubs, and I want to state on the record that this is not the case.
As part of my recent reflections, I realised that my attitude to landed clubs may have come across as overly critical. So to balance this, I felt it was time to get off my high horse and give landed clubs some credit.
Landed clubs are a valuable asset for many people who would otherwise have no opportunity to engage in social naturism. Many offer a safe venue for people to engage in social nudity and an opportunity for people new to the philosophy to dip their toes into the warm waters of naturism.
While it may be true that some landed clubs offer a less traditional and more adult experience, the majority of naturist clubs will be non-sexual and family-orientated. Before visiting, a little bit of research should allow people to avoid unexpected embarrassing incidents.
Many clubs were created through the generosity of benefactors gifting money or land or by dedicated fundraising of members to purchase land. They have been developed and maintained diligently by committed volunteers and club members to provide tranquil and safe environments, away from prying eyes and the criticism of the public at large.
Landed clubs often have a rich history with long-term members who have numerous stories to share and much wisdom and experience of the naturist philosophy. There are many interesting tales and anecdotes to be enjoyed, listening to the people who have dedicated a significant amount of their time, effort and in some cases money, to ensuring that there are places for nudists and naturists to be relaxed and comfortable.
Many clubs will have facilities and amenities that allow people to relax and enjoy quiet and reflective time in tranquil natural settings, while at the same time allowing others to enjoy social activities and engage with others. The great thing about the naturist clubs and parks that I have visited, is that there are often opportunities to do both. Time to withdraw and recharge as well as time to get involved and socialise. Some clubs often organise social events or activities that enable people to broaden their social circle and be more involved in the naturist community.
All of the naturist clubs and parks that I have visited have, without exception, had opportunities to meet new interesting people and engage in genuine conversations unencumbered by hidden agendas or objectification. When everyone is naked, people are genuinely interested in you as a person, rather than the image we present with the superficial disguises we all wear when out and about in the clothed world. I once heard it said that in a naturist environment, people are more likely to remember the colour of your eyes than in any other clothed social setting. Conversations start easily with people that perhaps you wouldn’t engage with in other clothed social circles, due to the judgements we make in those first few seconds of meeting someone. Their clothes are a huge factor in how we judge people, whether we want to admit it or not.
Some clubs are struggling to recruit visitors and maintain membership despite their hard work to create beautiful spaces to spend time naturally. If you are not a club member, I recommend you try and make the time to visit your local naturist club and support them.
Some clubs may have vetting processes that people might struggle with, but remember that these exist primarily to provide a safe environment for existing members and to help restrict access to people who are disingenuous about their intentions for visiting.
Clubs need maintenance and upkeep and they need to be viable to ensure their continued existence. Membership fees, and for those that allow day visits, visitor fees, are essential to these clubs as a source of income to maintain the facilities. While often many volunteers will offer time and skills to help, the clubs still have costs that need to be met to keep the gates open.
Show landed clubs some love. Visit them if you can.
That which is used - develops. That which is not used wastes away.
Thank you for reading, have a comfortable day.