Friday, December 2, 2011

Busy Busy

This year has flown by. For the first 3/4 of the year, I was on a project that relentlessly kicked my butt. It's the first time in my career that I've clocked 90 hour weeks. I'm sure you've noticed that blogging frequency took a nose-dive through the summer. Our social life has done the same: NO trips to the beach, NO visits to nudist venues (except for Turtle Lake, which was a working vacation), NO public lands freehiking or nude geocaching, NO trip to preview "Act Naturally" and meet some of the cast and crew, and NO nude parties.

Although the project ended and I'm on a much better one now, the work shifted to all those things I was neglecting. We contracted a neighbor to re-roof our house, which happened in August. While that was still going on, we broke ground to build a much-needed pole building ourselves. My family has been very generous in helping with that -- the only real progress happened on the weekends, most of which they were here for. Both the roof and the new pole building look very nice!

When the snow flies (any day now), I'm declaring ourselves as "settled in". There are no more critical projects that need to be done. (The roof was leaking -- I knew it would need attention the first year. And the attached garage is just big enough for two cars. We need way more than that in the garage.) Since the "needed" projects are out of the way, I can turn my attention to the projects I "want" to work on.

My biggest "want" was to get the hot tub working. We managed to squeeze in time during the summer to pour a cement pad for it, and lay patio blocks around it. I bought all the "guts" for it and have them assembled in the basement. However, there is no electricity run for it. So there is no reason to install the guts. I'm holding off on buying a good cover (~$300) until I know it works. We wrapped it up good with tarps and a wooden "roof" so it'll survive the winter.

I've been slowly working some other projects as well. I've been writing up a "Future Resort Redux", which spins in a completely different direction than the previous series. It's good stuff! I've also collected another year of Burning Man photos, which hopefully show a trend. (Three years now, so I should be able to derive some metrics from it.) Most recently, I initiated building my own PC-based arcade machine -- a project I've been wanting to do for years but didn't have the room for. Hopefully by Spring we'll have a classic-looking arcade cabinet to finish off a nice rec room. Maybe we'll host a party or two when the weather gets warm!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Forest Hills

Since my previous last-minute adventure was so much fun, I decided to try it again. Same type of trip, working two weekends with the week available to do whatever I wanted. I had a couple more days to plan for it. This time, however, I'd be doing the trip alone.

I decided to try Forest Hills Nudist Club and Campground. They are a smaller 45-acre co-op. Honestly, I prefer co-ops because I know they are not profit-driven. Any money that I spend there I know is going back into the campground somehow. They even have scheduled fundraisers where they specify what they intend to improve with the money. I like this.

The place looks nice on the website. They have a large pool, hot tub, cafe, lunch stand, pavilion, clubhouse, several games, and rental cottages. All I need for my stay is a place to sleep, water, food, and internet. What about internet?

Their 2010 brochure on the main page lists free wireless internet. But, I didn't see that at first, so I sent an email asking if wifi was available since I'd need to be able to work all week. The reply was "No sorry at this time WI-Fi is only available to members." This change in policy was to protect the privacy of the members.

I spent a moment thinking about that... I was prepared to stay in the cottage for five weekdays, which is a good chunk of income for them when it otherwise wouldn't be rented, but only if wifi was available. And it was available to members. Were they really going to turn me away? I asked them to reconsider. They did, and they decided to allow me to use it since I was staying an extended time and needed it. There were conditions though: All the obvious stuff, and I could only use it in the cottage since many laptops have cameras and they were concerned about privacy. No problem, I'd prefer working from the cabin anyway.

When I called to book the reservation, a different member informed me that the wifi does not work from the cabins. I had to use it from the clubhouse. I suppose I could do this -- the clubhouse looks cozy and there wouldn't be many people around to distract me.

Afterwords, I took a closer look at the facilities to see how challenging the week would be. Going through my list...

A place to sleep is easy, the cottage advertises a nice bed, nightstand, table and chairs, heater, and small refrigerator. The table and chairs appear to be a cheap set made for the patio. No big deal, since I'll be using the table and chairs in the clubhouse where wifi is available anyway.

Next on my list is water, which is also mentioned on the ad: "Our cabins are not equipped with bathrooms or running water, but these facilities are available in the clubhouse nearby." So I need to get dressed (if it's cold out) and walk to the bathroom? This is exactly what I do while tenting, so I guess I'm used to it.

Last is food. Both the cafe and the lunch stand are closed during the week, so I would need to bring my own food. What do I have available to store, prepare, and eat my food? A small fridge. There is no microwave or cooktop, and no dishes. This limits my food selection to sandwiches and snack bars unless I brought stuff. I packed my dishes for camping. Upon arrival, if there really was no microwave available, I was thinking of buying a cheap one for the cottage and telling them it's a donation.

As the days got closer, I checked the weather forecast. It would be in the 60's and rainy for a large portion of the week. Their pool and hot tub are both outdoors. If I used them, I would freeze as soon as I left the water. Everyone else at the campground would probably be dressed due to the cool weather.

Faced with an expensive trip to a rural location, being the only naked guy who hangs out in the clubhouse on a laptop most of the day, starving and fending for food, and having a challenging stay in a cottage, I decided to cancel my reservation. In all fairness, if there was warm weather and an event going on with food available, staying would be far easier and more enjoyable.

So why did I decide to write about a place I never went to? I wanted to illustrate a point. A lot of nudist venues are completely geared towards people with RVs. Most people under 30 cannot afford a RV. Without my own kitchen, bathroom, and basic house, I need to rely on what is available from the venue. Is a bed, water, food, and internet too much to ask for? Most cheap motels even provide these things. Staying at a smaller nudist venue is often more challenging than staying at a cheap motel, which is discouraging for the younger non-RV generation.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Turtle Lake

I'm starting to specialize in last-minute adventures. An opportunity came along that was too good to pass up. As part of my current job, I need to be in Michigan on some weekends. The most efficient way is to work two weekends in a row and find my own place to stay during the week. On a Thursday evening, I learned that I would need to work the next two weekends. Percilla's work was slow so she was able to take the next week off. The weather forecast looked surprisingly perfect. The next morning, we headed East and made reservations at Turtle Lake Resort on the way.

Keep in mind that this was probably the first week that was nice enough to be nude outdoors. I was fully expecting the resort to be in "recovery mode" from winter, and to be a ghost town. It was. The resort owns 163 acres, all of which seem to get used somehow. There were at most 20 people at the resort during our stay.

Monday afternoon we checked in to our Mirror Lake suite. We got the obligatory newbie tour around the resort in a minivan, since the golf cart had a flat tire from sitting all winter. She did a great job with the tour and told us everything we needed to know for our stay. Some of the bathhouses and the conversation pool were still closed. Most striking to me was that she pointed out the tire spikes at the exit, and noted that we shouldn't worry because the go down as we exit the premises. I'm in a company vehicle and will be driving over tire spikes with no repair shops nearby. That thought concerned me.

We drove to the cottage and checked out the room. All of the Mirror Lake cottages are nice rooms with a full kitchen, dishes and cookware, full-size fridge, microwave, and propane cook-top. We had three complaints though. First was that the propane room heater roared while it ran. It's the loudest room heater I've ever heard even though I kept it on the lowest setting. We ended up shutting it off at night so we could sleep. (With that off, all we heard was frogs and other critters outside.) Second was that the bathroom sink was plugged and mostly full of water. It's likely that the problem was from last fall and communication broke down between housekeeping and maintenance to get it fixed. No big deal, they let us switch rooms. The third issue was water. The water had a horrible smell, and it concerned us so much that we didn't use it all week. (This was our first of three challenges today.) Per recommendations from the staff, we should've turned the tub full-on and left for a couple of hours to purge the old water. We'll leave it to housekeeping to do that. We filled up some bottles at the clubhouse for our use.

The room switch was certainly an upgrade! Two suites face Turtle Lake, which is somewhat distant and the view you get is mostly grass and trees. The other two suites face Mirror Lake, which gave us a week-long view of the small lake with ducks, geese, and a swan. My recommendation is to get the suite by the parking lot that faces Mirror Lake if it's available.

The next challenge for us was internet. Since this was a work-vacation, it was critical that I could log on. I got a username and password from the office, but it didn't work. The office was closed by the time I knew it was having problems, and nobody looked young enough to be tech-savvy. We called the only person we knew who has used the internet here -- Bob -- who stayed here three years ago and had to plug directly into the ethernet at the office. Since then, they upgraded to wifi. Their system is outsourced similar to most hotels, but it seems more flaky than the hotel wifi that I've used. If your user/pass doesn't work, bad things happen. Tuesday morning, after a couple hours in the office, we finally got it working. I was able to work from the suite. Signal is strong in all of the common areas.

The final challenge for Monday was food. We were hoping that the Sunnier Buns Cafe would have some weekday hours, but they didn't. The kitchen was closed and there doesn't appear to be a community kitchen. If we were tent camping, like we usually do, this would present a big problem. The suite was fully capable of storing and preparing food, but we needed to put on clothes and brave the spikes to get some.

Union City, with a population of less than 2,000, isn't actually a city. It certainly has the small town flavor. Everyone knew each-other by name. We stopped at a family restaurant on the way which had ginormous and delicious sandwiches, then went in to town to the small grocery store. We stocked up enough to survive for the rest of the week.

After we got settled in we really did start to enjoy the resort. I worked in the mornings and evenings when it was a bit chilly to be naked outside. The whole time, I was enjoying the view of the lake and the abundant wildlife making use of it. Percilla would usually do a morning swim and walk around the resort. When the moment was right for me, we would both venture out for a swim. We played mini-putt, pool, ping-pong, shuffleboard, and air hockey. There weren't enough for volleyball, and we skipped tennis, badminton, horseshoes, and bocce ball. The resort has several frisbee golf holes, but they don't have a map yet. If I had the time, I would've drawn up a map for them while finding and playing each of the holes.

Two of the days we spent a lot of time in the paddle-boats. We cruised all around the clothing-optional area in the regular paddle-boats, and bravely covered up and ventured out on to the main lake for a while. The second day, we tried out the more challenging boats. They are a big tricycle with floating wheels. They were twice the work so we didn't get too far. We enjoyed it all.

Most nights, we went for a "late night swim" as I jokingly called it. (The intent was late night, but it ended up being around 9:00 since the clubhouse closes at 10.) The clubhouse is quite nice. It has a big recreation area for games and dances, a kids room, locker rooms (mens, womens, and two co-ed), a decent sized pool that is geared for water volleyball, and a decent sized hot tub. The air jets on the hot tub were another thing that didn't work yet, but we still enjoyed soaking and watching the sun set through the big windows late in the evening.

We met a few other guests, but not enough for me to report any conclusive demographics. There were a few of each gender. There were also kids present from two different families, but all wore clothes while their parents went naked. Everyone we met in the office also wore clothes -- we never saw them naked either in the office or elsewhere around the resort. Regulars wore clothes a lot too, even on days that were warm enough to be naked. Since this was a big AANR resort, and most were wearing clothes, we wondered if AANR people just enjoy clothing more. Percilla was a little uncomfortable walking around the resort alone when most others were dressed despite good weather.

All-in-all, we had a wonderful quiet stay at this huge resort. I'd love to attend a summer event, since I'm sure the place would be rockin'. All the problems and challenges we had this week would disappear. We won't need the heater, food and water would be available, and there would be plenty of naked guests to chat with and play games against. I would highly recommend this resort for both first-timers and seasoned naturists.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Health Movement

The naturism movement, according to many naturist historians, started in the early 1900's in Germany. (See this writeup for a good concise history.) It quickly became attached to the health movement, to the point where doctors were prescribing "air baths, sun bathing, and clothing-free aspects of living" to treat certain diseases. By 1920, there were over 200 parks in Europe that were officially designated and promoted for naturism. The widespread belief that there were health benefits associated with naturism helped it to survive through a short ban during WWII.

As Germans immigrated to America, the idea of naturism came with them. By 1930, America had it's first naturist organization, the American League for Physical Culture. Soon after, Ilsley Boone took over the organization and called it the American Sunbathing Association. (Much later, it became the American Association for Nude Recreation that we recognize today.) Boone "advocated a need for a society that nudism enabled to be more healthy than a textile way of life." Boone produced the first nudist magazine, which the US Mail Service disallowed in 1941. Before the Supreme Court, Boone won the case in part by stating that "nudists were pacifists who abstained from drinking and drugs and alcohol."

In 1963, the British Sunbathing Association and the Federation of British Sun Clubs officially recognized the following definition for naturism: "A health movement which advocates the judicious outdoor practice of nude sun, air and fresh or salt water bathing, either individually, or socially in private grounds (sun clubs, naturist clubs) or secluded places, in furtherance of physical, moral and mental well-being."

The 60's and 70's didn't help with that image. Drugs and free love entered into the picture, adding confusion to what it meant to be a naturist.

What is American naturism now? Princeton's definition simply says that we go "without clothes as a social practice." AANR states that they "advocate nudity and nude recreation in appropriate settings, and educate and inform society of the value and enjoyment of such through on-going member growth." TNS's mission is to "promote body acceptance through clothing-optional recreation using the tools of education and community outreach."

The health movement has been ongoing. It has been strong when naturism was starting in Germany. It has been strong throughout the 20th century. It's still going strong, with the current push towards Green living and organics. In the last decade, organic foods have increased in popularity enough to have sections in grocery stores, and sometimes even their own grocery stores. Yoga has become huge, along with many other exercise regimes and diet programs. The Green movement is taking off with reducing harmful chemicals, reducing pollution, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and making things more sustainable so we can live healthier.

Naturism, who was once riding on the back of the health movement, has been bucked off and left in the dust. At best, naturists sometimes advocate healthy living. The health movement no longer advocates naturism.

It seems the majority of naturists no longer strive for healthy living. At all the places we've gone to, we found a lot of people smoking and drinking. People have told me that they prefer campgrounds over beaches because they can drive to their campsite -- as-if walking is too much work. People at Mazo are getting lazy too. Instead of walking, they bring a big vehicle to haul their bikes to the parking lot, which in turn haul themselves and their cooler full of beer to the beach. A day at the beach or resort is often filled with sitting, laying, talking, eating, or doing other activities which require a minimal amount of work. Travel around the resort is often by golf cart. The really ambitious ones play a round or two of volleyball, between beers.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, and a minority of naturists do adhere to a healthy, low-impact style of living. I applaud them! I wish more would start doing this, both for their own health and for the benefit to naturism as a whole.

If the health movement no longer advocates naturism, then who does? Who recommends naturism to textiles? Perhaps protesters, who advocate nudity to draw attention. Perhaps groups who need a fundraiser, who advocate a nude calendar. Perhaps artists and businesses, who advocate nudity for profit. All those people do it for their own gain, and it isn't really naturism -- just naked bodies. The only group who really advocates naturism anymore is naturists.

Naturism needs to piggy-back something else in order to grow, like it did in Germany and other areas. Throughout history, it has never grown all by itself -- it has always had some sort of fuel to help it.

What options do we have that might help fuel naturism? (Feel free to add to this list by commenting!)

Body acceptance. People with self-image issues are sometimes recommended to "bare all" either alone or in a naturist setting. This has proven to be helpful with the majority of people who try it. (Have you ever met a naturist with serious self-image issues?) Even skeptical reporters often write positively about the experience. Many start their articles with self-image issues and body phobias, but later downplay these things when they realize that nobody else cares about how they look, and everyone looks "normal". Can naturism be the solution for body acceptance? Maybe. Body phobias seem to be getting more prevalent in our society, so playing up naturism as a cure could be of benefit.

Recreation. According to the BLS: "Rising incomes, leisure time, and awareness of the health benefits of physical fitness will increase the demand for arts, entertainment, and recreation services." With the health part not as big as it should be, the recreation taking place at resorts is mostly in response to a large quantity of leisure time. Resorts have tough competition because they often lack good quality facilities for recreation and health, and often lack good entertainment. Recreation guides rarely recommend (or have much information on) naturist venues, so naturists must self-promote.

Green Energy. Going naked saves a lot of energy during hot weather. It saves big on air conditioning costs, and saves on laundry. But naturists don't want to recommend bundling up to save energy during the winter. People in the green movement have a seemingly infinite number of ideas for staying cool in hot weather, but going naked never seems to be mentioned. Why not?

Fair Trade. Clothing producers often export to other countries and force some nasty working conditions. Nakedness reduces clothing consumption. This also goes with Green Energy because it means less production of cotton, less transport of goods, and less washing and drying. There is increasing support for Fair Trade. But, it might be too much of a stretch to promote nakedness as a method for reducing bad working conditions in other countries.

Arts. People get naked for art, and naturists embrace art, but it's not naturism. It's not a lifestyle change, it's a job. If it's not a paid job, then it's a task. When it's over, the clothes go back on. The art movement is in strong support of nudity. They are also strongly against censorship. This is good for naturist media, but doesn't help naturist practice.

Religion. Christianity supports simple nudity, and many classic Christian art pieces include nudity. (A good example is the Sistine Chapel.) Hunduism promotes nudity as purity, and holy men sometimes live nude or nearly nude. Pagans are tolerant of nudity (among adults), with many participating "skyclad" in rituals. All of these are only subtle connections. The world seems to lack a religion which strongly encourages nudity. If one caught on, naturism would certainly benefit.

Getting Back to Nature. As part of the Green movement, many people are practicing small-scale farming and gardening. They also have a desire to re-connect with nature. City architecture is even starting to include green roofs and big luscious green parks. However, none promote nudity as part of gardening or re-connecting with nature.

Security. With the new super-invasive security measures, airports may soon require everyone to be naked. Sadly, this is a promising group to advocate nudism in the future. (Not really naturism.)

The Free Body Culture. Back in 2008, George Davis tried to piggyback the success of the German FKK by bringing it to California. On the original website, it sounded great. On the TV, it didn't go the same direction. I don't ever recall the German FKK being sexed up. If Americans can bring the FKK home and actually do it right, it might get some footing.

Sexual Liberation Movement. The relationship between naturism and the sexual liberation movement is far too complicated for a single paragraph...

For a while during the 60's and 70's, nudism seemed to benefit from sexual liberation. Nudist magazines grew in popularity, and nudist 'sexploitation' films seemed to promote the nudist philosophies. Cruising through the 60's archives, I found an instance where the NYC League for Sexual Freedom was pushing for the creation of nude beaches. (Note that it was reprinted in the Nudist Newsletter from the American Health Alliance, who were apparently piggybacking the health movement.) The nudity at Woodstock certainly played a part in nudism. I know two different prominent nudists who trace their roots to Woodstock.

Even back in 1962, there were naturists pushing for more liberal attitudes about sexuality to be integrated into naturism. See this writeup from The Bulletin which opposed these new ideas. The author was warning what would happen if nudism became sexualized: "...for the first time in many years we shall be in much greater danger from forces outside the movement than from forces within it..."

AANR and TNS have always shunned the sexualization of naturism, but it hasn't stopped it from creeping in anyway. Numerous resorts have welcomed sex parties because they are profitable. Numerous small beaches have been overrun by people with sexual intents. Depending on the clubs and parties, some are a bit more edgy than others. Most have more swingers in attendance than you'd expect. The flood of pornography on the internet has made it difficult to find credible naturist information.

Decades before the sexual liberation movement really took hold, a war on sexual abuse was slowly evolving into a war on all nudity. Although "sex crimes" have been brought to the public attention for a very long time, it wasn't until 1939 (per Google's newspaper database) that the first use of the term "sex crimes" was used with "nudism". "Blame Nudism for Sex Crimes" wrote Reverend Robert Irons in his UK parish magazine. By 1949, laws for sex crimes were in the works, and since then they have been expanding and becoming increasingly strict. In 1966, the FBI Director was targeting sex crimes, and soon after was blaming pornography and partly the whole entertainment industry. In 1983, nude joggers and exhibitionists were labeled as wackos but police said that it was not a sex crime. Somewhere in the 80's or 90's, simple nudity became a crime. In 1998, Liz Book was arrested for being top-free and at some point was on the sex offender registry. In 2005, sex offenders became listed on the internet, thus ruining their lives forever. Naturism is under threat from the ever increasing umbrella of "sex crimes".

Since naturism is distancing itself from the sexual liberation movement, and is no longer part of the health movement, it has become an orphan. It's a poor orphan who nobody else wants around, and who nobody is willing to adopt. An orphan who must beg for money to stay alive. An orphan who is forced to live in secluded places, out of public view.

Health Movement. Don't forget we're still in a list for options to fuel naturism, and this may be the most important one.

It is unclear why the partnership between the health movement and naturism broke down. Perhaps it's because the health movement turned to science, medicine, and surgery instead of lifestyle changes. Perhaps it's because the main two naturist groups in the US promote body acceptance and recreation. The individuals who promote healthy living through naturism are certainly a minority.

The only resort that I know of who promotes healthy living is Sunsport. They have limited smoking, limited alcohol consumption, and provide vegetarian options in their cafe. I've heard they often have sessions like yoga and fitness classes, but I don't see it on their schedule. Not only does Sunsport advocate healthy living, but they are also part of the green movement by advocating the preservation of nature and utilizing green technologies within the resort. (And they are part of the sexual liberation movement, based on some of the sessions they host at the mid-winter gathering.)

Looking back through time, the American Health Alliance wasn't even serious about advocating health. It was primarily a legal fund supported by a group of resorts.

What we need is a new version of the American Health Alliance, with the word "Health" prominently in the title and the words "Nude" or "Naturist" prominently out of the title. This group must actually advocate healthy living through naturism. They can charter with resorts who actively support and advocate healthy living. Then, research needs to be commissioned and be published which shows a real benefit to healthy naturistic living. (Assuming one exists...) The intent is to get naturism back on the health movement bandwagon. The health movement needs to at least mention naturism as a beneficial activity. After all that, naturism wouldn't be an orphan anymore. It would grow with the health movement fueling it, and the health movement protecting it, just like it was a century ago.

Even if a new organization doesn't bring forth a new naturist health movement, participating in a healthy lifestyle seems like the right thing to do. I've personally been committing to a healthier lifestyle. A few years ago, I decided to heavily limit drinking soda and eating sweets. I've also limited salt since then. I've been eating less meat and more veggies. A few weeks ago, I switched to packing a healthy lunch for work to replace the easy microwave meals I was used to. (Even "Healthy Choice" meals didn't seem that healthy.) The new house has been giving me plenty of exercise. Eventually, it'll give us plenty of naked time as well. When I reach an impressive age and people ask what the secret to a long life is, I'll say "being a naturist!"

For the benefit and possibly survival of naturism, another group needs to embrace it. The most promising group, based on our history, is the health movement. To get the health movement to take us seriously, we need to limit our consumption of alcohol and cigarettes, and get ourselves in shape. We need to return the the naturist philosophy from 100 years ago. We should all be taking steps to improve our own health anyway, so why not start now?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Novelty of Naturism

Last year I was questioning why we even go to the VVRC Mid-Winter party, but this year it was refreshingly different. Everyone was well-behaved, it wasn't as packed as the year before, we had great roommates, and everyone had a fun time.

I'm not sure if the VVRC staff had a chat with a few of the usual groups, but they didn't seem as "flirty" as before. Sure there were a few dance moves that made us cringe, but alcohol likely played a part in that. Lingerie was rare this year. It seemed that everyone just wanted to be naked.

We couldn't ask for better roommates. Alice and Bob came through on their suggestion from last year. We all brought the usual board games and card games, and got others involved in the games. Only minor injuries were reported. The seemingly pierced ear drums quickly recovered, the crushed toes didn't break or dislocate anything, and the spilled wine didn't stain any clothing. We're a rowdy bunch.

Dave and Eve liked the one man band last year, but it seems nobody else did. This time, VVRC brought in their own rockin' DJ who spun (from a hard drive) a variety of tunes all evening. He provided quiet background music during the catered meal and cranked it to a comfortable volume during the dance. This year, dancing was much more popular.

The event this year really didn't give me much to write about. I did, however, draw a conclusion to one of my curiosities while I was there.

Over the last several events we've been too, I've had a question running through my head: Why do we do it? What drives naturists to do things like the following:
  • Snowbirds travel to the south to get naked, even though they could be naked in their own northern home. Having two places of residence can be expensive, as can moving a motor-home over great distances twice a year .
  • People travel for hours to get to Mazo beach, when textile beaches are available nearby. Don't forget the 1.2 mile walk with hordes of hungry mosquitoes. Other beaches you could drive to.
  • A night at a similar hotel is $70 for a double, but we paid $105 for the privilege of being clothing optional.
  • People fly to far away places with the goal of getting naked at a single venue. They stay there despite the variety of things to do in the surrounding area. (That would mean they'd need to get dressed!)
  • People pay a lot more to go to resorts and campgrounds that allow nudity, even though textile places are often cheaper.
  • Many risk arrest to be naked in public places. This includes freehikers everywhere and the brave souls keeping the "unofficial" beaches alive.
  • Many keep naturism a secret for a variety of reasons. They put a lot of effort (and sometimes money too) into keeping friends and family in the dark.
We go through a lot of extra trouble, and money, to do the same thing textiles do but dressed a little differently. Is it worth it? Why is naturism such a novelty?

There seems to be a sort of "naturist bliss". Anyone who has experienced this would say "yes, it's worth it!" At Cedar Trails last year, Chet said he was at bliss while floating in the pool under the sun. I found bliss hiking the trails there. At the Mid-Winter Party, Sunday morning, I noticed Bob had a different look on his face and was being suspiciously quiet. I asked if he was bored or just tired. "Neither," he said, "I'm just happy and I'm reveling in it." I also noticed a long smile on Percilla's face Saturday evening, and asked her about it. "I'm just happy. Thank you for bringing me here."

During the drive home I asked her about it again. I asked her if the feeling she felt that night was similar to when she's hanging out with textile friends. She said that the happiness she feels during the nude events is much better than anything with her textile friends. It's not just about the nudity. The freedom from clothing helps, but also the environment, people, and our own naturist-influenced attitudes all combine to help the experience.

I'd like to turn it over to the readers of this blog. Do any of you have this same feeling of "naturist bliss"? Where or when do you feel it most? Is it better than comparable experiences in a textile setting? Does it make the added expenses worthwhile?