Monday, February 01, 2010

Nudism and Naturism at a Crossroads Reax

A couple of reactions to my recent blog post here.

The Academic Naturist said:
How would the local nude beach be rated? If families are around, and the atmosphere is family-friendly, it would be a G. If swingers are around, it would be an R. Sex in public is illegal, so a rating of X would get the beach closed very quickly.
I never advocated ratings on public lands and beaches, only for resorts. Obviously all public areas would have to be strictly family-friendly. Not even a discussion point.

Brad Fults said:
In short, the establishment of a ratings system by anyone attempting to represent wholesome, innocent nude recreation (as AANR does) would only serve to tarnish the reputation of nude recreation as a whole by explicitly associating it with sexual content. The implicit association will always exist, just as it does in schools, churches and businesses, but it’s much harder to point to implicit associations in the courtroom (though they try). Once that association is made explicit, the death warrant of nude recreation is signed—every overzealous anti-nudist moralist in the country will be testifying that “the nudists’ own national organization admits that their lifestyle leads to sex and debauchery—just look at the R and X-rated clubs!”. And that’s all she wrote for “the credible voice of reason for nude recreation”.
For over three decades the motion picture industry was ruled by the Hays code, which determined what was and what was not acceptable in movies for public consumption. Along came movies like "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" and " The Pawnbroker", films which dealt with adult themes and nudity, and Hollywood was faced with making a decision - either ban the films, or impose a ratings system. Wisely, the latter choice prevailed, and films like "Midnight Cowboy" and "The Godfather" ushered in a new golden age of film making.

If anything, a ratings system would make AANR more credible, shedding some light on exactly what can be expected at any given venue. As of now, some clubs are clothing-optional, some require nudity. Some welcome children, some do not. There are already vast differences with how clubs operate, why not clarify?

Nudists and naturists are worried about swingers coming in and taking over their clubs. If clubs are rated, swingers would seek out the clubs most appropriate for them, and families would seek out the clubs safest for children.

Right now the general public does not understand the difference between clothing-optional or nudist. The general perception in the media is that all nudist resorts are engaged in sexual hi jinks - Caliente is always referred to as "nudist" in news stories.

A Google search for ADULTS ONLY RESORTS brings back 12 million results. A search for NUDIST RESORTS brings back less than 100,000. Either embrace it, or lose to it.


Bob said...

Just a quick comment from the gay perspective. ALMOST all nude gay resorts have areas that allow cruising and sex. I guess the old adage that men are pigs is true. From the nudist perspective I find that private nude beaches such as in Saugatuck Michigan can be very stimulating and therefore not very relaxing. Both straight and gay sex can be found in the dunes. I find that I am always on the prowl and never get to enjoy the simple pleasure of nudist living.

On the other hand the nudist beach in Haulover is in a state park with no sex allowed. And there are no private areas to play. Sure I have met guys and gone home with them but for the most part it is just about nudism and relaxing. I like this atmosphere a lot more.

I guess from my point of view that if sex is allowed at the resort or beach then it is not a nudist venue. It is a sex club.

Nudiarist said...

I never advocated public sex at these venues. As far as I know, there is no sex in the open at Caliente or Paradise Lakes. Basically we are talking about adults only versus family-friendly nudist resorts, not sex clubs.

Brad Fults said...

First, I think it's dangerous comparing nudist resorts to Hollywood movies, notably because movies are (and were before the ratings system) desired by a *majority* of the population, whereas nudist resorts are only enjoyed by an extreme minority. It made sense to impose ratings on movies because everyone already wanted to consume them and the powers that were needed a way to channel the distribution of available moviegoing opportunities.

WIth nudist resorts, almost no one (relatively) wants to visit them, so applying a ratings system serves to highlight the association between nudism and sex-based clubs. The majority of people don't want to know which resorts and clubs to visit—they want to shut them *all* down. This difference in distribution is critical to understanding the success of the ratings system in movies vs. a potential system for AANR.

Second, I think a lot of people are going to be confused by your last comment. You don't think that open sex is involved at Caliente or Paradise Lakes? I'm fairly sure that everyone else has been under the impression that this does in fact occur at those and similar venues. I have second-hand knowledge of such behavior at a resort that has seen similar sanction from AANR in the past few years, so I am assuming (and arguing based on that assumption) that sex or sexual contact does occur at these venues, and that's the differentiating factor.

Lastly, I disagree that AANR's reputation is already tarnished to the point that the defense of nudism as an innocent activity is moot. On the contrary, AANR can point directly to their rejection of clubs like Caliente to note that they don't endorse sexual content in nudism in any way. The public may continue to confuse nudism with sex clubs, but in government and the courts—where it matters—AANR has thus far been successful in maintaining its clean track record as a major voice for non-sexual nudism across the country. Introducing a ratings system that accepted those same sex clubs that have been recently rejected would serve to undermine that track record and immediately jeopardize the moral legitimacy of AANR's stance with the government and the courts. It doesn't take a big stretch of the imagination from there to arrive at a national nudity ban on all pubic lands with heavy regulations on private clubs, including adults-only designations, licensing, zoning, and compliance raids.

Nudiarist said...


Dangerous? Dangerous how, and to whom?

It's ludicrous to say that almost no one wants to visit nudist resorts. That might be true of AANR affiliated clubs, but worldwide nude recreation is booming, by some estimates it is now a $400 million industry, up over 200% over the past several years.

It's also ludicrous to say that the majority of people want to "shut them all down". Where do you get this "fact"?

Nudism has been safe and legal for decades. Other than some politicians threatening to remove children from the lifestyle, and some problems with zoning laws now and then, I don't know of anything that would lead me to believe that most people want to see them banned.

The 2009 NEF poll shows that the vast majority of people in California support the idea of nude beaches.

Caliente has strict policies about behavior in community areas, and they enforce them. That does not mean that public sex will not sometimes occur, as it does in rest stops, beaches, back seats of cars, etc. This is their written policy:

"Overt sexual behavior or the appearance of such behavior is unacceptable at Caliente Resorts. Behavior "never needing an apology" is the norm."

You also ignore the fact that AANR already supports clothing-optional and adults only clubs. Ads in the bulletin for nude cruises and other getaways do not always adhere to the strict definition of nudism or naturism.

To say that they have been successful in maintaining their "clean" image is not true. Perhaps that is your perception, but the general public sees anyone without clothes as a "nudist", whether it's some drunk running down the street naked, or a guy exposing himself to passers-by from a window, a creep hanging around schools in Oregon, or a bunch of kids sitting nude in downtown Brattleboro.

And let's be clear here - we are not talking about sex clubs. We are talking about adult nude recreation as opposed to family nude recreation. NOBODY IS ADVOCATING PUBLIC SEX, so your worries about "national nudity bans" and "heavy regulations" are without foundation. You are talking about something completely different than I am.

Anonymous said...

This a very good blog and I am quite suprised and disapointed by the stace of nudiarist.

I am 25 and I agree 100% with Mr. Brad Fults.

the vast majority of nudists want a nudist resort to be a family friendly place not a XXX establishment.