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Offline Dan

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"My vacation at a nudist camp"
« on: September 25, 2010, 02:51:32 am »
Very interesting article about a woman journalist trying out a vacation at a nudist camp. Summary: She didn't quite like it (didn't hate it but didn't like it either). But I completely understand her feeling, many things she describes in the article sucks. Who wants to get preached at as soon as they set foot in a resort? You're going on vacation, not joining a sect! And things like "You can leave your car keys in your car because nudists are honest!" are so wrong it's not even funny. Nudists are regular people and just as honest as any regular people (which means most are but it's no reason not to play safe). A resort that cares about its guests would have an answer like "We have a free service where you can leave them at the reception, we'll put them in a safe for you."

You can read all the details about her experience here: http://www.slate.com/id/2266049/

I read nudist rave all the time about "Oh! Look at that journalist that went to a resort and made such a positive article about it!" but reality check article like that are needed too. Her experience could have been made much better and we need to acknowledge it.
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Stuart

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Re: "My vacation at a nudist camp"
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2010, 11:30:16 am »
You seemed to read that article with a much more cynical mind than I did. I saw no "reality check" in there.

Did the Greeks really wear togas though? I though they were reserved for citizens of Rome.

Nude_not_rude

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Re: "My vacation at a nudist camp"
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2010, 01:47:18 pm »
Gotta agree with Stuart here, the article wasn't as bad as you paint it. Any new activity you do involves an element of instruction especially when you are on an orientation tour as she was. She didn't have to join it, it was just recommended as one was just about to take place. If she hadn't, the story would have rapidly got to a "well I paid my entry fee, now what?".

It wasn't for her, but props to her for trying it and going all in, not just theorising from the outside.

Eric

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Re: "My vacation at a nudist camp"
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2010, 03:52:08 am »
Here's what I read (emphasis mine):

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The most disconcerting part of my visit to a nudist camp I'll call "Hidden Bush" occurred when I got in a discussion about the benefits of nudity with a longtime member I'll call "Dick." Nudists, nudists will tell you, are very friendly, and Dick had spotted me as a newcomer as I stood naked and adrift by the pool. He came over to welcome me and proselytize for the benefits of nudism. He told me about the cruise he had taken to Alaska with 2,000 other naked people, and as I tried to envision all of this sagging flesh chugging toward unsuspecting caribou, I was distracted by a more immediate, awful sight. I could see myself reflected in Dick's sunglasses. All of me. It was impossible to follow our chitchat as I watched my pale flesh quiver every time I made a gesture.

First, she found it disconcerting. And rightly so. This is the most annoying part of going to *any* nudist venue, the people who evangelize the lifestyle after no one asked them to. Doubly so if you're a girl (or in my case, if I happen to have a first time girl with me)... people constantly come, say hello, ask the same damn battery of questions "So how'd you get into this? Great isn't it? Let me tell you about all these wonderful nude places I've been..."

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To prepare myself, I had done some reading at various nudist Web sites. The theme that emerged was that as the gate to a nudist club closed behind me, more than my clothes would fall away. I would shed the burdens of my normal life and the hierarchical status-consciousness that clothes enforce. I would experience a relaxation so profound by being around lots of other naked people that my vacation would have double the stress relief of a regular vacation. As a woman, nudism would give me self-acceptance and freedom from the judgments of the outside world. Also as a woman, I was reassured by a page of the AANR  Web site that promised clubs were not sexual in nature and male members' members were unlikely to become "visibly excited." In the event of tumescence, a male is supposed to drape himself with a towel and then jump into the pool.

These are the dominant themes that nudists market themselves with. Sounds kind of ridiculous when you write them as she did... because they are kind of ridiculous. It's also clear from the way she wrote it that she experienced none of the first half of that paragraph, and she found the re-assurances of non-sexuality to be a little weird.

Which should shock no one; she went to a dull campground where everyone happened to be naked. Big whoop.

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I also found that nudists are the people whose official response to full-body scanners at airports is "Bring it on!"

Thank you AANR, by which I mean, f you, AANR, for being idiot enough to put that out there.

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On our walk to the main clubhouse, we saw couples holding hands, their rear ends swaying contrapuntally.

Given the language she used, she obviously never got over her hang ups about seeing naked people, and wasn't sold on the entire experience. Perhaps it's because most people who'd go there already decided they *want* to be there, whereas she was there to right an article - but obviously no one there tried to sell her on why it shouldn't be so bothersome to see "rear ends swaying contrapuntally".

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I wondered where to put my car keys, and I was told nudists are so honest that I should leave them in the car.

That was a stupid thing to say. The reality is that the place is small enough that people would notice if someone drove off in a car that wasn't theirs. That explanation just makes nudists sound like naive hippies.

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We passed the tennis courts filled with couples playing mixed doubles; it looked like agony without sports bras. [...] As we walked around I realized being naked full-time presents certain difficulties. Lack of pockets is one. I wondered where to put my car keys, and I was told nudists are so honest that I should leave them in the car. I kept trying to stick my sunglasses in the neck of my nonexistent shirt. As we passed the restaurant, let's call it Café Private Parts, I asked how I was supposed to pay for a meal. Bob told me that most people leave a supply of cash in an envelope by the front counter.

Again, she seems fairly skeptical, and was still skeptical when she left.

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As we treaded water and talked, I mentioned my husband, and Peter asked where he was. When I said he was at home, a look of alarm crossed Peter's face. I never should have been allowed in as a guest, he said. Married people can only come if both partners show up. From his tone I worried that Peter was going to call security and some burly men would wrestle me into a bathing suit and hustle me off the property. But Peter decided that now that I was here—and naked—I could stay.

Again, idiotic. Thankfully, none of the venues around here have such a stupid policy. But damn, that's stupid. For all the trouble that nudists go through to disassociate themselves from swingers, what's it look like when they can't manage to treat married people as individuals?

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As the day wore on, I was increasingly aware that other naked people don't relax me. I had read that some nudists call people who prefer clothes "textilists," and I am one. It was true there was nothing overtly sexual about the club. Most members' desirability would have been enhanced by wearing clothing of any kind—a hospital gown would do. I found my own nudity was a source of discomfort. Carolyn Hawkins told me that she loves the freedom from the tyranny of clothes. "With clothes you worry, 'Is my skirt too short, are my pants baggy?' " I was worried that my skin was baggy.

Again, she seemed not to enjoy the experience. And her issue, she explicitly states, wasn't "nudity is sexual", but rather "nudists are ugly and I'm uncomfortable with my body".

Offline brandon

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Re: "My vacation at a nudist camp"
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2010, 01:22:32 pm »
BTW, there is a photo link in the article with arty, mostly B&W, images of nudity, not specifically related to the story:  
http://todayspictures.slate.com/20100908/

Here are some excerpts from the article that I find noteworthy:

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You could say nudity is the human default; certainly, being naked has a longer history than wearing clothes.

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As people began gathering [for dinner] I saw that many of them were wearing Polynesian-style attire. It turns out that a man in a Hawaiian shirt below which his genitals dangle is a much more disturbing sight than a fully naked man. It's also true that a woman wearing the National Geographic look of grass skirt topped by uncovered breasts seems somehow desperate compared to a plain old naked body.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2010, 01:34:35 pm by brandon »
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Offline veritasinchains

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Re: "My vacation at a nudist camp"
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2010, 02:47:27 am »
I can't help but think that if her experience had been better that she would have written a much more positive article. I kind of wish that she wrote the actual name of the club she went to so I knew to make sure I never went myself. I also noticed that she seemed to think that all of the positive aspects body image, relaxation, and acceptance of others would just magically happen on their own. As someone on medication for depression I can tell you positive psychological changes don't just occur on their own you have to want them to occur. If your frame of mind is negative and you stay negative that is how your energy will flow. If you are depressed and all you do is wallow in your sorrow you will never feel better. The same goes for nudism if all you do is look at the other nude people and yourself with a judging eye you will not likely enjoy it. I am sure that the club also makes a huge difference. I know that when I finally have the time to go to a nudist club I will not leave my stuff in my car I will shut my phone off but (it will be in a zipper bag in case there is rain or my natural "grace" pitches me into the pool) in a back pack with my towel and sunscreen.
And I mean hell if you have to live the rest of your life in a memory you might as well make it a good one.
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Offline Dan

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Re: "My vacation at a nudist camp"
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2010, 03:20:41 am »
Also, if the club doesn't have anything to entertain you, you'll have all the time in the world to dwell on the negative while if it's non-stop fun you'll think at the end "Wow, where did the time go? I had such a blast! Naked! I'll have to do this again!"
"Politics is an ocean of toes" - Jacques Parizeau (1930-2015, RIP)