12 July, 2010

Back To The Garden

Soooo...I visited a real live nudist resort this past Saturday, which is something I've been wanting to do ever since I discovered the subculture of nudism three years ago. I hadn't had the guts to do it on my own, but my newest friend is quite open to my eccentricities (even to the point of being enthusiastic about many of them), and so she happily accompanied me and made what could have been a stressful experience for me into a relaxing day trip. Instead of writing an account of the visit, which I already tried to do and wasn't satisfied with (I tend to feel like I'm walking on eggshells when I write about nudism), I think it would be more interesting if you asked me the questions that are on your mind, so I can tell you exactly what you want to know. Leave a comment if you're curious about anything.


  1. Should I assume that the demographic was in line with the stereotypical age and gender majority for a nudist colony's denizens?

    What kind of activities did people do there?

  2. Yes, and body type, too. Except the proportion between the genders actually wasn't too bad. I don't know if that was artificially constructed (some places have gender "quotas") or naturally occurring, but it was nice to see a mix. The one exception to that is that there were indeed a few kids there, which is a great thing to see. But unfortunately nobody in the adolescent to young adult age range, which doesn't seem to be represented well enough in the nudist community for various reasons.

    The stereotypical activities. :p Lots of volleyball, that's apparently very popular among nudists. Hanging out at the pool. That's about the extent of what I saw, but I know there's lots of other stuff they do. There was an activity room (two actually, one for kids and one for adults), with like a pool table and stuff, but I forgot to go take a look. And they have planned activities throughout the summer to give people something to do (and probably to promote the friendly atmosphere). But ultimately it's like a camping resort, you go and you relax and you have a good time.

  3. How much did it cost? Could anyone just walk in, or did you have to buy a "membership" or a pass or something?

    Did you talk with anyone? Was anyone "preaching" nudism, or was it all pretty casual -- i.e., "here to hang out and we just happen to be nude" and nobody really gave two shits? Make any new friends? See anything about live music acts?

    Planning to go regularly? How far out was it?

    How big was the place?

  4. It was $25 for a 24-hour stay. Members get a discount, but membership is kind of expensive. They welcome guests/visitors. I'm not sure if you have to contact them first (we did), but it's probably a good idea if it's your very first visit. Anyhow, if they have any kind of visitation restrictions for non-members, I haven't heard about it (and we're currently awaiting confirmation of that before planning another visit). As for "just walking in", the place is super-private, fenced-in, in the middle of nowhere, inconspicuously marked (you'd know it's there, but not necessarily what it was), and you have to call in at the gate to get them to open it up for you, then check in once you're inside (with positive I.D., etc.). So it's nice and private.

    We talked with a few people. They are very friendly, as the stereotype goes. Inclusive, social, etc. There wasn't any "preaching", it was all very casual. Granted, though this was my first visit to a nudist resort, I'm not exactly a newbie to the lifestyle, so though we didn't hide the fact that this was our first visit, we pretty much just blended in with the crowd. I'm sure they'd be happy to answer questions for anyone who was less "initiated". Only the pool area had a strict "no clothing" rule (including swimsuits), so I imagine clothes are tolerated elsewhere (I saw some people dressed in the evening); though with the understanding that people go there to hang out sans clothes.

    Honestly, the nudity seemed so casual and nonchalant that I kept telling myself it was ridiculous that we had to go to such trouble just to find a place that tolerates such a thing. It's really a non-issue. And yet, outside the fence, society makes such a big deal about it - and it is important, because people do go out of their way (myself now included :D) to partake in risk-free nude recreation. But inside that fence, it's very casual and very friendly and very relaxing, and it just feels great. I'll also say that, seeing the proprietors nude at check-in, before we got undressed, was mildly shocking, the way I guess a nude person would be in a clothed environment, but as soon as we took our own clothes off, the nudity sort of melted into the background and no longer mattered.

    I didn't make any new friends, but I got the feeling I easily could have if I was more social and more outgoing; and if I do go back often enough, it will be inevitable. The people there really are friendly.

    As for live music acts, I know they have some as special events at least once (if not more) during the summer. I'm looking into the possibility of somehow being able to play, myself, in some context. Considering the friendly community atmosphere, it seems like the sort of thing they'd be enthusiastic about. (They have DJs come in to host dances, I noticed).

    It's about a one-hour drive from the city (took us a bit longer due to unexpected construction-related traffic). The place boasts 200 acres, I think (I could link you for the nitty gritty details if you're interested), much of which is dedicated to nature trails that are currently out of commission, due to some recent logging. We were warned multiple times about the trails, but being that I have some hiker's blood inside me, I wanted to check them out anyway. It wasn't worth it. The main area excluding the hiking trails is cozy and not too large. There's a lot of space for trailers and cabins for the regular visitors - I don't know how far out that goes. And a nice area for less committed visitors to pitch tents or park trailers (there are also a few "motel" type rooms that can be rented).

    I can't wait to go back. I'd love to go regularly, but I really can't afford it right now. But I'm hoping to work out some plans for another trip this summer, perhaps for an overnight stay.

  5. "warned about the trails?"

    I also meant to ask -- did it feel exploitative at all? The price doesn't seem to bad, so I guess not...

  6. Some of the trails were kind of worn out, lumber in the way, and a lot of the signs were missing or out of commission - so basically, we were warned that they were in a state of disarray and not to expect too much from them. Ultimately, they weren't worth checking out, but little could have convinced me of that short of seeing them for myself...

    As we discussed, I didn't feel it was exploitative at all. And for the benefit of others who may read this, I'll repeat what I said elsewhere - considering the rarity of nudist resources, I felt the prices were very reasonable and the atmosphere very friendly.