The Naked Truth About Nudist: Is It Dying Out?

As the weather is heating up you always hear someone say that they wish it was cooler since they can always put on more clothes but you can only take so much off.

I guess that would not be the case if you were at a nudist club.

A nudist community (or naturist community) is a group of nudists who choose to live together on a permanent basis for the purpose of eschewing clothing. The term nudist colony was once a common term for nudist communities, especially among non-nudists but is eschewed by most nudist/naturists due to negative connotations that became associated with the term. Modern naturist resorts, camps, clubs, and parks often cater vacationers and/or day visitors and thus may not have a community of nudist who live on site on a permanent basis. Such places that cater to families often include the word family in their name.

I went to one a few years ago and was surprised at number of people who were older than me, and I am in my 40s.

The problem is now popping up that many of the regular nudist are dying off and taken their Final Taxi. Many of the clubs are now near closing with membership at an all time low.

The Kissimee, Fla.-based American Association for Nude Recreation, which
represents about 270 clubs and resorts in North America, estimates that more
than 90 percent of its 50,000 members are older than 35.

The median age is 55 at Solair, a nudist camp in northeast Connecticut, where a yearly membership is $500 for people older than 40, $300 for people younger than 40 and $150 for college students.

“We don’t want the place to turn into a gated assisted living facility,”
said Gordon Adams, membership director at Solair Recreation League. No one is quite sure why getting in the buff, at least the organized version promoted by the AANR and similar groups, is such a tough sell for younger people.

With some of the images I have seen on MySpace, Facebook or LiveJournal it seems they wouldn’t mind getting naked in a public place. Many of the underwear parties or nude parties from colleges are just about the same.

“I think people think that we’re all hippies,” said Laura Groezinger, 22, of Billerica, Mass., who grew up visiting Solair with her family. “Other people, I don’t know the right way to say this, but they think it’s more sexual, kind of. They don’t understand just the being free with your body and being comfortable.”

Money is also an issue. As nudist resorts become increasingly upscale, catering to baby boomers and retirees with plenty of disposable income, they’re less affordable for college students and young families on budgets. Attendance at nude beaches has remained steady since many do not have a membership and are public beaches. One of the most famous is Blacks Beach near San Diego, Ca.

To draw 20- and 30-somethings, nudist groups and camps are trying everything from deep discounts to a young ambassador program that encourages college and graduate students to talk to their peers about having fun in the buff. In fact, Solair recently invited students from dozens of New England schools to a college day in hopes of piquing their interest. Only a handful of students of different sex attended the event, held on an overcast 60-degree day that prompted many to bundle up in sweaters rather than shed their clothes.

So what will happen to these places after the membership has died out?

One Response

  1. I tried to visit a nude beach on the island of Crete in the early 80’s. Record breaking cold weather in June had me and my girlfriend on the deserted beach not in our birthday suits but rather in our woolen sweaters. I don’t think we missed much.

    I’ll take my freedom on the back of a good horse, thank you very much.


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