I’m about two thirds of the way through what I’ve taken to calling the 100 Naked Places project. In essence, I have been creating an annotated list of ALL the places that I can remember where we have enjoyed clothes-free recreation, while including places that look intriguing, but we haven’t quite found a way to visit yet. Those in Thailand and Brazil for example, or some of the hot springs of the western United States.
Of all my various contributions to this blog over the past year, I find it intriguing that these pages have elicited some of the most interesting responses – sometimes as comments on the blog, but more often, in response to links I’ve posted on various naturist forums. And in fact, some of the responses might best be characterized under the banner that “no matter how hard you try, you can’t piss off all the people all the time.” This surprised me, really… though I don’t know why.
In a nutshell, it occurs to me that people who have a passion for naturism are, in fact, passionate! Not just about the right to enjoy nude recreation, but also to defend the nudist-naturist cause, whatever we all have decided that is supposed to mean. Some have expressed concern that I didn’t give a positive spin to a place they enjoy as their favorite naturist place, despite my disclaimer that these are simply the places we have enjoyed the most, and this is the reason why. And my notes about naturist places in Europe have raised a few eyebrows when my observation noted that there were a lot of clothed people at a particular naturist place, as such a critique may well do harm to the reputation of that place in naturist circles. I get that. Then from the other end of the spectrum, one reader is disquieted by the fact that I have given an implicit nod (and a web link) to places that cater to life-stylers, despite the fact that my brief remarks invariably state – “We checked it out and we don’t need to go a second time.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not kvetching! I love a good debate, as I think that thoughtful and meaningful discussion on these matters is largely lacking on the web, with the possible exception of the expansive VivreNu forum where there always seems to be an abundance of lively discourse at hand, albeit in French! Until we, Americans, can start grappling with some of the ethical and philosophical tenants of the naturist idea, (as opposed to the infinitely repetitive threads about pubic hair and male arousal) it seems to me that we don’t have much hope for gaining acceptance in mainstream society. The percentage of French people who participate in naturism is actually quite low (I think I read someplace that 10-15% enjoy naturist vacations) compared to the American perception that all French people simply doff their clothes whenever the spirit moves them. But if the topic of naturism comes up at the French dinner table, the conversation doesn’t simply dissolve into goofy jokes, blushing faces, and dismay. Some people like to go to naturist places on vacation – that is all.
But I digress.
I have two more segments that will round out my 100 Naked Places project: the next installment on the Caribbean, Central and South America; and finally, places in Europe other than France, (Croatia, Greece, Spain, etc) which will include brief reflections upon our visits to the thermal spas in Austria, Germany, and Holland as well. With sustained efforts not to undermine the efforts of those who have worked so diligently to promote the naturist cause, I plan to continue on the trajectory of simple observations like “we went to this place and had a lovely time, but when we went to that other place, the spine-tingling sensation never occurred.” Admittedly and outrageously subjective, acknowledging that when I read a restaurant review, sometimes I will come to know the tastes of a particular reviewer, and choose the very place that reviewer has panned, as I know he and I have very little in common when it comes to gastronomical preference! Perspective is everything, including that which is in opposition to my own.
The meandering naturist and his wife have had the good fortune to travel – a lot. It always has been, and remains an incredibly important part of our lives. And we feel so fortunate that we were able to introduce our children to naturism when they were young, having avoided the labyrinth of keeping our naturist doings on the down low from our offspring. This effort to represent our naturist passion in a concise telephone-book listing has been an interesting exercise for me, as I am reminded that naturism is a lot of different things to a lot of different people. And there’s a good chance that a person who enjoys the opportunity for a naked lunch in Palm Springs may have little or no interest in swimming naked in the Adriatic. And far be it for me to decide who visited Cap d’Agde for the beautiful nude beach, and who’s lying low in the strip club until the nightlife rolls out. None of my business, really, except to say, “these are a few of my favorite things!”
Thanks for reading my blog. In the end, I hope it helps a few people find a new place to get naked, while encouraging a few more to explore their own emerging naturist passions, whatever one thinks that might mean.
You can find the first three parts of the 100 Naked Places project through the following links: