More nude dining

It’s a trend! Well, sort of. Kind of. A little bit. OK, two recent examples. Wrote about the other one here, not so long ago. But I have heard of others from time to time.

Anyhow, this one’s in Scotland, and in a private home rather than a restaurant.

Naked lunch? Make it dinner

Nude dining may not be everybody’s ideal way to spend a Saturday night, particularly in the company of strangers. But in a surprising number of Scottish dining rooms, people are willing to bare all before the breadsticks arrive and only cover up again as the carriages are called.

Sadly, that “surprising number of Scottish dining rooms” seems to be a slight exaggeration. The article discusses only one example. It does allude to naturist B&Bs in Scotland. And it should not surprise anyone that when naturist friends get together for a home-cooked meal at someone’s flat or country estate, the wearing of clothes is as little to be expected as the telling of truth by prominent government officials.

What’s interesting here is that these clothes-free epicurean gatherings involve mostly complete strangers, to each other and to the hosts, Richard and Roxanne. Evidently, it’s all about good food and good times, with no hidden (sexual or commercial) agenda. The hosts

have made the choice to be more discreet, offering three-course dinners at their detached home, somewhere near Edinburgh. The evenings are entirely free of charge.

“Lots of people think there must be a catch. To be honest, I think we’d get more people coming if we charged,” says Richard, who wishes his surname to remain confidential. “But we do it for social reasons, not to make money. We have dinner, blether for a few hours and then the guests go home. Nothing more.”

Richard and Roxanne do it simply for the pleasure of nude company. There is even a website to get the word out: Nude Dinners.

As you might expect, however, there is a vetting process:

Swinging is strictly off the menu, a no-nonsense approach that is spelt out on the couple’s website. To safeguard against undesirables the couple chat with people over the telephone first. Couples are not given the home address but instructed to meet Richard at a nearby hotel. Here he assesses the couple’s sleaze potential over a pre-dinner drink. If the couple pass, which all have until now, he shows the way to his home where Roxanne gives the guests the final once-over. Only after this final check, lasting about an hour, do the clothes come off.

Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. And it looks like a good approach to meeting interesting people who share a preference for being naked. For all of you out there who don’t have convenient access to a naturist/nudist club or resort and haven’t found it easy to find nudity-loving friends who are also civilized and maybe even urbane and cultivated, this looks like a promising way to go. Put up a website like Richard and Roxanne’s, exchange links with them, mention the site at a few online forums… and see what develops.

Originally published March 2, 2006

Start planning your nude summer vacation now…

And since we want to be helpful, here are some pages you can check out for naturist travel ideas.

Go naked in 2006
Please take heed, because that headline is probably the best advice you’ll read all year. And the Times of London in this article lists (with permission) some of Lonely Planet‘s best ideas for places to shed your clothes — mostly a bit more interesting than just another place to get that all-over sunburn you really didn’t want to have. Places like San Francisco’s Bay to Breakers run in May, the Maslin Beach (Australia) Nude Olympics, and Berlin’s Tiergarten public park in the center of town.

California nude beach guide [Links to new site]

Betsy Malloy at the California visitors’ site offers an extensive list of California nude beaches, grouped by region. [Although the original site is long gone, Betsy has copious details of many beaches at the new site, and also an extensive guide to California Nudist Resorts.]

Nude Beaches 2005

And speaking of California, we can’t fail to mention the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s venerable nude beach guide, now (2005) in its 31st year. A new guide comes out every year in June (or thereabouts), though recently it’s been only online, not in the print edition. (And that’s much more convenient, actually, than driving to the Bay Area at just the right time to snarf a copy.) The guide, which doesn’t really change that much from year to year, lists scores of places, mostly in the central part of the state, but as far east as Lake Tahoe. It’s more for the dedicated nude beacher living in California — or the intrepid visitor who wants to find something more out of the ordinary.

Bonjour, please take off ze clothes…

Pierre Rochiccioli at the South African site writes about France’s historic, fabled Ile du Levant — to which devout nudists have been making summer pilgrimages since the 1930s. Every naturist must go there at least one in each lifetime. For South African locals (or visitors) there’s also a link to information on Sandy Bay, the local nude beach.

Extreme Nudity

David Friedland in Outside Magazine writes about taking nudity to extremes, or at least to ten pretty interesting places to hike, snowshoe, fly-fish, snorkel, body-surf, or bird watch naked. His selections include several hot springs, assorted nude beaches around the world, and a waterfall in Tennessee that “emerges from a cave, shoots over a cliff, and plummets 110 feet before disappearing into another chasm.” (The adventure here is not the 11 story drop (not advised), but the six-hour hike to the site offering watery delights along the way for skinny-dipping.)

Think naked

Here’s a longer collection of brief write-ups from Outside about exotic places to go naked. Quoting from the introduction, “C’mon, admit it. If you reflect on some of your most exhilarating moments in the wild, you’ll almost certainly come up with at least one bracing skinny-dip or triumphant strip on a summit—moments that left you feeling more alive for facing nature the way you came into the world.”

Top Topless Beaches 2006

Sophia Banay at provides 10 expensive ideas for places where women can bare their boobs and males can enjoy the view. But be careful. Most of the recommended beaches are not especially tolerant of full nudity. And if anyone who takes Sophia’s advice is smart as well as rich, and wants to save their money, they won’t stay at the expensive hotels recommended in the listings. Finally, to avoid the really exasperating “slide show” that makes you look at four ads for each and every recommendation, click here for the whole list on one page.

Originally published March 2, 2006

The bare truth about naked beaches

The bare truth about naked beaches

It seems like everyone has a list of their Top 10 nude beaches. Well except for Forbes, which opted for topless being more tasteful. So without further ado, here are the naked truths about where to go and bare it all:

This is a nice, useful article on nude beaches, with only a little bit of sophomoric humor, some good general links, and several “top 10” nude beach lists:

But why on Earth did the source (in Canada) decide to publish this in the very depths of the northern hemisphere’s Winter Solstice season — when most of the beaches listed are likewise north of the equator?

Cruel and unusual punishment. Or were they just looking out the window and wishing, up there in Tronna?

Originally published December 20, 2005

Lots of people like nudity

It seems as though over the last several weeks various people, mostly other than long-time naturists, have been writing very positively about nudity. Nice trend. Here are some examples I’ve found…

5 myths about nude vacations (October 14, 2005)

The idea of taking a vacation in your birthday suit may take some getting used to. But nudists aren’t deviant septuagenarians and their resorts aren’t sleazy hideaways. The truth is, nudists are often the people next door, and if nothing else, a nude vacation can lead to many new discoveries.

The author here is Christopher Elliott, who (according to the article credits) “is National Geographic Traveler‘s ombudsman and a nationally syndicated columnist”. He’s talking about his introduction to nudism in Europe, which he accidentally stumbled upon “as a college student hiking through the French Alps many years ago”. The “5 myths” mentioned are standard canards that people who are ignorant of naturism tend to spread among themselves.

Nude sensation (October 19, 2005)

Standing naked in a classroom with all eyes fixed on one’s bare body is the type of story read about in trashy teen magazines under the heading “My worst nightmare.” But senior Joey Feaster assumes this position frequently. And he doesn’t even find it scary.

Feaster is a nude model and one of a handful of people who model in the buff for figurative drawing classes at USD. Nude modeling continues a tradition going back to Greek art, and if that fact alone isn’t enough to entice prospective models to lose their clothes, the Fine Arts department pays $20 per hour out to models.

This is from the student newspaper of the University of South Dakota, by reporter Alana Bowden. Obviously, it’s about nude art modeling. Imagine… actually getting paid a lot more than minimum wages to go naked. Sounds like it’s actually not easy work. But it has its rewards:

Posing nude is not only important for the sake of art, but it can be an exhilarating personal experience. Feaster looks back with pride on the newfound independence he’s found through nude modeling.

“My reward, would be my self-confidence with myself, as well as my body,” he said.

Photographer gains self-esteem from social nudity (October 14, 2005)

I have always found social nudity to be a fascinating thing. What would life be like sans clothing? What would my life have been like if, instead of being embarrassed and even ashamed of my body, I could have seen first hand that I was no different than anyone else?

I finally decided to find out, and I called Oaklake Trails Naturist Resort.

So wrote Mark Schuster, who is Assistant Director of Photography (not clear where, perhaps Missouri Southern State University). Despite serious last-minute second thoughts about his visit, Mark discovered it wasn’t as traumatic as so many who haven’t tried social nudity fear:

Like most people who have never experienced it first hand, I had certain ideas about what a nudist resort would be.

To my pleasant surprise, all of the positive things were reinforced, and all of the negative things were proven to be groundless. For one thing, the atmosphere at Oaklake Trails was not one of extreme sexual tension, as may be expected considering everyone was naked, but was actually less sexually charged than, say, your normal municipal swimming pool. It’s hard to explain, and it seems illogical, but it’s true. These people were not flaunting their nudity.

They were simply existing in a state of undress, as commonplace at Oaklake Trails as firemen wearing protective outfits before running into a burning building.

It seemed to me that social nudism would be good for my body image and self-esteem, and it was. I’m not in shape and I have issues with my body, but in talking to people who were willing to take the time to look below the surface at who I really am, I learned that my body has just as much validity as any other.

Samantha Bennett, a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, introduces a story about nudity in Germany, and how organized naturism in Germany is declining… because nudity is common enough there that one doesn’t need to belong to anything in order to enjoy public nudity.

In Germany, it’s all nudes, all the time
[Link still valid!] (October 13, 2005)

For reasons regular readers may remember, I am considered something of an expert on nudism. I have this exalted status because, while most people have in their lives been nude, I am one of a tiny handful of Americans who have been nude in public. To be honest, I don’t know why the talk shows haven’t called.

Nudity is a big deal in this country. I participated in an art installation in Cleveland in which more than 2,700 people disrobed as briefly as possible on a very chilly morning so an artist could take a picture of the whole crowd of us, and I am still hearing about it as if I had been Miss September.

“So what’s it like to be naked?” people ask me (usually men, for some reason).

However, Samantha is an American writing for other Americans. And there’s a subtext to the article. Through her sassy attitude — which I really like — she’s expressing her hearty approval of nudity, and the message that it’s the people who don’t like nudity who are weird.

Finally, we have an interview with a long-time naturist — Jennie Trisnan, who lives near Croydon in the UK.

Happy to be… a naturist [Link still valid!] (October 19, 2005)

To most, naturism is a hobby which raises a few eyebrows and prompts a titter or two.

But to those who regularly shed their clothes, it is a chance to get back to nature and a great way to combat the stresses of everyday life.

Jennie Trisnan was introduced to naturism around three years ago and hasn’t looked back since. She spends most weekends indulging her hobby at one of two clubs close to Croydon and insists they are just like any other social club. Except that sports, amateur dramatics, dancing and drinking in the club bar is all done in the nude.

What does Jennie like about naturism?

“For me it’s like being primitive. Being at one with nature and leaving the outside world behind you. I’ll often take a tent and just go to the club for the weekend and relax.

“I like to go barefoot, even when I’m walking in the woods. The only thing I will wear occasionally is a scarf when it gets a bit cold.”

“My family don’t mind really. I don’t tell everyone in my life because people do tend to judge you, but the ones who do know think it fits in with my personality.”

Jennie believes her passion is something she shares with a significant portion of the population – even if they don’t yet know it.

She says: “I’m convinced many people would think about giving it a go, they are just stopped by what other people might think.

“Doesn’t everybody want to feel free and liberated? Just to be accepted for who they are? I am sure many people want that but are just too scared to try it.”

Originally posted October 27, 2005

Palm Springs

Seems to be a naturist Mecca, with an assortment of naturist resorts and hotels in the area that may be rivaled (in the U. S.) only by Pasco County, FL.

In the summer Palm Springs is hotter than Hades, with daytime highs from 115 to 120 Fahrenheit. (The best season to visit, if you have a choice, is any of them except summer. However, resorts like Desert Shadows do mist outdoor areas with water to cool things off.) But in summer, somehow the news media seem also to discover the subject of naturism, and so one finds a number of news stories appearing that mostly sound as though the writer had only recently discovered naturism. Fortunately, most seem to like what they’ve found. (See this one posted here recently.)

Anyhow, in view of its summery climate, could there be many places besides Palm Springs where one might so urgently want to be naked?

Valley’s naturist and clothing-optional resorts gaining broader appeal

This article, which just appeared, from a local reporter, gives one of the better media accounts of naturism and naturist resorts. It evidences an understanding of the subject without being marred by the usual clichés (like “naked truth”).

Palm Springs has always thrived on drawing visitors with an odd assortment of attractions: lush golf courses, glamorous film festivals, raucous gay parties, rumbling motorcycle weekend, sappy Frank Sinatra nostalgia.

But one of the area’s growing tourist draws has been covered up–until now.

Today, more than 30 clothing optional and naturist resorts operate in Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs and Cathedral City, offering venues where guests can lounge, flirt or play tennis in the buff. Along with cities like Fort Lauderdale and Key West, the Palm Springs area is at the forefront of nude recreation.

Behind high walls or out of sight in remote desert locations, one of the nation’s fastest-growing travel industries is quietly thriving here and attracting a new generation of enthusiasts.

There’s plenty of good information in the article even for experienced naturists, as the page has contact information and Web links for the leading naturist destinations in the area.

The reporter also emphasizes how families and younger people are discovering naturist opportunities:

Nude recreation is now attracting more families and committed couples, as well as growing numbers of young people who praise nudism as healthy, liberating and just plain fun.

“I obtain a totally different feeling of relaxation being nude,” says Coryn Wright, a 20-year-old from Chico who recently came to be natural at Desert Shadows for the second time this year.

“(Naturism) totally changed my self-confidence,” she says, sitting comfortably in a metal chair overlooking the pool area. “Every woman that you see in the media is skinny with big boobs. Here you can see people that are actually normal.”

Since having her first naturist experience last year, Wright has become active in spreading the word about her new hobby to friends and strangers, and she says she sees it catching on.

She recently traveled to the Goodland Country Club, a famous naturist park in Hackettstown, N.J., and met many other young people who, like her, are embracing naturist lifestyles.

Admittedly, that sounds a tad promotional, but it’s still encouraging.

Young people talk about how naturism has been beneficial for their self-confidence:

“I have a hard time being able to go to a beach in a bathing suit without guys ogling me,” says Wright, the Desert Shadows guest. “(Here) I’m way less aware of my body.”

Wright, who visited Desert Shadows on a friend’s recommendation last August, brought her younger sister Krista this time for her first naturist experience.

“It’s a little startling when you first walk in,” laughs Krista. “The hardest part is the getting naked part. The being naked part is easy.”

But four hours after experiencing the mild shock of walking out nude into the sunny courtyard of Desert Shadows, she believes that anyone can do it.

“A lot of people think being nude is being vulnerable,” she says, “but I think a lot of people would be better off doing it.”

It’s worth noting that the city of Palm Springs is very supportive of its naturist resorts. Resort operators are active in local civic groups like the Chamber of Commerce. And public officials routinely officiate at the openings of new resorts.

Nice contrast to some places we could mention.

Published July 16, 2005