Social nudism. Those two words spoken in polite conversation are bound to elicit a response - a giggle, some shock, and perhaps a declaration from someone saying "Oh, no, I could never do that!"
But each year countless people around the world are shedding their clothes at beaches, at resorts, on cruises, or down at the old swimming hole. The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) reports that nude recreation and travel (or taking a "Nakation") has exploded into a $400 million industry and is more popular than ever. In addition, a 2011 Trip Advisor survey shows that 49% of Americans would bare it all on a nude beach (up from only 31% in 2009), and AANR boasts of having nearly 50,000 members and 270 clothes-free and clothing-optional resorts, clubs and RV campgrounds throughout the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean that are continuing to welcome new members of varying ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. [source]
Despite this boom in nude recreation, many people still harbor myths and misconceptions about exactly goes on behind the fences at nudist (or naturist) resorts. At Cedar Trails Nudist Retreat in Peebles, Ohio, an AANR affiliated club, members and guests swim, hike, sunbathe, play games and socialize much the same as any family-friendly campground, but without the restrictions of wearing clothes. Let's examine some of the common questions people have about nudism and separate the facts from the fiction.
Q) Is nudism immoral?
A) Morality, by definition, pertains to behavior, and being without clothes is simply a state of being, even in social situations. It is the behavior of people in a state of undress which can be moral or immoral. Nudists simply believe that the human body is nothing to be ashamed of, that we are all born naked, and that being nude in the presence of others and in nature is healthy for body and mind.
In today's society there is a perceived link between sex and nudity. Certainly people who are nude can engage in sexual activity, but in nudist and naturist campgrounds and resorts, the shedding of clothes is more akin to undressing for a bath or shower. The idea of putting on a piece of clothing to go swimming merely for modesty, which is cultural or learned, seems rather silly after an afternoon of being nude in the pool. Nudity quickly becomes unremarkable, and in nudist settings people often even forget that they are nude.
Q) Are nudists exhibitionists, or voyeurs?
A) By definition, exhibitionism is the exposure of breasts, buttocks or genitals for shock value, or for sexual arousal. Voyeurism is spying on someone engaged in intimate behavior. Nudism, on the other hand, is about being in a state of undress because it's natural, and it simply feels good. Any person engaging in exhibitionist or voyeuristic activities, or behaving in an overtly sexual manner, will not be tolerated at Cedar Trails or any other AANR resort.
Q) Isn't it simply wrong to allow children into nudist resorts?
A) Children are natural nudists, born without shame, and are able to see people as they really are without question. Research shows that children raised in nudist families are more self-confident, have better body acceptance, and are more sexually well-adjusted.
The AANR web site notes that kids "take to our clubs like ducks to water, joyfully running, playing, and splashing without a stitch on. No sandy swimsuits to bog them down. Best of all, when it’s time to clean up, a bath is just a hop, skip, and a jump in the nearest lake or shower."
Q) My body is a lot less than "perfect", so how will I fit in a nudist resort?
A) There is no such thing as a "perfect" body. In our society, we are bombarded with images of people which have been artificially enhanced to the point where some of these celebrities and models don't even resemble humans any more. This unhealthy quest for the "ideal" is creating a body image crisis, causing both men and women to develop eating disorders and psychological problems, and many resort to plastic surgery and other cosmetic procedures to "fix" themselves.
Social nudism is, in part, accepting your own body, and the bodies of others. If you want to see what type of people you will find at a nudist resort, just take a walk around the shopping mall on a Saturday afternoon and look at the people there. At Cedar Trails Nudist Retreat, people enjoy the freedom of being themselves, and learn to be comfortable in their own skin.
Q) I'm a single female. Isn't nudism just for couples?
A) At Cedar Trails we have many single men and women who come alone to enjoy nude recreation in our safe environment, a place where they find acceptance that cannot be experienced at any place other than a nudist resort, a place where who you are, and not what you represent, is not only accepted, but expected.
Of course, there is much more to the social nudism experience than we can explain in one short article. For further information we recommend the following web sites:
The American Association for Nude Recreation
The Naturist Society
205 Arguments and Observations in Support of Naturism (pdf)
And whether you are a first-timer, or an experienced nudist, please come visit us at Cedar Trails Nudist Retreat in Peebles, Ohio, located in beautiful Adams County, surrounded by rolling hills, Amish country, the famous Serpent Mount National Historic Landmark, and the fascinating meteor crater, which can be overlooked from one of our hiking trails.
Call today at 937-764-1365 to find out more and plan your next "nakation" with us!
Cedar Trails Nudist Retreat
11 Cow Run Road
Peebles, Ohio 45660
Contact: Fred or Jo Anne Roessler
On the web: www.cedartrailsnudistretreat.com