I’ve never been to a nudist camp. Probably because I don’t know anyone who goes and since I’m gay I don’t want to be around naked women. It makes me nervous. Besides, I’m not sure if I have enough “body confidence.” I certainly don’t have enough to go to a gay nudist camp although I have been to male only naked yoga classes. And no, it wasn’t some sort of gay sex orgy, although that would have been cool, but since I went for the yoga it would have been quite a surprise. It’s difficult to check out the other guys since you have to pay attention in yoga or you fall over. Besides, it wasn’t an erotic experience — more of a feeling of being grounded in nature.
I was thinking of this because an old news item came into my head from years ago when I lived in Palm Beach County, FL. Seems that a group of nudists, I think they call themselves naturalists now, wanted to buy a parcel of land in the unpopulated western part of the county and construct a camp ground for nudists. Since the camp would be hidden by trees, berms, fences, etc, it would not be possible for impressionable young people to look over the walls and see, God forbid, people walking around naked. I think we would all agree that it is far more wholesome for young people to watch violence on TV, at the movies, and on video games of every sort than to expose them to nudity or even to encourage them to be nude. Why be naked when you can blow someone’s head off with a .357 Magnum, if only in fantasy?
Nudists camps are not for sex. It’s a family thing. Whole families go and camp naked. At least this is what I have read. The Palm Beach County Commission had to approve the zoning since in Florida the Boards of County Commissioners also serve as Zoning Boards. I recall that only one commissioner made a fuss about the nudist camp citing moral degeneration, collapse of Western civilization, the bad effect on children to walk around naked with their parents, and the possibility that when the children were asleep, the adults might, you know, do the horizontal hula. The photo in the newspaper showed the County Commissioners looking extremely bored while this was all going on and after the one Commissioner had finished his condemnation of nudity, the commission voted seven to one to approve the zoning change and allow the nudist camp ground to be built.
What I remember thinking at the time and what I think now, is in a world of war, anger, ethnic and religious hatred and bigotry, rich against poor, Democrat vs Republican, and other divisions and intractable social problems, all the naturalists were asking for was the right to remove their clothing and walk around naked. Camp naked. Play volleyball naked. Swim naked. Barbeque naked, even play ping-pong naked. That’s all they wanted. A private area to take off their clothes and walk around buck-ass naked. And what on earth could be controversial about that? Seems to me that if one could get people who hate each other to take their clothes off and negotiate that way, more would be accomplished. In fact, we should encourage people to join the naturalist movement and spend time naked since there is nothing more harmless. So instead of “off with their heads,” I say, “off with their clothes.”