Friday, October 14, 2005

A pool of naked ambition

Nudist Teddy van Geemen, an organizer of tomorrow night's Cariboo Nudist Society swim at Canada Games Pool, will probably leave his duck in its bathtub home. "It's a great sense of liberation and freedom when you first try it," he says of nudism. "Social nudism is characterized by great acceptance. Nobody cares whether you are fat or


Staff reporter
Oct 14 2005

The curtain will drop tomorrow night as the clothes come off at the Canada Games Pool for a two-hour nude swim.

To protect the splashing nudists from the lecherous gazes of voyeurs - or anyone else interested in gawking at bodies in the buff - the city's parks and recreation department required the Cariboo Nudist Society to draw the curtains for the duration of the event. From 8:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m., the pool's windows will be blocked.

For a nudism greenhorn, Saturday's swim could be an experience that may liberate the novice from more than just the clothes. After all, human beings are born nudists, says Teddy van Geemen, an event organizer.

"It's a great sense of liberation and freedom when you first try it," he says, especially when it is done with a group.

"Social nudism is characterized by great acceptance. Nobody cares whether you are fat or skinny."

Van Geemen's friend, Connie Robson, was initiated about six years ago when she went skinny dipping in a lake.

"It was an exhilarating feeling of freedom," she recalls. "You can be yourself when you're clothes-free."

"You don't have the trappings of status," adds van Geemen. "You don't have the sense of angst."

Still, baring it all before strangers, even when these strangers are equally bare, is a threshold not easily crossed. But van Geemen suspects there may be more nudists than meet the eye.

"There are a lot of people who are closet nudists, like people who like to vacuum or do dishes in the buff," he says. "Some find clothes confining and restricting and uncomfortable."

Not so the city's director of parks and recreation.

Although Byron McCorkell appears comfortable in his own skin, he's not about to tread water wearing only that.

"It's not my thing," he says.

But whereas nude swimming is out of the question for McCorkell, he doesn't rule out making swimsuits optional in the distant future.

"That is a provincial jurisdiction," he says.

"I would go along with whatever the province is saying."

During the swim, a code of conduct will be strictly enforced to ensure that no one engages in inappropriate behaviour.

Those suspected of coming to the event for reasons other than swimming and socializing in the nude will be asked to leave immediately after getting dressed, Robson says.

Anyone interested is welcome and admission is $10 per adult. Children are allowed to swim for free.

The fledgling Cariboo Nudist Society, once more members join, plans to hold house parties, travel to other nude clubs in North America and visit clothing-optional beaches and hot springs.

For more information, contact or call Robson at 318-6844.



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4:26 PM  

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