Monday, December 26, 2005

Nude Voters? Maybe Not the Best Idea

Sex not the only reason for nudity
Dec. 26, 2005. 01:00 AM

Toronto Star

Door-to-door campaigning full of nude surprises

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------, Dec. 20.

So a political campaigner encounters unclothed homeowners. He is "still trying to figure out exactly why some voters who were so obviously planning an uninterrupted evening at home even bother to answer the door."

Like most politicians, he errs in thinking that the only purpose of nudity is sex. That mistake has created some bad laws.

Many people in naturist (or nudist) families simply don't like wearing clothes, or find that the naked body isn't shameful or immoral. Their personal physical disarmament brings many benefits, such as better hygiene, relief of stress, and removal of sexual obsession, without any nudge-nudge innuendoes.

Politicians should educate themselves about the naturist movement.


Quaker Naturism

Many happy returns of the season, and good tidings of great joy, to
those who need them most.

As a Christian, I am always happy when anyone with whom I have felt
uncomfortable about differences, such as, in this instance, William
Martin, offers a gesture of reconciliation. So it was with great joy, and in
the spirit of the season, that I talked with him on the phone for quite
awhile the other day.

To Friend William, I referred to his dedication to naturism ('nudism')
as a form of Friends ministry, and I believe it is. I support the
freedom to go without clothes in the 'everyday' kind of situations that he
describes. I would also like to note that historically, and in
obedience to spiritual leadings, Friends and others have sometimes taken
recourse in nudity as a form of consciousness-raising or faith-based
activism. The extraordinary may not justify the everyday, nor vice versa, but
in general, Friends have come to unity on a testimony for plainness ...
and what could be more plain and unassuming than our bodies themselves?

I believe that Friends must do extraordinary things in times like
these, when our governments have gotten out of hand, when they no longer
take the best interests of our people, or of any people save the very
rich, into account. A recent editorial in our local -- corporate-owned --
newspaper raises the possibility of George Walker Bush's prosecution.
These are signs of the times in which we live. It is an exciting time
to be alive, and one which may try us in many ways. Look to your
spirituality for the inner resources that will carry you through.

William and I have, over time, discussed the fact that Friends may,
under certain circumstances, decide, in a true state of clearness, to
proceed with a ministry that does not have the official imprimatur of
Quaker meeting-supported clearness processes. I think that both he and I
have had experiences like this. Still, the system does exist, and I do
endorse it, for it is our time-tried system or organizational governance
and discipline. Any Friend who thus proceeds to carry forward ministry
must be very, very sure that it is Spirit-led. Our Society, and
society in general, have very little patience for anyone carrying forward
false witness, or mounting self-interested endeavors under the guise of
Quaker ministry.

So while I might be embarrassed to go 'bare-assed' in certain
instances, particularly in Vermont winters -- even our summers can be pretty
cool at times -- I am not reticent to 'let it all hang out' in other ways.
Sometimes we must do this. Each and every one of us has had
extraordinary experiences, and can bring testimonies to one another -- each of us
individually -- that no one else can. Friends' tolerance and
understanding of our differences is part of what makes us successful as the
Religious Society of Friends. This has been a frequent theme of witness
recently in our Quaker Meeting at Putney (VT), and was also something
that Friend William and I agreed upon -- resoundingly -- in our

In the spirit of reconciliation, I would also like to offer apologies
publicly to anyone -- William or anyone else -- that might ever have
felt offended by the brusqueness or seeming insensitivity of my witness in
these 'e-circles'. As He pointed out so well, the written word,
without even the benefit of seeing one's handwriting, much less faces, voice
tone, mannerisms, and body language, utterly fails in many instances to
accomplish what is necessary for us to feel true community among one
another. I pray that my intentions are always pure, and that I am able
to bring them across to you in this medium.

I wish for my life to accomplish great things, but only in the name of
peace, justice, and integrity. Lord G-d in heaven, and in you my
F(f)riends, I seek thy blessing in this and in all things, that I may be
worthy of the joy I feel this season, and that I may help bring comfort
and joy to others everywhere.

-- John Wilmerding

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Naturist Child Dilemma

Easily Ordered Videos Blur Line Between Innocence, Pornography
News 8/WGAL - Susquehanna, PA

December 22, 2005

Go on the Internet and you can find a slew of videos featuring children sometimes in various stages of undress. recently pulled some of the videos off of its Web site.

The distributors claim they are naturist films and sports documentaries from Russia and Ukraine. But experts say they can be stepping stones to dangerous behavior. News 8's Susan Shapiro looked into these sales.

The videos have titles like "Little Warriors go to Summer Camp" and "Gym Boys." The titles might be innocent, but some view the content as child erotica or pornography.

The videos were for sale for a time on News 8 On Your Side ordered "Little Warriors go to Summer Camp" as part of our investigation. It arrived a day later in an carton.

There is some natural sound on the tape, but no narration or dialogue. It shows boys dressed in gym shorts and swimsuits participating in a variety of camp activities.

News 8 showed the video to special agents Dennis Guzy and Michael Williams of the Child Sexual Exploitation Unit in Pennsylvania. Under the Pennsylvania crimes code, such videos are legal because they do not show children engaged in any sexual activity.

But, Guzy said there is only one reason why people buy such tapes.

"In my 30 years in law enforcement, (I've) yet to run across a person who had these kinds of tapes for anything other than their own sexual gratification," Guzy said. "We see this as a progression, a stepping stone for an individual who ultimately might be interested in hard core child pornography or molestation of children."

Customer comments on Amazon said things like "you will love these boys" and "it left me feeling like I know these boys personally." pulled more than 40 of the tapes from its Web site after screening them based on a number of complaints. News 8 received a copy of an e-mail urging people to contact about the videos.

Company spokeswoman Patty Smith told News 8's Susan Shapiro that the company doesn't want to be in a position of censoring titles, but "in looking at them we realized they weren't something we wanted to sell on our site."

An overseas company markets the videos, even enclosing a coupon for the buyer to purchase additional titles. Guzy said intelligence indicates that the majority of child pornography is coming out of the former Soviet Union.

"Individuals will go into various areas of the Soviet Union, offer parents a fee to allow them to photograph children nude or graphic videos -- (they then) market items over the Internet," Guzy said.

While the video News 8 purchased for $29.95 did not show nudity or graphic sexual acts, Guzy said he still sees it as an exploitation of children.

"It's a wonder these youngsters even know whether they're being videotaped and the videos sold for profit," he said.

The film company has numerous videos for sale on its Web site. It also has pages of disclaimers. Among them it says, "We do not sell nor condone the sale of child pornography."


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Australian Press Notes Christian Naturists in Florida

Garden of Eden without fig-leaves hits raw nerve

Bill Martin's religious-based nudist camp has upset many quarters, writes Tony Allen-Mills in New York

December 19, 2005

IN the beginning was the word of God and God never said anything about brassieres or boxer shorts. Thus was born Natura, America's first Christian nudist camp.

After two years of biblical debate over Adam and Eve and their fig leaves and whether or not nudity is sinful, a 67-year-old Quaker grandfather is preparing to open a modern-day Garden of Eden 65km north of Tampa, Florida.

Bill Martin's ambitious plan for an 80ha Christian-oriented Family Naturist Village has survived legal challenges, doctrinal disputes and a plague of internet prudes. Land is now being cleared for the opening next year of what may become the world's only Christian community to feature nude volleyball.

Despite howls of complaint from fundamentalists who have likened Martin to the Antichrist -- and described his nudist plans as "graphic evidence of America's moral collapse" -- Natura intends to build 50 houses around a non-denominational church where clothing for services will be optional.

He has fought with his neighbours over property rights, fallen out with other nudists over his promotional material and sparked a vigorous internet debate over whether the true path to godliness really involves getting naked.

Yet Martin remains confident that Christians will flock to Natura to experience the spiritual benefits of a lifestyle "free from body shame". He is spending more than $US2million ($2.68million) on a nudist recreational complex that will also feature a hotel, campsites and a children's water park.

"As evidenced by Adam and Eve, we believe that when God's children are in the right relationship to Him, they will be naked and unashamed," explains one of Natura's brochures.

US Christians have long been intrigued by the biblical implications of nudity and Ilsley Boone, a Baptist pastor, was the founder in 1931 of the American Sunbathing Association, an early naturist group.

Martin and his supporters argue that nudism is unhealthy, especially for children, unless it occurs in a proper Christian context. He has criticised non-religious nudist camps for encouraging alcohol and sensuality. "We are going after a totally different group, a group that doesn't want a sexual atmosphere," he said. "There is absolutely no relationship between nudity and sex." Much of his group's philosophy appears in a book, Nakedness and the Bible, self-published on the internet by Paul Bowman, a Canadian author. The book cites several biblical references suggesting that God does not disapprove of nudity and that Jesus may have been naked at several key moments of his life -- notably when he washed the feet of his disciples.

Martin's supporters also claim that nude worship is much more in keeping with modest Christian values than are the ostentatious displays of wealth on show at the suburban "megachurches", where women attend services in "designer clothes and $90 haircuts", says one internet posting.

Although Martin's land has been used by naturists before -- the area has the largest concentration of nudist camps in the US -- he has alienated local residents with proposed property improvements that have spawned half a dozen lawsuits.

He has also upset the country's largest naturist association with his "holier-than-thou" approach. Earlier this year Natura was expelled by the American Association for Nude Recreation, representing 270 member organisations, on the grounds that his website was publishing "sexually exploitative material".

Martin also became embroiled in a bizarre dispute about an article that appeared on his website discussing male erections -- a perennial concern for novice nudists. Martin told the local press that the article was meant to help young men worried about an embarrassing reaction when first confronting naked women.

"If you can't speak about human nature, I don't know what you can speak about," he said. "Erections have got to be addressed. It's a major concern of teen males."

Martin's critics depict him as a religious fanatic whose criticisms of rival resorts are damaging the naturist industry. "We are not concerned about him taking our members," said Elf Anderson, who conducts nude marriage ceremonies at other resorts. "But we are concerned about the impression he gives to the public about us. We are all for wholesome family nudism -- but he's just way off the scale.",5744,17606977%255E2703,00.html

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Dreaming of Summer

More on Being a Nude Model

Naked and the Dread
I pose nude for students. Will the art world ever be the same?
By Emily Yoffe
Posted Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005, at 7:01 AM ET

An hour into my first class as a nude art model, the instructor told me to get into a pose I could hold for 20 minutes. I was on a platform in the middle of the room; about 10 students, two of them male, stood around me in a semicircle. I got down on my knees, put my forearms on the floor, and rested my head on my clasped hands. One of the men called out "Great pose!" with such enthusiasm that for the first time in that session I felt really, really naked.

I recently spent two classes as a model at Washington, D.C.'s, Corcoran College of Art and Design. This was an activity that perfectly fulfilled the Human Guinea Pig mandate: to humiliate myself doing things normal people are curious about but too normal to do themselves. After I left a message at the school indicating my availability, the model coordinator, S., called me for a preliminary interview. It turned out to be no problem that I'd never modeled before—as long as I was willing to be nude for my maiden voyage.

S. invited me for an in-person interview, where she quickly approved me then gave some crucial advice. She said I should bring a bathrobe to class to wear during breaks. "You don't want to be—" here she cupped her hands midchest, "hanging out."

I had met the two essential model requirements:

1) I owned a bathrobe.

2) I was willing to take it off.

She consulted her schedule. She penciled me in for one teacher then nixed it: "No. One of the models told me this instructor likes the models to walk around and interact with the students." Geez, was I supposed to sidle up to a young artist and say, "Is that a paintbrush in your pocket?" She considered another class, made up of freshmen, but said it was better to let experienced models deal with new students early in the semester.

I filled out the employment application, which asked for three references, although it didn't specify if these had to be people who had seen me naked. I was also given a list of guidelines, which included my right to ask that the heat be turned up and my obligation to "use proper hygiene at all times." S. settled on an evening class, consisting largely of adult-education students. I would be paid $15 an hour. I wondered why it was so hard to find and keep models. It sounded like the ideal job: earning almost three times the minimum wage just to sit on your rump.

On the appointed night I arrived early, after going through what I realized was the silly-under-the-circumstances ritual of wondering what to wear. I changed into my bathrobe in the restroom and waited in class while the students arrived. I was relieved to see they were almost all women between the ages of 20 and 60—although, disturbingly, one was a teenage boy. The instructor, M., told me to start with 10 one-minute poses. I asked if she had any particular poses in mind. She shook her head, "I never tell models what to do."

Here is the distinction between naked and nude. Naked is when you step out of the shower before you've put on your bathrobe. Nude is when you drop your bathrobe in front of a roomful of art students. As I undid the sash to my bathrobe, I had the fleeting thought that I could say, "I don't know what I was thinking," then grab my clothes and run. But I opened the sash, took off my robe, and stepped up on the platform.

I stood there, suppressing a strong desire to giggle (fortunately, the students suppressed their giggles, too) as I tried to think of appropriate poses—something neither sultry nor stiff. I began doing yogalike twists, but with my being undressed and all, I was afraid it had the feeling of yoga porn.

It was easier, I discovered, than parading around in my bathing suit and high heels for my adventure as Mrs. Washington, D.C. There I was trying to convince people that my corseted and padded body had allure. Here I was just a bunch of spheres (OK, deflated spheres) and angles in space. It felt like that dream in which find yourself in class naked—you know things aren't right, but there you are, so you try to act insouciant and give the impression you always meant to show up without any clothes. During a break I put on my robe and looked at the drawings. In some portraits I was lithe and limber; in others I had an enormous belly and haunches and looked rather like Bufo marinus, the giant toad.

M. had me move on to a series of longer poses, and I was starting to be relaxed about the whole thing when a middle-aged man wearing a baseball cap and carrying a 6-foot-long canvas arrived. He found a place at the edge of the circle with a view of my backside, propped up his canvas, and complimented my pose.

Time passed quickly as I listened to M. critique the students. One universal problem was that my breasts tended to wander around the sketch pad. M. frequently pointed out how people were misplacing them. "You've got her left breast here, but if you look at her it's really over there." I was also distracted by the middle-aged man. While the other students drew me in pencil or chalk, he attacked his canvas furiously with paint and numerous brushes, which sounded like he was sanding an old dresser.

At the break I again looked at the portraits. It was flattering to be the object of so much attention. One was a feet-first foreshortened view, another an examination of my shoulder, arm, and neck. Then I got to the man's canvas. There he had painted a luminous, opalescent, emerald-hued portrait of my ass. I wanted to buy it, but I said nothing. One of the rules was that I was not to comment on the students' work unless asked.

I agreed to model at another class about a month later—this one was during the day, so it would be comprised of undergraduates. By this point in the year they were inured to the sight of naked bodies, the way medical students get used to cadavers. Shortly before the class the model coordinator let me know there would be another model posing with me. I said that was fine but worried that we might be moving into Howard Stern territory.

Over Thanksgiving, when I discussed with my brother-in-law my upcoming adventure with the other model, he raised a horrifying possibility.

"Wiener?" he asked.

The question loomed on the appointed day. The teacher was tall with long white hair and a goatee—think of Donald Sutherland in Pride & Prejudice. As the students—eight young women and two young men—took their places around the platform, I hung around in my bathrobe waiting for the other model to arrive.

No wiener, I was relieved to see. C. was in her late 20s, gamine and slender. I was less relieved when we took off our robes. She slid out of her yellow silk Chinese wrap, revealing how young and gravity-defiant she was. As I pulled off my bulky pink terrycloth robe, I consoled myself that we'd make a nice contrast for the students.

This teacher was more directive, telling us how to pose. He asked me to sit on a cushion—it was stained and spattered and he suggested I throw my robe over it—and place my hands on my thighs. He placed C. behind me. I was positioned directly in front of one of the male students. He stared at me, then held up a pencil, moved it back and forth and squinted at me with one eye shut. It was just like a cartoon of an artist at work. I wanted to call out, "Where's your beret?"

C. and I posed for 20 minutes as the teacher went from student to student. "You see, there are two triangles," he said to one and pointed to my legs. He took a long ruler and placed it along my limbs, telling the students to be aware of my proportions. During the break, I looked at the drawings. Since the teacher put C. and me near to but facing away from each other, we looked like an alienated couple. The students captured this and our bodies. You could title all the joint portraits of us, Perky and Droopy Have a Fight.

While we waited for our next pose, C. popped a soda. I asked where I could get a drink and C. directed me to the student lounge downstairs. I was strangely troubled at the thought of wandering the building. It's one thing to be nude in an art class, it's another to walk around a school in your bathrobe.

Then the teacher put us in position for our next pose. I was starting to resent this: I felt robbed of my own artistic vision. He had C. stand on the floor and prop one leg on the platform while I stood on the platform and leaned against the wall with my arms crossed. I tried not to take offense that the second male student, instead of drawing us, did a portrait of a doorknob. Twenty minutes went by, then 30. My left knee was locked and throbbing and the blood was pooling in my feet. The repetitive European techno music the teacher put on only added to my anxiety about when I would be released.

I couldn't stand it anymore and asked for a break.

The drawings were wonderfully varied. The young man in front me did a light pencil sketch, while the young woman next to him created a chiaroscuro of my torso. C. and I talked during the break. She is an aspiring filmmaker who saw an ad for modeling on Craigslist. "It's so much better than working at Starbucks or an electronics store, and it pays better, too," she said.

But the role of artist's model has a troubled history. Modeling for Pablo Picasso (which also included being his lover) tended to lead to breakdown or suicide. When Pierre Bonnard dropped one model for another, the first one killed herself. He married the next one, but he painted her lying in the bathtub so often, she must have turned into a prune. As an old man, Henri Matisse started painting his wife's young nurse. His wife got jealous and tried to get rid of the nurse, who promptly shot herself (although not fatally). Madame Matisse ended up leaving and the young model staying. Edward Hopper's wife, Jo, was the model for every female in all his paintings. This was too intense. He often slapped her around, and she retaliated by biting him.

I decided to get out before any of these fates befell me. Although I wonder if I should have tried to buy that painting of my rear end in green. I would look perfect over the mantelpiece.

Men and Women and Nudity

The art of nudity: How to feel good in the buff
Women need a body-image overhaul to better appreciate their undressed
By Melanie Herscovitch
Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Beauty ideals have changed for women.

Standing in the women's shower at Currie Gym, I was suddenly
inspired. Surrounded by half-naked girls, I thought to myself—what
better bunch to talk to about nudity than the swim team? We shower
together, we change together, we are basically nude together.

While the swim team probably has the least qualms about being in the
buff, the girls still agreed that nudity continues to be a crucial
issue in society. While most are practically indifferent to male
nakedness, female nudity is undeniably a controversial issue with
which Western society continues to struggle.

For the most part, nudity still has a bad rap. People aren't
necessarily expected to keep their clothes on under the sheets, but
it's the associations that are made with being nude that get us
sidetracked. We flick on the tube, and boom—bare skin is popping out
like crazy. Christina Aguilera basically rips off her clothes in her
latest music video, "Dirrty".

Yet, to a certain extent, these celebrities aren't intentionally
trying to act promiscuously. Christina and Britney, though trying to
make money and using sex to do so, are presumably proud of their
bodies (fake, real, whatever). It's the way we automatically label
them and scorn them that causes all the commotion. And, who are we to
judge? What woman wouldn't say that it makes her somewhat content to
get a little dressed up, show a little cleavage and to put on a bit
of make-up?

"Women dress sexually as opposed to men. It's not that men are
uncomfortable with their bodies. It's just that women need to dress
not particularly to impress, but to outdo and compete with their
competitors—other women," says Kelly Sauvé, a U2 Education student.

The hunt continues: men are on the prowl for good-looking women.

"Women on the other hand are looking for mates who can support their
offspring," says Katherine Trajan, a U1 Civil Engineering student.

And what qualities does a man possess, enabling him to support a
family? Brains. Power. Money.

"A good body is just icing on the cake," says Nat Kehle, a U2
Environment student.

Without attaching a label to men's physical appearance, generally,
men find it easier to just take it all off. When talking with guys
about nudity, it becomes clear that they are fairly comfortable with
themselves in the nude.

"From my experience, we tend to be a lot more at ease when it comes
to being naked. I think it's just that women are more susceptible to
live up to what society has created for them," says U1 Political
Science student Matt Tontini. "Men, on the other hand, don't feel the
same pressures to be beautiful. We're not inundated with the same
degree of symbols and images as compared to women."

Men's bodies aren't being used to sell products and services to the
same extent as women's bodies, because they're not valued in the same
way. And with no label on what men should look like nude, it makes it
easy for them to be bollock-naked in front of anyone, anywhere, at
any time, as many of us may have oddly experienced at one point in
our lives.

Talk to any girl and she'll most likely say that being nude with a
partner doesn't bother her. But compare her feelings about being in
the nude to those of her partner, and you might get a different

"When a couple is naked together, they're both thinking about the
same thing—the woman's naked body. The woman is self-conscious of
what she looks like, while the male is admiring her body," says

And it is this struggle of being sexy and exposing yourself versus
being overly sexual and becoming objectified that puts women
everywhere in a difficult position.

"The very consciousness of their nature must evoke [in women]
feelings of shame," writes Naomi Wolfe in her book, Promiscuities:
The Secret Struggle for Womanhood.

"What feels like sexual pride one moment can turn into shame the
next," adds Wolfe, when discussing how females continue to feel about
sexuality and their bodies.

Do we dress provocatively if we're proud of ourselves, but risk being
labeled a whore? And finally, how can society as a whole get over its
preoccupation with female nudity?

Society needs to relax. The more we focus on the negative aspects of
female nudity and sexuality, or try to deny them completely, the more
women feel the need to cover up. Instead, we should try bringing
female nudity out in the open to breathe, and then maybe we can move
on to more substantial topics.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Naked in Your Own Pool

Backyard skinny-dippers are likely legal
Advice Column – Southern Oregon Mail-Tribune
December 7, 2005

My wife and I like to skinny-dip in the pool. We live in the woods, and the pool cannot be seen from off the property, except from the air. Could we get in trouble because we can be seen from the air?
— Will O., Grants Pass

Only if you do something that causes the pilot to crash, Will.

Seriously, it’s OK to go in the buff on your own turf, so long as you do not do it with the intent to arouse someone else’s sexual desire. That means people who clean house au naturel or sunbathe or take a dip in their backyard pool in a state of nature are fully within their legal rights.

Nudity has to be indecent to draw a visit from the police, says Lt. Mike Moran of the Medford Police Department. There’s public indecency, when a person exposes his or her genitals in a public place for the purpose of sexually arousing another person; and private indecency, which would include acts such as answering the doorbell unclothed with the intent of shocking or annoying the stranger on the other side.

Crimes of indecency are misdemeanors, unless you have a prior conviction. You could be charged with felony public indecency if you have already been convicted on a misdemeanor charge.

Whether the police get involved when flesh is bared often depends on the setting and the circumstances. A few years back two high school girls ran across the field during a football game at Medford’s Spiegelberg Stadium dressed only in their underwear. They were cited for disorderly conduct, since their skimpy wardrobe disqualified them from a public indecency charge.

Disorderly conduct is behavior that causes public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm or an action that creates a risk to the public.

Like public indecency, disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor. You can do some dopey things, such as baring your bottom ("mooning") and some surprising things (like having sex in a car) as long as you don’t create a public disturbance.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

This Seems SO German

As a Christian naturist, this doesn't seem right to's not naturism, it's just eroticism in the name of faith.

Youths reveal racy Bible calendar

The creators said they wanted to appeal to a younger generation
A German Protestant youth group has put together a 2006 calendar illustrated with erotic scenes from the Bible.
The 12 re-enacted passages feature a bare-breasted Delilah cutting Samson's hair and a nude Eve offering an apple.

The Nuremberg-based group said they wanted to represent the Bible in a way that would entice young people.

Nuremberg pastor Bernd Grasser said: "It's just wonderful when teenagers commit themselves with their hair and their skin to the bible."

"There's a whole range of biblical scriptures simply bursting with eroticism," said Stefan Wiest, 32, who took the racy photographs.

Anne Rohmer, 21, wearing garters and stockings, posed on a doorstep as the prostitute Rahab.

"We wanted to represent the Bible in a different way and to interest young people," she told news agency Reuters.

"Anyway, it doesn't say anywhere in the Bible that you are forbidden to show yourself nude."

Bernd Grasser, pastor of the church in Nuremberg where the calendar is being sold, said he was supportive of the project.


Friday, December 02, 2005

Very Funny

TWO men were sitting on a veranda, at Sandy Shores Naturist Resort, chatting and watching the sun go down. They discovered they were both political science professors.

The first man said: "Have you read Marx?"

"Yes", said the other, "I think it's these wicker chairs."

Lone Star Gets Some Press

The photo is from

The Naked Truth

Navasota is home to nudist colony

Samhitha Murthy – The Battalion (Texas A&M University)

December 2, 2005

NAVASOTA, TX -- While some Hollywood depictions of nudist resorts depict havens for the sexy and studly, in actuality several sites for nude recreation are not so much single-and-mingle but family-oriented establishments. Of these, Lone Star Resort in Navasota is close to home, nestled just south of College Station in Grimes County.

Fluffy Felton, who manages the Lone Star Resort along with her husband, Dale, said Lone Star Resort started construction in 2001.

"We opened in May 2003 and put in a bathhouse, bathtub, pool, pier, office, barn plus two pavilions," she said.

The resort has facilities for swimming and hot-tubbing; volleyball, croquet and badminton courts, horseshoe pits, paddleboats and fishing areas. Special-event weekends feature food (often potlucks) and dancing.

Arnold LeUnes, an A&M professor specializing in sports psychology, said ties exist between nudity and athletic activities.

"Nudity in sports goes back to the Greek tradition of the Olympics," LeUnes said. "This came out of an admiration, almost worship, for the human body. I came back from Italy and my kids saw the photographs and said, 'All you did was take pictures of (art showing) nude men!' Well, that's a lot of what's there when you look at the ancient artifacts - sculptures, paintings and such."

LeUnes said a difference exists between Americans and Europeans, in terms of their varying levels of comfort with regard to nudity.

"I've spent the past five summers in Europe and it's very clear, at least in my view, that they have a more evolved outlook on the human body," he said. "I think our outlook goes back to Puritanism, with sex and the body being taboo. We haven't evolved in the same way as the Europeans."

LeUnes said that while there is "lots of sex" and exposure of the human body in American movies and on television, mores regarding sexuality, nudity and the body have not drastically changed.

"In general, unlike many Europeans, Americans have a narrower view - typically, they can't make the separation between nudity and sexuality."

Fluffy Felton insists that nudity is not a sexual thing.

"Children are natural nudists!" she said. "And most adults, when they take their clothes off, become kids. Here, adults and kids really talk to each other on an equal basis. It's funny, when you see someone that could be your grandmother, crocheting by the pool, except naked."

Corey Felton, Fluffy Felton's 16-year-old son, vouches for this, having grown up with a clothing-optional lifestyle. He said he considers himself lucky to have been raised with a different outlook on nudity.

"I go to Navasota High School," he said. "I'm a junior. I've recently told other kids. Some don't care, some do and the ones that do usually want to know about it, what it's like."

While Lone Star Resort may seem out of place in an area generally viewed as "conservative," the establishment has flourished since its beginnings, maintaining strong ties with its surrounding community.

"Grimes County has been very welcoming to us - they're talking about widening the road," Fluffy Felton said. "We support local people, local merchants - we hire all locals, and this is important because this area has one of the highest unemployment rates."

Fluffy Felton said Aggies definitely comprise a significant portion of Lone Star Resort's clientele, though most are alumni - working professionals who find the resort liberating, relaxing and stress-relieving.

"We get a lot of professionals, so students will come here (as day visitors) to talk to them," Fluffy Felton said.

Naked networking may seem odd, but Fluffy Felton insists that it is not so strange. While tradition may dictate the wearing of clothes for certain activities, proponents of nude recreation find these rules rather arbitrary.

Fluffy Felton and her husband are members of Buff Divers, a nude scuba diving group that sets up diving trips around the world, sometimes even in countries that outlaw nudity. Fluffy Felton said she can recall a memorable encounter with a native Fijian during one such vacation.

"We were on a boat for weeks, and there was a guy named Moe," she said. "He was the son of a tribal chief, and he was working as a crewman on the boat."

Once, Moe approached Dale Felton and asked, "What are you doing each night when I see you on the bow of the boat by yourself for 30 minutes?"

When Dale Felton answered that he was praying, Moe was incredulous.

"But you're naked!"

"I don't have to hide anything from my God," Dale Felton said. "He made me, He knows how I look, what I think."

Moe thought for a moment, and then joked, "You know, we used to be cannibals here that ran around naked, too! The missionaries did us a disservice, didn't they! We should have eaten them!"

Interestingly, nude recreation is an idea that tends to grow on many people. In 2000, several travel agencies sent out surveys with the question, "Would you consider a vacation destination with...?" Choices listed included things like "golf," "tennis," "water sports" and "mountain climbing," along with "clothing optional recreation." A majority of respondents indicated that they would consider "a destination with clothing optional recreation."

Today, Lone Star Resort has 135 annual members and several regular day visitors who choose to either bring RVs, set up tent camps or just spend the day.

"For baby boomers, nudity is not a big deal," Fluffy Felton said. "You know, when all you do is deal with stress, nudity becomes the great equalizer. You can't hide behind clothes or a career or a nice car, and here, our society is not judgmental. It's all about character, who you are as a person."