Friday, September 30, 2005

That may be the worst case of cottontail I've ever seen...

It's downright scary!

Seattle's New Nudes

Gift to bring first outdoor nude to city
By Sheila Farr - Seattle Times art critic
September 28, 2005

In January, the citizens of Seattle found out they had received a gift.

In his will, the late Stu Smailes, a retired computer analyst for Safeco and fan of the arts, left about $1 million to the city. He wanted to commission a new public fountain. And he wanted the artwork to include at least one realistic nude male figure.

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs accepted the gift — then handed it off to the Seattle Art Museum. Seattle has no nude sculptures in its outdoor art collection The question was raised: Could this be some kind of joke?

If it was, it has been beautifully turned around: The city has a new public fountain in the works. This week, with the complexities of Smailes' will and probate settled, SAM announced that his bequest will fund a commission called "Father and Son" by acclaimed New York artist Louise Bourgeois. The 15-foot-high stainless-steel fountain will be installed next summer for the opening of SAM's Olympic Sculpture Park on the Seattle waterfront. Bourgeois has also donated six functional granite benches to the park from her surreal "Eye Benches" series of 1996-97.

In Bourgeois' proposal for the sculpture, the life-sized figures face each other but are obscured from each other by a cloak of falling water that, at hourly intervals, will shift to reveal first one figure, then the other, at the ringing of a bell. The artist described the figures as "held in the air on a column which will serve as a feed to create the two mounds of gushing water that will hide the naked figures. The boy's hand reaches up and out to embrace the father. The father in turn reaches out to embrace his son."

Bourgeois, 94, is an almost legendary figure in the art world: canny, bold, utterly original. A native of France, she dropped her study of mathematics at the Sorbonne to attend the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and went on to other art schools and apprenticeships. She moved to the United States in 1938 with her husband, art historian Robert Goldwater, and turned from painting to sculpture. She represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1993, and in 1999 received the Gold Lion Prize in Venice, awarded to a living master of contemporary art.

Over the decades, she has produced an eclectic array of sculptures and installations, many based on the human form, but not all realistically rendered. Bourgeois doesn't have a reputation for decorative art. Her sculptures can be unsettling. They are known for a strong foundation in ideas or metaphors, a tendency to look deep into the psyche. "Father and Son" is no exception.

"Nudity in this work is a symbol of emotional nakedness," said SAM's outgoing chief curator Lisa Corrin in a prepared statement. "[T]he two figures stand before each other but cannot touch; they try to see each other, but never see eye to eye; they are separated by bell jars of cascading water, which prevents any contact between them."

Corrin says the theme of mother and child is a classic for artists, but "Father and Son" is especially relevant today, with fathers playing a more active role in their children's lives.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

What to Do With a Nude Gardener

Neighbor can't close his eyes to
nude gardener next door

Dear Abby: I am 76, my wife is 65. Our neighbor "Roy" is retired, but probably less than 60 years old. The fence between Roy's property and ours is 6 feet tall, but the wood has shrunk and there are gaps of about half an inch or more between the boards.
Abby, Roy likes to work nude in his back yard and has told my wife he does this. Otherwise, he seems like a decent fellow. He has given my wife nectarines from over the fence, which is as close as I want his naked presence to my wife. Roy insists he has the "right" to go naked in his own back yard.

Unfortunately, my wife agrees, and tells me she's not looking. I have asked her not to accept any more gifts over the fence from Roy and to keep her contact with him to a minimum. Am I being foolish? How would you recommend I handle this?

-- Too Close for Comfort in Calif.

Dear Too Close For Comfort: With a 6-foot fence around his property, Roy is probably within his rights to garden "au naturel." One way to handle the problem would be for you to develop an interest in horticulture. Perhaps the appearance of that fence could be improved by planting bougainvillea, or poison ivy on your side of it. Or a lovely cactus garden... the possibilities are almost endless if you put your mind to it. P.S. Just be sure to wear gloves.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

US nudist group turns 75, plans year-long celebration

US nudist group turns 75, plans year-long celebration
Sep 20, 05 | 12:07 pm

HONOLULU (eTurboNews) – In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the Celebrating the American Association for Nude Recreation's(AANR) on Monday said it is planningn “Ilsley”, a year-long celebration traveling coast to coast, from nudist resort to nudist resort.

The Ilsley, according to the group’s publicist, YB&R, is “a crystal clear memorial to Ilsley Silas Boone, founder of the American Sunbathing Association formed in 1931 with some 200 members, and the precursor to AANR, which the association's name changed to in 1995.”

YB&R added that after nearly 75 years, nude recreation continues to grow as more people choose clothes-free vacations. “Today, the American Association for Nude Recreation includes nearly 50,000 members and 267 affiliated clubs, RV campgrounds, bed & breakfasts and resorts in the U.S., Canada and Jamaica.”

Ilsley's travels from Florida to California (and the AANR clubs visited) through August 2006.


Bare as You Dare Run

Bluebonnet's 15th annual Bare As You Dare 5K Cross Country Walk/Run is scheduled for October 1. The Run/Walk is open to all age groups, and medals will be awarded for first, second, and third place in each group.
The day-long festivities include a No Tan Lines HASH event that takes place following the run. The HASH was started in 1938 in Malaysia by a British group who added a twist to the old British game of "Hound and the Hare." One runner, the hare, sets off laying the trail with flour. The rest of the pack, the hounds, try to catch the hare by following the flour marks.
Water and sand volleyball, billiards and table tennis tournaments, horseshoes, tennis, hot tub, and sauna are all part of the activities before and after the event. Learn more at Bluebonnet.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Buff Cruising

Posted on Sun, Sep. 18, 2005

Cruising in the nude

For nudists, these voyages are hard to top

BY PETE WILLIAMSSpecial to The Herald

Not long after the Carnival cruise ship Legend departed from Port Everglades, out of sight of onlookers, the 2,150 passengers aboard settled into the familiar routine of tropical sunbathing, socializing and consuming tropical drinks.

But unlike Carnival's regularly-scheduled cruises, few people lounging poolside on the Lido deck on this February journey were wearing pants or shoes -- or much more than sunglasses and sunscreen.

As steel drum music played, two dozen nudists patiently stood in line for a poolside buffet. A few ventured into the casino, having already lost their shirts. Others enjoyed the spa, which with nudity not an issue dispensed with the usual distinctions between men's and women's facilities.

This isn't your typical cruise, though it's hardly one-of-a-kind. Since 1991, Bare Necessities Tour & Travel, which chartered the Legend, has taken more than 20,000 nudists on tours around the Caribbean, Europe, Tahiti and Australia.

In February, Bare Necessities will take over the Costa Mediterranea for a week-long ''La Dolce Vita'' tour from Port Everglades to St. Kitts, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. It will be the 15th annual Bare Necessities midwinter cruise and, with more than 2,000 passengers expected, one of the largest.

''Demand seems to grow each year,'' says Nancy Tiemann, co-owner of the Austin, Texas-based Bare Necessities. ``I'm not sure what the ceiling is at this point.''

Four years ago, Tiemann thought she was being ambitious by booking the 1,490-passenger Carnival Jubilee out of Tampa, but the cruise sold out quickly. After a second trip on the Jubilee in 2002, Bare Necessities booked 2,052 passengers on the Carnival Ecstasy out of Los Angeles in 2003.

Bare Necessities chartered ships out of South Florida regularly in the 1990s, but with the Port of Tampa expanding its cruise operations, Bare Necessities shifted to Tampa Bay in 1999, in part to cater to the seven nudist resorts located in Pasco County alone.

South Florida, of course, is a popular destination for nudists, especially Europeans looking to enjoy South Beach, where women can go topless. Haulover Beach, in Bal Harbour, is one of the nation's largest nude beaches. Three of the 275-member nudist clubs of the American Association for Nude Recreation are located in South Florida.

''It makes sense to leave from South Florida,'' Tiemann says. ``Not only do we have a lot of cruise regulars living there, but many passengers from out of town plan to spend a few days in Miami or Fort Lauderdale before and after the cruise.''

Passengers must remain dressed until the Costa Mediterranea is out of port. Though some leave most of their clothes at home, others pack as usual, leaving swimsuits behind. Passengers must dress in the dining room and whenever the boat approaches ports.

The La Dolce Vita tour is one of two cruises Bare Necessities has on tap in the next year. There's a two-week tour (April 1-15, 2006) aboard Holland America's Windstar out of Costa Rica. Ports include Panama, Curacao, Venezuela and Grenada. Plenty of cabins aboard the 160-passenger, sailing ship.


There is something intrinsically ridiculous about nudism which can't help but make us laugh, as this Nicholson cartoon illustrates

This Aussie guy doesn't get naturism at all.


Where does one look when all is laid bare?

SRING has sprung, and the perennial summer debate has riz ... should we have legal nude beaches in Queensland?We are the only state without any, despite the fact that we are the Sunshine State, although we have any number of unofficial nude beaches. But now the Burnett Shire council, down near Bundaberg, is preparing to take a proposal to the State Government to have the first legal nude beach in Queensland. They're obviously hoping to make a splash with it, but I dunno.

I don't particularly care one way or another whether people have clothes on or not, but aesthetically it has to be said that most people who are not Elle McPherson or Hoff actually present a more attractive sight with at least a few clothes on.

FOR those of us with slightly less than perfect bodies - only slightly less, you understand - a bit of concealment can go a long way. A bit of coverage of the flabby bits, a bit of a hoist here and a bit of compression there can make a world of difference.

And have you noticed that those who patronise Queensland's (unofficial) nudist beaches never seem to be the beautiful people? You never see an Elle lookalike strolling naked along the sand ... all the girls who look like that are clothed in simple little designer sundresses on the flybridges of million dollar yachts. Or strutting the catwalks of Paris, New York and Milan without ever having a single frisson of desire to prematurely age their perfect skin by stripping off in the harsh tropical sun.

ON the (unofficial) nudist beach there are dozens of people who have obviously been sunbaking naked for far too long despite the illegality of it. Most of them look like nothing more than very dark, wrinkled walnuts stumping around assertively, dangly bits swinging around in the breeze, and they glare fiercely at those of us daring to be on the beach with togs on.

Sometimes they even bail you up, demanding to know why it is that you are daring to be clothed instead of baring your all to the sun's health-giving rays.

SUCH an attack is usually the start of a long lecture on naturism, which is the polite name for those who prefer to go unclad, and all its myriad benefits and the shortsightedness of the Queensland Government for not allowing such a beneficial pursuit to be followed on its beaches. The problem with listening to this long lecture, with its accompanying swinging of arms and bravura gesturing for emphasis is exactly where to look. All the gesturing creates a lot of movement of parts which you are not normally accustomed to seeing and it's difficult not to stare. You end up either determinedly keeping your eyes firmly fixed on the walnut's face, which is disconcerting in itself, or lower them like a blushing 18th century maiden to the tips of your toes, sneaking a brief glance up through your eyelashes like Princess Diana in her younger days.

THE only way to stop the tirade ends up being to apologise and take your unacceptably clad body and your inhibitions away to some other, more tolerant and less disconcerting part of the beach.

But, sometimes, it works the other way. A couple of years ago I was down on the beach at Rocky Bay on Magnetic Island, a beach with a long and illustrious history of being used by those who like to sunbathe nude. On this day, despite the perfect weather, my friend and I, both in our togs, were the only people there, as often is the case on Magnetic Island beaches. Then, down through the bush path from the road came another person, fully clothed, with a beach bag.

WE watched him climbing down and noticed he was an extremely short man, of Mediterranean appearance, who seemed to be having trouble with the descent.

We withdrew to the other end of the beach, but it was impossible to ignore him as he went about his preparations.

From his capacious bag he produced a large straw mat and a folding backrest which he meticulously laid out, then a thermos, several pieces of fruit and a fruit knife were placed attractively on a towel. With a flourish he removed his shirt, then his shoes and socks, then all the rest of his clothes, revealing that his small, but perfectly formed, person was completely covered in thick black hair.

AFTER a few bends and stretches, he produced a bottle of suntan oil from his bag and began to smooth it all over himself, flattening his pelt into a glistening mass. When he was greased to his satisfaction, he put the oil back in the bag and jogged the length of the beach and back (a very short distance) ignoring our poorly muffled hysteria from the rocks at one end. A few more stretches and he laid himself ceremonially on the straw mat, picked up an apple and began to peel it.

At that moment, a raucous shrieking was heard from up the hill and much crashing in the undergrowth. Rocketing out of the bushes came about 40 eight-year-olds, the whole of Grade 3, Magnetic Island State School, on an excursion. Shouting with glee, they surrounded our Adonis, pointing and laughing and making ribald remarks.

It was kind of sad, after all that preparation, to see him scrambling into his clothes and taking off up the hill with the laughter of children echoing in his ears.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Wonderful Photos Convey the True Spirit of Naturism

These are from, the website of The White House, a naturist club in the UK.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A picture is worth a thousand words...

What a vision of freedom!
This is what it means to be
a naturist...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Naturists to swim loch for charity

Six naturists are to attempt a nude swim of Loch Ness in aid of charity, it has emerged.

British Naturism (BN), the UK's internationally recognised body for naturism, has organised the sponsored swim in support of the BN President's Charity of the Year, Cancer Research UK.

Four men and two women, including one from the United States, will swim the loch three times, in relays, with each swimmer in the water for an hour at a time.

The event is expected to last two days over next weekend.

This will be the second time BN has supported a naturist swim in the loch. President Pat Thompson said: "British Naturism are delighted to be organising another Loch Ness swim.

"Our previous swim in 2000 was highly successful and this year's promises to be every bit as popular as well as a lot of fun.

"Our association with Cancer Research UK makes it all the more worthwhile.
"We have been overwhelmed by the support Cancer Research UK have given us through the year and we hope our adoption of such a well-known and worthy cause shows that naturists are not the secretive people they are often perceived to be, but are keen to support the outside world and be part of a wider community."

The event is being further supported by Speedo and Zoggs who have provided goggles and swim caps, and Monster Activities at Loch Ness, who have provided one of the support boats.

British Naturism is the UK's officially recognised organisation for naturism. It exists to support and unite naturists around the UK and celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2004.

© Copyright Press Association Ltd 2005, All Rights Reserved.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Queensland, Australia to get Nude Beach

Govt to consider clothes-free beach

Thursday, 8 September 2005.

The Queensland Government says it will consider a request to trial a clothes-free beach in the Burnett shire.

The majority of councillors yesterday voted to ask the Government to allow a nudist beach in the district.

Mayor Ray Duffy says while he would not frequent one, he does think the council has a responsibility to provide an area for those who would.

"We're going to seek some public comment," he said.

"We're also going to look at changes we'd need to make to local laws and based on that we'll make an application to the Queensland Government that we be the first of the three beaches that are set aside for 'clothing-optional' in the state of Queensland."

Gardening buff

Linda Jo Scott For the Enquirer

John Grap/The Enquirer

Bill Schroer, a lifelong naturist, stands naked on his property north of Battle Creek. Schroer is a member of the Naturist Action Committee and believes nudism no longer should be kept low profile.

Wanna get naked?

For more information on World Nude Gardening Day, go to

John Grap/The Enquirer

Bill Schroer doesn't wear blue jeans and work shoes when he works in his garden.

He doesn't wear gloves or a hat.

In fact, Schroer wears nothing at all.
And the 56-year-old likes to encourage the rest of us to become nude gardeners, too.

Schroer, you see, is a confirmed, enthusiastic "naturist" who has decided, with his fellow members of the board of the Naturist Action Committee, that nudism no longer should be kept low profile.

The human body is beautiful in its natural state, and it's time to openly encourage nude activities, the Battle Creek resident said.

And he wants the community to get involved in the Nature Action Committee's "World Nude Gardening Day" event on Saturday.

But with all the rose thorns and hedge clippers, isn't gardening in the buff a little risqué?

Schroer says no.

"Second only to swimming, gardening is at the top of the list of family-friendly activities people are most ready to consider doing nude," he said. "Gardening naked is not only a simple joy, it reminds us that we can be honest with who we are as humans and as part of this planet."

No newcomer to nudism, Schroer first became interested while he was a teenager in Chicago.

"I joined Ohio Sun Seekers, but I never went to any of their activities because I was a shy teenager. Much later, when Turtle Lake Resort opened in the early '90s near Union City, my wife and I went to a New Year's Eve party there," he said. "We had worn costumes, but we'd taken them off within five minutes."
Ever since that New Year's Eve, Schroer has been a missionary for nudity.

"I see it as a way to celebrate the beautiful place we have to live and not take anything for granted in this wonderful universe," he said. "We forget to celebrate that we are physical beings in a physical environment."

In addition to serving on various committees, Schroer has written an article for the winter edition of "N: The Magazine of Naturist Living," called "Say Good Bye to the Low Profile."

"We need to stand up and be counted," he said. "People should look around and say, 'These nudists are my next-door neighbors. They're the cop on the beat, the gas station owner. If they're part of it, it must be OK.'"

Although many Battle Creek folks may not know it, there is a nudist organization on Collier Avenue called Sunshine Gardens.

Penny Adams, its co-owner, said her parents-in-law started Sunshine Gardens as a family garden in the Bedford area.

"They themselves gardened in the nude, and eventually started a family-oriented nudist resort in 1942, and we've been here ever since," she said.
Schroer said Southwest Michigan is the perfect place to promote his sans-clothing agenda.

"We probably have more nudist resorts or clothing-optional organizations per capita in this area than anywhere in the country," he said. "Michigan is a recreation state. So it's a natural gathering place for naturism."

So what will Schroer be doing on Saturday?

"I'll probably be trimming some trees, mowing and picking apples. I may invite some other naturists over to swim in our pond and play some bocce."
Linda Jo Scott is a free lance writer.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Growing number going to nude beaches and campgrounds in the Maritimes

Kevin Bissett -
August 5, 2005

FREDERICTON (CP) - Atlantic Canada is a region known for chilly nights and foggy mornings but, despite the goose-bumps, it's becoming a popular destination for nudists.
Secluded beaches and a number of new, nude-only resorts make the area an ideal place for naturists to doff their duds on a summer day.

"The basic, fundamental reason people want to be naturists is because it feels great," said Stephane Deschenes, president of the Federation of Canadian Naturists.

"Most Canadians have gone skinny-dipping at some point, generally in the dark, maybe by themselves, and they'll report that it really feels great and they really enjoyed it."

Jim Woycke, author of the book Au Naturel: The History of Nudism in Canada, appeals to those looking for a simpler life.

"There's a lifestyle kind of appeal to naturism that looks away from hectic vacation activities to something that is more relaxing, is not terribly expensive, and feels good, especially on a hot day."

According to Woycke, a professor of history at the University of Western Ontario, naturism got its start in Europe in the 19th century when people would discard their tight, constrictive clothing and participate in sun and fresh-air therapy for their health.

"People got sick of the diets and exercise and the rules and regulations, but they appreciated the freedom of being out in the open and they found they lost all the fashion-conscious hang-ups when nobody was wearing any fashion," said Woycke.

"There came to be a social liberation that people liked, and that became the dominate characteristic of naturism."

While many parts of Canada have large naturist clubs and officially nude beaches, Deschane says people from Atlantic Canada have been underserviced.

"We did a survey in 1999, and that survey indicated that there are about three million Canadians have a naturist mentality, and if you go a little further to naturist leanings, you get up to six million people," he said.

"I believe the growth in naturism in the Maritimes is because of more places opening up."

A couple in Cavendish, P.E.I., is taking advantage of the growing market.

Gary and Linda Lowther opened the Oasis Resort in 2003, and this year, expanded with a 12-site nudist campground.

"So far this year, we've had visitors from across Canada, the eastern U.S. and Europe," said Gary Lowther.

"Weather is the biggest factor. It is very important in any business, but even more here."

The campground is like any other, with serviced sites, a pool and volleyball nets.

The only distinctive feature is the fence to keep peekers out.

"Our visitors here are as varied as anywhere else . . . There's young, old, middle-class, upper-class," said Lowther.

He said the suites are set-up for couples, while the campground attracts more families.


See also

Nothing infamous about nude beach

Letter to the Editor - Miami Herald
September 4, 2005

In her Aug. 11 Club Crawling column, Lesley Abravanel described Haulover's designated clothing-optional naturist family beach as being "infamous.''

That comment best describes the beach area of over 14 years ago, before the establishment of the naturist beach.

We found the word ''infamous'' to be extremely offensive as well as statistically and factually incorrect.

People who have read the column will now believe that people who visit Haulover's clothing-optional beach are participating in some form of inappropriate behavior. A discussion with the lifeguards and police would have revealed that this is the cleanest and safest beach area in the county, and it is supported by volunteer Beach Ambassadors.

Haulover Beach Park has a quarter-mile, designated clothing-optional naturist family beach. It attracts over one million visitors a year who pay over $1.3 million annually in parking fees.

Over 65 percent of these visitors are from outside of Miami-Dade. They are classified by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau as ''tourists'' and they have an estimated economic impact in excess of $400 million a year.

This fact makes Haulover Beach's naturist beach, as a facility, the largest in attendance in South Florida. This was accomplished by the local naturist association, South Florida Free Beaches, in 1991 without the use of one tax dollar.

Further, we keep the beach clean and we are self-policing, saving the county hundreds of thousands of dollars in the costs of maintenance and police. This allows the police to go where the crimes are, Most of them in the homes of Miami-Dade residents.

Naturism has a spiritual meaning beyond the mere nudity. It is about caring for all things natural. The environment and the human body.

Our volunteer Beach Ambassadors are there to welcome visitors.

If Ms. Abravanel wanted to be critical, she could have spoken out against the recent selling of alcoholic beverages, on the beach by the concessionaire. An ''infamous'' beverage.



Monday, September 05, 2005

Naturism Growing in Denmark

I was initially reluctant to post this because of the notorious immorality of the Danes. But the reasoning presented is classic naturism.

5 September 2005

Membership boom for nudist groups

The chairman of the national nudist organisation calls recent record growth a reaction to too much focus on perfect bodies

Photo: Ernst van Norde/ Scanpix

More and more people are joining nudist clubs in Denmark

More and more people are joining nudists clubs in Denmark. Over the past three years, the number of members in the national nudist club, Danish Naturalists, has risen by 30 percent.

The chairman of the naturalist club, Kim Bindesbøll Andersen, sees the growth as a sign of people becoming weary of the constant focus on people's looks.

'Today, the body is reduced to a sexual billboard,' he said. 'With things like breast operations, work outs, tattoos, and piercings, style is no longer just clothing, but a part of the body. You need to change your body just to be accepted. That's what a lot of naturalists are reacting against. The want to be allowed to be themselves instead of underwear models and to enjoy a break from the toned body together with others who feel the same way.'

Andersen said that there was no standard description of an organisation member: they came in all ages and from all lifestyles.

With the recent growth, the organisation has now passed 800 members. By 2008, they hope to have 2500 members.

'Our growth will increase as we offer more initiatives. Therefore, we will add to the number of cities where naturalists can swim nude and we will organise spa evenings,' he said.

In the north Jutland city of Aalborg, the latest on the list of cities offering nude swimming hours in municipal pools, the number of new members has increased by 40 percent.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

You can leave your hat on
By James Thorner

MIAMI BEACH - Splurpp. Splurpp. Splurpp.

A man squirts a puddle of suntan lotion, rubs his palms together and goes to work on the Rubenesque calves of the 50-something blond.

Her face goes all dreamy as the suntanned hands of this 30-something Javier, Marco or Philippe knead that soft spot behind the knee.

Magic fingers inch up the fleshy thigh that jiggles, wiggles and squiggles. He reaches the border where the bathing suit should be, but there's no bathing suit.

The woman had dropped her suit when she dropped onto the towel at Miami Beach's Haulover Beach. The masseur's hands proceed to unknot her naked gluteus.

Her bare derriere is just one of hundreds similarly disrobed on the quarter-mile of clothing-optional Florida sand.

The fragrance of coconut oil reaches my nose. Time to drop the paperback and study the scenery. How often do you visit one of the few beaches that lets you shed all your threads?

You've got the sunny blue sky, the gentle waves, the soft sand. But everyone seems to be slathering lotion, grazing on chips under umbrellas, cut off from the world with headphones.

No kids build sand castles. Almost no one's in the surf. There's not even a pitiful Frisbee to break up the monotony.

There are enough private parts on display to fill a newsstand of adult magazines. But from under my umbrella, I've reached an unexpected conclusion: Haulover Beach is boring.

That suits Shirley Mason just fine. As a "beach ambassador," she and husband Richard have spent 14 years battling the notion that Haulover is a Sodom and Gomorrah of the sands.

Mason is a full-figured mother of 55 who stations herself under a canopy on the strand. Richard, 71, usually stands at her side dispensing cards describing Haulover "etiquette." (Among the tips: It's rude to gawk.)

The Masons are the chief cheerleaders of beach nudism and, like other ambassadors, they wear turquoise safari helmets with orange bands to set themselves apart amid the crush of flesh.

Back in 1991, the Masons stuck a sign in the sand on north Miami Beach -- "Beyond this point you may encounter nude sunbathers" -- and almost dared Dade County to object. They reasoned that there were 8,600 miles of coastline in Florida. Why deny nudists a measly quarter-mile of sand?

"People are surprised because they think nudity must be sex, that people are fornicating on the beach. And that's not even close," Shirley Mason says.
Richard Mason credits the ambassadors for helping make Haulover a respite from the body beautiful obsessions of South Beach. You can have flab and it's just fab.

"When you come to Haulover, you can almost hear Peggy Lee singing, Is That All There Is?" he says.

You've got to pity the studs looking for love on Haulover. As any veteran beach-goer could tell you, it's just about the worst place to score.

Haulover is a friends beach. It's a couples beach. But it's a surprisingly tough pickup beach. Women, some stripping publicly for the first time, are quick to activate their sleazeball early-warning systems.

A percentage flock to the hassle-free zone, another name for the gay end of the beach. It takes up the northern tip of Haulover, demarcated by a pink lifeguard tower.

Yet, the studs try mightily. Moussed, depilated, toned, they come, usually singly, scoping out women on their towels.

They try flattery: "You're in nice shape. Do you work out?"

Or camaraderie: "Are you a nudist, too?"

And this oldie and not-so-goodie: "Haven't I seen you here before?"

A single guy plops his can in the sand and pulls out a pair of binoculars. He initially trains them on pelicans offshore. After a minute, the only wildlife he's scoping is human.

If there's a one-man social committee on Haulover, it's Larry "The Beach Mayor" Fleischman. You spot him hundreds of feet down the beach, reading the Miami Herald on a chair beneath a wind-whipped Buddhist yin-yang pennant.
A deeply tanned 70-something, The Mayor wears a straw hat rakishly spiked with feathers. It covers a bald head with gray tufts on the side.

Larry specializes in offering massages to naked young women. Many of those naked young women specialize in turning Larry down.

He was a beach ambassador, but they booted him to protest his unstoppable need to knead. For 14 years, he has come to the beach almost every day.
It's Friday afternoon, a relatively slow beach day. Two young blond women arrive, unfurl their towels and peel off their bikinis.

Larry's a tenth of a mile away, but before one of the women can reach behind to lotion her tattooed back, he's making a beeline across the beach. Stuck under his arm is the coiled blue masseur's towel.

They're on their back sunning themselves and barely look up as Larry makes his pitch. The brush-off is blunt: No thanks. Not interested. Within a minute, he's retracing his footsteps.

"People think he's a dirty old man," Richard Mason says of The Mayor, like himself a Korean War-era veteran. "I couldn't handle the turndowns."

On Saturday morning, the parking lot near Haulover is filling.
The couples start arriving. Trudging across the sand, loaded down with gear, they leave little to chance. There are coolers, umbrellas, chairs and rolled-up magazines.

Maybe it's the lack of kids and teens. Maybe it's reluctance to strut one's stuff. Maybe it's umbrellas with built-in drink holders and the attention paid to "rehydrating." Lethargy hangs over the beach.

The ocean might as well be contaminated, for all the swimming that goes on.
But before noon, you can barely walk without stepping on someone's towel or blanket. Several thousand people blanket the beach, part of the estimated 1.3 million visitors a year. Outside the clothing-optional section, the sand is almost empty.

If you want to hear ocean murmurs, don't come to Haulover. Condo construction guarantees the rat-a-tat-tat of jackhammers and hydraulic engines. Projects such as Trump by the Sea -- yes, that Trump -- replace what used to be a strip of tacky 1950s-style motels.

But as long as middle-aged couples desire somnolence in the sands and nudity without the naughtiness, Haulover appears secure.


Katrina Impact

Sat, 3 Sep 2005

Katrina report from AANR (see

From the desk of Pat Plumstead, Executive Assistant –

We have as a community experienced yet another loss to our clubs and Friends of AANR in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. LA Pines Ranch, located only 45 miles from New Orleans, continues to be under water. The members retreated to safer ground. Unfortunately, Linda Piety owner of Running Bare B&B in Long Beach, Mississippi, told us that her Inn is no longer there.

Offers of help and support have come into the office in Kissimmee. Many of our clubs are holding hurricane relief efforts. Paradise Lakes (866-794-6683) set up a raffle for this Labor Day weekend. Bring a bag of basic living necessities, canned goods, toiletries and other essentials and get a raffle ticket to enter a drawing for a free one year membership. Caliente (800-326-7731) is dedicating this month’s fundraiser to Hurricane Relief. A collection box will be in their lobby with a measuring thermometer – let’s put it over the TOP! Sunny Rest in Palmerton, PA has “Operation Sunny Rescue” to collect donations to be sent to the American Red Cross. Their goal is $5000.00 and management will match 10% of the amount raised Labor Day Weekend. Contact Sunny Rest at 610-377-2911.

Riviera Naturist Resort (850-994-3665) in Pace, Florida, located in Florida’s panhandle is searching for members in Louisiana and Mississippi. Also, Sunburst Resort (850-675-6807) in Milton Florida tells us that they are trying to contact many of their members who live in the affected areas.

Many individuals and clubs have also called with offers of lodging and work. Please call the AANR office regarding these situations.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Camp offers nude recreation in Newberry

Staff Writer

NEWBERRY SPRINGS -- Call it a club, call it a camp, just don't call it a colony.

The folks at the Silver Valley Sun Club take offense at their RV park in Newberry Springs being referred to as a nudist colony.

"Ants and lepers live in colonies," club owner Nancy Dulle said. "We are a nudist camp, or a clothing-optional camp."

The Sun Club offers recreational and social activities year-round in an environment where being naked is the norm.

The 15-acre nudist camp has a peaceful lake, hookups for up to 18 RVs, space for plenty of tents and parking for tractor trailers.

Eight staff members live on the property, and they tend to be fully clothed more often than the patrons, Dulle said.

As many as 300 people have stayed there at one time, Dulle said. On Wednesday, there were no campers there, but a crowd is expected for this weekend.

Campers don't have to go naked except when they're swimming or boating, but most of them choose to go around nude, Dulle said.
Longtime Newberry Springs resident Bill Smith, 68, and his wife have been members of the Sun Club since the early 1990s.

"Once we met the people, we were hooked," Smith said.

He said club members and people who go there to camp are friendly and kind-hearted people, the sort that lend a hand in a time of need.

When a brush fire broke out near the Sun Club the Fourth of July weekend, a group of the nudists rushed to help, Dulle and Smith said.
Smith said he and the others dug firebreaks to protect buildings, helping prevent it from spreading to nearby residences.

Dulle said the nudists who come to her club are from all walks of life.
She and Smith said campers have included nurses, teachers, ministers, mail carriers, doctors, carpenters, judges, mechanics, lawyers and police officers.

"Class means nothing," Smith said. "When you don't have clothes, everyone is equal."

People sometimes try to impress others with clothing and jewelry, and that's not an issue at the camp, Smith said.

"People don't put on airs," he said.

The Sun Club has about 180 members, and has attracted campers from all over the world, Dulle said. Many members live out of state in places like Idaho and Texas, she said.

Dulle estimated that about 25 or 30 of the camp's regulars are from the Barstow and Newberry Springs areas.

Campers are encouraged to bring their children, but Dulle said there usually aren't many youths there, probably because so many of the regulars' children are grown. The median age of a member is probably around 50, she said.

Membership in the club isn't necessary to camp there.

Campers must obey a list of rules that Dulle said are strictly enforced. Among the prohibited behavior contained on the list campers receive is "overt, sexually explicit behavior or conversation."

Sexual activities are not allowed in public just as they wouldn't be at any other RV camp, Dulle said.

"We're family oriented," she said. "We get calls, people are looking for swing clubs, and we let them know we have nothing to do with that."

Dulle founded the camp 17 years ago with her husband, construction consultant John Dulle.

Camp website: