Sunday, January 08, 2006

But It's Not Really All That Sexual!

Nudist resort soaks up publicity
An upcoming issue of Playgirl magazine will mention Caliente as a prime spot to frolic unfettered.
By JAMES THORNER, St. Petersburg Times
January 8, 2006

LAND O'LAKES, FLORIDA - With their swimming pools, nightclubs and spas tucked behind bare-bun-blocking security walls, Pasco County's nudists don't mind basking in free publicity.

This time the publicity comes from the nation's highest circulating magazine featuring nude men.

Playgirl, with circulation of about 500,000, plans to mention Caliente Resort in its March issue. It will list the hedonistic, 100-acre enclave on U.S. 41 as one of the best places to frolic in the nude.

The magazine plucked the idea from a Web site called DailyCandy publicized Caliente in October in an article titled "Travel: Never Say Never" about daring vacation spots.

Marketing clothing optional resorts usually means walking a minefield between seriousness and salaciousness.

When Paris Hilton brought her TV show The Simple Life II to Caliente in 2004, competitor Paradise Lakes resort snickered that Hilton's Valley Girl sarcasm would belittle nudism.

But the segment turned about to be more positive than negative, and it helped put the then-brand-new Caliente on the tourist map.

"We'll always have Paris," joked Mandy Luber, spokeswoman for Caliente.

More publicity followed last month as cable TV station Turner South aired a snippet on Caliente Dec. 28.

Paradise Lakes, 5 miles south of Caliente on U.S. 41, enjoyed top billing in a Wall Street Journal article and a Fox TV news show called The Pulse in 2003.

Nudists tend to downplay the sexual element of mass nakedness, highlighting instead the feelings of freedom from sunning, swimming and socializing in the buff.

Luber figures exposure in Playgirl won't change any of that. A short article and a photo in the magazine is all she expects.

"I didn't worry about it," she said. "I figure they are just listing us as a resort destination."



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