Friday, November 17, 2006

The Bare Truth in the Volunteer State

Nudist Resort Provides Clothing-Free Escape

Nov 17, 2006 04:26 PM PST

Nudist Resort Provides Clothing-Free Escape

It's a lifestyle most know little about. Although many think it's strange, a group in Murfreesboro thinks its paradise.

For some Rock Haven is an escape, but for a lucky dozen couples or so it's home.

"You really see people for who they are, for their heart instead of their possessions or the position," Rock Haven Resident Bambi Kennedy said.

Nestled in rural Rutherford County, this rustic campground adopts a philosophy reminiscent of a different era.

"The body is just a shell, and the person is really the thing that's inside it, and it doesn't really matter what the shell looks like," Rock Haven Resident Don Rawlings said.

Rock Haven prides itself on being true to nature. And that means all nature has to offer.

"It's like any other campground, you have the same activities, but we do it nude. We don't have to worry about clothes," Rock Haven Resident Elaine Rawlings

In fact, you can't worry about clothes. Rock Haven is a non-clothing optional resort. It is strictly nudist, and for those who call this home, they wouldn't want it any other way.

"It's amazing your ideas about body image completely change when you are a nudist, because you realize it doesn't matter what you look like," Elaine Rawlings said.

"Out here you don't know if the person you're talking to is a CEO or a garbage collector, which is nice because you don't make judgments about people," Kennedy said.

Each comes from a different background, each with different reasons to shed the so-called textile world.

Susan and Dennis Palmer own Rock Haven.

"I had worked in the corporate world for 20 years...I don't miss have to get up at 4:30 every morning, and put on a pair of pantyhose and heels to go to work. I don't miss that at all," Susan Palmer said.

Don and Elaine Rawlings spent a combined 40 years serving in the military.

As you might expect there's a lot of curiosity surrounding nudists. Is it about sex? They said no.

And you may wonder on a chilly day, why are some wearing clothes.

"The biggest question...‘what do you do when it gets cold?' and we say ‘hey we're nudists, we're not stupid,' we put clothes on," Elaine Rawlings said.

Do they do what other people do?

Well, from a quick look around, it's the same thing just without the clothes

Tom Owen is a sort of the Rock Haven Social Director, organizing the popular weekend remote control racecar races.

"We just have a big time with it, and the crowd has a hoot," Owen said.

It's a weekend getaway for some, a retirement community for others.

And besides the nudity, the one thing in common is that it's a community with no regrets.

"It was about 30 minutes of uncomfortable, and 15 years of ‘why didn't I do this sooner?'" Kennedy said.

There are an estimated 50,000 nudists in the US.


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