Wednesday, November 29, 2006
And Now, For Something Completely Different,,,
It's not itsy-bitsy, it's not teeny-weeny - it's the burkini
Tuesday November 28, 2006
Say hello to the burkini - a swimming costume designed for Muslim women. Costing £65, it is a semi-fitting two-piece swimsuit that connects to an "ahiida hijood" and it will be worn by Muslim Australian lifesavers from January.
Sydney designer Aheda Zanetti came up with the design after Surf Life Saving Australia began a drive to recruit more Islamic lifeguards, particularly women, following riots last year between Lebanese Muslim teenagers and white Australians on Sydney's Cronulla beach. The style is not exactly Baywatch - that's the whole point of it - but no one will be able to miss the women running up and down Bondi Beach in these yellow and red outfits.
However, the burkini is by no means the first Muslim swimming cossie. In 2000, the "sharia swimsuit" was all the rage in Cairo, with Egyptian women flocking to buy the high-necked costume with sleeves and a small skirt, which was worn over long trousers. Then came the "swimming hijab", also known as the "legal swimsuit" and again championed in Egypt, which was "manufactured from industrial fibres which prevent it from sticking to the skin when wet". Last year saw the launch of a Turkish swimwear collection called Hasema, consisting of a neck-to-ankle body-suit with hood. More than 40,000 units were sold. Hayrunnisa Gul, the wife of the foreign minister, was among the buyers.
So will the burkini take Australia by storm? Zanetti, 38, said it had taken her a year to persuade Muslim women in Sydney that swimming "is not a sin" and sales had soared. Her company, Ahiida sportswear, has had great feedback, which she has posted on her website: "Sister, you have a fantastic product ... I can't come up with any downsides to the swimsuits," said Arzo.
Heba was equally delighted: "I was finally able to go to my aquarobics class, and I love the swimsuit! It's so lightweight, dries so quickly and it looks great. I received compliments from non-Muslims. I don't look like a fool in the water any more, and I'm not weighed down by all the heavy wet clothes I used to wear."
"In the water, I look like a real swimmer wearing a full body suit or scuba suit - but modest," added Diana.
These ladies have a point: wearing a burkini means saying goodbye to silly swimming caps and cellulite problems. Who knows - Islamic swimwear could catch on in swimming pools from Barnsley to Brighton.
Comment: if the Jihadis have their way, it's not the only thing will catch on all over. Yet another reason to win the Global War on Terrorism.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
An Encounter in the Desert, East of San Diego
I need to go for a road trip and escape the world and the blitzkrieg of advertising. Sometimes I think I have more issues than Time Magazine. One issue I have is with my dating life. I’m real picky, mostly because when I look at a woman, I immediately judge if she’s datable by her body composition and physical appearance. I want to be more like Jack Black in the movie Shallow Hal and be able to look at a woman who although might have a penchant for super-sizing her fries, I will nonetheless be attracted to her inner beauty. I want to be able to look at a somewhat beefy woman and see the Gwyneth Paltrow in her.
I also suffer sometimes from general, 21st century, Armageddon-is-near angst. I need to stop reading the newspaper with its barrage of reports on corporate greed, murderous child kidnappings, terrorism and ethnic conflict. Prozac anybody? Although I usually rely on my powers of positive perception and faith in the ultimate inherent goodness of man and woman, today is just one of those days when I can’t help but feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.
So I hop in my car and decide to head east towards the desert on Interstate 8. Some 80 miles from the coast and two casinos later, I stop for gas at the Jacumba exit. While filling up I see a sign that says “DeAnza Springs Resort 2 Miles Ahead.” A resort right in the middle of the desert, that’s exactly what I need to escape from reality today.
I drive on the 5-mile-per-hour dirt road that leads to the resort. I pass tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts and the pool. If the price is right for a day pass, I’m going to hang out and chill out by the pool.
Little did I know that I would literally be hanging out. When I pull into the office parking lot, I see a smattering of people walking around naked. A woman appearing in her 40s is sitting in a beach chair, reading naked. Hilarious. I’m at a nudist resort. This is what Webster means by serendipity. Discovering something spontaneously can be the perfect cure for the energy-draining effects of living in the status quo. I take a deep breath and get out of my car.
Walking into the office, I’m actually not sure if I’m at a nudist resort. The three females behind the desk are all clothed. I use the journalistic force and ask if I can speak to the director. Out walks Dave Landman, owner of DeAnza springs resort. He assures me this is a nudist resort, as do the pictures on the wall of nudists engaged in water aerobics, volleyball, tennis, body painting and other recreational activities. Dave offers to sit down with me and waive the $18 day fee for virgin nudists. He is more than happy to share his philosophies on nude living and recreation, and how this lifestyle can better humanity as well as relieve stress.
We walk past the full-service kitchen and seat ourselves in the entertainment lounge. My first experience in the interior of a nudist resort is slightly disturbing to me: Nude NASCAR. Ten people (both men and women and all nude) are watching NASCAR on the big screen, sipping bottles of beer.
I still don’t really know why the sky is blue and I definitely don’t know how some people can spend hours watching cars go around in a circle on TV, much less while naked. The people are comfortable and mellow, however, and thankfully, they aren’t drinking case after case of Busch Light and vociferously voicing their disdain for Jeff Gordon like some other car racing fans.
I ask Dave why he isn’t naked. He tells me it’s a courtesy to the UPS rep or meter reader, who might soon stop by. Evidently, not everybody can handle the spectacle of nude NASCAR.
Dave, 55, sports a golden tan and amicable smile. He was once a vice president of a major mortgage company, overseeing 70 branches. He has been a nudist for several years and since 1997, he has made a better life for himself by taking over the DeAnza Springs resort, located 2600-feet up in the high desert of San Diego County. Surrounded on three sides by America’s largest desert state park (Anza Borrego) and massive boulders which once lied on the ocean floor millions of years before the arrival of Adam and Eve, the supposed original nudists, DeAnza Springs for hundreds of people who visit here each year is a Garden of Eden-variety nude oasis.
At this point, I still have my boardshorts on. I think my conscience is affected by the “Shrinkage” Seinfeld episode that I have seen at least five times. Dave wants to give me a tour of a good chunk of the resort’s 125 developed acres. The mode of transportation is a street-legal Dahmler-Chrysler souped-up golf cart. I hop in and listen to Dave’s philosophy on nude living.
“It’s hard to be an a****** when you’re naked,” says Dave, who is married and has non-nudist children (and a dog appropriately named Nudels). “Here, you have nothing to hide behind. There are no status symbols. Friendships are easier to make because people are genuinely friendly. People here don’t hide behind the logos on their shirts.”
Dave says as soon as you drive through the gates here, the stress goes away. I realize I’m relaxed and in better spirits. I ask Dave if he ever gets sunburn on his member. “Oh yeah,” he chuckles. “What do you do for that,” I ask? “Same as any other body part,” says Dave, “Use lots of aloe.”
Although I’m feeling comfortable, I imagine there are some men who can’t check their egos at the gate and therefore need to measure up to other men. For those people, Dave says the feeling goes away pretty quickly. And erections aren’t a problem either. Men are too nervous during their first nudist outing, and by the second time, they realize there’s no reason to sport one. For the first time in a long while, I realize that my flesh is a just a shell; my personality and essence is what counts.
Driving by the RVs and rental “park apartments”, which come fully furnished at $65 per night, Dave and I stop to chat with some of DeAnza’s guests. Some of DeAnza’s clientele stay year round (most are here just for the weekend). Several guests have high-stress occupations, such as policeman, fire marshal, truck driver, and the head of a rehab center.
We get out of the cart and chat to some of the nudists at the poolside bar. Bob Wilberscheid is a retired Navy veteran who served in World War II. His first experience with nudity occurred in 1944, when he was stationed in North Africa, where he stumbled upon a nude beach. He’s been hooked since then. He migrated to the west, a more hospitable location than his native Chicago, a city where shrinkage is taken into account along with frostbite.
Judy and Jim Gallagher, married and in their 40s, are two of the estimated 75,000 members of nudist organizations (the largest being the 50,000-strong American Association of Nude Recreation). They drove 400 miles from their homebase in Parump, Nevada, for a week’s stay. They met at a nudist resort in Sacramento nine years ago. Judy, a domestic engineer, says that she has a hard time going anywhere because she doesn’t feel like putting clothes on anymore.
Jim says that the psychological effects of living at a nudist resort are comparable to going to a school with a mandatory dress-code. People develop better self-esteem and barriers are broken down as a result of egalitarianism.
DeAnza maintenance man Ken Kratz helps me understand why some people have a problem with viewing the naked body. “Kids don’t want to wear clothes,” says Clyde. “Unfortunately, most parents make them feel ashamed of being nude.”
Now that I have had a crash course in nude living, I am finally ready to taste the freedom of having the desert wind and hot sun have its way with my albino ass. I have no fear of shrinkage. I drop my trunks and stride confidently over to the pool. Nobody makes a scene. Eventually, some of the nudists I’ve talked to join me in the pool. Everyone is excited to tell me the beauty of nude living. The Beavis and Butthead in me are immediately exorcised; breasts and vaginas don’t bring out the Neanderthal beast within. I am free of judgment. I am nude and relaxed without a care in the world.
For the next few hours I sunbath nude and enjoy the panoramic view of the desert landscape. I imagine myself playing basketball nude. My defense would be lackadaisical. I will come back here soon and participate in more nude recreation. I will lift weights naked, but I won’t squat and do any deadlifts. I need to be broken in some more.
The nudists of DeAnza Springs are true revolutionaries. They revolt against an advertising monster that bombards the public with images of blemish-free models with zero body fat. They revolt against corporate logos. They are able to kick the toxic habit of comparing themselves to others. They are stress-free and non-judgmental, and for one day, I am blessed to feel a little like them.
Monday, November 27, 2006
A Matter of Education
3 Free Gifts to Educate Your Partner About the Nudist Lifestyle
Nudist Travel Guide Blog provides a list of the best 3 free gifts to introduce a wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend to the nudist lifestyle. This is the perfect way to give the gift of nudism for the holidays.
Hartford, CT, November 26, 2006 --(PR.COM)-- Nudist Travel Guide Blog provides a list of the best 3 free gifts to introduce a wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend to the nudist lifestyle. This is the perfect way to give the gift of nudism for the holidays.
"Many relationships flourish because of mutual enjoyment of the nudist lifestyle," says John Henry, founder of the Nudist Travel Guide Blog. "Yet, there are other nudists who have a non-participating partner. This partner may believe in stereotypes without giving nudism a chance."
These 3 free gifts help the non-participating partner understand the reasons for considering nudism. There are many misconceptions about nudism created by conservative American culture and these tools help non-participating partners understand both sides.
Among the gifts is a classic list of arguments in favor of nudism. One of the arguments on this list is: 'Many psychologists say that clothing is an extension of ourselves. The clothes we wear are an expression of who we are. The Naturist's comfort with casual nudity, therefore, represents an attitude which is comfortable with the self as it is in its most basic state, without modification or deceit.'
"These arguments for nudism are powerful. It is a horrifying that so few Americans want to open their minds to nudism. I hope this list of tools will get people to listen," says Henry.
For more information, please visit:
About Nudist Travel Guide Blog: Nudist Travel Guide Blog is an educational resource about the world nudist travel. The blog is written by an experienced naturist and provides reviews, commentary and recommendations about nudist travel. For more nudist travel articles and resources, please visit: http://nudisttravel.blogspot.com
Friday, November 24, 2006
NOT a Naturist...Streaker on the 405
Anyone familiar with Los Angeles knows that the 405 Freeway is the crazier, most clogged strip on concrete on the West Coast.
And now we read...
Because there's nothing to brighten up an overcast Tuesday afternoon than a picture of a guy being arrested for running naked on the 405, we're happy to pass along this reader-submitted photo (taken from an office overlooking the road just moments ago) of the aforementioned sprinting freeway nudist's swift capture by several of LA's finest. We obviously have no ideas about the identity of the streaker, but the blurry focus on the subject made us immediately think of the recent cell-cam documentation of Will Ferrell in the act of voting, a local personality known for his tendency to shed his clothes and take off running virtually every time a camera is pointed at him. (Posted Nov. 16)
Thursday, November 23, 2006
One Way to Slow Down Traffic
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Life at Lupin
This was originally published in 1997
Back to the Garden
The naked truth about shedding clothes, breaking rules and chatting with Susie Bright
By Ami Chen Mills
I was escorted to the Lupin Naturist Club by a friend--I'll call him "Jack"--during National Nude Weekend, at the feverish height of national Nude Recreation Week in July.
This week deserves more publicity than it gets. I don't remember Bill Clinton making any nude appearances at press conferences or talking about the state of nudity in the union. Few of my friends were celebrating National Nude Weekend with nude potlucks or barbecues. So I welcomed the opportunity to participate. Jack, it seems, will do anything. Also, we'd heard that Susie Bright, America's preeminent sex advocate, now living in Santa Cruz, would be there--nude!
Lupin is like a downhome country club, located in the Santa Cruz Mountains a few miles off Highway 17. Driving in is uneventful. Even walking into the office to register among a bunch of naked people is not so strange. The most discombobulating moment is during actual unclothing. This we do in the parking lot while a very tan Glyn Stout, camp director, waits (nude!) to give us a tour.
It is more embarrassing to be in the process of undressing than fully undressed. By undressing, you acknowledge that, normally, you're quite clothed. Anyhow, once you've removed your clothes at Lupin, you're one of the gang, and you feel you're going to fit in just fine.
Having acclimated somewhat, Glyn, Jack and I tromp the grounds, which boast two pool and Jacuzzi areas, recreational yurts, a wide expanse of lawn shaded by oaks, a restaurant with sun deck, volleyball and tennis courts, camping grounds, showers and a hiking trail, all with lovely mountain views.
Then Jack and I are left to wander around on our own (nude!).
The first thing we think to do is lie down--stay close to the ground--which we do until we get bored. At the swimming pool, being nude feels more natural and, then, quite tremendous. Swimming nude is slippery smooth, like summer wind on bare skin.
Jack and I are getting the hang of this, and undaunted, we head to the restaurant for snacks. Out on the deck, there's a moment of hesitation before we sit down on cushioned patio chairs. I decide, after wondering how many people have sat there before, that I'm too uptight, and so we perch at the edge of our seats, eating snacks and drinking Snapple until an older man with an official air, and a towel thrown over one shoulder, approaches.
"Look here," he says, annoyed. "I know you're guests of Glyn, but you've still got to follow the rules if you're going to be here."
"What rules?" I ask, timidly, swallowing a chip.
"You've got to have a towel with you at all times," the man says, looking at our seats.
This is the most embarrassing thing that's happened to me in months, and I begin profuse apologies. "Oh, we didn't know. We were wondering about that," and so forth. The man's annoyance is unabated--as if he thinks we planned to break the towel code (with impunity!)--and finally we stand up, which turns him on his heel.
"Every society needs rules," Jack notes as we watch his exit.
After more swimming, we join Bright and a cadre of Lupin regulars for dinner at a patio table. Everyone is dressed because the sun's down. Jack and I are getting cold, but don't have clothes. Over salads, in the spirit of camaraderie, Susie takes her top off.
Bright says she's been a Lupin member ever since her first big royalty check came in, and her membership has little to do with sexual politics and more to do with "naked self-interest. I come here and just never want to put my clothes back on."
She brings her daughter here, who now has a "maturity and nonchalance" about nudity. But even in Santa Cruz, Bright says, "It's a consciousness-raising event just to ask parents if their kids can come with us. Some families believe in a God who wants us to keep our clothes on at all times, apparently."
But Bright is less interested in discussing sexual politics and more interested in the fact that this is Jack's and my first nude experience together.
Of course, Bright's built a career on sexual self-disclosure. Lupin, for her, is nothing more than a place to relax, although there are groups here for women with body-image issues, as well as seminars on "re-genesis," ballroom dance classes and movies. Bright's point and that of Lupin itself is that nudity really should and can be no big deal. That shame was the first sin, after all. And sometimes it's good to get back to the garden.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Desert Shadows Outlines Changes to Come in 2007
From the Desert Shadows Website and Newsletter:
Heard the rumor? Generally you shouldn’t believe rumors, but this one’s true! Well mostly, depending on what you’ve heard. Read on so you’ll know the latest about Desert Shadows Inn Resort & Villas (DSI).
We’ve been saying for a while, “you gotta be here!” We gave you several reasons why and your response has been awesome. Those of you, who have come, are now saying the same words to your family and friends after your own DSI experience.
We started almost 15 years ago with an 11-room B&B and have blossomed into a beautiful 92-room naturist resort. The original 11 Courtyard rooms remain a favorite of many guests who request these rooms because of their old Palm Springs appeal. This part of the resort is very close to our hearts, as it is the place where everything started.
The 22-room Chaparral is also very special; it was once part of the famous Chaparral Lodge, the site of legendary movie star parties and our first expansion. Most of us love hanging-out here around the pool playing volleyball or noshing at the Sunset Cafe.
This March 2007 is going to be our 15th year anniversary. Not only will we be celebrating our anniversary, but we’ll celebrate it by undergoing the most exciting transformation in our history.
Our resort will be completely redone; the old areas of the resort, including the Courtyard, Chaparral, Sunset Cafe, Spa, Gift Shop and pools will be replaced by an all new luxury nudist complex.
This new DSI will include everything from new pools and spas, to a drop dead gorgeous 2nd floor restaurant and lounge, with spectacular views of the San Jacinto Mountains, to a state of the art spa and gym, to designer decorated condos, plus many other exciting things which we’ll be sharing with you in the coming months.
Yes, we’re a little sad about retiring the original buildings, but we’re much more excited about what’s going to take their place. We have always been proud of our commitment to family nude recreation and our tradition of providing the finest naturist experience anywhere. This new development will allow us to continue setting the standard for nudist resorts.
From now until May 31, 2007, is your last chance to experience the original DSI. After that date, we will be closing the hotel portion (yes, we’ll be open and ready to welcome you in the condos and villas during the transformation) and you will lose the opportunity to stay one more time where you first tried naturism, brought your friends for their first experience or like most of us decided that, Desert Shadows was the only place to be.
There are always many reasons why you gotta be here. But maybe now, the best reason is to be a part of DSI history and visit at least one more time before the old buildings are gone.
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.
Memories of Nude Swimming at the YMCA
My Life Evading Exercise
by Andrew Saul, PhD
Organized nudity is responsible for it.
When I was a little kid, we boys all swam naked at the YMCA. The one exception was when moms and sisters were invited for special events. Now after some 40 years, I still remember the one kid who forgot it was Family Swim Night, and innocently strolled out of the showers and into the pool room, and the only suit he had on was his birthday suit. He did the fastest about-face I've ever seen, and we never let him live it down.
What's more, we were still swimming nude in boy's gym class when I graduated from Charlotte High School in 1970. Back dives were especially revealing. I know this sounds a bit hard to believe, but it was true: nude swimming was the rule all the way through grade 12 in the Rochester, NY Public Schools. In this near mirror-image of The Emperor's New Clothes, only the gym teacher had shorts on. And, I am reliably informed, only the girls got to wear swimsuits in their gym classes.
But not us.
Of course we all showered together as well. In a scene reminiscent of a juvenile prison movie, after gym class we were absolutely compelled to shower. In the scant three minutes given to us for the purpose, enough teen trauma was doubtless accumulated to last a lifetime. I mean, how do you cope with such a situation? Everybody had to do it, so evidently we managed. And we learned valuable skills in the process: one of my acquaintances taught me how to get dressed without drying first. Another showed me how to remove paint from the Army-green lockers using "Right Guard" spray deodorant as a solvent. Still another kid of the nerdy type was justifiably afraid his books would be swiped, so he showered with his briefcase right next to his ankles.
Our drab high school locker room had a colorful attendant, an elderly Scotsman best known for his unique way of selling required sports accessories from the equipment cage. When you heard the cry "Socks and jocks! Socks and jocks!" you knew that "Scotty" was working his beat. (Could have been worse; I'll bet in Aberdeen he'd have been calling, "Kilts and cabers! Kilts and cabers!")
He died in the middle of my junior year.
It did not help that my high-school gym teacher took a special dislike to me. I was about six-one and weighed, maybe, 100 pounds. This guy, an obese ex-Marine, was also the wrestling coach. He combined the only two marketable skills he possessed into a unique method of selecting sparring teams: He'd line us up by height and have us count off by twos. This meant, of course, that I inevitably ended up with a 6 foot, one inch 220 pound varsity football lineman as my wrestling "partner."
I therefore developed the fasted sit-out in the history of wrestling.
I guess it was the ancient Greeks that seem to have been the original obsessive sports nudists. Long before string bikinis or Spandex, they were quite literally parading around starkers. These same exercise fanatics that brought us the Olympics are surely to blame for Jack La Lane, Charles Atlas, and my brothers. At least these three were decently attired (except, perhaps, for Charles Atlas, but that was what sold his method in the comic books.)
Between the public schools, the YMCA, and my brothers (and later my exercise-nut of a son), I have therefore developed an enduring dislike of all things related to sport. It's not that I haven't tried. I've successfully sat through black-and-white TV wrestling, watching my grandfather cheer the Gallagher Brothers. I've logged a few school homecoming games live, and sat on the bleachers to watch Rochester's Red Wings minor league baseball team get clobbered repeatedly. I watched Cal Ripken Jr. in one of his first games while the stadium announcer wondered aloud if he'd ever amount to anything like his father. It is true that the Wings got a lot better, but my memories are primarily long before Earl Weaver managed them. I mean, I remember us cheering for aging powerhitter and Babe-Ruth look-alike Luke Easter. (Remember him?)
So, like all the neighborhood boys, I played ball all summer. I mean, that's what boys did. For us, born and raised within smelling distance of the Eastman Kodak Company's main plant, it was KPAA (Kodak Park Athletic Association) softball league. It was free, you got a cool shirt, and if you won, you played "under the lights" at the Kodak Park field. That field is now buried under a photographic processing building, but once it was the scene of squashed mustard packets, hyper starry-eyed kids, and loud camera-laden parents. My teams never got even remotely close to being in the playoffs, but my brother's did. It figures.
For the first 15 years of his life, my older brother was a round-shouldered, horn-rimmed glasses-wearing, skinny little twerp. The he started working out in our basement. Like a mushroom planted in the dark and forgotten, he grew out of sight. Pretty soon he was a changed guy. Weight lifting had utterly transformed him. Good diet, natural maturation, and contact lenses didn't hurt, but that Sears and Roebuck 20-dollar weight kit did wonders.
The secret, of course, is that he spent the time using it.
And that brings me to my real point:
You either talk about doing it, or you do it. I do not like to exercise. But I like even less having a pudgy belly, backaches, skinny arms, and no chest. That is why I exercise. Of course you and I know it is good to exercise, in the same way that smokers know it is good not to smoke. But knowledge is not enough. You have to experience it.
My exercise hints? Thought you'd never ask:
1) Exercise for a really honest reason: vanity.
2) Exercise with a friend (or relative, if you are desperate) who has the same goals you do. This is very important, and may be essential, to stay on the wagon.
3) Exercise to music. I recommend the Who, the Rolling Stones, good blues (I like Clapton and B.B King), early Beatles and maybe a little Badfinger for the rest of you eclectic ex-hippies.
4) Start small. I began, at my son's insistence, with crunches. When I started, I thought thirty was a lot.
5) Work up. After six years, I now do 2,100 crunches in under 50 minutes. I once saw a documentary about an Olympic athlete that did 3,000 crunches a day, in thirty minutes. She was about five feet tall and weighed almost nothing, except for her muscles. That's my goal, then (no, not to be a woman): 3,000 crunches.
6) Invest as little money as possible. A cheap exercise bike and a pair of dumbbells is a good start. Maybe add a weight set and a bench. Check garage sales, for a lot of people purchase this stuff, and that act constitutes their entire exercise program: the buying of equipment. Consequently, you can outfit your garage, attic, or basement for very little cash.
7) Better yet, keep it all in your living room. If you see it, you will use it. Still better, keep all your gear within a remote's distance of your TV. You can watch the tube while you bike. You can kill an hour of brainless network programming and bike miles in the process.
8) Keep a record. My brother told me that you need to simply beat your own record to be a winner. That's a pretty profound point. I would never have gotten to 2100 crunches unless I'd wanted to beat 2,000, or 1,000, or 30.
9) Vary your program. Although I am a crunch-meister, I also use dumbbells for my arms and chest. I happen to already have strong legs from childhood paper routes, chasing my brothers so I'd not be left behind, biking everywhere as a teenager, and living at the top of a hill in Vermont as a car-less young man. So I don't use the bike as much as you might want to. I also walk home with my groceries, and try for a four-mile walk along the nearby Erie Canal on alternate days to my crunching. Again, take a friend, or a dog, for safety, companionship, and mutual encouragement.
10) Watch the cable exercise channels, especially if you are a beginner. Seeing all those supple, writhing bodies exercising with one great smile is stimulating. Use Richard Simmons exercise tapes, Jane Fonda workout tapes, any workout tapes that appeal to you. Personally, I think the porno industry should come up for air for a minute, and make totally nude workout tapes.
And that brings us full circle: it really is all about nudity. Especially how you, with your clothes off, look in the mirror.
Copyright C 2005 and prior years Andrew W. Saul. From the books DOCTOR YOURSELF and FIRE YOUR DOCTOR, available from Andrew Saul, 23 Greenridge Crescent, Hamlin, NY 14464 USA.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
They Call Him the Streak
Paradise Lakes, America's premier nudist resort, has extended an invite to actor Will Ferrell to reprise his movie role of "Frank the Tank" from "Old School" and participate in Saturday's "Sneaker Streaker 5K' clothing-optional race.
Tampa, FL, November 16, 2006 --(PR.COM)-- Paradise Lakes, America’s premier nudist resort, has extended an invitation to actor Will Ferrell to participate in the club’s 12th annual “Sneaker Streaker 5K,” a clothing-optional race around the 72-acre property on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 8 a.m.
Ferrell’s role as Frank “The Tank” Ricard in the 2003 film Old School included a memorable scene in which Ricard ran nude across a college campus shouting, “We’re streaking!” In real life, Ferrell completed the Boston Marathon that same year. Paradise Lakes extended an invitation to Ferrell via his representatives earlier this month and is awaiting a reply.
“We can’t think of anyone more appropriate to lead our 5K streak,” says Sabrina Vizzari, race director for the Sneaker Streaker 5K, which is expected to draw about 150 runners to the nudist resort, located just north of Tampa. “Unlike in “Old School,” he’ll have plenty of people running behind him.”
Sponsors of the Sneaker Streaker 5K include Boston Bill Sunglasses, the 3Bar energy bar, and The Fitness Buff Radio Show, a health and fitness-themed radio program broadcast live from Paradise Lakes on WTAN AM 1340 in Tampa Bay. Vizzari serves a co-host of the radio show. Top race finishers will receive one-month memberships to Paradise Lakes.
Race-day registration for the Sneaker Streaker 5K is available at Paradise Lakes starting at 7 a.m. For directions to the resort, visit www.paradiselakes.com.
Paradise Lakes, founded in 1981, has more than 4,500 members, 500 permanent residents, and 150,000 annual visitors. A proud member of the American Association for Nude Recreation, it is affiliated with several other nudist resorts, including Paradise Valley in Dawsonville, Ga.; The MiraVista Resort in Tucson; DeAnza Springs near San Diego; and Laguna del Sol near Sacramento.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
"Naturist Uncle" Featured in TV Commercial
Camberwick Green? We think it's pink!
Thursday, November 2, 2006
Chiefs at Quaker Oats did a double take after someone spotted a naked character apparently exhibiting a little more Plasticine than is decent.
The popular TV ad, which has made viewers giggle and drawn attention on video-sharing website YouTube, features the 1960s Camberwick Green character and his naturist uncle, Guber.
As the pair make microwave porridge Oatso Simple in Windy's Mill, uncle Guber is naked, except for a hat and yellow scarf.
'Morning Windy,' says a voiceover, 'you've got a visitor, your Uncle Guber from Norway. Oh dear! He's in the nib, Windy. Oh, he's a naturist, prefers to keep things natural does he?'
Uncle Guber's private parts are out of sight at this point.
But, as he carries his bowl of porridge away, keen-eyed viewers get a view of what appears to be his Plasticine pride and joy.
Gina Penny, 27, from Chelmsford, said: 'I couldn't believe my eyes. I couldn't stop giggling.
'It's quick, but there is definitely an extra piece of Plasticine in his nether regions.'
The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received three complaints about the ad, but none mentioned flashing.
One objected to the character dropping boiling cereal on his genitals.
Quaker said 'We are just keeping it natural.'
To see the ad, click here.
Monday, November 13, 2006
The Japanese Way of Social Nudity
The Rituals & Etiquette of the Japanese Public Bath
By Cheri Sicard
The title of this story is a line from my favorite martial arts movie, an obscure (in the US at least) but campily delightful flick called Shogun Assassin.The film's main character, a fierce samurai named Lone Wolf, has angered the Shogun and is forced to roam the Japanese countryside, constantly on the run. The entire story is told through the eye's of Lone Wolf's infant son, as his baby carriage affords him a perfect vantage point of the action. The pair is relentlessly pursued by the Shogun's ninjas throughout their travels. So clever at disguising themselves are these ninjas that you can trust on one, for you never know who might turn out to actually be a ninja.
Which is how we come to the title of this story. In one scene Lone Wolf and his son have stopped at a country inn for the night. They are tired and road weary and want nothing more than some hot food and a bath, the latter of which would leave them naked and defenseless -- what if the innkeeper turned out to be a ninja? But as the child so prophetically puts it, "sometimes you have to take a chance, if you want to take a bath."
The days of the Shogun are long gone, but public baths still thrive in Japan. They are a popular way of relaxing and a cultural experience that can be quite enjoyable for the foreigner. But too often foreign guests, who may not know the proper customs, ritual and etiquette, are so intimidated by the whole process, their fear keeps them from experiencing the public baths.
Dear reader, I'm here to put those fears to rest. After reading this article you'll know how to enter a bath with grace and style that's equal to any Nihon-jin (Japanese person). After all, sometimes you have to take a chance, if you want to take a bath.
The majority of tourists will encounter a public bath in their hotel, as most of Japan's better hotels offer this amenity. In a large, western-style hotel, there will always be separate baths for men and women. After twelve trips to Japan, I have personally encountered a co-ed public bath only once, and that was at a hot springs resort in a tiny remote mountain village. So remote was this resort, it took hours of driving over narrow twisting mountain roads, through miles and miles of lush green scenery and soggy rice paddies to reach it.
It's likely that I am the sole foreigner to grace this on-sen's (hot springs) presence, before or since. The sight of a very white, chubby, blonde gai-jin (foreign person) attracted quite a stir. I had numerous little old ladies coming up and wanting to touch my hair, coquettishly giggling afterwards. It was all very friendly and great fun in a surreal sort of way. I was fortunate enough to have a translator with me (my Japanese is marginal, at best), through which I was asked to relay various aspects of my life in America to the curious women.
Proper Bath Attire
Unless you're traveling with natives, you're not likely to encounter the co-ed public bath situation and will most likely encounter a public bath in your hotel. The bath experience starts in your room, where you will find a yukata -- a casual cotton kimono. Yukatas are unisex garments. You'll see just as many yukata clad men as women roaming hotel halls, bars, restaurants and gift shops.
It is perfectly acceptable, although not required, to wear the yukata, along with the slippers conveniently provided in your room, on the journey from the room to the hotel's public bath. Now to a foreigner, it may feel as though you're going out in public, in a nice hotel no less, in a bath robe, but I assure you, you will see countless Japanese men, women and children doing just that. If your hotel hapopens to be in a hot springs resort town, it is also acceptable to roam the streets in your yukatas as well. What is not acceptable is to pack the garment in your suitcase when you check out.
Upon entering the public bathroom, you will find shelves on which to leave your shoes or slippers. You don't need to spend very much time in Japan to realize that the Japanese are somewhat "anal retentive" about shoes not being worn inside of homes, rooms and even some restaurants. You go in, the shoes stay out! (Needless to say, it's a good idea to replace all your socks with holes before visiting Japan in order to avoid embarrassment.)
Okay. So your shoes are off. Somewhere before this you have probably been greeted by the bath house attendant and given a small oblong towel. The towel is hardly bath sized, and foreigners often wonder, "what good is this little thing going to do me?" The towel actually serves two purposes, but we'll get to that in a minute.
Next you will go into the changing room where you'll find either lockers or baskets for your clothes. Sometimes you'll find both. I dare say the lockers are hardly necessary. Street crime is virtually non-existent in Japan. I wouldn't hesitate to leave my belongings in an open basket. No one would think of ever touching them. That's another hard concept for foreigners to get used to. It takes time to adjust to not constantly being on the defensive (maybe you're lucky enough to not have to be on the defensive at home, but I live in Los Angeles).
So now your shoes and clothes are off. You're ready to enter the bath proper. Rule number one: do not parade around as if to say "I'm here, I'm naked and I'm proud!" The first purpose of the little towel you were given is to discreetly cover yourself. Admittedly, the towel isn't large enough to cover all of you, especially if, like me, you are larger than the average Japanese person. Simply cover as much of your front with the towel as possible when walking around. The Japanese have a taboo against pubic hair, so if you have to pick and choose which area to take priority in covering, this is it. (Even hard core pornography in Japan has a discreet little black dot covering the offensive hair.)
Don't worry too much about the etiquette of covering up. These are very loose guidelines and no one is going to be upset if they do see you naked, it just seems to be the custom to act with modesty.
The Most Important Part
OK. Listen up. Here comes the most important etiquette point of a Japanese public bath. DO NOT and I repeat, DO NOT head directly into the pool of hot water, regardless of how tempting that may be. You must first wash.
Custom dictates that before entering a public bath, one much approach a level of cleanliness that is not unlike a virgin preparing for a sacrifice to the ancient pagan gods. You think I'm kidding? Just watch the Japanese scrubbing away.
On the perimeters of the bathroom you will find numerous stations outfitted with small stools, showers and various soaps and shampoos. Here's where the towel's second job comes in. Use it as a wash rag. Pick an unoccupied shower station, turn on the water, give the little stool a quick rinse and have a seat. You are now expected to wash and scrub every inch of your body. You almost can't overdo this ritual cleansing. The hot water of the public bath is meant for soaking, not for cleaning.
I've seen some women take as much as a half hour at this procedure, although what they are doing for this long is beyond me. About ten minutes or so of washing will keep you from being thought of as the "ugly American".
Hair washing is optional. As for your, shall we say, private area, it should be cleaned, but don't make a production out of it. Discretion and speed seem to be the key here.
Once the washing process is complete, you are now free to enjoy the bath. Be warned, it is hot. Much hotter than the typical American hot tub. There is generally a section with bubbles and a section without, which is usually somewhat cooler (although not much) in temperature. You usually also find a cold water plunge pool nearby. The brave will submerge themselves in the frigid pool. Many public baths also include sauna facilities.
That's basically it. Sit back and enjoy the soak. Depending on the particular bath, you may have a view of a lovely garden, or even a window on the outside world from the top of a high rise building. Afterwards, you'll be greeted by all sorts of amenities in the changing room, such as skin moisturizers, hair brushes and hair ties, tooth brushes, etc. You will also often find wonderful massage chairs to further elevate your level of relaxation, the kind we would all have in our homes if only we could afford them. After the bath, it is perfectly acceptable (and convenient) to wear your yukata back to your hotel room.
The baths are usually open late, till midnight or so (each hotel varies, so check the hours when you arrive). A soak in the public bath is a wonderful way to get ready for a good night's sleep. Now that you know the rules, you will no longer feel as though you're taking such a chance when you want to take a bath!
Red, White, Blue and Bare?
November 13, 2006
Red, White and Blue Beach owner throws in the towel
By Soraya Gutierrez
Sentinel staff writer
SANTA CRUZ — It's a tough job overseeing a nude beach, and after 41 years, the owner of Red, White and Blue Beach says it's time to throw in the towel and sell his property.
Ralph Edwards, 83, and his wife Kathleen raised their five children in the white two-story house that sits on 170 acres above the beach off Highway 1, six miles north of Santa Cruz.
The clothing-optional beach has been host to visitors from all over the world who come to bronze in the sun, camp overnight and fire up a barbecue pit.
"You can go any way you want, it's clothing-optional," Edwards said while walking his dog, Spike, on the deserted beach.
But Edwards, who says he isn't a nudist, is ready to go his own way.
"It's too much work for me," he said, a pair of tinted glasses and a "Nude Expert Quality Control" baseball cap blocking the sun.
He purchased the land from the Scaroni family in 1965 without a plan but with a bunch of ideas, from building condominiums to opening a mobile home park. He teased about running a nudist operation.
He even threw around a few unofficial names, like Skinnydipper's Paradise, that he can't help but laugh about as he remembers them today.
It turns out a nude beach was the only plan taken seriously by the county.
"I couldn't get permits for anything else," he said.
He said his wife, who is living with Alzheimer's disease in a care facility in the city of Santa Cruz, at first didn't care much for the idea of a nude beach. But it grew into a family business that has attracted 60,000 people a year, mostly tourists from San Jose and the San Francisco Bay Area.
"Nude people don't want to be close to home doing that scene," he said, noting locals account for roughly 6 percent of his customers.
Some members of his family don't like to hang out at the beach, either.
"Some of them don't like to be associated with something like this," he said. "That's their prerogative."
But the pristine beach gets plenty of attention through nudist publications and the Internet. It's on the Travel Channel's top 10 list of best nude beaches in the world — the only such beach in California to be revealed.
Santa Cruz resident Toby Gray, a frequent visitor to the Red, White and Blue, said he and his wife have been enjoying the beach for many years. They've always gone back because of the family-friendly atmosphere, he said, and to hear bands play around the campfire.
"The whole campground would fill up," he said.
A few hard-core nudists would bare it all, he said, but most people in the camping areas wore a wrap or sarong. Down on the beach, most people laying out don't cover up.
"It's always been very safe and friendly there," he said.
The private setting is a big reason people feel comfortable at the beach, Edwards said.
"I was real lucky to have something like this," he said.
While refusing to name a price for the property, saying he prefers to sell it privately, he said the next property owner can live the life of a movie star, and make it their own private estate, as he has since 1965.
"Except I got these naked people coming into my backyard," he said. "Yes, it's funny when you think about it."
Contact Soraya Gutierrez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, November 10, 2006
More on Helen Mirren, "Naturalist"
British actress does what comes naturally
November 10, 2006
Is Helen Mirren, the great actress and English dame, a nudist or not? On "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," the host teased her about being a "nudist," but she uses the word "naturalist."
"I'm not an official nudist," she says to me.
How does someone even become an "official" nudist?
"Well, you go to nudist camp and you have lunch in the nude. That, I can't do. I can't sit down to dinner in the nude. I can't even do that at home on my own. I have to put something on. But lying on a beach with a lot of other people who haven't got their clothes on is a very nice experience.
"You Americans are so prudish. I went to Hungary when communism was still active [there]. There's a park in the middle of Budapest, and they had a little section for nudist sunbathing right in the middle of the city. And you could walk past it. It wasn't like it was hidden behind greenery or fences. You could see everybody naked just by taking a walk in the park. It's very common in Europe, and Americans can't seem to get their heads around it.
"In America, you put swimming costumes on, don't you?" she says, then adds this judgment as if pitying us sadly: "Hmmm."