Monday, March 31, 2008

Nudist Retirement Center to Open

LAND O'LAKES, FL (April 1, 2008)

A group of investors, Villa Sol Antiqua, have announced intentions to establish a nudist retirement center somewhere in north central Florida.

David O'Hara, spokesman for the group started that "We recognize the plight of people who desire to live clothes free who, when health fails, are forced back into the textile world. Our facility will be truly nude--residents, staff, nurses, even some cooperative physicians."

Further information will be made available as the investors plan is formulated.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What Were Those "Osters" Up To?

It is unfortunate that this article mingles naturism with sexually-oriented nudity, but it is a revealing (pardon the pun) look at life in the old East Germany.

East Germany's Fascination with Flesh Gets More Exposure

A new book detailing East Germany's passion for nudity is set to be launched in typically candid style just weeks after a documentary exposed the communist regime's secret porn industry.

If selling a book with the recollections -- and photographs -- of nudist holidaymakers in East Germany wasn't enough to cause a stir, bookshop owner Helmut Maass intends to capitalize on the flesh angle of the new tome by promoting it with a reading to a naked audience.

The book, which celebrates East Germany's renowned "Freikoerperkultur" [FKK], draws on the era before the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. Its publishers, Berlin-based Eulenspiegel, are enthusiastic about the publicity stunt.

"This is great advertising for our book," a spokeswoman said.

The book's author, Thomas Kupfermann, contacted devotees and asked them to send him their photographs and also secured a contribution from East German television reporter Hans-Joachim Woller, who covered the FKK scene before 1989.

The event, set to take place in the north-eastern town of Pasewalk and hosted by the nude female model who adorns its cover, is scheduled for April 1, but it's no joke, Maass said.
Book event the latest in FKK revival

The shop owner believes he is putting on a world first with his nudist book reading, which is sold out. He has invited his audience to arrive clothed, as Germany is experiencing a chilly spring, and assures them his shop is adequately heated. He is also providing heavy drapes for the windows to keep passing voyeurs at bay.

East Germany's FKK movement is generally experiencing something of a revival.

A travel agent in the eastern city of Erfurt has laid on nudist charter flights this summer to Usedom, a Baltic island resort and home to a large nudist colony in the communist era.
Enrico Hess says tickets are selling rapidly for the first flight on July 5. He has had applications from as far afield as Australia.

The FKK movement dates its origins to the founding of the first nudist society in Berlin in 1906. While the movement faded in the western states, it flourished in the communist east, with bathing resorts established all along the Baltic coast and at the inland lakes frequented by East German holidaymakers.

The FKK movement was just one of the communist country's many contradictions regarding nudity.

Despite the atmosphere of public prudery that prevailed in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the GDR was a hot-bed of nudism and naked bathing, both of which were permitted by the communist regime.

While the regime banned Western sex films and confiscated erotic films and magazines brought into the country by visitors, it has recently been revealed that the GDR's armed forces had their own pornography department, which made movies for senior officers and the country's outwardly prudish hard-line political elite.

The former communist state's secret porn industry has recently been the subject of a documentary shown on German television. The show revealed that the GDR's pornography department was operated by a 160-man film unit which used a secret circle of 12 amateur porn enthusiasts as its stars.

The documentary explained that the unit was set up in 1982 and managed to make a total of 12 erotic films before the collapse of communism in 1989.

Officially the films were all made in secret but eye-witness accounts claimed that they were produced under direction from senior officers and their premieres were attended by many of the state's most high-ranking officials and politicians.

DW staff / DPA (nda)

Floridians Blase' About Reports of a New Nudist Resort

Residents display tolerance toward rumored naturist resort
While many Arcadians are blase about a proposed nude resort, most think it will never materialize.

ARCADIA (FL)-- A day after rumored plans for the proposed Terra Sol naturist resort were uncovered, the attitude of most Arcadia residents was live and let live.

Patrons of Wheeler's Restaurant buzzed about the news all day Friday. Many offered uninhibited opinions on the subject.

"If it's legal within the law of the state of Florida and DeSoto County, it doesn't bother me," said R.L. Dees.

Durwood Smith, owner of Smith's Ranch and Garden, said he's a firm believer in personal property rights, and if there's a fence around it, he wouldn't have a problem.

Several Arcadians said nude resorts were nothing new to the area. Apparently, there was a nudist colony near Arcadia a long time ago.

"There used to be one out in Brownsville years ago," said Jeannette Foley, from behind Wheeler's register. "Everyone knew about it. We used to drive by as kids in high school, but we never saw anything. I'm not going to belong to it, and I'm not in favor of where it's going to be located, but I don't care one way or the other."

Howard Melton, a local DeSoto County historian, could neither confirm nor deny the Brownsville nudist colony's existence.

"I'd heard about it for many years," he said, adding there was plenty of talk about a nudist colony in the 1940s or 1950s in the area, after World War II. "I knew the general direction it was in, but I don't have any firsthand knowledge. I drove around and passed by the place, but never saw anything, and I didn't see anyone that was naked. Either they weren't there, or I was in the wrong place."

And while the prevailing attitude toward the naturist camp was one of tolerance, most said it would never see the light of day.

"It's not going to happen because it's DeSoto County, and too many people don't want it," said Diann Wells. "In the whole realm of things between what is needed and what people want, it's not a need."

Herby Hall, who joked that he'd already bought into the nude resort, said having it here might be good for DeSoto County.

"Show me where it would hurt," he said. "The place would be gated. But it's never going to happen. The commission'll never vote for it."

DeSoto County Public Information Coordinator Matt Holloman said he hadn't received any calls from the public complaining about the rumored resort.

"There's been no approval formally by the county," he said. "I did find out a Realtor, in the last year, had been making inquiries, but it's not a county issue at this point."

According to the resort's Web site,, which was still down Friday, the naturist resort will be coming soon, offering people nude vacation or residence opportunities.
Described as a "family-oriented resort ideally situated on 320 acres in DeSoto County," Terra Sol is said to be located on property located just outside the city of Arcadia, about 1/4 mile east of the intersection of Turner and Roan roads.

But it doesn't exist yet.

Holloman said, as with any project, the resort would require a development plan and would need to go through the Planning and Zoning Department and have a hearing before the DeSoto County Commission.

"It's a long way from 'this could happen' to 'this is happening,'" he said.

County Commissioner Felton Garner said he wasn't aware of any progress on the project either.
"If you've read the paper, you know just as much as I do," he said.

Staff Writer Pam Staik contributed to this article.

Staff Writer

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hold on to Your Friends

All in all, some pretty good advice:


From Friday's Globe and Mail
March 28, 2008 at 9:11 AM EDT

A reader writes: My wife and I have been very close friends with another couple for more than 30 years. We are all in our late 50s. We have shared and supported each other through the births of our children, the deaths of our parents, health crises and career changes. But over the past three years they started spending weekends away in a small trailer.

Being curious, and based on cumulative facts gleaned over time, we Googled some of their camping locations. It seemed our friends had become naturists ... nudists. Then we saw their picture in a naturist magazine. Now, we are not prudes - skinny-dipping is not foreign to us. Our problem is that it seems our friends have decided to move on to a new chapter of their lives without including us. Do we tell them we know or do we simply ignore the whole thing and hope they will eventually take us into their confidence?

The answer

Regular readers of this column will know I'm all about hanging on to old friends. Recently I quoted Polonius from Hamlet: "Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried/Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel."

But on the other hand, there's such a thing as taking a hint. And it does appear, at first blush, your friends are kicking you to the hamper like yesterday's boxers.

Sometimes we need to peel off old friends, like a pair of too-tight jeans, in order to grow and evolve.

I discovered the truth of this when I went away to college.

My high-school friends knew me as "crazy Dave." Class clown, streaker, stoner, shoplifter, bookworm, the long-haired hippie freak in ratty jeans, wire-rimmed glasses, and my dad's army jacket. I was also "no-date Dave" - in all of high school I had one date and the whole thing was a lecture on why I never got dates.

But to the downy limbed beauties of Middlebury College in Vermont, I wanted to reinvent myself and be known as Dave the haunted, slightly troubled troubadour; Dave the romantic poet; Dave the playwright, dropping aphorisms and bon mots like President Johnson dropped bombs on Vietnam. Above all, Dave "the lover."

To my amazement and everlasting joy, they bought it. I'm not one to kiss and tell, but suffice to say for the next four years the new Dave was perhaps among the happiest young men on the eastern seaboard.

But my high-school friends would never have allowed this metamorphosis to occur. They would have mocked my scarf and pretensions. They wouldn't have allowed me to "fake it until I make it."

Maybe your friends are thinking along similar lines. Maybe they're worried that (warning: tortured metaphor approaching) unless they untether the belt of your friendship, they'll never be able to drop their old selves to the floor and step forward into the sunshine of a brave nude world.

To get a sense of whether this could possibly be the case, I spoke to Stéphane Deschênes, owner of the Bear Oaks Family Naturist Park in Ontario, and member of the Federation of Canadian Naturists.

He said you shouldn't take your friends' secretiveness personally. They're probably just nervous about your judgment.

Naturism is about many things, he says, including equality: "When you're naked you can't express your feelings of social superiority over others through your clothing."

But when most people think of nudist clubs or societies (don't say "colonies," they don't like that any more: it sounds too much like a cult), they tend to think (or maybe this is mostly me) of alfresco sex; unbidden, total giveaway erections; and not knowing where to look when you're talking to someone.

(Personally, if I were a nudist and a hot woman, I'd get a tattoo on the upper part of my left breast, saying: "If you're reading this, you're probably not listening to me. Shall I repeat what I just said?")

There's still a stigma attached to it, and Mr. Deschênes said a lot of naturists find it hard (cough cough, sorry) to tell old friends about their new clothing-optional lifestyles.

He says he didn't tell a lot of people at first. When friends found out after he appeared on a cable TV talk show extolling the virtues of doffing your duds, many asked him: "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because it wasn't like I'd taken up golf and could ask them, 'Hey why don't you play a few rounds with me?' " he says.

It's a ticklish thing and continues to be ticklish at times. He says to this day when people invite him to pool parties they sometimes nervously ask him if he plans to, you know - that is, if he wouldn't mind wearing a suit, please.

But he says that, especially if your friends have contributed to a naturist magazine, they're probably quite passionate about it. And he predicts that if you approach them, "you probably won't be able to get them to shut up about it."

In all likelihood, they'll feel a huge sense of relief, and be more than happy to welcome you into the fold, should you so desire.

So yes, I would say: doff your reticence, approach your friends and whip out your knowledge of the new direction their lives are taking. Just say you saw them in the magazine and start talking about that. If you wind up nudists - well, I have to say it sounds like a fun way to spend your weekends. Send me a postcard.

Of course, there's a chance your friends' evasiveness might have nothing to do with naturism. And I can imagine a horrible, embarrassing scene where you're all standing around naked sipping Cuba libres and they say: "No, it wasn't that we were embarrassed by our naturism. We were just bored of you guys."

But that doesn't sound like the case here. Mostly because of the timing. If you're as close to your old friends as you say, it's just too big a coincidence that they started being evasive about the time they became naturists.

If you approach them with open hearts and minds, I predict you will soon be a happy foursome once again, perhaps playing nude gin rummy in the sun.

If you do go that route, one last note, courtesy of Mr. Deschênes: Naturists love being nude, they love playing basketball and frolicking in the buff, but they're practical about it, too. They understand the need for clothing as protection: "I like to tell people," he says, 'Wear an apron when you're arc-welding or frying bacon.' "

Now that, my friends, is what I call good advice. And don't forget lots of sunscreen.
David Eddie is a screenwriter and the author of Chump Change and Housebroken: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pack Light...

Today's Comic Commentary on naturism from Bizarro. (We'll forgive the outdated use of "colony" due to ignorance.)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Naked Taxes!

Tourist tax dollars hit peak

Nudists, athletes and other county visitors spent $68,748 in bed tax here last month.

By Chuin-Wei Yap, Times Staff Writer
Published February 29, 2008

The Paradise Lakes nudist resort in Lutz reported large bookings last month. The first quarter is regarded as nudism's peak season, said Toby Caroline of Paradise Lakes.

[Zach Boyden-Holmes | Times (2006)]

Pasco collected a record amount of tourist tax dollars in January, and if you believe anecdotal suggestions, sports and naked people are part of the explanation.

The $68,748 collected in January, a bellwether month in the tourism industry, was the largest take in the bed tax since the county started collecting such data in 1991.

Some of the tax money came from nudist resorts, of which Pasco has the most in Florida.

"We had a great month in January," said Chris Berry, who handles real estate for Caliente Resorts. "We were definitely booked solid, three months ahead. We had another big party in the middle of the month, and that was booked up almost to capacity.

"Part of what's driving the business is the hellacious winter up north. So many of them are from Massachusetts, Michigan, Canada, and they say it's been horrendous," Berry said.

"I was told New Year's Eve was the busiest in Pasco it's ever been," said Carolyn Hawkins, spokeswoman for the American Association of Nude Recreation. New Year's Eve takings would have been reported in January.

Other resorts like Lake Como and Paradise Lakes also reported bumper bookings last month. The first quarter is regarded as nudism's peak season, said Toby Caroline of Paradise Lakes.

Sports also played a role in tourist tax collections.

"Keep in mind we added the Dick's Sporting Goods Tournament of Champions - the lacrosse national club championship - which tallied close to 700 room nights for the county, including 136 for Saddlebrook Resorts," said Eric Keaton, who handles Pasco's tourism matters.

Saddlebrook was the host hotel for the Dick's tourney. In January, Saddlebrook and Saint Leo University also hosted the USTA Grand Slam Futures tennis tournament, Keaton said.

Pasco tourism isn't breaking step with the rest of the Sunshine State when it comes to the longer term. Florida saw the first year-to-year decline in tourists since 2001 last year.

Pasco reported a 4 percent dip in tourist revenue between 2006 and 2007, but the last three months of 2007 saw a surge while the rest of Florida staggered. And then January broke county records.

Hotels are betting on the tourism trend here. Last year, Marriott opened a Residence Inn at the Suncoast Parkway and State Road 54. And earlier this month, a new Hampton Inn & Suites opened at SR 56 and Interstate 75.

Chuin-Wei Yap can be reached at or (813)909-4613.