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I always look forward to spending my vacation with my luggage. Call my crazy, but I believe “clothing optional” vacationing should be my call, not Delta’s baggage handlers if you don’t mind.
       
But suppose Delta is on to something! What if you could free yourself from the annual pre-vacation horror of trying on swimsuits? What if you didn’t have to try to stuff a week’s worth of duds into a carry-on? Imagine breezing through airport security with only a beach towel, suntan lotion and the clothes on your back.
       
Then imagine checking in at an upscale resort where hundreds of other empty-suitcasers are dining, swimming, golfing, playing tennis or dancing under the stars........in the buff. For many, many more people than you might imagine, it’s not a sexual fantasy or your worst nightmare - it’s a reality.

Golf in the nude!


Just think, if you opt for a “nakation”, also known as a “Nude-alicious Vacation”, you won’t have to compete with any buxom bikinied babes on the beach. Reality check! They’ll all be naked just like you, and all the aging baby boomers that always meant to diet and work out, but just never got around to it.
       
At a nudist or “clothing-optional resort”, as those who vacation there like to call it, size and shape don’t matter, nor does ethnicity, religion or income level. Without clothes, it’s impossible to tell if you shop at Wal-Mart or Nordstrom. That’s why nudism is called “the great equalizer.” That sounds logical unless you happen to be standing next to one of the tall, thin blondes who apparently was first in line when they handed out the bodies.
       
Carolyn Hawkins, a PR exec for the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), insists that’s not a problem. Why? Because she says nudists focus “on eyes, not bodies.” It sounds a little optimistic to me, but maybe it’s because I lack focus.
       
To clarify, according to the Travelbuffmates.net web site, there is a big difference between a Clothing Optional/Lifestyle and a Clothes Free/Nudist experience.

C
Enjoy your time in the pool!lothing Optional/Lifestyle: These resorts and cruises have a more hedonistic or sexually orientated theme, but not necessarily both. These vacations are for adults or couples only, no children are permitted and any participation in the events is strictly up to the vacationer(s). This type of trip may also have play areas and exotic or erotic Theme Nights, seminars or workshops, plus Meet & Greets for singles or couples, Pool Parties and Adult Games.  According to one fan of this type of experience, “If you’ve never done a Clothing Optional or Nude Vacation, you do not know what you are missing.”

Clothes Free/Nudist: These resorts and cruises follow the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) guidelines and support the beliefs that sexuality is not a state of undress but rather a state of mind, and that social nudity is not a sexual activity. They also recognize the essential wholesomeness of the human body, entire families of all ages are allowed, and that life is enhanced by the naturalness of social nudity. They also support and practice social nudity in appropriate settings.  If you want to talk about stress free, less packing, no dress code and a complete tan, this is the lifestyle for you!

Southern California psychotherapist Jane Sanders, who with her husband “dabbled” in clothes-optional vacations and nude weekends for six years, suggests that Hawkins’ view is optimistic. “Like any other group dynamic, one has to take into consideration that there are always those that follow the rules and always those who don’t. I wasn’t uncomfortable being naked, I wasn’t uncomfortable being naked in front of other people and I certainly wasn’t uncomfortable socializing with our friends; I was just getting creeped out by the ones that didn’t follow the credo that’s supposed to be adhered to. The only reason my husband and I went to a couples-only resort (Glen Eden in Corona, CA) was to try to minimize getting hit on by other people. Let’s face it: when one is naked, one is pretty much open.”
       
So much for the “no ogling” rule. 
       
“The club was very clear that ‘swinging’ or ‘swapping’ has nothing to do with this lifestyle,” she continued, acknowledging that there are those who break that rule, too. “This has nothing to do with sexuality, it has everything to do with being naked.”

Believe it or not, nude recreation and travel is now a $440 million global industry. According to the AANR, there are more than 270 clothes-free and clothing optional all-inclusive resorts, bed & breakfasts, and RV campgrounds in North America and the Caribbean alone.
       
Some clubs are family-oriented, some singles-only, some cater to gays and lesbians, and others to born-again Christians. That’s right, even in the Bible Belt belts can be optional. Although Adam and Eve came into the world buck-ass naked, some Christians still feel the need to justify nude vacationing. At last count, they cited 40 Biblical references to nudism. For example, in Isaiah 20:2, God sent Isaiah out into the wilderness on a three year naked sabbatical. When God tells you clothes aren’t an option, who are you to argue? 
       
There’s a raft of nude cruises, too. Picture soaking up rays while warm sea breezes caress your naked body. I don’t have to tell you why high-octane sunblock is recommended, nor do I have to explain why guys should slather it on before they hit the tanning deck.

Nude children

To fill the rising demand for nude cruising, Nancy and Tom Tiemann own and operate Bare Necessities Tour and Travel. Nancy says when they first approached cruise lines about booking nude cruises in 1991, they were met with skepticism, disbelief, and snickers (not the candy bars). Today, major cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Holland America call them. According to a recent onboard survey, Bare Necessities reports that 30% of nude cruisers are first timers. No word on whether or not those passengers booked the trip because they simply gave up trying to find a swimsuit.
       
And then there are nude weddings. Think of all the money and time a bride could save by not having to buy a wedding dress! No bridesmaids would be tortured by puffy-sleeved dresses with the obligatory bow in the back, and the guys wouldn’t have to rent tuxedos because they already own birthday suits.
       
So let’s get down to basics. Why would anyone choose to take a Nakation?  Especially if you’ve ever experienced that universal recurring nightmare- you’re at a cocktail party and suddenly realize you’re the only one that’s naked. Why in heaven’s name would you deliberately put yourself in that position? Answer? You wouldn’t. Everyone else is running around clothes-free, too.
       
Enthusiasts call Nakationing “liberating.” Their “undress to de-stress” philosophy definitely has merit: it’s easier to distance yourself from your real life when you don’t have a pocket to pack your cell phone in. See? It’s working already.
       
For more information on Clothes Free/Nudist Nakationing, log on the American Association of Nude Recreation’s website, http://www.aanr.com.

You can download the iPhone app or call 1-800-Try Nude. You can also talk to AANR Publicist Carolyn Hawkins, who raised her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as nudists. She promises to give you the naked truth.

For more on Clothing Optional/Lifestyle Nakationing, check out Travelbuffmates.net


Photos courtesy of aanr.com
 

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 194 - October 2017
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