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  • Those in the buff often aren't

    Those in the buff often aren't
    By David Harsanyi
    Denver Post Staff Columnist
    Article Last Updated: 07/10/2007

    There are two inarguable truths about nudity. One: I am ashamed of my body. Two: Adults who seem most inclined to take their clothing off in public should be ashamed of theirs.

    Which brings me to Nude Recreation Week.

    To learn more about this clothes-free festivity, ongoing this very week, I speak to folks at The American Association for Nude Recreation. The group recommends merriment through uninhibited activities like "housekeeping fun: ditch those clothes, turn on some music and get out the mop" and "hit the treadmill or dust off one of the workout videos."

    Please don't. Really.

    How many Coloradans are nudists? I'm told that Bob Watzel, general manger of Mountain Air Ranch in Jefferson County, is the man to speak to about matters of undress in these parts. The club he manages boasts 450 members.

    "We have a heated in-ground pool from mid-April until after Thanksgiving," Watzel, who's been having fun in the nude for decades, tells me. "We have a large hot-water spa year-round. We have a dry sauna. We have 150 acres of land on the foothills. We estimate that we have around 10 miles of hiking trials."

    Hiking in the nude?

    Personally, I couldn't imagine anything more horrific. Other than that, it sounds like fun.

    As you probably suspect, like most hobbyists, nudists come from "all walks of life." And having met silly people from all walks of life, I'm not surprised.

    What about the ogling perverts, I wondered? Aren't they drawn to a nudist ranch outside of Denver? (Exact whereabouts are confidential. Call for an appointment.)

    "We are a private club and we do have a process. At Mountain Air Ranch you can make three daily visits to get familiar with our grounds and with the people who are currently members ..." Watzel explains. "If they do decide to become a member, we do ask for references."

    I have to ask a couple awkward questions at this point: Are there children present at these au natural recreational activities? (Please say no.)

    Regrettably, there are ... somewhere between 45-60 of these unfortunate, impressionable young souls are exposed to the horrors of the hairy, cellulite-ridden naked adult body.

    And the sex thing? Isn't it just a tad unsettling to have so many folks wandering about - playing table tennis, engaged in calisthenics, or what have you - in the buff?

    Well, it turns out, there is something called "nudity etiquette." It consists of three core rules. 1. Use a towel when you sit down. 2. No staring. 3. No pictures.

    "I got started with friends that I grew up with in college back East," Watzel explains. Watzel began hanging out at nude beaches on vacation. But, as he explains it, most folks get started in hot tubs and skinny dipping.

    Funny enough, I too visited a nude beach during my college years. Did you know models don't hang out at nude beaches?

    But the question I've been dying to ask is why? Watzel enlightens me.

    He feels "more liberty." Clothes, he claims, "can be a restraint." And he simply can't understand why being naked is taboo.

    Actually, far from taboo, most of us just believe nudity has a time and place. And that place is far away from strangers and children.

    In all probability, "nude recreation" has a very specific meaning to you. And that activity, in my opinion, is more natural than the sterile nudity these hobbyists engage in.

    Moreover, clothing does represent freedom. I couldn't get anything done without it.

    But such closed-minded arguments do not fly with nudists, who, I notice, turn sober when confronted by a nonbeliever.

    "People are under the impression that we're all buff or something. It's a misconception. ... We're not, and people shouldn't be ashamed of their bodies," Watzel says.

    "Well, you haven't seen my body," I answer. "There's plenty to be ashamed about."

    Watzel:

    Me: "Seriously."

    I guess we'll leave it at live and let live.

    (You can visit Mountain Air Ranch's website at, yes,trynude.com. Warning: Site contains some nonoffensive and underwhelming nudity.)

    David Harsanyi's column appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 303-954-1255 or [email protected].

  • #2
    Those in the buff often aren't
    By David Harsanyi
    Denver Post Staff Columnist
    Article Last Updated: 07/10/2007

    There are two inarguable truths about nudity. One: I am ashamed of my body. Two: Adults who seem most inclined to take their clothing off in public should be ashamed of theirs.

    Which brings me to Nude Recreation Week.

    To learn more about this clothes-free festivity, ongoing this very week, I speak to folks at The American Association for Nude Recreation. The group recommends merriment through uninhibited activities like "housekeeping fun: ditch those clothes, turn on some music and get out the mop" and "hit the treadmill or dust off one of the workout videos."

    Please don't. Really.

    How many Coloradans are nudists? I'm told that Bob Watzel, general manger of Mountain Air Ranch in Jefferson County, is the man to speak to about matters of undress in these parts. The club he manages boasts 450 members.

    "We have a heated in-ground pool from mid-April until after Thanksgiving," Watzel, who's been having fun in the nude for decades, tells me. "We have a large hot-water spa year-round. We have a dry sauna. We have 150 acres of land on the foothills. We estimate that we have around 10 miles of hiking trials."

    Hiking in the nude?

    Personally, I couldn't imagine anything more horrific. Other than that, it sounds like fun.

    As you probably suspect, like most hobbyists, nudists come from "all walks of life." And having met silly people from all walks of life, I'm not surprised.

    What about the ogling perverts, I wondered? Aren't they drawn to a nudist ranch outside of Denver? (Exact whereabouts are confidential. Call for an appointment.)

    "We are a private club and we do have a process. At Mountain Air Ranch you can make three daily visits to get familiar with our grounds and with the people who are currently members ..." Watzel explains. "If they do decide to become a member, we do ask for references."

    I have to ask a couple awkward questions at this point: Are there children present at these au natural recreational activities? (Please say no.)

    Regrettably, there are ... somewhere between 45-60 of these unfortunate, impressionable young souls are exposed to the horrors of the hairy, cellulite-ridden naked adult body.

    And the sex thing? Isn't it just a tad unsettling to have so many folks wandering about - playing table tennis, engaged in calisthenics, or what have you - in the buff?

    Well, it turns out, there is something called "nudity etiquette." It consists of three core rules. 1. Use a towel when you sit down. 2. No staring. 3. No pictures.

    "I got started with friends that I grew up with in college back East," Watzel explains. Watzel began hanging out at nude beaches on vacation. But, as he explains it, most folks get started in hot tubs and skinny dipping.

    Funny enough, I too visited a nude beach during my college years. Did you know models don't hang out at nude beaches?

    But the question I've been dying to ask is why? Watzel enlightens me.

    He feels "more liberty." Clothes, he claims, "can be a restraint." And he simply can't understand why being naked is taboo.

    Actually, far from taboo, most of us just believe nudity has a time and place. And that place is far away from strangers and children.

    In all probability, "nude recreation" has a very specific meaning to you. And that activity, in my opinion, is more natural than the sterile nudity these hobbyists engage in.

    Moreover, clothing does represent freedom. I couldn't get anything done without it.

    But such closed-minded arguments do not fly with nudists, who, I notice, turn sober when confronted by a nonbeliever.

    "People are under the impression that we're all buff or something. It's a misconception. ... We're not, and people shouldn't be ashamed of their bodies," Watzel says.

    "Well, you haven't seen my body," I answer. "There's plenty to be ashamed about."

    Watzel:

    Me: "Seriously."

    I guess we'll leave it at live and let live.

    (You can visit Mountain Air Ranch's website at, yes,trynude.com. Warning: Site contains some nonoffensive and underwhelming nudity.)

    David Harsanyi's column appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 303-954-1255 or [email protected].

    Comment


    • #3
      I really do detest people who mock something they neither know nor understand, what right does this jerk have to spread his opinion in such a manner.

      Ideas like his plant a seed of doubt in the minds of the unsuspecting public that nudism isn't the wholesome activity that we know it to be, and the perpetuation of the media notion that only models are the perfect example of human beings is shameful.

      Thanks for bringing this to our attention Bushie.

      Pete Knight

      Comment


      • #4
        This "Journalist" has obviously found somewhere warm to keep his head, up his arse. Almost like an ostrich, but not quite.
        Cheers
        Mick

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:
          Originally posted by Pete Knight:
          ...what right does this jerk have to spread his opinion in such a manner.


          I think it's called "freedom of the press", Pete. I agree this guy's opinions are very misleading, but I suspect his is a humour column in that newspaper, and this is his brand of humour.

          But I really think the column says more about his narrow-mindedness and lack of self-esteem than it bashes nudism.

          Comment


          • #6
            I do not find this guy to be even slightly funny. Just because a person doesn't want to participate themselves, does not mean that that need to ridicule a perfectly natural activity.

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:
              Originally posted by MJ_KC:
              I do not find this guy to be even slightly funny. Just because a person doesn't want to participate themselves, does not mean that that need to ridicule a perfectly natural activity.


              My point exactly, I have no problems with personal opinions, and the spread of misinformation isn't freedom at all, this fallacious article does cause damage, it puts a negative idea of naturism in the minds of those odd people who are obsessive adorning their bodies with fabrics.

              Pete Knight

              Comment


              • #8
                OK, I'm going to dissent.

                Sure the guy has textile poisoning. He is a walking talking temple to body shame. But ...

                He did not misrepresent nudism. He was honest about what they said and do. No innuendo. No accusations of perversion - he clearly tagged the pervert label to himself.

                It would have been nice if he could have acknowledged that the body shame issues he admitted to are unhealthy and that the nudists have found a better way. But that's asking a bit much in a society that clings to its vices as virtues.

                It would also have been nice if he had made it more clear that the 'impressionable youth' were not exposed to improper behavior. He only objected to them seeing less than perfect adult bodies without explaining why he thought that would be bad for them - or allowing the nudists to explain how it is good - by dispelling body shame and all the pathologies that come with it.

                His next article should be an examination of his own body shame and an honest assessment of the harm it does.

                -Mark

                Comment


                • #9
                  The man is a Jack**s.

                  But his "article" would play well with one with a warped mind such as one who is currently spouting on another thread on this forum about the Simpson's movie ... and that is the real horror of it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There's really nothing in the article that poisons anyone's mind...it merely reasserts what most people already believe. (Keep in mind, we ARE a minority.) If we truly want to shed light on the virtues of body acceptance, we must first know the extent of the darkness.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I share Naturist Mark's opinion above. Also, I did mildly enjoy his witticisms.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Even though it is only his opinion, it reminds me of racism. It seems to me the article spreds the same prejugdices that people have against nudism and nudist. If the article was writen about a certain race or religion with the same tone as it has against nudism, it would have never made it in the paper.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:
                          Originally posted by Bushnud:
                          Those in the buff often aren't
                          By David Harsanyi
                          Denver Post Staff Columnist
                          Article Last Updated: 07/10/2007

                          There are two inarguable truths about nudity. One: I am ashamed of my body. Two: Adults who seem most inclined to take their clothing off in public should be ashamed of theirs.



                          Perhasp Mr. Harsanyi should be ashamed of his writing first and his body second. Perhaps he should just be ashamed of his own personal guilt and shame. He is wrong on both assertions, which are his psycologically questionable opinion and not "truths."

                          Blessings

                          Bob

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Today, I emailed the following to columnist Harsanyi. I'll let you know if he replies.

                            Your column on nude recreation week has been posted on Clothes Free naturist forum.
                            Could I just take a few minutes and share some thoughts on paragraph 1?

                            Dictionary.com says ashamed is (1) “feeling shame; distressed or embarrassed by feelings of guilt, foolishness, or disgrace" r (2) “unwilling or restrained because of fear of shame, ridicule, or disapproval”

                            So, from your introduction, I am surmise that you feel distressed, embarrassed, guilt, foolish, disgrace or a fear of ridicule or disapproval about your body.

                            Whether or not you have a faith in God, may I continue with a mini-sermon? The by-line for clothesfree forum is “every BODY is decent”. And here is the underlying value of a naturist outlook on life. Accepting people for who they are – not what they do, what they wear, what they drive, what kind of house they live in ….. or what kind of body God has given them. To be ashamed of one’s body because it doesn’t reflect a Hollywood standard or a Ken and Barbie mentality of what is beautiful is to buy into a Madison Avenue view of what we should be.

                            I often chafe at the PC world in which we live. However, I must admit that the focus of accepting people without regards to gender, race, color, etc. is a positive appreciation of a person for who they are, not what they look like.

                            Would you be ashamed of your wife if she had cancer and lost her hair through chemotherapy? Would you be ashamed of a child if they were in an accident and had a permanent facial scar? If you want to be ashamed of something, be ashamed of an attitude of condemnation or judgmentality or discrimination – things you can do something about.

                            And to be concerned about being “ashamed” or ridiculed about your body by someone else who would disapprove of your body because it’s too fat, too tall, too hairy, too wrinkled, or too whatever is to give that person’s opinion entirely too much value. If God tells you to be ashamed of the body He gave you, then….well, I can’t image God actually doing something like that.

                            And so, a second point from paragraph 1 – inarguably? I would argue that your body – like the by-line says, is decent!

                            ENJOY LIFE - including your body. And although I've never met you, I'm going to make a profoundly naturist statement - Your body is nothing to be ashamed of.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Saying what we're all thinking

                              At least one person let him know how misinformed he is.

                              Comment

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