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These numbers don't add up! (Long)

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  • These numbers don't add up! (Long)

    I just finished reading an article in the recent 'N' magazine that is a continuation of the conversation about the aging of naturism in America. The author went on to paint a bleak picture of aging baby boomers with nobody behind them to fill the void. He nearly admonished the general public for not being more supportive of the landed clubs, projecting that as many as half of these clubs are likely to close within the next two decades. (Paraphrase - not a quote!)

    On the other hand, every time I read anything in the mainstream press, they quote AANR in noting that the naturist travel industry is growing by leaps and bounds, and that there is a greater attraction to nudist resorts and activities with a distribution throughout the age and socio-ecomomic distribution. The success of places like Desert Shadows and the resorts in Florida and the Carribean provide tangible evidence that people of all ages are more willing than ever to enjoy recreational nudity.

    So which is it? Nudism is dying - or nudism is becoming mainstream? I understand the intent of the first article in that the traditional, long-time clubs are suffering and that things need to change. But maybe what needs to change is how these clubs are perceived by (and marketed to) the general public.

    And what about the internet community? Ten years ago it was almost impossible to meet other naturists without joining a club, let alone the difficulties of finding a club or resort that is now simply a mouse click away.

    So here's the question - What's REALLY going on out there? Are more people willing/interested in nude recreation than before? Or are we falling to the conservative, narrow trends prevalent in other parts of our society right now? Are the numbers growing or declining?

    Paul

  • #2
    I just finished reading an article in the recent 'N' magazine that is a continuation of the conversation about the aging of naturism in America. The author went on to paint a bleak picture of aging baby boomers with nobody behind them to fill the void. He nearly admonished the general public for not being more supportive of the landed clubs, projecting that as many as half of these clubs are likely to close within the next two decades. (Paraphrase - not a quote!)

    On the other hand, every time I read anything in the mainstream press, they quote AANR in noting that the naturist travel industry is growing by leaps and bounds, and that there is a greater attraction to nudist resorts and activities with a distribution throughout the age and socio-ecomomic distribution. The success of places like Desert Shadows and the resorts in Florida and the Carribean provide tangible evidence that people of all ages are more willing than ever to enjoy recreational nudity.

    So which is it? Nudism is dying - or nudism is becoming mainstream? I understand the intent of the first article in that the traditional, long-time clubs are suffering and that things need to change. But maybe what needs to change is how these clubs are perceived by (and marketed to) the general public.

    And what about the internet community? Ten years ago it was almost impossible to meet other naturists without joining a club, let alone the difficulties of finding a club or resort that is now simply a mouse click away.

    So here's the question - What's REALLY going on out there? Are more people willing/interested in nude recreation than before? Or are we falling to the conservative, narrow trends prevalent in other parts of our society right now? Are the numbers growing or declining?

    Paul

    Comment


    • #3
      I'll take a shot here.

      First, in the age of technology, to project 20 years is mpossible. Things change too rapidly and that includes social issues. Frontpage things today are forgotten tomorrow.

      I feel that nudism is on the upswing. Sure, there may be a glut of younger nudists, but hasn't that been historically true. Younger people have obligations such as kids. This takes time away from them engaging in nudist activities. Also, income is always an issue for younger families. Many families don't have the extra money in this day and age to pay membership dues at a club.

      Finally, you are absolutely correct in the value of the Internet promoting our lifestyle. I spoke with a number of at home nudists who haven't partaken in social nudity. Because of forums like this, they have a way to reach other nudists. Otherwise, they would be isolated from us. True, the nudist clubs may not be experiencing tremendous growth as of yet, but I believe they will. We must remember that the Internet is still pretty much in its infancy and these at home nudists are just starting to gain insight into our way of life. I believe that a large percentage of these people will eventualy venture in the social aspect of our lifestyle.

      Study of history will show us a great deal about where we are going. Most grassroot organizations take a long time to make significant headway but at some point they get the numbers to make a difference. We are no different. For each individual who engages in social nudity, there has to be 5 or 10 times that number who are at home. These are the ones who will drive us to get things done.

      Comment


      • #4
        To assume that nudism will die out because current nudists will die of old age is poor logic at best.
        It is just as likely, (or unlikely) that in 20 years, Everyone will be a nudist.

        I'm sure you can find statistics to support either view. It's sort of the "glass half full" thing. It really depends on the agenda of the person making the statement or study.

        Nudism is thriving because the younger generation is more willing to give it a try. Not because clubs that have been around for 50 years are getting better. But because there are more options for nudists.
        The ability to find places to be nude through the internet,publications, and some tevelision programs is what's spurring the interest. Not a bunch of 70 year olds that go to a private club.

        I feel that the days of the Private Club's are numbered if they don't do something to encourage younger members. The expense and regulations required to become a member arn't going to encourage anyone to join a club.
        Clothing optional resorts and vacation packages are encouraging, but not everyone can afford the price.
        For nudism to grow there needs to be more "free" options for the general public to enjoy.

        Haulover Beach is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Anyone in the Miami Dade county area can get there for the price of a bus ticket. The Motel's, Restruant's, and Mall's in the area all benefit from the tourists that travel to the area.
        Nudism doesn't need more Huge Resort chains to build in the Carribbean or on the coasts. We need more local areas to realize the potential that having a free nude beach in their area could bring to their community.
        I'm sure that I'm not the only person that would be willing to travel 100 or 200 miles to enjoy a weekend at a nude beach. But I can't afford a $300 a night resort when I get there.

        Steve

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:
          Originally posted by Paul & Carol:
          [qb]
          On the other hand, every time I read anything in the mainstream press, they quote AANR in noting that the naturist travel industry is growing by leaps and bounds, and that there is a greater attraction to nudist resorts and activities with a distribution throughout the age and socio-ecomomic distribution. The success of places like Desert Shadows and the resorts in Florida and the Carribean provide tangible evidence that people of all ages are more willing than ever to enjoy recreational nudity.

          So which is it? Nudism is dying - or nudism is becoming mainstream? I understand the intent of the first article in that the traditional, long-time clubs are suffering and that things need to change. But maybe what needs to change is how these clubs are perceived by (and marketed to) the general public.
          Paul [/qb]
          You have to consider the "classes of nudism." For ex: there are nude beach goers who only go to nude beaches but don't consider themselves nudist. There are social nudist, those who go to nude beaches, members of clubs, attend resorts. There are also home nudist.

          Whether or not nudism is on the rise, I am not sure. Articles state that clothing optional resorts have been experiencing a boost in business. You have to look at the demographic of these people visiting resorts. It is NOT young adults. It is older, esp. middle age, people with large discretionary income. It is no secret that visits to resorts are EXPENSIVE. I was planning a visit to one for spring break. When I did all the calculation, the trip would cost me nearly $2000. That is a lot of money and let's be serious, young adults don't have that kind of money. DO I believe nudism will die in 20 years? I am not sure but I am sure that if naturist organizations like TNS, AANR and landed/non-landed clubs don't start supporting young adults who are interested into nudism or families who are raising nudist kids, believe me, nudism will suffer.

          Nudist adults don't seem to think that the lack of young adults isn't there problem. They are thinking for themselves and for today but not thinking about tomorrow. Many have the "it is not my problem" mentality.

          Comment


          • #6
            When the travel industry talks about growth in naturist bookings, they are talking about resorts, cruises, etc.?the kinds of things that people use travel agents for. They aren't talking about the guy and gal who get on the city bus and head for Haulover Beach.

            There clearly are more options for upscale clothing optional vacations than there used to be, and I don't think we'd see all the new resorts and cruise options if there wasn't business to keep them going. Not everyone can afford the $200 - $500 per day price tag that these places charge (+airfare), but there are enormous numbers of people today who can and do spend that much and more.

            But those bookings are for places that are offering a great deal more than just the chance to take your clothes off in public. Some of the long-established naturist facilities can compete for that business (think Desert Shadows Inn and Terra Cotta Inn in Palm Springs), but most of them can't. They simply don't offer the amenities that many people demand today.

            So I think the clothing optional vacation business has grown enormously and will continue to grow, but I don't see that it necessarily helps the long-established clubs that are offering amenities at the 1950s level.

            Last summer we happened to be near a long-established and respected nudist club, so we phoned ahead and arranged for a tour. We were dismayed at how poor the facilities were. I'd still be OK to pitch a tent and kick back for a while, but my wife isn't going to a place like that. And if she's not going, neither am I. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

            Comment


            • #7
              Compare prices for a day fee at the upscale Florida resorts to the more rustic rural campground types. Almost the same price! How does one explain that?

              Comment


              • #8
                quote:
                Originally posted by luvnaturism:
                [qb]
                Last summer we happened to be near a long-established and respected nudist club, so we phoned ahead and arranged for a tour. We were dismayed at how poor the facilities were. I'd still be OK to pitch a tent and kick back for a while, but my wife isn't going to a place like that. And if she's not going, neither am I. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] [/qb]
                And I think this is part of my point. The industry is changing because our society is changing. An article in the previous N magazine quoted a book called 'Bowling Alone' that studies the decline of civic commitment on the part of most Americans. Not just rustic nudist clubs, but churches, PTA groups, political campaigns . . . you name it. That along with the fact that most Americans have more discretionary income than they did 50 years ago completely changes the game from "I'll put in my hours and make my pledge" to "I'll buy it when I need or want it." The 20/30-somethings may not have that kind of discretionary income yet (though many do!), but I think we have to consider this shift in society when trying to figure out the psychology of the whole situation. What part of it is about nudism, what part is about belonging (or lack thereof), and what part of it is about money. It's a complicated debate!

                Paul

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's not just the money issue. Most of us would reognize the need for monies to update and maintain a decent facility, but what keeps us from attending our "local" club (currently over 2 hours away from us) is the fact that they have virually nothing to offer us as a family! We can't go and enjoy a peaceful time as adults because they offer nothing for our children! And we can't go without the kids since my in-laws are so nosey about where we are going when we drop off the kids for them to keep them. "If nudism is so family oriented...why can't you take the kids with you?" Good point, huh?

                  As far as a quick fix to both problems (the money and the lack of family activities) that would be more local non-landed clubs. Without facilities to maintain, the cost of membership would be cheaper if not totally free, and it would be better for families who just can't take off and travel for several hours just to get to a resort or club. Close at home, a chance to faternize with local nudists, and develop friendships with others who have kids your own children's age.

                  The problem with that, at least what I have seen in our local area, is that most nudists are still too timid to admit they are nudists to people that they might run into at Wal Mart! I know from the people I've met at our club that there are several nudists in our immediate area, but so far, none have stepped forward to join or start a local travel club...I know, I've been trying for over three years!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hello. What's happening to nudism? For one, young people are refusing to remove their clothing and take a shower (in the nude) after physical education classes in schools, as an example. We've written about this in these forums. Strangely, more people, today, are body building and performing intense excerising. However, with so much to show for, there is a tendency not to want to show thier bodies in public (especially in the nude...this certainly calls for a study). Prices at parks and resorts are so enormous due to the rising costs of operation (insurance, etc.) and the amount of time the owner spends on maintaining...24-7. Many of us think that nudisim has made great strides recently. It could be that nudism is actually taking great steps backward. Much study and polling needs to be done to determine the future of nudism and what would it take for an individual to experience social nudisim for the first time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Clubs are not likely to disappear soon. It is the only place some nudists can go with/without kids and feel somewhat safe. More and more people are nude at home but fear being discovered. As mentioned club upkeep and improvement can be expensive.

                      A help to club owners would be to make known what we expect when we visit their clubs.

                      I think a club should have a good club house with food service; a pool; volley ball court; hiking trails; RV hookups; tent spaces; physical fitness equipment. What would you like to see?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A kid's play area...sandbox, tether ball, slides and swings(not metal!) and a wading pool where kids in Li'l Swimmers/diapers can splash and play while the parents are in the big pool that requires total nudity. Family-oriented activities would be nice too...not just lazing around the pool all day and then drinking and dancing all night. Something that involves the whole family or centers around the kids would be nice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The great unmet need is for a few acres of nudist sanctuary within an easy drive for all Americans.

                          With just a little forethought, children are not hard to entertain.

                          I would not be content to lie beside a pool all day. I enjoy volleyball, petanque, tennis, playing board games, playing horseshoes, croquet, badminton,and darts to name a few things. None of these pasttimes require great expenditure.

                          To have a nudist mini-park such as this does require that a lot more non-landed clubs arise. This forum could help provide the platform to spawn such clubs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As far as entertaining the kids, I think the most important ammenity is other kids!!! This has been our biggest frustration in visiting clubs and resorts in the US. Sometimes there will be one other family, but even then our kids feel like oddballs for showing up someplace where there are so few people their age. It makes them think, "Gee, this must be weird because nobody else seems to bring their children here!"

                            I know this is a 'chicken or the egg' situation and I don't know how it is likely to turn around. If our kids hadn't had several experiences with family nudism in Europe, I think they would have dismissed it altogether, but since they have, they seem to have at least a foggy idea of what this could be.

                            I, for one, believe there must be some hope in message boards such as these. Here is an opportunity to connect with other families that simply didn't exist 10 years ago. (The connection that is - not the families. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] )
                            But the question remains, is nudism really on the decline? And if so, why? Paranoia? Conservatism? Body image? What's changed?!

                            Paul

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Paul & Carol wrote from a paraphrase "I just finished reading an article in the recent 'N' magazine that is a continuation of the conversation about the aging of naturism in America. The author went on to paint a bleak picture of aging baby boomers with nobody behind them to fill the void. He nearly admonished the general public for not being more supportive of the landed clubs."Why should the general public support them? They say they want families but does that mean couples - families if we have to? I can't go. I can't go where it is supposed to be safe. But if I lived around there, I could go to Haulover anytime where the crowd might be unsavory and the beach UNSAFE? Does this make sense.

                              Nude in the North wrote: "It is justas likely, (or unlikely) that in 20 years, Everyone will be a nudist " I agree that it is unlikely and guarantee they won't be.

                              Croyden wrote: "if naturist organizations like TNS, AANR and landed/non-landed clubs don't start supporting young adults who are interested into nudism or families who are raising kids, belive me, nudism will suffer." Too late Croyden. We're gone already. I go nude camping with other kids from school. We don't have anyone telling us HOW to camp and what PART of the grounds we can use. And we have more fun....

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