You’re a guy who’s heard about nudists (or naturists) enjoying a day in the sun at the local nudist club. It sounded fun, and you’ve decided to give it a try. Great! And welcome!
You’re probably going to love it, but every guy who has thought about spending a day at a nudist club has questions. The Naturist Society Foundation offers the following advice and basic information that new guys might want.
Don’t worry about the difference between the words “nudist” and “naturist”; in most contexts they mean pretty much the same thing. And the place you are aiming to visit may call itself a club, campground, park, or resort. Much of that depends on what kind of image they hope to foster or the quality of amenities they offer. If you can actually find the place, you’re more than halfway there, as many nudist clubs tend to be out of town and off the beaten path. So, what might a guy want to know as he drives up to a nudist club the first time?
1. Will I be allowed to visit the club grounds?
Most clubs expect a phone call, or at least an email, asking if it’s okay for a non-member to visit for a day. Aim for weekends, as weekdays are often quiet, with perhaps no one to staff the office to greet visitors. If you are a member of a national naturist/nudist organization like The Naturist Society Foundation or the American Association for Nude Recreation, then the club has some reason to believe that you are familiar with nudist practice and principles. But if you are not, just say so and express your desire to see what nudism is like at this club.
2. Can I visit alone?
More guys than you might initially think enjoy clothes-freedom outdoors. So, nudist clubs tend to receive more inquiries from guys than they do from women. That said, studies have shown that women tend to like nudist clubs and are inclined to become active members more than men once they give them a try. Guys, however, tend outnumber women in seeking a first visit. Since most clubs hope to approximate a gender balance, they may limit the number of single guys who visit or become members. If a visitor (male or female) is married, many clubs hope to see both partners on a first visit. This is one good reason to phone ahead and see if the club is thinking along these lines. Some do, and some don’t. And again, being a member of a national group like TNSF or AANR can help. Don’t let being a single guy prevent you from contacting a nudist group.
3. What should I do when I show up?
You’ll be dressed and—most likely—driving your car. You’ll likely enter the club grounds through a gate, and drive to a parking lot, where you will hopefully find a sign indicating where the office is. Park and go to the office (dressed) and introduce yourself, explaining that you phoned ahead. If you’ve done some research on the club, you know what daily grounds fees you’ll need to pay, although many clubs waive the charges for anyone’s first visit. You will likely be asked to show some photo identification, but you can trust the club not to pass it on to anyone.
4. What should I bring?
Imagine that you are spending the day at a commercial campground that includes outdoor games and a swimming pool. Bring what you’d need for a day there: a beach towel to lie on, a second towel to carry with you to sit on (now universally proper etiquette for nudists), sunscreen, and perhaps a hat. If you wear them, bring sandals; if you like volleyball or tennis (depending on what the club offers), bring a pair of court shoes. Many clubs offer snacks or meals, but many don’t. So, bring a lunch and a bottle of water, and see what the club offers for later visits. Leave the alcohol home your first day, as some clubs frown on open drinking, while others are okay with it. Don’t even think about bringing illegal drugs.
5. Is full nudity expected?
Different clubs have different policies on this. It is a nudist club, so nudity (from ankles to eyebrows is a hackneyed joke) is expected weather and activity permitting. No club expects anyone to be nude during a cold rain or when volunteering to remove brambles, but while at a nudist club, the idea is to enjoy being free of clothes. That said, many clubs allow folks (especially women and children) to remain dressed as they wander about getting introduced to the club grounds. The swimming pool and hot tub areas will likely be nudity-only, though. But, why go to a nudist club if you don’t want to be free of clothes?
6. What will I experience?
Again, imagine a commercial campground for families. That’s probably what you will see, except most of the people are undressed. There will be young and old, large and small, good looking and not-so-good looking; the people will resemble what you see in any large grocery store…except they’ll not be wearing clothes. American nudists tend to be a quiet lot, so most will be lounging in or around a swimming pool, or lying in the sun on the lawn. Some will be eating lunch and talking with friends, others may quietly be reading a book, still others will be playing backgammon. More active folk will be playing volleyball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, pickleball, or pétanque. Kids may be scampering about a playground built for them; adults will be chatting in the hot tub.
Each club (like any organized social group) will have its own set of rules, and you’ll hear about them when you meet the club host at the office upon arrival. You’ll be told of any limitations regarding drinking or smoking (as you would anywhere else), use of the hot tub, and anything else distinctive of that club and its grounds. American nudist clubs tend to be on the libertarian side of things regarding rules, but they may have some concerns pertaining to civic ordinances members and visitors need to be aware of.
7. Is there a chance of being arrested by police?
No, not really. Since the nudist club is functioning, it must be passing muster with the law. The club may even be a member of the local chamber of commerce. You may have heard old stories that suggest otherwise, but most modern nudist clubs are tax-paying businesses, regulated by the law and the local board of health. There are many contexts in which naturists can enjoy public nudity (e.g., clothing-optional beaches and hot springs), but we here are addressing private nudist clubs. Listen to what the club host tells you on your tour of the grounds, and you’ll have no problem with local authorities.
8. What about cameras and cell phones?
It’s your first day at a club. Leave your camera home. Once you become familiar with the club atmosphere and rules regarding photography, there may be opportunities for pictures of family or friends. No matter the club’s rules on photography, though, no one should be taking anyone’s photo without clear permission from the subject. Since most cell phones take photos, their use should be limited, and never surreptitiously as cameras. As a new guy, keep your cell phone in your bag. Club members are quite protective of their and others’ rights not to be photographed without consent.
9. What about the ladies?
Okay, let’s be clear about this. Nudist clubs are not cruising grounds (for straights or gays). Yes, seeing others clothes-free can be pleasant; nudists should acknowledge that human adults have a sexual nature. But—and this is a huge “but”—nudist clubs do not exist to satisfy voyeuristic or exhibitionist tendencies. Yes, you can talk to folks and be friendly, but guys need to learn to give women space. The new guy who does nothing but sidle up to every attractive woman he finds for “conversation” is going to look socially inept and creepy. It’s your first visit. Smile, enjoy your day in the sun, and don’t think of the club as a place to meet women. If you are a friendly guy who understands boundaries, fabulous people (including the women) will, in time, want to meet you.
What about a guy’s potential physical response to those he finds attractive? Counter to many a man’s intuition, this is generally not a problem. In nudist contexts it’s natural to respect others as persons, even while finding them attractive. Yes, some people are striking, but the family-friendly atmosphere nudist clubs aim for tends to under-motivate a natural male response. And if the unexpected arises, a guy can always step into the pool or turn over on his towel.
10. Will anything be expected of me?
For your first day, the club is hoping to show itself as a fun, pleasant setting to enjoy for the day. No one will ask you to help with the gardening, or donate money to a club project, or run for the board. Stick around and make some friends, however, and that’s all guaranteed to be thrown your way eventually. But for a guy’s first day at a nudist club, the goal is to relax and enjoy himself as nature intended.
The Naturist Society Foundation hopes you’ll enjoy your first day at a nudist club. There are many other ways to experience the breadth and depth of naturism, as nude beaches, hot springs, chartered boats, hiking or biking nude, skinny-dipping mountain lakes and rivers, and other naked-in-nature experiences attract guys every day. But clubs offer a secure, quiet, friendly environment to give social nudity a try. There are many clubs to choose from, and the Naturist Network listing of clubs at the back of each Nude & Natural magazine can point you to many fine examples.