By 1995, I was extremely disillusioned by naturism. I’d only visited two nudist parks on the mainland starting in 1990, and I organized activities as the local contact for the Hawaii Skinnydippers, which met once a month in a private pool in Hawaii Kai.
Outside of the pool parties and one sailing trip, there were no other activities. Membership consisted of over 40 people, most of whom were single men over 40. There were women and 30 something couples, but they were friends of the host.
Being an Asian American nudist in my twenties, I felt like a minority within a minority, and most of my friends razzed me about assimilating not only into a white culture, but a white culture that has no part in the local scene. I had written a nudist play in college, but decided to put it aside, since my writing style was moving toward dark comedy.
When the nudist inspiration stopped, so did the nudist articles, short stories, poetry. Even my photography took a beating, since I had to give up naturism to focus on finding female models. Without any other creative outlet, I decide to compile all my naturist work together in one book, but I knew somewhere in the back of my mind, that the story lacked a happy ending.
There was however one page to update local folks on nude beaches on Oahu.
I realized this was not enough, and put the book on the back burner for over a decade. When I started working for Cineridge, the production branch of a DVD distribution company, the director asked me to write a movie called, “American Nudist.” I wrote three drafts of the script, and maybe about ten pages got filmed.
When I told the producers I found the original file to my book, they asked me to update it and turn it into a tie-in novel for the movie. So I did, but because of the lackluster reviews from the film, we held off on the film. This gave me time to write a happy ending to the book.
Coming to L.A. in 1998, and visiting Swallows Sun Island and Elysium Fields, both of which are closed, I began to realize where the Hawaii Skinnydippers went wrong. There was no nudist community outside of a bunch of loose knit folks skinnydipping in a house in Hawaii Kai. Visiting Terra Cotta Inn five years later, made me realize that for a nudist club to succeed, it has to be run and marketed like a for-profit business.
And then the world changed around me. Young people were becoming more and more curious about nudism. During this time, I wrote a screenplay called, “Micky’s Summer Resort” which drew humor from the perceived lack of young naturists. That element became outdated a year after we filmed the last shot.
Naturism became a little more mainstream. In Hawaii, there are still intolerant anti-nudists, but the environment is not as repressive as it once were, and there is now a non-landed club that is a for-profit group with a ritzy nude cruise held annually. So with time, nudism can give you a happy ending. Sometimes you just have to let it happen . . . naturally.
- Naked truth: Aging nudists seek new skin in the game as ranks dwindle (nbcnews.com)
- Up on Nudist Peak (homeclothesfree.com)