I don’t go round tut-tutting over other people’s private behaviour. I’m not a member of the Morality Police. I never met a person truly happy with their own life choices who spent time fretting over others’.
So when I heard a couple of naturists chatting about a place twenty miles or so away (let’s call it Wickdipper Gardens Health and Leisure Naturist Club) – to start with I wasn’t that bothered. Paying to go to a swingers’ club is consenting behaviour. It’s a casual sex club, they said – a clothes-free space with jacuzzis and sauna and pool and bar… and the one big difference: private recreation rooms, if the mood takes you.
My teenage children think I’ve lost my mind with the naturist thing – since they found out, they scream in agony if I take off my cardigan. If they were little now, though, I’d take them to the club I belong to without a second thought. The thought of a different, exploitative kind of naturism makes me uncomfortable. What really goes on at Wickdipper Gardens?
I googled it and took a look. ‘A great place to make friends’, it said. I see.
And the more I looked, the more of it I saw.
Where do I start? The gleeful groups of guys. The code words for sex. (‘Be sure of a warm welcome!’ ‘Continental-style’.) The links straight to nudist dating sites. Above all – the hot girls full frontal to camera. In every shot. Naturist clubs don’t lead with their hot young members. (We have them – but we don’t use them. That’s the whole point). We’re not inviting anyone to Get This Here. When I saw that, I honestly felt a bit sick.
But what’s all this disapproval? Didn’t I just say that I don’t judge? They might all be having a wonderful time. (OK – so forget ‘might’). Who cares anyway? So they go to the club. They buy their entry ticket. It’s their business and perhaps I should remember that..
Except – they put the word ‘‘naturist’ in there. That means that people I know, if they know I belong to a naturist club too, may picture me spending my leisure time jutting my chest with a come-get-me smile, giving grinning blokes a free eyeful.
But I’m also aware that this post is hearsay, based on a changing room chat. And one thing I do know for sure is that stories can grow in the telling. Rumour and exaggeration take hold. As everyone knows, sex sells. So maybe the Wickdippers put up hot pictures to get the customers in, like any nightclub you care to name. How do I know what they really get up to?
What else goes on in naturism? I’m thinking of going to Wickdipper Gardens for an uncovered undercover investigation. Watch this space.