In 1933, the Hesperian Society became Oregon’s first nudist colony. Two years later The Oregonian stopped by for a visit.
Oregon is no stranger to nudity. Our state is home to amenities galore for nude recreation, including two nude beaches, clothing-optional hot springs, the world’s largest naked bike ride and four nude resorts.
The oldest of those resorts, Squaw Mountain Ranch, first opened in 1933 as “The Hesperian Society” a nudist colony in the woods near Estacada. Two years later, enterprising Oregonian reporter Edward M. Miller and photographer Frank Sterrett paid a visit, “prompted by an active case of Acute Curiosity.”
Over three years ago this was a draft post after seeing someone ask this question online. Is nudism just an excuse for closet exhibitionists and swingers to justify their lifestyle? Three years later the question of the connection between nudism and sexuality is even more relevant. Recent events have caused me to take another look at this subject. There are some today who suggest there is no inconsistency between the practice of nudism or naturism and sexually driven nudity practiced in the swinging lifestyle or exhibitionism.
Re-examining the question
The tipping point for the re-examination was the report of a tragic killing at a swinger resort which described as a nudist campground by the newspapers. But the same papers list activities at the facility that sound more sexual .
Upcoming events include a “festival” devoted to partner swapping, as well as a “festival country sexy,” a “festival fantasme” and a “festival érotique.”
We should not dismiss the fact that three lives were lost in this tragic act involving an alleged sexual relationship triangle. However there is another tragedy here. It is the continuing tortured history of connecting nudism and sexual activity. Writer Brian Hoffman has chronicled this in his book Naked a Cultural History of American Nudism. This led me to the conclusion that looking at the history of nudism, the mix of sexual activity and nudist practice has not been good for the image of the practice. Here are some thoughts from Hoffman.
..many leaders feared that the original ideals and principles of nudism would be lost to an unregulated market of magazines and films that linked nudity and nudism to the commercialization of sex. For decades, nudist leaders and advocates had struggled to balance the movement’s therapeutic goals and its family-oriented recreational character with the erotic appeal of its magazines and camps. Naked a Cultural History of American Nudism
Although many nudists criticized Lange’s sensual photos and worried that they would lead nudism away from its familial character and respectability, Lange’s influence continued to grow in the nudist community.
Naked a Cultural History of American Nudism
However, some do not agree with my conclusion. Popular blogger,writer and self-described naturist Jill Page suggests purists find the mix of sex and nudism disagreeable. She uses the phrase “libertine naturism” to describe as a totally compatible expression of sexual activity and nudism/naturism.
Some naturists are already saying that Adam et Ève is a place for “swingers” as opposed to “nudists,” as if one cannot be both a swinger and a naturist.
I respectfully disagree. There are people who combine the two — and why not, as long as it is between consenting adults? We talked about the “libertine” naturism issue here recently when such a camp — the Diamant Noir — opened in France. – Nudism/Naturism: Tragedy at a Quebec campground
I do not consider myself a purist by any stretch, and I am a regular reader of Page’s posts. However, on this matter I must respectfully disagree. Though I understand the conclusion she comes to through her “libertine” views, I simply disagree. I don’t understand how the partner swapping event described by the papers as scheduled for the venue, reflects naturism or nudism. But that is my opinion, and it does depend on the definition of nudism used. If nudism is defined as being nude in social company regardless of the intent then there would seem to be no issue. But is nudism simply the act of getting naked without any consideration of intent? Yes, I know it is difficult if not impossible to tell the intent of an individual. But here we have group of people at a venue with a clearly stated intent. Still Page is right in one respect, we live in libertine times.
Libertine- a person who is morally or sexually unrestrained – dictionary.com
The reality is we live in a libertine age. A time not too different than the sexual revolution of the 60s. Which the nudism movement had to contend with in its effort to keep the practice family-oriented. But now everything is up for grabs. Even what constitutes a family. This is an an era when everyone defines things through the lens of their own experience. This is the singular characteristic of the postmodern age. Deconstruct everything, and if there is an undefined vacuüm be assured someone will put their definition on it. Nudism is subject to this postmodern deconstruction. Without a clear definition, anyone may define it as they see fit, and they have. It is hard to know what nudism and, to a lesser degree, naturism, is anymore.
The folks at the swinger resort in question seem to make use of the postmodern ethos as they define their brand of naturism through a libertine lens.
naturist camping for liberated people – Camping at Adam and Eve
Promotional images from the venue web site don’t seem to reflect something other than clothing optional/clothes free nudism or naturism.
What matters and why
Why does it matter? I would share a personal experience to explain. Two summers ago while at a clothing optional nudist venue I met a young woman, who had travelled solo to the venue for an event. She connected with me and a female friend who was also at the event. The woman shared that she wasn’t a newbie to nudist activities. However, the companion she had expected to be with her backed out at the last-minute. She was feeling a bit isolated and vulnerable. So when a “nice looking” couple invited her to join them for dinner, she gladly took them up on the offer. As she shared in conversation it came as a surprise to her, the dinner invitation came with some unexpected after dinner desserts. Here was a person who was just enjoying being clothes free, with nothing else in mind. But she was confronted with the expectation that being naked was a precursor to sex. That’s why it matters. Conflating the two activities can create a confusing and potentially dangerous environment for everyone.
If simple nudity is simply nudity nothing else why does it have to be attached to something else? All over the internet and in social media I see memes pronouncing “nudity is not sex” or something similar. At the same time our social media accounts often get followers who list themselves as both nudist and exhibitionist. As editor of the web magazine I have personally interacted with people both male and female who claim the nudist label but seem to then gravitate towards exhibitionist behavior.
The deriving of sexual gratification from fantasies or acts that involve exposing one’s genitals Free Dictionary
Is it OK for a national Naturist organization to walk in a #pride parade?
— YoungNaturistsCanada (@YngNaturistsCda) June 17, 2017
— Rick or Treat (@RikkuCruel69) June 17, 2017
Why does this matter? Consider this recent tweet from a world naked bike ride group (an event being adopted by many nudists world-wide).
So what if nudists are exhibitionists and riding with naked around kids? We live in a nudity paranoid society that now exists every time the connection is made. It creates an issue of concern for those who say “we need to keep kids safe.” Then simple nudity becomes something unsafe. That is the battle being fought in Ocean City against bare-chested freedom to keep the beaches there family friendly”. Before anyone suggests I am just a nude prude let me say there is absolutely nothing wrong with sex. Everyone is entitled to their own sexual choices. It is the connection between sex and nudism that I have an issue with. It sends a mixed message that we can ill afford to mange even in these “libertine” days. Whether I like it or not western society tends to associate nudity and sexuality. That association already makes it difficult for people to express simple nudity without being considered a sexual deviant. It is not enough to say parents need to watch out for their own kids. What actress Emily Browning said is true we need to acknowledge the reality that people are weird about nudity.
Is naturism or nudism being used as an excuse? Excuse is probably not the right word. To be real sex sells. It sells more than simple nudity. That is why “nudist” venues hold sexually oriented events and nudist magazine accept ads from those advertising swinging.
As decent as possible and not in the mainstream magazine. But we rely on ad income… Case of do you refuse money and go out of business?
— Sam @ Hawk Editorial (@HawkEditorial) June 16, 2017
It seems an association of convenience, one which I personally would prefer was eliminated. It seems I am not alone. Those of us who see nudism and naturism as the non sexual practice of social nudity want to have our practice unencumbered by the sexual association. It only serves to create confusion among the public about nudism and naturism.
Surely once we have read the title of the topic to all nudists and naturists you will quickly come to the head several opinions or experiences about the confusion between nudism and swinger. The sexual connotation that is intended to give a wrong way to a lifestyle and a way of understanding the world. There is a fairly marked current where nudism is mixed with the sexual realm of the exchange of couples or exhibitionism when it really has nothing to do but rather in its real sense are totally opposed. – La confusión entre nudismo y mundo swinger
Given this situation “nudists” who continue to push for the acceptance of a connection between nudism and sexual activity are doing the practice of nudism or naturism no favors. For my part it seems cynical for swingers to hitch their lifestyle to nudism. It seems like an effort to lower the social stigma or gain some measure of credibility. If swingers are confident in their chosen lifestyle, a choice I acknowledge their right to choose, why not just own it outright? Why does it need to be attached to nudism? Nudity and sex yes I understand that it’s how most of the world thinks. But nudism and sex? Why?
It seems to me that the intent is different naked for the sake of being clothes free or naked as precursor to sexual activity. I personally will fight for those folks to live their lives and make choices that they feel are right for them. I just wish they would stand up for that on its own and not pull nudism into it. If you are a swinger be a swinger. If you are an exhibitionist be an exhibitionist! Let nonsexual clothes free living stand on its own without drawing the association. A call goes out to those practicing lifestyles outside the mainstream, swinger, nudist, exhibitionist, naturist. Stand up and define yourself. If you don’t, someone will do it for you. Let your choice, be YOUR choice not someone else’s interpretation of it.
A final note, sincere sympathies to the family members of those whose lives were tragically ended. A sudden loss of life is always traumatic and even more so under the alleged circumstances.
Generally speaking, young children are more boisterous than their parents. Much of this has to do with physical limitations. My seven year old does handsprings across the living room all day long, while my seventy year old mother would likely break in half attempting the same. Doubtless there is a mental, as well as a physical component to these differences. Older people don’t do cartwheels largely because they don’t feel like doing cartwheels, just as collecting dolls or watching cartoons loses its appeal after a certain age. Likewise, when a girl in first grade asked me to be her boyfriend, I told her no, because eight year old me thought kissing was gross. I was also deathly afraid of showering in the buff in view of my classmates. Not surprisingly, puberty changed my mind about locking lips with girls, and also led me down the path to becoming a nudist.
The first day of the INF Congress in Wellington revealed an organisation struggling with coping with change. Never before have there been this amount of proposals for changes to bylaws presented for discussion and voting as well as proposals of a more general nature.
The first day passed or rejected five motions for changes of the statutes. And tomorrow. Friday. the stream continues.
All delegates found a brochure from NAT on their table along with branding items distributed by the Australian federation.
Several participants had clearly decided that they wanted to go nude through the Congress. None of the Executive Committee members were among them. It must be said to their excuse that it was cold and during the afternoon even the Braves . .. like yours truly … put on all the clothes I had brought with me. And still froze.
Source: INF struggling ro restructure
Here is an important article on why nude photos are important to naturism.
A naked couple at a naturist club. Properly old – I’d say well on in their 70s: she’s unsteady on her feet but he’s the elder. My first thought is: why have they come? There are too many steps here, the slope of the club lawn is too steep to be managed safely. I watch as he carefully helps her along the path and into a chair. It takes so, so long: the people round the pool’s edge stand back as she wobbles past. I think a few arms are braced to catch her too, though he never leaves her side. If she falls against him, they’ll both go down.
As I watch her I want to be like her, naked and old, and in our youth-obsessed, image-drenched culture that’s something like speaking blasphemy. I’m wishing for trust in the world like the trust she has – the courage that lets her be vulnerable.
How did I get here anyway? I visited a naturist club for the first time in May 2016. I’d read other first-timer descriptions and mine was like that too: nerves at the start, then amazement. So quickly there’s ordinariness in the absence of clothes. How peaceful I found it. The opposite of objectified.
Cherie Lidbury talks about how she feels more comfortable without clothes.
Who doesn’t love the thrill of being naked? Whether it be walking around the house sans clothes when you’re home alone or that time you threw caution to the wind and went skinny dipping, there’s something intimately freeing about getting your gear off.
While for most of us nudity is about all about a moment of spontaneity, for some it’s a permanent lifestyle choice.
Cherie Lidbury, who lives in Newcastle on the New South Wales coast, says she fell into the nudist lifestyle in her 30s when she was a sales rep on the road and has embraced the concept ever since.
“I lived in Perth and sometimes during the day I’d think ‘it’s such a beautiful day, I just want to go down the beach’ but I never had any bathers with me,” Ms Lidbury told mybodyandsoul.com.au, “so I would just go to Swanbourne (nudist) beach, strip off and go for a nice swim and enjoy the freedom of it all.”
Santana is back with another story about her life. This time she’ll be talking about reactions from her loved ones, after they found out that she started the naturist lifestyle and the way that she shares that with the world. Enjoy reading her story, I found a nice quote online which describes her story pretty good.
As you all have seen already, Harmen and I take a lot of pictures of our naturist lifestyle. We share these photos with friends and family but with other naturists aswell. We do this to promote naturism and to show how nice it is to be a naturist.
Unfortunately this isn’t accepted by everyone. Especially by some of my friends and family.
Source: Sharing my naturist lifestyle
THE key to a great news story is to strip the subject to the bare bones and capture its essence but a pair of intrepid NT News journalists took it to the extreme by stripping off.Going above and beyond for their art, photographer Elise Derwin and reporter Ellie Turner ditched their threads to pull back the curtain on the Noonamah Brujul Nudist Retreat.