Family Naturism and Growing Up Nudist
Family Naturism – Angie and the Cannibal Tribe – Growing Up Nudist
Teenage naturists are a new experience for me. As a semi-active naturist, it’s a subject matter I read about, and hear constant misinformation about in the mass media, and have been hearing the same misinformation and paranoia for over twenty years. It feels as though no one learns from history and treats family naturism as though it had only started yesterday.
But we know better, as full time nudists.
Or do we?
Do we really take the time to talk to our children about being raised nudist? Or do we just take for granted our lifestyle choice and just leave them to make their own decisions? How much do we really know about what they have gone through?
As a former member of the Hawaii Skinny dippers, we had no teenage members. I created a tradition that the first teen member to sign up for membership through their parents, or turned 13 as a child member, would get a free comic book on their birthday. To this day, I have never personally awarded any free comic books.
So I took it upon myself to talk to college students in the nudist world about how they grew up and how they felt about being raised nudist. I was prepared to hear everything warts and all. At the risk of sounding negative, I assure my readers any negative statement is meant to point out genuine concerns in the world of family naturism.
My first interviewee was a girl named Angie, aged 19, one of two college girls working at the Olive Dell Naturist Resort in Southern California. Restaurant guidelines state that all employees must be fully clothed, and it must work well since their diner has an A rating by the Board of Health.
Upon my three visits, I never saw Angie or her friend participate in any activities in the nude. Her friend did on my fourth visit, but I reiterate, it was my fourth visit. Angie isn’t opposed to it, she told me. She’s more than willing to drop trough if the situation calls for it. However, neither she nor any of her closest friends at the club call themselves nudists. She feels the label simply isn’t necessary.
Angie had been raised at Olive Dell since infancy and was a very active nudist as a child. She would visit other clubs where there would be about 50 other nudist kids her age during the big events, holidays, gatherings, but some time when she hit puberty, the number of children her age dwindled to five or less.
During this “awkward” phase, she felt pressured to go nude, so she and her friends rebelled, participating fully clothed during nudist events. You don’t see this trend reflected in nudist videos or magazines much, but from my experience it was all too common.
The resort guidelines mandate that one must be fully nude in the swimming pool, Jacuzzi and the deck around it. The patio just above the pool, the teens felt, can be considered a gray area. Though it’s highly recommended that everyone go nude, it was often difficult to enforce. So the outside patio and the adjacent clubhouse becomes the hangout spot for the teenagers.
“My boyfriend was very much against nudism when I met him,” she says with a laugh. “His family was very apprehensive. They told him that we were a tribe that danced around a campfire in the mountains and practiced cannibalism. When I told my dad, he greeted my boyfriend with a knife and fork.”
Angie’s current boyfriend often hangs out with her and it’s very common to see the four of them (Angie, her best friend and their two boyfriends) walking about fully clothed or in towels around the pool. What struck me most was that, despite the propaganda of the Naturist Society and the AANR, Angie wasn’t aware of any “movements” to promote nudism among young folks.
“When I go to these resorts,” she says. “All I see are older adults.” So it’s too easy for young people to assume that in order to stay in business, nudism had to be marketed for an older demographic, no matter what philosophy they preached. But unlike other young nudists, Angie and her friend are actively involved in the nudist business. Working full time in the café gives her a steady paycheck and much insight to how the club runs. It wouldn’t surprise me if she started running the resort in ten years.
Curiously, she didn’t seem to be aware of websites that promote nudism strictly to teens, since most sites can’t post photos of teenagers unless they want to attract COGs (Creepy Old Guys). Being used to meeting teens dragged along by their nudist parents, she seemed surprised when I told her I’d wanted to be a nudist since I was 13. She didn’t think it would be legal for me to have pursued it back then.
Unlike other resorts, Olive Dell has the largest amount of young adults I’d ever seen, so the feelings of loneliness and isolation doesn’t seem to affect the young people there as it did in my teenage years. The youth program is very strong and very active, though I had noticed they’re not mentioned in CFI newscasts.
When I brought up all the paranoia surrounding the AANR youth camps in Virginia and other states, Angie and I both had to laugh. There were too many real issues that young naturists have to deal with before tackling imaginary issues which have already been solved by the camp’s rules and regulations.
But the one real issue still remains. Though I do not fault Angie or her friends for remaining clothed until they get some alone time, I do have to wonder if the environment encourages her to “drop trou” as she says.
If there was a constant influx of college students, not just the post college workforce crowd of Vita Nuda West, would Angie be a more active naturist?
I would assume so, but it’s only a guess. From my observation, the young people go nude when they are with their own community. There is still a sense of intimacy associated with nudism. And it would be nice to have us middle aged nudists to show them that you can be nude without being intimate. It’s simply a whole lot of fun.
About the Author (Author Profile)Jordan Blum is a lifelong nudie and co-founder of Young Naturists America.
When I worked at Avatan in MN back in 2005, there were quite a few kids there. They had their own clubhouse. Most of the time, the kids were scarce though. They would stay in their trailers or just hang out in the clubhouse or in a friend's yard. But then there were events such as potlucks that brought everyone out. One of the teens was a chapter leader for the nudist youth organization - which I can't remember the name. I think it was the junior nudist league or something like that. I think that the real reason that kids as in TEENS are not more active in the nudist community is that they are just at an age where they don't want to do ANYTHING! It's not necessarily a nude thing, though yes, I do believe that that awkward phase is a big contributor. Basically, if a teen is going to do anything, it has to be fun. but most resorts that I have seen don't really have anything fun for teens. They'll have playgrounds for little kids, and pools and tanning decks for adults, but teens are lucky if they have a clubhouse with a gaming console. I think that if there was more things for them to do, more teens would have fun and participate in the lifestyle. Our yearly volleyball tournament was well attended by teens :-)
There is a great growing and supportive community for teens to 30-somethings involved in nudism and naturism, which you can join at: http://www.internationalyn.org