I Tried Nudism in Canada…Here’s Why It Didn’t Work Out
Guest blog by: Thomas Lundy
In 1995 I moved back to my native turf of Toronto, Canada, after being away in Europe since 1980. The lion’s share of this sojourn abroad was spent in southwestern Germany’s Schwarzwald or Black Forest region located nearby the Swiss and French frontiers.
It was in this early period that I enjoyed my first naturist experiences; after all Freikorperkultur (FKK) or Free Body Culture (nudism or naturism) had gotten its modern start in the 1890’s in Germany as a reaction to industrialization.
I still vividly remember the first time I went to a proper sauna in a sleepy German village. It was men, women and children of all ages and all nude. Nobody noticed their nudity. Here it was just the norm. In between sauna sessions the happy villagers would take a dip in the swimming pool, or have a beverage or even a hot spicy soup.
After that I became a Sauna junky. I went to all kinds of lavish Sauna spas such as those in Baden-Baden or Freiburg. In neighboring Strasbourg in France, they even used to have a large aqua center that featured a nudist section. In addition to the public saunas or spas which were all traditionally nudist, there were loads of lakes used unofficially by nudists without any issues and the local public swimming pools always offered nude swimming hours.
So when I returned to Canada at age 23 in 1995 I knew I had to do something nudist-related. Within a month of arriving in Toronto and having contacted the Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN) I was contacted by Stéphane Deschênes (today the owner of Bare Oaks Naturist Park) who asked me if I’d like to be interviewed with him in French about nudism or naturism for a weekly television program called “Volt!” and I said yes.
Soon after I started a new group for twenty-somethings called Young Canadian Naturists (YCN) and we numbered a dozen. We used the now discontinued naturist park Glen Echo as our base. But in all honesty, I quickly learned that nudism or naturism had its own problems in Canada; I found it next to impossible to recruit members for YCN and when I finally did they were rather secretive about it so it was impossible to grow.
In 1998 I officially registered the first campus co-ed nude recreation group at a tertiary educational institute in Canada, the University of Toronto Naturists (UTN.) Although UTN received much publicity, again I had similar problems growing it as with YCN.
In 2000 I moved to the west coast of Canada in Vancouver. One summer I was walking along its famed Wreck Beach, nude of course. By chance a former (clothed) student of mine saw me and decided to snap a photo of me. I kindly asked her not to share it and got her agreement, but she showed it to her classmates anyway (it was a language school for foreigners). Within days this photo spread among the student populace like wildfire.
The frustrating part was, I knew I had to act professional about it and not mention it nor even allude to it with innuendos. Otherwise I might be seen as somehow attempting to be kinky, suggestive and unprofessional. So I said and did nothing, even as I walked through the school’s hallway and students would look at the nude photo of me, pointing their fingers at me and giggling.
Suddenly my monthly contract was not renewed (the courses lasted a calendar month). Since most of the employees were on temporary contracts, legally no reason was ever required for the employer to not renew such temporary contracts. But I was itching to pose the question: “Is this because of that photograph of me nude on Wreck Beach?” (For the record I did not have an erection!) But again, if I mentioned it, I might worsen the predicament in some way. So I just swallowed it and decided I would move to Amsterdam. I’d totally had it.
For me it had been 7 years in Canada, a monumental 7-year itch and I missed European nudism. So to my amazement, in 2002 at age 30 I found myself on an airplane from Vancouver to Amsterdam, with all my remaining possessions packed into a large ice hockey bag.
Funnily enough within only a few months of arriving in Holland (or The Netherlands or The Low Lands or The Dutch Kingdom; it all means the same thing) I got a teaching job at an ordinary school. One evening I found myself at the local swimming pool during the nude time slot and saw a teenage student of mine, then later a colleague.
Did anything bad happen? No, we just said “hello” and that was it. I knew I had made the right choice. I have since acquired the Dutch nationality in addition to my Canadian citizenship, started a family, and had two children here! All’s well that ends well.
About the Author: Thomas Lundy is a rickshaw runner in Amsterdam and an actor, model, writer, musician and filmmaker known for the shorts “Nude Not” and “Naked Conversations with Nude Women.” Listen to his interview about these short films with Stephane on the Naturist Living Show and see more of his work on Youtube and on his website at http://thomaslundy.com.