Jordan Responds To Concerns From Nudists About AANR

| March 1, 2015 | 13 Comments

Jordan Addresses Concerns From Nudists About AANR

My last article Bill Schroer Goes on the Record About Being Fired by AANR sparked up a wonderful discussion and lively yet positive debate (YAY!!!). In the comments section, there were a number of points brought up by a few different people that I thought should be addressed all together in a new article. So now that the dust has settled a bit, I will address these additional concerns here one by one.

First, just to get it out of the way… Many have mentioned the lack of AANR participation in my coverage of this issue. I just wanted to let everyone know that yes, I did email with Beverly but she turned down my offer to be interviewed “on the record.”

I would have gotten Tom Mulhall of Terra Cotta Inn involved (he was the PR chair of AANR and was always willing to at least offer a statement) but found out that he was no longer their PR person (not even sure who is tasked with that these days).

So after approaching a few others, I was left with no official AANR voice which was sad, but not surprising. The problem was that AANR had issued a gag order and instructed their people not to comment.

Now, here are some of the main points / issues that people brought up.

aanr nudists comments issues yna nudist organization politics young naturists america

Concerns by Nudists About AANR

Since I am no longer an AANR member, some people had said that I don’t have a right to talk about this issue.

While I am not an AANR member anymore, I do have the right to make my voice heard. Just like I have the right have an opinion about the NRA, I see no reason why this same logic would not apply in a field that I am very active in.

Some had said that I am just out to get AANR.

For the record, I am not anti anything. Not even AANR! AANR, in its previous cycle, has had many wonderful accomplishments. I just wish I could say the same about today’s AANR. But when they do, I will be the first (I hope) to point those out!

I do, however, have strong ideological issues with the way AANR is being run, managed and promoted as well as certain policies they enforce (not to mention the ones they choose to ignore). I am on the record for disagreeing with their forced membership policies, with the fact that they don’t force 100% AANR clubs adhere to 100% of AANR’s morals / ethics (as AANR present them), the fact that they are inconsistent with the way they treat clubs and so forth.

For those of you who are claiming that I am out to get AANR I would just like to say that if you would have read my coverage of the Bill Schroer issue, you would have seen that I spent a ton of time researching, keeping an open mind and doing my very best to pass along the facts as best I could. All this without any official help from AANR (though not for a lack of trying).

Why even bring up the AANR issue?

Since AANR themselves did not care to address or inform their members on the particulars, I only sought to find out what happened. Many YNA’ers are also AANR members and I for one, feel it is important for us and them to know what AANR is doing.

I chose to share those findings on our website because I am in favor of transparency. Aside from any issues you may have with me personally, if you did not like the issues in the article then you can take up your concerns with AANR – stop shooting the messenger and start focusing on the real issues!

Some said that I / YNA have not tried to help AANR.

For those of you who called me out for not supporting AANR let me just point out a few facts:

  • For the last three to four years, I have been trying to get AANR to do a positive piece about their accomplishments and future goals.
  • I have offered to help them with their online issues. The areas I felt I could really impact their organization would be the facets that pertain to AANR and the internet. It is no big secret that AANR has problems in communication, PR, marketing, online reputation, social networking and membership outreach. YNA also has a broader reach and I thought I could help AANR strengthen their base and even grow it.
  • While I thought AANR would be happy to get any help they can, the responses I have gotten from them were less than enthusiastic. A few times they mocked my offer, other times they just said they appreciated the offer and would keep it in mind. I also, on a number of occasions, had to email them a few times just to get someone to email me back (an ongoing issue of theirs).

For those of you who may not know, the internet is where I thrive. I have worked along side companies such as google, yahoo and bing and even beta test their products when they ask me to. So when I offered to help AANR, I was a bit befuddled by their response. In the “real world” I could charge anywhere from $100 – $500 an hour for my opinion and yet, AANR saw no value in me or my opinion. So I just stopped offering.

And additionally: ‘YNA just uses AANR and AANR Clubs, but offers nothing in return.’

We have generated good money for different clubs and have never asked for anything in return. We also signed up a number of our members to AANR. During one of our summer gatherings we even had Jim from Juniper Woods (the president of AANR East at the time) give a talk about why he believes people should support AANR. We do what we can, when we can.

We offer nudist clubs to advertise on our site, yet very few see the value is spending the $60 / month. I find this odd because we have a highly targeted audience and if we were to charge $0.03 per click, we would be making a ton more money! If this were any other industry, we would be making a ton of money just from ad revenues (and we would never be charging such a minute amount).

We are currently helping one club develop a new website for a fraction of what it should cost and we do so happily. They see the value and we want them to succeed!

‘YNA just gripes but offers no help to the nudist community.’

Resorts and clubs are complaining about the decline in memberships and day visits yet they don’t seem to be willing to invest in growing their following.

If you ask me, the biggest culprits for why Naturism / Nudism is declining in the U.S. are the resorts and clubs. Many are not promoting their business and others are going about it in the most back-ass-wards way possible.

While they do have legitimate reasons for concern, they are not willing to pay for the time and work we do. A person’s time has value, especially if they are doing something for someone else. If nudist clubs are not willing to invest in the radically reduced prices we offer, then why should we help? Yes, we would be sad to see them go but we do need to eat.

And a side note about Nudism and the Internet:

I will keep hammering this message until people start to change their approach.

The internet is the cheapest and most effective way to grow any following. If you lack the skills or know-how then hire someone or ask us for help (and please don’t expect us to work for free – that would not be fair to anyone. Especially since many resorts still charge us their day fees even when we go just to write about them or even when we have events and generate a few thousand dollars for them while making pretty much nothing for ourselves).

So with that in mind, I am just saying that if organizations, naturist clubs and nudist resorts don’t start changing their approach, they will not survive. While they may lash out at X or Y, they really have no one to blame but themselves.

That said, Naturism and Nudism in and of themselves will survive.

I hope I was able to articulate myself and address the biggest concerns that came about from the Bill Schroer/ AANR issue. That said, please comment and let me know if I missed anything.

This article about was published by Young Naturists and Young Nudists America YNA

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Category: Social Nudity Blogs, Nudist Organizations, Nudism and Naturism

About the Author ()

Jordan Blum is a lifelong nudie and co-founder of Young Naturists America.
  • jasenj1

    mpapai I respectfully disagree.
    There are different types of “speaking out”.

    There’s the type that involves talking with legislators and getting them to be sympathetic to your cause. This is very expensive. You need to pay lobbyists with access and bribe them… I mean contribute to their campaign/PAC. We need the big organizations to do this for us, and AANR & TNS/NAC do.

    Another type of speaking out is what YNA does. Posting articles on a website commenting on current events, expressing your position on various things, and generally promoting your cause. This is extremely cheap – other than the time spent writing. AANR & TNS do far too little of this. Yes, they have print publications, but those reach a far narrower audience than a web site and are for internal communication “among us girls”. They do nothing to spread the word or advocate for nudism.

    Yet another type is doing press releases. These get picked up by media outlets and turned into syndicated stories on other web sites & in newspapers. This is standard professional PR 101 kind of stuff. It is also not very costly. AANR & TNS do very little of this either.

  • All-Nudist.com

    mpapai All-Nudist.com Yeah, we’ve got it worked out.  SPAM filter, probably because of ‘nudist’ in our name.  LOL, ‘nudist’ hitting a SPAM wall on a nudist website!  Ain’t THAT a hoot!

  • All-Nudist.com

    YoungNaturist All-Nudist.com Well, I apologized on Twitter already but if you really want, I humbly apologise for doubting you!

  • Sewinudst

    Please keep speaking out. You represent our future.

  • All-Nudist.com Now say you are sorry ;) It got stuck in the filter and we approved it!

  • All-Nudist.com Now say you are sorry ;) It got stuck in the filter and we approved it!

  • GBSmith

    The comment you made about clubs not promoting themselves struck a note with me.  There’s advertising by resorts to those of us that are part of the culture but nothing by the  clubs that potentially have the most to offer ordinary average people that would like and benefit from a naturist experience that’s affordable and convenient for themselves and families.  A trip to Club O is great once every year or two but it would be nice to have something there every weekend and unless you know where to look you have no idea what’s there.  Clubs are afraid and don’t know how to promote themselves and open their doors and that’s one case where AANR has let them down.  
     Once again you’ve done a thoughtful and well researched piece of writing and are doing a real service in bringing accurate information to the debate.  Hopefully the “summit” that’s planned will focus some positive attention on these issues.

  • jasenj1

    I wish TNS would take a more proactive role on the web, too. There have been many incidents in the news (Free the Nipple, the rash of “naked” TV shows, etc.) where the national organizations should have chimed in with a press release or statement of some sort. Yet they say nothing. With all the “body positive” and “body acceptance” chatter going on in the popular press, where are the nudist organizations in riding those coat tails to generate publicity and advocate for naturism?

  • jasenj1

    I’m really to the point where I more than half hope AANR flames out and shuts down. Then from the ashes a new organization could rise. One affiliated with INF, one that serves nudism in general – resorts, free beaches, & backyard.
    I had real hopes that a change in leadership would revitalize the organization. I heard good things about Bev Price. But so far, publicly, I’ve seen nothing to be happy about. Now, my experience with AANR is limited to their website – I’m not a member anymore. So maybe there’s lots of change churning away in the background getting ready to emerge like a flower shoots forth in the spring.
    But in the meantime, I truly believe they are dropping the ball big time.

  • All-Nudist.com

    livefyrebob AANR’s only and stated purpose is to support member clubs.  AANR does not nor does pretend to (ok, they do) represent ALL nudists/naturists.  It’s a membership organization designed to benefit MEMBERS, not all of us.

    It’s OUR misunderstanding to think that AANR should have any concern whatsoever about free beaches which compete with affiliate member clubs.  Nearly all of the folks in America who embrace our lifestyle are not AANR members nor have any reason to be so.  Why should AANR support us?

    If AANR was a truly an ALL nudist promotional group, they might find a much broader audience.  But that’s not what they do.

    Considering how poorly they serve their members, perhaps it’s just as well…

  • All-Nudist.com

    So sorry that our previous positive and supportive comment offended you enough to delete it.  Never fear, it won’t happen again.  Our most humble apologies for expressing an opinion.

  • livefyrebob

    My hope is that AANR can find a way to promote naturism in ways that put the interests of individual naturists — especially those of us who enjoy visiting nude beaches — above the interests of for-profit organizations.

  • All-Nudist.com

    Jordan, you sound a bit (justifiably) defensive, but you needn’t be.  AANR is a good old boy’s club and will do what it does because they’re always right.  Hence their current success at retaining and growing membership…  We won’t even get into their utter failure to promote social nudism or to use the internet effectively.
    Yet, like you, All-Nudist.com continues to support AANR because they’re all we have.  Like you, we also offer constructive criticism in the hope that someone out there might get a glimmer of an idea that might be of some use.
    As for advertising here, locally, or wherever, nudists seem to be particularly parsimonious when it comes to investing in the things which make their pastime possible.  Camps don’t advertise, folks don’t donate to good resources or causes, and organization membership has become simply a necessary means to either get into a AANR/TNS venue or to save $5 on entry fees.  Wrong motive!

    Short story: My family owned a couple of successful restaurants starting in the 50’s.  My dad was absolutely opposed to advertising even as the competition increased.  Both restaurants were sold by the early 70’s.

    The food was good, price was right, nothing had changed, but the world passed them by and forgot they were there.

    Your everyday nudist camp is in that position now.  As demographics change these old-time camps/clubs are stuck in the ‘we must hide from the community’ mindthink of the past.  Advertise?  That costs money!  Let the nearby community know we’re here?  Scary!

    But the ‘gentleman’s club’ down the road has full page ads in the local paper and online!

    A newer generation of owners/operators could change this, but few young folks have the financial means to acquire control of existing clubs, let alone start new ones.
    And where does AANR fit into this?  Despite declining membership, they’re still swimming in a boatload of money (God only knows what they do with it other than endless conventions) and are in a position to not only insist on a set of standards, but also to subsidize advertising and promotion of member clubs.
    Will they?  Not likely.  They know they have little to offer to member clubs and dare not insist that members maintain some sort of standards that would make the ‘AANR’ sticker on the window mean anything more than $5 off gate fees if you’re a mamber.
    Take a look at Textile campgrounds which are exactly the same as nudist except for clothes.: If you want Woodall’s affiliation, you MUST meet certain standards which are totally absent in AANR affiliation.
    Woodall affiliation MEANS something, and camps are ranked according to what they offer.     http://www.woodalls.com/about.aspx

    Sorry for the long rant but, like you, we care about the future of nudism/naturism and are just as frustrated by the stuck-in-the-mud attitude of too many venues and groups.
    YNA and All-Nudistcom have a LOT of folks who come to us for information (far more than AANR and TNS combined), but if things were working as they should be, there’d be no NEED for us because the well-paid organizations would have already done it!
    Instead, most of us do it for free, for love of the lifestyle.  ‘Free’ means WE pay for it!  And damned if we can get anyone to help us out financially while the ones who are paid to be doing it do nothing.

    You’re not alone, Jordan.  We’d love to send YNA a contribution to help you keep doing this but… well… you know….  ;-)