11 Interview Questions From A Nudist Blogger in Spain About Nudism in America
I was recently contacted by a nudist blogger named Deucalion Holmes to do an interview. Deucalion lives in Spain and manages an online group called Nudistas de Murcia – nudists of Murcia, Spain. He gathered 11 questions from members in the group about me and nudism in America and sent them to me in English to answer. Then he translated the interview into Spanish on his blog, Eco-naturismo. We thought we’d share the English version of our Q&A with our community.
1. How and why did you first start in nudism?
I was raised a nudist with my family at a club called Rock Lodge in New Jersey. For the first two years of my life, my family lived full-time in the club. Then they bought a house in a (textile) neighborhood nearby, and Rock Lodge became our summer place. It really is just a seasonal club that shuts down in the colder months. So growing up, I’d spend most weekends of every summer at the club. Once or twice a year, I’d also go to Gunnison Beach with friends, which is the big nude beach in NJ.
2. Is it true that some universities in the U.S. are open to hold nudist events and activities?
Yes, though the events and activities that come to mind are not run by nudists or referred to as “nudist” events. For example, some universities have a traditional, yearly streaking event where a group of students will run around naked across the campus, just for fun. Some are known for having naked parties (organized by students, not the university itself). As for more official events, Brown University for example hosts an annual week-long event called “Nudity in the Upspace.” During this week, they have lectures, discussions, nude yoga, body painting and other activities.
I don’t know of any official university nudist club, but I’ll bet at least some universities would be open to having one in their roster of official clubs.
3 . What do you do in America to get young people interested in the naturist lifestyle?
Basically we do a lot of online marketing and social media, and we cater our events toward the younger demographic. We organize workshops and classes, as well as fun activities like our big slip ‘n’ slide and pudding toss. We also have a naturist philosophy with ethics and values, not for the sole purpose of attracting young people but I think that does appeal to my generation (I’m 26). I think it attracts more people in general when you put meaning behind naturism, rather than just saying, “Let’s all get naked ‘cause it’s fun.” Of course it is fun, and there are many “recreational nudists” who just like being naked, but to us, naturism is about more than that. At the most basic level, it’s about acceptance.
4. How was the experience of Body Paint and Action Art in Time Square?
Awesome! We’ve teamed up with Andy Golub a number of times to do group body painting in NYC. Our biggest one was Bodypainting Day last year, with 30 artists and 40 models. You can read the recap of that event here.
I’ve enjoyed being a model every single time. It’s exhilarating, a bit intense at times, but it’s a wonderful expression of freedom and body acceptance shared with the city and really, with the world, too. Without a doubt it has a positive impact both on the people that see it as well as those who participate in it.
5. Tell us something about the nudist comedy show you helped to produce.
Oh, the comedy show was a fun event. The comedians were very cool, and had no trouble performing in front of a naked audience. One even decided to get naked during his act!
Then we had Dave Attell, a very famous comic, join the show. He normally charges a ton of money to perform, but came to our event because he thought it was cool. So that was awesome.
6. Have you ever been to Spain?
I’ve only spent one weekend in Barcelona, while I was studying abroad in France. It was during the winter (but not too cold). I loved it!
Someday I’d like to go back to Spain and see more.
7. In which places is nudism allowed in the United States?
Well there are over 200 private clubs and resorts across the U.S., though some states don’t have any clubs / resorts.
Then there are some official, legal nude beaches and recreation areas (such as national parks, hot springs, rivers, lakes). We have very few public nude beaches compared to European countries, but they do exist. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to create new nude beaches, and the ones we have are often threatened by local officials who wish to shut them down (simply because they don’t like it). That’s why we have organizations like the Naturist Action Committee that fights anti-nudity legislation and lobbies for naturists.
And lastly, there are the unofficial, technically illegal, places at beaches or recreation areas. This includes places that have a longstanding tradition of skinny dipping, and it’s tolerated by the town or city. But other times it might not be as accepted as a tradition, and people would say, “Get naked at your own risk.”
Nudists need to be a bit more cautious at the unofficial places and do their research beforehand. Being caught naked in an illegal place can result in fines or even arrest and jail time. In some states, public nudity charges can lead to a person being registered as a sex offender, which is a big problem.
Sometimes nudists are even persecuted for being naked in their own home or on their own property, if other people see them. I know I’m making the U.S. sound like a terrible place! Haha. But I’m sure you know this country is pretty backward when it comes to nudity.
8. Is nudism permitted in American beaches?
Not at most beaches, no. I don’t know how many exactly, but there are some official, legal nude beaches in the U.S., such as in Florida and California (and New Jersey). Other nude beaches are unofficial and technically illegal, but have some sort of nude tradition.
9. How do nudists in America manage to live a nudist lifestyle with their own family? How easy is it for nudist American families to find enough affordable spots, where they can allow their children to practice it?
Families do the same stuff as regular nudists. They go to clubs, resorts and beaches. As for affordable spots, that can be challenging. And sometimes the challenge isn’t the price, but finding a place that’s family-oriented / family-friendly. Or finding a place that’s “family-oriented” and actually has other families present. A lot of clubs like to say they’re family-friendly, but sadly clubs have seen a decline in families with kids visiting or becoming members. I witnessed a decline in kids at my own home club, Rock Lodge, as I grew up. However that seems to be changing there, and they seem to have had an increase in families over the last few years. In any case, most places will let children under 18 in for free. So that helps with the cost. To go to a beach is still much cheaper for a family, but you have to be lucky to live near a legal nude beach.
10.Do you think all beaches and lakes should be clothing-optional, or you would rather have separated places for nudists and for textiles?
Separate areas. I believe this is what works best, for both naturists and bathing-suit people. Someday in the far future, maybe it’ll be possible to have all areas be clothing-optional and everyone will be okay with nudity and respect one another. But for now, we need to have separate areas…the most basic reason being that so many people still get offended by nudity.
11. Is there any celebrity that supports YNA?
I think Dave Attell would be the only one thus far…
Have some questions about nudism in Spain? Post a question (or two) in the comments and we will choose some questions for a mini interview with Deucalion!