Nudist Pictures and Naturist Club Photography Policies: Is It Time To Change?

| November 20, 2015 | 73 Comments

Nudist Pictures – Are Nudist Club Photography Policies Too Strict & Outdated?

Some months ago, I was visiting a good friend of mine (who’s also a naturist) for a few days in Florida. On my last full day with her, we went to hang out at a large co-op nudist club for the day. This was the first time I’d seen her in a couple years, so before we had to leave this club, I wanted to get one nice photo of the two of us together.

Nudist Pictures and naturist club photography policy nude naked photos selfie yna

Nudist Pictures and Naturist club photography & selfie policies: Do they need to change?

We found a scenic, uninhabited spot by the lake for our backdrop. But I didn’t want just a two-person selfie, so naturally we needed to find someone else to take the photo. Sounds like a simple task, right? Just get someone else to take the picture and we’re done. But…it turned into a bit of an ordeal.

For starters, this nudist club has a policy that required someone from management to be with you if you wanted to take a photo. Since this was the end of the day, there was only one person at the office, and they couldn’t leave it unattended in order to supervise our photo-op. We therefore had to wait while the office employee tried to call someone else to oversee us while we take our picture.

Naturist Pics Of A Nudist Photographer

Naturist Pics – A Nudist Photographer in Action!

After waiting around for some time, we tried to get one of the members to just quickly snap the photo of us so we could move on with our evening. But the person we asked wouldn’t do it! He was afraid to violate the club’s rule.

Finally, over 20 minutes later, one of the security people showed up and supervised the taking of this one photo – a photo of two consenting adults standing in front of an empty lake.

What is the point of this story, you ask? The point is: I think nudist club photography policies are outdated and should change.

Nudist Pics YNA

How I get a nudist pic in the pool at a nudist clubs — I wake up early

Over the years, since we started YNA, I have visited, reviewed and photographed quite a number of nudist clubs and resorts. For the reviews I post, I usually prefer to take my own photos of everything. Why? Mainly because the photos that clubs have on their websites tend to be low-resolution and just plain crappy and boring. (For example, why would someone take promotional website photos of their facilities on a dark and dingy CLOUDY day?)

Unfortunately, most clubs seem to have this photo supervision policy, which just hinders my work. “Do I need management with me even if I just want to take photos of flowers or a lizard?” I ask them. “Yes,” they tell me.

The thing is, there’s an alternative policy that works better for everyone, and it’s simple: Don’t take photos of other people without their consent.

Most people are capable of understanding and following this rule. And if they don’t? The club takes action.

As I see it, there are 4 problems with the outdated supervision policy:

First, it shows how clubs are still treating new people as if they are guilty until proven innocent. Some facilities have been rightly accused of being overly suspicious of newcomers, especially single men. This does not make for a positive, welcoming experience and can easily drive people away.

In reality, based on my world views, once you let people inside the club gates, you have to trust them. You can’t put them on a leash and follow them around to make sure they don’t violate any of the rules (that would be a different kind of club).

Nudist Pic Of Naturist Women At A Nude Beach YNA

Nudist Pic – Naturist Women At A Nude Beach

Furthermore, I know this consent-based photo rule can work because I know at least one club that uses it and has used it for many years: Rock Lodge Club in New Jersey.

Do they still get a visitor once in a while who breaks the photo rule? Of course, and they deal with it appropriately and swiftly. But I’m betting this does not occur any more frequently than it does at clubs with the supervision rule.

Second, if someone really wants to secretly take nude photos, they can find a way to do it. Thanks to advances in technology, there are some really tiny cameras out there that can be hidden in everyday objects, such as in sunglasses or a pen. (And people have been caught using such devices at nudist places already!)

Nudist Pictures Of Nudist Women Playing Nude Volleyball YNA

Nudist Pictures – Nudist Women Playing Nude Volleyball

I don’t say this to generate more paranoia. It’s just to point out that the supervision rule creates a false sense of privacy and protection.

It punishes everyone, instead of just the perpetrators, and it does not even help to deter the creeps one bit. Why should anyone be penalized for taking a photo of consenting adults?

Third, this policy is yet one more issue that keeps nudist clubs and nudism out of the mainstream.

We’re living in the age of social media when it’s so easy to take a photo and share it with thousands of people. By not allowing visitors, especially young adults, to spontaneously take photos and share them online with their friends / followers, we’re further relegating nudism to the hidden corners of the Internet and the world.

There are events such as the big Super Bowl volleyball tournament at White Thorn Lodge where no photography is allowed. I just learned this from a post at the Active Naturists blog, and I agree with the writer that this is a shame.

Nudist Pics Of Nudist Women Dancing YNA

Nudist Pics – Nudist Women Dancing At A Nude Beach

This week-long tournament is one of the biggest naturist events in the U.S. with hundreds of people and yet it opts out of the opportunity to be shared and documented with thousands of people online. The opportunity to generate more interest, reach more people and get so many new individuals excited about attending these events is lost.

I’m sure there are other tournaments and big events that follow this same policy and they, too, miss out on the opportunity to grow their attendance. Of course some events have official designated photographers, but I’ve noticed that the photos taken usually end up being seen by a very limited audience, if not just naturists themselves. It could make a huge difference for people to be able to take their own photos and share them as the event is happening or later on.

Events aside, it should go without saying that online photo-sharing is great promotion for nudist clubs as well.

nudist club photography policies nude naked photo felicity yna

A photo my mom took of me at a nudist club, without the required supervision (Shh don’t tell anyone!)

Fourth, I can say for certain that people do feel punished by the rule for a crime they haven’t committed (as I did at the beginning of my story).

People naturally want to take photos of themselves, friends and family while they’re having fun at a nudist club. To have to go find someone from the management every time you want to take such a photo can be just plain annoying and frustrating. Not to mention an utter waste of time and resources for the club.

I know people want their privacy. Respecting others’ privacy is very important. I think I should point out that not wanting your photo taken doesn’t mean you’re ashamed to be a nudist. Maybe you tell everyone you know about your nudist weekends, but you don’t want nude photos taken. Or you don’t want any photos taken without your express consent.

Even when people are okay with nude photos in general, most don’t want to be secretly photographed or filmed for a voyeurism website that will profit off their image. (I sure don’t!)

The bottom line is that everyone has a different comfort level and everyone’s privacy should be and needs to be respected.

But with a focus on consent and common sense, I also think we can ensure photo privacy in a much more reasonable and logical way. There is a better middle ground between “NO PHOTOS EVER” and a picture free-for-all.

Nudism Pics - Nudist Women At A Nude Beach YNA

Nudism Pics – Nudist Women At A Nude Beach.

I’ve been to clubs where they ask you to put electrical tape or a sticker over the lens on the back of your cell phone. (I’m not sure they realize there’s usually a lens on the front, too.) I think this is fine – though it will not hinder a person’s ability to take images in secret. Since people can be sitting around the pool looking at their phones, it’s easy to FEEL LIKE others MAY be secretly filming you even if they’re not. You want everyone to feel safe and comfortable, especially in the crowded areas – so that is one way to go about it.

However it shouldn’t be that big a deal if I want to clearly and obviously take a consensual photo with a friend, especially in a secluded spot where no one else is around. Or if I want to take a photo of flowers or of the pool when no one is in it. Does anyone really need supervision for that?

In conclusion I think it’s time we start to move beyond the overly-cautious, paranoid approach of the 20th century and allow nudism to be more easily documented in the digital age. We can emphasize privacy, respect and consent while still letting people have fun and without turning nudism into a secret, hidden activity.

What do you think, readers? Have you had difficulties with photography at nudist clubs or resorts? Do you think these policies need to change?

Check out my follow-up post: Photography At Nudist Resorts Part Deux

This post about Nudist Pictures and Nudist club photography & selfie policies was published by – Young Naturists and Nudists America

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Category: Felicity's Nudist Blog, Nudist Resorts, Nudism and Naturism

About the Author ()

Author of Felicity's Blog. Co-founder of Young Naturists America. 3rd-generation nudie. Avid reader. Feminist. 70% vegan, 30% vegetarian. When I'm not busy eating, I'm writing about naturism, censorship, topfree equality, body image and other fun topics. I like feedback, so plz leave a comment when you've got something to say!
  • IvanAkirov

    rando cool Problem is people, yes, but not the people themselves, their educations is. If, as is being discussed here, people ask for consent prior to snap a picture, take the time and care to ensure anybody not interested in the picture would appear in the frame by means of asking for a momentary clearing of the setting, or asking those in the background if they mind it, or setting the camera the way deep of field blur them, would be a solution, it’s no rocket science, just common sense and polite manners…

  • rando cool

    on a side note i didnt realize there was a part 2 to this blog. also ive only been to nude beaches and even then i found it kind of hard to keep my phone with me mainly because of the lack of pockets. so seeing someone walking around with their phone in hand does raise suspicion with me i dont really see the need. also the type of people who ive met at the beach tend to be very open minded and respectful people the only ones who sent out that im recording you vibe were the people who were clothed. im sure at the clubs and resorts its not much of an issue because we are all there because we share the same view about the human body

  • rando cool

    i was going to totally mention the possibility of one losing their job as a reason for not allowing cameras at nude events. lol somebody beat me to it. this is something many people fail to realize as a possibility. this i believe is also a reason why many young people do not get involved in nude recreation. for the older folks getting photographed naked doesnt pose much of a threat mainly because of their internet footprint or because theyre already retired. while for those of us entering the job market/ looking to move up in the job market internet searches of who we are are not uncommon. it has nothing to do with shame or anything. if we were ashamed of our bodies then we wouldnt be at these nude spots. what many are afraid of is the many possible negative side effects being photographed may cause. society isnt completely accepting of our life style. its easy to label a nudist/naturist as a degenerate or pervert

  • COHome I’m sorry to hear of your experience. I suppose that can happen in a school situation. Yes, in my country, a teacher lost his job when he admitted he was gay. Just like that. A homosexual relationship is a crime in the statute books.
    I sometimes do wonder if I’m doing the right thing by being open about my pics. I am a family man with two kids and my professional body has strict rules on decorum. I wrote about what the battle within me in my blog:
    Basically, it’s a tussle between my belief in the wholesomeness of naturism and the contrary view of the highly conservative Asian and Confucian society I live in. Everyone tells me I’ll regret one day but I find it hard to dissemble and hide my true beliefs.

  • homeclothesfree

    Not sure why some. Folks can’t admit that this is a real possibility for some people and everyone’s situation is different.

  • homeclothesfree

    Totally agree with your assesment

  • Read the subsequent articles and search for the TV news segment about the effort to remove him from the bench.
    I speak from experience. I lost my 4 year coaching job after an innocent nude photo of me was sent to the school I coached at. It happens. Those who think it doesn’t are simply naive.

  • COHome ‘this guy is facing losing his job’??? Where on earth did you get that from. That’s not what the article says. Did you even read the article? That’s precisely my point about the alarmist attitude a lot of people have towards nudism. Of course most of you have the best of intentions but it’s not true. There is nothing that suggests that he’s going to lose his job. Let’s not speculate. If there is a REAL case of a judge losing his job because a photo of him nude was taken without his knowledge and posted online, let’s have that article, please. 
    I say all this because I speak as one who lives in a country with draconian laws against nudity. Yet, I can tell you the consequences of having one’s pics posted online while living in such a country are usually very much played up. Even in a draconian country, it’s not as bad as we tend to think. Of course it’s different if the nude photos were taken in this country in a public place. That’s different. But if the pics were taken in a legal nudist place, there are no real consequences. People I know who were imprisoned when a nude video of them went viral got into trouble with the law because the video was shot in a public place in the country. But if a nude video of them went viral and they were on an FKK nudist beach in Europe, there would have been no trouble. Even for a country as inanely opposed to nudity.
    At the time when those people were arrested, the Press contacted me and asked for some pics. I sent the journalist photos of myself taken on a nudist beach in Europe. But the journalist asked me for photos taken in a public place in my country. I told him I didn’t have them because that would of course be illegal. You see, even in an insanely draconian country in conservative Asia, the strong arm of the law can’t touch you if you have committed no crime. Nudity in legal nudist places is not a crime anywhere. Of course in my own country, there are no legal nudist places anywhere. 
    I hope when we talk about consequences, we will be more balanced. It’s one thing to speculate that the judge ‘is facing losing his job’. But that’s only a wild conjecture. We must be clear here.

  • Here is a recent example of the danger of unauthorized photos…now this guy is facing losing his job. Sad, but reality.

  • rando cool A ban on cellphones is overly broad.  Many people use cell phones to keep in touch with loved ones, not [just] as cameras.

  • De McClung “public nudist setting…which includes resorts” is self contradictory.  Nudist resorts are private businesses, unlike public parks and beaches, and their management may set whatever policy they wish.  You are free to patronize their business or not (i.e. vote with your dollars) but once on their private property, they make the rules (and have every right to do so).

  • j238

    De McClung How about a policy like this: Photography is prohibited because the presence of cameras makes many people uncomfortable.

    Your thoughts?

  • De McClung This is the most rational and honest comment I’ve read. It’s also precisely my sentiment. The naturist world is pandering to too many closet nudists who obviously treat nudity more like some kind of quasi-sexual activity that explains why these people are uncomfortable with the presence of a camera whenever they’re nude. Anyone who is indulging in some kind of sexual activity will not want a camera to be anywhere near them either. One either treats nudity as perfectly natural, ie no differently from one’s clothed pics or just stay at home.

  • De McClung

    If my camera is not welcome….I will not go there.  No one is entitled to privacy in a public nudist setting…which includes resorts etc.  The very idea is absurd.  If you don’t want to be seen nude, or any other way….stay in your house with the curtains closed.  Simple as that.  problem solved.

  • rando cool

    seems to me that the problem is the people who are snapping the photos. an easy solution would be to have ban on cellphones where nude recreation is going on and a dedicated area for cellphone use this guarantees privacy for everyone. there should also be camera people scattered about whose job it is to take photos. this guarantees a quality photo not some crappy cell photo and if by some chance some passerby gets caught in the photo a simple blurr effect can be added to preserve anonymity. i know it doesnt sound cost effective but in all reality it shouldnt cost much more than a few extra dollars on top of whatever membership dues you would already be paying to use the grounds. just an idea…….

  • saratje

    The need for a manager or assistant is very over the top. I guess what
    really is going on is that they want personel present to avoid someone
    sueing the location in the event that a photo has spread onto
    malignant websites, after which the victim will sue the location for not having done enough to prevent
    Photography at nudist clubs should be allowed as long as all persons clearly featured in the photo have consented. In my personal opinion, if someone’s on the background and not part of the group that wants the photo taken, there’s no problem as nobody really cares that they’re even on the photo. But with respect to those who have issues with that and want privacy before common sense, I refrain from doing that myself. Usually if you raise a camera and pose, those who do not want on are quick to take a hike anyway.

    But, while as a nudist we may have no ill intents, others who eventually gain access to those photos might (and digital photos are a lot easier to access). Just as with any photo we have stored on our phone, our computer or wherever you store your vacation photos, it is easy to forget about them and for someone else to find them. But more common today, is that computer viruses can mask themselves on your PC and quietly upload all image data to third party servers. These servers then sell thse images to third party webservices (in example, those fake dating profile sites).

    I don’t mind if people see me nude, I’ve been in photos with others on occasion and I’m sure they’re on a blog or two, nothing going on but a group of people having a laugh and a fun time at a great (nudist) vacation location. But if someone’d edit that image or put it in the wrong context, I’d be disappointed, even if I don’t know the stranger who got their hands on them somehow. But someone else might be more sensitive than me and may feel so distraught that they never visit a nudist club or location again.

  • De McClung

    Didn’t you read my post at all?  I addressed all that needs be addressed.  Why agonize over something that has been resolved?

  • Felicity, I basically agree with your approach to try to find a less draconian way of dealing with photo-taking.  I still see a lot of problems and loopholes though, in the way the issue is being looked at. My question is:  When you say “permission”, what kind of permission is it exactly?  Q-1: “At this moment in time, in this place, are you comfortable with the sight of me holding a camera and the good possibility that you will recognizably appear in photos that I shoot?” Or is it: Q-2: “Are you OK with me shooting a photo of you and presenting the photo in various venues where other people can see it, and BTW where it can be further copied by others and further distributed?”

    I assume that if you shoot a photo you are not just going to let it sit in your archive, unseen.  By not addressing exactly what sort of permission you are asking for, it is actually no kind of permission at all.  It is more of a showing of respect in the moment.  Many people will say “Yeah, it’s ok” just out of politeness, even if it is really not fully OK.  They are still thinking “what’s going to happen to that photo?”.  And it’s not even a matter of maybe getting fired or not.  A lot of people are just not that crazy about having their picture taken, nude or not.  And that should be somewhat respected.  There is one leap for people to just get socially naked.  It is maybe an even bigger leap to being completely okay appearing naked in photos.  Resort owners are sensitive to the varying degrees of comfort their guests will feel if they see a camera present at the side of the pool.

    At our Naked Club events, when there is NO official photography from us, the rule I have set is that you should not be taking photos except when you clearly know the people you are shooting and have already established a “photo-taking relationship” with them.  If new people are around you must announce that you have a camera and will not shoot them unless they want to be in photos.  What happens is that the photo-taking moments become very defined and some people will step out of the way.  There is no or little random shooting going on.  And I think something like that could work at resorts.  If I were running a resort I would say “there’s basically no shooting allowed unless you are clearly in an isolated spot and only with people who are ok with the photos you are taking – shooting in other circumstances could get you evicted, so be careful!”  The problem is that the nature of rules is that they are best understood when black and white.  When you introduce grays, which you and I are suggesting, enforcement becomes very difficult.  I can understand why some places will just flat out say “no cameras, no pictures”. It’s totally clear to all guests, managers, and security people.

  • De McClung

    Rule: If I can SEE you with my eyes…I can SEE you with my camera.  I don’t need your permission to remember SEEing you with my eyes, neither do I need your permission to remember SEEing you with my camera.  Case closed!  A camera, like your mind,  is a recording device.  The eye of the camera [lens] gathers the image and stores it in the camera’s memory bank [film, memory card].  Likewise the eyes gather information, images, data, and sends that image to the brain where it is stored in the mind’s memory banks.  This is the scientific facts of the matter.  It is not disputable.  A simple understanding of basic scientific logic and human biological functionality tells us that this is not only true, but a fact.  Only an illiterate fool would dispute this fact.  Bare [pun intended] that in mind if you chose to argue against this fact.  Disagreeing with me is one thing, to disagree with the               proven [beyond doubt or dispute] facts of this matter is just stupid.  If you don’t want to be SEEn by me [as a result of me LOOKing at you] and, thus, being remembered by me, stay out of sight.  I have “photographic” memory,  just like my camera.  Most people do, more or less.  This is how the human mind works.  This is the reality of it.  I am an expert, it’s my job to know such things.  You don’t have to be an expert to know what I know on this subject.  I have just shared a fact based logical conclusion with you.  Not my opinion, that would be another thing.

  • The best rules for photography in nudist clubs should simply be “Photography is allowed providing the permission of all in the photo has been obtained”
    If you ban photos you’re saying its a abnormal pastimes and/or you have something to hide.

  • De McClung

    Let me be clear: pedophile: noun, Psychiatry.
    1. an adult who is sexually attracted to young children.
    Let’s examine this word and it’s meaning, and thus, it’s CORRECT application.
    1. “Young children”. A young child is less than an older child. A child is defined as under the developmental stage of puberty. Generally and universally accepted as under 12. Pre-pubescent. This is a scientific fact that is not swayed by popular opinion, the thinking of the hysterical mob, or dimwitted fools and misguided bullies of the Common Society. Most Americans fall into this category of illiterates and emotionally manipulated miscreants.
    2. The word does NOT include teenagers, adolescents. It never has and it never will. That is another word. Hebephile. Most adults [whether they admit it or not], including adolescents, fall in this category. It’s only natural.
    3. Just being a pedophile, or a hebephile, is not a crime. Just BEING something is not DOING something. Contrary to common miss-conceptions, delusions perpetuated by hysteria which is created and promoted by the Mindbenders [The Neocon-Socialist Alliance/ The Collective Agenda], just being a pedophile, or any other type of person, including hebephile, homosexual, midget, billionaire, for example, is not a criminal ACT. A criminal ACT involves DOING something that violates another human being’s rights, freedoms. Statistically speaking, as far as we know [for sure] pedophilia is a very small element in human society. Hardly worth all the hysteria generated by the fools and miscreants of American society.
    4. All of this nonsensical hysteria over pedophiles is more harmful, and dangerous, than almost any other threat to the well-being of human beings, especially children, that plagues our society.  The government, and stupid people, comes to mind.

  • De McClung

    @The hysterical person that mentioned pedophiles here.  I say hysterical because that is what it is.  Hysteria.  Hysteria created by the mindbenders.  They have an agenda.  That agenda is to turn us against each other, the young against the old-er, to create fear, irrational fear, and, thus, chaos. People are easier to manage, manipulate, and bully if they are overwhelmed with unreasonable hysteria, a form of insanity.  Induced mental instability and mental  illness.  One of the symptoms of this mental illness is to deny the effects  that cause the mental illness.  Denial is as much a part of the mental affliction as the hysteria that is produced, as well as the conflicted and illogical arguments that people engage in over the subject.  Pedophilia has been greatly exaggerated and most people simply have a skewed [misunderstanding] view of what pedophilia is and what the word actually means and the correct application of the word.  It doesn’t mean what most people think it means.  I will not get into that here.  Suffice it to say, it has little, if any, to do with nudism.

  • The other point I want to make is the importance of naturist photographs that many closet nudists love to downplay. We always complain that the world does not understand naturism and when o when will they finally understand us? One very effective means of helping the world to understand naturism is the use of photographs. The world is flushed with pornographic photos. It’s hard to blame the textile world for having their blinkered view that nudity is sex because whenever they come across nude photos, they see nothing but porn. Why is that so? That’s because there are many closet nudists who are afraid of posting their photos. 

    Of course we must respect the wishes of closet nudists and that must be sacred and non-negotiable. But those of us who are not closet nudists should then make it a point to help change the balance we see on the internet. Especially those of us who love posting clothed selfies on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
    I have said that I live in a country that has draconian laws against nudity and everyone in my country is dead  opposed to nudity. But the photos I posted in my blog actually had the effect of changing the mindset of many of these people. I discovered that most of them thought nudism was sexual and hence their opposition to it. But when they see from the many photos I post, they realise that (1) nudism is far from sexual (2) it’s just a matter of doing what textile folks do except without the encumbrance of clothes and (3) I’m obviously not ashamed of my nudity so nudity can’t be all that bad. It’s amazing how friends of mine who were so opposed to nudism actually had a change of heart. It would have been different if I had concealed my face in the photos which is one reason why I always criticise those who do that. When you do that, you are implying that nudity is bad and hence the need to hide your face.

    I always wonder why nudist photos (whenever they are used) tend to be vintage photos. Photos of nudists taken more than half a century ago. And then it became clear to me. Obviously, in those days, there was no rule against the use of the camera and a lot of families could take photos of themselves. 

    If closet nudists are to blame for this rule in many resorts against the use of the camera and phone, then closet nudists are to blame for the dearth of wholesome nudist pictures today. And hence the imbalance on the internet so that the textile world only sees porn whenever there is any nudity.
    It’s time closet nudists stop being so intrusive and loud. It’s fine if you are ashamed of your nudity or you have some other unresolved issues. But don’t throw the spanner in the works. Let true nudists promote nudism and the closet nudist can hide in some private place where there is no camera and phone.

  • FelicityJones It’s a truism that everyone’s wishes must be respected and I observe that well enough. I live in a frightfully conservative Asian country with laws that are so draconian that many in the West cannot even imagine. My own wife is a confirmed textile like everyone else I know. Of course other people’s wishes must be respected.
    That is why I don’t go to any resort that forbids the camera. But it is my firm conviction that naturists should not be so terrified of appearing in someone else’s photograph when they’re nude. We who believe that nudity is perfectly natural should not go ballistic when we’re photographed. A good example is what was discussed in the planning committee of this year’s London WNBR. Apparently a woman who rode naked fired a water pistol at the camera of a rather intrusive member of the public. Her action was strongly condemned by every naturist in the committee.

    You may say a nudist club is different and that’s true to some extent. But a nudist who’s terrified of being photographed should not insist on rules to forbid the right of others to use the camera and the phone. I can respect the wishes of the terrified nudist and I certainly won’t photograph him. In fact I always make it a point not to photograph others. If you look at my blog, you will find that I don’t post other people’s photos unlike some closet nudists who only post other people’s photos. But it is not for the frightened nudist to insist that I do not use my camera and phone whenever he’s around. If he doesn’t trust other nudists to respect his wishes not to be photographed, he should not be naked since he’s so dreadfully frightened of appearing in someone’s photograph. But having rules to stop other nudists such as yourself from taking their own personal photos is rather extreme. Tell that to any non-naturist and he’s sure to reply that the sensible thing to do for these terrified nudists is not to go naked. After all, the fear that these terrified nudists have is precisely the same fear shared by anyone from the textile community.
    Most true nudists would respect the wishes of these terrified closet nudists. Most of us would never dream of photographing such people. After all, it’s the closet nudist who loves to post other people’s photos in their blogs since they don’t dare to post their own. But while we respect the wishes of closet nudists, closet nudists intrude into our space by demanding that we can’t even use the phone and the camera? Surely that must be unjust to anyone who’s fair-minded?
    If a club has rules against the use of the phone and the camera, I will simply avoid it. I will assume that it’s a club for closet nudists only. Those who are not closet should refuse to join such a club and start a club of our own that is free of this ludicrous paranoid terror.

  • naturistrebel Still disagree with you here. Of course everyone must deal with the possibility that they could be secretly photographed in any nudist setting, but being in nude photos or having your nude photos plastered across the Internet shouldn’t be a requirement to be a naturist. There are already plenty of people ready and willing to be in photos to promote naturism.
    It’d be great if nude photos weren’t a big deal for anyone regardless of their employment but that is just not reality. While it’s unlikely to cause issues for anyone most of the time, I still say it’s best and simplest to respect people’s wishes.

  • influence culture wear less naturistrebel

  • j238

    influence culture wear less j238 There’s a difference between essential phone use and habitual use.  You’re invoking the first to rationalize the second.

  • r1jes2000

    yes by all means a lot of club policies need to change. the faster the better. and also the quicker the growth of clubs and nudity in America.

  • Imnaykid

    richpasco Imnaykid I agree.  I support the rights of the property owner.  Some resorts are slow to change.  But it is time for them to visit this policy.

  • Anyone who’s so terrified of the camera or of being photographed while nude should remain clothed all the time when there are others around. If nudity is such a terrible thing or appearing nude in someone else’s photograph is such a dreadful thing, he should just be honest with himself and with others around him – he ain’t ready to be a naturist yet.

  • j238

    Anyone whose attachment to their phone is so absolute that he or she would forego a naturist resort needs to gain some perspective.  No phone should be anywhere near the top of anyone’s priority list.

  • Imnaykid I agree that a “no camera” policy is out of date, and if I owned a resort, I would certainly change it.  But in all this discussion we need to remember that each resort is privately owned and it is their owners and designated managers who set their policy.  The best we as customers can do is talk to them and politely express our feelings; if they do not respond we can vote with our feet and our dollars.

  • Imnaykid

    It is time to change this and several other policies.

  • DennisJustice

    influence culture wear less DennisJustice Thank you.

  • I just read the interesting account of richpasco’s experiment with the camera on a nudist beach. I think people are generally more OK on nudist beaches. Perhaps there are more stuffy irascible people in the nudist clubs? Last year, I was on a nudist beach in Croatia with my son and we took many photos as I blogged here:
    I did tell him specifically not to take the pics of the other nudists. Absolutely nobody even raised an eyebrow.

  • I spent today on a public, clothing-optional beach.  I took my camera with its big telephoto lens to photograph the birds (seagulls, pelicans, terns, etc.)  Although I was nude, I half expected some angry nudists to confront me and accuse me of photographing them, even though I was not.  To my delight, that didn’t happen at all!  Some commented to acknowledge my photographing the birds, but most people paid me no notice at all.

  • homeclothesfree Some nudist clubs insist on a sticker over the lens of any camera phone or tablet.  I will NOT put on such a sticker:
    (1) It leaves a gummy goo on the lens
    (2) It is tangible evidence of the club’s mistrust, presumption of guilt, the whole subject of this article.

  • DennisJustice

    Whoever is posting as “,” please, stop.  The posts from this person is NOT me and it creates a confusion from people thinking I am posting under that username when I am clearly not.

    Thank you.

    Dennis Justice

  • DennisJustice

    petitionnudebeachfornorthcarolina You should cease from using the username “petitionfornudebeachfornorthcarolina.”  It creates a confusion that your posts come from me.

    Dennis Justice

  • homeclothesfree

    my club/resort has banned all devices with cameras in common areas because of the the possible use to stream live video using apps like meerkat or periscope I think these are valid concerns but complex and require thoughtful and less simplistic attempts to answer the concerns.

  • homeclothesfree

    Stickers on the outward facing camera on phone or tablet would goa. Long way to making sure the pics are of those who intend or consent to be in it

  • JosephAnnino

    j238 JosephAnnino FelicityJones  Thanks for your response Felicity.

    The rule was not explained to me, and I did find it be pretty rude the way the woman ran after me with a piece of paper.  Clearly its not the best way to handle things.  If the management had thought that rule was as important as this member did, they might have explained it to me.

    So self policing of communities is a good thing, but its important to realize there are lots of different personalities out there.  Some people have a very black and white authoritarian mindset.  They may not think to give someone the benefit of the doubt or act with tact.  Those shades or grey which let us all get along and synchronize our expectations are lost on them.  Not that such people can’t be a beneficial part of the community, but maybe they should go to another member who understands how to handle issues appropriately.  If clubs want to be sure people follow their rules, but also create a friendly atmosphere for newcomers to get acclimated to the expectations of the community, they need to communicate clearly to their members how to do that.  Part of the process should involve reevaluating the purpose of rules and whether each is the best way to achieve the goals it was placed there for.

    I know FelicityJones  has fought a lot against genital jewelry rules. In many cases, it was a situation of “extreme cases make bad law” that created those rules.   I’m very much one to say the spirit of the law is more important than the letter of the law, and if the letter does not serve the spirit, the letter of the law must be changed.

  • j238 JosephAnnino I think you missed the point of the story. He didn’t “decide” to disrespect the rule; that was her assumption. He actually didn’t know the rule, and she was rude in informing him of it. This is a well-known problem at clubs and resorts. Members police newcomers but instead of nicely and politely informing them of the rules, they’re incredibly rude and nasty about it, as they assume the person is deliberately breaking them. That sort of thing can put a damper on the rest of your day (and not make you want to return to that place).
    He’s also understandably critical of the rule itself. If the rule is made for photography reasons, why would it make a difference that someone can’t use their phone next to the pool, but if they walk 3 feet away then it’s fine? A policy like that really does not achieve what it’s supposed to.

  • j238 JosephAnnino ‘…a rule respected by everyone…’? That’s totally wrong in the light of this article and the comments made here. Rules can be wrong and they are not inherently sacred. The whole idea behind this article is to question if such a rule is ‘too strict and outdated’. Until the mid-20th century the US had clear rules that forbade black people to sit in the front half of the public bus.
    But I know what you mean. I personally would never step into a place that strictly forbids the use of a camera and a phone. I would assume such a place is intended for orgies and other open sexual activities which are against my personal moral values. I prefer places where nudity is viewed as perfectly natural and not sexual and therefore not off-limits to the camera.

  • j238

    JosephAnnino You decided that a rule respected by everyone else doesn’t apply to you.  You posted here that the person who called you out was off-base.  Of course, that’s the way you see it.  But, you’re the one who decided to disrespect the rule.  Maybe you’re the one off-base.

  • I’ve just read with dismay Joseph Annino’s post about the frenzied reaction of the woman in a nudist resort when he took out his phone to make a phone call. That has prompted me to write this post in my blog. I thank Felicity Jones for her admirable article that has spurred me to think more about the matter and come up with what I think is a true assessment of the problem.

  • FelicityJones richpasco petitionnudebeachfornorthcarolina Not my argument, just saying what club management says.  Some club managers prohibit all cell phones, with or without cameras, saying that “we come here to disconnect from technology and the rest of the world.”  I say, clubs have the right to make whatever rules they want, and we have the choice whether or not to patronize them depending on our agreement with their policies.

  • richpasco petitionnudebeachfornorthcarolina That would be a very poor argument. A lot of people enjoy playing games on their smartphones too, or use their devices just for entertainment purposes. In which case they’re also not a necessity of life. No difference here really.

  • petitionnudebeachfornorthcarolina I think the resort management would say that you don’t have to play such video games at their resort, and that you should leave your camera at home.  I think that this excuse for operating a camera would be seen as a very flimsy one.  Tearaway is not a necessity of life.

  • JosephAnnino

    Nudism has been in a place of reacting to misunderstanding, rather than just being itself, but quite a while.   A lot of clubs, at least the ones I visit, have gotten over that, but plenty are still operating in a fearful security state mentality which is out of step with how people really live.  Photographs are really the best way to promote this lifestyle.  Showing how beautiful these places are, and how fun it is do.

    Technology means everyone has a camera on their phone, on them all the time.  It also means if someone suspects someone of taking pictures inappropriately, you can demand to review them.  Its not like a film camera where you can no idea until the film is developed.  Conflicts can be resolved quickly by viewing someone’s photo gallery.

    I was at a club and answered a phone call by the pool, and a woman carrying a sheet of rules came running up at me telling me you cannot use a phone by the pool because it has a camera.  So I moved 3 feet to be outside the pool fence, that was fine.  Besides being a ridiculous policy, she handled it really badly.  The assumption that people who break the varied rules different clubs make are malicious, instead of ignorant, put things on the wrong foot.

    I’m glad you wrote this.  I think it speaks to wider issues of how nudist communities make rules and police themselves.  We need to stop being so fearful and reactive, and instead rely on strong communities that communicate with and build trust.

  • Well these are real, but also different issues. These people who upload photos after being asked not to are certainly nobody’s real friend! Respecting others’ privacy is the right thing to do, but no club can control what anyone does with the photos they take, other than ensure that people consented to be in them.
    Most people can figure out what’s best for themselves, to be in a photo or not.
    In general it’s a good idea to make people aware of how photos can end up anywhere on the Internet once they’re posted online. Though I think the scenario of the kindergarten teacher rarely ever happens unless they are tagged / named in the photo and even then, it relies on the likelihood of the employer or someone who knows them seeing it and sharing it.

  • hontouniheart yeah, that does sound pretty absurd, doesn’t it?
    It’s like they don’t trust anyone to be able to take their own photo without getting anyone else in it. 
    I understand having concerns about photography when you’re new to it all. Though I think if the management of a club is doing their job, they can inform people of what the rules are and address common concerns about photos from the get-go.

  • j238 Nobody needsto visit nudist clubs either.

  • IvanAkirov

    I think this one rule you propose is very simple and effective, it is not the rule that may fail, is the people that may want to take advantage of it beyond what common sense may dictate. It’s a question of education and culture.
    Yesterday I read a post on emergingnudist which discusses (once more) the reasons why youth is not attracted to the nudist club concept. One of those reasons is this no camera/no photos policies in this digital smartphone era, and the thing is that avoiding the use of this devices for the young is like severing one of their limbs, so no doubt they may prefer other ways to practice a co-op life. I’m not that young, I’m in my 40’s, but I myself enjoy a lot taking pictures of what I do and the people I share these activities with, including a lot of nature photography (I’m a biologist, you got to understand), and a camera and my smartphone are always at hand if I’m surrounded by nature or new places, being naked or not. So people like me or most of today’s youth will think it twice if this limitation is present.
    I support you on this photography by consent rule, and as educating people on naturism and body acceptance, we must educate them in the importance of consent in almost if not everything we do.

  • naturistrebel

    I thank the writer of this article for such a wonderful and sincere post. She’s obviously a true and genuine nudist unlike the many hypocrites in our midst who call themselves ‘nudists’.
    There is a good reason why I don’t go to naturist clubs and places that forbid the camera. I treat my body as perfectly decent and natural and having a prohibition on the use of the camera is obviously contrary to the naturist philosophy that the body is wholesome, decent and natural. If naturists really look upon the body as natural, this is not how they would behave. I’ve only joined naturists in Asia and Europe who usually aren’t so uptight about photography. Next year, I’ll be going on a naturist hike in the Alps and the group leaders who are all Europeans have made it a rule that photography is to be encouraged and we are all encouraged not just to take photos but to blog them and post them on naturist forums after the event.
    That is the kind of sincerity I like. I have offended a lot of people when I wrote in my blog that it’s hypocritical to say nudity is natural when one is truly ashamed of one’s own nudity. I may be faulted for being insensitive but I can’t be faulted for my honesty. How can we spread nudism to the world when we show the textile world that we are oh so afraid of the camera when we’re nude!!! Please forgive me but in my limited vocabulary, ‘hypocritical’ is the only apt word to describe such a person.
    Kudos to the writer of this article for rebelling against the hypocritical culture in many nudist places in the US. Yes, it’s time they changed the rules.

  • hontouniheart

    It was basically this feeling of:

    So, I can consent to someone ELSE (“approved photographer”) taking a picture of me, but I can’t consent to MYSELF taking a picture of me?

  • hontouniheart

    Reflecting on my own experience, I was most certainly concerned by the possibility of people taking photos of me, or being caught in photos without my consent. Last year was a lot of firsts for me during year 1 of my clothes free life, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect or whom to trust. I didn’t even really trust the approved photographers who were there to document the event.

    However, I will say, that because those were my first experiences, I really wanted to document them for myself, for my own records and stories. They were such positive experiences that meant a lot to me for so many reasons, and to not have the option to document myself was frustrating, especially since there were approved photographers going around snapping photos of the events (of course only where people consented). I understand the distinction and the concerns. Similar to Felicity and possibly others, I don’t want to end up on someone else’s blog that might fall into another category of topics. At the same time, me not being allowed to take a picture of myself with no one else in it was disheartening. I wanted those memories for myself as well as for the people with whom I choose to discuss my clothes free life (e.g. my mom, who gets excited every time I have a new clothes free experience about which to share; a few friends). 

    Honestly, having approved photographers walk up to me and ask me if they could snap a photo of me during the events while I wasn’t allowed to photograph myself felt creepy in a way.

  • JohnAnne

    I’ve got to say that we support the ‘consent’ rule.  First, we’re all adults, second, most of us have been to more than one nude venue and understand that even if there is a consent rule, you still check with the powers that be about their policies.  We’ve been to places so strict that they even make you leave your cell phone or any electronic media devices locked in your vehicle.  If you need to use it, check email, make a call, then you have to do it from your vehicle.  Felicity is right, Rock Lodge has a great policy about photographs and seems to work well with ADULTS and experienced visitors.

    We’ve been to other places where we’ve asked about taking photos of each other and our friends and it’s been very politely explained to us to not include others in the background, such as at Serendipity in GA.

    Understanding people’s concerns with photos, it is only appropriate to keep these things in mind when taking photos.  We don’t take photos of naked people to have photos of naked people, we take them as anyone else would as keepsakes of participating in events or having a great time with friends.

    Even at publicly open venues such as Gunnison Beach in NJ, your photo behavior should be that of a mature nudist.  There will be people there at the beach that may have other ideas of what your limits should be, and are not shy in letting you know what their feelings are.

    As with everything else in life, there will be extremists on both ends of the photo taking spectrum.  More than likely, these policies at private resorts/clubs are put into place because there has been some kind of issue in the past at that location.

    If you ever see us at one of your functions/venues, the courtesy of asking us for a photo or to be in a photo would be greatly appreciated.  We will do the same.  We call it just being considerate and polite.

    John and Anne

  • SteveVB

    It seems to me that when most people at a resort are regulars, supervising reasonable rules as you said makes perfect sense. For huge special events with many who are first-timers, and most are not regular to the club, supervision is harder, expectations/assumptions are all over the map, and nubies are extra scared of cameras, I can understand why they might just say “no cameras”.

  • j238

    Maybe resorts can designate a scenic spot where photos are permitted, and maintain their policies in the rest of their property.  No one needs to photograph every moment of their lives.

  • FelicityJones Felicity, the idea of allowing snapshots with casual consent, facing away from others so they are not in the background is sensible and I think workable and will be fine 95% of the time.  Potential trouble begins around the idea of the “casual permission” to take a photo and the implied or assumed real extent of the permission and the lack of a record of that permission.  The assumption is “yes it’s ok, but you’re not going to post this anywhere public, right?”.  Even if that is your intention as the shooter, if you share the photo with even one other person, what happens after that is completely out of your control.  Suppose you and your partner meet another couple at the pool and you have a great conversation for hours and you become friendly and at some point want a group photo, which you do and later share between all 4 people.  Two years later all 4 people are off doing their own thing, but one of them posts the photo on flickr, because it’s a cool photo or whatever. Maybe no one in THIS group will care.  But sooner or later there will be a situation where one of them is a kindergarten teacher at a conservative school and somehow the photo is found, etc etc.  Felicity I do think your idea is good and sensible, as long as people realize the reality of the continuing life of digital photos.

  • Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I just think the “get consent” rule is really not that complicated or difficult to understand, or to explain to people. Most will get it (& most do at clubs that use this policy today). Plus the members of a club are usually vigilant about secret photos being taken, and that wouldn’t change with this policy, so they’ll still be on top of anyone who’s breaking the rule.
    I heard of another club that uses the consent rule – Mountain Air Ranch in CO. If these clubs can use this policy successfully without all hell breaking loose, I think other clubs can do the same.

  • StephenJustiss

    You make your point very convincingly. I have encountered this kind of thing even though the club my girlfriend and I go to is not as crazy strict as the place you mention.  It doesn’t make much sense anymore.

  • Well stated, Felicity.  I agree 100%
    A number of years ago, when visiting the nudist resort at Stora Idskar near Stockholm, Sweden, I was handed a list of the club rules. The only one mentioning photos said simply (English translation mine), “photography by consent of subject only. ” I thought that delightfully trusting, considering most US clubs’ rules.

  • freehiker

    Well said Felicity. I agree. 


  • Thank you for bringing up
    this question.As you know the topic is
    up my alley as I’ve devoted a lot of time to creating circumstances where
    naturist photography can be done without any real issues.The rule of “no photography
    whatsoever” in most nudist facilities is perfectly understandable. The
    problem with rules is that by their nature they are very black and white. If
    you want to introduce variances then suddenly there is a lot more to remember
    and a lot more to interpret.For some
    people, the issue of possibly appearing in photos that the public might see is
    so severe that even the sight of a camera or smartphone creates anxiety and
    uncertainly.A guest may indeed to
    taking a “safe” photo of a friend facing away from other people, but
    who can say for sure what other photos might be taken or who might appear by
    accident in the background?Imagine the
    arguments and confrontations between guests.It is better to just have a clear rule: no cameras.I don’t know if there is a solution unless an
    area of the facility were declared photo-ok, or if a photo-day were
    declared.At Lupin, during Bodyfest, we
    are allowed photography almost anywhere on the property (except the pool) and
    people at the event sign a release.Only
    a couple of us are allowed by me to be photographers and those photographers
    only shoot photos that include people with event wristbands.Attendees will shoot phone-photos of each
    other to a limited degree.There is a
    lot of enthusiasm among the participants to see the photo sets after the
    event.It is my feeling that naturism
    should be publically visually documented like any other human
    activity/interest.If you like
    skydiving, sailing, cosplay, travel, whatever… you will usually also enjoy
    good photos of same.The only reason
    nude recreation has a huge sensitivity to being visually recorded is because of
    the over-sexualization of the nude human body in our culture, which in turn
    with a negative attitude toward sex results in stigmatizing those
    involved.Hopefully in time, clothes-free
    images will be considered normal and will be enjoyed the same as images of
    anything else in the spectrum of human experience.

  • Deven_R

    I don’t pretend to know the best photo policy to keep everybody happy, but obviously the current policies at most resorts are not good enough for many people. Yes, it does need to change. We need to make it easier for those individuals who wish to take the pictures to do so without alienating those who don’t. The one used at Rock Lodge Club seems a decent compromise.

    I must say that I’m glad you mentioned the fact that these poor policies actually helps keep nudity and nudism hidden. I’ve been seeing signs all over the place lately that the world is almost ready for nudity and nudism to become mainstream. They’re on TV, mainstream blogs, opinion polls, even in my interactions with textiles. The taboo on nudity is fading, and these policies do nothing to increase the rate of acceptance. They may even be helping to hold it back. After all, how does it look to a person considering a resort visit for the first time that you can’t even take a picture without permission? It looks like they believe it’s something to hide.

  • Deven_R 
    Many people like to take pictures of themselves doing unusual things. If they’re not usually in a place where nudity is allowed, or if it’s their first time, then it makes sense to take the picture. The other side of the coin are those people who truly believe that nudity is no big deal, and for them it makes no difference whether they’re clothed or naked. They just want the picture to remember the experience. No other motivation or “compulsion” required.

    P.S. There is an RSS feed for this blog that you can easily subscribe to. At the top of every page there is a small image that looks kind of like a sound wave next to the words “Posts” and “Comments.” Clicking on either the image or the text will allow you to subscribe to either the new “posts” or “comments” feeds. 
    How it works varies by your browser/system setup, but it’s usually pretty straightforward. Firefox for example (my browser of choice) calls them “Live Bookmarks” and it’s basically just a folder in your bookmarks. Every time you open that folder it takes a few seconds and checks for new content.

  • Yes, we understand that folks like to take vacation photos, but can’t understand this compulsion to take nude photos. Perhaps we should just be glad that there are still places where we can be comfortably nude, and abide by the rules that the majority of regular guests are comfortable with.  You know, the ones that work for and PAY for the venue?
    The ability to take naked pics is NOT the reason our nudist camps are floundering.  If it is, that’s a damn shame.

  • COHome Certainly there are people who won’t understand or will break the rules. But, the no-photos policy doesn’t prevent this from happening. People will either openly or secretly break the rules anyway, regardless of how many people are around. It’s rather pointless to try and monitor every single person’s behavior at all times. It just goes back to what I said about how you can’t put people on a leash & follow them around. 
    If people are caught taking non-consensual photos, the club kicks them out or addresses it as needed.
    Rock Lodge has big club events like any other place. They base the photo rules on consent, and most of the time, it’s not an issue.

  • Here is the issue…you said “Most people are capable of understanding and following this rule.”  In a perfect world this works.  Rules are, at best, suggestions in today’s world.  It’s unfortunate some people can’t seem to follow the rules…  We allow cameras and photos at our C/O B&B’s, but we have a limited number of people at any given time..usually 4 plus the hosts…so we can monitor photos pretty closely.  We even offer to take photos for them with their cameras or phones.  Not a problem in our environment…significant problem in larger environments.

  • ChristopherJudson

    I haven’t had any issues with photography at nudist clubs or resorts but I do think these policies need to change. I completely agree with you and couldn’t have said it better myself!!