Nude Photo Policies at Nudist Resorts: The Discussion Continues
My recent article about photography policies at nudist clubs and resorts garnered a lot of attention and a ton of responses.
I found that most people agreed with my reasoning in favor of a consent-based photo policy. To recap, this policy can be summed up in one line: “While at a nudist venue, don’t take pictures of other people without their consent.”
However there were some objections and concerns that frequently came up, so I’d like to address those in this follow-up post.
Before we get to that, I’d also like to have everyone weigh in with a poll! Please vote in this simple poll question below:
There is also a second poll at the end of this post regarding the question of whether clubs should ban the use of cell phones, laptops, etc so feel free to answer that poll as well!
Now on to the comments and issues brought up that I would like to address:
1. “This consent rule would work in theory, but then there will always be people who don’t follow it or don’t get it!”
Alright, I know there are a lot of stupid people in the world, but I really believe that 99% of people will be capable of understanding and abiding by this consent rule.
I could see a need to have this elaborated on when people first arrive at a nudist resort. It should be explained that asking for consent applies to people who may appear in the background of a picture as well and therefore, it may be recommended to take photos in less populated areas. Or just be aware of who is around you and respect their boundaries.
But that is about as “complicated” as it gets here… As I wrote in the first article, there are people who will break the rules regardless of whether there’s a ban on cameras or not. Club management just has to deal with creeps on a case-by-case basis.
Let’s also not forget that this policy DOES already work at certain nudist resorts! From others’ comments, I learned that Mountain Air Ranch in Colorado and Serendipity Park in Georgia have both utilized this common-sense policy (among others).
2. “What about big events with lots of new visitors who have never tried social nudism before? How can it be regulated there?”
There are a few ways to educate people and it starts before they even arrive at your event. Rules should be clearly written and posted or linked to anywhere you’re talking about the event online. If they’re buying tickets online and get an email confirmation, it’s easy to include a link / reminder about rules.
Then, generally when people enter a club they are given a printed list of rules to read and take with them. At check-in, management also has the opportunity to explain or emphasize certain rules.
Most nudist clubs already have a few permanent signs around the facilities that list rules. For events, special signs can be printed and posted. Above is just a basic example of what a consent notice might look like. You’ll notice I added a bit about Instagram / Twitter at the bottom. Most clubs are not on these sites, but for any that are, this would be a nice opportunity to promote that! (I’ve also met club owners who feel like it’s over-policing to have signs everywhere, and it takes away from a friendly atmosphere. They prefer to trust those who enter to act like adults.)
Lastly, a club’s members can help ensure that new visitors follow the rules. BUT they need to be cool about it! I’ve heard so many stories of club members yelling at and being rude to newcomers when it’s entirely unnecessary. It goes back to the same issue I discussed previously where so many clubs have a pretty paranoid mentality. They tend to assume that people are guilty and can’t be trusted until they prove otherwise.
As one commenter said, “The assumption that people who break the varied rules different clubs make are malicious, instead of ignorant, puts things on the wrong foot.”
Then there were comments raised about the select group of people who, because of their job, never want their picture taken and don’t want to accidentally appear in another person’s photo. The fear or concern is that it will end up online, be seen by their employer and get them fired.
The people who are anti photos tend to claim:
A: “Some people could lose their job if a photo of them were to end up online, so don’t we need to ban cameras for their sake?”
The people who are in favor of picture-taking tend to claim:
B: “People are way too uptight about photos. We need to loosen up about photography or nudism will never obtain mainstream acceptance!”
First, I just want to say that I personally think some people are overly paranoid about photos. If a photo is posted online without your full name attached to it, it is highly unlikely that it will ever be seen by your employer (or a coworker who wants you fired). Even if your name is on it, what are the chances of someone you know seeing it? Still very low.
There is the issue of posting pictures on social media like Facebook. That said, those people who sincerely run the risk of being fired for the wrong photo would more than likely keep a low profile or no profile at all. The reason being that those people have to be vigilant about every tagged photo, naked or not.
To those who seemed to think that I was advocating for a picture free-for-all… My point was never, “Everyone should be able to take photos, and if others don’t want to be in them, too bad!”
We still need to respect everybody’s privacy and consent. I’m not out to shame anyone for wanting privacy. Nor am I looking to pressure people into doing something that makes them uncomfortable. We don’t need to put every person’s photos on the Internet in order for nudism to become more accepted. We just need to make it easier for people who DO want to promote nudism and nudist clubs to document their experiences and share them.
* As a side note… There are already plenty of naturists who don’t mind photos!
But having no rules whatsoever about photography is a fast way to deter newbies from any club.
I’ve also learned from comments that some nudist clubs are still absurdly militant about cell phones and other devices.
One commenter said that White Thorn Lodge not only forbids any and all photography at the naked volleyball Super Bowl. Apparently, they’re also super strict about using cell phones for any purpose in any of the common areas. If you want to make calls or use your phone, they make you go into a small tent designated for this purpose. Breaking this rule can easily get you kicked out of the place.
I have been to clubs that don’t want you to use your phone or other devices around the pool at all because of cameras. (And then strangely, some will let you use it just outside the pool…as if that makes a difference.)
Some people see this strict cell phone rule as a surefire way to deter young adults from visiting and enjoying a club. I think these days, it’s going to annoy people of all ages.
It’s not just young people using smartphones and other little computers anymore. Lots of older baby boomers have upgraded to smartphones or have started to use devices like iPads, Kindles, etc. (Not that many didn’t already upgrade years ago, too.) I think the ubiquity of these devices is going to eventually force the nudist world to change.
But today’s policies are already considered draconian and outdated by many.
Will young people actually decide NOT to visit a nudist club because their weird cell phone policy? Some will and some will not.
But I think it’s clear that it’s time to update these picture-taking policies at nudist resorts and get with the times!