News of the Nude, no. 8
A compendium of nudism-related news items from the dog days of summer
Welcome to the eighth monthly News of the Nude, where we dive into the latest happenings within the naturist community and beyond.
August has brought forth a mix of triumphs and challenges. Spain stands out as a trailblazer, passing a national law that grants women the right to go topless at public swimming pools and beaches, a monumental step towards gender equality. However, battles for naturist spaces continue in Catalonia and Greece, as nudist enthusiasts strive to protect their beaches from the increasing influx of clothed tourists. Advocacy takes center stage, with groups fervently championing body positivity and equal rights across the globe.
As summer draws to a close, we also celebrate the anniversaries of several enduring nudist clubs and beaches which have made the news this summer. These milestones illuminate the robust history of the nudism movement.
There’s are many other stories to check out below. I find, as I follow these stories, that keeping up to date on what’s going on in nudism and nude-adjacent news around the world helps me navigate the world with a little more context and understanding. I hope that you get a similar benefit from these monthly compilations.
Lots to cover, but first, a brief reminder…
Go Topless Day is August 26th
This week sees the celebration of Go Topless Day, on August 26th, also Women's Equality Day. Dedicated to promoting gender equality, the observance advocates for women’s right to go topless in public. Initiated by GoTopless in 2007, it has roots in the Raëlian movement, and first gained momentum after the 2005 arrest of topless activist Phoenix Feeley in New York City, leading to the establishment of legal toplessness there. Across the US and Canada, participants are invited to go topless; men often choose to wear bras as a way to challenge inconsistencies in topless laws and promote equal bodily rights.
Go Topless Day offers a platform for raising awareness about the unequal regulations surrounding toplessness. As advocates for gender parity and body freedom, let's join hands in recognizing and participating in Go Topless Day, standing up for a kind of world where freedom and equality extend to all aspects of life.
The exact kind of world that Spain has taken significant steps toward this month, as you’ll see in the next story. 🚀
Spain brings in new law that lets women go topless at public swimming pools
Spain has introduced a new law that grants women the right to go topless at public swimming pools and beaches in Catalonia, including popular areas like the Costa Brava, Barcelona, and the Pyrenees Mountains. While sunbathing topless on beaches is common in mainland Europe, this legal change allows women to swim and sunbathe without bikini tops. This step is seen as a victory for feminist activists, promoting gender equality and body acceptance. Local authorities are now barred from taking action against women who choose to go topless, as it is considered a form of discrimination.
This story follows weeks of articles from across the globe covering another Catalonian conflict over nude beaches there being under threat from encroachment. 🚀
Naturists in Catalonia Fight to Protect Nude Beach Tradition
This month, news of a battle between clothed tourists and nudist beachgoers in Catalonia has garnered widespread attention.
Naturists in Catalonia, Spain, known for their long-standing tradition of nude bathing on approximately 50 beaches, are protesting against the increasing influx of clothed tourists. Catalans are expressing their discontent due to the perceived lack of respect for the naturist culture.
Segimon Rovira, a veteran naturist, is leading a campaign on behalf of the Naturist-Nudist Federation of Catalonia, requesting a meeting with local authorities to address discrimination against nudists on the beaches. The group is considering various approaches, including social media campaigns, signage, and protests, to emphasize that certain beaches are intended for those who prefer a naturist experience.
The issue has been exacerbated by high tourist numbers and social media promotion of the area's natural beauty, often neglecting its connection to nudism. This has led to tourists arriving and choosing to remain clothed, causing discomfort among naturists and prompting efforts to preserve dedicated nudist spaces for the safety and comfort of participants.
This story has been all over the media this year, with dozens, if not hundreds, of different outlets weighing in. Much of the press has been positive for naturists. Other outlets, predictably, use sniggering, immature commentary. Here’s a debate about it from The Young Turks which features a few interesting comments (some less cringeworthy than others).
Catalonian nudists are not alone in experiencing difficulties with the encroachment of holidaymakers. As you’ll see in the next story, nudists in Greece have a similar problem. 🚀
Local Greek council in a fight with nudists over beach
The Greek island of Gavdos is facing a dispute with nudists who are taking down "Nudism is prohibited" signs from Sarakiniko beach.
This ongoing conflict emerged when the signs were initially installed at the start of the summer. According to local news, frequent visitors to the island were spotted destroying the signs. Mayor Lilian Stefanaki addressed the matter, stating that the beach should be accessible to everyone and that nudists hinder this by monopolizing the area, especially for locals.
The local council reinstalled the sign, enforcing a swimsuit requirement on the beach, and in response, nudists launched a protest on the same beach, declaring "Tsitsidia and dressed, everyone united!"
As the protest continues, it reflects the broader struggle of naturists to maintain their preferred way of life amidst changing local dynamics. 🚀
Nude 'Tour de France' banned for public indecency on several of its stages
The so-called "Nude Tour de France," part of the World Naked Bike Ride that has taken place issue-free across the globe, is facing unprecedented pushback from local French governments. For the first time, seven stages of the race have been banned for public indecency, with participants risking fines and imprisonment. The French event began in Nantes on August 8th this year, and local authorities have since tried to prohibit certain stages. François Feunteun, president of the organizing group Le Mouvement Naturiste, criticized the actions as equating nudism with sexual exhibitionism and intends to pursue legal action. Despite the acceptance of such events in other democratic countries, France's response has been to treat participants as sexual delinquents, highlighting a stark contrast with its typically nude-friendly stance.
The pushback against the "Nude Tour de France" is surprising, considering France's reputation for a liberal and accepting attitude towards nudity, as seen in its many nude-friendly beaches and resorts. This situation could ignite a broader conversation about the place of nudity in public spaces, and it challenges preconceived notions about France's acceptance of body freedom.
Not a good look, France. 🚀
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Could Nudist Resorts Be Categorized as Adult-Oriented Businesses? A Look at Arizona SB1698
The above article, which comes from the monthly newsletter for the Naturist Education Foundation, discusses the potential threats to nudist communities posed by vague and broadly defined bills targeting drag performances and adult-oriented businesses. These bills aim to categorize various performances, including simple nudity, as "adult performances," subject to regulation and zoning similar to strip clubs and sexually-oriented businesses. The author cites the example of Arizona SB1698, which was initially an antidrag performance bill but evolved into a broader law that could impact nudist venues and events. The bill, which was vetoed by Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, proposed severe penalties for exposure of minors to adult-oriented performances, raising concerns about the classification of naturist gatherings as adult spaces. The article emphasizes the need for nudists to remain vigilant, read the full text of bills, and not dismiss them as irrelevant.
This article's progressive approach contrasts with another recent article that discussed the issue of unintended legislative consequences in a potentially more regressive light, highlighting divergent messaging between two important nudist organizations. 🚀
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Last Nudist Resort in San Diego County Going ‘Textile’: Clothing Soon Mandatory
The DeAnza Springs Resort in Jacumba Hot Springs, a well-known clothing-optional California destination for naturists, is transitioning to a clothing-mandatory policy. The resort's new management announced that starting September 1, clothing will be required in all common areas, and from October 1, nudity will be banned across the property, including privately owned and leased sites. This decision has sparked resentment among residents and visitors who purchased or leased properties with the intention of enjoying a clothing-optional environment. Some are seeking legal action, claiming deceptive marketing practices and dissatisfaction with the changes implemented by the new owners.
Regular Planet Nude readers may recognize that we wrote about this story a few weeks ago, highlighting the trend in naturist resorts like DeAnza Springs Resort going from nudist to clothing-mandatory. We spoke with longtime member Claudia Kellersch about how she will adapt to the new policy by enjoying nudism off the resort.
Days after DeAnza’s news, Planet Nude reported that nearby Olive Dell Ranch was also listed for sale on at least two commercial real estate exchanges, creating concern and dismay among members who had not been apprised of any intent to sell. While managers insist the listing is for “Market Value Analysis”, many are not satisfied with that answer and remain skeptical and concerned.
DeAnza's shift and Olive Dell’s listing have shaken up the nudist community in Southern California and underscore troubling trends. The situation also highlights challenges in maintaining a thriving nudist culture. 🚀
Read our reports:
Nantucket's Topless Beaches A "Non-Issue" In First Summer
Nantucket's recent topless beach bylaw, which allows public beachgoers to go topless, has proven to be a non-issue during its first summer in effect. Concerns about disruptions, voyeurism, and tourism impact have not materialized. The Nantucket Police Department and lifeguards reported no incidents or complaints related to toplessness.
The bylaw was approved by residents in 2022 for gender equality on beaches. While some hate mail followed its passing, the bylaw's author, Dorothy Stover, attests that she hasn't personally witnessed any topless beachgoers, but has herself taken advantage of the bylaw. Overall, the topless beach initiative has had little impact on the island's summer season, which for the initiatives advocates is being taken as a good sign. 🚀
It’s Your Birthday. Bring on the Nudes.
The trend of queer men sharing nude selfies to celebrate birthdays has gained traction in recent years, especially among a group of extremely online gay men. What started as an individual joke for some has become an almost expected practice for others, morphing into a cultural meme. According to Professor Tom Roach, who teaches gender and sexuality studies, this trend is part provocation and part celebration of shameless sex-positivity. It's seen as a way to flirt and establish connections without necessarily seeking physical intimacy. Social media platforms like Instagram and X (formerly known as Twitter) enable users to curate private lists for sharing such content. This trend also reflects the more relaxed attitude towards sex in many parts of the gay community, including open relationships and casual sex encounters. While some may see the practice as toxic, others view it as a body-positive and life-affirming way to connect, especially during isolating times like the pandemic.
Personally, I’m all for it, as long as it’s consensual and/or solicited. 🚀
A different lifestyle; Couples naked in public; Helen revealed the reason
The Berrimans strike again. This article from an Indian news outlet features Helen and Simon Berriman, known for their public nudity advocacy, embracing a unique lifestyle of being naked wherever they can be, including in public places.
The Berrimans have been rather prolific in the media lately. We have written about them in each News of the Nude edition for the last three months because every month sees their name in the headlines.
Intrigued by their incredible visibility, I reached out to Helen, and subsequently spoke with her for New Nudist Podcast about her family’s media saturated summer and their ongoing nudist advocacy, and we had a great discussion. That podcast episode is in the works, but should be out in the near future. Here’s a sneak peek!
I must say, we’ve got a lot of good stuff in the pipeline here and with the various podcasts. I hope you enjoy this stuff. If so, leave a comment and let me know. 🚀
Nudists spot plenty of great tits as they strip off for sponsored bird walk
Now who could resist a headline like that?
Naturists organized a charity bird walk, shedding their clothes to spot great tits and other British bird species, aiming to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation. The event, attended by 39 members of British Naturism, took place at the RSPB Rainham Marshes reserve in Essex. According to the article, naked participants explored the reserve's marshland, witnessing passing cruise ships and high-speed trains. Despite a rainy forecast, the day turned out to be sunny, and volunteers from the British Heart Foundation joined the event as marshals, distributing pins and wristbands to participants.
As I write in News of the Nude every month, BN is doing very cool things. I love their partnership with the British Heart Foundation; what a cool way to make naturism a positive and respected part of the community. 🚀
Cayuga County nudism festival canceled due to allegations
It's unfortunate that accusations have led to the cancellation of the annual Sentient Festival at the Empire Haven Nudist Resort and Campground in Cayuga County, New York. The resort decided to cancel the 30-year-running festival this year after allegations emerged that its primary sponsor, Nudism.TV, promotes child pornography. These allegations were brought to light by an Instagram video posted by John Dorsey (goob_u2), a social media figure with 214,000 followers. Dorsey claimed that the website encouraged users to share nude images of children in exchange for rewards. Following the video, death threats were directed towards Nudism.TV and its founder, Pasha Knight, prompting concerns for safety and leading Nudism.TV to take a hiatus and to Sentient Fest's cancellation.
Obviously, there are a lot of concerning details to this story, which many in the nudist community on social media such ashave been tracking since the allegations first emerged back in May. While the cancellation of the Sentient Festival is regrettable, the Empire Haven Nudist Resort's dedication to prioritizing safety is commendable.
Any accusation of abuse in nudist circles should be treated with the utmost seriousness. Some have been quick to reject the accusations outright, while many of the comments have assigned themselves judge, jury, and executioner with all sorts of elaborately imagined forms of capital punishment expressed. Personally, I would reserve judgment and comment until more information is available. I urge other nudist groups to take a similar stance and support a comprehensive investigation.
With that said, I will say that I believe this controversy represents an alarming example of the extent to which social media figures can influence public perception and exacerbate panic against nudist individuals and groups, a subject Planet Nude has written about. While Sentient Fest first released their statement back in May, this marks the first press coverage it has received, at least that I have seen. Planet Nude will continue to monitor this story for further developments and provide updates as more information becomes available. 🚀
More like this:
Our neighbors are nudists. Must we tell potential buyers when we sell our house?
The article addresses whether neighbors' nudist activities should be disclosed when selling a house. The author says that according to the law, sellers must disclose material and adverse facts about a home and its neighborhood to buyers. As he puts it, nudist gatherings in a neighboring backyard might not necessitate disclosure if they're visible only to children on a trampoline.
That this is even a question to begin with says something about societal attitudes towards nudity. In a more naturist friendly world, nudity would be considered a common factor of life, not a consideration for estimating one's property value. 🚀
“Nude Bowl” Near Palm Springs Has Lured Pro Skateboarders for Decades
This great article delves into the intriguing history of the "Nude Bowl," an abandoned swimming pool turned legendary skateboarding spot near Palm Springs. Originally established as the Desert Garden Ranch, a nudist resort founded in 1964 by Gordon and Terry Dixon, the location played a vital role in the early nudist movement. This nudist haven featured a clubhouse, a 20-by-40-foot swimming pool, and scenic surroundings that drew enthusiasts seeking a natural and free-spirited lifestyle. Decades later, Jeff Bowman, a nudist and history enthusiast, uncovered the Desert Garden Ranch's forgotten past, connecting the dots between nudism and skateboarding at this iconic site. 🚀
Naturists celebrate body positivity with nude golf, despite record low Darwin temperatures
The article discusses a recent event in Humpty Doo, Northern Terrirory, Australia, where naturists played golf in the nude to celebrate body positivity. Despite chilly temperatures, participants embraced their bodies, challenging misconceptions about nudism and fostering self-acceptance through open conversations about scars, body image, and personal journeys.
Naturism and golf seem to complement each other well. The freedom of being nude and the relaxed atmosphere of the golf course sounds great. I would love an opportunity to try this, but don’t see it occurring in the U.S. any time soon. 🚀
Birthdays & milestones
Porter County nudist club celebrating 90 years with open invitation to wear nothing but a smile
Located near Valparaiso, Indiana, Lake O’ The Woods Club is celebrating its 90th anniversary. Established in 1933 by Chicago nudists, the historic nudist club is one of the oldest ongoing nudist clubs in the US. The club surrounds the beautiful and serene Sager’s Lake, which, as the article suggests, has a remarkable history that goes back at least another 90 years before the nudists even occupied the land.
Coincidentally, I happened to visit this club two weeks ago during a family trip to Chicago, and had the pleasure of meeting Bill and Marie, the nudists quoted in the above article. I hiked on their 1.5 mile Circle Trail with my wife and son, spotting wild mushrooms. We experienced the beauty of this great club firsthand, and a piece of it apparently left with me as I’ve been fixated on researching its long history for an article. That article is forthcoming, so keep an eye out. 🎂
Cumbrian naturist club celebrates 70th anniversary
Solway Sun Club in Cumbria, England, is one of the UK's oldest naturist clubs, and is celebrating its 70th anniversary. Founded in 1953 and acquiring its woodland site in 1956, the club offers a serene refuge for around 40 members embracing naturism. In the above article, Katie, a volunteer and naturist for five years, highlights the liberating aspect of the lifestyle and stresses the family-friendly, body-positive nature of their community. The club's woodlands, nature trail, pool, sauna, and communal spirit attract members of various ages. Solway Sun Club's recent unity-focused gathering emphasizes the enduring appeal of naturism within a dedicated environment. 🎂
'We're nudists, not nuts': Sask. naturist club celebrates 50 years
The Green Haven Sun Club, Saskatchewan's only landed nudist club, marks its 50th anniversary. Established in 1973 near Fort-Qu’Appelle and situated at its current location northeast of Balgonie for 43 years, the club embraces a sense of freedom, community, and safety.
In the above article, president Doug Schick, a member for 18 years and resident for 14, said the club's average age hovers around 50, and with the property now fully owned, it seeks to attract new members to ensure its continuity. The anniversary celebration includes diverse activities and its annual "Bare as You Dare" walk in support of Diabetes Canada. 🎂
Brighton's naturist beach marks 44 years of fun in the sun
Brighton's naturist beach is commemorating 44 years since its inception on August 9, 1979, as the UK's pioneering nudist beach. The initiative, championed by local councillor Eileen Jakes, aimed to promote body acceptance in a non-sexual context. Despite initial opposition, a portion of the beach, spanning about 200 yards, was designated for nude sunbathing. After a year-long trial, the naturist beach persevered even against attempts to close it in 1983. Presently, it remains one of only 11 such beaches in the UK. Approximately 100 visitors took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the sun without clothing, citing the beach's unique role in Brighton and its contribution to a sense of personal freedom. 🎂
Thanks for joining us for this month’s News of the Nude. As naturist clubs mark milestones and sun-kissed days wane, we're reminded to embrace the freedom, camaraderie, and body positivity that this lifestyle fosters. As we reflect, let's continue to advocate for acceptance and community. Summer's almost gone. 🪐