Life in the Buff

Nestled in the woods along one of the roads I travel to and from South Bend is a nudist colony. I know this because one of the other moms of a Notre Dame grad told me so.

I’ve seen cars go in and come out of there, and I can’t help wondering what kind of people are comfortable with that lifestyle.

Think about it. Do they have visitors (family, friends, delivery people)? Do those visitors have to de-robe before entering? Do they have to shield their eyes from staring, or wear a blindfold?

Trust me when I say some nudist colonies have Websites. Some of these places offer special events like tennis, jogging, etc. Some are more suited for singles, but others are for entire families.

What if your mom and dad (or your young adult children) suddenly decided they wanted to join a nudist colony? Would you feel comfortable visiting them, or would you insist they clothe themselves and visit you?

I rather like to think nudists are people just like you and me, only naked. They’re not participating in mad orgies or waiting to jump on each other like animals or finding their jollies in leering at their neighbors.

Or are they? I don’t know.

I’ve been accused before of being a prude. It’s not a label I relish exactly, but it is what it is. So while I’ve been told never to say “never,” shucking my clothes on a permanent basis isn’t something I’d do willingly.

I rather like clothes. They protect my skin from the damaging rays of the sun and from Old Man Winter’s chilling blasts. They hide things I’d rather not show the world, things milk-white from where the sun never shines, or the way none of us is truly symmetrical, if you know what I mean. And they’re colorful to the eye and interesting in texture and, if you’ve chosen wisely, figure-flattering.

But residents of nudist colonies prefer au naturel. Why? What is it about being naked that grownups find appealing? Is it a return of sorts to childhood? Is it a savings of a clothing budget? Maybe they just find it more freeing?

As a writer, I might need to know the answers to questions like these. A nudist colony could be a fascinating setting for a novel! So anybody with answers (factual or fictional), help me out, okay?

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20 thoughts on “Life in the Buff

  1. Debbie,
    You always come up with the most unique topics and questions! I can add nothing to the discussion but you pose some interesting questions about what motivates people to bare their bodies in public. I’ve been told that it is more about enjoy one’s naturalness,being comfortable in one’s own skin than about lust or orgies. I will be interested in what others have to add to this discussion. And ,yes, it certainly would make for an interesting novel setting!

    • As someone who always checks the mirrors in dressing rooms to make sure they’re not two-way glass, I can’t imagine playing tennis or golf stark naked! To each his own, they say, but I’m sorry, that’s just way out there in my opinion. And even conducting the proper research is iffy because online, the photos are far too graphic for my taste!

  2. Running around a-flagrante as my dad would say is something I would rather not do. Iike clothes. However, Accessorizing without them would be easier–I mean all my scarfs and earrings would work with my birthday suit.
    As far as a nudist colony. I never even know where to look in the ladies locker room and never take off all my clothes and just walk around. so this lifestyle is not suited to me. If I visited someone embracing this life style, I’m sure every other word out my mouth would be inappropriate–like you look a little chilly, can I offer you my sweater?
    I would not want someone to run around my house nude–I really hope Cole does not marry a nudist nor would I want anyone to insist that I take off my clothes when I visit them. Clothes are the cultural norm. I would wear a robe though–if it was very soft, nice and warm from the dryer and had a belt.
    Having said all this– as I look at the basket of dirty laundry before me–I think perhaps….

    • I’m right there with you, Katybeth! I can’t imagine my son marrying someone who could entice him to join a nudist colony. You’re so right in saying, “Clothes are the cultural norm.” That’s why it got me to thinking about what would possess anyone to shed all that and flit around naked. And perhaps the manufacturers should PAY some people to remain clothed?!

  3. That’s the cool thing about the Internet, Deb. You can do the research without leaving your house or shedding one item of clothing!
    When I first started writing in the early 80s, it was about a woman who, having lost her job, hired on with her ex-husband’s trucking company, driving an 18-wheeler. In order to learn what it was like for women truckers in these days before the Internet, I got information by putting a letter in a trucking magazine asking for women truckers to write me at my PO box (which I had rented just for the book).
    THIS is easier! (and we’re going to be interested about what you learn).

    • Lynne, you’re so right! When I Googled “nudist colony,” I was stunned at the number of sites that came up. As a Web Designer, I can’t imagine how you’d go about taking photos (that are classy and not too revealing!) when everyone’s walking around sans clothing! But yeah, much easier than soliciting help via a P.O. Box!

    • Ah, now, Duke, don’t be so hard on yourself! I suspect the majority of people wear clothes for that exact same reason, though. After all, clothing can be expensive and it’s time-consuming caring for it (washing, ironing, etc.). Maybe they’re onto something??!

  4. I had to race back here with this “fact” someone just sent me which I thought was very timely…

    People in nudist colonies play volleyball more than any other sport.

    Good to know in case you do visit, don’t you think?

  5. One of the things I find interesting about this topic is what about the privacy of one’s marriage? Let me suggest this to my wife and the next thing I will see is her in her blackberry looking up the name of our attorney.

    • You’re right, Duke! Most of us wouldn’t appreciate others looking (leering??) at our spouses in the nude. I refuse to go so far as to condemn nudists for their choice of lifestyle, and I don’t care what people do in the privacy of their own homes, but to put it all out there in public boggles my mind! Thanks for bringing up another point.

  6. I hope they don’t play beach volleyball. Could you imagine how long it would take to get the sand out of ….oh, never mind.

    I’ve never been to a nudist colony, so I can’t offer you any information. Sorry. But your post did get me thinking. I don’t think I could visit a nudist colony because I wouldn’t want to sit on furniture that bare bottoms sat on, I certainly wouldn’t want to eat food prepared by a nude chef, and I look much better with clothes on. (You’re going to have to take my word for it.)

    • Oh, Janna, you crack me up! I hadn’t thought about sitting on furniture that bare bottoms had sat on, but that is kind of nasty. Doesn’t the Bible say something to the effect that certain parts of the body are supposed to be covered? (Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but that sounds like a good “excuse” for clothing to me!)

  7. Oh my, this made me cringe! I can’t imagine being in a nudist camp…first of all, sure I’d gawk and I’d be covering every bit of my own skin I could with my hands…my hands aren’t nearly large enough to do that job well! Geesh, I do wonder what kind of people really do get into that! I’m laughing at Janna’s comment but I’m with it all the way!!!!!!

    • The weird thing is, there’s actually TWO of these nudist colonies, one almost right across the highway from the other. What do delivery people do when they have to go in there with a package — disrobe themselves or try to find a way to shield their curious prying eyes?? I can’t imagine either!

  8. Pingback: July 14, 2012: Nude Day, Pandemonium Day, Macaroni Day, Grand Marnier

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