Let’s go to San Diego!

This balmy curl of coastline is a funny mix, part military town, and part laid-back flip-flop town. It was a pair of world fairs that first put San Diego on the 20th century’s map – in particular, its 1,400-acre BALBOA PARK, created to celebrate the Panama Canal’s completion.

Jonas Salk’s discovery of the polio vaccine in the 1950s led the city to gift him a swatch of oceanfront in La Jolla to build a first-class research lab “worthy of a visit by Picasso.” The result is the SALK INSTITUTE [visitors welcome].

Another doctor, with the last name of Seuss, settled here after WW11, and the Monterey cypress believed to have inspired The Lorax.

Wildsam Field Guides

Lupin Lodge

Play Video

LUPIN LODGE
Los Gatos, CA

I have had several folks tell me great things about Lupin Lodge so I was excited to try it out. I had a nice stay and got a lot of writing done while I was there as I am trying to finish the book I have been writing. (What else was I supposed to do while trapped in a tin box during a pandemic?)

I typically don’t write a review about a nudist resort unless I’ve tried it out a few times, particularly because a lot of these places like to call themselves one thing when really they are another.

This is not a resort.

This is probably my main issue with these places. It is a campground with amenities and calling it anything other than that is dishonest. I have been guilty of over branding things before which is why I want to point this out.

My other issue is that nudist parks aren’t businesses, they are private clubs, so regulations are a bit…flexible. ADA accessibility is the main issue as private clubs don’t have to adhere to the same codes as businesses. I can’t say that I would have been able to stay here two years ago when my back was effed up because walking to the restroom up a steep hill that is not paved or having steps would have been problematic. Honestly, it was still problematic for me and I’m able-bodied.

Now, before you @ me, I understand that making these private clubs allows for a pricing model that keeps it very affordable. I visited More Mesa beach in Santa Barbara and that is not ADA accessible either, so this is a challenge for a lot of nude spaces.

I would recommend Lupin. It is very welcoming, diverse, and I felt safe. It is also owned by a lesbian couple which I am always down to champion. Just know that it’s far more on the camping scale than the resort scale. It was really really nice to see so many young folks there as well as young women.

That’s a big deal to us at Skinny Dippers Club.
I don’t ever want to recommend a place that my friends don’t feel safe or welcomed. And Los Gatos is hella gorgeous.

So if you want to watch the episode…

>>FOLLOW ME

Jacumba Hot Springs

Did the woman that purchased the town of Jacumba with a handshake at an auction also buy DeAnza hot springs?

I was intrigued.
https://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/Jacumba-hot-springs-resort-border-wall-town-16044668.php?utm_campaign=CMS%20Sharing%20Tools%20(Premium)&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral

Did the DeAnza nudist park come with the sale or no?

I drove from Seattle to the Mexico border to find out.
(Yes, I was THAT intrigued.)

I emailed her and her email bounced back. I hunted her down on Instagram and DM’d her. Twice.

With no response, I drove my ass over to Jacumba Hot Springs to see if I might be able to bump into her.

Yes, it’s that kind of town. Not even a traffic light.  Bizarre, I know.

It was pretty easy to walk down Main Street and get her attention. And sure as shit, I walked over to the Jacumba hotel and she happened to be outside and came over for a quick chat.

The entire town is just absolutely fascinating. It’s a photographer’s dream. A Marfa waiting in the middle of the desert.

I have no doubt this interior designer from San Diego will restore this town to its original charm. It is the cutest fucking little town in the middle of nowhere. And it’s absolutely gorgeous.

She knew exactly what she was doing and I wish her all the success. The new Jacumba Hot Springs Hotel + Restaurant should be open in August. You can bet I’ll show up the same way I did to La Copine in Yucca Valley. Thirsty for culture in the middle of the desert.


Ciao for now!
Mandy
ps. Here is a little video I did of the town:

Naturist Podcast ep. 14 // Nudism, Sex + Body Positivity!

We read Three Skinny Dipper Club Community Member Essays and Discuss!

We hear from a

Body Positive/Sex-positive gay man 

Jeremy identified with this essay as he first experienced nude spaces in Seattle with a group of men, most of whom identified as gay or bi.

Nudist sex-positive couple living in the post-religious stage of their life now.

Mandy really identified with their essay as Mandy was raised with a Lutheran Mother.

Queer/Poly Naturist 

Great essay on consent – this one hit Mandy and Jeremy close to home and so we wanted to close with her essay.

 

>>TAKE ME TO EPISODE 14

THE ESSAYS!

Humans have a contentious relationship with sex and sexuality; One that I have never really understood.

In US history we’ve seen things like anti-masturbation campaigns, chastity devices, and calling the female orgasm hysteria.  We believed the pseudoscience that considered homosexuality to be a medical condition because we couldn’t justify same-sex attraction and make it fit in our moral world view.  Cultures and societies that are primarily religious and borderline theocratic (like The US) relationship to sex and sexuality have always been toxic and damaging which leads to toxic and damaging behavior and situations, in my opinion.    

I primarily experience naturism in the non-landed gay space.  In my experience, gay naturist spaces are inherently sex-positive and there’s an expectation that you behave respectfully and non-sexually (publicly).  If, or when, you want to get it on, go over there in a private space and have at it.  There are also no problems with couples behaving like couples.  A little kiss, pushing the lounge chairs together, and holding hands/cuddling.  Heck, you can even smack their bum with that little “that’s my baby” smack we all know – the love tap.  That always seemed normal to me.  There is no real equivalent to “the lifestyle” or swingers in the gay space but there are plenty of couples that engage.  Most of the time you have no idea and even if you do, it doesn’t matter because that’s their relationship and their business.  The question I have is, why isn’t that the same expectation in primarily heterosexual naturist spaces?  Why shouldn’t women expect men (or women) to behave respectfully? Why shouldn’t there be an expectation and culture of consent?  No means no and yes means yes. I think too, another huge component in the differences between gay and straight nudist spaces is that most gay men aren’t concerned about public opinion.  Gay men are already on the fringes and ostracized by society.  Our very existence is counter-culture and it doesn’t matter if the world out there thinks our social nudity is sexually deviant or not because our sexuality alone is already considered sexual deviance. That then frees those of us that choose, to let our figurative hair down and embrace, explore, and express our sexuality. Culturally, gay men make no bones about being attracted to one another because there’s no shame in it.  Sure, you can think he’s hot but don’t touch him without his consent.  Sure he’s cute, don’t ogle him to the point he’s uncomfortable. You know, basic good human shit.  I might go so far as to also say, gay men, don’t pretend all of the complexities with our natural selves don’t exist.  We definitely look at each other, we definitely find each other attractive, some might even flirt.  Some of us do none of those things.  All of it is accepted and welcomed In gay naturist culture because there is no right way or wrong way to be a naturist.  There is, however, acceptable and unacceptable behavior that almost always surrounds itself in respect of the general atmosphere of the event and for everyone involved. Again, basic good human shit.

I typically interact with the straight naturists community via Twitter.  I was surprised to see what seems like a community that is not very sex-positive at all.  Sex-positive meaning the act of being nonjudgmental and respectful regarding the diversity of sexuality and gender expressions, as long as there is consent”–Aida Manduley. To me, it seems the naturist community, I assume in an effort to gain mainstream acceptance or validity from the powers that be; has over-corrected by policing, judging, and shaming one another thus attempting to control adult sexuality. I often see a series of value judgments being made about people and the content of their character.  If you enjoy sex outside of procreation, then you must be a slut.  If you and your partner sleep with other people (together or apart from one another) then you must not actually love each other because we’ve decided what love means and what love looks like for everyone.  If you show off your body in a position deemed sexually enticing, then it serves you right for those creepy men behaving badly and you’ll get blocked. So you’ve got to stand stiff as a board, no bending, otherwise, you’re positioned sexually and not a nudist?  Porn is bad.  Sex work is bad and not nudism.  There’s so much gatekeeping and It’s almost as if the naturist community brings in all of the baggage from their textile lives into the naturists’ space.  The baggage where women are unwillingly pursued and subject to unwanted male advances. The baggage of men behaving badly having been socialized via “locker room talk.”  They bring the baggage of the female body being objectified.  Even the patriarchal notion that a woman that expresses her sexuality is a slut and should she be the recipient of inappropriate male behavior it serves her right.

It seems to me that naturists are mildly, possibly subconsciously, afraid of judgment.  They’re afraid of being labeled perverts.  They’re afraid of their morality and the content of their character being up for debate.  They’re afraid of becoming public fodder. Take it from me, as a black gay man whose existence has been the subject of debate morally and legally, you get used to it.  It’s almost as if some naturists act like they have something to prove to society at large.  They have to prove naturism is ‘wholesome’ which in itself is a little cringe.  That sneaky little puritanical word is often used to invalidate one’s morality.   As naturists, should we allow that word into our lexicon to cast judgment on the morality of one another?  

As naturists, we exist in the shadow and legacy of morally strict people like Anthony Comstock with impossible standards of modesty and purity that have become value judgments on our worth.  When the naturists’ movement began in the US the only way to gain freedom was to align yourself with the moral majority. However, the second you took your clothes off around strangers, the moral majority judged your morality and decided that you were a deviant without knowing anything about you. 

I also think the Twitterverse is primarily through the lens of landed clubs that tend to be welcome to families.  So let’s be clear, I’m not advocating for massive orgies, digital sexual assault e.g. non-consensual photo sharing, lewd exposure to non-consenting individuals, or anything else disrespectful and non-consensual.  Should you open your relationship and join the ‘lifestyle’?…no! Not if it’s something you don’t enjoy and the result of a healthy conversation you and your partner have had.  You don’t have to engage but you also don’t need to judge them and call them cheaters.  Conversely, if you’re part of the lifestyle you shouldn’t evangelize to monogamous couples about the lifestyle being clearly motivated by your desire to hook up with that couple.  Should youth & family-focused clubs have strict expectations for adult behavior especially in public…yes! In most cases landed club rules exist to keep both women and children safe.  As a survivor safety is of the utmost importance.  But also, maybe making single men have signed notarized letters from their spouse (typically a wife) is excessive? The “no single men” rules are usually a response to men that behave badly.  We don’t need rules.  We need better men.  Men that treat women as autonomous beings in control over their own sexuality; women that don’t owe you a favorable response to your advances, I digress.  

 

What I am suggesting is for naturists to stop (apparently) using sex and sexuality as a method of gatekeeping, shunning, avoiding, blocking and shaming naturists that don’t hide or feel shame regarding their sexuality.  I am suggesting that naturists educate themselves on topics of a sexual nature.  I’d encourage naturists to learn about the various forms of monogamy and non-monogamy, ways asexuality and solo sexuality manifest themselves, and exhibitionism versus voyeurism and its types.  For example, exhibitionism is individual.  For some, it is the act of lewd exposure and the thrill of people witnessing them in a sexual act.  For others the thrill is entirely cerebral – the thought of (and the act of) being “exposed” as a function of socialization having taught us that being nude is taboo or naughty. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with human sexuality so long as it is experienced in an appropriate time and place.  It’s normal, healthy, and natural. My parents were huge on appropriateness.  “There’s a time and a place for everything.” was usually the lecture we got when we were just a little rambunctious in the house.  It was important to my parents that we understood that inside the house was not the same as the playground outside.  The same is true for naturist spaces.  Not every time or place is appropriate for displays of adult sexuality. There need to be places that are appropriate for all ages and comfort levels. But there can also be some spaces to embrace the adult aspects of your humanity. It’s something that theoretically should be championed by all of us who are champions for natural human existence.  One of the reasons I prefer clothing-optional spaces instead of nude only is because of choice.  Adults should be able to decide what they are comfortable with.  We all rush to adulthood for a taste of that sweet, sweet, autonomy.  That applies to our sexual selves as well.  We don’t have to agree but we can respect one another and expect a baseline level of maturity and respect.  Having determined what we’re comfortable with, adults should be able to set boundaries that are kind and respectful, and free of judgment.  

We should never forget that naturism should be fun.  It should be a respite from textile life.  Naturism should be meeting one another eye-to-eye wherever we may be on our respective journeys; with all of the things we bring to that meeting being free of judgments and assumptions.  Naturism is big enough for us all, regardless of how we appropriately and respectfully interact with it. 

Fundamentally, both naturism and sex are a state of mind that becomes a state of being. Adults should be able to consent to which they’d like to engage.

Sexpositive and Nudist. Can that even be a thing?

Sexpositve and Nudist, can that even be a thing?  It’s something that has come up multiple times for Lynn and I.  We live in an online world and feel the struggle to promote sexpositivity and nudism. But honestly, it’s the sexpositivity that seems to be more accepting of the idea of nudism than nudism is to the idea of sexpositivity.   

For starters, Nudism is on its great crusader mission to take back the holy land of nudity from the prudish world of Agrarian Patriarchy that has been supported through regimes and religions throughout the ages.   As we gain enlightenment away from the traditional conforms of social structure and traditional practices of religion, the act of practicing naturism has had a place to start growing in the world. Social media and the seemingly ease of connectivity of niche interest groups like nudism has really allowed these communities to grow.  

What has also grown is access to sexual things! SEX, one of the dirtiest of all the words of the church…I mean nudist community.  I get it- porn is abundant in so many forms and in so many places, and we pure nudists want to reach a larger, broader audience, to join us in our non-sexual nakedness. So like the church separating itself from the world to stand on its own righteous platform, nudists have also chosen this same method. A righteous platform to stand out differently from the world.  Which, if you don’t have a Christian upbringing, “the world” is everyone that doesn’t believe and or practices like you believe. A derogatory name for “outsiders,” that creates a distinct line between them and us.

As a person who used to purposefully segregate their life from those who are going to heaven from those who are not going to heaven, I have the hardest of times being part of a community that also feels almost idealistically indistinguishable to the culture of the church that I had invested so much time working for and an even harder time leaving.

Look, I get it. There is a balance to all things life. The typical yin and yang, good and evil, safe and unsafe, sober and drunk, but why does it feel like nudism as a whole, doesn’t feel balanced? It’s my belief that this imbalance alone, in a world that is progressively getting more inclusive and understanding of people’s differences, that keeps nudism stuck in the past, along with the church.

Now, has anyone asked what are the reasons why there is so much separation?  Because abstinence makes men safer to be around… right?!?  I fucking said it. This idea of self control is just as much a power play of the church that has pervasively set its grips on controlling sexuality since the invention of male circumcision. In the words of Dan Savage, “if you can control their dicks you can make them do anything.” Because controlling their dicks through abstinence made men fight harder in war, made them better tools for the ruling classes, less distracted to do work, all the necessary things for a controlled population to cultivate fields, culture, and religion.  Has this worked, no. Is it working. No. The side effects. Repressed human sexuality for humanity as a whole. Good job humanity. 

I believe that the ultimate problem is not just trying to normalize nudity, but also sexuality. In the normalizing of sexuality through cultural education and the standards of consent, not only would we see safer communities for females, but also for our children. The problem isn’t getting people used to open sexuality or open nudity, the problem is getting people used to being good humans.  Look there is no simple solution for this, but I can tell you what I believe doesn’t work- trying to separate sexuality from the human body. And yes there are broader definitions of sexuality here. I can say this, If we want people to feel safe in their skin, they also must feel safe in their sexuality. They also must not feel like they are going to be the unwanted object of sexuality.  We are trying to teach people consent, even in nudism. When we are naked socially, we are given consent to be seen as naked, but what we aren’t giving consent is to be objectified and sexualized. How can we teach this simple fact without teaching consent about sexuality at the same time? I don’t believe it is possible. I think it’s foolish to try and separate it. You won’t have women feel safe at nudist resorts, you won’t have women feel safe at nude beaches. You won’t have women feel safe, if they don’t feel safe when they are clothed, how can we expect this to be this way if they are naked?

The major portion to all of this for me is the role of the man. As someone who has a wife and daughter, I see firsthand the evidence of the male culture having a profound effect on the female psyche. In society, culture, art, jobs, and media, a male dominant force exists where it doesn’t always feel safe to be anything other than a man. All of our measurements are written around and based off of this male force. Is it a wonder that our nudist places are mostly men, where men culturally have had the freedom to do as they please?  Are we surprised that most social media forums for nudist are in fact 75% male?  Unfortunately, until our male society learns to see all genders as equal, none of this will be possible. It’s also the reason why I believe that our sexuality in our American culture mostly comes from the male gaze, and mainly the white male gaze. Porn in the last 10 years has only just started to be directed by females, or even people of color.

So how do we promote positive sex-free nudity, and positive sexuality? By teaching the next generation and supplying that next generation with the knowledge and examples that all humans are created equal. That we all have the right to exist, love, express, and enjoy our lives to the fullest. We teach our boys how to love, how to have sex, how to be naked without shame, how to see naked without shame and how to exist and be validated by achieving and having success without destroying or owning others.

Yes, we are not perfect in how we display ourselves socially. Fault us for that. But what we aren’t afraid to do is show our genuine sexpositve, real world desire for each other. We don’t show ourselves as sexual entertainment when we share our #sexpositive sides to our life, but real genuine consensual sexuality. We believe we are advocates for normalizing what it means to be loving natural humans. Humans have bodies. Fun bodies. Naked bodies. Strong bodies. Lovely bodies. Sexy bodies. Safe bodies. Cared for bodies. Loved bodies. All bodies.

Not all nudity is sexual, and not all sexuality is nude. Not all sex is porn and not all porn is sex. We should learn the differences and celebrate it all.

These are two things I know:

First, if you casually mention attending a nude social event, your mom, co-worker, dog, someone will make some question regarding swinging, sex cults, or orgies.

Second, if you attend a social event with a naturist group, anywhere from one to seven members will explain — at length — that nudity isn’t sexual and there isn’t an ounce of sexuality in their group.

Incredibly different perspectives. So who’s right?

I have noticed many self-proclaimed naturists insist that nudity and sex are totally separate and nary shall the two meet. Some take it as far as actively oppressing mention of anything remotely sexual. I’m sure this comes from a well-intentioned place of wanting to protect naturism and give it a safe, wholesome image. However, the implication of this message is that sex is bad. It’s also unrealistic: Humans have bodies. Humans are sexual. And naturists are humans, just like everyone else.

Sex positivity and naturism have both been critical components in my own processing of and healing from trauma. I reject the premise that these things must be mutually exclusive. I’ve been trying to unpack and reconcile the pieces, and it’s incredibly important to me to open up that discussion in our communities. How do we reconcile these things, and why should we?

Sex positivity (and, inherently, sex education) are critical for the overall health and well being of humans. Explicit, continued, and enthusiastic consent is at the core of sex positivity. Per Carol Queen: “Sex positivity allows for and in fact celebrates sexual diversity, differing desires and relationship structures, and individual choices based on consent.” To put it another way, look at these examples of sex negativity: violence toward sex workers, trans women, and femmes; abstinence-only sex education/sex education that only teaches about reproductive sex; and slut-shaming and victim-blaming (to name a few).

If you’re not actively working to be sex-positive, you’re sex-negative. And here, naturist/nudist groups can do better. It’s vital to creating an inclusive community. If my first introduction to a community is that “nudity isn’t sexual!”, I feel shamed for existing as a human that is both sexual and, preferably, naked. Insisting that nudity and sex don’t overlap? That’s sex-negativity. Actively oppressing any conversation that touches on a sexual topic? That’s sex-negativity.

So, how do we reconcile these things in a way that is healthy and safeIt’s a much larger conversation, and one that I hope more naturists/nudists can engage in. I’m not suggesting that everyone begin discussing sexual topics whenever and however they want. It should go without saying, but respect and consent are paramount. Not every situation is appropriate for discussing sexual topics. What I do suggest is analyzing our own internalized sex-negativity and how it presents itself in the way we communicate. The words we use and the implications they carry are meaningful.

As for me, I’m striking “nudity isn’t sexual” from my lexicon. Nudity isn’t always sexual, but sometimes it is. Instead, I’ll assure newcomers that my local group is not for hookups (it’s not) and unsolicited advances are grounds for removal (they are). I am choosing to refocus the message on consent rather than sexuality. I’m capable of being nude and sexual, clothed and sexual, or non-sexual with or without clothes. All configurations of these things are valid choices and deserving of respect.

From Skinny Dippers Club Naturist Podcast Ep. 12 // Public lands: How to do the Research to Know Where You Can be Naked!

So, how do I know if it's legal to be nude on public lands?

Well, that’s not the most straightforward question to answer without research. 

Before we talk about Public Lands and what they look like today, it is imperative to acknowledge that the land was stolen from Indigenous people.

I want to recognize that before the United States became the United States, this land belonged to the Indigenous Peoples from hundreds of tribes. They took care of this land and have been a part of it for time immemorial. White settlers took the land and murdered the people who cared for the land and ran free. Giving acknowledgment that the public lands we get to enjoy came at the cost of human life and rights is an important part of every public land conversation. This is also why I believe we must care for the earth and its inhabitants.   

If you want to learn more, I recommend following Indigenous Women Hike over on Instagram. 

IWH is an Instagram community and Indigenous activism account run by Jolie Varela. Ms. Varela’s account is an excellent place to begin learning about the land beneath your feet, the relationship that Indigenous people have with the land, and the barriers they face in accessing the land and reclaiming it.

If you’re not on Instagram, they have additional platforms. Just use your favorite search engine and look up “Indigenous Women Hike.” Each platform has ways in which you can learn about their work and how to support their efforts.

Now, let’s start looking at modern Public lands and their guidelines and laws. 

In the USA, think of government as a hierarchy:

Federal – within Federal are several agencies which we’ll go into later.

State: There are state laws, then there are laws and regulations for state agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources or Department of State Lands, State Parks, etc. And in some cases, such as in Oregon, State Parks may have exceptions for certain places – give Rooster Rock as an example, or Collins Beach, which is managed by the Ore Dept of Fish and Wildlife.

Local – and local can mean county, city, or even Census-Designated Place or even a special district like a water district or special parks district.

For those of you who are already lost – I feel you. Laws about skinnydipping and public nudity can be hard to find and difficult to understand. It’s easier to keep control of the population when people are scared of getting fined, arrested, or labeled a sexual deviant for simply wanting to enjoy some time in an open space without clothes on. 

Generally speaking, and again, this is generally speaking, because there always seems to be an exception somewhere for some reason – that’s how politics work. I can personally attest to being present in a room of lawmakers (I was one of them) where we drafted language to be buried in a state legislative bill that would have required certain laws to be applied within a 5-acre city boundary.

If you’re not familiar with my background, I was the mayor of a city in Oregon for six years and have been in local government since 1995. Much of that time has been spent diving into land-use laws and zoning as well as jurisdictional overlaps. I’ve had the opportunity to work with various county, state, and federal lawmakers, lobbyists, and activists along the way. Some of the best groups to work with to help make positive change have been grassroots activist organizations. Passion fuels change. Directing that passion to the right places can make all the difference in the world in getting shit accomplished in the sea of red tape that is the government. 

That’s probably all for another podcast. 

Before I start running down the things to be looking for, I’d like you all to know that if you’re a paid community member, you don’t need to take as many notes on all this. While Mandy is out RoadTripping and SkinnyDipping, I’m going to be working on updating our regional forums with Public Lands resources to navigate your hiking and hot springs adventures safely. 

I’ll also be including some tips so you don’t end up on the Twitter Page “Am I The Asshole.” For example, when I go nude hiking, I take things with me to wrap up quickly if I encounter a group that is also enjoying the outdoors, but their culture is not accepting of people hiking buck-ass naked in a shared environment. Yes, I want to enjoy as much pants-free time as possible. Still, I also recognize that some laws and regulations are written in such a way that is so ambiguous that I could get hassled at the least and fined or jailed just because I didn’t want to cover up because “there’s no law that says I can’t.” 

So, let’s start peeling back this onion by hierarchy layer.

Starting with the Federal Government.

Some federal agencies don’t have regulations against being naked, but others do. Additionally, some of the agencies with no regulations will allow the state or local law to take precedence over federal regulations.

I say regulations because the Federal Government has not addressed public nudity as a law. Laws tend to be general, whereas regulations contain the granular detail of specific areas, lands, or programs.

US Forest Service – They manage all National Forests and National Grasslands.

They’ve included public nudity in its regulations under prohibitions. So, right off the bat, you know that If you’re on a US Forest Service property, it’s not allowed. Also, note that the Federal government has not updated language to be gender-neutral or recognize more than two genders. 

§ 261.2 Prohibitions > Definitions – Publicly Nude means nude in any place where a person may be observed by another person. Any person is nude if the person has failed to cover the rectal area, pubic area, or genitals. A female person is also nude if she has failed to cover both breasts below a point immediately above the top of the areola. Each such covering must be fully opaque. No person under the age of 10 years shall be considered publicly nude.

National Park Service – There are 63 protected areas in the USA known as National Parks.

The National Park Service does not ban public nudity on a national scale – but each park can set its own rules. For example, at Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts, it is prohibited to be nude on the land or the water within this National Park’s boundaries.

I feel a National Park Skinny Dipping guide coming soon to a SkinnyDipper community near you. Frankly, I’ve heard most often that the National Parks officers are some of the friendliest to meet – so I think it’s worthy of a navigation guide.

US Fish and Wildlife Service covers a great many Public Lands and Waters. They focus on Wildlife Conservation, Human Recreation, and they partner with local communities. 

They don’t ban public nudity in wildlife refuges, but they do recognize state and local jurisdictions’ laws and regulations. So if you’re on a national wildlife refuge in a state that doesn’t allow public nudity on public land, then you’d be subject to the applicable fine or punishment.

§ 27.83 Indecency and disorderly conduct – Any act of indecency or disorderly conduct as defined by State or local laws is prohibited on any national wildlife refuge. 

The one I particularly enjoy the most is BLM – that’s the Bureau of Land Management. Why? They seem to allow the most flexibility for people who want to be freed of bifurcated hiking. 

The BLM manages about 10% of the overall area of the United States. How many acres does that equate to? Roughly 190,000,000 acres. Congress tasked the BLM with a mandate of managing public lands for a variety of uses such as energy development, livestock grazing, recreation, and timber harvesting while ensuring natural, cultural, and historic resources are maintained for present and future use. 

The BLM allows state and local laws to apply, and it’s often up to the local jurisdiction to enforce those laws as there are very few BLM officers.

Then there’s the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation. Both agencies also follow local and state laws, and frequently these areas are places where it doesn’t make as much sense to recreate nude anyway, so as we build out the guides online, we’ll likely stick to the major land access areas.

STATE LAWS

Every state is different. States use terms like “Indecent Exposure,” often with a definition of what that indecent exposure is to them. In some states, women’s breasts are considered indecent, where men are not. And most states have not attempted to be gender inclusive. Some states are so specific about what defines Indecent Exposure that they may specifically list things like “the bottom 50% of the areola”. Or displaying sex organs to a person under a certain age. 

Again, in our paid community, I’ll be working on links state by state in the regional forums. I have much of the research done, so it’s just a matter of getting it in the community for you all to use. 

Some of the other terms you should specifically watch for is “expose, lewd, arousal, vulgar.” Each state may have a slightly different definition of what those terms mean. The bottom line is that you could be legally enjoying a beach holding hands with your partner nude and be completely legal in one state, but the next state over your behavior would be considered lewd or attempting to arouse. So it is important to know the different definitions. Know your home state by heart and look up the states you visit.

LAST PIECE – LOCAL LAWS

This is probably the most complex piece to explain how to look up nude laws. 

The space you want to visit is it:

In a city?

In an unincorporated area of a county?

Is the public land managed by a government entity such as a water district, a park district, a conservation district? Is the land part of a public/private partnership? 

Often you can go to the local county assessor’s map online to get all that info, but then you still need to do the law research. We’re working on the tips and tricks to help make this research more straightforward, and we always appreciate having the voices and experience of our SkinnyDipper community!

Spending a little time researching in advance can save you hundreds of dollars in fines and potentially an embarrassing situation such as being hauled off in a pair of metal locking bracelets by people in uniform.

 

 

 

A portion of your Skinny Dippers membership goes to our partnership with Leave No Trace.

The Leave, no trace center for Outdoor ethics, provides proven, research-based solutions for the protection of the natural world. 

Willamettans

“This Nudist Club seems to still have much of the momentum, vigor, and energy that likely once filled many of these landed clubs back in the ’60s…”

We wanted to get on the road and make this feel like a real trip; you know, the kind where you get to a certain point in your departure and think, “yeah, this sucks…my ass hurts from sitting”. You experience that moment where you’re just ready to be there already. The thing that makes arriving at your vacation destination so much sweeter when you can finally S-T-R-E-T-C-H !

Well, we think this is one of those places worth the butt-numbing drive. Since our first visit, we’ve already been back and can’t wait to get back for our next. We agree that this Nudist Club seems to still have much of the momentum, vigor, and energy that likely once filled many of these landed clubs back in the ’60s while adding some modern touches.

While it was a long drive for us, the park is less than 30 minutes away from downtown Eugene, home of the University of Oregon. On the last day of our previous trip, we woke early after a great night’s sleep and decided to take a drive to town while the air was still a little too chilly for being out in the buff. We knew we wanted to spend as much time as possible by the pool before heading home, so it felt touristy to run into Eugene for the morning.

Eugene is a very progressive city with an up and coming feel, lots of artistic features, and modern amenities. There’s an Amtrak station in town and is bike-friendly. Eugene is a college city, so you’ll typically see more diversity than many rural Oregon cities. That has been influencing the businesses to have a greater variety of flavor on their shelves. We did a lot of window shopping and stopped in at Whole Foods for a little indulgence from the deli.

Much of that, Eugene’s vibe is alive in the Willamattans. The Willamettans is a landed, well-run volunteer-driven club. As a visitor, think of it as attending nude summer camp, including the snack shack, campfire with built-in seating, arts, activities, and even aquatics! The camp staffers (aka volunteers), many of whom live on property seasonally, take over the concessions. We aren’t sure how the programming works, but they offer/host social activities, some on pause during the pandemic.

Like any organization which is run by volunteers, they have some limited hours to check-in for nonmembers. The hours are not inconvenient for most, but definitely, a factor to consider when making plans to go to a club-style property.

Facilities:
Pool, Sundeck, Club House, Snack Bar, RV Camping with Some Hookups, Rental Units, Tent Camping

 www.Willamettans.com

 

Camp Cooking

As most of you probably know by now both Jeremy and I most likely have ADHD. 

We were just kids when doctors started testing for it so neither of us have ever been. 

My mom couldn’t handle me so she signed me for every sport she could to keep me out of her face.

Jeremy would turn seven and enter cub scouts. The same age I entered Little League.

I would learn how to kick ass through team sports with a diverse group of feminists and he took to cooking while at camp so that he could stay away from Boy Scout abusers.

Since we’ve founded Skinny Dipppers Club we’ve heard our share of abusive Scout Stories os well as stories of PTSD. 

Jeremy wants to help his friends work through these things but Jeremy is a very busy guy.

He doesn’t have a ton of time to spend in this wonderful community that we have built because his job at the county is demanding. But he tells me how impactful you all have been.

He tells me that Skinny Dippers Club and the diversity of voices he hears from here helps shape his work at the county. He’s a hiring manager with over 300 employees and a lot of his brown and black workers face discrimination on the job.

That’s also why he isn’t in here as much. The more he’s been peeling the onion the more he’s determined to fight for change.

Jeremy doesn’t have time to tell you these stories but he tells me in the small amount of time we have together when we aren’t working. 

I’ve decided to help him tell you his stories while he cooks me dinner. 

I promise it’ll be just as juicy as my steak.

Hope you enjoy,

Mandy

Naturist Podcast Ep. 10 // LIVE! from Palm Springs: How to throw a Safe Skinny Dipper Event with Special Guest Skinny Dipper Club Member and our friend, Tracy.

What does diversity and inclusion really mean?

What do people look for when wanting to know if a nude space is safe for them?

What kind of language and imagery are you using that may be triggering or off-putting?

Two weeks ago Jeremy and I were in Palm Springs solidifying our hotel take-over partnership with Tuscany Manor in Palm Springs.

We chose Tuscany Manor as our hotel take-over event destination because they are welcoming to all. We are very excited to be able to provide a space for all to feel welcome at our upcoming events.

While we were there we recorded our Podcast LIVE! On How to throw Safe Skinny Dipper Events. We cover:

What does diversity and inclusion really mean?

What do people look for when wanting to know if a nude space is safe for them?

What kind of language and imagery are you using that may be triggering or off-putting?

“My whole life I’ve been watching people vote on my very existence. I’ve been reading between the lines. Not taking a stance IS a stance. If you don’t say anything or make it explicitly clear that your space is open and available to everybody…that’s a stance.”
@PassiveBull
Skinny Dippers Club member

“We could talk for days when it comes to diversity and inclusion. I probably in another life may have even been someone who was like, I don’t know, a diversity and inclusion professional in some way. I’m such a nerd about it. And I, I love it. And I think that’s the thing about your community that spoke to me. You know, you proudly displayed a writing by a gay guy and you proudly display your rainbow and you have no qualms at all about letting the entire world know who you are. And with that, it just like speaks to my soul because I’m such a contrarian and I’m, anti-establishment, you’re also simultaneously giving a big, like F you to all of that!

And I just, I just love that because that’s just who I am at my core. I’m not gonna beat your door down to try to get you to like me. I’m definitely not going to beg you to be my friend. We’re not doing any of that. I am too old. I’m too grown. I’m too tired. I’m not doing it. What I will do is go over here and I’ll build my own thing. And you’ll wish you were over here in the end.”

>>FOLLOW ME TO PODCAST NO. 10

 

If you plan on making your own event this coming year, and you need some like code of ethics guidelines, consent policy for events, or a roadmap head over to

www.skinnydipperevents.com

Naturist Podcast Ep. 9 // Legislation, Leadership and The Importance of Creating Safe Spaces Online

A few years back I had the opportunity to go to Melbourne Spring Fashion Week when I did Social Media for Global Hair Care company Kevin Murphy

and I had the loveliest time there. I found that as a single woman running about town on her own that Australia seemed incredibly safe and I absolutely loved my time there – in fact, I would move there in a heartbeat. 

Not only is Kevin Murphy a progressive brand – and still are – they use recycled plastics on all of their packagings, they are a brand out of Melbourne, Australia, so taking care of the ocean is vital to them – they have fantastic brand values.

But I watched them grow their entire company on a Global Scale with grassroots efforts, and I think that’s how I’ve always been.

As someone who has disrupted the status quo my whole life, I truly understand the time and effort that goes into going around the castle instead of storming it. The castle will eventually crumble on its own anyhow.

In my experience, over the years, I’ve just found that I get further by betting on myself and my community instead of outdated structures. They move too slow.

The current federation and association business model is outdated, out of touch, and crumbling on its own. 
Mandy Zelinka
Skinny Dippers Club Founder

We have the infrastructure within the Skinny Dippers Community website to host non-landed clubs safely. Skinny Dippers Club could be the online real estate that hosts everybody’s online communities.

It certainly can do that. 

Many non-landed clubs rely on social media platforms to host their community. They need platforms to post events, dialogue with their members, message each other and post pictures. Skinny Dippers Club has a nominal cost associated with being a member, but these clubs can have their own space and benefit by being closely connected to other non-landed clubs. Skinny Dippers Club doesn’t restrict nudes and doesn’t sell personal information to advertisers. The paywall protects people – it’s a virtual fortress that gets stronger with community and technology and can be agile and responsive.

Security and no asshole rules are imperative to our survival online.

>>Follow me for episode nine