Clothing Optional Recreation

It is May, the sun is out, and it is getting warm outdoors. I am a big fan of clothing optional recreation, and now is the time you can begin to spend time outside and naked. It is not explicitly a sexual activity. In fact, any kind of public sex is seriously frowned upon at most places you can be publicly naked. There are a few exceptions, which we will tell you about, but in general, you will want to be on your best behavior. That does not mean that you can’t look, but you had best not stare (or even worse- leer).

Soaking or sunning all day in the nude (with appropriate sun screen of course) makes you feel good, and feeling good is very conducive to good sex. Because it also promotes positive body images, it can also make you feel good about your own body, which is also conducive to good sex.

Clothing optional recreation has become a $440 million dollar business, with clubs and resorts across the country and around the world. Almost anything that you can do clothed can also be done naked, from playing golf to cruising across the ocean. There are even nude roller coaster ride events (it raised money for cancer last year).

There are a few things to know to better understand nude recreation. First off, there are two camps, so to speak. In one camp are the traditional nudists, and for them, nude recreation is only comfortable if everyone gets naked. In fact, they feel it is too sexually alluring to have people partially clothed or wearing bikinis, so they insist that everyone strip. The last thing they want is anything sexually alluring. Think of them as the prude nudes.

The second camp uses the term clothing optional. This means that people can wear whatever they are comfortable with, either fully clothed, just a bikini bottom, or nothing at all. These nudists tend to be a bit more progressive and a little less paranoid about sexuality. Certainly any environment that allows children will have strict restrictions on public sexuality, but some of the traditionalists go a little overboard, forbidding things such as full body hugging or certain types of piercings or body jewelry that draw any attention at all to the “naughty bits”.

There are also adults only venues that do not allow children, such as the Hedonism resorts in Jamaica. They adhere to the more progressive clothing optional approach, and at certain times and in certain places things get much wilder than they ever would in an environment that allows children.

Of course, mainstream nudists deemphasize the sexual aspects of nudity, and argue that nudity in and of itself is not sexual. In general, that is true. Hanging around naked with others is actually very relaxing and freeing, and if there is no sexual charge to the environment, it does tend to be very non-sexual. Certainly there is some pleasure in viewing attractive naked bodies, but the main consideration is that it is the great equalizer. Clothes may make the man, but when everyone is naked, you generally have no idea of someone else’s economic status.


The American Association for Nude Recreation is a national organization that lobbies on behalf of nude recreational resorts and has over 260 member clubs and over 50,000 members. Their web site lists clubs across the United States, both landed and non-landed (a landed club has physical property, whereas a non-landed club may meet at members’ homes or go to clothing optional beaches or similar spots). They promote family friendly nudism.

Most AANR clubs are family resorts that offer an almost retro family environment. Volleyball, swimming, and sunbathing are still amongst the most popular activities. Some are small with a few acres and basic facilities, and some are giant resorts such as Florida’s Paradise Lakes, sprawling some 72 acres with 60 hotel rooms, five tennis courts, three heated swimming pools, a health spa, two restaurants, and several boutiques.

Florida is the U.S. crown jewel of nudist resorts, with many options. One of the best is Caliente, located near Tampa.  The grounds are gorgeous. It is clothing optional, which is different from the nudist clubs that insist everyone be naked all the time, which does not even make sense for someone like me who does not like to wear clothes. You should wear what is comfortable for you. They also have a resort in the Dominican Republic. Oh, leave the kids at home. While not a swinger’s resort, it is also not kid friendly.

Many of these resorts offer far more than the traditional activities. Valley View Nudist Recreation Club has an annual Nude Olympics in Cambridge, Wisconsin, held during the Labor Day Weekend.  No jokes about autoeroticism at Florida’s Lake Como Nudist Resort‘s 14th annual car show October 15th. It is strictly a family event. And while Christianity might be notorious for its body shaming, that is not true for all Christians. Many of them with a more body positive attitude will be at their Christian Naturist Festival July 14-16, sponsored by the Garden of Eden Chruch.

The Review Resorts site has a section on Clothing Optional Resorts. There is also a clothing optional Air BnB type service called The Clothing Optional Home Network.

While there are nudist resorts all over the world, sometimes getting there is half the fun. A few years ago, Castaways Travel (which has been sending people on nudist vacations for 33 years) filled up a 172 seat Boeing 727 to take unclothed passengers to a clothing optional resort in Cancun. Travel agency Bare Necessities has been sending passengers on nude cruises for many years, and set the record with a nude cruise with 3,000 passengers in 2013.

Some nudists prefer a little less structure and a little more nature. For them, The Naturist Society is the organization of choice. They lobby on behalf of clothing optional beaches, lakes, hot springs and other places that have traditionally allowed people some freedom in the way the dress (or don’t dress). They also publish Nude and Natural magazine, and the World Guide to Nude Beaches.

There are some of you who sadly prefer to remain clothed, but would still enjoy seeing others naked. There are opportunities even for you. The Nudes-A-Poppin’ event takes place July 15th and 16th at the Ponderosa Sun Club in Roselawn, Indiana. It allows nude or clothed spectators to view what is the largest outdoor beauty pageant in the country. They crown the official Miss Nude Galaxy and Mr. Nude Galaxy, as well as a number of other titles that all have something to do with nude. Since most of the contestants are professional dancers, this is not a family event.

Personally, my favorite places tend to be the ones that are for couples only. The ultimate is the Jamaica based resort Hedonism II, with its clothing optional beach, pool and Jacuzzi, sexy games, and a wild pajama party dance theme in the disco. Here the rules about sex and clothing optional are discarded along with the clothing. Several swinger travel organizations do takeovers. While I disliked Fifty Shades of Grey, it has made BDSM more acceptable. The resort now has a Romping Shop, which features an L-shaped bed, two swings, a glass shower and suspension cuffs on chains anchored from the ceiling. My wife and I have had enormous fun staying at Hedonsim II, and can strongly recommend it.

There is also the closer to home Desire, which now has two locations- Cancun’s Riviera Maya and the Riviera Maya Pearl Resort. Both resorts cater to those looking for a more sexual experience, and they are both popular spots for swingers. The Pearl caters to a younger crowd, and is a little more upscale. While open sex is not allowed in most of the resort, they do have a Sin Room and a Jacuzzi area where open sexuality is allowed. It is also an all-inclusive couples only clothing optional resort that, like Hedonism, caters to swingers. It has a white sand beach. Thy have a Fantasy menu that caters to a number of desire, from BDSM to learning how to pole dance.  And of course, there is a clothing optional beach.  The Riviera Maya offers similar features.  Their latest is the Temptation Cancun Resort. The beach and pool areas are top free, if you so desire. It is a bit toned down from the others, primarily because of one major difference – it allows singles.  If you are looking for a more swinger friendly environment, the other Desire resorts are more for you.

You don’t have to leave the country for a great experience. Palm Springs, California is known for having several clothing optional getaways, including Desert Sun Resort. Back when they were known as Desert Shadows, they got tons of publicity over their covered bridge that keeps the uncovered out of sight as they cross a main street to get to another part of the facility. It is adults only, and while they do not allow open sexuality and you should be somewhat discreet, we know lots of swinger couples who have gone there and met like-minded couples. Palm Springs also offers Living  Waters Spa, the more spiritually oriented Anahata Springs  and the more hedonistically oriented Sea Mountain Resort, which is clothing optional but also adults only and caters to swingers. For our gay readers, Palm Springs has more gay clothing optional resorts than anywhere in the country. For a list, visit Gay Palm Springs.