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Canal de AANR - American Association for Nude Recreation
By Bill Schroer, AANR Executive Director-AANR
In a recent issue of the NUSA Sun, a nudist publication widely distributed in the Southeast, a staff columnist wrote a two-page critique of AANR and its direction. The author, who is not an AANR member, is entitled to her opinion. However, we felt the column deserved a reply and the publisher of NUSA Sun graciously accepted our offer of a response. See the original article online at http://nudistusa.com/news.php?
The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) has an 80 year history of standing for social nudism as a philosophy of living that is healthy, positive and family friendly. We also believe we are worthy of inclusion at the table of mainstream society. That, however, is a work in progress.We recognize the bias regarding social nudism in this country and have worked carefully to change perceptions. While columns in this and other nudist publications routinely discuss nudism as if it were an everyday practice those conversations are the “inside baseball” of nudists talking to each other. The greatest part of the American public know little or have never heard of social nudism. When awareness does exist it is clouded with misperceptions of what we do and how we behave with some still believing us cloistered in “colonies.” A significant part of our (AANR) charge is to “introduce” social nudism to an American public that is (still) largely unaware of our existence.
It has, in fact, been a long road from 1930 and the American Sunbathing Association (former name of AANR). Those who brought social nudism to America from Germany selected the strategy of “bathing in the sun’s rays” with the entire body as plausible reason for societal tolerance (if not acceptance). The approach was critical, for conservative as American society is now, in the 1930s we were immersed in a post-Victorian puritanical hysteria…the echoes of which are still with us. Any suggestion nudism was accompanied by even a hint of sensuality (it actually feels good to be or live nude) let alone any sexual overtones would have led to an outlawing of the practice if not a few lynchings to boot.
Nudists today feel secure in the comfort of their nudist resort or club or on one of the (very few) public nude beaches but police raids on private nudist facilities were common until the 1950s. A court case which helped turn the tide occurred in Battle Creek, Michigan at Sunshine Gardens Nudist Resort. A police raid there in 1955 led to an (unusual) appeal from the nudists resulting in “Hildabridle vs. State of Michigan”. The resulting win for nudists was based on the State Supreme Court’s interpretation of the statute:
“that the statute is vague. indefinite, fails to define “open” or “indecent” exposure, is not sufficiently explicit to inform persons as to what conduct will render them liable to its penalties, and that it is, for these reasons, repugnant to the due process clause of the 14th Amendment and void; that it does not, by its terms, apply to the organized practice of nudism; that it is not violated by nakedness on private property; that nudity, per se, is not obscene and every exposure of the person not indecent, particularly when the exposure does not offend the morals or sense of decency of those present and there are no other overt acts of indecency or obscenity aside from the bare fact of nudity.”
Without dragging us through other cases and opinions, I will note this case reversed an earlier case (People vs.Ring) and demonstrates an open and thoughtful view of protection under the 14th Amendment (unreasonable search and seizure) and the notion simply being nude is not indecent in and of itself.
AANR has the experience and understanding of history to recognize the progress we have made in the courts and with some legislators is neither complete nor “carved in stone.” To presume we are free to demonstrate nudism is an accepted way of life with attendant sensual and sexual components suggests a level of understanding among the American public we believe is not now present.
We have a clear view of the goal…acceptance of social nudism as a mainstream choice among ways to live in this country. This vision includes the ability to be nude in your home and on your property..even within view of others. It includes the ability to drive in your car nude, take your family to a nude beach or even to a grocery store nude. While everyone may have a different idea of what the future vision of nudism in America looks like we certainly want the “tent” to be large enough to include the full spectrum of living and recreating nude. The question of the strategy we use to get there is often the debate. Some accuse us of not moving fast enough, or of not recognizing that sensuality or sexuality are a part of nudism. Believe me, we recognize those realities. When and how we choose to overtly advocate for these elements to be accepted today by a public still largely unaware or understanding of our cause calls for intentionality and thoughtfulness.
We at AANR have the long view. Do we need to go faster, place ads in the New York Times, sponsor body painting contests or engage in any of the many tactics to heighten awareness and acceptance of social nudism in America? Moving forward to increase societal acceptance while minimizing the risk to hard fought gains is a delicate and important part of our work. Healthy debate regarding how and how quickly we get there is an important part of the democratic process and we invite more robust discussion on this very topic.
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 18:44:47 +0000
By Bob Chenoweth
If you are a regular reader of my Success Undressed column in The Bulletin, you already know a few things about me. I am a nudist (naturally), a writer (of course), and I have served AANR over the years with professional services including website development and marketing consultation. (Stay with me here. This post is not all about me; it’s ultimately about US.)
Behind the business suit I seldom wear, I am also a husband, father of two, and grandfather of five. I am an artist, too. And the co-founder of the NACORBA nudist trade organization. And the Executive Director of a business organization for people over the age of 50. AND Chairman of the Board for an Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce organization. Sounds pretty normal (if exhausting), right?
But what if I told you that my spouse is a man? And that the Chamber I mentioned is the Indy Rainbow Chamber? Does the fact that I am gay alter your perception? Does it make you think that I am, in spite of everything else, not normal?
Let’s be honest: It’s our nature to assess and judge others through the lens of our own experience. Because each of us is “normal” in our own minds, it’s easy to label anyone who falls outside that spectrum as odd or strange or, yes, even queer.
Yes, it’s easy to use labels. Not so easy to reject that tendency.
Is being gay normal? For me, it is. I know – I KNOW – that being gay is not a choice. Being gay is simply one part of who I am. So if you must judge me, I would hope that you would do that based on my contributions to society, on how I do my job, on the way I treat my family and others. In the past month or so I have been called a hero, an angel, “the best dad anyone could ask for,” and “the greatest man I know.” (Yes, I feel humbled and blessed.) I have been called these things not because I am perfect (far from it); but because I work hard to enrich the lives of those who know me. The fact that I’m gay doesn’t matter to my family and friends. Why should it matter to anyone else?
Indeed, some of us value the differences we see in others. Some of us rejoice that the world isn’t one-size-fits-all. Some of us find wonder and enlightenment in diversity.
Some of us.
Others, however, think the world would be a better place if we all had the same color skin and spoke the same language and drove the same kind of car and had 2.3 children, a dog, a cat and a house in the suburbs with a picket fence. Frankly, I think that sameness would be pretty boring.
Indeed, lots of people – maybe most people – believe that being a nudist is abnormal. Imagine that! As AANR Executive Director Bill Schroer noted last month in his article, “Searching for Tolerance,” reprinted from the Battle Creek Enquirer, nudists are subject to scorn from “people willing to think the worst of you without knowing anything about you or naturism…” Chances are pretty good, therefore, that you, too, as a nudist, know something about being on the receiving end of snap judgments or prejudice.
But wouldn’t it be a better world if we could celebrate not only our similarities, but also our differences? One of my favorite quotes is from the Scottish historian and sociological writer Thomas Carlyle: “Every man is my superior in that I may learn from him.” Pretty hard to learn from people who are just like us, isn’t it?
So whether you are female or male, black or white or Hispanic or Asian, straight or gay, or any other brand of normal, let’s work hard to stop seeing others as only these labels. Let’s take a break from discrimination and hate. Let’s learn from one another. Let’s embrace diversity as normal – in our daily lives and in our business dealings. I’m pretty sure if we can do a better job of that tomorrow than we did today, the world will be a better place.
Bob Chenoweth owns Chenoweth Content & Design, also branded as Naked Truth One, which specializes in written and visual communications, including marketing strategy, branding, graphic and Web design, and business writing. Bob worked with AANR in the development of today’s AANR.com and writes a regular column for The Bulletin titled Success Undressed. Visit www.NakedTruthOne.com for more information.
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 17:49:39 +0000
What do Lady Gaga, George Washington, Hugh Jackman, Shakira, Eva Mendes, Heidi Klum, and Ben Franklin have in common? They’ve each admitted to enjoying skinny-dipping and the feeling of being nude. Movie stars, musicians, and entertainers today are openly professing their comfort level getting naked while swimming, cleaning house, and relaxing in their birthday suits.
So, this July, we encourage free spirits young and old to join in the celebration of national Nude Recreation Week, July 8-13, started by The Naturist Society (TNS) over three decades ago, and experience the stress-relieving freedom of nude recreation. Why not take a skinny dip in your backyard pool? Don’t have a pool? Then wash the family pet in the nude, scour the shower in the nude, vacuum the house nude, read a book, garden, or enjoy some other activity in an appropriate setting in the nude.
Nude Recreation Week gives first-timers a chance to shed stress by giving clothes-free recreation a try. This annual celebration is open for individuals, couples, and families to visit their favorite nude beach or one of over 250 clothing-optional and clothes-free clubs affiliated with AANR, to experience firsthand this growing trend in both travel and recreation.
This year, many AANR-affiliated clubs are celebrating our freedoms with the Thanks For The Freedom program which thanks our veterans and active and inactive military personnel. These clubs have specials to give back in some small measure to those individuals who have given so much. Veterans and military personnel can visit a participating club and receive a three-month Freedom Pass, which allows many of the same basic benefits AANR members enjoy.
To find a member resort in your area, visit the AANR Club Locator. To find a participating Thanks For The Freedom location, click here. Parties interested in visiting should call the resort in advance to schedule their reservation.
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 13:15:20 +0000
Congratulations to the new AANR Board who will lead AANR for the next two years. These officers and trustees will be sworn in at the 2014 AANR Convention next month at Sunny Rest Resort in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. Thanks to all the candidates who stepped up to volunteer to lead our association into the future.
A big Thank-You goes out to all the members who took the time to vote and make your voice heard.
Meet the new AANR Board:
Club Trustee Group 1 & 2
Club Trustees Group 3
Club Trustee Group 4
Club Trustee Group 5
Club Trustee Group 6 & 7
Theresa “T” Price
Member Trustee AANR-East
Member Trustee AANR-Florida
Member Trustee AANR-Midwest
Member Trustee AANR-Northwest
Member Trustee AANR-Southwest
Member Trustee AANR-West
Member Trustee AANR-Western Canada
Sat, 28 Jun 2014 14:06:01 +0000
By Marc Toussaint
Hi, my name is Marc, born and raised in New York City. Catholic schools, strict teachers, music, and playing video games with local friends dominated my life. My parents emigrated from the Caribbean around 1971. They moved to a small seven-story tenement building where everyone knew each others’ first names. Birthday parties, baptism, holy communion, and yes, of course, graduation were all celebrated amongst each other. One time a family downstairs had a birthday party during my college graduation party. People were juggling back and forth attending both parties. Life was pretty much routine and stable. It was also an internal celebration for me because around this time of year, I was approaching my last chemotherapy cycle completing my cancer treatment.
Flashback to eight years earlier. I had noticed my ankle was consistently getting more and more painfully swollen. At first I thought it was a sprain or maybe it was my sneakers. A few weeks went by and the pain grew worse. It was very swollen too. My mom took me to the hospital. After the CAT scan, an advanced form of x-ray, the doctors also wanted me to have a biopsy, or a tiny sample, of my tissue from my ankle region.
Within a few days, I had my leg below the right knee amputated. After the cancer metastasized to both lungs, surgery left me with chest scars.
We as humans are so hard on ourselves. Shyness, negative thinking, anxiety and fear were the reasons why I felt ashamed of my body. Throughout the years, I hated the summer but loved the fall and winter seasons. It is so easy to hide and cover myself up. I allowed my perception to become my reality. It’s a classic case of dysmorphic or body image issues that many people experience.
It was a very hot, humid, and muggy day in New York. I was so anxious to get home to shower. After showering, it dawned on me, “Hey, Marc, no one is home so why are you putting clothes on with this heat? “ I was so conditioned to cover my body that even at home I felt timid and embarrassed.
Joining a naturist club was the furthest thing on my mind. I never could’ve envisioned people with scars, amputees, wheelchair bound, or with any abnormalities/deformities joining such a group. Were these people accepted in a nudist society?
Fast forward a few years later at a dinner party in the Caribbean. I struck up a conversation with fellow Americans, one female and two males, all within their late 20′s. They were from the Midwest working for a non-profit organization. We talked about freedom, politics and the definition of the word “naturist.” These three people were nudists and very proud of it. Long story short and three days later, I was invited to a rental beach property for dinner. By 7 p.m., it was dark outside. Somehow, I knew they were all going to the beach in the nude. They encouraged me to let go of feeling embarrassed and told me we are all the same. In fact, the nudist community accepts people from all walks of life. It does not matter about your ethnicity, shape, or profession. One of the above mentioned is a disabled nudist enjoying their freedom as we speak. Freedom is letting go and inviting mother nature back into your life.
All three of them were very encouraging. Without hesitation, I immediately removed my pants, shirt and everything. I did not want to take my time so I wouldn’t have any second thoughts. By this time all of them were swimming. I walked along side of the beach and felt the gentle night breeze against my skin. I felt so alive, free, and peaceful. I lay on the sand and looked at the stars and the last thing on my mind was whether or not I should wear my new shirt to match old jeans or buy new jeans, etc. It was the feeling of belonging that sealed the deal for me.
Why do we as humans rather wear hot sticky clothing, thereby making ourselves uncomfortable? I watched the group swim and we all walked the short distance back to the house. I told them how much I felt relieved. It was this feeling of oneness with nature. One of them said, “Yep, this is what being a naturist all about.” Being nude is just an afterthought. In fact, after the first few minutes, I was very relaxed. I didn’t think about it.
I learned a valuable lesson. The lesson is that mother nature intended people to spend time outdoors, not indoors. We can carry out normal activities without clothes. This moment was very therapeutic for me. It was very empowering indeed. I use the word “disabled” as a medical term but we are all “CAPABLE” of becoming a nudist.
Marc’s website, Disabled Naturist, www.disablednaturist.com, is a community centered around nudism practiced by people with disabilities. We aspire to teach people that live with disabilities all about nudism and serve as a gathering place for nudists from all over to come together and exchange ideas, knowledge, news and experiences. Our motto is our calling card: “We are all capABLE to become naturists.”
Wed, 25 Jun 2014 15:39:17 +0000
The voting closed at midnight Saturday June 20 in the 2014 AANR election to decide who will lead AANR into the future. Print ballots postmarked June 20 will be accepted. Thanks to all our valuable members who took the time to vote and made your voice heard.
Stay tuned! Results will be posted here once they are in.
Tue, 24 Jun 2014 13:54:36 +0000
By Steve Jacobson
Assuming that most people who read this blog are nudists, this may be preaching to the choir, but even within the nudist lifestyle there are a lot of people who cannot separate the idea of being nude with the sexual act. Going from club to club, it’s truly amazing the different attitudes concerning what is sexual and what is not.
There are clubs that will not allow anyone to hold hands while being nude. There are clubs that will not allow tattoos or piercings for fear of being too sexual. At some clubs you cannot repeat an “off color” joke, no matter how funny it is. Then there are clubs that require clothing to be worn while dancing. And, of course, there are clubs that promote themselves as sexually open and have no problem with overt sexual activities. Yes, there is a third type of club that has found that balance between being overt sexually or scared to show any sexuality. The fact that you have these three different types of clubs makes it more confusing to separate the idea between being nude and having sex.
Talk to most anyone who is not a nudist and they will automatically assume that there are some sort of sexual implications associated with being a nudist. Some nudists go overboard trying to deny any sexuality with nudism. Hey folks, we are human and in being so, we are sexual in nature. The fact we are nudist has nothing to do with our natural sexual drive and enjoyment. As nudists, we may be better at controlling any overt sexual advances being more aware of what is appropriate and what is not.
It is my belief that allowing people to naturally express themselves, whether it be a joke, uttering the occasional expletive, holding hands, or even a kiss or two, is a healthy thing. The key is, that with anything else, moderation is the main factor. We nudists tend to align ourselves with groups around us that make us comfortable. We soon learn what is appropriate and what is not in our group. Find the group, or lifestyle, that suits you and relax and enjoy living.
It’s not the sex that upsets people, it’s the implication that you are in a group that condones inappropriate sexual behavior. You can try to explain to non-nudists that being nude and having sex are not the same thing. Whether they listen and change their minds is their problem.
The point I’m trying to make is that it’s alright to be the sexual human being that we are. Have fun with your sexuality, tell that “dirty joke,” go ahead and show some affection with a loved one, and don’t be afraid to think “dirty” thoughts. As long as you’re mature enough to control your actions regarding what is appropriate and what is not.
Granted, there are people who don’t have that filter in their brain that keeps them for acting like an idiot, they will always be around. But you don’t have to live down to their level. Being a nudist is lets us enjoy natural feelings of well-being. Those feeling don’t stop when it comes to our natural sexuality.
It’s the feeling of a sense of freedom that is the hallmark of being a nudist. A certain amount of sexual freedom is included.
Steve Jacobson is a guest blogger who occasionally contributes articles to the AANR blog.
Wed, 18 Jun 2014 11:49:17 +0000
by Seth Paronick, Board of Governors, B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Foundation Institute
Work has begun to establish a clothing-optional section to the south of the dune crossover at Blind Creek Beach (South) on Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce, FL, located in St. Lucie County along Florida’s Treasure Coast. Although casual nude use has a long history at this remote, primitive and pristine, county-owned beach, it is not formally recognized and its status is not currently secure. The nearest established clothing-optional beaches are respectively 120 and 140 miles (193 and 225 km) to the north within Canaveral National Seashore and 115 miles (185 km) to the south at Haulover Park in Miami-Dade County. Securing a section of Blind Creek Beach for clothing-optional use would be a boon for naturists living in or visiting this region.
The first planning meeting took place on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at Sunnier Palms Nudist Park in Fort Pierce. There was a tremendous line-up of organizational support among the attendees, who included the Director of Public Relations for the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), the Chairman of the Government Affairs Committee of AANR-Florida (AANR’s Florida regional unit), the President of South Florida Free Beaches (SFFB) / Florida Naturist Association (which founded and continues to help manage Haulover’s successful, clothing-optional beach in Miami), the Founder / Executive Director of B.E.A.C.H.E.S. Foundation Institute (nonprofit educational and charitable adjunct of SFFB), and a representative of the WildFyre Society, a GNI-affiliated men’s naturist club in South Florida. Although they were not able to attend, AANR-Florida’s President and the Chairman / Executive Director of the Naturist Action Committee (NAC) are also involved in the ongoing discussions.
The following decisions were made:
If you are a resident of or visitor to Florida’s Treasure Coast or surrounding areas and would like to participate actively in this project or just want to be kept informed of developments and meeting dates, please contact Nelson, team leader, at email@example.com.
Wed, 07 May 2014 11:59:05 +0000
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 began with a series of grass roots efforts conducted by citizens (in particular many college students) concerned over environmental issues. Thus, in honor of Earth Day 2014 (begun in the U.S. and now celebrated in 192 countries), the American Association for Nude Recreation – an organization long known for promoting the natural life and of encouraging its members young and old to serve as eco-conscious custodians of planet Earth — is pleased to share with you five fun factoids and recommendations…
Despite all of the damage caused to the environment by man, most of it is reversible. As conscientious custodians we can restore habitats and return species to them; clean rivers; renovate buildings; replenish the topsoil, replant forests. Nudists are closely connected to and get eagerly involved in the preservation of our nation’s beaches, parks and other natural resources and they are also committed to reducing their personal impact on the Earth’s resources.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:36:22 +0000
Welcome to the 2014 AANR Voter’s Guide. In this Elections Forum, you will find detailed profiles of each candidate running for your Officers, Club Trustees, and Member Trustees. You will also find one proposed Bylaw amendment. Please read each item carefully, and when it is time, be sure to vote!
Your ballot and further instructions will be included in your May issue of The Bulletin. In the meantime, please take advantage of this interactive format to ask questions of the candidates so they may respond. Remember, this is your Association and your vote counts!
Be sure to scroll on to the next pages (click on the “Older posts” link at the bottom of each page) so you do not miss any of the profiles/legislation.
Below you will find a list of the candidates running for office in the 2014 AANR Election with a link to their individual profiles. The individual profiles are where you will be able to post questions and comments for the candidates. You will also be able to review the proposed Bylaw amendment you will be voting on. You will also be able to post comments on the proposed Bylaw amendment.
(Please note: All candidates in each group are listed alphabetically.)
Voting Guide and Proposed Bylaw Amendment
(Select two candidates)
(Select one candidate)
(Select one candidate)
(Select three candidates)
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:50:32 +0000