The American Association for Nude Recreation - Western Region
After 50 years of advertising and movies equating nudity and sex, the public is often confused by what social nudism is all about. While adult nudists, as human beings, enjoy sex as much as anyone else, removing one’s clothes to enjoy the sun, wind, and water against our bare skin is NOT foreplay and it does not give someone permission to act boorishly or to behave in an inappropriate manner around others nearby.
AANR-West allows each nudist club to establish its own specific set of behavior rules appropriate to its own culture, but we do expect these clubs, as part of their agreement to be affiliated with both AANR and AANR-West, to follow some general principles.
Nudists have the right to privacy
They do not have to tell anyone else their name, occupation, or where they live. They have the right to sit by themselves and enjoy the day without having another invade their private space.
Of course, they can decide interact and enjoy the day with others (most people do!) one of our basic tenants is “No means no,” which means if a person indicates by either words or body language they are not interested in associating with another person, the other person must back off.
If the person does not back off, the nudist should first try to handle the situation themselves but telling the person to back off. The nudist can also complain to management and ask for them to intercede if the person continues. Some people may not like to complain and “get the other person in trouble.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Stand up for yourself!
These situations do not happen very often, but we want to be sure all of our members and guests understand they have this right to privacy.
Staring or gawking at another person’s private parts is a major taboo.
Nudist Clubs Are Not “Lifestyle” (i.e. “Swinger”) Clubs
Another confusion sometimes in the public’s mind is that nudist clubs are simply an excuse to have sex with others, that couples regularly swap spouses and perform lewd acts in the pool, jacuzzi, or other open places around the grounds. Nope! Clubs affiliated with AANR and AANR-West can lose their charter if this is the case (and we have kicked out a few over the years).
We pride ourselves in being family-friendly, providing a protective “bubble” against such behavior, as we have for over 80 years! That does not mean there aren’t members who in their private lives are “swingers.” But at nudist clubs, they agree to not practice their lifestyle nor solicit others to it, under risk of losing their memberships.
Speaking for most members, we enjoy sex! We just say to do it in the privacy of your room or tent, and not in public view. Public exhibitions will result in you being asked to leave.
Nudist Clubs Should be Open to Everyone
Through the 1950’s, most clubs – like most of American society - remained segregated. That all changed in the 1970s and AANR has clubs sign a pledge to be open to all races, religions, and special needs. Allowing persons of LGBTQ is relatively new but most parks this is no longer an issue. Some parks still refuse to allow children under age 18, while others discriminate against singles (especially men).
AANR-West cannot tell a club how to run its business, but we endeavor to have all the clubs in the region realize the financial and moral obligation they can achieve with a wider customer base.
Club memberships should be based up behavior and the content of the person’s character, nothing else. Most club owners agree.
AANR-West strongly encourages its clubs to have a background check procedure in place for its first-time guests and/or membership applicants, but we leave it up to the club to determine what kind of process is best for them. Some clubs perform extensive checks, using the Megan’s Law California database, or other state or national system as provided by the FBI or county courts.
Even so, a background check will not discover someone who has never been caught. So, we also encourage clubs to develop their own system for spotting inappropriate behavior on the grounds. Fortunately, such incidents are much rarer at a nudist park than at local shopping malls or other public places. Predators (both genders) are very rare as a rule and they stand out like a sore thumb compared to how nudists normally act.
The parents of children know the regular members will help keep an eye on all the kids but parents have ultimate responsibility for their children.
Common Behavior Guidelines and Etiquette at Most Parks
Not all parks have these rules, but enough do that we mention them here as guide to good behavior when you visit a nudist park or beach:
It is a universal practice of naturists that when you sit down, make sure your bare bottom does not come in contact with chairs, benches, etc. Most people carry a towel to sit on, although some women prefer to wear a sarong/wrap tied around their waist. Either way, this is the number one thing you will be called out on if you do not do it.
Members are responsible for the behavior of their guests. If you invite someone to a park or beach, please make certain that whomever you bring knows and agrees with our guidelines.
Noise making devices of infinite variety abound in our culture. They range from cell phones to pagers to boom boxes to electronic games which emit squeaks. Please leave them at home or silence them (or wear headphones).
Smoking rules will depend upon the facility. Smoking is generally not permitted indoors and may not be permitted outdoors either depending on the wishes of the host. If smoking is permitted, please be considerate with your second-hand smoke.
Photography at Nudist Clubs and Beaches
IMPORTANT: The presence of cameras is unsettling to almost all club members or nude beach goers because of their profession or because they have no control where the photo may be used or posted online.
At most places where there are nude people, cameras are inappropriate unless photography is permitted at a specific event or in a specific area. Since most digital devices such as cell phones and computer tablets now have cameras, clubs will ask that members and guests limit their use, especially around the club pool.
While each club has its own rules, most will ask you to put your smart phone away for the day. If your business requires you stay in touch, many clubs now require that the camera lens be obscured with a sticker provided upon check-in at each event.
Where photographs are permitted, the photographer MUST have explicit permission from everyone who is visible in the picture, even in the background.
At many clubs, photographs of children – even your own - are not permitted without specific permission from the club office.
Quick Contact Form:
The American Association for Nude Recreation
P.O. Box 6313
Santa Barbara, CA 93160
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