Swingers and nudists.

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As the ranks of those who chose an “alternative lifestyle” continue to grow across the country, it is inevitable that various subsets of those movements (like Swingers, or Nudists) will begin to intermingle. Sometimes these encounters may cause some conflict, as the actions of members of one group may be perceived as inappropriate by members of another.

For this discussion, we’ll take a look at the interactions of the nudist community and “swingers.” Many members of the “swing lifestyle” enjoy nudism as well, and like to frequent resorts that at least give tacit approval to their sexually adventurous attitudes. Any time a group of “swingers” gather, discussion often turns to which nudist resorts are lifestyle friendly, or swinger friendly.

Being organizers of swing events across the country, we are often asked “Do you know if nudist resort ABC is swinger friendly?” Or we’re told, “Don’t go to Nudist Club XYZ, they aren’t lifestyle friendly.”

What does “swinger friendly” or “lifestyle friendly” mean?

No one really knows, but here is our take on the subject:

“It wasn’t long ago that nudist organizations had strict rules within their clubs or resorts that didn’t allow any alcohol, tattoos, body piercing, or lingerie, and certainly ‘swingers’ were not welcome.”

Obviously, not all swingers are nudists, and not all nudists are swingers. Tess and I happen to be both.

We enjoy relaxing by the pool, playing volleyball, dining and hanging out with our friends in a clothing-free atmosphere. We have been to nudist resorts in Mexico, Jamaica and all across the country. We even flew on “Naked Air” the world’s first ever nude flight put together by Castaways Travels, from Miami to Cancun, Mexico. Being naked makes us feel free. We will always be nudists. Why do people enjoy nudism? The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) states that people enjoy nude recreation because: “Nude recreation embraces the joy of living and experiencing nature in the most natural way possible. To relax and be nude is to let yourself be totally free.”

Similarly, one could claim swingers embrace sex as a method of relaxation, as an expression of their joy of being alive and to experience sex in a perfectly natural way.

Why do people become swingers?

Many people define swinging as the act of having sex with someone other than his or her partner, but I think the definition has broadened greatly in the last decade. Many people shy from the term “swinger” and simply consider themselves practicing an “alternative lifestyle”. Some are voyeurs, some are exhibitionists, some will play with others but won’t engage in intercourse, and some couples don’t have any limitations. All are part of the new definition of “swinging” that most just call “the lifestyle”.

So where do we fit in at nudist camps and resorts?

It wasn’t long ago that nudist organizations had strict rules within their clubs or resorts that didn’t allow any alcohol, tattoos, body piercing, or lingerie and certainly “swingers” were not welcome. Some actually still have such rules or some variance thereof. Today however, many resorts have liquor licenses and you can find plenty of body piercings, tattoos and even nightclubs where lingerie is the normal apparel. Times have changed. As society has become more tolerant, so have nudist resorts.

The question is, are they tolerant enough to accept our lifestyle?

Because they feared losing accreditation from AANR if they openly catered to members of the swinging lifestyle, most nudist facilities were slow to admit that they see more and more swingers becoming members as their rules were relaxed.

As swingers became more open about their activities, and started to talk about parties held within the resorts, management sometimes retaliated by asking them to leave or in extreme cases, withdrawing their memberships. This forced members to take their parties underground or discontinue them completely so that they could still enjoy the resort without fear of reprisal.

“As swingers became more open about their activities and started to talk about parties held within the resorts, management sometimes retaliated by asking them to leave or in extreme cases, withdrawing their memberships.”

Eventually, as word of which resorts were more tolerant than others spread through the swinging community, lifestyle couples started to flock to the more open-minded nudist resorts. This made them some of the most profitable nudist resorts in the industry.

Many even flocked to Jamaica or Mexico to frolic at all-inclusive resorts like Hedonism and Desire, where “lifestyle” participants are welcome with open arms. Other nudist resorts, whose businesses weren’t going so well started to look at these resorts to find the secret to their success. “Lifestyle Friendly” started to be the new catch phrase at nudist resorts around the country.

This caused some nudist resorts to decide on who they would market to and how they could effectively market to lifestyle couples without upsetting their more conservative members. Some resorts like The Grove in Cleveland, GA, and Live Oak Resort in Washington, TX, simply made a business decision and broke away from all traditional nudist associations and openly marketed to any lifestyle organization they could find. In both cases their memberships have more than doubled (one resort has even seen their attendance triple in the off season).

One of the largest and most successful nudist resorts in the country is Paradise Lakes outside of Tampa, Florida. Most people consider this resort one of the country’s most “lifestyle friendly” resorts, and attribute their financial success to this fact. Most people we talk to at lifestyle events have all heard about Paradise Lakes and many of our friends go there regularly.

Other resorts like Caliente in Tampa, Florida, have taken a more subtle approach and continue to market to both traditional nudists and lifestyle couples. They always make sure that they explain to everyone that they are first and foremost a nudist resort, but they do not judge what people do behind closed doors. Just because they might advertise to nudists that happen to be attending a “lifestyle” event, doesn’t mean they are trying to change the dynamics of their resort. They are simply looking for customers in places where nudists gather, outside of nudist resorts.

Other resorts have taken an “Adults Only” approach.

“Adult’s Only” doesn’t necessarily imply sexual activity. Many retirement homes and other resort type facilities are “Adult’s Only”. We have no problem with family oriented resorts, but we shouldn’t be looked down on because we prefer to relax with other adults. We have encouraged AANR to allow “Adult’s Only” nudist resorts into their list of accepted members and they are considering making that change.

Last year we awarded the owners of Live Oak, Larry & Jennifer, our annual “Lifestyle Leadership” award which we use to honor up and coming leaders in our industry. Their bold stance allowing open minded couples to be open about their sexuality gave us hope that swingers and nudists might be able to live together in peace.

We understand and respect AANR’s efforts to keep nudism family friendly. We also appreciate the efforts some resorts have made to accommodate the lifestyle crowd. We actually see the issue as one of common sense. Most of us wouldn’t want our children exposed to overt sexual acts. Therefore we need to act appropriately when in the presence of children or even adults who may feel uncomfortable around inappropriate behavior. Get a room folks!!!!

Another quote from AANR’s website says: “Although we enjoy clothing-free activities in appropriate settings, we also choose to wear clothes when practical. Nudists respect each other’s individuality”. I hope they will continue to respect our individuality and welcome us into their community, because we can be nudists and swingers.

So go out and support these resorts. They want your business and you will love the free feeling you can only experience in a clothing-free environment. Make sure you tell them Bob & Tess sent you.

JonGunnar Gylfason