Nicole McClelland writes of a work-exchange trip to a nudist resort in Australia that wasn’t so pleasant.
It would be naive to suggest that this experience is unique, and while McClelland fails to probe the issues that underlie this experience, it should be noted that a vast majority of nudists are couples or single men. Single women are rare, and even those in committed relationships can be the subject of unwanted attention. Biting insects can indeed be a problem; at Lupin, I had to stop using the public showers for a year (settling for one that runs on an electric 2.5 gallon hot water heater in my trailer) because I had welts that took months to heal and the insects simply swarmed the public facilities. I burn too quickly–and also don’t like putting chemicals on my skin–to spend much time out, but it is relatively common for a naturist to sport a bandage where he’s had surgery for skin cancer. And a great many nudists are morbidly obese.
As in McClelland’s experience, the owners here also often seem to take the view that you should pay a premium for the privilege of being naked, and if you aren’t a paid-up member, then they have the right and privilege to abuse you. One of the owners here describes himself as a libertarian with an MBA from Stanford. Judging from his intellectual development, I would think any other alumni of that institution should cringe. And, of course, in the United States, when anyone says libertarian, they mean capitalist libertarian, meaning they’ll challenge political authority but fail to recognize economic authority as an even more pervasive intrusion on individual freedom.
I’m sorry McClelland had this experience. The freedom she sought is real, and I treasure being able to spend days at a time in a mountainous and woodsy setting without putting on clothing. But I’ll never work here again, and while I’m too busy to socialize anyway, I don’t really miss many of the members during the winter.