Guest Author - Candyce H. Stapen
Do naked travelers have more fun? Apparently, they do, say devotees of nude travel. When you take your clothes off, they say, you also shed your psychological baggage.
That’s why one of the biggest groups of new converts to frolicking au naturel aren’t svelte twentysomethings, but women 45 and older.
Sans a swimsuit, proponents say, women find out they are much more beautiful because of their inner self, a feeling so freeing they wonder why they waited so long to shed their clothes. With their clothes off, nudists say, women finally feel free of apprehension and even shame about their bodies whether they are fit, fat, or somewhere in between.
Typically for couples, it’s the man who brings up the subject and argues for trying a nudist vacation, but it’s the woman who pushes to return.
What are some things men like about nude vacations? They also like the body acceptance and, according to some men we interviewed, the idea that nudity breaks down barriers. In the buff, sans the Armani suit, the Gucci shoes and the Missoni sweater, you can’t tell who is the CEO and who is the waiter. Conversational barriers break down quickly, some say, and you get to know a person more easily than when both of you are buttoned up.
Nudist travel, or as the Association for Nude Recreation (ANR) calls it “Nakations” are growing in popularity and are big business. Nude recreation, according to the ANR accounts for $440 million in annual revenue. In 2011 ANR counts nearly 270 affiliated clubs, resorts and RV campgrounds in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
“Nakations” run the gamut from bare-all beaches to basic camps to upmarket resorts and even cruises. The first clothing-optional cruise sailed in 1992 with 500 people. By 2010, there have been 45 such sailings, accounting for more than 30,000 cruisers.
Bare Necessities Tour and Travel, a leading clothing optional tour operator, has chartered ships from Carnival, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Star Clipper Cruises for special nude voyages. So what do you wear on formal night?
Consider a bowtie or pearls, of course.
The first no clothes airplane flight zipped off the runway in August 02. Once the captain okayed movement, flyers took off more than just their seat belts.
Forget about that streaking episode in college or the moonlit beach rendezvous with your first love. Now, as a Boomer with, possibly, stretch marks, scars, some cellulite and an over-padded rear, would you romp nude? Better yet—should you? Should all of us?