Alternate Lifestyles

I’m really going to stick my neck out now.  As a disclaimer, let me say I (this is me, Steve) am not doing a sales-job on any of what follows.  OK?  Just sharing personal experiences and trying to relate it to the, what, more ‘purist’ nudist environment?

That said, we’re going to talk about some things that mainstream nudist/naturists hate to touch lest the Establishment uses it against us.  To their credit, The Naturist Society has published articles dealing with some of these issues in their magazine..  Pretending it just ain’t so doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

We’re going to talk about swingers and gay folks.  For ease of use, gay here means guys & guys and gals & gals.  Swingers means couples, usually married.  OK?

Now, I’m going to try to keep a sense of humor through this, and that’s dangerous.  Angie says I have a weird sense of humor.  Lucky for me that she does too!  So believe this:  If you think I’m being mean, I’m not.  I’m just not communicating well.  Fair enough?

This will be a long article, so get settled and stocked with whatever you’ll need.  Gays first, might be easier.  Not going to write ” lesbian, gay , transgender ,transsexual, bisexual” every time, too much trouble.

Get ready, the generalizations are about to fly!

I’ve known a lot of gay folks.  Friends, neighbors and family members.  I’ve found them to be regular people (ok, some guys have GREAT decorating ideas, and a lesbian friend picks me up when she hugs me, aargh! Stereotypes!).  Just like nudists are like everyone else.  Maybe a we’re little different in some ways but still fine people.

Actually, I’ve found that anyone who walks a different path tends to be more tolerant of others who walk their own path.  Don’t you think?

Anyway, I (we) have no prob with gays.  So now, how about  nudist gay people.  Here it get’s sticky.  Most nudist venues control the male/female balance to avoid having too many guys hanging around.  Reality is, guys are more likely to be there simply to look at or meet women.  Then there’s gay guys.  Not only do they have the onus of being guys, but they’re of no use  to any single women that might be around, and women are always in short supply.  Plus, let’s face it, a lot of people are uncomfortable around overtly gay guys.  So formal venues discriminate.  Is that right or fair?  No.  Is a fact?  Yes.

Funny thing is, when I was newly single, women at Mazo Beach tended to approach me for conversation more when they thought I was gay and thereby ‘safe’.   While that was nice, it did bother me a little that I appeared so obviously gay to them instead of macho-manly.  Maybe it had something to do with the super-short hair, neatly trimmed goatee, and the fact that I wasn’t hitting on them.  Hmm.

Gonna get into more trouble now.  Guys in general are more promiscuous than women.  It’s in the genes.  Society and religion are the only things that keeps us from jumping on anything that moves.  Right, guys?  Women tend to be more conservative in their choices.  Luckily for single guys, not all are all of the time!  Bless their hearts.

Gay guys are guys, the only difference is that they are, ah, not dealing with as tough a target as hitting on a woman is.  I mean, both parties are more willing.  Easy sex.

So, toss that in with nudity and you have a great potential for misbehavior.  You have gay guys that may be primarily nudists, in a situation where the possibility of meeting someone is good, and you have gay guys using nudity as a means to hookup.  Therein lies the lifestyle conflict.

Mazo Beach as an example.  If you go to the beach you will find different groups of folks.  They tend to clump together according to friendship, club associations, volleyballers, and gay guys.  Plus lots of odds and ends all mixed in.  It’s a great place.

Some gay guys gravitate to a slightly removed area and are, frankly, the main source of problems at the beach. Shrubbery has been cut and large areas of the woods have been declared off limits to nudists because of the actions of some of them.  Most folks manage to separate nudity from sexuality but some bad boys have caused recurring problems with the Authorities and hurt everyone else.  This is not the way to bridge the lifestyle gap.  This gives ammunition to the anti-nudity crowd and creates hostility between groups that should be working together to protect our lifestyle.

I want to be very clear here:  This is NOT bad nudist behavior, this is just plain bad behavior.  And this is the basis of prejudice against against gay guys.  It’s not fair to the majority of gay guy nudists.

Lesbians?  Can’t really say much about that.  They don’t cause problems at the beach, and, as women, don’t suffer discrimination getting into nudist places.  Not that I know of. Often get discounts.  Would love to hear some comments from, may I say (I shouldn’t but can’t resist), the ladies?

Swingers.  I could not have written this a few years ago.  I could not write about life in Serbia right now.  Get the connection?  No, huh?

Swingers (like nudists before I became one) were a thing of myth and media sensation.  Boy oh boy did I have a lot to learn!

Did you know that nudists are actually ordinary people that just happen to like to be nude?  Wow!  What a revelation!

Well, I hate to break it to you but swingers (in my experience) are just as ordinary, just a bit off in a different direction than nudists.  Some swingers are nudists, some nudists are swingers.

This is hard to explain since it’s so different from the way we usually look at monogamy.  I’m going to stumble through this and hope that at least some it makes sense to you.  We do not participate in this “lifestyle”, by the way, but know those who do and consider them to be friends.

The swingers I know have, without exception, a strong and loving marriage.  They are real people in every walk of life, kids, good families.  They have been doing this for years without jealousy or the problems you and I would expect.  They do not fit the picture of evil hedonistic sex fiends.  They simply have a mind-set which allows them to enjoy a part of living which most of us find to be unacceptable, for whatever reasons.

Remember (and I will continue to drive this point home) that you and I are reviled by society in general for enjoying a part of living which is generally considered unacceptable.  So let’s not be too quick to condemn.

I want to tell you a story I heard from a very nice woman, a school teacher, nudist, and swinger.  She and her husband went to a swinger house party, their first..  Folks (fully dressed) were cocktailing and talking, some pairing off to bedrooms.  She went upstairs with a guy, did what they did, and returned downstairs.  Now, being a nudist and swinger (player), she didn’t bother getting dressed.  She was surprised to find that the people there were shocked to see her nude!  I guess prudery exists even in the strangest places.

Anyway, she said, apparently it didn’t bother everyone, since she shortly returned upstairs with two more guys!

What’s that story mean?  I don’t know.  I wish I could convey how innocent she made it seem.  Like, “I went to the beach, undressed and enjoyed the feel of the breeze on my skin.”  That casual and simple.

“I went to a party and had sex with a few nice folks.”  I don’t know.

I really don’t.  All I know is that these people are just as real and ‘good’ as I think I am, and deserving of respect, as persons.  And some of them are nudists.  Their lifestyle is not mine, but then again, that could be said about anyone.

I know of a nudist campground in Wisconsin that is full of swingers, but you’d never know it.   It’s a family kind of place.  ‘Keep it in your trailer’ is the rule.  And they do.

There’s another place that specializes and expects overt, public sex.  I do not consider this to be nudist and will not discuss it on these pages. I don’t condemn them, they just aren’t primarily nudists and won’t be considered as such here.

The problem with swingers, for nudists, is that it’s a growing trend that gets a lot of press that reflects badly on mainstream nudism.  The general Textile public associates casual nudity with sexuality and leaps upon anything that reinforces that idea.  Add to that the fact that swinging is now often featured at events hosted at previously legitimate nudist venues, and that the term ‘nudist’ is usually included, and we have a problem, a big problem.

It’s hard enough to try to educate the public as to what nudism/naturism actually is without muddying the water with this unrelated stuff.  This has cause a lot of hard feelings in the nudist world.  Once again, it’s a matter of using the proper behavior in the right place at the right time.  Unfortunately, we cannot stop them from referring to themselves as ‘nudists’ even when they are not.

I hope you found something worthwhile in this long dissertation.  I don’t have answers, I just hope for folks to explore their perceptions of others.  There is so much good in all of us that it’s a shame to miss it because we won’t look for it.

The point is, our nudity harms no one else.  Being gay harms no one else.beach-angel-bigger  Sexual behavior between consenting adults harms no one else.

We just need to remember that there’s a time and a place for everything, and try not to offend others. And to allow others to be themselves.  And try not to pick our noses or scratch our butt in public…    -Steve

NOTE:  As of 2013 Mazo Beach is now closed to EVERYONE except for weekends since the authorities have been unable to control the sexual behavior of some men there.  The state is currently working on banning nudity there, period.  Thanks a lot, guys, and thanks to their friends who look the other way and condone their actions.  This crap is closing beaches all around the world; when will peer pressure, the only effective countermeasure, kick in?

Locals sick of “homosexual activity” at beach

State cracks down on sex, drugs at nude beach near Mazomanie



7 Responses

  1. Spot on. I moved from the Midwest about 15 years ago or you probably would have seen me at Mazo. But the same above could be said of other nude beaches and people I’ve known. It’s just the diversity of human nature. Nothing to be shy talking about.


  2. Interesting points, and there is an element to truth to what you write. It is clear, from my reading, that you are “more” comfortable with swingers than you are with gay guys/women, etc. Just my reading of your article. I may be wrong.

    While I acknowledge that men may be more genetically sexual (is there a study for this?), I am not sure it is fair to say that because men have sex at a beach that it is any more problematic than swingers having sex at clubs or campgrounds. I’ve seen more clubs have their “naturist-approved” badge removed for allowing swingers, than I have seen for allowing gay men and women. It is the media that focuses on the swingers that causes issues with promoting naturism as an acceptable and healthy lifestyle. Swingers – by definition – focus on sex as being part of their lifestyle. Some are nudists, many aren’t but that is not the focus of the attention that is given when it hits the mainstream press.

    There are many sub-groups that make up any larger societal grouping, and often they are very blurred – sometimes intentionally. I am gay, and I am also a naturist. Me saying this should not automatically tell you that I want to have sex with you because you are another man. Contrary to this, if I were tell you that I’m a swinger, then the focus is now on sex, not sexuality, and your assumption would probably be more correct.

    Side note: can swingers be two-men or two-women or is the definition of swinger strictly applied to opposite sex couples?

    In reference to gay men, you write “This gives ammunition to the anti-nudity crowd and creates hostility between groups that should be working together to protect our lifestyle.” I think this applies more to swinger groups and individuals as it goes back to the definition of swinger and their focus.

    Of course it does come down to behavior, and the appropriateness of that behavior in the environments that one finds ourselves in.

    Admin: Well said, James. There’s only a couple of points I’d like to comment on. For purposes of clarity, ‘gay’ when used here refers to men; gay women don’t misbehave much and don’t get noticed.

    One point is about me (us) being more ‘comfortable’ around swingers than gays, not so. We have friends and family of both ‘persuasions’ and are very accepting, personally. However, in reference to social nudism, in OUR experience and throughout nudist/naturist circles, blogs, websites, and organizational literature it is the OVERT ‘gay’ BEHAVIOR that causes problems at nudist venues. Swingers tend to keep it out of sight. Swingers DO get publicity, as do gay men, and DO cause sanctions against resorts that permit and sometimes advertise swinging behaviour. It is rare for these places to promote gay behaviour and in fact, single males are often discouraged from attending venues because of male behavior in general. Preditorial towards women, overt acts with men. And to be fair, general predjudice against gays. Gay couples are generally more welcome, though some places specifically exclude male couples. Prudes.

    And yes, open sex of ANY kind is very bad at a public beach. It just so happens that hetero sex is fairly rare but gay sex is becoming more and more common. British Naturism, for instance, is pulling it’s collective hair out trying to figure out what to do about it. The public frowns on public sex in general but really gets the creeps over man-on-man action. You know how that perception goes, girl-on-girl is sexy, but two guys? Uck.

    I think the ‘bad publicity’ angle come from the fact that poor gay behavior tends to noticed at PUBLIC venues, such as beaches, while swinging action takes place behind closed doors or at private venues. The public is more tittilated or amused by swingers, but sees everything they loathe happening right out in the open, ‘in front of the children!’. They can’t do much about the clubs but the CAN do something about the beach and all those ‘perveted nudists’. Note the lumping together. THAT’s where the harm to all of us comes in. Swingers are seen as perverts, perhaps, guys sexing on the beach are seen as typical perverted nudists. It feeds the stereotype (I bet you know about those, huh?).

    The fact that these guys INSIST on having their trysts at nudist places leaves no room for compromise with mainstream nudists. In order for some sort of ‘joining forces’ to occur, it will have to come from real, legitimate gay NUDISTS who will help police their own non-nudist-first brethren who happen to find nude beaches a great place to hook up, just as hetero nudists discourage such behavior from hetero males.

    I’d like to respond to you remarks about being gay and a nudist. Let me put it this way: If I met you at a nude beach I would assume you are a nudist. Should you feel the need to announce that you’re gay, that statement would of course create some impression in my mind, just as if you said you’re a, say, Marine. Similarly, if I met a couple at the beach I would assume they’re nudists. If they mentioned the fact that they’re swingers, that additional data would create an impression. If they said they’re Christians, that info would also add to my mental image of them.

    Should the issue of sexual preference reach a point where a response to an invitation was in order, I would politely decline either offer, but not run away screaming!

    One of the most beautiful, rewarding, and inherently RIGHT things about social nudity is that unique opportunity to meet people with absolutely NO preconceptions about the other person. You get to know them as they wish to portray themselves. Sexual orientation, religion, social status or occupation is inconsequential until someone wishes to make it so.

    I guess I am trying to say is that I don’t go around advertising my sexual preferences, or my nudism, or religion, or mother’s maiden name, until I feel comfortable with the response I think it will receive. People can make all the assumptions they want, that’s their problem. For me to overly worry about it would be MY problem.

    As to the same-sex swinger question, I’m no expert but would assume that would be some sort of sub-set, depending on circumstances.

    One last thing, in all fairness. As I said, we are not bigots, we’re just ordinary folks going along in a changing world and trying to keep up. What people do in their lives don’t concern us, we have many different non-standard (is that ok to say?) friends and family and are acustomed to alternate lifestles. But we have a HUGE problem with anyone who causes problems with our so-fragile and vulnerable naturist lifestyle. It’s not gays, swingers, hedonists, whatever, it’s WHAT THEY DO to hurt that lifestyle. Some do it unthinkingly, some don’t care. Those are the ones we despise.

    Thanks for the comment! – Steve


  3. Good thoughts


  4. Sun-Lovers, Naturists,
    whatever you call Public-Nudists,
    have some difficulty finding
    Free-Beachs (formal, &/or informal),
    and risk loosing these places
    if other activity
    (which is arguably antisocial by mainstream standards)
    gets cross-linked in the public-mind
    with Naturism / Public-Nudity.

    We don’y need third-parties,
    *with their-own agendas,*
    costing us access to our beaches and parks.

    This is the substance of
    this issue.

    Incidentally, I don’t got to the beach to
    see people involved in sexual acts.
    I go to enjoy the beach, the water, and the sun.


  5. Great post, Steve. A touchy subject but something that needs to be discussed. It boils down to proper behavior vs. inappropriate behavior regardless of the context. Problems occur when these lifestyles converge and behavior that might be appropriate in one context crosses over into another lifestyle where the same behavior is quite inappropriate.


  6. And here’s what we have to say about it: (Some) Gay Men vs. Naturism


  7. Absolutely. Who cares what folks do on their own time? Just don’t do it where you shouldn’t.


Courteous behavior is expected; please stay on-topic. Thanks!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: