The American Association For Nude Recreation is the largest organization representing
nude and clothing-optional recreation in North America. The AANR has grown to nerly 50
thousand individual members with over two hundred club and resort locations across the
United States and Canada. In the past year and a half 19 new clubs have organized in 13
states, including six in Texas. George Robinson helped start up Moravia, New York's
Empire Haven Nudist Resort and Campground in 1959.
GEORGE ROBINSON: We're expanding all the time. People are becoming more liberal. They're
becoming better-educated. Some of these holier-than-thou people still think we're doing
wrong because they must be dressed to be comfortable. And to us nudity is just part of
life. We accept the body. We except the functions of the body. We don't put a show on but
it's all accepted without any hesitation.
Sam Seiver, from Waterloo, New York has been a nudist since 1979.
SEIVER: Most people have the wrong conception of what the nudity is and what a nudist
park itself is. They expect it's nothing but one big sex orgy and that's completely out
of place. We don't have that stuff here and if we do find it going on, we escort them
to the gate.
According to a Roper Organization poll, 40 million Americans have skinny dipped in
mixed company. And the International Naturists Federation believes 30 million travellers
will visit nude or clothing-optional destinations world wide this year alone. But Empire
haven's director, Marlene Robinson sees the United States still as a mostly up-tight
MARLENE ROBINSON: I think we have always been. I'm sure our Puritan heritage has something
to do with that. it's something that we don't hear about. Alot of people still think of
nudism when they hear "nudist colony"- which is a 1930s and 40s may have been true. That
terminolgy has way-long passed. It's not even a nudist camp anymore. When you go to a
nudist park now you're going to find the facilities you would have in any other campground
or resort except that you can go unclothed.
Nudists say taking it off means relaxtion, stress relief and adventure.
MARLENE ROBINSON: A bathing suit is restrictive. Any clothing is restrictive when you
come to think about it. Without clothing you can walk around. You can feel the air on
your skin, or the rain if it happens to be raining. It really feels like freedom.
SEIVER: Just to come up here and spend the weekend outside, naked..it's cool. Plus we
always have activities. Halloween coming up, we call it "Nudeoween". We have Casino Night,
Renaissance Days. Maybe three or four times a year we have nude bowling.
WOMAN: Oh, I've made so many friends. And I no longer have an inferiority complex. I
recently had a masectomy but it doesn't bother me a bit. Nobody has paid any attention to
it. Everybody has been absolutely fantastic with me, so it helps me a lot.
Some mental health professionals say that nudity with children promotes a healthy
MARLENE ROBINSON: Children brought up here is great because they have no hang ups. They
have no misconceptions about sex. I think it's a great way to bring children up. They
know what the body is. Everybody's body is the same. It makes it a lot easier: the
transition from childhood to teen to adult. Because they don't have all this "I gotta go
see what a girl looks like 'cause I don't know." Instead, it's like "I now what a girl
looks like. Who cares?".. which is what one of my sons told me.
Nudism at the Empire Haven Nudist Resort and Campground in Moravia, New York. Bill
Flynn, WXXI 1370.