Monday, December 24, 2012

Destinations: Argentina and Uruguay

Brazil is better known for hedonistic tendencies, but it's not the only country in South America that has possibilities for vacationing naturists. Argentina and Uruguay both have a few venues to offer.
Let's start with Uruguay: A small Spanish-speaking country sandwiched between Argentina and Brazil, it's best known for Punta del Este, the resort city fronting on the Atlantic, which has gained a worldwide reputation for being a party center. Not surprisingly, among its many beaches, it has an officially nudist one: Playa Chihuahua. Nudist Day hasn't been to this beach, but it's on the to-do list. If the photos are any indication, it's a winner, despite the proximity of the Punta del Este airport.

Argentina also has just one legal nude beach, Playa Escondida (Hidden beach), located south of Mar del Plata. The official website is at, but again it's only in Spanish. The country also boasts several rustic landed clubs, mostly located around Buenos Aires, the capital, and one particularly large [in acres] club near Cordoba [Yatan Rumi] that will surely please nature buffs [pun intended].
Buenos Aires is a huge, cosmopolitan city, and therefore boasts some avant-garde events, such as nude Yoga classes [], and a nude photo art group that stages shoots in public places [].

Note that both countries are located in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons are reversed. To get there during their summer, plan to visit from December through March.

Destinations: Naked Canary Islands

The Canary islands are a group of seven big volcanic islands off the coast of Morocco. They're part of Spain, a country where public nudity is protected by its constitution. The islands have countless official nudist beaches as well as several naturist communities.

 The most nudist venues are located on the islands of Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, and Tenerife. The Maspalomas naturist beach on Gran Canaria is world reknown. One place that boasts the most nudist beaches of any in the world is El Medano, on the island of Tenerife. Better known for its surfing and unspoiled by tourism, it has a huge clothing optional beach, "La Tejita" to the south, and another large one, "La Pelada", to the north, that's surrounded by spectacular rock formations. Add to that several other smaller nude beaches, a beautiful surfer town with a boardwalk, and the incredible backdrop of the huge mountain complex, "El Teide" and you have an unforgettable holiday. You can even climb the 300 ft red volcanic cone that so identifies the town, and do so naked! 

Not all is perfect, however: the area is infamous for its strong winds, so some beaches are miserable on some days, and the water can be quite cold in the winter. Traveling to Tenerife is normally done by connecting via Madrid. Flight time is around 3 hours, and Tenerife is minus one hour from Greenwich time.

Of Things NOT Nudist

 Let's get one fact straight: Nakedness alone does not make a nudist! Were it not so, the entire human race could be classified as nudist!

There's a few things that get passed-off as nudist and definitely aren't. For example, the Hedonism II and III resorts in Jamaica aren't nudist venues, even though you often see them mentioned by nudist websites. True, nudists are free to go there, but the resorts are all about sex. Sexual behavior and acts happen openly there. The last thing the nudist community wants is to be associated with such things, lest we give ammunition to the right-wing fanatics who are constantly vying to put an end to our lifestyle.

Businesses like the one on State Highway 19 in Florida near New Port Richey, called the Oasis, who claims to promote the nudist lifestyle and is in reality a club for titillating males: Shapely naked females attendants keep male patrons company for a fee, and for yet more money will get them in a room. This is an affront to all nudists!

The Ponderosa Sun Club in Roselawn, Indiana, is not a nudist club, despite being portrayed as such by the media. This is the location of a yearly "beauty" contest, whose contestants are often porn stars. Fully dressed depraved men from all over the US pay to attend this event and are allowed to snap pictures. This sort of publicity nudists don't need!

Then there are the countless shameless clubs that mix the swinger lifestyle with ours,  where "anything goes". Lastly, there are all too many websites who pay lip service to nudism, yet you find erotic and pornographic content either directly on the sites or links to such content.

We could go on for many pages, but the point of this exercise was to signal to you that our lifestyle is often hijacked by unscrupulous profiteers who have little respect for us. Of course you shouldn't encourage them by giving them your business, but you should also protest loudly wherever and whenever you can, because our lifestyle is being misrepresented. Politicians, the media and the public at large don't know the difference between nudists and these losers unless we tell them!

Things you can do Naked: Everything!

Okay, you can do almost everything naked! Obviously, handling nuclear fuel rods or deadly Ebola virus while nude would be rather unwise! 

This author, like many naturists, has gone to the gym naked, had dinner nude in a fine restaurant, cycled in the buff, hiked up a mountain au naturel, gone shopping starkers, and so on. Then again, I spend most of every day without a stitch of clothing on. Clothing is uncomfortable and quite suffocating, so wearing something is only when I'm forced to, usually because I'm moving through the world of the textiles! I envy the Naked Rambler, but I never want to find out what it's like to be jailed, even if I was the Naked Convict! 

Just about everything that could be done clothed can also be done nude. Why, some go as far as performing winter activities whilst unclothed. I'm not going to be anywhere cold, so I won't be joining that club any time soon! If this world wasn't hampered by shame, nudity would be acceptable in any circumstance. It would be a matter of choice and personal comfort. 

Few can argue that there are many scorching days where being naked is the only way one can be comfortable, and certainly wearing a swimsuit makes no sense whatsoever. Maybe a more advanced society of the future will change all this. After all, shame isn't logical.

At the Nude Yoga Class in Buenos Aires

T'was on a cool day in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that my female companion and yours truly decided to attend a nude yoga class. It wasn't so much a passion for yoga that led us there, but more because nudist activities are reduced to a minimum in cold weather, and we also wanted to experience the phenomenon that's been sweeping several continents.

Nude yoga is really just yoga without clothes, nothing more, much less! I would argue it gives you more freedom of movement to practice this discipline while nude, as I've found working-out in the gym sans-clothes. The big difference is that in yoga, many positions will prominently display your genitalia. What we soon found-out is that everybody is so busy executing the movements demanded, nobody is paying any attention to anybody else anyway!

This was to be a very small class of just us two and the professor, Eduardo Ferrara, who, by the way, is the gent who maintains the only nudist portal in Argentina, He offers nude yoga classes throughout the week, some just for men, others mixed and then some just for couples, as well as private classes, as was our case.

Eduardo greeted us at the door of an apartment building in the heart of the city and took us up to a small, unfurnished apartment with the requisite Oriental music and incense. He informed me that he only uses this location for the classes. He led us to a closet in a corner of the room and instructed us to hang our clothes there. We promptly stripped and each sat on a tatami covered with a towel which had arranged at the center of the room. He then appeared, nude of course, dimmed the lights and posted himself on another tatami at the back of the room, facing toward a wall.

We first began with relaxation exercises, and then after a while, he turned the lights up and we got to more complex (and sometimes painful!) positions. We ended the hours course with exercises for couples, which was a nice touch.

The cost of the course was only about 13 US dollars for both, and we both left happy with the experience and intend to take more classes with Eduardo when we visit this magnificent capital again. He does speak a bit of English, by the way, although his website is only in Spanish (

I should point-out that this was my companion first experience in social nudity and she took to it like a veteran. This suggests to me that this may be a good way to introduce someone to nudism!

Photographers of the Naked Masses

Most folks, especially those of the nudist persuasion, have heard of Spencer Tunick, the American photographer who has managed to get groups of several thousand volunteers in cities all over the world to congregate at dawn in sometimes frigid temperatures to pose together for his camera. Most compositions require that complete strangers be close together, even touching, yet no one complains, as it's seen as a privilege to participate in one of Tunick's artistic "installations", as he himself refers to them. Organizing one of his massive events is complicated but does generate a considerable amount of press coverage and garnered him a worldwide reputation as an avant-garde artist.

Tunick is by no means the only photographer of "mass nudes". Not as well known, but also a celebrated artist is the German Henning Von Berg. He too takes his camera to the four corners of the world, cities actually inviting him to use their communities as the backdrop for one of his compositions. Unlike Spencer, however, his work does not involve as many people: For Von Berg, a half-dozen models is plenty. Also, Von Berg is a nudist, and that's actually how he found his vocation.

From our perspective, nude art is a celebration of the human body and a rejection of shame. These artists have succeeded in bringing it into the mainstream. Let's hope the public doesn't tire of this artform as they did of the endless rash of nude charity calendars!

Nudism in Thailand

Thailand has two thousand of mile of coastline, including countless secluded beaches, a tropical climate and a culture that's not  puritanical. Sounds like a place where nudism could thrive, doesn't it? That's what Bruce Kendall, founder of the Thailand Naturist Association is hoping for.

Kendall's group was launched in 2007 and is struggling to draw tourists to Thailand as a naturist destination. There's only 3 properties listed on the association's web page, including one, Chan Resort in Pattaya, a city on the gulf of Thailand just over a hundred miles from Bangkok, which doesn't appear to be functioning as of yet. Another has a very similar name, Chan Twin Resort, also in Pattaya, which leads us to suspect the owners are the same people. Finally, one can rent a single villa on Phuket Island where its seclusion allows for unfettered nudism, albeit not socially.

Reading the very few comments of visitors to Chan Twin Resort on Travel Advisor, including one from Kendall himself, we're not sure what to make of this as a nudist venue: two people comment that there are cameras everywhere on the property, a definite no-no where nudists are concerned, even if a reply by the resort's owners claims that said CCTVs are unobstrusive.

All in all, we do hope that Thailand grows as a nudist destination, and it already offers an option for Asian naturists who have so few on the continent as a whole!