Nudist Reality vs. Cancelled Calgary Nude Swimming Event

It’s 2018 and the community that wears a swimsuit in the pool or ocean has a long way to go to understand the nudist lifestyle and values  Recently the city of Calgary cancelled a nude swimming event planned for an indoor swimming/recreation facility sponsored by the group Calgary Nude Recreation. This wasn’t the first time a nudist group had rented a city of Calgary owned facility for an event and it won’t be the last either. Unfortunately this time, public outcry and threats of violence pushed city officials to cancel the event. An online petition supported by more than 22,000 people framed the argument against the event stating the following concerns:

“I respect the concept and believe in an 18+ setting it could be a popular event. However, having naked children around a bunch of naked adults doesnt seem like a good idea for any reason. Realistically there is alot of mental illness out there that this event could trigger/effect.

– Children with previous sexual abuse traumas will be heavily effected if they attend the event.

– Sexual predators will be on the prowl – having an event like that is just like Christmas to them.

– Extremely high chance of photos and videos being taken without consent, considered child pornography”

Oddly the event was cancelled not because the city had issue with nudity at a city owned facility but because of threats of violence against participants and organizers. Let’s get violent to protect children?

To me, the outcry about this event and the stated objectives demonstrate the misinformation and misdirected concerns from individuals who have probably never attended a nude/clothing optional event or facility. It’s reading about this petition that makes me believe that nudists really are the enlightened ones. The nudist community understands firsthand the importance of protecting children from sexual predators as well as maintaining privacy.

For the record, both the clothed and nudist communities agree that protecting children from sexual predators is most important. Everyone’s priorities are inline and where they should be on this. Just as important to the nudist community is ensuring that no photography of any kind is taken of anyone nude – adults or childern. And finally, no displays of sexual intimacy or sexual touching in anyway.

Anyone who has read our blog knows it is focused on helping couples learn more about exploring the benefits of social nudity and nude recreation. As we’ve stated many times, nudity does not mean sex. For those who have never been to a nude beach, resort or B&B, walking around with other naked people might seem like an erotic and sexually charged environment. In reality, it’s anything but that.

There is a time and a place for sexual intimacy and that’s in the privacy of your own home and not in the open…. ever. This is a point that every nudist I’ve ever met believes and values. Every nudist resort and club I’ve attended has rules similar to those from the Calgary Nude Recreation organization.

From our experiences regardless if it’s a nude beach or nudist club, everyone there watches and protects the children there very closely. The nudist clubs my wife and I attend require everyone to submit to a background check to root out sexual offenders before they ever enter and yes, our local club confirmed to me that they bar entry to people every year. In addition, everyone who visits must leave their mobile phone/camera in the car. No exceptions. Privacy and protection are important and essential in a nude environment.

Yes there are sexual predators out there and I’m sure there are some in the nudist community too. Unlike in the general community though, safeguards are in place to ensure these deviants are identified. The reality is that nudists are very aware of their vulnerable state and that of unknowing or unprotected children and adults. We don’t need the concerned citizens of Calgary or anyone else to tell us how to protect our children and ourselves.

For me and my wife, our  nudist lifestyle is about freedom. Freedom from judgement and/or body shaming. Freedom from clothing and labeling who I am and what I believe just by the clothing and “brands” I wear. Freedom to be one with nature and our surroundings. Freedom from stress. Free to be happy with ourselves and our friends and family. It’s a feeling you can only feel in a nude social setting.

I feel this freedom everytime I set foot into a nudist property or clothing optional beach. It starts the moment I take off my clothing and feel the warm of the sun on my body. Believe me, this is a freedom worth protecting and that includes watching out for vulnerable people among us.

While my wife and I are parents, we have never brought our children to a nudist property or a clothing optional beach. For us, it’s about our time together and less about entertaining them. It’s our special time although we often see children at the nudist clubs we attend and the clothing optional beaches we have visited.

Honestly, I never thought about sharing our love for nudism with our children until a few years ago. We were at a nudist club near our home. It was late afternoon on a hot July day and my wife and I were sitting by the pool reading and enjoying the sun. A young girl was practicing swimming underwater from her mother to her father. All were naked in the pool. This young couple and their daughter were repeating a scene I have seen many times throughout my life. Only this time, without any swimsuits. It was perfectly natural and honestly it was beautiful to see.

Une premiere by Anders Zorn (1888)
Anders Zorn [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
While I respect the concerns from those who signed the petition against the nude swimming event, I don’t believe it would be a hunting ground for sexal preditors but rather a setting where families are safe and able to share time together, just without a swimming suit.

We have a long way to go to educate the reality of nudism and its benefits for all.

4 thoughts on “Nudist Reality vs. Cancelled Calgary Nude Swimming Event

  1. MELewis

    How appalling that there should be such concerns and that they should lead to threats of gun violence — in Canada to boot! Cancelling such an event for the reasons given is shameful. I have never practiced nudism, but having witnessed the respectful behaviour of those who do it seems to me that equating nudism with potential sexual abuse is puritanical and absurd.

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