During my tenure as fashion editor of The Tampa Tribune, I met a woman who ran a clothing store in a nudist resort.
“Nudists love clothes,” she insisted and I nodded as though the statement made perfect sense. Still, journalistic curiosity got the better of me when she invited me to visit her shop.
Driving through the security gate, I realized I hadn’t considered the potential awkwardness of my situation. I was wearing a linen suit and carrying a reporter’s notebook, which stood out in a sea of nakedness. As a parochial school grad, I admit experiencing initial shock the sight of a mixed doubles game of tennis. (The sight of so many objects bouncing on the court still haunts me.)
However, I now feel qualified to offer a few tips to anyone considering a clothing-optional experience this summer:
– Nude resorts understand it’s natural to look at people. What is not OK, however, is to stare. Like me, if you’re not used to engaging in eye-contact and conversation with someone who’s totally exposed, keep your sunglasses on.
– Nude resort etiquette calls for guests to sit on a towel. Resorts will have them at the ready, but bringing your own beach towel is a great way to easily identify your seat. Grabbing someone else’s towel by mistake isn’t something you want to do at a clothing-optional pool or beach.
– Clothing-optional resorts take great care to ensure their patrons feel safe and comfortable. That’s why many have strict policies around photography, some completely ban smartphones. Seize the opportunity to unplug from technology and relax. Bring a great book to read.
Renee Garrison is the award-winning author of The Anchor Clankers.