Monday, September 14, 2009

Has AANR Become Outdated? Commentary by the AANR President

There are two major nudist organizations in the US. AANR which is the American Association for Nude Recreation and TNS, The Naturist Society.

I am on the AANR West board of directors IMO, AANR in the last 10 years has done more for mainstreaming nude recreation than ever before, and more than any other organization. They have earned the expression the credible voice of nude recreation.

The President of AANR just wrote an article for Pasco Naturally newspaper. Here it is reprinted from AANR's blog:

"For the second time in 15 months, the AANR Board of Trustees voted to suspend the charter of a major club in Florida. The particulars were different, but both centered on the board’s feelings that the marketing practices of the clubs were contrary to our principles and standards related to sexual exploitation of the human body. In 2008, the issue was Caliente which invited swinger groups to sponsor “theme nights” at the resort and planned to sponsor a booth at “Swingfest.” This year it was Paradise Lakes which scheduled a “Miss G String” contest with non-nudist models and planned to air the event on the Playboy Channel under the theme “69 sexy things to do before you die.”

The AANR ruling documents provide that “A charter may be temporarily suspended by the President if charges are filed by the pertinent regional division or the suspension is approved by the board of trustees; such suspension to be effective until the next in-person meeting of the board of trustees.” Suspension is not a finding of guilt. It gives the association time to complete further investigation and gives club management time to develop an appeal before the charter is revoked. In both cases, club management decided to withdraw from AANR before the process could be completed.

Management of both clubs told me that economics were the reason for their decisions. They claim that traditional nudists do not spend the dollars on room rentals, meals and drinks that are necessary for the resort to be profitable. They need to reach another audience with the propensity to spend more money. I understand the problem. AANR, itself, has experienced a drop in membership as have nearly all membership organizations. As we manage our organizations, we need to adapt and do things differently in order to survive. However, we also need to step back and remember what we stand for.

In the past several years, AANR has been very successful in changing public perception about nude recreation. Major media outlets have featured nude recreation as a legitimate recreational choice. AANR has also been very successful in changing the viewpoint of elected officials and government agencies. We have differentiated ourselves from the adult business industry. We are being recognized as the credible voice of reason for nude recreation. The affiliation with AANR has enabled many clubs to get building permits, liquor licenses, and sometimes to be allowed to exist. That public trust cannot be jeopardized.

This past summer, AANR sponsored The AANR World Record Skinny-Dip. Club owners and beach organizers reported that many people participated who had never before been nude in mixed company. The press reports were the greatest we have ever seen for an event. Clubs signed up new members. The event portrayed wholesome family nude recreation. No one confused it with a strip show or a swinger convention. The event told me that, with focused marketing, our resorts and AANR can grow in membership without a sexual tone.

One of the resort owners told me that “the only thing acceptable to AANR is sitting on a log watching a campfire.” I think that most AANR members would disagree with that assessment. Times have certainly changed from the 1950s when I became involved as a child. We have more tolerance. But, most of us see that there is a line which should not be crossed if we are to be true to our brand and to the promises we gave to public officials. The AANR plaque on the wall of a club or participating business needs to stand for something. Sometimes we need to take a stand to enforce that.

I am sorry to lose two clubs with wonderful facilities which have provided a destination resort for many AANR members and potential members. My wife and I have visited both many times. I also feel for the members who have invested thousands of dollars to buy a condominium in a resort that has changed its image. My personal hope is that the management of these resorts re-examine their marketing strategy and agree to uphold the principles and standards of AANR.

After years of fighting for our right to exist, it’s a bit strange to hear from a club owner that we may be “outdated.” We walk a tough line between ultra-conservatives who would outlaw our clubs and the adult industry which wants to piggy-back on our success in bringing public acceptance. We know our niche and what it takes to protect our brand. And, we draw the line."

For AANR's Blog click

One of the most important sentences in this post is "Management of both clubs told me that economics were the reason for their decisions. They claim that traditional nudists do not spend the dollars on room rentals, meals and drinks that are necessary for the resort to be profitable."

Nudists only have themselves to blame for losing both Paradise Lakes and Caliente resort to becoming swinger and sexual oriented clubs. Every time a nudist vacationed in the Caribbean or Mexico at a non nudist owned naked place, it took money away from the real American nudist clubs. I bet, less than 20% of our business at Terra Cotta Inn comes from AANR and TNS members. Further I have found most AANR & TNS members only want to stay at our resort on weekends and go to the non nudist owned places in the Caribbean and Mexico for a week.

Nudists, if you want nice places in the US, WAKE UP!!! You have to vacation at them. STOP going to naked places in Mexico and the Caribbean that laugh in your face charging you sometimes over $100 a night more to stay on the "nude" side. Stop going to these places where to eat nude you have a hamburger shack, and the prude side has all the nice meal options. Otherwise, some day you will wake up and say, where did all the nice nudist resorts in the USA go? It's happening already.

AANR does a great job in supporting nudist rights in the US. You should also support them by belonging to this fine organization.

Now if you want to take a fun vacation, give us a call at The Terra Cotta Inn clothing optional resort and spa located in sunny Palm Springs, CA.

We are the most mainstream nudist resort in the US and are perfect for couples trying topless or nude sunbathing for the first time. You don't even have to be a nudist to vacation with us.

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Hope to see you soon in sunny Palm Springs!

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