Millennial Killed the Nudist Club

Millennial here. Hi, hello. Nice to meet you.

As a millennial–a millennial who has visited a fair share of nudist recreation spots–let me start off by acknowledging how comically out-of-place a millennial is at a nudist club. Not out of place in an unwelcome way. In fact, you may not find a more welcome guest at a nudist club than a millennial–really, nudists are so kind and I’ve never felt unwelcome. When I say “out-of-place,” I mean it in the sense that there just are not many other millennials there. The same goes for online nudist social networks: Yes, there are some millennials there, but the group skews significantly older which, of course, is fine. It has never bothered me, as a millennial, that the majority of the other patrons are older, but it does concern me as a nudist who wants nudism to thrive.

As a millennial, I need to be completely honest: There is one nude recreation spot where millennials can be found en masse: the beach. Go to any nude beach and you will find us. We’re there. Is it free? Even better. And I don’t mean to say that I have never seen a millennial at a nudist club. I have seen myself, for one, and my partner. I have seen young families with kids. I have seen the young adult relatives of the club’s residents. I have seen young couples or singles, wandering here and there. We are there, but we are not there in droves. In general, we are not members of the club, we do not come to meetings, we do not live there part-time (or full-time for that matter), and we do not even visit all that often. So where are all the young nudists? The beach. Or, more likely, at home.

As a millennial, I am acutely aware of all the industries that millennials like myself have been accused of killing. (We have been very busy.) Add to this list the nudist club, if you must, but not before I finish. There are plenty of reasons why millennials are not as abundant at nudist clubs, most of which are the same reasons we don’t participate in the diamond industry or the cruise industry: Collectively, we just do not have the financial resources of previous generations. Just like for every other industry on that list, the success and longevity of the nudist club relies on capturing the attention–and the dollars–of future generations. And, just like for every other industry on that list, the nudist club is struggling to do so, and I would argue passionately that it is not because millennials are afraid of getting naked.

As a millennial, I have the authority to assure you that if millennials are not attending events at nudist clubs, it is not due to lack of interest in getting naked. In addition to being a millennial, which keeps me pretty busy, I also am a regular listener of the Naturist Living Show, and one conversation in particular stands out from Episode XXIX: Teenagers and Young Adults in Naturism. As part of this conversation, and regularly throughout the podcast, Stéphane Deschênes, the host of the podcast and owner of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park in Ontario, Canada, asserts that he does see a fair amount of young people coming to the park, that young people are interested in nudism. He also points out, however, that there are additional barriers that keep young people from visiting a nudist club, such as finances and transportation. It might even be the aging facilities at some clubs that keep young people at bay, he suggests. Even non-landed clubs present unintentional barriers for millennials, such as membership dues and time commitments. I know: These clubs just can’t win, can they?

Club visit. Summer 2018

As a millennial, and as a nudist, I want the institution of the nudist club to endure and, just like for every other industry, the nudist club will do so by adapting. One trip to the nude beach on a hot summer day will convince you that millennials are just as interested in nudism as previous generations. It says something about millennials and our preferences that we show up in mobs at the nude beach but not at our regional nudist clubs. The beach only charges a nominal day fee, if anything at all. It does not ask us for donations of our time, of which we have precious little. It does not ask us to pay membership fees or show up to meetings or contribute to potlucks. None of these are bad things, especially for people who have the time and resources to contribute, but for millennials with limited funds and free time, the allure of the nude beach is that it asks nothing of us, it works with our schedule, and it accommodates whatever social setting we bring with us

As a millennial, I love nudist clubs. I love the grounds, the facilities, the residents, the guests, and everything else that makes up the community. I would love it, though, if the club were as accessible as the beach. Surprising no one, millennials prefer to live in cities (or at least suburbs), yet most nudist clubs are not just rural, but remote, causing additional transportation woes and requiring extra travel time. Regardless, I have no plans to give up on the nudist club or to stop visiting and I very much hope that clubs find innovative ways to welcome the next generation into the fold and utilize our skills to help them thrive. We millennial nudists are out here, waiting for opportunities to get naked… and we can fix your iPhone.

As a millennial, I promise to not kill the nudist club. But, hey, if you’re part of a nudist club and you want to attract more millennials, why not connect to a few to pick our brains? Just… don’t call us… maybe try texting.

29 thoughts on “Millennial Killed the Nudist Club”

  1. The only way to grow social nudism is to “urbanize” it. There has to be access to nudist activities without leaving the city. Parks, restaurants, and other places of community activities. In other words, simple nudity must be decriminalized. Being naked has to be a right, not just a privilege. More people would participate if they could spend a few hours nude with others without having to make a day or weekend out of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree 100%. Existing clubs are difficult for city-dwellers to get to, regardless of age. If most people live in cities, then most nudists must also live in cities. We need to see more options in and around urban areas.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Even worse, many nudist clubs are extremely insular and hostile to outsiders, ESPECIALLY singles, and worst of all towards single men.

        I’m nowhere near a millenial, but I’ve given up even bothering to look for nudist clubs as the reception you receive ranges between passive agressive hostility at best to openly being called a pervert wannabe rapist at worst.
        And that’s just on their websites and information flyers…

        Liked by 3 people

  2. This is an excellent, concise description of the situation, I would add that most of what you’ve written about Millennials also applies to Gen X, especially regarding more of us living in cities and having fewer financial resource. I love to support my local naturist club (one hour down the highway), whose membership I cannot afford, but then when they go and raise the day fee without even making categories for day fee rates (student, senior, etc.) I feel betrayed.

    I dream of urban nudist oases, large buildings with enclosed patios and rooftop gardens with pools, coffee shops and gyms, yoga rooms, and a library or bookshop… basically something like a cross between a big-city hotel and an old-fashioned YMCA… the problem is that a place like that would also be quite costly to maintain, meaning high memberships and day fees.

    Ultimately and as always, it comes down to larger public acceptance of nudity, such that we could have more public parks – and more public beaches! – where nudity is allowed, at least in designated areas. And I think that progress toward that goal is indeed happening, just not all that quickly.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for the kind words! Some really good points. However great it would be to have nudist clubs in urban centers, I doubt it would be cost effective or accessible unless a *lot* more people started frequenting clubs. And maybe they would. Maybe being in a more accessible location would drive up traffic and interest.


    2. In the US public acceptance will vary widely. Here in Buffalo they have had 2 WNBR and most are in underwear, few are full nude. It is treated as a joke by the press. most people think they are sickos. It’s sad how my area is stuck in Puritan times.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. World Naked Bike Ride. A lot of people participate but the rules of the event are generally “bare as you dare,” so many don’t go fully nude.


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  5. Thank you for a great article. At the Federation of Canadian Naturists, Canada’s national naturist/nudist organization.
    We realize the financial and time constraints millennials and Gen X face.
    That’s why we instituted a new Youth membership category, 18 to 30 years for $25 CDN. Adult membership is $50.
    The FCN is committed to prospering naturism throughout Canada and the world. One active issue we’re pursuing is the loosening of the nudity law in Canada. You should be able to be nude in your own backyard, the park, hiking trails, etc. Right now it is possible to charged doing these activities.
    Joining the FCN helps us represent the nudist community at a national level.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. From what I’ve read about millenials I think the root cause of a lot of our problems is financial. This is a generation that just can’t afford to do much, on a big picture scale it’s far more concening because our economy depends on people going out and spending money. But when people don’t have money to spend the whole system comes to a grinding hault. While this focuses on nudism, the same can be said for new cars, houses, and a whole host of other things they just can’t afford. Why that is the case needs to be addressed before things far greater then nudism go away.


    1. I agree 100%. It’s a far larger problem than what we see in the world of nudism but I’m not confident that the root issues will ever really be addressed.


    2. Rich or poor, it pays to have money. Money is always a concern, regardless of age. It was for me and my friends in my 20’s and still is now in my 70’s. If “nudism” and “naturism” is to expand in popularity, convenience and ease of access are more important than cost. People will always find a way to pay for what they like as long as it’s accessible and relatively convenient. People on welfare always seem to have money for alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Another problem is that of the organization of nudism/naturism. Unlike their parents and grand parents, people today are far less likely to be “joiners” in any organization. The key to advancing nudism/naturism is the decriminalization of simple nakedness. Until that happens, we will always be struggling to advancing the cause of body freedom.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Decriminalizing nudity would be a huge advancement. It would be great to see that cause taken up by nudist organizations, but then nudist clubs wouldn’t be the only places for nude recreation anymore…


      2. Well, maybe the day of the traditional “club” over. For good or worse, the world is ever changing. Things have a way of working themselves out. We are a very urbanized population, but many still enjoy the out of doors. People still like to get away to different surroundings. Like everything else, traditional nudist clubs will have to change with the times and reinvent or become fond memories.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The Federation of Canadian Naturists has the decriminalization of simple nudity as one of its main goals. We have several projects on the go that will hopefully bring an end to criminal charges for nudity. That said, most people are charged with causing a disturbance. Why? Because charging someone with nudity requires the consent of the Attorney General and have a poor conviction rate. Unfortunately, until Section 174 for the Criminal Code of Canada people can be charged for nudity in their own backyard.
        To continue this work we need members. We have a Youth membership plan (under 30) for only $25 per year.
        Greg Snow
        Federation of Canadian Naturists

        Liked by 2 people

      4. timbo762, I think you’re unaware of just how much money is a problem for Millennials. Money always is an issue, yes, but past generations had far more disposable income than Millennials. Whereas 12% of Baby Boomers lived in poverty when they were young, rising to 17% during stagflation, over 22% and climbing of Millennials live in poverty. And of the people not in poverty, there is less disposable income, due to well-documented rises in costs of housing, education, and health care.

        Young Baby Boomers could live comfortably on entry-level wages, while Millennials have to spend years developing their careers before they can think about joining anything.


  7. This article is a most illuminating, accurate, and compelling telling of the truth. Excellent! It needs to be read, digested, and understood by every owner and manager of every nudist club — both landed and non-landed — everywhere. I have arranged to have it introduced at our Mid-winter Meeting on January 19th. THANK YOU!

    Jonathan Duffield
    Chair, Government Affairs Team
    Florida Region, American Association for Nude Recreation

    Liked by 1 person

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