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Frequently Asked Questions

What types of activities do you host?

One of our most popular activies is nude duckpin bowling. We host sailing trips, canoe trips, and occasional camping trips during the summer. Many of our members also host house parties throughout the year.
Man and woman walking
© Charles Myers. Used with permission.

Why would anyone run around naked with others?

The shortest answer is simply to be as comfortable as possible in a social setting. Have you ever felt underdressed at a party, too casually dressed for a business meeting, or frumpy standing next to an always-impeccable friend? Have you been teased about what you're wearing or your clothing style (or lack thereof) by friends or coworkers? That never happens at nudist activities. Have you ever had a tie choke you or a bra strap cut into your shoulders? Shoes that hurt? Not a problem here. In a clothing optional club, you only wear clothing that's needed for comfort or safety. For example, shoes when hiking or playing volleyball, a kimono-style robe or shawl when chilly, hats and t-shirts when out in the sun.

You'll find that without the barrier of clothes, people stop judging you based on appearances. They look at your face and talk to you to see what kind of person you are, instead of making snap judgments based on what you're wearing.

I’m interested, but what do I tell my spouse/partner?

Show him or her this wonderful letter: “So your partner is interested in nudism...”

What if I'm embarrassed about my body?

Everyone has something about their body that they wish they could improve. The difference is that in a nudist organization, nobody looks at another person in order to make judgments. Unlike the warped image of the human body portrayed by the media, nudists know what the human body REALLY looks like. We know how people are fat or thin or tall or short, dark or light. We know that no two bodies are alike, and more importantly, no body is perfect. When you join nude social activities, the shock of seeing scars or other body differences not only wears off, before long you don't even notice them. If you're afraid to be seen nude because of something you think is a defect, we can reassure you that you'll never feel more comfortable and welcomed for who you really are anyplace else!

What kind of people are you?

In general, nudists are friendly, accepting, trustworthy and helpful people. Specifically, we at CAFN are all of that plus we're caring and protective of each other. We love to play games and socialize and enjoy nature. Our members consist of families, married couples and singles from all walks of life. Coming to a CAFNAT activity is just like coming to any other clothing-mandatory social club.

The only people we don't welcome in our club are those who would endanger our children. We are not an "alternate lifestyle" club and sex has no place in our social activities.

“A child who has never been allowed to see his parents and brothers and sisters naked sees nudity as something shocking.”

— Dr. Helga Fleishhauer Hardt, from Show Me

Is nudism okay for children?

Although this is a very sensitive and politicized question, the answer is that nudism in a safe, nonsexual atmosphere is very okay for children. Do you remember how hard it was to keep clothes on a one-year-old? Kids are nudists by nature and are taught that wearing clothes is appropriate.

It's been shown that young boys raised in a puritanical environment have a greater interest in pornography. Girls raised in a puritanical environment tend to be more ashamed or fearful of their bodies. Children raised in a nudist family are comfortable with their bodies and the bodies of the opposite sex. They're more likely to understand that the portrayal of the nude body in the media is hyped and false.

Family-style nudist organizations are very protective of the children of their members. We screen all potential members and guests which includes checking several sex-offender databases. Historically, child predators have had the most success in organizations that tended to sweep the problem under the rug so as to avoid embarrassment or prosecution. On the rare occasion when something happens in a nudist club, that club instantly reports it to authorities and does everything they can to help the prosecution. CAFN and BBFNC before us had no instances of this happening, but we also take precautions and do everything it takes to keep our children from being preyed upon.

Kids at the beach
© Siyad Ma. Used with permission.

What kind of behavior should we expect?

Any behavior that's welcome at a church picnic, for example, is appropriate at our activities. The general ethic is based on courtesy and respect. Any behavior that causes others to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable is not allowed. That behavior can include language or actions, illegal drugs, taking pictures without getting permission first, and drunken behavior. Alcohol consumption by adults is permitted (depending on the venue) but acting intoxicated is not.

Because we are a family-style nudist club, we don't allow sexually suggestive or enticing clothing, tattoos, or body piercing. Anything that draws attention to the genitals is not allowed.

“What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment with which it is clothed?”

— Michaelangelo Buonarroti

What does “clothing optional” mean?

Clothing optional means that nudity is encouraged where appropriate, and remaining clothed is encouraged where appropriate. Nudity is required in the swimming pools and hot tubs. Shoes are encouraged when playing sports. T-shirts or wraps are allowed when a person is feeling chilly or needs additional sun protection. We feel it's best to take a common sense approach to clothing, and only wear what's needed for comfort or physical protection.

In general we frown upon a person who remains fully clothed when everyone else is nude. We've found that the clothed person feels set apart, and he or she is often perceived as a voyeur by the others. (Whether that's truly the case or not — it's often the perception.) Just like it would be strange and uncomfortable for someone to show up naked at a clothing-mandatory social event, it's not a good idea to remain clothed for a nude event. For this reason, we strongly encourage guests and newcomers to "jump in with both feet" when they attend our events.

Will I risk losing my government security clearance by attending your events?

No. Our membership includes people with security clearances. Although some poorly informed people consider our activities controversial, the things we do are legal and wholesome, and the government's security people know that. The only way you could become a security risk through your participation in naturist activities is if you are so overly secretive that you think that you must, at all costs, prevent your parents, your employer, or someone else from finding out, which might make you subject to blackmail.
“Sexual modesty cannot then in any simple way be identified with the use of clothing nor shamelessness with the absence of clothing and total or partial nakedness. There are circumstances in which nakedness is not immodest.”

— Pope John Paul II, from Love and Responsibility

This doesn't mean that you must tell your family, friends, co-workers or your pastor that you've visited a naturist club, just that it would be OK if they were to somehow learn about your new interest.

What is a non-landed club?

A non-landed club is one that simply owns no real property. CAFN is a non-landed club. We rent time at a bowling alley, we rent campsites from local landed clubs, and we hold parties in members' homes.

Non-landed clubs are also sometimes called "travel" clubs.

More Information

You can find even more information about naturism and social nudity from The Naturist Society FAQ and from the American Association for Nude Recreation's Frequently asked questions about nude recreation.