As a single, do you find it difficult, at best, to participate in regular naturist activities? Do you feel discriminated against because you do not have a partner or spouse? Are you frustrated by this? If you can answer yes to any or all of these questions, then you should read on because you are not alone.

The United States of America has been addressing the idea of discrimination for decades. As a modern society we have developed a greater awareness of discrimination based on gender, age, race, physical and emotional abilities, and sexual preference, among others. State and Federal laws prohibit discrimination for purposes of employment, financial lending, and renting or selling real estate, just to name a few specific areas. Yet, the naturist movement seems to think that it is ok to discriminate against single people, and more specifically, single men.

Thanks to The Naturists Society for carrying the torch against this very form of discrimination. In 1981, the Naturist Society concluded: ”We deplore any nudist or Naturist group, club, park or resort which absolutely forbids single males or gay males or couples to attend. Is that clearly enough said?” Further, the Naturist Society created an Agreement for private entities desiring to participate in the Naturist Society Network to sign, stating that they rejected such arbitrary rules (discrimination based on abstract social categories). They agreed “to welcome persons carrying The Naturists membership card. It is understood that the Club may exercise its normal policies governing gate admissions.”

The Naturist Society faced a massive reluctance of ASA landed clubs to remove all barriers to singles joining. They therefore conceded that a “quota,” clearly announced and fairly administered, for admitting a significant number of persons not joined in state-sanctioned heterosexual marriages, was acceptable to gain TNS recognition.

The TNS Agreement with landed clubs is the only general document in North America protecting rights of individuals to visit these clubs and to be treated fairly. It has as much ‘enforcement’ traction as the TNS can muster. They have dropped landed and unlanded clubs from being published in the Network that have defaulted on the Agreement.

With the work performed by The Naturist Society, more and more clubs are accepting singles, especially single men. There are now Singles Special Interest Groups (SIG) which have organized singles clubs and singles auxiliaries within regular clubs. However, this practice is still not widely accepted, or for that fact, known about.

It is unfortunate, that all to often clubs get caught up in trying to balance the number of “boys” and “girls” in their organizations. If the proper attitude toward Naturism is driving the heart and soul of a club, the balance will naturally find its own level. It does not have to be forced. After all, Naturism is not about having one woman for one man. It is about human beings enjoying nature, au naturel. The International Naturist Federation summed it up in their definition of Naturism: “A way of life in harmony with nature, characterized by the practice of group nudism with the object to boost self-respect and the respect of others and for nature.”

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