Hello! What’s this?

Sticky

We are the Kingston-Frontenac Free Body Society.

We’re a friendly, positive, safe, comfortable and civilized space to relax, share ideas, and simply enjoy being human.

We’re a social group, mostly in our 20s and 30s. Some of us are university or college students, some are young professionals, tradespeople, travellers, and so on. Occupation, race and class don’t really matter – here, we’re all equals.

Whenever possible, we’re clothing-optional. It’s good for relaxation, it’s good for openness, it’s good for honesty, it’s good for equality. And, of course, life’s just more fun that way!

We try to focus on creating a female-friendly, LGBTQQetc. friendly environment where folks in their 20s and early 30s will feel at home. We welcome members of any gender, but we will also carefully vet our membership to ensure that we are promoting the kind of safe, supportive culture that is essential to a group like this.

We do whatever our members enjoy doing. Sometimes that’s a hike through a pristine wilderness park, sometimes it’s an evening skinny-dip to watch the moon and stars. Sometimes it’s a lot of laughter and play in the waves at a beach, sometimes it’s a cheerful house party that runs late into the night over wine, cheese and fascinating conversation, sometimes it just means lying around naked in the sun with a good book and some good food.

What we’re about, in five easy points:

We’re about equality – whatever your race, gender, orientation, etc.

We’re about freedom – of body, mind, thought & expression.

We’re about sharing and discussing ideas – big and small, good and otherwise.

We’re about experiences – enjoying what this wonderful world has to offer as it was meant to be experienced.

We’re about friendship – because life’s just better when you have great people to share it with.

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Nudity in Canada – What’s Legal, What’s Acceptable

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Q: Where is it OK to be clothes-free in Canada?

A:

  • Nudity is illegal in places where other people would reasonably expect you to be clothed. (This includes all populated public spaces not explicitly marked as clothing-optional, as well as private spaces that are easily visible from the street.)
  • If you make a point of offending people or if there’s a deviant sexual purpose involved, you will be arrested.
  • Nudity is usually OK in Canada in places where nobody’s likely to be caught by surprise or offended by it.
  • If you are respectful, polite and don’t go out of your way to cause trouble, simply being nude – in a place where it makes sense to be nude, and where you won’t surprise or startle anyone – is unlikely to cause any problems.

Examples

Again, we’re not lawyers (or cops) and this is not legal advice. It’s just our best understanding of what is and is not OK in Canada in 2017.

  • Nude at an isolated remote beach or in the back-country: Generally OK.
  • Nude on a quiet public beach, you’re not causing trouble: Technically prohibited, but usually quite acceptable (more so if you’re part of a group, less so if you’re alone).
  • Nude on a quiet public beach, you’re being loud, profane or disruptive: Not OK – a public nudity charge will be added to indecency, noise violation, alcohol, etc. charges.
  • Nude on a busy public beach or one frequented by children: Not OK.
  • Nude at the World Naked Bike Ride or a Pride parade: Clearly OK in practice, despite being technically illegal.
  • Nude around the house or in the back yard: OK.
  • Nude in the living room at night, with the lights on and street-facing curtains open: Not OK – this is exhibitionism.
  • Nude on private property, someone would need to put in a bit of effort (binoculars or coming closer) to see you: OK.
  • Nude in the front yard, where lots of people can easily see you from the street: Not OK.

The bottom line? Use good judgment.

If you stand a good chance of catching someone by surprise, someone who has a reasonable expectation that they won’t see nudity in that situation, then keep your shorts on.

If you have good reason to think that no one will be offended, then – for all practical purposes, if not always on paper – nudity’s usually not a problem. Stick to areas that aren’t too busy and, if in doubt, simply keep a towel or a pair of shorts around to cover up if necessary.

Legal Theory

(Disclaimer: We’re not lawyers. This is the best consensus understanding of the law that we’ve been able to piece together from available sources. If you’re in a situation where you need a real legal opinion, ask a lawyer.)

The law governing nudity in Canada is in sections 173 and 174 of the Criminal Code. They read:

Indecent acts
173. (1) Everyone who wilfully does an indecent act in a public place in the presence of one or more persons, or in any place with intent to insult or offend any person,
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months.
Exposure
(2) Every person who, in any place, for a sexual purpose, exposes his or her genital organs to a person who is under the age of 16 years
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of 90 days; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of 30 days.
Nudity
174. (1) Every one who, without lawful excuse,
(a) is nude in a public place, or
(b) is nude and exposed to public view while on private property, whether or not the property is his own,
is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Nude
(2) For the purposes of this section, a person is nude who is so clad as to offend against public decency or order.
Consent of Attorney General
(3) No proceedings shall be commenced under this section without the consent of the Attorney General.

Let’s look at these in turn.

Section 173.(1) applies to:

  • indecent acts,
  • in public places if anyone’s around,
  • and in private places if the intent is to insult or offend.

Indecency is defined, in Canada, in an ambiguous and somewhat arbitrary fashion. The test is:

Indecency is not defined in the Criminal Code. It is to be measured on an objective, national, community standard of tolerance. The standard of tolerance is not defined by what Canadians think it is right for them to see, rather it is what they would not abide other Canadians viewing. [Towne Cinema Theatres Ltd. v. The Queen, [1985] 1 S.C.R. 494]

As long as what you’re doing is unlikely to be construed as “indecent” under this test, s.173.(1) doesn’t apply. In the few cases where police have attempted to use s.173.(1) to go after simple nudity when no real indecency was involved, Canadian judges have generally dismissed the charges.

Section 173.(2) only applies to sexual situations involving minors, and is therefore irrelevant to plain ordinary social nudity.

Section 174.(1) is self explanatory: Don’t be naked in any place where someone who expects not to see nudity is likely to see you.

Section 174.(2) mixes things up a lot – nude (legal definition) is not the same as nude (dictionary definition). There exist garments that expose body parts in a way that would “offend against public decency”, and there are also a lot of places where simple nudity would not offend against public decency. It’s not a clear line, and it depends very much on where and under what conditions the offence occurs.

This brings us to s.174(3). There is one person (and it’s usually an old white guy) who is the only person in Canada authorized to begin a prosecution on a nudity charge. Traditionally, the A-G likes to keep a low profile and avoid controversy. S.174 cases only get prosecuted when the Crown’s case is rock-solid.

All told, there are quite a few ways you can get nailed for nudity by Canadian police. But, in general, they’re only invoked when someone goes out of their way to show off, cause trouble, or offend people. A bit of common sense is usually all you need to determine whether you can go au naturel without trouble.

Lessons from the Ghomeshi sexual assault trial

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Yesterday, after two years of scandal and legal proceedings, Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted on four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance.

There are some important lessons in the judge’s ruling (you can read the full thing here). We’ve summarized the key ones here, for those who may someday have need of them.

Get your story straight

As soon as you can after an assault, write down what happened.  When you go to the police, bring your notes, and get your story complete and accurate in the first police report.

In a case with no physical or recorded evidence, the only thing the court has to go on is the testimony of the people who were there. A complainant who is seen to be reliable and consistent will usually prevail.

All three complainants in the Ghomeshi trial omitted critical elements from their recollections and made changes to their stories as the trial progressed. In several cases, they made sworn statements that were provably false (e.g. one talked about her impressions of the car Ghomeshi drove on their first date; it was later proven that Ghomeshi didn’t own that car until seven months later). This hurt their credibility in the judge’s eyes, to the point where Ghomeshi didn’t even have to testify in his own defence; the case against him fell apart from the contradictions in the complainants’ testimony.

To quote Justice William B. Horkins:

When a witness is comfortable with giving differing versions of the same event, it suggests a degree of carelessness with the truth that diminishes the general reliability of the witness.

Don’t try to go it alone

Once an assault has occurred, it’s time to get the police involved. There is no practical way to navigate the criminal justice system alone. The sworn statement you hash out with the first police officers who interview you after the assault is the most important piece of the Crown prosecutor’s puzzle; it needs to be complete and correct.

It’s undeniably true that there are some police officers who are less than helpful in sexual assault matters. This is unfortunate, but you won’t find the good ones until you try.

You want police and Crown prosecutors here, not reporters (no offence to our journalist friends intended). If you are a victim, the system expects you to follow the procedures set out for victims. Stirring up a media circus is a sure way to have your motives and credibility called into question.

Act quickly

The alleged assaults in the Ghomeshi case occurred more than a decade before they were brought to light and charges laid. Waiting many years to bring charges isn’t necessarily a problem. However, memories often become less accurate with time, and questions will be asked about the delay and about any inconsistencies that have crept in.

In the judge’s words:

The law is clear: there should be no presumptive adverse inference arising when a complainant in a sexual assault case fails to come forward at the time of the events.

The trouble is that it’s much harder to determine a clear, consistent and factual picture of events at a much-delayed date:

An inability to recall the sequence of such a traumatic event from over a decade ago is not very surprising and in most instances, it would be of little concern. However, what is troubling about this evidence is not the lack of clarity but, rather, the shifting of facts from one telling of the incident to the next.

Break off the relationship, if possible

Several of the complainants in the Ghomeshi case continued to express romantic and sexual interest in him after the alleged assault, emailing him and sending photos, but hid this fact from the court. In the judge’s words:

The expectation of how a victim of abuse will, or should, be expected to behave must not be assessed on the basis of stereotypical models. Having said that, I have no hesitation in saying that the behaviour of this complainant is, at the very least, odd. The factual inconsistencies in her evidence cause me to approach her evidence with great skepticism.

If an assault victim genuinely can’t break off the relationship, the court won’t hold that against her. Indeed:

Courts must guard against applying false stereotypes concerning the expected conduct of complainants.

However, if an alleged victim had the opportunity to sever ties and no reason not to do so, but kept in touch with her assailant anyway, the judge might consider that fact to be contradictory to her testimony – particularly if she claims to be fearful of the man, or presents a story of having broken things off when that was not in fact the case.

Don’t fret over irrelevancies

Sexual assault cases, at least in Canada, hinge on the facts of the incident. You think you have a “slutty” reputation? You still have just as much right to justice as someone with a “prudish” reputation.

Don’t be distracted by nonsense talk like “she was asking for it with that short skirt” or “well, what did you expect sending him sexy selfies,” which you will almost certainly hear at some point. Judges know full well that that has no bearing on the facts of the incident. Judges are also very aware that their assessment of your credibility as a witness must be based only on what is said and presented in the courtroom, not on hearsay or third-hand gossip.

Keep your cool

A court expects to hear “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”. Don’t speculate, don’t make things up to fill gaps in your memory. When the defence lawyer is questioning you, trying to find flaws in your story, keep your cool and stick to the facts.

Sexual assault cases are all about credibility. There are usually only two people involved, there’s rarely any physical or recorded evidence, and it boils down to “he said, she said”. Your best shot at seeing justice in a sexual assault case is to keep your cool and tell the police and the judge a consistent, true story of what happened.

Trip report: Northeast Naturist Festival 2015 (Empire Haven, NY)

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We are back from the Northeast Naturist Festival in upstate New York! A big thank you to everyone who came out and helped make this such a great weekend.

A Packed Schedule

The NENF schedule was packed with activities and workshops. They ranged from the practical (such as an online marketing workshop run by our friends Jordan and Felicity at YNA), to the introspective (a communication workshop by the Human Awareness Institute), to the far-out (ramblings about UFOs, energy healing seminars and other such things).

A diverse selection of music included drum circles, meditations backed by beautiful bowed gongs, karaoke as good (bad) as any karaoke in a downtown bar, and a ’70s-style disco pavilion with a 2000s pop/club DJ.

Fun And Comfortable

With beautiful upstate New York weather keeping everyone’s clothing where it belonged (in the cars), Empire Haven’s pool and hot tubs were a major focus of attention. A small cadre of vendors offered beautiful sarongs, wraps and other such products. (It’s interesting to note that most of our favourite sundresses and sarongs have come from naturist venues!)

Empire Haven is a truly beautiful park. Nearly surrounded by unspoiled state forest, it is clean, well-kept and alive with acres of vibrant green grassland and woodland. The park is relatively easy to find, being just a short hop off I-81 along paved sideroads.

The single best thing about the naturist community, we think, is the ease with which one can quickly meet great new friends. We met more people than we can remember how to keep track of, each with their own fascinating stories, perspectives and ideas.

Room For Improvement

There’s always room for improvement, and here our attention fell on the registration process and fee structure.

The Empire Haven / NENF registration process was… well, somewhat less than smooth or clear. We would highly recommend that, next year, the registration forms be clearly organized and unambiguous. (This year’s documents were reminiscent of a corporate tax filing form, if it were re-typed in Word by someone unfamiliar with columns and tables.) We emailed in our forms, but never received an acknowledgement or reply; nevertheless, they were already on file when we arrived.

In addition to the festival fee ($50/person regardless of how long you stay), the park charges day fees ($18/person/day with an 11 AM checkout), and camp site rental fees ($12 to $15/camp/night).

Then, we were dinged an extra $18/person day fee for all of Friday, even though we arrived late after dinner when the day’s activities were over. It was too late in the evening for us to argue over this, but it meant that our first impression of Empire Haven was one of petty profiteering. No other park we know of charges 3 days of fees for a 44-hour visit.

This fee structure means that while the festival is somewhat reasonably priced if you arrive on Tuesday morning and leave on Sunday morning, virtually any shorter schedule (or staying for lunch on Sunday) is heavily penalized. Not surprisingly, retirees were over-represented and young folks (who would be working during the week) were relatively few in number.

It would be far better to charge only a per-person, per-day fee (as other naturist parks do) or a per-vehicle/site, per-day fee (as non-naturist parks, like state forests or Canadian public parks, do).

Will we be back next year? Maybe. It’s too early to say what our 2016 schedule will be like. If Empire Haven’s management and the festival organizers were to fix the problems with the pricing structure, we might consider making NENF a regular feature of our calendar.

Favourite Nude Places: Freedom Fields, Eastern Ontario

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Ontario’s newest major naturist venue, and the one that’s closest to us here in Kingston, is Freedom Fields Naturist Ranch.

Freedom Fields viewed from Carroll Road

Turns out we’ve never actually brought our cameras to FFNR, so this Google Street View shot will have to suffice for today!

Freedom Fields is a relatively new venue; 2015 will be only their fourth season. They’ve made a lot of progress in those few years – while the ranch remains relatively rustic, the current set of amenities includes a pool with swim-up bar, a bed & breakfast, a seriously rockin’ party barn, several kilometres of great hiking, and the most awesome hot tub in the tri-county area.

Media coverage of the park has been universally positive. The most recent story, penned by the widely respected Hollie Pratt-Campbell at the Heritage, was pegged on that publisher’s top-stories list for over a month.

FFNR is an adults-only venue. This policy is sometimes misinterpreted as meaning “sex ranch”, which is most certainly not the case; we’ve never seen any hint of inappropriate behaviour and the atmosphere is very much in the “relaxed, social and respectful” category. The 18+ policy stems largely from safety and liability considerations. Of FFNR’s 100 acres, all but 4 are either natural and unimproved, or fenced off for the horses. It is a working ranch, after all, with a complete herd of Equus caballus, energetic free-range farm dogs, tractors and so on. Marketing the venue as family-friendly would, we imagine, significantly change the insurance and liability picture, as well as the culture, in a way that FFNR appears uninterested in pursuing.

FFNR’s culture is a bit more free-wheeling than at some other parks. The jokes are a little raunchier, the laughter’s a little louder, and the park’s two bars are a bit more central to the social scene. On special weekends, live classic-rock bands play late into the night atop a stage of hay bales in the barn, stirring up seriously awesome party vibes and making the admission fees a genuine bargain. Even so, those who prefer peace and quiet are equally welcome; the lush lawn is a perfect place to while away an afternoon with a good book, and the campsites – of which there are a few more every year – are quiet, private and immersed in nature.

The venue’s pricing, currently at $30/person/day or $40/couple/day, is comparable to other naturist parks, although perhaps a bit on the steep side considering the amenities FFNR has to offer. This, we think, is unavoidable; the park is investing heavily in upgrades and new features, but lacks the steady revenue of older private parks that can survive on trailer lot rental fees and need only worry about operating, not capital, expenses.

There are only a few complaints that can be justifiably levied against FFNR. The washroom facilities, as of 2014, were somewhat rustic, and some of the main walking routes have not yet been made barefoot-friendly. Perhaps most noticeably, FFNR has so far been unusually tolerant of smoking. While cig-toting guests have generally been respectful about staying downwind, provincial anti-smoking laws and cultural anti-smoking attitudes are (rightly) much stronger in 2015 than they were a few years ago.

FFNR holds a special place in our hearts here at the Kingston-Frontenac Free Body Society. As the closest naturist park to us, and with a wonderful owner who has been very supportive of our group’s purpose (and is a KFFBS member), they’re naturally a favourite destination when time and travel considerations allow us to visit.

This part of Ontario is rather poorly documented in most mapping programs. FFNR is easiest to find by entering its co-ordinates directly into a GPS: 44.501N by 76.917W. Access is at #592 Carroll Road, reached by heading east along Mountain Road from Tamworth and then south on Carroll.

nakedly refreshed

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For all who wonder *why* people like us do what we do, this one is very much worth a read.

Hontouniheart

Originally posted on clothesfreelife:


Last night I had an amazing time being out with a small group of women and sharing from the heart. Every now and then, the group of us get together and catch up on the latest changes in our lives. In the past, I have talked about some things, but last night, I really opened up and talked about things I never thought I’d confess to others in all my life.

View original post 573 more words

Goodbye, Meetup.com

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As of July 2015, KFFBS is shutting down our former online home base at Meetup.com.

Instead, we’re going to use this site (freebodysociety.wordpress.com) for public news, and a private mailing list on Gmail / Google Calendar for scheduling our events.

Why the change?

– Meetup is expensive, even more so because they bill in USD and the CAD-USD exchange rate is unfavourable. We’d be looking at $160 to $240 to keep their service for another year, which is too high by a factor of three for what the site does.

– Gmail and other popular services tend to dump Meetup’s mass emails in the “Social” junk bin, mixed in with all the you-can-safely-ignore-it stuff from Facebook, Twitter and the like. We’d sometimes ask friends if they were coming tonight and they’d never even seen the invitation.

– We’d hoped that Meetup’s recommendation engine would help people find us, but Meetup just isn’t very popular in our geographic or demographic areas.

Want to join us?

Don’t worry, we’re still active – more so than ever! If you want to join us sometime, send us an email ( freebodysociety@gmail.com) and introduce yourself. Our membership guidelines haven’t changed. We want an honest introduction; we want to know what you’re like and why you’re interested in the group. (We don’t just accept every random person who tries to join, for reasons we’ve discussed previously).