Why We Have Membership Restrictions

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We get a lot of questions along the lines of

hi im 52 m like getting naked want to meet like-minded people can i join ur group

No, unfortunately, you can’t. Our decision to limit who can join the group was not an easy one, and we feel we owe you an explanation of why.

There are already a lot of options around here for older folks to enjoy the clothing-free life. We have at least four naturist parks (FFNR, Lakesun, The Grand Barn and Sunward) within a short drive of Kingston, and there are several active non-landed groups in the nearby Ottawa area, all of which attract a middle-aged demographic. There are also several clubs in Toronto for single men. Of the naturist sites around here, FFNR in particular is a great place that is quite welcoming to everybody, and we do a few trips up there each summer.

But, except for us, there’s nothing specifically for the younger generation.

The reason the Free Body Society exists is because Kingston needs a safe, fun and comfortable clothing-optional space for our large student and young professional population, and in particular, the female & trans* members of that population. 25% to 50% of these folks are open to some form of body-positivity; less than 0.5% are comfortable going to existing naturist parks. We want to bridge that gap.

Our priority, in determining who we welcome into the group, is to keep the kind of culture that will be supportive and welcoming to this demographic. (We are, proudly, a no-creeps zone!). Yes, we often go to parks and events that appeal to a broader age group, but our core focus is on the student and young professional crowd.

Remember, also, that we try to provide a forum for intelligent and open discussion of the complex social and cultural issues facing the GenY / Millennial generation. If your only reason for wanting to join us is “because naked”, well, that’s simply not enough to go on.

And so we vet our membership rather carefully.

To actually find us in the real world, you have to read our Join Us page, then email us. You have to tell us a bit about yourself and why the group appeals to you.

Your introduction has to be honest. If your profile is that of a 25-year-old woman but you show up as a 50-year-old man, you’ll be sent home, blocked and reported. Similarly, if you claim to be a couple but only the man shows up, you won’t be staying – or coming back. We don’t require personal details or full names, but please provide enough of a profile for us to see that you are:

  1. A real live individual human (not a spambot or someone who writes like one).
  2. Genuinely interested in what we’re trying to create.
  3. Part of the demographic we focus on:
    • Women are always welcome (and if you’re worried about being too old, don’t worry, you aren’t!)
    • Couples and young families are welcome.
    • Those who identify with a non-traditional gender identity are welcome.
    • Single men are welcome if you are in our age range, and if you convince us you’re the kind of person who would be a net positive to the group. (This isn’t that difficult – just write us a nice, well-thought-out email introducing yourself.) We do not accept single men past late-30s unless one of us personally asks you to join.

Some of you are about to comment that these rules are “draconian” or “against the inclusive spirit of naturism”. Believe us, it wasn’t an easy decision. But we’ve seen what happens without these rules, and they must be like this if we’re to create a welcoming, fun and comfortable space for our own demographic. We would rather the group be something that grows slowly and incrementally into exactly what we need, rather than quickly taking off but losing its purpose along the way.

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14 thoughts on “Why We Have Membership Restrictions

    • It’s not a decision we came to lightly, believe us. We would prefer to be completely inclusive!

      The thing is, of the last dozen membership requests we’ve received from men over 35, only one gave some hint of understanding what our group is about. Most gave introductions that were either blank, illiterate, or clearly indicated they never read beyond the search tags. We’ve seen the same thing at several naturist parks – there is an older male contingent that dominates the culture and, friendly as they believe themselves to be, tends to discourage younger folks (particularly women) from returning.

      We’re not a for-profit business. We’re not an advocacy group. We’re just a social meetup for young adults – that’s our niche.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I would respond to that request with, “Please insert periods between your sentences and try again.” lol it’s one of my pet peeves when people write like that online.
    Anyway I totally understand the approach you’ve taken. Every group must decide this for themselves, and I agree that it’s not an easy decision to make. We’ve long had the same policies when it comes to age and gender, and still sometimes we grapple with how inclusive or exclusive we should be with events. We’ve always received criticism for putting a limit on the number of single men at our indoor parties. Not banning them altogether, but putting a *limit*. You want to be inclusive and make allowances and yet still maintain the sort of environment you want and attract the types of people you’re trying to bring in, so it’s hard.
    But you make a good case for such a policy in pointing out how many local options already exist for the middle-aged up there. There is clearly a need for a group geared toward young adults, and if naturists really want to see more young people in naturism, they should lend support where possible & let them have their space.
    (-Felicity)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh, grammar! The number of people who can’t be bothered to write correctly is truly remarkable. The average spam-bot is more literate than many of the people whose join requests we’ve had to decline.
      YNA’s policies are, we think, among the fairest we’ve seen anywhere. Turning away good people on the basis of gender is not cool, but it’s important for a co-ed group to maintain a fair balance, and that will necessarily involve turning away some men.
      As has been pointed out, we have four naturist parks and a half-dozen other groups around here already. Most of them are dominated by middle-aged and senior men; when we visit, we are usually the only under-35s there. We have to be a counterbalancing force to that culture, a space where the younger crowd will feel comfortable.

      Like

  2. Jack Neilson

    I am a 78 year old nudist and a member of FFNR. Your membership restrictions are logical and completely understandable and I am happy to see a place for younger people to feel comfortable. As you said, FFNR and Lakesun are both just a 50 km drive from Kingston.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rules and guidelines are very important to have from the start and I can appreciate the reasons that you have set yours accordingly. Most clubs and groups want a level of comfort so that they can enjoy themselves doing what they love to do most. Here at Freedom Fields Naturist Ranch we encourage all to come out and enjoy themselves in a non threatening and a very accepting environment.

    Our main rule is your “behavior is your passport” Hector and myself go to great lengths to make all welcome and to have each individual feel a comfort level within our family.

    As a fairly new club in the area we have had a wide variety of individuals throughout our threes years of being open. We are always so pleased to see that we have had the diversity of age, gender mix, races, lifestyle and personalities. We strive to have an open arms policy and welcome any groups and or individuals as they come through our doors.

    As a middle aged woman I now have the opportunity to sit in the middle of the age gap, and what I enjoy is the interaction with both the young and old. The youth bring us new and refreshing ideas as to how they want to see the nudist community flourish moving forward and help to bridge the gap between generations. They are the solid backbone of the nudist community moving forward. I also continue to learn from the experience of my older members as they have so many beautiful and wonderful tales of their experiences throughout their lives to share with us.

    Whether I am playing a wide variety of physical games or having an enlightened conversation with those much younger and stronger than myself or just sitting and conversing or painting with someone more seasoned than myself I am happy and feel well rounded by all.

    Yvonne

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mickey

    I think you need membership restrictions to keep people out who call themselves “penis”—like the commenter on here.

    These types just make real nudists look bad in the public eye.

    Like

    • Hi Mickey,
      We do not, as of yet, have a blog comments policy other than blacklisting obvious spam.
      That said, the account you’re talking about looks like it might be an automated aggregator – it’s quick to reblog but has never left a comment. We may have to keep a closer eye on things like that.

      Like

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