FFNR’s New Community Page | The Naturist Page

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The Naturist Page

Freedom Fields Naturist Ranch has a growing new community page like Facebook, but without the censorship. With a little over 3 years in the business, This community page and their Ranch retreat is growing fast and always upgrading and improving their campgrounds; as well as their website.

Currently the site with the community page is still getting the kinks out and you might find it a little slow, however it’s worth checking out. I don’t think the speed of the site will be much of a problem as they are working on many things to help make your visit on the page more enjoyable! Check them out here: Freedom Fields Naturist Ranch: Community

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Naturist Demographics (or, Part Of Why KFFBS Exists)

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We took a bit of flak, in some circles, with our recent post explaining why the Kingston-Frontenac Free Body Society has membership restrictions. This was not unexpected.

We can completely understand the position, taken by many folks, that naturism should be completely inclusive, regardless of age or gender. That’s a nice ideal to strive for.

It is, however, not working.

Consider the population pyramid for Canada (shown below). It’s pretty well balanced male-to-female and, while birth rates are falling, the age distribution is also fairly well balanced.

pop pyr CAN 2015

Within what you might call the “naturist community”, the picture is somewhat different. Anecdotally, we’d peg it roughly along the red overlay on the following graphic:

pop pyr CAN 2015 b

In other words, what we actually see at many of the naturist venues we’ve been to is a population that is about 70% male, with a median age around 50 to 55. People our own age (the KFFBS co-organizers are, at the time of writing, in our late 20s) are a relatively rare sight.

There are exceptions. Wreck Beach, undoubtedly Canada’s most successful clothing-optional venue, attracts a crowd that’s evenly split along gender and age lines. Bare Oaks goes to great lengths to ensure that the under-25 crowd can afford to visit and will feel welcome when they do.

On the whole, though, the younger crowd does not identify with “naturism”. They’re fine with skinny-dipping, with topfreedom (in circumstances where it feels safe and everyone’s doing it) and with body-positivity, but naturism is often seen as something for older people, for our parents’ generation.

The Kingston-Frontenac Free Body Society is meant for this group. Our events, our ways of doing things, our discussions – it’s all geared for the 18-to-late-30s demographic. We omit the older male crowd from our membership simply because if we didn’t, the demographic structure would actively repel people our age. We have lots of older friends, and we go to plenty of places that are either all-ages or 18-plus, where we get along just fine with naturists of any age.

Within our own group, we have a balanced culture that’s comfortable and welcoming for younger adults, and particularly for women.

pop pyr CAN 2015 c

We’re far from the only group to make this call. OCETPFAS welcomes all interested women, but allows men to join by personal invitation only, for the simple reason that having too many men around tends to make women uncomfortable. We could probably rhyme off a half-dozen naturist sites that welcome women and couples, but not single men, for the same reason.

If you’re a woman or a couple and you’re a bit out of our age range, but identify as “young at heart”, you’re still welcome to join us. And finally, if you’re a single older guy and feel excluded by all this, then by all means go say hi to the folks at TNT!MEN in Toronto, where single men of any age are always welcome.

Our core membership is (and will continue to be for the foreseeable future) mostly in our 20s and early 30s, the gender split being 1/2 to 2/3 female, and this is one of many factors we keep in mind when deciding whether to accept or reject membership requests. Men in our age group are of course welcome to join – with the understanding that clean, respectful behaviour is expected, and any creeps who try to sneak in will be quickly and unceremoniously kicked to the curb.

Your First Clothing-Free Experience (Will Be Great!)

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You’ve found your way here, which means you’re at least slightly open to the possibility of a clothing-free experience – even if you’re nervous, or worried, or just not sure yet. Having seen this quite a few times now, I can give a pretty accurate timeline of how it will go for you.

T minus 3 months: So, there are places / groups where everyone’s naked? Is this, like, some kind of strange sex ritual?

T minus 2 months: OK, I think the Internet’s convinced me that this is a real non-creepy thing, but I’m way too (fat / skinny / shy / unattractive) to be naked around other people.

T minus 1 month: There’s a naturist park near my town? OK, maybe – just maybe – I can go, just to see what it’s about, just for a look. Just to say I’ve tried it.

T minus 1 day: Tomorrow, everyone’s going to see me naked. I can do this. I can do this. Really, please believe me, I can do this.

T minus 1 hour: Am I actually about to be naked in front of 50 strangers? I’m terrified! I’m so looking forward to this! I have to chicken out! This is going to be so great!

T minus 10 minutes: Am I lost? Where is this place? Does this one-lane dirt road actually go anywhere? What’s going to happen when I arrive?

T minus 5 minutes: OMG, naked people! This can’t be happening. They’re all going to be staring at me!

T 0: OK, I am going to do this. I’m taking off my clothes now…. I am so nervous about this…. I can’t be doing this….

T plus 30 seconds: So… they aren’t staring at me?

T plus 5 minutes: This actually feels kind of good….

T plus 20 minutes: Oh, right, I’m naked. Did I actually make a big deal of that a few minutes ago?

T plus 1 hour: It’s official, I am never wearing a swimsuit again!

T plus 2 hours: Why, oh why, did it take me so long to try this? I should have started years ago!

T plus 3 hours: These are some of the coolest people I’ve ever met. I think one of them’s a janitor and one’s a CEO, but I don’t remember which is which.

T plus 6 hours: The sun’s going down and it’s getting cold, but I am NOT getting dressed yet.

T plus 8 hours: Clothing feels so freaking weird. What’s with all this chafing?

T plus 24 hours: Can we go back again today?

The hardest part is psyching yourself up to the point where you say “OK, I’m doing this”. Everything after that is easy. Seriously, just try it!

Posted by Matt of KFFBS

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.

Boats good, swimsuits bad

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Okay, so even if the weather permits it, we can’t be nude all the time.

Out at the boat ramp, for example, it is customary to wear swimsuits and/or T-shirts. There’s no practical reason to do so, it’s just what everyone expects, so we play along.

Once clear of the launch ramp, though, it’s perfectly OK to do the logical thing and just get rid of the swimwear. The Kingston area has many, many spots where you can drop anchor, strip off, and alternate between baking in the sun and cooling off in the lake for the better part of an afternoon.
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The debate over whether or not PFDs count as clothing is ongoing. They are, of course, required on this particular powerboat while we’re underway. Safety first!

Very few of the anchorages around here are busy enough for anyone to see whether you’re dressed or nude. In any case, our experience suggests that it’s highly unlikely that anyone will care. This is Canada, after all. We’re pretty easy-going.

Boating is perhaps one of the best ways to experience naturism. There’s virtually complete privacy out on the water, despite being completely out in the open. You have the sun, the breeze, the wonderful sounds of the water and the gentle rolling motion of the boat at anchor. Sail or power, it’s your choice – we’re into both, depending on wind, weather and which boats are available.

An awful lot of people have told me, over the years, that they like the idea of learning how to run a boat, of getting out there on the water, but they feel it’s just too expensive – fuel, repairs, insurance, marina fees, plus the boat itself. This need not be the case!

$1000 will get you a decent, used two- or three-person 14-foot sailboat. $2500 to $4000 scores you a perfectly serviceable 14-foot aluminum powerboat with a trailer and 10 to 20 hp engine, just the ticket for a small family or two couples to get to the best skinny-dipping spots. You won’t be taking it across Lake Ontario, but hundreds of inland lakes are now within your reach. The cost of ownership of such a boat? Less than $500 a year, if you learn how to do basic maintenance yourself. Share the boat among a few friends and it could very well amount to little more than pocket change.

If that’s still too steep, just pop over to Kingston’s Ahoy Rentals (or your local equivalent) and take your choice of canoes, kayaks or small sailboats out for a while, complete with a friendly instructor if you want one for your first trip. The Power & Sail Squadron will be happy to teach you the necessary safety and navigation knowledge over the winter.

Canadians are winterizing our small-craft fleets now, so there are some serious bargains to be had at the moment if you want to get out on the water next summer and can spare a bit of garage space in the meantime.

We’ll see you on the lakes just as soon as everything thaws out. And don’t forget to skip those swimsuits!

Posted by Matt of KFFBS

Favourite Nude Places: Patricia Beach, Manitoba

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Canada has 9.98 million square kilometres of land and only 35 million people. There are bound to be a lot of nice, remote, natural places where nude is just the best way to be.

Panorama of the view north across Lake Winnipeg from Patricia Beach

Patricia Beach, Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba. One of our favourite places to hang out – too bad it’s 2300 km away!

One we discovered a few years ago is Patricia Beach on the south shore of Lake Winnipeg. It’s not a formal government-sanctioned nude beach (there are only two of those in the country) but, by long-standing tradition and the tacit approval of the local authorities, proper beach attire (i.e. nudity) is very much OK here.

Patricia Beach attracts a mixed-gender, mixed-age crowd, although (like most naturist sites) it was, at the time of our visit, predominantly a middle-aged demographic. It seems to be a fairly quiet, relaxed place with no stereos, no vendors, and no crowds. If you’ve never tried a nude beach before, and are perhaps struggling with hang-ups or worries about it, this is the perfect place to wash all those worries away. Manitobans are, almost without fail, a universally pleasant culture – even more so when nude. We felt right at home here within minutes, and had a very hard time bringing ourselves to get dressed and leave when dinnertime rolled around.

The place was teeming with wildlife. Frogs, tadpoles, fish, minnows – this waterfront is ALIVE, and vibrantly so. Call it a “naturist naturalist’s dream” and you wouldn’t be far off the mark.

Canada could do a lot worse than to treat Patricia Beach as the model for how a public beach should be run.

We’d be very curious to hear from folks who have been there more recently. It’s been three years since our last visit; the 2300 km drive from Kingston is a wee bit too long for a weekend jaunt.

Directions

Point your map at Patricia Beach Provincial Park, Manitoba. Prov. Rd. 319 (a gravel road off MB-59, just south of Stead Rd) ends at a parking lot in the provincial park. The beaches near the lot are textile and crowded. You want to head east (right) along either the service lane or the beach. At the end of the service lane, or after the driftwood piles, stuff your clothes in your bag and keep on going. East of here – including the beach, the channel, and Beaconia on the other side – nudity is the norm.

Do topless and nude protests work?

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With nude and/or topless protests apparently all the rage these days, we should answer a few questions about how the Kingson-Frontenac Free Body Society fits in to that scene.

(Short version: We’re not a protest group. We welcome people who do support or enjoy such things, but our events are private, relaxed and much more laid-back.)

When you want to make a media splash, a topless or nude protest is a pretty reliable way to get attention. It is, however, not a very effective kind of attention, for two reasons:

Nude/topless protests are polarizing. They can help to rally supporters around a cause, but they are also virtually guaranteed to galvanize opposition. FEMEN is an extreme example of this; many more people know them as “those angry topless women who keep getting arrested” than by any of their viewpoints. Even more moderate protest movements, though, tend to alienate the very people they are intended to influence – particularly when those who can actually effect change are powerful, well-established, and prone to becoming defensive when questioned.

Protests suggest their cause is a fringe viewpoint, unless the protesters are so numerous as to form a significant fraction of the population. It is fairly easy for entrenched interests to portray themselves as the moderate, rational voice and the protesters as just a small band of radical malcontents.

This is not to say that organized protests are a bad thing, or unnecessary – indeed, there are many key elements of modern society that owe their origins to public protest movements.

We should not naively assume, though, that protesting is the answer to every societal ill. This is particularly true of body freedom and women’s equality, concepts that are simply too advanced for some segments of society to accept if it’s suddenly forced upon them. Where the protesters are few in number and relatively radical in viewpoint – GoTopless marches being a good example – you tend to get a short-lived spectacle surrounded by a lot of camera phones, followed by business as usual with no lasting positive effect.

A better way, in my experience, is that of Mahatma Gandhi – “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”.

Topfreedom, for example, isn’t going to become the norm through protesting – it’ll become the norm when people just do it, without fuss or hyperbole. “Rape culture” isn’t going to be driven out by marches and slogans, as useful as those tools may be for making people aware of the problem; it’ll be eradicated by a generation of young men who internalize the belief that women are their equals and are worthy of the utmost respect.

We provide a space where people can try being topfree (or nude) without judgment or fear, and where we can talk openly about such things with friends.

The Kingston-Frontenac Free Body Society is not a protest group. If you’re interested in GoTopless, the World Naked Bike Ride and other stuff like that, great! You’re very welcome to join us, and you’ll be accepted as friends. Just don’t expect our meetups to be anything like theirs.

Further reading on this and related topics:

The Naked Writer on “Making a Topless Statement”

Free The Nipple

OCTPFAS on why it’s better to keep things quiet

By Matt of KFFBS