This is clearly public indecency, so the question is, since it's an airport, and I'm sure kids were present and probably saw it, will he be arrested and put on the sex offender registry, or will he get slapped on the wrist because he's a celebrity? I think we all know the answer to that question, and judging from the link below, we were right. What about the public indecency?
Ordinance would lessen penalties for streaking and taking part in Naked Bike Ride
For the first time, it might soon be illegal for women in Boulder to go topless in public.
A public-nudity law being considered by the Boulder City Council on Tuesday night would expand the definition of being naked to include exposing the female nipple, and it would make it a municipal offense to be naked in public places or view.
Since the 1980s, Boulder's only local ordinance banning public nudity has been specific to Coot Lake, an area which was known in the 1970s and 1980s as a place to swim and sunbathe in the nude. That ordinance didn't include toplessness.
After years of debate about how to deal with people who streak as a prank or participate in events like the annual World Naked Bike Ride and the Halloween night Naked Pumpkin Run, Boulder is now seeking to expand the ban on public nudity to the entire city, while also expanding its definition of nudity.
The "Public Nudity Prohibited" ordinance would apply to anyone older than 10 who exposes any portion of his or her private parts, including the areola of a female breast.
Tickets would carry a fine of up to $1,000 or up to 90 days in jail.
The rules would not apply to people who enjoy going au naturale inside their own homes -- so long as it's not obvious to passers-by -- or sunbathers in backyards. Women who are breastfeeding in public would also be exempt, along with people in dressing rooms, shower rooms, bathrooms or other enclosed areas where nudity is permitted.
Officials say the change is needed to give police more options when it comes to ticketing or arresting those who go naked.
"Public displays of nudity at events and in crowds have the tendency to create a crowd mentality that can lead to other law-enforcement problems," a city memo about the ordinance reads. "If left unchecked, these issues will often lead to other disorder-type crimes, as the crowd believes that disorder is the norm, especially in circumstances where alcohol is consumed."
Now, officers have only state laws to fall back on, and a conviction under the more serious indecent exposure law can result in mandatory registration as a sex offender.
"Certainly, there are some circumstances that we don't think rise to that level," said Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner.
Beckner, who helped write the proposed ordinance, said that having a local law for lesser crimes would "help us deal with the issue when we have to deal with it."
He said he doesn't think there are many legitimate reasons to be naked in public places, including during the World Naked Bike Ride, in which some participants protest the nation's dependence on foreign oil.
"I just don't buy the argument that being naked is political speech," Beckner said.
"They are deciding that anyone who is in a state of undress must be committing a crime," Golden said.
He said people who are naked for some sort of sexual purpose, such as exposing themselves to children, are committing a crime that's already covered under state laws. Other people, like streakers who run across sports fields, people who ride bicycles naked or run nude on Halloween, should be arrested or ticketed based on their behavior -- not because of a lack of clothing, Golden said.
"Let's look at the actual conduct and decide if there is a public interest in criminalizing that or not," Golden said. "This non-sexual prankster stuff shouldn't be against the law."
City Councilman Ken Wilson said the ACLU shouldn't have a problem with the ordinance, since the city is seeking to reduce the possible penalties for streakers and naked protesters.
"I don't see why they would focus on this," Wilson said. "It really just makes public nudity a lesser offense."
He said he expects the ordinance to easily gain approval by the council, which likely won't discuss the item during Tuesday's first reading. The ordinance would have to pass a second reading later on, which would include a public hearing.
"I think it's a good tool that the police can use," Wilson said. "It's a lot less severe ticket and offense than a state indecent exposure" arrest.
Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett also supports the measure.
Garnett has already proposed legislation that would make streaking, public urination and other "Pumpkin Run-type behavior" in Colorado a petty offense rather than a class 1 misdemeanor that forces people to register as sex offenders.
If the Legislature passes Garnett's proposal to remove the acts from the state's indecent exposure law and enforce them under its public indecency law, most naked runners and bike riders would face a fine instead.
Garnett said a local ordinance would help give police officers something more appropriate to ticket under.
He quipped that he is "not aware of a pervasive problem of toplessness in Boulder."
DELTONA -- After the birth of his first daughter in 1986, Juan Matamoros decided to party. What he says he did afterward was not uncommon, but it has haunted him and his family for more than 20 years. Matamoros said he had to use the bathroom so badly he stopped to go on the side of the road. The incident landed him in jail and labeled him a sexual offender. It's also forcing the 49-year-old welder, his wife and their two young sons out of their home in Deltona, which last year imposed a strict ordinance on where sexual offenders can live. "It's been a nightmare, let me tell you," Matamoros said from the Volusia County Branch Jail, where he was sent last week for violating probation on a separate charge of cocaine possession with the intent to sell, a felony to which he pleaded no contest last year. Matamoros' troubles began with his arrest on Sept. 28, 1986, in the Boston suburb of Haverhill, Mass. He said he was riding home after bar-hopping with friends and couldn't hold it anymore. They pulled the car over in a residential area, and Matamoros got out and relieved himself. Matamoros said he was doing nothing sexual, just relieving himself. He wasn't alone, though.
Pleaded not guilty Three adults walked by and started screaming at him, he said. Matamoros, who is originally from Cuba, said he blurted an apology in the best English he could manage, scrambled into the car and headed home. Haverhill police arrested Matamoros the next morning, charging him with two counts of "open and gross lewdness," a charge used when a suspect exposes or touches himself with the intent to shock or scare people. Because of the age of the case and Massachusetts' strict laws governing court records, the Orlando Sentinel was unable to obtain records with more details about the incident, such as an arrest report filed by police or court testimony from witnesses.
The city of Deltona, however, provided a brief court docket that showed Matamoros pleaded not guilty to the charges but was convicted and given a 2-year sentence. He served 60 days in jail, followed by counseling and probation. He did not appeal the case. Paul Mishkin, the Boston lawyer who represented Matamoros in 1986, could not recall details of the case this week, but said it was clear the judge considered the incident very serious. "He [Matamoros] told his side of the story to the judge, but clearly there was evidence that made the judge disagree," said Mishkin. "A two-year sentence in this incident is a fairly severe sentence. You'd have to think there's evidence to support that." Sex-offender registration But Matamoros said he didn't do anything lewd and should not face the same restrictions as people who have raped women or molested children. "It was even at nighttime when this happened and I'm a dark man, so I doubt a person could have seen much of me," Matamoros said Thursday from jail. Matamoros was required to register as a sex offender in Massachusetts and later in Florida when he moved to Volusia County. Late last year, he moved into a house on Brady Drive in Deltona near three parks and a child-care facility, unknowingly violating a new ordinance approved by Deltona city officials that prohibits sexual offenders from living within 2,500 feet of schools, bus stops, day-care centers or parks.
Last week, the Volusia County Court found Matamoros guilty of violating the ordinance. He was fined $193 and ordered to move somewhere else by July 1, according to court documents. The court also found that even though he had registered as a sex offender with the state in November, he failed to re-register, as required, in February. Because he was already on probation for the drug charge, Matamoros was sent to jail. Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which has been monitoring residential restrictions for sex offenders, said the organization may get involved in Matamoros' case. George Griffin, chairman of the group's Volusia/Flagler chapter, said he visited the Matamoros family last week. "We are just looking into it to see what the status is and verify some of the information ourselves," Griffin said. Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida ACLU, said Deltona's ordinance -- and many others like it in Florida -- is flawed because it ostracizes all sex offenders, even if they pose no threat to the public. "It's more about exploiting the fear of the community than protecting the community," Simon said. The National Association to Protect Children, which campaigns for protection against child predators, doesn't buy Matamoros' story. The agency's executive director, Grier Weeks, said some sex offenders offer that same explanation -- that they were just relieving themselves. "Massachusetts is not known as a really tough-on-sex-offenders state," Weeks said. "If they locked up a guy for two months, my guess is there's more to the story." Matamoros isn't sure where he is going to move. He said it is unfair he has to leave while others who have been convicted of more serious crimes can stay because they were grandfathered in.
More than 100 sex offenders and four sexual predators reside in Deltona, according to a state database. Those living in the city before the new ordinance was passed are affected only if they move to a new place in the city that is too close to where youngsters gather. Protecting the public Most of the other 12 men Deltona plans to force from their homes have been convicted of crimes against children. Matamoros' wife, Laurie, said the situation has been humiliating. People think the worst of him, she said, because he is lumped in with all sorts of sex offenders. "My husband is a very private person anyway," she said. "For this to be out there this way and people to see him like that, it just tears him up." Deltona Mayor Dennis Mulder, said he initially worried the new residency rule would hurt people who had not abused children. He agreed that many people, especially men, sometimes urinate outdoors, but they usually try to conceal themselves.
But Mulder said he isn't bothered by Matamoros' problem. "Sometimes, although the law can feel unfair and can paint a broad brush," he said, "it's still there to protect the public, and that's what we've done."
If this man is a convicted sex offender, prior to this article, how come he is not on the National registry, or the Connecticut registry? Unless they are misspelling the name? That tends to point that he was not a sex offender. Also, this did not occur AT a bus stop, but near one. I do not know all these details, only what is shown in this article. Why doesn't this idiot go into the house to urinate instead of outside? Idiot!!
TRUMBULL — A convicted sex offender has been charged with exposing himself to three children at a bus stop last week.
Joseph Kallay, 49, of Twitchgrass Road, was charged with disorderly conduct and public indecency. He was released after posting $10,000 bond, pending arraignment Friday in Superior Court.
Three 12-year-old girls had just gotten off the school bus last Wednesday and were walking home on Twitchgrass Road when Kallay emerged from his house, pulled his pants down and began to urinate by the side of his house, police said. He looked up at the girls and they ran down the street, police said.
The girls said their parents had previously told them to be wary of Kallay because he is a convicted sex offender, police said.
Police said they later confronted Kallay, and while he allegedly admitted urinating by the side of his house, he denied exposing himself in front of the girls. He claimed he regularly urinates by the side of his house, police said.
This guy is clearly an idiot. If anybody has more examples of urinating in public and being labeled a sex offender, clue this jerk in. I have one example on my blog, here, and need more examples.
Federal law and the laws of all 50 states require offenders of sexual crimes to register with local law enforcement.
Megan’s Law requires these offenders to provide their criminal history, address, employment information, a photograph and other relevant information on an online registry for the safety of the public.
Sexual offenders appear to me to be the lowest, most pathetic life forms. - You surely know how to show your ignorance don't you.
There has been much debate as to whether these laws are doing more harm than good. Claims that the laws should be reformed because they are overboard and too broad make sense.
People who commit victimless crimes such as peeing in public should not have to register as sexual offenders for the rest of their lives. It is pointless because these people do not pose a threat to society.
The old motto “you do the crime, you pay the time” doesn’t exactly meet my expectations when concerning sexual offenders. People who commit sexual crimes should have to “pay the time,” but should not continue to pay for their crimes after they have served the time unless a victim is involved.
Offenders who are convicted of crimes such as rape, molestation and similar crimes ruin lives and cause permanent damage to their victims. So, I believe these offenders should have to register with local law enforcement. Why should these offenders not suffer permanent damage as well? - Permanent damage? You are wrong. Some yes, if they do not get treatment. I was molested as a young child, and I do not feel ruined for life. I am a survivor. If you pitty yourself and see yourself as a victim, you always will be. Get off your a$$ and become a survivor! I take it you are not a religious person, from your comments. What about a 17 year old who had consensual sex with their 16 year old girlfriend? Or a 4 year old labeled a sex offender for hugging his teacher? Yes, this does and has occurred.
To say that these laws should not be reformed to affect only offenders who commit crimes against people is unfair. - As usual, you are blinded with hate and did not read and listen to what Human Rights Watch said, did you. Go back and read it again. I guarantee when you or someone you love it labeled a sex offender, you will see where they and others are coming from. Once a person does their time, leave them the hell alone....
If you were arrested for peeing outside during a party and had to register as a sexual offender for the rest of your life you would feel that the law is unjust. So why do we have these laws? - They were made in knee-jerk fashion to a couple high profile cases to protect society from HIGH-RISK offenders like John Couey, who begged and begged and begged for treatment. If they would've got him the treatment he wanted, Jessica Lunsford would still be here today, so society and the injustice system failed Mark and Jessica Lunsford.
These laws are implemented to protect children and the general public from sexual predators. Someone who pees in public doesn’t seem like a predator to me. - I agree, but even for predators, do you really think a predator is going to obey a law just because it's on the books? If they are a predator, then you can bet NO LAW will protect anybody. When will people ever realize no matter how tough on crime, all the zero tolerance, all the registries in the world will not prevent a murderer from murdering, a thief from stealing, a dealer from dealing, a user from using, a rapist from raping....accusations on any sex crime, child abuse, or domestic violence will literally nail your butt to the wall! No DNA has to be present, No violence has to be present..... HEARSAY ALONE IS LITERALLY NAILING THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TO THE WALL BECAUSE THESE LAWS ARE BIASED.
The good news is sex crimes against children have dropped dramatically in the last decade, according to a USA Today report. Law enforcement officials are normally able to predict which offenders will repeat similar crimes. - Do you always believe what the news or politicians says? Why don't you look up some statistics and what experts are saying. I don't think USA Today are experts on sex offenders. Sex crimes have been around since the dawn of time, and I think they are just saying this so people will think "Hey, the sex offender laws are working!" Just so they can continue to torture people who are NOT a threat.
Some states have laws that forbid offenders of violent sex crimes to live within a certain proximity of schools, day care centers and other childcare facilities. These laws are not only just, but fair. The offenders and their crimes are justly made public on an online registry. - Just and fair? How? Have you read the United States Constitution? They violate rights my friend. If the constitution means nothing to everyone, why don't we just become another Nazi country, bust open the concentration camps and fire up the ovens. Do you think a buffer zone is going to protect you from a true predator? It could be 50 or 100 miles and still would not protect you from someone who was intent on committing another crime. 90% of the offenders are trying their damnedest to obey the laws, but they keep on and on with passing more and more laws to make you "feel safe" and them to "look good" for more votes.
Some say that forcing sexual offenders to live with a designated distance from child care facilities is unjust because it forces them to move away from their families and relocate to areas that are inconvenient. - Yep, very true. Unconstitutional! You have apparently no clue as to what the Constitution says, do you? I thought this was taught in school, in history class? Guess not.
Some also say that forcing offenders to register online is unjust because it draws unwanted attention and causes harassment. This may be true, but the fact is these people are made public so that parents can protect their children and know where sexual offenders live. If a sexual offender lives in your neighborhood, wouldn’t you want to know where they live before letting your child or sibling go out to trick-or-treat? - How would you like to be on a registry, similar to what the Nazi's did in WWII and be faced with daily harassment, vigilantes, beatings, etc? I'm sure if you were getting your a$$ kicked every day, you would eventually fight back. You even say it's true above, yet you condone it. You are one sick puppy!! What group of despised people will be next? Blacks? Mexicans? Muslims? Who? What about murderers, gang members, drug dealers/users, DUI offenders? I think they kill more people per year than anybody else.
It makes sense to force offenders of violent sexual crimes to register on the online registry, but forcing a person who peed in public to register just seems unreasonable. - How does it make sense? How does it protect you? How come nobody ever answers this? If you think a registry, buffer zone or anything else will protect you, you are living in a fairytale!
It doesn’t look like reforming the sex crime laws is going to happen any time soon because it appears that the only thing that scares Americans more than sexual offenders is terrorism. - Ok, so why don't we have a terrorist registry, murderer registry, etc? Why not just put all CRIMINALS on a registry and be done with it? Do you have a criminal record?
The best way to be safe is to be informed. - No matter how informed or what you do, you will not be safe from a true predator, murderer, serial killer, DUI offender, or anybody else. Wake up, you are in a bad dream my friend!
And FamilyWatchDog says this doesn't happen. Well, they are wrong, and this is one example to prove they are.
CONCORD --A New Hampshire lawmaker says peeing in public exposes a flaw in the law.
Strange as it sounds, Democratic Rep. Stephen Shurtleff says making public urination a separate crime could really help people out.
Currently, there is no state law specifically addressing public urination; it's prosecuted under a patchwork of local and state laws, indecent exposure among them.
Shurtleff says because indecent exposure is a sex offense, multiple convictions could land habitual public urinators on a sex offender registry, a penalty he feels is too severe for the crime.
"I think some of the stigma attached to that is greater than the offense," he said. "It's public urination and they should be charged with it."
A member of the House Judiciary Committee, Shurtleff, of Concord, is working to rewrite New Hampshire's sex offender laws to comply with new federal law. Under federal law, those convicted of indecent exposure twice in three years would be forced to register as sex offenders.
Shurtleff said in the upcoming legislative session he will push for a law making public urination a misdemeanor.
And FamilyWatchDog says this doesn't happen. Just shows you, they do not know what they are talking about.
17-year-old may have to register as sex offender, if convicted
It's no official holiday, but a number of students at Boulder High School will be celebrating "Free Mason" day today.
Mason Lacy, a 17-year-old senior and the impromptu holiday's namesake, will not be in attendance.
Instead, he'll be at home doing manual labor for the fifth day in a row as punishment for his five-day suspension from school for attempting to streak naked across the football field during the annual Boulder High-Fairview game last week.
Lacy received a ticket for indecent exposure Sept. 20 after he attempted to sprint across the field wearing only racing flats and some purple body paint. His plan was foiled by security guards, who caught him hopping over the field's fence and held him until police arrived.
"I didn't think anyone would be able to catch me, or want to grab onto a naked person," Lacy said. "They proved me wrong."
After sitting in the back of a patrol car sporting a makeshift skirt officers fashioned from Scotch tape and napkins, Lacy was told that he may have to register as a sex offender.
That's because indecent exposure is a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to a year-and-a-half in jail and possible sex offender registration. That's not something Lacy or his parents ever expected to hear.
"If my son breaks a law, there are consequences," Gary Lacy said. "We don't want to be in the way of any fair sanctioning, but it just feels like maybe ... this seems a little bit out of balance compared to other things."
Gary Lacy said he learned that some students at the same game who were busted for fighting and being intoxicated were suspended for three days, as opposed to his son's week-long abeyance from classes.
"That seems a little out of whack," Gary Lacy said.
Students at the school also are blown away by the prospect that the annual tradition at the match-up between Boulder's rival high schools is such a serious crime.
"It was not at all sexually offensive to anyone," said Alena Heath, a 17-year-old senior at Boulder High. "If anyone was offended, it must have been a parent." - No, it's the wide net these sex offender laws have created. Young children are being caught in these very nets daily!
Phoebe Breed, a 17-year-old senior, chimed in: "Plus, they're so far away you can't see anything anyway."
Lacy's ticket and subsequent suspension has been a major topic of conversation in school hallways. A Facebook.com page dedicated to Lacy has attracted 220 members, many displaying their "Free Mason" T-shirts they plan to wear to school today.
"I think it's a little too extreme, and he got stopped at the fence so he didn't even do anything," said Andy Kearney, a 16-year-old junior.
As of June, of the 96 registered sex offenders in Boulder, there are 16 people who were convicted of indecent exposure. - More proof FamilyWatchDog doesn't know what they are talking about.
Mark Langston, a local defense attorney with no ties to Lacy's case, said he is perplexed why lawmakers deemed indecent exposure — defined as when someone "knowingly exposes his genitals to the view of any person under circumstances in which such conduct is likely to cause affront or alarm to the other person" — to be a sexual offense.
"The word sex doesn't appear anywhere in the statute, and you don't have to engage in any conduct that is sexual or sexually motivated to not only be charged but convicted," Langston said. "And if convicted, you're a sex offender and classified the same as those who commit sex offenses." - You are in the same boar as people like John Couey. And yes, that is wrong! This is what you get when public officials react in knee-jerk fashion, and the public is all for it. Yet when their own child is caught in the net they helped pass, they scream and shout. Now you know why myself and others have been screaming about these laws, and everyone thinks we do not know what we are talking about. Well, this proves my point!
Lacy, a 4.0 student and member of the cross-country team, will be in juvenile court on Oct. 19. The judge can waive the sex-offender registration requirement even if Lacy is convicted, because the law allows exceptions for indecent exposure charges if the defendant is younger than 18 and hasn't previously been charged with a criminal sexual behavior.
Janine D'Anniballe, executive director of Boulder's Moving to End Sexual Assault, said she doesn't believe the intent of the legislature was to have activities like streaking lumped together with sexual offenses.
"It's unfortunate really," D'Anniballe said. "I think, overall, the law to register as a sex offender and when people are found guilty of sex crimes is a good thing. ... I wouldn't want a case like this to dilute the bigger purpose."
TOOLING down Farm Road 442 in Wharton County you could easily zoom right past it. A sign peaks out from the roadside foliage, but the print is small and hardly clues you to what lies beyond the metal swinging gate, which won't open until you honk your horn and get a visual once-over by a guy in a golf cart.
The gate swings open onto a bucolic strip of land where cicadas drone rhythmically in towering oaks and tree branches cast dappled, green-tinged light on tidy clusters of mobile homes. Even in the sizzling July heat it's a soothing, pastoral tableau, a scene straight out of a Horton Foote movie.
Except, of course, everyone's naked.
A decidedly rotund gent strolls along an unpaved road toward the bathhouse, a nonchalantly tossed towel obscuring only part of his substantial backside. By the pool, a nude, middle-age woman reclines on a lounge chair, engrossed in a recent issue of Family Circle magazine. Swimmers float languorously in the pool, a mélange of beige, brown and bronze skins. A silverhaired grandpa in tennis shoes and fishing hat (that's all) contentedly watches as a group of equally unclothed folks play volleyball in a nearby sand pit.
"The great thing about nudism,"he says in hoary, croaked tones, "is you don't have to deal with a wet, soggy bathing suit."
You've just entered Natural Horisun Inc. (NHI), a nudist camp about an hour's ride from Houston and right on top of a purported groundswell of interest in nudism in America. It's an interest growing not among the usual suspects --hippies, pagans, New Agers, swingers, and, of course, Californians -- but among ordinary, mow-the-lawn-on-Sunday Americans, say those who cater to the nude and "clothing-optional" recreation market. It is a market estimated by Forbes magazine to be a $120 million a year gold mine.
According to the Florida-based American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), the largest and oldest nudist organization in the nation, 19 new nudist resorts have sprouted in 13 states since February 1995, six of them in Texas, bringing the number of AANR-authorized clubs to more than 200. In recent years AANR ranks have swelled to almost 50,000 members, double that of just a decade ago. Not all clubs and camps belong to the organization, so AANR membership could be just the tip of the iceberg.
In true capitalist form, an entire nude leisure industry has responded. Those who want to doff their duds can now do so at nudist bed and breakfasts, nudist RV parks, nudist retirement communities, nudist resorts, sanctioned nude beaches and on nude cruises. There's even a nude parent-toddler day camp in California and a newsletter for Christian nudists called Fig Leaf Forum.
Who are all these people, and why are they taking their clothes off?
"I think our longtime attempt at making people comfortable with their bodies is finally paying off,"says Leonite Moore, owner of a nudist resort in Tulsa, Okla., and president of AANR, which used to call itself the American Sunbathing Association (ASA) until the ozone hole rendered that moniker politically incorrect. (These days, even ardent nudists rely on sunblock.)
Laying the groundwork for it all has been a dramatic shift in American consciousness toward more acceptance of public nudity.
"You can see it in the conventional world of fashion, where our underwear have come out from under,"says Bill Simon, professor of sociology at the University of Houston. Time was, he says, when movies got banned if they showed "too much cleavage;" nowadays, we have Kate Moss posing topless in mainstream magazines and Jimmy Smits baring his buns on NYPD Blue. All this eroticization in the marketplace has led, strangely, to a sort of "de-eroticization" of the human body, says Simon, which, in turn, has loosened taboos.
One other undeniable factor behind a rise in new apostles is a nudism subculture flourishing on the Internet, which allows the curious to investigate nudism at a safe, anonymous distance.
What they discover, say proponents, is that nudism is not about sex at all. What it's about is families and sunshine and relaxation and freedom and accepting your body, no matter what it looks like.
"Nude is natural," says Moore, a 58-year-old wife, grandmother and longtime nudist. "When you take your clothes off, you become mutually vulnerable, and when that happens you become mutually accepting. You've just lost your facade, your pecking order, your social status. You stand as the human being you are."
Nudism is particularly freeing for women, Moore adds.
"You realize that Playboy has been lying to us," she says. "There are very few `10s' out there. We all have warts, moles, folds, stretchmarks, scars, and the beauty of it is that (in nudism) nobody cares."
Nudism, especially on beaches, has long been commonplace in Europe, where whole families gallivant in the buff, says Nancy Tiemann, owner of Bare Necessities, an Austin travel agency that specializes in upscale nude cruises. Because of our tightlaced Puritan past, she says, Americans automatically equate nakedness with shame and sex.
"But nudism is not sexy," says Tiemann. "What's sexy are thongs, bikinis, wet T-shirts, the types of things that leave something to the imagination. That doesn't mean nudists check their sensuality at the door, but this ain't about sex."
When she started her agency in 1991, cruise lines were reluctant to handle her clientele; today, they call her. Her cruises regularly book up months in advance, and almost always sell out. About 30 percent of her clients are going nude for the first time, she says.
During the second week of July, the AANR held National Nude Recreation Week, an annual effort to raise public awareness about nudism, or "naturism," as it's sometimes referred to. Clubs like NHI opened their doors to initiates -- or "cottontails," as they're called, for their untanned derrieres -- so they could experience firsthand the joys of nudism.
The rules are simple: Always keep a towel at hand for hygiene purposes (it's considered bad form to sit bare-buttocked on a beach chair). And be friendly -- no public lewdness, intoxication, leering, vulgar talk or other inappropriate behavior.
Most folks stay on their best behavior, a fact borne out by the Wharton County Sheriff's Department.
"We've never gotten any calls to go out there," says dispatcher Tammy Rome. "It's just been really quiet."
Reclining three lounge chairs down from the silverhaired grandpa is a young woman named Cindy, also watching the volleyball match. She and her husband usually bring their two daughters, ages 7 and 11, on weekend jaunts to NHI, but this time both girls had other engagements.
"I'm hoping that as teen-agers they won't have as much curiosity to experiment because they'll have seen, they'll know," she says.
Some fear nudist camps, especially those that draw families with children, serve as magnates for pedophiles. Moore says nudists are ever-vigilant to the potential problem of voyeurs or other unsavory characters, and will eject suspicious types at the merest hint of impropriety. Children are rarely alone.
"Our antennae are up, and I suspect we probably catch on faster than other groups because we're not quite as trusting of first-timers and visitors. This is an extended family environment, and we're going to protect ourselves."
· · ·
They're standing three deep at the pasta bar inside Ryan's Family Steakhouse in Clear Lake, a burg fairly roiling in middle-class normalcy. It's Friday evening, in the heat of the dinner rush. A handful of members of Healthy Hides of Houston (HHH), a private nudist club, are walking with their trays to a back table, away from the din of a main dining room.
They all have clothes on.
This is their monthly social, a chance for prospective members to size them up in a "non-threatening"situation, and a chance for them to screen potential members. A separate social is held each month in the Galleria area. If novices pass this first meeting, they're invited to a nude party in one of the member's homes. After a second party, members usually have a pretty good bead on a newcomer's motives, says Liz, the group's president.
She is a Rubenesque woman, with long, hippie hair and an open face. A moral's clause in her government job contract prevents her from giving her last name, although there's nothing immoral about nudism, she says. Yes, there are groups out there who use nudism as a front for mate-swapping, so you have to be careful, but Healthy Hides isn't one of them.
HH members are encouraged to keep healthy habits, at least at the monthly get-togethers.
"How many adult parties can you go to where there's no smoking or drinking?" says Rock, a tall, portly man with a modified Elvis pompadour and a rascally gleam in his eye, who sits across from his full-figured wife of 25 years.
HHH, which has about 70 members, is what's known as a travel club: Members meet in each other's homes, for pot lucks and pool parties, but don't own memberships to private camps. Landed clubs, on the other hand, own land at private campgrounds, where members pay dues of around $300 a year and up. There are also sanctioned nude beaches -- such as the legendary Hippie Hollow in Austin -- and unsanctioned beaches, where you go buff at your own risk, such as a stretch of Bolivar Beach. Private and sanctioned nude areas are legal in Texas, but some states are trying to pass anti-nudity legislation.
The HHH socials, they say, offer "textiles" (what nudists call those who wear clothes) a chance to see what real nudists look like (everyone else) and to find out why they do it.
Liz, being single, is something of a rarity in the nudist world: Most women take it off at the urging of a boyfriend or husband. A shortage of single females is a problem, says Liz, and stems from the misconception among women that they'll be ogled or sexually solicited at nude venues. The AANR is trying to remedy the shortage by stressing the safety of nudist environments.
Single males are closely watched at nudist gatherings, says Liz. This prompts a computer consultant named Darrell, also single, to grouse that single males are discriminated against in the nudist world. Men traveling solo often can't get into campgrounds unless they have a recommendation, an AANR card or are accompanied by a single female, he says.
The HHH membership roster is heavy with engineers and computer types. An AANR survey says 92 percent of nudists are 35 or older, most have college degrees, 60 percent are married and almost half make more than $50,000 per year. AANR brochures exclusively feature white people. But it's not elitist, insists Liz.
"Without artificial costuming, everyone drops their pretensions,"she says. "Nudism is called the Great Leveler."
"There are no class distinctions,"says Darrell.
"And it's easy to dress for," says Rock, his eyes twinkling.
· · ·
Some nudists live the clothing-free lifestyle year-round. They cluster in nudist communities (nudists hate the term "colonies") situated in leafy, off-the beaten-path idylls, where residents tend to their gardens, feed their dogs, play Bingo in the recreation hall and in general lead normal lives, sans benefit of cotton or polyester fibers. Most are retirees. Full-time nudists who still work commute into the textile world each day, where they shrug into neckties and pantyhose on a strictly nine-to-five basis.
A mini-movement within the larger naturist movement: Nudists who telecommute from home, an arrangement that lets them conduct business over the information superhighway without donning so much as a tattered bathrobe.
But most treat nudism as a hobby, taking nude vacations and going to nudist resorts on weekends, but living as textiles the rest of the time.
Then there are those like Michelle (not her real name) and her husband, who live undetected amongst their clothed neighbors but who remain committed nudists inside the walls of their own home. Folks strolling past her upscale home's landscaped exterior would never guess those inside were purposefully going about in the altogether. That's the way Michelle plans to keep it, she says -- at least until public attitudes about nudism change. In the past she's tried to broach the topic with other women in her north Houston subdivision, only to be met with reactions that ranged from disbelief to scorn to outright disgust.
"There's so much pressure on women about their bodies that going naked is very scary," she reasons.
She's been into nudism for a decade, after first learning about it from a platonic male friend she met at her apartment complex pool. Like most, she was skeptical. But on a Club Med vacation to St. Martinique she thought, what the heck, why not give the nude beach a try? A standard saying in nudism is the first few minutes are the hardest.
"The first time I stood up," recalls Michelle, "it felt a little uncomfortable."
After realizing no one was watching her, however, she started to like it. She liked it so much, in fact, she traveled with the male friend to Paradise Lakes, a full-scale nudist community in Tampa, complete with homes, discos, restaurants.
But back home, she's decided to keep mum, and not just for fear of becoming a target of neighborhood gossip. Like many nudists, she worries going public would have career repercussions for herself and her husband, both highly credentialed professionals in competitive fields. She also fears knowledge of her family's nudism would turn her children into social outcasts. One neighborhood mother, privy to the family's lifestyle, voiced concern that Michelle might parade around naked while her young daughter was over playing.
"I told her of course I wouldn't,"says Michelle, today dressed in shorts and a T-shirt out of courtesy to a visitor and to a Spanish-speaking nanny, who sits nearby rocking the family's newest addition, an infant daughter. Portraits of a 3-year-old son (clothed) adorn the living room walls.
Raising nudist children in a non-nudist world poses certain problems, Michelle has discovered. Most children are natural nudists, having not yet acquired society's taboos against nakedness. The tricky part is explaining to them why they must keep the family's nudism a secret. It is, after all, supposed to be a philosophy based on honesty and acceptance.
"It would be great to be open to the whole world, but the fact is we live in a neighborhood, and I don't want my children to suffer," she says.
Michelle echoes other nudist parents who say they won't push nudism on their children as they grow up. If her kids reach an age where they feel funny about disrobing, a common occurrence around puberty, says Michelle, that's fine. (Many camps, acknowledging teen-age modesty, offer activities accordingly.)
If her children decide they don't want to be nudists when they grow up, that's fine, too. But youngsters raised with nudism have a more easy-going attitude than those brought up the standard way, believes Michelle. Most child-development experts say being naked in front of your offspring after a certain age is a bad idea, but Michelle says that's only true if kids aren't raised with nudism. If they are, nakedness around the house becomes a given.
And with that nonchalance comes an acceptance of the ordinary human form that is lacking in today's supermodel-obsessed society, she says. She hopes nudism will help her son grow up to be a man who respects women for who they are, not for their measurements; she hopes it will help her daughter gain a healthy respect for her body in a culture where countless young women fall prey to constant dieting, bulimia and anorexia.
"I look at pictures of myself in scrapbooks when I was younger, when I always thought I was fat, and I think of all the years I wasted worrying about my body," she says. "I know now, of course, that I was just fine. It's a real shame."
· · ·
The telephone rings in the office of Castaways Travel, a north Houston-area travel agency specializing exclusively in nude and clothing-optional vacations.
The call comes in over the agency's dedicated nude line. A woman named Champagne picks up the phone. That's not her real name, just the one she uses to answer the nude line, so callers will know they've reached the right place. A separate telephone line services the conventional travel agency of a different name she and her spouse also operate out of this strip center.
The caller is a man named Moses from San Antonio. He's full of questions. He wants to know if they book nude group trips specifically for singles. (Most are for couples, she says.) He wants to know the average age of those going on nude trips.
"Around 40," says Champagne, fortyish.
She arranges to send him some brochures. A few minutes later, the nude line rings again. This time, it's a man calling from the small, west Texas town of Paducah.
He has questions, too. Yes, he wants Champagne to mail him some brochures, but would she please send them in "a plain, brown envelope." He has three nosy kids, and he doesn't want them tearing into any package full of nudist brochures.
"Sure, no problem, a brown, paper envelope," Champagne says into the receiver, smiling.
"This is the kind of call we're getting constantly," she says after she hangs up. "We get calls from all over the country, from people who say they wouldn't dare go through their own travel agent."
Her husband sits across from her in the cluttered office and chimes in: "There are a lot of closet nudists out there, a lot of wannabe nudists."
Since going online with Castaways Travel 1½ years ago, they've been flooded with anonymous inquiries about their nude services, e-mails that often result in expensive vacations.
But the two do more than book flights and charter cruises. Nudists themselves, James (his real name) and Champagne (her favored drink, she says) often go along on trips, acting as den parents, if you will, to first-timers. They just returned from a trip to Hedonism, a nude resort in Jamaica, where they took 50 in-the-buff vacationers, 80 percent of whom first contacted Castaways Travel through the Internet. Most had never disrobed in public before.
"We're really more like consultants or counselors," says James, in a calm, smooth-as-mocha voice. "When people go the first time they sometimes want someone there to hold their hand."
Four years ago their first customer came in asking if they knew anything about "topless beaches."More customers asked. They arranged a few trips. They started advertising in the Bulletin, the newspaper of the Southwest Sunbathers Association (SWSA). They went digital.
Today the nude niche comprises a quarter of their business, and has forced them to hire more staff. They book trips to such lush destinations as Eden Bay in the Dominican Republic, Club Paradise in Tampa and even Cap D'Agde in France, a whole city dedicated to nudism. But while James and Champagne may be near-famous in the underground nude network, they keep their identities a secret in the business world. Both are big Chamber of Commerce types; they're afraid coming clean could jeopardize their standing.
Castaways Travel is an adults-only enterprise that has a distinct hipster feel to it, but Champagne insists she and her mate aren't in the business of arranging open-air orgies. Nudism is not about sex, she says. She tried explaining this about a year ago on a local radio show, where two male disc jockeys are notorious for their bathroom-level humor, usually involving parts of the female anatomy.
"They were determined to make something out of it that it's not," she says, grimacing slightly at the memory. "You really have no idea until you try it."
Editors Note: Newspapers, Time magazine and television talk shows have had a field day with a Florida Congressman's attack on a nude summer camp in Lutz, just north of Tampa.
Two weeks ago, conservative Republican Mark Foley -- who is gearing up for a tough U.S. Senate race next year, and who has admitted he wants to shift attention from undisputed recent news reports that he's gay -- attacked the camp as immoral, a possible haven for pedophiles, sex-crazed teenagers and perverts.
No matter that the summer camps, as well as other family nudist activities, have been operating for years; or that other conservative politicians, less skittish about their own sexual secrets, have seen nothing wrong with them. The camp organizers and their national organization are now in a media spotlight, and on the defensive.
As it happens, only three news organizations actually attended last month's youth camp at Lake Como Family Nudist Resort: the New York Times, Time, and us.
Here's our eyewitness report.
Lake Como Family Nudist Resort is a slice of old Florida. Wood-frame rental cabins, recycled from World War II-era barracks, overlook a small lake lined with cypress trees. Across a gravel road, rows of mobile homes look as if they haven't left their moorings in decades. In winter and early spring, the RV section is nearly always full. There are volleyball courts, of course, and a small sandy beach with a few sailboats, a swimming pool, an unimposing clubhouse, a screened-in "Butt Hut" down by the lake with a bar and a newer athletic complex with well-groomed Har-Tru tennis courts.This rustic setting, on 200 acres just north of the Hillsborough County line, may remind baby boomers of the homespun vacation spots they visited as children, before the advent of theme parks and time-shares.
A first-time visitor to Lake Como during the week will find that everything you've heard is true about nudist resorts. It isn't that visually stimulating. Sagging bellies, mottled buttocks and varicose veins far outnumber the fit and the nubile. Which is fine. For the whole point of nudism is to be comfortable in your own bare skin, without shame or self-consciousness.
Generations of families have come to Lake Como, which claims to be the oldest nudist resort in Florida, formally organized in 1947. It is run today as a co-op, with 100 equal shareholders.
Grandparents and children share the space still. On a mandatory tour of the premises that all visitors must take (so that park leaders can size up the attitude of potential guests), one encountered a trio of girls, ages roughly 8 to 14, walking toward the clubhouse for ice cream. Only an outsider would find this remarkable: Except for tennis shoes and towels draped over their shoulders, the three girls were as naked as the day they were born.
The wide open space of Lake Como is one reason why the American Association for Nude Recreation youth camps have settled here, rather than at one of the posher resorts like nearby Paradise Lakes, which has condominiums and a disco.
In mid-June, more than two dozen campers pitched their tents in an open field apart from the rest of the resort, where they were monitored 24/7 by chaperones. As with any other youth camp, they had campfires and games, discussion groups and talent shows.
Most of these kids have always been nudists. Their families are nudists, so they find nothing strange about running around with their friends in the buff. In fact, it would be stranger if these kids were made to wear clothes in this rural setting. For them, nudity is completely natural, evoking no thoughts of indecency. And the camp teaches unprejudiced values that would make most Christian preachers proud.
Take George and Debbie Jeffries from Alabama, who drove eight hours just to bring their 13-year-old daughter Jane to Lake Como. On the last night of camp, they were waiting in line to enter the clubhouse, where there would be dinner and a talent show put on by the campers, as well as an award ceremony honoring some of the campers for their special achievements. They each had a towel draped over their shoulders, a requirement since nudist etiquette dictates that you sit on a towel, wherever you sit.
"Jane's been coming to nudist resorts all her life," said Debbie, a retired doctor who practiced family medicine for many years. "She's been to Girl Scout camp, but she likes this much better. It's a big thing for her, and she really gets excited. We have three daughters and they've all been raised as nudists."
"I really like it because I'm able to see people my own age," said Jane. "At the camp we usually go to on weekends there are no kids my age, but here I have friends, and I make new ones."
"We like it for the people," said George. "Right now we're staying at Paradise Lake, which is right next door, so Jane can do her thing with the kids. We're just here tonight for the talent show and award ceremony."
About 200 people had joined them -- parents and grandparents, residents of Lake Como and Paradise Lakes. The kids bustled to and fro with the traditional camp dinner-paper plates of (what else?) spaghetti, Italian bread and salad. The boys wore aprons while they served, and the young ladies wore sarongs, or pareos as most of the crowd calls them. These colorful cloth wraps worn in the Pacific islands are popular with the women. At dinner, some people were fully dressed; others wore T-shirts or beach jackets, and some were completely nude. It was a free world here, as long as you had your towel.
Some of the campers scampered around "backstage," making sure everything was ready for the big show. The makeshift curtain was decorated with colorful stenciled pictures of blue dolphins, pink hands and dancing people. Multi-colored Christmas lights ringed the area and the tables were decorated with paper flower centerpieces. The atmosphere was typical for a summer camp. The kids were excited. During dinner, one small child in a pink and white pareo -- obviously too young to attend the camp (you must be eleven) -- danced alone, turned cartwheels and plainly wished she could be part of the official entertainment.
Backstage, Jenny, who at age eleven was attending her first camp, took time to talk. She was dressed in the evening's tropical theme, wrapped in a colorful pareo and sporting a flower behind her ear. She also wore a pink armband to signify she would talk to the press, but only in the presence of Susan Weaver, the public relations chairperson for the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR). Weaver said the group is very protective of the youngsters. They didn't want anyone bothering them or asking them inappropriate questions.
"I've been a nudist for about four years," Jenny said. "I've been coming here with my parents, but this is the first time I've come to camp because now I'm 11. I like it because I get to hang out with other kids my age."
But, she added, she tells only her "very best friend" about coming to Lake Como. At her age, many children would misunderstand, and though Jenny enjoys being a nudist, the teasing at home would most likely be cruel.
Eighteen-year-old Amanda, however, was an old hand at the summer camp. She looks forward to it every year, she said. This year she's going on to White Tail Park in Virginia, where her grandfather, long-time nudist Bill Williamson, will be director of the first Junior AANR camp held there.
"I love to come," Amanda said. "My grandfather, my parents and me -- we're all nudists. My brother and sister are too. My brother would be here, in fact he intended to come this year, but he had an accident and burned himself."
Amanda's older sister used to come, but she's a young mother now and busy with her new baby so she doesn't have time. But Amanda herself said she was looking forward to becoming a camp counselor. Next year she can attend "Nude U," for those 18 to 25. Those campers help the adult counselors with the younger groups, the Junior Florida Association of Nude Recreation (JFANR) Exploration Camp, for ages 11-15, and the JFANR Leadership Academy for ages 16-18.
Amanda gave a straightforward explanation of what she's learned at the camp over the years.
"People here don't judge me by my clothes," she said. "When we're in school, everybody looks at your clothes. They want to see what brands you're wearing. Here at camp they just see me, and they get to know me. If you don't wear the right clothes, some people don't want to know you."
'I don't mind if anyone knows I'm a nudist. I don't hide it from anyone. Back home in Alabama I do volunteer work, and I work part-time at a funeral home, and they all know," she said. "It's so hot down here, I'm really glad I don't have to wear clothes. I don't see how anyone can wear clothes in Florida. Yesterday we went on a field trip in the van, and it was so hot we all wanted to take our clothes off."But that's a big no-no. The youngsters at the camp are strictly supervised. Anytime they leave the grounds of Lake Como, counselors go with them, and everyone must wear clothing that is not provocative. A list of camp rules includes stringent instructions to both campers and counselors. And they are just as strict -- perhaps more strict -- than ordinary summer camps. Counselors and staff members are not to be left alone with kids. Two adults are required, preferably one male and one female, to stay with kids who are ill. There is no touching by campers to counselors or staff and no cruelty or battery is tolerated towards counselors/staff. Counselors must follow the same rules as campers. The list goes on, noting all the regulations set out by FANR.
"We really protect our kids," said Susan Weaver. "This is one of three youth camps around the U.S. right now. This is the oldest one, started 11 years ago. There is one in Virginia at White Tail, and one in Arizona at Shangri-La. The youth themselves put the curriculum together, and it's all about empowerment."
The program has "really evolved," Weaver went on. "It used to be just crafts and games, but as the kids grew older, they wanted more. Now they learn a lot about leadership skills, like writing resumes and essays, and how to do interviews. Judy Grisham, who is a traveling nurse, helped a lot with the camp's evolution.
"In years past, mothers often didn't talk about the changes a teen's body goes through. Now we have classes in body changes and body maintenance. The older girls discuss these things with the younger girls, and the boys also have discussions. Then they come back together and tell each other what they learned. It helps settle the uncertainty teens have with their bodies at this age. For the younger ones entering puberty, it teaches them what to expect."
This candid approach prevails among nudists. As a family activity, these children are used to seeing all types of bodies, both young and old. They see the physical changes as people age, and they understand that it's a natural part of life. Their parents believe they're better for it, because they are not superficial or judgmental.
After directing the Lake Como youth camp, Judy Grisham went on to Virginia to work as a counselor at White Tail Park, a family nudist resort not far from Washington D.C. She talked by phone one early evening, surrounded by campers playing a rousing game of capture the flag. There were periodic interruptions, while she listened and tried to respond to the kids at the same time. ("I don't have the bug spray," she hollered. "Just sit down, honey, I'll be with you in a minute.")
Grisham said she's been a nudist for years and raised her family that way.
"I bring a mother and grandmother approach to the camp," she said. "I know what teens go through. This is a healthy environment that promotes a healthy interaction between peers. The youth camps have been going on in Florida for 11 years, and I've been involved since 1999. My husband was president of FANR (Florida Association for Nude Recreation) so I wanted to work with the kids. I'm a licensed registered nurse, and I've worked with muscular dystrophy camps, Girl Scout camps and church camps. I'm Lutheran, and my husband was a Lutheran minister.
"The first FANR youth camps were only for kids up to age 18, but some of those kids wanted to stay with the camp. So in 2000, I went to the board and we invented "Nude U," for ages 18 to 25. They provide leadership and act as counselors for the younger campers. This is the first time for this camp here at White Tail, sponsored by AANR East. We have 23 campers, and 19 are juniors."
And they really protect the kids. "We never leave the kids alone," Grisham said. "There's always a male and female counselor with them at all times. Only our staff is allowed in the camp area, and they're all banded. We also do background checks on all the counselors, even ones who have been with the camps before. And it's all volunteer. Most of us like to spend our vacations this way. My hat's off to all the counselors. At the end of July there's a youth camp at Shangri-La Ranch in Arizona sponsored by AANR West, and next year they plan on opening one in Texas."
At the talent show, it was obvious that the kids were not shy about their bodies. Called "The Sunny and Bare Show," it used just about every old wheeze you've ever seen at a camp show. One girl sat on the floor in front of the stage with cue cards for the performers. She also had signs reading "Applause," for the audience. Some of the kids knew their lines, while others needed to read the cards, although most became so giggly they were unable to read. The first act, called "Lords of the Ballet," involved four young men wrapped in sarongs from the waist down. They leapt from behind the curtain to do a ridiculous ballet, complete with pirouettes. Two wore silly wigs, which the other two tried to grab as they twirled around the stage. The whole dance broke down as sarongs went awry and other mishaps occurred. One lift ended with the dancer falling down, laughing, and the ballet concluded with all four leap-frogging off the stage. The audience was helpless with laughter.
The rest of the show was as light-hearted. There was karaoke, more dancing, lots of nudist jokes. A young man played "Orange Blossom Special" on his fiddle, and the whole group sang a parody of "This Land Is Your Land," with a new set of words:
There were no Polo's, there were no Nike's
No DKNY's, FUBU or Tommy's
No Armani's, only our birthday suits,
This land was made nude and free.
The only thing missing was the ever-popular Three Stooges-style skit where an operation happens behind a back-lit sheet and the audience sees the surgeon in silhouette, using saws and other strange instruments while the patient usually howls.
Always a favorite at Scout camps.
Europeans first took up nudism, or naturism as it was more properly called, at the turn of the 20th century. In 1903, a group of Germans founded Freilichtpark (Free Light Park) in Lubeck, Germany, to promote a healthy Spartan lifestyle of vegetarianism, daily outdoor exercise and sunbathing au naturel. Raw foods formed the major diet as these Europeans rebelled against the pollution brought about by the Industrial Revolution. By getting away from the cities and into a rural setting, they went "back to nature," frolicking naked and without sin, comparing their lives to Adam and Eve. Many called themselves Adamites, after a medieval religious sect that wanted to return to the state of bliss enjoyed in the Garden of Eden. These German health enthusiasts brought the lifestyle to more puritanical America a few years later, where there were a few arrests before a New York court ruled social nudity between men and women was permissible as long as it was not lewd. Soon health aficionados embraced the nudist movement and by the 1920s and '30s, resorts were springing up around the U.S. The AANR was founded in 1931. By the mid-1930s, nearly eighty nudist camps were spread across the country. Most followed the healthy regimen and philosophy devised by the earlier nudists. That has changed over time, but still the majority of camps are family nudist resorts that stress healthy values. Today there are 259 clubs that belong to AANR alone, and all welcome families. In Florida there are 9,000 AANR members, giving the state enough to have its own regional association, while in AANR East, which encompasses 20 states, there are 13,000 members.
In Pasco County there are seven resorts, making it the epicenter of nudism in the United States. According to Mary Jane Stanley of the Pasco County Economic Development Council, Paradise Lakes Resort, a clothing optional resort that abuts Lake Como, is the second largest generator of tourist tax in Pasco. She said it is very popular with the county government.
"It's a self-contained community," said Stanley. "They have their own water, they maintain their own roads, and they pay property and tourist taxes. They have a 70-room hotel and upscale restaurants, and they do a lot of civic work and they belong to the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce."
At the Pasco County Board of Tourism, Diane Jones said the resorts are a positive contributor to Pasco's economy because of the tourists as well as the permanent residents.
"They're very discreet," said Jones. "I've been to Lake Como on business, and I found they are not flamboyant at all. I had a different idea, but they changed my mind."
Strict rules govern everyone who comes to Lake Como, said Elf Andersen, the resort's marketing director. There's no touching, no immoral conduct, no gawking or staring at anyone, no undue attention to another's children, no fondling of oneself or someone else and no physical violence. Folks are asked to leave for violating these rules.
Andersen also explained "nude resort" versus "clothing optional": "Some clothing is very sexual, so that's why we are a nudist resort. We don't allow anyone to go around in their underwear, and they must be nude in the pool and hot tub."
A visitor asked Andersen why she was wearing a long T-shirt.
"The office is air-conditioned, and it's cold!"
Probably the first question everyone asks about the JAANR Leadership camps is this: How can you trust nude teen-agers of both sexes together? Isn't that a recipe for disaster?Asked if he was curious about girls, one blasé 16-year-old male camper responded, "You seen one girl, you seen 'em all."
And that may be the best way to sum up the thoughts about nudism for most of the youthful campers. They've been raised among naked people for most of their lives, so it's nothing new. The values their elders instill are real.
"The camp helps them get a good body self image," said Deb Jeffries. "They're just a typical bunch of kids. They become more confident in themselves because the camp is totally natural. Clothes are more sexually stimulating than being naked."
"People in the United States are preoccupied by nudism," Jeffries continued. "Last year we went to France, to the Riviera Naturist Resort on the Mediterranean. It's in a town called Cap D'Adge, and the whole town is nude. You can go anywhere in town nude. We loved it, but it was chilly. Never got above 70 in the middle of June the week we were there."
Bill Williamson, the Virginia youth camp director, is a retired vice president of the College of American Pathologists. "Teens today have so many problems," he said. "If they get into trouble at this age it can be a lifelong millstone around their necks. We're big on anti-drugs, and even though I still smoke, I don't do it in front of the kids.
"At these camps, we do a background check on all of the counselors and staff and look for anything that might lead to criminal behavior. We don't have the incidents of teen-age pregnancy that there are in the "textile" world (as nudists refer to clothes-wearing people), because our kids don't have to put themselves in compromising situations out of curiosity."
As far as religion goes, Williamson is a Baptist who "feels closer to God out on the creek bank looking up at the sky than in a regular church."
"One of my main goals is tolerance," he continued. "People must understand there's no stigma to being nude. Every type of person may be a nudist. We had a Catholic priest at the camp to address the kids, and in Virginia we have two ministers coming. People are surprised to know that most of our membership is middle to upper middle class, college educated, and fifty percent degreed, with incomes of 50 thousand and up."
So, if nudists represent such a mainstream demographic, why are people like U.S. Rep. Mark Foley so opposed to the teen-age youth camps AANR sponsors?
"Oh, this is not the first time someone's spoken out," said George Jeffries. "It's simply ignorance. They see child porn on the Internet and read about child abductions, and they jump to conclusions. A lot of this is the result of media publicity where there's been a bad outcome. They don't know what we do. We know there are really bad guys out there, so that's why we're extra protective of our kids."
Jeffries's daughter Jane said she'd seldom encountered anything that made her uneasy, though she's been taught to recognize such behavior.
"Just one or two times ever," she said. "I just tell mom and dad and stay in the trailer until it's taken care of."
"Foley said we are exploiting the children to make money," said Judith Grisham. "We don't make any money on these kids -- we pay for everything. We pay for the food, the pots and pans. We provide the tents they sleep in, and the tiki torches. Everything is provided from the tuition they pay (about $200 per child for the week) and we don't turn anyone away. We provide scholarships for those that want to come but can't afford to. We pay for the field trips, we rent the vans ... anything they need is paid for."
"You just can't judge something until you see it for yourself," she said.
On the last night of camp, after the talent show, the campers and their counselors returned to the field where their tents were, to enjoy one final campfire. An adult circled the fire cautioning everyone not to sit downwind of the smoke."Pass the mosquito repellent," somebody else yelled.
Some of the campers were teary-eyed. They had made friends they wouldn't see for another year.
After a moving rendition of (what else?) Kumbayah, accompanied by a counselor on the guitar and a loud chorus of frogs from nearby woods, a lantern was passed around in what is called the Circle of Friends. As on previous nights, each person, teen and adult, was asked to answer a group question. Tonight: "What have you accomplished this week? And what didn't you accomplish that you wanted to?"
Mister Mike, one of the young adult counselors, said: "I made some really great friends." A younger camper said: "I met many inspiring people -- I want to come back and bring a friend."
A young woman named Jill said she came to Lake Como not knowing anyone, but now she had lots of new friends. A sixteen-year-old boy said he learned a lot about his body, and "now I feel more comfortable with it."
Others said much the same: They learned a lot, made friends and felt they accomplished something. John, one of the older campers, offered: "I managed not to throw any kids in the lake to be eaten by the gators."
Amanda Williamson said, "I learned to play tennis, and I got to hang out with my Grandpa. He knows everything."
Though on previous nights the curfew had been 11 p.m., on this night the conversation, already nostalgic, went on way past midnight.
And Family Watch Dog, in their response to the Human Rights Watch report, says this doesn't occur. This is proof.
A Pleasant Grove teen may face jail time after streaking during the Pleasant Grove High School homecoming pageant.
An 18-year-old student at Pleasant Grove High school allegedly ran across the stage in the school's auditorium.
"We know who the suspect is," said Pleasant Grove police Capt. Cody Cullimore of the Pleasant Grove. "There are still a couple of witnesses we need to talk to. We plan to arrest him in the morning (Friday)."
The teen's name is not being released until an arrest has been made, Cullimore said. The man will be charged with lewdness in the presence of a minor, a class A misdemeanor, he said.
Cullimore said the charge of lewdness in the presence of a minor stems from the fact that many young children were present in the audience of roughly 800 people.
"Whoever did this was probably trying to be funny," he said. "It's still classified as a sexual offense."
Cullimore said if the teen is convicted, it is possible he will have to register as a sex offender because he is an adult. However, he said it will be up to the judge to determine the intent of the crime.
"Is this a sexual offense, or is it just a kid being stupid?" he said.
Haley Johnson, a senior at Pleasant Grove High, said she was performing her a capella skit when she saw the teen fall out from under the curtain.
"I turned around and just saw this naked body run past me out the door," she said. "His head was covered and he had sunglasses on, I think, but you could see everything."
The student probably streaked through the performance as a joke, she said, but she did not find much humor in the prank. The general reaction from her classmates Thursday was shock, Johnson said.
"I can see how someone would think it was funny, but it's kind of upsetting because we put so much work into this pageant," she said.
Johnson said she feels sorry for the suspect because he may have wanted to get a laugh, but could end up in serious trouble instead.
"I don't think he was thinking about the consequences at all," she said.
Jess Christen, principal of Pleasant Grove High, said the investigation is being left up to the police department, and the high school's staff will follow policy and procedure in disciplining the student.
"He was chased by an assistant principal and our drama teacher," Christen said.
Christen said he has not fully researched the disciplinary actions that can be taken against the student, and he does not know yet whether expulsion will be necessary.
A school resource officer is involved in the case and is working with Pleasant Grove police, Christen said. Disciplinary action will be taken once the culprit has been found.
"We'll allow him to do his work, and then we'll do ours," he said.
Christen said the school does not usually have major problems with pranks, and he does not recall any serious problems in the time he's been with the school. "I've been here nine years, and I think this is the first (streaker)," he said. "We have a pretty compliant, good group of kids."
If convicted of flashing a teenager, the man could receive 15 years in prison and be a sex offender.
SANFORD - A family driving west on Interstate 4 in a silver Mercedes-Benz on Sunday evening made the men in the black Chevrolet Tahoe mad.
The Mercedes had cut them off, the Tahoe's driver later told a Seminole County deputy, so front-seat passenger John Thomas Taylor dropped his pants and mooned the family, including their 14-year-old son, according to a Sheriff's Office report.
Taylor, 21, was arrested and hauled to jail, accused of committing a lewd and lascivious act in the presence of a child younger than 16.
He was being held Monday evening without bail in the Seminole County Jail.
He was not eligible for bail because Taylor also was accused of violating probation. Last month, he was placed on 18 months of probation for driving without a valid license in Orange County.
He told deputies Sunday that he hadn't mooned anybody.
Two witnesses told deputies that Taylor had dropped his pants and hung his bottom out of the window, according to the Sheriff's Office report. One was the back-seat passenger in the Tahoe.
Deputies ordered the Tahoe to pull over after two callers phoned the Sheriff's Office to complain that the Tahoe was involved in a road-rage incident.
The family in the Mercedes told deputies the Tahoe had cut them off and was driving recklessly, and that Taylor had thrown something at them and mooned them.
The Tahoe's driver, Kyle Lee Donaldson, 18, of Orlando, told deputies that the Mercedes cut him off. His back-seat passenger, James Patrick Sears, 19, of Orlando, told deputies that Taylor had hung his bottom out of the window but had exposed only a small portion of it.
Chris White, chief of operations at the Seminole County State Attorney's Office, said his office had not yet decided what charge, if any, to file.
If convicted of the charge alleged by the Sheriff's Office, Taylor could face up to 15 years in prison and forever be identified as a sex offender.
White said his office might charge Taylor with exposing himself, a misdemeanor that would carry a maximum sentence of a few months in jail.
There's no need to feel all that sorry for Anthony Eugene Mann, who's been ordered out of his home and his business because their locations put him in violation of a relatively new Georgia law designed to keep sex offenders away from places where children congregate. - Yes there is, they are trying to evict him when he was there first. The day care or whatever is being built or is built recently, should have checked the registry and not created their business there. They should be the ones to leave.
Mann, 44, of Clayton County, is challenging the law in the Georgia Supreme Court. He pleaded guilty five years ago in North Carolina to exposing himself to two minors, for which he was sentenced to five years of probation and served four months in jail. The conviction also got him on Georgia's sex offender list, which made him subject to a 2006 Georgia law mandating that sex offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of any place children congregate, such as bus stops and day care centers. - Yeah, he was sentenced before the law came to be, now he's facing a new law. That violates ex post facto (punishment after the fact). How the hell would you like it if you were sentenced for something years ago, and today they pass a new law and you are forced to deal with it, even after you've served all your time? It's not right. I hope he wins this case, for him and many others faced with this same scenario. Bus stops have been squashed and their is a TRO against them, since bus stops change all the time.
The law is certainly well-intentioned. No parent wants to put a child in proximity of a sex offender. Thus, it's a bit hard to stomach Mann taking a case to the state Supreme Court, where his lawyer argued Monday that the law is unconstitutional, in that it effectively takes away Mann's property and his right to earn a living. - Correct, it's wrong and unconstitutional. And again, not all sex offenders even had anything to do with a child, get your damn facts straight. A sex offender doesn't mean child molester. There is people labeled a sex offender for mooning, urinating in public in a drunken stupor, or like Genarlow Wilson who had consensual oral sex with a 15 year old when he was 17, and he's in prison for 10 years for a BJ!!!
It's easy to respond to that argument with a quick "So what?" In fairness, though, Mann is raising a legitimate issue for the state's highest court to consider. According to his lawyer, Mann worked diligently to comply with the law, and it was only after he had moved into his home and set up his business that day-care centers opened near both places. - And they should have checked the registry before they created the new business. Now they should be the ones to have to move, loosing tons of money in the process, not him, who was there first.
Thus, it is through no fault of his own that Mann is out of compliance with Georgia law, and his situation raises the real question of whether there is a threshold at which the reasonable intent of the law creates an unreasonable outcome.
There is undeniably a community interest in knowing the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders. But the 1,000-foot restriction in the law could, as Mann's case strongly hints, force a peripatetic lifestyle on any number of convicted sex offenders - a lifestyle that could keep them from maintaining a stable home and job. And that, arguably, could make it harder for the community to know where those offenders are and what they're doing at any given time. - Could? It has. The 1000 foot buffer zone is a false sense of security and does nothing to protect a child. It's the predators and pedophiles the laws should be going after, and do you think these people will obey some buffer zone if they wanted to commit another crime? It does nothing to protect anyone, except banish sex offenders.
Mann's case is not the first challenge to the state law in question. There are more than 50 cases filed in Superior Courts across the state. There's also a federal lawsuit contending that the 1,000-foot restriction as it applies to bus stops is unenforceable, because school systems are constantly changing the locations of those stops.
Clearly, then, there are legitimate questions about the law, and the Georgia General Assembly should work in next year's legislative session to refashion it into a truly workable means of keeping communities apprised, in detail, of the whereabouts of sex offenders.
Does the trend build confidence in young women — or diminish it?
CHICAGO - Porn used to be relegated to a video hidden in the bottom drawer, or a magazine under the mattress. Today, it’s part of everyday life.
Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends have become TV’s “girls next door.” Porn stars have MySpace pages and do voiceovers for video games. And while “porn on demand” is standard for hotel TVs and upgraded cable packages, it’s even easier to find it with a few clicks on the computer.
In April, more than a third of the U.S. Internet audience visited sites that fit into the online “adult” category, according to comScore Media Metrix.
So the message is clear: In today’s world, sex doesn’t just sell. The pervasiveness of porn has made sexiness — from subtle to raunchy — a much-sought-after attribute online, at school and even at work.
Many agree that the trend has had a particularly strong influence on young women — in some cases, taking shape as an unapologetic embracing of sexuality and exhibitionism.
“I am one of those girls,” says Holly Eglinton, a 31-year-old Canadian who recently won a talent search competition to appear as an unclothed newscaster on the Internet’s “Naked News.” She auditioned after meeting a producer for the show on a social networking site where she’s posted provocative photos of herself — an increasingly common practice.
For Eglinton, taking off her clothes for an Internet audience was freeing, fun and a little rebellious.
“It’s something that sort of suits my personality,” she says. “I’m kind of an extrovert and a bit of a camera hog, a poser.”
It’s a prevalent sentiment in our look-at-me culture. But many wonder if it really is empowering, especially for younger women and girls who try to emulate what’s already on the Web.
Too often, educators and health professionals say, the results are cases of “Girls Gone Wild” — gone wild.
Michael Simon, a therapist and high school counselor in the San Francisco Bay area, has seen an increasing number of girls and young women in his private practice after episodes in which they undressed or masturbated in front of a Web cam for people they met online.
“Instead of pornography or performative sexuality being one choice among many ways of being sexual, it’s essentially become the standard of sexiness,” says Simon. “It’s also the standard by which a man or woman is a prude, depending on how much they embrace that kind of sexuality.”
Yvonne K. Fulbright, a sexologist and author who co-hosts the “Sex Files” program on Sirius satellite radio, also has seen the shift in attitude.
She’s posted messages on Craigslist looking for people who want to comment on various topics for the show — and, instead, often receives responses from young women who send descriptions of their breast and waist sizes.
“They’re under the impression that they can be the next big thing,” Fulbright says. “Unfortunately, for a lot of females that means taking off your clothes and being sexual.
“It’s a really warped sense of what it means to be sexy.”
Indeed, there was a time when dancing for the masses in barely there outfits was the realm of music video stars and strippers. Then the Internet and reality TV came along, providing new platforms for young women to flaunt it for a shot at fame.
In one hit prime-time series, for instance, eager young contestants perform soft-core porn dance routines in hopes of becoming the next member of The Pussycat Dolls singing group.
The fascination with being “hot” also has made its way into the workplace, where confidence is often conveyed in the way one looks and dresses.
“I would say that, in the world of Washington, D.C., power brokers, it’s important to be sexy, but in a more sophisticated, muted way,” says Charles Small, a 25-year-old young professional who works in the nation’s capital. That’s in contrast, he says, to cities such as Los Angeles and Miami, “where overt sexiness is more the status quo.”
Some employers — taken aback by the trend — have responded by setting tougher dress codes. Many school administrators have done the same.
“As a high school teacher, I see 14-year-old girls dressing in a way that makes me shake my head. Where do they get that?” asks Dennis Brown, an educator and parent in Huntley, Ill., outside Chicago.
Recently, he says his own 5-year-old daughter proclaimed, “Daddy, I look fat.”
“And I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, here we go,”’ he says. “Now I have to start deconstructing that mind-set.”
It’s a big topic of discussion among researchers. A 2007 report from the American Psychological Association compiled the findings of myriad studies, showing that the sexualization of young women and girls, in particular, can hurt them in many ways. Problems can include anything from low self-esteem and eating disorders to depression and anxiety.
Simon, the California therapist, has seen those symptoms in several of his young female patients.
While boys tend to seek out porn for their own sexual pleasure, he sees a sexual disconnect with girls who exhibit provocative behavior they’re not ready for — from undressing online to performing oral sex on boys.
“It doesn’t have anything to do with their sexual pleasure,” says Simon. “It has to do with pleasing somebody else — the grasping for attention.
“As a parent, it makes me want to cry.”
And while they tell him they feel empowered, too often, he says they end up getting pegged as “sluts.”
Julie Albright, a sociologist at the University of Southern California, has noted that dynamic in her research. She’s working on a book about “players,” men who juggle more than one sex partner and earn a title of esteem for behavior that much of society still frowns upon for women.
“If you ‘act like a man,’ in that sense, you’re trying to grab hold of that same kind of power, that same kind of lifestyle — and claim male privilege,” Albright says.
“The problem is, you’re still female and it’s still a man’s world.”
Anna Stanley, a 25-year-old in Madison, Wis., knows all about that double standard. She also wonders if she and her peers place too much importance on the power of sexiness.
“It seems like it stems out of the ‘Girl Power’ thing of the ‘90s gone awry — men objectify us, so let’s objectify ourselves and get something out of it. It’s not really progress,” she says. “But it’s something I have mixed feelings about — because sometimes I do it, too.
“Sometimes you do dress up to get noticed and attention, and you do feel more confident when you do that.”
She wishes there was more focus on helping women develop a healthy sense of their own sexuality.
Missy Suicide — founder of the “Suicide Girls” pinup Web site — couldn’t agree more.
“I think that women shouldn’t be afraid of their sexuality. It’s a part of who we are. You shouldn’t be embarrassed and ashamed of your body and yourself,” says the 29-year-old entrepreneur, who lives in Los Angeles. But, she says, it shouldn’t be the sole focus.
She and the women on her site are known for challenging the stereotypes of beauty, with their tattoos and piercings and varying body types.
“I get messages from girls all the time saying they never felt beautiful before because they never saw girls like themselves in magazines or on TV. Then they saw a girl like them on ‘Suicide Girls,”’ she says of the site, an online community that attracts a worldwide audience of both admirers and women who want to become nude pinups.
Victoria Sinclair, the lead anchor on “Naked News,” also sees herself as a role model. She left a job in the corporate world to join the show as lead anchor in 1999 — and never looked back.
“Sometimes, there are moments when I think, ‘Oh my goodness what am I doing?”’ says Sinclair, who recently turned 40. “But I’m really OK with it.”
She says it works for her because she has control over what she does on the show and has been allowed to age gracefully, without plastic surgery.
Still, many skeptics remain.
“To be sure, it can make you feel powerful to know that you are arousing strong feelings in other people, that you have their attention and admiration,” says Eileen Zurbriggen, a psychologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who helped compile the APA report.
“This is the same sense of power experienced by charismatic rock stars and politicians. But politicians also wield other kinds of power. They can make actual changes to the legal, economic, and geopolitical landscapes — changes that have far-ranging impacts.
“Women,” she says, “might be better off developing other sources of power.”