by Frank Ariveso
SNEAKING A PEAK INSIDE THE LIFESTYLE OF NUDIST RESORTS
Caliente means, “Hot” in Spanish. Deb Bowen, PR Coordinator at Caliente Resorts says: “Caliente Resorts is the hottest, sexiest, most fun resort that you can find anywhere.” And it’s a nudist/clothing optional adult club. The resorts are in Tampa, Florida, and the Dominican Republic. Caliente Resorts also have an Erotic Adult Cruise Experience.
There is the general misconception that wherever you go: if people are around each other naked, they’re going to be having sex. Nudist resorts are not sexually charged environments. Any type of overt sexual behavior is actually a big no-no. The naturalist lifestyle is about real people escaping the confinement of their careers and everyday stress. One day spent free of clothes seems to relax people more than an entire weekend elsewhere. Stress just seems to melt away. Deb Bowen has spent over 12 years in the nudist business and talks to STRIPLV about going nude, and what you should know before going to a nudist resort.
STRIPLV: In your 12 years, have you always worked for Caliente Resorts?
DEB: No, I’ve worked for other nudist resorts, and clothing-optional resorts. I’ve also sung on nude cruises and I entertain at Lake Como twice a month.
STRIPLV: What’s the biggest change you’ve seen over the years?
DEB: Probably people accepting the fact that you can be naked and not be having sex.
STRIPLV: Are there different resorts where the attitude is different – such as the “Naked is next to Godliness” versus “It’s a sexual experience?”
DEB: There are different types. You have your “Naturists” – skin to the sun, this is how God intended us. We call them “Organic Nudists.” Then you have your “Nudists” – who are happy being weekend warriors or who can be nude whenever they can be. They just enjoy not wearing clothes to do anything – cooking, cleaning, sports, car repair or whatever. Then you have your “Clothing-Optional” – who just enjoy being naked whenever they feel like it. You have different resorts where it’s okay to wear clothes or not, and others where you have to be naked all the time. I have a theory that I live by: Why would I leave a community where I’m forced to wear clothes all the time to go to a community where I’m forced to be naked all the time? For my personal choice, the clothing-optional is the way to go.
STRIPLV: You say that Caliente is the hottest, sexiest resort. Are you implying that sex is a drawing factor?
DEB: You can be sexy and not be having sex. All women and all men like to feel sexy. People like to feel young and vibrant and that they can take on the world. I’m not ready to die yet. Let’s party! It’s a different connotation of the word, “sexy.” It’s more of a 21st Century definition than that of the Puritans.
STRIPLV: Are some of the resorts more about swingers’ parties?
DEB: None of them are specific “Lifestyle” resorts. All of them have lifestyle groups that come to enjoy their facilities. That being said – so does the Holiday Inn or the Express by Marriott, who will rent a floor to lifestyle groups for them to come in and enjoy their facility. When you’re staying at the Holiday Inn with your friends and family, they don’t tell you that there’s a lifestyle group staying a floor above you. Most resorts let you know that a certain week will be a lifestyle event, or a singles event or a nudist event. We don’t discriminate against any group.
STRIPLV: Are there resorts that cater to gays or are those events, too?
DEB: Just like Disney, we have gay weeks. During this time you can still come if you’d like, but it’s a designated gay week, and on the cruises, too.
STRIPLV: Is lingerie an acceptable clothing-option or is it too sexual?
DEB: Lingerie isn’t something anyone would wear during the day by the pool, however we have a nightclub and lingerie is acceptable in the nightclub. I believe that 95 percent of the nudist resorts across the country have that same policy. There are a few organics that are “no clothes, anytime.” They consider any article of clothing distracting.
STRIPLV: How is body hair treated with today’s trend toward the clean-shaven and waxed look? Do you see that happening also?
DEB: I find that it’s a cultural thing. The Europeans come over and they’re hairy, while the Americans are not. Orientals go both ways, and some are and some not. It’s more of a cultural decision than a nudist decision.
STRIPLV: What about genital body piercings, tattoos and body jewelry?
DEB: Again, I believe that’s also a cultural thing.
“Now, if you have genital jewelry that’s dangling and dragging behind you and causing sparks on the concrete, we may say you need to tone that down a little.”
Usually those people are more into exhibitionism. It’s all a judgment call – because it’s so accepted in our society – if you go to the beach, you’re going to see it. A lot of times on the beaches, the swimsuits that a lot of them wear are far, far more revealing and sexual than someone just being naked.
STRIPLV: Are amputees and people with disfiguring scars welcome?
DEB: We have a couple of women that have had double mastectomies and they have tattoos for their breasts, and they’re absolutely gorgeous. We have all sorts of people in medical conditions whether they are permanent or temporary. Everyone is welcome. We also have handicapped chairlifts to help people get in and out of the pool. Not only are they welcome – but we’re very accommodating.
STRIPLV: What are the benefits of nude recreation?
DEB: First, the acceptance of whatever or however you are. Nobody looks at you and goes: “Ohhhh.” A lot of times on the beach or in public facilities, you’re far more judged than at a nudist or clothing-optional environment. People that frequent these resorts or communities are generally an accepting person. They are freethinkers and free spirits and just want to be happy and have a good time. Your more conservative people who might be against that are generally the ones who are more judgmental of everyone around them. Nudism is awesome for a woman’s self-esteem. It sounds like it would be the opposite, but it is not. When you strip people of their clothing and jewelry, it’s just from a predestined idea of who they think they are and it puts everybody on an even playing field, so everyone’s pretty much equal.
STRIPLV: Would you agree that the average age is late 30’s and 40’s?
DEB: 35 to 50 is your average age. The younger ones are hanging out with friends at the beach and the young married folks can’t get a babysitter and can’t go out. Then you get the empty nesters that have kids in college, and those are the ones that have the time and the money to go on a new adventure in their life. They are looking to spice up their relationship and it’s fun, it’s exciting, and makes them feel like teenagers again. It’s kind of a progression of life.
STRIPLV: Is the towel rule one of the top rules you ask people to follow?
DEB: The #1 rule: You cannot sit on, lean on, move on or do anything on without a towel covering your bottom.
STRIPLV: Tell me a funny story.
DEB: One that I find the most entertaining is one that happens to me all the time. I’m one of the people that gets to take “newbies” (people who have never done this before) on a tour of the resort, and answer all their questions. “Where do I look?” Look wherever you want. You’re human, but staring is not appropriate. They always say that they’re so worried that they’ll be so shocked that they won’t know how to act. I tell them: “Just relax.” I get them set up by the pool with a drink and tell them not to undress, but to just lie there and enjoy their surroundings. In about an hour, I check on them and they’re either naked or pretty close to naked. I love going up to them and saying that it looks like they’re fitting in very well. Most of the time they say:
“The part we were MOST shocked about is that we were NOT shocked.”