Nudist Recreation Enjoys Growth Spurt

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Lake Como features six volleyball courts, and more than 300 people competed in the last tournament. But the resort still has a long way to go if it is to displace Pennsylvania's "Super Bowl" of nude volleyball — which boasts more than 700 competitors.

Nautical Nudists: Nude tourists have been hitting the high seas for more than 13 years, thanks to travel agency Bare Necessities in Texas, which works with Carnival Cruise Lines to offer nude travel to exotic locals including Tahiti, the Greek islands and the Caribbean for 2,000 guests each year.

The voyages are clothing-optional for the crew. Everyone is clothed in the dining room and when the ship docks.

Richard Hatch, the winner of TV's first Survivor, whom David Letterman dubbed "the fat naked guy" for his penchant for regularly shedding his clothes on the reality show, is said to have sailed to Europe in the buff.

The cruise industry is weathering through some tough times. But Bare Necessities is currently arranging its largest nude cruise yet, booking an eight-day voyage on the Carnival Explorer for 2,500 guests in 2005. The travel agency's motto: "We want to see you nude — We really do."

Full-Frontal Ironing: You may not think ironing qualifies as a nudist recreation. However, Niagara Spray Starch reported last month that 46 percent of men and 34 percent of women have ironed in the nude.

Full-frontal ironing might be a practice born of necessity rather than adventurism. If you've ever been caught without a pressed shirt, just remember, freshly ironed clothing can be very, very hot.

People who get burned tend to learn little lessons as they get older. The telephone survey of more than 1,000 people suggests that most exposed ironers are young — nearly 47 percent are under 44 years old. Only 22 percent of seniors iron in the buff.

Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at The Wolf Files is published Tuesdays. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.