Nudist Recreation Enjoys Growth Spurt

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More women are embracing nudism, too. Though the AANR is still about 60 percent male, the organization's annual conventions are structured more like family reunions, in scenic locations such as California's Anza-Borrego Desert.

Some of the events from a recent convention: nude fire-walking, a stripped-down soapbox derby, a naked coyote-calling contest and a nude piñata party for the kids.

Here's a look at some of recent developments in nudist recreation. Of course, it's not for everybody, but if you get any vacation ideas, don't forget to pack light.

The Bare Facts on Recreation

Airborne Nudity: You can unfasten a whole lot more than your safety belt when you reach a comfortable cruising altitude on Naked Air.

In May, the inaugural flight of the clothing-optional charter service allowed 90 passengers, paying $499 a seat, to shed their skivvies after boarding in Miami for a flight to Cancun, Mexico.

Castaways Travel in Austin, Texas — which booked the service — says that it had no problem filling up the 172-seat Boeing 727, but had to leave extra space for film crews documenting the historic flight.

All passengers received a commemorative towel to document their experience — and prevent their bare bottom from touching the seat. Additional flights are now being planned for Cancun and Jamaica.

The Federal Aviation Administration refused to weigh in on flying nude. "It's not a safety issue," says spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.

Cabin attendants and crew wore clothing, but didn't serve hot drinks for the safety of their overly exposed passengers.

Controversial Campers: In a June 12 New York Times report on the Youth Leadership Camp in Lutz, Fla., campers complained about having to play strip volleyball. They wanted to play volleyball the regular way — in the nude.

Ever since, the AANR-sponsored camp has been under considerable controversy. Florida Rep. Mark Foley called on Gov. Jeb Bush to investigate the summer program, worrying about the welfare of the children.

But an investigation revealed that the camp has been operating lawfully for more than a decade. Foley has since met with representatives from the camp and asked that it merely review the background-check procedure for its counselors.

No parents have stepped forward to complain, although some campers admit to mosquito bites in the strangest of places. Indeed, skinny-dipping is an honored tradition in many summer camps. The AANR camp merely allows kids 11 to 18 to combine skinny-dipping with all sorts of sports, games and sing-alongs.