Monday, 12 October 2015

The Naturist Experience

This whole nudist/naturist experience so far has truly been (for lack of a better word) liberating.  Having been to Hanlon's Point a few times now I have begun to question why this is not more common.  If you read my previous posts, you know my biggest draw back to the whole clothing optional beach thing is the "optional" part.  I get that for newbies it can be intimidating especially for women who even though legal almost everywhere to go topless but still face double standards making them uncomfortable to take advantage of this right. But once you go in the buff, you start to notice those around you who are not. Eventually I realised I didn't care, I was there for me, not them, but for those new to this, I can imagine this may scare some away completely
So for those feeling so bold I would suggest you consider a "Naturist Resort".  There are two in the Toronto area.  I've been to one, I plan to try the other, until then I wont attempt to compare the two.

Both are essentially camp grounds with some trailers or Cabins to rent, or you can stop in for the day for about 50$. I thought that seemed a bit pricey but there are deals for families or couples and when you compare to parking and the ferry in Toronto its not that far off.  They have pools and all sorts of other activities and target "family friendly" environments.  I chose Ponderosa first based on proximity only as I live just west of Toronto. 
I honestly wish I had gone here before Hanlon's Point.  I picked the Labour Day Monday to visit as the weather was perfect and this time I wanted a crowd hoping I would be lost in it and not stand out too much.  Wow, was this place jumping.  There was all walks of life, single, couples, families with children, young and old, and while predominantly Caucasian, there was a racial mix as well.  But what really made this a great experience was how friendly they all were.  The staff know you are going to be feeling awkward the first time so they walk you through everything, gave me a mini tour and even introduced me to some "regulars" and a few first timers like myself as well.  I was there less than a minute before I forgot I was naked and was chatting at the bar as if it was any other resort.  Because the pool area is mandatory 100% nude, you don't have the nagging feeling about gawkers or feeling self concious about your body as whatever your body type, you are not alone!  Even though I was there for only a day it felt like a full mini vacation, I read my book in the sun, swam in the pool (still my favourite part), and had a few drinks at the swim up bar.  I even went for a walk in the woods (though not well marked, Ponderosa has a fair amount of trails).
The one thing I did not expect was that the staff were all clothed, which is a bit hypocritical.  I get it for the guy working the kitchen, but the women working the front desk, the guy who gave me the tour, both bartenders, all clothed.  One bartender was in a swimsuit, fine, otherwise, I was completely confused by this.  Other than that, this was an excellent visit.  I had a great time, felt truly comfortable in my own skin, and it even changed my mind set for my next trip to Hanlan's (I'll probably talk about that more in a later post)
One other tip for newbies to a Naturist/Nudist resort. I say this now that summer is over, and most will wait for spring to likely give this a try. If you go on a busy weekend, or generally don't want to stand out too much as a newbie, go earlier in the year. I was by far the only one there with any visible tan lines. I may as well have been wearing a pair of white much for not standing out in the crowd on Labour Day.  Oh well.  I look forward to spring and working to resolve this issue.

One quick word on Bare Oaks.  While Ponderosa was a great experience with excellent facilities and I without a doubt will return. I've not been to Bare Oaks (yet) but what I can tell so far is their web presence is very well done.  Full marks for having a Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram and even a blog (go figure).  Use the link I attached near the top of this post and then scroll to the bottom of the home page for links to all their social media accounts as well as some partners pages.  Some of the best resources for newbies I've seen so far so check it out!

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