There have been exceptions. I had a wonderful conversation with a nice couple in the hot tub at Ponderosa last winter. Then there is the "to be expected" polite conversation with various employees at the resort who sign you in, take your order at the bar or restaurant (dining naked is an experience of its own, might write about it another time). All are truly just like any other polite conversation you have at a resort, minus the clothes. I am a bit surprised even as I write this how normal it all feels in a very short time
The real stand out for me came when at Hanlan's recently I was approached by some people who didn't have a bottle opener, I didn't have one either but I showed them the old college tricks to pop the top with a lighter or a key ring. I was dutifully rewarded with several beverages and to join their company for the next few hours of my visit. The reason this was a standout for me was that the group was a perfect mix of fully nude men and women, one woman only topless, but also a few who stuck with their swimsuits. No one really addressed the fact that some people were partially or fully naked. It was just another day at the beach and I had a wonderful time.
Those experiences are in the minority for me so far though. My typical visit is to show up, drop my shorts, read my book, take a swim in the pool or lake, get dressed and go home. I have yet to make any new naturist friends. I am normally a very outgoing person but maybe the whole naked thing is keeping me more reserved than normal. The group at Hanlon's was a lot of fun however I was a good 5-10 years older then anyone else, so its not like I was exchanging numbers or becoming friends on Facebook. I got as far as to follow a couple of them on Instagram, that it
And while I am very happy with my new found lifestyle, its not exactly something I can go discussing at work or the family BBQ. True naturists will likely ask me why not? But then maybe I am not a true naturist yet. Reality is my career could be adversely affected if I were to open up about this in the office, and I see my family enough already, so I'd rather not have this in common with them. Most of my friends are rather liberal and if I one day run into someone I know at Hanlon's or a resort I will be elated, but until then I like my friends, the fear of scaring people away is real, even though maybe it shouldn't be.
Even in the liberal free-loving world of naturism, being the single male is an problematic. Resorts and clubs work hard to engage and be open to newcomers yet the stigma of society cast a shadow here as well. Bare Oaks actually covers this in the "About Naturism - Making Friends" section of their website:
For single men in particular, intentions can easily be misinterpreted. It is normal for a single man to want to find a partner. But it is a fine line between showing interest and being creepy. Not all single women come to Bare Oaks looking to meet someone. Women appreciate naturism because it allows them to escape society’s pressure to reach an impossible ideal of physical beauty. In naturism, they feel accepted for who they are. But too much attention from a single man, as friendly as it might be, can remind them of mainstream society’s oppressive focus on their body. It can feel like harassment. ~Bareoaks.caIf you dig around in their site long enough, there is also a section that mentions while all are welcome, they to try to maintain a roughly 60/40 minimum men to women and I will be honest, I don't blame them. The reality of our society is that a lot of women wont feel comfortable if heavily outnumbered by men in many situations, clothed or not.
So single men like myself can be left to enjoy the world of naturism in more isolation for fear of offending or making others uncomfortable.
This actually resulted in my most recent sunburn if I'm honest. I cannot just ask any old stranger to apply some to my back (or maybe I can but the thought of it feels awkward enough) so I buy the spray on type to ensure my back gets properly covered however the windy days it is easy to miss a spot and WOW does that hurt the next day.
Perhaps I will get over my personal hangups, but aside from the occasional sunburn I am really enjoying the naturist world and the solitude is actually a benefit sometimes.