Alright, so I'm having a little fun with puns, but the truth of the matter is, that according to James Thorner of the St. Petersburg Times, one Florida county is gaining "status as the North American Capital of Nudism." That county – Pasco – just north of Tampa does have more than its share of residents and visitors willing expose themselves.
Going au' naturel is nothing new... it was a common practice back in the time of the early Olympic games in Greece. Gymnos – Greek for naked – was how these athletes trained and competed. But, with the demise of the ancient civilizations and the beginning of a religion that stressed the sinfulness of sensuality, nudism was on the decline and body shame began its rise.
Organized nudity became the fashion in the early Twentieth Century in Germany as a way of shedding the too-tight collars for less restrictive clothing. After World War II, the idea caught on as international tourism took hold. Today it is a world-wide practice, although not always widely accepted.
Certainly Florida's mild temperatures creates the perfect climate for optional clothing opportunities, even if Florida Law casts an uneven shadow on the conduct.
According to FloridaNaturist.org, "inappropriate" dress is a crime in Brevard County due to a swimwear ordinance. As a matter of fact, at the out-of-the-way, but traditionally nude Federal Beach, a Brazilian tourist was arrested for wearing a French-cut bikini. Yet, along the same coastline two hundred miles to the south, Miami-Dade County operates a legal clothing-optional beach, where any given weekend, a thousand or more totally nude men, women and children frolic in the surf and sun.
Perhaps it is the irregular distribution and enforcement of nudity laws that is driving naturists to private nude and clothing-optional resorts and clubs creating a surge in their popularity. Resorts and clubs sit on private property which usually obtain land-use permits allowing the lifestyle.
Even so, The Naturist Journal reports that even private property owners are at risk. Last spring, Eddie and Suzy Colosimo opened their six-acre property to visiting bikers during Daytona Beach's annual Bike Week. The Colosimo's allowed their guests to roam nude on the property. That created a stir within the county, who slapped them with a cease-and-desist order. It's a land-use issue that may play out in court.
Like other controversial issues, this one may never go away. Nude and clothing-optional proponents may forever be locked into a battle with those that make and enforce the laws that govern the use of public facilities and seek to limit freedom of private land use.
So, bare if you dare while you're in Florida, but be sure to check local laws wherever you go.
Florida Nude Beaches
- Apollo Beach
- Haulover Beach
Sunny Isles, Miami-Dade County
- Hobe Sound
Jupiter Island, Martin County
- Blind Creek Beach
Hutchinson Island, Martin County
- Playalinda Beach
- St. Lucie Inlet
St. Lucie State Reserve, Martin County<
Florida Naturist Resorts
- Caliente Resort
- Cypress Cove Resort & Spa
- Gulf Coast Resort
- Lake Como Family Resort
- Paradise Lakes
- Riviera Naturist Resort
- Roof Top Resort
- Sunburst Family Resort
- Sunnier Palms
- Sunny Sands Resort