Should you go to an adult-only naturist resort?

Naturism has always been promoted as a family-friendly thing, best enjoyed when you take your partner and your kids. For the large majority of naturist resorts around the world, families are still the preferred type of guest. But for a couple of years, we’ve been seeing a rapid increase of resorts that’ll ask you to leave the kids at home.

 

In the mind of the cautious naturist traveller, this immediately sets off a number of alarm bells. What’s happening at those places that my children are not supposed to see? The “adult-only” label got a bad reputation because it was most commonly associated with strip clubs or the section behind the curtain at the local video rental shop. But what if it doesn’t have anything to do with the children, but with the adults instead?

 

 

The uprise of adult-only

This rise in adult-only places is not just happening in naturism. A good year ago, there was quite some fuss on the internet about whether aeroplanes should have a section where kids are not allowed. Honestly, as we’ve been on quite some long-haul flights, we can understand where this request comes from. We’ve had our fair share of criers, seat kickers, and the odd one that took particular joy in pulling our hair. Every other minute. Ten very long hours in a row.

 

When you finally arrive at your destination, you’re supposed to be all excited and ready to explore, but the only thing you want to do is go to bed. If an airline would charge a reasonable fee, let’s say the equivalent of extra leg space, to sit in the adult-only section, we would probably pay for that.

 

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Lately, the travel industry started shifting more and more towards experience-based holidays rather than destination-based ones. We’re not just going to Bali or Cuba anymore, we’re going on wellness vacations, digital detox vacations, food trips, adventure trips, and sustainable vacations. For these types of holidays, the other guests are equally as important as the location or the activities. You don’t want to go on a vegan vacation to find out that you’re sharing the restaurant with the barbecue vacation group. Neither do you want to go on a romantic getaway and find yourself booked next to the kids club.

 

 

Different trends in naturism

Naturist vacations are a niche and even an experience on their own. Nevertheless, we start seeing different sub-niches in this group. Until not too long ago, a naturist vacation meant one thing: Camping in the woods, far away from society, very close to nature, among people of all ages gathering around the bonfire in the evening. If you didn’t like that, it was hard to have a nice naturist vacation.

 

Today, those places still exist and are still popular, but more and more other experiences are popping up. Mindfulness and wellness found their way into naturism and often resulted in more luxury places where you can enjoy high-quality facilities, sleep in a very good bed, and have champagne for breakfast. There are active naturist vacations with options to hike naked, there are beach naturist vacations, cultural naturist vacations, you name it. All cater to people who enjoy being nude in a non-sexual way and in a somewhat social scene, but with very different wishes and needs.

 

Needless to say that families with children don’t always have a place in this. Most of the time, it doesn’t really need to be mentioned. If you promote your place as one where relaxation and serenity are the highest values, it typically won’t attract families anyway. But just to avoid the odd guest who didn’t read up about the place, it’s just easier to put an adult-only label.

 

 

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Practical reasons for adult-only

Unlike what some people think, the adult-only rule is not just meant to keep families away so the other guests can have a better time. It’s also to prevent families to have a bad experience. We’ve visited a number of naturist places that don’t have the facilities to keep children entertained: no playground, no kids club, nada. The owners very well realise that for most families a vacation was successful when the kids had a good time. So it’s better to avoid bored kids altogether.

 

Whenever there are talks about creating adult-only places, whether it’s on planes, in restaurants, or at naturist resorts, some people will immediately draw the discrimination card. We should not discriminate on age or on the fact that someone has children. But what’s often forgotten is that this concept already exists for decades in nightlife. Not that anything happens in these clubs that children should not see, but because of the alcohol laws. It’s just impossible to ask for an ID every time someone orders a drink. So they make sure that nobody under the minimum age can enter the club. We’ve seen this same concept being applied in all-inclusive hotels or resorts with an open bar.

 

 

Who goes to adult-only places?

By now, it’s probably obvious that people have different reasons to choose adult-only places and that this definitely doesn’t mean that there are sexual intentions. Most people we meet at adult-only naturist resorts are couples who either don’t have any children of their own or who are having a timeout from their own children. It’s quite understandable that they prefer not to be surrounded by someone else’s offspring instead.

 

One time, we were surprised by the large number of teachers at an adult-only resort. One would think that this is the kind of job you only do if you absolutely love being around children. This was true, they said, but after being day in and day out among kids, they preferred to get a break from them during their holidays.

 

Another reason the teachers brought up was avoiding the risk to run into one of their students. Although we believe that the chance that this happens is little to none, you can only avoid the risk completely if you go to places with a minimum age.

 

 

 

What do we prefer?

It might be important to realise that this blog post was written by a couple who doesn’t have any children. Not that we’re child haters, we just never felt the need to start a family. If we had a family, our opinion might have been different. Nevertheless, it’s not that we’ll always try to avoid places that are popular among families.

 

Where we go, mostly depends on our mood. Sometimes we want to go to large social places, where there’s a lot going on, with many activities and people of all ages. Other times, we need a couple of days away from the world and everyone in it, and then our choice will often go to a smaller place that only allows adult guests.

 

How about you? Have you been to adult-only naturist places? What’s your preference?

 
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27 thoughts on “Should you go to an adult-only naturist resort?”

  1. For years in the UK we have had a holiday company actively advertising adults-only holiday venues. There’s never been any suggestion it is anything but a haven away from children for those who don’t want a holiday dominated by provision for and disturbance by children – and why not?

    Reply
  2. Our home camp (Solair in CT) is family friendly as are the resorts in Florida we usually go to (Cypress Cove and Lake Como), so my initial thought was we don’t go to adults only resorts. Then I remembered a big adults only vacation we take every year… nude cruises with Bare Necessities. We enjoy those cruises very much both for the freedom to be nude throughout the ship and for the lack of children. Even when we take textile cruises we pick times when kids are at a minimum. And of course even at our home camp and the Florida resorts we enjoy the Saturday night dances which usually include alcohol and therefore don’t allow kids. So we certainly prefer adults only at least for individual events.

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  3. My home camp is also Solair in Woodstock, Ct🙌🏼☀️! Hopefully catch you both J & C, and nick and Lind this season!

    -J

    IG: @bizzybeebums

    Reply
  4. Lot of great points made here. But you have to delineate two types of “adults only” resorts —

    a) those that have “lifestyle” (swinger) overtones – and –
    b) those that don’t.

    There are a lot in the b) category, thankfully.

    Reply
    • Yeah, one of our previous blog posts was about why some swingers resorts keep hiding behind the name naturist/nudist. This doesn’t only make things more confusing, it’s also a problem for genuine naturist resorts that want an adult only policy.

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      • I went to Cap D’Adge last August and I couldn’t be more disappointed. No judging here, but if I want to go to a Naturist Village I expect a naturist village and not a swingers heaven, sex openly on the beach and really not far from the kids.
        Never ever again!!!!

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  5. As a parent, who visits so called “Family Friendly” places with my wife and kids, I actually have a real problem with places calling themselves “Family Friendly” by default.

    We’ve been to many places which claim they are “Family Friendly” only to see run-down or non-existent facilities for kids, rules which make sure the kids can’t participate in any activity, and adults who make it clear that kids are not welcome, even though the place is so called “Family Friendly”.

    Many nudist places to use the “Family Friendly” label so people don’t think it’s a swingers place, rather than any actual desire for families to visit.

    Is everywhere like that? No, we have certainly been to places where it’s obvious the kids are welcome, but for every place like that, there is another one who really should be using the “Adults Only” tag.

    Finally, as a parent sometime we do want to get away from kids as well. Our life revolves around our kids 24 x 7, sometimes it’s nice to have some alone time.

    Reply
    • That’s a very interesting angle, thanks for sharing!
      As we don’t have kids, we don’t often notice the facilities for children unless they’re exceptionally good and present.

      The problem is that the family-friendly label has been used for decades to separate the naturist places from the swingers places. In many cases, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually a great place to take your family, but just that if you would take your family, your kids won’t probably see anything that you don’t want to explain (yet).

      Today, there are still naturist federations who will not allow a club/resort to become member if they are not family friendly. Which causes the problem you’re mentioning. Yes, families are welcome, but that’s no guarantee that your kids will have at least a little fun.

      Reply
  6. Here in Florida, we’re pretty much at Ground Zero in the battle between traditional ‘family’ resorts versus so-called ‘lifestyle’ resorts. A prime example of this is Paradise Lakes near Tampa, which used to be a wonderful family resort affiliated with AANR. But they broke away from AANR to become a ‘adult-themed’ resort & they now promote lifestyle/swinger events.

    One of the big reasons they changed was to compete with Caliente, another ‘adults only’ lifestyle resort nearby [kind of like Cap d’agde]. It seems to be the trend unfortunately, but as a single male naturist I definitely prefer the traditional…It’s sad.

    Reply
    • We ran into Paradise Lakes site holders that we know… at Lake Como. They were not happy about the change right after they bought their place. I think they wanted to differentiate themselves from Lake Como (right next door) as much as they wanted to compete with Caliente (several miles away).

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    • Yeah, we heard the story about Paradise Lakes. In a way, we’re happy that more lifestyle places are popping up because they will keep the swingers away from nudist resorts. But it’s always a pity when this happens at the cost of a nudist resort…

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  7. My concern with visiting an adults only naturist resort would be whether or not it was a swingers resort.
    My wife and I have been to adult only textile hotels which have been great as our kids have now grown up (and we’ve been there, done that and don’t want to do it again until grand-kids come along!)

    Reply
    • The best thing you can do is read reviews on naturist websites or on Tripadvisor. If it’s a swingers place, it’s often pretty obvious from the comments.

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  8. I have a degree in recreation management and 25+ years of experience, so I can appreciate these decisions from a very different viewpoint. I offer the following points to consider:

    Resorts are businesses that aren’t cheap to operate and maintain. Revenue is essential to long term success and future investment.

    I’ve been to both adults only and family resorts. I’ve actually talked with the owner of one resort that changed to adults only and found that the reason for the change was purely economic. And here is a list of those reasons:

    #1 People without children tend to have more disposable income.

    #2 They can afford to go to resorts more frequently.

    #3 They prefer resorts without children.

    #4 Adults only policies allow resorts to add a bar which can generate considerable additional income. (Local jurisdictions often don’t permit children in facilities serving alcohol.)

    #5 Swingers (and voyeurs on the fringe) are willing to pay more for a resort with fewer restrictions on behavior.

    #6 For adults only resorts that do choose to restrict behavior, what happens out of sight in private rooms…

    #7 More income permits investment in better quality facilities and more amenities which in turn draws more customers.

    It’s important to recognize that family oriented resorts are disappearing primarily due to low revenue and lack of reinvestment. Unless they can generate enough to continue operations and maintain/improve their facilities, we will lose them over time …as well as the following generations of nudists/naturists.

    Reply
    • It’s very true that swingers and couples with no children (or where the children are already out of the house) tend to be bigger spenders than the average family. But that doesn’t mean that families don’t have money. There are plenty of expensive textile resorts for families that are doing great business, so we don’t see why this wouldn’t be possible in the naturist world.

      One thing we’ve noticed is that owners/managers/boards of failing resorts tend to blame external circumstances. “People aren’t interested in nudism anymore”, “youth has become prude”, “nudists have no money”,… While in reality, they’re just not all that good at doing business. One of the reasons for this, we believe, is that those resorts never really made the mental switch between being a non-profit club and being a commercial resort. They just don’t know how to run a business or they haven’t innovated since the early eighties. We remember the time when email was the next big thing and how some companies kept holding on to the fax machine. We believe that the reason why the fax machine eventually did disappear was not that they stopped producing it, but because those loyal companies just went out of business.

      We’ll give you another example, a naturist club organises 2 activities:
      1. A naked hike in a nearby forest, price: FREE
      2. They rent out a waterpark for the day, price: $25 per person.
      Which activity will attract the most families?
      We can tell you because it’s a real-life example… It’s the waterpark.

      Naturist families do have money and are willing to spend it, but it has to be worth it. And making it worth it will mean investing for many resorts (which they should already have done years ago).

      Reply
  9. The analogy with nightlife is not correct. In nightlife, access for children is not allowed only at certain places and times. Children are not completely banned from a town just because there is a nightclub. In the same way, children should not be completely banned from resorts because they are not allowed at some specific places.
    Naturist places exclusively for adults implicitly promote the perception that naturism is inappriate for children and should be completely forbidden for them. In doing so, they are justifying the age restrictions of major social media and reinforce initiatives to forbid naturism entirely for minors.

    Reply
    • It depends on whether you compare a resort with a nightclub or with a whole town.

      We don’t agree that this sends out the wrong message, as long as there are also lots of family-friendly resorts. In the Caribbean, you can find lots of textile adult-only resorts, but we don’t think that anyone considers the Caribbean as one big sex club. We don’t see why this should be different for naturist places.

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  10. I’m not a fan of resorts. As I’ve said before, naturist resorts give out a negative image about naturism to the wider public and that doesn’t help with the general acceptance of nudity in public places for starters. But adult only resorts are even more of a negative. It perpetuates the idea that there’s something seedy about it.

    What I want is the general acceptance of nudity, at beaches for example, but generally anywhere, and with that the freedom to be naked in public places if that’s your preferred way to “dress”.

    I have recently looked at holiday venues that support naturism. Not in resorts where you’re behind gates and fences, but beaches where there’s accomodation nearby, where you can be nude 24/7 and you don’t need to put on any clothes to leave your accomodation and stroll down to the beach. There are quite a few, and they’re not exclusively naturist, but naturists and textiles mixed. You’re not restricted by gates and fences.

    Naturist resorts, and adult only naturist resorts, work against that freedom.

    Reply
    • We would be interested to hear more about the places you’ve found because that’s definitely interesting for us.

      It’s strange to hear when people say that an adult-only label makes things feel seedy. Do you have the same when you’d see an announcement for an adult-only restaurant, or an airplane with an adult-only section?

      When you talk about resorts, it seems like you’re mostly referring to the old clubs from back in the day that were indeed behind very high walls and where you needed membership cards and sponsors and whatnot to be able to enter. Today, there are lots of resorts with a much more open approach. When people go on holiday, many of them like decent facilities and you won’t find those for free. Naturist resorts are not different from textile resorts in that approach.

      Reply
      • I totally agree that an adult-only label makes things feel seedy.

        Want to know why? Announcement for an adult-only restaurant, or an airplane with an adult-only section: to be honest, I have never seen that. The only things adult-only that I know of are totally seedy.

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        • But then again, there are lots of people who think that the “nudist” or “naturist” label feels seedy… There are many more people in the world who believe that non-sexual social nudity can’t exist than there are naturists/nudists.
          We’ve been to several adult-only naturist resorts and can tell you that they are exactly the same as family resorts except that there are no children.

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  11. It’s a moot point for me because my wife isn’t in to it and we have two kids now. If we did go, it would probably be adults only because I don’t know if either one of us would comfortable being nude around other children, especially my wife.

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  12. Clearly the perceptions in peoples’ minds about places using the “adults-only” description can vary greatly, some right and some misguided. That is not going to change easily without small doses of education (thank you Nick and Lins!) being fed to folks who must be willing to change. Probably the best short-term remedy as far as the term “adult-only” is to try and use different words to describe the true nudist places i.e. that are non-sexual. Am not sure what those words may be but there must be some out there! Maybe we need a naming contest sponsored by a nudist resort!

    Reply
    • The problem with terms is that different people put different meanings to it and that they often tend to get hijacked. If you look at the words “adult only”, it just means that it’s not for non-adults. The term doesn’t give any reason for this. But because the term has often been used in combination with sexual things (e.g. the adult only section in the video store), people tend to automatically relate it. Hence, we think that it’s important for adult only resorts to explain why they chose this formula.

      Reply
  13. We wouldn’t go to a family resort. Our kids are grown and we’re done with that now. We enjoyed our time with them and aren’t interested in other people’s kids, especially being nude around them. Our nude outings are our time and it’s also exclusive of extensive socialization. We have fun with other adults, but it’s secondary. The notion of Cape d Agade is simply horrifying. We from the US and I’d even have some concerns about losing custody of my kids if they witnessed public sexual activity with our consent.

    Reply

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