Sunday, 31 August 2014

Paul Gauguin - Naturist Painter?

Paul Gauguin [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Two Nudes on a Tahitian Beach by Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) was a leading Post-Impressionist painter. His peers included Vincent van Gogh and his work influenced other famous artists such as Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. It should be noted that he was hardly a model citizen. He gained notoriety for a lascivious and indulgent lifestyle.

He lived in Tahiti for the first time from 1891 to 1893. There he discovered casual nudity among the natives and spent time nude himself. From those experiences, he recounted an environment where the lack of clothing desexualized women and created more equal relationships between the genders. It is particularly interesting that he made these observations given that Gauguin was infamous for having relations with multiple young Tahitian women.

His observations are similar to the ones that are often heard today from naturists. That when people are free of clothing their attitudes change. The conversations are often more genuine and without pretense. We present our authentic self to others – not just physically but emotionally and spiritually as well.

From Noa Noa published in 1919 by Paul Gauguin:
(Translated by O. F. Theis)

Among peoples that go naked, as among animals, the difference between the sexes is less accentuated than in our climates. Thanks to our cinctures and corsets we have succeeded in making an artificial being out of woman. She is an anomaly, and Nature herself, obedient to the laws of heredity, aids us in complicating and enervating her. We carefully keep her in a state of nervous weakness and muscular inferiority, and in guarding her from fatigue, we take away from her possibilities of development. Thus modeled on a bizarre ideal of slenderness to which, strangely enough, we continue to adhere, our women have nothing in common with us, and this, perhaps, may not be without grave moral and social disadvantages.

On Tahiti the breezes from forest and sea strengthen the lungs, they broaden the shoulders and hips. Neither men nor women are sheltered from the rays of the sun nor the pebbles of the sea-shore. Together they engage in the same tasks with the same activity or the same indolence. There is something virile in the women and something feminine in the men.

This similarity of the sexes make their relations the easier. Their continual state of nakedness has kept their minds free from the dangerous pre-occupation with the "mystery" and from the excessive stress which among civilized people is laid upon the "happy accident" and the clandestine and sadistic colors of love. It has given their manners a natural innocence, a perfect purity. Man and woman are comrades, friends rather than lovers, dwelling together almost without cease, in pain as in pleasure, and even the very idea of vice is unknown to them.

Here is the original version in French:

Chez ces peuplades nues, comme chez les animaux, la différence entre les sexes est bien moins accentuée que dans nos climats. Grâce à nos artifices de ceintures et de corsets, nous avons réussi à faire de la femme un être factice, une anomalie que la nature elle-même, docile aux lois de l'hérédité, nous aide, sur le tard des races, à compliquer, à étioler, et que nous maintenons avec soin dans un état de faiblesse nerveuse et d'infériorité musculaire, en lui épargnant les fatigues, c'est à dire les occasions de développement. Ainsi modelées sur un bizarre idéal de gracilité—auquel nous restons, quant à nous, pratiquement, étrangers—nos femmes n'ont plus rien de commun avec nous, ce qui ne va peut-être pas sans de grades inconvénients moraux et sociaux.

A Tahiti, l'air de la mer et de la forêt fortifie tous les poumons, élargit toutes les épaules, toutes les hanches, et les rayons du soleil et les graviers de la plage n'épargnent pas plus les femmes que les hommes. Ils font ensemble les mêmes travaux, avec la même activité ou la même indolence. Quelque chose de viril est en elles, et, en eux, quelque chose de féminin.

Cette ressemblance des sexes facilite leurs relations, et la nudité perpétuelle, en écartant des esprits la préoccupation dangereuse du mystère, le prix qu'il prête aux "hasards heureux" et ces couleurs furtives ou sadiques de l'amour chez les civilisés, donne aux moeurs une innocence naturelle, une parfaite pureté. L'homme et la femme, étant des camarades, des amis autant que des amants, sont presque sans cesse, pour la peine comme pour le plaisir, associés, et la notion même du vice leur est interdite.

Friday, 1 August 2014

The Sarong: Destroyer of Naturist Worlds!

The following article was published in Canada's Going Natural, France's La Vie au Soleil, The Australian Naturist and New Zealand's Go Natural.

The Sarong: Destroyer of Naturist Worlds!

by Stéphane Deschênes in collaboration with Michel Vaïs

On a recent visit to a naturist resort in France, I was struck by the multitude of people wearing clothing away from the beach and pool (nudity was mandatory in those places). Women seemed to have a particular affinity for the sarong, also known as a wrap or pareo.

But naturism is a philosophy, not just a dress code for the beach or pool. So I decided to make some inquiries in order to better understand the reasons behind these sarongs.

Early explanations were about practicality: “I always have something to sit on.” But is it really more practical to carefully tie a sarong around the waist than to just casually drape it around your neck or over your shoulders? I also noted that most of these women carried some sort of bag that would easily have accommodated the thin sarong. Clearly, practicality didn’t seem like a valid rationale, so I persisted with my investigation.

When I discussed the topic in more depth, some admitted that they felt uncomfortable being nude while so many other women were covered up. We now see the reintroduction of clothing as a tool of embarrassment. That is consistent with the textile world, where the sarong is commonly worn for “modesty” to cover up a bathing suit.

Some explained that they felt more attractive wrapped in the colours and styles of the sarong. Here we see the reintroduction of body shame. One woman even said that she felt more “feminine” when wearing a sarong. Imagine believing that cloth is more feminine than your own body!

Of course, as so many women cover up, it is predictable that men would begin to feel some discomfort and embarrassment as well. So not surprisingly, shorts were very common among men—an item of clothing that, without a shirt, does nothing to keep the wearer warm.

Marc-Alain Descamps, the French social psychologist who wrote many treatises on naturism, said that “the reciprocal visual bestowal of complete nudity defuses the exhibitionist/voyeur relationship.”1, In other words, a nude person in front of dressed people may feel somewhat exhibitionistic and perceive them as voyeuristic. That creates an imbalance that results in emotional discomfort.

Another element of textile mentality is the provocative tease. While it may not be the intention of the woman wearing a sarong, that aspect quickly manifests itself. As she walks, her legs are intermittently exposed, and occasional glimpses of her hidden body are revealed through the wrap’s slit. As naturists know, and many textiles will agree, partial exposure is far more erotic than complete nudity.

While the majority of women wrapped the sarongs only around their waists, some were wrapping their entire bodies. This is clearly a sign of further expansion in the redevelopment of body shame.

Although nobody expressed any issues of social status, I suspect that it will eventually creep in as well (if it hasn’t already done so). Wearing the “right” sarong or demonstrating your wealth/status through more expensive designs/materials can’t be far behind.

It was not possible to determine how many had devolved back into a textile mentality versus those who had never achieved an enlightened naturist outlook. But clearly an environment where the people around you are generally dressed is not conducive to a successful adjustment by those who are new to the movement.

The sarong is like a virus from the textile world. On the surface, it appears innocuous. But as you can see, it can easily re-infect our minds with the negative attitudes towards the human body that we are fighting. It becomes a tool for shame, status, allure, and enticement. As naturists, we must be forever vigilant against these incursions from the outside world. We must recognize them and stop them before they destroy our worlds by making our philosophy meaningless.

Nudity is not the objective of naturism. But it is a fundamental tool to achieve the movement’s goals. Out of respect for others, we must make an effort to present our complete, authentic, and open self.

Original quote from the film Vivre Nu: “Le don visuel réciproque de la nudité intégrale désamorce le rapport exhibitionniste/voyeur.”

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

14% of Canadians are willing to join us

The results of the 2014 survey on Canadians’ experience and attitudes toward nudity and naturism are now available.

Identifying the size of the naturist movement has always been challenging. While it is easy to count visitors/members of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park and other clubs, that represents only a small portion of participants. That question was first answered through a 1999 survey. But are the results still relevant a decade and a half later?

We wanted to update the data, determine trends, and reaffirm the original conclusions so Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park coordinated the efforts of the Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN) and the Fédération Québécoise de naturisme (FQN). A new survey was commissioned using an Ipsos panel to ask a similar but more in depth set of questions. The survey was designed, implemented and interpreted by Mark Wilkins Communications.

The results show that interest in naturism is up from 1999. Here are some of the conclusions:
  • Just over 2-in-3 Canadians (69%) claim to have engaged in at least 1 of 6 naturist behaviours tested. The exact same proportion claim to be open to doing so in future. Experience and openness are notably stronger amongst males, and, regionally, Albertans compared to Canadians living elsewhere.
  • At roughly 6-in-10 overall, experience with sleeping in the nude and openness to doing so in future outstrips experience with and openness to other behaviours to a significant degree.
  • This is followed at close to 1-in-2 by experience with / openness to walking around one’s home in the nude.
  • At roughly 1-in-5, a third tier of experience and openness is represented by swimming in the nude (not in mixed company scoring higher than doing so in mixed company particularly when future behaviour is considered).
  • Finally, experience with visiting a naturist / nude beach of resort reside at roughly 1-in-20, but rises significantly to the 1-in-10 range when considering openness to doing so in future.
  • Regionally, Canadians demonstrate several noteworthy differences in their openness to various naturist behaviours:
    • Albertans have greater experience with and are more open to naturism in the home setting (sleeping, walking around) than Canadians elsewhere.
    • British Columbians and Ontarians lead the way in terms of experience with nude swimming, but Albertans show the greatest openness to consider doing so in future (both in unmixed and mixed company).
    • While British Columbians have the most experience with visiting nude beaches, Albertans and residents of the Prairie provinces are most open to doing so in future – and also lead in terms of openness to visiting a naturist resort in future.
  • Finally, while younger Canadians (< 25 years of age) have not to-date shown a greater proclivity to naturist behaviours (their experience being generally on par with that of Canadians aged 35+), they do demonstrate a higher openness to engaging in all in future (exception: sleeping in the nude, to which Canadians of all ages are roughly equivalent in terms of openness).
  • When we collapse across public behaviours (ie. swimming nude in mixed company or going to a naturist/nude beach or resort), we find that 1-in-5 (21%) Canadians have engaged in such behavior and that 1-in-4 (25%) are open to the idea in future.
You can read the complete survey at:

Photo taken during Spencer Tunick's installation work in Sydney by Nelly Xiao. Used with permission.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Upcoming Events

We have many events all summer!  A few highlights:

GTA Naturist Volleyball Tournament - 8th Annual

June 27-29
Special prices!

Family Weekend

July 18-20
Special prices! 

Lee Baxandall Memorial Volleyball Tournament

August 15-17
Special prices! 

...and many, many more events throughout the summer and the year! See our events page. Or follow our Twitter feed. Or subscribe to our calendar. (you need a calendar program that supports .ics subscriptions - such as Outlook)

Friday, 13 June 2014

The Pool is Finally OPEN !!!!

The pool at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park
We just got the OK from the health department. Everything is working as it should be! It's a bit cold right now but we're diverting the water through the hot tub heater to give it a boost. Once it's a bit warmer, the solar heater will do the rest.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

HDTV in Guestrooms

Queen Room

In addition to the new cabins that were mentioned in an earlier blog, we have also improved our guestrooms.

The rooms always featured a comfortable bed, linens, and a Keurig coffee maker with supplies. But they now also have a small fridge and HD Television.

King Room
The television feature 10 local, over-the-air, HD channels. It seems that most people have forgotten that this is an option. If you are near urban areas, you do not need to pay $100/month to a cable or satellite company. A few decades ago, that's how most people got their TV channels.

Over-the-air TV is not only legally free, the quality is often better than cable or satellite. That's because those paid services have to compress the signals in order to squeeze those hundreds of channels into their signal. And because the signal is digital, the picture is either perfect or not there at all. You no longer get those fuzzy channels of yesteryear's. The only downside is that you can't get the specialty channels such as TSN or Discovery.

If you would like to know which channels are available in your area, try this tool on

Photos by Michael Willems and PAR

Friday, 6 June 2014

Another Pool Update

Alas, patching the existing liner has failed. But the good news is that you can fix a lot of things if you’re willing to spend a lot of money. We have order a new liner and paid for rush service. It should be ready early next week. The installers are putting a rush on it too and it should be installed next week – if the weather is good. You can’t install a liner in a sand-bottom liner pool if it is raining.

We have also scheduled trucks to bring water to fill the pool with water. That is much more expensive but the pool will get filled in hours instead of days. So possibly the pool could be open next weekend – but that’s certainly not guaranteed!

As we previously explained, the pool had a leak in the pipes last year. We applied some temporary fixes that kept the pool running rather than shutting it down until the end of the season. But we had to bypass the solar heater so it was cold!

We dealt with the leak in the pipes this spring. But we had to pump out the water to do it and that complicated things. As everyone noticed, the weather was very cold late into the spring. The liner needed to stretch as the weight of the water went in but that didn’t work well with the temperature being low. So we had to put hot water into the pool to help the liner stretch. Unfortunately, it didn't stretch enough. It popped out in a few places (which we fixed) and broke in one place. We patched that and managed to completely fill it. But success was fleeting. The patch started to give way so we had to pump the water back out. We tried a stronger patch and filled it again but it failed and the rip got worse. So a replacement liner became the only option.

Keep an eye on the Twitter feed for updates on our progress:

Monday, 26 May 2014

Pool Update

Right on the heels of major problems with the hot tub, the pool is giving us more trouble.

As most people know, the pool had a leak in the pipes last year. We applied some temporary fixes that kept the pool running rather than shutting it down for the end of the season. But we had to bypass the solar heater so it was cold!

We dealt with the leak in the pipes this spring. But we had to pump out the water to do it and that complicated things. As everyone noticed, the weather was very cold late into the spring. The liner needs to stretch as the weight of the water goes in but that doesn't work well if the temperature is low. So we had to put hot water into the pool to help the liner stretch. Unfortunately, it didn't stretch enough. It popped out in a few places (which we fixed) and broke in one place. We patched that and managed to completely fill it last week. But success was fleeting. The patch started to give way so we had to pump the water back out.

We are now trying to determine if there is a stronger patch available (a faster fix) or if we need to get a new liner. That would be slower since it has to be custom ordered. On the other hand, it will have to be replaced for next year anyway.

Keep an eye on the Twitter feed for updates on our progress.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Half Price Cozy Cabins

The cabins are ready!

To encourage some early use, we're offering half price until June 16th.  Don't worry if it's cold – they're fully heated.

The cabins sleep up to 6 and feature a kitchenette with a small fridge and microwave. Outside there is a picnic table and a BBQ with a side burner. The cabin comes with linens, basic dishes and utensils.  Since you don't need clothes either, packing will be very light and easy!!

But there are only 4 available. So make sure you call ahead and reserve.

Get the coupon at:

Details and more photos at:

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Bitcoin - A Bare Currency

Bitcoin is now accepted for payment at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park and The Bare Boutique. It can be used to pay for purchases both in person and online. A virtual currency is perfect for people without pockets!

Privacy is a concern for some of our members and visitors. They fear being judged because of their beliefs. We could certainly debate whether that's a real issue in today's world but we can't argue that is how some people feel. The anonymity of bitcoin can provide some reassurance. From a business standpoint, bitcoin is very easy to use and has a low transaction cost. (much better than credit cards) It's like cash but without the trouble of counting it and transporting it to the bank.

We actually set up Bitcoin payments several months ago. Now that the process has been properly tested and we've had our first transaction, we can officially announce it.

The security of bitcoin is not a big concern. The recent failures that grabbed headlines were more about security breaches in currency exchanges; not weaknesses of the currency system itself. Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park and the Bare Boutique will be holding their bitcoins in local wallets which avoids that issue. They will only be stored briefly in exchanges while they are being converted into Canadian dollars.

One criticism of bitcoin is that it is not backed by any government or institution and has no inherent value. You could say that about gold as well. That is basically just a shiny metal with very few practical uses. It is not essential to our survival in any way. Yet we all value it because for thousands of years we have been taught to treasure it.

Another criticism is that it is used for criminal activity. It is true that criminals like the anonymous nature of a bitcoin transaction. But you can say the same thing about cash. In fact, cash is even less traceable yet nobody is suggesting getting rid of it.

Initially most bitcoins we receive will be converted into regular currency. It is a reality that the vast majority of our suppliers do not accept bitcoin. But acceptance continues to grow rapidly so that may change in the not so distant future.

To learn more about bitcoin, visit