Thursday, 26 April 2007

Singles policy


As a result of a question/criticism on an internet discussion forum about the Bare Oaks single policy, I posted the following message. I thought that others would also be interested in reading it.

Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park does not have any rules against single men. There are many single male members and a few single females. However, we do feel the need to maintain a gender balance. Theoretically, that could mean that we would exclude single women should they make up more than 60% of the membership. Realistically, I understand that only men will be affected. There are always more men in north American naturism because far more single men are comfortable with nudity than single women. It is an unfortunate reality that single women are worried about how they look, feel unsafe alone, and are concerned that they will draw unwanted attention from single men looking for a partner. We could spend a lot of time discussing whether that is right or not. It doesn't matter since it is the reality and I don't know how to change it.

Why is maintaining a gender balance important? Because a predominantly male population makes women uncomfortable. Yes I know that some of you reading this will argue that it doesn't bother you. That's probably because you are seasoned naturists. We plan on growing our membership from non-naturists. With people who are still getting used to the idea of naturism, gender balance is important. About 2 or 3 years ago, I had, on two separate occasions, the opportunity to introduce single women to naturism. Because it was in the winter, my wife and I took them to an ORB swim. As you probably know, the ORB does not maintain a gender balance. As a result, their swims are generally 90% men. I did not warn the women in any way nor did I point it out to them during the swim. Yet in both independent instances, the women volunteered that they were uncomfortable at the swim because of the large number of men. You have to understand that to a newbie, gender is very evident in a naturist environment. Sadly, neither women has ever been willing to try naturism again as a result of their first experience.

I don't like keeping anyone out who wants to try naturism. I was a single man for many years who was forced to find female friends to accompany me to naturist clubs. It wasn't easy. Today, Toronto does offers single men other options. I have visited naturist clubs all over Canada, the USA and Europe. I've looked at all of the situations when it comes to club policies. I knew that the policy would not be popular with single men. As much as I hate the singles policy, I cannot find a better solution to the problem.