The Capitalist Case for Free Public Nude Spaces
Putting Basic Rights into Economic Terms Because America
Historically, the nudist movement has been associated with private clubs and resorts where individuals pay for access to participate. The free beach movement in the 1970s and 80s made gains toward changing the model by introducing clothing optional public spaces, but at the time it did not find much support from nudist clubs, some of which viewed the beach movement as undermining the market that resorts dominated. Some organizational nudist leaders in Florida even wrongly took strides to support anti-public-nudity legislation to help secure the private model as the dominant means for social nudity in the late 80s and early 90s. What they failed to realize, and which this article posits, is that the creation of free and public spaces for nudism can bring economic benefits to the community and reinforce its place within a capitalist system.
The capitalist argument for free and public nudism is compelling. Put simply, greater accessibility to nudism can lead to increased participation and support for the movement. As more people participate, this can lead to increased economic activity, such as tourism, and the creation of jobs and tax revenues.
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Public spaces for nude recreation can also help to improve the image and reputation of naturism, increase cultural awareness, and create opportunities for community development. Public spaces have the potential to attract a wider and more diverse range of visitors, not just a specific nudist demographic. This diversity can bring new perspectives, and different ideas on how to improve the movement and reach new audiences.
To be clear, this is not an argument for universal nudity, or even full public legality of nudity, but rather a reasoned approach to creating safe public spaces which are accepting of simple nonsexual nudity. Beaches are a start, but we could embrace this culture on some level in parks and preserves, and on other public land that is set aside for recreational activities. Creating more public and free spaces for nudism can benefit both the nudist community and the broader society.
Haulover Beach Park in Miami, Florida is a prime example of the economic benefits of free and public nudism. The beach attracts over 1.4 million visitors a year, bringing in business for hotels, restaurants, and other local businesses in the surrounding area. Furthermore, the beach has been successful in providing a safe, comfortable and legal environment for visitors. The beach's success demonstrates how free and public spaces for nudism can help to promote the nudist lifestyle and create economic opportunities.
The simple fact is, nudism itself is not easily monetized, and it shouldn’t be. Nudity is a core human trait which should be viewed as a basic right.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to financially profit from nudism. It’s somewhat akin to snow. Snow does not cost money. It’s free to enjoy for all. If you live in a region where snow activities are viable for some or all of the year, you have myriad options for snow-based activities. Now, you may have to spend money to buy a sled, good boots, or cold weather clothes. You may have to pay entry to go skiing on someone else’s mountain land. There is big business in the ancillaries around snow, but the snow itself can’t really be monetized. Let’s try to look at nudism this way. Nudist resorts don’t sell nudity, they sell community, lodging, entertainment, and affiliation,
Nudism is a recreational activity, and under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment to the US Constitution, nudists are afforded the same protections as everyone else. The government provides recreational spaces for boating, camping, hiking, basketball, tennis, swimming, and more. You don’t find the industries supporting these other activities decrying the government for undermining their markets by providing these amenities for free. The fact is, these industries profit from the increased accessibility that these public spaces provide to people. It doesn’t matter if your choice of recreation is on water, land, or snow, they all require different levels of attire. Honestlt, why should nude recreation be treated any differently from the rest? Only answers that don’t include an outdated moralistic view of the human body count.
The businesses that support nudism can be quite lucrative. In addition to the economic benefits that come from increased tourism, businesses that cater to nudists can also generate revenue through memberships, merchandise sales, and other products and services. Nude or clothing-optional resorts and camps, like ski resorts, can generate revenue through accommodation and membership fees, as well as through offering food, drinks, spa services, yoga classes, and entertainment. They can also generate revenue through merchandise sales and renting of equipment such as golf carts and umbrellas. Further, products catering to the naturist lifestyle, such as sunscreen, water bottles, bags, and other essential items, can also generate revenue.
If nudism is more universally accepted and public space provided for its enjoyment, the culture of nudism will only grow and become more robust. Nudist artists and creators selling books, movies, and other media that highlight or promote the nudist lifestyle can more easily find an audience and support their own work off of the resulting revenue. Conventions, festivals, and other gatherings can also generate income through registration fees, merchandise sales, and also attract more tourists to the area where the event is held.
These business opportunities are not limited to the nudist community, but also to the general society that is open to the nudist lifestyle and its value. The key is understanding the needs and wants of the target audience, and providing products and services that cater to those needs and wants. Nudists are normal people. Despite a lack of pockets, they do carry wallets, and businesses who cater to this market can thrive.
Of course, this won’t happen overnight, and nudists do need to consider the opinions and comfort of the general public. This kind of change would require working with local governments and communities to create policies and regulations that are sensitive to their concerns. The benefits of creating free and public spaces for nudism, along with supporting ancillary businesses, could be substantial. Some may fear that it would lead to the phasing out of traditional nudist clubs, but I believe the opposite effect would occur. It would mean making the nudist philosophy and lifestyle more accessible and integrated in society as a whole. 🪐
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