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Archive for Monday, November 7, 2011

Nudist group that began in Lawrence shows fun, relaxation to be had in a body

November 7, 2011

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The group hosts 5K runs, swim parties, potlucks and other social gatherings.

“We have some pretty boring events,” said Kansas City-area man Mark Partin, 38.

But the key difference for the Heartland Naturists is that they check their clothes — all of them — at the door.

Over milkshakes and french fries at an area restaurant, Partin, along with two other members, Mike, 64, and Greg, 57, who asked not to use their last names, talk openly about their group and the frequent misconceptions people have about being a nudist.

For nearly three decades, the group, which started in Lawrence in 1982 and currently has about 50 members, simply provides an outlet for area people who like to go au naturel.

“A lot of people think it’s got to be an orgy going on,” Mike said. Instead, it’s just “talking, conversation.” They typically don’t have alcohol at events, and most of them wrap up before 10 p.m., he said.

Members range in age from children who attend with their parents, to senior citizens in their 80s. Some are government workers, accountants, and they even had a pastor for a while.

“It’s a mix,” said Partin, who’s been a nudist for 20 years.

The origins of the group date back to the early 1980s, when on hot summer days, hundreds of nudists could be found lounging at Lake Henry, now part of Clinton Lake State Park, said Webb Garlinghouse, one of the original members.

“I don’t think I saw a swimsuit there,” he said. However, the lake was eventually closed by the state of Kansas, Garlinghouse said, and members began looking for other places. Some gravitated toward Topeka and the nudist-friendly campsite, Lake Edun, while others, like the Heartland Naturists, moved toward Kansas City.

Keeping it family-oriented

In order to make the events family-friendly and free of any sexual nature, the Heartland Naturists screen anyone interested in joining. There’s a phone interview and criminal background check before anyone’s allowed to come to an event, and first-timers must show identification.

“We’re pretty strict,” said Nicky Hoffman, president of the national Naturists organization, of which the local group is a chapter.

There’s even an etiquette sheet for the 100 or so chapters — with more than 10,000 members — scattered across the country.

Motivations for being a nudist differ in the local group. Some say it’s about promoting a healthy body image. For others, like Jean, a 30-year-old area woman who attends with her husband, it’s just a laid-back, social experience.

“For us, it’s more of a relaxation,” said Jean, who was originally skeptical when her husband first convinced her to attend a nudist event seven years ago. “Everyone’s friendly.”

And the group doesn’t necessarily have an agenda to push, Partin said.

“It’s not a political cause,” said Partin, though the members do work at educating the public on nudism when they can.

Mike, one of the senior members of the group, said he’s often surprised when others have a difficult time understanding the group or their motivations for being nudists.

“It’s just fun and pleasant, and don’t deny yourself,” he said.

Reporter Shaun Hittle can be reached at 832-7173. Follow him at Twitter.com/shaunhittle.

Comments

Gandalf 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm not sure I would want to live a lifestyle where I wouldn't be interested in a perfect 10!

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Clickker 2 years, 5 months ago

Whether or not open sex goes on..I really dont want my 7 yr old daughter seeing some guys erect penis, even if it is only for a brief moment until he finds shelter.

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brainyguy 2 years, 5 months ago

There are a lot of questions and misinformation here, so I'll try to cover a lot of the topics in one post.

pics and ugly nudists: We nudists aren't here for your entertainment or enjoyment. We frankly don't care what you think of our appearance, which is the point. We are comfortable with who we are, comfortable with who other people are, and are most comfortable nude. We have matured beyond the 12-year-old mentality that most Americans have toward nudity. If you want to see porn models, go buy a Playboy to satisify your prurient interests. We nudists have no desire in satisfying them for you.

But just so you know, nudists range from perfect 10's to perfect 1's, just like society in general. There are many more 5's than 10's, just like in society. If you want to know what nudists look like, go to the mall and look at the first 100 people who come through the door. You'll see a wide range of people - fat, skinny, good-looking, and ugly. Nudists look like those people - a wide range of people. But if you're expecting the same thing you'll see if you Google "nudists", you'll be disappointed. The porn industry has hijacked the fantasy of "nudism" for their own purposes - to sell that fantasy so they can make a quick buck. It is as unlikely that you'd see Jenna Jameson at a nudist event as you would see a real person in Playboy. They sell fantasy. Nudists are not fantasy.

Sex and nudism: It is a common misconception that nudism is about sex. It absolutely is not. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not a nudist. Any resort or club that allows open sex is not a nudist resort. They are a swinger or sex resort. Anyone who engages in any sexual conduct at any established nudist resort or club will be kicked out. Period.

Children and nudism: There is nothing that goes on at a nudist event that a child should not witness. It has been reported time and again that children who are raised in a nudist lifestyle are typically healthier, better-adjusted, and less prone to unwanted pregnancy or STDs than their textile counterparts. And anyone believing that nudist events are stocked with pedophiles are sadly misinformed. Anyone showing any evidence of inappropriate behavior toward a child is kicked out so quick that they won't know what hit them. They will also be added to national "do not admit" lists with all the nudist resorts. We are very protective of each other and especially the children who depend on us for that protection.

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sarababe 2 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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CWGOKU 2 years, 5 months ago

Some of these comments are barely postable... yet tittalating

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Christine Anderson 2 years, 5 months ago

This is just a bit too wierd. It would be criminal of me to frighten other human beings by being a nudist. Just not okay.

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redneck 2 years, 5 months ago

They should have a nudist pride parade on Valentines day. I'll be happy to watch them freeze their non-private parts off. lol

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rockchalker52 2 years, 5 months ago

I remember Dan Rather reporting on the CBS evening news, circa late 70's, about a deep space probe that, in it's cargo/data, included anatomically detailed male & female images of the human race. If other-worldly beings were to discover our probe, they would have pictures of us nekkid.
To get the story past Standards & Practices, I guess, CBS broadcasted copies of the images with all of the boy & girl parts blacked out. Ironic, don't you think? Pimpin' to the Martians, but we're not allowed to look.

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gl0ck0wn3r 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm naked right now. I started my own nudist colony, but it's pretty much just me hanging out naked and frying bacon.

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ezbreezy 2 years, 5 months ago

American's are so uptight! When I was in Greece and spent time at the beaches, (most if not all beaches), people were nude. It was natural and non sexual. Families eating picnic lunches, people of all ages and sizes having a good time with no judgement. I would never here, because American's are so mean and judgemental and yes, some are perverted. Something so natural and beautiful can be tainted by uptight, rude, immature people.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 5 months ago

Nudy places!? No way!!

My huge hands, especially the girth of my fingers, always make the girls look twice or stare. I need pockets to not draw attention to them.

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Andini 2 years, 5 months ago

I wish I could get something straight between some of these nudists.

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

The Bible says that God implemented clothing after the fall of man into sin. God himself clothed Adam and Eve after they realized that they were naked. God himself establishes the fact that humanity in order to limit and control sins of the flesh is to cover up and even be modest in exposing our bodies to those other than our husbands or wives.

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Irenaku 2 years, 5 months ago

LJW: Did you really have to show hairy man legs for this story? C'mon! That is grossss!

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topeka52 2 years, 5 months ago

Just think of all the swinging and swaying during those 5K runs!!!!!

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Joel Hood 2 years, 5 months ago

Q. How can you tell if a nudist is blind?

A. Eh, it isn't hard

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oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 5 months ago

Eating at a restaurant with people clothed is bad enough. Ever see some really overweight folks with the rear cheeks hangin' out of the booths and on the chairs? Even a milkshake wont' make that sight appetizing.

Prof Conboy some years ago had a nudist who worked for KU come to the class. As I recall, the genttleman raised goats but we as a class were invited to come visit the place and watch the members play volleyball.

Then Lawrence had a nude bar, clothes optional just behind McDonalds on 23rd st. It didnt' lst long. I guess those wearing clothes didn't like sitting on the vinyl chairs nor wanted to take a chance being nude while someone played pool. That pool cue is dangerous or could be. I guess the occupants did wear shoes.

Lawrence just couldn't keep that business going either. Did the Chamber of Commerce cut the ribbon at the Grand Opening. I would like to see another opening of such a place and have Mayor Cramwell cut the ribbon!

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Andini 2 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if they have glass cutting contests when it's cold out?

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tbaker 2 years, 5 months ago

Thanks LJW, for finally finding a way to unite this group so accustomed to bickering and insulting each other. Everyone can be friends when they are talking about getting naked. Politics just melt away at the first mention of it. I wonder how many excursions to our local fabric-free entertainment venue may be prompted by this! Bravo!

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CWGOKU 2 years, 5 months ago

This is a story I could sink my teeth into

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none2 2 years, 5 months ago

Why is it that so many times you see photos of of nudists they have shoes on? Are they ashamed of their feet?

Assuming that the legs in the photo belongs to one of their members, I'm surprised he has inked his ankles. If human skin is beautiful, why put on inks?

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babyboycat 2 years, 5 months ago

OH no no no no ........ drinking milkshakes with naked people.......Oh hell no....

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bootlegger 2 years, 5 months ago

whose hairy legs??? look like they belong to a zombie.....

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Andini 2 years, 5 months ago

I could really get excited about this place if it wasn't so hard to get in,

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 5 months ago

You never know; this could be an idea for the Gov. Encourage nudity and call it an income preservation program for the poor. Think of all the money they would save on clothes. One potential problem: school uniforms for private schools.

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blindrabbit 2 years, 5 months ago

Brings back memories (also mammaries) from Sycamore Hollow Nudist Camp that operated just west of Lawrence in the 1950-60's. To get a "feel" for the action there, look it up, and specifically for Donna. She was the "talk" of the midwest nudist set back in those days.

Shawn: Why don't you (LJW) do a back story on Sycamore, I'm sure it would be well received.

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bigpimpin 2 years, 5 months ago

The article says that they are at an area restaurant called "Partin," but then one of the quotes is attibuted to a guy named "Partin." Kinda effed up the anonymity on this one, Urinal World.

Americans and their hangups with the body. Some of y'all need to hit a beach in Europe. I once observed a group of female teenagers in France playing beach volleyball completely nude in Nice. Not just topless, but nude. Was awesome.

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Rick Hird 2 years, 5 months ago

Where do they keep their ID's?

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its_just_math 2 years, 5 months ago

I certified open-water dive on a beach in Playa MX......the beach was optional topless/full nude. That was a very let's just say, hard, walk to have to make from the dive shack over to the tiki hut after I finished certifying. Bear in mind, these are not some looney seniors or whatever eating french fries and drinking milkshakes---these are mostly a buff 20'ish crowd. Dear lord!

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droppinplates 2 years, 5 months ago

Face it, they're checking out each others' junk.

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sherbert 2 years, 5 months ago

does seem like there'd be a law regarding minor children and naked adults.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 5 months ago

Looks and sounds like basically a mens club.

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shaunepec 2 years, 5 months ago

No people. We have no video or pictures with this piece.

Shaun Hittle LJW

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

"who asked not to use their last names, talked openly..." A slight contradiction.

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lunacydetector 2 years, 5 months ago

adults maybe, but why would someone take their children? that's sick.

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its_just_math 2 years, 5 months ago

I don't think I could get a milk shake and an order of fries down sitting around a room with a bunch of naked people. You remember Clarence Thomas' Coke can, don't you?

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