A recent press release about a new nudist group, the Young Naturists and Nudists America (NNYA) featured the headline “Young Nudists Show the AANR How It’s Done.” According to comments made by Felicity, co-founder of the group, in the December 18 edition of The Political Naturist, AANR doesn’t “represent, create, they don’t get involved.” While a great way to garner headlines for an upstart nudist group, is that statement, and others like it, the truth? Or even more alarming, really necessary?
Social family nudism has made great strides in recent years. Nudity is considered more mainstream than ever as can be witnessed by articles, magazine covers and its use to sell products. Even Hollywood is getting on board with an upcoming movie featuring Jennifer Aniston that takes place partly at a nudist resort. Aniston recently visited Paradise Valley, an AANR-affiliated club, to do research for her role. New clothing-optional resorts that espouse family values are opening in the Caribbean. Nude cruises and other forms of nude travel are more popular than ever. And, yes, much of the increase in popularity has to do with social media.
While AANR does not usually reveal its website data, neither is it sitting on the sidelines when it comes to social media. Currently, there have been over 1,400 “Likes” on its main Association Facebook page. This does not take into account the Facebook groups that have been created for specific events such as the AANR World Record Skinny-Dip, the Cape Cod Beach Cleanup and the Assateague Clothing-Optional Beach group, all administrated by AANR, or the regional and individual AANR-affiliated clubs pages.
And AANR is keeping up with what members and friends have told them that they want: a community where they can connect. This has resulted in the addition of a new user-generated content feature on AANR.com called The World of Nude Recreation, where people can submit their stories about a wide variety of topics pertaining to the nudist lifestyle. The YNNA press release states its website has more Web traffic than AANR.com, according to reports at Alexa.com. While this may be true, and the figures in the release reflect that to be so, AANR does not base their website data on Alexa metrics but on Google Analytics. On the day AANR’s newsletter, the E-Bulletin, went out and included a link to the new World of Nude Recreation page, over 7,500 visitors went to AANR.com that day. A typical news story on MSNBC or Fox News can trigger visits upward of 15,000 visitors in a single day.
While it is true that many AANR members are above the 40-year-old demographic, there are many younger members as well. Witness the success of VitaNuda, a group of 35-year-old and younger nudists that falls under the AANR umbrella. Information about this active group can be found on the Gen Next page of AANR.com with links to the VitaNuda and VitaNuda West Facebook pages plus a link to their “What Is Nudism” video on its YouTube NudeRevolutionTV channel that has had nearly 7 million views to date.
But what does all this mean? Somehow isn’t it all beside the point? Why should any nudist group try to claim advantage over another? Aren’t we all working toward the same goals? Granted, while nudism has become more mainstream and there are great strides being made in government affairs arenas there is still work to be done. Nudists need to be proactive on issues protecting our right to enjoy nude recreation, especially at the state and local level. It’s not about how many followers a particular group has in the Twitterverse, how many “Likes” its Facebook page has or how old its members are. It’s about a nudist group’s members being willing to get busy and do the dirty work of protecting the lifestyle choice we love. And we should all work together to do so.