Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Guys and Girls: Exploring the Gender Gap Among Nudists

Women. Girls. Men. Boys.  There are two genders in this world.  Obviously, those two different sexes have different body parts.  That's no more obvious than in a nudist setting.  But there's
another obvious difference: absent "artificial controls" there are usually many more males than females who participate, or want to participate initially.

Over the next week or so, the Bare Platypus intends to post a series of blog entries addressing this subject.  We'll begin with describing the situations we've witnessed after visiting nudist clubs and beaches for nearly 25 years and working in the nudist business.  Next, we'll offer some theories---actually, explore as many as we can think of or have heard about---for why this is so.  We'll close by considering how this could change.  Along the way, if a related topic or two comes to mind, we may add that.  Your comments, as always, are especially appreciated.  Plan to join us as we explore the gender gap between males and females in nudism.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE

We're going to start the exploration by stating it outright:  There is a difference between men and women when it comes to the number who want to experience communal (even private?) nudity and the initial interest or reluctance to try a nudist event or venue.  That difference almost always suggests men and boys will want to try baring earlier and more.  We'll save thoughts about why we think that is until a future post.  For now we have to establish a baseline of what IS. That may be a challenge.

There's a tendency within our educated populace to immediately reject any observation or suggestion that sounds like a stereotype, prejudice, bias... or sexism.
 
Some will challenge our Platypus statement that males favor nudity as sexist.  They will, rightfully, point out that there are many, many women who enjoy nudism.  We agree. There are. They may also point out that, though initially reluctant to try a nudist experience, once "sold" on it, that a woman may well want to return even more than her male spouse or friend.  We don't disagree with that statement either.  But, it's almost impossible to argue that on a nude beach where admission is not restricted or in a nudist club that allows single men to visit without restriction, there will be many more men stripped and in attendance.

One club owner of a large nudist club once noted during a business meeting that his business felt a strong need to put some restrictions on visitations by single men---either by capping the maximum number of them admitted per day or by requiring AANR-TNS  membership. Without such limits there would be an incredible difference in the ratio of men to women such that the women who visited would then feel vulnerable.  "We tried to welcome everybody but, by doing so, found women felt unwelcome due to the disparity.  We now try to achieve more balance between welcoming guests and setting those guests at ease," he said.

Some will challenge our general statement because they do not want the word out about the gender gap. They fear it will further discourage females from giving nudity a try and, thus, become a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

Some insist on having data and analysis worthy of the scientific method rather than general observations.  In truth, there IS data that shows males more willing to give nudity a try than females.  The data just isn't shared that often.  (Remember all those polls showing how many people have been skinny dipping or want to try it?  The results usually included a break down of responses by gender.  Some poll results were as divergent as 25% of young men interested in going naked vs. 13% of young women.)

Still others will say, we're only reporting a disparity between men and women based on the venues
we've experienced.  Finally, some just challenge the Platypus observation about gender because they don't want it to be so.  And yet, even among toddlers visiting the wading pool and water amusements of a theme park, staff have noted that it's usually the little lads stripping off to try getting away with going bare.  ( See e.g. Tyke Provides the Essence of Nudism )  There's a reason Subaru used a young fella when making Cute Subaru Ad Features L'il Nudist to Be .

Now, we have noticed a couple exception to the gender gap principle.  First, when it comes to the nude photography subjects on blog sites one could get the impression that young women are the only
subjects of nude pictures.  Second, and on a more serious note, the leadership of nudist clubs and organizations includes a strong presence of women. Women have held such a presence for many years.  Going back to decades ago before it was customary in other organizations and  the workplace.

Can anyone who has seriously spent time on nude beaches or in unrestricted clubs dispute these collective observations?  We remember only one day during our years and years in the business when sales to single women outnumbered those to men.  Just one day.

That's all for now.  Up next in this blog: Why does the gender gap exist?

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Bare Platypus now offers products with Platypus artwork at the Bare Platypus Souvenir Shop .  You can get a tote bag or a coffee mug, a t-shirt, or all three!  Plus there's more to come.

These designs are one-of-a-kinds that you won't find elsewhere.  Tasteful enough that you can show or serve them to all guests, but unusual enough (and always bare) that they can help you get a conversation going.

You're invited to visit!