‘It’s like being barefoot all over:’ Nude recreation is a $4 billion-per-year industry in Florida

Anchors Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden sit down with expert on nude recreation

ORLANDO, Fla. – We understand if just the mere thought of talking about a nude resort makes you blush.

It’s generally the first response from a lot of people followed quickly by a barrage of questions:

  • What are the rules?
  • Is it family-friendly?
  • How do I get started?
  • Where do I sit?
  • How do I sit?
  • Where do I look?

Don’t worry. Here at Florida’s Fourth Estate, we ask all those burning questions, so you don’t have to.

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This week, anchors Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden invited Erich Schuttauf with the American Association for Nude Recreation to talk about what is quite a lucrative business in the Sunshine State.

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Erich said the most common question people ask is: why does he do it?

“It’s a perfectly natural question,” he said. “If you’ve ever walked down on the beach barefoot then you know the feeling of being barefoot, well this is just barefoot all over, and that’s why it’s so fun to do.”

That must be the description of the decade.

Erich said he’s used to people asking all kinds of questions and maybe even snickering before they know the details but once they learn more about it the chuckling stops and the clothes drop. Not right at that moment, but a lot of people realize nude recreation can be a relaxing way of life.

For the most part, what you can do with clothes on you can enjoy without clothes and it’s usually a lot more fun.”

We understand if just the mere thought of talking about a nude resort makes you blush.

Host Matt Austin was worried about being judged while in the buff, but he was assured there isn’t any of that.

In fact, Erich says not to worry. “The nudity becomes the great equalizer. We often say you don’t know a bank president from a bus driver and everything else. Every person is a beautiful person, and we’re just a little bit more equal when we are in our birthday suits,” Erich said.

He also said a good way to get started if you don’t feel comfortable visiting resort is by baring it all in your own home.

“Do a few chores in the nude or enjoy your backyard. Get used to that before you go to a club.” He also suggests looking up a club online so you can get a better idea of what they have to offer.

Once you do find a club you like, he says a good way of getting to know the people there is to join in on the recreational fun.

They play board games, horseshoes, volleyball and tennis. Erich said one game taking off right now is no surprise.

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“A very popular game right now in clubs is pickleball, which is enjoyed by people who perhaps have had a few extra years and want a lighter sports experience,” he said.

And more people are enjoying the nude life experience.

In 2017, the American Association for Nude Recreation compiled a report about the impact for clothing optional tourists.

The report found nude recreation was bringing in $4.3 billion. Certainly nothing to snicker about.

While each club is different, he said there are some things that are universal. For example: towels and sunscreen are a must. Cameras and cell phones are big no no’s. Clubs want you to enjoy the moment and not make others feel uncomfortable worrying about you taking pictures.

You’ll also be happy to know clubs have safety procedures in place to make sure it’s safe for everyone.

Again, Erich said the best thing to do is investigate the club you’re interested in by visiting online and contacting them if you still have questions.

About the Author:

Ginger Gadsden joined the News 6 team in June 2014 as an anchor/reporter. She currently co-anchors the 4 p.m. 5:30 p.m. and the 7 p.m. newscasts.