I caught up with Chris Riss from Wilton Manors in Florida for a report from the 2018 Naked Camp - the annual gathering of Gay Naturists International.
How would you describe GNI’s Naked Camp?
The event takes place in a camp in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. There’s woods, lake, 80 cabins with 10 beds in each, two pools, volleyball courts, tennis courts, weight room, zip line, dining hall, theatre, disco, and all the amenities you need for a camp.
This year we had about 550 guys attending.
Everyone is naked from the time they arrive to the time they leave. Each day, there are three buffet style meals in the dining hall. You can do whatever you like during the day - there’s activities available such as yoga, kayaking, lots of sports and games, or you can just hang out at the pool. There’s also a range of fetish classes available.
There’s social drinks before dinner, and after dinner there’s always shows or contests.
The official entertainment is followed by parties at the cabins, plus there’s the disco for some dancing. Across the other side of the lake there are three unoccupied cabins that are reserved for late night fun.
Were there many new guys there this year - guys that hadn’t been to Camp before?
We had 167 guys who hadn’t been previously, so that’s about 30 percent of the overall attendees. About a third of the new guys were from outside of the US.
This was the seventh time that I’d been to the GNI Naked Camp. I was there with my husband Rob. We knew lots of the guys there from previous camps, and we made plenty of new friends as well.
What was the weather like for Camp this year?
Mostly sunny. It was a bit cooler than you’d normally expect for late-August, but the two giant swimming pools were busy every day. It only rained on the Tuesday night, which was well timed - that was several days into the event and most guys needed a rest from the nightly activities. By the time the second half of the week crowd showed up on Wednesday, the skies were sunny.
A camp full of naked guys sounds like it’s going to be a total sex-fest. Is that pretty much what it is?
For some, yes. It’s as sexual as you want it to be. Some guys have little interest in the sexual opportunities, and just enjoy being naked outside with hundreds of other naked gay guys. Sex is discouraged in the more public places like the dining hall and the theatre - not everyone wants to witness such activity while eating or enjoying a show. But there’s endless places to have sex and lots of different settings available - dungeons, cabins, slings, by the bonfire. Plus there’s also scheduled sex-fuelled events such as piss parties, fetish classes, and the dirty disco.
What were some of your highlights from this year’s Camp?
What struck me about this year compared to the previous camps I’ve been to, was the number of new, young, hot, enthusiastic guys there representing a new generation of gays embracing naturism and enjoying outdoor group nudity.
In my cabin, six of the twelve beds were occupied by newbies - all in their 20s and 30s, all very good looking. Everyone had their own way of getting involved - one of the guys from my cabin won the Best Ass contest, another ran the afternoon circle-jerks, another instructed in the flogging and fisting classes.
We enjoyed being outdoors with hundreds of naked guys - going jogging, playing tennis, hiking, canoeing, volleyball, rafting. I really liked the slip-n-slide, the zip line, and the oil wrestling was definitely a highlight. The sex parties across the lake were also a lot fun. It was all pretty memorable.
Why do a lot of gay guys like nude events?
I think all gay guys would like nude events if they were at them. The tough part is getting them over their inhibitions to get naked, which keeps them from coming to camp.
Everyone is a little apprehensive at first, since we all think we’ve got physical flaws - too fat, too skinny, small dick, saggy ass, you name it. Once you arrive, get naked, and walk outside among the hundreds of other naked guys, you realise that nobody is staring and pointing at your perceived imperfection. Everyone has flaws of some sort, and nobody at camp cares. Then you relax, lose your inhibitions that have been holding you back your whole life, and you just start enjoying the fraternity, fellowship, fun, and fucking.
Will you be going again next year?
Absolutely. Next year I’m planning on being there the whole week. Where else can you be outdoors with over 500 naked gay guys? This isn’t a clothing-optional campground or resort - which are largely clothed and boring by comparison. This isn’t Folsom or Burning Man with gawking women in all directions. This isn’t a nude beach, pool party, or sex club, which only lasts a few hours. This is a unique, total immersion, week-long, outdoor, large group experience with other naked gay men.