what is naked club?
1. This website
I am working towards completing this social networking website intended to be a world resource listing as many people, places, events and projects, groups, orgainizations as possible and tying everything together so that people can connect and share experiences in real life. It is not intended to be primarily a discussion website. We do now have a Forum section where people can share their images and experiences. And I will continue to present my visual projects in a paid membership format as a way to raise some revenue. I have spent and continue to spend a crazy amount of money on this project, so any support you can give is greatly appreciated. Presently the website is in two parts that look different. But a new design is coming this year that will amalgamate both into one fresh simple look and it will be better viewed responsively on phones.
2. Origins - "PhotoNaturals"
Let me give you some history. In 2007 I had the idea of doing photography projects in nature with groups of clothing-free people. I called it "PhotoNaturals". Maybe I was inspired by Spencer Tunick and his large installations of arranged bodies in odd locations. I was more interested in capturing spontaneous experiences in natural settings - letting things happen. The idea was to present the flow of moment by moment freedom over the course of some hours. The viewer would have a vicarious experience of a place and time and be in the moment with the people in the video or photos. In these presentations I usually do not go into an explanation of Naturism, but rather let the depictions speak for themselves. Any visual presentation of nudity is in danger of being interpreted as eroticism by some people no matter how it is presented. And if amyone sees my work in this way I would say to them that they have brought their own prejudices to their viewing. Actually, confronting your own social programming is part of the exercise. Naturism can be about transcendance and transformation to a higher state of mind.
I travelled to The San Francisco area of California twice a year, mostly in June and in October over a number of years and each time would take small groups to some favorite nudist-friendly spots. I posted advertisements inviting people to apply. I was not really selecting people on how they looked, but rather what they had to say about why they wanted to be part of this. Since I was looking for some gender balance, and women were in the tiny minority of applicants, I accepted pretty much all of them. Since I got thousands of applicants from single men I could only accept a handful of them. Some of the participants also took photos to integrate image taking into the experience. Camera people were also participating, not looking in from the outside. This was an expensive and time-consuming process but I had a vague intention to eventually create a website to present the results of our creative efforts.
3. Presentation of PhotoNaturals
Finally in 2010 I focused on the task of designing a website and came up with the name "Naked Club". It was mainly a membership website with paid subscriptions. Business since then has been slow but steady. Revenue was never enough to cover the cost of the trips and continues to this day providing some financial assistance. By about 2012 I estimate that I had a photo archive of about 200,000 images and 100s of hours of video. To this day I am still editing photo sets and editing video. For several years www.naked-club.org was just a website for presenting our images and videos. I continued to use www.photonaturals.com to find people and provide information about events.
4. Naked Club becomes more social
In 2011 I made an effort to create more open events with the possibility of more people attending. I organized weekend retreat events with workshops and activities. There was a yearly camping trip in the summer. And then finally, Bodyfest at Lupin Lodge that would attract about 100 people. By 2017 I had done 4 yearly Bodyfest events and that year it was the last (for the moment). I now offer a similar but smaller Bodyfest at Bare Oaks, which is much closer to where I live. These events take a lot of effort and always somehow cost more to run than the revenue accounts for. So for now I have paused somewhat. There was another avenue I was pursuing though...
5. A new plan for the Naked Club website.
In 2016 I decided to act on an idea that was rattling around in my head for a while: to make a social networking website for nude-interested people that would tie together events, places, groups and projects world-wide. I knew there were a few nudist networking sites already out there but they seemed more about dating and online chatting rather than real life away from the computer. If I'd only known the time, cost and heartache I was headed for I may not have begun this journey. This was not something I could just do on Wix or some other template web hosting site. This had to be built from scratch from the ground up with a level of complexity, if not quite as detailed as Facebook, still was heading into that territory. It took me a few months to make the "wireframe" version of the website. That's where you make a simple (and ugly) version of the website with static pages to show the basic layout and functionality, something a programmer could use for engineering the unlying coding. I found an initial programmer to work with and soon started working on the design of what the live website would look like. The programming side is not something I can do myself. My first programmer was reclusive and difficult to reach and communicate with. But he did finally deliver the initial core functional part of the site (still 90% more to do though) and this took months. And then getting him to return to the job became difficult. After 6 months of little progress I searched for a new Programmer. Now I am working with someone who is excellent; we are in touch every day working out details and maintaining lists of things that still have to be done on the site.
6. Currently Spring 2020
At this point, the following areas of the website are working pretty well, though will be subject to further improvement at a later time: People, Places, Pods, Forum, Events, Messaging, Connecting/Friending, Email system, Membership system. Last year we added the "Pods" section which is for groups, clubs and organizations. The Pods section is more complicated than any of the other areas of the website because all things come together here. Pods become focal points between People and Events and Places and are managed by Organizers. If you create a Pod you can either do all your planning, membership, organizing etc from the Pod. Or you can just use the Pod to find more members for your real life group that you organize in other ways.
The Forum is the newest area and lets you post photos and messages in a central place. Additionally you now have your own Photo Favorites page and you can add any photos you find throughout the social part of the site to that personal page.
Every few months I will update this report page indicating progress. Thanks for reading!