American Association for Nude Recreation
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|Predecessor||International Nudist Conference (INC)|
American Sunbathing Association (ASA)
|Established||April 12, 1931|
|Founders||Kurt Barthel, Ilsley Boone|
|Headquarters||Kissimmee, Florida, United States|
|United States, Canada, Mexico, French West Indies, Virgin Islands, and St. Martin.|
|Services||Membership organization, newsletter publisher, education/advocacy|
|over 30,000 members and more than 200 clubs|
The AANR is the largest, longest-established organization of its kind in North America. It was founded in 1931 under its previous name American Sunbathing Association. Approximately 200 nudist resorts, clubs, and businesses choose to affiliate with AANR, and AANR serves over 30,000 members in the United States, Canada, Mexico, French West Indies, Virgin Islands, and St. Martin.
The AANR promotes the benefits of wholesome nude family recreation and works to protect the rights of nudists in appropriate settings, such as sanctioned nude beaches and public lands set aside for that use; as well as homes, private backyards, plus AANR-affiliated clubs, campgrounds and resorts.
Purpose and activities
The AANR believes that nudity in appropriate settings is an enhancing and enjoyable experience. Ultimately, the organization wishes to realize societal acceptance of nude recreation. The association lobbies various levels of government in the interest of its affiliates and of nudist recreation.
The AANR's purpose includes the following elements:
- To foster among the public a just and tolerant appreciation of the human person and body in all its aspects, and promote the understanding and liberty that humankind may achieve by the practice of social nudism.
- To disseminate knowledge and information about the practice of social nudism.
- To establish, maintain, and foster the establishment of resorts, places, parks and areas for recreation and the enjoyment of social nudism.
- To lawfully, and in combination with others, seek the establishment and maintenance of such laws in any jurisdiction as will facilitate and provide for the purposes herein stated.
In 1929 Kurt Barthel started the first American nudist club known as the American League for Physical Culture (ALPC). A couple of years later after continued growth it was renamed and founded as an organization American Sunbathing Association in 1931 with Ilsley Boone being listed as president. During the World War II the nudist movement was disrupted as many went off to war resulting in the closure of several nudist resorts / clubs. After the war by 1946, Boone was seen as controlling and micro-managing the organization resulting in many dissatisfied members. Claims of controlling mailing lists in order to receive enough proxy votes to keep control of elected votes and elected officials. After several years of conflicts, finally in 1951 forced Boone to resign. Boone continued to stay active in the nudist movement by starting the magazine S.U.N. (So/air Union Naturisme).
The AANR was a long-standing representative of INF (International Naturist Federation) until its recent withdrawal in September 2010, leaving America with no INF representatives. The AANR also belongs to several other organizations such as: The Naturist Society, FCN (Federation of Canadian Naturists), SFFB (South Florida Free Beaches), ARC (American Recreation Coalition), National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, and others.
AANR and other nudist organizations, such as The Naturist Society, to discover and prevent anti-nudity legislation. They also work to increase the places where people can legally be nude through legislation and positive media coverage. These efforts are largely volunteer from the ranks of those who want to enjoy being part of nude activities. Both clubs and people support this effort. Clubs do so by becoming an AANR-chartered club, while individuals become AANR members.
The AANR is run by elected board members and is divided into seven regions, devoted to promoting family nude recreation in their respective geographic areas. With the organizations headquartered in Kissimmee, FL of the Florida region, the seven regions consist of:
- Eastern (AANR-East)
- Florida (AANR-Florida) Separate office from the national AANR
- Midwest (AANR-MW)
- Northwest (AANR-NW)
- Southwestern (AANR-SW) Generally covering the South Central states
- Western (AANR-West)
- Western Canadian (AANR-WC) Other provinces of Canada are covered by the Eastern and Midwest regions
AANR-affiliated (chartered) clubs include both nudist resorts and naturist social clubs that agree to AANR principles and standards. There are a wide range of various types of nudist resorts and clubs affiliated with AANR that are as individual as their members and visitors. So long as they meet AANR principles and standards by endeavor to provide a friendly, stress free atmosphere where people enjoy social nude recreation with their family and friends. Ranging from clothing optional to no clothes allowed. Chartered clubs also range from land-based clubs to beach clubs and even travel clubs (not land based). Many AANR-affiliated resorts are also affiliated with The Naturist Society, and the AANR membership card usually has equal status to the TNS membership card at resorts.
Individuals typically become members on an annual basis usually via paid annual subscriptions at chartered clubs which includes partial fees for AANR membership, although lifetime memberships are also available. Membership in AANR includes a subscription to The Bulletin, AANR’s monthly newsletter. The Bulletin contains articles on naturist activities and issues related to naturism. The Bulletin began as an insert in the Sunshine and Health magazine, and is now a standalone newsletter.
- Hoffman, Brian (2015). Naked: A Cultural History of American Nudism. NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-9054-0.
- Smith, Mark Haskell (2015). "The Rise of Nudist Clubs in America". Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist's Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World. Grove/Atlantic. ISBN 978-0-8021-9178-6.
- Woycke, James Edward (2003). Au Naturel: The History of Nudism in Canada. FCN. ISBN 978-0-9682332-3-8.