[almost] spontaneous NuDance at the House of Yes in NYC

Who’d argue that dancing naked is not fun? Sadly, there aren’t many opportunities to do that socially, even in New York City, famous for its nightlife. You can join our NuDance class, but how about parties where you could dance naked? The body-painting dance parties in NYC seem to be a thing of the past… However, we’ve discovered a monthly gig which welcomes freedom of expression, including dancing naked! It is called ‘Party at Ostbahnhof’.

The next event is this Friday! Check out the description of the party or the main DJ’s avatar on soundcloud, and you’ll see why we got an idea to try dancing naked there in the first place! The initial attempt wasn’t successful though – at their first gig we were even told by security to put our shirts on… we didn’t really listen, but it didn’t make us feel frisky enough to disrobe any further. Maybe the security took the name of the venue, Verboten (“forbidden” in German), too literally; even though the description of the party seemed to refer to a certain club in Berlin, the atmosphere didn’t feel like Berghain. I contacted the DJ of the gig – SPRKLBB, and he said the party was going to another venue which would be more supportive to alternative ideas including nude dancing. Indeed the ‘House of Yes’ turned out to be a lot more permissive, and three of us ended up dancing naked, and there also was a top-free girl.

We got quite a few smiles and thumbs up, with people saying this was like a true Berlin party. Well, not like a typical party in Berlin would have some naked people in the crowd, but it could certainly happen in the Techno temple Berghain and more so at the naturist-lead SchlagerNackt Party. Let’s bring some Freikörperkultur (FKK) – ‘free body culture’ – to NYC!

Berghain

When I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago for Miami Music Week (amongst other things – more on that later!), it felt like the entire world of electronic dance music was there, with pool parties during day and club gigs during night (and sometimes well into early afternoon), not to mention Miami Winter Music Conference and Ultra festival… I could only wish one more addition to the whole shenanigans – nudity (or removal, of clothes, that is!) Despite the perfect weather and context (e.g. pool parties), nudity will doubtfully be allowed at Miami Music Week events, and pretty much anywhere at dance parties, unless these are specialized events. Luckily, there is one club that has managed to combine worldwide fame and a truly underground atmosphere where “anything goes”, including nudity! It’s Berghain in Berlin. It is often dubbed as the techno capital of the world and is famous for parties that start on Friday night and finish on Monday morning.

It was voted the best night club in the world in 2009 by DJ Magazine. Not surprisingly, on a Saturday night you may end up queuing for 2 hours… and in the worst case in vain, as many people aren’t admitted for no obvious reason (rather random, I suspect), which sounds nasty, but the demand is just clearly too high. And you should appreciate the club management, who have preserved the entry fee pretty much the same throughout the years and haven’t turned the club into a posh place for more cash: there’s still “No VIP, no mirrors in the bathroom, no expensive cocktails, just a good sound system and great crowd!”

Berghain flyer May 2014

You can sort of get the vibe from Berghain’s racy flyers. The one above is probably my favorite from all I’ve seen, and by coincidence it features all naked people. It is from May 2014, the first time when I got naked there and almost 4 years after I moved from Berlin. When I used to frequent Berghain while living in Berlin, I always suspected it’d be fine to dance naked there, but I’d never seen anyone do that. I talked about it with a couple friends, but we just never tried. Last year, I was determined to test it. And when I got to Berghain on a late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, the atmosphere was just right. Perfect ratio of crowd/personal space, great music and people who were into music… Off went my clothes, and it felt great. Finally I was 100% at home in Berghain! Most people around didn’t seem to notice, but I got my share of smiles and thumbs up. One guy told me it was more common to see naked people on a Sunday night, when more locals come out as opposed to more touristy Saturday night. He himself was from New York originally but resided in Berlin; we got in touch and agreed to return in the evening of the same day (which was Sunday)… After getting some sleep and doing acro-yoga in Tiergarten, I went to Berghain again, with Tam this time. Despite there was no queue, the bouncer didn’t let him in – as always, absolutely no reason was given (and most likely there was no reason?)… I had a stamp from my previous visit though (once you’re in, you can leave and enter the club throughout the weekend), and as it was my last night in Berlin and wanted to see Berghain on a Sunday night, I still decided to get in. My new ex-New-Yorker friend was already there, and he introduced me to his friend who apparently always danced naked in Berghain. So, this time, I got naked as soon as I found my spot on the dance floor. I kept my clothes nearby, but the nudist Berghainer said I should have left it at the coat check – the staff is absolutely cool with nudity; the bouncer even told him that in case someone made a fuss about nudity, THAT person would be kicked out! That night, I saw 3 more naked guys dancing, so while nudists are a tiny minority in Berghain, we are certainly welcome and safe there. If you like techno and dancing naked, you can’t think of a better place!

PS You might have noticed the absence of photos in this blogpost – that’s because one of the very few rules in Berghain includes prohibition of photography, similar to some naturist venues. Photos or videos wouldn’t make much justice anyways (not to mention that it’s quite dark there), it’s more of a personal experience that makes Berghain special.

SchlagerNackt party in Berlin

Germany is a home to large naturist population that often identify themselves with the so-called ‘free body culture’ – Freie Körper Kultur (FKK), so no wonder its capital hosts a huge naked disco! The Schlagernacktparty is organised every two months in the club “Schwuz” at Rollbergstrasse 26, Berlin 12053. Its concept and original idea occurred to DJ Jupiter with collaboration of DJ Stern of Avalon and Itzy in 2003, and it has grown very fast through the last years and has reached almost 400 guests at each event!

SchlagerNackt party

Schlagernackt is a self-explanatory portmanteau name: Schlager is German pop music from the 1970-80s, Nackt means naked and rhymes with Nacht, night. As a non-German, I was very sceptical in the beginning, but as I listened to it, I found it so nice and funny that I loved it ever since… I decided to come regularly to the party and then even joined the team to help with the whole oprganisation.

The music works not only for Germans but for our numerous international guests too (reflecting diversity of Berlin’s dwellers and tourists). Also, our music is never too loud, so it creates a nice atmosphere where you can also talk to other people and make new friends, which is easy, because everybody seems to feel comfortable at our parties!

SchlagerNackt party

The dresscode is naturally naked with the exception are socks and shoes for obvious reasons (we are a busy disco after all).

So easy is the procedure: you are first of all warmly welcomed by our team at the entrance (Olaf, Wolfgang and Doris), pay entrance fee of €5 euro, then you find some benches where you can take off all your clothes and put them in a plastic bag, which you then give to the team working at the coatcheck (Michele (me), Berko, Jens, Elke, Christian, Stephane). You get a number tag that you can use to order drinks at the bar, which you pay at the end of the party. Our guests also get free sweets and typical German products.

Every time, we choose a particular theme: Easter, Halloween, Summer, Hawaii and so on. We change the atmosphere and the decorations accordingly, but always very colourful!

So, don’t miss the best party in Europe!-) The next date is the 22nd of February (19:00-02:00), then 26 April and so on every two months. Visit our website for further information. We are waiting for you!!!

SchlagerNackt party

[Guest entry by Michele]

Queer Woods of Pennsylvania (part II)

In my previous post, I promised to continue about queer woods of Pennsylvania that were only going to get queerer, so here is where we ended up on another hot summer weekend: not a haunted house this time, but a lively campground, ‘the Woods’, oriented to gay and lesbian clientele. As you can expect from the name, it is located in the woods in the rural part of Pennsylvania. Most people stay in trailers or cabins, but you can also opt for a tent. The atmosphere is very laid-back, so clothing-optional policy only helps to ease your mind; on the other hand, they organise themed weekends, so you’re likely to find company with similar interests. Needless to say, it was a nudist weekend, when I was there with more than a dozen of naked friends.

One of the obvious things to do in the woods is, of course, hiking, and ‘the Woods’ provide plenty of room for hiking au naturel.

There are designated trails on the territory that belongs to the campground, but when we ended up at the edge of the Christmas tree farm, it was hard to resist posing in front of those in my favourite attire… I wouldn’t mind this kind of Christmas!

This guy in fur coat was clearly overdressed. It wasn’t a white Christmas!

Or was it?

There was a field full of chamomiles.

The field was so big, it seemed easy to get lost there!

So we returned to the campground for lunch and some relaxing time by the pool. There is also a small lake, but surprisingly very few people use it. Maybe this funny warning note is to blame for that.

Of course, it didn’t stop me from swimming there. To me, presence of fish is rather a sign of a healthy lake.

Shallow area in the middle of the lake indeed had numerous nests of sunfish.

But you can also explore the pond without getting wet: a pedal boat and a canoe are provided as well.

You can also see it as a work out: first legs,

then upper body 😉

And maybe some balancing exercises on a small rock in the middle of the lake?

I wasn’t the only one to claim the rock, but its true owner is this pond slider turtle.

Next to the pond, there was a sunlit meadow full of daylillies.

Activities don’t stop at ‘the Woods’ at night. They even offer a midnight hike! Many people have actually joined. Just watch out for ticks (it’s actually good to stay naked, so they cannot hide in and under clothes). The nights when we stayed were very warm, but in case it cools down, there are two hot tubs and a huge fire as well.

What else do you need to stay warm than a bunch of naked friends and a fire?

And to top it all up, the campground boasts a decent night club, well-decorated and with good sound. Unlike at Sunny Rest, another naturist club in this part of Pennsylvania, most people were dancing in the buff.

The choice of music didn’t necessarily fit my taste, but I surely enjoyed the night.

It was a fun retreat, special thanks to Ryan for organizing it!

Black light body paint party in NYC tomorrow + a couple of announcements

Tomorrow, the Gallery Bar in East Village will once again turn into naked dance and body paint extravaganza. I’ve been to a couple of their previous events, and they were a lot of fun. This time it’s going to be a little crazier, as the paint will be glowing in the dark!

Curiously, these events are organised by Social Exposure Media, which isn’t a nudist group, but they manage to get a good turnout of happy naked people, I bet many of whom are first-timers. The webpage with info of the party is courtesy of Young Naturists America, however.

I also would like to add that my silence in the last weeks was mainly due to two amazing travels, which will definitely make several excellent entries for this blog 😉 One of them, as you can guess from my previous announcements, was of course Burning Man. Meanwhile, my friend Juan finally got his first blogpost published, congratulations! Soon we’ll add English translation.

Stay tuned!

Starkers! On London’s naked disco and erections at naturist locations

London’s Naked Disco ‘Starkers’ is quite a sought-after event, but I heard a lot of contradictory opinios about it, so I was very eager to visit it. I must say I really enjoyed it, and whenever I have a possibility I’ll go there again. But this visit made me think of what people call naturism and a naturist club. So, why did I enjoy it? Because I love dancing and being naked is natural to me, and there, I could do both at the same time; the atmosphere was absolutely liberating, and the music on the dance floor was good (house of early 2000s), I thanked the DJ in the end 🙂 But perhaps for some, the atmosphere there is too liberating. And this is where many people disagree about Starkers. So, it often seems that naturists try to separate naturism from any association with sexual activities; then Starkers is not a naturist venue. But if we accept that naturists are humans like any other and may get erections (male ones, of course), then it is a naturist club [as any other night club, it is of course an adult-only venue]. On the one hand, I find it normal that like in any other night club, people flirt there. And as a result of it, or for whatever else reason, you can see a few men with hard or semi-hard penises… Don’t you think this happens also in regular [clothed] clubs, but we just don’t see it because of the clothes? On many web-sites dedicated to naturism, it is said that men should hide or get rid of their erections in public (with a towel, cold water, thinking of smth unpleasant etc.); on some others, it is suggested not to bother about it and just behave normally. I find the second attitude healthy, as many men have spontaneous erections when they are relaxed, and even if it has a sexual reason (like you’ve seen someone attractive), it doesn’t necessarily mean sexually aggressive behaviour. I know some guys who don’t want to go to naturist places, because they are easily aroused but are afraid of getting erections in public. They wouldn’t jump on anyone, it’s mere physiology… So, actually it was a great feeling at Starkers that no one really cared about that. But on the other hand, what disappointed me was that it seemed that majority did come to Starkers for flirting/cruising. I just find it annoying, like in any other situation (beaches, saunas or regular dance clubs) that some people can’t just enjoy the environment and just look for a hook-up instead, and nudity is seen by them as merely a sexual trigger. It would be appropriate in a sex/swinger club, but as far as I’m concerned, Starkers is intended as a club for people who just like to hang out naked and dance. I could see that some of the visitors were not satisfied just with that and were constantly cruising. Nevertheless overall I had a positive experience, because there were also many friendly people,

who simply enjoyed dancing naked. And as I liked the music, that was enough to keep me in a good mood all the time. Well, except maybe the midnight show. That one was rather ridiculous, and it didn’t really make much sense to put some opera singing in the middle of house music disco. It was a pity that after the show people seemed sort of confused and needed some time to get into dancing mood again.

I’d certainly recommend visiting this club if you’d like to dance naked, and there’s no other naked disco to my knowledge. It is especially cool to go there on a chilly winter night, when everyone wants to hide under the coat or a blanket in the bed, and to feel yourself in another world. For directions and other information check the official web site of Starkers. And check out also my post dance naked! There is an inspirational video 😉