A "generational clash" between young and older nudists is fuelling growth in nude events, ranging from pop-up dinners in bars and art gallery tours to mini-golf and ten pin bowling.
Josh McNicol, the general manager Asia Pacific at Eventbrite, said the number of nude events on the platform had grown 265 per cent across Australia over four years. More than half of the nude events over the past five years have been in NSW.
"From naked yoga classes to nude nature walks, NSW is home to three times as many nude events than any other state, making it Australia's kit-off capital," Mr McNicol said.
It's no surprise to Young Nudists of Australia co-founder Matt (last name withheld by request) because he organises many of the Sydney events. For him the lifestyle is about "freedom" and "acceptance". "It's just one of those things you're curious about and you try and it's for you," he said.
Matt, 30, said the centre of the young nudist scene in Sydney was Cobblers Beach in Middle Harbour. He formed YNOA and organises events so young people can socialise away from the beach. He said they were not always welcome at naturist resorts "full of people the same age as my grandparents".
"Young people, we drink alcohol, we listen to music, we stay up later than 9pm," Matt said. "The older people feel that we are being disruptive to their enjoyment, their peace and quiet, so as a result, they generally close the door to us."
The older people feel that we are being disruptive to their enjoyment, their peace and quiet, so as a result, they generally close the door to us.Matt, YNOA.
Matt said there were a few Australian resorts that welcomed young people - including Townsville Naturist Community, Greg and Deb's Place and Balkaz Retreat in Queensland and Helios Resort just outside Melbourne. But he envied the nudist resorts in the United States that cater to young people with live music and bars.
Australian Naturist Federation secretary Graham Fleming, who is a Helios Resort member, said he believed there had been a "one-off clash" at a club on the Central Coast where YNOA members had partied late and annoyed older members. YNOA members in NSW had taken the experience to heart but Mr Fleming said Victorian YNOA members were happily involved in naturist clubs south of the border.
Young nudists say social nudity is about freedom and self-acceptance rather than sex. Photos have been digitally censored.
"There is a generational clash," Mr Fleming said. "There are old fuddy-duddies who don't want to change and there are young people that want everything their own way. At my club we've just met in the middle and we're doing things together. It would be great to see other clubs take an open-minded attitude because young people in the club is a fabulous thing."
Mr Fleming said Australian naturist resorts were not-for-profit clubs owned and run by members, while the US had a lot of commercial nude or clothing-optional resorts.
Matt said sexual harassment and homophobia were problems at many Australian resorts.
"I'm talking about cases where an older male might crack a joke and slap a female on the bottom to accentuate that," Matt said. "That sort of behaviour is not condoned in modern society and generally considered harassment. I'm not saying there are people who engage in this behaviour at every naturist resort, but there are definitely some."
Mr Fleming said he believed harassment complaints would be taken seriously. He had not seen any complaints to the federation in his year as secretary but last Christmas he saw a visitor to Helios kicked out for inappropriate behaviour.
Meanwhile, Matt said a number of nudist resorts did not allow anyone identifying as LGBTQI to visit because "they don't approve of their sexual orientation, even though these people are not going there for any sexual reason".
Mr Fleming said his own club had a number of same-sex couples but acknowledged some clubs might be less welcoming. "I believe that discrimination against same-sex couples is an old-fashioned way of thinking and that clubs should be encouraged to change their views."
He said most clubs received more applications from men regardless of sexual orientation but clubs like Helios had a policy to try to achieve gender balance.