Sunday, December 18, 2016

GNI Purchases Massage Tables for The Gathering

With GNI’s commitment to continue to invest in quality programs we bring to our annual Gathering, we are thrilled to announce that GNI has purchased twelve (12) professional massage tables for use at The Gathering during our massage workshops. Massage is a very popular event and it’s time that we move away from the use of hard rental tables and provide our attendees with a much more comfortable, relaxing experience. We’re sure that this will please both the givers and receivers of massage.

In addition, every year we have a number of massage therapists that offer their private massage services to individual. For those therapists that would like to use one of our tables to give private massages, we will provide the table to them for a small rental fee. They will not have to worry about transporting their own table to The Gathering or making use of other furniture to give massages. Since these tables are primarily used for massage workshops, private massages with the use of our tables may not be offered during the scheduled activity but may be reserved for use before or after the group workshop. See Rick or one of his staff members during The Gathering to make arrangements for use of a table.

We’re sure this will be a great benefit at The Gathering and we invite you to join the massage workshops throughout the week.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Nude Live Theatre Night - South Florida, Jan 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017

The WildFyre Society in South Florida presents another fabulous, nude audience live theater event at multiple Carbonell Award-winning Island City Stage in Wilton Manors (a suburb of Fort Lauderdale). It includes a pre-performance reception. Audience nudity is mandatory.

The First Step – Diary of a Sex Addict is a blistering, dark comedy that graphically depicts the story of Joe, a gay sex addict, whose turbulent journey leads toward recovery. Written and directed by Tony-nominated Michael Leeds, The First Step is funny, poignant, and full of flights of fantasy, revealing a life rarely seen on the stage. The play contains male and female nudity, strong language, and sexual situations.

Limited availability. Admission is by advance ticket purchase. Maximum capacity is 68. Get more details and reserve seat(s) ASAP. If, upon attempting to order, you see a message that the event is sold out, click on Continue Shopping to be forwarded to a page containing waitlist instructions.

29th Annual Mid-Winter Naturist Festival, Feb 2017

Six days of fun, growth, and community in the nude

Thursday - Tuesday, February 16-21, 2017

Sunsport Gardens Family Naturist Resort 14125 North Rd, Loxahatchee Groves, FL (14 miles west of West Palm Beach)
Join other naturist men and women and their families from Florida and the rest of North America for the continent's first regional naturist gathering in 2017. Come for any or all of the days – it's up to you!

This nude gathering features more than 280 scheduled activities, including a broad array of seminars, workshops, sports, music and dance (including nightly drum circle around a huge bonfire*), and social activities. There are also several off-site events, which include canuding on the jungly Loxahatchee River and excursions to Haulover Beach in Miami and Blind Creek Beach in Fort Pierce, FL.

The Mid-Winter Naturist Festival is one of a series of Naturist Society-sanctioned nude events each year. Diversity is valued, and all are welcome. Pre-registration is encouraged for planning purposes, but not required. (It makes check-in quick and easy.) Proceeds of the Festival will benefit The Naturist Society and South Florida Free Beaches. Get details and/or register.

* Meanwhile, try Sunsport Gardens' nude drumming circle, every Friday from 9 p.m. to midnight. (The first Friday of every month is a little more elaborate.) Free entry starts at 5 p.m.; visitors must depart by 2 a.m. Includes use of amenities such as the cafĂ©, showers, pool, spa, and sauna. You must present your government-issued photo ID for admission. Get directions here.

GNI Naked Getaway / Naturists at Vitambi Springs (N-VS)

GNI Naked Getaway™ / Naturists at Vitambi Springs (N-VS)

N-VS nude weekends for men are set for early 2017 at Vitambi Springs Florida Wilderness Resort & Camp in Clewiston, FL. GNI is a promotional sponsor of N-VS weekends as part of its Naked Getaway™ series. The next one, themed as "Jungle," takes place Friday-Sunday, January 6-8, 2017.

Two-thirds of Vitambi Springs’ 269-acre (109-hectare) property are always clothing-optional, but N-VS (plus naked yoga and bare bear) weekends have an extended nudity policy covering the entire property (except for Big Oak Lodge, the clubhouse, where food and beverage service preclude full nudity, due to county regulations).

Vitambi Springs is located about 90 minutes’ drive northwest of Fort Lauderdale. It is approximately two hours’ drive from Miami and about the same from many locations along Florida’s southwest coast.

On N-VS weekends, current GNI members (with proof of membership) are eligible for a 3-4-2 special (click and scroll down). Book for two nights and get a third night free at the same level of accommodation.

Below are the currently scheduled nude weekends for men at Vitambi Springs in early 2017.

·         N-VS: JungleJanuary 6-8, 2017
·         N-VS: CarnivalFebruary 24-26, 2017
·         N-VS: BreezeApril 14-16, 2017(includes naked Easter egg hunt)

Find out more on the Vitambi Springs web site or call 1 (863) 983-8488 for questions and reservations.

Born Perfect, a Project by Mr. GNI Leather and NCLR

By Ralph B., Mr. GNI Leather 2016

It's been a wild and exciting few months since The Gathering. It's been a thrill to represent GNI as Mr.GNI Leather 2016. I was presented on the main stage at the Folsom Street Fair, co-hosted the LeatherWerks/GNI Naked party in Fort Lauderdale, attended Palm Springs Leather Pride, and the Mr. Long Beach Leather, Mr. Precinct Leather, Mr. Regiment Leather, Mr/Ms Sanctuary Leather Competitions. 2017 promises to be even more full and exciting before I compete as Mr. GNI Leather at International Mister Leather in Chicago in May.

I'm very proud to be representing GNI and continuing to spread the word about our organization. 

This platform has also given me the opportunity to advance my work as a mental health professional and LGBT advocate. As a Board member of the California Division of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, I was a part of the team that contributed to crafting the legislation to outlaw conversion therapy in the state of California. We were the first state to do so. 

Few practices hurt LGBT youth more than attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through so-called conversion therapy, which can cause depression, substance abuse, and even suicide.

Some mental health providers continue to subject young LGBT people to these practices—also known as “reparative therapy,” “ex-gay therapy,” or “sexual orientation change efforts”—even though they have been condemned by every major medical and mental health organization in the country.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights has created the #BornPerfect campaign to end conversion therapy in all 50 states in the next 5 years. NCLR has been working to protect LGBT youth from these practices for more than 20 years, securing legislation protecting youth from these dangerous practices in California in 2012, New Jersey in 2013, Washington, D.C. in 2014, Oregon and Illinois in 2015, and Vermont in 2016. I believe that every LGBT child is born perfect and that any young person’s identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender should be honored, celebrated, and supported. 

Please support my efforts by clicking on the link below to donate and let every child know what we know, that they are #BornPerfect.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

GNI Board Offers Thoughts on the 2016 Gathering Survey

By GNI Board

It came in at 72 pages, but the compilation of Member Feedback following the 2016 Gathering made for some fun reading. When added to the hour-plus of comments at the Gathering Feedback Session, the Board has some great ideas on how to improve your event.

The greater challenge than reading all of them is to learn to read the intent behind the suggestions. There might be a "best food ever" right next to a "worst food ever." This tells us that our direction may be good but that the execution sometimes fails. Mentioning a specific dish helps us (am I the ONLY one who loves the Tuna Casserole? Must be the Minnesota boy in me.) We talked about having a pig roast again but it is still prohibitively expensive. And, we would like to be more ecologically sound with plate ware but some things are out of our control.

"So, cut out X or Y" to pay for a pig roast, you might say (and some do.)  But as we approach and build a new and better Marketing plan, we have to find what draws new members to the event. Evening entertainment, for example, is just one of those draws. But know that we keep that to a small percentage of the total Gathering budget.

Some have wondered why the first days of the Gathering now offer so many activities. This also fits with our desire to draw men in for an inexpensive weekend, and then once they see how amazing everything is, they stay more days or sign up next year for a week or more.

Since we have only one event per year (at this point, at least,) it sometimes takes us a couple of seasons to "get it right."  For waste and cost reasons, we've switched to cans of beer, but it still takes a bit of trial and error to figure out exactly what you like to drink. We've increased the percentage of diet soda every year (and it's STILL not high enough!) Feedback shows us that many guys still don't know about the many water coolers across Camp.

So, this is all to say that your GNI Board of Directors reads every single one of your comments and discusses a great many many of the ideas. We positively thrive on feedback throughout the year. Also know that we read it both in the context of other members' thoughts and how your idea might fit in with current plans. Let us know! You know the address!

2016 Gathering Survey Results

The 2016 Gathering Survey Results are in

Each year after The Gathering ends, we invite participants who’ve attended The Gathering an opportunity to send us their feedback. We use these comments to see what people liked, what they didn’t like, what they might want to see changed, etc. While the survey can be conducted anonymously and most of the respondents do take advantage of having anonymity, the board values those that identify themselves and in cases that necessitate further communication, we are able to reach out to those individuals. Comments are, as you can imagine, all across the board. There is always a subset of a few people that dislike everything about the event and those on the other end of the spectrum that love everything. For those of us who parse through this feedback to pick out topics that we may be able to incorporate in future planning, we find this to be a daunting task knowing that we will never please everyone. But we do try our very best to spend your hard-earned dollars to make The Gathering a fun and fulfilling experience for everyone who attends.

Follow this to read the unedited compilation of the feedback of 144 members who took the time to reply to this survey. We thank those that participated. The board has read through these comments at our Fall / Winter board meeting held in Fort Lauderdale on October 21 – 22, 2016 and discussed some of them in detail. The feedback is divided into sections which comprises the first 70 pages. The last section of the shows the “Individual Responses” of everyone who answered the survey in full. Take a look and see the comments for yourself and you’ll begin to understand the challenges we face when planning this event.

An Essay on Gay Naturism

Essay On Gay Naturism
by H.S.

My first introduction to gay naturism was around age 60. The effect was immediately electrifying. The feeling of free abandon in the out-of doors and in the presence of like-minded others was something I had always craved yet not as yet experienced. But there was more to come.

I soon realized that naturists are very tranquil people. They are also more altruistic in personal ways: helpful, kindly, benignly pleasant. They never seem to grow angry about anything, never cursing one another out, or become garrulous. When naked, one chooses to be basically defenseless: you cannot steal, fight, or carry on in an unseemly way, when you cannot easily vacate yourself from a self-created unpleasant situation. You present yourself to your fellow man in an unguarded way. You trust him and he trusts you to be well behaved and well disposed.

About exposing one’s genitals, to a gay man, these are an adornment – not something to be disguised or hidden from view. And the feeling of gentle zephyrs and warm sunshine to your body’s most sensuous area make one more aware of his physical self and that of others. The occurrence of erections is also not to be disapproved of, for it is a natural periodic occurrence to be taken in one’s stride and not shunned or apologized for. And it is most appreciated when other nudists show the same neutral reaction.

I am convinced that there would be less domestic and inter-personal violence in this world if everyone participated periodically in social nudism. And, on a larger scale, that there would be less pugilism, mayhem, fewer murders and fewer wars. Life for everyone would become more peaceable.

Maybe future years will see more acceptance of naturism for everyone. Why should it be illegal to be one's natural self in the open? Let’s go for it!