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Naturally Caliente! A Newcomer Nudeís Naked Observations by Madelyn Greco
Published with the permission of the author - Madelyn Greco
The main passions of my life currently all seem to afford some interesting opportunities, body-painting being no exception. The majority of the local work we do involves body-painting for theater, art galleries, special events, fashion shows, film and photography. Weíre fortunate though, to have enough demand for our talents that we are also able to travel.
I am the "marketing director" for our two-artist company, Living Brush Body-painting. As such, I sent out a flurry of press releases via the web this past July, after our successful attempt on the Guinness World Record for "Most Painted Bodies in a Day". I was hoping to land an especially desirable gig for Halloween, a time when our services are greatly in demand.
I was absolutely delighted when we found ourselves invited to spend the spooky holiday at Caliente Resort in Land O Lakes, Florida. Their web site pictures looked absolutely glorious and who wouldnít anticipate being kissed by that warm Florida sun? My partner Scott and I counted the days until we could pack the paints into the car and head South!
The sun shone gloriously as we arrived at Calienteís gate house for the first time. I realized quickly that the web site may not even do this place justice! Once inside, we soaked in the grandeur of our surroundings excitedly as we walked up to the main entrance. A quick tour of the main floor of the clubhouse acquainted us with the disco, piano bar, sports bar and main restaurant. Outside, an array of tables stood at the ready to accommodate those who preferred to dine and drink al fresco with a view of the resortís many beautiful pools as well as its own waterfall.
The clubhouse downstairs houses Spa Sereno and the fitness center, as well as sauna, showers, locker rooms and gift shop. With our indoor tour concluded, we headed outside to take in the sights of the expansive pool area. There was something for everyone, including volleyball-only pools, heated conversation pools (the most popular during our visit), a hot tub spa and the massive main pool, complete with beautifully landscaped center islands as well as the aforementioned waterfall.
Scores of sun-worshipers congregated on lounge chairs and a general feeling of contentment and well being presided. Friendly Caliente staff delivered drinks and food from the outdoor Tiki Barís menu right to your seat. We set out our paint, portfolios and signs in the sunshine and proceeded to meet some of the wonderful Caliente members.
With over 350 residential properties, a number of our new friends lived at Caliente year-round. Many of these folks had a wealth of knowledge to share. Pasco County (the county we were in), I was told, has the highest concentration of nudists of anywhere in the world! This information was imparted by my new friend Rich, who probably wonít mind if I tell you he shares his last name with the county.
Caliente shares the area with other, though reportedly less grand, nudist enclaves. Paradise Lakes, literally right down the street, occupies a more upper-echelon status with Caliente. Nearby is Lake Como, for which research turns up descriptions of "rustic", though it still seems to be a major player. There are other, mom and pop, camping-oriented nudist destinations as well, which seem to share the family-friendly designation with Lake Como. Out of four days/nights spent at Caliente, I saw children only on a Sunday. The overall feel is that this is more of a grown-upís playground.
Nudist capital of the world or not, it felt perfectly natural to me as I strolled the grounds exchanging smiles with those I passed. This was my second experience at a place identified as "nudist" though I have experienced many places where clothing was an option I could choose not to exercise! I have strong feelings regarding the manner in which our society negatively affects our body images, bombarding us with messages of shame, projecting unattainable and unhealthy ideals. Promoting nudism is one way to provide an antidote, affording people the opportunity to feel natural and acceptable. These are also messages I seek to convey with body-painting and the burlesque performance I do.
We had a great time body-painting, adding playful touches to costumes or providing the only costume worn for the night. We enjoyed the resort thoroughly as well, from savoring wonderful meals, to afternoon karaoke in the Tiki bar, to dancing among the wildly attired (or un-attired) in the disco. We made friends and memories. We learned that Caliente is really the premiere resort of itís kind in this country, and though my experience thus far is only with Caliente, Iíd certainly believe it to be true.
Itís easy to see why such a place is populated with people who call it home. Surrounding yourself with this kind of freedom and natural beauty does wonders for a world-weary attitude! I certainly didnít want to leave. If you seek a vacation experience that is a cut above the rest, or are blessed with the means to relocate somewhere fabulous, I recommend checking out the luxury and lush sunshine awaiting you at Caliente Resort!
Caliente Resort - http://www.calienteresort.com/
Madelyn Greco - http://www.foxymoxy.com/
Scott Fray - http://www.livingbrush.com/
Originally published in The Frisky Banner 2 Vol. 18, No. 11: November 15, 2006
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