20221-01-10 • Halifax
In November, Wayves interviewed one of the organizers of the nude swim group, "Halifax Drama Free All Welcome Skinny Dippers."
How long have you been doing these swims?
I am one of the original members of the group that was formed in July of 2014, so about 7½ years.
Why did you create the group? What do you hope your participants will get out of it?
I am actually not the creator of the group, although, as mentioned, I am one of the four original members. Only one other original member still belongs. The group was created as an alternative to another well-known area nudist group that requires couples only. The creator could not continue with it and it was in danger of shutting down, so I took over and kept it going. It was originally meant to be only outdoors in the summer, but that left too long a period every year when we couldn’t meet at all, so a pool was sought out to allow winter events to take place. The pool has become the primary, though not the only, venue.
As the group description says, the group is “for anyone who would simply like to go skinny dipping in a group. It doesn't matter if you're male or female, young or old, fat or thin. It certainly doesn't matter if you're single or partnered, straight or gay or transgender. Those things don't matter because this isn't about hooking up; it isn't about judging people; it isn't about sexual behaviour in any way - it's genuinely and honestly 100% about swimming nude.” We have had as young as pre-teens, up to some in their 80’s, and straight to all colours of the rainbow flag.
When and where do the swims happen?
In the winter, they are held every second Saturday afternoon at an indoor swimming pool on the Halifax Peninsula. In the summer, because of Halifax’s capricious weather, they’re more spontaneous. For a number of reasons, we don’t want people just dropping in, so the particulars are sent to the membership. We use Meetup both to notify people of the events, and to register to attend -- Meetup is easy to join and free for participants, although the individual pool swims cost $5 each to cover costs.
Are the swims supervised? Is there a lifeguard on duty? Is there always a person responsible for the group, if there was a problem (i.e. medical emergency, someone not following guidelines, etc.)?
Yes; part of the facility rental includes a trained lifeguard who is on duty all the time that anyone’s in the water.
How long are the swims? All afternoon or what?
The pool swims are one hour. Outdoor events in the summer can vary, depending on weather and other factors, but members are usually free to come and go as they choose.
How do the locker rooms work? Who goes to which one? The locker rooms work just as you might expect. Members use whichever room they are most comfortable with; however, we do try to ensure that non-members have left before we enter the change rooms in order to prevent potentially awkward situations.
Is it easy for you to explain why you specify this as being a non-sexual space? It’s very easy, actually. Nudity and sex are two different things. This group is meant for all members to enjoy being nude with others and not feel intimidated or threatened by unwanted attention or actions from others. Personally, if not for this stipulation, I wouldn’t be involved.
Do you have any other rules for members?
Yes, two others: members must agree not to not to judge or pass comments on anyone's age, gender, appearance or sexuality at our events, and agree to respect the confidentiality of the other people attending the events.
For more information, or to be put on the notification list, register for the events, and get the particulars for events, join the Meetup group, here: https://www.meetup.com/Halifax-Drama-Free-All-Welcome-Skinny-Dippers/