They're not so into the more AANR-standardized, family-oriented nudist stuff. The main trip-up for outsiders about nudism is the question of sex.

While Scandinavians hop into coed saunas and French women go topless on the beach, Americans still haven't fully gotten their heads around the practice of taking clothes off socially.

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The dom was a buxom blond woman wearing a rabbit-fur wrap around her hips and a long bead necklace; her sub was a retired Virginian lawyer with a stiff-shouldered gait.

She related to me her long and eventful sexual history, going back to her first threesome at age 18.

At a house party recently, I met a couple who, in their spare time, breed exotic praying mantises to sell on the internet as pets.

This started a couple of years ago, when Sarah discovered some Carolina mantises in her outdoor pots. Meanwhile, in what was only just starting not to seem like a bad dream, I was partially naked, too.

"He turned out to be really creepy." Nonetheless, the experience made him realize he loved nude camping.

Now he and Sarah, who are both bisexual, often go to a nearby LGBT nudist campground together.Clothing here often feels like a marker of those fault lines, a way of tracking not merely class and professional status but also more obscure fissures: the spiffed-up outfit of a congressional aide about to move to K Street, the floppy-to-fitted suit spectrum that seems to mirror the right-to-left political spectrum, the minutiae of patriotic ties, lapel pins, and silk scarves.I came to the nudist party at least in part as a participant, not just a voyeur, to see what might happen if some of those markers of division were temporarily removed.Steve's hiking friends come sometimes, although he said they don't take their clothes off.(It's technically a "clothing-optional" party, and people were in various stages of undress.)I also met a dom/sub pair Steve had met through a swingers group.Although police don't raid nude beaches the way they did up through the '50s, the practice still remains, for many, shrouded in a number of taboos and misconceptions: primarily, that nakedness is inherently sexual.