The Bare Facts about the Pittsburgh Area Naturists

The Pittsburgh Area Naturists (PAN) are dropping their drawers to go bowling, answer trivia questions, and sing Karaoke. They are doing everything they can in the buff in and out of Pittsburgh. The Naturist organization hosts monthly naked karaoke, called “Bareoke”, and trivia nights at P-Town. They also have regular camping trips to places like White Thorn Lodge, a naturist’s resort.

There have been a few events that have taken place outside Pennsylvania including events in the Philadelphia area, West Virginia, and Ohio.

Brandon, the founder of PAN, said, “All events are open to any gender and sexual identity, expanding the ranks of those who can experience being nude around the city.”

Brandon admitted trepidation on his first naked outing in Texas. He said, “In 2012, I went to a naked yoga retreat. Years before I had dabbled with the idea of going to naked yoga and I had gone to Hippie Hollow (a clothing-optional public park in Austin, Texas) a couple of times, but I never really jumped into an event.” He added, “Like a lot of first-time nudists, I was nervous.”

After a few hours of meeting people at the naked yoga retreat, he started to relax. It was after that weekend that he fell in love with the idea of nudism and being naked as much as possible. He joined several groups while in Texas, but once moving to Pittsburgh, he had to rediscover the community.

While there were two groups that existed already, one wasn’t active when Brandon moved here in 2017 and the other only did swimming events. Brandon said, “In Houston, there were things like movie nights, wine tastings, and beer outings. Even Two-step country dance night. I wanted that to happen here in Pittsburgh, but it was a matter of building that community.

He took the task on and formed PAN, a social/recreational group that enjoys activities and events in the nude, and it has grown into a network of people all sharing their passion for nudism. It started out small, but it began to grow.

The PAN Founder said, “Thirty people showed up at the first event. On average, we get fifty-to-sixty showing up. The most we had was over eighty people.” He added, “P-Town is a terrific supporter of the event. Originally, the staff was very wary, but once the bartenders got more and more comfortable, they got into the spirit of the event. Oftentimes, getting naked when they are coming out from behind the bar.”

By law, bartenders are not allowed to serve while completely unclothed.

Brandon said, “When we remove our clothes, we also remove our inhibitions and our preconceptions about others. Being naked allows us to drop the pretense of how we want others to see us and just be ourselves – to accept ourselves and each other in a healthy way. Our mission is to celebrate our bodies while promoting naturism in a non-sexual, inclusive, and body-positive context.”

“We accept everyone of all types, shapes, sizes, colors, and gender identities. Everyone is welcome.”

Brandon said, “To me, it was about creating a relaxed setting and removing any pressure.”

The group is still growing, looking for more original and fun things to do. But the word is spreading as more individuals experience the low-pressure and friendly nature of the events. The concept of creating a group where the only pressure is to get naked has created a fantastic place for first-time nudists and those experienced in the lifestyle to find safety.

In the spring, nude bowling returns on April 23.

For more information about Pittsburgh Area Naturists, you can find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Michael Buzzelli is a stand-up comedian and sit-down author. As a comedian, he has performed all around the country, most notably, the Ice House, the Comedy Store and the Improv in Los Angeles. As a writer, Michael Buzzelli has been published in a variety of websites, magazines and newspapers. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant,’ Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine. He is also a Moth Grand Slam storyteller and actor. His books, "Below Average Genius," a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column in the Observer-Reporter, and his romantic comedy,  “All I Want for Christmas," are on sale at Amazon.com. He is working on a LGBTQ romantic comedy called, “Why I Hate My Friends.” You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. (He / Him / His)