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November 24, 2008

The next French civil war

Those of us who are socially traditional tend to think that there really isn't much to be discerned between nudists and swingers. Both participate in a non-traditional lifestyle that's totally foreign to us.

But this just shows how naive we are. It turns out that, in France, anyway, the nudists are at war with the swingers (échangistes). In fact, the nudists have firebombed three swinger clubs, burning them to the ground. Yes, you read that right. In French terms, the town has been "plunged into anxiety," not to say ennui.

The normally peaceful Cap d’Agde, a magnet for nudists in the south of France, has been plunged into anxiety. Investigators suspect “fundamentalist” naturists of harbouring a grudge against the échangistes, or swingers, who are drawn to the town by the promise of sex.

A so-called boîte échangiste, or wife-swapping club, called Glamour, where couples engage in group sex, was the first to be razed, in April. The next day the Palme Ré, another orgy venue, went up in flames. In September the Tantra club and Zen, its neighbouring bar, were destroyed in blazes.
The tensions appear to be based on the resentment by traditional nudists of the swingers who show up looking for sex. "'What goes on in certain places is not naturism,' said Guy Delfour, former head of the French federation of naturism. 'Nudity is just one element of naturism. There are other values to recognise, such as the protection of nature.'"

I see. Who could possibly object?

But even if this article were not as inherently entertaining as it is, I would still commend it to you for its quotation of the phrase "mullahs of chaste nudity":
Some in Cap d’Agde attribute the fires to fundamentalist “mullahs of chaste nudity”, as one magazine called them, who have often harangued holiday-makers venturing onto nudist beaches in bathing costumes. Others denied that naturists could have been involved.

“We don’t want to put the échangiste places out of business,” said Gilles Beaumont, a naturist and regular at Cap d’Agde. “It’s true that we don’t like being mixed up with the swingers. But we respect other people and their right to behave as they please.”
I'm really tickled by the concept of naked Taliban. I suspect things would have developed far differently in Afghan history if the Taliban had been nudists.

And now, it's time to handicap this war. I place my wager on the swingers for these reasons:

1. Concealed weapons. Swingers can hide their weapons under clothing. Where are the nudists going to hide theirs? (Don't answer that.)

2. Cooperation. Swingers are used to working in groups.

3. Underwear. It's easier to get around when your personal regions aren't swaying in the wind.

4. Surrender. The nudists are French. (OK, so are the swingers, but I had to get that crack in somewhere.)

UPDATE: Thanks, Ace, for the link.