With its focus on self-discovery and community and its celebration of the human body in all its functions, Elysium has always been a more relaxed and involving place than traditional nudist resorts.
Affectionate hugs, hand holding and massage have always been a normal part of life at Elysium. Traditional nudist resorts may discourage physical contact, in an effort to separate nudism from sexuality. You can be sure that you will not encounter overt sexuality at any nudist resort today--so we're not sure that suppressing natural affection has any effect other than to make people uncomfortable. Still, please respect whatever social conventions you find at nudist resorts. You will be welcomed back, and making good friends is always worth a little effort.
Elysium is clothing optional. It is a place where the clothed and the unclothed can be comfortable with each other's choices for that moment. The focus is not on clothes or the lack of them, but on the people with whom you share the time. In contrast, many traditional nudist resorts expect everyone who attends to be nude, weather reasonably permitting.
When the old Fields in Topanga Canyon were closing, I remember thoroughly enjoying a dinner on the porch with a local couple who had brought their precocious pre-teen daughter, obviously to see a piece of history before it disappeared. We were as comfortable with their choice to remain clothed as I think all three of them eventually were with our choice to go without.
Elysium Fields was my "country club", and I am one on the many former members of Elysium Institute who hope that some day we can re-open new Fields to continue this nude Bohemian paradise.
The Elysium Institute is a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing education about and opportunities for nude living. After Elysium Topanga closed, director Elizabeth (Betty) Meltzer and her husband purchased a property at 33333 Mulholland Highway in Malibu, and for a short time they held open house frequently for members of the Institute. The organization also maintained a web site at www.elysiumfields.com. The Meltzers sold their Malibu home last year, and all content has been deleted from the web site. Among the files that are no longer available are the back issues of an excellent on-line magazine, the "Journal of the Senses" (JOTS). These collections of news and commentary resurrected an early publication of Elysium. They kept alive some of the spirit of the original Institute, which was dedicated to non-traditional social science research and public education. We hope that Elysium Institute will again make these publications available.
Efforts to reorganize the Elysium family are under way. These have taken the form of a completely new organization, the Southern California Naturist Association , to which we have devoted a little corner of our web.