Jackie Youngblood doesn’t have a problem with “textile people,” a phrase she uses to describe those who like wearing clothes. But given the choice, she prefers to surround herself with fellow nudists.
So it’s a no-brainer that the 63-year-old real estate agent works out of Pasco County, Florida, which is also known as the “nudist capital of North America.” Since 2004, Youngblood—the star of TLC’s Buying Naked—has been helping folks find their dream homes, ranging from upscale mansions to casual trailer parks, in any one of the area’s 12 nudist communities.
But how does nude real estate differ from traditional house buying? Vocativ sat down with the bubbly, warm grandmother to learn about her passion for the lifestyle and how the show is helping her spread the word.
How did you become a nudist?
My husband and I were visiting the Caribbean, and the resort we were at happened to have a little tiny area where people were going nude. It was a shocker to me in the beginning, because I come from a very conservative life growing up. And then I look over and I see this nude guy and I did a double take. Then the next day my husband asks if do I want to try it out, and I’m like, ‘Sure, let’s go do it.’ That was in the ’80s, and we’ve been nudists ever since.
Why did you start your business?
My husband and I were investors in real estate. We had retired to this area because of the nudist lifestyle, and when we were investing again here in Florida, I thought, Shucks, why don’t I get my real estate license and learn even more about real estate? My clients all started out being nudists. Of course, I do sell to non-nudists as well, but I would say between 85 and 90 percent are nudists.
Why not use a regular realtor and take your clothes off later?
Because I relate to them and I know their lifestyle, they feel comfortable with it.
Any there nudist-specific housing requirements?
Privacy from those outside of the community—that’s a big thing. Inside, there is no need. So we put up fences, and you can also do some very extensive landscaping that’ll give you privacy in your own backyard and pool area.
How do others in Pasco County respond to the nudity?
The people and businesses in Pasco County have been very good to nudists because nudists have been very good to them. We bring lots of money into the community. Lots of money. And they appreciate that. We have the support of the tourism committees, and that’s always nice when you’ve got that support and everybody is kind of working together for the betterment of the county.
Why did you decide to do the show?
I felt the show would help educate people on the nudist lifestyle; to let people know that we’re just people, and we do the same things that everybody else does—we just like to go nude. I’m getting very positive feedback. Nudists are saying, ‘We’re glad that you’re putting a positive light on the lifestyle, we’re glad that you are showing what the etiquette is, that we’re not just a bunch of people sitting around on furniture without a towel.’ I know people, the textile folks, might think that’s silly or whatever, but that’s part of the etiquette.
What are some common misconceptions about nudists?
From what I hear from people who aren’t nudists, they relate being nude with sexuality or sex. And it’s two totally different things. You have to really understand the lifestyle to understand it’s not about sex.
How is the lifestyle different?
It’s a mindset. I enjoy going nude, I don’t like clothes. It’s not about somebody’s body. Of course, you’ve got all shapes and sizes. It’s difficult to put into words until you live the lifestyle. I walk around out there nude and I see females, males and it’s not like, Oh, wow, man, that really turns me on. It’s not that. You have to live that nudist lifestyle to understand. For starters, I haven’t bought a bathing suit in years. It’s just walking out of your door, going to the mailbox nude, going to eat nude if you so choose. Just walking out to the pool nude. Putting your towels out, lying out or getting in the water. I’m passionate about it and I love discussing it. I just want people to understand it’s not about sex.
You mentioned towels—are there other rules?
Yes, of course. We have the towels, and you don’t stare at people, and you don’t giggle. One thing men want to know is how to handle things if they get, well, excited. When the younger folks are coming into the communities and we’re giving an orientation about buying in the community, that’s one of their questions. The men are like, “What do we do?” You throw a towel over it—that’s it, plain and simple. Because security will boot you out.
How old are some of these younger folks? I think a lot of people have this idea of nudists being on the older side.
We’re seeing lots of late 20s early 30s, from there right on up. They love the lifestyle and they enjoy it and they utilize the lifestyle. So it’s all over the place. We don’t see many early 20s.
What do nudists think of non-nudists? Everyone is always outside looking in, but what do you think of those who choose to wear clothes?
Well, there are some prudes out there, but it doesn’t bother me. I don’t have an issue with it. My thing is, you live your life, we live our lives and everybody be happy. I don’t see the need to criticize anybody for the lifestyle they live. Textiles are great people. They’re just like us, except they like to wear clothes.