Hamilton Hall was always intented to be a 'clothing optional' venue, although from the start this caused some problems during the special straight naturist weekends I offered. These special weekends were not intended to be a 'couples only' and women visiting alone were afraid and intimidated because men letched after them , and men complained there was not enough 'available' women, and it soon became obvious to me that horny frustrated heterosexual men were using the venue as a means to find available sex with women, which was not what I intended and not what the women wanted and the aura and spiritual energy of the whole place was uncomfortable and negative.
Some of the straight men 'warned me off' - and because of the lack of women, I received agression and abuse. This was not restricted to the straight men attending. Quite a few times I received negative input from women who when realising I was gay, were verbally abusive and I was treated with disrespect and quite harsh 'in my face' rudeness and hostility.I am not use to being called 'faggot' and 'queer' in my own home and I was truly shocked.
It seems that homophobia ( fear of gays ) is not restricted to straight men in fear of their 'cherry' - but women also - maybe because they have no power over gay men as they think they do over straight men;- and I knew it was time to make some changes.
I considered changing it from 'clothing optional' but this would betray a fundamental aspect of the spiritual journey we share here, one of acceptance of mind, body and soul, as I believe that when we shed our outer clothing and we allow others to see our naked bodies, we also open up our inner most self to examination, and through having nothing to hide behind - no designer labels - it allows us to examine who we are and why we behave in certain ways, and like any good counselling or therapy, we can see ourselves - warts and all - and this can be very cathartic and healing in all aspects - especially as we all have issues about our physical bodies, and addressing this aspect of the self is easier than many imagine.
I believe we are all multi facetted human beings and are made up of Mind ( thoughts and questions ) Body ( physical desires and sexuality ) and Soul ( a belief in something bigger and grander ) and Hamilton Hall was not to be attached to any religious doctrine, charitable body, political ideology or corporate power or anything that would / could be used to limit the growth of our soul journey.
We live in a very sex negative society and many are confused and 'up tight' about their bodies and sexuality and only through honest discussion can we hope to evolve and find enlightenment as a community. Men and women have very different agendas around sex and the expression - ;' MEN NEED SEX TO FIND LOVE, AND WOMEN NEED LOVE TO HAVE SEX' is very true in many cases, but unfortunately, bigotry and homophobia are alive and screaming abuse, usually at the vulnerable, and despite the government attempting - with this new law - to create a more accepting environment, it will be generations until education has taught the abusers a new way - and in the meantime, gay men often feel they are not safe and choose to stay within boundaries of acceptance like bars and hotels that cater for them.
After much thought and consideration, I was aware that the negative input from some within the straight world was causing a disharmony for a lot of the gay / bisexual men visiting, as well as making it uncomfortable for myself within my own venue , and the spiritual aspect was being overlooked, and it was to this section of the community - being a spiritual gay man - that I leant when making changes. I stopped offering as many straight events and concentrated on the gay / bisexual male.
So I decided to concentrate the retreat as a sanctuary, a safe haven, for gay and bisexual men. Where they could relax and feel comfortable away from bigotry, abuse, homophobic intollerance and violence. Like any 'safe haven' that caters to abused women - I felt I had a duty of care over my visitors and Hamilton Hall has helped provide a safe space for many - and as a retreat where they can book in at any time, many have rebuilt their lives through knowing we are here whenever the going gets tough and they need a little support and understanding - some guidance and honesty. We are not a charity with income from statutory bodies and Hamilton Hall relies on those staying to pay their way and bring the income in so we can continue.
To this aim, I have dedicated my blood, sweat and tears for the last eleven years ( April 2011 ) and we now have hundreds of repeat customers whose lives have been forever changed through Hamilton Hall and we even have 3 customers who loved it so much, they made life changing decisions and moved locally to Hamilton Hall to be able to volunteer and assist with their time, in the running of the venue.
The importance of the work we offer here:- The venue being a men only clothing optional venue:- The counselling and the friendship, the understanding and the acceptance - and all within the safe and secure environment of a venue solely for men, is incalcuable.
BIGOTRY, ABUSE, HOMOPHOBIC INTOLLERANCE AND VIOLENCE
IS STILL AIMED AT GAY MEN - JUST AS MUCH BY SOME WOMEN
AS IT IS BY SOME MEN - AND DENYING THIS IS NAIVE