2003 Nudes-A-Poppin naked Mecca of the Outdoor Beauty Contests
by Jack Corbett

Nude entertainers

If there is to be an "adult" Mecca, a place or state of mind where the entire adult entertainment world can both reflect on and look forward to with reverence, that place of worship should be the Ponderosa Sun Club which hosts the Nudes-A-Poppin naked outdoor beauty contest, an event that occurs twice during the summer on the third weekend of July and August. Last weekend, Ponderosa celebrated Nudes-A-Poppin's 30th year in what has become the largest nude beauty pageant in the world. This is the event you might have seen on the Playboy Channel, HBO or one of several other documentaries covering the dancing competitions and other festivities just outside Roselawn, Indiana, which is fifty miles south of Chicago and seventy miles north of Indianapolis. Ninety men and women will compete for trophies and the titles they represent on Ponderosa's large outdoor dancing platform before a panel of judges chosen randomly from the audience while four to seven thousand spectators cheer the contestants on. At Nudes-A-Poppin, the titles won can have a significant impact on an entertainer's career. For those who have never attended, Nudes-A-Poppin's all nude epic might seem shrouded in mystery. My mission is to cut through the fog while urging all of you readers out there to reward yourselves for all the hard work you will be doing over the next year by putting next year's event on your itinerary.

NudesBy now I've probably got everyone confused by mentioning "Ponderosa Sun Club" and "Nudes-A-Poppin in the same sentence. The Ponderosa Sun Club got its start around thirty-five years ago as a family orientated nudist resort on an idyllic wooded eighty-eight acre tract of rolling ground. Five years later, the members of the club started holding dance competitions among themselves. The whole thing started small, gradually picking up steam through the years once the club started to recruit exotic dancers from topless clubs across the U.S. to compete for a growing array of titles.

What finally emerged was a fusion of two forces that are in many ways as diametrically opposed to each other as salt is to pepper. Nudists are typically a free spirited bunch who have a deep seated respect for the privacy of the individual that seemingly contradicts the desire of the entertainer for publicity and for being the center of attention. Because of the publicity cameras represent cameras are not allowed in the public areas of the club. The exception to this rule is during the Nudes-A-Poppin pageant.

Naked feature entertainersWe arrive at the Ponderosa Sun Club at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning just in time to get started on my magazine releases. At a large gate next to a small building, several men wearing yellow security t-shirts approach my pickup. Once we tell the men our names and who we are representing, one of the men goes inside to check us out and to get our armbands that will identify us as either having paid the entry fee or being special guests of the club. A hundred yards past the gate is another building where we will be spending the next several hours. To our immediate right upon entering the building is a line of tables. Here each contestant must produce two ids which are thoroughly checked out and photo copied. The next step is for each contestant to sign all media releases and have her picture taken holding the appropriate signed release. Working next to us are two photographers from "Cheri Magazine" and photographers representing Gent, Score, and Easy Rider. There's also two Swedes, shooting video for Swedish National television who are doing documentaries that will run in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, one on ex porn star, Ron Jeremy, one of Sunday's MC's, the other on the Nudes-A-Poppin festival itself.

Naked entertainer

We are allowed to keep our cameras out for only the next couple of hours, and only in certain designated areas out of respect for the privacy of the nudists. We start off getting group shots of all the contestants who have taken advantage of the early Saturday sign up. More than half the contestants will wait until L.A. La MannSunday to show up and register for the competition. But waiting for Sunday can put an entertainer at a huge disadvantage. There are two categories for most of the events. Some are for house dancers only. The second is what one might call "open events" in which both house dancers and feature entertainers compete for some of the most coveted prizes. Since there's room for only a limited number of contestants for these events, it can be imperative for an entertainer to sign up as early as possible on Saturday.

book cover

Besides the group shots there are opportunities to shoot the entertainers in a variety of scenarios on Saturday. Ponderosa's provided a number of great props. Not far from the registration building is a Harley, and within fifty yards of the motorcycle is a pond with a small island and wooden bridge leading to it. There are golf carts galore which the entertainers are urged to use. The entertainers are asked to climb up into a gazebo like structure on short wooden stilts from which protrudes a sliding board the girls take turns sliding down for the photographers. A long piece of blue plastic is placed over the grass along which runs a perforated hose that sprinkles water along its surface and over the naked bodies of the entertainers gliding across it. Along with the group photo activities there are plenty of opportunities to get one or more of the girls off to the side for private photo shoots.

Compared to previous years there's fewer photographers here this Saturday. Those who are shooting have had their credentials thoroughly checked out and have been qualified as professional adult photographers Naked entertainershooting for the media or for possible promo. Around 1 p.m. we are asked to put our cameras away. We can continue to hang out here, head out for lunch, or go back to our motels. Until Sunday the place reverts to being a private nudist resort. One might see someone mowing the lawn in the buff and will certainly see nudists in the club's 120 by 65 foot swimming pool.

Not everyone's staying in a motel. Club members pay a monthly fee to take advantage of the club's facilities which include swimming, tennis, volleyball, shuffleboard, basketball, and horse shoes. Or one can be a nudist for a day by paying twenty-five bucks. Another five dollars purchases a camping spot where one can pitch a tent. Spots with electrical hookups are available or for RV's and a few trailers and cabins can be rented although these are typically rented out well in advance of the Nudes-A-Poppin Pageant.

Each Saturday night there's a dance, which normally caters to the club's members. On Ponderosa's web site a Q & A section asks "What can I expect at a nudist camp"? "What if I accidentally get physically excited?"

Naked Iowa girlIts reply is: "A public erection is not acceptable. 99% of men do not experience this problem, If you happen to be in that 1%, we suggest that you cover up with a towel or take a discreet cold shower until it subsides."

But tonight's dance is special. Porn stars Ron Jeremy, Sunset Thomas, and Amber Lynn are in attendance. Does this mean that getting physically excited while being around Amber Lynn or Sunset Thomas is "unacceptable?" Probably not which is why I mentioned earlier that having a bunch of naked entertainers competing for titles at a nudist club is in some ways like mixing salt with pepper.

Sunday starts too early for us. If you are a photographer you'd better be getting up by 5 a.m. at the latest. We have to be at the registration building by seven to handle the releases where an even larger number of entertainers have gathered than the day before.

I would study my filled out releases later out of simple curiosity over where all the contestants came from. Eighteen out of the 72 female contestants would come from Indiana, the home state, thirteen from next door Illinois, and eighteen from Iowa thanks largely to the heroics of the Lumberyard over in Des Moines, Iowa which had sent out a busload of fourteen entertainers. Ohio would contribute half a dozen contestants, with Missouri providing three, California three, and Michigan ten. Alabama, Florida, and Pennsylvania would each be represented by at least one contestant.

We've all heard about how those corn fed Iowa gals resemble heifers. Over the past two years an interesting statistic has emerged at Ponderosa, which would seem to prove that Iowa girls are definitely not corn fed and that women resembling heifers must come from a neighboring state. If any state represented here should get an award for having the trimmest, most gorgeous women, that state could very well be Iowa, but it's a close call, with many states being true contenders for this distinction.

My partner Mike and Naked ladiesTrophies are given out for too many categories to enumerate such as for Miss Nude Galaxy, Rising Star, Best go-go, Best Buns, Showstopper of the Year, House Dancer showstopper of the year, Best Breasts, Best legs, over twenty-five of them in all. And although it might be true that many awards will be won by feature entertainers, there's still an enormous amount of booty to go around. And I haven't even mentioned the 18 male dancers yet. That accounts for 90 contestants in all, two more than for August of 2002's grand total of 88, which is a far more notable increase than the raw numbers alone should indicate considering that a major talent agency which had made a strong showing in previous years was conspicuously absent.

But whether the girls are feature entertainers or house dancers this quarter acre comprising the immediate pool area during Sunday's Nudes-A-Poppin contests no doubt represents the most outstanding quarter acre's concentration of gorgeous women in the world. This is just one measure of the worth of a title won here. But I'm going to give out just one more statistic and then leave you alone. I questioned many participants in this month's Nudes-A-Poppin's competition about why they were here. Two out of three entertainers did not even mention the credits or how much winning the right trophies might mean to their careers. The primary reasons given for attending were because the event was so much fun, how much of a blast they had heard others had here, how they themselves had never failed to have a good time, and how much Ponderosa's staff had done to guarantee that everyone would feel right at home.

On Sunday the restriction on cameras is lifted and it's fair game on everybody including the nudists. The gates are open to anyone willing to pay the fifty dollar entry fee to the competition. Hundreds of spectators who have brought their cameras are allowed to take pictures of the entertainers inside the fenced in pool area as long as they stay outside the fence. Just inside the fence are small dancing platforms while every effort is made to encourage the entertainers to pose for and chat with their fans just outside this perimeter. With porn stars Ron Jeremy, Amber Lynn, Sunset Thomas and L.A. LaMann mcing this event, Ponderosa's got some of the biggest names of the adult industry on the microphone. Close to nightfall it's over, and only then does the Ponderosa staff begin to relax. After the spectators leave we head to the registration building. Inside we are treated to all the sandwiches, fried chicken, veggies and salad we can eat and all the soft drinks and beer we can drink. Outside there are picnic tables where we can relax and watch the late afternoon turn to night. To come here is like getting on a train for a long ride into the next dimension of the adult entertainment world to destinations unknown, a ride during which you will reacquaint yourself with old friends while meeting lots of new people, a train that once experienced you will never want to leave.

Who's who in the pictures (not part of the article)

The first entertainer appearing in a solitary image is Faith who works at Club Eclipse at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. Faith and her two friends stayed a couple rooms down from us at the motel. At the contest Faith felt she had not been on the stage long enough to have been noticed by the judges. I told her I sure had paid attention and she replied...."You did only because we've all been hanging out together the last couple of days." "But that didn't have a thing to do with it," I told her. Faith wound up winning 1st place as Showstopper House Dancer category.

In our little spoof we played up with Ponderosa's security, it's Darien Ross and Jamie Sweet. Jamie's from the Philadelphia area. Considering she's obviously very attractive I felt Xtreme would be xtremely interested in her since Xtreme is an East Coast Magazine and Jamie's an East Coast girl. Jamie wound up winning three firsts and another award besides, her firsts are "Cheri Magazine's Miss Natural Beauty" and Ponderosa's "Miss Hot Buns" and Miss Petit Nude North America. This was a spectacular performance. Jamie dances at Daydreams in Philadelphia.

Underneath Jamie's solitary image at the waterfall at Ponderosa is Jessica who works at the Lumberyard in Des Moines, IA. Early on I'd kid Jessica by calling her Little Darien or Darien Junior...as in Little Darien Ross, mainly because of the pink hat she wore when we first met her and Darien likes wearing pink colors. I felt Jessica was simply one of the most stunning models there.

In the bottom picture it's one of my roommates, Tornado, who often rooms with me at such events....past Nudes A Poppin events, Las Vegas Expos, Pure Talent Feature Showcases, etc. The three entertainers are with Heart Throbs, an Iowa based outfit which specializes in bachelor's parties and other types of private parties. The brunette closest to Tornado is Amy, who lives not too far from me in the St Louis Metro East. I'll vouch for Amy's being one of the most fun, flamboyant, off the wall gals at the entire Nudes-A-Poppin Pageant. I never got acquainted with the other brunette from Heart Throbs. The blonde was for a very short time my dance partner the night before.

I did not mention this in my article for "Wood Magazine" but feel it should be here. The Lumberyard, in Des Moines brought a bus with fourteen of its dancers to Nudes-A-Poppin winning an award for the club having the most contestants. The Lumberyard also recently hosted a Pure Talent Feature Showcase. This club should be commended for its outstanding showing not only at Nudes-A-Poppin but also for publicizing itself in general. Two years ago, Club Eclipse in Missouri won Ponderosa's award for being the club providing the most entertainers. I remember its manager going around the festival handing out his Club Eclipse business cards and how friendly the girl was who won the top house dancer award was for Club Eclipse. Although I still haven't been to this club (I will be going soon, however), I got the impression that Eclipse is top notch.

Clubs such as the Lumberyard in Des Moines and Eclipse in Missouri because they put out that special effort to put themselves on the map, usually are top clubs. I certainly can say this about the Lumberyard after having taken pictures there for four nights straight and getting to know the club's general manager. For the club that wants to get known and to be recognized for excellence putting on a strong show at Ponderosa's Nudes-A-Poppin represents an affordable and fun way to do it.  


The rest of the Nudes-A-Poppin Jack Corbett series

Nudes-A-Poppin 2002
Nudes-A-Poppin 2003
Nudes-A-Poppin 2004
Nudes-A-Poppin 2005

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