After a breathless chase through the steep, forested hillsides, a shiny fox with a bouncy inflatable tail succumbed to his captor. Smash—a 39-year-old man in a latex fox suit with zippered crotch—gleefully whimpered and caressed his potbelly as the hunter rubbed his nipples. “He’s in fox heaven,” an onlooker said with a laugh.
Journalist Tracy Clark-Fory documented the bizarre ritual of the “Human Fox Hunt” at Lupin for Salon in 2011. She described men and women dressed up in leather and harnesses and erotic, anthropomorphic animal costumes stalking each other in the woods.
“There is a jarring dissonance between the back-to-basics naturist routine and the sinister ornamentation inside the hut,” Clark-Fory observed.
Punishment for the foxes apparently involved some sort of agreed-upon BDSM play in the privacy of a rented yurt. Even if the sex happened out of public view, the sexualized role-play at a resort marketing itself as family-friendly sent shockwaves in naturist circles.
Not long after the hunt, the American Association of Nude Recreation (AANR) withdrew its accreditation from Lupin Lodge.
Cindy Gregory, a resident member and Lupin’s special events coordinator, wrote an open letter to AANR defending the decision to rent space to the fetish party. After all, she said, at least some of the kinky cosplayers shed their “furversions” to a polite nakedness after the hunt. Being outnumbered by “textiles,” as nudists call the clothed, can stir up insecurities for naturists.
“After the hunts, many of the participants took off their costumes and enjoyed the hot tub and pool in the nude,” she assured AANR leaders, adding that there was no public sex on the grounds. “I am gratified that they feel accepted here and comfortable enough to express themselves.”
Other non-naturist groups would rent out spaces for parties, all-night raves that drew the ire of neighbors and the attention of sheriff’s deputies. Months before the human fox hunt, a 21-year-old raver rolling on molly and four tabs of acid collapsed in the main bathroom—called the Taj Mahal by Lupin residents. Another partygoer found him around 6am, slumped over and vacant, and called 9-1-1. Paramedics recounted in incident reports that his blood pressure shot up and his brain swelled before he died.
“That should have woke us up,” a resident lamented. “By the time the next guy died, a lot of us had enough morally, ethically. We had to say something.”