"Clothing optional" private parties will be allowed to continue in the Iron Range city of Virginia, after council members could find no reason to ban them.
The delicate subject was brought to the attention of the council in October by a local pastor, who had expressed concerns over a "Sexy Halloween Party" being held at the Coates Plaza Hotel toward the end of the month.
But after allowing a committee to investigate the issue, WDIO reports the Virginia City Council found no legal grounds to stop the company, AttractionUSA, from operating in the city.
"We just don't have the authority to do that nor do I think we have to be able to legislate privacy or morality or anything like that," Mayor Larry Cuffe said. "There are some things in law that allows it, but this is a stretch for us to do that."
The weekend party in October comprised of a “Bar Meet and Lingerie Party” on Friday, followed the next day by a “Pool Party, Sexy Halloween Party” during which those in attendance “can swim in the buff.”
AttractionUSA is based out of the Two Creeks Campground near Sandstone, which advertises itself as a “private, 100-acre, totally-secluded property for adults over the age of 19 who enjoy a nude campout experience,” according to its website (graphic content warning).
The company intends to host another "clothing optional" party in Virginia over Valentine’s Day weekend, which it’s calling "A Pink Passion Valentine Poolside Hotel Takeover Retreat."
The Associated Press reports AttractionUSA's Glen Williamson had written to the council saying his parties aren't illegal or a public nuisance, but that they would move on if the city wanted them to.
The controversy in Virginia has sparked a debate on the Iron Range about the morality of parties of this nature.
Some former attendees spoke to KBJR on the condition of anonymity, saying they had been forced to take part in sex parties by their abusive husbands (note – the TV station did not give any indication they went to the parties in Virginia).
Melissa Scaia, a domestic violence advocate in the Northland, told KBJR that some of the women who ended up at such parties are "constantly living in fear" of violence at the hands of their partners.