A Booming SIRenity Farms Reigns Supreme in Franklin County

’N’, left, and his partner Steven Clinton-Elliot laugh with each other in the pool on Friday, May 10, 2024, at SIRenity Farms Camping Retreat in Sullivan, Mo. (Zachary Linhares)

SIRenity Farms is booming, with 4,300 visitors from across the country per year and plans to expand with a non-clothing-optional campground. (Photo by Zachary Linhares)

It’s a surprisingly little-known fact that nearby Franklin County has had a nudist resort since 1951. It took nearly 70 years for SIRenity Farms to add to the county’s bare bona fides with the all-male, clothing-optional campground, which Dennis Duncan and Michael Dekeyser opened in 2020. Since then, it’s grown exponentially, attracting 4,300 unique visitors from all 50 states and multiple countries.

Dennis Duncan and Michael Dekeyser opened SIRenity Farms in 2020 (Photo by Zachary Linhares).

Dennis Duncan and Michael Dekeyser opened SIRenity Farms in 2020 (Photo by Zachary Linhares).

With 62 acres, 26 lodging options and more than 100 RV sites including 70 seasonals and 60 tent sites with electricity, SIRenity has become one of the largest gay campgrounds in America. Many St. Louis guys visit “the Farm” near Sullivan, Missouri, every weekend during the warmer months to swim, lounge, celebrate and socialize — monitoring their 12,000-strong Facebook page for the latest events and community announcements. While many go to enjoy the festive pool area for the day, hundreds of seasonal members spend most weekends or even live there during the warm months. And they make major investments in their sites, leveling the land and even building decks and patios.

Best friends and south city residents Giuliano Mangiore and Eric Wright have been going since the beginning.

“The first two years we slept in tents, then we got the camper. I’m too old to sleep in a tent,” Mangiore, 51, says with a laugh.

This season they’ve upgraded again, to a larger site that they’ve fenced for the campers’ dogs. A close friend just bought a site within view.

“We call our new site ‘the Barnyard,’” Mangiore says. “We have a big projection screen and plan to have movie nights.”

He spends most weekends at the farm, but because of the close proximity, he can stay plugged into city activities. “It’s a gay village,” he adds. “If you need a deck builder, you know who to call. There’s a tool shed, someone who sells eggs. There’s golf cart parades [and] a food truck, which is our restaurant.”

Seasonal camper Scott Xavier Fieker travels six hours to enjoy weekends at the farm. “SIRenity is the best sanctuary for me as a transgender queer man,” he says. “At nearly 65-years-old, this community is the singular place where I feel safe to embrace all of myself and know that I can be honest, transparent and vulnerable and be honored by inclusiveness and respect.”

Earlier this year, Duncan and Dekeyser announced plans for a new area campground for the entire LGBTQ+ community.

“Michael and I began the journey in 2018 to build and open a campground in Missouri to offer a product that didn’t currently exist to the degree of our vision,” Duncan says. “We envisioned ourselves as a community-minded brand that made it part of its culture to be inclusive and affirming to men and male-identifying persons. Our goal was to create a space where people could freely express themselves in a safe and loving environment, at one with nature and others of like spirits. One of our goals from the inception was to do outreach and be more than a business but rather a caring and contributing member of the LGBTQIA+ community. We have done that and are very proud of the way we have supported and nurtured that community spirit.”

Men gather for late night drinks the popular Yurtaritaville at Jeff Curtis’ campsite (Photo by Zachary Linhares).

Men gather for late night drinks the popular Yurtaritaville at Jeff Curtis’ campsite (Photo by Zachary Linhares).

“In 2024,” Duncan continues, “we find ourselves in a position of growth and as our business has matured, it’s become clear to us that there are parts and people in our community that we can’t reach and serve with our present business model. We are excited to announce plans for a new and exciting business model.”

Duncan says the 12-acre campground, dubbed SIRenity Village, which is not clothing-optional, will offer a pool and hot tub, with the home on the property to operate as a lodge with full kitchen privileges for guests. They’ll be adding cabins, RV spaces and tent sites with electricity.

Duncan and Dekeyser have turned a simple patch of Ozark forest into a destination, drawing visitors from around the globe. SIRenity Farm has become a must-visit for gay guys. Now with SIRenity Village, they’re welcoming many more to the campfire.

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