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Confessions of A Late-Blooming Naturist
This narrative summarizes my long, but limited, experience as a naturist; i.e., it covers a lot of years but a relatively limited number of exposures.
The Early Years
I have always enjoyed being nude. When I was growing up my family always lived near a so called Bare Assed Beach (BAB) and my brothers and I were frequent visitors. These BAB's were always used by males only. Later on, there were numerous nude experiences at Boy Scout Camps, the YMCA, and the Navy. I even served a brief stint as a swimming instructor in boot camp where everyone was nude.
The most memorable nude experience in the Navy was during simulated war games on Vieques Island in the early 1950's. (These war games are now being strongly protested by Puerto Rico.) I was a participant in a huge amphibious assault on a Vieques beach in which we landed thousands of marines and tons of supplies at the dawn of a hot and beautiful tropical day. During the actual landing, I was part of a six-man crew on the "Salvage Boat" and it was our job to do whatever was necessary to rescue any landing craft that was stuck on the beach or was otherwise inoperable anywhere between our mother ship and the beach. During the hectic early morning hours we were quite busy, but by the early afternoon we were quite bored and very, very tired, so we started cruising around and exploring. We found a small deserted cove and small beach away from the main landing beach (we were always in radio contact with the mother ship and the beach master). The young Ensign in charge suggested taking turns swimming to the little beach and resting and we did just that, two at a time and always nude. After some time, when everyone had taken a turn, the Ensign and I made another swim to the beach. We laid down on the sand, face up, and promptly fell sound asleep. Some time later, two nude and black marines kicked us awake to tell us that our lily white bodies had turned red. As we prepared to swim back to the boat, we saw that the small cove was filled with sharks! The nude marines told us not to worry about the sharks. They explained that they were stationed on the island and came swimming at this little beach nearly every afternoon after work, and the sharks always swam away after anybody started splashing around in the water. We called the boat in as far as it dared come, considering the many rocks protecting the cove, which left us about a 50-yard swim. The Ensign had been on a collegiate swim team but we both set personal best records for 50 yards. We agreed not to seek medical attention for our badly burned private parts in order to avoid the inquiry that was sure to follow.
The Long Cover-up
During the years that I was married to my first wife, there was a general acceptance of casual nudity in our family but we were not practicing nudists, because we never thought about becoming such. In the warmer weather, we usually slept in the nude but had very few occasions to be nude out of doors. During the nearly 25 years that I have been married to my second wife, I still get nude quite frequently and always sleep in the nude, but she is somewhat uncomfortable being nude herself. She accepts my frequent nudity, I think, because she has tired of fighting it. Still many years slipped by before I became a real nudist.
In 1987, I joined my son and his wife and a group of his coworkers on a trip to Saint Martin and four of us visited Cupecoy Beach. Everyone around us was nude but we stayed covered. I really wanted to get nude and I suspect my companions wanted to also but nobody seemed to want to make the first move. I didn't want to offend anyone, especially my daughter-in-law and the young women that was with us, and perhaps my son didn't want to embarrass his dad. I still kick myself for letting the opportunity pass. By the way, I had a fantastic time at the casinos and won so much money playing blackjack that I wore out my welcome at one casino. The win more than paid for the entire trip; it was the start of a 12-year win streak.
A Nude Awakening
In 1989, I stumbled onto the rec.nude newsgroup and got hooked. During the period of 1989 to 1993, I became addicted to monitoring rec.nude surreptitiously during working hours. I had read many first time nude experience reports and vowed to get nude in a mixed gender setting at the first opportunity. This opportunity finally came in 1993 while swimming with another couple at their pool. I just took off my suit and threw it out of the pool. My wife had a fit but the other couple just laughed. I told my wife that it was no big deal, and no one other than she was offended, and she eventually tired of complaining. Eventually, the other guy doffed his suit and seemed to be enjoying the experience. Over the next two or three years there were more skinny dipping sessions including some in which all four of us were nude, including my wife, but these were only during dark, moonless nights. Still, I thought that progress was being made. Now they all say that they are uncomfortable with nudity and are through with skinny dipping. My wife, however, does join me occasionally in the privacy of our own pool. I have been swimming laps in the nude almost daily from early spring to late fall since 1995 but have never had group skinny dips even though my pool is quite secluded from outside view by neighbors.
In 1995, my wife and I and a large group of friends scheduled a cruise to various Caribbean islands including Saint Martin. Before leaving for the cruise, I conspired with a couple of friends to make a visit to a nude beach. This lady was really eager to try it but her husband was not so sure. He had previously complained over lunch about her going topless on Saint Martin on a previous trip. When we eventually made it to Saint Martin, my wife asked me to go shopping with her and I said that I wanted to go to the beach but didn't mention nude beaches. She went shopping with friends and I headed to the beach with the other two conspirators. Our cab driver left us off near the Kon Tiki resort where everyone on the beach was in bathing suites; so we started walking the beach toward Club Orient. After we passed the Club Orient sign, I stopped to take off my suit and she said "Go for it," but they both stayed dressed. We set up camp near a platform (raft?) located just off the beach. Out on the platform, she took off her suit and eventually her husband did too. They seemed comfortable enough being nude out there even when others joined us; but, each time we returned to the beach he put his suit back on and she sat crouched in such a way that her legs covered everything. I was quite comfortable the entire afternoon except for worrying about the $2400 in blackjack winnings I was setting aside to pay for a fence around my back yard and new swimming pool; the money was left in a backpack on the beach while we were out on the raft. (I also had good luck in cruise ship casinos.) After about four hours, we returned to the cruise ship where my wife was shocked to see my red buns; she was mad because I hadn't told her I was going to a nude beach. (Later that year Club Orient took a direct hits from Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn and most of the buildings nearest the beach were wiped out.)
A Card-Carrying Nudist
In 1996, I read an article about Nude Recreation Week in my local paper. It described a South Texas nudist resort (Riverside Ranch) and also had an interview with Nancy Tiemann, the owner of Bare Necessities Tour & Travel Company (www.bare-necessities.com ). I called the resort and asked if I could visit and they said no. This was the first of several such rejections because I am a married but otherwise single nudist. I now know in some, however small, way what discrimination feels like. I called Bare Necessities and the friendly voice at the other end offered to send me out a packet of information about naturist vacation options. Included in the packet was an application for The Naturist Society (TNS) which I filled out and sent in. Some time after receiving my membership card, I again called the resort and, after identifying myself as a TNS member, was told that I could make a visit. During my subsequent visit, the resort was essentially empty except for the couple who owned and managed the resort. After a few hours of walking around the grounds and swimming, I left, probably never to return. While my hosts were generally friendly, they let me know that I wasn't eligible for membership.
Late in 1996, I booked a cruise on a Windjammer Barefoot Cruise ( www.windjammer.com ). I told my wife that I always wanted to take a cruise on a windjammer and just had to do it, which was quite true, but I was hoping to have some nude opportunities while doing it. She would never set foot on such a vessel. I had tried to book a cruise on the windjammer nude cruise advertised in the TNS "Nude & Natural" magazine but was turned down by the organizer, again because of my status. I signed up for a one-week cruise on Windjammer's Polynesia leaving from Saint Martian on Sunday and returning there the following Saturday. During the cruise. there would be visits to several islands including St. Barths. I also booked two extra nights on St. Martin so I could visit the casinos and win enough money to pay for the trip. Everyone I told that to laughed about the absurdity of such an idea.
During the cruise, there were opportunities to get nude only on or near St. Barths. Some of the female passengers got topless sunbathing while under weigh but that was about it. When we docked at Gustavia on St. Barths, I bummed a ride with some new friends who had rented a car. They left me off at plage Anse de Grande Saline on the other side of the island. I got naked immediately but found everyone else seemed to be clothed. Near the far end of the beach I found a nude couple and spread my towel near them. While looking far out over the water, I saw a snorkel and some bare buns. Eventually, the snorkel and bare buns returned to the beach and a lovely naked creature stepped out of the surf, walked up to a backpack on the beach, doffed swim fins and snorkel mask, donned a two-piece bathing suit, and left. Later, a young man from the Polynesia walked up to my end of the beach while draped in a towel. Since we had not talked previously on the ship, we introduced ourselves. He had hiked all the way from Gustavia and initially undressed on the beach but seeing only textiles covered up with his towel. His name was Dan and we agreed to watch each other's belongings if either of us went off for a walk or swim. Still later, a second nude couple arrived on our end of the beach; they were tan-lined tourists and not from our ship. After a squall blew in, the surf really kicked up and made for a great body-surfing opportunity. The new couple and Dan and I had many long rides although I kept telling myself I was too old for such an activity. The female part of the new couple really was turning very red on her normally covered areas and was also slightly bruised and bloody from the rough stops on the beach after each ride. I knew what suffering she was in for that night; fortunately my days of sunburned buns were over forever, I hope. Later, the couple who rented the car returned with another person from the ship and a large quantity of a potent tropical concoction. The five of us partied on the beach and in the surf but only Dan and I were nude, although the only female among us went topless while in the water. When the punch was completely depleted, the three of them took off, leaving Dan and me alone to walk back to the dock later. During the late afternoon numerous other people found the beach; a few got naked, but most stayed clothed. I walked the beach again from end to end, talked to many people along the way, and felt quite at ease. (I wouldn't suggest hiking from Gustavia to plage Anse de Saline without good walking shoes. My slip-on sandals produced severe blisters.)
On the next to last day of the cruise, we anchored off St. Barths near what I think is plage Anse de Columbier. The "Today's Events" board on the ship had an entry labeled "Sun Your Buns On The Beach." We were ferried to the beach via a small boat and, on landing, most everyone turned right and stayed clothed all afternoon. Dan and I turned left, got naked and stayed that way all afternoon. There were several groups of nudes who had come in from smaller sail boats anchored just offshore. One young couple, who were nude the entire time on the beach, donned bathing suits, fins and snorkel masks each time they set off to explore the depths; a routine quite the opposite that of the lovely creature who emerged from the sea at plage Anse de Saline, at least with respect to the bathing suits.
After disembarking at St. Martian early Saturday morning, I checked into the Horizon View Beach Hotel on Front street in Philipsburg, about two buildings to the right of the pier where the cruise ship picked up and dropped off passengers. This hotel was very cheap but quite clean and about as close to the casinos as it was to Orient Beach. After checking in, I rented a car and headed out to Orient Beach. When I arrived at the front gate, I asked the security guard where I could park and undress and he pointed me to the nearby L'Orientique boutique where I could do both. After getting naked, I started walking the beach and was surprised to see my friend Dan stretched out on a towel reading. Dan had gotten a great deal from Windjammer to do another week's cruise and would be setting sail again on Sunday. At lunch, we each had a great sandwich at the newly rebuilt Papagayo Restaurant and, of course, a couple of Heinekens (the local beer). (Not only was the restaurant rebuilt but all the beach front chalets were in the process of being rebuilt, this time out of masonry blocks.) All the male diners in the restaurant were nude but many of the women wore flowered wraparounds. All the staff were dressed. I noted that there was a sign-up sheet for the massage therapist but she was booked solid for the next week; too bad. She was giving massages at that time on a raised concrete platform that had a roof but was otherwise completely open and which was located just to the left of the restaurant. There always seemed to be a small crowd watching the massage process. While still nude, Dan and I toured the resort office, visited a chalet, courtesy of the occupants, and shopped in the L'Orientique where I purchased some postcards, one of which showed the backsides of two couples taking an early morning stroll on a deserted Orient Beach.
At dusk, I drove Dan back to the dock in Philipsburg and, after changing at my hotel, headed out the casinos, stopping on the way for a meal of conch chowder, conch fritters, and a couple of Heinekens. The first casino I came to was the Casino Royale and that turned out to be the only casino I visited on that trip. The casino was filled with people from the movie set crew that was assembling the set for Speed Two in Marigot on the French side. (This was for the scene where the cruise ship plowed into the town destroying buildings on its way.) Initially, I started losing while playing at a $5 table (red chips) and moved to a $25 table (green chips) where I started winning. The movie people at the table were betting large piles of $100 chips (black) but I kept on with my small bets of green chips. I was enjoying the chatter at the table when I realized that I was ahead over $1400. My total cost for the trip was $1494, not including the car rental, so I promptly quit playing; mission accomplished.. Total elapsed time at the casino was 30 to 45 minutes.
At dawn on Sunday morning, I got up, breakfasted at Burger King on Front Street, and headed out to Orient Beach. After getting naked, I set off for the beach and started walking north wearing only my Tilley hat, which contained my money and car keys in its little pocket, and a watch; no towel, no shoes. (Tilley hats, originally designed for sailors, are now worn by many naturists these days as their only clothing item, check them out at www.tilley.com.) As I started out, I fell in behind two young couples who were also taking an early morning beach stroll, perhaps they had gotten the idea from that postcard in L'Orientique. We all walked about 1 1/2 miles to the far end of the beach where the Mont Vernon Hotel is located (I think the name of that hotel has since been changed, but there is a mountain near there named Mont Vernon). The two couples climbed over some rocks to continue walking but I had no idea where they were heading. When I finally returned to Club Orient, I noticed the massage therapist idly talking to a fully dressed young man. When I inquired about her availability she said that her 9 a.m. client was a no-show and she could fit me in for a 30-minute session. So, onto the table for my first and, thus far, only, nude massage. She had no sooner started when the 10 a.m. client arrived, early. This lady sat down to watch and occasionally spoke to me or to the therapist but, to my surprise, I wasn't really bothered by her presence. (Now I think that there is a more permanent and more private massage room.) When I took the therapist's fee from my Tilley hat pocket she said, "I was wondering where you kept your money."
When the attendant arrived to start renting lounges and umbrellas, I felt wealthy enough to rent one of each. Later, Dan arrived to spend a few hours on the beach before departing again on the Polynesia. He parked on his towel but I told him he could use the shade of my umbrella if he didn't get too close. Still later, a group arrived and unfurled a large banner identifying their group and at the bottom of the banner was the proclamation "Happiness Is No Tan Lines." I told one guy in the group that he indeed had tan lines, as I did, and pointed to the little white areas I had where my buns ended and my legs began. (Young hard bodies don't sag enough to produce such tan lines.) He replied that those things don't count, they're "winkies." By the way, there were two platforms off the beach and they provided a nice swimming course over which one young lady swam for over an hour; continually circling around the two widely spaced platforms. In the early afternoon, a really heavy squall drenched the beach and it seemed like it would last for some time. The attendant demanded that all the beach chairs and umbrellas be surrendered so he could leave. I toughed it out and eventually the rains stopped and I stayed again until dusk.
That night, I again headed for the Casino Royale but was in no mood to play blackjack because of a persistent headache, but I was still hoping to win a little more money, just to cover incidentals such as the rental car. Again, I started playing red chips and lost, then switched to green chips and won about $800, then quit. Total time at the tables: less than 30 minutes. (This story may be hard to believe but it's true; as noted earlier, I had been on a long winning streak. It finally ended in a big way in January 1999 in Las Vegas.)
I returned to Orient Beach again on Monday morning for a few hours of beach time, then checked out of my hotel and was driven to the airport by the rental car company. At the airport, I again met some to the highroller movie set people from the Saturday night blackjack table; they had all lost.
In 1997, I started visiting Hippie Hollow near Austin, Texas. I had known about Hippie Hollow for about 30 years but did not know exactly where it was located or if it was still open. The "World Guide to Nude Beaches and Resorts" I received from TNS provided very detailed directions and so I made my first visit. This Travis County Park is located very close to the Mansfield Dam which impounds the Colorado River and forms Lake Travis. (Turn off route 620 just east of the dam at the McGregar Park/Hippie Hollow sign and continue a little over 2 miles to the parking lot and pay a $5.00 entrance fee. I get into any Travis County Park free with my Senior Lone Star sticker. Note the really fabulous homes on the hillsides overlooking this popular nudist location.) What I like about Hippie Hollow is that I can engage in three of my favorite activities in the nude; namely, swimming, of course, but also walking and fishing. Nudity is not permitted in the parking lot. I interpret this to mean that nudity is ok after descending one or more of the steps leading down to the road spanning most of the park and paralleling the shore line. The road is closed to all but park vehicles. The road is clearly marked off every 0.05 miles for 0.5 miles, so two lengths equals one mile, and for me, eight lengths gives me my usual daily road work. After my walk is over, it's back to the parking lot to get my fishing rod. To go back and forth from the steps to the parking lot I use a Tan Thru Suit which is very easy to slip on and off over shoes and is so sheer that it can be folded up and tucked into my Tilley hat. (Check those suits out at www.lifestylesdirect.com.)
The fishing at Hippie Hollow can be very good at times and I have had some very good days. There is one little problem with the fishing though. At one location, called Radio Rock by some people, the nudists feed the fish with bread and draw large numbers of fish almost immediately. One really large catfish is so well known that they have named him/her/it. I would be in a heap of trouble if I hurt that fish. It would be so easy to catch a mess of catfish by placing a hook into a bread ball but I wouldn't do that and I hope no one else ever does either, at that spot anyway. I fish only for black bass with artificial lures (which the catfish ignore) and release all fish immediately, mainly because I don't want to carry around an icebox or a fish stringer. One day I caught a nice legal-sized bass and three girls who were probably University of Texas students asked to see the fish. They then begged me to give them the fish for their supper that night. When I asked them if they knew how to clean the fish and ice it down to take home, they said they were hoping I would do that for them. I told them that I didn't have a knife on me (obviously) and that it was too far to walk back to the parking lot to get one. If they had said " oh pleeeease" one more time I might have given in but I told them that the fish would be have to be returned to the water where it would stay fresh and beautiful.
After fishing, I usually return to the parking lot to get a foam mat/float, food and drinks, towel, etc., and walk back to my favorite spot, Radio Rock, to swim and relax away the rest of the day. I generally visit Hippie Hollow on weekdays when the crowds are light, but I have visited on some weekends too. Last July 4th weekend, the park was so completely filled with people it was hard to find a place to sit down. Hippie Hollow is patrolled on a nearly continuous basis every day by the regular park rangers and on very crowded days, such as on July 4th or Labor Day weekends, by additional uniformed law enforcement officers. These officers, park police or sheriff's deputies, I don't know which, patrolled in pairs and seemed to be everywhere.
Hot Springs and Hot Fishing
In June of 1998, I made my first visit to a clothing optional hot spring. While making an extensive tour of New Mexico with my wife and another couple, I made a detour to Spence Hot Springs. (From the intersection of HWY 44 and HWY 4 at San Ysidro, drive up HWY 4 for a distance of 6.8 miles, through the Jémez Pueblo, through the town of Jémez Springs, and 2 miles past Battleship Rock to a paved parking lot on the right. Follow the trail over the Jémez River and up the mountain to the springs.) (HWY 4 is a National Scenic Byway.) While the ladies waited in the car, my friend and I started up the trail. Just on the other side of the river, across a felled tree bridge, is a sign warning about possible nudity on the trail ahead. Before too long, my friend tired and told me to go on ahead. By the time he reached the pools, I was already naked and immersed. When he saw naked women in and around the pools, his eyeballs seemed to pop out. I not sure he had ever seen a naked women other than his wife. He did soak his tired legs in the hot water but did not go beyond that. After 20 minutes, I dressed and we headed down the trail and back to the car. The ladies were not really too bored waiting for us because they could see some people around the pools from the car and also they were interested in watching the people going up and down the trail. (If you are interested in soaking in a hot tub, followed by a massage or other spa treatment, check out the Jémez Springs Bath House, www.jemez.com/baths.)
During that trip, I did not have good success in fishing the San Juan River, below the Navajo Dam up in the Four-Corners region, so I flew back to New Mexico alone in September to give it another try. On the way to the river, I stopped off at Spence Hot Springs for what I expected to be a short soak. The lower pools were quite crowded. When two girls in hiking boots and carrying backpacks arrived and inquired about the location of more private pools, they were directed to hike further up the mountain. (There is not a clearly marked trail to those more private pools but it's fairly easy to find them if you can first locate the little rivulets of water flowing down the slope and follow them up). Sometime later, I set out to find the more private pools and had no trouble finding them. Only one of the two pools was occupied and that by the two girls and two men. I joined them and ended up having a very enjoyable afternoon since everyone seemed to be a good story teller. One guy was a geologist who knew a great deal about the origins of the New Mexico's hot springs and especially the volcanic caldera which was producing the hot water we were soaking in. The two young ladies eventually smoked too much pot and drank so much booze that I later worried if they made it safely to wherever they were staying. I declined all offers of pot (I don't smoke) and booze (I still had a long drive to Navajo Dam). I did take some of their freshly baked basil bread which was so very good. The pool is so small that only two, or three people at most, can use it simultaneously, and it was necessary to take turns. While I was sitting on a large rock at the edge of the pool, one of the stoned young ladies started to climb out of the pool and slipped, falling on me so hard that my head struck the rock and produced a painful bump. The poor girl apologized profusely and asked if I was hurt and I assured her that I was ok; after all, how often does an old guy like me have a beautiful young naked girl fall all over him. Eventually, I tore my very relaxed body and but very sore head away and headed north to Navajo Dam, arriving just in time to check in and get sometime to eat at Abe's Motel, and Fly Shop (www.sanjuanriver.com). The fishing, by the way, was fantastic. If you work at it, you can catch very large rainbow trout on very tiny flies, and then throw them back (it's the law).
On the way back four days later, I again stopped off at Spence Springs. At the main pools there were only three people: three gay guys who were camping out at the springs and were busy doing some repair work on the rock dam that helped form the upper pool. These guys were friendly people but their conversations were completely one-dimensional, so I eventually headed up to the more private pools in search of solitude or, at least, more interesting conversations. There was only one man there so I soaked and talked with him for awhile. The area around the pool was a real mess, so when I left I picked all the paper, cans and bottles I could carry and the other man said that he would pick up the rest. That mess was not made by my little group of soakers/storytellers but by some thoughtless slobs. At the lower pools there were now four young women in addition to the three guys. Two of the women were nude and two were suited. I didn't soak at all but stood under the shower provided by a pipe draining an upper pool to a lower pool for a few minutes (a really great sensation). There wasn't any time to do any soaking because some very ominous looking storm clouds were approaching. I stayed naked all the way down the trail to the nude warning sign before dressing. The storm that followed was really bad and caused runoffs down the mountain sides strong enough to wash a car off the road. The hail was so heavy that several times I had to find places to pull over and wait it out. I did, however, finally make it to Albuquerque, just in time for my flight home.
In May of 1999, I attended the Southwest Naturist Gathering sponsored by TNS at the Live Oak Resort near Brenham, Texas. The Live Oak Resort has to be one of the best resorts in Texas; it has just about every amenity a naturist resort should have (www.liveoakresort.com ). I did a lot of swimming, walking, eating, and meeting new friends but also I attended quite a number of the lectures and workshops. The highlight of the gathering for me was the fantastic slide show presented by photographer Michael J. Cooney. He provided a too-short glimpse into his enviable vocation of documenting, by film, video, and words, ordinary people experiencing the freedom at naturist locations all over the world. Immediately following his presentation, Nancy Tiemann showed off some of the nude cruises and exotic naturist vacation destinations her company had to offer. Nancy and Michael, I learned, are good friends and frequent collaborators; she sells the opportunities and he photographs the experiences. I saw some evidence of their collaboration in the video "Vacation Naturally," available from TNS. After the presentations, I told Nancy how she had been instrumental in my becoming a card-carrying naturist.
One really refreshing thing about the gathering, was watching the several family groups having a really good time, naturally. The children of almost all ages were playing sports like volley ball, or table games, or swimming, or whatever kids usually do around one another, and all the while seeming to be completely comfortable in their surroundings and their nudity. That was so unlike Hippie Hollow where the law bans anyone under the age of 18 from entering.
I would have attended the 2000 gathering also but had a previously scheduled fishing trip. I do plan to attend the 2001 gathering.
In October 1998, I rented a 4-wheel SUV to try out Bolivar/McFadden Beach. I took the ferry from Galveston to the Bolivar Peninsula and then traveled east more than 30 miles to where the old Highway 87 was washed out and finally found the nude beach (more detailed instructions can be found at www.b-u-n-s.org ). There were only a few people there at first but more people came as the day progressed. Initially, I tried the fishing but the water was too dirty for my artificial lures. I spent the next several hours walking the beach and picking up glass and garbage and talking to everyone I met. One family of four arrived and when they saw naked people asked if it was legal and were told that the legality was debatable, and sometimes the sheriff makes a trip out there, but not lately, and so they all stripped and jumped into the dirty surf. The little kids really had a great time. Later that day, I talked to a real odd couple fishing in the surf. I had no idea what their relationship was, and didn't ask, but I was struck by the contrasts. He was a mountain of a man covered with masses of red hair on his head, face, and body, but was otherwise nude. He looked like he could wrestle a bear and win. She was a petite slip of a girl with a perfect body and a beautiful face made even more beautiful when she smiled; and with a rose tattooed on each breast and each bun. When I asked if she expected to catch anything in such a dirty surf, she replied in a lovely voice, with a slight Cajun accent, "Sure, sooner or later."
In August 1999, I drove my own 4-wheel drive pickup down the Padre Island National Seashore. The North Beach is accessed from Corpus Christi and after entering the park several beach areas are reachable via paved roads. (There is an entrance fee required but I get in free on My Golden Age Passport.) My destination was south of the barricade marked "4-Wheel Drive Vehicles Only Beyond This Point." Prior to a storm that summer, the beach had continued for about 60 miles south, but a new pass was created by the storm at about the 44-mile marker. That's exactly how far I drove through wet and sloppy sand without seeing a single naked body. The fishing, normally great in August, was fruitless in the dirty surf. On the way back north, I was surprised to see a good looking naked women carrying a lounge chair down to the water's edge where another naked women was already lounging. The first women was tall and athletic, probably a fitness instructor I thought, and the other one was equally well toned as I later saw. At their camp site, which was not there on my first pass, was an older man who was setting up some shelter. As I usually do, I stopped to talk, not because they were good looking, but because I was so happy to see other naturists. I was already naked and had been during the entire beach drive. The two ladies offered me a Budweiser, but since they were planning to stay a few days, and it was a long way back to a convenience store, I suggested that I better drink my own Buds. After two beers and several interesting tales about their experiences as bar tenders in Port Aransas, I bid them goodbye and walked up to talk to the naked man at the campsite. After introductions, I remarked about how pleasant his friends were and he replied, "Oh, they're all right -- I guess." At that, I turned to look back at the two women and I saw that they indeed were a very loving couple and he was the odd man out. During the time I was there, two men and two women saw us lying naked at the edge of the water and stopped their car, stripped, splashed around in the surf for a few minutes, and left. That was the extent of the naturist activities on Padre Island National Seashore that day. The point I have been trying to make here is that, while I am usually forced to be a lone naturist, most naturists seek the company of other like-minded people, and that includes me.
Sex on the Beach
In October of 1999, my wife and I and another couple (the ones I used to skinny dip with) made a trip to Cozumel. I had previously researched the nude possibilities there and was ready. Of course, no one else was interested in visiting nude beaches, but I finally talked them into exploring the eastern side of the island. The road to the south lighthouse was closed and barricaded, so that ruled that area out because my friends were not into long walks. Heading north along the coast, we stopped to explore a deserted rocky beach and I promptly got naked. Wow, did I ever catch hell for "embarrassing" them! There was not another soul to be seen, and except for the possibly of a car coming by in the next hour or so, no one who might or should be offended. So I dressed and gave up on the idea of experiencing the freedom that day. A few miles up the road we stopped by a small cantina on a very nice sandy beach that is somewhat sheltered. The cantina is called Chen Rio. When I inquired about the place to a couple leaving the cantina, the man told me that "... it's a good place to let it all hang out, if you know what I mean." Not a chance! Actually, the area in back of the cantina where tables and palapas are located might not be a good place to get nude because family groups might gather there, but a little further south on the same beach nudity would probably be tolerated. I didn't ask the management about it.
At the point where the coastal road intersected with the cross-island road, we stopped to do a little shopping at a curio shop. I walked over to check out Mescalito's bar. On the beach just north of the bar was a sign that said, "NUDE BEACH." Just beyond that was another sign in the form of an arrow pointing north which said, "SEX ON THE BEACH." I tried to talk my friends into having a drink at Mescalito's but they were tired and wanted to go back to the condo to rest before going out again for the evening meal.
The following day, the three prudish members of our foursome told me that they had decided among themselves that I should take the car after lunch and go wherever I wanted to go, alone of course. So I did just that. I drove the car east on the cross-island road and parked at Mescalito's. I ordered a beer and asked the on-duty Mescalito how far up the beach I had to go before I could get naked and he replied that it was just one pace north of the sign. (Which ever gringo co-owner is there on any given day is Mescalito) By the way, Sex On The Beach was the featured drink at the bar, in addition to the best Margarita on the island (or so a sign proclaimed). I stepped to the north side of the Nude Beach sign, got naked, and then proceeded to walk about one mile north. During my walk I saw one nude couple who had ridden motorcycles up the dirt road paralleling the shoreline and, closer to the bar, one couple in which the women was topless. So, the total number of naked people on Mescalito's nude beach that afternoon was three and one-half. Mescalito told me to tell all my nudist friends that they were welcome to visit his nude beach. The problems with his nude beach are: 1) there could be a steady steam of tourists gawking at the nudists, 2) the beach has more rocks than sand, and 3) the water can be quite rough since it is on the windward side of the island and not sheltered in any way. There are much nicer and more secluded beaches further north but they are only accessible by jeeps or other such off-road vehicles because of the rough unpaved road leading to the north end of the island. Still, I enjoyed my afternoon; except for the 100-peso bribe I had to pay a cop who stopped me for making an illegal U-turn back in town.
Monos, Cocodrillos, Lagartos, y Playas Desiertas
In June of 2000, the same foursome visited Costa Rica where we stayed for 7 days at a private villa overlooking the Pacific Ocean near the town of Nosara on the west coast's Nicoya Peninsula. It was a real adventure because of the very rough dirt roads for the last 1/3rd of the trip from Liberia, where we landed, to Nosara. We had to ford a stream where a bridge was being rebuilt, traverse a nearly washed out section of road, and endure bone jarring ruts. The washout was repaired when we left and the bridge may be completed by now but the terrible roads will probably have to be endured for years to come. The area is somewhat primitive and is still a rain forest complete with Howler monkeys (monos) that wake you up at 5 a.m. everyday. Sunrise is at about 6 a.m. and sunset at 6 p.m., essentially all year long. We had the house to ourselves except for a maid and two handymen who were there during the weekday working hours of about 7 to 3:30. They spoke only Spanish. The villa's great pool was mine every night for swimming laps, alone and nude, of course. We aren't rich enough to rent such a fabulous villa but we are lucky enough to have friends who own one!
The food in little restaurants hidden away in jungle-like settings was quite good, usually fresh seafood. Most of the small resorts and restaurants in the area are operated by Germans or Swiss but we did try several native (Tico) places for local color and for good, but generally bland, food. Two places near the beach served surfer's breakfasts which were very good. The several small hotels and bed and breakfast villas in the area are very popular with honeymooners. There are no paved roads in the town of Nosara, and the super mercado is dirt floored, but the area has ambiance, friendly people, and a very laid-back attitude. There are quite a few Americans who have built homes in the area and they get together frequently for various activities such as card games or cookouts on the beach. Least I forget, the offshore fishing is very good for billfish, dorado, tuna, etc.
I walked the usually completely deserted beaches (playas desiertas) naked and alone most mornings (between 6 and 8 a.m.) before the sun got too hot, and I seldom met other beach goers. There was an occasional Tico or Tica emerging from the jungle, using the beach to walk or ride a bike to work, but they paid no attention to me. There were always a few surfers later in the day and sometimes there were nude or topless girls lounging on the beach, perhaps waiting for the surfers. At low tide, there are numerous tidal pools that provide a nice warm place to soak. During the dry (tourist) season, the beaches are much more crowded. I explored only two of the three local beaches: Playa Guiones (about 5 miles long); and Playa Paleda (perhaps 1 mile long). I liked the Playa Guiones the best. The third and largest beach (Playa Nosara) was left unexplored for this trip because the lead handyman at the villa warned me that the only access was by wading across the mouth of two rivers that merge at the ocean (the Rio Nosara and the Rio Montańa) and, during the rainy season, they may be too high to cross after a rain and, combined with a high tide, I could be stranded on the north side of the rivers until the next low tide. The more ominous warning was that the crocodiles (cocodrillos) come down river during high water times. He also warned about large lizards (lagartos) but I have no idea what kind of lizard he was referring to or even if he was putting me on. Playa Nosara is famous for the sea turtles that hatch there and it is designated as a national sanctuary. One could walk for many miles on that beach and never see another person, but I was forced to postpone that experience to some future trip during the dry season. (There is a newly competed suspension foot bridge further up river but I don't know if one could hike or bike to the beach from there.)
A final note about Nosara: A very popular (and extremely hirsute) Academy Award winning actor/comedian was seen walking on Playa Guiones recently, quite nude! Need another hint? He is a man of good will, hunting, and then finding, a great place to get away from it all in Nosara.
During my relatively limited personal history of naturism, I nevertheless managed to meet many naked people of all ages, sizes, shapes, colors, political persuasions, and sexual orientations and I have liked them all. I'm glad I didn't meet the slobs who trashed Spence Hot Springs; they were probably textiles. I'm looking forward to meeting even more such likeable naked people in the future, especially during an upcoming vacation to a part of the world that hosts several world famous naturist resorts and beaches. There is no way that I won't visit at least one of them, alone if necessary, but hopefully there will be one or more people from the large group going with us who may want to experience the freedom with me.
This report is brought to you by FunNude.
Western Australia's beautiful Swanbourne Beach.
First Time Report.
After about 6 months of visiting naturist websites, chat-rooms and mailing lists, I have finally gone to my nearest nude beach - and not a moment too soon. I had made a promise to myself that I would go there before I turned 18 - and that was just a week away! So now it is a source of pride to me that I was still a teenager when I had my first public experience.
The beach I am talking about is Western Australia's beautiful Swanbourne Beach. In order to get there, I had to take both a bus and a train and then walk about a kilometre. As I waited to catch the bus, I was having second thoughts about going through with it. Questions were running through my head like 'What if someone I know sees me'? but almost unconsciously I got on the bus. The fact that I had made a promise to myself seemed keep pushing me forward. After my train journey was over, I started walking toward the coastline. It was uphill most of the way, so it certainly increased my desire to go for a swim it was a very hot day as it was.
I got to the end of the street and walked down onto the beach. According to a website about Swanbourne, it was just a short stroll north from where I was. Somehow ten minutes walking along the sand on a boiling hot day didn't seem like a short stroll to me. My walk covered several beaches, with a few people here and there swimming or sunbathing. At one point I walked right past a sunbathing woman not realizing until I was right next to her that she was top-free. Well, perhaps some Swanbourne influence is transferred onto its adjacent beaches. Whatever her reason was, it got me just a bit more prepared for what I was about to see.
Pretty soon, I could see a yellow sign up ahead and the outlines of quite a lot a people. 'This is probably it,' I thought to myself. Sure enough, when I got a bit closer I could see that all of those people were nude, and I could now read the sign: 'Nude sunbathing south of this sign prohibited. Offenders will be prosecuted.' Nevertheless, there were just a few people sitting about 2 metres south of the sign. Who can blame them though? Nothing wrong with blurring the barriers a bit.
Seeing lots of naturist pictures on the net had certainly helped prepare me for the sight of heaps of people completely nude on the beach. There were most sunbathers, but quite a lot in the water as well. Fortunately, I didn't find it arousing at all, just very exciting. After all, I'd never experienced anything like it in my life. I'd read that the nude section of the beach was 2 kilometres long, so I could have easily found a place to swim in private, but I just didn't feel like walking any more and that wouldn't have been a real naturist experience anyway. Instead, I found a spot behind a small mound of sand at the back to put my stuff (I had been carting a heavy bag around the whole time). Only one person could see me from there, but I didn't mind because I could tell from his tan that he was a regular and not just a gawker. In fact, I hadn't seen a single clothed person who wasn't arriving or leaving.
The fact that nudity was so normal there gave me an extra bit of confidence. 'This is it!' I decided. After getting my shoes and socks off, I took off my shirt straight away and put it in my bag. Then I applied some sun cream to my arms, chest and legs. By this time I was getting extremely nervous, but also determined to go all the way. My hands were shaking as I removed my shorts. Then I got out my towel and sat on it wearing only my underwear. I waited until I had calmed down a bit and then braced my self for the big moment. I was out of my underwear without any more hesitation. I felt a wave of emotions wash over me. Pride that I had the courage to do this, excitement for this new experience and absolute joy! I finished applying sun cream (you need it everywhere) and then stood up. I knew that I was finally a true naturist. I was able to stand up completely nude in full view of everyone around me, without feeling anything bad about what I was doing.
I started walking and then running straight to the water. This part was great! Swimming nude in the ocean is one of the most enjoyable experiences in the world. I swam back and forth and let some waves crash into me. I can't even explain how it felt. After a while I realized that something was wrong. Of course! I was still wearing the band that's tying my hair back! I know this may seem stupid, but I didn't feel that the experience would be complete unless I had nothing on my body whatsoever.
So I got out of the water straight away. As I walked back to my bag, I ended up making eye contact with some of the sunbathers on the way. It amazed me that I was already not embarrassed to look at nude people with them looking at me. Whenever this happened it was never gawking, just two people exchanging polite glances as they would if they were clothed. As soon as I'd taken the band off I was back in the water. This time I even bodysurfed on a wave. I got hungry after a while, so I returned to my bag again and ate my sandwich, but this time moved it away from the hidden spot, as I was no longer worried about theft or being looked at. When the sandwich had gone down, I had one last dip in the ocean before taking my board shorts (or swimming trunks as some people call them) and dipping them in the water. I'm sure that the sight of a nude guy dipping a pair a board shorts in the water must have seemed strange, but I had to do it so that when I got home it would look as if I had gone to a clothing required beach. (I hadn't worn the board shorts at any stage that day).
I had to leave then in order to catch my train and bus back. If you've read a lot of these stories, you'll know what I'm about to write next. I HATED HAVING TO PUT MY CLOTHES BACK ON! It was like leaving paradise. As I left the nude section, I was relieved that nobody on another beach was negative about the fact that I had just been up there. I guess the community must respect the ways of nudists and naturists just as we (I'm glad to be using that word) respect their standards on the clothing required beached (however unreasonable).
The mix of people was pretty good. While middle-aged men where the most common, most other groups had a few people there also. I even spotted a guy who looked about my age. It would be nice if there were a better balance (perhaps more young people and females), not in order to look at them of course, but to have greater support and enjoyment of naturism throughout all kinds of people. This didn't really matter to me today though, as I was simply enjoying the experience without much interaction with others.
As for gawkers: WHAT GAWKERS? Everyone was nude. This also made me realise that if someone I knew was there, they would probably be in a similar situation to me and respect the fact that many naturists require secrecy. I know now that Swanbourne Beach is a safe place for me.
I will definitely be coming back quite often. Once I get my license I'll be able to visit all the time and perhaps get to know some naturists. I also plan on trying out the local non-grounded club, and the nearest resort.
I have really found something special and will definitely be continuing with it for the rest of my life! Thank you to everyone who made the websites that have taught me all about it. You have had an impact on me that has made me very happy.
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