The concept of a nude beach is understandable daunting for some. I was always unsure about nude beaches; we never had them in the town I grew up in. I always wondered to myself, do you have to get naked when you go? Are there separate beaches for males and females, boys and girls? I knew before I even stepped foot on one that I would never be comfortable walking around naked, but still, I was curious.
Flash Forward To Years Later
I’m living in a new city across the country from where I grew up, where there are so many beaches everywhere and the weather is fab. The people I have met so far are confident and secure in their looks and their beliefs and it takes a while to get used to, but I dig it. I hear about this infamous nude beach way before I go and just assumed that one day, I’ll go there when I have someone to go with. And sure enough, in the summer of 2017, I was on my way there for the first time. This beach is by the University and is beautiful. Before I even get out of the car, before I even see the beach, I have butterflies because I know it is going to be gorgeous.
We Get Out Of The Car
There are people everywhere which are to be expected for a June day, and a few cop cars. I’m thinking, OK, what kind of place is this? I look around the wooded area and see no direct path to the mysterious nude beach. I hike my heavy beach bag higher on my shoulder and switch hands to hold the heavy cooler full of beer. If we have to hike through the woods, down a cliff, I won’t be happy. “Over here,” My friend says motioning across the crowded road to a wooden fence. I follow. We come to a huge embankment of wooden stairs. Thank God, I mumbled. The journey to the bottom of the stairs takes 10 minutes, and what greets us is amazing. This beach is beautiful.
There Are Tents And Booths Everywhere
I am surprised by the number of tents I see, and booths announcing cold pop and some hotdogs. There are people to the right, left and straight ahead and I stand there for a second. Taking in all the nakedness. The thing that shocks me the most about this nude beach is many old people there are here, like 70 and above strutting in their birthday suits. Older than younger. We decide to go to the right and walk past sprawled limbs, over plastic cups of some mixed concoction, towels and discarded clothes. We find a spot by some brush and a log and put our stuff down. I am trying not to be distracted by the old men who are so tanned they look like they were made out of leather, walking around, going up to everyone that was sitting on the beach and saying hello to them. I silently hope they don’t come to us, and I put my head down. I am not sure how to act around naked 75-year-old men. Thankfully, they see we are busy setting up and they walk by.
There are not many people in the water
Most people at the nude beach are frolicking in ankle deep water, drinking, playing guitar, enjoying the freedom of being naked and it being absolutely OK. I shrug out of my denim shorts and halter top and toss them to the side and adjust my string bikini. I already made the decision to not bare it all, and with relief, I notice other people, not many, have decided to keep themselves covered. I go about lathering myself with sunblock and discreetly try to observe people. There are so many people who look so tanned like they live outside all year round. My friend informs me that some guys stay out here up until December and sleep in the tents, this is their livelihood. I wonder how they support themselves, and then I get the answer.
Drugs of every kind get offered to us
Two or three men come up 5 minutes apart from each other and offer us Magic Mushrooms’ ‘LSD’ and ‘Hash’, apparently a popular activity at this nude beach. At first, I politely decline and go about pouring myself a drink. Rum and Coke. My friend and I light up a joint and take in the beautiful scenery and revel in the beautiful day. A guy wearing nothing but a sun hat and a guitar walks by strumming a tune. We start singing along with him and then our circle grows by one. Then 2. Then 8. Before we know it, a big group of random men and women, mostly naked, are sitting with us belting out the words to our favourite songs.
The Rum And Coke Kicks In
I am feeling pretty good and decide to be bold and indulge in those mushrooms that so many people are going around trying to sell. I know I should know better than to take things from strangers but I want to really experience the true experience of this infamous nude beach. We track down the guy who had come by earlier since he looks the least sketchy, and make the purchase.
The Night Becomes A Blur
It didn’t take long for things to shift and colours to appear, and for the laughter to begin. I remember feeling the best I ever felt and had no inhibitions. I remember having a race with two 80-year-old men to see who could get in the water fastest. I am proud to say, I won. The cold water shocks me so much, I feel sober, so of course, I buy some more. There are fireworks, we got some hot dogs, smoke drink, laugh and make memories with people we probably are never going to see again. This was the beauty of it. By the end of the night, I too was naked and become one of them.
We Wake up Behind The Log Under Some Blankets
I am horrified that I am still naked, and my head is killing me. I feel like death and just want to crawl into my bed and never come out. My friend has a huge cut on his head and he turns to me and smiles. “Such a fun night, eh?” He says with his goofy smile. I groan and start looking around for my clothes. The old naked men are still around, drinking laughing, cleaning out their tents. Some are bathing in the ocean. We don’t see anybody from our group last night. We gather up our belongings and our dignity and make the long trek back up those hellish stairs. 156 it turns out. Counting them is the only way to not feel nauseous while walking up them.
I Spend The Rest Of That Day In Bed
The next morning, I meet up with my friend at a coffee shop and we rehash the night. We look at the pictures we had taken and laugh so hard we are crying. Those people we partied with we would probably never see again, but there was some beauty in sharing a piece, no matter how small, with a group of people who felt the same way we did. Young, free and alive. I now had a new found appreciation for nude beaches and what they represented. To this day, I have become a frequent visitor, and even though I usually stay clothed, some nights, after a lot of rum and coke, you will find me free as a bird, naked, feeling alive.