Every Beach Needs to Be Clothing Optional and Here’s Why…

Yes this post is my opinion as to why every beach should have a clothing optional section but my reasons for this are probably not what you would think. Follow me and see if you agree. /Cover photo from PeterGreenberg.com

kardash
There is nothing real about the Kardashians yet they are role models to many young women and men.

Nothing about the Kardashian family and their “reality” is real. Yet they are undeniably the hottest thing in Hollywood and are role models (dear God did I just write that?) to countless fans including many young women. Their fashion, their product endorsements and their bodies sell.

While I disagree with a lot about what the Kardashian sisters represent, it’s their bodies that I have the most trouble with and why I wrote this post. I know you’re asking, “What do the Kardashians have to do with promoting access to clothing optional/nude beaches across the U.S.?”

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2007 photo of the girls. Source Instagram and People magazine.

Simply put, the Kardashian girls’ bodies are fake. They are fiction, while the bodies on a clothing optional beach are real. In this time when women and men struggle with body image and being positive about themselves, why would we ever promote the Kardashians or any other Hollywood stars or models as  having normal bodies.

Google Kardashian and plastic surgery and you’ll see their bodies are more fiction than fact. The “look” they are creating is focused on body perfection and sex. Ironically two things you should never see on a nude or clothing optional beach. Yet, as a society we promote them as symbols of what is beautiful or sexy in the world today even though their bodies literally come with a price and set a standard that most women will never achieve nor should they try.

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Haulover Beach in Miami on a busy day. There are few places better to enjoy nude recreation than Haulover.

So why should every beach have a clothing optional section? Because on nude/clothing optional beaches you see real bodies. You see people with all types of body types and ages who are perfect in their own special way. Yes, some people have had “work done.” If you thought it was easy to identify fake breasts while clothed, trust me it is even easier on a topless beach. I’m trying not to judge, but my point is that when you spend time on a nude/clothing optional beach you become part of a shared community. By bearing all to everyone, you see quickly that no one is perfect by Kardashian standards, but perfect they are perfect in their own special way.

Yes you will see lots of different looking people. I always tell people to understand what a nude beach is like, go to a mall or other crowded place and watch the next 100 people who pass you by. Now imagine them naked. That’s it. Some people you would find attractive, others not so much, but that’s not the point. They aren’t there for your viewing pleasure. Just like a community, most people are wonderfully average. And when you do see them naked, you’re all equal. That said, you don’t go to a clothing optional beach to see or be seen. You go because of how it makes you feel when you’re there. Writer Emma Sloley captures the sights of a Croatian nudist resort beautifully in her article, Nudist Always Play Volleyball. Give it a read and you’ll see what I mean.

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A couple enjoys nude sunbathing at Haulover Beach State Park, Bal Harbour Florida. photos by Max Hartshorne. From the website: http://www.gonomad.com/1235-haulover-beach-florida-the-ultimate-nude-beach

Perhaps the most important reason why every beach should have a clothing 0ptional section is so that young adults and children can see their bodies are beautiful just the way they are. They don’t need to be ashamed of how skinny or large they are. They don’t need to worry about their breasts or hips being too big or too small. They don’t need to measure their tummies or thighs. Young men don’t need to be concerned about being too skinny or too weak. They need to see all bodies as beautiful and not imperfect. We need to de-sexualize a woman’s breast and hips and a man’s penis and see them for what they are… skin, bone and muscle. We need to provide women with equal rights to decide when and where they want to shed their clothing and at the very least enjoy the same rights men do.

We all need to see the badges we wear on our bodies that come with age. These are badges of honor. I am always amazed by what I see when I’m on a nude beach. I see the scars from life saving surgeries. I see healed wounds from accidents. I see pregnant women glowing from future motherhood in the sun. I see women who have had mastectomies. I see men with large bellies. I see c-section scars and stretch marks. I see amputations. I see the effects of living a long, wonderful life such as wrinkles and sagging butts, boobs and balls, not to mention muscles and skin. I see birthmarks. I see burns. While it might not all be pretty like the Kardashians, it’s real and this is what we all should appreciate and accept.

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Yes every beach should be clothing optional but I agree every beach also needs signs so that those who don’t want to see, can turnaround. Photo Source: Miami Herald

Equally important is that clothing optional beaches need to be everywhere so that they are easy to find, easy to access and easy to enjoy. Today in the U.S., clothing optional beaches, nudist clubs and nude vacations spots carry an unfair stigma. They are not dens of odd people doing immoral things that children should be kept from. Instead, they are filled with people spending time with their loved ones and friends while enjoying the freedom to be nude and to celebrate the sun without being judged or threatened.

Perhaps most important to why all beaches should have a clothing optional section is access to information. The internet today provides pictures (clothed or naked) of the Kardashians at the click of a button. Anyone can see these images, yet we can’t all go to a clothing optional beach or place and see what real people looks like.

So why am I writing this post today? First off because of women like Chelsea Covington (@gingerbread) and her efforts to bring topless freedom to all women through her actions #freethenipple and her blog: Breasts are healthy. She has been arrested for her belief but continues to change opinions and promote discussion about topless freedom for all women.

Second, because of nudist advocates like Felicity Jones and her efforts to educate not only for topfreedom but positive body image and body acceptance for all. She speaks to young adults and demonstrates all of the positives of today’s nudist/naturism messages. Her blog is youngnaturistamerica.

Third, because of a DM I received from a twitter follower with nice comments about our blog while pointing out how extremely negative body image has become. He mentioned a friend who said she’d love to try nude recreation but was concerned about the look of her labia. Really? What society has done to women and their bodies is unacceptable. Furthermore, it sickens me that their our doctors who will profit from this surgery.

Finally, I’m selfish. I live in the Midwest US by the Great Lakes (Lake Erie) and there are no public, legal, approved clothing optional beaches on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes anywhere. We are an hour from Cleveland and there is no where we can go nude in public on Lake Erie without the risk of breaking the law. My wife and I instead go to Haulover Beach in Miami or Black’s Beach in San Diego. We love it, but wow, what a long way to go to enjoy the sunshine.

Alright, I’m off my soapbox. But before I leave you, I read a beautiful quote from the blog Meandering Naturist about naturism in France. Read and see if you agree.

“France will always be the place where naturism genuinely made sense to me – in a way that I had dreamt it should be – and for that, I am forever grateful to the people who are able to say “a breast is a breast, a penis is a penis, and it appears everyone sports a remarkably similar pair of buttocks!”  Viva la France.

That’s my opinion. What’s yours?

 

 

 

 

Make it a Happy Nude Year for Her

Photo credit from the blog Better Than Surviving

So is one of your New Year’s resolutions to go topless on a beach? Or are you thinking of adding skinny dipping to your bucket list? How about taking a nude vacation aka nakation? There is no better time than 2016 to see what visiting a nude beach or resort really feels like. It’s not what you expect.

My wife and I have been writing this blog for more than two years now. We’ve detailed our experiences visiting nude and clothing optional resorts, B&B, beaches and clubs all over the U.S., Mexico, South Pacific and Caribbean. Our time naked on vacation is some of the best quality time we have together. It’s fun. It’s relaxing. It’s great we time. It’s very romantic but not in a sexual way. I’ll explain more later. And our blog is here to help and encourage other couples to give it a try.

I was reviewing the search terms people use to find our blog over the past year and a lot of them are related to what to expect at a nude beach or resort and about convincing wives and girlfriends to give it a try….

  • How do I convince my wife to try a nude beach?
  • How do we try a nude beach?
  • Wife worried about sunbathing topless
  • What are nude beaches/resorts like for women?

Going back 20 years ago, my wife (then girlfriend) had the same apprehensions about going to a nude beach. She liked the idea of being naked outside with me, but was concerned about the people we would meet and other women and men viewing and rating her body.

From what I’ve seen and heard from my own wife over the years, these are all honest questions and concerns. To someone who hasn’t been topless or nude on a beach, the thought of being completely naked and exposed and happy and comfortable seems impossible. It’s really not.

For any husband or boyfriend who would like to visit a nude beach or resort with their spouse, here is some advice from my wife and me. The key is to ensure it’s a safe and relaxing place so she (and you) can become comfortable with your nakedness. Here are our tips:

Talk. Have an open and honest discussion about sunbathing nude, going topless or skinny dipping. Why do you want to do it and what’s to be gained by doing it? We have found it’s a wonderful shared experience. It’s a thrill like the first time you hold hands or kiss.

Never surprise your wife with a trip to a nude beach or resort without discussing it first. Chances are she’ll say she likes the thought of being naked with you, it’s just the other people at the beach or resort who will see her that she is uncomfortable with. That’s an honest concern and until you’ve tried it, you don’t realize that it’s really not about other people. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin. So how do you do that? Here is a blog we wrote on the talk before you drop your swimsuit.

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Spending time together nude can be the ultimate romantic getawway. Image from A well traveled woman on Tumblr.

 

Have a Plan. Maybe a trip to a nude resort isn’t the best first step. Perhaps a better solution is going to a resort that allows topless sunbathing or has a nude beach. Or go to a clothing optional beach and bare as much as you want until you’re comfortable with taking your bathing suit off. For example, the Couples Resorts in Jamaica all offer sections where women can sunbath topless or couples can be nude for swimming or sunbathing. Or go to a nude beach like Haulover in Miami or Black’s Beach in San Diego.  These are recognized nude beaches, patrolled by police with lifeguards and volunteers to ensure a fun and safe environment.

Take Your Time. This is probably the most important piece of advice my wife shared . If you’re at a resort that offers a nude or topless section, find a spot where you have space and can be comfortable together. Don’t worry about anyone else. Just concentrate on one another. It should be romantic time for the two of you.

If you’re at a nude public beach, it’s best not to stray too far away from everyone. Better yet, look for other couples and set up 10-15 yards from them.  Before long you’ll have your own safe space and then do what you’d normally do. Set up your towel or beach chairs. Put up the umbrella. Get out your tanning lotion and sun glasses. The key here is to be comfortable in your space by the beach or pool.

Ease into Being Naked. If you’re at a resort and want to try going topless, take off your bikini top and put on suntan lotion. It will feel odd and a little scary at first. If you’re feeling too anxious, then turn over on to your stomach and give yourself time to get comfortable. Don’t worry about who is watching. From our experience, the only time anyone ever really notices you on a nude beach is when you’re still wearing clothing. Chances are no one is watching at all. Once you’re naked, you really just blend in. From our experience, if you’re at the nude section of the resort the best thing to do is not to think about it. Drop your bathing suit, lie down on your chair or towel and relax. Again, lay on your stomach if you’re too nervous (we’ve all seen butts before, right?). If you’re at a nude beach, take off your bathing suit as you choose to do it.

Here is the Key: Get Comfortable in Your Own Skin. From our experience of watching couples do this countless times, one of two things happens next. She or he can’t get comfortable. They try to but it’s obvious that they aren’t enjoying this experience at all. It’s anything but romantic. They usually last for an hour or less and then put on their swim suits and leave. There is nothing wrong with this. Nude recreation isn’t for everyone. That’s okay. Not everyone likes football or baseball either. You gave it a shot.

The other option is that the two of you have fun. You get comfortable with being naked outside together. You feel the warmth of the sun. You decide to jump in the pool or go skinny dipping in the ocean. Or go for a walk on the beach. It goes from being an odd foreign experience to one that is empowering, liberating, FUN and very romantic. Often a transformation takes place. While the initial thought of being naked outside where other people could see you caused a lot of stress and anxiety, after the first day you’ll find yourself wanting to get to the beach or pool sooner and to stay longer because it’s such a wonderful feeling of openness and togetherness. There is a thrill because you’re enjoying it together.

It’s at this point that you’ll see it’s not a sexual experience. I’d be lying to you if I told you that seeing my wife laying out on the beach or walking around the pool naked isn’t a turn on to me. It is but not physically. It’s mental. To me, she is still the most beautiful woman in the world and seeing her like this only adds to her beauty. The resorts and beaches I mentioned all have strict policies against public sexual touching and intimacy. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen but there are rules and people who will enforce it if they see it. From our experience, this shouldn’t be one of your concerns.

Often times it takes a few times to get comfortable. A couple we met on a nude beach in Hawaii told us they had been going to nude beaches for years but she would only go topless and only if no one else was nearby. Finally she decided that her husband looked great naked and she wanted to join him. When we were in St. Martin last year, a couple sat down next to us on Orient Beach. They had gotten off a cruise ship and it was obvious they had a plan. He immediately striped while she took more time to get comfortable. When she pulled off her sarong, she was wearing one of the smallest thong bikinis I had ever seen. She spent the day wearing her thong bikini while her husband was nude. They had a blast. She was comfortable and they had fun together. Even my wife still will wear a towel around her waist when we first arrive at a resort. She doesn’t mind going topless but wear it to cover up when she goes to the beach bar or back to our room. Usually by the end of the day, she has dropped the towel and is now comfortable walking around the beach or pool nude.

I don’t envy my wife or other women. The stigma tied to body shape and how a “good” girl is supposed to act in public is overwhelming. Perhaps the most upsetting emails I’ve received are from women who believe they are too fat or their breasts are too small or they’re not pretty enough to spend time on a nude beach. I’m very sorry for them. It shouldn’t be like this. These are powerful mental roadblocks that some women will never overcome.

So support your wife and respect her. By making this a shared experience and by concentrating on her and letting her decide what to do next, we believe the two of you will discover that being naked together outside is one of the most enriching and thrilling experiences you can have together. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve been together six months or 50 years, my wife and I still get excited when we first take off our bathing suits and relax together on a warm, sunny beach.

Here is a blog post that a couple sent to me after reading our blog. Note that they went to the Hedonism Resort in Jamaica which does allow public sexual contact. My wife and I would never go there because that’s not our idea of fun, but that’s us.

I’ve shared our thoughts and experiences. I’d like to hear yours. Especially if you’re a woman who enjoys nude recreation and travel or are still considering it. Great post

 

 

 

 

So why a blog about traveling to naked places?

One of the many delights on the beach.
One of the many delights on the beach.

In 1996, me and my then girlfriend (now wife) first ventured on to a clothing optional beach. We went to Black’s Beach outside of San Diego and for the very first time ever, took off our bathing suits and our inhibitions.  As we marched down the cliff trail from the Torrey Pines parking lot to the sandy beach below, we both wondered why we were making this trip?  Why go against everything our parents had every told us about the importance of covering up, wearing a bathing suit and never revealing too much skin. We were both 25-years old and while we were free spirits, we had never done anything like this before.

So we found our spot on the beach, laid out our towels and looked at each other… it was the moment of truth. I pulled off my t-shirt and then as if in slow motion, pulled down my swim suit and watched it hit the ground. There I was, standing completely naked, outside for the first time in my adult life and feeling more exposed and naked than I had ever felt before. My girlfriend made a nervous laugh and said I was looking a little cold too. My manhood and I were both cold and shy at that moment. It was cold and not your typical sunny and 75-degree California day. While the sun was shining, it was windy and chilly. I no longer had any fears about getting physically excited.

My girlfriend sat down on her towel and then untied her black bikini top and carefully pulled off her bottoms. She folded them up and put them back in her bag. Even naked she is as tidy as ever.

There we were. Naked. Outside. For the first time. Ever. And it wasn’t at all what we thought it would be like. We lasted about an hour before we agreed the cold wind was too much to take, especially when you had only a towel to keep warm. We didn’t see lot of hard, bronzed bodies walking the beach showing perfect bodies that day. The few women I saw reminded me of ex-hippies who while naked and fine with it, looked like blobs of silly putty sitting in the sun. Care free and happy but the men, they were a different story. By far the men were in much better shape and many walked by our sandy outpost to see the two of us with our blinding tan lines. While at first I thought I needed to protect my girlfriend from their wandering eyes, she quickly pointed out that I was the object of their attention. We had found our perfect spot in the sun on the gay section of Black’s Beach.

While far from a perfect day, we both agreed the experience had been thrilling and the feeling of sunshine all over our bodies was amazing. Why had we thought this was wrong? When we had gotten over our sense of fear and anxiety, we found we felt great and that it was an amazing experience for us as a couple. While not sexual, it was intimate. Besides, how could 100 gay, naked men lying in the sun be wrong? We still laugh about it today.

That was nearly 20 years ago. What started as a fun hour or later on an afternoon, has turned into days and weeks for us on vacation and often with all of our clothing stored in carry-on luggage. Finding the perfect nude beach, clothing optional pool, nude resort, or clothing-free B&B has been a wonderful journey for us and we have shared many great times, met wonderful people and have many good memories. Simply put, some of these destinations are wonderful to visit. They’re beautiful settings with surf, sand and great food and drinks.

So again, why a blog about nude travel? When we started visiting clothing optional destinations, there was often very little information to guide us. We literally got hurt many times walking down trails that doubled as mud slides to reach beautiful secluded beaches where we could get an all-over tan with other likeminded people. Since then, the internet has become a treasure trove of information for the closet nudist or want to be skinny dipper but I’m surprised at how often when I’m looking for travel information about a clothing optional destination, all I see is highly sexual images and behavior that is best saved for the bedroom. I honestly don’t want others who are interested in discovering this side of themselves and sharing it with their significant others to be turned off by what they believe happens when swimming suits are set aside. We don’t become crazed wild animals only interested in sex and foreplay on the beach. Not to say that you don’t need to be careful, but that’s where I believe we can help you out so that it’s a positive experience.

From what we’ve seen, most couples discover clothing optional travel when they are in their 40s and beyond. I’m thankful we figured it out in our mid-20s, but we weren’t the norm at all and we really didn’t embrace nude travel till we were into our 30s. We still find we’re often the youngest couple at the resort or on the beach and we’re just into our 40s now.

My vision for this blog is to share our experiences as we got more comfortable with being naked by ourselves and later with others and to tell you about the places we have visited and why we did or didn’t go back. By offering honest information, I hope we can be a resource to others with questions and hopefully give the push another couple might need to try this out and see if it’s for them.

While my wife and I love our time together on vacation and naked, I wouldn’t call us nudists. We live in the midwest in a nice suburb surrounded by friends and family who know nothing about where we travel or why. We are parents and business people. We are active in our community. We are very normal and probably very boring to many people out there. We don’t sit around the house naked or plant trees in our backyard so we can lay out nude on our patio.  We only recently started going to a local nudist club so we could lay out and enjoy the sun and take a cool relaxing dip in the pool when we had some free time. We’re not members. Just visitors. We don’t bring our children. This time is for us to share and I’d like our children to discover how it feels to be naked on their own.

Interested in hearing more or am I boring you already? Well, let me tell you where we’ve gone and where we’ve been naked. The list is long: Tahiti, Cancun, Tulum, St. Martin, Grenada, Palm Springs, San Diego, South Beach, New Orleans, Toronto, and beaches, clubs and skinny dipping spots across North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

So what won’t you find here… pictures of naked people. If you want to see what someone looks like naked, you can strip and look in the mirror or go to one of the beaches or spots we recommend. I will however share pictures of beautiful beaches, hotels, resorts and special spots so you can find them and enjoy them too.

We have a lot to share. We will share with you the naked truth about being naked. It’s been a wonderful experience for us. Enjoy the ride. And let us know what questions you have.