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

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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?

 

 

 

 

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Clothes, No Problem! Five Reasons to Go on a Naked Vacation

 

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So what is a nude vacation or nakation really like? Well for starters it’s a lot of fun and a wonderful way to relax and enjoy time with your spouse. Couples go on beach vacations all the time for together time and to leave the stress of work, kids and life at home. So why not leave your bikini and swimming shorts at home too and discover why so many couples have found nude vacations to be the ultimate, secret getaway.

My wife and I have been going on nude vacations and getaways for nearly 20 years now, yet I wouldn’t call us nudist. We have learned that vacationing in the buff is a wonderful way to enjoy our time together and relax. And yes, it is better because we’re both naked. Let me explain.

Nudity is never an issue unless it is an issue and then it’s the only issue.

If you’ve never taken off your bathing suit on a beach or untied your bikini top and bottom at a pool then nudity is an issue because you’ve never been nude socially before. I’ll be honest, taking off your clothing in front of others can be very scary and anxious. It also can be fun and exciting. Talk to any couple at a nude beach or resort and they’ll tell you that they were nervous the first time too. You will be nervous for a bit but once you get past this feeling, you’ll start to feel something wonderful: freedom, relaxation and warmth. Once you’ve tried it, chances are you’ll like it and even look forward to taking your clothes off next time. A transformation takes place as you become more comfortable with your naked self and your naked spouse. It’s hard to describe but most couple wish they had done it years before.

A nude beach or resort is relaxed, warm and comfortable. Not sexual. 

The biggest myth of nude resorts and beaches is that it is a highly sexual environment. It actually isn’t sexual at all. It’s relaxed. It’s warm. It’s comfortable. It’s fun. In fact, most nude resorts have policies against any type of sexual contact or intimacy that is strictly enforced. There is a time and place for everything and on a beach or by a pool surrounded by other naked couples isn’t it.  This isn’t to say that I don’t feel a certain spark when I see my beautiful wife take off her bikini or admire her walking on the beach with nothing on.  That’s one of the reasons it’s special for us, but admiring your spouse isn’t foreplay. However enjoying each other’s company later in the privacy of your own room after spending the day naked is a wonderful way to end the day.

People just like you go on nude vacations every day.

So do people like you go on nude vacations? That depends on if you’re fun, open and enjoy being naked with your spouse around others. We’ve met many wonderful couples at each and every beach and resort we’ve been to over the years. It’s amazing, when you meet someone and you’re both naked, the conversation is far more open, honest and friendly. In fact, we’ve found most of the couples we’ve met while on nude getaways are very much like us. They are highly educated or students, professionals and home makers, republicans and democrats, moms and dads, community leaders, students, newly weds, retirees…  The point is they are just people who enjoy vacationing with their spouse or partner without wearing any clothing and they are open to talking with other couples who are there enjoying themselves too.

Nude beaches and resorts are wonderful places to visit.

How many times have you been on vacation in a tropical setting with a beautiful beach or pool, warm sun and blue sky, great food and drink, incredible amenities and breathtaking views and asked yourself, “How could this be any better?” Make the beach or resort nude or clothing optional and it just got better.

Funny that removing something from paradise can actually make it better. For us, it really is a state of mind that we only feel when we’re together in a nude setting. We’ve taken walks on the beach in swim suits a million times but walk the beach in the buff and it’s a very comfortable and warm shared experience. If I go skinny dipping in the waves or layout on a raft with my wife naked in a pool, I feel like a teenager all over again.

So what’s the perfect nude vacation for a first timer?

Nude vacations are as individual as you and your spouse are. They can be relaxed and refreshing or adventurous and loud. Perhaps the most important question is determining first where you want to go: a nude beach or resort?  Many couples are nervous about baring it all for the first time on vacation, which is why a nude beach might be a better option.

Nude beaches are bare as much as you dare or better yet, take off your bathing suit as you’re more comfortable. My wife and I have been to numerous nude beaches and it’s fascinating to watch first time couples get comfortable with shedding their suits. You’re not in Kansas any more Dorothy. Most first timers are a little nervous and take time to take off their suits but by the end of the day, they’re usually the Mayors of the beach — running around and playing naked in the waves. If you want to know more about what to expect on a nude beach, check out our earlier blog on the topic. 

Maybe you and your spouse are comfortable already with being nude around others. Or maybe you want a pool instead of a beach. Or you want to pack a week’s worth of clothing in a carry on. Either way you will love a nude resort. It’s everything you would look for in a tropical resort vacation, except no clothing required (except in restaurants). Nude resorts make life very easy for you while you’re on vacation. My wife and I love being catered to and when we’re on a nude vacation and all we have to do is get there and the rest is provided for us, it doesn’t get any better. You don’t need to bring a lot of clothing or extras. Resort staff take care of everything from drinks to food to entertainment. All you and your spouse have to do is enjoy your time together splashing in the water, sitting by the pool or having a beer at the bar and all of this without a stitch on. To learn more about what to expect at a nude resort, check out our earlier blog on the topic.

So are you ready to go? Before you book your trip, remember to talk to your spouse first. As I mentioned before, public or social nudity is a big issue for most people until they try it and see what it’s really like. Don’t ever surprise your spouse with a nude vacation. That’s a recipe for disaster. 

And remember, a trip to Couples in Jamaica is very different from a trip to Club Orient in St. Maartin to Hedonism II in Jamaica. Check out their websites and you’ll see what I mean.  It’s important to find a place where you can enjoy your time together in the nude and feel comfortable. Remember, planning the trip should be almost as much fun as being there.

Have questions? Have concerns? Got a point to share with others? Did we forget something? Let us know your thoughts. We’re here to give you the best information possible to plan a perfect naked vacation. Have fun. And don’t forget to bring lots of tanning lotion or sun screen. It’s amazing how quickly you burn in spots that have never seen the sun before. 🙂

Preparing to Get Naked: The Talk to Have Before Dropping Your Bikini Top or Swimsuit

Some nude beach can be the most beautiful places on Earth.
Some nude beach can be the most beautiful places on Earth.

Thank you to everyone who has visited our blog since October, 2013. My wife and I have taken a lot of nude vacations and getaways over the past 20 years and our goal for our blog is to remove any stigma or anxiety for couples interested in trying it and to be a good resource of what to expect.

While researching where to go for a clothing optional trip or first time nude sunbathing with your spouse experience can be fun, if you and your spouse haven’t discussed it first, you might be headed to couples counseling later. My opinion, the worst thing you can do is surprise your spouse by just showing up at a nude beach or clothing optional location and expect them to jump right in. Not a good idea at all. In fact, they may never want to go back. We saw a couple at a local nudist park and honestly thought she was going to have a nervous breakdown. She and her partner had clearly not discussed it before and I felt really bad for her and was glad when after an hour he put his clothes back on (she never removed her clothing) and left. I can only imagine the conversation in the car later. He was wrong for putting her through that and not making sure she was comfortable first.

So what do you do first before finding a beach like Haulover in Miami or a bed and breakfast with a fantastic clothing optional pool like the Green House Inn in New Orleans? Sit down and talk. Explain why you want to try this with them. Talk about why you want to experience a clothing optional setting and any doubts, concerns or anxieties you and they might have. Discuss it all, including any sexual concerns like what happens if he gets an erection (turn over, it will go away).

Now, your spouse might be as excited for the experience as you are and be onboard immediately, in which case planning and reading forums about the place, setting, etc. can be a lot of fun. Often your first nude experience is a vacation and who doesn’t like to go on vacation?

Chances are though, even if your spouse does want to go, they are a bit nervous and have reservations. That’s completely understandable. I know my wife and I both did. So let’s discuss this and share our observations and thoughts on the topic.

First a little history. When I was growing up, I had gone skinny dipping a few times. I loved the feeling of swimming naked and being nude in the sun. It felt great to be warm all over (a feeling I still enjoy 25 year later). I did this a few times but always alone at a small lake near my home. I knew it was something I enjoyed and skinny dipping with others was something I wanted to try. My wife also had gone skinny dipping with friends (girls and boys) when she was in high school late at night one summer. She laughed telling me about it because she remembers it looked like she and all of her girlfriends weren’t actually naked but instead wearing glowing white bikinis from their tan lines.  Later in college, she took a trip to Europe and went to a topless beach but was too intimidated to shed her top with all of her friends around.  That was it for both of us. Neither one of us could be called a nudist (then or now).

Fast forward a few months before our wedding and honeymoon to Tahiti. I mentioned to my wife (then girlfriend) that she could go topless on our honeymoon and that I would like to try to find a place where we could go skinny dipping or even sunbathe nude. This is when we had our talk.

She told me she loved the idea of us finding a place to go skinny dipping with me but sunbathing nude or even skinny dipping with people around us made her uncomfortable because other people would see her.  I told her that I understood her concerns and that I didn’t know how I felt about other people seeing me or her naked but that my desire to see “how it felt” was important to me. I wanted to be naked, outside with her. While I didn’t know it at the time, this was a turning point for us.

Key point here is that we talked and discussed why we wanted to experience this and what fears/anxieties we had. Later, when we went to Tahiti, my wife was topless most of the time there. She loved it. And I loved watching her sunbathe, swim and walk without her bikini top on. I never realized that this could be a turn on to me, but it was.

I did some online research and was amazed at how many men asked for tips on how to get their wives to try topless or nude sunbathing.  Many women, like my wife said originally, were uncomfortable of people looking at them naked. A few women also said that they would like to try topless sunbathing but their husbands were super protective of other men looking at them while clothed, let alone naked.

Based on these very real concerns, here is our advice. Ask your wife or husband to give it a try and see if they can become comfortable. Plan to go to a clothing optional beach or bed and breakfast and let them know they can shed as much or as little as they want to with no pressure from you. Do not go to a nude resort where you are required to be naked. This can be very intimidating and I’ve seen it work out badly when trying to introduce social nudity to someone who is not ready for it.  The experience should be comfortable not scary. You might be a little anxious. That’s normal but not uncomfortable.

After a while, your wife may take off her bikini top or swimsuit or your husband might relax and realize that others there might give a pleasant nod but rarely will someone stare. It really doesn’t happen and if it does, you have ever right to put your clothes back on. The key here is being comfortable and doing things slowly.  Your wife may feel great sunbathing without her top on, but want to put it back on when she swims or walks on the beach. Your husband might be fine naked on his stomach but be completely uncomfortable sitting up or laying on this back. Do what feels right.  After a while it will feel very natural and right. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay too. This may not be a couples activity you can do.

Your wife or husband may decide they never want to be naked outside of your home but that they’re comfortable with you sunbathing nude. We’ve seen this at beaches many times. He will be naked but she is wearing a bikini or she is topless but wearing the smallest thong bikini bottom ever seen. Or she is naked but he is wearing his swimsuit. I’ve covered our experiences with first time social nudity in several of our blog posts already. I encourage you to read them again.

I do want to call attention to one point I saw mentioned several times in online forums on the topic of asking your husband/wife to go naked for the first time. There are people who believe if you truly love your spouse, that you would never want anyone to see them naked. That you are wrong for asking them to show their bodies to the world and perverted for being naked and wanting them to be naked with you. I saw comments like this in many forums. If your spouse shares this opinion, this may not be an option for you.

Please let us know what questions or concerns you have. I will tell you that our time together naked on a beach or at a resort has been wonderful. For us, it’s about being completely relaxed and comfortable. When we first went nude together many years ago, we were comfortable but not relaxed. It takes time. And it can be a stimulating experience for you both but not at the time. Later, in the privacy of your bedroom. Social nudity as we have described it is not overtly sexual. There is a right time and place and it’s not at a public beach or resort, but in privacy later.

Talk to your spouse and see what they think. Summer will be here before we know it.  Let us know your questions. We’ll do our best to share insights. Good luck.

 

Topless in Tahiti… Yes, but don’t even think of sunbathing nude.

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This time last year, my wife and I went to one of our favorite nude resorts, Hidden Beach Resort  in Mexico. It’s an amazing place. Truly a five-star experience and one  we look forward to going back to again and again. I’ll share more about why HBR is one of our favorites in a later blog post.

While I’m sure we would have loved going to HBR on our honeymoon nearly 20 years ago, there is no way my wife or I would have been ready for an upscale, nude not clothing optional, resort experience. When we were there last we met a couple in their late 20s. The staff told them they were the youngest couple to ever stay there. While it could be the cost (HBR isn’t cheap), generally most of the couples we’ve met there are 45+ years. Personally, I don’t believe we would have been mature enough to enjoy it.

For us, our first nude or semi-nude vacation was our honeymoon to Tahiti. It was an amazing trip and kicked off our marriage. It was where my wife became truly comfortable with laying out, walking, swimming, canoeing, eating and talking to others without her bikini top on. It was a liberating experience for her and honestly taught me a lot about the unwritten language that can occur when a large group of women want to, but are uncomfortable to try something new like sunbathing topless.

First off, we decided to honeymoon in Tahiti because it was a place we wouldn’t be back to any time soon and because it was a tropical setting. We wanted to lay out, swim with the fish, enjoy romantic dinners and each other.  We did not choose to go there because the beaches are topless.

So where is Tahiti? It’s a long flight to literally the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Tahiti is actually the largest island and part of French Polynesia, which has more than 300 islands. If you want a truly tropical island experience with great food and incredible beaches and sea life, this is the place. It’s also un-Godly expensive but we’d love to go back if we could.

We spent ten days in French Polynesia (stay a minimum of two weeks) and went to three different islands. Our favorite was Bora Bora. We swam with sharks, ate great food, paddled around the lagoons, snorkeled with hundreds if not thousands of fish and relaxed on the beach every day. As you can imagine, it was very romantic.

When we arrived at our first hotel, we were exhausted, jet lagged and ready to collapse. We were enjoying a quick lunch when we saw another American couple who had arrived with us. They had reserved an over-water bungalow with steps to the water. They were getting into a canoe to explore the lagoon. As we watched them circle a dock and began to discuss how much we wanted to do the same, the woman stopped paddling, reached behind her back and untied her bikini and pulled it off. From that moment on, we knew this was going to be a very different trip for us.

French Polynesia was a perfect introduction for my wife to feel confident and enjoy being topless around other people. We had gone to Black’s Beach in San Diego earlier in the year but we had found a secluded space, away from everyone else. Here we were surrounded by other couples.

After finishing lunch we went to our bungalow and put on our swimsuits. I teased my wife about leaving her bikini top in the room. She told me I’d have to wait and see. We weren’t on the beach more than 10 minutes before she took over her top. I could tell she was uncomfortable and initially covered up whenever a waiter came by to ask us if we wanted a drink. But that didn’t last long. By the end of the day she was walking, swimming and even canoeing topfree.

My wife has wonderful olive colored skin that gets very dark as she tans. I honestly wasn’t sure which I liked best, her dark-tanned breasts or her glowing white tan lines from her bikini bottoms. After a week of laying out and sunbathing topless I thought she would be totally comfortable being topless anywhere. I was wrong.

Our final island was Moorea. It’s very close to the island of Tahiti where the international airport is and most tourists either begin or end their trip here. When we arrived at the Sofitel resort in the early afternoon, we quickly changed and went out onto the beach and discovered we were surrounded by young, honeymooning American couples. All were proudly wearing new wedding bands and each young lady wore a small bikini in a variety of colors. While there were topless French women here and there and lovely French Polynesian women barely  even wearing a small thong, all of the American women were covered up… including my wife. Having grown used to her being topless all day, I was disappointed when she didn’t take her top off. She explained to me  she was completely uncomfortable showing her breasts in front of all of these other women. I was surprised but I understood. She wore her bikini top all day. The first time in nearly two weeks.

The next morning we arrived at the beach early. Our vacation was nearly over and we wanted to catch every ray of sun before heading back to Ohio. I asked her if she would go topless while the beach was still open and vacant. She took off her bikini top and settled into a good book, which quickly put her to sleep. I was surprised by what happened next.

The chairs around us slowly filled with the same couples we had seen the day before but one by one, each young lady looked at my wife and then shed her bikini top. Based on the nervous excitement between each woman and her husband and their glowing white breasts, I’m guessing this was a first for most of them. By the time my wife woke, she was surprised to see everyone around her was topless too.

During our many trips to nude beaches and clothing optional resorts, I’ve noticed it sometimes takes one woman to remove her top or swimming suit before all of the others follow. This makes perfect sense to me. Who wants to be the first? It’s a risk and if you’re 20 something years old and still learning to accept your body, you don’t want to be first and attract attention.

So with all of those beautiful beaches and women wearing some of the smallest thongs I have ever seen, you would think there would be a few nude beaches. Think again. Full body nudity is actually frowned upon in French Polynesia. Some hotels do allow nude sunbathing on private islands but we discovered not every island is private.

On our third day in French Polynesia, I spoke with one of the resort staff to see where we could sunbath naked. He was funny because he couldn’t understand why we would want to sunbath without our bathing suits especially with my wife already topless. He suggested we canoe to one of the many small islands in the lagoon. We took off on a 10 minute paddle to the closest island. When we pulled our dug out canoe ashore, it looked like paradise. Soft white sand with gentle rolling waves hitting the shore. Lush ferns, moss and coconut trees densely filled the island. This was the nude beach I had always dreamed of enjoying with my young bride. And it was all ours. Or so we thought.

After we took off our bathing suits and pulled out our towels, our lush private island was invaded. French Polynesian men came from the island jungle and around the beach on what we thought was a remote, uninhabited island to tell us in broken French and English to put our bathing suits back on now. Literally surrounded by men yelling at us to cover up, we quickly and embarrassingly pulled our suits on. We laughed about it later in the evening but the last thing we ever wanted to do was offend someone with our nude bodies. Especially when we are tourists in their home.

I’ve read several travel websites since then and all have said that there are a few nude resorts in French Polynesia but you have to search for them. The Polynesian people do not approve of full nudity. It was though a wonderful experience for my wife and me. My wife is very slender and does not have large breasts. While I believe she is stunning, especially when she is naked, she is often embarrassed by her small breasts. Seeing her enjoy herself and be so confident without her top on was wonderful for her and for me. It was also a stepping stone for our next nude travel experience.

UPDATE:

We received several emails asking which hotel we stayed at on Bora Bora. We stayed at the Hotel Sofitel Bora Bora. This hotel was a truly wonderful experience and I would recommend it to anyone, however, it appears the private island in 1997, is now it’s own upscale lodging experience. I could not find anything about nude sunbathing on the island (which you do do in 1997) so I fear you can’t do that on the island anymore.  Does anyone have any updates on nude sunbathing or skinny dipping on one of the islands in French Polynesia?