Our Bodies Tell Stories – How One Woman Embraced Her Life’s Journey through Nudism

The following is a guest blog from my friend Charlotte (named changed). I have been looking for a firsthand woman’s perspective on trying nudism. We are good friend with Charlotte and her husband Carlos and she very willingingly wrote the blog post below. She hits on so many questions that women (and couples) struggle with when considering social nudity. And more importantly, the benefits of it, especially when your spouse is sitting naked right next to you. I’m proud of her. What a great blog.  Let us know what you think.

Raised in the Midwest, I never thought ditching your clothes in public could be an enjoyable pastime. Truthfully, I was never aware it was even an option. I had no preconceived notions or expectations about nudism. Growing up, my father taught me respect of all living things and led by example, going so far as to set live mouse traps for mice that wandered into our horse feed storage. These values significantly helped foster the carefree attitude I live by today – ‘Live and let live.’

Though I don’t consider myself a true nudist, I particularly enjoy baring it all on vacation and when our time allows. Several times during the summer, my husband and I will visit local nudist clubs and enjoy socializing with the crowds that gather there. And later this month, we will be enjoying a nude first for us – renting a private Caribbean villa with another couple who loves to be naked as much as we do.

My first experience with nudism was rather spontaneous. My husband Carlos and I began dating midsummer several years ago, excitedly and hurriedly falling in love, which was a surprise and uncharacteristic of us both. He was a lifelong bachelor and me, a recent divorcee. The almost immediate sense of security and comfort we found within each other allowed us to communicate candidly about everything, from our political views to some of our deepest revelations.

One conversation that seemed so innocent at the time now strikes me as my first introduction to nudism. After travel plans to the sunny island of Saint Martin were in the works, Carlos asked if I would ever try nude sunbathing, considering it is a popular activity on Saint Martin’s beaches. I paused and thought out loud, “I honestly have no idea.”

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Many people experience nudism by themselves first before experiencing it with friends or a spouse.

I recalled my days as a teenager, lying in the sun topless in my backyard. High school dances and tan lines are long-time foes. Privacy was ample in my backyard and the only risk of exposure was the occasional airplane flying overhead.

‘Stripping off my swimsuit in front of other people though? Would I have the courage?’ As I gave the idea more life, I asked, “Would you be ok with other men seeing me naked?”  Carlos said, “Of course,” without hesitation. In my naiveté, I struggled separating nudism from its sexual connotation. My only previous encounter with nudism was skinny dipping at a local quarry after a high school football game with several friends – girls and boys, one of whom I had a small crush on. The moonlight was scarce, which allowed us to shed our clothes without much fear of being seen jumping into the cool water. I shared my experience with Carlos, slightly nervous he may pass judgment, but he just smiled in sweet amusement. Our conversation digressed and we rambled about other things. We did not suggest nudism again until we were lying out at Happy Bay, a sandy and secluded beach on Saint Martin.

After dating a little less than a year, Carlos had proposed. Suddenly, we were engaged and jetting off to the Caribbean. Carlos’ confidence and enthusiasm were more reassuring, attractive and contagious than ever before. I couldn’t help but be swept away in his excitement as he showed me around his favorite island, drove us to his favorite beach, and carefully picked out a semi-secluded spot by the water. He poured us each a generous glass of red wine, and we sat on the beach soaking up the sun. Shortly after finishing our wine, in what seemed like one swift motion, Carlos slid down his swim shorts and reached over to untie my bikini top. I let the straps fall to the sand and without moving to stop him. He untied the string that was holding my bikini top somewhat in place. My eyes locked on his, and any sense of uneasiness was gone. He then rather sweetly and hopefully asked, “Will you slide off your bottoms too?” Without saying anything, I did and smiled.

 

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Petit Cayes beach on Saint Martin. A perfect beach to experience social nudity for the first time.

A wave of excitement immediately washed over me and with the rush, my senses became acutely aware of everything. I had never felt the sun’s warmth so completely or the ocean’s breeze so freely. A new sense of liberation consumed me. For several minutes, I just stared at the ocean in complete awe and shock.

No one was yelling at me to dress myself. No one was staring at me. No one seemed to notice or even care. As I looked around, it dawned on me we were not the only ones lying naked on the beach. How had I not noticed? Carlos interrupted my self-examination and asked if I would join him for a swim. Apprehension started to creep in. ‘Wait, I have to get up?  Surely people will stare.’ Carlos noted my hesitation and without words, offered me the reassurance and courage I needed. ‘So what if they stare?’

He stood up first and offered his hand, helping me off of my cloth sanctuary. For some reason, leaving my towel behind affirmed my display of public nudity. But with Carlos by my side, I had strength and courage I never had before. In no hurry, we walked down the beach holding hands and entered the warm ocean water for our first nude swim together. The water seemed to feel more slippery than I’d ever felt before and my body offered no resistance as I gracefully glided through the water. One single moment lasting no more than a few minutes had just completely opened my eyes to a new state of mindfulness.

The rest of the evening, I unleashed a fury of questions that had been brewing all day at the beach and Carlos shared his story and confirmed a few of my suspicions. This was not his first experience with nudism, but it was his first experience sharing it with someone he loved. Though it was not an overtly sexual experience for either of us, we shared a heightened degree of intimacy that brought our relationship to another level. I excitedly and curiously listened to Carlos share his prior experiences.

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The World Famous Orient Beach by Club Orient, Saint Martin

He first arrived to Saint Martin aboard a popular cruise ship. Walking along the shores of Orient Beach, he was one of the few American tourists who removed his shorts while walking the nude side of the beach. When I asked him why, his reply was simple, “It just seemed like fun!”

Enjoying the experience so much, he decided to visit a local nudist club. Coincidently, he ran into a coworker there. I can imagine the odds of this happening are extremely low. Within the nudist community, there is a healthy level of respect for privacy, and their meeting followed suit. Neither ever mentioned the incident at work and they remain friends today.

Not wanting to give up nudism, Carlos eventually returned to Saint Martin for a second time with his then-girlfriend. Together they explored more of the island, but for the entirety of the trip, she remained clothed. Curiously, I asked if it would bother him if I decided that nudism might not be for me. Carlos confidently insisted he would accept my decision, but my preferences would not change his own. I greatly appreciated the lack of pressure I felt in that moment. Carlos would love me no matter my decision and would continue to respect me. Ultimately, like my husband, unwinding anywhere au natural is just too much fun not to partake.

Since my first experience with nudism, my body has seen several changes. Carlos and I returned to the Caribbean for our honeymoon, both of us carrying a few extra pounds that came with the stress of planning a wedding and enjoying life a little too much.

The third time we left our swimsuits behind, I was 25-weeks pregnant and displaying a very recognizable baby bump. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the freedom of leaving behind my clothes. I have yet to find clothes that are truly comfortable for any expecting mother.

Shortly after delivering, we decided to visit a local nudist club, one that was new to both of us. I was three months postpartum, still carrying around extra weight from pregnancy, leaking breast milk and nursing my infant. Though I had reservations, I refused to let anything stand in my way of enjoying my life. As a new mom, I was unprepared for the amount of attention we would receive with such a young baby, but it allowed us to become more sociable and leave behind the isolation we previously maintained by nature of our Type B personalities.

After our visit, Carlos and I both shared a longing to return to Saint Martin. After the trip was already booked, we learned we were expecting. Again, I shed my swimsuit underneath the sun with a baby bump on display. To my surprise, I found my pregnancy, though fairly small at the time, to be quite a conversation starter. Strangers would congratulate us and ask the typical follow up questions.

In fact, it was this very topic that broke the ice and gave reason for small chit chat with someone who has since become very close friends of ours. As fate would have it, the man standing directly behind us in line during an Orient Beach Bar happy hour lives less than 10 minutes from our home. After quickly discovering the proximity of our homes, TC excitedly introduced us to his wife Mindy and we all immediately hit it off.

Upon our return, we stayed in contact. After finding time for a brief escape from busy schedules, we reconnected with TC and Mindy during the winter months over dinner. With like minded personalities and shared interests, it was easy to plan a couple visits to our local nudist clubs with them as soon as the summer weather allowed. Our friendship continues to flourish and has allowed us to try something new to all of us – share a private villa with another nudist couple.

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Too often, as women we criticize ourselves and each other. Our insecurities become motivating factors preventing us from doing things we once loved or may grow to love. In my neighborhood alone, even the most petite mother wears a very modest one-piece swimsuit at our neighborhood pool. Instead of celebrating our imperfect bodies, we regularly try to hide the things we detest – scars, stretch marks, cellulite, imperfect breasts, unwanted pounds, and the list goes on. Any idea of perfection is relentlessly brandished everywhere we turn – television, literature, advertisements, movies, pornography, etc. That quantifiable idea of perfection just doesn’t exist in the natural world.

I do not carry a perfect body. Simply put, I am quite average. My body still carries the extra weight brought on during pregnancy, my breasts aren’t as perky as they once were, cellulite has claimed many parts of my body, and my stomach has lost the tightness it once had before children. Physically, my body has transformed into something new with almost every nudist experience I have had, but each instance has given me the opportunity to confront a new set of insecurities and practice self-acceptance, an important concept I hope to pass to my own children.

Carlos has been incredibly patient and completely supportive throughout these life changes, putting up with my crying episodes (mostly hormonal) and not once shaming me if I felt the need to cover-up for whatever reason. Despite it all, one of the reasons I am still able to confidently strip down my clothes and walk down the beach for all to see is my ability to not just accept my body as it is, but celebrate it. I am a mother of three beautiful children, and I am proud that my body shows signs of motherhood. It’s the role I am proudest to fill. And though there are times I wish I had my pre-pregnancy body back, I am grateful that my experiences have made me stronger and more confident than I ever was when I was a size 2. I am happier now in my average body than I was then. I am more confident naked now than I was then. And with that confidence and those new life experiences, I have met some interesting people along the way and made a couple amazing friends.

All of our bodies tell stories. Each story is truly unique and deserves to be cherished by ourselves and respected by others. Don’t be afraid to share yours. The truly beautiful thing about nudism is the welcoming attitude and feelings of overwhelming acceptance. In my experiences, I have found the people who judge the most are often the ones wearing the most clothes. Perhaps they are afraid their insecurities will be noticed if they don’t first point out the flaws in others. Regardless of what others think, your opinion of yourself is the only one that truly matters and the only one you have the power to control.

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Some of our best experiences on vacation have been together on a nude beach.

If you’re thinking of trying nudism for the first time, go for it! If you’re single, what have you got to lose? If you’re married and hoping to convince your partner, sit down together and have an open and honest conversation. Leave judgments behind and listen to each other’s doubts, fears and insecurities with sincerity and respect. Accept that he or she might be hesitant or resistant. Explore each other’s fears and work to overcome them together. And absolutely do not forget to affirm your love for one another.

When I think of that summer with my husband, I’m reminded of a quote I once read:

“I want to live everything with the most density possible…I am so conscious that life might escape me at any moment, that everything has become keener and more distilled…I tell myself: All this happiness still, but for how long? So I devour life.” (What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind)

 Truly empowering words of wisdom to live by.

 

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?

 

 

 

 

Trading your Bathing Suit for Your Birthday Suit: 10 more things to do with your spouse naked.

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Naked time is the best quality time of all. Image from danilek.tumblr.com per Favim.com.

A year ago I wrote about spending all day with my wife naked. We didn’t hang out in our home or in our bedroom or bathroom. We didn’t even sit out on our deck or backyard. Instead we went to a local nudist club and spent all day, outside and enjoyed the sun, the hot summer air, and the other guests. We didn’t wear a thing.  It was much needed together time but it wasn’t sexual. It was fun. It was relaxing. It was energizing. It was wonderful.

Our blog captures our time together and what we like to do naked. This post was by far the most read and most popular I’ve ever written. I shared ten things we enjoy doing together naked when we’re at a nudist club, nude resort or clothing optional beach. I told you what we like to do and asked you to tell us what you like to do naked. If you missed it, click here to give it a read.

Many of you read our thoughts and sent your own. I got to tell you that your ideas were fantastic and my wife and I have added many to our own Naked Bucket List. Before I share these ideas with you, please know the purpose of our blog is to share our experiences so that other couples who are interested in exploring social nudity will know what it’s all about. It’s exciting. It’s fun. It’s sensual but it is not pornographic. As surprising as this might sound to a new-bee nudie, it’s not sexual. There is a time and a place for everything but intimacy or sexual touching is not appropriate in the open at a nudist club, nude resort or beach. That’s not what it’s about.

Being nude with your spouse or special friend is about feeling warm all over and free. I find the first time nude best compared to your first kiss. It’s exhilarating and exciting but you still feel like you might throw up. It’s about sharing time together without holding anything back, including your bathing suit. I could tell you more about why we enjoy being together naked but it’s probably better to share with you what others like to do. So if you’re ever wondering what it would be like or what to do naked here is our new top 10 list of things to do naked with your spouse this summer. Enjoy:

All hands on deck for nude boating & sailing – I told you all last year how much my wife and I enjoyed canoeing naked in Tahiti. Several of you said that sounded great, but we really should try leaving our swimsuits at the dock and riding the waves in a sailboat or motorboat closer to home. And of course dropping anchor and skinny dipping too. I’m on board for this idea.

Nobody puts baby in the corner… especially when she’s dancing naked – You name it, it can be done and enjoyed naked, including dancing. Line dancing? Sure why not. Disco? Okay. Breakdancing? That might leave a mark. Years ago at Hidden Beach Resort my wife and I went to our first nude dance. Even the band was naked. Imagine 35 couples dancing the night away while a Mexican cover band belted out hits from the 80s and 90s in broken English. It was fantastic.

How fast can you run? Now how fast can you run naked? – Sure anyone can compete in a Tough Mudder or Colors Run but do you have what it takes to compete in your Nikes, socks and nothing else? I’m not making this up. Runner’s World even wrote an article about it and I’ve written about White Thorn Lodge’s Naked 5K and Colors Run. Give it a try and remember if you’re not in first, the view never changes.

Nude Day Out with Friends – Okay I never thought this would make our list, but a few weeks ago we went to White Thorn Lodge and met friends there to spend the day in the buff with them. Yes, we met them on Orient Beach on St Maartin and no, none of us were wearing swimsuits then either. We had lunch together. Skinny dipped in the pool. Took a hike. Talked. Laughed. Enjoyed mojitos. Talked some more. We had so much fun we stayed for dinner. Yes, it can be intimidating to think of spending the day naked with friends but when you’ve been out to dinner many times before and enjoyed it, why not? Our friends made a great day even better.

Check out the Heavenly Bodies – No I’m not talking about peeping toms. They suck. I am talking about laying naked under the stars or sitting in a hot tub or pool with your spouse. You’ll see more moons than the one in the sky. Romantic and fun too. We love to do this when we’re visiting a nude resort like Couples Sans Souci. 

How do you stay warm when you’re naked on a cool night? A hot spring of course! Friends of ours love going to nude hot springs in Colorado and California. It sounds awesome and usually has a naked hike to the springs to get there too. Definitely on our list now.

Naked water skiing also known as a power enima. I was surprised when two people suggested this and said it was a blast. I googled it and sure enough, it’s a thing. I’m not one to judge because I’ll try most things once, but the thought of my bare butt (or worse) hitting the water makes me scream in pain just thinking about it. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

When you’re ready to Dive in all the way, try nude snorkeling or scuba diving. This has been on my bucket list for years and I thought I was going to accomplish it when I went to Couples San Souce earlier this year. Unfortunately you can snorkel only on their textile beach, not their nude one. I guess that will wait till next time.

You’ve been served. Naked beach volleyball! Yes, it’s almost cliche to think about nudist and nude volleyball games on the beach or in the pool. I’m not sure why but it is part of the nudist culture. That said, it might be a pickup game in a pool, the semi pro games at Haulover nude beach on the weekends or the Super Bowl of Nude Volleyball each year held at White Thorn Lodge in Western Pennsylvania. Regardless, you’ll have a blast or is it a ball?

So is a nude dog one not wearing a collar? Several people mentioned how much they enjoy taking a walk at a nudist club and bringing their dog with them to walk too. I love walking our dogs but never thought once about bringing them with us to a local club. I would first recommend calling the club to make sure dogs/pets are welcome.  We’ll have to give this one a try.

So here are 10 new ideas to do with your spouse or special friend naked this summer. Let us know if you do any of them and what you think. The next question I usually get is, “Where can my wife and I try some of these activities?” I’ve included links where I can but your best bet is to go to the American Association of Nude Recreation (AANR) website to their club and resort finder app. AANR member clubs and resorts must maintain a high standard to be an accredited club. Not all of these activities will be available at an AANR member club (nude boating or sailing, hot springs?) but most will. I also recommend visiting The Naturist Society (TNS) website for more information about nude recreation.

Better yet tell us what you like to do if we haven’t mentioned it yet. Regardless, remember that social nudity is about you and your partner. It’s fun and always should be. The hardest part is just trying it. Once you’ve gotten over the first “can I do this” hurdle, it’s really easy after that.

 

 

Naked Time is Summer Time: Five Answers to Your Concerns about Getting Naked

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What’s the most comfortable bathing suit on the beach? No bathing suit!

I’ve always loved summer time, but the older I get the more summer means getting naked and spending time with my wife outdoors. Honestly there is nothing better than feeling the sunshine on your skin and a warm breeze cooling your body. After 45 years, I can honestly say being naked outside on a warm or hot day is the best. Sound like something you and your spouse or special friend might want to try? There is no better time to be naked than summer time.

Our blog is about encouraging couples to try social nudity. For my wife and me, we’ve found it to be a wonderful bonding point. We are not nudist. We live very normal lives in the suburbs. Most days were are getting our children off to school and working long hours at our jobs. We don’t stand around naked in the kitchen or garden in the backyard nude. We’re just like you. Except that we have discovered how wonderful it is to spend time together naked outside. I’m not talking about sexual intimacy. We are not touching each other. That’s not appropriate outside of the privacy of your bedroom. We are just spending time and hanging out with other naked couples who like to do the same thing.

This summer, we invite you to discover the joys of spending time with your spouse or special friend naked because there is no better time to be naked outdoors than when the days are sunny and warm.

So what’s stopping you? Here are five answers to most couples biggest concerns about trying social nudity:

Will we stand Out? Every couple who hasn’t experienced social nudity believes when they are naked everyone will stare at them. The only time you are noticeable at a nude club, resort or beach is when you’re clothed. Once the clothes come off, you look like everyone else… naked.

What if we see someone we know? This was my wife’s biggest concern and one reason we didn’t got to a local nudist club until we were in our mid-30s. Privacy is a big part of nude establishments. It is expected that you will never ask anyone their last name or where they are from. You share only as much information as you would like. While we’ve never run into any friends or even acquaintances while naked, we’ve met several other couples at nudist clubs, beaches and resorts that we’ve become good friends with since meeting. The most important thing to remember if you see someone you know is that they enjoy being naked too. That’s all.

What if we don’t want to be naked around other people? As couples are getting used to social nudity, often they don’t want to be social. That’s okay. This is your time together naked so spend it as you would like to. We’ve seen two types of couples; The ones who want to be social and are playing volleyball in the pool or talking at the bar. They have lot of friends and like to talk. The other group find their own space and relax. Maybe their next to everyone at the pool but just reading books and talking to themselves. Or maybe they’ve found their own space on the beach.

Will someone hit on me or make a romantic or sexual advance? This is a real concern and for us, and it’s never happened. If anyone is making you uncomfortable, tell someone at the club, resort or beach. Nudist clubs, resorts and most beaches have zero tolerance for unwanted sexual advances. When you’re naked, you’re exposed and vulnerable. Nude clubs and resorts do a lot to make sure the environment is safe. Cameras are not allowed. At a nudist club, you will have to give them your driver’s license for a background check. Some nude resorts ask guests sign a code of conduct. I know that it happens but simply telling someone that you’re not interested should be enough.

What if my body doesn’t look good enough to be naked around other people? It’s sad, but this is probably the biggest reason couples don’t try social nudity. In the years since we started this blog, we have received a lot of questions about the “right body” for a nude beach or club. The right body is your body. Your first time nude will be an interesting experience. Yes, there will probably be some good looking people there, but honestly, most people are wonderfully average. No one stands out. Do not be concerned with scars or surgery marks. Do not be concerned about stretch marks or bellies. Do not be concerned about your breasts being too big or too small or one being bigger than the other. Do not be concerned if your penis is too small or too large. Do not be concerned with private tattoos or piercings. Do not be concerned about birthmarks. Do not be concerned if you are completely shaved and without pubic hair or natural or somewhere in between. When you’re naked, you’ll be around some of the most unjudging people ever. Perhaps one of our biggest discoveries was that when you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to be ashamed of or anxious either.

So what other questions do you have? Should you go to a club or a beach? What can we do while we’re there? (check out our blog on what we like to do) What about kids? If you’re going to a club, call ahead. Let them know it’s your first time and ask them what you should expect and what they expect from you. If you’re going to a public beach like Haulover in Miami, Wreck in Vancouver or Black’s in San Diego, read up online to hear where to go and what to bring.

Most of all, enjoy the time together with your spouse. We find our time naked together to be relaxing and recharging. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Jammin Naked in Jamaica: Couples Sans Souci Perfect for First Timers

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Enjoying the waves and the beach at Couples San Souci’s Au Natural Beach

My wife and I have been to nude beaches and resorts all over the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. Somehow we missed Jamaica… until now. In late December we finally traveled to the Reggae Capital of the World and picked up a Red Stripe and pulled down our swimsuits. We relaxed in the hot sun and swam in the warm ocean. We believe Couples Sans Souci Resort is a perfect place to get naked with your spouse and if you haven’t done it before, it is a great place to try nude recreation for the first time.

I’m not sure why we hadn’t been to Jamaica until now. It’s not that we didn’t discuss it. Firefly Beach Cottages has been on our list for some time, although it has new ownership and I’m not sure if it’s still clothing optional.  I’ve read and heard a lot about Hedonism II, but that’s not our idea of fun. Couples Resorts and specifically the Sans Souci property caught our attention after I began reading in several travel forums that many couples had their first social nudity experience here. My wife and I are not nudist newbies, but our blog is all about encouraging couples who want to try nude recreation so we decided to give it a try.

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Is this romantic or what? Some of the views at Couples San Souci

While this blog isn’t about the total Couples Sans Souci resort experience (go to TripAdvisor if you want to learn more), we will tell you why we thought the Sans Souci resort complements its Au Natural Beach and Pool experience nicely.

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Mineral Pool at Couples San Souci

The resort was carved into the cliffs overlooking the ocean. It is older (more than 50+ years) and has been maintained beautifully. The landscaping, architecture and layout are very romantic. The restaurants, bars and pools all offer an excellent experience and variety. The rooms in the A and B buildings were renovated in 2015 and are very nice. You’re steps from the main beach and restaurants. If we did it again, we would request one of the rooms on the hillside because they are more private, have large balconies and have amazing ocean views. You can also sit and relax in the nude on your balcony without disturbing anyone or attracting any attention. This isn’t possible in the A or B buildings.

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The main beach and A and B Buildings at Couples San Souci

Couples Sans Souci is only for adults and attracts a lot of couples on their honeymoon, anniversary or just much needed time away. Did I mention it is very romantic? It really is and we would have had a great time here even if it didn’t have a nude beach and pool. But it does, which is why we went there.

Before I share our impressions and thoughts, I first want to mention why spending time together as a couple on a nude vacation can be such a rewarding and shared experience. If you’ve read our blog before, you know this but I believe it’s necessary to reinforce these points.

Think about how much time you and your spouse, significant other, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. actually spend together. Now consider how much time you’re together naked. I’m not talking about sexual intimacy either. That’s a different experience which can become more intimate by spending time together nude but is not what happens at a nude beach or pool. There is a time and a place and sexual intimacy or touching is not appropriate outside of your bedroom at Couples Sans Souci.

I’m talking about the time for the two of you to relax and reconnect. It’s about looking at each other and seeing the person you’re in love with as the sun shines down on both of you. It’s a feeling of personal freedom and shared romance because you’re together and totally exposed. You feel a little naughty because you’re outside with other nude couples around you. But you feel warm, relaxed and at peace. To me, my wife is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. As beautiful as she is with her clothes on, she is even more stunning when she is completely naked relaxing in a beach chair, sunbathing, swimming in the pool or walking on the beach with me holding hands. We always have a wonderful experience together on our nude vacations, which is why we share with other interested couples so they know what to expect and what the experience is really like and what it isn’t.

So why do we believe Couples Sans Souci’s Au Natural beach and pool are the perfect place to try the nude experience for the first time? It’s like everything else in Jamaica, it’s laid back, it’s relaxed and it’s, “No problem, man.”

The Au Natural beach and pool is probably about 100 yards in length. There are chairs throughout the beach where you can have your own space to relax with your spouse in the sun or shade. Or if you’re more social, the pool area is fantastic with a hot tub, swim up bar, and restaurant to enjoy. Overall, the nude experience here compares very well with other places we’ve been to and it is a first class setting that is well maintained. It is a safe environment and is perfect for relaxing in the sun, talking with other couples, playing nude volleyball in the pool or just falling asleep in the sun.

So why would we recommend it to couples considering it for their first nude experience? The first time for anything often produces anxiety and fear. Taking off all of your clothing so that your spouse and everyone around you can see you can be a humbling and scary experience the first time you do it. However, the reward is the most relaxing and yet exhilarating feeling ever. Think of what you felt the first time you kissed someone. You’re happy and excited and yet still feel like you’re about to throw up. That’s what I’m talking about. 🙂

Here are the reasons we believe it is perfect for first time couples: you have lots of space and can relax and explore at your own pace. This is what I mean and our tips to making this a wonderful experience for both of you:

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Au Natural Beach at Couples San Souci

Get there early. The beach and pool officially open at 9. Get there at 8 or 8:30 and take your place on the beach where you’ll have space to set up and get comfortable. There might be a few other couples there but you’ll probably have much of it to yourself. It’s a much less stressful experience when the beach and pool aren’t filled with people. That will happen later in the day, but you’ll be ready for it.

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View from the Couples San Souci nude beach

Take it off. Take it all off. Don’t delay. Don’t debate. Just take off your swimsuit, lay out your towel, put on your suntan lotion (put it on now while you’re thinking about it; you do NOT want to burn) and get comfortable. It will feel odd at first. That’s fine.

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Looking down the Au Natural Beach at Couples San Souci

Enjoy the moment. You can only have one first time and this is it. You’ll feel a little crazy, but once you realize that no one is staring at you and that the world didn’t end, you’ll realize how good it feels to be warm all over and how wonderful it is to have your spouse at your side. It’s an incredible shared experience. Within 10 to 15 minutes, you’ll find that you’re starting to feel very comfortable and relaxed.

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Waiting for guests to arrive at the Au Natural Pool at Couples San Souci

Take your time. Yes, you’re now naked and showing your body. You’re getting comfortable. As time passes, more couples will come to the beach and pool. You’ll see them find their spots on the beach and you’ll hear them by the pool. You’ll see them take off their suits. You’ll see that everyone is wonderfully average and no one really stand out. It’s funny. Clothing and bathing suits make us stand out from the crowd. Take them off, and we all pretty much look the same. Here’s what I mean.

You’ll notice we come in all shapes and sizes. Some couples have tattoos; some couples have completely shaved their pubic areas while some are completely natural; some couples are pierced; some couples are old and others are younger; some couples are skinny while others are larger; some couples have surgery scars; and some women have fake breasts. You’ll see it all and it’s all okay. Also, don’t feel that you need to fit in. You don’t need to shave your pubic hair and don’t worry if you’re larger or have smaller breasts or a small penis or dramatic surgery scars or birth marks. It really is a body shaming free zone where no one stand out and every one is accepting.

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The beach and Au Natural bar/restaurant area at Couples San Souci

Explore and enjoy your time together. An amazing transformation takes place during your first time nude together. Your nakedness doesn’t matter. You’ll decide to get up and walk the beach together. Maybe jump into the ocean or venture over to the pool. Maybe it’s a quick trip down the beach at first where you pass another couple and exchange, “hello’s.”  You realize although your naked and their naked too, nothing feels odd. It’s strangely natural and feels right. (Never thought you’d say that did you, especially before you tried it?)

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Au Natural Pool and Swim Up Bar at Couples San Souci

Do what feels right. You’re having fun. In fact, you’re having a blast! Maybe you’ll decide to move to the pool and start talking with other couples. Maybe you’ll jump into a game of nude volleyball. Maybe you’ll go skinny dipping in the ocean. Maybe you’ll jump into the hot tub. Maybe you’ll go to the bar and try a mixed drink. You’ll be doing a lot of firsts today. Enjoy them. Or maybe you’ll spend your time together on the beach enjoying your time and never really mingle with the others. The choice is yours. It’s all okay and it’s up to you.

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The Spa at Couples San Souci

The biggest concern many couples shared about Couple Sans Souci’s nude area is that it isn’t clothing optional. It is nude. When you go to this area of the resort you must be with your spouse and you must take off all of your clothing. No topless. No gradually shed your suit. No exceptions. I know this can be very intimidating at first, but what you’ll find is that when everyone is nude, no one stands out. Honestly the only time I’m uncomfortable on a nude beach is when I’m around other people who are clothed. I’m exposed and they’re not. You’ll be surprised how quickly it feels natural to be without your clothing and around others who look the same. There is no judging. No staring.

Our other suggestion is not to wait till your last day to try the Au Natural beach. Countless couples mentioned they waited till their final day and then found they really enjoyed it and wished they tried it sooner. You’ll know within a few hours if you want to stay all day or go back to the other pools and beaches at San Souci. You’ll have a great time there too.

So there it is. We highly recommend Couples Resort Sans Souci as a wonderful nude experience for the couple trying it for the first time or for the experience nakationer who is looking to try a new resort.

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Sunset at the Au Natural Beach at Couples San Souci

What questions do you have? Been to Couples Sans Souci? What was your experience like? What other Jamaican resorts with nude areas would you recommend? We’d love to hear your thoughts, insights and questions. We can’t wait to go Jammin Naked in Jamaica!

 

 

 

 

The Only Place to Escape Body Shaming: A Nude Beach

Image is from article on ET Online: http://www.etonline.com/fashion/153293_victoria_secret_slammed_for_perfect_body_campaign_topshop_accused_of_body_shaming/

The only place I know of to escape body shaming is a nude beach, resort or campground. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? The only place to escape the unrealistic and material ideas of the perfect body is a place where your total body is on display.  Let me explain.

My wife and I have been going on nude vacations for more than 20 years. We started on our honeymoon to Bora Bora. While there aren’t any recognized nude beaches in French Polynesia, topless sunbathing and swimming is the norm. My wife was in her mid-20s and thoroughly enjoyed swimming, sunning and walking the beach without her bikini top on. I certainly didn’t mind either. To me, she is beautiful and even more so when she isn’t wearing anything to cover up.

From there we have been to many nude beaches, resorts and B&B’s. We’ve learned that when we’re nude, we’re relaxed and comfortable. For me, I can’t think of a better place than when I’m drenched in sunshine and warm all over and my wife is next to me. It is an incredible feeling to go skinny dipping in the ocean or walking on the beach in the buff with the sunshine warming us all over. We’ve met many friendly couples. All naked and all as comfortable with themselves as we are.

We’re into the final countdown before we head into a much needed tropical vacation.  Almost on cue, the weather has turned wintry in the Midwest U.S. The temperatures are the only thing falling as fast as the snow. It’s time to travel to a tropical resort and get naked. I can’t wait to get to Jamaica and to get warm all over.

My wife just returned from the store. She was looking for a sundress she could wear from our room at the resort to the nude beach and pool. I’m told it is a quick walk. I was surprised she needed a new sundress and asked why she didn’t just go naked underneath or just wear her thong bikini under her dress. That’s not what she was worried about.

While I am convinced my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world, clothed or naked, her biggest frustration with her body is her breasts. My wife is slender and lean. She wears a size 34 A cup bra. Her breasts, are not large and full and are dominated by her nipples. I say she looks great. She says she has the chest of a boy. While she likes being topless or naked on a nude beach or resort, she wants the extra padding that today’s bras provide while wearing her clothes. She doesn’t want other women or men to judge her.

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Real bodies are beautiful. Love your body and love yourself! Image from the blog: http://blog.spylight.com/lets-follow-lauren-conrads-lead-and-ban-body-shaming/

Many women have the same hang ups with their bodies as my wife. Too short. Too fat. Too tall. Too skinny. Breasts not big enough. Hips too big. Breasts too big. Butt not big enough. The quest for the perfect body is punctuated by the media and Hollywood celebrities every day who have had so much work, their bodies are more fiction than fact.

It’s odd to me that my wife can be totally naked and be at peace with her body but when she wears clothes, it’s all about hiding her perceived blemishes. I know why though. Since we started going to nude resorts and beaches, we’ve learned that when you’re nude, you’re totally open. And most of the other couples we’ve met while on the beach or at the resort are equally comfortable with themselves. (It’s funny. The only time I’m uncomfortable is when someone is wearing clothing and I’m naked.) That’s one of the reasons I like going to nude places. Real, honest people who care less about what you look like and are more interested in who you are and where you’re from.

Very few people know we go on nude vacations. The few that do all ask the same questions, “Isn’t everyone fat?” or “See any 1o’s there?” In all honestly, what we see is real people who enjoy being naked and enjoy their bodies just the way they are. In many cases, they are just like us. Wonderfully average. They’re from all walks of life. Some are older. Some are younger. Some are gay. Some are grandparents. Some are tattooed and pierced in places I didn’t know could have body art or jewelry. Others clearly have never been in a nude social environment and I’m sure by looking at their tan lines, they’ve never been naked outside before. I’ve also seen many courageous, nude people. Here’s what I mean:

  • The cute, older couple we met at Hidden Beach Resort who played in the pool like teenagers. She had had a double mastectomy.
  • A heavier couple who saw us skinny dipping on the beach in Tulum, Mexico. They didn’t stare. They smiled. When we saw them later on they were walking hand-in-hand and totally naked in the waves.
  • The very pregnant woman and her husband at Haulover Beach in Miami who looked like she was ready to go into labor atany minute. She was probably larger than she would ever be in her life but she was smiling, warm and comfortable. She was awesomely beautiful.
  • And the young college couple that wandered on Orient Beach in St. Maartin from a cruise ship. They looked out of place at first. He was naked and trying to make sure she was comfortable. She was very nervous and appeared to be comparing her body to every woman on the beach. I could hear him trying to encouraging her by telling her she was as beautiful as any woman  with or without her bathing suit. Throughout the day she slowly took off her bikini top and later her bottoms. By the end of the day, they were splashing in the waves and holding hands walking down the beach.

The next time you think of an open and safe place to be yourself with your spouse, consider a nude place. You’ll find that it isn’t about seeing other naked people or comparing your body to their’s. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin and accepting of others. It’s getting to know your own body and realizing just how beautiful it is. It’s practicing body acceptance for yourself and the people around you. Most importantly, it’s a judge free zone. And, spending time with your spouse naked is a great way to reconnect and relax. It really is a beautiful thing.

Here is an article from the website YesandYes.org about the authors trip to a nudist resort and how it helped her love her body. I love it. I think you will too. She hits on exactly the key points I’m making in my blog article. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

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