A funny thing happened on the way to the beach
Rafael, I am still writing that post about our breakup, and I haven’t had the strength to do so for a while. So, for now, on the eve of a hiking visit to a clothing-optional hot springs, I was digging back into the collection of blog post drafts, and I found this one. Also fitting, considering that the girl I frequently visit Korean spas with is having her birthday today (happy birthday, Avivi!).
So, without further ado, let me tell you about my first nude beach experience. Actually, I’ve only been once. But I say “first” because I fully intend on going again (perhaps as soon as tomorrow, if I don’t chicken out in front of my male friends).
There was just one catch; my friend and I had never met. We’d maintained a met-on-Twitter, talk-on-the-phone kind of friendship, distanced by thousands of miles and the likelihood that we might never meet. But last summer he was going to visit me.
So he agreed … tentatively.
Weeks later, we met, talked, spent a couple of hours at a museum where we took photos (fully clothed). Then, as the museum was closing up, I looked at him and asked, “Well?”
So I found myself, within only a couple of hours of meeting this man, taking off my clothes in an entirely non-sexual way. And then I did what anybody would do on a nude beach for the first time: I swam in the ocean. I climbed a tree. I climbed a boulder. I watched as men and women swam and sun-bathed around me. And I congratulated myself for getting that spray tan the week before, because while I didn’t mind being naked, I wasn’t keen on being the palest girl on the beach.
We walked around, talked religion and philosophy, even talked relationships. At the food stand (where the servers went naked underneath their aprons), we bought a couple of vegetarian hot dogs (irony?) and walked over to a nearby bench to watch a few games of beach volleyball.
And an hour later, while re-applying sunscreen to each other (spray-on sunscreen was made for moments like these), my friend said, in passing, “Nice ass.” And in the context of – you know, not wearing any clothes whatsoever – I replied, “Thank you,” because, let’s face it, what a compliment.
All this while, however, I had never looked at my friend in anything other than a platonic matter (he’s quite handsome, but come on, we’re friends). However, the oddest thing happened: the minute he put on his clothes I thought, “Damn, he’s a good-looking man.”
Once again proving that, despite the wonderful freedom of walking around nude, clothes really do make the man.
We’ve been swimming at nude beaches and I love to go skinny dipping, but I’m sorry, sitting on top of a mountain, that’s just, you’re trying to show off or something. That’s ridiculous.
- Andy Richter