The phrase “nude beach” to the average Joe Schmoe might conjure up mental images of Playboy bunnies with tan, glistening skin, romping around in the surf with bulbous-bellied, hairy-backed European dudes. In retrospect, I had no idea what to expect the first time I encountered a nude beach at the ripe age of 17. Naked is naked, right?
I was on a winter vacation in Hawaii with my parents, eager to distract myself from the daunting emotional stress of my brother’s recent and impromptu death. Smack dab in the center of the kitchen table of the house we rented was a hand-written guidebook, thoughtfully conjured up by one of the locals. My parents remarked in amusement that a few select nude beaches were listed among the other “must see” attractions. Imagine my surprise and delight when my parents — My parents! — asked if I’d be interested in exploring one.
“Sure,” I replied, in an unenthusiastic tone, so as not to let on to my budding sexual curiosity. I mean, how many American teenagers would pass up an in-person opportunity to visit a real nude beach?
A few days later, off we went.
The beach was buried below a cliff, conveniently out of view from any roads. Though, the cars parked along the road’s edge suggested that this hidden gem was a more well-known attraction than I’d thought.
As we approached the cliff, my dad casually reminded me that, again, this was a nude beach, and I might see some curious sights. It was fine if I looked around, and if I was uncomfortable, it was also fine not to look around. Only then did it occur to me that my parents might not have known that I had ever seen male genitalia on anyone other than my kid brother, back when he and I were young enough to be bathed together. I grinned, thinking back to my basement couch fumblings with old boyfriends during my prior high school years. I was quite familiar with how guy bodies tended to look, and I was pretty sure I knew what to expect from gal bodies, so I wasn’t anticipating anything extraordinary on this random beach.
So, down the cliff we went.
When we finally arrived on the beach, I was surprised at how few people there were, relative to the vast allotment of land. Most of the people had come in pairs or groups, but there were a few solitary beachgoers, too. All in all, there were fewer than 20 or so people on the entire beach, us included. The pseudo-solitude was grand.
My eyes first struck a couple of older, male yogins relishing the copious sunlight. These fellas were easily in their 70s or 80s, naked as the days they were born, gloriously tan all over, and as flexible as pre-chewed gum. Had I been on a vacation with friends rather than my parents (and a little older than I was at the time), I would’ve asked to join them. They just looked so… zen.
I tried not to be rude by spending more than a glance or two per person, but I was pretty curious. The human form is a magnificent sight, after all.
The few women who were present tended to be topless but wore bikini bottoms. However, most of the visitors were male. A couple young fathers wore shorts, in contrast with the bare-bottomed youngsters accompanying them. A group of young adults who all looked to be in their late 20s or early 30s were the most expressively joyous of the lot, running back and forth from surf to sand with no mind to their many flopping body parts — particularly the man whose penis kept thwapping the backs of his legs, a sight which I found to be only slightly more striking than the awkwardly bouncing schlongage of my male peers jumping rope in gym class.
Speaking of downtown business, I also remember an elderly gentleman with a testicle (just one — dunno where the other went) the size of a swollen grapefruit. I’m not sure what medical mumbo jumbo lead to that sort of condition, but I hope he’s living comfortably today. I’m immensely jealous that he has an A+ excuse to never, ever wear pants.
Although my parents and I kept our bathing suits on because we’re not really a “naked” sort of household, I’d love to one day — hopefully sooner rather than later — visit another nude beach. Next time, though, I’ll go with lovers or friends and actually follow the dress code.
In the meantime, maybe I think I’ll look into naked yoga instead…