If the sign outside of Haulover Beach had been any more nonchalant, we might have missed it: “Attention: Beyond this point you may encounter nude bathers.”
Even more casual was the transition from clothed to nude beach. As we walked up the sandy path towards the beach, we encountered our first penis mixed in with bikinis and swim trunks.
Then, all of a sudden: There were just a few bikinis and swim trunks mixed in with an array of penises and boobs.
I had been excited to cross this Before-I-Turn-30 item off of my Bucket List. But the cavalier approach to nudity sent me into a temporary panic.
Holy cow. There are more penises flopping around than an orgy scene in a porno. There are more bare asses than the locker room at the Superbowl.
And while there were a few women on the beach who had also decided to bare it all, there was a clear difference between the representation of men and women.
I wondered why the amount of men wanting to set their penises free was so much higher than the number of women wanting to liberate their vaginas.
I grabbed on to my boyfriend’s arm nervously as we searched for the perfect place to plop down. We restlessly wandered almost all of the way to the end of the beach before we realized that the proportion of men to women was becoming more unbalanced, not less.
I can’t be the only woman getting naked among all of these men. Even if they are gay (as I was sure a bit of them were), I’ll still feel like some vulnerable piece of meat, laid out in front of hungry wolves.
We turned around and headed back to the start of the nude part of Haulover Beach, where we’d seen at least a few other women. And while the proportion still leaned heavily toward men (and most of the women had opted just to go topless and not all the way nude), I definitely felt more comfortable with the idea of getting naked.
We considered renting an umbrella to protect the parts of our skin that had never seen sunlight. But $15 felt steep for the hour we were going to be there.
Instead, we found an older nude couple who had a huge umbrella and asked if we could sit under the edge of their umbrella.
They were happy to share.
The normalcy of the exchange was striking.
Sitting in the shade of Naked Older Hippie Couple’s umbrella with our bathing suits on, I felt my heart beat increase.
Am I really about to take off my clothes? I was all excited but now I feel like I’m going to throw up. This is so surreal.
My boyfriend and I theorized who these people were and what their motivations were for being at a nude beach. Were they perverts? Were they staunch advocates for the naturalist movement? How does one even end up on a nude beach?
Silence fell over us as we both looked around and pondered the inevitability of our mission. Continue reading