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Condition of the Month – June

June 8, 2013

Hey, friends! So it is that time of the month again.  You know you’ve been waiting for it, that time when we all post our answers to one tantalizing question.  Well your expectations have finally been met, get ready for: the Condition of the Month.

This month,  I got to choose the question, and I thought it was a fun one.  Bring up issues of modesty, nudity, and individual boundaries, this month all four princesses answered the question: nude beaches, yes or no? 

Please enjoy our thoughts and feel free to add to add a few of your own!

snowwhore tileI love being naked. One of the advantages of being married is that, unlike with a random roommate, I can walk around the house naked whenever I want (like my husband would complain). It’s a freeing feeling. And, of course, I’ve had my share of naked adventures with the naughty princesses. You know, the usual, skinny dipping, tribal dances, etc. I’m very comfortable with my body. I don’t care if I’m naked in front of one of my friends. But that is the key *in front of my friends*.

The problem with the nude beach idea for me is all the people I don’t know. Now, I know that people don’t go to nude beaches just to oogle other people’s bodies (usually), but I would still be uncomfortable. Maybe this makes me a traditionalist, but I think we should at least have a cup of coffee together before we see each other naked. It’s just common courtesy in my opinion.  Now if I were with a group of friends, and we were on our own private stretch of beach and everyone wanted to get naked, that’s fine. I would be all in. I just don’t want to expose myself in front of strangers.  Now there have been times that having a naked experience has been a bonding experience between me and someone else, but we still knew each other beforehand.  I do believe it is a way to deepen a friendship because you are letting down all barriers. But again, you still have to at least know the person on some basic level. Again, the cup of coffee thing—common decency.

As far as other people going to public nude beaches—I have no problem with that.  If that’s your cup of tea, then that’s great.  I just prefer my naked experiences to be a bit more intimate ( and yes I realize how awkward that phrasing is.)

sleeping booty tileIn theory I’m all for nakedness all the time. If seeing bodies wasn’t so forbidden maybe we’d end up seeing the people behind them more clearly. If we were naked more maybe we’d finally start feeling comfortable in our own shapes. If we were more exposed maybe we’d feel closer to each other and be less cruel.

In practice, however, I’m a little less secure about the whole thing. In high school it was common for my friends to skinny dip in hot tubs, cartwheel naked through sprinklers or moon passing vehicles in broad daylight. I, of course, never shied away from a challenge, but for me it was always that, a challenge. I rarely felt comfortable in my body, choosing to step around the corner to change when my friends would talk topless in the locker room or keep my top on when we’d sun tan on our roofs. I was afraid my boobs weren’t big enough, that the stretch marks on my thighs were too visible, that my hair down there wasn’t appropriately groomed, things that seem so superficial now. Now I know that fear I created was only useless insecurities and I’ll only hold myself back if I continue perpetuate them.

A few weeks ago I heard about this experiment where they asked people how much money they’d theoretically walk nude down a catwalk for. If the person answered with a reasonable amount then the organizers would give them the opportunity to collect then and there in front of a live audience. Some people refused, others asked for more money, but some agreed and were asked to explain how they were feeling while they did it. It turned out that the negative parts of the experience were ones the people already felt with their clothes on (wishing for smaller thighs and more defined abs), but overall the people’s responses were overwhelmingly positive. As they walked they felt empowered, becoming more and more in tune with the beauty of their bodies. When they stood stark naked in front of the crowd they realized other opinions didn’t matter, that the only view of their body that mattered was their own.

So to answer your question, yes. I’m all for nude beaches as long as you’re there for yourself, not to say you did it or to show off or compare yourself to the others but because you and the people around you are making the conscious choice to believe that your body doesn’t define who you are.

cinderslut tileSince Merskank asked, here’s what I think: Nude beaches for single genders, okey-dokey. Nude beaches for everybody, sketch-fest.

Although I am not a huge fan of nudity, over the years I have enjoyed certain all-female nude experiences, such as skinny-dipping, topless hot-tubbing, or the time we burned our bras and danced topless around the fire. These are all awesome memories—I do think being a little vulnerable and being willing to bare it all helped us bond and gain confidence. You know, love our bodies and all that stuff.

But, what normally comes to mind when you hear “nude beach,” or “clothing optional beach” is a mixed gender environment where everybody from kids to grandpas are letting it all hang out. Well, to be honest, I’m not down with that. I’ve had enough locker room experiences in my life to know that I will not actually enjoy the beach more if I have to stare at saggy skin and unfortunate crops of body hair the whole time. I know one day my boobs will sag like that too, but does that mean I want to peer into the future and behold the harsh realities of aging now? No. I’d prefer if Great-Grandma Helen just enjoyed the beach in a nice, tasteful vintage swim suit or flowy cover-up, thank-you very much.

Perhaps the ultra-conservative gender policies of the place I currently live have influenced me some, but I have to say being seen in the nude by a bunch of strange men is NOT an appetizing prospect. I have a husband, and my body is for him. Not for any other man, ever. At a nude beach, I know I wouldn’t exactly be a novelty. Heck, probably no one would even stare, like they do here just because they can see my hair. But that doesn’t change the fact that among those men there very well could be someone who is there to please himself by looking at naked women. There could even be someone who is on the prowl for someone to harm. And there’s just no way to know who those people are when you step onto a nude beach.

Let me tell you a story about the time Sleeping Booty and I visited a naked hot springs in the middle of the woods in deep hippie-land, Oregon. We wore bathing suits, but rubbing shoulders with us in that little pool were multiple old, wrinkly, hairy, naked men, including one with arguably the world’s smallest penis. Mr. Tiny Penis was friendly, and no one tried to molest us. But now, when I remember that trip to Oregon, I’ll also always have the image of Mr. Tiny Penis’s tiny penis permanently stamped in my brain. And I personally think I’d be better off without that.

little merskank tileOkay, so I wrote the question this month.   The idea of nude beaches has been floating around in the back of my mind ever since I read an article a couple of weeks ago that referenced the nude beaches in the South of France.  I remember at the time being puzzled by the question: would I visit a nude beach if I were in the South of France?  Now for the other princesses this might seem a pretty theoretical question, but I actually live in Europe- France is right there, across the water.   This theoretical question could become a reality at any time.

So: what’s the answer?  The answer is, I don’t know.  I actually like the idea of nude beaches for some reason.  It sounds liberating.  The idea of lying there, on the white sand, enjoying the sun, free from all confines…  Also, I agree with Sleeping Booty when she says that a lot of body issues in our society stem from a lack of exposure to real bodies, not those of airbrushed celebrities or models.

However, I think my real answer about nude beaches is: it depends.  Why are going?  Are you going to show off your body and illicit the attention of the opposite sex?  Or are you going to enjoy the sun, no tan lines involved?  For instance, when thinking about this question, I realized that I would never go to a nude beach with a guy I was seeing.  All of a sudden, having him there would change the tenor of the visit.  It would cross the line into something personal, rather than anonymous and liberating.  So for me, nude beaches are still an open question.  Maybe one day when I am in the South of France, I will decide.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 8, 2013 5:22 pm

    I had forgotten about that small penis! good times at the hot springs.

    Let me tally this up:

    SW: No. Only with friends
    SB: Yes. Only when comfortable, which should be always
    CS: No. Only with Hubby
    MS: Maybe. Only with strangers

    Interesting. We’ll see how long your convictions last. I plan to float naked in the dead sea sometime in the next year. You kids won’t be able to turn THAT down!

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