One hundred and seventy-seven

Clothing Optional beach

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done anything nude for Out of My Comfort Zone month.  Culturally in North America, nudity and our naked bodies aren’t as accepted as they are in other parts of the world.  In many parts of Europe it is the normal thing to go to the beach nude or topless.  I love my body (curves and all), but I still find it uncomfortable to be showing it off without anything covering it.  Going bare is generally a sexualized thing here, as oppose to something natural, which is unfortunate.

First stepping onto the ‘clothing optional’ beach on the Toronto Island, it took a little adjusting to get used to the sea of naked bodies.  Men were walking down the beach or playing frisbee with their ‘members’ there for all to see.  Women were reading or swimming or sun tanning with nothing on.  Everyone was just hanging out on the beach, doing what they would do on any other beach, except they weren’t wearing bathing suits (note: there were some people in bathing suits – lots of speedos – and some girls just topless, so you don’t have to go completely naked if you don’t want to).  Everyone just doing their own thing, comfortable in their skin.

I found a place to lay out my towel and took off my dress.  I went topless first and then my bottoms came off.  No one cared.  No one was checking me out (or at least they were subtle about it).  A couple in their forties walked by me to go for a swim.  A man strutted his stuff with only a baseball cap on.  A few young women were tanning.  Some sunbathers were reading or listening to music.  A group of couples in their sixties were having a barbecue.  There were more men than women and the males were generally fitter than the females, with exceptions.  Most of the people who look like they come here regularly had little or no pubic hair (yes, I looked – I couldn’t help it!).  Nudity is not sexualized, it’s just natural.

At first I’m a little self conscious, but I get over that pretty quickly.  The feeling of the sun on my bare skin and the breeze drifting over me was wonderful.  Naturalists call it “nature’s massage”.  My white bits are graced with the sunshine for the first time this summer (in other years I have occasionally sunbathed topless in private).  I put on sunscreen.  I read.  I write.  I have lunch.  I listen to music.  I’m there for about two hours.

I had three interactions with other people.  About an hour in a man with dreads said hello to me and smiled (community – people smile and say hello here, unlike Parkdale – see my post from yesterday…).  Close to when I was leaving, a gentleman in his sixties asked me if it was my first time at the clothing optional beach (I think he could tell by my white chest!).  It was weird as I was laying down and he was standing right beside me so I was looking up at him past his genitals.  He didn’t seem to notice.  He asked me if I was enjoying myself and if I liked the beach.  I didn’t think he was hitting on me (and I’m still not sure), but he did give me his business card when I was leaving and told me that if I came back and I wanted company to give him a shout.  I told him I probably wouldn’t use it, but he gave it to me anyways.  The business card was purple with his first name, the words “Bon-Vivant” and his e-mail address (a yahoo account).  I’m guessing he gives out a lot of cards, but he was harmless and had some interesting things to say.

My only negative experience was as I was leaving.  A man in shorts walked by me starring at my chest with his mouth open.  There was something really creepy about him.  In any place where there is nudity, you are bound to get a few weirdos who come to stare at the women.  The worst part was he was standing by the exit path when I left (I was wearing my dress) and he approached me.  “You have nice kfghfhkjy,” he said with an eastern European accent a couple of times.  I didn’t understand what he was saying to me, until he pointed to my breasts and said “You have nice [pause while he was looking for the word] ‘tits’.  Can I give you my phone number?”  There was just something really off about him.  I said no and quickly walked away.  It’s sad that one creep can ruin it for everyone else.

Despite this weirdo, I would go back.  No tan lines, no wet bathing suit.  Maybe just topless, though.  It felt great and most people were there to enjoy the sun and the beach.  It was a beautiful day.  And we should be more comfortable with our bodies.  That might help with all the eating disorders that rule North America.  My biggest problem with my time at the nude beach, though – sand everywhere!