How to Take Your Clothes Off: A Guide to Nudism for the Interested Beginner is now available in paperback!

My first trip to a nude beach was relaxing, inspiring, exciting — everything. But I couldn’t just sit on the sand all day and read, I soon realized. I wanted to see the whole beach.

And really, it was more than that: I wanted to be out there. It wasn’t enough to just be nude, to sit passively and let the day pass me by. I needed to assert myself, my newly nude body.

There was also another factor: sandflies. Some relief from the tickling bugs on my legs and back for a little while would be welcome, too.

So I packed up my stuff — I had no idea if anyone would steal anything, but I figured it was less risky to carry my stuff with me. I probably shouldn’t have worried, because the park is a pretty safe place. But the thought of having my clothes stolen was too terrifying, so I draped my towel over one shoulder, slung my bag over the other, and went for a walk.

I could see in the distance, about two kilometres away, where the beach ended, tall cliffs blocked the way, jutting out into the edge of the lake. I would walk to the end, I decided, and then back.

The water was cool on my feet as I walked at its very edge. Even in July, Lake Erie never gets truly warm, and the slight shock of the cold on my skin was another reminder that I was nude, that this was real, that I was doing this.

And as I reached the water and began to walk, I saw someone else: a woman, walking straight down to the water from where she and her male companion were sitting.

If I wasn’t mistaken, we would reach the same part of the shore at the exact same time.

I slowed down, trying to stave off the collision, but like a slow-motion car crash, it soon seemed inevitable.

As she reached the water, only a few feet in front of me, she stopped.

Turned.

Smiled.

And waited for me.

I had been around nude women before, but only my girlfriends and my wife; the context was almost exclusively sexual. Nude women I didn’t know were purely the inhabitants of pornography. This was it: I was going to talk to a nude woman. Her, nude. Me, nude. Us, nude.

You may not know that any interaction with a Canadian must, without exception, include a short discussion of the weather. Nudists are, apparently, not immune to this phenomenon.

“Lovely day, isn’t it?” she said as I approached.

“Glorious,” I said. “I can’t believe it.”

She said something else, I can’t remember what, I don’t know if I listened at the time. All the blood in my body was rushing to my head and making me dizzy.

Wait — not quite all the blood.

I was scared and excited and unnerved and in a very strange situation. I was not looking at the woman’s body but I was very, very conscious of her nudity, and mine.

I was starting to get an erection.

“It’s my first time here,” I told her.

“You couldn’t have picked a better day for a first visit!” she said, all friendly enthusiasm.

It wasn’t getting out of hand — I wasn’t about to poke her with it or anything — but I was more and more conscious of my growing penis, and the more I thought about it the more excited it, or I, got, and the more excited it got the more I thought about it —

“Do you guys come here a lot?” I asked. I wanted to acknowledge that she was with someone else; I wasn’t going to hit on her or say anything creepy.

“A few times a year,” she said. “It’s not too crowded today.”

My towel.

Easy.

I shifted my weight to my other foot, and took the opportunity to shift the strap of my bag a little. And with that movement, I was able to shift the towel as well. It didn’t really cover me up, but it was enough to keep things from being too obvious.

“Water’s going to be cold,” she said, “but I can’t resist swimming when I’m here…”

“I’m going to walk along the beach,” I said. “Since I’ve never been here before.”

“Have a great day,” she said, with a final friendly smile.

I was off. The erection — or partial erection — was now gone, and I was able to saunter off along the beach without any further worries.

I survived my first nudist social interaction, despite some discomfort and nearly-avoided rudeness. I had my first nude conversation. My first time being friendly and nude.

I was really a nudist, now, I decided.

And I loved it.

Share Your Thoughts

Do you remember the first time you interacted with a stranger in a nudist venue? What was it like? Add your experiences in the comments!