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On The Nude Beach

My neuroses kick up while on a nude beach with my boyfriend.

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A harrowing experience on a nude beach last year did not deter me from frequenting the "no clothing" beach on my recent vacation. (Nor should it have. Vacuuming naked in New Jersey only goes so far.) Here's how day one unfolded.

My boyfriend and I have just returned from breakfast. I'm in the bathroom. "Hey," Jake calls. "You almost ready for the beach?" "Give me one more minute," I reply. "I just have to strip."

We step onto the sand, trundle past a string of people reading their books on chaise lounges. I can't even consider leaning forward to try to make out the titles. It'll look like I'm appraising their genitals.

Jake and I move farther along and claim two chairs. I lotioned liberally back at the room, but as I lower myself to sit, doubt creeps in. What if I missed a crucial spot in a delicate area? "Can you hand me the sunblock?" I ask. "Sure," Jake answers. "What number?" "3,000."

I reapply, trying to ignore the fact that I'm touching my private areas in a public venue. I try redirecting my thoughts to my cat's monumental cuteness, but they snap right back to the moment. "It's not what it looks like!" I want to yell, spreading my arms wide. "I swear, it's not what it looks like!"

At long last, I'm settled on my lounge chair. I tilt my face toward the sun, reminding myself that, for the next week, there will never be a bathing suit creeping invasively up my ass. Nothing damp requiring constant yanking as I try to feign nonchalance. No risk of camel toe. I sigh contentedly.

Jake and I wade into the water, chat with a group of people. Nudies are rarely shy; friendliness abounds.

I realize that the bouncing, giggling and bobbing of body parts is the ultimate equalizer. Once I've glimpsed your water-shrunken penis and you my strikingly unspectacular breasts, intimidation or a sense of superiority will be out of the question for either of us.

Hours later, Jake and I take a walk down the beach. As we pass other resorts, everyone we see is wearing a bathing suit. We exchange glances. "Freaks," we say with a smile.

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