Saint Martin’s Happy Bay Beach is the Quiet Nude Alternative to World Famous Orient Beach

Look online and you’ll see a lot about Saint Martin’s world-famous Orient Beach. It really is a wonderful beach to visit and explore. It’s also a must visit beach if you’re looking for a great place to bare it all for the first time with your spouse or partner. Many couples experience social nudity for the first time here. Orient Beach is actually one of five beaches in Orient Bay that together total nearly 1.3 miles of sand and surf paradise for vacationers.

club orient beach resort
The yellow umbrellas, blue ocean and tan boobs and bottoms is a sure sign you’re on Orient Beach in Saint Martin.

In the middle of the day, Orient Beach actually feels crowded. Add cruisers (people from cruise ships) walking in the surf and checking out all of the nude sunbathers who number in the hundreds; naked couples and families enjoying the sun and surf and yes, it is very crowded. While I can tell you the only time you truly stand out on Orient Beach is when you’re wearing a bathing suit, some newbie nude couples might not want to strip with a hundred strangers. Although when you’re comfortable with being naked on Orient Beach, a challenge many nude vacationers try each year is walking the entire beach in the buff.

IMG_0720
Our last trip, I walked all three beaches on Orient Bay in my birthday suit. That’s more than 2.5 naked miles. While many people walk it naked, you have to do it early in the morning before the beach gets crowded.

Although I would still put Orient Beach on your must visit naked bucket list (there really is nothing like it), there are other beaches on Saint Martin that are quieter and more private to explore recreational nudity with your spouse or partner. Happy Bay Beach is a perfect place to drop your swimsuit or bikini bottoms in a quiet and relaxed setting.

IMG_0619
Happy Bay Beach is between Friar’s Bay and Grand Case and is the perfect beach to try skinny dipping or nude sunbathing with your spouse.

Happy Bay Beach is the site of a former resort that was destroyed in a hurricane and never rebuilt. Mother Nature has reclaimed the cabanas and hotel buildings. What’s left is a quiet beach used by families and couples of all ages.

You’ll see it all on this beach. There are couples, gay couples, young families, old couples, vacationing teens from France (this is the French side of Saint Martin), and jet ski tours and sailing boats that stop by the beach throughout the day. On the beach, you’ll see people in conservative and skimpy bathing suits.  You’ll also see women laying out topless and on the North side of the beach, you’ll see mostly nude couples enjoying the sun, peace and quiet.

While Orient Beach is loud and flashy, Happy Bay Beach is relaxed and more intimate. For the couple who are unsure about trying social nudity but want to try it, this is the perfect beach to get comfortable and get naked. Before I show you our pictures so you can enjoy the beach when you visit, here are suggestions for first timers to make the most of their first nude beach experience.

When you get to the beach go right. Head North towards the rocks and away from the BBQ snack and beverage shack. Once you pass the large tree in the middle of the beach, you can find the perfect place to soak up the sun without your bathing suit. There is no bad location. You can remain on the beach or set up your towels closer to the trees and brush at the back of the beach. The choice is yours.

Before you pull down your bathing suit or take off your bikini top, know that everyone who has ever gone naked on the beach remembers the mix of anxiety and excitement you’re feeling right now. It feels like you’re breaking all the rules and yet the thought of taking your suit off is so natural and freeing. It’s exhilarating. I still feel this same sensation every time I step onto a nude beach. The only difference is I know the sense of relaxation, freedom and love that comes from dropping my shorts and relaxing naked with my wife on a beautiful beach like Happy Bay.

Once you get through the anticipation and then the excitement when you take off your bathing suits, you’ll feel a little crazy. You’ll wonder why you felt so much anxiety for something that is so simple and feels so natural. Amazing how good it feels when all you’re wearing is a smile.  In an hour, it will feel like you’ve been doing this your entire life. By the end of the day, you’ll be walking the entire beach in the buff and holding hands playing in the ocean.

Happy Bay Beach is the perfect beach for couples and many return year after year. I believe it could be your favorite nude beach too. So here’s how you find this wonderful beach.

As you’re headed from Grand Case to Frairs Bay, you’ll see a basketball court on your right. Take the first right turn (Rue Happy Bay) after going by the court. You’ll see a gate at the end of the road. This is was the entrance to the resort. If you can, there is a parking lot on the right. If not, park on the street. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk to the beach. It’s on a road/path the entire way that is well marked and not at all strenuous. There is also a path from Frairs Bay but I’ve never taken it and don’t know the route.

Rather than tell you where to go next, I thought our pictures would be best:

IMG_0623
Here is the parking lot for Happy Bay Beach. While we haven’t heard of any problems, it’s probably best to take your valuables with you.

 

IMG_0610
After parking, there is a path to the right of the gate that will take you to an easy step over the wall and onto the road leading to the beach.

 

IMG_0613
The trail/road is well marked even as Mother Nature continues to reclaim what remains of the resort.

 

IMG_0614
You’ll see many of the original hotel rooms and buildings. They’ve seen better days. We stayed clear of them. The road goes by them.

 

IMG_0616
After going by the resort buildings the road becomes a dirt path and starts to go steadily down to the beach. You’re almost there!

 

IMG_0617
There is a slight turn in the road and you’ll see the ocean for the first time. Just a few minutes more.

 

IMG_0618
Finally the trail reaches the beach. From this sign you can go left to the clothed/topless section of the beach or to the right to the nude/clothing optional section. While everyone sets up their towels in different spots, we walked the length of the beach naked. No one cared at all. It really is a friendly, laid back beach.

 

IMG_0619
This is the north end of the beach, which tends to be nude/clothing optional. Get naked and get comfortable. To me, this beautiful beach captures the very best in a nude beach experience: beautiful, laid back, not crowded, paradise.

 

IMG_0620
Looking to the south of Happy Bay Beach, you’ll see the rest of the beach where the snack bar and path to Frairs Bay is found.

 

IMG_0622
Happy Bay has a sand bottom and very little wave action. Each day we were there sailboats anchored and often their guests came ashore for lunch or to play in the waves. Most came on shore naked. Don’t be surprised if you see a few jet ski tours that come by too. Don’t worry about covering up. The tourists usually keep to themselves or drop their suits and go skinny dipping in the ocean.

We brought our lunch, snacks and plenty of wine during our visit. You can also go to the snack bar which provides water, beer, soda and BBQ foods. We of course packed up our trash so that future visitors can see the beach as beautiful and unspoiled as we did.

Regarding nudity and Saint Martin, technically nudity is only permitted on Orient Beach and all beaches can be used top free. There are however many unofficially nude/clothing optional beaches like Petites Cayes,  Cupecoy beach and others. If someone asks you to cover up, you should out of respect for the locals and the law.

Please note that Happy Bay is used by the locals on the weekends and on Sunday’s the Police do patrol the beach to make sure everyone covers up (go to Orient Beach on Sunday’s).

Perhaps even more important is preserving Happy Bay Beach and keeping it natural and pristine. Respect the beach and nature and please don’t leave any garbage. Or better yet, pick up what others have left behind. And while Happy Bay is unofficially clothing optional, it is not a place to get it on with your spouse or partner. Nudity does not mean sex or intimacy. Enjoy your time together naked but keep intimacy for your bedroom. Trust me, after spending the day naked together, your alone time will be extra special later on.

This is the second of three blogs detailing our recent trip to Saint Martin. Look for blogs about another wonderful quiet clothing optional beach called Petite Cayes and a blog post about taking a naked vacation with friends. Have you been to St. Martin? We’d love to hear your thoughts on your experiences on the island and why it’s a perfect destination for couples to try nude recreation.

The Perfect Saint Martin Beach for First Time Skinny Dippers: Petite Cayes

Say “Saint Martin” to any nudist or frequent Caribbean traveler and you’ll immediately hear about the most well-known and popular clothing optional beach in the islands: Orient Beach. It has it all. Beautiful sand. Easy surf. Lots of dining, drinking and lounging opportunities. It also has lots of people on it and to the couple trying nude sunbathing for the first time a crowd can be intimidating.

Orient Beach
The Famous Club Orient Sign on Orient Beach. You’re not in Kansas anymore Dorothy. Here you can drop your bikini and swimsuit and enjoy a fantastic nude experience.

For many nude beach newcomers, Orient Beach is often their first experience. This is probably because of Saint Martin’s French influences (it’s half Dutch and half French) and as a popular cruise ship destination. In reality, while the entire beach is topless, the south end of the beach next to Club Orient is the only nude/clothing optional part of the beach. You can’t miss it. The yellow umbrellas and historic sign greet most visitors before they see their first naked bottom or boob. By the time you’ve walked the beach to Club Orient’s Papagayo restaurant, you’ll have seen what a nude beach like Orient is all about. Couples and families of all ages talking, sleeping, eating, drinking, swimming, and all naked as the day they were born. It’s relaxing and fun.

 

beach-couple-island-naked-Favim.com-5141034
You’ll know you’re on Orient Beach when you see the bright yellow umbrellas and the bare bottoms. Photo courtesy of http://castawaystravel.com/

To the couple ready to drop the swim suit or bikini bottoms and try nude recreation, Orient Beach is a wonderful place to try it. Simply put, you won’t stand out. You’ll be lost in a sea of nakedness. Tan bodies really do seem to blend together when there aren’t any tanlines or bold swim suit colors to make your body stand out. You’ll also have access to liquid courage with lots of bars on the beach and numerous lunch/snack locations.

justnakedcouplestumbler
Nude couple exploring Saint Martin’s Cupecoy Beach. Simply put there is no better way to experience a beach than with your spouse or partner in the buff. Photo from http://graymark52.tumblr.com/post/40190227223/nudebeaches-cupecoy-st-martin

My wife and I first traveled to Saint Martin nearly 15 years ago and we spent most of our time naked at Orient Beach. It really was wonderful to enjoy our naked time together without the concern of offending anyone or being part of someone’s holiday photo collection.  And while I’d recommend to any couple headed to Saint Martin for the first time to try spending the day nude together at Orient Beach, there are several other less crowded and unbelievably beautiful clothing optional beaches on the island to visit too.

If this is your first time reading our blog, my wife and I have been going on nude vacations for nearly 20 years. What started as a, “Do you want to try it” discussion when we were dating has turned into many great memories visiting beautiful beaches and resorts around the Caribbean, Pacific and U.S. The purpose of our blog is to provide information to other couples interested in trying nude recreation. It has been a wonderful connection point for my wife and me. It is intimate but not in a sexual way. Sexual touching and intimacy are not appropriate at the nude beaches and resorts we attend. That’s better for time spent together in the privacy of your own room.

IMG_0641
The beginning of our journey to Petites Cayes beach.

I often say how do you make a beautiful beach or resort better… make it clothing optional and then you truly are relaxed.  We’ve also met many wonderful couples through our travels. Many who are friends of ours today. Our nude vacations are our little secrets and Petite Cayes is one of those quiet, secret beaches that most people will never see but to me, capture all that is wonderful about experiencing a nude beach with your spouse and friends.

IMG_0670
Petites Cayes beach near Anse Marcel is a true Caribbean gem and a perfect for a couples first nude beach experience.

So how do you get to one of the most beautiful beaches on Saint Martin? Park next to the trash dump. Believe me it gets better. For those that are willing to take the 30-45 minute hike on the slope of a steep hill and across rocky beaches and terrain, Petite Cayes is paradise. Like most nude or clothing optional beaches we’ve visited, you’ve got to want to be there. For us the hike was just part of the journey and while difficult at times, it was just beautiful scenery.

Rather than tell you about the hike, we thought it best to show it to you. It really is an amazing hike to a fantastic quiet little beach.

IMG_0637
When you start your hike to Petites Cayes beach make sure you have everything you’ll need all day. Remember to bring water, food, suntan lotion/sunblock and extra clothing. Most importantly, remember to pack out whatever you bring in.

 

IMG_0652 (1)
Views like this one are why I love nude beaches. The beach is the reward. The journey is the adventure. And what an adventure it was.

 

IMG_0644
The hike is over rocks and steep slopes next to the ocean and beach below. Difficult at times but safe.

 

IMG_0658
The trail can be a little tough to find but you won’t get lost.

 

IMG_0659
The views from the trail to Petites Cayes beach are breathtaking. Be sure to bring your camera.

 

IMG_0661
The views and terrain keep getting better and better. You’re seeing St. Martin’s beautiful coastline and going where few others go to Petites Cayes beach.

 

IMG_0664
You’re almost to Petites Cayes beach. Final hike is across a rocky beach.

 

IMG_0667
You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see this stunning view of Petites Cayes beach.

 

IMG_0668
Welcome to Petites Cayes. Few make the trip but those who do are in for an amazing beach experience.

 

IMG_0671
Find your own perfect spot on Petites Cayes beach. Go skinny dipping in the waves. Enjoy the sun and sound of the surf. It’s the perfect nude beach experience.

 

So after your 30-45 minute hike, (there is a second route from Anse Marcel but it is more strenuous), you’ll find yourself on a beautiful half moon beach. Find your spot in the sun and get comfortable. For many first timers, this is the hardest moment. Time to get naked. Take a deep breath and do what you’re comfortable with. Bare as much as you’re comfortable with on the beach or do what I’d recommend. Drop your swimsuit, bikini top and bottom and sit down and apply lots of sunscreen. Remember, body parts that have never seen the sun before tend to burn very easily.

By the time you’re done putting on your sunscreen or suntan lotion, you and your spouse will realize that you’re naked. No one is staring. It feels wonderfully natural. Enjoy the warmth of the sun and breeze on your naked skin. For me, sitting beside my wife and feeling warm all over is one of the most amazingly freeing and relaxing feelings ever. When you’re ready, head down to the surf and splash in the waves. The wave action can get rough depending on weather and time of year. We were able to body surf in the waves.

The day we visited, there were no more than 20 people on the beach at any given time. While we and our friends were the only ones naked the entire time, everyone was friendly and gave each other plenty of space. More than a few other couples hiking to the beach saw us, stripped and went skinny dipping in the water with us. It’s hard not to be friendly when you’re naked.

We enjoyed lunch, snacks and plenty of wine and punch during our visit. We of course packed up our trash (remember, we did park next to the trash dump) so that future visitors could see the beach as beautiful and unspoiled as we did.

Regarding nudity and Saint Martin, technically nudity is only permitted on Orient Beach and all beaches can be used top free. There are however many unofficially nude/clothing optional beaches like Petites Cayes, Happy Bay, Cupecoy beach and others. If someone asks you to cover up, you should out of respect for the locals and the law. Beaches like Happy Bay are often used by the locals on the weekends and on Sunday’s the Police do patrol the beach to make sure everyone covers up (go to Orient Beach on Sunday’s).

Perhaps even more important is preserving Petites Cayes and keeping it natural and pristine. Respect the beach and nature and please don’t leave any garbage. Or better yet, pick up what others have left behind. And while Petites Cayes is unofficially clothing optional, it is not a place to live out your beach sex fantasy. Nudity does not mean sex or intimacy. Enjoy your time together naked but keep intimacy for your bedroom. Trust me after spending the day naked together, your alone time will be extra special later on.

This is the first of three blogs detailing our recent trip to Saint Martin. Look for future blogs about Happy Bay Beach and taking a naked vacation with friends. Have you been to St. Martin? We’d love to hear your thoughts on your experiences on the island and why it’s a perfect destination for couples to try nude recreation.

 

Top image from USA Today article: Caribbean in the Buff: Top Nude Resorts… http://experience.usatoday.com/caribbean/story/best-of-caribbean/2015/03/26/best-nude-resorts-in-the-caribbean/9879267/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Say I do to a Nude Honeymoon

It was our honeymoon to Tahiti/French Polynesia where my wife and I got comfortable with social nudity. It really wasn’t what we expected. Knowing that topless beaches were the norm in Tahiti, we thought we could find our own private little island (motu) and leave the bathing suits in the canoe. I thought of us exploring the island naked and enjoying the sun and surf of our own tropical paradise.  That didn’t happen, but what did, we still laugh about today.
That said my beautiful bride shed her bikini top on day one and didn’t put it back on until we got home to the Midwest USA. This was one of our first experiences with one of us/both of us being nude in front of others and it was wonderful. The irony was even though we were around topless couples all day for more than a week, it was the time we spent together and my wife enjoying the freedom of not wearing her bikini top that made it so memorable.
back-freedom-girl-sea-Favim.com-1675967
Are you a woman nervous about sunbathing nude? Try topless sunbathing first. Get comfortable in your own skin.
Would we have considered a nude honeymoon at a nude, not clothing optional resort like Hidden Beach Resort in Mexico? Probably not, but we were only in our 20s then. Going to a nude beach was on our list. If we were getting married today though, a nude resort would be our first choice for our honeymoon and there are lots of locations across the world to consider.
Recently I received an email from a young woman we’ll call “Busy Bride.” She is in her late 20s and was planning her dream honeymoon to match her beautiful wedding later this summer. She and her fiance had booked a cruise but were having problems with the cruise company. After souring on a cruise, she started to look at all-inclusive resorts and came across our blog post on Couples Sans Souci in Jamaica. She hadn’t considered a nude honeymoon before. She contacted me to say she loved the idea of it but had lots of questions. Busy Bride provided the following blog post about her honeymoon planning and why she and her fiance are excited about their nude honeymoon this summer. Enjoy. I’m really excited for the honeymoon she and her fiance have planned.
58-Nude-Couple-in-Water
Enjoying the great outdoors with your spouse and no swimsuit has been some of the best experiences we’ve ever had. Image from http://www.orientbeach.com
We had booked a cruise for our upcoming honeymoon. Neither of us had ever cruised before and were really excited. There was a glitch during their cyber Monday sales and they would not honor the price.  Everyone I spoke was hospitable and patient but unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, one manager was particularly rude, harsh, and was the deciding factor on our choice to cancel our cruise and look elsewhere.
After coming across an article on TripAdvisor about the differences between Sandals, Couples, and Secrets, I came across a review about Couples Sans Souci that mentioned a nude beach on the resort. Not clothing optional. Nude only. I was intrigued and Googled Couples San Souci nude beach. The third search result was a blog entry titled, Jammin Naked in Jamaica: Couples San Souci Perfect for First Timers.”
thumb_IMG_6158_1024
The main beach, not the nude one, and A and B Buildings at Couples Sans Souci
I was intrigued and read through the blog. I had never before even considered going to a nude beach. Sure, I had skinny dipped a few times as a teenager and when I was a little, I ran through the sprinkler butt naked too. What kids don’t? But I’d never considered being nude as an adult, in public, much less socially.
Something about the blog entry struck a chord in me though. Thinking about being naked with my new husband was thrilling. Not in a sexual way, but in a scary way, like the feeling you get at the top of a roller coaster you’ve never been on before. So I started researching nude all-inclusive resorts.
Hidden Beach, Couples Sans Souci, Couples Tower Isle, and Hedonism II are a few of what I found initially before sending a note to TC for his advice. Hedonism is not for us, at least not at this point in our lives. Couples Sans Souci seemed lovely, as did Tower Isle.
Hidden Beach Resort looked amazing and very luxurious like a spa resort! My only issue with Hidden Beach Resort was that it was all nude, all the time. No exceptions. I was ready and willing to jump in without a life jacket at this point after reading quite a few entries from TC’s Clothing Optional Trips blog, but I had yet to bring up the topic with my fiance.
So I posted a question to TC to see if he had been to these resorts and what his opinions were. We connected and he gave me all sorts of valuable input about his experiences and opinions of different beaches/resorts he and his wife had been to and also a few very important questions and some advice. He asked questions like, “Had I spoken to my fiance about this? Were we equally interested in trying social nudity? Had either of us tried it before?” He also pointed out things not everyone might think of, but everyone would wish they had thought of: for example, sunscreen is your best friend for pale areas that see little to no sun. Nobody wants sunburn on their privates. What a way to ruin a honeymoon, right?
Speaking of honeymoon, the reason we had initially chosen a cruise was because we wanted exotic, we wanted different, we wanted unique. We thought a Caribbean cruise that hit more than one location would be ideal. More bang for the buck, plus included, bottomless drinks! The more we thought about it, after the customer service slip up, we realized we hadn’t thought of the multitude of other passengers, possible screaming rowdy children, tight cabins, and the feeling of being herded off the boat and back on the boat once in port. Not really a romantic honeymoon situation.
We do want to cruise, just later. Probably when we can afford a suite, so many years from now…. haha. When I posed the idea of “au natural honeymoon” to my fiance he was initially shocked. The fact I was asking him was what shocked him most. After the initial surprise he said he was interested, but that Hidden Beach Resort seemed a little too much to start with.
I was disappointed I admit. The resort looks so luxurious and I love the idea of being nude all day every day and can’t wait to try it, but it will be a trip for later. I want my fiance to be comfortable and enjoy our first time together naked and not to cringe and dread it.
After ruling out Hidden Beach we looked into St. Maarten, which was recommended to us by TC because of budget. We initially wanted an all inclusive because we thought we’d save money that way since it was ALL INCLUDED. But, we looked into VRBO.com and found a gorgeous 2 bedroom vista right on a cliff on the Dutch side of the island. It had a private pool, gorgeous views, private deck, no neighbors in sight, and a beautiful feature window in the master bedroom in front of a long soaking tub. Yes please! We checked with the owner and they said it was fine if we wanted to ditch clothes and lounge au natural all day, every day. There were no neighbors to offend, and we would have the schedule of the service people who clean the home twice a week. We would save quite a bit of money by sacrificing being waited on hand and foot as we would have been at Hidden Beach. Its definitely a luxury we will need to indulge in for an anniversary maybe in the future. We still get to honeymoon someplace exotic on a beautiful island, laying out naked, poolside, with ocean views. And if we are brave enough to want to try more (which I think we will be) there are nude, or topless, beaches all around St. Maarten! There were many other reasons we chose St. Maarten that TC pointed out for us, and we researched deeper after his recommendations, and we are so excited for our upcoming honeymoon!
I am so happy I stumbled across Clothing Optional Trips blog. I never would have considered trying social nudity with my fiance, much less for the first time and on our honeymoon, if I hadn’t come across the blog.
When it comes down to it the honeymoon is supposed to be this unforgettable experience that you remember fondly year after year. It’s supposed to be possibly the best trip a couple takes together, or one of the best at the very least. When resorts like Sandals market to future honeymooners they’re selling that “unique, one-of-a-kind” experience that couples can get only at that resort!
When I thought about whether we were cancelling our cruise and pursuing someplace where we could be nude publicly and socially together, what sold me was this: What’s more unique, more romantic, more unforgettable than going au natural for the first time, together as newlyweds? And so we cancelled the cruise and booked that home on St. Maarten! We can’t wait! Thanks again for all your help and recommendations TC!
I can’t wait to hear about their trip and yes, I’m telling them about all the great places to enjoy nude on St. Martin (French side)/ St. Maarten (Dutch side).
So did you enjoy a nude experience on your honeymoon and no I’m not talking about what happens in your bedroom. Where would you recommend newlyweds go to experience nudism after their big day? Resorts, beaches, all-inclusives? Let us know your thoughts and what you would recommend to couples like Busy Bride and her fiance.

Every Beach Needs to Be Clothing Optional and Here’s Why…

Yes this post is my opinion as to why every beach should have a clothing optional section but my reasons for this are probably not what you would think. Follow me and see if you agree. /Cover photo from PeterGreenberg.com

kardash
There is nothing real about the Kardashians yet they are role models to many young women and men.

Nothing about the Kardashian family and their “reality” is real. Yet they are undeniably the hottest thing in Hollywood and are role models (dear God did I just write that?) to countless fans including many young women. Their fashion, their product endorsements and their bodies sell.

While I disagree with a lot about what the Kardashian sisters represent, it’s their bodies that I have the most trouble with and why I wrote this post. I know you’re asking, “What do the Kardashians have to do with promoting access to clothing optional/nude beaches across the U.S.?”

kardashians-600x450
2007 photo of the girls. Source Instagram and People magazine.

Simply put, the Kardashian girls’ bodies are fake. They are fiction, while the bodies on a clothing optional beach are real. In this time when women and men struggle with body image and being positive about themselves, why would we ever promote the Kardashians or any other Hollywood stars or models as  having normal bodies.

Google Kardashian and plastic surgery and you’ll see their bodies are more fiction than fact. The “look” they are creating is focused on body perfection and sex. Ironically two things you should never see on a nude or clothing optional beach. Yet, as a society we promote them as symbols of what is beautiful or sexy in the world today even though their bodies literally come with a price and set a standard that most women will never achieve nor should they try.

haulover
Haulover Beach in Miami on a busy day. There are few places better to enjoy nude recreation than Haulover.

So why should every beach have a clothing optional section? Because on nude/clothing optional beaches you see real bodies. You see people with all types of body types and ages who are perfect in their own special way. Yes, some people have had “work done.” If you thought it was easy to identify fake breasts while clothed, trust me it is even easier on a topless beach. I’m trying not to judge, but my point is that when you spend time on a nude/clothing optional beach you become part of a shared community. By bearing all to everyone, you see quickly that no one is perfect by Kardashian standards, but perfect they are perfect in their own special way.

Yes you will see lots of different looking people. I always tell people to understand what a nude beach is like, go to a mall or other crowded place and watch the next 100 people who pass you by. Now imagine them naked. That’s it. Some people you would find attractive, others not so much, but that’s not the point. They aren’t there for your viewing pleasure. Just like a community, most people are wonderfully average. And when you do see them naked, you’re all equal. That said, you don’t go to a clothing optional beach to see or be seen. You go because of how it makes you feel when you’re there. Writer Emma Sloley captures the sights of a Croatian nudist resort beautifully in her article, Nudist Always Play Volleyball. Give it a read and you’ll see what I mean.

haulover-beach-scene
A couple enjoys nude sunbathing at Haulover Beach State Park, Bal Harbour Florida. photos by Max Hartshorne. From the website: http://www.gonomad.com/1235-haulover-beach-florida-the-ultimate-nude-beach

Perhaps the most important reason why every beach should have a clothing 0ptional section is so that young adults and children can see their bodies are beautiful just the way they are. They don’t need to be ashamed of how skinny or large they are. They don’t need to worry about their breasts or hips being too big or too small. They don’t need to measure their tummies or thighs. Young men don’t need to be concerned about being too skinny or too weak. They need to see all bodies as beautiful and not imperfect. We need to de-sexualize a woman’s breast and hips and a man’s penis and see them for what they are… skin, bone and muscle. We need to provide women with equal rights to decide when and where they want to shed their clothing and at the very least enjoy the same rights men do.

We all need to see the badges we wear on our bodies that come with age. These are badges of honor. I am always amazed by what I see when I’m on a nude beach. I see the scars from life saving surgeries. I see healed wounds from accidents. I see pregnant women glowing from future motherhood in the sun. I see women who have had mastectomies. I see men with large bellies. I see c-section scars and stretch marks. I see amputations. I see the effects of living a long, wonderful life such as wrinkles and sagging butts, boobs and balls, not to mention muscles and skin. I see birthmarks. I see burns. While it might not all be pretty like the Kardashians, it’s real and this is what we all should appreciate and accept.

haulover-beach
Yes every beach should be clothing optional but I agree every beach also needs signs so that those who don’t want to see, can turnaround. Photo Source: Miami Herald

Equally important is that clothing optional beaches need to be everywhere so that they are easy to find, easy to access and easy to enjoy. Today in the U.S., clothing optional beaches, nudist clubs and nude vacations spots carry an unfair stigma. They are not dens of odd people doing immoral things that children should be kept from. Instead, they are filled with people spending time with their loved ones and friends while enjoying the freedom to be nude and to celebrate the sun without being judged or threatened.

Perhaps most important to why all beaches should have a clothing optional section is access to information. The internet today provides pictures (clothed or naked) of the Kardashians at the click of a button. Anyone can see these images, yet we can’t all go to a clothing optional beach or place and see what real people looks like.

So why am I writing this post today? First off because of women like Chelsea Covington (@gingerbread) and her efforts to bring topless freedom to all women through her actions #freethenipple and her blog: Breasts are healthy. She has been arrested for her belief but continues to change opinions and promote discussion about topless freedom for all women.

Second, because of nudist advocates like Felicity Jones and her efforts to educate not only for topfreedom but positive body image and body acceptance for all. She speaks to young adults and demonstrates all of the positives of today’s nudist/naturism messages. Her blog is youngnaturistamerica.

Third, because of a DM I received from a twitter follower with nice comments about our blog while pointing out how extremely negative body image has become. He mentioned a friend who said she’d love to try nude recreation but was concerned about the look of her labia. Really? What society has done to women and their bodies is unacceptable. Furthermore, it sickens me that their our doctors who will profit from this surgery.

Finally, I’m selfish. I live in the Midwest US by the Great Lakes (Lake Erie) and there are no public, legal, approved clothing optional beaches on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes anywhere. We are an hour from Cleveland and there is no where we can go nude in public on Lake Erie without the risk of breaking the law. My wife and I instead go to Haulover Beach in Miami or Black’s Beach in San Diego. We love it, but wow, what a long way to go to enjoy the sunshine.

Alright, I’m off my soapbox. But before I leave you, I read a beautiful quote from the blog Meandering Naturist about naturism in France. Read and see if you agree.

“France will always be the place where naturism genuinely made sense to me – in a way that I had dreamt it should be – and for that, I am forever grateful to the people who are able to say “a breast is a breast, a penis is a penis, and it appears everyone sports a remarkably similar pair of buttocks!”  Viva la France.

That’s my opinion. What’s yours?

 

 

 

 

New Mexico Hot Springs Perfect for First-Time Couples to Spring into Social Nudity

 

img_9409
What could be better than soaking naked in the San Antonio Hot Springs in New Mexico?

So what’s the perfect way to relax and literally soak in Mother Nature and all of her beauty? There is no better place to take it all off and try nude recreation than a hot spring. It is the perfect low/no stress environment to see what getting naked in nature really feels like for you and your significant other.

Earlier this summer we published an updated list of activities to do naked with your spouse or significant other. These were from readers of our first blog post on the topic who made suggestions of activities they would recommend. One of those suggestions was soaking in a wilderness hot spring. I added it to my list and after visiting one in New Mexico, I would recommend it to anyone. It’s like having your own hot tub but so much better.

 

img_9401
Hot clear water washing over my feet. Does it get any better?

I was visiting Santa Fe on business and had an extra day. Rather than stay in town, which is tempting because it’s a really great city to explore, I decided to see what hikes were recommended in the mountains. I quickly discovered that New Mexico is known for many amazing hot springs including several with fantastically scenic hikes to reach them and most of them clothing optional (you can be naked, topless or in your swimming suit… the choice is your’s).

The hot springs I read about really were all different. Some were very remote and hard to reach, while others were right off main roads and very crowded. Some had been purchased and turned into spas, while others were “trashed” by tourists and locals. Here is a list I found very helpful.

The one hot springs I kept reading about that appealed to me the most was the San Antonio Hot Springs. It features an amazingly scenic and beautiful five-mile hike by a creek up a canyon. The hike goes over a variety of landscapes but you’re climbing with every step up the canyon. The views are amazing.

img_9398
There is no better way to experience nature and be free than taking it all off and soaking in a hot spring

I did the hike in early October and it was warm. I did it in late afternoon/early evening because I wanted to sit out and watch the stars fill the sky (bring a flashlight). The hike will take between 1.5-2.5 hours or however long it will take you to walk five miles up hill. Bring water. There is no water available on the hike. The hike alone was the highlight of my day, but that’s when I got to the hot springs.

The hike ends after passing an abandoned barn and cabin with four beautiful pools of water cascading down a hillside overlooking the creek and cliffs of the canyon. A hot spring fills the top pool and the water flows from one to the next. The top pool is 105 F and the temperature falls with each pool.

img_9400
Four soaking pools to enjoy – all at different temperatures – at the San Antonio Hot Springs

I was alone when I got to the springs. I took off my clothing and jumped into the top pool and enjoyed the soak while looking out at the cliffs, stream and the forest all around me. The water was crystal clear and actually a bit too warm for me. After 15 minutes, I had to take a seat on the rocks surrounding the pool to cool off. Sitting in the hot springs with stunning natural surrounding all around is an amazing feeling. The water is unbelievably comfortable and the four pools have sand bottoms so you can sit in them without the pain of a rock pinching your bottom.

I would call the San Antonio hot springs a little gem hidden in the New Mexico wilderness. You’ve really got to want to be there because it’s not an easy hike to it. From what I saw online, the springs can be very crowded. The area around the hot springs  was a little beat up from the summer hiking season, but I found very little trash. The hot spring pools themselves were wonderfully maintained.

img_9396
Looking up at the San Antonio Hot Springs.

I stayed and soaked for nearly two hours, watching the sunset give way to the stars. It was an unbelievable night. My only complaints were that my wife wasn’t with me to enjoy it and that I was the only one there. The best part of social nudity is just that… social. I have yet to meet another person or couple nude in a hot tub that I didn’t enjoy talking with and sharing stories. While I was there for me, I would have enjoyed talking to other people too.

img_9399
Hot 105F degree water coming out of the mountain and into the pools at San Antonio Hot Springs in New Mexico

Sound like something you might want to try? I’m sure you have questions.

First off, there is nothing more wonderful than getting naked with your significant other on a beach, pool or in this case, hot springs. While you’ll be anxious at first, most people quickly realize that it really feels great. You’ll feel “exposed” and uncomfortable for a few minutes. Once the, “Are we crazy, what are we doing feeling wears off,” you’ll feel very comfortable and actually will get a rush from it. Sound cliche I know, but you’ll feel free, open and once the anxiety wears off, really good. And yes, because every guy asks about this, it isn’t uncommon to get an erection the first time you watch your significant other get naked. It will pass. Simply put a towel over your penis till it calms down or jump in the water and relaxi. This too shall pass. We recommend either going early or late to avoid other people. Just be prepared with a flashlight, etc.

As a side note, while we wrote this blog post for couples, if you’re a single woman who wants to try a nude hot spring, Christine Garvin’s article is excellent: “How to Approach Clothing Optional Hot Springs Around the World.” Give it a read.

Second, while I’m sure most couples who have never tried social nudity would want to be by themselves to start, if another couple or group of people are there already and naked, don’t worry about it. Just take your time and do what feels right. From our experiences most guys are all for getting naked and skinny dipping. It might take a little time for your wife/girlfriend to get comfortable. Step into the pool and relax. Once she feels comfortable (and she probably will but on her time frame) let her decide if she wants to take off her bikini top or drop her bathing suit completely. Be encouraging but not demanding. Let it be a shared experience and I promise you, it will be relaxing and fun for both of you.

 

So what do you do if there are other people there and they aren’t naked? Well, the decision is yours. Nudity is legal on U.S. Park Service lands so you are breaking no laws. Do what you’re comfortable with. We’ve been doing this for years and I have no problem taking my clothing off in a place where it is legal and recognized as clothing optional. That said, if someone was there with children, I would ask how much longer they were going to be there to see if we could wait them out or tell them that we intend on using the hot springs naked and discussing where we want to be and where they are. Again, the choice is yours. You’re in control.

I can tell you from what we’ve seen if there are other couples there with their bathing suits on, usually the other couples are waiting for someone to break the “nude” ice. This is what I mean. Read this Yelp Review of the San Antonio Hot Springs from Anthony J, “The three pools are out in the open on a hill side. If you are lucky like we were we saw some nudist in the springs. They were quick to get out and put on bathing suits when they saw us, but when we got to the pools they were very nice. We all had some really good conversation. After an hour of talking we all decided to go skinny dipping. The women were mid 30s and my friends and I were early 20s. That was the first time I’ve ever gone skinny dipping, and it was very enjoyable.” This happens a lot. Nudity is a big deal until you experience it and find it’s not a big deal at all.

We had something similar happen the first time we went to a very small, clothing optional beach in St. Maartin. There were four other younger 20/30 something aged couples, all in their bathing suits and bikinis on the beach when we arrived. As soon as we laid out our towels, I dropped my bathing suit and went skinny dipping in the ocean. By the time I got back to my wife, she had already taken her bikini top off and five minutes later put her bikini bottoms in her bag for safe keeping. By the time I had gotten out of the ocean for my swim, half the guys had already taken off their bathing suits and one woman her top. Within 30 minutes of my wife taking off her bikini and the two of us jumping in the ocean, all four couples were naked. By the time we left the beach, the four other couples were playing in the waves and walking down the beach in the buff like they had done it all their lives. The beach actually became pretty crowded and everyone was naked. This is a long example, but I’m surprised at how often all it takes is just one couple to get naked and everyone joins in.

Finally, and this is really important, so wouldn’t this hot spring be a wonderful place for romance, especially since you’re both naked already?

Nudity does not equal sex. All nudist will tell you one of the first surprises of social nudity is that while it can be romantic for you and your spouse, it isn’t a sexually charged environment. There is a time and place for everything and intimate touching and sex should be done in private, NOT in the open. If you’re lucky enough to have your own private pool or hot tub, go at it. But if you’re in a public place (beach, resort or in this case hot spring), it is a big no-no! Don’t ruin it for others (including families) that may surprise you by jumping in the hot spring while the two of you are getting hot. Sorry, it’s not acceptable.

img_9408
Sun setting over the San Antonio Hot Springs

So are you interested in trying a hot spring for you and your significant other? There are clothing optional hot springs in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon to name a few locations. There are a lot of reviews and locations.  Some have been commercialized and you can rent your own private pool to be naked in or simply away from others. For the San Antonio Hot Springs, the address is: Forest Rd 376 (4 Miles N of FR 126) Jemez Springs, NM 87025. There is no cell phone service in this area.

More importantly, since I’m new to hot springs, if you have been to one and would recommend it as a great first time place for others to try social nudity, please send us a review and your thoughts on why it was a great first time experience for you both.

As anyone who has read our blog before knows, my wife and I are big supporters of enjoying nude vacations and getaways. For more than 20 years, we’ve found our clothing optional trips and adventures to be wonderful shared experiences for the two of us. To a couple who has never tried it before, it’s not what you would initially expect. It should be fun, exciting, freeing and relaxing. It is romantic too, but not sexual.

We started our blog nearly three years ago to encourage, answer questions and provide honest information and support to other couples who are interested in taking a nakation or trading their bathing suits for their birthday suits on an upcoming trip. We’ve found our trips to be very relaxing, romantic and freeing. It really has been a wonderful experience for us and potentially for you too.

Everyday our blog receives visits from 300-500 people interested in learning more. We invite and encourage you to ask questions. There are wonderful beaches to visit, clothing optional resorts to enjoy and completely nude vacations to discover. Please read our blog and let us know your questions and more importantly, share where you would recommend other couples go and what it was like for you.

Enjoy the soak!

Trading your Bathing Suit for Your Birthday Suit: 10 more things to do with your spouse naked.

beautiful-body-casal-couple-Favim.com-765306
Naked time is the best quality time of all. Image from danilek.tumblr.com per Favim.com.

A year ago I wrote about spending all day with my wife naked. We didn’t hang out in our home or in our bedroom or bathroom. We didn’t even sit out on our deck or backyard. Instead we went to a local nudist club and spent all day, outside and enjoyed the sun, the hot summer air, and the other guests. We didn’t wear a thing.  It was much needed together time but it wasn’t sexual. It was fun. It was relaxing. It was energizing. It was wonderful.

Our blog captures our time together and what we like to do naked. This post was by far the most read and most popular I’ve ever written. I shared ten things we enjoy doing together naked when we’re at a nudist club, nude resort or clothing optional beach. I told you what we like to do and asked you to tell us what you like to do naked. If you missed it, click here to give it a read.

Many of you read our thoughts and sent your own. I got to tell you that your ideas were fantastic and my wife and I have added many to our own Naked Bucket List. Before I share these ideas with you, please know the purpose of our blog is to share our experiences so that other couples who are interested in exploring social nudity will know what it’s all about. It’s exciting. It’s fun. It’s sensual but it is not pornographic. As surprising as this might sound to a new-bee nudie, it’s not sexual. There is a time and a place for everything but intimacy or sexual touching is not appropriate in the open at a nudist club, nude resort or beach. That’s not what it’s about.

Being nude with your spouse or special friend is about feeling warm all over and free. I find the first time nude best compared to your first kiss. It’s exhilarating and exciting but you still feel like you might throw up. It’s about sharing time together without holding anything back, including your bathing suit. I could tell you more about why we enjoy being together naked but it’s probably better to share with you what others like to do. So if you’re ever wondering what it would be like or what to do naked here is our new top 10 list of things to do naked with your spouse this summer. Enjoy:

All hands on deck for nude boating & sailing – I told you all last year how much my wife and I enjoyed canoeing naked in Tahiti. Several of you said that sounded great, but we really should try leaving our swimsuits at the dock and riding the waves in a sailboat or motorboat closer to home. And of course dropping anchor and skinny dipping too. I’m on board for this idea.

Nobody puts baby in the corner… especially when she’s dancing naked – You name it, it can be done and enjoyed naked, including dancing. Line dancing? Sure why not. Disco? Okay. Breakdancing? That might leave a mark. Years ago at Hidden Beach Resort my wife and I went to our first nude dance. Even the band was naked. Imagine 35 couples dancing the night away while a Mexican cover band belted out hits from the 80s and 90s in broken English. It was fantastic.

How fast can you run? Now how fast can you run naked? – Sure anyone can compete in a Tough Mudder or Colors Run but do you have what it takes to compete in your Nikes, socks and nothing else? I’m not making this up. Runner’s World even wrote an article about it and I’ve written about White Thorn Lodge’s Naked 5K and Colors Run. Give it a try and remember if you’re not in first, the view never changes.

Nude Day Out with Friends – Okay I never thought this would make our list, but a few weeks ago we went to White Thorn Lodge and met friends there to spend the day in the buff with them. Yes, we met them on Orient Beach on St Maartin and no, none of us were wearing swimsuits then either. We had lunch together. Skinny dipped in the pool. Took a hike. Talked. Laughed. Enjoyed mojitos. Talked some more. We had so much fun we stayed for dinner. Yes, it can be intimidating to think of spending the day naked with friends but when you’ve been out to dinner many times before and enjoyed it, why not? Our friends made a great day even better.

Check out the Heavenly Bodies – No I’m not talking about peeping toms. They suck. I am talking about laying naked under the stars or sitting in a hot tub or pool with your spouse. You’ll see more moons than the one in the sky. Romantic and fun too. We love to do this when we’re visiting a nude resort like Couples Sans Souci. 

How do you stay warm when you’re naked on a cool night? A hot spring of course! Friends of ours love going to nude hot springs in Colorado and California. It sounds awesome and usually has a naked hike to the springs to get there too. Definitely on our list now.

Naked water skiing also known as a power enima. I was surprised when two people suggested this and said it was a blast. I googled it and sure enough, it’s a thing. I’m not one to judge because I’ll try most things once, but the thought of my bare butt (or worse) hitting the water makes me scream in pain just thinking about it. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

When you’re ready to Dive in all the way, try nude snorkeling or scuba diving. This has been on my bucket list for years and I thought I was going to accomplish it when I went to Couples San Souce earlier this year. Unfortunately you can snorkel only on their textile beach, not their nude one. I guess that will wait till next time.

You’ve been served. Naked beach volleyball! Yes, it’s almost cliche to think about nudist and nude volleyball games on the beach or in the pool. I’m not sure why but it is part of the nudist culture. That said, it might be a pickup game in a pool, the semi pro games at Haulover nude beach on the weekends or the Super Bowl of Nude Volleyball each year held at White Thorn Lodge in Western Pennsylvania. Regardless, you’ll have a blast or is it a ball?

So is a nude dog one not wearing a collar? Several people mentioned how much they enjoy taking a walk at a nudist club and bringing their dog with them to walk too. I love walking our dogs but never thought once about bringing them with us to a local club. I would first recommend calling the club to make sure dogs/pets are welcome.  We’ll have to give this one a try.

So here are 10 new ideas to do with your spouse or special friend naked this summer. Let us know if you do any of them and what you think. The next question I usually get is, “Where can my wife and I try some of these activities?” I’ve included links where I can but your best bet is to go to the American Association of Nude Recreation (AANR) website to their club and resort finder app. AANR member clubs and resorts must maintain a high standard to be an accredited club. Not all of these activities will be available at an AANR member club (nude boating or sailing, hot springs?) but most will. I also recommend visiting The Naturist Society (TNS) website for more information about nude recreation.

Better yet tell us what you like to do if we haven’t mentioned it yet. Regardless, remember that social nudity is about you and your partner. It’s fun and always should be. The hardest part is just trying it. Once you’ve gotten over the first “can I do this” hurdle, it’s really easy after that.

 

 

Naked Time is Summer Time: Five Answers to Your Concerns about Getting Naked

tumblr_nu4qhiE6rh1sjx31vo1_500
What’s the most comfortable bathing suit on the beach? No bathing suit!

I’ve always loved summer time, but the older I get the more summer means getting naked and spending time with my wife outdoors. Honestly there is nothing better than feeling the sunshine on your skin and a warm breeze cooling your body. After 45 years, I can honestly say being naked outside on a warm or hot day is the best. Sound like something you and your spouse or special friend might want to try? There is no better time to be naked than summer time.

Our blog is about encouraging couples to try social nudity. For my wife and me, we’ve found it to be a wonderful bonding point. We are not nudist. We live very normal lives in the suburbs. Most days were are getting our children off to school and working long hours at our jobs. We don’t stand around naked in the kitchen or garden in the backyard nude. We’re just like you. Except that we have discovered how wonderful it is to spend time together naked outside. I’m not talking about sexual intimacy. We are not touching each other. That’s not appropriate outside of the privacy of your bedroom. We are just spending time and hanging out with other naked couples who like to do the same thing.

This summer, we invite you to discover the joys of spending time with your spouse or special friend naked because there is no better time to be naked outdoors than when the days are sunny and warm.

So what’s stopping you? Here are five answers to most couples biggest concerns about trying social nudity:

Will we stand Out? Every couple who hasn’t experienced social nudity believes when they are naked everyone will stare at them. The only time you are noticeable at a nude club, resort or beach is when you’re clothed. Once the clothes come off, you look like everyone else… naked.

What if we see someone we know? This was my wife’s biggest concern and one reason we didn’t got to a local nudist club until we were in our mid-30s. Privacy is a big part of nude establishments. It is expected that you will never ask anyone their last name or where they are from. You share only as much information as you would like. While we’ve never run into any friends or even acquaintances while naked, we’ve met several other couples at nudist clubs, beaches and resorts that we’ve become good friends with since meeting. The most important thing to remember if you see someone you know is that they enjoy being naked too. That’s all.

What if we don’t want to be naked around other people? As couples are getting used to social nudity, often they don’t want to be social. That’s okay. This is your time together naked so spend it as you would like to. We’ve seen two types of couples; The ones who want to be social and are playing volleyball in the pool or talking at the bar. They have lot of friends and like to talk. The other group find their own space and relax. Maybe their next to everyone at the pool but just reading books and talking to themselves. Or maybe they’ve found their own space on the beach.

Will someone hit on me or make a romantic or sexual advance? This is a real concern and for us, and it’s never happened. If anyone is making you uncomfortable, tell someone at the club, resort or beach. Nudist clubs, resorts and most beaches have zero tolerance for unwanted sexual advances. When you’re naked, you’re exposed and vulnerable. Nude clubs and resorts do a lot to make sure the environment is safe. Cameras are not allowed. At a nudist club, you will have to give them your driver’s license for a background check. Some nude resorts ask guests sign a code of conduct. I know that it happens but simply telling someone that you’re not interested should be enough.

What if my body doesn’t look good enough to be naked around other people? It’s sad, but this is probably the biggest reason couples don’t try social nudity. In the years since we started this blog, we have received a lot of questions about the “right body” for a nude beach or club. The right body is your body. Your first time nude will be an interesting experience. Yes, there will probably be some good looking people there, but honestly, most people are wonderfully average. No one stands out. Do not be concerned with scars or surgery marks. Do not be concerned about stretch marks or bellies. Do not be concerned about your breasts being too big or too small or one being bigger than the other. Do not be concerned if your penis is too small or too large. Do not be concerned with private tattoos or piercings. Do not be concerned about birthmarks. Do not be concerned if you are completely shaved and without pubic hair or natural or somewhere in between. When you’re naked, you’ll be around some of the most unjudging people ever. Perhaps one of our biggest discoveries was that when you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to be ashamed of or anxious either.

So what other questions do you have? Should you go to a club or a beach? What can we do while we’re there? (check out our blog on what we like to do) What about kids? If you’re going to a club, call ahead. Let them know it’s your first time and ask them what you should expect and what they expect from you. If you’re going to a public beach like Haulover in Miami, Wreck in Vancouver or Black’s in San Diego, read up online to hear where to go and what to bring.

Most of all, enjoy the time together with your spouse. We find our time naked together to be relaxing and recharging. Enjoy!