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In the summer of 2022, one of my friends shared travel plans to Cap d’Agde, on the French Mediterranean coast: west of Marseille, Montpellier, and close to Sète. The area has the largest and most famous nudist (or naturist) beach in Europe. It reminded me of an adventure I had around 1990.

Tired of big cruise ships, several times I toured the Caribbean on the square-rigger tall ships, owned and operated by Windjammer Barefoot Cruises. I often went alone as Jane was not up to too much travel, but Jesse did go with me on one British Virgin Islands windjammer cruise.

I was alone on this trip, but the 120 or so passengers, quickly loosen up (maybe because they are all barefoot) and friendships are formed. My two new chums on this trip were two guys from New York, about 10 years my juniors. As I felt young in my forties, acted young, and looked younger than my age (most of my life), we quickly became buddies, mostly drinking buddies. The rum runs wild on the windjammers – you wake up at 6:30 AM to a massive bloody Mary bowl and freshly baked honey-sticky buns. Before you ask, coffee is also available. The rest of day can be a continuous string of piña coladas, cuba libres, strawberry daiquiris, planters punches, an so on… And often it was.

The cruise took us from Tortola to Antigua, Saint Kitts, and Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, into the Phillipsburg Bay. The island is divided into the Dutch section in the south and the French section in the north. We heard stories of the nude beach in the French part of the island, and intrepid explorers that we were, we took the shuttle into town, tasted the local beer, rented a small Jeep, and headed north. The beach is about 6 miles from the port.

Club Orient and Orient Beach were not difficult to find, even if you did not speak French, as you can see on the billboard (there is a reason why the photo does not go below the waist – the town ordinance for the protection of children). We arrived at the parking lot and found lovely topless ladies taking care of a dozen of souvenir stalls. We talked to them, me in French and my buddies in New York American English. I noticed that we rarely made eye contact with the vendors, keeping our eyes glued to those beautiful, tanned breasts – very inappropriate, I agree, but as the saying goes, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. We were nicely informed by one gorgeous blonde that it is a true faux pas to take pictures without the previous consent of the person photographed. We bought a cheap souvenir and the ladies consented to have photos taken with us (what a joy).

We walked down to the beautiful beach with white sand and turquoise, crystal clear water. The beach was not crowded, 30 to 50 people spread over a couple of miles. There were about as many men as women. They were young, middle aged, and older. They were not wearing any clothes. Feeling out of place, we found a spot on the sand, and took off our clothes too. Then we went down the beach to explore the local fauna and flora, mostly fauna.

With men, we looked at each other in the face, and performed a very discrete, quick scan of the lower parts (it’s an art), probably to compare sizes; seems to be a male obsession. Our study of the women was shameless and anatomical, studying all the shapes and forms, curvatures and lines, and not to forget the nooks and crannies.
Unfortunately, the novelty and excitement lasted less than 15 minutes. As to the men, I probably decided that I was average enough for it not matter. As for the women, the review of the sizes and shapes of breasts, became boring after the twentieth pair. Then came the realization that walking or standing naked women do not really have much to hide – patch of pubic hair or the shaved pubis, do not represent a lasting area of interest. You cannot feel the excitement of a voyeur if the objects of your desire are uncovered and in great quantity. I basically went back to admiring pretty faces, shapely legs, and nice buttocks. I must admit, that unlike many of my American male compatriots, the obsession with the size of female breasts, as in “the more the better”, was never my priority – small or medium size is quite alright with me.

While we were walking and admiring, we saw an interesting albeit incongruous scene near some bungalows probably belonging to the Club Orient. A group of landscaping workers stood around an older gentleman, obviously the manager; he was Caucasian. The workers were all locals, black, and wearing one-piece, blue, work uniforms with long pants and long sleeve shirts. The manager, who apparently gave them their next assignments, in French, was only wearing a watch, and nothing else. He looked good with his white hair and dark, tanned skin. A scene I will always remember.

Our mission of acquiring nudist experience ended and we decided to take advantage of the pristine Caribbean waters and go for a swim. The water was warm, clear and we were greeted by pretty, colorful fish. All sizes, from an inch to maybe six inches. As I swam and dove, the warm water was caressing my skin and the sun above made the experience heavenly. Then, a strange thought popped from somewhere in my silly subconscious mind: I am naked, unprotected, exposed to the elements. But it was not any element that bothered me. The resemblance between my free-swimming penis and a worm started to nag me. Do the fish see that too? What if one of them tries to test the theory? I started looking suspiciously at the larger specimens and could not stop thinking that they were circling with a purpose and intent. After a while, anxiously swimming ashore, looking behind me if anything was in pursuit, I got out of the water and decided to safely suntan on the white sand. Then I started wondering about the circling seagull, that looked hungry.

Maybe nudism is not for me…

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