Mr. W and I spent the weekend camping at our favorite place in the world, a spa retreat where the kitchen is vegetarian only, they make a really excellent cup of coffee in the café, and clothing is optional.
I’m going to let that you marinate on that just for a second. It’s shocking, I know. But it can be healthy to go without meat every now and then. Thank goodness they allow us to cook eggs, though!
This retreat is high up in the hills, after a really windy road. I’m not telling you the name because frankly, I don’t want to see any of you up there naked. There was only one time I was up there at the same time as someone else I knew. It was my dad’s friend, a man who I had known as a child who we affectionately called Clark Kent behind his back because the guy actually looked like him. Needless to say, I had a crush on him all my childhood. So there we were, and I heard his voice. I looked over and saw the profile of his face. More importantly, I saw his ass. I suddenly realized just how naked we all were, and couldn’t bear the thought of seeing any more naked parts of my dad’s friend, especially frontal nudity. So I grabbed Mr. W and pulled him to the side, hiding behind him until this friend has left. When we finally did run into him again and there was no escaping that we were both there at the same time, we were both thankfully clothed. However, I never did see him again after that, and wonder if he purposely went out of his way to not show me the full Monty. I was ok with that.
We’ve been going to this hot springs spa for 3 years now, using it as our close to home sanctuary to clear our heads and unwind before heading back to the real world come Monday morning. Even in the dead of winter we’ll set up the tent, pack the bed with extra blankets, and trek down to the healing waters of the pools. Some nights have reached 20 degrees, and one time we were showered with icy hail while dozens of us marinated in ‘genital soup’. Last October, Mr. W even proposed to me on one of the trails, officially making our sacred spot even more sacred with a promise. And this weekend, we went one last time before our wedding, and before we hit the last two months of wedding crunch time.
When we first started going, being naked around hundreds of other naked bodies was so sexually stimulating, it was almost overwhelming. But after the second time and beyond, the shock of being so naked started to subside. After having been there at least a dozen times or more, I can drop trough with the best of them, not even noticing that my ass is about 5 inches away from some other person getting undressed.
The thing I love most about the retreat is how versatile the bodies are there. There is really very little difference in the amount of beauty a body holds, regardless of their shape and size. I admit, if I were going there looking for someone to be sexually attracted to, there is a certain body shape I would be more prone towards. But if you go there with an open mind, beauty can be found just as easily in the long and lean, the short and round, the curvy, the muscular, the too skinny, the voluptuous… Most of those around the pool area are truly naked. And let me tell you, no body is perfect. Even those 20-something lovelies with tattoos running up their slender sides possess an area I know they are self-conscious about. And even those women with large breasts and even larger mid-sections look like goddesses under the moonlight as they step into the pools. A body considered imperfect in the real world doesn’t stand out as anything out of the ordinary or unpleasant to look at when surrounded by other naked bodies. In fact, the people who choose to hide their nudity under bathing suits stand out awkwardly against the normal scene of exposed skin surrounding them.
Being totally nude in front of hundreds of strangers has given me a new appreciation for the beauty in my own body, dimples and all. While I can feel self-conscious at a public beach wearing my bathing suit, I feel no shame at all as I step totally naked into the pools at the hot springs. I have nothing to hide when I sunbathe completely in the buff out on the deck. There is nothing strange about dressing or undressing in front of people I don’t know in the dressing room.
Frankly, there is a freedom in not wearing clothing. It brings all of us onto equal footing, and everyone belongs to this strange community of different skin colors totally unhidden and out in the open. You just can’t match that in the real world, where clothing often makes us who we are and represents what we are made of. Often we are even recognized more for the style of clothing we have taken on more than anything else. But take away that outer façade, and we are all just beautiful bodies – no better or worse than everyone else. Without these disguises, we are suddenly free to be anything we want to be.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to join a nudist colony or anything. I am actually clothed while I am typing this, and every other day of my life as well. But trust me, if you’ve ever had the curiosity of going to a clothing-optional resort but were scared to, just go. It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced. And there’s nothing sinful or shameful about being naked in front of other naked people. Of course, try to go when I’m not there, mmmkay? Thanks.