5 lessons to survive the nudist beach
Lesson 1: Do accessorize
What Nudists Do: They never show up completely empty-handed. The sheer number of hats, visors, and fancy sunglasses surprised me—but it made sense. How do you stand out when everyone is naked? You wear a cock ring. Or an East Asian style hat. Or a bright orange watch. Point is: People will always try to express their individuality through their attire, even when they have nothing to wear.
What You Can Learn: Women notice. Researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio found that women were more likely to choose Porsche drivers over Honda Civic drivers for a date. “It’s not just about cars, it’s the concept of ‘peacocking,’” says Jill Sundie, Ph.D., professor of marketing at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and author of the study. “Men buy flashy products to attract women—and it works.”
Worth noting: Flashy cars and accessories only work if you want a short-term partner, according to the study. Those looking for a casual relationship should consider a fancy watch, neon hat (Just do us all a favor: Avoid the cock rings.)
Lesson 2: Do have good posture
What Nudists Do: They tend to emphasize the wrong, um, assets. Take Mr. Handsome, for example. While the nickname isn’t entirely deserved, Mr. Handsome is infamous on the nude beach. Dedicated nudists go so regularly that they become friends—or, at least, know each other by name—and sometimes, nickname.
I was quite happy when Mr. Handsome approached me. He was a trove of insider dirt. I told him it was my first time at the beach, and the guy spilled everything. He told me stories about “Big Jimmy” and his girlfriend, confessed that women in bathing suits are sexier, and laughed about the time he took pictures with clothed tourists.
His posture, though, was completely unforgivable. I’m no prude: I’d expected to see some X-rated stuff. But Mr. Handsome sat in a way that made his junk the constant centerpiece of the conversation. While his friend knelt confidently beside me, Mr. Handsome leaned back so far that his face was hardly in our field of vision. His manhood, however, remained front and center.
What You Can Learn: Don’t shove your junk in her face. When you’re talking to a woman, you want to be relaxed, but standing tall, like Mr. Handsome’s friend—not slouched. “Straight, open posture shows authority,” says Vanessa Bohns, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto studying human interaction and social relationships. “It’s commanding and attractive.”
Lesson 3: Do know when to end the conversation
What Nudists Do: Halfway through my chat with Mr. Handsome, I was over it. Somewhere between the 90-degree weather and the unwanted view of his ball sack, I wanted out. But, like most socialized human beings, I’m just too damn polite to simply say, Please go away. Instead, I went with I think I’m going to buy water. And when that didn’t work, the classic, I’m going to go to the bathroom.
What You Can Learn: Sometimes, we actually need to go to the bathroom or buy water—even if we’re enjoying the conversation. But we’ll talk to you when we come back. If we don’t find you post-bathroom break, it was probably an escape plan.
Lesson 4: Don’t Be Too Self-Deprecating
What Nudists Do: Poke fun at their flaws—repeatedly. I saw a lot of penis at the Beach, and I didn’t exactly avert my gaze the whole time. But I swear, Mr. Handsome, I didn’t notice that your penis was small until you casually mentioned it—five times.
What You Can Learn: It’s true: Humility is hot. Research has even linked self-deprecating humor with attractiveness. But not all jokes are created equal. “It’s better to mention a flaw if it’s obvious that you’re not serious,” says Gil Greengross, Ph.D., and professor of psychology at University of New Mexico. “You don’t want to draw attention to an actual imperfection.” Think of it this way: It’s the difference between joking about your poor math skills as a Nobel Prize winning physicist—and doing so as someone who can’t add three numbers together.
Lesson 5: Don’t go straight to the “invite”
What Nudists Do: I’ll put it this way: “What are you doing after this?” is not the perfect opening line, despite the approach taken by a couple of beachgoers.
What You Can Learn: An instant invite—or even drink offer—will make the woman think you’re only hitting on her because of her looks. Even if that’s true, you need to create substance first. If you’re at a bar, avoid cutting straight to the drink proposal, which says I think you’re hot and I’m trying to get you drunk. Start a conversation first. If she’s into it, offer her a drink, which instead says, I think you’re hot AND I want to continue this already engaging conversation.
As for me? I didn’t exactly find my inner nudist, but I did agree with the “true” nudists, who argue that disrobing isn’t necessarily sexual. Sure, it’s part of sex, but once you’ve seen 100 naked people drinking beer, playing volleyball, and even arguing, you realize that the bare body is only sexual in a very specific setting—one that has nothing to do with a beach. I like to call it, the bedroom.
This great post was written by a woman who had approached a nudist beach for the first time