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I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Nude Beach and More

Two weeks into our month-long stint with the Jersey Shore in-laws, much fun is being had. The crowded house is creating various opportunities for spontaneous bonding and geeky family fun. Impromptu sessions of Mad Libs involving four generations occur (my husband's Grandmother, classy and still beautiful at the age of 85, offers the verb "glide." Her great-grandson O. offers the adjective "crappy.") After seeing Orange and her cohorts in Wordplay, the Old Man and I are doing the New York Times crossword daily, usually with invaluable bits of help from his parents and sister. My goofy-sweet in-house sister-in-law is busy planning my high-strung Brooklyn sister-in-law's impending tea-themed bridal shower, and I am busy trying to make as many inappropriate suggestions for said shower as possible. (Can we have a tattoo artist mark us all indelibly with the names of the bride and groom? Expand the theme to Tea and Tats? How about a wet t-shirt contest? Of course, that would make it Tea and Tits.) My mother-in-law is taking these clearly facetious yet disturbingly insistent suggestions with admirable aplomb.

We are also getting in lots of beach days, which helps greatly at keeping up morale. We've had a day at Manasquan, the beautiful beach community where my Old Man grew up, and a day at Ocean Grove, a pretty shore town that has maintained the super-cool Victorian houses and hotels along its beachfront. Most of our beach time has been logged at Sandy Hook, a long stretch of shoreline near my in-laws' place. Sandy Hook boasts the only nude beach on the Jersey Shore, and last week we spent an afternoon at that particular beach.

The Old Man and I have had plenty of beach days at Sandy Hook's nude beach, even a couple with his folks along for the ride. It's that kind of nude beach. There's a clothing optional section and a please-keep-your-suit-on section, and everyone coexists peacefully and happily. Even in the nude section, the bare-assed beachgoers tend to be in the minority, with lots of dressed and semi-dressed folks mixed in. I really like the nude beach because it's the freakiest beach I've ever been to on the Atlantic coast. (The Pacific coast is another thing - I lived in Venice Beach for a stint, but that's a different story). Weirdness is the norm, even among folks who aren't baring all, and in general the culture seems to be one of acceptance. It's a beach where the tanned and teenaged hardbody emphatically does not rule. The naked folks on Sandy Hook come in all shapes and sizes, and everyone seems very comfortable with their bodies, however big, small scrawny, flabby, or saggy their various parts may be. (Though sometimes I do find myself hoping the nudists have sunscreen on some of those parts...)

The day we went last week the vibe was a bit different, though. The percentage of nudists was markedly higher, and for some reason the vast majority of them seemed to be men, some of whom were not maintaining what I consider the appropriate me-to-you space ratio at the beach. In other words, when sitting on the beach, I don't really care to be face-to-groin with some strange guy's package. Particularly when it is not, in fact, packaged. There was one incident on the day in question that was particularly discomfiting. Sitting on my own on near the water, I looked over my shoulder at my Old Man and O. playing catch further up the beach. They were just starting back toward me and so a minute later, when I sensed someone coming up behind me, I turned expecting to see my guys. Instead, I saw some strange guy's guys swinging free about ten inches away from me, as in "Hello Mr. Cock and Balls, how do you do?" The man in question walked on and the moment passed, but not without eliciting a shudder from me.

Still, I stand by my assertion that the nude beach is cool. One off-kilter day will not scare me away. I am down with any place that rejects the standard double-edged sword of titillation mixed with puritanical fear of the naked human body so evident in most of American culture. Plus, as a pasty-white woman, I appreciate being in an environment where beach beauty is more broadly defined. And even though I will probably never do it (the very thought of nipple burn!), I like the idea that if I ever got the urge, I could strip down to my altogether and frolic in sand, sea, and sun.


Blogger Dawn said...

I would have paid money to have you sau that to his package out loud. Cold, hard cash.

and how bout this theme? Tea and Twats?

10:06 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I would have paid money to have you say that to his package out loud. Cold, hard cash.

and how bout this theme? Tea and Twats?

10:06 AM  
Blogger Poetnyc said...

I've never been to a nude beach but have always wanted to try it. Did you feel more self-conscious with clothes than you would have without?

And as I male, I think I would be concerned about the possibility of what I call IEA (Inappropriate Erection Anxiety). Hmmm...not sure how I'd handle that.

2:32 PM  
Blogger E. said...

Hm. Good question. I probably would have felt more self-conscious without clothes, simply because I rarely appear in public without them. Plus I'd be anxious about getting sand in my cooter.

I do not recall seeing a single erection. But I wonder if that might be an issue, or if not, what prevents it...

Dawn, I'm kind of kicking myself for not saying it outloud, cash or no. But I'm always thinking of the best response after the fact.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Poetnyc said...

Not to put to fine a point on it, so to speak, but the reason behind my IEA is that those darn erections can occur at any moment with neither rhyme nor reason or for good rhyme or good reason. Both of these situations would seem to happen at a nude beach. For instance, if I were to take a nap while lying there in the all-together, all bets would be off as to whether a stiffy would stiffen. As Elaine from Seinfeld once said, "I don't know how you walk around with those things." Well, I don't know either.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

How about a Tea and Bags theme? And isn't "tea" a eumphemism for marijuana?
Last summer I spent a couple of days (with my clothes ONa) at a clothing optional beach and I seriously can't get past the sunburned nipples and sand in the crack issues. Great post- have you read David Sedaris' Naked? I'm sure you can relate.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

That was awesome.

(I always feel like a dork when I love a post and end up with nothing more to say than how much I liked it. Especially in this case, when there was clearly so much to comment upon!!!)

my favorite attorney blogger was just at that beach recently...freshpepper.blogspot if you're interested. Maybe you guys could all meet up and giggle. :)

2:49 PM  
Blogger allrileyedup said...

I came to your blog from Crazy Hip Blog Mamas, and I'm so glad they brought me to this. Your posts are awesome. If you ever strip down at the beach, cover your boobs with an SPF bronzer for the two weeks beforehand. And if you do get nipple burn, soothe them with cold tea bags.

7:12 AM  
Blogger E. said...

I love how allrileyd's advice fits in with the tea (and tea bag) theme. I may have to get a nipple burn just to have an excuse to put teabags on my nips. But, really: do I need an excuse?

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ive been there with the girlfriend and shes fascinated at watching penises flop by and by the ones who position themselves to be `seen`.I`ve never got an erection the 5-6x we went and yes she gotten sand in her `cooter` and buttcrack..She`ll comment on big dicks or boobs and mostly go topless only in general population and fully nude in the `gay` section(less guys staring at her cooter she says)

7:31 PM  

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