My sister Jodi and I were promised we would see a nude beach, so we kept our eyes peeled. We were hiking along a narrow, rocky ridge following the Italian coastline high above the Ligurian Sea. It was a perfect vantage point for peeking.
It was midafternoon when we finally spied it. There was only one guy on the beach, pacing around with a mix of anticipation and disappointment. He was clearly a tourist. I suspect that like us he had read about the beach in his Fodor's travel guide. He tried to act casual and go for a swim. Bad plan: it was a chilly sixty degrees outside. Judging from the humbled results he was either very cold or very Scottish. A Speedo would have been saggy on him.
Nudism is better left for the imagination. I read in the newspaper recently that private nudist colonies are offering discounted memberships to young prospects. They say their ranks are dwindling and aging. Indeed, the median member age is 55 years old. It is the same problem the Elks Club and the Rotarians have, they say: young people just aren't joiners.
I think the problem is simpler: young people don't want to see old people naked.
"Wow, Crystal, isn't that your dad and his bowling buddies over there?" Eew.
In addition to the discounted membership, one colony advertised half-price "amenities." What amenities do you need if you are naked? Sunscreen? Duct tape to hold your wallet to your butt? A magnifying glass?
I don't believe them when nudists claim all they want is to "be free." They want to see nice naked bodies, heck yeah. Otherwise they wouldn't care about member age—they'd be happy just walking around naked at home.
There are a few good things about nudist colonies. People are much more likely to notice that expensive new watch or flashy engagement ring. And you always know when someone is happy to see you.