January 14, 2003

"The Naked Truth About Nudism,"

"The Naked Truth About Nudism," c. Ryan Rhodes, Jan. 7, 2003

Warning: This column contains nudity. Due to the graphic nudity portrayed in this column, readers are advised to peruse this section by candlelight while cramped in a dark and quiet closet.

I'll admit it, from time to time, I walk around nude. When I shower, I'm nude. When I bathe, I'm nude. When I surf the Internet, I'm nu. . . wait, forget that last one.

Despite my occasional nudity, I make it a point not to expose others to my naked body whenever possible. Although it's generally agreed that I'm a smoking hot specimen of male hunkiness, I'm relatively certain people don't want to see me prancing around in the buff. NUDIST!

There are people, however, who genuinely enjoy being naked and sharing their naked bodies with the world. These people even have a neat sounding title: nudists.

Now, as I just pointed out, I'm not a nudist, but I've always held nudists in high esteem, and by high esteem I mean I like to point and giggle at them.

My, um, exposure to the world of nudism has been limited to a certain beach on the Hawaiian island of Maui. There, on a small stretch of white sand known as Little Makena Beach, nudists congregate and shed their clothes in direct violation of the island's nudity ban.

I found out about Little Makena Beach during my first visit to Maui when I was 20 years old. And, because my 20-year-old mind had been conditioned by television to believe that all naked beach-goers were somehow right out of Baywatch, I wanted nothing more than to find that little beach and feast my eyes. My brother and I were bouncing around in wide-eyed goofy anticipation of seeing an entire beach of nude people. Such as Christina Aguilera nude.

Finally, after much searching, we located Little Makena Beach and undertook the small hike required to reach the isolated stretch of sand. As my brother and I came over a small rise, we saw Little Makena Beach below us in all its glory. And, just as we expected, there were naked people milling around everywhere.

And, oh my stars, the naked people looked nothing like the people I saw on Baywatch. As I stood there, overlooking the beach of nudists, I experienced the life-altering realization that the vast majority of naked people are really, really gross to behold.

These weren't airbrushed Playboy models, these were just your run-of-the-mill people next door. And they were naked! Imagine your neighbor coming over to borrow a cup of sugar. Only they're naked! That's what Little Makena Beach is like. There are naked young people, and there are naked old people, and there are naked really old people, and they're everywhere!

And it's not just that they're naked. No. These people are extremely proud to be naked, as if by shedding their clothes and exposing themselves, they have achieved some sort of transcendental state. But, you see, they actually haven't achieved a transcendental state. They're just naked. Totally and completely naked. There's no other way to put it, really. They're just naked!

Most of the nudists I encountered walked slowly, strolling really, with a nakeder than thou look on their faces, apparently scornful of those of us who had the audacity to wear swim trunks on their hallowed naked ground. I kept wanting to shout, "You're not better than me! You're just naked!"

But other than their apparent air of superiority over us clothed mortals, and the unmistakable fact they're all naked, nudists are pretty much like everyone else. They swim in the ocean, they bodysurf, they build sandcastles, they play paddle ball, they play volleyball and they play catch.

Which brings me to another important point about nudists. In this columnist's opinion, naked men should not be allowed to play paddle ball, or volleyball, and they should definitely not be allowed to play catch. In fact, any activity that involves sudden movements of the exposed pelvic area should be taboo for all men without clothes.

The other distinctive aspect of Little Makena Beach is that it's one of the best bodyboarding and bodysurfing beaches on the entire island of Maui. Therefore, if you really want to bodyboard on some great waves, you must be willing to brave a sea of nude people.

There's a certain feeling of helplessness inherent in being pushed by a wave towards the exposed behind of an unwary wader. On more than one occasion, I was able to magically steer my bodyboard to avoid a fleshy collision.

In the end, I learned that nudists and non-nudists can exist peacefully together, sharing the same beach and soaking in the same sun.

Still, naked people, like Paz Vega, shouldn't play catch. That's just really gross. Even though Paz Vega is pretty hot. Paz Vega is really hot. I mean, Paz Vega is really hot.

Posted by Ryan at January 14, 2003 10:09 AM
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