I love being nude in the great outdoors. We came into this world nude and we’ll probably be eaten by worms while we rot in the nude. Now if I’m traipsing thru poison oak, I prefer clothing, but it’s common within the hot springs community that ‘clothing-optional’ means NUDE. There are many arguments from people who prefer to wear clothing at such spots: “it’s bad for the children”, “it’s distracting”, “it’s dirty”, etc. However just to give insight, when everyone else is nude, and someone is determined to wear a bathing suit, well, it makes everyone feels awkwardly NAKED. It’s like how Adam might’ve felt when he first took a bite out of the forbidden apple: “I’m not nude, I’m shameful.” Anyway, for the most part, nudists tend to be respectful (despite people’s thoughts of nudists being perverted, public masturbators… those are not nudists, those are perverts) and the worst I ever got was when a nude hiker demanded that I ‘show him my titties’ when I was hiking in a bikini in the desert.
For Thanksgiving, I spent the long weekend at one of my favorite hippie-dippy clothing-optional resorts. For 35 bucks a night, you get natural hot springs, communal vegetarian cooking, camping under the stars, yoga classes, and long hikes into the mountains. Glorious! And for the most part, the clothing-optional only extends to the pool area and the sunbathing area. (Cuz no one in their right mind wants to share a yoga mat where nude butt crack has sweated upon.) Met mostly hippie artists – a lot of people who do carpentry and make crystal jewelry to be sure- but strangely I met a large number of older bachelors who -by “Into the Wild” standards- would be considered “Rubber Tramps”.
I met one such rubber tramp: “Ryan” (not his real name). Seemed like a fairly mindful man, 47, from all over the U.S. and sold exotic hand-picked mushrooms to high-end restaurants. (These mushrooms, btw, he would find in national forests and other public areas.) He approached me at breakfast, when I was fully decked out in my hiking wear: North Face pants, fleece vest, and a Camelback to boot. He inquired as to my next step for the day.
-“I’m going hiking,” I announced brightly, indicating my high top boots. “And you?” I politely asked.
-He flustered, and then said, “Feel like taking a dip in the pool?”
-“Nah,” I respond. “I was looking forward to this hike.”
-He looked a bit taken aback, and then offered, “Well, we can always get together later… I can show you a few of my photographs… but you sure you don’t want to go for a quick dip?”
-“Cuz, we could always look at pictures,” his voice dropped to a sultry low, “OR WE COULD JUST GET NAKED… TOGETHER….NOW….” He lowered his eyebrow ridge as well. He looked like a gorilla about to make a charge.
It’s one of those moments, when I think, “Oh god, am I creating lust and sin in the hearts of men by parading blithely in my nakedness?”
That moment is usually followed by a mental “Nah!” which is about when I smiled apologetically up at “Ryan” and said, “You go on and have fun. I’m going hiking.”