Even though 1 out of 2 Americans these days claims to be in favor of nude beaches and nakations, we venture to say that we're still a generation away from actual implementation.
Leave it to travel website Tripadvisor to keep the finger on the pulse of America when it comes to Stacations and Nakations. In just one year time 17 out of 100 more Americans announced they would ‘love to see and be seen’ at a clothing-optional destination,” the site said today.
TripAdvisor asked 22,091 of its US readers if they would bare all at the beach and 48 percent said yes, up from last year’s nude beach survey, in which 31 percent of respondents said: “Love it”. Well, 22,000 respondents definitely gives validity to a survey, even though the answers may have been skewed a little.
Coincidentally last night during a happy hour with friends on our back porch, the topic of nude beaching came up since for 20 somewhat years I lived near St.Martin’s famous Orient Beach, where most every morning I could be found splashing through the surf the way I was created. People often bring up my St.Martin years as it was the place my wife and I met, but also because the dual nation island has taken a front seat in people’s imagination when it comes to cheap liquor and naked bodies bouncing in beaches.
What’s the appeal?
Well contrary to what people claim on Tripadvisor about “the spaces often benefit from a lack of crowds and beautiful settings that can be enjoyed by any demographic,” the appeal is a combination of feeling absolute freedom in crystal clear waters, an all over suntan without lines and a small percentage of exhibitionism.
Anyone claiming that they would love to go to Clothing optional beaches because these beaches are not crowded is in denial. To prove that simple fact, one only has to go to St.Martin and check out where cruise visitors go first, the moment they come off the ship. In the bus via French Quarter to Orient Beach. Reality is that Orient Beach is so popular that most of the time the beach is crowded with locals and vacationers alike mingling in beach bars and restaurants, especially when Happy Hour Two for One runs from 11:30am until 4:30pm when the sun goes down behind the center island hill ridges.
So when Tripadvisor claims that “Travelers indicate in their reviews that the real appeal of nude beaches has nothing to do with flaunting one’s flesh or checking out the neighboring eye candy,” you should take that remark with a grain of salt, or in French ‘Un Grain de Sel’.
And let’s face it, if a rapidly growing number of Americans, one out of two in this survey would prefer to go to a nude beach for its “lack of crowds” and “scenic beauty”, our beautiful beaches here on Amelia Island would be crowded beyond capacity, instead of me counting a total of 7 people this morning when I walked my two miles around 8:30am.
Nakations are the up and coming thing, even in the Bible belt, but why can’t we give it a more appropriate name such as the German FKK abbreviation (Freie Koerper Kultur= Free Body Culture), because wearing nothing on a hot sunny day at the beach is definitely more an expression of liberation than sexuality, and who knows for those of us who are self conscious, there is always a work out option at Club 14.