To put this simply, all sorts of people visit naturist beaches in the UK. The last time I was sitting on Studland’s shore – and I am a single, middle-aged male – there was a slightly older couple to my left, a similarly-aged gentleman ahead of me and a younger couple to my right. Walking around there were older and younger people, overweight and also seemingly underweight, male and female, couples and singles and probably gay and straight and everything else in between.
The thing to remember while you are topping up the tan on your backside, is that you are there, and so are lots of others. And if you wouldn’t categorise yourself – to put a label on yourself and your activities – then I doubt others would as well. I’m sure there are accountants, firefighters, retail assistants and engineers all sitting on the naturist beaches around the country.
But I guess there is an attitude that marks out those who tend to visit naturist beaches. One could presume that an open mind and perhaps a carefree outlook is something we could all have in common. Which to be honest is not a bad label to be given. I for one would be certainly happy to be called open minded, it is something I actually think I am. Perhaps not necessarily carefree, not to the extent that I don’t have worries or concerns outside of my time tanning my white bits, but equally so, I know when to switch off and enjoy the moment.
To the uneducated of course, the answer to this question would be perverts. Those of a kinky nature who like to swing or go dogging. And of course, just like there would be those of a more reserved nature on the beach, there are probably those of a more alternative persuasion also sharing the sand. It is the same as when you visit the pub, sit in the park on your lunch break or visit a museum while on holiday. All around you are all sorts of people who will get up to all sorts of things at the appropriate times.
But as long as these behaviours are kept away from the public beach, who cares?
The thing is, you can’t label people who decide to visit a clothing-optional beach. You can’t label people you haven’t necessarily met. The best you can do is say they are partaking in a naturist activity – nude sunbathing – and while you can say that of those around you, it must also be said of yourself.
If you are a regular at a naturist beach, just remember that the person to your right could have made your cappuccino earlier in the day, the couple to your left could be the owners of the building company you have contracted to build your extension. And the chap ahead of you, well maybe he works at the accountancy firm who handle your tax returns.
And for those considering their first visit to a naturist beach and are worried the day will be spent fending off the amorous advances of sexual deviants and avoiding all the people who you actually know from your professional life…? Chill out, it won’t happen. And if it does, then you are visiting a very strange beach, and have some very interesting work colleagues.