Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Dispatch From A Nude Beach

"Make sure to apply sunscreen to your nipples!"

That was the advice I received when I told a lady at my hostel that I was headed to Dubrovnik, Croatia's nude beach on Lokrum island.  Armed with that piece of advice and a bottle of 34 SPF sunscreen, I departed.

My ferry ticket to Lokrum island.

I'm not going to lie.  I've always wanted to visit a nude beach.  For a number of reasons...  Premier among these reasons is the ability to ditch the tan lines.  Moreover, a nude beach implies 18 and over.  I'm sick of being sandwiched between children flinging sand at one another and screaming.

Lastly, a nude beach is something new.  We don't have a lot of them in America.  I wanted to see what all the hype was about.  The writer in me figured that it would be a good story, if nothing else.

 Ferry ride to Lokrum island.

 View from the ferry.

Upon arrival, I followed the signs to the nude beach.

F.K.K is the European abbreviation for nude beach.  It stands for Freik√∂rperkultur in German, which translates to Free Body Culture (a.k.a. nude beach).  

Random peacock sighting on the way to the F.K.K.

These gentlemen were also on their way to some nude beach action. 

Getting warmer...

Once at the F.K.K,. I realized it wasn't so much a nude beach as a nude cliff.  A series of rock faces jutted out into the Adriatic Ocean, and nude people were sprawled out on all of them.

I chose an unoccupied rock face that was out of the way of pedestrian traffic and set up my "base camp."  After getting situated, I took a good look around, and here is what I saw:


 

I think you would agree with me that the view on this F.K.K. was not particularly inspiring in any way, shape or form.

I didn't feel quite ready to take the plunge to fall-on nudity, so I played it safe for a while...

Me playing it safe on the F.K.K.

At long last I decided, what the hell, I didn't slather sunscreen on my nipples and take the ferry all the way from the mainland for nothing.

And I took it all off...



Being nude on a nude beach was disconcerting.  Ever so often, boatloads of tourists sailed around Lokrum island, and I could see dozens of eyes peering up at my naked body.  I cringe to imagine how many people were checking me out even more closely with telescopic lenses and binoculars! 

The other nude beach goers were terrific, however.  There was quite the libertarian, "Live and Let Live" attitude on Lokrum island.  Everyone kept to themselves, and to their separate rock face.  No one stared, gawked, or approached me for conversation.  Except one guy, that is.  There always has to be one, doesn't there?



The "bad apple" of the bunch was a well-endowed gentleman with red hair.  His rock face was below and next to mine, and he kept on checking me out.  I was wearing sunglasses and dozing, but every time I opened my eyes I would catch him looking up at me with an expression of lust and greed. 

At one point, he stood up and took a circuitous stroll up and around my rock face in order to see my naked body up close and personal.  I sat up and caught him in the act, standing behind a bush not five feet away from my "base camp."  He looked embarrassed, but managed a guilty smile and wave before he slunk away. 

Alternate view from my nude base camp.

The "bad apple" and boatloads of tourists aside, my opinion on the F.K.K. is mixed.  On one hand, I like the idea of it.  Nudity is not necessarily a bad thing.  Yet, I herald from a country where nudity is made into a moral issue and, in my opinion, a far bigger issue than is warranted.

In fact, America's view of nudity is scewed.  We've got 10, 20 and 30-year-old men playing video screens where they are rewarded for shooting the opponent in the head.   (Not only does blood splatter when heads explode in one game I observed, but a burst of confetti fills the air and cheering emanates from the speakers.)  But, yet, we think it's disgusting for a woman to expose one of her breasts while nursing her child in public.  I really don't understand my fellow Americans, sometimes...

F.K.K. food.

More F.K.K. food.

Would I go back to another F.K.K.?  Perhaps.  I didn't love it.  I don't even think I liked it.  I never felt like I could get comfortable. 

But it was OK.  And it was nice to get rid of the tan lines...


6 comments:

  1. I love your blog! You're really able to get me thinking. I didn't become more comfortable with my body until I had my first daughter. Now I don't care who sees me nursing I am feeding my child... deal! Can't wait to read more about your trip!

    Mae

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  2. When Liz was in Germany staying with a family there, she was startled to see nudity on TV treated with great nonchalance. A ten-year-old boy actually changed the channel when it was on. Do you think that would ever happen in the US? Not a chance. I think the German attitude is a lot more wholesome.

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  3. Ryan and I went to a nude beach in Barcelona, and I agree, at first it was completely disconcerting. After an hour or so, I found the experience completely liberating (granted, we didn't have any weirdoes in our area).

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  4. Hi !!! its Ajinkya from Mumbai( Bombay) ,India. U seem to be an explorer .. try sometime to visit India.. I like your article... contact me on ajinkyanakhale@yahoo.com if u wish!!!

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