Grand Plage, Royan
Bare with us.
Ok, it was 1986 and I had just started dating my wife, Eli, when we went to supper at her 'dear friends' Graeme and Jane. Well they told us about some committee changes at their 'club'.
I said we were planning to take our caravan to France and meet some friends this summer, but that line kinda went ignored, I thought. They then asked if we would like to join them as visitors for a day at the naturist club to see if we liked it, (interesting the club is a naturist club, and they admit this??? They are not what I thought - they seem normal). My suppressed childhood and schoolboy intrigue with H&E meant I wanted to say yes, but mumbled no, and then Eli said we had too much to get ready before the holiday, there you go we were off the hook.
On leaving that night Graeme shook my hand and placed his other on my shoulder and said quietly 'if you change your mind let me know and I can arrange for you to come to the club...no problem friend'. I kissed Jane and she hugged me and Graeme and Eli hugged and kissed as we left.
Phew... later on the way home, Eli mentioned that Jane was a bit wild and was a bit of a hippy in the sixties and got naked at any chance, she had got Graeme into the club scene and they both loved it, then I am not sure why, she said 'I am not sure I could do that kinda thing'...So that was that, you would think. I now think I understand that part about my exciting new girl friend...'the naked thing'... is for us only in the bedroom,... or at least when we are alone, well we are all human.
So middle of July, work closes for two weeks, we head to Saint Palais sur Mer, near Royan with caravan in tow. Meet the folks we hardly knew on campsite and settle in. BBQ first night lots of wine and beer and jokes about the nude beaches and skinny dipping in France...did we miss something the previous week before we arrived?
Next day supermarket and stuff and late afternoon trip to beach, drove past a sign on road that said 'Plage Naturist. FKK Stade.' After dinner rather than go get drunk with the crowd immediately we decide to go walk off the food. Nice evening stroll along the beach at Grande Plage, we walked over a mile as we liked to do and eventually met a couple with no clothes on walking hand in hand like us. We passed and said 'Bonsoir' admiring the fact they were naked and not a care in the world, I said to Eli 'Looks like we walked up to the naturist section' she replied 'yes isn't this beach here just lovely?.
We walked about another 400metres and decided to head back, after smiling and passing the couple again, I just tentatively came out with 'Fancy trying this beach tomorrow then?' The reply almost astounded me, 'Yes why not this looks a great beach,' in truth it is no different to the adjacent clothed mile or so.
So back to campsite, glass of wine off to bed early for us, neither of us could sleep much. Anyway by 8:30 next morning breakfast and chores done two hours ahead of normal schedule, we decide we better pack lunch and get sun cream on, then head to the beach. Was Eli as nervous as me? Surely must be. Will she bottle out? Will I get an erection? Will anybody notice our white bums? Just get rucksack in car and head to beach, slowly , do not appear to be in a rush.
By just after 9:00 we are walking down the path beside the sign for the naturist beach, hardly speaking, later find both of us with butterflies and a slightly sick feeling in stomach. No turning back we head onto the beach, it is quiet but a few folk are there, we stroll to middle of the area and about 20metres from a naked couple rubbing sun cream onto their naked kids. Eli lays out towels and mats and I get an umbrella erected, Eli is getting her top off and sits down on the towel, I decide now or never and remove my Tee shirt and sit down and both of us remove our shorts and everything at same time. I look at Eli and admire her sitting there naked and she smiles at me and asks for her book. I look around, no one is staring at us, we do not exist, everyone seems so calm. Newcomers to the beach say 'Bonjour' to regulars...the all over brown ones...this is normal. Still no erection but I am finding not a sense of excitement but more a sense of well-being.
After an hour and I feel I need to have a swim to cool off before re-applying sun lotion, as it is very hot, so I ask Eli if she wants to go for a dip, 'God yes I am bursting for a pee...' so we walk to the sea, passing loads of people just as naked as us.
We have a swim for about half an hour, it is so great to swim naked the first time, you never want to wear a costume again. Then we walk onto the beach and Eli suggests a walk to dry off, so we walk up the beach to the clothed area, passing a lot of people doing the same, playing games in the sand and just being so normal. Yes we meet a couple of groups of clothed folks, either walking to the naturist area like us or coming to have a peep, but we do not care...two days earlier I would have died if I thought I had to walk past clothed people, naked.
We turn round and walk back, Eli comments that there are all kinds of folks, old, young, couples, families, we hear all kinds of accents, English, French, German, Dutch... We get back to towels and by now I realise I never want to go to a normal beach again. Seeing all these naked women did not get me aroused at all, Eli did not lose control looking at all the naked men.
So we eat lunch, the rest of that day, we swim, we walk, we read, it is fantastic to spend another three hours on the beach. Only at the end do I notice the beach is packed and there are people all around and all naked. We are 2 metres from folks around us and we have casually exchanged welcomes with the ones most immediately next to us.
Reluctantly we decide to head back to the campsite as we have to be careful of the first time exposed parts, but we both feel we do not want to leave. We follow the same routine the rest of the two weeks on that holiday, except after a few days we did find other beaches nearby like Cote Sauvage, which has fantastic surf and mixed with textiles (we were ex-textiles by then), most nude though. We went home without putting on trunks or bikini again that holiday and were completely brown all over, wearing a huge smile, just desperate to tell some friends what we did.
So the questions we have had about it and lessons we learned...
1. Did we tell folks on campsite what we did?.......No, not that year, but we have found more like minded friends and more appropriate campsites in further years, the group we were with were mixed about it, sadly some too narrow minded.
2. Did we tell our friends back home?...................Yes, some asked questions some don't, none objected, but then they know us. Jane and Graeme were delighted we had taken the plunge, we never did go to the sun club, but we have socialised with them at dinner and BBQs in their garden all naked of course...but that is another story.
3. Did we ever tell our family?...............................Kids yes, they are very kool about us getting naked, Parents No ...they are not kool about anything without clothes, or even jokes about it.
4.Do you ever get aroused on the beach?............No, never happened yet, it does rekindle our romance for each other but, we keep that for later.
5. Do people stare at you when you strip off?......We have never noticed, and we did look that first time as we were very nervous, but you know what we would not care now.
6.Do you ever see any pests on the beach?.........Unfortunately over the years, occasionally but they are usually made unwelcome and keep well away from families and genuine naturists who just like to be nude in the sun and sea, just watch where you go.
7. How do you avoid getting bits burned?...........Over the years we found some good high factor all day cream that is great, more money but great. Just make sure you apply all over each other before setting off, being a couple definitely helps with that bit, I used to miss bits on my own shoulders, ouch.
8. What kind of holiday do you look for now?......First priority is nude beach, nude campsite is a bonus but always camp near a nude beach when we can.
We do have textile holidays in far flung places but that is because we get loads of airmiles and they do not have nude beaches. Some spas are nude but discreet. We prefer holidays in France and Spain and always have a caravan holiday to a nude beach area once a year at least...25 years this year.
9. What made you decide to go nude?.................Well it is still hard to say but the beach and the setting and atmosphere were just too good not to, and secretly we had both always wanted to do it. We just never admitted it to anyone. Now if we have any doubts about anything we discuss it openly between us.
We are far better for it we feel, and it means we have no hidden regrets about each other.