Love & Sex

I Did It for Science: Nude Beach

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I Did It For Science by Grant Stoddard

To expose my white parts to the elements for the first time since the Carter administration. A trip to the nude beach.

State your hypothesis in the form of a prediction that can be verified by the results of the experiment.

Going to a nude beach is something that a lot of people idly threaten to do in their late teens, twenties and thirties. But at these tender ages, few actually take the trip to the flesh coast. By the time they do get to an age when they're willing to let it all hang out, they look like walking scrotums. It's at this point that these "naturists" start claiming that frolicking naked on the water's edge is totally nonsexual. Given the Mother Teresa-esque appearance of these sea salt-encrusted oldsters, one tends to avert one's stare and nod ferociously in concurrence. But are the nation's nude resorts solely the domain of frisky but aesthetically unspectacular baby boomers? Or can we take these resorts back from the semi-retired and incontinent? "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step," I thought to myself, and I grabbed some serious sun block and a beach towel.

Please list all the materials required for this experiment (including, if applicable, how they were obtained).

Sun block S.P.F 8 (for use on torso, face and limbs)
Sun block S.P.F 48 (for use elsewhere)
Frisbee (one)
Buxom young assistant (one)

In this portion of your report, you must describe, step-by-step, what you did in your lab. It should be specific enough that someone who has not seen the lab can follow the directions and recreate the same lab.

At the suggestion of a friend with an all-over tan, I set out for Sandy Hook, New Jersey's premier "clothing-optional" resort, just southwest of New York City. My beach date was Joanna, a Garden State cutie, a former Nerve intern and game for a laugh. Joanna is no stranger to donning the old birthday suit, having dabbled in a bit of nude modeling and having appeared in flagrante on her own website, Burning Angel.
     Sandy Hook is a narrow peninsula divided into several different beaches. We paid the $10 entrance fee for Gunnison Beach, the nude area. To get there, you head down a wooden trail that looks like it was constructed by the Swiss Family Robinson. The path opens up into a clean-looking square with restrooms, changing areas, a concession stand and showers. We sauntered over the sand dunes to the water's edge, where hundreds of people were sunning themselves. Some were in pairs lying face-up, motionless and slathered in oil; others were in groups, debating sports and politics; some were alone (these were mostly beady-eyed older men conspicuously peering over the top of a local newspaper).
     Still clothed, Joanna and I walked along the length of the beach, eyes on stalks at the nakedness before us. Who'd have thought there was so much variety in penises? Some hung like large, limp bananas, some were inverted, and others looked more like exotic toadstools than sexual appendages. There seemed to be three times as many men as women. A lot of the men were wearing cock rings, and the whole beach was extremely quiet. There also seemed to be a great deal more amputees than you'd find in a random sampling of people. Why that is I can't be sure. Perhaps they're seeking acceptance for their bodies in a place that professes not to make judgments. We saw parents with families; gay men in twos, threes and fours; and good-looking hetero couples in their twenties. But because this was a Tuesday morning, the majority of bodies were retired or unemployed. After walking up and down the beach a few times (and receiving several disapproving looks from naked onlookers), we decided to set up camp and strip off.

Quantify the effects of the experiment.

Although Joanna had been naked in public countless times, my only foray into public nudity was when I momentarily whipped off my swim trunks at my ex-girlfriend's grandmother's lake, only to accidentally let go and watch them disappear down to its murky bed. With my girlfriend in fits of tears, I had to make a mad scramble up the beach and wrap myself in a towel. Upon returning to Grandma's place, we found her sitting on the back porch with a pair of binoculars. The experience was enough to keep me clothed ever since.
     It was with some trepidation, then, that I got naked on the beach. First, we both lay down on our towels. On Joanna's suggestion, we undressed together. She unhooked the straps of her dress, I took my shirt off, she slid her skirt off completely and I did the same with my shorts. I turned to give Joanna the once-over, and she did the same. We giggled. Joanna looked carefully at my unit. "You're going to need sunblock on that!" she said, then took the tube out of her bag, squirted a large blob onto her hand and very matter-of-factly started to rub it all in. I looked around, conscious of the fact that we may have just broken some awful rule about what not to do at the nude beach. I mean, it's not as if I couldn't reach my bits and pieces myself. Men looked on at Joanna's ministrations with great interest. Foot traffic around us increased fivefold as Joanna covered all of my white parts with SPF 48. She insisted that I repay the favor, and I slathered her breasts and bum after she'd taken care of the rest. In the literature of several naturist resorts, I read that men generally don't get erections in public, but if one did, one must quickly cover it up, jump in the ocean, think about baseball, etc. So I promptly turned over, making a divot in the sand beneath, and took in the stranger-looking people on the beach. I turned back over ten minutes later to find that the adhesive properties of the potent sun block had left me with a sandy hook of my own.

About ten feet away, a large, muscular man was sitting in a chair. He wore a baseball cap, shades, sandals and a particularly ornate cock ring. He was facing us, although I couldn't really see what he was looking at through his sunglasses. Whatever it was caused part of him to creep closer and closer to us. "Oh my God," whispered Joanna as his huge penis grew and pointed straight at us. His expression was unchanged. If popping a boner was a nude-beach snafu, this guy was unapologetic. Although he didn't go as far as gripping the turgid monster between finger and thumb, he did rub the back of his wrist over the head in a controlled circular motion, occasionally looking over his shoulders for the beach cops.
     There seemed to be a real sense of community among the folks at Gunnison Beach. "Hey John," "What's up, Don?" "Bruce, y' ol' son of a gun!" said people as they walked to and from the water's edge to the concession stand. In fact, there seemed to be a lot more "walking" going on than at a regular beach — people took any excuse to find new routes in the maze of

flesh between them and some arbitrary destination.
     Joanna and I took a walk to the far end of the beach. I'd heard rumors that the gay men all hang out there and that there might be some action of that nature. We found twenty or thirty guys sheepishly standing around, smiling at each other. But apparently all the action happens after six p.m. when the lifeguards knock off.
     One of the great features of Sandy Hook is the fact that the New York skyline is easily visible in the distance. Having nine million people in your field of vision certainly makes one feel nuder: "I can see you but you can't see me!" Pretty naughty. But the disappointing thing about being on a nude beach is that, because it's normal to be naked, after a while you don't feel nude at all. Only a saunter over to the concession stand to get a soda from the clothed woman rekindled the feeling I had when I initially dropped my shorts.
     Men continued to walk past us in droves, transfixed by Joanna's breasts, almost tripping over snoozing sun worshipers as they craned to get a better look. Then, there was a commotion: shouting and hollering coming from the water's edge. Everyone on the beach sat up in response. Nothing looks as bizarre as two stark naked middle-aged men pushing, shoving and slapping each other around. " I SAW YOU!" yelled one, pointing at a bewildered woman. "FUCK YOU", bellowed the other. "I SAW YOU IN THE PUSH-UP POSITION OVER THAT WOMAN!" insisted the first, who started waving his arms to get the clothed lifeguard's attention. The man covertly polishing his saber had stopped. The yelling stopped, and we decided to take a dip in the ocean. Hand in hand, we negotiated a path through dozens of nudies who unabashedly looked at our privates and our faces with winks and come-hither smiles. Some of the outfits we saw were nothing short of ridiculous: one gent was wearing pantyhose with the whole crotch missing, letting his wizened genitalia swing free in the front and leaving his ass crack open to the elements at the back. Another fashion maverick was wearing thong bikini briefs — which looked as normal as thong bikini briefs can look on a Korean War veteran. When the guy turned around, however, he revealed that his fetching swimming attire had a circular opening in the front through which he had pushed his penis and testicles. Could these be the most redundant articles of clothing since the cravat?
     For my money, being in the ocean is where being naked feels best. It's also the best place to leer at nearby bathers, so long as you're in deep enough to keep your periscope fully submerged. Once I'd gotten the awful thought of malevolent hermit crabs and malicious jellyfish wreaking havoc on my wedding tackle, I felt freer than I can remember. It was with much sadness that after four hours of sun worship, Joanna and I donned society's manacles and began to trek back across the dunes to the changing area. "It's sad, isn't it," mused Joanna. "I feel like I know your thing after seeing it all day, and now it's going away."

Summarize your findings. Don't forget to attempt to identify possible variables that could result in different findings for others trying to recreate your test results.

A recent write-up of Gunnison Beach in Time Out New York suggested that it didn't have an overtly sexual vibe. Horseshit! Sure, the place attracts families, members of the back-to-nature crowd and those who simply can't bear having tan lines, but those types were hugely outnumbered by horny, mostly gay guys who want to look and be looked at. Hung muscle boys lay prostrate at the water's edge while packs of cock ring-wearing gawkers shuffled tracks in the moist sand. Dotted among them are handsome urbanite couples and women stripping out of ironic Girl Scout T-shirts and applying high-potency sunblock to their recently inked skin. My hunch is that these folks aren't all on some getting-back-to-nature granola trip. As a horny teen, I always imagined that nude beaches would be major leerfests, a precursor to some serious rolling around behind the dunes. But my adolescent daydreams were repeatedly debunked by media-produced images of pear-shaped retirees innocently playing volleyball, their dimpled flesh trying in vain to keep pace with the uncoordinated movements of their frames. Yet the reality is a lot closer to the hormone-fueled fantasies of my youth. For me, being naked at a public beach was both sexually exciting and emotionally freeing, regardless of cultural lifeguards' attempts to draw a definitive line between the two.