Semi Prude

Several years ago I attended a retreat at some nearby hot springs.

I signed up for the retreat AS I WAS DRIVING THERE, so I never got a chance to read the emailed instructions they sent me detailing what the weekend was about.

We make it through ALL OF FRIDAY NIGHT, sleep in community, and then get up for Saturday’s activities.

Somewhere around noon, the instructors mention that it’s “Clothing Optional” time and everyone starts to strip.

They ask, “Did anyone NOT know this retreat was clothing optional?”

I raise my hand.

I mean, I knew that the hot tubs were clothing optional, but the WHOLE RETREAT?!

This I did not know.

So I swallowed VERY HARD, TOOK A DEEP BREATH, and I STRIPPED.

Yes, I did.

When in Rome, you know.

And as it turned out, it wasn’t that bad.

We, as Americans, have far too prudish an attitude about nudity than other countries.

I made it through my naked weekend just fine.

But it’s been years since I did a naked retreat and I must admit, the idea of doing it again kinda scares me.

Why am I bringing this up?

Because I’m going to a party which is clothing optional and I will of course be invited to socialize in the nude.

In some way, being naked is wonderful because it removes all the barriers we put up to keep people at a distance from us.

There’s lots of connection when you see the vulnerable side of people.

But in other ways, being naked is awful because it removes all the barriers we put up to keep people at a distance.

And that provides safety.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but if I had to guess, I say I’ll go in the hot tub naked but I will socialize with my clothes on.

This American is only SEMI-PRUDISH!

Sneaking around naked

This may or may not have happened at Mercey Hot Springs:

After imbibing MANY gin and tonics with FRESH lime juice, an entire bottle of champagne, AND a few glasses of red wine, two women decided to sneak off to the “CLOTHING OPTIONAL” soaking tubs to take a dip in the hot water.

The hot tubs are empty and have to be filled with hot water for each user.

The hot tubs are also crawling with black beetles that have to be flushed down the drain BEFORE you can use the tubs.

So the women rinsed out their hot tubs, got rid of all the beetles, and filled their tubs with water.

Then they carefully removed their clothing, placed everything on a nearby chair, and stepped into their hot tubs to soak.

The water was hot and enveloping.

The night breeze was warm and relaxing.

One of them turned off their Coleman lantern so that they could see the lights from the stars.

As soon as the light went off, the women were cloaked in darkness.

The light from distant starts started to appear before them.

It was the Milky Way, almost close enough to touch.

So beautiful

So striking.

Before long, the women were joined by two other couples, who each snuck into their own tubs to watch the star show.

And then, one of the women started snoring.

She was sleeping in her hot tub.

Her friend, realizing it was time to take her back to the tent, rustled her awake.

“Time to go to the tent.”

In order to not put on a peep show to the light of a Coleman lantern, the women opted to wrap their towels around themselves and sneak back to their tent, hopefully avoiding staff.

The woman who was awake had a yellow towel and she wrapped it tightly around her body.

The sleepy woman did not do very well wrapping up her nudity. She was losing her towel right and left, so much that the other woman had to turn off the lantern lest they be seen in the light.

They carefully made their way, giggling loudly, in the dark to the campsite.

Home sweet home!