Nah, they’re just kissing. People seem OK with it.” Around the pool people kept an eye on the pair but seemed willing to let it go. I rose above my anxiety and swam another couple of lengths, nodding a polite hello to the couple when we made eye contact. But it’s rather disconcerting to suspect that at any moment one might swim past a rather personal blob of white, so after ten minutes we climbed out to try the other facilities.

The steam room beckoned. We smiled amiably to the naked chap seeping with sweat and made ourselves comfy on our towels.

“You don’t want your towels in here,” Naked Chap helpfully advised. “It’ll get wet through. You only make that mistake once, ha ha ha!”

Wiggle wiggle wiggle.

“Oh right. Thanks very much!” I piped in my most open-minded tone. I looked at the puddle on the bench. I looked at the inundation pouring off the naked man. He shifted his weight and the puddle sloshed: a little swoosh around his exposed sphincter and then back along the bench.

My mind whirred with thoughts of diseases. Of hygiene. Of boundaries. My impulse towards protecting my gynaecological health fought with my British terror of causing offence.

Britain won. I held my face in neutral as I sat gingerly down on the bench, causing the puddle to swill around my heretofore most secret place.

“I’ve not seen you here before. First time is it?” the naked chap asked.

“Yes,” I began. “We live in London you see, and so…”

“Nice. Nice,” he cut in, casually itching a nipple. “Think you’ll come again?”

“Urm. Well, it’s certainly very lovely,” I lied.

“Oh yeah. Yeah. You should think about joining. Just £300 then you can come when you want. Soon pays for itself.”

£300? For what, I thought? It didn’t have a gym. The steam room and sauna did the job, but had a faintly urinal tang. The pool was pleasant, but they really needed to tighten the code of decency before it became a swarming vat of Sexually Transmitted Illnesses. And the grounds weren’t maintained as dutifully as naked skin might like, with thistles and nettles a constant reminder of the agreeable practicality of clothes. What drew people here so loyally?

“Right. Great. Well, that’s certainly something to bear in mind,” I thanked him. He looked pleased to have helped, and we continued to chat as other men filtered in.

It was odd, sitting among so many naked men, being the only naked woman in the room. Not threatening; just odd. We fell into easy conversation about weather and TV: mundane chat had never felt so liberating. I couldn’t ignore they were naked, but it wasn’t sexual: it was simply intriguing. I’d never been around this many exposed willies in one sitting.

Yet whilst the vibe of the steam room was free and good-natured, its heat was oppressive. Slurping myself off my seat, we said goodbye to the chaps and headed to the lower field for a spot of sunbathing. Which is when things became really weird.

There, a few dozen people peacefully relaxed – those who were also not picked for “It’s A Knockout” competition, or who did not want to catch herpes from the steam room, or who didn’t want to swim through semen. You know, the sensible ones. Almost all of them were men, but that didn’t strike me as odd. At least they were naked here: I felt in good company. The field was serene, and I started to appreciate the naturalness and empowerment of naturism.

This became tedious after half an hour.

I began to look around. That was when I noticed that the only other couple in the field were having sex.

“David,” I squeaked. “Are they having sex?”

The man’s bum bobbed up and down.

“Erm. Yes. Yes they are.”

While we had obliviously been reading (me about war reporting and David a biography of Shakespeare), everyone else had been watching the couple. After clocking what was happening, we turned back to our books, embarrassed for everyone, particularly for all our naked friends with their innocent naturist sensibilities who were assuredly scandalized by such brazen behaviour.

When we looked round again – trust me, you would have, too – the couple had finished their business. But now a chap was openly having a wank.

Then another couple came into the field and settled into a patch of sun, the man reclining, the woman resting her head in his lap.

  1. This naturist resort has always allowed single men (and women too). However, most do not. I have not been back for many years, but I was a patron for over 3 years and thoroughly enjoyed myself. In those days the resort was controlled very strictly, and if couples were seen to openly exploit their love for each other, out they went. Single Men behaved and single women were safe. Families were very encouraged and made special guests.

    I’m not saying that once the evening was over, and people started going home, that some private parties did not continue.

    Also, where did the cabins come from – not in my days?

    Anne, a nice write-up. You are not the first journalist or woman to raise the sadder points of this resort, but give it a fair chance. There is a market for this, and if it survives with couples and single people being exhibitionists, that is obviously what they want.

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