The Naked Truth

The Naked Truth

“Being naked is more than just taking your clothes off in front of strangers.”

As part of my European travels this summer I wanted to immerse myself in European culture and so I visited a nudist beach in the south of France called L’espiguette on France’s Languedoc coast, not very far from Montpellier. I had read about the beach while staying in Carcassonne so decided to visit and see what was so unique.

The trip there was part of the experience- clear roads, sunshine and pink flamingos feeding in the lagoons near the beach. My husband and I arrived but it was hard to find a parking spot as the beach was packed. After we were parked we began to walk along the sandy beach next to the clear sea…

The beach was divided into section and you can choose which you feel most comfortable – dressed or undressed. The first section of the beach was clothed families – it’s clearly a very popular beach. However, this was not the desired area.

We kept walking and saw a sign for the nudist area where we then saw families naked playing on the beach. What intrigued me was that parents, children and grandparents were all naked together enjoying a day out in the sun. I don’t know why I found it a bit odd- maybe because when I was 15 I never saw my parents naked and vice-versa. It was weird for me to think of going to the beach with my parents while all of us were naked but if I had grown up in that environment it may not have been weird at all. I was amazed that people of all ages were naked building sand castles (at least they would not have sand in their swimming trunks or bikinis!), swimming or playing tennis (I had to avoid looking when they had to pick the ball up from the floor…).

There was an unoccupied gap between each section but we kept walking and the next was for couples but everyone seemed over 50. As we kept walking we saw more and more older couples enjoying the sunshine. This section was not very long but it was not for about 10 minutes that we reached another group where I could see younger faces and bodies.

This time almost everyone were men. I thought this must be the gay section of the beach. I was wearing white speedos on a nudist beach and feeling a bit awkward. My husbands first comment was: I don’t know why you wanted to come to a naked beach, you know I’m a private person! That spark the idea of interviewing people on the beach- I wanted to find out the naked truth.

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Rafael dos Santos

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