Tripping columns offer readers a chance to share their adventures – those times when, far from what’s familiar, you must improvise in the midst of a wild travel moment. They are the stories you can’t wait to tell when you get home.
Tropical beach, blazing blue sky and beside me, bobbing naked boobs, bulges, bodily bits and the click of camera. A pendulously bare-assed couple are snapping pictures of birds: “We’ve got to have something to show the grand kids!”
I am recruiting naked people for my brother, award-winning documentarian John Kastner, for his doc, Sinner in Paradise.
Today, though the boss of my own successful company, I have agreed to be John’s production assistant. John is a wonderful brother. He is also a workaholic, a perfectionist, a fretter and a pacer. He is everything I am not. I don’t know which will be scarier: winning over swingers, or working with my brother.
Hedonism, Day 1: I have closely studied The Naked Truth About Hedonism, a book self-published by an English teacher with useful tips like, “If you’re going to dinner without underpants, bring a towel to sit on.”
John’s room opens onto the nude bar and hot tub, with its seething panoply of steaming naked bodies, a few terrifically toned, mostly middle aged and unexercised. But John does not just want any naked people. He wants Naked People with Personality.
Day 2: Wearing a severe one-piece swimsuit, I pussyfoot amongst the stark nakeds. Real people bodies! My first reaction: Way to go! (A week later, I know I would die happy never seeing another naked middle-aged man whom I don’t love.) My first naked couple – they look to be in their early 50s. She: tanned, nicely exercised. He: beer belly neither tanned nor exercised. Would they like to participate? Exchange of looks. They’ll consider it. Thereafter, they avoid me.
Day 3: A propeller-topped baseball hat saunters over. (When naked, sauntering is preferable to trotting, running or any kind of swift movement.) Taller by a foot, he booms, “I’ll go on camera if you take your bathing suit off.” Not happening.
Day 4: “No” from a 60-ish woman who cites the morality clause in her teaching contract. Ditto Big Girl Betsy, lolling at the nude pool.
I spot a statuesque blonde whose impressive implants do not move as she glides to the pool to join friends. I follow her, and the friends sit up on their chaises when I approach. He crosses his legs, she wraps her arms around her knees, and I get another valuable lesson in what not to do when naked. (Other observations over my six-day stay: don’t play basketball or volleyball, don’t sit directly on the sand, and don’t do any active movement while lying down.)
Day 5: Still no naked participants. Brother pacing and fretting.
I retreat to the nude bar. It’s pitch dark, and the best spot to engage inebriated, nearly naked Hedonists. Everyone I talk to agrees! Even the teacher: “It’s my last year. They can’t fire me.”
Day 6: John is fighting off bevies of bare-breasted women, including Big Girl Betsy. Even Propeller-head and wife agree to be filmed from behind: doffing bathing suits mid-stride as they cross the line from prude to nude beach.
Mission Accomplished. I head off for a celebratory drink.
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