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Clothing Optional?

As a half-prude half-American, I’m still not totally used to the whole “clothing optional” thing. Naked in bed? Cool. Naked in the shower? Also acceptable. Naked for 3.7 seconds when changing into new clothes? Fine. Naked when flying a kite on a public beach? You lose me there.

For the past week I’ve been in Germany, where there is obviously a more lax approach to the whole “staying dressed in public” thing. The place we were staying is just a short drive or hour long walk from a beach that embraces the FKK policy - Frei Korper Kultur - AKA clothes are lame, let’s all get naked.

I can deal with the nudity, really. So people aren’t into clothes - no big deal. I just found it hysterical what people would DO while naked. Have you ever seen a man flying a kite wearing a shirt - but no pants? How about a father and son holding hands and frolicking through the waves - totally nude?

I feel it is also important to mention the temperature. We were not in the Mediterranean, here. We were on the Baltic Coastline. THE BALTIC SEA. Like, an hour from both Poland and Denmark. Even in July, I looked like this:

Sixty degree temperatures and even colder, frigid waters had a way of...affecting certain pieces of anatomy. Let’s leave it at that.

Nudie beaches aside, we did a lot of fun things over the past few days in Germany. We rented some kayaks and canoes one day, went fishing, went on a bunch of runs/walks and celebrated our two-year wedding anniversary by walking a few miles in the rain and going for dinner.

Robert and Tim Playing paddleball

Keeping warm on the beach!

Trying to keep the rain off on our anniversary dinner!

Kayaking and stealing water lilies

Overall - A+ plus. Right now we’re on the train leaving Germany and heading to the U.K. I have a bag full of chocolate bars which should last me the day. We’ll see - I make no promises.

What’s your take on the whole nude beach policy?
I remember finding it REALLY strange when I lived there in high school. Especially the vary cavalier attitude in changing rooms, swimming pools, etc. Now it doesn’t bother me, but I would still be SUPER uncomfortable stripping down in front of my family. Alone on a random beach with Tim? I’d do it to fit in with the locals. :)

How cold is too cold for outdoor swimming?
I just ask because I was way too cold throughout the trip to contemplate a swim, but so many people (my family included) were fine with it. To me, 55 degrees is just too dang cold to be swimming!


  1. I love it.
    I am totally cool with the whole nude scene, but I am not getting nude.
    Once I saw a family of 4 (mom, dad, pre-teen brother, and teen daughter) out at the beach - all nude. It was rather odd.

  2. I wouldn't be able to tell you how cold is too cold in F :P but I am someone who will always go into open water as long as there's no snow on the ground :)

    I'm all for nudity. I'm not necessarily into joining a nudist colony and being nude all the time, or looking at it ;) but I think to each their own and if I ever went to a clothing optional beach my bathing suit would be lying in the sand ;P

  3. When my husband's family goes on vacation in Maine, they have a "daily dunk" policy. No matter how cold the water is or what the weather is, you have to go in the water. And it's a full dunk - head included.

  4. I just don't know. The thought of sand enough to deter me from going nude on a beach.

  5. The air temperature doesn't matter as much as the water one does to me. I've gone swimming at all temperatures if it is June-October but if it recently had ice on it, say April-June, the water is too cold for me.

  6. Mentally I have some blocks when it comes to being naked, but I seem to spend a lot of time in the company of non-sexual-partners nude, so I guess it doesn't bother me as much as I think it does.

  7. Well given my current body shape, I think I would scare people if I got naked on a beach! I can't be held accountable for people going blind upon seeing this 7 month pregnant butt! LOL But honestly, even if I was a skinny little miss, I still couldn't do it. Nudity, of any kind, is just not for me. That is for private, not out in public!

  8. I don't have a problem with attractive people getting nude. However, that rarely seems to be the case. Not that bathing suits help that much. The beach is always an exercise in things you can't unsee.

  9. In high school, I went to Martha's Vineyard where they have nude beaches and I think what struck me WHO was getting naked. I mean, if you've got a hot body, I'm all for it, but there are some things left unseen and under clothes. That being said, the US could do with a little less prudishness in my opinion.

    The real question here, though, is why fly a kite with a shirt on and no pants? That's got to be for shock value. I mean, if you're taking off your pants, what's the point of the shirt?

  10. I appreciate you including your policy on nudity in the bedroom in this post. I have been wondering :)

    I'm obviously a prude, because getting naked on a beach, in front of others...hell no. I just couldn't handle it. With family? Just....ew.

    I swam in 60 degree water, with a wetsuit, and I was freaking freezing. 55 in a bathing suit (or nude) sounds like torture.

  11. I have no problem with nudity in general, but it depends on the context. Walking around naked in a locker room (where everyone else does the same) = totally fine. Walking around naked in a marketplace? Get me a bathrobe, stat!

    As for being nude at the beach, what I've always wondered is... what about the SAND????? Doesn't it get... ahem... everywhere?

  12. whew, nudity on the beach is a no-go for me!!!

    looks like such a fun time, and I love the pic of you on the water with your stolen lily!

    Ah, you looked chilly on the beach, but honestly with these 100+temps here in Texas, I'd take some cooler days RIGHT NOW!!!!

  13. Such a great question!! I think I'm quite the prude, but even I surprise myself. I've been skinny dipping several times; HOWEVER, I was younger, it was nighttime, and I lived on an island!! I doubt I could avoid staring, judging, giggling, etc. if put in those situations, so I guess I prefer to draw the line at brazilian bikini's -- show off whatchya got, but leave SOME to the imagination =)

  14. I went to a nude beach when I was in St. Maarten a few years ago, and I gotta tell ya... swimming in the ocean nekkid as a jaybird was completely liberating. Nothing like it. The most free feeling I have ever felt in my life. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

  15. When I lived in Spain, I went through the same weird factor on the beach :) I finally realized that I didn't care but since I was studying abroad with a bunch of other American students, I was more concerned about the other American guy students staring too much!

  16. I have never been to a nude beach and I don't think I would. I am too old for that :) If you are younger and are comfortable with yourself-go for it!

  17. Why are you all wearing clothes in all these pictures?

  18. I'm ALL for wearing as little as possible in the heat, but nude um no! There are some VERY pale body parts that are covered for a reason they are not pretty! Um I don't even get in the pool now without shivering and it's over a 100 out. I struggle staying warm in the pool. I am more of a lay on a lounge chair girl ;) What an awesome vacation can't wait to hear the rest of the stories!

  19. No exhibitionist me. And no swimming in cold water either... ESPECIALLY the ocean. There are things in there that want to eat my toes.

  20. So totally all for the nudies ... as long as I'm not expected to go there with them ... never have felt that comfortable to get all free and breezy! Glad you are having a great trip xx

  21. i have no idea how i would react to the nude beach experience! it sounds fairly comical and entertaining! i cant imagine being hanging out naked in the cold!?! haha! what a wonderful trip you are having! i was only in Germany for a short time a few years ago but absolutely loved it! glad you are having a blast!

  22. When we were on vacation a few years ago there were a lot of people topless (rarely any complete nudity). It was kind of liberating to join in but not something that I'd want to live everyday.

    Too cold to swim? It has to be pretty cold to keep me outta the pool after a run. ;-)

  23. Not sure I could do it. and not around my family for sure too weird! I have never been to a nude beach maybe someday. Glad you are having fun!

  24. Happy anniversary! I think nude beaches are a little weird, but that's just because it's not our norm. On the whole, I don't have a problem if I'm visiting somewhere and it's their norm….but I always think it's really weird and awkward when it's a family hanging out together nude.

  25. Happy Anniversary to you and Tim!! Looks like you two are having a blast!

    I don't know how I feel about being nude at beaches. I've only been to one beach in Italy where it was the norm. I don't think I would ever feel comfortable stripping down like that. I'll stick to nakedness within the walls of my own home!

  26. Happy Anniversary! The picture of you on the kayak is beautiful. You look so happy!

    Safe travels and have fun in the UK!

  27. Happy Anniversary! I agree--55 is too cold to swim. I probably wouldn't even be wearing shorts but I'm always cold. :)

  28. Looks like a wonderful (although chilly) way to celebrate your 2nd anniversary - Happy anniversary you kids!

    Safe travels!

  29. Sounds like an awesome trip! I actually know someone who's parents are from Germany, and her father is a nudist. Apparently he's just always nude when he's at home. I can't imagine it.

  30. oh my gosh...keep having a blast in germany!!! haha..i really don't have any hang-up's with nudity BUT i will withhold the right to look away and maybe barf a bit in my mouth at some of the sights. :P the sick thing, is much of the worst/weirdest things have the train-wreck situation...i don't want to look but i'm compelled to! :P

  31. There is definitely something I find really refreshing about European culture: they are very very comfortable in their own skin--regardless of body type.

    I've been living in Minsk here for over a year and in America it seems everyone is just substantially more insecure about how they feel other people perceive the way they look. In Europe is just seems: fat, thin, muscular, skinny, old, young--just do what makes you feel comfortable! I don't think I'd strip down entirely, but I certainly feel a lot more comfortable running with my shirt off in the summer--it helps defeat my farmer's tan. :)

  32. I live near San Francisco and there are nude beaches near here. I don't think they are "official" because they are public. But what do I know. I don't really 'do' nude beaches...the sand is just not so awesome when it accumulates in all the cracks and crevices. Plus I think my kids would lose it. As for the cold water and swimming thing...I've never been much for that but last month I went swimming in the cold-ass Pacific for the first time in about 20 years. Yeah...TOO cold.

    Happy anniversary!!!!

  33. I didn't know that they are quite laxing with clothes rules in the beach over there.


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