New nude order

Ban on clothing-optional beaches marks decline of Western civilization



Photo By r.v. scheide

The cultural advancement of any civilization can be gauged by the comfortableness of its citizens in their own skin. Thanks to a recent state appellate court decision upholding a ban on nudity in state parks, we may now rank California just below one of those planets where Kirk and Spock have to enforce the Prime Directive to its fullest, lest the natives learn how to manufacture muskets.

It seems the family-values crowd in San Diego take exception to people sunbathing in the nude at San Onofre State Beach, which, like many state parks in California, has permitted public nudity in designated clothing-optional areas for the past three decades, right up to the moment state parks director Ruth Coleman ordered San Onofre’s nude beach closed last year.

As usual, there were charges of public fornication, an act which has been known to occur at San Onofre, if infrequently. That’s not really the issue here, anyway. As Coleman noted, the beach at San Onofre has become more popular during the past few decades, and families have begun straying into the clothing-optional area, where the realization that all human beings have genitalia has irrevocably perverted their little darlings for life.

I’ll admit I have an agenda here. I’m somewhat of an amateur nudist, and have visited most of the clothing-optional beaches on the California coast, from San Onofre to Eureka. Not once have I witnessed public fornication. Well, I mean, except for the two or three times I participated in it. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Sex on the beach is a crucial component of the California Dream. That’s why we named a drink after it.

Not once during all my visits have I witnessed a family running away aghast at the site of my manhood, which generally isn’t that much to behold on such occasions, given our frigid coastal waters. OK, maybe once they ran away aghast. Twice. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, either. That’s why we put the signs up. If families choose not to heed them, that’s their choice. It’s a crazy little thing called personal responsibility.

At any rate, the days of brisk ocean breezes wafting through your nether region are numbered. Coleman has indicated that the ban will be phased in gradually, but it will be implemented, unless the Naturist Action Committee is successful with its appeal to the state Supreme Court.

So what might this new nude order look like? I got a disturbing glimpse several years ago in Sonoma County, where the local gendarmes have waged a campaign against nude bathing on the Russian River since the 1970s, when thousands of nudists once flocked to its banks. Needless to say, their numbers are smaller today, and I counted myself among them.

On a sunny Fourth of July weekend, I was catching some rays behind my favorite sand dune when the sheriff pulled up in a boat and rousted the group of 20-somethings splayed out naked at the next dune down. I slipped my trunks on and went over to investigate.

They were quite a crew: two lesbians, two gays and two pre-ops, each of the latter going the opposite direction. Most of them quickly covered up, but one of the pre-ops, the one going from female to male, became angry when the deputy told him to put his top on. The topless pre-op vociferously informed the deputy that women should be allowed to go topless in public, but that was beside the point, since he was a man, even though he still had breasts. The deputy would have none of it and wrote him a $500 ticket.

It’s a good question, though. Why aren’t women allowed to go topless in public? Why do we pretend penises don’t exist? Because society might get sucked into a masturbatory maelstrom if we did otherwise? Come on, people. It’s the 21st century. If we can’t be comfortable in our own skins at this late date, perhaps our culture isn’t worth saving.