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Letting it all hang out: Bad for your skin, hard on our eyes

After several nights of crazy Halloween parties, I'm sure one thing is resonating in the mind of every student - nude beaches. And if that's not what you're thinking about right now, it should be because it's a great stress reliever.

You know what else works well? Jell-O wrestling. But that's beside the point. Anyway, let me tell you about my nude beach experience from this summer. However, I must warn readers that this column may not be appropriate for young children, pregnant women, pregnant marsupials, ferrets with multiple personality disorders and some types of cheese.

Okay, back to the point. One of the beaches I visited on a vacation this past summer ended up being a nude beach. This sounds exciting at first, doesn't it? If it does, cherish your innocence and don't read further.

The truth is, a human being's desire to take off his or her clothes in a public place is directly proportional to his or her age times ugliness. Ninety-five percent of the people on a nude beach will make you wish real life had those black squares they use on public television. I actually tried to buy some black squares at the local store so that I could hand them out, but there weren't any left.

When I was on this beach I wondered why it's only the beaches that have naked areas. I guess it's because we want to impress those few areas of the body that don't get to see the light of day much. So when we bring them out to chill for an extended period of time, we want it to be in an exotic location. We want them to come out, see this beautiful island in the Caribbean and say to themselves, "Wow, what a gorgeous beach! This guy really has something going here!"

It just wouldn't work if we were naked at other places. If there were nude subway cars, I think those parts of our body we wanted to impress would be like, "What the hell is this? What's that smell? Put your pants back on! Cover me back up, for God's sake!"

Anyway, back to my traumatic experience: There were so many nasty people lounging around that I felt bad for the beach. What a terrible way to ruin a beautiful, exotic location. Mankind has certainly destroyed exotic places in other ways - construction, fires, oil spills. But the cruelest way is with the use of fat, ugly, naked people. I bet the natives on the island talk about it like it was a natural disaster. "Yeah, it was a beautiful beach ... until last summer when the nakeds hit. It was devastating. My uncle's blind now."

One strange thing was that outside the beach I saw a sign that said, "No video taping or photography." Do the people who put this up really think tourists are going to go to a nude beach to take family photos? That would spice up the old Christmas card, wouldn't it? "Honey, the Wilsons sent us a Christmas card ... It looks like there's a fat, naked couple in the background. Do you think they're trying to tell us something?"

So like I said, 95 percent of the people on this nude beach were not enjoyable to look at. However, there was another 5 percent that almost made the trip worthwhile. And it's not just that there were a few attractive naked women on the beach. I've seen plenty of attractive naked women before (in magazines).

But the thing that got me was that there were attractive naked women doing athletic activities such as paddleball. It wasn't just me staring. Every man for a half-mile radius couldn't bring himself to look away. If those girls hadn't eventually left, I would still be on that beach right now.

And watching attractive naked women is like a drug - after it's over you go into withdrawal. I wandered around for the next several days hoping to find more sexy naked women, but like I said, there weren't that many.

Eventually I did find some more hot naked women playing paddleball, but it's not the same when they're 80 years old. And it was a little embarrassing to have to pay them to take their clothes off, and this was just yesterday in Barnes & Noble.

Even though there were a few attractive women on the beach, I can't imagine actually asking out a woman on a nude beach. It seems like when you're both naked you're beginning with everything already out on the table. She's naked, you're naked, there's nowhere left to go.

On the bright side, though, I guess it is a good thing to have in common on a first date - the fact that you both enjoy taking off your clothes.

That is probably more likely to get you asked up to his or her apartment than if the common ground is a mutual enjoyment of backgammon.

I decided to keep my clothes on, but I encountered awkward situations nonetheless. At one point I was sitting on the beach, and a naked guy was standing nearby. Suddenly he starts up with the small talk. That's when I realized small talk has no point when one person is nude. Eventually it's all going to come back to the nakedness. You just can't avoid it.

Naked Guy: How ya doing?

Me: Uh ... fine. How about you?

Naked Guy: Pretty good. Beautiful day.

Me: Yeah ... so you're naked.

Naked Guy: Yeah, I am. So, the water's pretty nice today also.

Me: Listen, you're still naked. We'll have to pick this up some other time.

So overall my trip to the nude beach was quite emotionally scarring, and to this day I get disoriented whenever I so much as hear the word "paddleball"


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