In last week’s chapter “The Awakening” I wrote about how I got interested in nude recreation and the first steps. In this week’s chapter, I write about my further adventures in naturism.
Chapter Two: Self-Expression
My nude activities were relegated to an uncomfortable drive to Black’s Beach (with no car radio) when I had the time. The drive there was long and the drive back was even longer. Plus there was no amenities at Black’s Beach, i.e. restrooms, snack bars, or other conveniences. If you had to take a wiz the ocean or the cliffs were your only bet. Also I had an incident where a pervert hit on me (it happens to men too). The problem with nude beaches is they are open to anyone and everyone.
Keep in mind also that I was still living at home at the time and my nude activities were on the down low. I came from a very conservative family and I could have gotten into big trouble for my “hobby.” I had a job and a car so I could afford the gas and etc. for my trips. But I was looking for a better place to be nude.
It was at this time that I became a card carrying naturist, I joined the Naturist Society. I was glad that they sent me their magazine packaged in plain wrapping. I started to look for a landed nudist/naturist club I could join. Most nudist clubs were out in the boonies and in the rural part of San Bernardino County. Plus most nudist clubs banned single males in those days. Glen Eden only allowed couples and females. There was only ONE nudist club in Los Angeles County, Elysium Fields. Elysium Fields was located in Topanga Canyon and was about 60 minutes away. Still a long drive. But it allowed single males and was clothing optional, not nude mandatory like the others. So I got up the courage and called them for an appointment.
I cannot recall when I visited Elysium Fields for the first time. All I remember is that it was warm and shortly after Elysium’s founder Ed Lange died. The drive there required me to drive on the freeway then drive on a winding road through the canyons of Topanga. I over planned and got there too early before my appointment, so I drove around, killing time, and then came back to Elysium Fields.
It wasn’t what I expected. Elysium Fields was very small. It had a brown main house which led on to a big lawn, across from the lawn there was a small clubhouse with a swimming pool. Nearby was a sauna, restrooms, and showers. Up above, on a hill overlooking everything, was a large Jacuzzi surrounded by trees.
I checked in and made my 1st faux pas, I told the receptionist that I was a member of the “Naturalist Society” instead of the “Naturist Society.” The young woman with red hair and a nose ring excused my mistake. The reception area also had a small naturist store with naturist books, video tapes, and magazines for sale.
I waited outside in the nearby patio. The place was empty, it was the middle of the week in the late morning. Three other people came for the tour as well. A older gentleman and a woman near my age. At the appointed time, “Betty” one of the directors of Elysium Fields came over to give us the tour. The tour is what you’d think it would be, “here is the restrooms” and “here is the pool.” But in hindsight it was one of the friendliest/nicest tours of a nude recreation facility I’ve ever had. Since Elysium Fields, most nudist/naturist resort tours I’ve been in are conducted more like an interrogation. Intentions scrutinized. Rules were heavy handed and I was even told at one nudist club “we’ll be watching you.” But not at Elysium Fields. Of course rules were discussed, but I don’t recall being hit over the head with them. Plus the clientele were the remnants of the 60s counterculture. After the tour, we were told that we could spend the rest of the day here and visit a few times more before we were required to become members.
The older man left and just me and the female remained. I went to the shower room and removed my clothing.
What to do first?? Swim? Get a tan? The sauna? The sauna was the first place I’d try, I never been in a sauna before. I entered the sauna and the female I was on the tour with was already there. She was in her twenties and had done some nude modeling and that’s how she got interested in nude recreation. We talked for a while and then went to the pool to cool off.
It was a strange sensation. I’d only had experience with being naked for a few hours, but now could be nude all day. I was nude so long that day I’d forgot I was naked. It was normal as normal could be. One of the oddest experiences, odd is not the word, more surreal. I was in the reception area/store when the UPS man pulled up and came in to deliver some packages. It was surreal to be naked in front of someone you wouldn’t expect to be nude in front of. The UPS driver did his best not to look at me but had an uncomfortable grin. I Inquired about membership. There was a flat yearly fee and a gate fee per visit of $11per visit.
As I left, I made up my mind to become a member. I visited a few times more, and when I saved enough money, I became a member of Elysium Fields.
I saw her shortly after a few visits after becoming a member. Kate (not her real name but an alias I just made up) was sitting on a patio chair near the pool. She was blonde and beautiful, naturally beautiful, the kind of beauty that didn’t need makeup. She was tan from head to toe and had a tattoo on her left hip. There wasn’t many people my age at Elysium Fields.
I sat down next to her an started a conversation. I was surprised by how friendly she was. She was a masseuse at Elysium Fields and had lived there for a while before moving elsewhere. Kate wanted to become a doctor. She had a boyfriend who was also a member.
You’d think talking with an attractive nude woman would be erotic or sexual. But it wasn’t. Kate was so sweet and beautiful that I didn’t even notice her nudity. Her nudity was just part of her. Plus when you talk to someone, you look at their eyes.
We talked for while, but then she had to give someone a massage. But I saw her almost every time I was at Elysium Fields.
I started to notice something about me. There was something changing inside me.
I remember going to work, and huddled in the warehouse was a circle of guys. They were hooting and howling about something. When I got closer, one of my co-workers was showing a Playboy magazine to the others. He showed me the picture, I kinda shrugged my shoulders. He probably thought I was gay. Normally, a young man my age would be salivating at nude women, but not me. I had transcended to a different state of consciousness, a more real state.
My nudity up to this point was like model airplane building, volleyball, or stamp collecting. It was an activity. A hobby. Something you do. Now my nudity had become part of my life, a way of living, a way of thinking.
At about this time, tattoos and body piercings were in vogue for people of my age. All the rage. I remember Kate’s tattoo. So one day I got a tattoo too on my left thigh. Then I got one of my nipples pierced. And later I got an ampallang piercing through the head of my penis.
Why would anyone get such a piercing? Many of you think the reason why people get genital piercings is sexual. Sex was not even in my mind when I got pierced. I wanted to express myself. My tattoos, body piercings, and even my nudity were a form of self-expression. There was something empowering about making choices on how to adorn MY own body. I could not express myself to my family, co-workers, or friends. My body became the way I expressed myself.
It used to be a big no no to have tattoos, piercings, or shaved genitals at nudist clubs. You could get kicked out. One day I was at Elysium, when two of the managers cornered me in the office. They said they had some concerns about my piercing. They said it was against Elysium policy to have genital piercings, and if I didn’t remove it, I’d be asked to leave. When I asked why, they made some half-assed excuse as to children might see it. They then asked me why someone would do that? I didn’t have a reason. I never thought of a reason. I never thought about my dick piercing in an intellectual argument. It was something I thought of and did it one night. I remember just saying something like “that’s what my generation does.” The meeting ended, I don’t remember how. I went out in a huff and later told Kate what had happened. She told me to cover up next time I walk near the office. Kate was right. They never bothered me again and no one complained.
Elysium Fields had a volunteer program where if you agreed to help out at Elysium you didn’t have to pay a gate fee. I signed up. The duties included helping out at events and parties.
I was laying on the lawn trying to get a tan one day, when Kate came over an gave me a flyer for the yearly Halloween party and asked me if I was going. I don’t remember if I said “yes” or “no.” As I left for the day, I was walking to my car when I passed by Kate. She was in charge of setting this party up and asked me to help her. Without hesitation I said yes.
On Saturday, the morning of the party, I arrived at Elysium to help get ready for the party. Kate wasn’t feeling well, she had a fever the night before, and wasn’t her normal cheery self. I helped setup tables, chairs, and other stuff for the party. I kept my clothes on because it was kinda cold in the morning. As the day progressed, Kate felt better and returned to her usual self.
Halloween at a nudist club is like nothing you’ve ever seen. Imagine a naked cowboy, or a green woman head to toe, or a naked astronaut. It was wild, wild in the way people have freedom to express themselves without society’s judgement or scorn. I didn’t dress up but was nude for most of the night until it got too cold to be nude. Kate was dressed as a princess in pink and her tan bare feet were the only part of her that was nude. The evening progressed and near 10pm I decided to leave. The drive meant getting home near 12am. As I was leaving, Kate wished me goodbye and gave me a kiss. That’s the last time I saw her.
Soon I got a job as a manager that ate away my free time. I went back to Elysium maybe a few more times, never seeing Kate.
After a while I stopped being an active naturist, school and work left little time. My membership in the Naturist Society lapsed. Soon the body piercings were removed, too uncomfortable and didn’t mean the same anymore. And few years later, Elysium Fields was sold and closed forever.
Twenty plus years ago it was like a dream, an idyllic time. I was able to truly express myself. I look back at those days with wonder. I wonder what became of Kate.