Today is Labor Day in the USA. This date is observed on the first Monday of September every year as a tribute to the workforce and saluting their contribution to American society. It’s an extended (three-day) weekend here that many consider the “unofficial” end of the summer season. It’s also the last long holiday of the traditional beach calendar, the other two being Memorial Day in May and the July 4th week.
Many naturists/nudists, no matter their gender attraction, view this holiday with mixed feelings. It’s a long weekend, therefore, a cause for celebration: parties, barbeques, beach trips and other social nude events. It also marks the beginning of the end of summer and the accompanying twinges of regret. We know all-too-well how endless and harsh the winters can be (as also how brief the fun-in-the-sun time truly is).
Aaron and I are on a mini-nakation (naked + vacation = nakation). We’re in northern New Jersey, just outside New York City, at Gateway National Recreation Area (also known as “Sandy Hook”), on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. One of the amenities of this location is Gunnison Beach, a clothing-optional beach complete with its’ well-known “unofficial” same gender loving (gay) area. This is a popular destination for the GLBT community, both nude and clothed, throughout the mid-Atlantic and northeast regions of the USA. As it is a prolonged holiday period here, this destination is especially congested. We knew this would be the case when we planned this excursion.
We’re doing our part to contribute to this overcrowding along the shore. Aaron and I are not here alone; when we made our lodging reservations, we needed a total of three rooms. Luckily, we were able to secure accommodations with a property that’s only a half-hour drive (one way) from the park. Not too bad considering the last-minute scheduling of our trip (three weeks before arrival).
Accompanying Aaron and I are my identical twin brother, Alex, and his boyfriend, Sudhir. They followed us here in their own SUV so as to transport the five of us to and from our daily trips to the beach. Also with us is David, Aaron’s oldest brother, who very recently came out to us as both bisexual and a social nudist. The reason for this late-planned venture is to honor our traditional summer nakation with Twin and Sudhir and to full-fill our promise to David to include him on a nude outing.
We arrived here Thursday evening. Too late for any “beach-time” but it allowed us to settle into our rooms, have a nice dinner in a local restaurant and plan the following day. The line of traffic forms early outside the park gates so we all knew we needed to be awake with the sun every morning if we wanted to secure a convenient parking space and a decent site along the shore. The beach is crowded on weekends, especially holidays. We understand the benefits of establishing our sandy “turf” before the mob assembles.
Our first day (Friday) set the pace for the remainder of our sunshine days. Up before the dawn, load up the SUV, pack fruit, sandwiches, lights snacks and water then off to the beach, stopping for a quick breakfast along the way. Friday the surf was a little rough due to the offshore hurricane, Cristobal, moving northward up the Atlantic coast but too far out to sea for any major concern. Days of sun, sand, surf and clothes-free men as far as the eyes can see.
Once on the beach, our routines vary. Twin (Alex) and Sudhir are both sun-loungers. They are both content to spend all their time lying on their blanket with periodic splashes in the ocean. It works for them and that’s fine. Aaron and I are not quite so passive. We’re strollers and swimmers, preferring to stay active, balancing our day between the surf and long walks up and down the shore, taking in all the sights. David is all over the beach, sitting on his blanket watching others pass by, playing in the water and then hiking all along the shore. He’s meeting other singles, exploring his sexuality, enjoying his new, naked freedom.
This does not mean that we spent the entire day apart from each other. Throughout our time in the park, we’d cavort in the Atlantic Ocean and along the shore. We unsuccessfully attempted a wet sand statue that ended up looking exactly like its’ contents: a mound of wet sand. I couldn’t resist reminding everyone that before we even started our artistic creation, I informed them that the incoming tide would obliterate any trace of it. But did anyone listen to me? No!
As the beach was too crowded for a Frisbee or football toss, we managed several games of nude Twister each afternoon. This activity is ideal for a congested environment. The tools are simple: all that’s needed is the plastic mat with different colored circles and the cardboard spinner that indicates which foot or hand (left or right) goes on what colored circle. Anyone who is familiar with the game is aware of the interesting results of all the body contact. With all the participants naked, the situations usually are extremely intimate. Whenever we played Twister, most of those around us eagerly begged to join the fun. Needless to add, David enjoyed this game tremendously!
The focus of this mini-nakation is social nudity in a coastal environment: the beach. The result is we haven’t the time for any trips into New York City for any of he clubs there. The early starts to our days here eliminated that possibility and we all understood this from the moment we planned this adventure. Our evening routine is out to dinner at local eateries and then socializing in our room. Saturday night we hosted a gathering of some guys (three) we met Friday and who chose to hang out with us again at the beach on Saturday. The eight of us went out to eat and then all congregated back in our room for nude cards and cocktails. Sunday night, David had a date with one of our new acquaintances so it was just Twin and Sudhir, Aaron and myself for dinner.
As I write this, Aaron and I are alone in our motel room, each of us on a clothing-optional group outing with a biological brother and at least one “brother-in-law” in our party. One big extended happy family having fun on an extended holiday weekend. For the moment, all of us content with the state of the world.
The above photograph is an aerial view of Sandy Hook at the Gateway National Recreation Area. Gunnison Beach, the only nudist site, is located at the northern end, furthest from the shore. Anyone interested in additional information (including directions), visit the National Park Service website (click title to view). On the home page, go to State of New Jersey, scroll to Gateway National Recreation Area, then select Sandy Hook and then Gunnison Beach.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!