In the novel, public nudity is no longer a crime in the United States, and a new generation of nudists has begun to become visible in towns and cities around the country. In this brave nude world we meet Rachel, a 24-year-old designer living in the big city. Rachel has never considered nudism before but in a world where much more freedom is possible, she finds herself gradually and inexplicably drawn to the world of the nudists, and all the possibilities and problems it brings her.
Below is an extract from this forthcoming work.
Of course, this was the year of the nudie, and so for the first time I noticed that the sunbathing people in the park included some who had taken off all their clothes, and decided to sunbathe naked. It was probably only a half-dozen people – at the most, ten, although I didn’t sit and count them. Some were in pairs or in a group together, some were solo. Just laying or sitting on the grass, chilling out, minding their own business – men and women. But all of them nude.
It was the most naked people I had seen in one place, but for some reason it was also the least surprising. It made sense that if you were going to go nude in public, you would do it on a fine sunny day, in the middle of a green space like the park, to work on your tan. The girls in the subway station or guys like Chris and Martin didn’t really make sense to me, but the people tanning in the park somehow did.
That’s probably one reason why, after not many more visits, I decided to join them.
I’d been to the park a few lunchtimes that week, and had been doing my usual trick of going to work in a sundress and bikini, and whipping the dress off for half an hour to tan, read and eat lunch before getting back to the office. But that day, call it fate if you like, I’d accidentally dressed hurriedly, and had worn regular underwear rather than a bathing suit beneath my dress. No big deal though, I thought when I realised my mistake, I didn’t need to sunbathe every day.
But lunchtime came around, and as I headed to the park I noticed how it was particularly hot and sunny today, and it began to seem like a real shame that I wasn’t going to feel the sun on as much of my skin. Then I reached a suitable spot, and my eyes spied nearby two blonde women, about my age or maybe a couple of years older, who as I watched removed all their clothing and lay down, naked, on the grass to tan.
I wondered to myself. Dare I do it?
I knew the law was on my side. But here, in the park, it also seemed like culture was on my side. While the vast majority of people visiting the park were clothed or (like I had planned to be) wearing swimwear, the two women weren’t the only nudies visible. It felt, to me, like a place where to be naked would be considered not just legal, but within the limits of what was socially acceptable. I decided, with a little smile to myself, to give it a try.
I’m not a prude about my body. Get me in the bedroom with a good looking guy and I will fling myself around in sexy underwear or nude with complete abandon. I’m never self-conscious in the women’s locker room and, hey, I live alone so sometimes I walk around naked in my apartment. Who doesn’t do that? But those were all one thing – taking my clothes off in a completely public place in the middle of the city is another thing entirely for me, and I felt flutters of nerves at my decision.
Not so much, though, to put me off doing it. I decided to move nearer to where the other two nude women were – safety in numbers and all that. I didn’t want to get too close, though, in case they thought I was coming on to them or something.
Satisfied that I was in a suitable spot – nearer to the nude women, farther from everyone else – I took a deep breath and pulled my dress off over my head. I paused for a moment, looking round. Then I reached behind my back, unhooked my bra and wiggled out of it. Finally, I slipped my panties off and laid my clothes down on the grass. I rolled over onto my stomach, using my dress as a blanket between the grass and my skin.
I looked around me, cautiously. Absolutely nothing had changed. No people were coming to attack me, or arrest me, or perv over me. Nobody was really even looking in my specific direction. They were all just busy engaging with their own lives, absorbed in their own worlds.
I was completely naked, in a park in the middle of the city, in sight of who knows how many people – and everything was fine.
I lay down and enjoyed basking in the sun for a while, feeling the warmth on my bare butt, before rolling over again on to my back. I put my arms up behind my head. I was totally exposed now. I looked down the length of my body – the peaks of my breasts, nipples pointed at the sky. My ribs, the flat curve of my stomach, dented with the well of my belly button, then leading down, a tiny, barely-visible trail of silky hairs connecting with the fine, patch of curly light brown hair on my mound. I don’t shave my pubic hair but it grows fine and neat so it looks as though I spend a lot more time on personal grooming than I actually do.
The notion that I was nude in public was somewhat exhilarating. I thought back to my only real previous experiences with nude sunbathing; specifically the first time I tried it – as a teenager, in the back yard of my parents’ house while everyone was out. Then, I jumped and reached for my bikini at every noise, imagining mom, dad, my brother, the whole high school football team and the marching band about to come streaming through the gate and catch me tanning in my birthday suit to try and eradicate my white marks. It had been such an anxious experience that I had not dared to repeat it more than a handful of times in my life, and when I moved to the city a series of apartments had meant I no longer had any sort of yard in which to tan. The parks had become my yard instead, but I had never dreamed I would one day sunbathe not just fully nude in these public places, but with a confidence I’d never had at fifteen or so. Who could ever have expected that?
After a while I realised that the other two women, whose examples I had followed, had slipped their outfits back on and left. I alone in this area of the park was nude. Yet I didn’t feel uncomfortable or worried. I was no different to any other sunbather, other than that I had not even a bikini covering myself – but my experience had taught me that this was a safe place to lie almost-nude in the sun, why not fully nude? Public nudity was allowed now, and it was only the social contract we observe – and my own sense of modesty – that discouraged it in me. But here, with no friends, family or colleagues, only strangers minding their own business – here nakedness seemed a reasonable state to be in.
My lunchbreak over, I reached for my clothing. I experienced a peculiar sense of disappointment as I dressed.
Keep an eye on my Amazon author and Goodreads author page to see Brave Nude World when it is published.