I got lucky earlier this year and won two prizes in a raffle. The raffle was in support of a good cause – the St. Martin animal shelter and adoption center. Prize #1 was a canon printer, which came in extremely useful when my faithful old ink-sucking vampire of a printer died. Faithful it was but also rather mean as it died shortly after I installed two new ink cartridges. The second prize was a busman’s holiday. Brits will understand when I say it was like taking a three day weekend in Morecambe when you live in Blackpool. The American equivalent would be swapping three days in Detroit for three days in, well, Detroit.
Now, I am not knocking the prize because it was something rather wonderful … a long weekend at the superb Four Star Esmeralda Resort in Orient Bay. I’m sure you can see that this is not something we would normally do, I mean, if the hill wasn’t in the way, we could see the Esmeralda Resort from our apartment. However, Esmeralda allowed us to claim our prize over my birthday weekend and although we have lived in St. Martin for more years than I care to count, we have never had a ‘on island’ vacation.
Orient Bay is world famous. It is on the island’s windward side and no matter how sunny, there is usually a breeze to take the edge off the heat. The golden strand is lined with bars and restaurants. This is a hustle and bustle beach with lots of action: windsurfers, kiteboarders, jet skis, music, dancing and nudity.
Okay, it took me a while to get there, but nudity is what this is about. I have to say that I have few inhibitions. My body, on the outside at least, isn’t in bad shape considering the knock-about life of the last few decades, and in the right circumstances, having my bits seen by friends or even stranger, doesn’t worry me much.
Now, I’m not talking about jumping out from behind a bush and popping open my raincoat, no, it’s more strolling about our boat without clothes and not being bashful when it comes to a skinny dip in the right company. I think I have a rather healthy attitude to sex. I am monogamous but enjoy the company of women more than that of men. And if woman is wearing a pushup bra and a low top, you bet I’m going to look.
My casual attitude to nudity has never given me pause for thought, but I found it rather challenged at Orient.
We began our beach walk (we were clothed, I might add) at Esmeralda and stopped at the last bar before the famous nude beach at Club Orient. From the bar, the first section of clothing optional beach is clearly visible and sure enough we could see naked people.
The bar is also where the taxis disgorge the tourists from the cruise ships and it adds a touch of the freak show to the proceedings … as if the tourists have come to take a close look at dangerous animals in a zoo.
The bar was the ideal place to watch the reaction of the tourists, mostly American, I might add. They responded to the prancing nudes, and yes the guys were prancing, in various ways: laughter, shock, blushes, screams, giggles, disgust and envy.
Outside the bar, a taxi driver, trying to explain to a rather flushed lady from the Midwest that the beach on the left was where you wore clothes, and that the beach on the right was clothing optional, had attracted quite a crowd. The lady insisted that she had seen women with bare breasts on the ‘clothed’ beach when the driver had told her there would be no nudes in that area. The driver then explained that topless wasn’t nude. “It certainly is,” said the woman and started a huge argument. In the meantime, subjects of her argument had arrived to listen. Thinking she had won her case and the driver having withdrawn to the bar to ponder the loss of his tip, she turned only to be confronted by several swinging dicks and a large lady wearing nothing but a grin.
It was a first for me! I have only seen a woman swoon in a movie, and I think that was Gone with the Wind.
Did I take my clothes off? I’m not telling …