Monday, July 16, 2012

Unsurprisingly, I Love the Clothing-Optional Beach! Part One

Last Saturday was one of my top three favorite adventures so far (along with public fireplay and Sweetie’s knack for ropes.) I love the feeling that I get sometimes that this was what I was made to do. I’ve liked all the time I’ve spent at regular beaches, having a nice time but sometimes feeling self-conscious, not getting to show Sweetie the (mostly-chaste) affection that straight couples always feel free to show in the ocean. I honestly didn’t know how much I was missing.

But before I get into the Edenic delightfulness of the day, I have to confess a few sad things about it:

At the moment, Sweetie and I are unsure of the future of our relationship. For all the progress we’ve made, we still argue badly and cause each other a great deal of pain. She worries a lot that I’m not really hers, that all of our co-adventures and connections don’t mean anything, that everything wonderful between us can be taken away, and that causes her to lash out sometimes, which scares me, which leads to stupid marathon fights. For all of my work this year, I still feel ashamed of liking men and wanting to submit to them, and I often feel like she is judging me  about them. I spend a lot of time feeling lonely, and so does she. We’re isolated and it’s not good. We’re together for the time being, being as kind and loving as we know how, but we don’t know if we can make it. One way or another, I would like an end, or even a reduction, of the sadness and tension between us.

The other sad thing is that the clothing-optional beach made me really, really miss the Mayor of Kittentown. Though he wasn’t there that day, he frequents the same beach and I’d always thought we’d go there together, I always thought that would be our adventure.  The feeling of my body being warm and bare and loved and accepted reminded me of what it sometimes felt like to be next to him. I feel like a failure for not figuring out a way to be with him, for not being enough to convince him to be more flexible about monogamy. When he told me he’s going there next weekend with Monogamous Girl, I felt the first deep, dark stabs of jealousy that I’ve ever felt about him—I guess it’s good that I don’t usually feel jealousy about someone until he is totally lost to me.

I wish that I could have shared a day at the beach with him, could have felt his bare body there, happy next to mine. I’m sure that I can find another naked guy, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling regretful. It has, however, spurred me into action—it’s time to somehow find a way to start dating/playing with guys again. I can’t keep looking back.

That being said, let’s start the story of our happy beach day. Sweetie and I got up early, ate our customary strawberry waffles in front of a Gilmore Girls episode, and were packed up and on the road by 6:30. I drove the first leg, bleary-eyed and shuffling through folk songs. I didn’t know what to expect from the day, just knew I needed a wide horizon and a change of scenery.  Sweetie worked on the same page of crossword puzzles that she has been working on all summer, an activity that makes me bubble up with love for her.

As we neared the beach, it really was like driving into an Eden. It felt magical as we turned down deep green and sandy beach roads, spotting egrets, cat birds, butterflies. The place felt redemptive—I doubted whether I could deserve something as beautiful as this, yet here it was. Despite warnings that the parking lot fills up quickly, we found a space and parked.

My body felt the relief of the place well before we were in the nude sunbathing area. As soon as I changed into my bathing suit, I felt myself become soft and sweet, free. My thighs, my shoulders, my feet felt loved. I felt Sweetie’s body relax as well. Free of the shame and tension inside us and between us, we could spend the day being our best/real selves, what a relief. We followed the happy crowd down to the beach.

Next: Self-Conscious for about Ten Seconds.

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