Inside Insight – Vera Playa Naturista
“Will they be naked?” I nervously asked John as we planned to meet with Tony and his wife Lynne at a naturist café in Vera Playa.
Going in with zero experience and very little knowledge we had plenty of questions, some of which we were somewhat shy to ask. Though we soon realised we needn’t feel shy and before we met Tony had messaged me the night before suggesting to meet in a café where nudity is not compulsory but naturally some people would be naked. He told me that Lynne and himself would not be, enabling it to be easier and feel comfortable for us to meet and speak with them both.
We were greeted by them and instantly felt relaxed in the company of their gentle nature. It was a beautiful, clear sunny day on Vera beach and with soft yet modern music playing in the background the whole setting felt very relaxed. That was one thing I hadn’t anticipated actually was quite how calm I would feel there. Not just the café but the area in general just emitted a very chilled vibe.
“It’s a huge misconception that naturism is to do with sex”
Tony and Lynne told us a little bit about naturist etiquette, most importantly they emphasized the number one rule when visiting anywhere, never forget to take a towel to sit on! Apparently there has been media wrongly portraying and documenting this basic code i.e not showing the towels and they wanted to ensure to clear up any confusion.
They first came to the area in June 2004 for a weeklong holiday at which point Lynne had never before tried naturism and opted for a week ‘in case she didn’t like it.’ That first time out on the complex naked was nerve-wracking for her as she recalls clinging to her towel feeling too shy to let it down. However, by 2007 they were planning to move over and adopt the lifestyle on a more permanent basis, they liked Vera for the community feel and enjoyed its surroundings. In 2010 they made the move meaning they’ve now been here 11 years this August.
“It’s a huge misconception that naturism is to do with sex” Lynne told us as she explained for them it was much more about feeling free and being comfortable in their own skin. They both really enjoy the liberation of not being ‘stuck’ in clothes, and agreed that they had little desire to get all glammed up now! There is also the sense of equality in that no one presents themselves differently to another. “You could be a rich man or a pauper, nobody knows the difference here, and it’s great because everyone just speaks to each other.” Tony appreciates that there be no need for divide based on what we dress ourselves in as this is not necessary common ground for human connection.
“Every body is beautiful”
Despite Lynne having tried naturism for the first time in 2004 Tony had been practising it since the 80’s whilst doing a degree in Portsmouth and having a nudist beach nearby. Here in Vera Playa, which has been a legal naturist site for over 40 years now. The couple tells us they find Spanish families typically very warm and welcoming and they love to see large families sat together on the beach all embracing the naturist lifestyle. They don’t tell all their family and friends because they appreciate that not everyone would understand their lifestyle choice but they recommend not knocking it until you’ve tried it. It’s always worth bearing in mind that everyone has their own reasons for doing things. Naturism (as with many things) can come with certain stigma attached and we can unfortunately, at times, offer judgement on things we know little about. There are associations with naturism and swinging, but in reality, the only real connection being made is between the two is the presence of open-minded individuals. Just because you have the capacity to accept or understand something doesn’t mean that you actively practice it!
“Every body is beautiful” Tony remarked when asked about potential judgement and how to address any body hang ups when going nude. We asked them to give us a few tips to bear in mind when trying naturism for the first time.
- Wear plenty of sunscreen (everywhere) bear in mind those bits of skin that will be extra sensitive
- Try a place where it’s not compulsory to be nude in order to ease into the setting
- Don’t judge others, quite simply body shaming really is unacceptable
- Go with a partner or alone depending on your personal preference and level of comfort
- Just relax! If you look uncomfortable, you’ll display that. Remember no one is looking and they’re most likely there for their own sense of freedom rather than to stare at you naked!
Finally, good luck! If you do try it, let us know how you get on.
Photo John Ford