This weekend I went to Warnemunde, on the Baltic coast.
It’s a typical German beach town:
Rent a towel, buy an ice cream, repeat until melanoma appears.
The only thing that surprised me was how many nude beaches there were.
Naked, restful Germans from one horizon to the other.
My friend who grew up around this area says nakedness was a big deal in East Germany. Given the frustration and unfulfillment of daily life, nudity was a way for people to feel free.
My other friend, who grew up in West Germany, was more succinct: ‘There was nothing else to do, so everyone just practiced fucking each other all the time. They got really good at it.’
Regardless of whether it’s a means or an end, ubiquitous nakedness is mostly fascinating.
It’s rare to see naked people who aren’t Hollywood toned, porn-star trimmed or reality-show tanned.
The human body, as it turns out, does all kinds of interesting things when left to its own devices. Somewhere between their clothes and their character, people are amazing just to look at.
If they look back, it’s because that’s the only thing to do on a German beach for free.