WARNING: Graphic Images
"IT'S just like National Geographic!" said the 20-something-year-old Swedish girl to my left. We sat there in awe on the balcony of Nude Hotel, all casually naked, yet surprised at what we were seeing.
Where on earth were we?!
Zipolite is a small, little-known town on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It not only boasts being the only legal nude beach in Mexico, but is often likened to a town stuck in the 1960s. With the entire beach being clothing optional, it is unlike anywhere else I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.
Still, seeing live porn was far more than I had witnessed in a town that usually only had people wandering casually around naked along the beach. This was an intense moment, even for my liberal self.
Earlier that day I had been swimming naked when I'd met James, a nudist in his 50s who was staying at Nude Hotel. While the whole beach at Zipolite is clothing optional, most hotels require clothing - unless of course you're staying at Nude Hotel, where pretty much anything goes.
James and I hit it off right away, so he invited me and my friend to hang out with them and a Swedish couple in their mid-twenties for their last evening in their beautiful room overlooking the ocean at Nude.
We excitedly accepted, having no idea what was in store for us that night.
And so we went silent, and I wondered how comfortable the others were. I'm by no means a prude, but these people were having sex right there in front of us all. The quiet that overcame the group was mildly unsettling, though I tried to tell myself that this was something completely natural, albeit not an everyday sight.
The evening continued casually, as the couple finished and we continued to drink the night away sitting completely naked in a circle on the beautiful balcony.
While Nude Hotel can be quite pricey, they allow you to use their pool and facilities as long as you buy a drink or a meal - delicious and reasonably priced to be able to hang out in such a unique place.
I returned several days later to find a man taking luxurious photos of his wife on one of the beautiful beds overlooking the ocean. As if it was nothing, he held his camera and showed excitement - to put it lightly - at taking these photos. Yet there was no embarrassment or shame; no one cared that he was excited, as this was a place where everyone was free to be exactly who they wanted to be without judgment.
One of the most unique things about Zipolite is that it isn't a purely nude beach, but instead clothing optional. This allows each person to act in a way that is most comfortable to them. A miracle occurs daily in Zipolite, as people from all walks of life and age ranges connect on a real and deep level - a level rarely found in real life, and that must be cherished and appreciated when it happens to be found.
While Nude itself is a bit pricey for my fellow Millennials to stay in, many hang out there to enjoy swimming naked in the pool, or chilling sipping a piña colada topless.
The beach is completely unique to other nude beaches. Many have assumed when I've mentioned Zipolite - my favourite place on planet earth - that it would be solely a bunch of old people wandering around naked.
This could not be further from the truth. People of all ages roam free, letting it all out or staying clothed, yet accepting each other no matter what.
In recent years, more and more young people have been visiting Zipolite. People who I at first assume would never let it all hang out quickly drop their pants and hop in the water, as if it was nothing. It shouldn't be anything strange, as it is only the human body. Still, this is a foreign concept to most.
I revisited Nude Hotel on several occasions, each time having a different experience. One day there was a nude wedding, the subsequent day filling the pool with children laughing and playing, all completely clothed.
"This," I thought, "is not the day to go for a naked swim in the pool."
Although odd to see so many children in Nude Hotel, it was glorious; it showed a versatility in the place, and I saw no one naked that particular day, as if everyone showed a courtesy, knowing that it might not be terribly appropriate to strip down in front of the children.
Thus ended another trip to Zipolite, the most liberal place I have been in my four years of gallivanting through the world. Sometimes I would be completely clothed, while others I'd sunbathe and swim with nothing but a necklace on. And this is the beauty of both Zipolite and Nude Hotel; everyone feels comfortable in their own skin, and knows their own beauty.
In a place where everyone is accepted, it is only natural to finally accept yourself for exactly who you are.
Danielle is a self-described "crazy nomad" who's been on the road for more than four years straight, finding new homes as she hitchhikes along. She once hitched 6000 kilometres in six days. You can check out her blog (where she delights in oversharing) at Like Riding a Bicycle, or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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