Overlooking one of the more beautiful landscapes in the midwest and the bluffs rising above the Wisconsin River at (the now closed) Mazo Beach, I thought, “How did I get here?”
It was one of those days. We’ve all had them. You get home from a particularly rough time at work and you are irritable for a day or two later. The feeling is inexplicable. You are trying your best to be a good father, a good husband, a good person. But something was nagging at me.
Not wanting to put up with me for too long, my wonderful wife had a great idea. “Go! Spend a day on your own,” she suggested. And as guilty as I felt abandoning my family on a day off from work, she convinced me to head off on a scenic Wisconsin drive to relax and have some alone time.
But what to do with my newfound freedom? I enjoy driving the back roads of my home state as the many sites that make life interesting can be found well off the busy interstate highways. Lunch in Lake Mills was nice and as I began driving through Dane County, the thought hit me.
There is a nude beach somewhere around here. Mazo Beach.
I’m not sure why this particular thought entered my mind as I’d driven this route dozens of times and had never considered it. I wasn’t even sure where it was. This was in the days before smartphones and Google Maps, so I was on my own to find it. Out came the poorly folded Wisconsin map from the glove box and the search began.
An hour later, in the forests south of the Wisconsin River, I found what I (correctly) believed was the parking lot. What I didn’t know was that it was a 1.2 mile walk from the car to the beach and on this hot upper 80s July day, I was woefully unprepared.
I paused in the parking lot. After all, I had not a thought as to what I should expect. My conservative mind suggested the beach is nothing but old hippies and gay men flaunting their stuff. But as I sat in my car contemplating what to do, a car pulled in to the lot, and out jumped a young, attractive couple, and they scampered down the path to the beach.
OK, I could be wrong. Maybe I can do this.
So I grabbed a towel, sunscreen, a book (I’m never without one) and a very inadequate bottle of water and headed down the path. It was far longer than I anticipated, but a twenty minute walk later, I was overlooking the beautiful bluffs of the Wisconsin River. And all around were people completely naked.
Well, when in Rome…
So I found my own personal spot of sand far enough away from everyone else and stripped down. And my life changed forever.
After about two minutes I thought, “where has this been my whole life?” I was feeling the most relaxed I’ve ever felt. People were beyond friendly. There were men, women, all ages, all sizes, all shapes. The beauty of the location was almost spiritual and my mind was rejuvenated unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.
After an hour, I ran out of water and had no choice but to head back to the car and call it a day. I surprised myself though. I didn’t want to put clothes back on. I really didn’t want to leave. This was too amazing to me.
But back I went and explained all to my surprised, but supportive wife. And I’ve considered myself an “occasional naturist” ever since.
I wanted to learn about my experience and found many similar first-time stories online. So indeed, it wasn’t just me! There really is something to this!
In the days that passed, my wife frequently commented on how different I seemed. That I was more relaxed, more father-like, more husband-like. And to this day, she continues to support me when I feel the need to “relax” some more!
I learned some very important life lessons that day that I would like to share.
- Personal Self-Esteem. Like everyone else, I do not have a perfect body. There are dings, dents, scrapes, scars, and I’ve never liked even being shirtless around anyone other than my wife. After seeing what “normal” people look like, I gained tremendous confidence in my own body image.
- The beauty of my wife. At this point I’d been with my wife for well over a decade. But we are bombarded with sexual imagery from TV, movies, magazines, and commercials. Like 99.9% of all women, my wife fell short of the “perfect” image that is almost forced upon us. But after seeing what “normal” women looked like, I now always see my wife as being more and more beautiful each day.
- Comfort. There was not a single supermodel on this beach. I know! In Wisconsin! But everyone was perfectly comfortable in their own skin. Every size and shape you can imagine. They were there. And no one minded. No one was being judged or shamed. It was wonderful.
- Respect. No one was playing loud music. There was no littering. No obscenities being shouted. Just the sound of the wind, the water, and nature. Everyone seemed very friendly and kind toward one another.
My first time was a life changing event. I honestly wish I would have discovered this lifestyle earlier. I can’t imagine how much it would have changed my life for the better had I experienced this at a younger age.
So if you are hesitant to try, my advice is to find the right place at the right time and just go for it. Worst case, you will have a great story to tell.