The Naked Parisian
Last summer I took myself on a writer’s retreat to the south of France. I stayed in Monaco for 4 days and then drove down to Saint Tropez and stayed within a few meters of the beach. The two places I stayed on this trip could not have been more different. In Monaco I rented a modern flat in a high-rise condo building only one avenue back from the Monte Carlo beach and within walking distance to the famed casino. But in Saint Tropez I stayed in a Polynesian-inspired campground of sorts in a little cabin with a thatched roof. All the cabins (or bungalows) were set among palm trees and other foliage and all had porches or decks where you could sit and eat (and write) outside. Mine had two very small bedrooms but it was only me so it didn’t matter. The whole feel to the “resort” was bohemian and carefree. I was happy for the juxtaposition.
I couldn’t wait to get out onto the wide open beach which was only a 5 minute walk from my bungalow. It was mid-day in July and the beach wasn’t too crowded. I found a spot to throw down my towel and beach bag and just let the Saint Tropez sun soak in. It didn’t take long to realize that this wasn’t like our southern California beaches. I soon realized I had more freedom here. I could go topless. But that wasn’t all. As I tried not to look too shocked (thank God for dark sunglasses) it also became clear that ALL clothing was optional. What? I was on a nude beach?? I estimated that 20-30% of the sunbathers were totally in the buff and most being couples over 60 years old. Wow, how liberating I thought.
As my mind was preoccupied with this new way of beach life, I somehow attracted a much younger naked man who walked up to me and promptly laid down on the sand next to me. He had a dark tan and was very friendly with a thick French accent. He was fit and from what I could tell without starring too hard, average hung. He was quite comfortable being naked so I knew he was a pro. He quickly told me he was from Paris but also had family in Newport Beach CA (after learning I was from Los Angeles). This guy had “player” written all over him but I had no one else to talk to at the moment so I gave him a few minutes. I couldn’t help but think other beach goers had noticed he was hitting on me and probably watching the whole scene unfold.
After several compliments, it didn’t take him long to ask me if I wanted a massage. Ha, I laughed to myself. I suppose I knew this was coming. In a way, I admired his forthrightness. On the other hand, it was clear he was a smooth operator and was looking for a little afternoon action. Could I be up for a quickie with a young Parisian stranger? He said there was nothing wrong with two people enjoying each other and spending time together. Well, yes I would agree with that but not a total naked stranger who just walked up to me! To appease him just a little, I let him massage my hands all the while I strategized how I would get myself gracefully away from him. By this time I’m sure I had onlookers from the crowd. I finally came up with the excuse I needed.
“It’s been nice talking to you but I have to get back to work” I said.
“Yes, I’m a writer and I came here to write. I need to get back.”
“Oh, I see” he said, disappointed and definitely dejected.
Realizing he was getting nowhere with me, he quickly picked himself up and headed down the beach, to find his next victim I’m sure of it. As I watched him go, I just had to laugh. I felt like I had just met a gigolo. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he was simply a free spirit pursing passionate and adventurous sexual encounters on hot summer days on the beaches of St. Tropez. I won’t lie that I briefly considered that “massage”. After all, I was on holiday in the south of France. But something told me it was better left to fantasy. I think I will write that one next. 😉
Curious… what would you have done?