And so we skinny dipped. Less by the light of the moon and more by the sun setting behind distant city lights.
It is tough to top an eight hour first date. But top it we did. With our tops off (!).
The plan: POAGN and I met at Longos to buy our respective dinners we would later picnic on. A short LCBO trip afterwards, and we were on our way to the Harbourfront to catch a water taxi to the west end of the Toronto Islands where we would then make the 10-minute walk to Toronto’s well-known Hanlan’s Point Beach to have said picnic. And to perhaps go for a dip, bathing suits optional.
I have only been to Hanlan’s Point once before, and that experience was far more timid and tame than Tuesday night’s jaunt.
Then: I sat on a log in the heat of the midday sun, in shorts and a strapless bra, close to the outside perimeter of the beach, far away from all the nudes. Gazing without fixating on any one individual, I saw a whole lotta wangs. A nude beach volley ball game. And people generally having fun in the sun, sans clothes. A part of me wanted to participate, another part of me thought, mmm, better not. The company I kept at the time was not game either, so there lacked major motivation.
Now: Exclamation point. Like my last visit a few years ago, the beach was littered with mostly nude men. I saw maybe three fully nude women during my four hour visit. Which is on par with most people’s experience at Hanlan’s and I suppose around the world at clothing optional beaches. It didn’t stop me, though it nearly did. My date, being quite up for anything, and quite comfortable with himself, stripped and waited for me to do so too. Hesitantly I undressed to my underoos and with hand in hand we turned and faced the water. ‘Twas quite windy Tuesday night, the waves were large-ish, the water that cold looking grey. But step by step, and with POAGN’s assistance/persistence we went in up to my shoulders (his shoulders and I likely would have breathed in a lot of water).
The real challenge was taking off the last bit of clothing. I’m proud to say I did. And after a few more chilled heartbeats in Lake Ontario, we turned to face the beach and make our way out of the cold waters. Though the sun wasn’t entirely visible behind the clouds, it was still light enough to be fully exposed (we caught the attention of a nearby gentleman who invited us to keep warm by his fire, exclaiming, likely more to POAGN than me, “Don’t worry about the boner”. The whole experience (of being exposed) reminiscent of my first experience coming out of the Mediterranean topless—a reflection of my time spent living in the south of Spain along the Costa del Sol where my roommates and friends got accustomed (and welcomed) to the topless culture.
Needless to say date number two was invigorating and fun fun fun. There are so many facets to a person, and I feel like the free and spontaneous facet of myself has been a little opaque. A little cloudy of late. Who knew all it would take for me to feel like me was to literally undress and bathe in a Great Lake for me to figuratively feel reborn.
Hanlan’s Point Beach. You challenged me. I accepted. And it was liberating.
Looking for the fun in life (and on Tinder).