“Show Us Your Tits,” or Come to Think of It, Don’t.

January 14, 2009 at 2:12 am (Uncategorized)

Llew’s very sad. He stands forlorn looking out over the beach, searching, always searching, but never finding that which he seeks. He walks the length of the beach, casting about this way and that, scratching and alternately shaking his head. 

“Where oh where can they be?” he cries. 

He is inconsolable. 

His friends are equally disturbed; everyone’s in total agreement. It’s a travesty, a crime against nature. What on earth is happening to this society? How have we gone so wrong? It’s a mystery. 

And now I find myself unwillingly drawn into his pain. I can’t help myself. I, too, must now look. I find myself keeping vigil, ever watchful, even as I run along the promenade and try to think of other things. For the question becomes pressing once it’s lodged in one’s brain, and the question is this: where have all the topless bathers gone…? 

It used to be that the beach was alive with exposed breasts. Personally I’ve always been amazed that ordinary women who don’t collect dancing dollars in their g-string or strip  for a living are apparently comfortable getting their gear off on the sand. I know I’m a hopeless Modesty Blair, but I don’t really see what’s changed whether you’re on the beach or locked in a stage cage – bare breasts are bare breasts, and I’m not getting mine out for Joe Public for anything, even though it means I’ll never sport that ultimate Sydney status symbol: an even tan. Oh well. Moving right along. 

But loads of women think nothing of lying in public shouting “Tits ahoy!” – usually surrounded by people, some of them men, all of whom surreptitiously ogle every fun bag they can spy without moving from their ‘Australian flag’ beach towel – or at least, they used to think nothing of it. What’s happened? Where, Llew and his compadres want to know, are all the boobs? Where are all the Live Nude Girls? 

Well, it seems there’s a move in parliament to ban topless sunbathing. Fred Nile and the religious (or is that repressed?) Right are at it again. Good grief – do they really not have anything better to do? Anything more serious to debate? And what is with this ghastly Nanny State of ours? There are signs everywhere telling us we’re not allowed to do anything – it’s almost enough to make me want to take my top off. Almost, but not quite. Let’s hope this foolishness is put down – it’s always depressing to see society regress. 

Then there’s the flimsy argument that it’s sun safety messages finally getting through. I’m sorry to say no, that’s definitely not it. I went for a run this morning, having lathered up in 30+ of course, and I can report with certainty that there is no shortage of people lying out on the hot sand under the blazing sun, slowly cooking themselves to a surefire cancerous future. Nope. Health education is clearly not it. 

So what is it? Are women simply tired of being gazed upon as they gently roast their melons? Or have they finally decided that yes, it was weird that day they went to the beach with their boyfriend and all of his mates and still opted to topless sunbathe. “Maybe that was slightly peculiar,” thinks Cherie, after a day of lying on her back with her pert breasts reaching for the sky, her boyfriend’s mates meanwhile coughing into their chests and staring glumly at the horizon (I have seen people do this, and it does my head in every single time. Even if I LOVED topless bathing, I’d think it would be excruciating for all involved to do it in a mixed group of friends and lovers). Maybe next time Cool and the Gang are spending the day at the beach, Cherie’s crocheted bikini top might come in handy after all. 

I don’t really know the answer. All I know is numbers are down, Llew’s despondent, and when I saw a girl sunbaking topless today, I actually felt bad for a second that Llew wasn’t there to see for himself that all is not lost.

 

Postscript: I forgot to mention Llew’s own theory. He thinks perverts with digital cameras have ruined it for all the likely lads who really just enjoy a quick glance as they do the Chiko roll run at lunchtime. And it’s true it’s not their fault there are naked women strewn all over the beach. Equally, it’s not their fault that there’s not. No, I think it’s a sensible suggestion that the blame lies squarely at the sand encrusted feet of the creepy men who want to take a little souvenir home. Yech.

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7 Comments

  1. Pete said,

    Last time I checked (which was a long time ago, admittedly), they were hanging out over at sunny Clifton (or Camps Bay) here in SA. Now that may all have changed but I still remember the culture shock of taking a holiday stroll along the beach and seeing the amount of flesh on display. Playing bat-and-ball became an anxiety-inducing event since the ball ended up more than once next to an incredibly beautiful topless woman. And I remember thinking how European we had become in SA, and welcoming the development. Now I would just feel a bit uncomfortable, I think. Even writing this comment makes me feel a bit like a closet pervert who would visit the beach to see naked skin. I’m not, I want to convince people, which makes me seem even more depraved after all.

  2. litlove said,

    My first ever holiday abroad, when I was 16, was in France. One day we made the drive to the beach and, no surprises, it had a nudist section. There pretty much always is one, I later discovered. My aunt grinned mischeviously at me and said: this will finish your education. I was far more mortified for my parents who, I supposed, had possibly also never seen a naked person before. All our English beach holidays had seen my parents fully clothed – my mother used to even have her tights on most days. So you see, I had a very polite and sheltered upbringing. My first thought was, youch, that could result in some really stinging sunburn, and this was back in the days when people were not so clued up about skin damage. I guess times change, fashions ebb and flow. Or maybe they were all off doing something different and will return in force on the weekend. The very best of luck to Llew.

  3. doctordi said,

    Is “bat and ball” some kind of SA euphemism, Pete?! And in both your and Litlove’s comment (love the possibly-never-naked parents!), let me get this straight: are you saying that topless sunbathing only takes place in designated ‘nudist’ sections of dedicated beaches? Because we don’t have that here – we’re very democratic about our free flesh, or at least we’ve tended to be (but all that may change if the uptight crazies get their way!) – you can wave the fun flag anywhere you like. I actually think that’s part of what men here like about stumbling across the occasional near-naked girl. One minute, there they are, minding their own affair, retrieving the frisbee – and then whammo! Mammo! it’s like an unexpected treat, a little beach bon bon.

  4. Pete said,

    Di – Thanks for brightening my morning with some beach nudity humour 😉 Bat and ball indeed. No, it’s a real game which men play to show off to the women how coordinated and just generally impressive they are (or not). We have a nudist beach here (Sandy Bay) but people can also go topless (as far as I know) at the main tourist beaches. Still laughing at the thought of Llew and his friends getting a bit of unexpected “beach bon bon”.

  5. doctordi said,

    So glad to oblige!

  6. litlove said,

    Just returning to add that in France, the nudist beach tends to be a designated area, but topless is a way of life, not an offence. In England it’s generally too cold even to bare your knees to the sea breezes.

  7. doctordi said,

    And then there are those pebbles to contend with…

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