Zipolite, Vol IV: Death

I hadn’t been to a nude beach before 2017. My boyfriend at the time suggested we go, I was interested, and so we went. It was actually one of our last days staying at Hevan, when Chris suggested we move to Berlin together. Berlin… where we eventually broke up.

Coming back to Zipolite on my own was one of many steps in realizing I can do anything. Not because it is so “difficult.” I mean, emotionally. I can be alone in a place that feels so far from the rest of the world, where I am relying heavily on my second language, where, even beyond language, I am not certain that anyone would understand me. I can do this. I knew it, instinctively before, and after 7 months in Zipolite, I now have first hand experience.

What I wasn’t aware of, in my conscious mind, was how I would handle running into my ex-boyfriend after having left him 4 years before in Berlin. But, sure enough, as I sat down at a table for breakfast, there he was. I was sitting when I heard someone say, “no puede ser.” I looked up and saw someone and I felt something, but I didn’t see him… I mean to say, I clearly saw that a person was there, his face was clear, and yet my mind went blank. No thoughts at all. And yet my body started standing. I still wasn’t thinking, no name came to mind. It was clearly him, but this was the depth of the shock I was experiencing. My past time with him was one of my most rewarding and painful experiences. And here we both were, back in Zipolite, four years later.

No one owes me anything and I participate in all my experiences, so I don’t look for apologies. I instead find forgiveness within, for me and for others. And I had already forgiven myself for the beliefs I had, that led to those thoughts, that led to those actions I chose to take back then. And I had completely forgiven him, as well. For. Everything.

So, when we had dinner, to catch up, the following night, I was surprised to hear apologies leaving his mouth. I didn’t need them. And yet, there they were… in abundance. All the moments he mentioned, I remembered very well. And although at the time, there was so much energy encouraging me to give in, and make this behavior normal, I left. Because I trusted myself. Even thought the energy I was in back then, was centered around doubt and the fear of being alone. I found the courage to leave. And now, after four years apart, he is sorry.

My ego said, I don’t need this, but my heart said, “Thank you.” That moment revealed how much I had grown. There was conscious growth, as I had taken it on as a full time activity from the time we broke up, up until that moment of reunion. So, change in general- not a surprise. But, energetically, hearing all of what had happened from the only other person that was there, and still feeling so grateful for the experiences and grateful that he was okay- it was surprising somehow.

Another thing I had not anticipated was what this strong, direction shifting experience would help me to see about the other characters in my life. In an episode of Sex and the City, Carrie explains in her classic voiceover style that, it is in comparing one relationship to others past, that we decide how “good” it is. I don’t know how universally true that is, but being around my ex, who I have no real intention of being with again, for just a couple days, made all the guys I knew in Zipolite look less than desirable. If I remember correctly, my thought was, “What the fuck am I doing?”

The depth of humanity, of seeing another person change, of witnessing their life, cast a shadow on the shallow relationships I had there. It helped me see that I was looking for something that was not in those people. I say this with respect.

And I died.

The fear, the “needing”, the sadness. It died. Instantly. And I stopped pretending that I was anything less that what I am and I never looked back. All this under a Scorpio Super Moon.

Thank you, Zipolite.

Zipolite, Vol III: POV

Heaven on earth

One day, I was at my place, waiting for the afternoon heat to dissipate. I had music playing and was singing along, when I heard a knock at the door. I was not expecting anyone and with this surprise, came urgency on my end, to answer the door, out of curiosity. Because I was naked, I just opened the door enough to peek my head out and when I did, I saw that it as my friend who was knocking and in an attempt to quickly escape the sun, when I began opening the door, he immediately walked in. And for a moment, I was embarrassed, “I am sorry, I am naked I didn’t expect anyone.” To which he responded, “cool” and gave me a hug and continued on, like nothing was happening. Then I remembered…. I’m in Zipolite.

One morning, I went running and saw all the morning regulars, and because Zipolite is a tourist destination, every now and again, there is a rush of new people. This was one of those mornings. A beautiful man, about my age, was running the opposite way as me, which is ideal, because each lap, we would have a new chance to glance at each other. I honestly couldn’t believe how beautiful he was, not in the commercial sense, but in the human sense. I was excited when I started my final lap, to see him again. But, as I ran, there was no sight of him. “Hmmmm,” I thought. I got to the end of the beach, my run now finished, and there he was, in the water. I felt an urge to speak to him and to my surprise, as I walked toward him, he quickly started leaving the water… and not to come toward me. I chose not to take it personally, but I was surprised. That is, until saw his body once he exited the water. He had, by far, the biggest erection, I think I had ever seen in person and he ran to his shorts in the sand, quickly put them on and ran away. Easily, one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

I only know of one restaurant in Zipolite that delivers; Salmastro. And when the heat was too much or I had a video to finish editing, I would order some delicious food from there, delivery. On one of these occasions, I heard the moto of the guy who always delivers as he was arriving and so I quickly went to get money, to pay him. My place was on the second floor and so he would walk up the stairs, which emptied onto a patio of sorts, and wait for me there. I got to the door, greeted him, took the food and placed it on the counter. I began counting the money and because he was at a lower height than me, as he was standing a few stairs lower, I noticed that he was looking at something on me. And when I looked down, I saw that my robe, which was tied closed had opened below the belt, exposing my penis. And he looked at it, like it was a tree or a rose and continued on, like nothing happened. And I felt the love of acceptance.

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Zipolite Volume I: Rituals

I lived in Zipolite, a rural nude beach in Oaxaca, Mexico for about 7 months. It was not my first time at a nude beach, but it is the longest I have stayed at one. I’ve been told there are at least three versions of each of us; the one we show the general public, the one we show loved ones, and the one we keep to ourselves. When I think of the truest version of me, that being is, in no way, afraid of nudity. In fact, this version of me embraces nudity, especially with peers. Nudity shared with peers feels like a rain of acceptance washing over you, sprinkled with curiosity, and limitless moments of beauty and expression. It’s exciting, beautiful, and “nothing going on here,” all at the same time.

It was clear to me that each day at the beach would help me expand, to fill the shoes, I am meant to wear in this world. So, like many, I rose with the sun each morning, around 6am. I would walk through the rural beach town, from my place to the beach, in nothing but bikini briefs, no shoes. This daily ritual alone summoned a feeling of being part of nature; your feet constantly touching the earth, the majority of your body fully exposed on the street (nudity is only permitted on the actual beach), and often times, seemingly very modest locals, showering you with glances. You feel the rawness of what you are doing, you feel that the confidence you develop from this isn’t always common. You begin to realize yourself.

Meditation (Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico) Photo: ELIE VILLETTE

Once I arrived at the beach each morning, I would run in my bikini briefs, up and down the beach… over and over, for at least an hour. So, as everyone in the town would rise and make their way to the beach, at some point, I ‘d say about 50-60% of the town would cross my path, coming out to watch the sunrise, doing yoga, going for their morning stroll, laughing with friends. And this community of early risers, served as my witnesses, it is as though, they all silently agreed to help me in this expansion, simply by being observers.

After I finished running, I would go to Playa del Amor, which is a more secluded part of the beach, known for being the place where the gays hang out the most during the day, and not all coincidentally, the place where public sex happens nearly each night, like a ritual. In the mornings, however, there were far fewer people and typically, the vibe was very chill. So, I would go there, and completely disrobe. There would be 3-4 men there, at that time of morning, sitting by the rocks that form a cul de sac, whose mouth is where the sea meets the land. Everything beyond the rocks, where (typically, but not exclusively) men sat, was a stage. You were being observed by all, in all your glory. I would like to note that the vibe of this beach was also very chill and accepting, but of course their was an underlying arousal of excitement at so many beautiful, naked bodies running around together.

When I disrobed, I would first walk out to the water to wash the sweat and sand off, from my run. And there is something to be said about being in what can feel like a vulnerable state; you’ve just run for an hour, you are out of breath, at this point, you are the only one who isn’t just sitting and everybody is watching you. I chose to embrace it. It felt powerful. What did I care? What did they care? I knew I loved seeing people being their beautiful, natural selves and I imagined that others did the same. Then, I would find a nice place in the sand and begin my 20 minute stretch routine, completely naked. Guys would, of course, watch and at other moments, they would completely forget about me and it is the combination of those two things, that felt so beautiful. Of course, you want to see. I want to see. But, also, it’s whatever. It’s not a big deal. I loved that. Many times guys would begin their own, naked morning routine alongside me, which provided a silent feeling of belonging and comradery.

I saw men catch erections at the beach while running, sleeping, and just getting excited from talking to someone. And it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Casual public erections that were treated like the temporary, natural body functions they are. It was as though, I began to see life, beyond society. Life, out in the world. In Nature. Everyone was kind, accepting and curious. This daily ritual served as the foundation for my self acceptance and my choice to bask in the awe of nature. And to allow myself to be seen. Not hiding behind identities and brands and zip codes and degrees, but rather showing up as a being on this planet, just as confused, excited, curious, and aroused as everyone else on the planet. I started getting closer and closer to merging the version of myself I show the public, with the version of myself I had previously, never shown anyone.

This morning routine is just the tip of the iceberg. As you can imagine, living at a nude beach in Mexico that is specifically known for being a haven to those who don’t deny their homo-erotic desires, meeting people from all over the world, beautiful men and their bodies, their personalities, their ways of expressing themselves….. anyway, I will share more about all of that, in this series.

Until next time…

h.o.e.

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