An Egyptian Nudist Opportunity ? Egypt Nudism – It’s not entirely impossible…
For years, I’ve heard the stories go back and forth about the possibility of nude recreation in Egypt. To recall the specific incident, I remember running across articles in two different publications about a group of naturist filmmakers from Russia who decided to come over to Egypt and film a nudist documentary. Their trip was not a complete failure; they managed to pull it off in the end after all. But at the same time, it positioned the idea of proper naturist recreation in Egypt as a distant possibility, or wishful thinking. Nevertheless, the article did mention one resort down in Hurghada (part of the many Sinai Peninsula cities that are worldwide famous for vacationing) that has a private nude beach area. Part of me always wanted to go down there to explore, but I never got the chance in the past.
Why this should be surprising information to any of you needs us to take a small detour and discuss the attitudes about nude, nudity and nudism in Egypt. Egypt is an Islamic country and by law, nudity is banned. More importantly, people have a ruthless attitude when it comes to nudity in general: if it’s naked, then it’s sexual, unless it’s in the bathroom. As simple as that. Apart from nudity in the shower, most people believe that nudity has a sexual element to it, and therefore it is a taboo. Officially, there are no nude beaches in Egypt, and nudity in public is banned – and punishable – by the law. On the other hand, Egypt is a country that primarily depends in its national income on tourism. And the authorities are striving to appeal to all sorts of tourists, and part of them are those who want to soak stark naked in the hot Egypt sun. So it’s not a surprise that toplessness is tolerated – not officially allowed, but tolerated, in most resorts. But the idea of a proper local nude beach sounded a bit far-fetched, to me at least.
That said, the question should now be why someone from Egypt would be interested in a nude beach, let alone nudism in the first place? Yes, you read that right: I am Egyptian. Yes, I am a Muslim. And yes, I also like to call myself a nudist. I first got introduced to the lifestyle when I was 12 or 13, after coming across a documentary about nudism on television. It wasn’t until a few years later that I got a chance to learn more about the lifestyle when I first started using the Internet, and I’ve been calling myself a nudist ever since. But my practice of nudism has been largely restricted to, well, my room. When it comes to outdoor experiences, I settled to late night skinny dips every now and then.
Fast forward to today, my wife and I were discussing taking a few days off work and going somewhere to spend the last few days of the summer, and Hurghada came up on the list. My wife isn’t exactly the biggest proponent of naturism: at some point she was intrigued, may be interested, but that interest never really materialized. Nevertheless, she knows I am deeply committed to the lifestyle, and she doesn’t mind it. I ran the idea by my wife and got the green light – it was handy to have the option, and in case it doesn’t turn out to be what we had in mind, we’ll just keep our kits on – can’t be any worse than that.
An hour’s flight from Cairo and we arrived at Hurghada, mid day. I would love to say that I had packed nothing but an assortment of footwear and shaving kit, but this is not a nudist resort, just a resort with a nudist beach option, so we ended up packing some heavy luggage for only a mere two days of holiday. I even packed my swimming trunks, just in case, as I didn’t know what to expect (they did prove useless in the end, after all). Soon, we arrived to the resort and checked into our room. We quickly dropped our bags, changed into more suitable attire and after a quick lunch, decided to go and look for the nude beach.
At the far left end of the main beach, we were soon greeted by a fenced area of the beach and a small, barely noticeable ‘Dress As You Like’ sign. Of course, I didn’t expect the resort management to stick up a ‘Nude Beach’ sign. In fact, I am glad they didn’t, as otherwise it would certainly attracted the unwanted attention of curious beach goers. But it seems that those who are familiar with the resort and its beach setup easily get the hint anyway. As we made our way into the fenced area, we realized that no one else was there. We started to wonder if anyone does really use this part of the beach after all and, if this was really meant to be as a nude beach area in the first place. Nevertheless, we decided to go bring beach towels and come back to this part and see how it will go. By the time we were back, our doubts were dispelled; another family had already set camp at the beach area, naturally, completely naked.
The nude beach area is basically comprised of six beach huts laid down in a half circle arrangement. Each beach hut has its own supplement of beach beds, as well as wind breaks for that little bit of extra privacy. The beach huts are clustered together closely, and if you lay low enough inside your hut, it would be near impossible to tell if someone is sitting inside or not. In fact, as we stepped into one of the huts that we were going to take for ourselves, we were surprised to find that there was another man already in there, lying on his sun bed and unseen by us right until we have stepped in.
We moved on to the next hut, and after visual confirmation that the hut was not being used by anyone else, we set camp. I was still in my swimsuit and a T-shirt, my wife fully dressed. I told my wife that I didn’t want our new beach neighbors to feel uncomfortable by the fact that we were both fully dressed while everyone else was in the nude, or to think of us as dirty geezers who have come down to this part to sneak a peek at them. So I decided to go ahead and get my kit off immediately, while my wife stripped down to a swimsuit rather than do the full monty like I did.
But I’d be lying if I said that my concern about the comfort of our aforementioned beach neighbors was the real reason I got naked, or if it was hardly of any concern at all. The real reason, as most of you must have guessed, is because I came here for a purpose and I was determined to fulfill it. And by doing that, I wasn’t just fulfilling the purpose of the trip, but also a fantasy or you may say, a dream, ever since I got introduced to nudism twelve or so years ago and decided to become a naturist myself. All those years, I’ve heard other nudists talk about how wonderfully liberating it is to be completely naked on the beach and let the sun soak and the wind caress every inch of your body. Finally, I get to experience all of that, first hand. There I was, naked, save for sun glasses and a lousy wrist band, on a (semi) nude beach, in the company of other naturists, for the very first time in my life.
To be honest, I half-expected myself to freak out and turn my back on the whole thing. It is my first (proper) public nude experience, and it doesn’t get any more public than this. I was naked, on a clothing-optional beach, in the middle of the day. That fact alone was enough to make me nervous, without adding up the usual worries: there was a list of ‘what if’ questions boggling my brain, desperately seeking an answer. What if I bump into someone I know? (And mind you, this is a C/O beach, so it wasn’t that much of a distant possibility). And then, there is the usual ‘manly’ concern about, ehem, you know what, that I am not even going to mention here, seeing that it has been discussed in lengths everywhere else. To me, getting naked for the first time in public was like removing a band aid: it stings for a second or two, and then you completely forget about it. As a matter of fact, a couple of minutes into it, and I was quite surprised at how quickly it felt perfectly normal and natural for me to be standing around in the nude.
While the main beach area offers a plethora of activities: volleyball, football, ping-pong, scuba diving, horse and even camel ride, participating in any of those activities will, needless to say, require some kind of clothing. Even something as simple as a drink requires getting dressed and walking to the main beach area, where the bar is located. The nude beach area is fairly small, spanning only for a few feet, so beach walks in the buff are out of question. The beach itself is mainly dirt and pebble, so any fun that comes with sand was not an option, either.
Taking a swim is also an option, but I wasn’t entirely sure whether swimming au naturel was actually allowed or not, as there’s always the slim chance of exposing yourself to visitors of the main beach area. I decided to wait until someone else made the first move, so when the family decided to go for a dip, I followed suite. As I made my way to the water, I kept anxiously looking around me, expecting someone from the resort administration to come and have a word with me, and taking minuscule, quick steps towards the water in an attempt to keep my private parts, ehem, private. Access to the sea also requires a short stroll over a more than a few rocks, especially at times of ebb, before you can actually get into the water, which proved to be a rather painful experience for the feet. But once I was in the water, I was relieved again.
At sunset, we packed our stuff and went back to our room to get ready for dinner. The next day, we decided to hit the beach straight after (a nearly missed) breakfast. We were joined again by our same beach neighbors from the previous day. This time, we were slightly more prepared: we brought a few drinks with us. Eventually, we had to take a few breaks from the nude routine – once to go to lunch, and another time to explore the rest of the resort.
Is it the nude beach experience I have always fantasized about? Not necessarily. When you hear others talk about their nudist experiences, or when you read trip reports and see pictures of nudist vacations in magazines or on the web, you get a certain image in mind, an image of a place where everyone’s naked, everywhere, all the time: swimming, relaxing, playing, dancing, and even dining – all in the buff. Of course, I didn’t expect that much from this vacation, and perhaps next time, somewhere such as Cap D’Agde would make a more suitable destination. This vacation was far from the perfect vision I had in mind. But it is definitely a step in the right direction. I’ve come a long way from skinny dips snuck at night.
And one thing for sure, it’s good to know that I have the local option.