Diary

The joys of naked bathing

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It's skinny dipping season and while the Amorist hasn't yet been tempted to join a naked crowd surf, like that which led to police intervention at Theddlethorpe beach in Lincolnshire last month, she never misses a quiet opportunity to slip off her frock and feel the tingle of fresh water on deliciously bare skin.

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Bewitched by the experience of a midnight swim in the French Med as a sixteen year old au pair, the Amorist discovered the joys of naked swimming in the luminous path cast by a full moon on a gently lapping ocean. Her passionate  crush on her host family's surgeon friend, Thomas - who inducted her into the joys of making phosphorescence sparkle around her limbs  – was never fulfilled. But the love of swimming naked has endured.


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From icy dives in the lakes of the Spanish Pyrenees to hobbling over crunchy pebbles on England's east coast – and then gratefully tipping into muddy waves – there's nothing quite like the joy of wild swimming. The elegance of exotic infinity pools is all very well, but pales before the joyful aliveness of joining tiny frogs and leggy waterboatmen in a French lake, with nothing but the sound of a tractor in the vines for company. 

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I will cover you with love when next I see you, with caresses, with ecstasy. I want to gorge you with all the joys of the flesh, so that you faint and die.
Gustave Flaubert to Louise Colet, 1846