The last time I skinny dipped, I was about 10 and out visiting with an aunt and a couple of my cousins. The hosting aunt happened to live near the beach and on account of the heat, or maybe we pestered them to, they took us down to the beach. Swimming had not been in the picture and so we had not carried our swim suits like we did when we knew we were heading to Bamburi beach or Pirates. Facing the ocean in that instant however, swimming was very much in the picture, and so in pure childish abandon, we all stripped and rushed into the ocean, boys and girls alike.
I don’t truly remember how it felt but each time I would go to the beach many years later, I would remember that time and dearly wish I could swim naked.
I got that wish while in Lamu.
The house we were staying at was private, and had a pool. Other than the photographer and the two male caretakers who knew to stay away while we were at the pool, we were all girls, six of us. And so while in the pool, just us girls, I wondered aloud why I couldn’t just shed my swim suit. We were in Lamu to be naked any way!
And so off went the piece of cloth!
In the course of nude swimming and lounging that first hot Lamu afternoon at The White House, I thought to myself, What a fraud I am walking around clothed and pretending to like it! If I safely could, I’d most definitely go naked all the time and cover up only for cold. I do not dress for my own modesty; I do it partly for the comfort of other people. And mostly because you cannot trust everyone within reach, with your nakedness.
One of the caretakers from a previous house we’d stayed at had become close friends with us and so he was usually welcome at the pool when we were not shooting. The first time he came around, I didn’t pay him any mind because I assumed I was mostly submerged so he wouldn’t see nothing. I was wrong. I later learnt he’d been incredulous at our swimming naked- another girl and I.
And so the next day, perhaps out of courtesy, he felt the need to announce himself. I thought, Why should I cover up? If he is uncomfortable with my nakedness, he should be the one to leave really. So we gave him our own heads up that he could come down but we were not covering up for nothing and no one. He laughed and came down.
Whether he enjoyed the view was really not a matter of concern. We were enjoying our nakedness, and if he was an accidental witness to it, there wasn’t much to be done about it, was there?
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