Sandy Bay has long been savoured as the nudist beach of Cape Town. Visitors have trekked the path to set themselves free in the name of sun, nudity and, well, a little promiscuity. But there’s a petition being signed that may just change the way Sandy Bay is used forever, even if some aren’t worried.
Kimon De Greef reported two sides of the story for Times Live. One interview is with Russell P Stark, a long-time user of the beach’s exclusivity while the other is with Serge Pavlovic, spokesperson for the Western Cape Naturist Association.
While Russell had this to say about the recent change of Sand Bay, from a secret place to a now guarded beach:
It was always a well-planned, expensive, secretive operation.
We would be lying there, tanning, and suddenly swarms of police would appear. They would speed in by boat, race down the dunes on motorbikes and leap out of the bushes wearing camouflage. There was a helicopter once. Now they send Parks Board rangers to keep us safe. It’s weird how it’s changed.
It must be a real eye-opener for the rangers. Previously they would have rushed down to arrest people. Now they just watch. If they were more progressive they would hand out condoms, baby oil, sunscreen, especially to the tourists. I guess that’s a bit much to ask.
It’s the only place you can walk the dogs, have a shag, see the sunset, tan, exercise and have a swim.
It’s a wonderful facility.
Serge, who is on a mission to declare the spot as an official nudist beach, is on the opposite end:
Certain people are abusing the liberal lifestyle at Sandy Bay. Unacceptable behaviour has become a problem. Real naturists are being driven away.
Just because we socialise in the nude does not mean we have sex in public. It’s harmful to our image that these activities are taking place at Sandy Bay.
If Sandy Bay had to be declared a nudist spot, it would be accompanied by a code of conduct:
South Africa’s first official nudist beach opened at Mpenjati, in southern KwaZulu-Natal, earlier this year. Behaviour there is governed by a 24-point code of conduct that forbids such vulgarities as swearing, racism, sexism, homophobia, violence, littering, taking photographs of other people without permission and “sexual content of any kind”.
The rules also encourage men to “cover up any unpredictable erections”.
While one would think that Russell might be a bit upset about the potential rules, he seemed unperturbed by the potential outcome of the petition:
It’s a schlep taking children there. It’s a long walk. And there are lots of rocks for us to hide between. People who come to stare and take photographs have become a problem, and youngsters who play on their phones instead of interacting. I don’t think this petition will ruin Sandy Bay.
We’ll just have to wait until the outcome, it seems.
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