By Kendra Holliday | August 22, 2022
One of my favorite days of the year is our Sex Positive St Louis annual naked pool party. We’ve been having these for over ten years. It’s the crown jewel of the sunny season, the best way to enjoy a hot summer day.
It’s a private, screened event – we need to know the people attending, meaning they need to be established SEX+STL members, and by that I mean you need to be a part of the community, not just attend one or two events. This ensures a safer environment for those who attend. My C0-Leader David Wraith states the safety rules well: “No sexual activity. No touching without consent! No body-shaming! No slut-shaming! No sexism! No racism! No homophobia! No transphobia! No ableism! No hateration! No holleration!”
We actually refer to it as a “clothing optional” pool party, because we want guests to attend on their own terms. My sister attended our most recent one, and she told me, “I was invited to some other naked pool party, and their rule was: Nudity Required. That bugged me, like my body was meant to be on display for others, so I didn’t go. But when the rules are ‘clothing optional,’ it’s nicer, there’s less pressure, I have agency, which makes me feel fine about getting naked!”
Every year, I invite new people to attend. They act extremely intrigued, but most of them back out at the last minute, telling me they can’t do it. I’d love to know their reasons – are they self-conscious? Are they worried they’ll see someone they know? It’s too bad, because out of all the people who manage to overcome their fears and attend, not ONE person regretted it. EVERY person found it to be an overwhelmingly positive experience – for some, even life transforming.
It usually ends up being about 120 people, from all different backgrounds. (It can be a challenge for folks who have disabilities, because the pool is a 1/2 mile hike, a secret haven deep in the woods.)
Imagine 120 people of different genders, orientations, ages, body types, and ethnicities frolicking in this giant, spring-fed basin:
As I look around the expanse of naked people lounging, laughing, swimming, hanging out, drinking, eating fruit, smoking cannabis, all surrounded by a green cathedral of trees and the blue sky and water, I think, “This is our Eden. In this sacred space, there is no shame, no conflict, no tension. Everyone is so happy, relaxed, and kind to one another. Why can’t we have more places like this in the world?”
According to Wikipedia, “The name ‘Eden’ derives from the Akkadian edinnu, from a Sumerian word edin meaning ‘plain’ or ‘steppe’, closely related to an Aramaic root word meaning ‘fruitful, well-watered’. Another interpretation associates the name with a Hebrew word for ‘pleasure’; thus the Vulgate reads ‘paradisum voluptatis’ in Genesis 2:8, and the Douay–Rheims Bible, following, has the wording ‘And the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure.'”
In our Eden, we’re allowed to eat fruit from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” And guess what? We choose good! No evil lurks here.
I highly recommend you find safe spaces where you can relax and be yourself.
You, too, can be The Beautiful Kind. 🙂