Buns in the sun! Nudists dream of skinny-dipping in Coney Island

The Brooklyn Paper

Start spreading the nudes!

A group of skinny dippers wants to set aside a piece of Coney Island Beach so they can get a full-frontal tan, but the city says the bathers need to keep their shirts — and especially their pants — on.

The American Association for Nude Recreation says the People’s Playground would be the ideal spot for newbie nudies to take a “nakation” — or to just hang out in the buff — because of its accessibility.

“It would work out great because it’s easy to get to,” nudie spokesman Tom Mulhall said, who added that such a hot spot could stimulate his group’s membership rolls. “People may realize they love the personal freedom that comes with going nude on a beach.”

And his clothes-bereft friends agree.

In an online survey, members of the association placed Coney as one of the top 15 places in the world they would like to see the ban on nude sunbathing fully disrobed.

Mulhall envisions dividing a three-mile stretch between Corbin Place and W. 37th Street into “prude” and “nude” sections similar to the designation at Black’s Beach in San Diego.

But the city has already kicked sand in the face of the idea.

Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor told us that Coney won’t go topless (officially, at least) anytime soon. Bathing suits are required at all city beaches and there are only a handful of legal nude beaches located within a day’s drive of Brooklyn, including on Fire Island and in New Jersey.

Still, a naked enclave wouldn’t be unprecedented in free-wheeling Coney (and we’re not just talking about the widespread nudity during the annual Mermaid Parades). Experts say portions of the beach were reserved those who chose to take the sun in the buff — and those that wanted to stare at them.

“Nude sunbathing was always a part of Coney Island culture,” said Charles Denson, who runs the Coney Island History Project. “All of the beachfront bathhouses had nude sun decks where sun worshipers could let it all hang out but they were segregated by sex. The funny part was that you could observe the nudists from most of the rides.”

Denson added that he thinks that the western end of the beach, away from the bustling amusement district, “would be a perfect setting to resurrect this Coney tradition.”

Still, a nude beach may not gel with the city’s plan to turn Coney Island into an upscale, family-friendly tourist attraction featuring thrill rides, shopping, restaurants and hotels, and some residents might not like the idea of seeing someone’s twig and berries while swimming with their kids.

“Coney Island is a family place, and having a nude beach would take away from that,” said Park Slope resident Chad Nardine.

Reader Feedback

sarebabe from agder, alabam says:
If you are looking to try something new, the clothes free lifestyle could be your answer to meeting new friends who look just like everyone is the best choice for you! Nothing wrong with being naked as long as you enjoy it and can handle it. We are all born that way!
July 20, 2011, 1:20 am
gimme from around says:
second from left (in the enlarged photo version) got some nice beach junk I dare say
July 20, 2011, 5:23 am
Susan from Virginia says:
If there are signs designating the nude beach area, people who wish to go there can do so and others can avoid it if they wish. This works perfectly at a number of beaches throughout the U.S.
July 20, 2011, 9:12 am
m from Park slope says:
In the eighties there was a section of beach set aside at Coney Island for the nudies. People who had obviously spent the week sitting at desks in business suits doffed their clothes and stood around aimlessly, while the rest of of gawked while taking our innocent walks along the shoreline..I don't know how long the beach lasted, but it was there, at one point..I personally found it rather disgusting - spending all week in the office, and then climbing on the D train for the long trek out to Coney, and THEN finally exposing your airless pressed flat pubies and white soft bodies - it's not a good mix.
July 20, 2011, 9:42 am
Mike from Bay Ridge says:
I've noticed a phenomenon: more often than not, people with the least attractive bodies are most likely to be nudists and those with the most attractive bodies are the most likely to be fashionistas. Why not call it what it is: exhibitionism? After all, I can’t see how in an age of sunscreen factor 70, increasingly wider hat brims and Elton John-size sunglasses nude bathing can be sold as something healthy.
July 20, 2011, 12:53 pm
Dan from Jersey says:
> “Coney Island is a family place, and having a nude beach > would take away from that,” said Park Slope resident
> Chad Nardine.

Really? I don't see it. There are families that enjoy wholesome nude recreation. Many nudist clubs are very family friendly. So I don't really think claiming that a nude beach is anti-family is correct at all.
July 20, 2011, 3:35 pm
Tsk tsk from everywhere and nowhere says:

Now that's a bum's rush!
July 20, 2011, 11:46 pm
George from LI says:
Run around Naked and be free, I find it fun that when i go to nude beaches i always make friend but on regular beaches no one talks outside of there group. I guess people who are afraid to bear all are also anti-social... Just my observation. Get out and meet someone America.
July 21, 2011, 11:21 am
nancy from coney says:
please i dont need to see your goodies there are people that look like beached wales and weaar speedos and tiny bikini then you have the stick figures t hat you cant tell if they are boys or girls.on bay 21 you have the old wrinly decrepid russians changing their clothes in front of you and wind kicks up and you see their shriviled up penis
then the ones with gstring bottoms hey its 2 the point that you wanna vomit coney is a family beach especially 21 some stuff is meant for behind closed doors and 4 your significant others wanna go nude do it at home not where every1 will see it. somethings are better under wrapps
July 22, 2011, 9:57 am
Vinny from gravesend says:
Skin is the largest organ of the human body.It was designed by "nature" to NOT be covered and breath.Don't mess with nature.Europe is much more mature regarding nudity and they have much fewer sex crimes.If a "nudist" beach is to be in new york it should be at "Fort Tilden" beach in Queens.This place would be similar to "Gunnison" in Jersey and "Robert Moses" and others on Long Island.Folks would need to walk to the nude area and there would be signs posted warning all of a clothing optional area ahead.
Cone Island would be cool for me as I live nearby,but as a begining it should be away from all housing and as remote as possible until our society matures.When I fisrt started enjoying nude recreation I was very timid and would cover up as soon as others approached.That dissappeared within minutes and very soon the realization that clothes or no clothes I was still me.And,as far as some bloggers mentioned,this lifestyle isn't a beauy pagent.It's bodyfreedom.When we're out in public and dressed we mingle with all folks of all sizes and shapes.Why should it be any different in the nude.Again, America needs to mature regarding body freedom.
July 24, 2011, 9:40 am
nancy from coney says:
hey just beacause you appreciate it doesnt mean we all do vinny i dont appreciate it and if they wanna run free do it somewhere seculded and signs posted and shouldnt be anywhere near a public beach its naseaus enough that i have 2 see what i do on bay 21 like i stated in my last post run nude around ur homes not public i dont need 2 see anyones goodies just look at the pic fat flapping everywhere along with the stick figures i think its terrible when women wwear g strings or the old wrinkly russians on 21 show iff their asses in g strings and their penis when changing y do we have 2 c ur goodies change in bathroom wear a normal bikini bottom bad enough i gotta c it y do kids gotta run naked at home 2 bad u dont wanna b wet dont come 2 beach dont want tan lines 2 bad i dont wanna see ur bodies even in europe go nude get tickets somethings better behind closed doors
July 24, 2011, 11:43 am
Vinny from Gravesend says:
Hi Nancy.I mentioned an alternative to Coney Island as a possible clothing optional beach and that being "Fort Tilden" in the Rockaways.Coney would be too accessble to gawkers and would be a problem for folks with children.We agree on this.We're all free feel whatever way we choose regarding nudity at the beach and I agree wih you regarding your opinion.This makes a catch-22 meaning we each have an "opinion" and neither party is wrong.I offered an option.Set the nude beach at Fort Tilden and wait for the American society to mature.
Again I say it's not a beauty contest.Just body freedom.I'm 60 years old and have been mistaken for a man 20 years younger.I thank God for this.And a divorce.LOL.Still I would not dress in a swim suit that would offend people at a family beach.Most naturists are this way.All we hope for is a "remote" piece of sand.Also, please remember this,we're born nude.Clothes are put on us and shame is taught to us.So, what is the norm??.
July 25, 2011, 5:01 pm
nancy from coney says:
i c ur point but hunny when u get 2 a certain age or have a certain body type you shouldnt b naked in public its not a matter of maturity 4 people 2 get 2 its just who wants 2 see any1 naked in public and yes you can have your seperate beach off on a remote area thats good but when u come 2 a publicbeach remember 2 keep ur auim suit on i just hate it when u go 2 bay 21 in coney that thes fools walk around people and children with their asses hanging out or undress in front of us and their towel flaps in the wind and u c a dried up wrinly penis that so turns not only my stomach but many and when u say something 2 them they prentend they dont know english or play dumb i dont think clothes were put on us 2 teach us shame its called modesty i wouldnt run around mnaked in public beach or anwhere i think things are better left 2 the imagination and better left at home not amonst strangers
July 25, 2011, 7:25 pm
rumrunner says:
Nancy Hun, That's what's called "False Modesty". True modesty is related to your thoughts and actions not your visibility.
I live in a BLM designated clothing optional environment all winter. Ppl of all ages. From grandchildren to grandparents and all in between.
The human body is whatever it is. thin fat tall short young old smooth wrinkled -- and what I've learned is that all that really matters is what's INSIDE that skin. What's in a person's head and heart.
If looking at someone who doesn't meet your standards of "prettyness" really bothers you thatn I feel you need to get some help. Seriously.
Aug. 5, 2011, 6:47 pm
Michelle from LosAngeles Ca says:
rumrunner...100% correct, have a valid point if thats not what you want to see....but people do have a right to be nude. even on public beaches, just as you have the right NOT to be nude. There area alot of beaches in that area..allow nudity, place signs that say nudity is leagal on the small section of beach..Nancy, dear..when you get to a sign thats says you may encounter nudity...just dont go there, freesmom of choice. i am a single mom, have an attractive body and I go to nude beaches WITH my kids regularly, they are not disgusted by old people or ugly people..cuz we teach them that people are all PEOPLE and that the body changes..its called respect. you dont judge and you dont go to the beach just to oogle somones goodies. ive seen some pretty shrivelled up dicks, BUT...Ive seen some handsome buff guys at the gym and had the opportunity to see them gt naked for me..and was really dissapointed! enough so the have to tell them I wasnt in the mood and they had to least at the nude get to inspect the package BEFORE you take it home.
Aug. 7, 2011, 9:40 am
naked dad from Lafayette, IN says:
Nancy could be the poster child for a serious problem fulminating throughout the country, a mindset that beauty begins at the surface, that somehow a person's value can be calculated by the size, shape or other measure of a body part. There needs to be a paradigm shift in the mnd of every person that judges people in such fashon. A co-existent symptom of this mindset is that nudity and sex are intimately related. There has been a disconnect in the way we raise our children wherein we are taught that the body is a source of shame. Instead we should teach our children that our bodies are temples that house our s oul and that God would never encumber us with such a constnt source of guilt or shame. Tht sort of crime is left to mankind. I too enjoy nudist clubs and clothing optional beaches with my family and children. I teach them to respect other people's rights and privacy, that there are places where it is safe to be natural, and places whre it is not. That said, I wonder why Nancy continues to have such disconcerting experiences involving clothing optional beaches if she's not making the conscioius decision to put herself in the situation wherein she might encounter such disgusting people and their disgusting body parts...
Sept. 25, 2011, 5:49 am

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