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Sarah Jane Woodall: The nude truth

<p>Sarah Jane Woodall</p>

Sarah Jane Woodall

Once summer kicks in, my nude modeling work pretty much dries up — it’s just too freakin’ hot to go running around the desert naked. I still gotta pay my bills, though … so the other week I drove all the way out to Pismo Beach, Calif., for a photo shoot.

To make the six-hour drive worthwhile, I stayed overnight and spent some time just chilling on the beach. Not just any beach: Friends and family had clued me in to a must-see attraction in the area, Pirates’ Cove nude beach. A place where a naturalist like me can go naked in public without fear of harassment by The Man — or by any man, for that matter.

I prefer tanning in the nude for several reasons. First and foremost, less clothing = less swamp ass. Even a bikini bottom can get pretty humid; commando is the most comfortable way to bake in the sun. Also, no unsightly tan lines. I’ll never forget the ass-chewing I got from the photographer at my first-ever artistic nude photo shoot when he saw the crooked tan lines I was sporting — apparently, they really distracted from his artistic vision. So nowadays I try to tan in the nude whenever possible, to avoid upsetting future patrons.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many places in Vegas where a gal can tan in the buff. I can lay out in my backyard, but I don’t have a pool, just a wasteland of lava rock and dog shit, so that’s not much fun. I can invite myself to the home of a friend who does have a pool, but it gets kinda awkward when I show up and strip off my clothing. Guys tend to get the wrong idea, ya know?

Once, I even ventured all the way to the northshore of Lake Mead in search of a rumored nude beach near Callville Bay. But thanks to the shrinking water levels, all I found was a muddy expanse of broken bottles and rusted beer cans, with nary a nudist in sight. Depressing!

But even more depressing, the only bona-fide clothing-optional events I’ve found around town have all turned out to be, without fail, swingers’ parties. I’m not a swinger and I have less than zero interest in “playing” with leering “lifestyle” adherents and their sunburned ball sacks. I think I’m an anomaly in this town — I’m a naturalist. To me, nudity and sexuality are not necessarily entwined. I just like to lie in the sun naked and do crosswords — is that too much to ask?

Apparently, yes. Here in Vegas, female genitalia has been so thoroughly commodified that there’s no separating nudity from the promise of sexual fulfillment. Getting naked without intending to put out — or at least pretending you intend to put out — runs counter to the Vegas Code. It’s bad for our economy, and it’s bad for tourism. None of these convention pervs come here for philosophical discussions — they want action!

Meanwhile, back at Pirates’ Cove in Pismo, things were different. I hiked down to the beach, laid out my towel, unceremoniously shucked my clothes … and proceeded to soak up the sun as nature intended.


No swingers sniffing around, no thudding house music rattling my teeth. There were other people around me, but no one bothered me or even really looked my way. The guys to my left were too busy playing Frisbee, and the group of kids to my right were too busy puffing away on their giant bong to pay me any mind at all.

Something tells me things are different at the new Sapphire pool.