“How much farther do we have to walk?” I asked my friend, who was leading me towards a San Diego nude beach he suggested we try during his visit. Black’s Beach is a favorite of the residents of La Jolla and tourists alike for its seclusion, hidden beneath the bluffs of Torrey Pines on the Pacific. And the hike to this natural paradise was nothing short of breathtaking—figuratively and literally. The winding path that led us down to the beach opened up to a scene of serenity (a remedy we both needed on that afternoon).

But as we stepped foot onto the black and gold sand, we realized the population of Black’s Beach was devoid of people that looked like us. Yes, we were two, young Black folk headed to an area designated for nude sunbathing and surfing. And as we drew closer to the end of the half-mile we’d traveled to reach this destination, I couldn’t help but notice the stares. Go figure. Black’s Beach has no Blacks.

Let’s face the truth: the average Black person isn’t going to readily strip down to a bare bottom and prance around a beach no matter how beautiful it is. But on that Hump Day, those middle-aged retirees and wave riders were going to see my body in all of its thickness and glory.

Amongst the seaweed and throngs of seagulls awaiting a chance to descend upon the sight of food, John and I found a cozy spot to smooth out and lay down our beach towels. I was dripping with sweat after the hike and ready to peel out of my clothes, so I came out of my shirt with the quickness. I could tell my buddy was a bit uneasy about undressing in front of me, but I had no shame. Years of making rapid changes during fashion shows killed any shyness I had about stripping down to my birthday suit in front of anyone.

As soon as our towels were in place, I threw my workout gear to the side and let it all hang out.  I was naked in public on a secluded beach in SoCal and I wasn’t ashamed. John followed my lead and stripped his basic layers before lying next to me on the covered sand.

“Tyomi, I have to admit that this feels good,” he said, closing his eyes and allowing the sun to penetrate his skin. And just like that, it happened. From the corner of my eye, I could see his member becoming erect and dripping, and he began to feel embarrassed. “I’m sorry for dripping in front of you like this Tyomi, but this sun feels so good on my penis right now,” he said, as the early afternoon sun blasted us with its rays.

This was John’s first time at a nude beach as well, and apparently the first time his genitals have ever seen daylight. “This sun feels so good, it feels like I’m about to have an orgasm,” he said, wearing a huge smile (and nothing else) with his eyes closed. He couldn’t understand why he was involuntarily responding to something that wasn’t a sexual stimulant, but sex educator and regular Hedonism II Resort supporter Shaun Galanos has a perfect explanation.

“Being naked in the sun not only increases your vitamin D intake and improves your mood, but it can also help improve circulation and detoxify your skin,” Galanos once told Today.com. John was experiencing a tingling feeling throughout his penis and it made him feel “charged up,” a direct testament of the sun’s ability to improve circulation.

After 30 minutes of basking in the sunlight, John walked to the edge of the water to get a better view and to “handle his business” since there were no public restrooms at this end of the beach. And I sat up from my laying position to snap a few nudie shots of myself and to log on to Periscope with my breasts covered to give my followers a sneak peek of what it truly means to be liberated.

My phone quickly died, giving me the signal to live in the moment, and as John made his way back to our area of the beach I began my dip into the waves of the Pacific. The tide was out, so I walked a little farther to revel in the majestic scene of the endless blue horizon expanding and contracting in front of my eyes. I was surrounded by the sea, skin glistening from the glow of the sun, and in that moment I felt regal.

My body was set against desert bluffs, and an expanse of blue sky above filled with gliders enjoying the afternoon in the friendly skies. (If I didn’t know any better, I’d have thought they were just trying to get a sneak peek of the nudist beach.) And as the waves crashed against my body in rhythm, I felt free, alive and one with nature, as God intended.

“Why are so many Blacks afraid to be in the nude, even in their own homes?” I thought to myself. The mere mention of my activities for the afternoon made many of my friends and colleagues uncomfortable, and that thought alone made me sad. Being in the buff does wonders for the psyche and helps with encouraging positive body image, an issue many women have when it comes to embracing their sexuality.

My mind wandered to earlier times when Black people lived in harmony with the Earth, unashamed of their bodies, and my mind came upon Egypt. According to Aileen Goodson, author of Therapy, Nudity & Joy, the beloved Queen Nefertiti and her royal husband Akhenaten were said to have swum naked in royal pools as a way feel closer to their erected sun-disk god. To this Black royal couple, nakedness was next to godliness, and the best way to gain maximum holiness. If frolicking on the beach nude was good enough for our royal ancestors, it’s something we should embrace in the present.

And then I felt the stares again.

Through my cat-eye frames, I looked around me for a moment and noticed eyes planted on my Black ass in the middle of the ocean in warrior’s pose enjoying the feeling of autonomy. I was free, my body felt electric and I felt privileged to have such an experience. I returned to my towel to grab John for one last dip into the Pacific. And as we stood hand in hand in the middle of the ocean, I was glad to have a sex positive friend to share this amazing experience of liberation with.

“Tyomi, you don’t know how much this means to me that we could experience this together,” my friend said with a glint of gratitude in his eyes. If only more people of melaninated skin would have sex positive friends to help usher them into healthier mind sets about self acceptance and sexual autonomy, maybe our community wouldn’t be as affected by sexual matters as we are. Maybe our relationships with self would be better if we learned to embrace the bodies that so many are currently risking their lives to appropriate in the present.

Many may never be ready for the “nude in public” experience, but in the comfort of one’s own home, anything goes. Being nude helps skin to breathe, gives the vagina the air it needs to remain in balance, regulates body temperature while sleeping for a better rest, and increases sexual desire, according to research.

John and I left the beach in confidence knowing we’d both checked off a major entry on our bucket lists. And as we ascended from the sandy shore of Black’s Beach with our backs to the ocean, we took with us the confidence we gained from our adventure that day.

Glamazon Tyomi is a freelance writer, model and sex educator with a deeply rooted passion for spreading the message of sex positivity and encouraging the masses to embrace their sexuality. Her website, www.glamerotica101.com, reaches internationally as a source for advice and information for the sexually active/curious. Follow her on Twitter at @glamazontyomi.