Because I’m basically a walking homosexual stereotype, my partner and I went to Lesvos last year on holiday. We met up with a gaggle of friends and spent our afternoons dipping in and out of the water and sunning ourselves on the clothing optional ‘ladies’ beach’.
I’m pretty empowered as a general rule but my swimsuit game has always been a little conservative. The last swimsuit I ordered ended up having so much extraneous fabric that I wore it to a party one night as a cocktail dress. After having my picture taken surreptitiously (or not so surreptitiously, considering I caught her in the act) by a Mean Girl on the beach the year before, I felt determined to not be shamed out of soaking up some sun in Lesvos. Still, the furthest I got (while everyone else was half-nekkid around me) was having an unskirted swimsuit and taking my arms out of the straps to sun my shoulders. I felt OK about it, though. It was progress.
But then one night a full moon and a generous helping of Tsipouro worked some midnight mermaid magic on my inhibitions. Walking back from an evening out, a group of us caught a whim and made a mad dash for the water, stripping off and hooting all the way, until we were all butt-nekkid and cackling in the Aegean. It was a glorious moment of freedom and joy that I will never forget. (Nor will I forget that our partners got saucy and made off with our clothes, forcing us to search for them on the beach in the dark, still nekkid.)