Nudists like a beach to bum around on

UNLIKE hair-conscious metrosexuals, the men competing at the Nude Olympics yesterday were particularly valued for their hairy behinds.

"Nicely tanned, good overall shape, very firm and nice fuzz," said judge Jhabel, explaining what she was looking for.

Her sister judge, Karen Prior, was looking for "a bit of colour and nice bum-fluff".

While an eventual winner was selected in the men’s bum competition, the atmosphere was distinctly inclusive yesterday at South Australia’s Maslins Beach – said to be the nation’s first nudist beach.

"We accept people the way they are," said Ken, a regular nudist who attended with his partner Jenny. "If people are different shapes and sizes you just accept that – no one’s perfect."

Since it was proclaimed by the Labor government of Don Dunstan in 1975, Maslins Beach has remained a kilometre-long bastion for nudists, or "naturists" as many prefer to be called.

A five-minute walk from the carpark through cream-coloured cliffs offers some privacy, and signs at either end of the beach warn unsuspecting tourists the beach is "unclad".

The signs urge anyone observing "anti-social behaviour" to call the police on the number provided.

But what struck the uninitiated yesterday was the sheer banality of people standing around starkers. With a sausage sizzle on the go, cold drinks sold from a trailer, and a marquee sagging in the 36C heat, it could have been a get-together of the Rotary Club.

As with many clubs and volunteer organisations in recent years, membership of the Southern United Naturists is down. Membership secretary John Clements said the club was a victim of its own success in gaining acceptance in the wider community.

There was a time nudists bathed in numbers to get protection from troublemakers. "Today, with the beach being legal and the Government and local council and police all supporting it, people say they can’t be bothered joining a club," Mr Clements said.

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