Star Gazing
Chapter 1: Preflight

Judy was a little nervous — she'd never gone nude before, and here she was, off on a Great Adventure where she was likely to be just that.

She was a university student, blonde-haired and buxom at 20, off on her first field trip. Every summer, a half-dozen of the university's best and brightest astronomy and astrophysics majors were allowed to go to the University's remote observatory to work on direct astronomical observations, escorted by the legendary Professor Angeline Archer, the Old "AA" — not for her bra size, for at about 50 years of age she had grown somewhat stout, but for her energetic lecturing and research style. Professor Archer was constantly running about as if the answer to the next astronomical puzzle had grown legs and would escape if she didn't catch it. Some of her more irreverent students claimed that the University's IT department used Professor Archer as a battery backup for their critical servers. The Professor was also tagged as being "eccentric", a factor which did nothing to diminish the high popularity of her classes.

The field trip would be for two weeks, to a special facility that the University used far into the wilderness, where the students would do the research needed to compete their papers. The facility consisted of a small telescope building with a 10-foot dome, a log cabin with a water tower right beside it, and a few outbuildings. At one time about 80 years before it had been occupied all year long, but with developments in technology the facility was obsolete for modern work. It was perfect for training the next generation of astronomers, however.

The location wasn't bad, either — there was a stream-fed lake beside the facility, and in the valley was a small town where supplies — and help if necessary — could be had at the cost of a couple of hours' drive.

The other two female students, Jennifer and Colette, veterans of last year's trip, were in their final year. Of the men, only Paul had been out the prior year. The other two were like Judy, on their first trip, but twins Jean-Pierre and Joseph had one advantage over Judy.

In Professor Archer's office, the six gathered for their pre-trip briefing, one week before the trip.

"You will be going to a very isolated area," the Professor advised her charges. "We have to lug in all of our supplies, and the distance is an hour each way — when the skies are clear, longer if they aren't. To pack more supplies and equipment, we advise the students to pack 'minimal' personal items, which has become by tradition translated to mean we'll be living 'clothing optional', which by the third day is usually 'clothing free'. The three of you who were there last year as you've already experienced it I have no concerns with, but you three new students — have you ever been to a nude beach, or a naturist resort?"

Jean-Pierre (or was it Joseph? They were identical, after all) advised, "Our parents used to take us to Cap d'Agde every summer, since we were old enough to travel. A mixed group like this..." He shrugged his shoulders to express his unconcern.

"The naturist city in the south of France? Then you should certainly not have any problems."

"Um," Judy started, blushing furiously, "I've never ... er ... been ... nude..."

"You wear clothes when you shower?" Angeline inquired with some amusement, then added, "That was uncalled for, and I apologize. Stay behind, and I'll give you some advice on how to prepare for it. Colette, can I ask you to help our little cottontail? I can? Great, if you could stay back as well."

The Professor turned to the remaining four students. "You may go. We'll meet at the front steps of Convocation Hall. Remember, one bag only apiece, and bring enough sunscreen for a two-week trip!"

After the other four had trickled out, Angeline addressed her "cottontail" student. Judy could see why she would be referred to as such, but she still wasn't sure she liked the term.

"Now, my dear, I think you understand the reasoning behind this? The practicality of the decision?"

"I think so, Professor. We need to pack the minimum because of limited cargo space."

"Plus, there's very little in the way of laundry facilities, so it's either pack in two weeks' worth of attire plus laundry detergent, or a single bar of soap. Understandably, the option of a single bar of soap becomes very appealing when you also have to schlep in all the food and astronomy gear. Just bring a sweatshirt and track pants if the evenings get cool."

"Yes, Professor."

"Now, about the social nudity angle — I'm going to ask you some personal questions, but they're for your own good, so if you're ready?"

Judy gulped and advised, "I'm ready."

"Do you sleep in the nude?"

"No, I never have," Judy blushed. She had always worn pyjamas.

"Start doing so tonight, and keep it up until after the trip. It'll help. Now, ever gone skinny-dipping?"

Judy was kind of scandalized by that question, but remembered — the Professor HAD warned her these would be embarrassing questions. "No," she squeaked.

"Colette, is the usual Friday nude swim at the campus women's fitness club still on tonight?"

"Yes, Professor, at 7:00. Did you want me to bring Judy with me?"

"Please do. As it's ladies only, it will be a 'safe' introduction to social nudity. Now ... if I could ask you to also take her to the nude beach near campus tomorrow? Start her working on getting rid of her tan lines?"

"Of course, Professor, it would be a pleasure."

At 7:00, Judy arrived at the campus women's fitness facilities, carrying her towel. At Colette's suggestion, she wore a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, but no underwear. She felt a little naughty with her breasts gently swaying beneath the thin fabric.

Colette arrived at about the same time — fortunately, Judy thought, as she realized that she'd probably bolt if forced to wait more than a few seconds. With someone experienced to help her through her first experience she thought she'd be OK, but doing it alone would be too much.

"Remember," Colette advised after they greeted each other, "it's just other women here. No men. Nobody will be looking at either of us as sex objects." Well, most wouldn't, Colette realized, but felt it unfair to bring the concept of lesbians to Judy, with her all ready to freak out at any moment. Colette could tell Judy was holding on to her rationality by a hair. "Ready?"

"Yes," she gulped, and rapidly added "let's do this before I chicken out."

Together they joined the flow of women entering the facility.

In the changing room, Judy and Colette quickly stripped and put their things in a locker, showered, and walked into the pool.

All around Judy were naked women: Short women, tall women, thin women, fat women, young women, even old women. Some had shaved their pubes into a "racing stripe", others had shaved their pubic areas completely bald. There were white women, black women, even a couple of oriental ladies with straight black hair. There were blondes, brunettes and redheads, some with short haircuts and others longer — one woman wore her hair down to the small of her back in a magnificent braid.

None of these women stared at her, or get wigged out that she was nude. Neither did they seem upset that she was looking at them while they were naked. She soon realized that being nude feel quite comfortable once you got used to it. She'd been raised in a quite prudish household, with her parents never allowing her to see her brother or father nude, and only rarely did she see her mother nude.

"There must be almost 100 people here," Judy noted to Colette.

"Possibly more. These swims are very popular, as you can see."

"Every Friday?"

"Yes, from 7:00 to 10:00. I usually go. Professor Archer usually goes as well. We'll probably see her shortly."

Once in the pool, she and Colette quickly swam some laps to warm up, and then joined in a group of women playing water polo.

Judy enjoyed turns of playing games and then sitting in the 20-person whirlpool. She'd met several classmates who were surprised the "class prude" had actually gone out to the swim, she'd met the good Professor, who was no less energetic in the pool than she was in the lecture room, she'd had a chance to chat with Colette and Jennifer, and she'd made a couple of new friends. It was a good introduction to social nudity. She was sold.

She was surprised when the clock showed 10:00 and the lifeguards — who wore fluorescent vests as their only attire — whistled everyone back to the change rooms.

Colette approached her. "How was it?" she asked.

"I had a blast. I wonder why I didn't do this years ago?"

"You probably did when you were two, but as you matured your textile parents probably discouraged you by telling you it was 'wrong'. And they probably didn't say why it was 'wrong', just that it was."

Judy wondered briefly what her parents would think. Well, there would be plenty of time to tell them — after the trip to the Observatory.

Judy slept in the next morning, having used up a lot of energy at the previous evening's swim. Colette actually had to shake her awake. Judy was surprised first by Colette's presence — she gave a little yelp — and then was surprised that she'd been sleeping in the nude, for the first time ever. She gave another yelp at that discovery, and tried to cover herself up.

"I saw it all last night, remember? Now get up, get showered, and get dressed — we can't go to the beach nude, but we can lose these uncomfortable torture devices —" she pointed to Judy's shorts and T-shirt from the previous night "— when we get there."

"OK," Judy responded as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. Her hair, she noted, stank of chlorine. Another reason to swim nude: she didn't have to worry about rinsing the chlorine out of any swimsuit.

Judy decided she liked Colette, but for one factor, and that factor she was discovering right now. While the older student was friendly and always seemed to be happy, she also was what could politely be described as an "aggressive driver", exiting the parking lot in a squeal of tires and a scream of triumph and barrelling down the road like she was racing on the Dakar Rally. It was actually quite the relief when the pair arrived at the clothing-optional beach, about 40 minutes off-campus — today being somewhat quicker than that thanks to Colette's lead foot.

The beach was quite popular, Judy learned. The parking lot was already filling up fast. All around, not just university students but families with young children were stripping off, locking their clothes in their cars and dashing down the footpath to the beach. Because of the presence of the families, Judy was less nervous than she'd been the day before — surely no parent would let their kids get involved in activities that were socially unacceptable.

Her fellow astronomy students had already arrived and set up a site by one of the barbecues. She joined them and the group headed off for a swim. She realized she felt quite comfortable with not only her own nudity, but that of her fellow students.

She was quite surprised to see lifeguards manning the stations scattered up and down the beach. She had known the beach was there, but she didn't know it was an official municipal beach. Unlike almost all the bodies lying in the sand and swimming in the water by the lifeguard stations, the guards themselves wore bright-red swimsuits.

She was also surprised that the twins' contribution to lunch wasn't booze, but soft drinks. Jennifer explained that the lack of beer was because the lifeguards enforced a ban on alcohol.

After a wonderful morning of swimming and beach volleyball, they had a wonderful lunch of hot dogs and hamburgers, and because they had more than enough coals left they invited a nearby family of five to share their barbecue. Judy had a chance to talk to the mother while her three pre-teen sons played Frisbee with their father and the other men in Judy's group.

"My husband and I have been naturist since we were children," the woman, whose name turned out to be Susan, explained. "We're raising our own children with the same high body acceptance. The nearest naturist resort is about a couple of hours' drive away, so this is much more convenient. My husband works shift and I strictly work weekdays, so we can't always get a full weekend together. This is more convenient when we only have the one day."

"How about around the home? You sleep in the nude, I guess?"

"Oh, of course. Plus, the minute we get home we strip off — we even cook and eat dinner in the nude, although when I sometimes wear an apron to avoid painful splatters. Unfortunately our backyard isn't that big and the houses around us look down onto it, so we can't set up a pool or sunbathe in the backyard in 'nature's swimsuit', so we do the best we can. Both of our parents have retired to that naturist resort I mentioned, so we will send the kids there for a couple of weeks this summer, and join them when we get a week off next month."

Susan was fascinated by the astronomy student's upcoming trip, and Judy was fascinated by Susan's description of the naturist resort. She resolved to go there some time this summer. Susan gave her the URL for the resort's website, so she could investigate it further.

All too soon, it was time to pack up and head home. Judy now didn't know if she regretted the fact she'd have to get dressed — or the fact she'd be riding shotgun beside the demon-driver.

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Story tagged with:
Humor / School / Nudism /