My first experiences at beaches and parks and things in Germany were revelatory. Nobody cared about the “girls!”

If a woman wanted to sunbathe, she just took her top off and sunbathed, and the earth kept rotating on its axis.

I will never forget the time in Provincetown when I had to caution a German tourist not to change out of her bikini top in public, that she might be arrested for it. She looked at me like I was insane, which I suppose our culture is.

I should probably add that as a gay man pretty far along on the Kinsey scale, I’ve never gotten the whole fascination anyway. To me, a breast is just another bit of female anatomy neither particularly pleasing nor displeasing.

I used to scratch my head in high school trying to figure out what my male friends were so excited about when they acquired nudist magazines. But that’s a gay man for you.

I’m not sure how the taboo got started, but I do think it’s quite unfair. If somebody forced me to wear something around my chest at all times, I’d be pissed.

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.