Sandra LaMorgese is a 59-year-old holistic practitioner and professional dominatrix who appeared in a series I did on boomer women and their boudoir shoots. When she told me she was going to a nude beach for the first time, and was planning to be photographed doing it, I jumped at the chance to profile her latest foray into the land of boundary-pushing.
What gave you the idea to go to a nude beach?
A married couple I’m very good friends with have been enjoying nude beaches for some time, and after months of persuasion, they finally talked me into trying it too.
I didn’t want to go — on the contrary, the thought of being so vulnerable by exposing my “flaws and private parts” was very uncomfortable to me. I tend to wear swimsuits for two reasons: the flattering color and cut, and to strategically cover my scars and stretch marks. Would sarongs and beach wraps ever have been created if we all weren’t so ashamed of our cellulite, thick thighs, and big butts?
This is the very reason I decided to hit the surf and sand au naturale…no make-up, no hair style, and no bathing suit. I just thought that the experience would free me of the stigma of negative body image and empower me as I stepped way out of my comfort zone.
What was it like being naked in front of a bunch of strangers?
To be honest, I felt surprisingly comfortable right away. In many ways, being naked in front of strangers is much easier than being naked in front of people you know well. As soon as I dropped my sundress, I was ready to go.
Nobody was paying any attention to me and my naked body. They were doing their own thing — working on perfect lineless suntans, relaxing in the sun, setting up tents, sitting under umbrellas, enjoying picnics, or sipping cold beers.
When photographer Craig White and I were scouting out a spot to shoot down by the surf, I even approached a cute park ranger for assistance. It didn’t faze me in the least that he was head-to-toe in uniform while I was bare-ass naked.
Oddly enough, the only thing that separated the nude section from the bathing suit section of the beach was a thin wire stretched across the sand. As you may guess, many of the clothed beachgoers were sunning right up against the wire.
Was this your first time being photographed nude? Describe your feelings about the shoot.
This was my first time being photographed nude, but it was more of an implied nude shoot. I knew I was not going to be fully exposed in the finished photos, which made me very comfortable and relaxed. Craig is a skilled nude and implied-nude photographer, and he only started shooting once I was in a position of non-exposure.
Give me three words, off the top of your head, that capture the impact of this experience on you.
Empowering, vulnerable, and freeing.
Would you go to a nude beach again, or was this a one-time novelty thing?
I will without doubt go to a nude beach again. In fact, I may never go back to a clothed beach!
Any other experiences involving sexuality and body awareness on your bucket list?
I don’t currently have any specific sexuality and body awareness plans on my bucket list, but as always, I’m open to experiences that cross my path.
Sandra LaMorgese, PhD, 59, is an expert in mind, body, and spiritual holistic living. She specializes in life transformation, interpersonal communication, beauty, health, wellness, and sexual intimacy. She has worked as a holistic practitioner, and as the Director of Education for “Cures,” a wellness skin and bodycare brand. She is a metaphysician, ordained Reverend, Dominatrix, and Fetishist.
Photography by Craig White