‘No Topless Beaches!’ Says Man With Naked Lady Parts Tattoo


That was the welcome delivered by Asbury residents at Wednesday night’s city council meeting, which attracted several TV affiliates for its discussion of a topless beach.

In June, the proprietor of a local yoga studio inquired as to whether women can legally take their bikini tops off in the less popular sands north of the boardwalk. Europe and Miami were allegedly invoked, and word spread that the 8th Avenue Beach was already the place to go topless, so why not make it official? The council agreed to look into it, and a swirl of media attention ensued.

Nude beaches are not a new idea in Jersey. There’s the sliver of Sandy Hook where all can bare all, except that place is hidden away. Like a beach for lepers. Naked lepers. And if you didn’t already know, leprosy is contagious.

Because though many of the people at the council meeting have never been to a nude beach, they seem to think it turns a community upside-down.

“Whaaat,” says a senior citizen walking in. “Do you want your daughter walking around with no clothes on?”

Jeez. Who knew that the difference between civilization and hedonism was the 8th Avenue Beach?

The formal council meeting doesn’t start until 7 p.m., but the real business is hashed out at the 6 p.m. work session. This is where the town attorney delivers his report on the current laws governing the local female nipples.

He dryly reviews the New Jersey Criminal Code, some case law and what Asbury has on its books. According to the state, the exposure of genitals constitutes lewdness when there is intent to cause “arousal.” Revealing “the breast area” falls into the category of “intimate parts,” which is also punishable under the law when lewd intent is present.

But otherwise, the state specifically left it to towns to set their public nudity standards, and it just so happens that Asbury Park already has a law prohibiting women from going topless. In fact, they have two—one law for each breast.

“Thank you,” says a woman in the audience as the town attorney concludes, “And that is the current state of our ordinances.”

Pssshaw, huffs a man behind me, as if to say, ‘Current?’ What do you mean current? How about ‘Never!

There is a silence as they move on to the next report. Then some applause erupts.

Sadly, there are no sympathizers of the areola-airers, and the media types look disappointed in the lack of drama. Had there been a sudden outburst of breasts, it’s possible that gold coins would have started shooting out of the television reporters’ mouths, for they would have hit the ultimate jackpot of municipal government meetings.

Not even the hippie-dippy yoga instructor shows up. I briefly suspect a late-arriving woman in a hot pink tank top might be her, but then I see that it says, “STOP ANIMAL ABUSE,” and realize she is here to support the man petitioning to license his pot-bellied pig. She joins in the clapping when the anti-tits ordinance is affirmed.

The formal council meeting starts and residents are allowed to have a turn at the microphone. They all think that it’s a disgrace how the city squandered time and money in investigating the legality of bare breasts. No, what the city should be spending time and money on are the important things: imprisoning women who expose their breasts.

“I was told that there are people going topless currently,” says the president of the local NAACP. “What is the city going to do? Are they going to start arresting people?”

“I hope so,” chimes in a large, tattooed white guy a few seats down from me. “I hope so.”

I cannot believe my ears. I noticed the man earlier when he came in. He’s bald and has a bushy goatee. His sleeveless shirt reveals a load of tattoos, one in particular on his right bicep that at first looks like an oddly shaped anchor. I stare discreetly out the corner of my eye (this is not exactly the kind of guy you want to be caught gawking at) and determine that this was no anchor but two legs, spread apart. FEMALE legs. The tattoo was of a woman spread eagle on her back.

I was looking at lady parts. NAKED lady parts.

You’ve gotta be kidding me, I thought to myself when he cheered the jailing of topless women, no trace of sarcasm in his voice. This guy wears vulgarity on his sleeve. Literally! A permanent fucking sleeve!

Unfortunately, I never got to question the man who brings illustrated vagina with him everywhere he goes on what he has against breasts at the beach. He slipped out sometime during the public comment section without me noticing. I guess some things just aren’t meant to be revealed.