Secret French nudist beaches, Bordeaux boys and the lovely lesbians of Toulouse
Confessions of a Gay Road Tripper Pt 2
More from Jack Cullen
mardi le 20 juillet
Nudist beaches vary. The preconception I had was Michael Winner wallowing in a rock pool of his own sewage, an old woman hobbling towards the sea with half a ham sandwich stuck to her bum, a German Dad swatting wasps angrily with his erection, endangered lizards choking to death on BabyBel wax, police helicopters voyeuring overhead, breasts everywhere. The stuff of nightmares.
So today I’m speeding down a sandy lane in Gironde, singing along to Uffie’s AMAZING album, about an hour west of Bordeaux. I’m going to Plage Du Porge, allegedly the most beautiful nudist beach in France. Remote, dramatic, expansive and only accessible by foot. Parfait.
Should I put concealer on that mosquito bite on my bum? What if my cock burns? Questions, questions.
Plage Du Porge is 800m beyond a barrier at the end of a picnic site car park and over what can only be described as a dune mountain range. And WOW, what a beach: vast rolling white waves churn and crash onto an endless expanse of bright and clean sand, one or two couples play in the froth, it’s heavenly.
The only scary part was acquiring a stalker on the walk back. Like a sun spot I kept glimpsing this orange vest through the pines. I upped my pace but had to stall before a brook, and to my horror, I looked back and he had... wait for it... an eye patch! But God didn’t give me and Mischa Barton legs like this for nothing, and like a Rambo edition of Barbie I sprang stiltedly across the dried stream and ran for cover in the VW, virgo intacto.
Le Code Bar (34 Rue de Cursol) is tiny but really fun. There’s a small circular bar with regulars (who still remember the threat of Nazi occupation) perched about it drinking Campari. The drinks come with GLOW STICKS just dangling inside them, and there’s a giant talking stuffed parrot hanging from the ceiling next to some hardcore handheld porn on a telly. As always on the continent, there’s a dark room built into the back. Overall: A sitcom that the BBC just wouldn’t commission.
Le Go West (3 Rue Duffour Dubergier) is the major gay bar and wants you to know this. I asked the barman if Neil Tennant had ever visited and he grunted – “Quoi? Whisky?” Lindsay Lohan momentarily grabbed the reins of my soul I heard myself yell back- “Vodka! Vino! Whateverrr!” Us Brits have a rep to keep up. There is a shower cubicle on a stage for those of you who want to show off your protein shake problem.
There’s not much else in Bordeaux exclusively for gays. They have SuperMartXé (a night which is also in Vauxhall) at a club called Shine near the station, but only on a Saturday. If you lived here, a relationship would be your best bet.
Have you seen the film Bored in Bordeaux? The prequel to Sleepless in Seattle where Tom Hanks is disappointed with the lack of gay bars so meets a teenager online and sucks him off on the steps of a statue in a deserted back street? No, didn’t think so.
Mercredi le 21 juillet
Toulouse is a beautiful French town and its worth a trip to see the old bridge alone. It’s also has 90,000 students, although they’re all on holiday.
Las Niñas (30 Rue Stalingrad) is a cute little lesbian bar. One of those bars that makes you think Ooh, I’d like to own a little bar one day. The landlady is passionate about 70s disco.
Beaucoup (Pont Neuf) is a beautiful little venue by the river. Again, gay girls are the scene du jour. Is Toulouse France’s answer to Hebden Bridge? Or is it just Wednesdays? It’s a very attractive gay girl scene anyway.
Le Grand Circle (BD Riquet) is a brilliant house-party style venue, with a courtyard, crazy little staircases that leads off to micro bars, a retro games room and the cutest dark-room labyrinth you’ve ever seen - with fairy lights, Celine Dion and potted plants everywhere! I loved this venue, but there weren’t enough people. Free entry though, so check it out. London would kill for a venue like this.
Jack’s Dos and Don’ts for nudist newbies:
DO put suncream on your extremities.
DON’T look at someone for more than 3 seconds unless you’re hoping to sex them.
DO take a large bottle of water. Plage Du Porge has no facilities.
DON’T touch yourself whilst looking at someone unless you’re hoping to sex them.
DO befriend one old person. He’ll tell you the beach’s peak hours (not always obvious) and he can watch your stuff while you swim.
DON’T point your camera at anything unless it’s a vast empty landscape.
DO check tidal patterns online. Coughing up saltwater and seaweed naked on all fours isn’t a good look.
DON’T have a poo. It’s the devil messing with your sanity and it can wait.
DO take sunglasses so you can get away with secret side glances, or alternatively, pretend you didn’t see certain things.
DON’T wave at any passing police helicopters. A cheeky wink and a quick pout will do.
Jack is currently slutting about in Spain’s infamous gay mecca, also known as Sitges. Every gay has an opinion on Sitges. Check back soon for Sitges Revisited! No bone will be left unturned.
Confessions of a Gay Road Tripper Pt 1 – PARIS