And Then There Was a Naked Pool Party

And Then There Was a Naked Pool Party

I don’t remember who took their clothes off first, but the cascade of naked bodies into the pool was immediate.  After nights of girl talk and sharing confidences and building trust, a day of empowering boudoir photography, showgirl costumes and wandering around in lingerie, and then topping it all off with a fabulous, fearless burlesque class, there was no other way to end the day.

But let me stop here a moment.  Naked pool parties weren’t a part of the last retreat, and may not be a part of any coming retreats either.  This wasn’t planned, or required.  It was an evolution of trust.  It’s easy to ride the wave of sensational stories and make this out to be some Edmonton (and Calgary and Houston and Baton Rouge) girls (women) gone wild in a week of wild hedonism, but it wasn’t that at all.  It was way, way better.

Naked pool parties make a great story, but not for the reasons you think.  Each of us there- me included- brought with us our own fears and insecurities about our bodies, and they didn’t magically disappear just in time for a midnight dip.  They were still right there.  So taking our clothes off was an incredible act of trust, a decision that we each individually made to believe that our friends here were not judging, just loving us EXACTLY the way we were.  It was a leap of faith for each one of us.  Nobody was pushed or pressured (encouraged, definitely, but not pressured) and swimsuits would have been welcome too.  But what an incredible experience it was to swim under the moonlight and realise that we really were safe here- that we all looked at each other with the acceptance we sometimes had trouble giving ourselves, and that without our clothes we were exactly the same smart, funny, sassy, amazing women we had been with the social armour of fabric to bolster us.  Not less, not more.  Exactly the same women.

We laughed and talked and swam and Jen taught us the New Orleans Bounce and I actually successfully got part of me to shimmy and… it was fun.  And easy.  And magical

Thank you all for the incredible trust you gave and were worthy of that night.  I am not the same as I was.  This thing I’m doing- boudoir photography and these retreats and the upcoming nudes project and all of it- it’s about trust, and acceptance, and shared stories, and friendship, and laughter.  I have never seen it so perfectly demonstrated as that night.



(There are photos, and maybe someday some of them will be shared, if the women involved choose to.  But this post is not about that.)

  • Kim
    Posted at 20:56h, 19 September Reply

    Great post Star. Thank you for sharing this amazing example of acceptance and trust.

  • Stephanie
    Posted at 14:00h, 20 September Reply

    Making the decision to get naked was not done easily, the anxiety level was pretty high (despite my bravado) but once the decision was made, there were no regrets.

    The moments are few and far between that we feel so comfortable and safe enough, even among our close friends, to let all our flaws (and accompanying fears) just hang out for all to see. Yet the feeling of acceptance and love emanated from within each of us; our “armor” was no longer required.

    Time may fade our memories of this trip but I will always be grateful to each of these ladies. You each hold a special place in my heart.

  • P
    Posted at 17:13h, 10 April Reply

    I got here via a FB post. Is there info on the Italy trip anywhere?

    • Ayrlia
      Posted at 00:41h, 27 April Reply

      Hi there! The full details on the trip to Italy are coming out this coming week, or if you email me at I’ll give you the scoop so far. 😉

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