Living in Northeastern United States—despite an unusually mild winter—one can’t help but long for a little warmth and color. Here in Rhode Island, the days are short, the trees are bare and the skies are grey.

By February, I usually find myself in the mood for a little ‘pick-me-up’ vacation, and so I hopped on a plane and headed to the gay daddy Mecca that is Palm Springs, California.

Even beyond the beautiful and warm weather, there are so many reasons to love California. The tacos are delicious. The palm trees are innumerable. And, most recently, a federal appeals court ruled that California’s gay marriage ban (known as proposition 8) is unconstitutional. Though the marriage fight is far from over, it’s a sure step in the right direction.

During this year’s visit to Palm Springs, I decided to push my own boundaries and stay at a clothing optional resort called Escape. Palm Springs is, in fact, quite famous for the plethora of gay men’s nude resorts. Some are rather calm and tame, while others are very sexually charged. In the salsa bar of naked resorts, Escape would be considered quite mild.

Despite Escape’s friendly atmosphere and my proclivity toward nudism in the comfort of my own home, it’s another thing entirely to do it in front of an audience. In all my travels, adventures and even visits to nude beaches, I’ve yet to get fully naked in public. I just can’t get myself to do it.
Turns out, things were a bit different for me this year.

On my first day, I decided to go poolside in a red Speedo. Truth be told, the Speedo really didn’t leave much to the imagination; it’s was so ridiculously small that I might as well have been naked. But for me, like the recent ruling on Proposition 8, it was a step in the right direction. Hanging by the pool for an hour, I chatted with the other guests and soaked in some sun.

Later in the afternoon, I returned to my room. As I walked by the hallway mirror, I stopped to admire my newly acquired tan. It was only then that I realized, unbeknownst to me, that I had been experiencing a wardrobe malfunction. My left (beep), presumably for the entire time, had popped out of my Speedo. And it wasn’t just a little peek; it was literally hanging there—bright red and fully sunburned—for the entire world to see.

Oy vey.

- Davey

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