Two-and-a-half years ago I wrote this post about the nude sunbathing section of Berlin’s Tiergarten, and about wider public attitudes to ‘social’ nudity. It seemed to strike a chord at the time, and even now I get blog hits from people who’ve searched for information about going naked in the park, only to find themselves on my site.
I was back in Berlin this week for a conference, staying in a hotel on the southwest edge of the Tiergarten. I had a couple of hours to kill before my flight today, and the weather was stunning, so it felt only right that I went and experienced the whole thing for myself.
As I sat in a cab to the airport afterwards, I had an idea for a story. Or a piece of flash fiction, at the very least. I sketched it out on the plane and wrote it up this evening. It’s a scenario that really turns me on, so I hope it has a similar effect on at least a few of you – though as vivid as it was in my head, it’s based largely on fantasy rather than reality.
I don’t need to look up to feel his eyes on me. Even in a part of the park where men routinely allow their gaze to drift over the bodies around them, there’s something different about being actively watched. It ripples and shimmers through the air, surfing the sticky September heat. My skin burns under its touch.
I’m sprawled out on yesterday’s work shirt, pressed into service as a makeshift towel. I have to be at the airport in less than two hours for my next flight – next city, next conference – but all of that suddenly feels a million miles away. Here there is only the bright sunshine, filtered down by a canopy of green above my head; the distant hum of road traffic on Hofjägerallee, cutting up through the Tiergarten; and the languid, glistening bodies around me.
Sweat clings to my chest hair and runs down the side of my stomach. My thighs clench. I’m more aware of my nudity than I was when I first took off my clothes. My skin is milk-pale, but I can feel a pink flush spreading across my chest; pricking my arms and legs. Scrutiny is never entirely comfortable, even when it’s welcome – that’s surely part of its appeal – but this is different somehow. I guess women don’t tend to stare at me this openly.
I try to focus on my book, but the words skip and blur. Without realising it I’ve draped a hand over my cock, concealing it from view, and I’m startled by the first twitch against my fingers. Like the rest of me it feels hot and slick; fat and swollen too, as if the heat has pumped it full of latent sexual energy. I risk a casual glance across the lawn, squinting into the fierce sunlight. Now I want to see him too.
He’s not hard to spot. Cross-legged on a picnic blanket, no more than 15 metres in front of me, his eyes bore into me till I’m forced to look away. There’s nothing remarkable about his appearance, beyond that unnerving intensity; he’s a touch shorter than me, perhaps a couple of years younger, and rocking a deep tan, but otherwise his body is close to a mirror image of mine. Same broad shoulders, same, athletic frame, same wispy hair – hair that I follow down from his chest to his stomach and lower, much lower…
He grins when he catches me staring at his cock. Shifting position, he props himself up on his elbows, legs spread, and lets it hangs down between them with obscene confidence. I force myself to lift my hand away from my own crotch, letting it dangle awkwardly by my side as a soft breeze hits the freshly exposed skin. I don’t have to look down to know that I’m getting hard; the head of my cock is nudging against my inner thigh – dragging up along it as it starts to rise.
Like gunslingers we study each other, our focus narrowing till the other bathers dotted around the park might as well be inanimate objects. His fingers play over his cock, teasing in a manner that immediately establishes control. Or maybe he just senses that I have no idea how to play this. Either way, only one of us is ready to shoot first.
I turn to the pile of bags next to me and tuck my unread paperback into a satchel pocket. When I wheel round again he’s on his feet, cock jutting out in front of him. At this distance I can’t see the sculpted detail – just a dark flash of arousal around a prominent head, and enough length to have me squirming with something halfway between lust and stomach-dropping fear. For some reason I expect him to walk towards me, but of course that’s not how these things work. Not here. How do they work here?
With a pointed look over his shoulder, he disappears through a gap in the trees and into the undergrowth. Just like that, he’s gone – and it would be so easy to pretend he was never here to begin with. I could gather up my clothes, hoick bags over my shoulders, and scuttle off to the airport. I could leave without a backward glance. I could…
But I don’t.
The leaves under my bare feet feel crisp with anticipation.