Evolution of Friends - Part 1
After I completed school, I was thrilled to find my dream job in a small coastal city. Although the starting pay didn’t allow me to live beach-front, I was able to find a nice affordable apartment within walking distance of my job. And it was only about a 20-minute bike ride to the beach.
I have always loved the beach. My parents took me when I was young. I went with friends before college. The word I used most often to describe my experiences at the beach was “fun”.
During college, friends guided me away from those terrible knee-length shorts toward comfortable shorts that more closely resembled running shorts. Then, I migrated to a bikini-style swimsuit. The words I used most often to describe the beach were “relaxing” and “refreshing”, although “fun” was still high in the list.
During my last year of college, I switched to wearing a thong swimsuit. My most-used descriptive word became “freedom. “Freedom” expressed my feelings with being so openly exposed to the sun, to the wind, and to other people. Of course, the beach was still “relaxing”, “refreshing” and “fun”.
I worked the night shift and my “work day” ended at 7 in the morning. Like most people, I preferred to “unwind” for several hours after work. So I chose to stay awake during the morning, before temperatures got hot, and sleep during afternoon and early evening hours.
When I got home from work, I’d usually hit the shower then ate my “evening” meal. I’d put on my beachwear, grab my beach bag and head for the beach. I didn’t have a car, so that meant riding my bicycle.
My “freedom” mindset for the beach dictated that I “wear as little as reasonably possible”. This meant that I never wore a shirt to the beach, providing a feeling of “freedom” to my upper body. Since the sand and pavement were cool until mid-afternoon, I didn’t have to wear shoes, which provided stimulation to my senses while being barefoot and adding to the feeling of “freedom”.
I had considered a truly enhanced “freedom” experience if I made the trip to from my apartment to the beach while wearing nothing but my thong. Although that certainly met my standard of “as little as possible”, I discarded the idea because I had not seen anyone else wearing so little for their trip, so the “reasonably” part didn’t work.
My shorts were the only visible clothing other people saw me wear when I was on my bike rides to the beach. The shorts had a really low waistband and a short inseam. From many points of view, it probably looked like I was wearing a bikini. But the sides of the shorts were split to the waistband, so that style feature was the confirmation that I wore shorts. It was also the feature that made it clear that my shorts had really, really minimal coverage.
I had wondered about the reception that I would encounter wearing so little. In the past, reactions have been so varied. Some stuck-up bullies have shouted “Put on some clothes”. Some people merely looked to another direction. Some people came and talked to me. After a trip of two in my new city, I learned that, just like most everywhere else, hardly anyone seemed to be affected by what I wore. I also took the attitude that people thought “Oh, a guy in small shorts, wish I had the nerve to wear that.”
Once I arrived at the beach, I’d lock my bicycle into the rack and find a nearby spot for my towel. I would always immediately remove my shorts so that everyone would see that I was wearing a thong swimsuit.
I’d run along the water’s edge. Other people were out for their morning walks and runs. We would exchange “nods” or perhaps say “good morning”. By mid-morning, I had the beach almost to myself, along with a few other “regulars”.
Between runs or walks, I’d relax by sunbathing on my towel until it was time to pack up, go home and grab my shower and lunch before sleeping.
Evolution of Friends - Part 2
THERE ARE OTHERS
One set of “regulars” at the beach was a trio of guys who typically arrived in a van just minutes after me. The three set up mid-beach. Two of them wore only shorts, like me, and toted a cooler. The third guy was the driver of the van, and each day he wore a cropped tank top, but no shorts, and a jade green thong.
Once the cooler was in place, the two lay their towels. All three would muddle around a few moments, but eventually the driver took off his shirt and the other two removed their shorts. Each revealed a thong swimsuit with a mixture of vibrant colors.
Since I ran along the water’s edge, we exchanged that casual wave “Hi” from a distance, not that different from others I met or passed when running. One morning, the tank top guy, by now wearing only his thong, ran down to the water to meet me.
“Hi, I’m Andy. Dude, do you realize we live in the same apartment complex?”
“No, I haven’t. Wow,” I replied.
Andy continued, “Yeah, I’m in the building across the parking lot from you. I see you leave on your bike just minutes before my other friends arrive. We leave just a few minutes after you do and come in my van, so we get here about the same time.”
“That’s amazing. I’ve seen you guys for the few days I’ve been coming. Do you guys come here every day?”
“Yes, almost every day. We work nights, so to relax we come here pretty early in the morning then leave a little after midday so we can get back to our places and get sleep before we have to go to work.”
“That’s the same thing I do. I guess I’m not the only person that thinks this way!”
“No, you are not. We all seem to think alike!”
Then, Andy dropped the question I wanted to hear. “In fact, the other guys and I want to ask you to hang out with us and maybe ride to the beach with us each day. Want to?”
I didn’t have a car. And they gave me the opportunity to be with other people who work the same shifts that I work and wear the same skimpy swimwear that I wear. Easy answer, “Sure. That can work for me.”
Andy added, “Finish your run, grab your stuff and come join us. You can ride home with us today, if you like.”
That’s exactly what I did. Andy, David, Alex and I lay on our towels and we sunbathed or we walked or ran along the beach. Shortly after noon, three of us put on our shorts. There was no doubt my shorts had the least coverage of any. Andy put on his tank top. David and Alex grabbed the cooler. At the parking lot, I put my bike in the back of the van and we drove back.
When we returned to the parking lot, David and Alex got out of the van and headed toward their places. I understood that David lived about a block to the north and Alex about two blocks to the east. When both left barefoot, I realized they had not left anything in Andy’s apartment and they enjoyed that same “freedom” feeling as me.
Andy asked me to help him with getting the cooler back to his apartment. He packs it each day and asks the others to “chip in” for the cost of the drinks and fuel for the van, which is something I was happy to do. Andy told me the group met around 8.
I returned to my place right on my normal schedule to eat and sleep before work.
Evolution of Friends - Part 3
The next morning after work, I began my usual routine. But, I didn’t get on my bike and ride 20 minutes. Instead, I walked across the parking lot to Andy’s apartment.
I’ve noticed that people think nothing of a guy on his bike and wearing short shorts. However, it was probably a little unusual to see a guy walking across a parting in only such miniscule shorts. Now, I don’t know if anyone noticed me that day, but it was pleasurable for me to have only those tiny little shorts visible to the public, with the added “freedom” sensations from walking barefoot across the parking lot.
When I arrived at his apartment, Andy was wearing only his thong. Alex was already there and David arrived a couple minutes later. David and Alex each had their beach bags but their only visible clothing was their shorts, just like me. Andy pulled on his tank top and the four of us headed to the van. No surprise, the van ride was much faster than my bike and we arrived within a couple minutes of my normal time.
We went toward the group’s “usual” spot at mid-beach. Andy and I led the way and put down our towels. Andy took off his shirt and I removed my shorts. David and Alex put down the cooler and removed their shorts almost immediately, definitely much faster than I had observed on previous days. Maybe it’s only me that notices this kind of stuff.
My days at the beach with the group were about the same as before I met them, including the same “freedom.” I did my usual runs and my usual sunbathing, wearing just my thong. My memories are of fun, pleasant and relaxing days with friends on the same work schedule and wearing similar minimal beachwear.
There were days that one member of the group didn’t make the trip to the beach. The others went without them. Of course, if Andy couldn’t go, the others didn’t have a ride. That happened once in the first couple weeks the group of four was together. That day I rode my bicycle just like I had done before I joined the group. David and Alex did not go that day.
Evolution of Friends - Part 4
There was something about Andy during the first minutes each day. He seemed a little disappointed and frustrated. I had the sense of a potential problem and I wanted to test an idea. On a morning when I was the first to arrive, I asked, “Andy, why do you go to the beach without shorts when the rest of us wear shorts?”
“I’ve tried to get them to go without shorts, but they won’t do it,” Andy said with disappointment in his voice.
He had no sooner finished his comment when David and Alex arrived. Andy put on his tank top and asked us, “Is today the day you guys leave your shorts here?”
That would have been a shocking statement if he and I had not just talked about the subject. David and Alex had obviously heard the question before because they smiled at the thought. Alex barely shook his head “no” and David commented “Not now.” And that seemed to close the subject.
Andy’s question remained “open” in my mind. I saw that David and Alex never removed their shorts until Andy took off his shirt, whether or not I had removed my shorts. When I realized this was happening, I wanted to have a conversation with Andy. So, I got to his apartment a bit early.
“Andy, a few days ago you asked about leaving our shorts here. First, I want you to know that I like the concept of going to the beach wearing nothing but my thong. I’m in. And, I think David and Alex will do it too.”
Andy's eyes were wide-opened, I continued before he could speak. “As much as I’d like to do that, I am not ready if I am the only one. And I believe the others feel the same.”
“But you won’t be the only one. I never wear shorts!,” Andy exclaimed.
I continued, “That’s not exactly true. One thing needs to happen, first."
Andy was all ears when he asked, “What?"
"If David, Alex, and I go to the beach without shorts, then each of us will be wearing only a thong. We will be nearly naked for the entire trip!"
Andy’s grin was from ear-to-ear when I added, "But, until we get to the beach, you won’t be as nearly naked as us. You will still be wearing a shirt.”
I could see the “light bulb” look on Andy’s face. "I never thought of that. The only thing stopping them from leaving their shorts is that I’m wearing a crop top?"
I replied, "I think so. David and Alex obviously liked the “no shorts” idea when you presented it. They just said “no” when you put on your shirt. I think they have been waiting for you to go first."
Andy nodded with understanding, "So, I’ll leave my shirt off today and ask them again!"
I cautioned, “Don’t ask them today. Just be normal when they arrive with one exception. When we go to the van, leave your shirt here at home. David and Alex may make some comments. Just brush them off. But do not ask them to leave their shorts here today. Let them do that when they are ready. OK?”
Within minutes, Alex then David arrived and we headed for the van. Andy made sure he was the last to leave his apartment. So, the rest of us were near the van when David and Alex got their first look at the always short-less, but now also shirtless, Andy.
David asked, “You forgot your shirt?”
Andy replied “No, I decided it was time to leave it at home along with my shorts.”
During the ride to the beach, Andy tolerated a little kidding from David and Alex. The jest of Andy’s replies was "This is fun” and I nodded my approval. The rest of the day was "fun". It always was.
I had a sensation on this ride. It wasn’t as “strange” to have four shirtless guys in the van as it seemed when one was wearing a shirt.
On the way to the beach, I decided to take a small action, myself. When we arrived and I got out, instead of heading directly to the beach, I removed my shorts and left them in the van. Now, it was both Andy and me going from the beach parking lot to the beach wearing nothing but our thongs. Neither David nor Alex commented, but I could tell that they approved. When we returned to the van, I put my shorts back on before getting in.
When we returned to Andy's parking lot, David and Alex left directly from the van for their apartments, as usual. I hung back to tell Andy something. “Here’s what I think. Keep going without a shirt, wearing only your thong. In a few days, I’ll ask the question for you.”
Evolution of Friends - Part 5
THE ISSUE RESOLVES
For the next two days, everything was as usual, except Andy was no longer wearing a shirt to the beach, just his thong and I removed my thong when I got out of the van at the beach parking lot and didn’t put them on until we left the beach for home.
On the third day, David and Alex were in Andy’s apartment when I arrived. As soon as I walked in, I noticed that David grabbed his waistband. I’m sure it was a queue. Alex suggested, “Let’s leave our shorts here, today."
Suddenly, my “freedom” mindset status on “as little as possible” changed to “reasonable” since other people were going to wear tiny amounts of clothing for their trip!
I nodded my confirmation. Within ten seconds all four of us stood in Andy’s apartment, wearing nothing but our thongs. Almost in unison, we each grabbed our beach bags and the cooler and headed toward the van. It seemed to me that each of us wanted to go before anyone backed out!
Each day after that, we’d meet at Andy’s apartment. Of course, Andy never wore shorts. It seemed the thought of “don’t back-out” was in our minds, because each person literally stepped out of their shorts when they walked through the door. It was almost humorous.
Each day all four of us walked to the van shirtless, shoeless, and short-less, then spend the day at the beach wearing only our thongs. Upon return from the beach, we went to Andy's apartment, retrieved our shorts, and headed back to our own places.
Andy’s morning disappointment and frustration were gone. Evidently, all four of us wanted to go from the apartment to the beach and back wearing only our thongs. However, everyone was waiting for someone else. No one wanted to be the first.
Andy laid the groundwork and probably thought he had sat the example and was the first to wear only his thong. But, he wasn’t completely comfortable, since he still wore his shirt. When he stepped out of his comfort zone and removed his shirt, he also removed the last requirement for David and Alex. When they saw he would continue without a shirt, they were able to stretch their comfort zones, and we all joined in!
Evolution of Friends - Part 6
I WANT MORE
I’ve already mentioned that I loved to wear as little as possible at the beach. Well, I loved to wear as little as possible anywhere in public. Why do you think I choose tiny shorts with a low rise waist, practically no inseam, and splits down the side instead of the more traditional almost-knee-length shorts? And why I never wore a shirt? And why I never wore shoes? And why I wore a thong swimsuit?
By now, it had been a week or so that the four of us had done our thong-only daily trip to the beach.
For Andy, it was just a short distance from his apartment to the van. However, that short distance represented him wearing only his thong the “entire distance” from his apartment to the beach and back.
I wanted that “entire distance” experience for myself. With my building just across from Andy’s and only a short distance away, it was now “reasonable” in my “wear as little as possible” mindset. Wearing only the thong was now in my “comfort zone”.
The first day I did it, I thought one other resident of the apartments noticed me. Oh, and a few have seen me since then. But, guess what? They’ve probably written me off as “one of those (crazy) guys”. We’re in a beach town, people wear swimsuits, and a thong is a swimsuit. No one really cares what anyone else wears!
I had not told any of the other three in our group that I was going to do this. So, when I walked into Andy’s apartment several minutes early on my first day without shorts, I asked him if he approved. He answer was a resounding “Yes!”
I told Andy, “Let’s see if David and Alex need to see the example of someone else leaving their apartment without shorts before they will do it. Don’t say anything. Let’s see what happens. This is a big step for them since they walk along a public street to get here.”
I had arrived first. It was normal that I had already removed my shorts. So, neither David nor Alex noticed anything different about that day. Andy kept quiet.
When we returned that afternoon, instead of going toward Andy’s apartment with the others, I walked toward my building. David yelled, "Aren’t you going to get your shorts?" to which I replied, "No, I left them at home, today.” Eyebrows rose.
The next day I made sure that I was the last to arrive. When I walked in, I didn’t have to “walk out” of my shorts. Alex subtly acknowledged my nearly-naked status, “I see you are already ready to go.”
Evolution of Friends - Part 7
TRY SOMETHING ELSE
David and Alex continued wearing their shorts from their apartments to Andy’s apartment. I assumed that walking a block or two along a public street in nothing but a thong was not in their “comfort zone.”
I knew both David and Alex had seen me walking toward Andy’s apartment without shorts. They knew I was really doing it. Still, it was only Andy and I who went the entire distance from our apartments to the beach wearing only a thong.
I told Andy, “On the way back from the beach today, let’s stop at the store close to the beach. They always have people there. Almost all their customers are either going to the beach or have been there. So, people wearing swimwear is common.”
Andy said he had stopped at the store before and knew they have good sandwiches. “Is that why you want to stop?” My reply was “It doesn’t really matter why we stop, but that’s a good reason. We just need to get out of the van and let people see us, away from the beach, wearing only thongs. Enough to let David and Alex know it’s OK to be seen in public so nearly-naked.”
About an hour before it was time for us to leave the beach, I “remembered” that I needed to get something to eat before getting back to the apartment. Andy “mentioned” the store as a good place with good sandwiches. I told him “Let’s stop there.”
By now, Alex realized we were going to stop at a public place away from the beach while wearing only our thongs. I pretty sure the idea intrigued him since he asked Andy about the sandwiches. He decided that he also wanted a sandwich.
David said he had plenty to eat at his apartment, but we could stop if we wanted. We left just a few minutes earlier than normal so we would have some time for the store.
There was an open parking space not far from the store entrance, next to another van. I didn’t expect David to get out of our van, but he said he recognized the two guys in the other van as two musicians who routinely busked at small venues like this store. Now I was certain that David wouldn’t get out, but he did!
David not only got out of the van, but also talked with his friends in the wide-open view of a fairly busy parking lot, while wearing only his thong. David brought in a couple pieces of equipment and helped the musicians set up.
Meanwhile, the other three of us made our way to the sandwich counter and took our time looking over the menu before we placed our order. I thought taking our time would be pushing the limit. Then the sandwich maker did everything possible to assure our sandwiches were correct. She kept asking us to point to what we wanted on the sandwich. She asked questions that required us to stretch, bend and even squat.
When the musicians began to plan, David returned and rushed us, “You guys need to hurry up. The line is getting long.” I heard a woman a few places back in the line say, “No hurry. The wait is worth it.”
Our sandwiches were finally complete, so we were able to leave. The “chef” wanted us to eat at the picnic area just outside the building. It was clearly visible from the sandwich counter, but she pointed it out. The eyes of everyone in line behind us followed. We thought about eating there, but realized we really needed to get home for our afternoon sleep before work.
A small crowd had gathered to listen to the music. When we left the inside of the store, there was a round of applause in the middle of the song, which I thought quite unusual.
That stop at the store must have been the “requirement” David needed. The next morning, David arrived at Andy’s apartment a little early and without shorts. Yes, he had walked the block along a public street wearing only his thong. I was last to arrive that day. Andy kept the surprise for me. I didn’t realize until that afternoon when David didn’t go to retrieve his shorts.
That afternoon, Alex realized that he was the only one still wearing shorts from his apartment to Andy’s apartment. He did exactly what I suspected he would do. The next morning, Alex walked the blocks from his place wearing just his thong.
I have to say that I was envious of David and especially Alex. Maybe I should move farther away so I’d have to walk a few blocks walk along a public street in only my thong?
Evolution of Friends - Part 8
Obviously, our “comfort zones” were being stretched!
While at the beach, Andy informed us he would not be able to go to the next day. I spoke up and said, “No problem, I’ll ride my back like I used to do.” The thought crossed my mind, “Will I do this in just a thong or will I add shorts?
David and Alex knew I continued my visits to the beach without them when Andy couldn’t go. Evidently, they had prepared for the day. Both David and Alex said they’d also ride their bikes and asked if they could meet at my apartment. I agreed. That afternoon, when David and Alex left the parking lot, they paused at the corner a few minutes before they split for their separate routes home.
By now, our group was well-committed to wearing nothing but thongs from our apartments to the beach and back. So, would David and Alex put on shorts to ride their bicycles? Or would they be daring enough to wear only their thongs along several public streets and through several residential and business sections of town?
I decided I would go only in the thong. This was something I had long dreamed of doing. And now was the perfect time. I had friends along with me for reinforcement.
Alex and David arrived simultaneously, wearing nothing but thongs!
The three of us took the 20-minute bicycle ride to the beach. Along the way there and back we had some interesting observations. Some people ignored us. But some drivers honked their horns. Some people on the sidewalks and in their yards waived, gave us “thumbs up”, or applauded. A couple people turned their heads away, but not a single person yelled anything negative or made a nasty gesture.
When we told Andy about our experience, he suggested we all ride bikes the next day, instead of taking the van.
Well. We were no longer four nearly-naked guys riding inside a van to the beach and back. Now, we were four nearly-naked guys riding bicycles to the beach and back!
Since we were no longer in a van, we no longer had a cooler. We’d stop for refreshments at the store where we had previously stopped for sandwiches.
I thought it was peculiar that the store’s patrons would often burst into a round of applause, even when there were no musicians in the store.
Evolution of Friends - Part 9
From that time on, never did we wear clothing with more coverage than our thongs when we were on the beach or beach-bound.
Now that we were on bicycles, we were no longer constrained to only the places that a van could park. We found ourselves exploring other parts of the beach and other beaches.
Naturally, we began adjacent to where we started. Those areas weren’t significantly different from our starting beach. In fact, we saw many of the same people, including many of the same early-morning walkers and runners. It was “fun” spreading our “wings,” but nothing exhilarating.
Some days, we would bike into neighborhoods that had parks with beach access. One of my favorite parks had a fishing pier. I loved to walk out the long ramp to that pier, sit down by the side rails and let my legs dangle. That sensation of “freedom” was different from sitting or walking on the sand, I assumed because there was no pressure on my feet and legs.
On a rare day that all four of us had the same day off, we spent about three hours biking along the highway to another city with a beach. The ride was sensational in the quantity of interactions with other people.
While riding, we found that if we were close together in a group formation, nearby persons had virtually no reaction when we approached them. They saw four guys without shirts, which was not unusual. Only when we got to them did they realize we were not wearing shorts. So, did their “double take.” I looked back a few times to see people staring, sometime open-mouthed, giggling, waiving and more.
We found we could split up with some interval between us. When we did that, the first rider would get little attention, but the second, third and especially fourth would get lots of attention from nearby persons. Once we realized that, we’d split up in populated areas along the road and group back together for the more rural areas.
Evolution of Friends - Part 10
When we arrived at the beach and began exploring, a group of three guys wearing bikini swimsuits motioned for us to come over to them. They complimented us on our suits. When they found out we had just bicycled three hours to get to their beach while wearing only the thongs, they were astonished. Alex asked if they had ever tried thongs, and they said “no”.
One of the guys cleared his throat and said, “I have one with me, but I’ve never been brave enough to put it on.” Alex suggested now would be a good time to try it, and he did! He literally got naked on the beach for a few seconds while he changed. One of his friends teased him, but the other asked where he got it. The now thong-wearer pointed to the nearby swim store on the beach. “Let’s go get ours!” And they did. Within a few minutes, all three of the bikini guys had become thong guys, just like us. And I’m pretty sure they were, in fact, just like us. We didn’t see anything that resembled shorts among their possessions. Alex got contact information from one of the guys and about a month later told our group that he had heard from these guys. They continued wearing only their thongs to the beach and planned to continue doing so.
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