Inside ‘Naked City’ overrun by randy swingers, sex clubs… and Covid outbreaks
NO SEX PLEASE (WE ARE BRITISH)
The Cap D’Agde began life as a naturist haven, but the French resort has been blighted by romping tourists who party the night away at nude foam parties and X-rated hotels
News Features Writer
- 14:43, 13 JUL 2021
- UPDATED15:23, 13 JUL 2021
With its pristine sandy beaches and bags of sunshine, the Cap D’Agde might look like the perfect destination for a long-awaited family holiday – but you’ll be in for a nude awakening.
Dubbed the ‘Naked City’, the famous resort off the coast of southern France is widely regarded as the biggest nudist town in the world – where visitors can bare it all in supermarkets, restaurants, hairdressers, bakeries and even banks.
Once the sole preserve of purist naturists, the tourist hotspot has grabbed headlines in recent years for its growing adult industry, featuring kinky clothes shops, saunas, adult nightclubs and swinger joints.
Last week, a honeymooning couple documented their time in “the capital of sex”, revealing they wanted to start off their marriage with “adventures.”
However, during the pandemic the resort has been ravaged by the coronavirus, with business owners admitting randy holidaymakers were not quite following social distancing rules.🤩🙃
Plagued by a bitter war between naturists and swingers and even threatened by an outraged jihadist, here is how the Cap D’Agde got its X-rated reputation
Nudist paradise where you can take a strip to the supermarket
A nudist campsite has existed in the resort since 1958, but by the 1970s, owners the Oltra brothers helped to push through plans to turn it into an entire naked village.
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Nowadays, baring all on its beach is compulsory – and visitors have to fork out £6 for a ‘naked tax’ to wander its streets in the buff.
Unlike many naturist resorts, you’re free to talk round the whole area entirely nude, whether it be for a trip to the bank, the opticians or even the post office.
Attracting up to 50,000 tourists a day, the picturesque strip has its own two kilometre-long beach, a port and marina which is fenced off from the rest of the town.
In keeping with naturist ideals, there’s a hefty fine of €15,000 if you’re caught getting up to no good and in the evenings everyone politely dresses themselves for dinner.
However, in recent years, the night life has come to be known as a little less cultural…
Swingers and adult clubs turned resort into ‘sex capital’
Since the early Noughties, the Cap D’Agde has been the battleground for a bitter war between naturists and the growing number of swingers flocking to the town for a good time.
The centre of the resort, Heliopolis, once housed a family park and swimming pool, but in 2005 it was knocked down and replaced by bars, nightclubs and a ‘couples only’ swinging joint.
The resort has become known as a ‘sex capital’ thanks to the rise of its partner-swapping clubs, raunchy hotels and fetish shops – which residents moan have attracted ‘libertines’ and voyeurs.
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Sex-mad tourists pack into famous venues like the Le Glamour nightclub, which runs naked foam parties for up to a thousand randy punters, who can then escape to hotel pools to skinny dip late into the night.
“We all know why we are here,” one swinging couple told the BBC last year. “There are plenty of other more traditional family-based naturist camps elsewhere along the coast without the sex clubs.”
Things came to a head in 2009 when a flurry of arson attacks on adult clubs were blamed on ‘naturist terrorism’.
At a heated town hall meeting, one councillor lamented that deviants were romping freely in public, adding: “When the sun shines, there is an area of Cap d’Agde which turns into the European capital of free sex.”
Nudist protesters also bemoaned that they were now seen as “bizarre” by swingers who preferred to walk around fully clothed.
One explained: “There are often more people walking around dressed than undressed. If you are just an ordinary nudist, they stare at you as if you were something bizarre.”
Visiting the region, journalist Deirdre Morrissey told how planning rules had been relaxed to give way to a new breed of ‘libertines’.
“Libertines believe in pure hedonism, including exhibitionism, as we discovered when we sampled the nightlife,” she wrote for the Independent.
“Over our apres-dinner cappuccino, we were a little surprised to see a buffed-up guy dressed in a police uniform mincing around the seating area of the restaurant bothering the patrons.
“[He ended by] thrusting his naked bits at a pair of female diners, like some sort of bizarre, hedonistic digestif.”
Bonking tourists sparked Covid outbreak
Swingers aren’t the only threat to the Cap D’Agde, however. In recent times, the resort has drawn the ire of an outraged terrorist and been ravaged by the coronavirus.
In 2016, a French jihadist threatened to launch a terror attack at the nudist colony because he didn’t like the “hundreds of naked a***s” on display.
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The man, who had converted to Islam, had been serving 18 months in prison for glorifying terrorism after he opened a “gun-themed” restaurant in southern France.
But fellow inmates reported him to the authorities after he issued repeated threats to bomb the Cap d’Agde on his release.
A French official said: “He told other prisoners he was motivated by the immoral display of bare flesh, and especially all the naked a***s, at Cap d’Agde.
“Inmates also complained he had tried to radicalise them, made anti-Semitic remarks and was very noisy when he prayed.”
Last summer, the resort was decimated by a coronavirus outbreak at the height of the pandemic, with almost 100 holidaymakers testing positive.
Managers admitted that social distancing was all but impossible among naturists, as rates of infection swelled to almost four times that of nearby communities.
In late August, two employees at a hotel tested positive for the virus after a raunchy party took place on the roof terrace.
Philippe Barreau, who runs a series of kinky clothes stores in the town, told the BBC that local businesses had been hit by lockdown restrictions and tougher rules on tourism.
“We are hugely important for the local economy: 300 of our 800 staff who work here have been laid off,” he said. “I’ve lost 80 per cent of my business and I’m not the only one.
“Right now there are just 5,000 people staying here. At this time of the year it should be 25,000. Nobody is in the mood for fun.”
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