Nothing says lovin' like
sharing an intimate experience, and frankly, you can't get much more intimate
than being naked together high atop a bridge forty-two meters above British
Columbia's beautiful Nanaimo River about to jump off. Don't be put off by the
fact that four hundred or so people are watching you closely. Don't be dismayed
that over two hundred people will be having the same experience. These moments
are yours and your beloved's alone. Nude. Surrounding you are all the exquisite
beauties of nature: forest, canyon, river. Go for it!
Bungee jumping is not new, of course. Since its beginnings around 1988, approximately
ten million people worldwide have had their ankles attached to the springy one-and-a-half
inch cords and have hurtled groundward from bridges, towers, and even hot air balloons.
And right on the heels, so to speak, of clothed jumping, there came nude bungee
jumping. And why not? There's an exceptional freedom in nakedness, and most of
us love to take our thrills that way. Sharing those thrills with a partner is
even more exciting.
Fiona Shaw runs the Bungee Zone, the home of North America's first and only
bridge built specifically for bungee jumpers. And, like its counterparts in
New Zealand, where commercial bungee jumping originated, they've never had an
accident with jumpers.
I interviewed Fiona recently
and her strong Kiwi accent gave a bouncy ring to her responses.
CS: How did nude bungee jumping get started? And how did you get involved in hosting an annual event like this?
Fiona: Nude bungee jumping actually started in New Zealand in 1988,
and when we opened our site in 1990, we decided to give it a shot and it really
went over well -- it used to be in April for only one day, but it became so popular
we moved it forward to February and now have to hold it over two days to accommodate
CS: How many people, on an average, attend? Of those, how many actually jump?
Fiona: It varies every year, but on average, 500-700 people come through
the gate and 250-300 people jump over the two day event.
CS: Could you describe what it feels like to be free enough to get
naked, get hooked up, and jump?
Fiona: It's pretty chilly in February, but jumpers are fully clothed
right up until they get their feet attached to the cord. Those who do jump naked
are obviously that way inclined, so they don't generally have any problem with being
naked, and are very excited that they have the opportunity to feel the absolute
"free fall," but a lot of people are still nervous about the actual jump.
CS: People are getting into body ornaments a lot these days. Does that show up when they get naked for the jump?
Fiona: Quite a few people, over the years, have covered their entire bodies with body paint. Nowadays we find a lot of our naked jumpers have many body parts pierced.
CS: Without naming names, what are some of the comments people have made after
they've jumped? Do you get "testimonials?"
Fiona: "I'm coming back next year," "that was better than an orgasm,"
and "that was better than sex" are usual comments.
CS: Are many jumpers "repeaters?" Do people come back year after year for this great experience?
Fiona: We get many return naked jumpers every year.
CS: How are people secured, and how are they reassured that it's safe?
Jumpers wait in the line-up fully-clothed until it is time to get harnessed
up, and once they are lowered into the retrieval raft they are given a coat to
wear on the way back up to their clothing. Many jumpers have to be reassured, and we have
wonderful, fully trained jump-masters to talk them through their experience.
The fact that we have done 110,000 jumps in 11 years -- all incident-free of
course, is certainly reassuring to them. We make our own bungee cords on site, and
they are good for 1,000 jumps, but we change the cord every 500 -- that too is
CS: Is there an erotic aspect to that free-fall when you jump?
Fiona: Yes, there is an erotic aspect to the jump -- I hear that just standing on the bridge totally nude is quite erotic for some, and after the comments I hear, I would have to say yes.
CS: Do you sell T-shirts or souvenirs like "I Bungee-ed Naked in BC?"
Fiona: We did sell nude weekend T-shirts a few years ago, but only
sold a handful, so we don't anymore and really don't seem to get a big demand
for them either.
February 16th and 17th, for a mere ten dollars, part of which is donated to
the Canadian Cancer Society, you can attend The Bungee Zone's annual nude bungee
jumping event and jump naked for free. The Bungee Zone is located on Vancouver
Island in one of the most beautiful natural areas in the world. That's got to
be a more memorable Valentine's Day celebration than simply giving your lover
a card and some candy, don't you think?
For more information visit their Web site.