Florida Woman Battles Illegal Nude Beach with Stack of Flyers

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Elsa Dempsey has seen a penis and she will never be the same. One day while taking a walk down a remote area of Venice, Florida's Caspersen beach she encountered a man swimming in the water completely nude. She was so startled by the site of a stranger's junk she's now embarked a one-woman campaign to crack down on naturists gathering sans clothes near the sand. She even has flyers! Meanwhile, all the nudists want is a small sliver of designated sand like Miami's Haulover to let it all hang out.

"I see this guy standing in the water facing me and he's completely nude," Dempsey tells The Sarasota Herald-Tribune of her encounter with the naked man. "I was so surprised by his boldness."

That surprise turned to anger, and then turned to action.

See, remote parts of Caspersen Beach in the sleepy southwest Florida beach town have long been associated with skinny dipping, wearing of g-strings and even some sexual encounters. While technically illegal, neither the County Sherrif's Office nor the city police seem to care that much to crack down.

That's when Dempsey took matters in to her own hands. She walks the beach with a stack of flyers clarifying that nudity isn't legal on the beach handing them out to anyone nude she happens to see. See, Dempsey is so distressed by nudity that she spends what seems like a good deal of her time seeking actual naked people out and handing them paper. She also urges others to do the same in order to "take back the beach."

Meanwhile, local nudist groups want Sarasota County to designate a portion of the beach as clothing optional. They point to Miami's own Haulover Beach as an example. It is currently the only government-sanctioned nude beach in the state. Meanwhile, all of Miami Beach allows women to sunbathe topless.

The nudies are trying their best to reach a compromise, and some of them even gather every three months to collect trash on the beach, usually while completely clothed, as a sign of good will.

They don't want to bother anyone. They just want to be totally naked with out anyone bothering them with a flyer. Is that really too much to ask? In the meantime naked people, you're more than welcome to come to Haulover. Book a hotel. Grab some dinner. Our economy could use it.

[Herald Tribune: Nudists cause a stir at Caspersen Beach]

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.