ZIPOLITE, Mexico — As the sun begins to slide toward the ocean in this idyllic Pacific coast town, a silent migration begins. Groups of people, most of them gay men, many of them naked, walk along the beach toward a towering boulder.
For decades, this former fishing village turned hippie hangout has been transformed into an oasis for the queer community, drawn to its golden beaches, countercultural vibe, and a practice of nudism that embraces bodies of all shapes.
Yet despite the acceptance of many locals, some believe that Zipolite’s identity as a laid-back town that welcomes anyone from Mexican families to Canadian retirees is eroding, transforming into a gay party town.
The sex scene has also evolved. While for decades visitors, including straight couples, have had sex on the beach after dark, in recent years it’s gotten more brazen, with dances sometimes turning into group sex in the shadows.
“It’s getting more and more hedonistic, and more hedonistic, and more hedonistic,” said Ignacio Rubio Carriquiriborde, a sociology professor at Mexico’s National Autonomous University who has studied Zipolite for years. “Now it is one more dynamic of constant blowout.”
Many residents are feeling uncomfortable. The city council recently voted to enforce a 9:00 pm curfew on the beach in order to stop such activities.
“One thing is freedom and another thing is debauchery,” said Ziga Aragón. “You can have sex with whoever you want, but in a private space.”
Getting caught having sex on the beach will now land you a fine of 5,000 pesos and community work, anyone caught having sex on the “Playa del Amor”, located in Zipolite, belonging to the municipality of San Pedro Pochutla in the Costa de Oaxaca region, will be sanctioned. The tourist destination is known for allowing visitors to practice nudism; however, local authorities report that visitors also take advantage of the site to perform “cruising” or public sex.
According to the minutes of the community assembly, a decision was made that punishments should be applied to those who engage in “nudism sexual practices” and the opening of the place will be limited from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
“Other (people) come to have sexual relations, between people of the same sex on the public beach, in the open air or orgies, which is a bad image for local, national and international visitors who come as a family, since our Zipolite people It is a nudist beach, not an exhibitionist, where nudism is practiced without morbidity”, indicate local authorities in the document where they reflected their position regarding the complaints that have been made in recent days.
The new provisions also add that nightclubs will have to limit the sound of their music from 02:00 in the morning and must close an hour later; the events should only be held from Monday to Sunday and these regulations also contemplate administrative penalties.
During the most recent Easter holidays, the tourist destination had 100% occupancy and is one of the favorite places to vacation, especially for people who are part of the LGBT+ community.