Modernism and naturism meld at the world’s biggest purpose-built nude town – Cap d’Agde in France – which swells to 40,000 people in summer. Could there ever be a naked metropolis?
Since the 1990s Cap d’Agde has gained a lurid reputation as a meat market par excellence. Europe’s libertines and swingers flock here to participate in what Michel Houellebecq envisioned in his book Atomised as the perfect ‘sexual social democracy’. But every facet of ordinary city life is here too: a bank – a post office – several supermarkets – concrete arcades lined with hairdressers – fishmongers – opticians and clothes boutiques.
Throughout – fully dressed staff (a formality that apparently developed of its own accord) cater with surreal nonchalance to the great unclothed.
Nothing on this scale exists anywhere else in the world.