My First Naked Party
(This was submitted by one of our readers who would rather not mention his name – which we naturally respect)
My Naked Party Story
During time spent together outside of work, we three discovered quite a few things in common: left leaning politics, custom pipe tobacco recipes, all things steampunk, the slow food movement and regional Indian cuisine, obscure bands, and microbreweries and niche specific craft beer. Lila went for flavored stouts. Sunday and I were straight up IPA (Indian Pale Ale) monks. When my lease ended in my second year of grad school, Sunday and Lila mentioned they had a large bedroom for rent in their house. The rent was dirt cheap and we imagined we’d all get along wonderfully. Sunday and Lila were by this time engaged. I moved in and our roommate bliss commenced.
Three weeks after I moved in, Sunday and Lila sat me down. They explained they had for several years hosted a monthly party at their place. “We’re sort of, like, members of a special club,” Lila explained. Sunday gave me permission to refuse attendance without fear of scorn upon full disclosure of the club’s, shall we say, raison d’etre. Then they told me. In plain English – a naked party. I was mesmerized, intrigued, but petrified. My ambivalence about the idea took hold of me at once. Lila gently probed, encouraging me to speak freely. Sunday reaffirmed my right to decline attendance without worry of offending my hosts.
“I’m totally stoked by the sheer idea of it,” I confessed. I had never been much of an exhibitionist, but I’d enjoyed my fair share of nonsexual social nudism fantasies. I had wondered about colonies, nude beaches, nude parties, etc. I had also worried about looking stupid. Like any average guy, I had my fair share of neuroses and body image issues. Sunday and Lila were both runners, and in fantastic shape. I was quite the opposite. “You’d be amazed at all the shapes and sizes who attend our parties. It’s not even about that. It’s about freedom and communion with other like minded individuals. No one will judge you, or mistreat you based upon ‘looksist’ bullshit. Certainly not in our house. Again, your presence isn’t obligatory, but we’d love to share this nude part of our life with you.”
So I was sold. In the days leading up to my first naked party, I thought I might vomit nails at any moment. I was beyond nervous. My inner critic rose up to its fullest glory. I examined myself in my full length bedroom mirror obsessively. I wondered about my slight beer belly, my stretch marks, my hairy butt, my sagging pecs, my ridiculously small pride and joy, doomed to remain unspeakably shriveled in the presence of guests. Would others be as grossed out about my body as I sometimes was? What the hell was I doing anyway? What if as the evening progressed the naked party turned, well, jubilant? I was so not prepared for that degree of nude fun. I had an impulsive thought: get dressed and just leave, come back hours later, and feign disinterest.
Before I could make good on my b.s. escape, Lila knocked on my bedroom door. I reached for a towel, but then thought, “What’s the point? If I’m staying, may as well get it over with.” I ditched the towel and opened the bedroom door. Leah was upon the threshold. So was Sunday. They were “Au Naturale”, completely naked and relaxed as you please. They ushered me into the living room, asking how I felt, telling me to relax, and reassuring me I could withdraw into my room whenever I wished. I heard a car pull into the driveway. I thought I would die. Guests arrived. They chatted with their hosts, shook my hand, congratulated me on my first visit to the nudie club. They each excused themselves and disrobed in the master bedroom.
By degrees I calmed down. Mostly because I soon realized there was absolutely nothing to fear. My greatest reservations began and ended inside my head, and were not based upon any authentic threats posed by the situation, or certain individuals. Lila circulated, serving hors d’oeuvres and other finger food. Sunday passed around bottles of homemade stout crafted by a buddy of his, also nude and in attendance. I slipped effortlessly into conversation about the recent National Book Award winners, as the assembled crowd of naked people turned out to be rather literate, comprised in part by voracious readers. Someone even went so far as to compliment my shoulders. I blushed. I was disappointed when my first naked party ended. It all went by so fast, so plainly, so opposite of all I had anticipated and feared.
I can’t say all my body image issues were instantly abated by my foray into naked parties. But I did experience a degree of unprecedented freedom that has since galvanized my sense of personal courage and self confidence. I’m also not nearly as plagued by my inner critic. I attend naked parties regularly, and enjoy the utter lack of pretense nudism entails. In the most philosophical sense, naturist gatherings force you to look at others without prejudice. Their humanity is what’s really on display; the nudity is merely coincidental. I say, everyone should attend at least one non sexual naked or clothing optional function in their lifetime.