Showing posts with label skinny dipping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label skinny dipping. Show all posts

Monday, July 15, 2013

I Zipped And Dipped! Then Got Pissed!

Wearing Zip, Let's Skinny Dip!

Saturday, July 13, 2013! The day that the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) and The Naturist Society (TNS) teamed together to try and exceed the Guinness Book of Records title for the number of bodies in the water, clothes-free, and skinny-dipping! Swimming and splashing in the water, pool, ocean, whatever, bare-ass naked! The last time my boyfriend and I competed was in 2010. That was fun and we had the same expectation for this years event.

We were up and out on the highway early Saturday morning. We drove for the three plus hours to a resort in a nearby state that was one of the sanctioned locations for the competition. Another gay nudist couple were staying at the property and we were to meet them and zip and dip! The facility had a number of special activities planned for the day in honor of the occasion, a mini-naked festival! It looked to be a fun day! 

Despite the fact that the day was overcast, we were excited. After all, we were ready to skinny dip for a cause! What's a little rain when we're naked and wet? 

Finally, late mid-morning, we arrived at the resort. We registered with the office, hooked up with our friends, got naked and toured the property. The atmosphere was festive and pleasant. No doubt, the upcoming chance to participate in the Wearing Zip, Let's Skinny Dip! trial had everyone in the spirit of the day. We registered with the event officials and enjoyed the facility's amenities. 

My one, on-going complaint about private nude-friendly resorts is their "no cameras" policy. Although I understand the reasoning behind this rule, I still think it impacts on the purpose of a nakation (nude + vacation). Most people, when on holiday, like to take pictures of themselves and friends having fun. Queer nudists are no exception to this norm. I've advocated for these properties to cordon off an area of their resort, post signs and allow cameras and photography within this "photo zone." Guests who object to possibly being photographed simply need to stay out of this particular area. A compromise that keeps everyone happy. 

As the 1:00 p.m., start time for Wearing Zip, Let's Skinny Dip approached, the crowds assembled. We migrated to the designated area and on the appointed hour, the mad rush into the water began! All these naked bodies plashing and running, having fun skinny-dipping. About this time, I turned around and saw a sight that immediately changed my mood. Along the shoreline, people with cameras! Clothed! And a local news crew on top of that! 

WTF? What happened to the strictly enforced, equipment confiscated policy of NO CAMERAS? We had just signed on the dotted line a few hours ago that we understood this same rule! What sort of shitty double-standard was this? We had to comply yet management doesn't? I was livid! I was pissed! 

About this time, boyfriend noticed the change in my attitude and looked towards the shore. He saw exactly what I did. Reading my mind (after all, he does know me), he got the attention of our friends. All eyes were on me as I began to wade towards the shore. My gang wasn't far behind me as I walked up to the TV camera and gave it my middle finger! 

Boyfriend and our friends were upset about this infringement, but not anywhere near as angry as me. Our friends had prepaid their accommodations through the weekend. On the other hand, we were only one-day guests. Boyfriend and I left. Neither of us felt like attending any of the post-zip activities. The excitement and thrill of the day was ruined. 

Even if it's the last nude-accommodating location left on this planet, I'll never visit this particular place again! 

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Nude Recreation Week: Break A Record!

Nude Recreation Week Competition

Saturday, July 13, 2013

"Wearing Zip, Let's Skinny Dip" 

In honor of Nude Recreation Week, July 7-13, 2013, the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) and The Naturist Society (TNS) are partnering in Wearing Zip, Let's Skinny Dip competition to break the Guinness Book of Records title for the largest number of persons skinny dipping. This event, scheduled for multiple locations throughout North America, is set for Saturday, July 13, at 1:00 p.m. (local time). All are invited to participate in this effort. The only two requirements (aside from admissions policies at respective private sites) are free on-site registration, for documentation purposes, and to actually skinny dip (swim naked). 

The current Guinness record was established in 2010. AANR and TNS attempted to beat the record in 2011, however, widespread inclimate weather throughout North America forced the cancellation of many local trials. Local sites are sanctioned through the sponsoring organizations and are located at both nude-friendly resorts and public clothing optional beaches. To find a convenient location, click: World Record Skinny Dip.

"Cool down this summer while setting a hot new record at the World Record Skinny Dip across North America. You're invited to help beat the 2010 record set at the Guinness World Records Skinny Dip for the largest number of people simultaneously in the water without swimsuits. The American Association for Nude Recreation and The Naturist Society are co-sponsoring this record setting "Wearing Zip, Let's Skinny Dip" event." AANR website

For information about AANR, click: AANR.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!  

Friday, June 28, 2013

Nudecentric Briefs: Record Breaking Skinny-Dipping

The only reason for a naturist/nudist to own a pair of briefs is to take them off!

The challenge is on! As a finale to Nude Recreation Week (July 7-14, 2013), the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) and The Naturist Society (TNS) are teaming up this year and sponsoring an event throughout North America in an attempt to break the Guinness Book of Records Skinny-Dipping record for the largest number of persons participating in skinny-dipping (nude swimming). The last time the record was broken was in 2010. A competition was planned in 2011, however, inclement weather over much of North America forced most of the events to be cancelled. 

This year, the challenge is scheduled for Saturday, July 13, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. (local time). Locations for those interested in participating are throughout all of North America. AANR and TNS have officially designated these sites in order for maximum participation. Visit their website (listed below) for a convenient sanctioned spot to strip and skinny-dip. Upon arrival, all participants must register in order for their naked swim to be counted. Names are not released to anyone and only numbers are sent to AANR or TNS to be certified by Guinness. 

The theme for the 2013 event is Wearing Zip, Let's Skinny-Dip. The sponsors have designated most public clothing-optional beaches and hundreds of resorts as official sites. Anyone planning to attend a public nudist beach the weekend of July 13 should expect larger-than-average crowds. Numerous resorts have a full-day of related activities planned.

Cool down this summer while setting a hot new record at the "World Record Skinny-Dip Across North America."  You're invited to help beat the 2010 record set at the Guinness World Records Skinny-Dip for the largest number of people simultaneously in the water without swimsuits. The American Association for Nude Recreation and The Naturist Society are co-sponsoring this record setting "Wearing Zip, Let's Skinny-Dip" event. 
AANR Website

Check these links:

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Skinny-Dipping III: The Culture

This is the final installment of a three-part series here at DQN In Northern Virginia on skinny-dipping. For reference, see "Skinny-Dipping I: In The Beginning, The Action" on August 28, 2012, and "Skinny-Dipping II: The Adventure, The Tradition" on September 4, 2012.
Skinny-dipping is a popular summer custom not only here in the United States, but all over the world. For hundreds of millions of people, there's no better way to "beat-the-heat" than to strip off all their clothes, get nude and dive into a choice body of water. With just a few days of the summer season remaining in the Northern Hemisphere, time is running out. If you haven't already done so, take advantage of the opportunity to engage in this activity one more time before those winter chills and winds arrive!
The Culture
Contributing to the lasting popularity of the skinny-dipping tradition is its simplicity and economy. No elaborate planning is required and the only prerequisites are an item of clothing (to be stripped off) and a body of water. Clearly, this is one hell of an equal-opportunity activity! If a national nude pastime were ever to be officially adopted, this one is sure to be at the top of the list.
There is little doubt that skinny-dipping is deeply steeped in the American culture. Even before the arrival of European settlers and widespread colonization, the indigenous peoples, the Native Americans, enjoyed swimming nude. All one has to do is read accounts of some of the earliest colonists to see their amazement at the ease the native inhabitants shed their loincloths and breeches to frolic into the water nude and unsegregated by gender. This freedom was quickly imitated by the initial immigrants although they experienced it separately by gender.
"The Swimming Hole" by Thomas Eakins (1885)
Folklore and literature, combined with art, provide ample evidence that swimming naked has been a staple part of American life, similar to a "rite of passage" for many youth. The renown author and beloved humorist, Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens), immortalized and romanticized it through his two primary characters of note: Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. Their antics have been a beloved tale for young readers for almost 100 years. Twain/Clemens himself often expressed his own aversion to obsessive modesty: "So it is not nakedness that gives the sense of immodesty, the modifying the nakedness is what does it." A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain's Notebooks and Journals, Volume 2. In contemporary literature, many writers use the skinny-dipping scenario as a prelude to intimate romance.
"Ruby, gold and malachite" by Henry Scott Tuke (1902)
Evidence of the widespread acceptance of skinny-dipping in and by American culture is also provided through the covers and illustrations found in family-oriented publications. One of the leading magazines of the twentieth century, The Saturday Evening Post, brought the activity into the homes of most American families on at least two of it's editions. Both covers, by major artists, have become classic pieces of art simply based on their own artistic value and popular appeal.
The above picture, "Skinny-Dipping," graced the August 19, 1911, cover of The Saturday Evening Post was created by American artist Joseph Christian Leyendecker. The one below, "No Swimming" by popular Norman Rockwell, appeared almost two decades later on June 4, 1921. The fact that these works of art drew no ire from religious or secular leaders and organizations proves the general acceptance of nude swimming throughout the USA.  
Throughout the United States, despite divergent moral and religious values, the ageless practice of skinny-dipping is tolerated. True, it is almost illegal everywhere to be publicly nude, but the participation in swimming without clothes rarely results in actual arrests or citations. At worst, it sometimes warrants a severe warning. Among the so-called sacred and secular leaders, it may result in a raised eyebrow or a shared smirk. However, it virtually never gets the ferocious condemnation other actions involving nudity invoke. Probably, this is because so many Americans have indulged in this behavior at least once in their lives.
The above benign attitude towards skinny-dipping is true as long as it doesn't violate illegal entry or trespass laws, illegal substance laws or underage consumption of alcoholic beverages. Those infractions, along with abusive behaviors, usually result in prosecution. The act of swimming nude is, by itself, merely a cause of embarrassment, when caught, if the dippers aren't practicing naturists/nudists.   

 The term, skinny-dipping, is relatively new to the popular vocabulary. Although it has been in use in several regions in the USA for more than a century, it didn't enter the national vernacular until the mid-1940s. This is probably the result of the massive military effort during World War II. The war brought millions of sailors and troops together, all from various areas of the country. This mixing of men introduced many to the phrase for the first time.
Despite the fact that it is essentially an American English colloquialism, skinny-dipping is understood by most people worldwide as the same as nude swimming or swimming naked. However, the activity of aquatics without the burden of clothes isn't just an American occurrence. In virtually every culture that makes use of clothes, there is some form of playing in the water without them. It's as though it is an innate part of human nature. Perhaps, it is! 
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Skinny-Dipping II: The Adventure, The Tradition

This is the second installment of a three-part series on skinny-dipping. Please refer to the entry for last Tuesday, August 28, 2012: "Skinny-Dipping I: In The Beginning, The Action."

Up until the Victorian era, most swimming took place with all the participants completely naked. The rise of the "middle class morality" that occurred during the reign of the venerable British queen brought with it the invention of the swimsuit and coeducational aquatic outings. Suddenly, nude swimming fell from the favor of proper society but not the popular culture. Proof positive that centuries of habits are hard to break and "where there's a will, there's a way" to circumvent convention and flaunt enforced artificial standards.

With that development, swimming nude went "underground." This surreptitious status led to an increase in popularity as now skinny-dipping assumed a role as an act of defiance and rebellion, especially against the absurd prudish standards of the mid 1800s. Truth is, not too much has changed since that time.

The Adventure
The underground or secrecy aspect of skinny-dipping is precisely one of the contributing factors that make this activity attractive to teenagers. It satisfies their need for sexual exploration as well as rebellion against established authority. This adventure nature of skinny-dipping is what adolescents enjoy and appreciate. This "wild side" of naked swimming keeps it popular for successive generations of teens.

The onset of puberty creates an acute sense of body-consciousness and inflated modesty in most young people. This trait is offset by the aquatic effects of skinny-dipping. The water provides a false feeling of cover thereby removing the visible sensation of complete nakedness. They're naked; yet, at the same time, psychologically, they think their genitals are concealed. This enables them to participate while keeping the illusion of covering.

For many adults, the thrill of cavorting in a body of water without clothes or swimsuit is the same as for teens. It's the joy of being somewhat rebellious and unconventional. Most in this age group are trapped in the dual roles of both respectability and responsibility. The carefree nature of this experience and the excitement of nudity, of freedom, offer a release from the stress of their everyday routines. For some, it's a step back in time to a period of youthful exuberance.

Alcohol and drugs lower inhibitions and enable people to do things they otherwise might not do. The same holds true for nude swimming and adults (as with Congressman Kevin Yoder, R-KS). The availability of these substances play a significant role in adults partaking in this activity. Under the influence, usually all it takes is the mere suggestion by one before the rest of the group joins in the fun. What entices people to indulge in skinny-dipping is the boldness of the act enhanced by mind-altering substances.

From our early cognitive years on, all of us are indoctrinated with the rules and regulations of what is right or wrong in social behavior. This is especially true regarding public nudity. In fact, it is virtually universally illegal, except in certain spaces. For almost all ages, the adventure of skinny-dipping lies with the breaking of the rules, the flaunting of the law, through this innocent splash down.    
The Tradition
In the mind's eye of many is the image of a hot summer afternoon, a body of water located somewhere in the rural South and a group of boys splashing naked in the water and carousing nude along the shore; their clothes scattered haphazardly all around. That's what many of us see when we think of skinny-dipping. While there's no doubt that this scenario did, indeed, repeatedly happen throughout rural America, it isn't the only case.
It may be simpler to swim nude in a secluded and less populated setting, the action isn't restricted to just that type of environment. The past-time frequently occurs in both suburban and urban areas as well. Country folk don't own the copyright to nude aquatics. Along the same lines, it doesn't take place in only natural bodies of water such as lakes or rivers. It happens in pools, private and public, and hot-tubs. Wherever water is available, people will find a way to shimmy out of their clothes and swimsuits.
What is common among clothes-free swimming adventures is that all participants, at the beginning, are wearing clothing of some sort. Minimally, a garment around the waist. After all, in order to be naked, you must first be wearing something.
The next step may vary slightly depending on circumstance. Generally, one person strips and is followed by everyone else. At other times, the entire group shed their clothes simultaneously. In some instances, all are in swimsuits, enjoying the water when one or more shed their swimwear and the rest do likewise.  
Another commonality between skinny-dipping experiences is spontaneity. Virtually all nude swimming activities are impulsive, unplanned. The opportunity presents itself or a suggestion is made and zap!: off come the clothes and the fun begins! No towels? No problem. Simply sit on a convenient rock or pool deck and let the sun dry the skin. Nothing could be easier!
A gentle reminder that there are only two weeks left in the summer season. If you haven't yet taken the plunge, time is running out. Take a strip and then skinny-dip!
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Skinny-Dipping I: In The Beginning, The Action

I need to thank U. S. Representative Kevin Yoder (R-KS) for inspiring this blog entry. If it hadn't been for his holy water/Sea of Galilee incident (refer to Tuesday, August 21 post here: Nudecentric Briefs: Naked In Holy Water) I doubt if I would have remembered to go to my drafts file and finished composing this in time. No one wants to contemplate skinny-dipping during the months of January or February.

This is to be the first installment of several articles on the time-honored tradition of skinny-dipping. A fun look of a fun activity that almost everyone has enjoyed, either alone or in a group, at least once in their lifetime. And if you haven't done so already, there's still a few weeks of summertime remaining. If you've already indulged, there's time to do it again before autumn arrives. Go strip and skinny-dip!

In The Beginning...
If you believe the story of creation as found in the Bible, the Qu'ran or the Torah, Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden: content, happy and naked. Then, that conniving and deceitful serpent, the world's first con artist, convinced Eve to take a bite out of that apple. Then all hell broke loose. Life as they knew it changed forever.
Suddenly, Adam and Eve found themselves homeless and in dire need of this novel commodity called clothes. No more happy and naked. With paradise lost, they discovered themselves enslaved in the suburbs and condemned to a life of perpetual clothes shopping. Hence, the beginning of the culture of consumerism.
About the same time this incarceration by clothing began, this queer guy (we know he had to be gay; after all, it was the heteros who got got us into this mess to begin with) decided to experiment and soon realized that it was exciting and fun to take off his garments and swim completely naked. Thus, skinny-dipping was born, which begot naturism, which begot nudism, down through history. And it's been a favorite activity for most of humanity ever since. 
The Action
Webster's New American Dictionary defines "skinny-dip" as "to swim in the nude." The act of skinny-dipping is the act of swimming in the nude. This distinctively American slang is almost universally understood to be engaging or performing that unique aquatic activity. Inside the United States, it is seen by many as a rite-of-passage for adolescents as they explore their sexual selves. However, skinny-dipping, while sometimes a prelude to sexual intimacy, is not considered a sexual activity.
Although often viewed as a teen indulgence, skinny-dipping is by no means exclusive to that particular age group. People of all ages enjoy participating, either occasionally or on a regular basis. It is sometimes practiced by those least expected to do so. U.S. President John Quincy Adams habitually skinny-dipped in the Potomac River (weather permitting). President Lyndon Baines Johnson customarily swam nude in the indoor White House pool all year long.
Johnson even went so far as to demand/expect the same from his advisers and Cabinet members, whether it was their preference or not. Many times unsuspecting subordinates, arriving for a meeting, found themselves being escorted to the presidential pool. No swimsuit? No problem. One isn't allowed. The White House has plenty of towels, by the way.
Unlike at the White House, towels aren't an essential element necessary for skinny-dipping. When it's done outdoors, the heat and sun are ideal for drying oneself. This is part of the beauty and fun of this aquatic exercise. All that's truly needed is an available body of water: beach, lake, pool, river; it makes no difference. That's probably the reason for the almost universal appeal of this activity. Regardless of individual socio-economic circumstances, as long as there's a place to swim, everyone can participate. As all are nude, the fashion label on a swimsuit doesn't matter.  
The origin of the term, skinny-dipping, is based on American colloquialism/slang. The word "skinny" doesn't imply body form as it refers to skin, or bare, nude. The dipping portion is used to denote swimming or immersion (to dip) into liquid or water. Thus, in informal American English, it is the action of dipping a naked human body into a body of water.
Before the outside temperatures get too chilly, a gentle reminder to get yourself outside and partake in your historic obligation! Strip off those clothes and experience the freedom of allowing yourself to swim while totally nude! In other words, skinny-dip!
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Tuesday, September 4, 2012: Skinny-Dipping II: The Adventure, The Tradition

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Nudecentric Briefs: Naked In Holy Water!


It isn't a baptism based on a religious conversion that has resulted in an FBI investigation of some unofficial nocturnal antics by a group of freshmen congressmen and their guests/staff. Instead, it's a full-fledged skinny-dipping frolic that took place on an official, government sponsored fact-finding trip to Israel that occurred just a little over a year ago, on August 18, 2011. The mission to the Holy Land was headed by U. S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

Neither Cantor nor McCarthy were involved in this episode. The elected congressmen who participated were all first-term GOP representatives partying after hours and without the supervision of their senior political mentors. A clear case that once again proves true the old adage: when the cat's away, the mice will play. And play is exactly what the junior politicos and their friends did!

The skinny-dipping incident happened in the Sea of Galilee in Israel. This is the very body of water where, according to the Bible, Jesus, literally and figuratively, walked upon. Perhaps the skinny-dippers were so filled with the Holy Spirit that they felt the spiritual need to soak in Holy Water? After all, the GOP is the favored political party of the Christian extremists.

The six congressmen who participated in this swim-fest included Michael Grimm (R-NY) and Kevin Yoder (R-KS). Yoder has publicly admitted to swimming naked and has issued an official apology to his constituents and political party. A spokesperson for Grimm has denied that he was nude while he was in the Sea of Galilee. Other representatives swimming were: Ben Quayle (R-AZ), Jeff Denham (R-CA) along with staff personnel. All of the persons involved, elected or otherwise, had consumed alcoholic beverages prior to the splash party.

Two of the aquatic politicians joined in the late night frolic with family members. Steve Southerland (R-FL) had his daughter with him. Tom Reed (R-NY) was accompanied by his wife. At least these two held true to the GOP's commitment to "family values." The family that skinny-dips together stays together.

No official explanation is offered as to why the FBI is investigating the congressional swim team. The trip was paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation, an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. At this time, it isn't clear if any public monies were used. Could it be that the classic American tradition of skinny-dipping, of swimming nude, is now a Federal offense?

Does this now mean that GOP = Get Out of Pants?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Sources: Kansas City Star, New York Daily News

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ride 'Em! Giddy-Up!

Today is Wednesday, Hump Day, the middle day of the traditional work-week. It's also mid-July, almost the middle of the summer season. Precisely two weeks from today, it's the first day of August. Here on the East Coast of the USA, it's a record-breaking year for high temperatures. I think all of us can agree that: "Baby, it's hot outside!" Exactly my type of weather!

So, what are we to do? Hop on board and ride the heat wave! Bask in the sun while we can; because, all-too-soon, we'll be complaining about the cold and wind soon enough. And don't forget those tools of the frigid winter: ice scrapers and snow shovels. Those days are headed our way and there's nothing we can do, aside from relocating to a tropical climate, about changing that fact.

Just typing those words sent a sudden chill up my spine. Get outside and play in the heat. Remember to take frequent breaks and stay hydrated. And, most importantly, don't forget the sunscreen! If the hot weather bothers you, stay inside and keep cool. You'll soon have your day in the snow!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Naked Presidents

In honor of all of our national chief executives, some often overlooked facts that are an integral part of our collective nudestory (nude + history). The following U.S. Presidents regularly swam naked, even while living in the White House:


John Quincy Adams, 6th President (March 4, 1825-March 3, 1829)
President Adams swam naked in the Potomac River daily at 5:00 A.M. Anne Royall, a journalist knew thia and after being repeatedly refused a presidential interview, she went to the river and held his clothes hostage until she was granted an interview. She became the first woman journalist to interview a sitting president.

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President (September 14, 1901-March 4, 1909)
In his autobiography, appropritely entitled "Autobiography," President Roosevelt wrote: "When we swam in the Potomac River, we usually took off our clothes."

Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President (November 22, 1963-January 20, 1969)
President Johnson swam nude in the White House pool on a regular basis. He often held policy meetings with aides while swimming and required that all his aides swim naked, also.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nude Year Customs

Our culture of nakedness includes its' own traditions for welcoming in a new, nude year. These are especially true in the Northern Hemisphere where this time of year usually is accompanied by cold, if not frigid, temperatures. The resolve and commitment of naturists/nudists is further challenged by the weather designed, figuratively and literally, not for the faint of heart. These traditional nude year activities are the ice plunges, annual polar bear plunges or nude year skinny dips. They occur across the northern regions all around the globe. Participants range from several hundred to several thousand in number with almost an equal crowd of spectators.

Now, some of these events include plungers who are dressed in swimsuits; definitely not nudecentric. However, most also have a significant, if not majority of, participants who are completely naked except for a hat and/or pair of gloves that are removed prior to entering the body of water. There are no statistics available as to how many of the nude enthusiasts are honestly practicing nudists and how many are once-a-year opportunists. What is obvious to everyone is the popularity and boldness of engaging in aquatics while clothes-free, otherwise known as skinny-dipping, regardless of the heat of summer or the cold of winter.

Ice Plunges are exactly what the name implies and for the bravest of our naked brotherhood (or, as some may argue, the most foolish). This event takes place in the areas closest to the Arctic Circle and involves cutting a whole or square into the frozen body of water and plunging in, all while nude. Obviously, it takes more than one or two men to make this happen as the sheer effort of creating the opening in the ice takes both time and energy. This custom probably originated in Finland where it is popularly known as avantouinti (ice-hole swimming) and isn't restricted to just the first day of the year. It mostly follows a nude visit to a public sauna and is a social ritual thoughout the season. In Russia, it is a winter sport and also associated with religious custom in the Russian Orthodox Church for the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord. In the former Soviet Union, it is sometimes called walrus swimming when done on January 1. In Russia, Scandinavia and elsewhere, it is gaining in notoriety as a way of ushering in the new year.

Polar Bear Plunges or New Year's skinny-dipping is done in bodies of water that may or may not be frozen. Generally, it involves merely skinny-dipping in cold water in outdoor temperatures at or slightly above the freezing point. Primarily, these events occur in North America and Western Europe. Canada is apparently the point of origin for the popular New Year's skinny dip or polar bear swim. The Canadians living below the Arctic Circle participate on either of the dominion's coasts, the Great Lakes, Hudson's Bay and in numerous rivers and inland lakes. Vancouver's BC, Polar Bear Swim Club has been in existance since 1920 and typically attracts around 2,000 swimmers or more. Other Canadian observances are held in virtually every province and sizable city, the most notable outside Vancouver taking place in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec, Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa. Both nude and swimsuit-clad swimmers take part in all locations.

In the United States, they are usually associated with large charitable fundraisers on the first day of the year. The Coney Island Polar Bears Club is the oldest winter bathing organization in the USA and includes both naked and textile members. It began in 1903 and sponsors swims not just on New Year's Day but every Sunday afternoon from November throug April. The second oldest winter swim group is from Boston and it was organized in 1904. One of the most famous Polar Bear Plunges happens in Minnesota every New Year's Day which is a major revenue source for the Special Olympics. The winter swims that attract the most media attention are, understandably, those held in the colder climates. The New Year skinny-dips found in southern and Gulf coast states generally spark only local media coverage.

Among Europeans living outside Russia and Scandinavia, the Dutch and Germans are the people with the most enthusiasm for nude swimming to celebrate the new year. In the warmer climates surrounding the Mediterranean, skinny-dipping and even, in some cases, sunbathing is a comfortable option way to spend the holiday.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Sources: BBC Online, Wikipedia     

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Morning Smile

As discussed in the previous post here last Friday, skinny-dipping is a treasured national tradition. It is one filled with joys, memories and thrills. Yet, despite all its pleasures, it does come with at least one obvious pitfall. There's always the possibility that some prankster is secretly lurking in the shadows who has no problem with stealing and/or hiding your clothes. Unfortunately, this crime is real and not imagined.

Don't let this threat of theft deter your enthusiasm for the honorable sport of skinny-dipping. There are some preventive measures that we can use to protect us against this capital offense against this American custom. First is the obvious, post a "designated guard" ( a buddy to sit out and watch our pile of clothes). In all fairness, this designation should be alternated so that one poor sould doesn't miss all the fun.

A second possibility is to keep your clothing and valuables locked inside one of the vehicles. Have the key on a chain/lanyard that the owner wears as a bracelet or necklace. Short of breaking into the automobile, this removes the temptation from the would-be thief and keeps our articles secure. The only drawback here is that the key somehow gets lost. Have a backup available.

A third option is a variation of the second one. Have everyone bring along a spare pair of shorts, shirt and shoes and lock those inside the car, as with any other valuables. Once again, let the owner wear this around his neck or wrist. Have a spare key available.

The above suggestions aren't the only precautions we have. Each of us can be as creative as we want in devising our own solutions. We can all think of what works best for us in every situation. The important item here is to take a bite out of crime and eliminate ourselves as a potential victim.

Go out and skinny-dip! One simple act of prevention can give us peace of mind and allow us to fully appreciate this tradition on the remaining hot and hazy afternoons of August!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

August Past-Time

The "dog-days" of August are perfect for that great American tradition: skinny-dipping. Having fun on a hot, summer afternoon by getting together with friends, visiting a local lake, river, pool or beach, stripping off the clothes and jumping in! A great way to beat the heat of the day, the monotony of routine and just being carefree! After all, it is the summer and it is the time to frolic and play outdoors. And as August marches froward, there aren't many of those days left. It won't be long now before we all once again find ourselves adding layers of clothing and searching for the ice scrapers and snow shovels.

As a rule, skinny-dipping usually occurs locally, within our immediate geograpical area. Therefore, it doesn't require an enormous amount of advance planning. The logistics involved are minimal and generally include only transportation, water and willing participants.

All that's really necessary are cooperative weather conditions and by this time in August, that isn't a problem. Simply select a day with heat and humidity and start making contacts with your partners in boredom and crime. Text your co-conspirators a place and time to meet. Grab water and snacks and clear your work obligations. Next stop: the rendevous site. Hook up with your cohorts, decide who's driving and then off you go to your destination. If only everything else in our life could be this basic and easy.

Upon arrival, pandemonium ensues as it's a mad dash for everyone to be the "first-one-into-the water." The essential elements needed are already present: a body of water, naked bodies and a sense of frivolty and fun. The afternoon is complete and mission accomplished! An uncomplicated way to celebrate the August "dog-days!" Rarely does life ever get any better than this!

A word of caution is needed here. This behavior can be addictive. Extreme caution is advised; especially as it concerns bosses and envious co-workers! Participant discretion is encouraged at all times. Proceed at your own risk!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Naked Banana

A little summer beach humor to brighten your day and hopefully bring a grin to your chin. I magine, if you will, a hot summer afternoon and two bananas find themselves at the beach with nothing to do. Bored, and somewhat warm, they look around trying to find something interesting to help pass the time and, most importantly, to help them cool off. The sand is dry and gritty and therefore not appealing. The boardwalk is a little too far away. Besides, it's too crowded with people and that fact eliminates it as an option. These particular bananas are in their prime and the thought of ending up in a banana pudding doesn't feel right at this moment. Besides, how often do they get a day at the beach?

Looking around, they spot the ocean. The breeze blowing across it towards the land is cool. The waves rolling in are gentle and a curious sight. The water has a bluish hue that resembles the cloudless sky. Most importantly, the ocean itself appears cool, refreshing and wet. This might not be such a bad choice after all.

What the hell? They decide to give it a try and strip off their peelings and make a mad dash towards the welcoming body of water. Eureka! Instant skinny-dipping bananas!

Intrigued, the humans strolling along the boardwalk notice this curious behavior and stare in amazement. What is happening here? Is this for real? Wait, it looks as though these naked bananas are actually enjoying being naked in the ocean! Overcome with curiosity, men and women approach the waters edge and continue to observe the bananas at play.

First one, then another, followed by several remove their clothes and venture into the waves. Soon, it's a stampede as people shed their garments and dive nude into the water. Skinny-dipping as a summer pastime is born!

Moral: All it takes is for one man to strip off his clothes first. Others will soon follow his lead.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

See also The Fruitful Nude entry posted here on May 6, 2011.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Timeless Tradition: Skinny Dipping

Skinny Dipping: Background
The weather is warmer! The days sunnier! Before long, those long, lazy summer afternoons will be here complete with both heat and humidity. This is the time that many contemplate a seasonal escape from the daily routine and look for ways to beat the heat and to be bold and daring at the same time. For youth, a means to defy authority and be wild. For older men, a time to perhaps recapture some of the recklessness and carefree moments of youth. For whatever the reason, it all culminates in the uncontrollable desire to kick convention and social norms to the curb, enjoy life and experience freedom through the timeless and tried tradition of skinny dipping. The custom of stripping bare-assed naked and splashing around in nature, naturally. Even the prudish overcome their inhibitions and romp about nude without a second thought. One of the true joys of summer! Many of us, regardless of age, education, ethnicity, economic status, ability, race, size and religion fondly look back on our skinny dipping experiences and smile. Quite a few of us look forward to discovering the perfect opportunity to participate in this ritual at least one time this season. For more than a handful of us, this was our initiation into nudity. Whatever the circumstance, skinny dipping has a history of being the idyllic solution to refreshing and relaxing on a hot summer day.

Skinny Dipping: History
Although most of us probably consider skinny dipping, the past-time, as a fairly recent phenomenon, the opposite is actually the case. Throughout ancient history, in most cultures located in temperate to tropical climates, people have engaged in skinny dipping, even though the name itself is recent. Even in the Bible there are references to men swimming in rivers nude. It's safe to accept the fact that men have participated in public water activities for as long as humans have existed on this planet.

Europeans somehow concluded, during the Middle Ages, that bathing was unsanitary and unhealthy. This precipitated a decline in what is now known as skinny dipping among the Western world for a couple of centuries. However, during the North American colonial period, we do have written accounts and etchings and paintings of colonial settlers engaging in communal nude swimming. The illustration included here dates from the early 1700s.

Both Benjamin Franklin and President John Quincy Adams were avid skinny dippers. President Adams even required his accompanying aides and guards to get naked while with him as he would splash in the Potomac River. The poet, Walt Whitman, was an enthusiastic skinny dipper and frequently mentioned his naked exploits in his poetry. The writer, Samuel Clemmons (Mark Twain) described naked swims in his folklore characters, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

Theodore Roosevelt is perhaps the most famous of all skinny dipping U.S. presidents. In his memoir, Autobiography, he discusses his nude swims in the Potomac River. He refers to his accomplices in these naked adventures as his "Tennis Cabinet." In his book, he states: "If we swam in the Potomac, we usually took off our clothes." There is the unofficial tale surviving from his presidency that a female journalist, unsuccessful in her attempts to get a live interview with the president, followed them to the Potomac and sat on his clothes until he consented to meet with her.

Skinny Dipping: The Activity
Although not officially recognized as a bona fide sport, this is one activity/sport that definately requires less than any other. No colorful uniforms or protective gear. All that is necessary is a body of water: a beach, a creek, a lake, a pond, a pool or a river. That's it, plain and simple. Skinny dipping can be enjoyed alone/solo. However, it is much more fun when it involves a group of friends, of the same gender or mixed. Most of know that skinny dipping at midnight can provide a particularly romantic backdrop for any couple looking to spice up their intimate encounters.

The rules are simple and leave no room for misinterpretation. All that is required is the total removal of all clothing and running, skipping, strolling, hopping, etc., proudly and nakedly, into said body of water. Generally, fun and frolic immediately follows. Anyone can be creative and invent any type of variation for this event. For example, some may make it a race from point "A" to the body of water. Others may expand on this to make the race from starting point to the water, stripping and then first into the water. Another possibility is stripping totally at the starting point and running naked into the water, the winner being the first one in. The modifications are as endless as the imagination. Any derivitive is almost always hilarious and fun. And, of course, there are numerous competitions that can be created once everyone is in the water! The sky is the limit.

The Result
In most cases, a good time is had by all! As long as the rules of water safety are followed, skinny dipping remains an all-time favorite for many. This is probably why it is fondly remembered by so many. Remember, indulging in this simple pleasure isn't indicative of juvenile behavior. It's one of those activities that is truly fun for all ages. A suggestion to liven and lighten the festivities, bring along a camera and let the natural "artist" in all of us pose and preen for posterity! Have fun! Be safe! And be advised: alcohol and other substances aren't compatible with most water events.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Can I Skinny Dip?

The old adage must be true: one thing leads to another. After publishing Wednesday, I began to think: Is it possible for me to skinny dip? Please, don't judge, I haven't lost my mind completely; at least, not just yet. Permit me to piggy-back on my last topic. It is summer and this activity is appropriate for the season. Simply walk with me for a minute and I'll share with you why this question isn't so far off base. There is a tiny bit of logic to this madness here.

By definition, skinny dipping is the act of swimming naked, usually in the company of others doing the same. Fine. No problem. It also implies that after one has finished swimming (or prior to swimming), one is wearing clothes. Now, this is the problem for me and precisely why I wonder if I'll ever be able to skinny dip. I may not even meet the criteria.

As a naturist/nudist, generally I enter the water without having worn clothing for a couple of hours or perhaps even a day. When visiting a nudist resort, that time period could even extend into multiple days. As a result, do I, as a nudist, have the ability to skinny dip? Then, there is the issue of when the clothes are put back on. Sometimes, for me, that may be several hours or days after leaving the water. Given my preference for nudity, getting dressed isn't a priority. Did I skinny dip or am I merely a naturist out for a swim?

I do have the alternative of playing nude on the shore or pool deck, then get dressed, immediately strip again and dive into the water. However, that seems like a little too much work simply to be able to celebrate the fact that I skinny dipped and possess bragging rights for this accomplishment. Then there's the risk that I might get so confused and jump into the water without removing my clothes. To be honest, the two swimsuits that I own are so old they would likely disintegrate upon contact with the water. That fact, at a minimum, solves one problem. At the very least, I'm aquanude!

Now, add to the mix the idea that since a textile person gets naked in order to skinny dip, doesn't a nudist have to wear clothes in order to skinny dip? Isn't there some sort of reversal theory that enters this picture? Understand my dilemma now? This is way too much processing for my peanut brain to absorb! I surrender all claims to this honor to my clothed competitors.

I think I'll chill, forget the clothes and be happy! I'll remain nude, content and allow another to wear the skinny dipping crown. This entire scenario involves too much stress for me!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Is Skinny Dipping Nudecentric?

This past weekend, there was an attempt to break the Guinness Book of Records Skinny Dipping Title established in July, 2009. I participated in this event last year but was unable to do so this year due to scheduling conflicts. Thinking about this second effort did raise the question: Is skinny dipping nudecentric? Is this activity compatible with and a part of our culture of nudity?

Skinny dipping is, by all definitions, simply the act of swimming naked, regardless of location. It can occur in a pool, a river, a lake or a beach. It can be done alone or socially. For some it is a once in a lifetime experience and for others it is a regular practice. Many participate initially as a form of righteous rebellion against puritanical community standards. The thrill of violating an imposed taboo. More than a few incorporate this action into their sexual foreplay.

Whatever the reason, our mainstream society typically does not judge skinny dipping with the same degree of harshness or overall disdain that it applies to naturism/nudism. By and large, it is generally seen as either a rite of passage, a teenage prank or an innocent prelude to romantic intimacy. Often, the activity receives merely a chuckle and is considered a normal summer past-time. On a hot and humid summer afternoon, a road crew skinny dipping in a secluded local watering hole after hours is not thought of as being lewd and decadent. In our broader, textile-dominated society, it is viewed as acceptable behavior.

Does this flawed reasoning represent a double standard? Absolutely! The message here is that we can sample social nudity but not practice it. Are any of us surprised? Certainly not. After all, we live in a society that is full of double standards and for proof we need look no further than the issue of queer equality.

Within our own culture of nakedness, we have our purists (including a few acquaintances of mine) who offer that skinny dipping is incompatible with our naturist/nudist life. Their opinion is that this activity is no more than an infrequent indulgence. A chance and not a choice. Once again, the proverbial taste without the entire meal. In their eyes, it's just an opportunity to be different without the decision to live differently. This argument is valid and does have some merit.

Likewise, there are those in our nude community who embrace social nudity for exactly what it is, whether skinny dipping or attending a GNI or IMEN Gathering. It is the social nude experience and not the activity that makes a difference. The frequency of participation is not a determining factor. And there are some in our naturist brotherhood who are totally indifferent to this matter.

Each of us enjoys nudity at our own individual level of comfort. None of us are completely identical. For a few, skinny dipping may be the first step in coming out of the proverbial clothing closet. It may serve as Nudity 101. Skinny dipping can lead to body acceptance and this is important developmentally and psychologically for all of us. Bottom line: it is also fun!

For whatever reason, my advice is if the opportunity presents itself, go for it! And if it converts someone from the textile world into our nudist world, then we all benefit!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!