Skinny Dipping: A Guide to Getting Empowered
Flickr: Natalie Neal
August is looking like it’s going to be hot and muggy – not the best weather if you’re stuck in an office all day, so why not cool off by taking a dip in the nude? Whether you’ve gone skinny dipping before or haven’t gotten a chance to do it yet, the act of removing your clothes and jumping into the water can be incredibly freeing.
A few reasons to go for a dip this summer:
Around water but forgot your bathing suit? No problem, strip down, jump in the water and chill out.
Get comfortable with your body.
Who needs a ‘bikini body’ when you have a perfectly good birthday suit ready and willing to take the plunge? For me, I went skinny dipping for the first time at 17 as a declaration of love for myself. I thought, if I can jump into the river naked and feel amazing, why should I be self-conscious in my clothes walking into math class?
Bond with friends.
Skinny dipping can be nerve-wracking, but it feels better when it’s a group adventure. Getting vulnerable with close friends is great for bonding because it helps to invoke trust and solidify friendships.
Some things to remember before stripping down naked:
- Make sure you’re in a secluded location, since public nudity is usually illegal. Skinny dipping under the cover of nightfall is often a good start. Finding a shaded area of a lake, or even jumping in a friend’s pool also helps you to avoid legal charges.
- Choose the right crowd to take the plunge with. You don’t want to bring along someone who’s going to body shame or stare at you. You want to be comfortable around the people you’re getting naked with. Skinny dipping is meant to be freeing, so don’t go with people who make it a negative experience.
- Mind your alcohol. Skinny dipping might seem like an even BETTER idea after a few drinks, but swimming drunk can be extremely dangerous. This isn’t to say you can’t have a few beers, but know your body and your tolerance, as well as the people you’re with, before you get in the water.
- Be spontaneous. Skinny dipping is about releasing control, and nudity is the perfect way to let loose. It might be a struggle to get everyone on board, but even skinny dipping with just one other person is worth it – and once everyone hears about how much fun you’re having, they might join in, too!
Long weekends, parties, camping trips and country-side bonfires are all great opportunities to go skinny dipping. Tubing down the river or a day at the beach also create ideal skinny dipping situations.
Remember a few things for skinny dipping etiquette:
- You can’t just stay on land and watch – get involved in the fun or stay home. This is a group sport, so you don’t get to have all the fun with none of the risk!
- Skinny dipping is not an excuse to check out or touch your friends. You might all be naked, but respect and consent still apply.
- Don’t be the only one to take a dip. You might make your friends uncomfortable with no-context nudity after failing to convince everyone to skinny dip. Pressuring people into skinny dipping or exposing yourself are faux-pas, and again, remember that consent still applies to skinny dipping.
- Refrain from stealing or hiding anyone’s clothes. Be a decent person.
- Do your best not to skinny dip near minors.
- No photos.
- Don’t make unsolicited comments on your friends’ bodies.
What should you expect on your first skinny dipping excursion? A bit of awkwardness, a lot of giggles, some reluctance and a huge adrenaline rush.
Of course, going completely naked isn’t for everyone, so you can still get involved and be spontaneous by jumping in with some or all of your clothes on! You should never feel ashamed for not being comfortable naked.
Find a close group of friends who will make the experience memorable, safe and fun – and go for it.
What are your thoughts on skinny dipping? Let me know in the comments below!