January 11, 2006

Getting naked

Whenever the bloggers I know start talking about blogger meet-ups, inevitably someone says, "Oh, and we have to include some skinny dipping."

Here's the problem with that.

Skinny dipping is not something you plan. Swimming is planned, bathing is planned, parties are planned, orgies are planned. But skinny dipping, by its very nature, is spontaneous.

It happens when you least expect it. Perhaps the day is warmer than you thought, maybe unexpected sun in early October. Maybe you are hiking with a friend along the edge of a lake, and you both are suddenly drawn to how clear the water is, how calm. You stare into the lake, noticing the colours, the reflection of the trees and sky. You lean closer to look into your own shadow, then lean into the shadow because it lets you see down below the surface.

Often you are alone with just one other person, someone you've been talking to, someone you feel close to. The kind of person you can talk to forever and also sit in silence with. You both look at the water and then each other, and you both know without words that it is going to happen. You feel comfortable stripping away your clothes, completing what many late night conversations have already started, and sliding into the water.

18 comments:

Friday Mom said...

This captures for me precisely what I think is attractive about the idea of skinny dipping...and why it seems so connected to the idea of meeting up with other bloggers. Blogging, in some ways, is for me like those late night conversations when the warm glow of soft light against darkness helps lower inhibitions and invite intimacy.

RageyOne said...

Very good analogy.

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

Orgies have to be planned? That's what I've been doing wrong!

peripateticpolarbear said...

So why is it that when we went polar bear swimming the other night you were the only one to skinny dip? I think you just don't own a swimsuit!

jo(e) said...

Friday Mom: I like your comment better than my post.

PPB: Hey, if you remember, I wasn't the only one to skinny dip ....

And I hadn't planned to do the polar bear thing. It was pretty spontaneous. I didn't have time to run home and get a bathing suit.

Rob: I will invite you to the next orgy I plan.

Leslee said...

I agree. But the only time I WANTED to skinny dip was in a hot tub with my husband...

ccw said...

I have never understood the naughty connotation that skinny dipping gets because I have never witnessed or experienced it in such a manner. This post explains skinny dipping beautifully.

halloweenlover said...

PPB!!! Did you get pictures of such a thing! How dare you hold out on us!!!

Beautiful post, Jo(e). Makes me sad that I've never skinny dipped.

KathyR said...

I am still having trouble wrapping my brain around the first sentence. Clearly, I need to plan some blogger meetups.

I wonder if George Clooney blogs...

Teri said...

I've never been skinny-dipping, unless outdoor hot tubs count...

DaniGirl said...

Was going to say exactly what KathyR said. I've obviously missed something essential somewhere.... (as usual)

Yankee T said...

Love this post.

Bad Alice said...

I can honestly say that in the last 20 years I have never been at a meeting where someone suggested skinny dipping. I must be moving in the wroooong circles.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Skinny dipping happened a lot more often when I was younger and has diminished with age. But not entirely. I do more of it in total solitude than with others, but it still happens occasionally. LOL! :-)

KLee said...

Boy, no wonder I haven't met any blog friends yet! None of them want to see me naked! Finally, a mystery explained. And I must have the wrong kind of blog friends if getting naked is always a topic of conversation....

Anonymous said...

I have a technical question which will quickly reveal (ha!) that I have never skinny dipped:

Must one remove all clothing in order for it to count?

SuperB

jo(e) said...

SuperB: I think it only counts if you are completely naked. Otherwise, you are just swimming.

Chris Clarke said...

A beautiful post, and one that prompted an intense nostalgia. Out here in California there are officially sanctioned nude "beaches" and private hot tubs and such where nudity is almost mandatory.

When I lived in Buffalo in the late 1970s and early 1980s, venues for permissible public nudity were about as common as socialists in the GOP. Thus when a friend suggested "swimming," unless he or she meant in a crowded, chlorinated public pool (which was never the case,) it meant a drive out of town, and then a quiet, inconspicuous walk from a discreet parking spot up a creek bed or through some woods. This often took place under cover of darkness, finding our way by moonlight. There is little public land in Western New York, so we did not shout for fear of being caught trespassing. even as a 18-year-old boy in the company of women in their 20s, I found the ritual sensuous but not particularly erotic, and even if I did start to find it erotic there was always the cold water.

The exception to the secretive was at Connoisoreilly Creek south of Springville, which was remote enough from the road and on public land that it was more or less accepted to skinny-dip in full view of hikers and picnickers. It was a wonderful place, with falls of Devonian shale and chutes worn smooth over centuries, a good place to clamber around on the wet rocks like so many pale frogs.