15 November 2002
The power of pasta

If I remember correctly, the oldest woman ever to appear in a Playboy pictorial was fifty-five. (This would be Nancy Sinatra; how does that grab you, darlin'?) Still, there are names on the magazine's wish list who will never be removed no matter how old they get, and one of those names belongs to Sophia Loren, who reportedly is miffed for being offered only £100,000 for doffing her designer duds. This does not mean that if Hef ups the ante, she'll do the deed, but the sheer thought of it — well, do I actually want to see a 68-year-old Italian woman in a reasonable semblance of her birthday suit?

If you've read this site for more than twenty seconds, you already know the answer.

Permalink to this item (posted at 7:27 AM)
18 January 2003
Carry on, my wayward sunworshippers

Jeff Jarvis, in the wake of 9/11:

So you can sneak a bomb in your shoe. The only solution is to fly naked. You can't bring anything on board; it all has to be shipped separately on cargo jet.

They weren't thinking about security, I suppose, but take a look at this:

Passengers aboard a May 3 chartered flight from Miami to Cancun, Mexico, dubbed "Naked-Air,'' will be free to drop their pants, shed their bras and underwear and move about the cabin au naturel. Castaways Travel, a Houston-area travel agency that specializes in "clothing-optional trips,'' is offering what it bills as the world's first all-nude flight for $499, round-trip.

Advantage: Jarvis.

Would I fly this thing? I don't know. Certainly if She Who Is Not To Be Named could be lured into the deal; but I am reasonably certain that whatever her wildest dreams, this isn't among them.

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:23 PM)
25 April 2003
Not Bobby Bare, though

My list of People I Would Like To See, Just Once, In Their Birthday Suits is reasonably extensive, I think, but there are quite a few names — quite a few names associated with country music, in fact — higher on the list than those of the Dixie Chicks.

And there's always the question of whether Jeff Jarvis, who invented Entertainment Weekly way back when, would ever have imagined such a thing. (Jarvis did, briefly, put up a satire of the EW cover, but the less said about that, the better, especially since he's pulled it off his site already.)

Still, times are changing. The Dixie Chicks get naked on a magazine cover; Playboy's Playmate of the Year doesn't even rate a cover this year. Anne Garrels of National Public Radio contemplated doing nude broadcasts from Baghdad as a safety precaution. Various bloggers have put up pictures of themselves or others in varying degrees of undress. (No, I won't; I cannot afford to assume the responsibility for monitor damage.) I suppose this is a great time to be a voyeur, but frankly, I don't have the time.

Permalink to this item (posted at 7:19 AM)
24 May 2003
Not a brief commentary

Do you dare to wear...the Underwear of Love?

(Note: Typically for a Saturday morning, I am typing this while, um, unclad. Having read the above piece, I am now almost afraid to get dressed.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 8:25 AM)
18 June 2003
No pockets?

Inspiration, they say, is where you find it, and I have no doubt that it's true; but please be advised that while I have some experience with the concept — don't even ask — I will not be emulating this guy on the World Tour.

(Via Fark)

Permalink to this item (posted at 8:18 PM)
16 August 2003
Received wisdom (one in a series)

Touchingly lyrical, yet totally vulgar, this High Truth straight from Donnaville:

I have never understood the reason for strip clubs for women. If a woman wants to see a naked man, all she has to do is ask.

(If I had the slightest bit of sense, I'd kill comments on this item. Fat chance.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 10:15 PM)
30 August 2003
Look at me, I'm not Sandra Dee

Michael Blowhard notes that scoping the babes isn't quite what it used to be:

[T]he girls and women remind me of the chic new architecture: a matter of ever-shifting translucent panes, of alluring surfaces twinkling one right behind another, all of them beguiling the eye while moving forward and back, in and out. Some people find this kind of thing to be bliss. I find it to be like an endless diet of whirling TV graphics. Walking around the city these days, I have to do my deliberate best not to walk into lampposts. Casual girlwatching used to be an easy-to-manage thing, something I could do semi-consciously. Now the pressure is so high and the attractions are so loud that it's almost impossible not to girlwatch.

Given my own history in this realm — yes, I look, and yes, I feel just a tad embarrassed for doing so, and yes, I would feel about 0.7 centimeters tall should the object of my gaze raise an objection — I can understand what he's going through, even though women on the Lone Prairie tend to be just a bit more conservative in their garb. It's almost an argument for shopping at the local flea market, where at least there's the theoretical expectation that no one's there to show off, though I'm not inclined to test this hypothesis personally.

Of course, gawking gets to be an ethical handful when the gawkee is underage, something some of us are more easily able to overlook than others, and the trends being what they are — well, let Michael finish the thought:

How much farther can it go? 14-year-old girls who will probably be my bosses in 14 more years are growing up in a world that takes Britney, Cristina and online porn for granted; they'll soon be pushing the boundaries a little farther. But once the waistline has sunk down to the pubic hairline, how can it go any lower? I have visions of waistlines continuing to sink and hemlines continuing to rise, and of a day when the two of them cross paths.

And if it does, all the pressure will be off. Few areas, I suspect, are quite as sexless as your average nude beach, partly because the proponents want it that way — keeps the complaints from politicians down, doncha know — but mostly because the reality is never (well, almost never) quite as wonderful as the fantasy.

Not that I care that Cameron Diaz gets an occasional zit.

Permalink to this item (posted at 12:01 PM)
6 September 2003
Breezing through work

I have lived nearly thirty years in central Oklahoma. During that time, I have delivered newspapers, and I have driven a car while unclothed.

It never occurred to me, however, to do both at once.

Permalink to this item (posted at 5:55 PM)
9 September 2003
A clarification of sorts

In today's Letter of the Day, Venomous Kate implies that I "got naked" for her, a phrase which presumes that I removed all my clothing at her request.

I did, I must point out, retain my Nike sport sandals.

Permalink to this item (posted at 2:52 PM)
3 November 2003
And no cover charge, either

It's called Naked Lunch, it's apparently the first clothing-optional restaurant not connected to an existing naturist resort, and it's not surprising that it's in Key West instead of, say, Duluth.

While it's not true that I'll doff my duds at the drop of someone else's hat, I do spend rather a lot of time unclad; still, I can't see myself joining in the frivolities. For one thing, there's no way to drive to Key West on the way to somewhere else, because Key West simply isn't on the way to anywhere else, with the possible exception of Uranus, and I don't really envision it as a final destination, especially since I'd have to go through Miami twice in the process, which is twice more than I'd like.

More to the point, Naked Lunch doesn't strike me as a really great place to take a date, and, well, I hate dining alone in public, no matter what I'm wearing.

(Via Fark)

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:27 PM)
26 January 2004
Now this

Catherine Bosley, the Ohio newsanchor who took off her clothes [link highly unsafe for work] during her Key West vacation and gave up her job after the photos were circulated on the Net, is defended by Mike Pechar:

Although high profile media people customarily have morals clauses in their contracts, her behavior in Key West was not necessarily immoral. She took her clothes off at a regularly planned event in a location where the behavior is considered acceptable.

A pornographic film actress just recently was on the ballot for the governorship of California and the morality of her behavior didn't disqualify her. By comparison, Catherine Bosley's behavior seems tame.

I'd agree with Mike that her behavior wasn't immoral — there are times when it's darn hard to keep clothes on me [visual not safe for anyone] — but I can see how the station management might have panicked: anything that might cost a tenth of a ratings point is to be avoided no matter what.

I had originally written something here about how difficult it might be to take Bosley seriously as a newscaster if all the guys are imagining what she looks like in her birthday suit, but it occurred to me about mid-sentence that guys probably do this routinely anyway.

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:33 AM)
26 February 2004
Birthday suits, sort of

When last we left former news anchor Catherine Bosley, she had resigned her position at an Ohio television station.

Now Mike Pechar reports that Bosley is suing a number of Web sites that have been carrying the photos of her taken at that infamous Key West party, hoping to stop distribution. Says Pechar, it's probably too little, too late; is there anyone who hasn't seen them?

The general thinking around here is mostly "How do we get Amy McRee to take her clothes off?"

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:38 PM)
26 March 2004
Bosley of the month

On 26 January, I posted my first article on Catherine Bosley, the Ohio ex-anchor who partied hearty in Key West and paid dearly for it when the pictures showed up.

On 26 February, I noted that Bosley was suing to halt Internet distribution of said pictures.

Today being 26 March, I figured there had to be something Bosley-related in the news, and sure enough, the Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the photos can circulate once more.

Surely there will be further developments, say, around the last week of April.

(Once again, via Interested-Participant.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 4:26 PM)
1 April 2004
Air mail

An observation to which I can relate, courtesy of Robb Hibbard (31 March, 5:15 pm):

[R]etrieving one's correspondence au naturel adds a little excitement to the venture, plus someone always comes along and offers to throw a t-shirt or something on you.

In my case, a tarp.

But inasmuch as I now live in an older neighborhood and have an actual mail slot in the door, rather than the much-hated (and, in this particular instance, badly-arranged) cluster boxes provided by the Pitiable Hovel, nobody's delicate sensibilities are affected.

Besides, I have no shortage of Ts.

Permalink to this item (posted at 4:56 PM)
25 May 2004
The secret of NIMBY

One of the things on my never-published (and with good reason) Things To Do Before I Croak list is "Dance naked in a thunderstorm."

I'm starting to believe that the possibility that I might actually do this, now that I have a semi-suitable venue for same, is warding off rain; precipitation is running about two-thirds below normal this month, and this is normally the dampest time of the year.

(No, I'm not getting out of bed at two in the morning to do this, unless I can't sleep to save my life.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:44 PM)
27 May 2004
Drippity drop and then some

Okay, it wasn't much of a thunderstorm.

But I gotta tell you, it was one hell of a dance.

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:29 AM)
1 June 2004
For your eyes only

Somehow this just struck me as hilarious. The Bare Buns Family Nudist Club in northern Virginia has a collection of Frequently Asked Questions, and most of them are pretty much like the questions asked of other clothing-optional operations.

Except for this one:

Question: I have a government security clearance. Will I risk losing it by attending your parties?

Our membership includes people who work for the FBI, the CIA, Secret Service, and the Pentagon. Although some generally poorly informed people consider our activites controversial, the things we do are legal and wholesome, and the government's security people know that. The only way you could become a security risk through your participation in nudist activities is if you are so overly secretive that you think that you must at all costs prevent your parents, your employer, or someone else from finding out, which might make you subject to blackmail.

This doesn't mean that you must tell your family, friends, co-workers or your pastor that you've visited a nudist club, but that it would be OK if they were to somehow learn about your new interest.

When securing or renewing their security clearances, some people list the officials of our club as character references; the people who are investigating them seldom bat an eye when we confirm their participation in wholesome, family clothes-free activities.

I can't wait for this to come up in a Congressional hearing. "Yes, Senator, I did remove all my clothing, at an undisclosed location."

Permalink to this item (posted at 7:36 PM)
3 June 2004
Listening to everything

"Partly cloudy," said the Weather Guys, and so it was, but I figured enough stray rays were filtering into my back yard to justify grabbing a few, and so I did.

Away from the street, it's fairly quiet; the first noise I heard was the sound of a dozen birds taking off once they heard the back door opening. Well, fine, be that way, I thought; normally they tend to sit there and stare, or if they sense that yard work is about to be performed, they wait for some fresh surfaces to explore, but generally they don't split all at once.

In the absence of flapping wings — their chirping session usually ends around sunrise — I tuned into some of the other noises around: the high-pitched buzz of the resident insects, the wind (down around 8 mph, which is way low for here) rustling the leaves above me, air conditioners cycling on and off, and the occasional passing vehicle with the stereo turned up to a Spinal Tap-like eleven.

Then there was that loud crashing noise from a house on the next block, which definitely broke the mood of the moment and left me wondering if maybe I'd stayed out just a few seconds too long. Nothing — at least, nothing on this side of the fence — lasts forever.

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:27 PM)
14 June 2004
The longest days

Sunrise this morning came at 6:14, which is about as early as it can get around here. Sunset will be at 8:47; over the next week or so, it will slide toward 8:50 before retreating again after the summer solstice.

One of my goals this summer is to banish, at least temporarily, my normal sickly whiter-shade-of-pale coloring. This could be rather easily done by lying in the sun for extended intervals, but there are good and sensible reasons not to do this: apart from the increased threat of melanoma, the medication I take to regulate my blood pressure bears a warning about excessive sun. (I have read the prescribing information on the drug, and the real danger seems to lie in fluid depletion.) With short but concentrated exposures — twenty to thirty-five minutes per day — I seem to be suffering no side effects, and areas that don't get any sun during the work day have gradually darkened from "born gosling" to "underdone pork," which I reckon to be an improvement.

Of course, the single darkest body part will be the left arm, for obvious automotive reasons.

Permalink to this item (posted at 7:31 AM)
15 June 2004
Strapped for time

Lynn doesn't see anything wrong with guys wearing sandals, at least in a casual context. Fair enough, I suppose, since there are substantial periods of time when that's all I'm wearing, and you can't get much more casual than that.

Well, yeah, okay, there's the wristwatch. Big deal. It's a Casio and it's twenty-five years old. I've now spent more on batteries than I did buying the darn thing in the first place. And it keeps fairly lousy time, though I figure that most of mine is borrowed anyway.

What? No. No pictures. Go away.

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:39 AM)
31 July 2004
Humble folk without temptation

While I found this piece reasonably interesting, one sentence did jump out at me:

One minor surprise was discovering that nudists can also be conservative Republicans.

Well, yes, there are some grim, puritanical, sexless drones on the right side of the spectrum, but that hardly describes everyone over there; it doesn't even describe a majority of conservative Christians, a decidedly smaller subset, the stereotype of whom is presumably being extended here to the entire GOP, even though it's palpably false. [Link NSFW]

Admittedly, your serious nudists don't even mention sex if they can help it; however, I suspect their official disinterest is intended specifically to keep pervs at bay.

Permalink to this item (posted at 5:25 PM)
6 August 2004
The limits of bareability

Evolving Beauty [title page possibly not safe for work, subsequent pages almost certainly NSFW] is a collection of photographs by Eric Boutilier-Brown.

Susanna Cornett is impressed by some of the photos, not impressed by others, and by her own admission somewhat conflicted:

I find myself torn on the issue of these nude photographs. Obviously these are real people, without clothes, and a real person photographed them. Issues of modesty (or the lack thereof) are rampant, and not, in my judgment, unimportant. However, the photos that I like the best are not overtly sexual, but rather positioning the human body as an element of nature, the juxtaposition a celebration of the beauty of the human form and its connection to other parts of nature. The images where the model is the central point, not the blending of the model and nature, I find much less compelling and nothing out of the usual. I find myself philosophically opposed to nude photography, yet aesthetically drawn to the photos of the type I point out above. I don't think nudity in and of itself is wrong, and I think we should all be comfortable with our bodies. However, I agree both theologically and practically with the Biblical strictures of modesty, for exactly the reasons the Bible states that it's important. Our society is too cavalier about both sex and nudity already.

It's a dilemma. And I'm not quite sure how to resolve it.

I think part of the problem is the coupling of "sex and nudity" as a single concept, as many people (though not Susanna, I suspect) do; while nudity certainly facilitates sex, it doesn't imply it, unless you've somehow acquired the notion that apart from bathroom functions, the only reason to take off your clothes is to have sex. Any semi-serious skinnydipper knows better than that.

Still, discerning intention occasionally requires some work. Flashing a barista is very likely an act of exhibitionism, something not to be encouraged officially. (My apologies in advance to baristas.) Camping nude in a national park (which is not generally illegal under Federal law) probably isn't, but it could be. Dressing up with the hope that one's garb will lead to what Helen Gurley Brown once called "getting Dial spelled backwards" likely is.

I'm not going to suggest that everyone shuck his duds for the sheer delight of it. (Of course, if you do, I'm not going to complain, unless you do it in my driveway.) But it might not be a bad idea to create a little Garden of Eden of your own, outdoors if you dare, indoors if you don't — provided, of course, you keep in mind what happened in the first one.

(Disclosure: Written while dressed.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:12 PM)
28 August 2004
See how serious we are?

About ten weeks ago, Susanna Cornett cast aspersions on the whole idea of nude protest:

I've never quite gotten why stripping down to bare skin must be seen as some type of political statement. The stated reason is that it's showing your vulnerability, it's showing how much you're willing to risk to make a point, etc.

Except, of course, that it doesn't actually do that:

[T]he mental imagery of a bunch of old flabby men whipping past in the all-together aside, protesting nude is less about protesting and more about exhibitionism. I'm also not moved by those "empowered women" who formed the word "Peace" with their naked bodies. None of them made true sacrifices, at least not the kind that actually move forward a cause. It is, ultimately, all about self and self-actualization.

Despite my status as an old flabby man in his birthday suit, I had to agree with her assessment. At best, a nude protest tends to trivialize the cause supposedly being advanced. And yes, I'm aware of the presumed body hangups of our ostensibly Puritan society and all that, and they don't make the slightest bit of difference; unless nudity is actually germane to the issue — say, trying to get a section of public beach set aside for clothing-optional use — it reduces the credibility of the protest.

Older than I, but not flabby, Acidman says basically the same thing, but more directly:

Literally showing your ass DOES NOT reinforce whatever argument you have. Pulling a stunt such as that one makes you appear to be a crazed, leftist flake — a typical, left-dingbat, screeching, feces-flinging monkey. By the time you are arrested for lewd conduct, nobody remembers what you were protesting.

What were those people in New York screaming about, anyway?

Permalink to this item (posted at 10:12 AM)
12 September 2004
PJ and the bare

In regard to that Jonathan Klein crack about the typical blogger being "a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas," I wish to state for the record that I haven't owned any pajamas for approximately thirty-five years.

And that's nothing, compared to this: Beth Donovan isn't even a guy, let alone a pajama owner.

(And apparently she doesn't always sit in her living room, either.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:44 AM)
2 October 2004
So how's it, um, hangin'?

I get some odd email at times, but nothing quite as odd as this item sent to Michele:

Is there a correlation between a man's political affiliation and the side he "dresses" to, i.e., which side of his zipper his package goes or which way his member points when he's naked and not erect.

Having read sixty comments on that post, I conclude that there is not.

Or I could have just looked down.

Permalink to this item (posted at 11:33 AM)
18 November 2004
Perfunctory coverage

So I'm reading up (that's my story, and I'm sticking to it) on anchor Sharon Reed of WOIO-TV in Cleveland, who doffed her duds for one of Spencer Tunick's, um, live exhibits, and what occurs to me first isn't "Wow, a babe" or "Surely this isn't La Shawn's kid sister" or anything like that.

Instead, I thought back to the first of the year, when the Catherine Bosley story broke, remembered that she had been an anchor in Youngstown, and wondered: Just what is it in northeast Ohio that seems to make women want to take their clothes off? And is the