9 September 2006
He got a Frosty reception

Detroit Lions defensive-line coach Joe Cullen is under suspension for Sunday's game with the Seahawks, partially because he placed an order at a Wendy's drive-thru in Dearborn without any clothes on on the 24th of August.

As grievous offenses go, this one is pretty trivial compared to the other charge against Cullen: he was busted for DUI last week. The Lions, in a statement, called both incidents "alcohol-related misdemeanors."

Wendy's presumably didn't offer to Biggie-size anything for Cullen.

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:25 AM)
Aerated, as it were

Amazingly, I have some new roses coming in, which reminds me that today is World Naked Gardening Day, a time to give the sunshine a chance to do for you what it does for your flowers. (Yeah, eventually they wilt, but they're outside 24/7 and you're not.)

Last year's commentary on WNGD proved to be surprisingly popular, and I need not repeat it here, except to echo one of the cautions: you might want to have something on when you bring out the Weed Wacker.

And someone asked if I'd ever been, um, damaged during activities of this sort. Well, not with the string trimmer; but once I dropped a rake on my foot, and one of the tines landed exactly between two sandal straps. Still, this is an instance where neither shirt nor pants would have saved me.

Update, 8 pm: This chap seems to be getting into the spirit of things.

Permalink to this item (posted at 1:41 PM)
15 October 2006
And away it goes (2)

Last year, stewardesses stripped for a calendar to protest the increasing uncertainty of ostensibly-guaranteed pensions.

They're doing it again:

We decided to produce the 2007 "More Stewardesses Stripped" calendar because the pension default problem is escalating. We hope our message continues to create national awareness, not only to the pension debacle, but also to the pay cuts, layoffs and loss of medical benefits.

Why are workers forced to take cuts in salary and give concessions while top management gives themselves raises, bonuses and secures their own personal pension funds?

I'm not entirely sure that taking your clothes off for a calendar is exactly the way to do this — it may raise something other than "awareness," if you get my drift — but I bought last year's version, and I intend to get this year's as well. For purely political reasons, of course.

Oh, and last year they said that "one of us is a grandmother." This year it's three of them.

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:25 PM)
29 October 2006
A man needs a maid

But this might be overdoing it a bit:

A former London magistrate spent more than $618,000 paying a woman to clean his house in the nude.

Michael Lee, 59, paid up to $494 an hour for the call girl to dust and vacuum wearing nothing but rubber gloves.

He enjoyed watching her as she polished his dining table, ironed his clothes, washed the dishes and made the bed at his home in Lancashire.

But the obsession drained his bank account and he began stealing money from the firm of which he was financial director. After siphoning off $405,000 to pay his cleaner, his conscience got the better of him and he handed himself in to police.

What's worse, apparently the young lady, whatever her visual appeal, was not the most efficient housekeeper:

The maid's quality of service was called into question by a neighbour: "If that guy spent $618,000 on a cleaner, he should ask for his money back because she obviously didn't have her mind on the cleaning aspect of her work. His place was absolutely filthy."

(Mental note: Revise Standard Book of Fantasies, Vol. XVI.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:12 AM)
2 November 2006
It's a Butte

There's just no way I can pass up linking to a piece which includes "How to Meet Naked Montanans" in its title.

Especially, you know, since otherwise normal people are trying to persuade me that Montana sucks.

(Inspired, if that's the word, by this Fark thread.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 7:39 AM)
26 November 2006
A long-tail business with a tan

The travel business generates something like half a trillion dollars worldwide, so the $400 million or so spent on nude recreation each year is a drop in the bucket, and a small drop at that. One reason might be relative inaccessibility:

The incredible thing about the size of nudism, in my opinion, is that it manages to bring in that much cash despite the fact that significant barriers still remain which prevent any money at all from being spent on nudism. Nudist resorts still tend to exist in very rural, out of the way places, and are usually completely inaccessible by any form of public transportation. Basically, if you live in an urban or suburban area, you're not going to get to one without owning a car and making a several hours drive. Exceptions to this exist in Florida and certain parts of California — but for anyone who lives outside of those states, getting to one of those resorts represents a significant investment of both time and money. These resorts also tend to be more upscale and are priced accordingly, as well as necessitating flying to reach them, adding the cost of a plane ticket to your trip as well as planning to stay long enough to justify the travel time. Yet despite the fact that these resorts are expensive and hard to get to, the numbers show that there's still considerable demand for them.

And because they're expensive and hard to get to, it logically follows that there's a lot of latent demand that they're not meeting. The problem with these resorts being the only outlets for social nudism is that they're inaccessible to 90% of the population. We've taken advantage the internet by getting the information about the lifestyle out there; the barriers to learning about nudism are mostly gone, but the barriers to actually trying it out in a social setting are still significant. People can learn that our product exists, but there's no easy way for them to go from knowing about it to actually trying it out.

We need to get to the point where someone can try (social) nudism with an investment of only a few hours and a few dollars, rather than requiring several days and several thousands of dollars.

AANR (Southwest Region) lists exactly two facilities in Oklahoma, and they're decidedly off the beaten path.

And there's the matter of Arkansas, where it's illegal to advertise any such activities, let alone establish a facility where they can take place. (And you thought Oklahoma's tattoo ban was a trifle arbitrary.)

Before you ask: no, I haven't. The obvious reason: it takes a certain amount of time to work up the nerve. The not-so-obvious reason: barring a sudden change in status, I'd have to go alone, and you should not be surprised to hear that guys of the single persuasion aren't exactly highly-valued in this subculture. (Now that's a barrier.)

Still, I have to agree that the demand is there: even one percent of the travel business is a heck of a lot of business, and, you should pardon the expression, the end is not in sight.

Permalink to this item (posted at 5:30 PM)
3 December 2006
This is not why it's called the Netherlands

At least ten people in the Hague are recorded for posterity on the satellite photos of Google Earth either partially or entirely unclothed.

Just as a precautionary measure, I punched my own coordinates into the mapping system. Nothing to see. Fortunately.

Permalink to this item (posted at 8:16 AM)
21 December 2006
Meanwhile, Greenland needs refrigerators

The store is called "Under the Sun," and it stocks clothing and accessories for nudists.

Um, say what?

Its inventory includes sarongs, linen blouses, minidresses that could double as tank tops. Nothing you couldn’t shake off pretty easily.

[Renee] Christian, herself a nudist, markets the boutique largely through word of mouth.

"Actually, nudists love clothes," she said. "We just like the option of not wearing them."

And besides, if you don't wear them, you can't wear them out.

Which calls to mind the old joke in the naturist camp, when the beautiful young lady walks by and a couple of fellows, mindful of proper etiquette, make a point of not gawking at her.

Then one of them stage-whispers: "Wow. Can you imagine her in, like, a tight sweater?"

(Suggested by Fark.com.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 1:05 PM)
28 December 2006
How wrong are these numbers?

A survey by British Telecom, who evidently had nothing better to do, reveals that nearly half of all Britons talk on the phone while unclothed: 40 percent of men and 57 percent of women.

Whether the release of this information has anything to do with BT's manifest desire to sell more videophones, I do not know.

(Via Fark.com.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:33 AM)
22 January 2007
A grain of truth

Cheri Alexander, head of Travelites, with an observation I can certainly understand:

Although I love the ocean, I do not like sand.

(Heard on Barecast #16.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 7:07 PM)
3 February 2007
Obligatory global-warming story

I admit up front that there are streaking incidents on my CV — no actual arrests or anything — and that today I am older and wiser and, most important, slower.

I must emphasize, though, that those schemes were better thought out than this one at an Arkansas IHOP:

A 21-year-old Fayetteville man stripped down and made a run for it. He reached a nearby car wash, but it wasn't hard for police to follow the barefoot prints in the snow.

Most of the restaurant guests laughed, but the restaurant manager failed to see the humor of the prank and called police.

Officers found the shivering man hiding behind a nearby car a short time later. Police asked the man how he intended to get his clothing from inside the business and how he expected to get home after running from the restaurant. The man said he did not think that far in advance, police said.

"I'm sure it sounded like a good idea at the time," says Rita.

Permalink to this item (posted at 11:00 AM)
4 February 2007
Then again, there's no spandex

The Fitworld (now that's a name) gym in Heteren, the Netherlands, starting the fourth of March, will offer Naked Sundays for clients who wish to work out without that tedious workout gear.

The major worry seems to have been addressed:

Nude exercisers would be required to put towels down on weight machines and to use disposable seat covers while riding bikes. All machines would be cleaned and disinfected afterward. "We clean them every day anyway," [said owner Patrick de Man].

It might not be a bad idea to offer really dark glasses to the customers.

Permalink to this item (posted at 1:50 PM)
7 February 2007
Strike a pose, there's nothing on it

A fortyish Brit, mother of four, poses for some Italian art students, and the first thing anyone sees? Butterflies:

My stomach was made of ice. My legs were shaking. Clad in an ancient dressing gown from Next, I knew that in 20 seconds' time I would have to walk out before 18 art students who were going to spend the next hour surveying my every pore, every lump of flesh and every fold of flab (caused largely by the aforementioned four births, but a penchant for brie and red wine might also come into the equation). How on earth was I going to get through it? The whole ordeal suddenly seemed like the worst idea in the world. The perfect location? Irrelevant. Donatello may well have achieved his spectacular sculpture of the nude David in this very city, but didn't he use a hard, glamorous (male) body of about 16? Whereas I am 41, womanly and only vaguely glamorous when in a pair of M&S support knickers and a black jumper. Trickles of sweat began to run under my arms.

But one must rise to the occasion regardless:

The students were still chatting among themselves. Didn't they realise what I was about to do, for God's sake? I stepped up onto the stage, dropped my dressing gown and kicked it away with what I hoped was a haughtily insouciant gesture. Silence immediately fell over the studio. All eyes were on me. And everyone started to draw. Oh, the power! There is nothing quite like nakedness. It's like using the very worst swear word you can. Once you've said it there's nowhere else to go. Indeed, once I had rid myself of the inadvertent spectre of burping — or, even worse, farting — that was it. From the position of worst possible, things got a bit better.

We will not mention that upon her return to Blighty she dropped fourteen pounds.

(Seen here; this link may not be safe for work.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:51 AM)
9 February 2007
Friday on my mind

You may remember this story from Wednesday; I suggested that the blog where I found it might not be safe for work.

The blogger responds to this characterization:

In today's conservative social climate, it's going to take a long, long time before anyone can proclaim to the boss, "Can I get off early on Friday? Our naturist resort is having family night."

Well, "anyone," maybe. I don't know if I can pull this off, so to speak, or not, but this is more likely due to the fact that I usually have to work late on Friday than to any particular fear of bringing up the subject.

More to the point, I'd hate to go to "family night" by myself.

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:29 AM)
12 February 2007
Building for the future

We will entertain no jokes about graduation gowns:

The [American Association for Nude Recreation - Southwest Region] awards up to 2 (two) $1,500 scholarships each year. The awards are based on merit alone. No consideration is given to race, creed, sex, religion, or financial need.

Criteria:

  • Applicant and/or parent/guardian must have been an AANR-SW member for the last two years.
  • Applicant must be between the ages of 17 and 25.
  • Applicant must be a high school senior, or already enrolled in a college, technical or vocational institution.

I looked at the application form, and there's an essay question at the very end: "Write a 250 word essay listing your goals in life, future plans, chosen profession, and explain how social nudism has affected your life."

I suppose the only thing truly remarkable about this is that I was surprised to find it.

The Southwest Region includes the four states with ZIP codes beginning with 7, although there are no AANR member clubs in Arkansas, due to legal constraints.

Permalink to this item (posted at 7:47 AM)
5 March 2007
We're naked and we vote

Last October, the community of Loxahatchee Groves, Florida voted to incorporate, and ten candidates for the town council have been meeting in local forums.

Well, mostly. One of the ten begged off last week from a forum held at Sunsport Gardens, a local naturist resort; she said that she'd be embarrassed to bring her children along, as she'd done in two previous gatherings. It may have cost her some votes.

Another candidate admitted to some nervousness beforehand, but pressed ahead:

"I've been in public speaking a while. This is new for me. Normally if I'm nervous I just picture my audience nude. I don't know what I'll do now."

I bet he did just fine.

Permalink to this item (posted at 8:13 AM)
12 March 2007
It's alright Ma, I'm only tanning

Dylan once came up with a line about "Even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked." This hasn't caught on in D.C., for reasons I'd just as soon not imagine, but Nudist Day reports that things may be different in Madrid:

Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, he of the socialist PSOE party, has purchased a 440 thousand Euro summer home located in Vera, Almeria. The house was purchased in his wife's name, Sonsoles Espinosa, and is in a coastal area famous for its important naturist population.

Of course, this doesn't mean that Zapatero himself is necessarily going to be getting his Vitamin D in this fashion, but how likely is it that he doesn't know about the nude use along Vera Playa?

Permalink to this item (posted at 8:53 AM)
14 March 2007
Roll out the blue carpet

From the very last issue of Premiere magazine — their Web site continues — the startling revelation that Marge Simpson sleeps in the nude:

According to Simpsons creator Matt Groening, the show's animators will occasionally slip in nude drawings of Marge during a bed scene and cover her with a blanket animated cel. Groening admitted, "She is surprisingly voluptuous given the way she looks in that shapeless dress."

"Mmmm ... shapeless ...."

Permalink to this item (posted at 7:06 AM)
18 March 2007
Besides, plastic is cold

If you're a merchant in Florida's Osceola or Pasco counties, the person who just handed you a stack of two-dollar bills for his purchase will be dressed — temporarily:

The nudist resorts bring in more than 100,000 tourists a year. Now they want to flex their economic muscles.

"I think they wanna show the economic impact they have on the local community, that they are here spending a lot of money and, you know, they buy their gas, they eat in restaurants, they buy their food and they want people to know that," said Kathy Dunkley, Pasco County Chamber of Commerce.

The nudists will use only two-dollar bills for everything they buy.

"Oh, we got tremendous feedback, absolutely incredible feedback. They said, `Wow, you people spent a lot of money.' Yes, we did," Foster said.

They hope the two-dollar gimmick will expose just how much money they bring into the Florida economy.

Of course, once a boatload of $2 bills gets into general circulation in Florida, some unsuspecting snowbird from Schenectady is going to get a couple of them in change, she'll fly back home, and months later, this same story will be back up at Fark and her friends will just naturally Assume The Worst. Which isn't The Worst at all, really, but some people are not prepared to deal with this sort of thing.

Addendum, 19 March: A clothed resident has a plan:

As it happens my temporary residence is no more than ten minutes from Paradise Lakes, the crown jewel of area clothing-optional resorts. That certainly means I'll be steering away from my usual check card use and making lots of small purchases with bigger bills, if only as an opportunity to ask people behind the register how much of the Jeffersons they've seen.

That also certainly means the potential for awkward exchanges between uninformed customers armed with the rare bills and informed merchants. After the customer manages to convince the merchant that they see clothing as very much required, they'll likely rush to the bank to trade in the insinuating cash.

And thus, the economic impact is covered up.

I wouldn't think it too likely that a merchant in mid-sale would give the customer a wink and say, "Oh, you're one of them, are you?" Keep in mind, though, that I have never had any retail transactions in Florida, unless you count a stop at a Burger King in Bradenton.

Permalink to this item (posted at 1:06 PM)
11 April 2007
Altogether now

Black's Beach, near San Diego, is perhaps the largest stretch of clothing-optional (or clothing-nonexistent) beach in the States; it is difficult to get to, but staggeringly popular. Dave Cole of the Black's Beach Bares group passed out a questionnaire to women visiting the beach last summer; the results have now been published (no illustrations, ya perv), and some of the findings caught my eye:

  • Age range: 17 to 66. (Average: 34.7.)

  • 90 of 98 respondents described their beach visit that day in positive terms.