Having opened my big yap

A kid on Quora asked this two years ago, and I sort of wonder what became of him:

I’m 14, male, I live with my mom, and I enjoy nudism, but I want to practice it outside my room. How should I bring this up to my mom, and get her okay?

Now fourteen is just about the age where I discovered the occasional wonderfulness of leaving one’s clothes behind, but it never occurred to me to try to get permission.

After puzzling over the matter for several minutes, I came up with this scheme:

The first question is this: does she know you’re nude in your room? If she does, it’s a short rhetorical jump to “Would it bother you if I came down for dinner like that?” I mean, it’s not like you’re up to something sneaky.

If she doesn’t know, you’re going to have to let her know that this is what you are. Assuming she has a day job, and you get home before she does, you show up in your birthday suit doing something totally innocuous, like raiding the refrigerator. Suddenly the state of your wardrobe moves up to Topic A. A typical mom response: “And just how long have you been doing this?” Tell her. And reassure her that you’re not wandering in the woods like that late at night.

I do know several — not all that many, but enough to suggest a trend — women who would love to go nude themselves but aren’t about to with the kids still at home. Don’t count on a revelation like that — but should it come, you’ve done her a favor.

By “not all that many” I mean “fewer than six.”

This age is sort of a fulcrum in these matters: some suddenly want to start experimenting, and some, probably just as many and maybe more, become utterly horrified at the thought of Being Seen.

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