March 10, 2011

Are you a Naked Person?

Your comfort with nudity says a lot about who you are.


Let’s step away for a moment from all the debate surrounding nudity, sex, and whether nudity means selling stuff through sex. Or something.

What I really want to know is this: are you a naked person?

Hey, it’s an important question. I’m not asking if you’re a nudist, an exhibitionist, or a Playboy model. I’m just asking if you’re comfortable in your nakedness. After bikram yoga, do you strip off your sweaty pants in the locker room while chatting with your neighbor? Do you jump into a dressing room with your best friend so you can look at each other’s outfits? Do you feel comfortable sauntering across the bedroom – no, the living room – in

just your skivvies while your significant other watches with a surprised grin?

I think your view of nakedness says more about you than how conventionally beautiful you are. It’s not about how many packs you’ve got in your stomach, or how much bounce you’ve got in your boobs. It’s about how you approach life. People who feel comfortable naked are apt to give bear hugs. They relish food and will share theirs with you, and will also spear some off of your plate. They like to make new friends, and don’t judge others based on what they are wearing.  If they fart in public, they just laugh and say, “Whoops.” Naked people don’t mind what other people think of them, and will take risks in the pursuit of fun. I’m not saying naked people are better; they just approach life differently.

Not-naked people approach life more cautiously. They want to do things right, and worry about being seen as reckless or inappropriate. They value long-standing relationships over meeting new people, and are careful about eating right. Whether or not you’re a naked person says more about you than your zodiac sign, the place you were born, or your level of education.

I asked my sister this question over a couple of beers last year, and she told me that she is definitely not a naked person. If she is in the bedroom, getting ready to go out, and her loving husband walks in and exclaims, “You’re naked!” (no doubt delighted) she becomes self-conscious and dashes into the bathroom.  I, on the other hand, regularly cause my roommate to avert her eyes when I wander into the kitchen for a glass of water with nothing but a thong on. Our mother is not a naked person. Neither is my best friend. I cause all these people consternation when I forget my towel and decide to make the trip to the bathroom without it, propriety be damned. But then again, I cause them consternation in a lot of other ways as well. It’s just the way I am. I would strip off my clothes when I was two-years-old whenever I got the chance.

Try this game next time you are out with a friend: ask them about acquaintances you share and whether they are naked people. You’ll have fun parsing it out. “She makes dirty jokes all the time. She’s definitely a naked person.” Or, “She’s a naked person once you get to know her.”

It becomes shorthand for the nuances of a person’s personality. “Is he a naked person?” can answer the question of how outgoing he is, whether he would accept an offer of a puff of your blunt, whether you should hug him when you first meet, or offer a hand shake.

So maybe next handshakeeally want to get to know somebody, ask him or her this question. “Are you a naked person?”



Learning to Make Friends with Ourselves: Pema Chodron video on Maitri.

Image: Tais Sirole/Flickr 

A mindful diet doesn’t include dieting. How to be in harmony with our body, speech, and mind:

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Lelo Jan 2, 2016 9:40pm

I am a naked person. When I was living in the dorms in college (1987, yeah I’m dating myself), the big joke was to steal another girl’s towel while she was showering. I’d seen it happen, and the responses would vary. One girl hid out in the showers til someone came in and she convinced them to bring her a towel. One girl detached the shower curtain, wrapped it around herself, and dashed back to her room that way. Not me. They stole my towel and I calmly stalked down the hallway naked and dripping to my room. I still snicker a little remembering the reactions I got when I did this. 🙂

Rose Jan 2, 2016 7:31pm

Another good one is, “do you pee in the shower?” I have found similar conclusions.

Jay Jan 2, 2016 7:07pm

I am glad you wrote this! Some of the most “real” times I have had with friends was when we “got nekkit”, streaked, or just hung out nude. It wasn’t sexual, as much as it was playful, silly, & freeing. I usually was the first one, and some say that that’s from where “Naked as a Jaybird” originated. I don’t consider myself a nudist, but enjoy going nude when the climatic and social environments are conducive and agreeable

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Alden Wicker

Alden Wicker is a freelance journalist and founder of EcoCult.com, a blog about all things sustainable in New York City and beyond. She also writes about electronic music, personal finance, and yoga for publications such as Well + Good, Refinery29, LearnVest, Huffington Post and Narratively.