Sunday, July 02, 2006

Some Random Bare Thoughts


Too prudish for nudish?
Saturday, June 24, 2006


My family is extremely comfortable with in-home nudity. By family I
mean myself, my husband and our child, exclusively. It's not like my
mom comes over for a visit and we all strip-off before tea and
doughnuts, but it isn't uncommon for one or more of us to be without
our clothes on.

One recent suppertime, our dinner festivities were coming to a close
and I realized that my husband had sat down for dinner completely
naked and no one took any notice at all. A week or so later, I
mentioned that to him and he said his European ancestors always ate
dinner in the nude.

Maybe that's where we get the napkin-on-the-lap rule.

Now it is officially summer, and because Seattle has no sanctioned
beaches for nude/semi-nude sunbathing, I will look forward to the
annual conversation I have with my daughter as to why she can't take
her top off and play on the beach, but boys can.

Although there is nothing in the Seattle Municipal Code with regard
to nudity, the Revised Code of Washington does define indecent
exposure in section 9A.88.010:

"A person is guilty of indecent exposure if he or she intentionally
makes any open and obscene exposure of his or her person or the
person of another knowing that such conduct is likely to cause
reasonable affront or alarm. The act of breastfeeding or expressing
breast milk is not indecent exposure."

No. And neither is lying naked in the sun on a blanket with a good
book. Or swimming nude. But maybe naked volleyball.

My first real experience with public nudity occurred during a visit
to St. Martin. I was there for three weeks, contracted to work as the
entertainment at one of the resorts. Luckily, the other comedian was
a good friend of mine. Otherwise it might have been overly awkward
during the strip-down process the first time out on the beach. You
would think that after three weeks we would run out of euphemisms for
genitals, but the comedy never stopped until he would disappear for
hours snorkeling and I was left with a private chunk of soft-sanded
beach all to myself.

Warm breezes and tropical water on fully bare skin was a delicious
experience. The strangeness was up on stage, looking out into the
crowd and recognizing some of the clothed patrons as naked sunbathers.

That was a fun time. I wouldn't dare venture out into the nude now
without first hiring a crack team of body hair wranglers.

If you thought group nudity was reserved for painted cyclists, I'd
like to introduce you to Forestia, a member-owned, non-profit nudist
community co-op based in Issaquah. Here you can enjoy non-sexual nude
recreation with others who love to be naked.

Coming up on July 1, the clothesless folks at Forestia host "An old-
fashioned Fourth of July, with sack races, penny toss, red, white and
blue bunting. Look for there to be hot dogs and goodies, too."

Hot dogs and goodies? The jokes just write themselves.

On July 16, Forestia presents the "Bare Buns Fun Run," a clothing-
optional 5K run and walk. Other organized activities include a
Saturday night dance, potlucks and karaoke nights.

I can't think of anything more horrifying than naked karaoke. I would
have to get really drunk for naked karaoke, and I mean gigantic
Polynesian-style rum-infused drinks-drunk.

There are certain songs you might not want to sing during naked
karaoke: "Touch Me" by The Doors, "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot
and "Watching Scotty Grow" by Bobby Goldsboro are a few that come to

The events at Forestia continue on into the fall with an Oktoberfest
celebration that includes "a live German band, wurst, sauerkraut,
brodchen, rot kolbe (red cabbage) and all the trimmings."

And they mean ALL the trimmings.

Nudists enjoy the same recreational activities that clothed people
enjoy. I read an online account of a woman who organized an all-nude
bridal shower. That would be the ideal function at which to co-host
the bachelor party as well. There are cruises that cater to nudists,
although I don't think I could fully enjoy repeat visits to the
breakfast buffet while nude.

Here in Seattle we have the extremely popular clothing-optional
"World Naked Bike Ride" but I'd much prefer a section of beach over
an organized function. As the WNBR people like to say, nude is not lewd.

But naked volleyball is.

Cathy Sorbo is a Seattle-based comedian;© 1998-2006 Seattle Post-Intelligencer


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