Many people outside of College Hill think that Brown students run around naked all of the time. Jesse Watters’ sensationalized coverage of PW’s Nudity in the Upspace didn’t quite help with this image either. The reality, however, is that the majority of Brown students have never participated in a naked event. Nudity on campus (that is beyond the dormitory showers) is somewhat like a secret society—the Naked Donut Run itself is a very selective and exclusive underground network. Given the low chances of successfully infiltrating the NDR, your best shot of putting your birthday suit on display is to attend a naked party.
Naked parties are not the easiest things to find. You get invited via email a few days beforehand and word doesn’t spread as far as you might think. Although there is not a list at the door, you’ve basically got to be within two degrees of separation to end up at one of these things. Many Brunonians wait until the end of their senior year to hit up a naked party. We at BlogDH figured that a bunch of you are curious about what it’s like, or want to know what you may get yourself into. Surely you have wondered at some point, what would the world be like if nobody wore clothes. Well, as the sacrificial lamb, I found out what a college house party would be like if no one wore clothing. I am honored to present: Anatomy of a Naked Party (We like to make jokes here at BlogDH).
I was initially nervous that I would have to make my way to the party wearing nothing but my skin. One of the preliminary emails gave me relief by instructing that there would be a changing room and that I should bring a bag for my clothes. I decided not to do any out of the ordinary—my idea was that if I’m going to be naked, I might as well look like my usual self.
There were stringent rules for this naked party:
- There were no cameras allowed in the space, for obvious reasons.
- It was frowned upon to show up extremely intoxicated, particularly considering the whole bare feet and vomit conundrum.
- It was explicitly stated in the party invitation that any kind of touching, sexual or not, must be consensual.
First adjective: crowded. To be fair, I showed up an hour late, so I cannot attest to any period before that. When I showed up, bodies were packed wall-to-wall. Once you managed to push yourself past the front door, there were more piles of clothes than a small Salvation Army store. There were complaints of people who lost shoes, so I made sure to shove my things into an obscure nook in the kitchen. After I undressed, I wiggled my way to the dance floor, leading to a lot of awkward brushing against others. The were a lot of polite “sorry”s and “excuse me”s as people moved from place to place. The music was loud, but I found that my dancing was different here than at other parties. I’ve been at parties where I wore things that hardly constituted clothes, but no matter how much or little I was wearing, I danced provocatively (albeit against a wall and most likely solo). At this party, every move I made caused my breasts and buttocks to shake, and I felt much less inclined to bust my usual, sexy moves. I can’t speak for everyone on the dance floor, but I did not witness any grinding.
One of the most curious aspects of attending one’s first naked party is wondering what kind of sexual tension is going to be in the room. I was surprised to find that a naked party was much less of an orgy than many clothed parties on college campuses. Many conversations were defined by really intense eye contact, probably precipitated out of fear of seeming rude for staring at your acquaintances’ genitalia. From the glances I did receive, it was comforting to see so many different shapes and sizes at the party. Not only was it just a neat demographic, but everybody looked really good. It is easy to forget that the clothing industry makes arbitrary sizes and fits that do not look conventionally “flattering” on a lot of people. It is beautiful to be reminded than when those clothes come off, everyone’s body fits them perfectly, and everyone is sexy in their own way.
The crowd consisted of many senior first-timers and some bonafide nudists. The bonafide nudists most likely frequent and occasionally organize these parties, and they seemed much more at home than everyone else, who are enjoying it for the novelty. I ran into a lot people that I knew from around campus. Seeing them was both comforting and awkward, because although I was happy for the familiar faces, I wasn’t quite sure how to greet them. I wasn’t really feeling the idea of a hug, so I ended up resorting to a lot of very official handshakes.
One con of the naked party was that it was not properly ventilated. I don’t know if the lack of clothes actually produced more body heat, or if windows remained closed to maintain privacy, but I was constantly sweaty. Although it wasn’t acceptable to be naked outside the house, I do sympathize with the two dudes who went rogue and were hanging outside, letting it all hang out.
I went to this party under the assumption that it would irrevocably change my life. It was a very unique experience, but I feel very disconnected from my existence that night. It’s almost as if I entered a twilight zone of nakedness. At the house, I was overwhelmed with sensory stimulation, but once my clothes were back on and I was headed home, any sense of enlightenment was lost. Already, it feels like just another weird night at Brown to tell my grandchildren about. I cannot say that I stayed for more than twenty minutes, because I didn’t feel like it was my scene, but I would say that it was a very illuminating experience. For anyone who may consider attending a naked party in the future, it is definitely worth investigation. Remember to bring a bag for your clothes (I ended up forgetting mine)!