As of last Saturday night I have officially joined the venerable ranks of People Who Have Been Nude/Mostly Nude in Public. Now that I’m an foremost expert on birthday suitism, I thought I’d offer some quick tips for those also wishing to Be Naked in public.
Tip #1: Pasties are expensive (I went to three sex shops and couldn’t find anything for less than $12); borrow your mother’s car to drive to Walgreen’s 10 minutes before you’re supposed to be at the art gallery [or whatever locale you’ve chosen for Public Nudity], and purchase extra large band-aids, the kind meant for staunching massive wounds.
In Missouri it’s illegal to show your nipples in public. It’s a well-known fact that Midwestern men can handle the sight of the breast surrounding the nipple, but not the nipple itself. The nipple is un-Christian. Maybe because it is the part of the breast that feeds infants, and men don’t like to think of breasts like that.
Tip #2: Shave well ahead of time. Personally, I like body hair. I like it on men, I like it on women, I like it on poodles (never give a poodle a poodle cut — PLEASE. let the poor thing keep its hair and its dignity). However, since this occasion of Nudity involved being painted artistically, it was important to eradicate all body hair to prevent the unsightly look of acrylic mingling with hairy texture (see: this image of Violent J). Running late as I usually am, I forgot to shave until about an hour before the event. When the paint was applied, it burnt like a sunburn, and I probably absorbed 40 times more toxins than was necessary through my open pores.
Tip #3: Avoid nervously chugging an airline bottle of Wild Turkey American Honey followed by two plastic cups full of Cabernet directly before event. You will have to pee every thirty minutes, and you will find peeing while your underwear are stuck with paint to your body to be difficult.
Tip #4: Do not tell your friends you are appearing Naked in Public. They will want to come see you to make fun of you, but as soon as they arrive they will realize immediately that they’ve made a terrible mistake, that they actually do NOT want to see you naked, and you will stand there stiltedly discussing the new George Saunders book while a stranger paints your crotch neon pink.
Tip #5: Prepare to appear in photos on strangers’ Facebook pages. Since the cost to get into the Mardi Gras event was $10, I didn’t have much of a problem with overly-drunk leerers (not that having $10 automatically=classy, but people who just want to get rowdy and drunk for rowdiness and drunkness’ sake will generally just go to a bar with no cover, or drink a 40 in an alley somewhere). Most of the people in attendance seemed to be there for the art of it, fortunately, as opposed to the boobs of it. In fact, people seemed to so appreciate the artistic aspect of it that at least three of them came up and asked if they could take a photo with me (after an airline bottle of American Honey and 2-7 cups of Cabernet, was I in any position to exercise foresight? No.). And where do all photos inevitably end up these days? On some middle aged man’s Facebook, in an album titled “Me With Naked Women and Also Pics of the Grandkids and Dogs and Also Pics That Make My Bald Spot Look Less Severe!!” (I know this to be true, because 3/4 of my job at the library is helping middle aged men add photos/converse with mistresses on their Facebooks.)
Tip #6: This is less of a tip than a head’s up: after washing off the paint, your shower will look like a scene out of the lesser-known 1967 psychedelic remake of Psycho. It will be pretty, all those neon colors, until they clog up your drain and you have to fish it all out with a bobby pin.
That concludes my knowledge of being Naked in Public. It wasn’t so bad, and as my dad said when he returned from his honeymoon at a nude resort in Jamaica (ick.), it’s only awkward for the first few minutes, and then all you want to do is be naked all the time. Here’s to the Nude World Order.