Naked in Front of People: A Guide for Nudity Newbies

Me and Caitlin at Body Pride

Last week, I went to Body Pride – again.

It was my third time going, so I know the ropes by now. But I remember when I attended my first one. It felt like there was so much to worry about.

In everyday life, probably only about 30% of your body, maximum, is showing at any given time. The upkeep of the rest is less important, because it’ll only be seen under special circumstances (e.g. during sex). But when you’re gonna be naked in front of people – especially for hours at a time, like at Body Pride workshops – there’s more to consider.

Granted, the whole point of Body Pride is self-acceptance. But you still probably want to look and feel your best. So here are my tips for preparing when you know you’ll be naked for a while – whether you’re shooting porn, going to a nudist colony, or just hangin’ out with some pals in the buff.

Test-run your makeup look in advance, if you wear makeup. I don’t quite know why, but some types of makeup look totally fine when you’re clothed but super weird and out of place once you get naked. I find that nudity pairs best with minimalistic looks – but on the other hand, if thick winged liner and fire-engine red lipstick will give you the confidence to rock your naked bod, by all means, go for it.

Wear a layered outfit that’s easy and quick to remove. Does that sound like a contradiction in terms? It shouldn’t – layers don’t necessarily have to be bulky or restrictive. The reason I recommend layers is that you might feel awkward if you’re the first person to get done undressing. You’ll be standing there completely nude while others are still shimmying out of their jeans. It’s best if your outfit can be removed quickly or slowly, so you can adjust your stripping speed to fit the vibe of the event. I usually like to wear a slip dress or nightgown (easy to step out of in a hurry) and a cardigan (allows for dawdling while I undo the buttons).

Do your body hair removal well in advance, if body hair removal is a thing that you do. Razor burn, ingrown hairs and post-wax rashes are not only unsightly but also uncomfortable. Give yourself at least a couple days between hair removal and naked-time, just incase something goes awry.

Moisturize. Cool clothes jazz up your appearance when you’re wearing them, but when you’re naked, moisturized skin provides a similarly polished effect. Trust me, it’s way cuter than dry, ashen skin. Moisturization is also important if you plan on doing any self-tanning before your big naked event.

Use internal menstrual products if you get your period. Menstrual cups, sponges, or tampons (with the string tucked inside) can all be basically invisible, even when you’re completely nude.

Think about butt and vag protection. This really depends on the location where you’ll be getting naked, and what you’ll be doing once you’re naked, but it’s worth thinking about. If you’ll be sitting on the floor or ground, you’ll probably want a pillow and/or towel so you don’t get dirt on your bare ass and/or vaginal fluids on somebody’s bare floor.

Maintain good posture and body language. I don’t know why, but slouching looks even less attractive than usual when a naked person does it. Contrastingly, there is something so sexy and beautiful about a straight-backed, lithe-looking person in the nude. When you’re naked, all your body’s shapes and lines are visually amplified, so make like a Botticelli babe and think long, tall, loose-limbed and elegant.

Ensure you’ll smell good. Naked bodies produce scents more readily than clothed ones; it’s a fact of life. You might want to expand the zones where you typically apply deodorant and/or perfume. (Don’t go overboard, though, especially since there might be some folks with scent sensitivities. Ask if you’re not sure!)

Enjoy yourself! Being naked is so much fun. In our culture, free-and-easy nudity is rare, so appreciate the opportunity when it comes your way. You may even find (as I do at the end of every Body Pride event) that being naked starts to feel like the most natural, lovely thing in the world!