Winter Bare

Winter Bare
Bare Stare and totally relaxed!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dilemma: Skinny-Dipping Controversy


A co-worker of my husband, Aaron, recently shared a thought with him: "People who swim naked in a pool aren't really skinny-dipping. Skinny-dippers always swim naked in natural bodies of water, like rivers and lakes."  This particular co-worker knows that we both prefer to be bare and we have actually seen him, clothes-free, at a few socially nude events. 

When Aaron relayed this to me later, I asked how he responded. He stated that they argued over the comment and both agreed to disagree. Aaron then offered his summary of their discussion, specifically highlighting their disagreements. 

I admit that I am of the same opinion as my husband. However, I do need to add that I've never had anyone provide such a narrow definition of skinny-dipping (swimming nude) before. Usually, everyone understands that swimming suit-free and skinny-dipping is essentially the same. Both are done without the benefit of any type of swim-wear.  

As an example,of this controversy, the dude swimming in the image above is not skinny dipping because he's swimming in an artificial (man-made) body of water, a pool. The man swimming the the ocean in the header (lead photo) is skinny-dipping as he is swimming in a natural body of water, the ocean.   

Aaron said to me that he'd never heard of anyone making such a distinction before. Skinny-dipping was simply skinny-dipping. It was swimming without any clothing or covering, period. In his mind, it doesn't matter what the body of water is; river, lake, sea, ocean or pool. I concur with Aaron on this point. It does seem to me the argument is like trying to split the proverbial pubic hair. 

Swimming in any body of water without an actual swimsuit or any other type of covering (such as a pair of cut-off jeans, shorts, underwear, etc) is swimming bare and that to me is what constitutes skinny-dipping. Playing basketball is playing basketball, no matter if you're wearing an official team uniform, wearing a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt or wearing nothing at all. The concept is the same, no matter what the activity.   

According to Aaron's co-worker, if skinny-dipping only happens within a natural body of water, then there are many man-made lakes and reservoirs that  host skinny-dipping events for the Guinness Book of Records that are conducting illegal competitions. These facilities are man-made and not naturally occurring. Therefore, no one is skinny-dipping and Guinness' recognition is invalid so therefore their entire "Book of Records" is a sham.    

In the end, I suppose the entire argument over whether or not skinny-dipping occurs in a natural or man-made body of water is pointless. Ultimately, the final decision lies with the men who are really doing the swimming. If they believe that they are skinny-dipping, then they are. If, instead, they are just swimming bare, then they are doing just that. It is that simple. They are doing what they want to do, period. 

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Bare With Pride


Anonymous said...

Skinny dipping came from the practice in the early 20th century where beach patrons would enter a changing booth and rolled out to the first few feet of the ocean where they would exit the other side fully disrobed and bathe within the private confines of this booth. This "skin dip" in the salty ocean water was believed to have therapeutic properties.

This practice came about at a time in American history when health and wellness were sought with great fervor. The Matthew Broderick movie "Wellville" is set during this period. Colonics were one of many practices promoted at this time. It was also the era of prohibition (of alcohol for those reading who might not be versed in American history). The body was considered inherently evil and needed to be treated to vanquish the evils that would overrun it if left unchecked. Temperance! was a rallying cry. Around this same time is when the Seventh Day Adventism movement with its emphasis on nutrition began. Many Adventists are vegetarian. Dr. William Harvey Kellogg operated a sanitorium and wellness spa based on Adventist teaching and developed Kellogg's Corn Flakes as a supposed cure for masturbation since evil red meat was thought to keep men's carnal desires inflamed. CW Post was one of the patients that Dr. Kellogg treated at his facilities in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Thats probably way more information than you wanted, but both you and your husband's friend are partially correct. I don't think the current usage is as restricted as he asserts, and that most people think if you are swimming naked then you are skinny dipping. However, the origin of the phrase was limited not just to streams and large bodies of water but actually more narrowly to the saltwater of the ocean and perhaps hot mineral springs inland. Back then when people swam (out in the countryside where I live or at the YMCA if you were a city boy) without clothing (and not coed), and they didn't call it skinny dipping, it was just swimming. The skin dip was an ocean thing.

Greg Delame said...

If you are of the Beverly Hillbillies Era or have seen their reruns. They referred the swimming pool as a cement pond. There is your reference to a natural body of water.