Would I have to start planning outfits around the tattoo like I plan for weather?
Google "skinny dipping" right now (like right right now) and one of the first things to pop up will be the woeful tale of a freshman congressman Rep. Kevin Yoder from Kansas, who during a "fact finding" trip to Israel last year found his own ass booty butt naked in the Holy Sea of Galilee after a night out with other members and their families.
According to Politico (where I worked a lifetime ago), the FBI investigated the trip to determine "whether any inappropriate behavior occurred." Several other congressman and plus-ones-of, including one congressman's 21-year-old daughter, also bathed in the holy waters because they were either super hot or had got the holy spirit. But only Yoder decided to take the plunge sans any bathing suit save the one he was born in. Unfortunately Jesus, who walked on water at Galilee if you're into that sort of thing, wasn't there to save Yoder from the snitches who dimed him out to the Feds.
Of course fellow good ole boys Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have called Yoder's butt-naked baptism "reprehensible" and conduct "unbecoming a member of Congress," respectively. For his part Yoder has apologized:
"It's certainly not an incident that I'm proud of," said Yoder. "I want folks in the district to know that I'm apologetic for it... Alcohol did not play a role in the decision to jump in the water. It was a spontaneous moment... It was obviously a mistake and something I regret."
Given the chance to dunk your naughty bits in some fermented Jesus juice, tell me you wouldn't want to get as up close and personal with that ancient Biblical fluid.
I'm not planning on running for office any time soon, but you never know. What I DO know is that I've been birthday suited and booted in more bodies of water than you can imagine. And contrary to popular belief there are rules.
1. Make sure no one's around
No brainer alert! If you're planning to do the streak-and-dive as opposed to the dive-strip-and-float then give the beach a quick once over before exposing yourself. It's called casing the joint. Keep your eyes peeled and your eyes open. You're looking for tattletales, congressman and iPhones. If any one or combination of the three is within 20 feet, better known as "running to put your friggin' clothes back on" distance, then wait a few minutes. The water will still be there once inquiring eyes clear out.
2. Make sure people are around
OK this one might be a bit counterintuitive given its predecessor. But safety first! Don't go skinny dipping by yourself in the middle of the night (or day). You need a No. 1 just as much as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard did. Are you more badass than Jean-Luc? No? Then you absolutely need someone to watch your back just in case those creepy bums (or congressmen) from the next beach over decide to "see what's going on" on your side of the water. Also sharks.
3. Have an exit strategy
I know this is hard for anyone politically minded, but every good plan starts with a plan to get the hell out, including relationships (I kid!). Know where your bathing suit is if you left it on the beach. Know where the nearest spot to hide from the po po is. Know how long before sunrise and the tourists come out. Nothing says "Good Morning" like a naked black woman running from the ocean to grab her bottoms before the free continental breakfast ends.
4. Don't Give a Fuck
At the end of the day you are naked. In public. People can see you. And you can't care. I'm not saying this is a militant political statement, e.g., National Boobs Out Day. You can be publically naked without flaunting it in front of people who might otherwise swoon. What's I'm saying is that once you've followed the rules (or whatever your version of them is), then you've gotta go for it. You can't be a timid dipper. I've gone bikini-less with way more women than men and not one of us could care less about what was hanging, sprouting or drooping where. So we got to actually experience the whole point of skinny dipping: Freedom!
I know I wasn't the only one who, upon hearing the "news" about Yoder's streak stroke, immediately Google imaged him? Homeboy is cute as far as congressmen go (which isn't). I wouldn't have minded taking the obligatory skinny dip sneak peek while he disrobed on shore, which honestly was Yoder's first mistake of many. And none of them have to do with deciding to skinny dip. As the Atlantic points out, Presidents John Quincy Adams, Ted Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson all enjoying swimming au naturale. Who doesn't? Summer's almost over, guys, just saying.
Follow Helena for more part-time nudist advice but no nude pics on Twitter.