Nicole Eisenberg>University of Maryland, College Park>Marketing and Finance>Sophomore
Everyone who has been says you must try it at least once. They say it’s fun, it’s exhilarating—it’s an experience. Nude swimming, skin diving, swimming in your birthday suit or plain old skinny-dipping has been recorded in paintings, writings and history for as long as anybody can remember. Since bathing suits have become more, well, customary, the practice has become less common; however, if you ask any veteran dipper, they’ll tell you to shirk your suit and swim stripped!
“Skinny dip as many bodies of water as you can, just because it’s fun,” says New York University freshman Victoria Smallwood, who went skinny dipping in the Mediterranean while in Spain with her friends—and their high school Spanish teacher. Like many veteran dippers, Smallwood describes the experience as “invigorating.”
Convinced? Before you bare all, the pros advise that make sure you know the ins and outs of skinny-dipping. You wouldn’t want to make a newbie move and get caught by your mom in the backyard pool, would you?
Smallwood mentions that it may be a good idea for starters to dip in the dark. Besides avoiding the risk of some pretty intense sunburns, the darkness gives a certain comfort to dippers because they don’t have to worry about what everyone else may be seeing. Remember though, even if it is after dark, a full, bright moon could leave you more exposed than you intended. And way more scandalous.
Bianca Desroches, a freshman at Northeastern University, recommends that rookies consider what they’re wearing before taking the plunge. When Desroches didn’t have a bathing suit she opted to make her dip more interesting, but faced the consequences.
“As soon as I got out of the water, my bra was see-through and my underwear was sticking to my butt,” Desroches says. Skinny dippers should take precautions and be sure to have the right clothes and a towel nearby for damage control.
Something else to consider: If all of your fellow dippers leave the water before you, do you want to make your grand exit in the buff? If the answer is no, a great trick is to bring your suit with you while you swim.
“Hang on tight to your bathing suit,” says Smallwood, and if you’re at the beach, “Go when there aren’t large waves that can knock away your suit.” Keeping a grip on your bathing suit can avoid countless, irreparable situations—waves may not be an issue if you’re relaxing in a pool, but mischievous friends might be!
“It’d probably be a good idea to go with people you know around,” Duke University freshman Melanie Weingart agrees. It’s all about trust—skinny-dipping should always be fun, safe and judgment free. Once you’re comfortable, taking the dip is “liberating,” Weingart says.
Most importantly, “Swim around and enjoy the freedom,” Smallwood says. “Don’t just stand there!”
Now that you’ve studied up, you’re ready for the final exam—test your skills and add skinny-dipping to your bucket list!