In my new book, Finding Mr. Brightside, the main characters (Juliette and Abram) find themselves having a scandalous skinny-dipping moment in the Atlantic ocean, oops. By no means am I personally endorsing such body-baring pastimes, but if you absolutely must show what your mama still considers to be hers, arm and leg yourself with the below tips first.
1. When the person(s) you're near water with suggest skinny-dipping as an option, don't act too excited -- i.e., take off your clothes and jump in immediately -- as this will make you look like "the slutty one of the group" even though it was someone else's skank suggestion. It's best to make fun of their unoriginal idea first, but in a noncommittal way that lets them know you're not a can't-get-my-hair-wet blanket.
2. No spray-tanning away your tan lines beforehand, crazy. This, too, falls under the category of "desperately over-prepared and obviously wants to take clothes off for others." But if that's the vibe you're going for, then by all means, go on with your bronzed self.
3. Try to avoid prime shark-feeding hours, maybe. The sharks aren't going to be embarrassed by your lack of underwater modesty. They are, however, more likely to eat one or both of your a-cheeks the closer it gets to dawn. Note: If you're in freshwater or the neighbor's pool but think there might be sharks in your midst, you should probably stop taking drugs -- or, at the very least, stop being paranoid on them. Just something to consider.
4. Don't forget to blast off on your unmentionables (with bug spray). You're trying to create a fun, mosquito-free moment in the Atlantic or Pacific, not a cautionary tale of West Nile Virus.
5. Glance unto others as you would have them sneak peeks unto you. When everyone's as naked as a body-conscious jaybird, it's important to be respectful of each other's obvious problem areas... but not in an obvious way that makes any one particular jaybird feel unworthy of your creepiness. Does that make the opposite of perfect sense?
6. Try not to doggy paddle unless you're trying to be funny or survive. It's much sexier to make casual arm circles while thrashing like a kiddie-pool stalwart underneath the surface.
7. Prepare towels. It's okay to sacrifice a little spontaneity for warmth. As Juliette points out in Finding Mr. Brightside, it's kind of hard to make out when your teeth are chattering.
8. No farting unless it's a medical emergency. This should be self-explanatory, yet I suspect isn't. Even if no one can hear or smell what you're doing from the neck down, you'll be killing the mood with your energy, which will immediately shift to that of an opportunistic farter.
Care to share any skinny-dipping tips, tricks, or experiences-gone-wrong in the comments section? Don't be shy -- you certainly weren't on the day in question!