The Skinny Dipping Report has helped legitimize naked swimming, typically regarded as a mistake at the end of hotel parties. The New York startup gathers artistic images from around the world for a glossy website and calendar, and provides locations and advice to help people get started.
The SDR’s Chelsea Campbell and Lauren Christianson told us more.
Metro: Are you worried that a guide to skinny-dipping loses some of the mystery?
CC: We’re not literally guiding people, it’s more like a starting point that people can use to access exotic and far-flung places. We provide stories and information, but it’s also a funky art piece that you could just use for wallpaper.
Is the thrill of getting caught part of the experience?
LC: Yes, I think it is part of the fun. But you can choose to visit more private places that give you the freedom not to have to jump in and out, and you can relax without being scared of getting caught.
How much trouble do your subjects get into?
LC: In our experience, authorities don’t care much about skinny-dipping. If you do it at night when there are no families around, you're normally just told to go on your way.
CC: One of the best photos is of a guy smoking in the water in Russia, and he couldn’t share his full name or many details because it was a private compound.
LC: Actually New York can be a risk too, because people dip in places like water towers and warehouses.
Do you host grand skinny dip parties?
LC: Not yet but we are weighing up whether that fits the core values of it being personal and spontaneous. We have been with friends and we are planning something bigger.
Is there a type of person that likes this – or do you get surprise converts?
LC: The type has many forms. It’s the type that loves life and wants to create memories, to enjoy every moment and be a part of nature.
CC: A lot of submissions are from artists and photographers, who have a romantic worldview.
Have nudist groups tried to adopt you?
LC: We have been approached to join their efforts, but we’re not about an anti-clothes way of life, so we stay separate.
What else should we being doing naked – how about skinny bungee-jumping?
CC: Cooking and dancing in our rooms.
Winter is coming – what do I need to do differently?
LC: There’s no problem; we call it the polar plunge. I jump in the water January and February and it is so exhilarating. Just don’t stay in too long.