We are not naked people. That’s what my wife said about us soon after we started dating. Without explanation, I knew what she meant.

We were not the kind of people who walk around naked, especially during the daytime. I don’t even like taking my socks off, so if barefoot was intolerable, naked was out of the question.

My wife’s ex-husband was a naked person. He took great pride in his nudity. He slept naked rain or shine. He liked to walk around naked, even do household tasks naked, even work naked which was all quite possible being that he worked at home. Problem was, his wife wasn’t so keen of the naked. While she clung to her flannel pajamas, he only felt more emboldened by his ability to remain naked. He might even have called himself a nudist, had he had a colony to be nude in but when you are one person and the only person not wearing clothes, you’re not really a nudist, just a naked guy.

I figure most people who want to be naked refrain from doing so because it would offend those around them. Certainly my 17 year old wouldn’t like me cooking dinner in the nude, furthermore should any of my teenage sons come to the table nude; I would likely drop the salad bowl in shock, on my naked foot.

So when the kids all went to sleep away camp this summer, leaving us alone in the house for the first time since we married, we were tempted for a moment to take advantage of our newfound freedom. It started out quite by accident. We were lying in bed and the dog was whimpering. In only her underwear, my wife got up and tried to quiet the dog. I suggested we put the dog in the crate however being only partially clad evoked the specter of the bad porn movie. We both laughed and she said that she refused to have anything more to do with the dog crate until she was fully clothed.

There we were, both in bed naked, except for my socks, both of us thinking there’s an opportunity here to be had but neither of us knowing exactly what to do. The dog was getting louder and louder and yet neither of us moved to do anything. Finally my wife got up and did what could only be described as a pirouette, and then quickly jumped back into bed under the blanket. We both giggled at her boldness but were still left with the problem of the dog.

Then in a daring move on my part I challenged her to put the dog in the crate naked. She cringed. I laughed harder. We both agreed it was a bad look. The nakedness seemed out of context.

Moments later we gathered our clothes, got dressed and went downstairs to get a snack. Naked in the bedroom was as far as we got.

Her ex-husband however graduated to a whole new level of naked. He and his girlfriend declared entire portions of their apartment as clothing optional. This was really more of a warning to those who visited them. Should they enter certain rooms in the house, be forewarned, naked people might be walking around, or folding laundry or doing whatever people like to do when they’re naked. I often wondered if the announcement of clothing optional was more like an invitation to guests, should they want to shed their attire. I imagined him giving uncle Herb and aunt Carol a tour of his new apartment, and pausing as they came upon the den, this room he would emphasize, is a clothing optional room. Then moving on to the kitchen, a room ripe with dangers should one endeavor to cook naked, is clothing required. I could see Uncle Herb enthusiastically pulling off his shirt while Aunt Carol, aghast that her husband’s behavior grabbed his shirt off the floor and pulled it over his head before anymore flesh would be exposed.

I suppose the only people who took advantage of the clothing optional rule in his apartment would be people like himself. Perhaps there are those that felt so encumbered by their clothing, the only way to enjoy a pleasant evening with friends be to do so naked. Still, naked is not necessarily sexy. I suppose his naked friends were very much like him. Their nakedness elevated them as they sat around mocking the rest of us in our 100% cotton T-shirts.

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