Skinny dipping

Last updated 08:20 21/05/2010

My friend Sarah asked me the other week if I had ever been skinny dipping and I realised I hadn't. For some reason, the jaw-dropping look of shock on her face told me that this was possibly something I may be in the minority on. I guess the opportunity has never really presented itself. In particular, Sarah was talking about skinny dipping in the sea and I swiftly told her that's unlikely to ever happen.

SharkWhen she asked "why not?", my exasperated response was "Haven't you seen Jaws?!", which features an opening sequence of someone stripping off, diving into the water and promptly being torn to pieces by a man-eating shark. You see, my parents made the mistake of letting me see Jaws at the age of 10 and apart from an extremely brief chest-high dip in crystal clear water in Antigua about seven years ago, I haven't been in the sea since.

Even now, when people ask me to name the scariest film I've ever seen, I answer immediately with Jaws. This has often provoked a laugh, followed by an "oh God, you're serious?" There is something about the power of that film. No other film has provoked such a strong reaction in me and created a pathological fear of something in the way Jaws did. So, I guess that means Steven Spielberg is responsible for two major things in my life - my crazy desire to make films instead of settling down and getting a "real job", as well as my fear of the sea.

Before you mention it, I have indeed heard all the stories of how you're more likely to get hit by a car than bitten by a shark - and my response to that has been "that's because sharks don't live on land and humans don't spend all their time in the sea!" Of course, I know the statistics make it unlikely - but in my mind, I don't really feel like taking the risk because it would be just my luck that I'd be that one in a million that Bruce decides to nibble on. 

Back on the subject of skinny dipping, Sarah mentioned the time she had to use communal baths in Japan - which is rather like a broad-daylight skinny dip with random strangers. Apparently, one girl was so self-conscious about this that she had to wear togs every time - and yes, that would have been me! Sarah told me I have to promise to go skinny dipping one day and do it somewhere that I shouldn't be so that there's an element of danger.

I have to say, it was amusing that the next day a story about a skinny-dipping Canadian tourist bitten by a Katipo spider hit the news. I sent it to Sarah and said "there, that's why I don't go skinny dipping!" although she did correctly note that sleeping naked on the beach was how he got bitten, meh...cause-and-effect I say.

Perhaps one day I'll have the confidence to strip off and take a dip when the opportunity presents itself - but one thing's for sure, it won't be in the ocean. 

Have you ever been skinny dipping? Are you scared of the ocean or do you love being in the sea? 

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George   #1   08:27 am May 21 2010

If you've ever swam naked you'll recognise that swimming with anything on whatsoever can only ever be second (or even third or fourth) best.

Back in less hung up times we used to do it at school, and no one saw it as the slightest bit odd.

How on earth kids manage to enjoy themselves these days swimming in board shorts or rash suits is beyond me.

Dorothy's friend   #2   08:51 am May 21 2010

Hahhahahaha. Good blog topic. Feel the fear and do it anyway! Feels great and slightly naughty.. but recommend that you go somewhere warmer than Wellington south coast in winter :-)

Athene   #3   08:59 am May 21 2010

My sister doesn’t like the sea either, but in saying that she didn’t used to l like swimming in rivers either, something to do with eels. She has since gotten over the river thing because I pushed her in and wouldn’t let her get out …hahaha. Must work on the sea thing next. I cannot believe you haven’t been skinny dipping, that’s just plain sad. What did you do when you were growing up? W always used to go, and when we got older groups of us used to camp at the river in the weekend and while the night away drinking and skinny dipping … ahhh good times. I suggest you get over yourself and just do it, even if you don’t like it at least you have done it. Altho I won’t understand if you don’t like it how you cannot enjoy the simple pleasure of being naked in the water

Karlos   #4   09:02 am May 21 2010

Yes you have to skinny dip at least once in your life - add it to your bucket list!

I love swimming in the ocean, pools are kinda boring in comparison. Every year it never really feels like summer has started until I've had my first swim in the sea. Nothing better than grabbing a surf board or body board and spending a few hours riding the waves in the sunshine. Man I'm already hanging out for summer now!

Geoff   #5   09:04 am May 21 2010

I don't recall going skinny dipping, but I do enjoy ocean swimming. Body surfing and generally messing around in the waves is fun. :-)

Louisette   #6   09:12 am May 21 2010

I've never been skinny dipping. I doubt I ever will do it either, especially since I live in Wellington where the sea looks like the mediterranean but sure doesn't feel like it. Oddly enough, I don't feel any more bothered about skimnny dipping than swimming with togs. I figure if I'm going to expose WAY more of my body than I'm comfortable with anyway, why not go the whole hog and actually be naked? It wouldn't (couldn't) be any more embarrassing. And I've already stated my support for topless sunbathing on Moata's blog.

Cat   #7   09:32 am May 21 2010

After a bottle of 42 Below, we skinny dipped New Year's Eve at Whitianga Waterways, and the Jaws scenario didn't even enter my head!! That opening scene, I agree, is really scary ... especially when she's hanging onto the buoy thingy and it rips her off ... duh, duh, duh, duh.

We saw a shark when we were out fishing. It was lolling on the surface, enjoying the sun. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life.

Davo   #8   09:32 am May 21 2010

This may be a good time to suggest people go and look at trailer for a new movie called "Piranha - 3D". It is both scary, and dam funny too.

B-P   #9   09:40 am May 21 2010

Skinny dipped with an Englishman and a girlfriend, Byron's Bay, November 1988 at midnight. Byron's Bay is known for its sharks! We were drunk and it was so cold ... never again

Ricko   #10   09:50 am May 21 2010

I went skinny dipping when I was 18, at night in a lake in America, very liberating and quite naughty! Thought it was fun until I chose to dive in off the diving boards, just so you hurts!!!

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