If you’re a good egg and follow my stories on Insta, you may have been lucky enough to experience the jitters with me as I journeyed to dinner the other night. I’d had about twenty hours sleep the week before and was feeling relatively delicate considering it was a Friday night when people are usually ready to disco. While other people were off unwinding with scheduled debauchery, I was heading off to yet another naked-with-strangers thang. Only this time it involved a sit-down dinner. I really had no idea what to expect.
Naked meet-and-eats with strangers is a relatively new concept and I was unsure of the point of it. Can eating spaghetti naked affect the taste of it? Does drinking starkers get you intoxicated quicker? The event details specified it was a strictly non-sexual affair, but contrastingly it was also described as fun and saucy. Worcestershire saucy then?
Obviously I spent the whole lead up wondering what kind of people were going to be at this organised oddness. And to a great degree I was curious as to why. Whyyyyyyyyyy?
Unlike other bare-skinned activities I’ve had cracks at in the past, this event was being held in the comforts (and potential discomforts) of a private home. It was in Bruce Grove, and hosted by its occupants, Lisa and Doug. Upon meeting them I discovered they were both rather attractive specimens, and I must admit I wondered if I’d not quite read between the lines.
So it’s definitely not sex partay? No? K. Just double checking.
I had travelled an hour and ten across London to get there and they greeted a weary traveller with a complementary beverage. There were nine people in total, including Lisa and Doug. And I assume we all dwelled in the kitchen with our clothes on for a bit to make sure everyone could be trusted to be pleasant in the impending safe space.
Satisfied that no one seemed the inappropriate-boner type, we then all took turns in privately stripping off before returning to the pleasantries in racy little aprons – designed for people to nude up and down as they wished.
“The Naked Dinner events are curated to fill the unexplored area between nudity in private and nudity with the expectation of sexual performance,” Lisa told me. “To date, most of us only enjoy our bodies with strangers through how we dress. Well what if we take away the clothing and use what is literally just us?”
It’s an interesting idea. What is this unchartered territory of platonic nakedness in society? Why is everyone all clothed up like prudes all the time anyway? Are interactions with good (but clad) company kind of like eating chocolate with the wrapper still on? Are naked dinner parties the sex-without-a-condom of socialising?
I sat myself at the end of the table with Russian couple, Iaros and Eve, to my left and an Aussie IT guy, Michael, to my right. Connie and David were another couple at the end of the table, and Klaus was the Italian policeman across from them. We all sat politely in our aprons, trying to fill in any awkward silences before smoked salmon and avocado landed in front of us to shut us up for a bit.
It was clear that making guests feel comfortable – physically and mentally – was important to Lisa and Doug. They were truly hospitable hosts. They sat closest to the door so they could do food service and get drinks from the fridge as required. It was BYO which was a good idea. But I obviously drank a whole bottle of red wine to myself pretty quickly and then wished I’d brought two along.
They also provided table talker games to get the conversation going, but to be honest, the table was full of terribly interesting characters already. The conversation barely had a dry moment and by the time dinner (which was absolutely delicious by the way) was served, I’d certainly picked up some mischievous vibes from the couples in the room. Together, over grilled haloumi and green beans, we dabbled in the topic of our sex lives and discussed the quirks and strengths that make us who we are. It was intelligent conversation and stimulating for thought. I imagine it was similar to the kind of orgy Einstein would have been into. No sex until you finish your philosophising.
Dessert was juicy fruits and dark chocolate, plus a deliciously moist carrot cake supplied by naked dinner guest Eve. Puds were complemented by conversation about the social barriers of masculinity and macho-ness getting in the way of men getting naked in front of other men. And I’m just going to go ahead and admit it: the promiscuousness of subjects while being utterly naked had me tapping into some raw and carnal desires. Though, it could have been the wine.
There was a slight awkwardness to not knowing how to end the evening; more just the moment I realised I’d been there for four hours and Lisa and Doug probably wanted their house back. The time had completely flown and it was almost midnight by the time I left. I declined Iaros and Eve’s offer to go after-party on at 24-hour nightclub Egg. I mean, I had life admin to do that next day and I’d drank enough that I’d probably start proposing to be in a thrupple with them.
So I put my kit back on. Bid the remaining four farewell and walked to the bus stop with Klaus, which in hindsight is funny.
The event promised that I would arrive curious and leave energised. And that I did. Some of my views on things have certainly shifted, I’m more in touch with an appetite within, and I think it’s about time I make more effort to break my 18-month drought. There, I said it. Haven’t had sex with a man in a year and a half. Nothing to be ashamed of here.
You can find out more about the experience at the website thenakeddinner.com
There is another event running THIS FRIDAY, 16th November 2018. And I urge you to go if this sounds like the kind of thing that would float your goat.