Mary Elizabeth Williams, 44-year-old columnist and mother of two, decided to do something that scared her: Pose naked in Time Out New York. But “this isn't a story of how I took off my clothes and became all empowered by the experience,” she writes in Salon—she’s already quite empowered, thank you very much. No, this was an experience that “let me be, for a little while, vulnerable”—and, more importantly, gave her lots of funny column anecdotes.
From the Playboy vet who coached her on how to minimize the squished-butt look to the daughter who reassured her, “it’s just boobies,” Williams takes us through her journey, culminating in a role as “the beagle” in a naked re-creation of the dogs-playing-poker painting. When it was over, “alone and naked, the four of us ladies made tender yet surprisingly innovative love until the break of dawn," she writes. "OK, not really, but I figured if you've read thus far, it was likely in the hope of such an outcome.”