Jamie Lauren Keiles is a self-described bad dresser. It's a fashion choice of sorts in that she hopes "this rejection of fashion might be read as a sign of my politics or intelligence," she writes at Racked. "If I can't control how people will treat me, then at least I can suggest how I want to be seen." Which makes her latest piece intriguing: The 25-year-old decided to spend a week at a "naturist" camp for naked people. The end result? After some initial uncomfortableness, then revelation ("naked in the sun!"), things became rather routine. But Keiles ultimately missed her clothes. "Without their powers, my personality and body language had to pick up a lot of slack," she writes. "Every interaction felt tiring." At another point, she writes that "it was hard to do anything without thinking about my boobs."
But beyond the deeper meaning of clothing, Keiles provides an entertaining look at the naturist culture. Expect to see a lot of white, middle-aged hetero couples of every body type imaginable, people who hold down the most routine jobs you can imagine in the clothed versions of themselves. The elderly are also represented, and Keiles muses that in the real world, "naked old [bodies]" are kept secret, while here they're "taken on their own terms—not feared, but accommodated." Another insight: It might be easier to learn how to square-dance while naked because "the risk of failure is grabbing a stranger's penis." Perhaps the biggest takeaway is how mundane the situation became. "As it turns out, anything beautiful or grotesque can become boring with enough exposure," writes Keiles. Click for the full story. (Read more Longform stories.)