Long before we started celebrating International Skinny Dip Day, which takes place on July 13 this year, swimming in the nude was a thing. Even noteworthy, people like Benjamin Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman took part at a time when just the thought of swimming in the nude was considered uncouth and shameful. Back then, they didn’t even have a catchy name for it. It wasn’t until 1947 that the phrase ‘skinny dip’ was first documented or uttered. Today, if you were at a party with friends, no one would react judgemental if someone suggested skinny dipping.
History of International Skinny Dip Day
People have been skinny dipping for years. As early as 1449, a local newspaper in Bath reported that “people were shamelessly stripping themselves of their swimming garments and revealing themselves to bystanders as they took to the water.” Though it was not acceptable at the time, some people were doing it. Soon after that, it became widely known that this was an activity many individuals participated in. Yet, it was never spoken about in everyday conversation, even after artists like Thomas Eakins in 1885 and Charles Shannon in 1922 started depicting nude swimming scenes in their work.
There were instances where indulging in swimming naked was somewhat embraced and even discussed but came to a halt in the 1960s with the sexual liberation movement. The movement challenged traditional codes of behavior regarding sexuality and interpersonal relationships throughout the United States and the developed world. And a few years after that, society started embracing body positivity in the late ’90s. All humans are beautiful and should be celebrated, no matter their size, skin color, or physical disabilities.
These incredibly revolutionary ideas and movements helped break stereotypes regarding nudity and people who choose to live their lives without clothes and, of course, those choosing to partake in skinny dipping, whether in the daylight at a nude beach or intimate moonlit gatherings at midnight.
In 2018 skinny dipping was declared a special day on the calendar. The American Association for Nude Recreation hosted the first skinny dipping event in 2018. According to the organization, the activity and awareness days are so popular that they are still growing. Various international groups compete to host world-record skinny dip events.
International Skinny Dip Day timeline
Nudist clubs and societies gather in Germany to form an international nudist organization.
For the first time in history, the term ‘skinny dip’ is recorded in the English language.
The ‘Free Beach’ movement starts in California, encouraging people to be nude there.
Women protest in New York over the issue of going topless in public.
The American Association for Nude Recreation hosts the first skinny dipping event.
International Skinny Dip Day FAQs
Which U.S. President skinny-dipped in the Potomac?
John Quincy Adams is famous for having skinny-dipped. Swimming was his primary source of exercise, as he explained in an 1819 diary entry. As was standard practice at the time, he left his clothing on a nearby rock, skinny dipping in the Potomac.
Is skinny dipping still popular?
A survey by “MissTravel” showed that more than 70% of travelers have gone skinny-dipping, while 38% have been seen doing it. Many people choose to go skinny dipping in the dark or secluded locations.
How do you skinny dip at the beach?
There are rules and regulations, even in places where it is acceptable to swim in the nude. To be safe and considerate of those not participating, wear your swimsuit into the water, then stealthily take it off once you’re neck-deep. You can also make your secluded spot by setting up a blow-up or above-ground pool.
International Skinny Dip Day Activities
Attend a skinny dipping event
Naturally, the most common and probably most straightforward thing to do to celebrate International Skinny Dip Day is to find out about local skinny dipping events in your area and take part. These events can be entertaining. You can meet new people, make friends for life, and perhaps even meet the love of your life. Don’t underestimate the potential of networking while having fun, even in the nude.
Raise funds for charity
If you’re already hosting a skinny dipping event, make it a fundraiser for charity. The Great British Skinny Dip is an excellent example of how a group of people is embracing naturism while raising funds for causes like the Heart Foundation. You can host your own or connect with a different charity of your choice.
Talk to your friends about nudity
Skinny dipping brings up a lot of triggers for people. Nudism shouldn’t be something that upsets the people around us. It’s essential to have open, constructive discussions about nudity, sexuality, and consent as those things go hand in hand. Swimming in the nude should be fun and can be if we make it a safe space.
5 Facts About Skinny Dipping That Will Blow Your Socks Off
It makes you stronger
A quick 15-minute dip where the sun can cover every inch of your skin can boost your immunity.
It helps keep your cells healthy
Swimming and galavanting naked on the beach gets sweat to drip flushing toxins easily.
It encourages being unapologetically you
Science has shown that engaging in the nude positively impacts confidence and body image.
The British beaches allow nudity
You can swim at a beach of your choice in the buff in the U.K., as long as you follow the rules.
It’s made the record books
The largest skinny dip gathering in 2018 in Ireland had 2,505 at Meaghermore beach.
Why We Love International Skinny Dip Day
It encourages naturism
In short, naturism refers to a way of life that involves engaging in non-sexual social nudity both in private and in public. The idea of freeing yourself from the shackles of clothing and rules of society is very enlightening. It allows you to go back to basics and focus on what matters.
It celebrates body positivity
Through advertising and the media, body image issues have been a reality for many people for centuries. To this day, we as a society struggle to completely embrace bodies that are different from what we see on television and in magazines. Skinny dipping has helped ease that tension and pattern as it celebrates all people of all sizes. We love how that continues to break down the conservative walls of society.
It benefits your health and overall well-being
Skinny dipping has many benefits for your physical and mental health, like getting loads of vitamin D, which is excellent for your skin and immune system. It can also help people with their confidence issues and self-love struggles. There is power in the vulnerability of being naked, especially amongst other people while having fun.
International Skinny Dip Day dates