[almost] spontaneous NuDance at the House of Yes in NYC

Who’d argue that dancing naked is not fun? Sadly, there aren’t many opportunities to do that socially, even in New York City, famous for its nightlife. You can join our NuDance class, but how about parties where you could dance naked? The body-painting dance parties in NYC seem to be a thing of the past… However, we’ve discovered a monthly gig which welcomes freedom of expression, including dancing naked! It is called ‘Party at Ostbahnhof’.

The next event is this Friday! Check out the description of the party or the main DJ’s avatar on soundcloud, and you’ll see why we got an idea to try dancing naked there in the first place! The initial attempt wasn’t successful though – at their first gig we were even told by security to put our shirts on… we didn’t really listen, but it didn’t make us feel frisky enough to disrobe any further. Maybe the security took the name of the venue, Verboten (“forbidden” in German), too literally; even though the description of the party seemed to refer to a certain club in Berlin, the atmosphere didn’t feel like Berghain. I contacted the DJ of the gig – SPRKLBB, and he said the party was going to another venue which would be more supportive to alternative ideas including nude dancing. Indeed the ‘House of Yes’ turned out to be a lot more permissive, and three of us ended up dancing naked, and there also was a top-free girl.

We got quite a few smiles and thumbs up, with people saying this was like a true Berlin party. Well, not like a typical party in Berlin would have some naked people in the crowd, but it could certainly happen in the Techno temple Berghain and more so at the naturist-lead SchlagerNackt Party. Let’s bring some Freikörperkultur (FKK) – ‘free body culture’ – to NYC!

Berghain

When I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago for Miami Music Week (amongst other things – more on that later!), it felt like the entire world of electronic dance music was there, with pool parties during day and club gigs during night (and sometimes well into early afternoon), not to mention Miami Winter Music Conference and Ultra festival… I could only wish one more addition to the whole shenanigans – nudity (or removal, of clothes, that is!) Despite the perfect weather and context (e.g. pool parties), nudity will doubtfully be allowed at Miami Music Week events, and pretty much anywhere at dance parties, unless these are specialized events. Luckily, there is one club that has managed to combine worldwide fame and a truly underground atmosphere where “anything goes”, including nudity! It’s Berghain in Berlin. It is often dubbed as the techno capital of the world and is famous for parties that start on Friday night and finish on Monday morning.

It was voted the best night club in the world in 2009 by DJ Magazine. Not surprisingly, on a Saturday night you may end up queuing for 2 hours… and in the worst case in vain, as many people aren’t admitted for no obvious reason (rather random, I suspect), which sounds nasty, but the demand is just clearly too high. And you should appreciate the club management, who have preserved the entry fee pretty much the same throughout the years and haven’t turned the club into a posh place for more cash: there’s still “No VIP, no mirrors in the bathroom, no expensive cocktails, just a good sound system and great crowd!”

Berghain flyer May 2014

You can sort of get the vibe from Berghain’s racy flyers. The one above is probably my favorite from all I’ve seen, and by coincidence it features all naked people. It is from May 2014, the first time when I got naked there and almost 4 years after I moved from Berlin. When I used to frequent Berghain while living in Berlin, I always suspected it’d be fine to dance naked there, but I’d never seen anyone do that. I talked about it with a couple friends, but we just never tried. Last year, I was determined to test it. And when I got to Berghain on a late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, the atmosphere was just right. Perfect ratio of crowd/personal space, great music and people who were into music… Off went my clothes, and it felt great. Finally I was 100% at home in Berghain! Most people around didn’t seem to notice, but I got my share of smiles and thumbs up. One guy told me it was more common to see naked people on a Sunday night, when more locals come out as opposed to more touristy Saturday night. He himself was from New York originally but resided in Berlin; we got in touch and agreed to return in the evening of the same day (which was Sunday)… After getting some sleep and doing acro-yoga in Tiergarten, I went to Berghain again, with Tam this time. Despite there was no queue, the bouncer didn’t let him in – as always, absolutely no reason was given (and most likely there was no reason?)… I had a stamp from my previous visit though (once you’re in, you can leave and enter the club throughout the weekend), and as it was my last night in Berlin and wanted to see Berghain on a Sunday night, I still decided to get in. My new ex-New-Yorker friend was already there, and he introduced me to his friend who apparently always danced naked in Berghain. So, this time, I got naked as soon as I found my spot on the dance floor. I kept my clothes nearby, but the nudist Berghainer said I should have left it at the coat check – the staff is absolutely cool with nudity; the bouncer even told him that in case someone made a fuss about nudity, THAT person would be kicked out! That night, I saw 3 more naked guys dancing, so while nudists are a tiny minority in Berghain, we are certainly welcome and safe there. If you like techno and dancing naked, you can’t think of a better place!

PS You might have noticed the absence of photos in this blogpost – that’s because one of the very few rules in Berghain includes prohibition of photography, similar to some naturist venues. Photos or videos wouldn’t make much justice anyways (not to mention that it’s quite dark there), it’s more of a personal experience that makes Berghain special.

SchlagerNackt party in Berlin

Germany is a home to large naturist population that often identify themselves with the so-called ‘free body culture’ – Freie Körper Kultur (FKK), so no wonder its capital hosts a huge naked disco! The Schlagernacktparty is organised every two months in the club “Schwuz” at Rollbergstrasse 26, Berlin 12053. Its concept and original idea occurred to DJ Jupiter with collaboration of DJ Stern of Avalon and Itzy in 2003, and it has grown very fast through the last years and has reached almost 400 guests at each event!

SchlagerNackt party

Schlagernackt is a self-explanatory portmanteau name: Schlager is German pop music from the 1970-80s, Nackt means naked and rhymes with Nacht, night. As a non-German, I was very sceptical in the beginning, but as I listened to it, I found it so nice and funny that I loved it ever since… I decided to come regularly to the party and then even joined the team to help with the whole oprganisation.

The music works not only for Germans but for our numerous international guests too (reflecting diversity of Berlin’s dwellers and tourists). Also, our music is never too loud, so it creates a nice atmosphere where you can also talk to other people and make new friends, which is easy, because everybody seems to feel comfortable at our parties!

SchlagerNackt party

The dresscode is naturally naked with the exception are socks and shoes for obvious reasons (we are a busy disco after all).

So easy is the procedure: you are first of all warmly welcomed by our team at the entrance (Olaf, Wolfgang and Doris), pay entrance fee of €5 euro, then you find some benches where you can take off all your clothes and put them in a plastic bag, which you then give to the team working at the coatcheck (Michele (me), Berko, Jens, Elke, Christian, Stephane). You get a number tag that you can use to order drinks at the bar, which you pay at the end of the party. Our guests also get free sweets and typical German products.

Every time, we choose a particular theme: Easter, Halloween, Summer, Hawaii and so on. We change the atmosphere and the decorations accordingly, but always very colourful!

So, don’t miss the best party in Europe!-) The next date is the 22nd of February (19:00-02:00), then 26 April and so on every two months. Visit our website for further information. We are waiting for you!!!

SchlagerNackt party

[Guest entry by Michele]

some upcoming events in NYC area

Thanks to Travasuns group, even in the cold time of the year we can gather for social naked activities at a monthly Winter Pool Party in Long Island. The next one is this Saturday, March 1 . I’ve been to a few of their events, and it was always fun. It’s a low-key event at a rented gym. They offer saunas, hang-out pool, pizza and even volleyball, which is often unofficially dubbed as naturists’ favorite sport. Given that volleyball is indoors and surrounded by walls, we can also play it as wallyball.

For someone not ready to take it all off at once, there is a perfect opportunity on Friday night: my favorite night club in New York, Pacha, has a No-Pants party with DJ Michael Woods, who is one of the best producers of progressive house and trance music around. From their press release:

Yup, you heard right. Pacha Has Woods! And when you’ve got Woods, the last thing you need is your pants. Pacha is pleased to invite you to take them off – take them all off. A staple of the modern clubbing era, the No Pants Party is quickly becoming the stuff of legend. Rock out with your everything out all night to the waist-down sounds of our brand new resident: Michael Woods!#PACHAHASWOODS FREE ADMISSION TIL 2AM WHEN YOU CHECK YOUR PANTS AT THE DOOR!

Let’s see how far we can go with rocking out with our everything out, and if Michael Woods himself joins the craze!

Two weeks later, on Thursday, March 13, we’ll have “New York Naked Painting Party – World Tour Kick Off!”  at the Highline loft. RSVP@SocialExposureNYC.com, get tickets here. The title speaks for itself, and I’ve already posted about their previous events at Gallery Bar. Their next event will be in Mexico at Hidden Beach Resort in the end of March.

I would also like to mention the film called ‘Stranger By The Lake’ (L’inconnu du lac). I heard about it a few months ago from a friend in Paris, and now it made it to a couple of cinemas in New York. It’s set at a nudist beach and cruising area by a lake in French countryside. It is a very powerful psychological drama about reckless passion, friendship, loneliness… It is very realistic and has no music soundtrack, and yet it’s also beautifully shot. Given that I don’t want cruising culture to be associated with nudism, I need to point out right away that, curiously, cruising itself was done clothed, while most conversations and other interactions were done in the nude. I wonder if this fact made the film so emotionally powerful, as there are studies showing that people are more compassionate and empathic when they see images of naked people as opposed to clothed people. I’ll say no more, I don’t want to spoil it for those who hasn’t seen the film yet.

dance, dance, dance!

Dancing naked always sounds like a great idea to me, and I have been to a couple of specialized naked discos – Starkers! in London and SchlagerNackt in Berlin, and was even spinning myself at Nude Year’s Eve in New York, but the idea that such a big and iconic night club as Ministry of Sound in London could host an event where electronic music buffs would dance in the buff sounds not just great but fantastic!

But unfortunately that is nothing but a bold commercial… maybe one day 🙂

dance naked!

My foot is recovering, and I can’t wait to have some action, and better a naturist one. Of course, during Berlin’s winter it may be somewhat challenging. I’ve mentioned some swimming+sauna options in the post about Berlin, but there is a distinct event which I’ve been always curious to visit – SchlagerNackt-Party. It is a regular event held at different locations and its name is self-explanatory: Schlager is a colloquial name for cheesy pop music in Germany and some other countries, Nackt is naked and rhymes with Nacht, night =)

I’ve been twice to London’s naked disco, enjoyed dancing naked and loved music there, but I’m not sure Schlager is my cup of tea… However, I can’t wait till Ibiza and Mykonos will get their own naked parties, and since even progressive Berlin on the naked night suggests 70-80’s, I don’t have much choice… On the other hand, I anyway wouldn’t be able to dance with full exuberance even to my favorite genres of house or drum’n’bass until my foot recovers completely, so this Schlager-night seems like a good option for starters. And on top of that, it is also a part of German culture. So I think I’ve pretty much convinced myself, just need to convince some of my buddies as well 😉

And when I was sitting in the chair for more than a month, I went through many web sites looking for inspiration for some naturist activities and found an internet live-show project called Fratpad. I bet many naturists will be in uproar, if I call the project naturist, but in any case the guys in this show go through all kinds of tests to become a ‘fraternity’, and they do it naked practically all the time and have loads of uninhibited fun. I’ve seen some videos where they dance naked and have some pretty good moves, which certainly look inspirational. So I’ve made a compilation called ‘A guide to you nude night’.

(don’t forget to switch on full screen mode and turn on the sound!)

Take you clothes off, get naked on the dance floor!

Starkers! On London’s naked disco and erections at naturist locations

London’s Naked Disco ‘Starkers’ is quite a sought-after event, but I heard a lot of contradictory opinios about it, so I was very eager to visit it. I must say I really enjoyed it, and whenever I have a possibility I’ll go there again. But this visit made me think of what people call naturism and a naturist club. So, why did I enjoy it? Because I love dancing and being naked is natural to me, and there, I could do both at the same time; the atmosphere was absolutely liberating, and the music on the dance floor was good (house of early 2000s), I thanked the DJ in the end 🙂 But perhaps for some, the atmosphere there is too liberating. And this is where many people disagree about Starkers. So, it often seems that naturists try to separate naturism from any association with sexual activities; then Starkers is not a naturist venue. But if we accept that naturists are humans like any other and may get erections (male ones, of course), then it is a naturist club [as any other night club, it is of course an adult-only venue]. On the one hand, I find it normal that like in any other night club, people flirt there. And as a result of it, or for whatever else reason, you can see a few men with hard or semi-hard penises… Don’t you think this happens also in regular [clothed] clubs, but we just don’t see it because of the clothes? On many web-sites dedicated to naturism, it is said that men should hide or get rid of their erections in public (with a towel, cold water, thinking of smth unpleasant etc.); on some others, it is suggested not to bother about it and just behave normally. I find the second attitude healthy, as many men have spontaneous erections when they are relaxed, and even if it has a sexual reason (like you’ve seen someone attractive), it doesn’t necessarily mean sexually aggressive behaviour. I know some guys who don’t want to go to naturist places, because they are easily aroused but are afraid of getting erections in public. They wouldn’t jump on anyone, it’s mere physiology… So, actually it was a great feeling at Starkers that no one really cared about that. But on the other hand, what disappointed me was that it seemed that majority did come to Starkers for flirting/cruising. I just find it annoying, like in any other situation (beaches, saunas or regular dance clubs) that some people can’t just enjoy the environment and just look for a hook-up instead, and nudity is seen by them as merely a sexual trigger. It would be appropriate in a sex/swinger club, but as far as I’m concerned, Starkers is intended as a club for people who just like to hang out naked and dance. I could see that some of the visitors were not satisfied just with that and were constantly cruising. Nevertheless overall I had a positive experience, because there were also many friendly people,

who simply enjoyed dancing naked. And as I liked the music, that was enough to keep me in a good mood all the time. Well, except maybe the midnight show. That one was rather ridiculous, and it didn’t really make much sense to put some opera singing in the middle of house music disco. It was a pity that after the show people seemed sort of confused and needed some time to get into dancing mood again.

I’d certainly recommend visiting this club if you’d like to dance naked, and there’s no other naked disco to my knowledge. It is especially cool to go there on a chilly winter night, when everyone wants to hide under the coat or a blanket in the bed, and to feel yourself in another world. For directions and other information check the official web site of Starkers. And check out also my post dance naked! There is an inspirational video 😉