Remember back in the seventies when it was a crime to be caught in public without any clothes on?

For a short period of time "streaking" was the rage. Groups of men and women would gather together, remove their clothes and run naked through a public place.

If you were lucky (or unlucky, depending upon the condition of the runner) you could see a streaker at a mall, a ball game or dashing down aisle four at the local Piggly Wiggly.

While I suppose being naked in public is still illegal, it doesn't seem to be that big of a deal anymore, what with cable television. Why hang out at a mall when all you have to do is stay up late on Friday or Saturday, or so I'm told.

However, during the last decade or so, being naked has not only become more accepted in today's mainstream society, it is being embraced as a 400-million dollar per year industry.

Readers of the supplement in the weekend newspaper discovered that the nude recreation industry has doubled since 1992. I'm trying to figure out how I missed this phenomenon, because the number of naked people I see on a regular basis certainly has not doubled. In fact, I got married in the early nineties and while I don't have any scientific data to back up this claim, it seems like the ratio has gone in the other direction.

And since when did being naked become recreation? Does taking a shower count?

According to the article, there are travel agencies that specialize in clothing optional trips. Is this a great country or what?

Of course I realize that traveling naked is not for everyone. There are some who can't stand to leave the house without a watch or a wallet (that's right, they feel naked), and carrying it around all day would be too much of a bother.

But, for those considering traveling in the birthday suit, the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) offers some benefits for booking the clothes-less cruise or vacation resort stay. The group suggests that friends will be made easier as people on nude trips are more open. Without any clothes on, barriers come down in a hurry.

Psychologically speaking, we're told that people get over their insecurities quicker as once everyone is naked, people begin to focus on the inner beauty. That one might be a stretch for me.

The best thing about traveling in the raw, however, is the reduced packing time. A hat and some sunblock 1000 and you're ready to go.

My question though, is this. If you are planning to take, say, a nude cruise. What do you wear on your drive to the port? And what happens if you get pulled over on the way?

One thing's for sure, it shouldn't take long to find your wallet.

For those thinking about taking the plunge into the ever-expanding world of nude travel, but still aren't sure if it's right for you, the article even offers a little test you can take to determine if nudism is the right lifestyle for you.

They suggest sleeping sans clothes, sunbathing in the backyard and even just walking around your house naked. Yeah, I know. I didn't think I was a nudist either.

I realize this is the time of year for new beginnings and fresh starts. People are busy making their lists of resolutions and "to do" lists. However, taking part in nude recreation is going on my "don't do" list.

In fact, if you ever see more of me in public than you would like, please call my wife, ask her to unlock the door and let me back in the house.

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