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College Comment
Black Tie Optional

Darrell, are you going to the naked party on Saturday?”

“I don’t know. Where is it?”

“I can’t tell you right now. Promise you’ll be there, and I’ll tell you.”

Raising my eyebrows, I told my friend I would let him know later. The very next day, I ran into a girl I know as she was getting into a car with a group of people.

“Where are you off to?” I asked her.

“We’re gonna do some shopping.”

“What, grocery shopping?”

“Yeah, and we need to get weapons for the naked party.”

Note to Cinemax execs: You can stop reading right here. Call me and we’ll talk. The rest of you, get ready for me to burst your titillated little bubble. Footage of a Yale naked party doesn’t even deserve its own website.


The faces were familiar; the bodies attached to them were not.

First things first: What you’re probably imagining as a brilliant, kinky fusion of gladiatorial combat and the orgy was simply a party with an ironic war theme, whose hosts were afraid to tell people (not even invitees) how far they’d have to walk to get there.

A recent tradition at Yale, the naked party was pioneered, apparently, by the Pundits, a club that seems to have given up pranks to focus on just being quirky. Now, I am not a veteran nudist by any means. I needed two years of hearing about naked parties and one test run in my common room with close friends before I decided I would strip the naked party of its mystery, once and for all.

Here’s what happened: Like many people who go to these things, my friends and I arrived at the party house quite soused already. In the crowded coat room, we wriggled awkwardly out of our underwear and hopped around like fools as we tried to pull off our socks. But as I headed upstairs, I was giddy with anticipation.

I climbed the last step. I surveyed the room. The faces were familiar; the bodies attached to them were not—nor were they as exciting. Naked Party Lesson Number One: Everyone looks just about the same. That is, unless you go up to people and start examining their bodies more closely, which is generally frowned upon. So the only way to look different is to accessorize, which brings me to Lesson Number Two: The more you’re wearing at a naked party, the better you look. (Of course, if it’s enough to make you PG-13, it’s unacceptable.) But whether it came from nipple piercings, the provocatively low-slung belts I saw on several girls, or the punk boots and necktie I myself had the foresight to sport (at my next party, it was a pith helmet), the importance of announcing that you’re clever and unique was not lost on most people. Come on, this is Yale.

While banning clothes doesn’t make a party sexier, it can be a good way to get a bunch of adventurous people, most of whom know each other, in the same room. In fact, that’s why I had so much fun, despite the fact that I never found my underwear.  the end


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