Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Nicest, Nakedest People on Earth

There are several other deliberate cultural differences. Perhaps the most immediately apparent is the tolerance of nudity. Nudity comes in all shapes, sizes, and genders at Burning Man. Twenty-year-old women wearing nothing but sequined hot pants. Seventy-year-old men wearing nothing but pith helmets. People of every sort wearing nothing but knee-high, rainbow-fur boots.

At times the nudity can feel political. The "Critical Tits" bike ride featured hundreds of topless women, on bicycles, making a vague statement about torso equality. To my amazement, gazing at that many breasts at once actually managed to de-eroticize them. (For a few hours, anyway. And please let's not talk about all the dudes eagerly snapping photos or—it was rumored—engineering a bumpy stretch of sand to enhance jiggle-osity.) Most of the women in my camp remained fully clothed all week, but a couple of gals whipped 'em out on Critical Tits day in what seemed to be an act of sisterly solidarity.

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