Nude Journalism

Naked adventures (and truths) from Tad Friend, Emily Yoffe, Melanie Berliet, and others.
5 stories

While reporting his classic book Thy Neighbor's Wife in the 1970s, Gay Talese combined New Journalism with nude journalism when he spent time at a colony for naturists. Four decades later, writers are still baring all for their craft.

In 1992, Tad Friend reported on how attitudes and mores about nudity change while traveling around the world. "What travel suggests about clothes and nakedness," Friend observed, "is that there are no right choices, just a whole wardrobe of ways to be wrong, to be somehow exposed."

Exposure was precisely what Emily Yoffe feared in 2005 when she agreed to pose nude for an art class. "Here is the distinction between naked and nude," she concluded. "Naked is when you step out of the shower before you've put on your bathrobe. Nude is when you drop your bathrobe in front of a roomful of art students." (Five years later, Yoffe disrobed in public again when she vacationed at a nudist colony.)

Arianne Cohen opted for a more intimate assignment when she agreed to attend a nude dinner party in New York. "The only rule of nudist events is that you sit on a towel," she explained. "These were hand towels; I was expecting beach."

And Melanie Berliet took the nude dining concept even further—by accepting a job as a naked sushi model. "I wasn’t overcome by a fear of stripping, or the thought that the fish might leave some kind of smelly residue," Berliet confessed in Vanity Fair. "What happened is that I glanced at my feet and saw that I needed a pedicure. Badly. People were about to be eating off me and I hadn’t done them the courtesy of getting my toes done."

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Hold the Dressing

My night at an all-nude New York dinner party.
Nov 2008
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Naked with Strangers

The author works out his fears in a multiday massage-a-thon.
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Confessions of a Naked Sushi Model

Dinner is served—on the author.

Oct 2008
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Naked and the Dread

I pose nude for students. Will the art world ever be the same?

Dec 2005
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The Geography of Bare

Being a cautionary guide to the propriety of dress according to culture, the author deftly adjusts his clothing.