Saturday, January 21, 2012

Take It Off? No Way!: Why I Just Can't Sleep Nude

I don't know how some people do it.

At 11pm or midnight every evening, they slip into something more comfortable (or rather, they slip out of it), jump into bed (unaccompanied, or not), and proceed to sleep soundly for eight or so hours -- sometimes on their backs! Good God, what are they thinking?!

It's not so much the uninterrupted sleep that I don't get, although I'd kill for even four hours of it nightly, or sleeping in any position other than on one's side, which is least likely to induce nightmares, night terrors or sleep paralysis. (Doesn't sleeping with me sound like such a joy?) It's the part where they take off all of their clothes.

Now anyone who knows me knows that I'm not exactly a prude. Had it come out about a year later, I would have sworn Ke$ha had written "Take It Off" about me. I'll gladly doff my top, unprompted, jump onstage at G.O.D. in Bangkok with the go-go boys (which I've actually done), and proudly display to the 3am after-hours crowd what pilates gave me. But when it comes to sleeping in the nude, or even without a shirt, there's something about it that just seems so... so, immodest. And this is from someone who finds underwear totally encumbering!

Well, maybe I am a bit of a prude, after all. Or maybe just overly modest when I'm without the benefit of whiskey to tear down my walls and my inhibitions. I didn't even get undressed for that Thai massage that went too far!

I suppose sleeping in the buff would come easier to me if I were, um, buffer, and if I didn't generally sleep alone. I used to have a boyfriend who drove me crazy by insisting on taking a shower after we had sex. It would have been equally baffling if he'd concluded afterglow by getting out of bed, putting on his clothes, and getting back into bed.

Getting dressed after sex is the sort of thing you do if you don't plan on spending the night, or if you're sneaking out before the other person wakes up (which, come to think of it, I saw Charlize Theron do twice in Young Adult), or if you decide to stay for breakfast after morning sex. I'm sure some people do it, but I can't think of any circumstance under which eating in the nude would be appropriate.

I always dress for meals, and not just dinner. I may not make them black-tie occasions, but I always remember to cover at least 75 percent of my body. I generally do whenever I'm home alone. I often hear people talk about how they like to lounge around the house naked. But why? What purpose does that serve? Friends once dedicated an entire episode to it, and I still don't understand why Rachel couldn't sing Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby" in some cute Juicy couture and still feel like a natural, liberated woman.

I'll jog around the parks of Buenos Aires with nothing on but running pants and trainers (which is really so bad for the skin, and that's why I've never done it in Australia), but I refuse to run around the house naked, or even shirtless. I know it doesn't make much sense, but it's another one of my strange quirks. I just accept it and live with it. Besides, isn't a t-shirt and track pants (my normal at-home uniform) comfortable enough to watch TV, eat a sandwich and do housework in? Vacuuming in the nude just seems so unnecessary when I can do it in my track pants and a "Mr. Perfect" t-shirt.

And then, of course, there's the more morbid issue of unexpected visitors in the middle of the night, particularly the angel of death. I'm less concerned with leaving a beautiful corpse than I am with leaving a well-dressed one. Death will not become me if my junk is exposed for all the forensics team to see.

On a less gruesome note, I don't own a robe, or anything I can slip into quickly in case of an unexpected act of nature or arson, or unexpected visitors who are not the angel of death and who are not looking for a booty call. So if there should be an earthquake, a fire, or something equally catastrophic in the middle of the night, I'm always dressed for the occasion.

I could go on an on about all the reasons I prefer to sleep with something separating my skin from the sheets, but I just realized that I'm right now dressed for the stage at G.O.D., and I really need to put a shirt on. Now where is "Mr. Perfect"? If I can't wear the guy (who I'm pretty sure does not exist), I might as well wear the shirt!
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