It all started with a pact. Senior year at college, one of my best friends, who also happened to be one of my roommates at the time, had a discussion with me about the things we wanted to accomplish before graduating. My quintessential college experience on our list was to explore the infamous under quad tunnels. What can I say? I have a knack for sticking my nose where it isn’t welcomed.
Much to my surprise, as she has never struck me as a let’s-get-naked-in-public kind of gal, this roommate’s vote was for something more typical of the American college experience: streaking the quad. Naked. Outdoors. At school. Years ago, the thought would have only crossed my mind as a nightmare the evening before a huge, dreaded oral presentation.
I’ve been naked with boyfriends outdoors in the past — Who doesn’t look great wearing nothing but moonlight? — but I never thought my female roommate and I would strip down and go for a run together. I hate running, after all, and as much as I love being naked, I had never been naked in front of female peers since the age of nine or ten.
In our apartment, this roommate was especially skilled at coming up with grand ideas of fun things for the four of us to do. I, on the other hand, was one of the roommates who enjoyed planning and executing the adventures, so, naturally, I told grand-idea-roommate that I would commit to streaking with her if and only if I was able to meticulously plan the entire event. She readily agreed.
The plan was to arrive on the quad at 4 a.m. (too late for drunken party-goers, too early for morning joggers) and run the width of the quad, parallel to the adjoined street. We’d also be running in the same direction as the cars, in an effort to minimize the chances a passing driver could get an identifiable photograph of us via cell phone.
When that morning finally rolled around, I leapt out of bed, put in my contact lenses so as to not have to worry about my glasses flying off my face as I hastily threw clothes on or off, found some sweat pants and a baggy sweatshirt to toss on over my naked body, and walked out to patiently wait in the living room. Another of my three roommates was finishing a software programming assignment that morning and, although she declined an invitation to join, she kindly agreed to drive us to campus so that we wouldn’t have to face the chilly, 15-minute sidewalk commute in the dark.
Grand-idea-roommate strolled out of her room and plopped down at the kitchen table beside me about 40 seconds later. She was fidgety, dressed only in sweatpants and a t-shirt, and snarled at programmer-roommate to hurry up with her assignment so we could leave. Only then did it finally strike me just how nervous she actually was. I thought I was alone in my fear of the things about to happen since she’d talked so cavalierly about the plan days before that morning, but it turns she and I had more in common than I’d thought. It was oddly comforting.
When we arrived at the quad, we started looking for campus dwellers on the main walkways, between the buildings, and around the area. Grand-idea-roommate and I went to one side of the quad to find shelter under a tree where we could privately undress, while programmer-roommate disappeared to stand as our lookout between two buildings on the opposite side (i.e., our finish line).
Then, it was time to run. Grand-idea-roommate and I exchanged a brief nod and stripped down. Holding my clothes and flip flops, I heard her say “GO!” Before I could process that my body had suddenly begun moving, we were both sprinting across the cold, dewy grass.
I remember feeling the grass’s chilly droplets on my toes, and the dark green hue of the blades. Looking up from my feet, I remember seeing my roommate’s bodacious butt and feeling reassured that her buttcrack looked about as long as mine — I know it’s silly, but I used to worry that my butt was too long. I also remember noting that she was running more slowly than when she’s jogging by herself, which it turns out was as a favor so that I could keep up with her pace. Her dedication to camaraderie is commendable and still gives me warm, fuzzy feelings when I think back to that moment.
Then, I realized I’d forgotten something.
The two of us were careening towards out finish line, but that’s also exactly where we’d asked programmer-roommate to stand guard. Not that I think she spent much, if any, time looking at our naked bodies, nor would I have minded, but I still find it hilarious in hindsight that, in my terror of the actual running, I managed to forget to finish the part of the plan for after we started running.
So there we were. Naked, exhilarated, and no longer capable of processing just how cold it was outside. I can’t remember the last time I felt as on-top-of-the-world as I did that night. We accomplished our mission, and we didn’t get arrested. I felt unconquerable and free.
Like most people, I’ve dealt with body image issues my whole life. As I’ve said before on this blog, the more time I’ve spent naked, and the more experiences I’ve had while naked, the more I’ve come to love and appreciate my body to a greater degree than I previously had. Touching my g-spot for the first time a few years ago helped enormously with that as well, but I digress, as that’s another story for another day.
It was startling to think that streaking is an arrestable offense, even when purely for the thrill of being naked outdoors rather than any sort of sexual gratification, and even when our school newspaper recommended trying it. (Mixed messages, much?)
Over all, if I had the option of experiencing everything over again, I wouldn’t change a single thing. It was a night I’ll never forget, and I got to share the experience with two of my favorite people in the world.