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04 August 2008

Naked Neighbors. We've all had them. Some of us have possibly been them.[More:] In college, the building across the street from me had a lady who occasionaly enjoyed sitting on her sixth story street-facing fire escape in the buff. On the porch, I've occasionally seen the dude next door absentmindedly stroll through his kitchen in the altogether. And, maybe I've unknowingly given some passerby a voyueristic thrill if I was naked on the couch or porch. Butthe point is, they're everywhere. Tell me about your favorites.
Haha, you said butt.

I was probably a naked neighbor for a while- I tend to get undressed for a shower and then get distracted by my computer before I get in it. Now I have blinds though.
posted by rmless2 04 August | 15:38
Of course, not all Naked neighbors are pleasant. In my college, we didn't yet have dorms, so we lived in this old (since rehabbed) tenement/hotel. Some of the units were occupied by rent-controlled old folks. One of them was this roughly 900-year-old senile woman who occasionally roamed the halls with her robe wide open. Imagine if you will, albino Yoda porn. Put me off nudity for a while.
posted by jonmc 04 August | 15:41
Best story: When I lived in SF, I used to walk naked in the apartment all the time, especially in the morning after my roommate had split for work.

One night he comes home and tells me some old man from across the street had stopped him at the corner and demanded that he tell me to cover up because his wife was tired of looking at me naked all the time.

My roommate wryly delivered this ultimatum to me that evening, and for the remainder of the time I lived in that apartment, I would wake up, nekkid as a jaybird, calming walk my nekkid self over to our living-room window and wave to Mrs. Clothing Purity to start my day.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 04 August | 15:42
I used to live in an apartment building across a parking lot from from another apartment building in which a woman who would come home, undress, shower, hang out in front of the mirror, and eventually just sorta lounge around naked with the window shades up and the lights on. It made my cigarette breaks on the balcony a lot more interesting and I wish I'd sent her a thank-you card or something.
posted by cmonkey 04 August | 15:43
Do dogs and cats count?
posted by Hugh Janus 04 August | 15:51
No, animals walk around naked all the time, the little perverts.
posted by jonmc 04 August | 15:52
Some of them are pretty cute!
posted by Hugh Janus 04 August | 15:53
When I lived in the East Village I had one of those bathtub-in-the-kitchen deals so beloved of storytellers. There was a window in the kitchen too - a filthy grimy window that looked onto a narrow airshaft. I couldn't see into anyone else's windows from mine. So I didn't bother with curtains.

Fast forward a few months to the tenant's meeting where we're discussing whether to go on rent strike because of our horrific landlord. Guy comes eagerly up to me, "Hi! I've been dying to meet you!" Okay, fine, whatever, we chat briefly, he's overly friendly, a little creepy, and I'm wondering just where he even saw me to want to meet me. Maybe on the stoop fighting off rats, I think. Then I go to leave and he tells me where he lives.

Yup. In the apartment opposite mine and up two floors - with a window on the airshaft looking directly down into my kitchen. I went home and hung up curtains. And that was that; I never saw him again.
posted by mygothlaundry 04 August | 16:07
I am your naked neighbor. I could give a crap who can see me in my alltogether. Strangely enough, I have absolutely no interest in being naked around anybody else (well, my husband excluded). The naturalist movement doesn't appeal to me. I just like being naked in my own house. All the time. (Note: I am not naked now. I am cooking, and if any of that sauce fell on some sensitive bits...Well. That just wouldn't be too good.)
posted by msali 04 August | 16:10
I am your naked neighbour, too. Not now, though - I'm on the train.
posted by dg 04 August | 16:17
I'm an unrepentant jaybird at home, and I've had a number of unremarkable viewing experiences with neighbors and such. However, my current place in Hollywood is viewable from the street, and a few months back I noticed an entire lawn party across the street looking up at me en masse. That sent me scrambling for a pair of skivvies, I must admit.
posted by mykescipark 04 August | 16:18
Hmm. I've never witnessed said nekkidness of other dwellers, but like msali, within home walls, nekkididity occurs. This past weekend it was hundreds of degrees outside. We came in from a walk, needed to finish laundry anyway, so I went into the laundry room, added everything I was wearing to the load and came back out to the living room announcing to the mrs that I was finishing up the wash. One other time I, uh, needed the plunger before hopping in the shower. Mrs chewie comes out of her bathroom to see me marching across the bedroom nude, plunger in hand. Then there's the occasional chase of the pooch who is parading our underwear around that he snagged from the hamper.

mgl that guy woulda given me massive creepage.
posted by chewatadistance 04 August | 16:21
I'm with msali. I'm not a naturist or an exhibitionist. But it's MY HOUSE and if I'm more comfortable naked, then so be it.
posted by desjardins 04 August | 16:24
MuddDude and I usually sit around naked or nearly there, but we've got a privacy fence and good blinds. Except on our stairwell, where there's a window that looks out over our neighbor's backyard. I'm pretty sure he can see us when we walk up and down the stairs, although he's never said anything.
posted by muddgirl 04 August | 16:29
I'm naked around the house when I can manage it. Sadly the only downside of my famous porch is that it's openness prohibits nakedness. I don't mind if anyone sees me either, but I've never gotten any reports back either way.
posted by jonmc 04 August | 16:34
My nekkid exploits (bathing in lakes and hiking) are well known in one small and very traditional New England town. I gather this has made me town crazie. *rolls eyes* I guess someone's gotta be. Anyone want to go for a hike?
posted by MonkeyButter 04 August | 16:51
1998. Chicago. West Fullerton. My roommate Trey and I had rooms right next to each other, both directly across the street from this apartment complex. One day he came in, handed me his binoculars and said, "dude, you gotta check this out." I looked through the binoculars and saw 2 really cute girls making out with each other in front of their large windows with the curtains wide open. Shortly after one girl began to fuck the other with a strapon dildo. Then then would switch. This happened every once in a while. Sometimes they closed the drapes, sometimes they didn't. It was a good time to be young and living in the city. I still have those binoculars somewhere.

posted by chillmost 04 August | 17:00
In the summer, I am pretty casual about getting up naked, and letting the dog out, feeding the cats, etc. If people want to look in, they can, but I doubt it gets noticed that early.

Once, however, I was standing in the kitchen, and Daughter gets up unexpectedly to go the bathroom, something she'd never done at that time, and surprised me in the kitchen. It was a shock for both of us, since she was past the age where parent/kid nudity is cool. I covered up, and then took her out to breakfast, to sort of change the tone of it all.

Our backyard is pretty secluded, though, so when Daughter leaves, there might well me more naked time back there, in the summer.
posted by danf 04 August | 17:03
How could I forget - the window behind my desk at work looks over the swimming pool of an apartment hotel complex and there are often topless women swimming/sunbathing there. More suprising/interesting is that people seem to think that, because they can't see anyone (our windows are tinted and have blinds) nobody can see them in their living rooms. I have seen, over the past 3.5 years, I guess about 20 different sex scenes taking place across the street, one memorable one which included the longest blow-job in the world while the guy was talking on the phone. I don't know how he managed to hold a conversation at the same time.
posted by dg 04 August | 17:18
Ok, so, yeah, I'm a naked neighbor. I'm fairly unrepentant, and would wander around naked outside if it wasn't likely to creep people out or get the cops called.

A couple weeks ago, I went to a gallery opening, and from the second story, you could see into this dude's apartment. Aside from the fabulous mid-century modern furniture, he looked just like me (down to the beard), only about ten years older. And, well, starkers. He sat and ate a little microwave mac and cheese and drank a High Life, and I didn't know if I should shout a "Hey!" over or if I was peaking into some horrible future or what.

But one of the things I miss around here is a lack of skinnny dipping.
posted by klangklangston 04 August | 17:40
I never get to see anything good, damnit.
posted by mullacc 04 August | 17:40
Oh, I forgot to mention that I went skinny dipping for the first time a few weeks ago, and it was pretty awesome. I walked back from the lake in just a towel and flip-flops, so some lucky nighttime driver might have seen something...
posted by muddgirl 04 August | 18:23
I'm also one of those who likes to hang around the house nude. I confine myself to our bedroom, though, thanks to the kids. I actually prefer to clean the bathroom in the buff. Mr. V has been known to start laundry, take off whatever he's wearing and add it to the load, and then stroll to the bedroom. We warn the kids ahead of time, however.
posted by redvixen 04 August | 18:36
Yinz live in more interesting neighborhoods than I do or I just don't pay attention enough.
posted by octothorpe 04 August | 19:48
Great topic.

Story one - in college, this great guy and I had a habit of dating each other's apartment mates. Over three years we accidentally saw each other naked in close proximity three times. Each time elicited mortification and or little screams on my part, and this wonderfully charming, gentlemanly giggle on his part that I remember to this day. We never had anything more than a freindship, not even a twinge on either side, it just wasn't there, so it was very humanizing, in retrospect. Everybody's naked sometimes, you know? And that's. . .ok.

Two - While I'm a dance around the house naked on occasion to be silly type, the Husband is a Fearful of Gawkers type. When we lived in the apt. he'd yell at me that someone could see through the window, even though it was one, daylight out, and two, nobody had a view. Once we were asleep and Heard A Noise on the patio. He jumped up, grabbed a baseball bat, strode to confront the interloper, but stopped behind the kitchen wall whispering urgently - "HONEY. HONEY. GET MY SHORTS. GET MY SHORTS."

Good times all.

posted by rainbaby 04 August | 21:11
rainbaby - my fiance is one of those too. He'll get out of the shower, realizes his only clean underwear is in the dryer, and I have to make the trip to the laundry room because he'd have to pass by a window. We live in the burbs - the chances that anyone will be looking in OUR window during the half second he passes by is infinitesimally small.
posted by desjardins 04 August | 21:54
Heh. Well, I have a few.

* Living in New York that one summer in my friend's mother's rent-controlled apartment, her great great aunt or some such had one of the bedrooms. There was infinitesimally little contact with her. Beating the heat one night I stepped out onto the balcony, and realized that the great great aunt was over on the other part of the balcony, beating the heat in her great great aunt skivvies. She was like a giant Russian human prune ...

* Later in an SRO near Columbia, I had an airshaft view that was completely uninteresting until this one night when the guy across the way and one floor down had a date over. It was ... kamasutric. But only that one time, she apparently noticed the lack of blinds and that was quickly rectified.

* In my Evanston apartment, I was half a block away from the "L". The only place I could put a fan was the hallway facing the "L", so that was where the fan was. It was facing the roof of a factory and not much else. I'm no great deliberate nudist or anti-nudist, but that place was a third-floor walkup under a black roof and it was hot as Hades. So there was very little wearing of anything. Despite everything, it seemed that every damn time I chose to walk the six feet down that hall to the bath or twelve feet to the kitchen, there was an "L" going by. When I had the chance, e.g. taking the "L" to downtown Evanston, I'd do experiments to see what I could see inside my apartment. Most of the time the lighting conditions just weren't right. But damned if nighttime wasn't perfect for seeing everything if the lights were on. It was a substantial distance, not enough to really see any detail, but I worried about the handful of people who knew me and where I lived AND rode the "L" glancing over at the right moment, and, well ...

So I devised a setup of extension cords and night lights so I could make the "dash" in privacy.
posted by stilicho 04 August | 22:53
I am naked whenever I damn well feel like it, which is often. Pretty much whenever I'm at home and there's not company over. (chillmost - I live like three blocks over from where you saw the young ladies!)

When I was at UC Santa Cruz I took full advantage of the "clothing-optional campus" rule, too :)
posted by jtron 04 August | 23:17
I haven't seen any naked neighbors that I can think of.

I have sheer curtains on my sliding doors that open to a screened-in porch. You can see right through the sheers, they offer zero privacy. When we first hung the curtains my husband went outside to see how much the neighbors could see. He came in and reported, "You can see everything. You can see which way my balls are swinging." From then on we make an effort not to be nude, or beat the kids, or get it on, in the area where people can see through. ;-) And if we must, we shut out the lights.

Once I was nursing my child in front of my in-laws and I thought I put my breast back in my shirt. Evidently I did not, and my breast was exposed for a good twenty minutes or longer. Nobody wanted to alert me to my exposed breast.
posted by LoriFLA 04 August | 23:23
Not sure why Lori but your in-laws story reminded me of this Little Britain skit.
posted by arse_hat 04 August | 23:53
Ha! I have seen this skit before, arse. It's funny. I do wish that someone would have alerted me to my exposed breast. You would think you would feel a draft, but I didn't.
posted by LoriFLA 05 August | 00:10

posted by mudpuppie 05 August | 00:29

Back from fifth beer of the night done naked in the back yard.

Anyone complains I claim religious exemption. I must consume alcohol after dark as I am a Druid - reformed (I worship bush. Not the prez.)
posted by arse_hat 05 August | 01:03
I'm pretty careful, but my husband liked to occasionally walk out on our top floor balcony naked and do a Tarzan yodel while beating his chest for about 20 seconds. I'm sure he'd be very happy that I'm telling you this.
posted by taz 05 August | 01:26
"I'm pretty careful, but my husband liked to occasionally walk out on our top floor balcony naked and do a Tarzan yodel while beating his chest for about 20 seconds."

taz, I know you and I would have fun but I think V and I would be cool too. ;)
posted by arse_hat 05 August | 01:28
The topic that the lady and I are furthest apart on is the nudity in the home issue. I am no exhibitionist, but like many others, I walk around the apartment naked all the time without any concern of who might see. If they want to look, I really, really, don't care. This does not pertain to more *private* moments, however, as I'll always make sure that sight lines are blocked for those. Meanwhile, the lady, like rainbaby's husband, freaks out if I walk out of the bathroom and the curtains on the window all the way on the other end of the apartment are open.
posted by SpiffyRob 05 August | 10:32
Last night the girlfriend and I had to assemble some Ikea furniture, and it was so damn hot in the house that we had to do it without clothes. Seriously, this was the only way.
posted by pieisexactlythree 06 August | 13:30
I have yet to read a really great book this summer. || summer blockbusters!