GOOD NEWS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BEING NAKED
Not everyone is at their most comfortable when they're naked. But to those who are, we see you. You're the "naked people," the friends who strip down first when the opportunity arises and prefer being in the buff to wearing even the coolest outfit.
"For the most part, I love being naked," Sarah, 29, told Mic, "It's very comfortable and I find most clothing, especially footwear, to be very restricting. I am that person that tries to go barefoot as much as possible every summer. I also sleep so much better naked than wearing even the softest, loosest PJs."
She's not the only one. Luckily, being naked is really good for you. From the empowerment of embracing your body at its most vulnerable to the health benefits of letting yourself go, there are true advantages to being that person who prefers the buff.
Sleeping gets better when you're nude.
Sleeping naked is all about body temperature. Without constricting clothes heating things up, your body temperature stays low, which can help you get a better, fuller night's sleep — which in turn has all sorts of health benefits (including lowering your chances of diabetes). The disruption of your body's natural cool-down during sleep can lead to things like insomnia, weight problems and eating issues.
Your private parts will thank you.
Similar to the rest of your body, your privates need time to air out. This is especially true of vaginas, which can fall prey to excessive bacteria and yeast that cause infections. Sleeping naked allows the vagina to "breathe" instead of constantly locking it up with clothing. As Nicole Prause of the University of California, Los Angeles, told Medical Daily, "Sleeping naked would reduce the ability of those (always-present) bacteria to overwhelm the normal healthy vaginal flora."
Being naked is good for your sex life.
There's a reason sleeping naked feels inherently sexy — coming into contact with our own naked form is something we typically only do when we're about to get intimate with someone else (or hopping in the shower).
Sleeping naked can actually encourage sex with your partner; skin-on-skin contact has been shown to prompt the release of oxytocin, the so-called "love" hormone. Oxytocin not only stimulates arousal, but may even heighten orgasms. Not to mention, being naked means not having to fumble to remove your clothes, knocking down one barrier to getting it on.
And when you do have sex? Comfort with your own body can make a huge difference. Insecurity over one's body has been shown to directly impact sexual satisfaction, something anyone who's ever rushed to shut off the lights before stripping down knows all too well. When we get increasingly familiar and comfortable with our own naked bodies, we can be that much more open with someone else.
Owning the decision to get naked can be empowering.
Deciding to be naked — whether you let others see you or not — is an empowering decision precisely because it involves vulnerability. Taking off your clothes means facing down your own body, and while not everyone finds that to be a confidence-booster, the very act of confronting yourself can be liberating.
That's one reason selfies can be a tool of empowerment. As Jessica Bennett pointed out in Time, "Self-portraits have been an outlet for feminist expression, and subversion, for a long time." The power to capture yourself in your own preferred light, whatever that may be, is a way of owning one's self-image.
Projects like Herself.com, plus inspiration from women like Emma Holten (above), are reminding women that they can choose when they'll be naked, when they won't and how images of that can be shared — or not. At a time when body dissatisfaction is rampant among men and women, getting naked and embracing your body on your own terms can be a radical act of self-love.
Plus, regular "contact" with your own body brings a heightened awareness of it, something that can inspire you to pay more attention to it and treat it with more love. And viewing ourselves with compassion is one of the most important (and most fun) things we can do.