Episode #137 — How To Take Your Clothes Off with Matthew McDermott

This week we’re all about covering and uncovering — covering bands and uncovering our natural selves, that is. For starters, what could be more natural than loving a band so much that you either a) want to see anything related to it or b) want to form your own cover band. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing a cover band — we know, we know, some people prefer “tribute band” — be sure to make it a priority in the post-pandemic world. It’s always fun to participate in a shared experience with other like-minded people, but you could also go just to acknowledge the clever band names. Who could forget Kevin Malone’s Police cover band in “The Office,” Scrantonicity? Maybe there’s a cafe in your town with a Beastie Boys house band called Licensed to Grill. (Avoid the Sabotage Scramble. It will get your body movin’ in unpleasant ways.) Or maybe you’ve have the misfortune to see the Bee Gees cover band aptly named “Tragedy.”

Ultimately, one of the joys in life is finding something that makes you feel like your most authentic self. And if you can find a group of like-minded people to share that joy with, so much the better. So while Luke found happiness watching a Prince cover band, and Heidi still gleefully remembers the authentic fashion choices made by an ABBA cover band years ago, this week’s guest discovered that what works for him is uncovering. We spoke with Matthew McDermott, an author and an advocate for the non-sexual nude lifestyle. He’s written a book, “How to Take Your Clothes Off,” and guided us through the terminology, common misconceptions, and benefits he gains from a naturist lifestyle.

To start off, Matthew cleared up the difference between a “naturist” and a “naturalist.” While one could, in theory, be both, there could be some surprises and/or disappointments if they showed up for the wrong meeting at the park or on the beach. Or maybe it would be a happy accident and a chance to learn about something new!

When someone explains that they are a naturist and a nudist, they can expect some follow-up questions. Matthew wrote his book to clarify what nudism is about, but he also has a blog where he delves deeper into elements of the lifestyle. He takes a very matter-of-fact, straight-forward approach, which helps to dispel a lots of the myths and stigmas around nudism in North America. Matthew explained that the world is filled with people who have varying interests, and while those interests might not be for you, it’s worth finding out what the draw is for others. It makes sense to us. For instance, we know that there are people out there who collect stamps. It doesn’t make our hearts flutter, but if we talked to a philatelist, we’d either walk away with a better understanding or the sudden realization that stamps are what have been missing from our lives. (And if you think stamps aren’t exciting, “Charade” starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn begs to differ.)

Matthew shared with us how he discovered nudism, how it applies to his everyday life and makes him more empathetic, and what being a part of that community means to him. Matthew also describes how media coverage of nudism can often be more of a hindrance than a help — those headlines aren’t nearly as clever as the journalists think they are — and how ideas about nudism differ between North America and Europe.  

Be sure to check out this week’s episode to get your nudist questions answered. Look for Matthew’s book, “How to Take Your Clothes Off,” to learn even more. Or check him out on Twitter, Facebook, or his website. We’re off to see how high the privacy fences are in our respective backyards because it’s spring, the sun is out, and going sweatpants-less outside seems like a brilliant idea. Maybe it will relax us enough to truly discover whether our workplace ELO-inspired cover band, PTO, is the best next move.

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