Every year, on the first Friday in February, you have the opportunity to strip down, break free, and embrace your body in all its glory in honor of Work Naked Day. When I decided to write this piece, I was tempted just to explain the holiday, its origins, and the benefits of working from home and being naked, but as I considered the subject matter, I changed my mind. I thought, If I truly believe that working naked is a way to embrace your body, “flaws” and all, shouldn’t I give it a try?
So here I am, working naked for the first time ever.
Every year, on the first Friday in February, you have the opportunity to strip down, break free, and embrace your body in all its glory in honor of Work Naked Day. But let’s rewind a bit. Work Naked Day was created in 2010 by Lisa Kanarek. Kanarek is a home office expert and author of five books, including Working Naked: A Guide to the Bare Essentials of Home Office Life. She created the holiday to “remind everyone who works from home to celebrate the freedom to work where you want, when you want, and to wear whatever you want.” While she does stress that this does not have to mean working in the buff, I decided to take the holiday literally and embrace the benefits of being naked. According to my research, there are several.
According to an article on The Odyssey Online, being naked is healthy for your vagina (if you have one). Giving your nethers some fresh air lets them stay dry and regulate themselves. It also reduces the amount of bacteria that gets trapped there by your underwear.
Personally, I felt more aware of “down there” working naked. I felt wetter — but that wasn’t a bad thing. Instead, I felt this awareness of my sexuality as I worked, which made the day more enjoyable overall. Even though I could feel the skin of my belly against itself as I typed (no matter what I eat, how much I exercise, or what I weigh, it’s always been a soft, squishy area), I didn’t care (though I would have with clothes on).
I began to feel more confident working naked, like a powerhouse boss — even though no one could see me.
This confident sexiness is prevalent. There have actually been scientific studies centered around how being naked makes you feel. A 2017 piece in The Journal of Happiness Studies called “Naked and Unashamed: Investigations and Applications of the Effects of Naturist Activities on Body Image, Self-Esteem, and Life Satisfaction” found that being naked, especially around others, was linked to a higher level of satisfaction with your life, a more positive body image, and higher self-esteem. The authors of the study did stress that seeing others naked was more beneficial than being naked solo, presumably because you’re exposed to more “real bodies” instead of photoshopped models and celebrities, but you didn’t have to expose yourself to others to get these perks. Even just doing things naked “resulted in immediate improvements in life satisfaction, an effect that was also mediated by improvements in body image and self-esteem.”
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In turn, that body positivity and self-esteem gives back to you in the bedroom. According to writer and photographer Bobbi Klein, “When you love the way you look naked, you will also want to have your partner see you at your best.” I can attest to that. Working naked made me think more about having someone join me in my nudity. Perhaps my editors wouldn’t be as thrilled with my productivity, but when you’re feeling yourself, sometimes you want someone else to get in on the action.
Most importantly, though, the more time you spend naked, the more you get in touch with your body as it is.
As Dr. Jenn Mann, creator of the "No More Diets" app said in a piece for Today, “Being in the nude reduces shame. You can work on self-acceptance, and that can be very healing.” As part of my journey through and to self-acceptance, I’m in a 12-Step program for alcoholism and addiction. I’m currently working on my 4th Step, making a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself. I list the people who’ve hurt me, what I resent them for, and how those experiences made and make me feel. Lately, I’ve been avoiding those pages, not wanting to dive into the more painful parts of my past. But doing it naked made it easier as if stripping down physically made it okay to strip down on paper.
I have to admit that my Work Naked Day turned into a Work-Mostly-Naked Day, and then into a Put-Clothes-On-Because-It’s-28-Degrees-And-January Day. But, as Kanarek says, there are lots of ways to celebrate. If you can work from home, you can work in pajamas, a sweatsuit, or even lingerie. You can linger over a cup of coffee or even a real breakfast knowing everyone is commuting. You can remove your inhibitions and take a business risk if you’re not willing (or able) to shed the clothes at home. You can also take the plunge and work in the buff. Even though I tapped out early, I fully recommend it.
I haven’t loved my body so much in a long, long time.