“You don’t really wanna shower alone, do you?”

I never saw myself asking this question of a gorgeous girl without getting slapped in the face. Her reply?

“Let’s go.”

Who’d have thunk it? Not I, certainly, but here I was in the bathroom losing the towel that was my only article of clothing.

She was naked first; I had followed suit. In the shower, she started washing my hair. True, this sounds like the beginning of a bad porno, complete with characters who express no surprise at the ridiculous propositions and outrageous situations that lead into the bulk of the plot (the sex, that is).

This, however, wasn’t going that way. There was neither lust nor shame – only good company, warm water and soap.

“Do you think we should make it hotter?”

“Lemme squeeze in there for a second … yeah, it’s a bit chilly.”

This could require a lot of explanation. I could never have brought myself to ask a girl into the shower without some bit of provocation (before now). Earlier that evening I was sitting in my friend’s place with a few people, and we had been catching up since we hadn’t seen each other the whole summer. We all had stories, and I had one about skinny-dipping.

There’s something about being young and in school that makes college students want to do the most reckless and irresponsible thing they possibly could be doing at any given moment. We grabbed towels and headed for the beach.

The best efforts were made to keep our clothes from getting full of sand once we took them off. We were there, we were naked – now it was time to run to the water.

“Sweet Jesus, it’s fucking cold!”

I’m not sure which one of us said that first, but we certainly all agreed and were all screaming like little girls when the first wave crashed at about hip-level. Like frightened turtles, we turned and ran but soon adjusted to the ball-freezing chill of the ocean at night and played. Eventually we went home and decided we all needed showers to remove the sand from our asses.

The first time I heard, “Hey Cory, let’s see it!” I must admit I was a little sketched out, but I looked down, turned around and sucked it up. I think it was right then that I lost whatever small sense of shame that I had before, and so I smiled. I still don’t know whether that’s a good thing or bad, but I’d like to think it’s the former.

In a society where shame is a tool of advertisers, we the consumers, for some god-awful reason that I’ll never understand, let them use that power over us to make each and every person think that they’re just not good enough. I beg to differ. I’m no Adonis, but damn it, I’m me. That’s who I am, that’s all I’ll ever be. I can work out, I can shape and sculpt my body, but there’s no product on the market to do that for me, nor is there a $90 shirt or a certain type of scent that will make me more than who I am. The best we can do is be happy with what we are, because there aren’t any alternatives. Unless you’re a secret agent.

“You want me to get your hair now?”

“Go for it.”

I liked the way she looked naked. It didn’t make me want to jump on her, but to admire and gaze at her like a work of art. I don’t know if that feeling was mutual, but of course I’d like to think so. We’re all works of art, though some may be the Venus de Milo and some Dogs Playing Poker, each is interesting and beautiful in his or her own way.

Casual nudity, individual beauty, shameless living and accepting the gifts we’re given rather than wanting the ones our brothers and sisters got; these are keys to lives of contentment. Especially the naked part.

Daily Nexus assistant opinions editor Cory Anthony is going to take his newfound appreciation for mass nudity to the streets of Isla Vista. Nudist colony, here we come!