#nakedcoffee

Cara Schulz —  August 30, 2014 — 21 Comments

If you’ve ever attended a Pagan festival, you’re familiar with post-festival letdown. You spent a weekend, or a week, at fest being fully yourself; living your ethics with every breath; being emotionally open to others; meeting amazing people who now feel like family to you; relearning to love your body and embracing your unique beauty. You feel glorious and strong and loved.

And then you go home, away from all those people you’ve grown so close to in such a short time, where you cover up your religion and you cover up your skin, to a greater or lesser degree. Insecurities creep in. The world is a bit grayer while you feel blue. You know festival has to end, but you wonder how to keep the positive feelings and lessons and people of festival all year round. Just a slice of it.

Melanie

Melanie

Enter #NakedCoffee. It’s exactly how it sounds. People rolling out of bed and drinking coffee while buck naked and posting a photo of it on Facebook to continue remembering how beautiful you are; to stay emotionally open; and to stay connected.

#NakedCoffee was born at Pagan Spirit Gathering. Melanie Moore and a group of friends met each morning to do makeup and chat over coffee. Since it was a particularly rainy, muddy PSG, they gave up on clothes and just hung out naked.

naked coffee original groupAnd then PSG ended. “The sister hood was so strong,” says Melanie Moore. “When I got home I missed it so much I wept.” So she posted a picture on fb of herself drinking coffee, naked. They reciprocated. “We started doing it more and more, even teasing each other with our cool mugs.”

Tasha Rose didn’t attend PSG, but she had already been taking her morning coffee in the nude, at festivals and at home, for a while. Then she noticed Melanie’s photo and she posted one, too. “It felt like a nice way to connect with dear ones who I don’t see often. I post the pics online for no real reason other than vanity, maybe a little bit of the feeling that we are all in the room together naked and drinking coffee.”

It’s mostly women joining in #NakedCoffee. Their ages vary. They pose Individually and in groups; no makeup; hair messy. Some gaze confidently into the camera lens. Others display exuberant joy. In groups, they stand close, touching, completely comfortable. These are women who own themselves and own their power. They’ve found a way to bring the positive, body image culture of Pagan festivals back home.

Kristin, Judy, Alana

Kristin, Judy, Alana

“It wasn’t a spiritual thing in that it had a religious meaning, but it did have a certain ‘baring of the soul ‘ quality to it,” says Tracie Sage Wood. She says it is very empowering, “This is me. Take me or leave me, I don’t care, but here I am.”

naked coffee tracie

Tracie

For Tasha it has become a necessary part of her spiritual practice. For her, it’s a conscious effort, not mindless routine. “Yesterday was really a rough start. I woke up and had a headache and felt terrible about the load of things I had to do. I yelled at my kids, it was bad.”  Then she realized that she hadn’t done the two things that she usually does first thing every morning – make an offering and drink coffee in the nude. “I made offering and my coffee and the day was better from there,” said Tasha. Her husband now joins her for #NakedCoffee on Saturdays and they’ve posted the photos to prove it.

Posting the photos on social media seems integral to #NakedCoffee. It’s a way for them to connect with one another and to combat the toxic messages that mainstream culture bombards us with every day. “Body image is huge. How we see ourselves. How others see us,” says Tracie. She enjoys posting the photos and seeing others do the same, “It was very freeing. And when I see others I think how carefree and beautiful they look.”

naked coffee tasha and travis

Travis and Tasha

Tasha is taking #NakedCoffee on social media to the next level. She’ll be joining friends for naked coffee on a live webcam on a Google+ Hangout. They’ve been waiting for one of their group to get her webcam set up.

Since #NakedCoffee first appeared on my FB feed, I’ve been watching it spread. First to other Pagan and now to non-Pagans. There’s a big difference in the photos between Pagans and non-Pagans. In non-Pagan photos, there is not as much playfulness, more staging, and more focus on genitals.

Will this continue to spread? Will it help Pagans sustain the positive body image festival culture? And is this something the mainstream can learn from us?

“This was originally about sisterhood,” says Melanie. She notes how powerful and needed sister time is. When asked if she’s hopeful that others feel empowered by doing something like #NakedCoffee she said,”If that’s what folks take from this, that’s awesome! Love your naked body! It’s amazing.”

naked coffee mugs

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Cara Schulz

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Cara Schulz is a journalist and author living in Minnesota with her husband and cat. She has previously written for PAGAN+politics, PNC-Minnesota, and Patheos. Her work has appeared in several books by Bibliotheca Alexandrina and she's the author of Martinis & Marshmallows: A Field Guide to Luxury Tent Camping and (Almost) Foolproof Mead Making. She loves red wine, camping, and has no tattoos.
  • Joseph Jones

    I thought that only my wife and I did that! We have naked coffee every morning. This is wonderful.

  • Gerrie O.

    This is so sweet and powerful! You go grrls! And boyz!

    • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

      And people of other genders, too, if they choose to participate…

      • Gerrie O.

        Oh hellz yeah!

  • Lēoht “Sceadusawol” Steren

    Shock and outrage!!! This is prejudicial against non-coffee drinkers!!!

    Thought I’d get in before everyone else.

    • http://www.forgingthesampo.com/ Kauko

      Personally, I don’t ever drink coffee, but I do like an occasional cup of tea, with my clothing on, though.

      • Lēoht “Sceadusawol” Steren

        I avoid hot drinks of all types. Mostly, I just drink water. Clothed or otherwise.

        • http://www.forgingthesampo.com/ Kauko

          I usually manage to get some water in; gotta keep hydrated from all the alcohol.

          • Lēoht “Sceadusawol” Steren

            I don’t drink alcohol (as a rule), either. :p

  • http://www.paganawareness.net.au Gavin Andrew

    This whole thing gets my tick of approval.

  • Deana Smith

    I shall have coffee naked in the morning!

  • Rose Perry

    Best part of waking up I say! :)

  • Shannan

    I need to know whey can get a female reproductive system mug!

  • Raksha38

    I love this article! I can’t even imagine wanting to use Facebook or be naked, so this is like a peek into a parallel universe for me!

  • http://saffronrose.livejournal.com/ A. Marina Fournier

    I can only make cold lattes chez moi, as there is no room for anything more on what passes for a kitchen counter here. Tea, yup, no problem (many teas to be found here), but FB and I aren’t compatibl–have I ever taken a selfie?

    I think the post-festival daily connection is a great thing.

  • ELNIGMA

    Coolness.

  • Rebekah Ranger

    I recently ran a camp for pagan women here in the uk and spontaneously we decided to all just go naked or topless, we have some stunning photos to show for it in the woods and it has inspired many more to now have the courage to shed clothing, some for a photo shoot, some just drinking coffee etc…its beautiful to see women reclaiming themselves.

    • AnantaAndroscoggin

      One event held here at the Groves of the Greene Man’s Denne a couple of years ago, I posted a printed out sign for the attendees reading:

      NO SHIRT
      NO SHOES
      YOUR CHOICE
      This is Maine after all ! !

      I’m considering getting a permanent sign made to post.

  • ELNIGMA

    “I made offering and my coffee and the day was better from there,” Makes sense to me!