In other words, you’re more likely to catch a cold from shaking their hand than to get an STI from Sitting on the same bench.

There isn’t much reason to fear getting a sexually transmitted disease from naked sitters. These infections are most commonly the result of vigorous and prolonged exposure of a person’s mucous membranes, the thinner and more permeable skin found in the mouth and on the genitals. If you happened to share a seat with an infected nudist, you’d be protected both by your clothes and by your epidermis, which serves as an effective barrier against pathogens all by itself.

There are a few things I like about this story:

1) Not parroting a politician’s views, but actually fact-checking them.
2) Pretty good reporting on the science, complete opposite of fear mongering
3) I learned that San Francisco doesn’t ban public nudity

Way to go Slate!

Comments

  1. #1 pornalysis
    September 27, 2011

    Nice, short post. Thanks for the info! But a dollar bill has as much e-coli as a butt stain on a park bench? I mean, that conclusion really stinks …

  2. #2 Kevin
    September 27, 2011

    @ pornanalysis

    But a dollar bill has as much e-coli as a butt stain on a park bench?

    I don’t know about absolute numbers, but I imagine nudists have as respectable hygiene patters as anyone else. Sure, if they failed to wipe effectively they might spread more E. coli, but ask yourself – when was the last time that dollar bill in your wallet took a shower?

  3. #3 pornalysis
    September 28, 2011

    “I imagine nudists have as respectable hygiene patters as anyone else”

    Nice idealism, but imagination alone doesn’t give us the data. I personally don’t want to share that level of trust with naked strangers–especially the hairy ones (use your imagination there…)

    I agree with the old-school nudists, that it is a matter of decency and etiquette to put a towel under your butt when you sit down.

    “when was the last time that dollar bill in your wallet took a shower?”

    Hmmm…so they tipped you off to my money laundering scheme did they? Busted in the act of laundering money by running my dollars through strippers g-strings…;-)

  4. #4 jan marchand
    louisiana
    October 13, 2012

    I( don’t like to sit in other peoples sweat at the gym much less sit where another persons bare ass has been. Whether I’m protected by me clothing or not it’s just gross!!