The Dinner Experience That Has Guests Leave Their Clothes At The Door

As a child, you typically learn a lot of rules related to proper dining etiquette: Don't play with your food; don't put your feet on the table; and put your napkin on your lap. While there's no steadfast rule that says "don't show up to a dinner party naked," in most settings, nude dining is typically frowned upon. However, those who enjoy nudity or just want to experiment with something new are in luck. Guests who are accepted to attend The Füde Dinner Experience are asked to show up in their birthday suits. 

In 2020, Charlie Ann Max, who hosts the events, launched the @fudeexperience on Instagram, an account she describes as "A liberating space that celebrates our most pure selves through soul-nourishing food, art, nudity & self-love." On her website, the artist, model, and activist writes that her projects are about "connecting humanity back to our purest selves" and adds that "her work pushes the boundaries towards liberation." Currently available in New York and Los Angeles, diners just need to dish out $88, get their application approved by Max, and show up ready to ditch their clothes if they'd like to participate in nude dining. According to The New York Times, Max asks that applicants share why they would like to attend the event, list any foods they cannot eat, and whether they have participated in "any incidents that could be considered inappropriate or disrespectful during a nude or semi-nude event."

What happens at a nude dining event?

While she has to trust participants' responses to the final question, Charlie Ann Max told The New York Times that though the events are more often attended by women, she'll allow most applicants to attend, unless it's "some creepy dude that found my Instagram somehow." In addition, men need someone else to confirm that they will be a good fit at the event and not disruptive. The New York Times reports that nearly a decade ago, Max became more interested in nudity after she and her good friends decided to ditch their clothes and chill in their shared living space. As a dancer, she often felt as if it was difficult to fully accept her body. "It felt so good to be like, whatever, I'm hanging out with my best friends, in my rawest form with my body, and this is not as scary or weird as I would expect," she said. "It just felt so free," she added. This moment encouraged her to embrace nudity as often as she could.

Diners who attend the event can expect to take their clothes off in front of one another, Renaissance-themed decor, mingling with strangers, and themes such as "Self-Love," "Muse/Museum," and "Embracing Your Inner Rhythms: for Individuals to Connect with their Menstrual Cycles." If you're considering attending one of Max's events, she typically invites diners to her place in Los Angeles or the spot she is staying at when she is on the road.         

Are there other naked dining experiences?

The Füde Dinner Experience may be a good fit for experimental U.S. residents or those who are traveling there. However, it is not the only experience that has invited people to dine in the nude. Nude restaurants became a popular trend between 2016 and 2017. In 2016, the first nudist restaurant in London called The Bunyadi opened. While customers were allowed to wear clothes if they wanted to, nude diners experienced eating by candlelight and dishes on clay plates. The Amrita, a nude restaurant in Tokyo that opened in 2016, made headlines for not allowing customers who were overweight, above a certain age, or who had tattoos to eat there. Both restaurants are now permanently closed. 

O'Naturel was a nudist restaurant in Paris that banned diners from wearing clothes. While the restaurant was not getting enough business when it shut down in 2019, other factors that happened shortly after its closure, such as the Coronavirus pandemic, may have made it difficult for the restaurant to remain open. Innato was the first nudist restaurant in Spain that opened in 2017 and was largely known for its aphrodisiac-heavy menu. Before it permanently shut down, some of the dinner options included shellfish as well as chocolate and strawberries. While naked dining may have seen better days pre-pandemic, Charlie Ann Max told The New York Times that every event she has hosted has sold out. Perhaps 2023 will be the year that naked dining makes a comeback.