tagReviews & EssaysStreakers and Streaking

Streakers and Streaking


This short essay is an entry in the Literotica Nude Day Contest. I hope you enjoy reading it and gain some knowledge about the sport or art of streaking.


Although the term, meaning running naked in a public place where it is not the norm, was not coined until 1973, streaking was known long before that. The first recorded example was on July 5, 1799, and happened in London. A nude man, whose name has been lost, was arrested for what was described as an indecent act, and he told the constables he was running nude from Cornhill to Cheapside in an endeavor to win a bet.

Personally, I have some trouble considering this act as being true streaking, at least the way it is usually done now. For one thing, the unknown man had a commercial purpose. Genuine streaking, in my opinion, must be done for the sport of it, to scandalize or shock, rather than for monetary gain. For another, it must be done publicly. The man in London was most likely trying to avoid attracting attention to himself, but true streakers dote on being seen, even filmed or videotaped. That's their reason for doing it.

For a third and most important thing, the arrested man was probably trying to conserve his energy by not running at top speed, possibly even walking some of the time. This would have been a violation of one of the basic tenets of proper streaking, that the pace must be close to top speed, which is why it has been given its current name. Since it's a dash, not a stroll, it is usually only done for a fairly short distance. Cornhill and Cheapside are too far apart for him to have been sprinting between them, so the assumption must be made the man was not running fast.

Even so, this gentleman has come to be recognized as the first streaker, and I must acknowledge his primacy. There may well have been earlier incidents - Lady Godiva comes to mind, although the legend says she rode naked on a horse through the streets of Coventry, rather than running. However, there is no record of any prior streaking having occurred, so this unknown gentleman from London has the distinction.

George W. Crump, a student in Washington College in Virginia, was the first recorded streaker in the United States. His name was placed in the record book, so to speak, in 1804, when he was arrested for running nude through the nearby city of Lexington. Mr. Crump was suspended for the rest of that academic session, but he eventually went on to become a member of Congress and the US ambassador to Chile. The escapade of this distinguished alumnus may have encouraged a future president of the college, General Robert E. Lee, to sanction streaking as a part of the standard college activities, almost a rite of passage of young male students. The college is now known as Washington and Lee University.

Possibly as part of what is sometimes called "The Sexual Revolution" in the late 1960's, streaking gained immensely in popularity, until the activity was given a more dignified name than "running around naked as a jay-bird." A "streak" is the word applied to a person or object moving rapidly, which is what genuine streakers do. I suppose a "blue streak" would be a person running naked in the winter, if such a thing ever happens.

The person generally credited for popularizing the term "Streaker" was a reporter for a news station in Washington D.C. As he watched a large crowd, consisting mostly of students from The University of Maryland, he exclaimed: "they are streaking past me right now. It's an incredible sight!" The next day, the news wire services reported the incident using the word, and it has been used to denote the activity ever since.

You may notice many, even most of the persons mentioned as streakers are students in colleges or universities, and there are reasons for this. Many of them are young and willing to do something outside the norm, especially if it is away from where they are known, and their mothers don't find out about it. Those who are older are less likely to take the dare which streaking represents. Although the activity is never any more than a harmless prank, when streakers get arrested and charged, it is usually with indecent exposure, as it they were low-life flashers, and a conviction can carry a life-long stigma.

Even so, streaking is still widely practiced, mostly by men. There have been a few women who have been described as practicing the art, but many of them cheated by wearing bikini bottoms or other attire instead of being buck naked as a proper streaker should be. The best venues for streaking are major sports events in outside arenas, such as football or soccer or baseball games. The exposed one is extremely exposed; tens of thousands of persons may see him live, and millions more can watch the action of television.

The art or sport of streaking is still fairly new, and there is no governing body or established rules that must be followed. Therefore, I propose the following suggestions, which are not meant to be rules. Streakers tend to be mavericks who don't like to follow the rules, which is why they streak in the first place.

1. Run, do not walk. Unless you have somebody to whisk you to safety, you will eventually be apprehended. However the harder and faster you run, the longer it will take the party poopers to spoil the fun.

2. Do your streaking outside, and this would include a very large building, such as at an indoor major league baseball or football stadium. One of the most famous streakers, although one I don't believe is worthy of that appellation, was a man named Robert Opel who walked naked across the stage during the Academy Awards presentation one year. Although he was properly unclothed, I consider him to be unworthy of being called a streaker because he walked rather than sprinted across the stage. He had to do that, because the stage was small and running would have caused him to finish his planned course too quickly. If this had been at a football game, he could have run and still remained in full view of the audience for several minutes.

3. Do it where you will stand out. This is only reasonable; there wouldn't be much sense in streaking at a clothing-optional beach or at a Naturist camp.

4. Be completely naked. Shoes, sneakers in particular, are acceptable, and sometimes necessary, and a streaker might wear a hat and sometimes dark glasses for protection from the bright sun. Unfortunately, a mask of some kind might sometimes be necessary to conceal streakers' identities and keep them out of trouble. However, it would be cheating to use any of those allowable coverings to conceal the bits which are meant to be on display during a streak.

There may be other suggestions that could be made, but these will do for now. This is the season for streaking, and National Nude Day, July 14, is the best day of the season, so go and enjoy yourself, but stay out of trouble.

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