Is It Unsanitary to Cook in the Nude?

cat drinking wine



The article about naked vegan cooking was short and a little cheesy, but informative enough, I thought.  Until I noticed something more sinister eyeing me from between the baba ghanouj and sweet corn fritters…


But let me back up.  A few months ago, my writing mentor, author and naturist Susan Tweit, sent me a link to an online food article.  She knows I blog about Licking the Spoon, my book in progress about food, sex, and relationship, and she thought I might find the article interesting.  And I did, for a couple of reasons.

The article is about another blog that originates in the UK.  Some college students share a big house in Manchester, where apparently they live, have lovers and cook together.  (Hopefully they study, too.)  But doesn’t it sound fun?  I’ve been to Manchester.  It’s so … English.  And I don’t mean the King’s English, but that of the common blokes, people who ride double-decker buses and go to pubs and visit the loo.  I was then a college student myself and went to see my boyfriend who was studying abroad for a year. I remember hitch-hiking (in the rain, of course) to stay with his friend and friend’s girl at the friend’s parents.  And I thought it quaint how they had the two boys stay downstairs in sleeping bags while the two girls shared a bed upstairs.  Like they actually thought we weren’t shagging!  (But here a moment of respectful silence for this dilemma faced by many parents.)

Tripping down memory lane made me think about the bloggers’ house, whether it was a charming old brick row home like that of my hosts.  I wondered if they leave the windows open even in the dead of winter like my host parents did (the deep bathtub being the only place I was able to warm up in three days.)   But perhaps most important to a group of chefs would be the kitchen.  I had been shocked to find that my host mom worked from a tiny refrigerator about the size of the one I had in my dorm room.  She said the kitchen stayed chilly enough to keep food from spoiling.  (And no wonder, what with all those open windows.)  I noticed that they ate a lot of root vegetables.  But vegans are big on fresh.  So I pondered whether the bloggers have moved on up to the honkin’ size fridge that is standard in North America.

Well, the point of the article was not British sensibilities, veganism, or even the food itself.  The point was how the bloggers cook in the NUDE.  The part I found corny was the intro, asking whether the reader feels the need to take off her top while forming a soyrizo loaf, or eat his veggie lasagna without socks on.  I mean, come on.  It’s obvious the author doesn’t understand nudism.  How is it nudism for a guy to eat without his socks on?  And a nudist doesn’t just fling off her top mid-loaf, as if having a whim or a seizure; she probably went into the kitchen naked to start with.

OK, so the author might be naïve and a tad snarky.  But now to the sinister part.  This is where she asks whether it’s just her, or is cooking naked not only dangerous but “unsanitary.”  She goes on to point out that frying in the nude might cause a burn – well, I have no quibble about this, since I myself once sported a little brown crescent moon for about three years (the exact size and shape of ½ piece of Japanese eggplant).  No, it’s the word “unsanitary” that leapt out and began strangling me!  Aarrgghhh!!!  How can cooking naked be unsanitary?  As long as you don’t scratch your ass with the spoon! And if you’re inclined to scratch your ass with the spoon, then I don’t want to eat your food anyway.

silver spoon

I know, this may seem picayune, even petty, on my part.  But its very subtlety – how easily it infiltrates our language, which then muddies our consciousness – also makes it insidious.  It’s an example of the sex-phobia that has much of our populace in its grip.  An assumption that anything having to do with nudity, much less sexuality, is automatically unsanitary, unclean, unholy, ungodly – whatever “un” that a nervous person might want to ascribe to it.  It doesn’t even matter if it’s true or not.  It’s a knee-jerk reaction. Like a racist who’s ‘concerned’ about ‘the children’ of a mixed marriage.  Or a sexist ‘worrying’ that a woman’s use of contraception might ‘condemn her to hell.’

Veganism isn’t the norm, but it’s a choice.  Nudism isn’t common either, but it’s a choice.  And unfortunately, so is being snarky and squirmy about bodies and sex and hygiene –  instead of educating oneself about what’s real and true.

NakedVeganCooking says that their site promotes positive body image and healthy food. Maybe I’m wistful because I spent too many years in the dorm, eating cafeteria grub and wearing flip-flops in the shower in case someone left a fungus. But I like thinking about their comfy house in Manchester:  Big old second-hand furniture covered in books, recipes, art, and plants.  Mismatched china, Indian tablecloths, bright bowls of fresh fruit, and something delicious simmering on the stove.  Friendship, flirtation, love, laughter, music, late night arguments about Ayn Rand, and maybe a few cats.  And yeah, most likely some humanly imperfect breasts and tummies and thighs draping and dancing about.  I may not choose to live that way, but it sounds like a rich life.  But that’s me.  Why don’t you check it out and decide for yourself?

naked vegan cooking - rich life

 In Licking the Spoon, I talk about how to create your own rich life in food, sex and relationship.

cat sleeping





129 thoughts on “Is It Unsanitary to Cook in the Nude?

  1. it is really sad that people could find being nude unsanitary. you are completely right that there is this horrible stigma that sexuality or nudism is unsanitary. i think it all stems from the fact that there is a worry of stds which make people believe that sexuality is unsanitary. but not everyone is gross or disgusting.


    • And oddly enough, people are often worried about the wrong things. Like thinking that a toilet seat will give you an STD, but having unprotected sex without giving it a thought. Toilet seats are pretty harmless. But there’s a reason STD starts with an S, people! They’re not called TTDs!


  2. i agree ‘”veganism isn’t the norm, but it’s a choice. Nudism isn’t common either, but it’s a choice”. and i don”t think nudism is unsanitary like she mention its nit like hey are going to be playing with the same spoon they are cooking


  3. I’m stuck somewhere in between when it comes to if its unsanitary. but I think overall its more dangerous if youre cooking something hot for example I’m clumsy and I always drop stuff on my legs or shirt when I cook


  4. why not combined vaganism and nudism seems like to that go together like peanut butter and jelly.
    I remember our book and the efffects of animal proteins taking 7x as long to be broken down changed my view of my diet severely. now affording it is more difficult


  5. Cooking in the nude seems dangerous. I can only think of splashing oils and knives falling off the counter and stabbing my feet. Wonderful post!


    • Thank you! Although if you think about it, you could be fully clothed and a knife STILL falls on your bare foot! 🙂 What bothered me was the “unsanitary” message, as if our nude bodies are just always naturally dirty.


  6. I found this article very funny! I totally agree that cooking in the nude isn’t exactly “unsanitary”. All we do is cook with our hands and utensils, so as long as those are clean, I think it’s fine!


  7. I find it crazy for people to think it’s unsanitary. I’ve done it myself! Making a quesadilla in the middle of the day after a shower. I made sure I was extremely careful though.. didn’t want to burn anything!


  8. In no way would I ever think it’s unsanitary especially since you’re just cooking. Everyone’s different, can’t judge someone who prefers to walk around naked in their own homes.


  9. I once read somewhere that “stupidity is ignorance by choice” and I’ve never seen a case clearer the misplaced accusations of the author of the article. (or maybe I have seen more apparent instances but they’re not really coming to mind). Anyway, fun fact! There is a law in Singapore that states a person cannot be naked in a private place while being exposed to public view. This was all I could think about the entire time I read this article. Well, that and “I wonder where the windows are.” There are so many questions in my head and I’m so fascinated by this practice I’ll definitely be looking into it a little bit more. I did have to google the website “Naked Vegan Cooking,” though, because the link in this post doesn’t appear to be working.


    • Oh, thanks for that heads up about the link. Good point about being naked inside but available for public view – and the same thing essentially applies here. For example, if you are naked in front of a big picture window so that others can easily see you, you can be arrested for exhibitionism. On the other hand, if it is a smaller window that someone can’t see through – unless s/he stands right up against it – then they could be prosecuted for voyeurism.


  10. People worry about the craziest things when there are so many other things they could worry about. It is sad that there is such horrible stigma that being nude is unsanitary. It is suggesting that our bodies are dirty in their most natural form.


  11. I have never thought about the idea of cooking in the nude lol but I like that the message being said here is that the idea of anything relating to sexuality and such has a perception of being seen as dirty or unsanitary when it’s not. I personally wouldn’t cook in the nude I’ll be scared to burn myself or something but if people want to they should be able to.


  12. I never thought cooking in the nude was unsanitary but I can understand why others might think so! We only use our hands while cooking, not our feet or any other parts of our bodies and we most certainly don’t touch ourselves in the middle of making a meal (well, not me at least). Cooking in the nude can be fun, especially with someone you get along with such as a romantic partner. The only thing that I am worried about when taking part in this is having oil splash onto me (it has happened on more than one occasion ha!) It is definitely an experience but it isn’t for everyone!


  13. Reading this post made me want to go back to England but this time experience it not from London and a hotel room but from a house where cooking can happen! I agree that cooking in the nude is not something horrible. Like you said, as long as you don’t put cooking utensils in unsanitary places then you should be good lol I am guilty of cooking in the nude, maybe not complete nude but partial nudity at times. Sometimes you wake up no pants and are hungry and cook eggs or sometimes it’s so freaking hot you can only strip so much when cooking. As long as I’m careful, aka no hot oil or hot water spillage or burning on stoves or ovens, then all is good!


  14. Reading this post made me want to go back to England and stay in an actual house and not a hotel so I can grocery shop and cook in a kitchen! I loved the groceries there in London! Everything seemed so fresh. I must agree though that I see nothing wrong with cooking in the nude. Just like you said, as long as I don’t put utensils in unsanitary places while I cook then all is well. I’m guilty of cooking in the nude. Ok, maybe not 100% percent nude but partially nude for sure and I see nothing wrong with it. I wash my hands and sanitize and clean all my utensils before and in between using them. Sometimes you wake up with no pants and are hungry so you go downstairs to cook breakfast or sometimes it may be so hot that you can only strip so much when cooking. As long as no harm is done physically to yourself while cooking nude then all is well! I mean, people at the beach and pool cook partially nude right?


  15. I agree that cooking while being nude isn’t sanitary but I think it’s to try not to get burn from whatever you’re cooking. I’ve never really though that it’d be sanitary.


  16. That article you read did seem kinda condemning.
    I think cooking in the nude is fine. Only thing I’d ask is to please tie up your hair. Lol


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