London business The Naked Dinner to launch in Auckland

Author
Herald on Sunday,
Section
Business,
Publish Date
Sunday, 10 February 2019, 3:35p.m.
Dinner guests were given an apron upon arrival and were encouraged to reveal themselves "at their own pace". (Photo / Supplied)
Dinner guests were given an apron upon arrival and were encouraged to reveal themselves "at their own pace". (Photo / Supplied)

While many Aucklanders get dressed up to head out for dinner, a new event is asking attendees to dress down - in fact, take it all off - for their dining experience.

The Naked Dinner is taking place in Auckland's Grey Lynn for the first time, the founders having moved over from London early this year.

One half of the duo running the show, Lisa McMillan, markets it as a "supper club with a twist", that explores the idea of platonic nudity.

"Something that I really like is that everyone comes and quickly gets the realisation that everyone has the same bits, but looks completely different," she said.

"Everyone leaves with a bit more confidence."

Following a welcome drink, attendees would ditch the clothes for an apron - which McMillan said was like a "safety net".

"It's up to you how much you want to reveal throughout the night," the event description read.

It also made clear there would be "no sexual activity of any kind".

Organiser Lisa McMillan said the events attracted those already running a nudist lifestyle, as well as others wanting to boost body positivity. Photo / Supplied

By the end of each event, McMillan said the attendees had often forgotten they were naked and were having a "whale of a time".

She admitted this could partially be down to the alcohol - following the welcome drink the events were BYO wine, cider or beer.

McMillan, 30, kick started The Naked Dinner in London near the end of last year with her Kiwi boyfriend Doug.

The Brit had been working as an account manager in London while running the events as a side gig. The plan had always been to bring the business back to New Zealand, she said.

The first of the New Zealand events would take place next Friday, and McMillan said most spots had been filled. A second dinner would be held next month.

She described the dinners as a way of getting people out of their comfort zone. They also encouraged body positivity - which she feared many of us were lacking.

"Just generally chatting to friends, I was quite surprised by the lack of confidence I saw in some of them - just with themselves," she said.

"Maybe part of the reason is social media - we're now meant to look perfect."

The couple were holding the events, which cost $70 to attend, at their new home in Grey Lynn, where the interior was designed to cater for a party of 10.

The pair would sit with their eight guests on cushions around a low table. The cushions had removable covers, she said, which they would pop in the wash afterwards.

Their usual attendees were a mix of singles and couples - all of whom were usually in their late 20s or early 30s.

Reasons for attendance were varied - McMillan said they had some nudists as well as others wanting to improve their body confidence.

"I love pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, but I also don't really want to do a bungy jump.

"It's nice to get some natural adrenaline in another way."

 

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