Nude recreation and tourism has grown into a $400 million business, more than doubling in size in the last 10 years, according to travel industry estimates. It now includes several nude cruises, nude flights to Mexico, and clothing-optional condos and luxury resorts in nearly every tourist destination.
Nudist recreation might seem out of step in these conservative times. But advocates say the time is right for letting the breeze blow through your legs.
"I think Americans are waking up to the peace and serenity that comes with taking off your clothing. For one thing, nobody has a pocket for a cell phone or beeper," says Carolyn Hawkins of the American Association for Nude Recreation, which boasts more than 50,000 members and 260 clubs.
"In a room of naked people, you don't know who's a judge, and who's a secretary. It's really leaving all those distractions that divide people behind." [Next: The Spy Who Gonged Me]
8. The Spy Who Gonged Me: Leave it to former Gong Show host Chuck Barris to break the CIA's legendary code of silence.
Barris — the master of schlock TV — had been claiming for years that he was a hired assassin for the CIA, killing 33 enemy agents in dangerous assignments all over the world.
As a matter of policy, the CIA never reveals who it employs in its cloak and dagger games. Most people just sloughed off the game show host's wild claims as a lame attempt to spice up his autobiography. After all, this is a guy who hosted a TV talent show that featured a 300-lb. stripper who sang "I Gotta Be Me" and a banjo-playing vampire known as "Count Banjula."
But in January, however, when George Clooney turned the outlandish TV producer's secret life into Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the CIA was not amused and the famously stoic agency issued this historic statement:
"Chuck Barris never worked for the CIA. The notion that he worked for the CIA as an assassin is utterly ridiculous. Mr. Barris used to host The Gong Show … And he may have spent too much time next to the gong." [Next: First Family Bad Boys]
9. Oh Brother! Another First Family Bad Boy: The White House has a tradition of making a tabloid superstar out of a president's ne'er-do-well brother.
Jimmy Carter's brother Billy, a self-described "redneck philosopher," cashed in on his notoriety with "Billy Beer" — a controversial brew that went down as well as a scrumptious "Nixon Burger" — another First Brother's failed get-rich-quick scheme.
Likewise, Roger Clinton tried to leverage his White House connection into a singing career and invitation to every party in Hollywood. He did manage to earn the Secret Service code name "Headache."
This year, it was Neil Bush who provided further proof it might be politically advantageous to be an only child.
When the president's 48-year-old brother was in Hong Kong and Thailand on business trips, mysterious women would knock on his hotel door and have sex with him without any conversation, he admitted in divorce proceedings.
Bush didn't know if the women were prostitutes, according to his sworn statements. He didn't speak to them or know their names.
"You have to admit it's a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her," said his ex-wife's lawyer.
Bush agreed: "It was very unusual."