52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I don't wanna holiday in the sun....

I have to say that I've never really been that interested in getting a tan. Partly this is because I find sunbathing to be one of the most tedious activities on Earth and partly this is because I'm not in the least bit bothered by the way it looks. Oh, and apparently it's also extremely bad for you. Tanned skin is damaged skin, you know. Not surprisingly then, I find the whole trend for tanning a little bit baffling. It's incredibly narcissistic, isn't it? I've never really understood why, in their quest for the all-year tan, people will willingly go to a salon and submit themselves to damaging ultra-violet light, or why they will sit for hours slow roasting on a beach. Boring.

For me, pale is interesting (although, to be fair, I have a skin tone that could optimistically be called "olive", but would more accurately be described as "yellow", and with my hairline, it's always wisest to wear a hat in the summer months.....). Rightly or wrongly, there is a part of me that sees someone with a tan and thinks that they are preeningly vain (more so when I see a tanned guy than when I see a tanned girl, for some reason. I'm sure there must be some exceptions, but in my head, I always reckon that a man with a glowing tan is also likely to have a highlighted mullet and overly plucked eyebrows .... and probably likes the music of Westlife, Simply Red and Phil Collins. That's got to be true though, right?).

Until today, I knew very little about the mechanics of how you go about getting a serious tan, and I cared even less....... and then I had a conversation with Claire, the girl who sits opposite me at work. Claire likes a bit of sun, has just got back from a week in Portugal and is as brown as a nut and keen to stay that way.

The conversation started harmlessly enough: we had a bit of a chat about her holiday... but then, before I could blink, we seemed to be talking about sunbathing and how it is important to make sure you get "an all over tan". What this means --- I know this now --- is that you have to:

(a) get naked
(b) make sure that you frequently change the position of your body so that everywhere catches the sun.

Let's think about that for a moment.


Between the toes? Yes. Apparently that's important when you wear open-toed shoes.
Under the arms? Very, very important in a season with so many sleeveless tops. Don't forget the backs of your arms either.
Underneath the breasts? Obviously. This may entail a bit of strategic lifting and shifting.

Anywhere else?

Ah yes..... Between the bum cheeks.

Two questions immediately sprang to mind:

1) Does this mean that you have to adopt a "cheeks apart" position? (Yes)

2) Why on earth would you need to make sure you tanned *there*? Who would get to see in there? Who would care?

The answer to the second question is a bit crude, but I'm afraid there's no getting away from it. It is (of course) important to make sure you have an even tan between the cheeks of the arse just in case you end up having sex with someone and they are, um, entering you from behind.


Far from reeling from this revelation, my mind immediately jumped to the important questions: does this mean that there are some people in the world for whom a tan line between the bum cheeks is a show-stopper in bed? does this mean that there are people on sunbeds right now with their arse cheeks peeled apart so that they can get an even tan? Does this mean that cleaning a sunbed is one of the least desirable jobs in the world?

I tell you.

Every day is a school day, isn't it?


  • At 8:51 pm, Blogger Alecya G said…

    Oh, goodness. I've just had a bit of a laughing fit over that one...

    Its true, though. My gym even has a built in/side along tanning corporation. I always get funny looks when I'm at the pool. Thats because I am, like you, quite pale and keen to stay that way. And its not just for health reasons, why on *earth* would you want to look like an Oompah Loompah? [And this is indeed the look that is popular in my reigon]

    *shakes head*

    I can't fathom...Maybe its like when you used to want to be pale, to prove you didnt have to work. Except now the idea is that you're a jet setter, and can go all these fabulous places that scorch your skin - like the Carribbean or South Seas, or whatever.

    As for me? Pass the sunblock...

  • At 10:48 pm, Blogger Michael said…

    thank you ST, for making me even happier to be one of the palest people on the planet, who avoids being touched by direct sunlight at all costs.

    Then, people wonder why I look 22 when I'm almost 30.

  • At 11:16 pm, Blogger HistoryGeek said…

    I love the sun...but my skin and the sun are not friends. I burn...which will fade to a darker pale...then I burn again.

    And, I do sincerely doubt that anyone who's gotten so far as to get into a position to witness the tanlessness of your buttocks is really not going to care. (But it does beg the question that if they did, why would you want them there anyway?)

  • At 11:18 pm, Blogger Flash said…

    I'm assuming if you overdo it you'll end up walking like John Wayne.

  • At 6:02 am, Blogger Aravis said…

    You've put images in my mind I've never wanted and now can't shake. Ugh. *G*

    I neither seek nor particularly avoid the sun, but I have the same sort of complexion as Spins so have to be careful if I'm out too long. I agree with her too that most people won't care whether or not your bum is evenly tanned, and I wouldn't want to be with someone who would care about that sort of thing.

    *shaking head*

  • At 11:23 am, Blogger LB said…

    good lord. You don't want to be encountering a white tan-less stripe just at the point of doggie-entry, do you? Similarly, the hutching-up of bosoms is essential so as you don't encounter pale white skin on your journey from north to south (as it were).


    (and wait for the google searches that land here after this one. The mind boggles)

  • At 11:30 am, Blogger adem said…

    I do like tans, as long as they are not artificial. By artificial I mean sunbeds and sunbathing.

    The only time I get a tan is if I'm working outside, say gardening, or I'm out playing sport or swimming in the sea, and I view the tan as secondary to all that.

    Of course I make sure I've got sunblock on too. I'd rather not get cancer, thankyou.

  • At 3:37 pm, Blogger old enough to moan said…

    When I was a kid my Dad used to 'Tan my Arse', but that involved using his belt!

    Why anyone would want between their cheeks tanning is beyond me.
    Is if for Camouflage?

  • At 4:26 pm, Blogger Graham said…

    Yes, i too try to avoid direct sunlight as much as possile. It makes me look less young. After all, as you say tanned skin is damaged skin.

    Mind you, the thing I always think of is that orange is NOT a skin colour.

  • At 4:51 pm, Blogger Stef said…

    I can't believe anyone could be arsed to spend that much time and effort to get a tan...

    *shakes head*

    Maybe it's something that has to be seen to be believed. ;-)

  • At 4:53 pm, Blogger -L said…

    Wow...you ask a question, and you get a lot more to think about, don't ya?! :) I am laughing because your post was so entertaining, ST. Thanks for being a ray of sunshine (no pun intended) on this gloomy, rainy Friday!

  • At 7:54 pm, Blogger Del said…

    Mercifully, I am ginger, so I come in two shades: white and red. And my skin actually is white, and it doesn't bother me much at all. I'd look a bit wrong with a tan, I like to think. Factor 14000 for Delboy.

    A tan can look good, but so can a lot of things. It's horses for courses, I suppose.

  • At 2:15 pm, Blogger Paul said…

    Can't believe anyone would lie on a beach on holiday, holding their cheeks apart.

    I obviously don't go to the right sort of resorts...


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