The naked party scene is hotting up in Auckland with a former Apprentice NZ star encouraging those attending to leave their inhibitions at home.
Auctioneer Michael Wilson tells Spy the “undie parties” take people – everyone from tradies to corporates - to a whole new level of connection.
“There is no judgment, but connection on a higher level,” he says.
Wilson, who placed third in The Apprentice NZ in 2021, says like any good club party, the star DJ is central to an orgy of great energy on the dance floor and beyond.
An array of different parties are offered by The Naked World, billed as “a social adventure for the curious mind”. The queen of the naked party is Hannah Tasker-Poland, whose performances are in demand, once earning repeated standing ovations from Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino after he saw her perform at Las Vegas Club in Karangahape Rd.
The multi-talented dance artist is also a choreographer, avant-garde burlesque/fetish artist, stunt performer, SPFX body paint and prosthetics performance specialist, producer, stage and screen actor, model and muse.
Renowned for her fabulous costuming and body painting and self-described “movement alchemy”, Tasker-Poland works closely with The Naked World founder Lisa McMillan who, after time spent in Europe, launched the concept in New Zealand in 2019.
“I don’t think I really know what the ‘naked scene’ is,” Tasker- Poland says.
“But one thing I know for sure is that acceptance and openness around the body, skin, flesh, nudity is thankfully becoming more accepted and normalised.”
The “undie parties” are the perfect happening to share the kind of provocative, risqué, unsettlingly sexy performance art that she loves.
“The whole ethos of the events is a space where the body, in all its forms, is celebrated and where freedom of expression, identity, and eroticism are celebrated.”
Her performances have seen an entire rigged pulley system that showered gold paint down on her while tearing multiple anatomically correct prosthetics off her body, to stripping down and having the crowd write and draw all over her body in lipstick.
Tasker-Poland has worked hard to perfect her art for more than 20 years. She’s mostly a one-woman operation, from concept to creation, choreography and performance.
“That said, I have had a slew of incredible creative collaborators on board such as composers, musicians, lighting designers and costume designers,” she tells Spy.
“Producing, creating and touring my own full-length works has been a significant career highlight, with my most recent work, The Most Naked, having just finished its sixth tour season.”
Whether she’s working on a movie, in the theatre or at a Naked World party, a Tasker-Poland’s performance is a standout on every level, The parties and the naked scene, which can pop up on laypeople’s social media feeds with friends in common are gaining momentum as a movement - guests can choose whether they wish to be photographed.
McMillan has just visited Berlin, arguably the capital city of expression, has been checking the “naked” scene there and in London with future Auckland parties in mind. She launched The Naked World for the most practical of reasons.
“I used to get terrible social anxiety at dinner parties, even with my closest friends,” she says.
“At one stage I thought to myself, ‘This is ridiculous, I can sit in a black hole for an hour without saying a word’.”
She thought about the trick public speakers use to overcome their fear - imagining the audience naked. What if everyone at the table was naked, she wondered?
“From there this social experiment of levelling the mental playing field for attendees became an ongoing theme, later looking at gender, age, sexual orientation and now fetishes,” she says.
McMillan started with The Naked Dinner, where guests were invited to change into just an apron, which they could remove whenever and however they liked.
“The events sold out every three weeks, so after a four-month stint abroad I launched the Undie Party, which brought the same desired outcome to a larger audience. The new line of events called for a rebrand, resulting in The Naked World, which now umbrellas a range of events and happenings.”
The Undie Party hosts 500 guests at Everybody’s in Fort Lane under set dress code themes including Sugar Rush, Sheer Ball, Halloween, and Magnetism.
“Guests are entertained from start to finish with the climax being a big performance around 1am,” she says.
McMillan says she’s excited about a Halloween party on November 3, where Tasker-Poland will perform.
“It will be simply extraordinary,” she says. “If you saw her one-woman show, The Most Naked at Q Theatre, you witnessed a significant piece of art.”
In March McMillan rolled out The Naked World’s first festival called Naked In The Trees (NITT). The intimate affair was a three-day weekend of music and workshops that involved everything from talking non-monogamy, yoga to sound healing for the 350 attendees.
“NITT became an adults’ playground with a swimming pool, sauna, iced plunge pools, showers that ran straight off the tree trunks, a tattoo parlour, with the festival introducing the first play space for sexual exploration into The Naked World.”
McMillan is hoping to attract more than 1000 festival goers to NITT next March.
Next up with be AVOWAL, The Naked World’s first sex party in April.
McMillan, Tasker-Poland and Wilson all strongly point out that the various events have their own set of rules. All guests go through a consent team to ensure they clearly understand what those are.
“An open mind, welcoming demeanour and kind approach are necessities for all events. We ask guests to be conscious of vocabulary and to say hello to anyone that looks lost or in need of something,” says McMillan.
The core values of The Naked World are curiosity and creativity, she says. She encourages people new to the scene to start off at an Undie Party.
“My main aim for these events is to give patrons such a buzz that they carry the confidence they build at an event through to the boardroom. The level of creativity at the events is wild. I’m always so impressed by attendees’ skills and imaginations. For Magnetism, one girl turned up as a fridge - brilliant!”