Editor’s note: There is no association known or implied between today’s runners who maintain running streaks and the streaking fad of the 1970s except that, because of the common name, the two “interests” can be confused in conversation. Here, we offer some reader accounts of the “other” kind of streaking. The Sun Journal does not endorse public nudity, which can be prosecuted as a Class E misdemeanor. 

It’s a good thing my father doesn’t often read what I write because I imagine he would be horrified to learn his daughter was once an avid streaker.

The naked kind. Not the mile-a-day kind, although I nearly did that too.

When I first came to Bates College, I used to dress myself under a towel in the locker rooms, not quite confident in my own skin. But by the end of my college days, more or less, I had streaked campus with friends more than half-a-dozen times, including the inside of the library and the dining hall.

A certain sports team has a long-standing tradition of running naked across campus on graduation night, always led by a man wielding a moose antler. Some years, Campus Security was even thoughtful enough to stop traffic on College Street as dozens of us raced across, headed for a dip in the Puddle.

It’s one of my favorite traditions from Bates. But perhaps my proudest moment was streaking the library during finals week my senior year.


As nine men and I undressed in the stairwell, I made the mistake of occupying the small space under the stairs, putting myself eye-level with — let’s just say I covered my eyes until it was time to go.

We ran a lap around every one of the library’s four floors with glee. But fear not. In the midst of the pandemic, all of us responsibly wore masks.

Just, not much else.

After most of us had left the library, clothes on, a security officer was seen walking inside. Rumor had it a new librarian had called for help after the exhibitionist display.

Say what you want about Bates Security, but they’ve never tried to stop the streakers. They know it would be a losing battle.

I’m not the only person with fond memories of baring it all. Below, Sun Journal readers share the real, naked truth of their own experiences.


— An unnamed reporter


When we were kids – I’m pretty sure I was 12 – my two older step-brothers and my younger brother were challenged (or dared) to get undressed in the basement of the house and run out to the swimming pool (oldest to youngest) and dive into the pool.

We did it, and our dad managed to get it all on his 8-millimeter home movie camera. Once the short film was returned to us by mail after being processed, it became the most requested one to show on “movie nights” for a very long time.

Usually someone would try to remember to put Ray Stevens’ 1974 hit single “The Streak” on the record player to accompany the short film during the showing. We owned both the 45 rpm single and the 33 rpm album. I think we wore both of them out on our record players at home.

— A Jay native



Near the end of the war, Operation Desert Storm, we had a formation of the troops. We had to have our nuclear-biological-chemical gear in our backpack with us at all times.

At this formation they told us troops that all we had to wear was our gas mask. This one guy, being funny, took all his clothes off and only had his gas mask around his waist. He came by our area of the compound, rounding the corner and running right into the first sergeant.

I don’t need to tell you, he high-tailed it to his room. It made for a good, well-needed laugh.

— A member of the 619th Transportation Company, Army Reserve, Auburn



My best friend and I were working summer jobs in Bar Harbor, both cooks at local restaurants, and sharing an apartment downtown. We worked 6 days a week and had one day off. Most of the time we were mature upstanding citizens. But one night my girlfriend, who was also working a summer job there, came over and forced us to drink too much beer. She then fell asleep leaving us to fend for ourselves.

My friend suggested passing the time by taking our clothes off and running down Main Street. It was 2 a.m. so tourist traffic would be light, we reasoned. The fact that, with a good arm, the police station was close enough to hit with a rock wasn’t among our considerations as I recall.

Armed with the memories of seeing fellow students at the University of Maine running across the quad in all their glory, and emboldened by our frustrations with tourists who sent meals back to the kitchen (they deserved to see us naked!), we stripped off our clothes in the hallway and then spent the next 5 or so minutes exploring our fortitude.

“You go.”

“No, you go!”

“You’re afraid, aren’t you?”


“You calling me yellar?!?”

It went like that for a while until it dawned on us that we were both naked, standing in a well-lit hallway in front of a glass door looking out on a road and large parking area.

We quickly decided that the first one to run down to Main Street and circle back to the apartment without getting caught was the winner. Clad only in sneakers — safety first — we shot down an alleyway on to Main Street, paused in the middle of the street to check out the action — the place was deserted — and ran back to the apartment, having completed our mission, having aired our “grievances,” and having successfully eluded the town’s one seasonal cop.

Who won? In my humble opinion, it depends on how you look at it. My friend won the race. But I like to think he ran faster because he had slightly more to be embarrassed about.

— An Auburn man



One of the best streaks I know of was a two-man streak of the Roundhouse Lounge in Auburn decades ago (where the Center Street Value Inn is today).

Two young local men from very prominent families entered the lounge from doors at each end of the room. They crossed like the Blue Angels in front of the band, exiting through the opposite entry doors. The crossing maneuver had the effect of “freezing” security just long enough for the escape to be executed.

— An Auburn man


Back in the day, 20-year-old me, the wife and another couple ran out of the apartment on New Year’s Eve with lamp shades on our heads in our birthday suits. This was on the corner of Pleasant Street and Court Street in Auburn, but the building is no longer there.

Being stupid enough to do that, I was also stupid enough to forget the keys to the security building. We had to ring the doorbell of the manager. He came down to four kids completely naked holding lamp shades. He shook his head, laughed and walked away…. lesson learned.


— A local man


Several years ago, my wife and I met some friends at Gritty’s in Auburn for some beers and dinner. It was the middle of winter, but I’m not really sure what month.

Somehow I got the idea to dare my friend Brian to streak back to the car, which was parked in the municipal lot down the street. It was dark, but not really late. We both stripped down in an entrance of a neighboring business (that was closed at that time of night) and ran right down the middle of Main Street to our car.

We then had to stand next to the car waiting for our wives because, in the humor of all this, they forgot to follow us to the car with our clothes and the keys! From what I remember, we got lucky that no cars drove down Main Street while we were streaking.

— A Norway man



My first time ever streaking was on a snowy day, the first snowy day of my freshman year of college, in fact. A group of us in my freshman hall decided to do the traditional streaking of the quad that day.

Unfortunately, it went poorly for me. My clothes, except for my boxers, got stolen, and I had to sheepishly scoot back to the dorm in the cold.

It didn’t ruin streaking for me though. I have several fond memories of streaking my final week of college, at a Halloween party with a friend dressed as a streaker and more. Just some good, clean fun.

— A Portland man



It was the early 1980s. My friend was dared to streak through, I believe, Bolster Heights Residential Care in Auburn.

I let him out and went to the pick-up point. I could hear the voices of the nurses and residents. I was scared a little, but soon enough he was jumping into the car, and we were off.

He’d had a few beers to get his courage up. It was certainly fun.

— A Turner woman


It was a cold December weekend evening in 1995 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. A group of soldiers was at someone’s apartment off post, very productively disposing of many cans of cheap beer.


One soldier, whom we shall call Private K, challenged Private R to run around the block and then up the exterior stairs to the apartment, completely in the buff. Fifty dollars was offered at some point with the taunt of “I bet you won’t do it.”

Fifty bucks was a chunk of change in 1995. My clothes were off in seconds, and away I went, around the block and back up the stairs, freezing my butt off.

As soon as I reached the top of the stairs, the guy who challenged me took a picture and handed me the $50. Two weeks later, he came into our barracks room with a print of me at the top of the stairs.

I used that picture the next Christmas in a card to my mother. My mom had a great sense of humor. She thought it hilarious.

— A Maryland veteran

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