Whatever happened to that relic of the 60s, body paints?

Dear Cecil:

Since the thirty-year anniversary of Woodstock is looming on the horizon, I would like to inquire about a hard-to-find product that was a result of the hippie movement. Where can a body find body paints (washable, please)?

Cecil replies:

(Column updated 1996, internet links updated 2011)

It’s a sad commentary on the times — nearly everything is a sad commentary nowadays — but one of the main sources of body paints today consists of porn shops and sellers of what we politely refer to as “leather goods and rubber novelties.” The paints are sold under such names as “Lovin’ Hot Body Paints,” and presumably you’re supposed to smear them on your partner(s)’ naughty bits while doing the mattress mambo. I don’t know that this is so much different from what happened during the Age of Aquarius, but one likes to think people were purer of heart back then. The New York-based Pleasure Chest chain is a good source; failing that, check out the stores in your local gay neighborhood.

If you’re the type that embarrasses easily, don’t worry — many toy stores carry body paints too, although you’ll probably have better luck if you ask the clerk for face paint. The stuff’s in big demand at birthday parties and other youthful gatherings. You probably won’t see many kids painting their faces with American flags and other ’60s motifs — more likely cats and clowns — but the idea is basically the same.

Send questions to Cecil via cecil@straightdope.com.

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