Come June, one of Nerve's most enduringly popular features will return. I Did It For Science follows the sexy, occasionally humiliating, and often hilarious adventures of two Nerve writers who'll try anything once — as long as it's for science. All-new installments, by a fresh pair of writers, will hit your screen in just a few short weeks. In the meantime, we continue our refresher course with this classic installment by the legendary Rev. Jen Miller. Click here for more.

HYPOTHESIS:
State your hypothesis in the form of a prediction that can be verified by the results of the experiment.

When Henry David Thoreau wrote, "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothing," perhaps he had nude housecleaning in mind. After all, even strippers need to invest in pasties and stilettos, and I can't count the number of times I've donned a striking new slack-suit for a job interview, only to be shown the door five minutes into the meeting. Maybe it's time I cashed in on my exhibitionistic tendencies and exchanged my clothes for a feather duster. Would nude housekeeping prove to be a rewarding job, a way of flashing some flesh and scrubbing sinks for profit? Or would it be more about getting dirty than cleaning up?

MATERIALS:
Please list all the materials required for this experiment (including, if applicable, how they were obtained).


  • One canister of Scrubbing Bubbles (They work hard, so you don't have to.)
  • Three-pack of Scotch-Brite sponges
  • One roll of Bounty paper towels (the quicker-picker-upper)
  • Brillo pads
  • Clorox disinfecting wipes
  • Yellow latex gloves

METHOD:
In this portion of your report, you must describe, step-by-step, what you did in your lab. It should be specific enough that someone who has not seen the lab can follow the directions and recreate the same lab.

My search for employment began online. I Googled the words "nude housecleaning" in the hope of finding an appropriate temp agency. Unsurprisingly, a link to the "household services" section of Craigslist appeared. When I clicked through, I found a spattering of ads placed by aspiring nude housekeepers mixed in with hundreds of ads placed by clothed housekeepers. It seemed that a well-written ad on Craigslist was my best bet. Since I was conducting my Internet search from my part-time day job (where I'd already been reprimanded for excessive web surfing), I had to work quickly to avoid The Man. After a moment's deliberation, I typed:

Adorable nude housecleaner will clean your pad spic-and-span for a reasonable fee. Available immediately.

I figured that "adorable" sounded infinitely less conceited than "hot" or "sexy." Plus, I figured men who were seeking nude housekeepers were probably looking more for June Cleaver than Jenna Jameson.

Moments later, a deluge of e-mails appeared in my inbox. Posting my ad on the coldest weekend of the year had been a stroke of genius. No one was planning to leave his or her apartment. The very idea that someone, anyone, was willing to go outside, let alone take off their clothes, was a phenomenon — a marketing blitz.

"Do you do bathtubs?" "What is your rate?" and "Can you send me a picture?" were the most common requests. Not knowing how much to charge, I looked to the other ads on Craigslist, but all of the nude housecleaners simply wrote, "e-mail me for rates," with the exception of one nude housecleaner who was offering his services for free.

"Ew!" exclaimed my coworker, Angie, who'd been hovering over my shoulder, reading the various ads. The going rate for clothed housekeepers was between ten and twenty dollars per hour. "If they just took their clothes off, they could make a lot more money," I surmised. "Maybe they need a manager." Fifty dollars an hour seemed to be a fair price, if not a bit on the cheap side. But because my endeavor was really a science project, I didn't believe it was ethical to charge premium rates.

"What's the best way to clean a bathtub?" I asked Angie. (Not that I don't clean my bathtub; it's just that I clean my bathtub with no regard for whether or not I leave scratches.)

"Scrubbing Bubbles," she responded confidently. "Definitely Scrubbing Bubbles."

"Really?" My mother had used Scrubbing Bubbles in the '70s, and I was sure bathtub-cleaning technology must have advanced since then. "What if I faint from the fumes? I don't want to end up naked and unconscious on the bathroom floor."

"Maybe you should wear one of those paper masks," she suggested.

"That's not really erotic, is it?" I was going to look silly enough bent over in unflattering positions, my loose flesh flapping about. I didn't need to compound the ridiculousness with a mask.

After work, I went by the drugstore to peruse the cleaning-supply section. Much to my surprise, I noticed that Scrubbing Bubbles had multiplied into an entire line of products, including toilet brushes, Fizz-it toilet tablets and mildew-stain removers. The new products featured angry-looking bubble mascots with arched eyebrows and aggressive expressions. I wondered if the new, evil-looking bubbles were a reflection of American politicians in the new millennium — at war with an unseen enemy, going about their business blindly, only to be washed down the drain eventually. I was overcome with sadness. Then I realized that the old-school Scrubbing Bubbles canister still featured the happy-looking, bristle-mustachioed bubbles of yore. This cheered me.

On my way home from Duane Reade, I stopped in at the local video store, hoping to pick up a copy of Maid in Manhattan for inspiration. Maybe my first client would be a Ray Fiennes look-alike who would whisk me out of destitution and into a life of leisure and couture. Predictably, I could not locate said J. Lo vehicle — this being a downtown hipster video store — and I was too embarrassed to ask the surly cashier if they carried it. Instead I rented Murderous Maids, a French film about two incestuous sisters who are also maids and kill their employers. Probably a little more realistic.

At home I slipped into my footie pajamas and popped open my blueberry laptop, whereupon I began e-mailing current photos of myself to potential employers. I made an appointment with "Tony," an Upper West Sider who wanted to see me the next day at the unreasonable hour of nine-thirty a.m. We agreed on a minimum of two hours of cleaning.

Another potential client named "Ryan" — who had yet to see my photo — sent me his cellphone number and requested I call immediately. He's awfully trusting, I thought, dialing the number.

Commentarium (16 Comments)

May 28 09 - 12:09am
KenM

Bring back Jen!

May 29 09 - 6:14pm
JWW

Great read, was very entertaining.

Jun 12 09 - 4:05am
gm

Definite food for thought...

Jun 17 09 - 4:06am
DAA

I'm now Googling for my local Rev. Jen Miller, Naked Housekeeper in SoCal.

Oct 24 09 - 8:31pm
BH

I have had a nude housekeeper for years. She comes in once every few weeks and does the tub, the floors, etc. The deal when she started was 10 an hour dressed, 20 an hour in bra and panties, and 40 an hour nude. I had no relationship with her before this deal except that she was the night audit person at a big national chain hotel I stayed at in town every week for a couple years before getting my town apartment in the town where I work. When she got laid off when the hotel closed down, she called about the housecleaning. I reminded her of my offer. She didn't commit to which rate she would work for but when she came over she took the 40 dollar rate and has taken that rate for years now. There's no sex but I have taken some pictures of her cleaning.

Nov 23 09 - 3:17pm
JD

Now we would like a report from a male naked housecleaner.

Dec 08 09 - 1:50pm
DC

I have cleaned houses when I needed money. it is not my usual gig. To keep the thing interesting I offered as a bonus for free. I wanted to make it fun. I did not think ahead some strategy about this. The woman that owned the house was a friend, not a lover. Maybe I was putting it out there yet my act was a gift. I have to say that cleaning a house was never so fun. I never knew when she would be in the room. She loved it and I did this a few times for her.

Jan 22 10 - 1:33pm
KW

I clean my own tub. AND I DO IT NUDE. (That way I can go inside of it and scrub more effectively.)

May 14 10 - 4:00pm
Montgomery

you are brilliant bless your adorable heart i am seriously considering hiring someone as well as possibly managing a few ladies who might be interested in a partnership xhellabentx@yahoo.com

May 25 10 - 4:32am
Ajith

That was a really interesting read. Appreciate your honesty while writing.

Jun 01 10 - 1:53pm
billy

Great article! I really appreciated the author's honesty and I could tell she enjoyed the experience. Ive been thinking along the same lines myself, but I'm a man. Been giving it a lot of thought!

Oct 04 10 - 2:45am
memet

plzzzzz we download is apps

Oct 21 10 - 4:42pm
Thinking

Loved it! What great pictures painted with these words!

Nov 02 10 - 4:45pm
PattiP

I loved the story! I've been toying with the idea myself, and I think I'm actually going to try it. Look for me on craigslist soon!

Jul 17 11 - 10:47pm
Kelly

I miss Jen. Bring back Jen. What have you been up to girl?

Aug 09 11 - 9:00am
Ed

Loved the story, thanks.