This seems like an obvious one. You can take a party bus service to the beach, the lake, pool parties, lounge-beside-the-pool-parties that become pool parties as soon as some unwilling victim gets tossed in. It’s all fun and games until someone partially clothed and holding a beer gets thrown into the pool. Then it’s even better, obviously. At adult pool parties (and by that I just mean pool parties that happen to be for adults, not, like adult adult pool parties), sometimes it takes someone getting shoved in the water for people to actually use the pool properly. Sure, people are floating on floaty things, drinks in hand, chatting to the people on the floaty things next to them, but that’s not really swimming.

I understand, of course, why some people don’t want to get into the pool. And in my experience, granted, it’s usually women. Call me sexist, but I’m sure if you think about it at all, you’ll find that you’ve noticed the same thing. And hey, I get it! I’m one of those women, a lot of the time. Frankly, we’ve just got more at stake. First of all, there’s our hair. We generally have more of it than men do, and it generally looks a lot worse for wear coated in pool water and chlorine than a man’s does. That’s honestly a huge thing for me; I hate being out and about with hair that feels dirty. Maybe I’m vain. Sue me.

Then there’s the make-up. Listen, the only thing I wear is mascara, and I still don’t like having it all washed off and all over my face and everything, so I can totally get on board with women who have spent like a half hour putting on their face specifically to attend a pool party not wanting to have it all smudged up and destroyed in the water. I get it.

That said, there are ways to get around that. First, put up your hair. That helps. Secondly, you could skip the make-up that day. Now, I understand, this kind of depends on who you’re with. If it’s good friends, then who cares about make-up! They’ve seen worse. But if it’s a party that involves people you don’t know, I understand that sometimes the prospect of a make-up free face can be daunting. But it shouldn’t be!

Just like not having a perfect bikini body shouldn’t keep us from going in the water! And I’m talking men and women here, because I know that unrealistic expectations for our bodies exists for all genders. And that sucks. Even as a kid, I remember not swimming at birthday parties because I thought I was too fat to wear a bathing suit. And that’s so, so sad. Because I know that there are SO many kids who still suffer from thinking like that. And adults, too! I myself am still guilty of it sometimes.

But man, swimming is so fun. So have more pool parties. Drive up to the lake or over to the ocean or whatever more often. Go with your friends, go with your family, go with friends of friends, whatever, just get yourself outside and allow yourself to be free from societal expectations about how you should look, even if it’s just for one afternoon every summer. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.