How Nude Beaches Work


Nude Beach Behavior

Please, please don't be creepy. That's probably the No. 1 rule of nude beach etiquette. In short, just because other people choose to bare their bodies on the beach doesn't necessarily mean that they want to be stared at, harassed or photographed, particularly by a guy in a hooded sweatshirt wearing dark sunglasses. We see you, weird guy, and we want you to go away.

The Haulover Beach website has other some good tips for "nudetiquette" (they should know): Given the nature of the environment, a lot of people don't actively engage in conversations with strangers, and if they're nice enough to say hello, consider making only eye contact — nothing below the waist.

Don't be surprised if people are tight-lipped about their full names or professions. No one likes to be judged, on the beach or later, when they've returned to their professional lives.

Try not to bring out your smartphone or camera. Nude beachgoers are leery of "selfies" that "accidentally" have images of naked people in the background. It's not OK to shoot and share, unless you want to be the pariah of the party. Some private resorts ban cameras altogether. Public beaches may not be able to do this, so never take a picture of someone without their permission.

It should go without saying either, that you never take pictures of naked children, whether you post them online or not. You can expect repercussions ranging from verbal assault to prosecution, or worse, if you do so.

It's rude to plop yourself down right next to another person, particularly if there's plenty of empty beach. People like to have a little space, and nude beaches often amplify that desire.

Be sure to bring a towel, not for covering up, but for sitting on. Using a towel on chairs and stools prevents the spread of bacteria and keeps you from getting sand in your butt. Many people bring two towels: one to sit on and one to dry off with.

Finally, refrain from sexual activity and sexual displays of affection. On a public beach, these could be grounds for arrest.

Even though social pressure strongly discourages voyeurism and curious onlookers, shady-looking folks (typically men) routinely show up to peek at nude beaches. If you try to do so, don't be surprised if someone confronts you and asks you to either disrobe and join the fun — or leave the area.