"Don't arrest me I was born this way!"
- seen on a the body of a Naked Mile participant
Beaches with a tradition of nude
use usually aren't a problem. Often, there isn't an explicit law
against nude sunbathing, and the authorities ignore secluded groups of
nude sunbathers. If you aren't far enough away from the clothed crowd,
they might ask you to dress. In cases where there is a clear law
against nude sunbathing, you could be ticketed, but usually only if
you refuse to dress when asked. The police usually would rather be
doing something more productive, and will likely cut you all the slack
they can. Still, don't push it in an area known to be unfriendly to
the idea. "Indecent exposure" charges are usually reserved for
flashers and others who are deliberately disturbing the peace. Simple
nudity in a secluded setting usually doesn't qualify as indecent
exposure unless there is a deliberate attempt to offend.
Your best bet is to visit a beach
with a long tradition of hassle free nude use. Some states have
designated nude beaches, while others have areas where they simply
turn a blind eye. There are no federal laws against nudity, so many of
the best places are in secluded areas of federal parks, seashores, and
other federal recreation areas. Beware that some federal areas are
less friendly than others. See my page on Where to Go for some
So you find the place and walk down
toward a bunch of "naked people". Then what? Just relax. Hang around
the edges or set up a "safe" distance away so you can observe what's
going on. No one will mind if you keep your suit on. Take your time.
If you're not comfortable with slipping out of your suit on this
visit, maybe next time. Stay as long as you like. You're free to leave
at any time.
Getting naked the first time is like
going into cold water. Some like to take it slow, while others like to
dive in to get it over with. My advice is the latter. Make up your
mind and just take off your clothes as if there's nothing to it.
Ignore any thoughts to the contrary and you'll soon notice that it
wasn't such a big deal. Act natural and any remaining anxiety will
quickly abate. You'll be surprised how quickly it just "feels right".
From then on, just enjoy yourself.
Notice how unbroken the sun, surf, and sand feels on your body. Play
volleyball with the regulars if offered. Most people mind their own
business at nude beaches, but it's not because they're not friendly
(usually quite the opposite). Some people just want to be left alone,
and most people there respect that. Nude beaches are usually
relatively quiet and peaceful, compared with the riffraff and noise at
your typical beach.
If you aren't comfortable at one
beach, try another. If you'd feel safer with a group, check the guides
and the internet for groups that frequent beaches in your target area.
It may take a trip or two before you get used to it, but give it a
chance. Personally, I get frustrated when I go to a "textile" beach
with clothed friends. Once you get used to not having anything between
you and the beach, it's hard to go back.