The do’s and don’ts on a nude beach

We nudists care a lot about our freedom. It’s not that we’re anarchists (well, some of us might be), but we like to step away from the rules and measures that government and society try to impose on us.
Instead of comparing our cars, clothes and jewellery with each other, we prefer to leave all that behind and get to know others in their most pure form. That’s why we bare it all. We decide whether we like someone or not based on what they have to say instead of on what they own, and it seems like this way we actually like a lot of people.


But we digress. What we’re trying to say here is that the average nudist doesn’t appreciate a certain rule set, especially not when it comes to our nudist resorts. So we prefer to talk about guidelines, about do’s and don’ts. A nude beach etiquette.
Following guidelines are specific for nude beaches, but most of them can be applied to other nudist resorts and naturist campings as well.

How to behave on a nude beach: Nude Beach Etiquette: The Do's and Don'ts

Do take off your clothes

Sounds pretty obvious doesn’t it?
Yet we hear complaints from all over the world that many visitors of clothing optional beaches seem to chose for the clothed option. Even though you do have the option, you shouldn’t go to such a beach if you have no intention to undress. This will cause discomfort for many nudists and will eventually influence the whole atmosphere on the beach.


There are some exceptions though. If you’re a first timer and you don’t feel comfortable going full monty from the first minute, it’s totally fine to take it slow. If you’re not a nudist but your partner is and you’re coming along to keep him/her company, it’s okay to keep your clothes on as well. The same counts if your children are uncomfortable being nude.
The general thought is: If you’re not a nudist and nobody in your company is, go to a textile beach.


Don’t stare at the other nude people

For first time nudists this can be a complicated point.
You’ve never been to a nude beach before, you want to look around but you have no idea where to look because there are naked people everywhere and you don’t want to be staring but you don’t want to look at the ground the whole afternoon either but people may think that you’re a pervert when you look at them but if you don’t look at all you’ll feel even more awkward but… but… but… Oh boy.
Many nudists will remember that feeling.


New Cambium intext 3
Let us clear this out for you: There’s nothing wrong with looking!
When you arrive at the beach, sit down, get comfortable and have a good look around. Watch the scene and see who else is there. Get comfortable with the sight of naked people around you.
But don’t stare. Staring makes others feel uncomfortable and we don’t want that.


Another tip: When you’re talking to others, try to keep eye contact.
In the beginning this can also be a bit difficult because there will be a naked person in front you and whether you like it or not, your eyes may be distracted. Don’t worry, you can have a quick glimpse. Just try to keep your eyes on the right level most of the time.

How to behave on a nude beach: Nude Beach Etiquette: The Do's and Don'ts

Do respect other people’s space

Maybe you’re a very social type or maybe you got so excited about this new experience that you just can’t wait to talk with everyone around you about it.
Just hold it there for a minute.
Nudists in general are very friendly people and you’re up for plenty of great conversations. But before you start talking to everyone it’s important to figure out who’s open for conversation.


People walking around on the beach or swimming in the sea are often easy to talk to. Others from whom you notice that they’ve picked a place on the of beach away from everyone else are often not.
Keep in mind that not everyone is as confident (yet) about their nudity as you and that some people really need their space. It’s not because you’re naked that you don’t want any privacy.


Also, on a textile beach it’s perfectly normal to stack up next to each other like sardines with your towel half covering the one of your neighbor. On a nude beach it’s preferred if you leave some space.


Don’t take visual souvenirs

We’ve gotten so used to taking selfies that we rarely think about where we actually are.
Whenever something strange, new or exciting happens it almost became an automatism to take our smartphone and immortalize the moment.
Try not to do this too much on the nude beach, especially if there are others around you.
People have little interest in appearing with their naked ass in your photo albums, or worse, on your Facebook.


Can you take a selfie?
Of course! Take one, two, three or five but then put your phone away. And remember: A selfie is about yourself, not someone else.
In many places a professional DSLR camera with a huge zoom lens is a perfect conversation starter… The nude beach is not such a place.

How to behave on a nude beach: Nude Beach Etiquette: The Do's and Don'ts

Do bring your towel

If there’s one thing that every nudist carries around, it’s probably a towel.
The most obvious reason for this is of course for hygiene. No matter how much we appreciate your nudity, we don’t want your sweat all over the place.
But it’s also practical. The feeling of your naked body touching the sand is a lot of fun, but if you’ve been sitting on the beach long enough you start noticing that the sand can find unexpected entrances to your body.


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And there’s more… You can use your towel to protect you from the sun when it gets too hot or as a blanket when it starts getting chilly. Or dust away the sand with it if you did sit in the sand (told you so…) and it can dry you after a swim in the sea.
By fold it into a kind of bag it’s easy to protect your valuables or clothes and if it’s big enough you could even make a tent and spend the night.
Reasons enough to bring one.


Don’t be too proud about your excitement

If there was one actual rule for the nude beach, it was probably “No sex on the beach”.
First of all, it’s illegal. Some people think that there’s a direct link between nudity and sex and therefore consider it okay to have sex on a nude beach. Those people are wrong. Sex in public is not done (on the nude beach that is. There are plenty of clubs where it’s perfectly allowed).
Where do you draw the line? Well, it’s exactly the same as in any public place. You can hug, you can kiss, you can hold hands, whatever. But if you want to touch each other’s genitals, get a room.


By the way, this doesn’t only count for couples.
Single women can of course hide their excitement much better than men, so they shouldn’t worry much.
The general guideline for men is whenever things start to go up, turn around. There are a couple of options, you could run into the sea hoping that the cold water will help, you could lay on your stomach or you could… yes, here’s another reason… use your towel to cover up.

How to behave on a nude beach: Nude Beach Etiquette: The Do's and Don'ts

Do make sure you’re actually on a nude beach

Imagine yourself arriving at the beach early in the morning, taking off your clothes, getting installed and go for a nap. A couple of hours later you’re woken up by the police with about 50 people behind them looking at you getting a ticket for indecent behavior.
This may sound like a joke but you wouldn’t be the first person that got into this situation.


In many cases, nude beaches are named after the town in which they are, but “Monterrey nude beach” does not mean that the whole beach in Monterrey is clothing optional. Look for the signs that say where the nude part starts and ends.
Often the nude beach is a bit hidden and harder to find, so make sure you get to the right place and don’t take off your clothes until you actually got there.


If there are any dunes, it doesn’t mean that they’re also clothing optional. If you’re not sure, ask around. The other nudies will be happy to help you.


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28 thoughts on “The do’s and don’ts on a nude beach”

  1. This was a pretty good artical, I’ve been a practicing nudist for about thirty-five years. Just wish there were more nudist camps (not beaches) that didn’t cost an arm and a leg, so far the only places I’ve been cost me no less than seventy-five dollars just to wander around naked, also wish there was some place other then the beach on Long island to go and hike nude, that would be spectacular, I LOVE being naked

  2. Great discussion, particularly for the newbie on the beach. I found the people at a nude beach my first time to be very friendly, particularly if I wasn’t pushy talking with them. On my very first nude beach experience and at Orient Beach, I didn’t have any idea about some things but found the others were very happy to answer my questions if I said hello first from several feet away and then would stand/sit 3 or 4 feet away and to the side of them, not standing directly in front of them. Just more polite to talk about things without displaying my nudity directly into their faces. Made for a delightful initiation at the beach and now I love it more than ever.

    • Keith, good post. I have always been a nudist. The first time my wife went with me to a nude beach I was nude and she was not. She agreed to walk with me along the shore. We actually ran into a couple who are great friends of ours. They actually were sitting and relaxing when they noticed us and called for us. My wife was initially petrified. Once she saw that the other wife was nude and talking to her like normal she became less reluctant. After they chatted a bit my wife finally got the courage to bare it all. We hung out, no pun intended, with them the rest of the day. Now my wife is the one who will ask me to take her to the nude beach.

  3. Another one for the guys, if you walk up for a chat with someone (especially female) sitting at the beach, kneel in front of them instead of forcing them to stare at your jewels only a few inches away.

  4. if my cock (penis) started to rise up resulting in an erection because i’m sexually aroused (excited) or turned on if or when i see a female nudist in her 20’s or 30’s at a nude beach i won’t be covering it up with a towel, laying on my stomach, running into the ocean (sea)

    • And yet that’s nudist etiquette…
      People tackle this they way they want, some will also say that when they feel a fart coming up it’s just nature and won’t bother to get a bit away from the crowd before releasing it.

      • if i was sitting beside or with a person or a group of people might cover it up with a towel, lay on my stomach, run into the ocean (sea)

          • Tom you are clearly deluded if a guy (man) just walking around a nude (nudist) beach with an erection should or would be asked to leave unless he was delibarately (intentionally) drawing attention towards his erection such as jerking off, masturbating, playing with his erection, using his hand to touch his erection, pointing his finger towards his erection

  5. because i have an autistic disorder known as asperger’s syndrome before i interact with a female nudist in her 20’s or 30’s i would need to verbally confirm with her if she does want my erection covered-up with a towel also due to skin sensitivity going for a naked run or a nude swim in the ocean (sea) it might or would stay erect (hard) when i exit the ocean (sea)

  6. A thought on the use of DSLR cameras. For us it is the one that gets the most use when we travel and we’ve actually had no issues with it on beaches or cruises. I’m not sure why this is but it may be the non-threatening way it gets carried and used or simply that Kim and I are a couple that keeps people at ease with it.

    Obviously we avoid getting others in shots where they haven’t consented. Oddly enough there is one place on cruises that it isn’t a good idea to have it, including the no camera zones, is the main dining room where everyone is dressed. I suspect it’s size may be a tad intimidatory and this is reflected in the resultant images so we just use our phones there.

    You often find quite a few photographers at beach carnivals and such and while the organisers may try to regulate the use of cameras there’s not a lot they can do, at least here in Australia, as beaches are public places. Of course this means that at such event there are people to take our photos for us.

  7. I think this is a great article. And i agree with all your points except,
    Telling non nudists not to use a clothing optional beach. I think this is wrong. Optional means just that. And as we all like to think we should be allowed to strip down on any beach, I think the same should apply to textiles.
    I am a nudist and I wouldn’t mind textiles all around me on a beach as long as they are not “acting the maggot” if you know what I mean.

    Ps. Love your blogs and stories

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Andrew!
      We also feel comfortable among clothed people but we’ve met many nudists along the way who are not. In a way it does interrupt a balance. People who still feel more vulnerable when naked might feel uncomfortable when there are others who aren’t equally vulnerable.

      We do want to add here that there’s nothing wrong remaining clothed for a while on a nude beach if you’re interested in nudism and would like to try it (maybe not today, but one day). But people who don’t have any intention to get naked, why would they go to a nude or clothing optional beach? As an example for our home country Belgium, it has a stretch of more than 50km of beach and about 300 meter of that is nude beach. We think that there are options enough for textiles 🙂

  8. Very good article! Never been to a nude beach period, but good advice to take to heart for when I do visit my first nude beach (& hopefully, my wife will come with me). Yes, we must follow the rules and policies of the nude beach & be respectful to other people. Just because its a Nude beach does not mean people can do as they feel. This is why many nudists have called for ” beach wardens” to be placed on many nude beaches to ensure the rules are followed, people’s privacy is respected, and troublemakers are removed or blocked from the beach. As for having Sex on the nude beach, their are many nude beaches that cater for that . Sandyhook beach in New Jersey I believe is one of them. There are Nude beaches that stretch for miles so that there is enough space to accommodate those who want to have their sexy fun on the beach, while the ones who just want to relax can be there without bothering each other. If the sexually active nudists want to be on a nude beach that does accommodate their sexual activities, look around, search ,and ask. They exist.

    • I don’t think there are any beaches where having sex is actually legal. Besides the fact that most people don’t want to watch others having sex, people who do this can potentially ruin it for everyone. There are people who oppose having nude or clothing-optional beaches at all, and some of them have been lobbying local governments to shut down the beaches. The main excuse they usually use is that people are having illegal sex in public. These people automatically link nudity with sex and don’t understand that naturism is not about sex. If people are seen having sex on the beach, it gives these people ammunition to argue that nude/clothing-optional beaches should be closed, and that would spoil it for the vast majority of people who just like to enjoy the sand, sun and water without clothes.

  9. One more thing, I do not find having an erection on any nude beach should be grounds to have the dude who has one removed from the beach. It is a natural body function and should be treated as normal. Nudists need to educate themselves about natural body functions such as detections, urinating, and farting. When it becomes disgusting is when people start to masturbate, defecate, or urinate on the beach refusing to use the toilet facilities ( if they are provided) close by.

    • We believe it’s kind of politeness. In general, an erection is indeed something natural. And trust us, if it happens and you don’t start walking around yelling “hey people look at my penis”, you won’t get kicked out.
      But it does give a signal. When you’re talking to another couple and you get an erection, the other guy may think that you’re attracted to his wife. So will his wife and… so may your wife. It causes confusion. Especially for single men we keep saying that this is something to be careful with.

      We often compare it with a fart. If it happens once and you’re discrete about it, nobody will mention it. If it happens 5 times in an hour you should not expect to make many friends.

  10. Its better to listen to the folks with more experience, so yes . i trust you where erections are concerned . it is polite to simply cover up with your towel, especially when speaking with another couple ( who might have their children with them).Not to mention , if the wife of the other gentleman is so attractive, he does not care if it is natural. That is an insult to him & his family. Best to keep your towel close by ( on your shoulder), excuse yourself, and cover up. Or sit down by the beach with your wife, & if the other couple does not mind, both couples can sit down together until the erection dies down. On the other hand, if properly informed & open minded nudists do exist, should the second couple meet the first couple, & the dude’s cock is extremely hard, the second couple should have no qualms because being Nudists ,” YOU’VE SEEN ONE, YOU’VE SEEN THEM ALL”. That is maturity, and should be adopted by many nudists. Of course, in a perfect world that might be possible

  11. A couple of comments. Firstly “Costumes Optional” means you can choose whether or not to wear a costume. It is not up to us to tell people what to wear or not wear.
    More importantly, bear in mind that in many European countries it is not actually illegal to be naked in a public place. For example in Denmark I would assume that you can be naked unless there are signs saying you must be clothed! In many countries it is normal for people to go naked on remote beaches or even at the far end of popular beaches. As a mountaineer I have never found any problem swimming naked in lakes and streams. The biggest mistake a lot of naturists make is acting as if they are ashamed of being naked!!

    • There is quite some debate about the proper dress code on a clothing-optional beach. As you say, it technically means that you can choose whether you wear clothes or not. However, many nude beaches around the world are defined as clothing-optional because beaches are public places and it’s against the law to force people to be nude in public places. But the general understanding is that at these places nudity is the norm. If people don’t intend to get naked or didn’t join a friend/spouse/… who’s a nudist, there are plenty of other places for them to go to.

      In Europe, there are indeed several countries that don’t have laws against public nudity, like Denmark, Spain, and Portugal. But that doesn’t mean that you can be nude wherever you want to. These countries rely on indecent behavior laws. Meaning that if nobody complains about your nudity, it’s fine. But if someone complains you will be asked to put some clothes on. Therefore, nudity is mostly found on remote beaches and at the ends of beaches where the chance of shocking someone is relatively small.

  12. It seems the “clothing-optional” terminology means different things in different countries and to different people.

    Personally, I’m with those who take it literally: “clothing-optional” means just that. Naturism is all about body-positivity and combating body shame and the long-standing taboos around having to hide certain body parts. If some Naturists are uncomfortable with clothed people seeing them, then they still have body-shame issues that need addressing, and a dedicated nudist club would be best for those people.

    In New Zealand there are no “nude beaches”. While some beaches are more popular than others with Naturists, it’s legal to be naked on any beach, any lake, any forest trail, etc. Most Naturists here would oppose having designated nude beaches and other spaces because that would mean, by default, all other places would be off-limits for Naturists. That would be a huge step backwards in our quest for general acceptance of being naked as a “dress code” in appropriate locations.

    Similar to the European countries mentioned, we also have no laws against public nudity, per se. Yes, we also rely on indecent behaviour laws, but they only apply to behaving in an indecent manner – not simply being naked. You would have to be doing something sexual or obscene for those laws to apply. In the past you might have been prosecuted if someone was offended by your nudity, but that is highly unlikely now. A naked body is no longer considered offensive, unless you were naked in an inappropriate context, like a shopping mall, for instance.

    • It sounds like New Zealand is pretty similar to Spain. Although nudity is also legal on all beaches (except for a handful where the local law explicitly prohibits it), Spain also has designated nude beaches. Recently, the naturist federation has been campaigning to replace the “nude beach” signs with something like “naturism encouraged” or “beach with a naturist tradition”.

  13. The article is very good because it appeal to understanding for the feelings of the others. So you show a way to a happy start in the naturism.
    It open the possibility, that people find another rules, when the contact will bee more close.
    In my club it was in a number of times, that new mens not can get member, when they had a erection during the first days.
    I have it criticised to risk a prejudice, but this line of action was a main stream in this community. I´m not sure if it is still there so. It is years ago.
    But in a german internetforum this practic found many consent but also some other thinking.
    The erection is a theme for many and let nobody cold.


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