Do we need to be scared of perverts at the nude beach?

We’ve all heard the stories… Dirty old men sitting in the corner of a nude beach or behind a dune while looking at you (or your partner). Teenagers in board shorts passing by, checking out the “merchandise”. Couples giving each other just that little too much attention just that little too close to you.
And these stories about nude beaches are true, people don’t invent them. Although they might exaggerate a bit, but that’s what we all do when we have an exciting story to tell, no?
Unfortunately, when it comes to nudism, when it comes to exposing your nude self and all the things you have been hiding for others for so many years, those exaggerations do make a big deal. Those are things that actually stop people from trying nudism.


And then you google “nudism” and you see all these candid photos of people having a nap at the nude beach, not knowing that some weirdo was watching them from behind the dunes with his telelens … it’s terrifying.
What if my boss gets hold of these nude photos of me? What if my family does?
These are scenarios that we clearly don’t want to happen. But is it really something we have to be afraid of? Every day we see pictures in the newspaper of people who got injured or died in a car crash, did it ever stop us from driving to work (or to the bar)? Not really…
Then how much should we care about those perverts?

The Problem with Perverts at a Nude Beach

Male and female perverts

When we hear about incidents in nudist places, the offender is always either 16 or 61 and male. Whenever we ask someone about their negative encounters on a nude beach, it always had to do something with a man. A man who was staring too much, a man who got too close, a man who got an erection at the wrong moment,… As far as we know, or at least what we’ve heard from the stories, there are no female perverts.
Is that really true?


Of course not. The reason why we think that is because men are in these cases… well… just plain stupid. Some men seem to think that keeping eye contact and at the same time playing with their penis stimulates women (it does not). Others think that walking around with a huge boner will soon get him in bed with the babe of the nude beach (it doesn’t either). People will think he’s a freak.
The other way around, if a woman stares at a man for just one second too much, the guy will feel happy, noticed. If his wife says something about it, he’ll go “no honey, she was just being friendly” and afterward he thinks “alright! I’ve just been eye fucked!”. Male perverts have very little to win. Female perverts have very little to lose.
And of course, women don’t have any anatomical signs that they get excited or you must have noticed the greed in her eyes. So are there dirty-minded women at the nude beach as well? Probably yes, they’re just way better in hiding it.

The Problem with Perverts at a Nude Beach

Different types of nude beach perverts

We have been quite active nudists for about many years now, of which the years we’ve basically been moving from one nudist place to another. We’ve been around. All kinds of places, naturist clubs, FKK campings, nude beaches or nudist resorts have seen us pass by. We can honestly tell you that our encounters with misbehavior are very rare and that we have never actually felt the need to leave a place.
But weird situations doo happen and then it’s up to you how you deal with the situation.
Do you walk away?
Are you going to punch the pervert in the face?
Or call the authorities?
And most importantly, do you let this change your idea of nudism?
We’ve talked with several owners of naturist businesses and they all say the same: Everything depends on the situation and the persons involved and all incidents are different.
But we can put them into categories:


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  • Public sex. Some couples feel the need for an audience while they’re doing their thing. They enjoy the idea that they might be watched. It’s hard to drag a line here. Giving your girlfriend a massage is most often completely accepted but giving your boyfriend a handjob is certainly not done. That’s clear. But there’s a huge gray zone in between the two. We were once told that the cover image of our First Time Nudist Guide could be seen as sexual. It all depends on who you’re dealing with.


  • The exhibitionist. This is the most common type and most of the time they mean no harm. They just like the idea that people are looking at them (just like the previous) while they’re parading up and down the beach. Most of the time the exhibitionist is funny to see, it only becomes annoying once they get some kind of sexual pleasure from it and things start to go up.


  • The voyeur. There are different degrees in voyeurism, and the “regular” voyeur is the least harmful. He or she comes to the nude beach to watch naked people. They often prefer clothing-optional places because then they don’t have to get naked themselves. They can be found either in a corner of the beach so they have a good overview or very close to other people.


  • The masturbator. The masturbator is the kind of voyeur that needs immediate pleasure. They can’t wait until they get home or they don’t trust their mental images to bring enough excitement. So while they’re looking around they start playing with themselves. Some are very good at hiding it and others gain extra pleasure knowing that people have seen what they’re doing. Which makes them in such case an exhibitionist as well.


  • The paparazzi. This is the voyeur who brought a camera. Before the uprise of the smartphone they were very easy to spot. “Oh but I brought this huge telelens for photographing birds”… Nobody believed it. But now things are different. Every one of us carries devices that are able to make decent quality photos and we need them for a million other things as well. Only when they follow you with their phone as you’re passing by, you know that they’re not texting.


What can we do about perverts?

Unfortunately, as long as there are people, there will be dirty minds as well. There’s no way to avoid this. We can try to implement rules and more rules and security guards and membership cards and identity checks and we’re sure that all of that will help. But it won’t solve the problem. We may get a false idea of security but we’ll never be 100% sure that nothing can or will happen.
Pretty scary, isn’t it?


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The Problem with Perverts at a Nude BeachThe good news is that we can decide ourselves how we handle these cases. How much of a deal we make of it, how much a certain incident changes our ideas about nudism.
Do we allow other people, the wrong people to ruin our day? Will we allow them to change our idea about a wonderful lifestyle like nudism?


At private nudist resorts there’s only one solution if you would encounter misbehavior: Talk to the staff. They probably have experience with such things and they know better than anyone else how to handle those cases. And of course, they have the authority to kick people out.


At public places like nude beaches this is a bit more difficult. You could call the police but chances that they arrive way too late are pretty high. In the case of people having sex in public or exhibitionists you could decide to move to another spot away from them. Or you could walk over to have a chat. Like “hey man, great that you love your wife so much but there are motels nearby where you can do those things”.


In the case of voyeurs, especially those that are taking pictures, talking to them is the only option. Ask to see their latest pictures. When they have nothing to hide they’ll show you right away. If you appear in any of those pictures or you see that other nudists appear in them, ask to delete the pictures in front of your eyes.
When someone refuses to show you the photos or to delete them, take a picture of that person as well. With the mention that you might take it to the authorities. That will often change his/her mind.


Those things do happen, unfortunately, but the cases are rare. We like to consider it a calculated risk. Like crossing the street after ten beers or riding a bicycle in central Brussels. We know that maybe a negative situation could occur, but is that really a reason to miss out on all the fun?


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32 thoughts on “Do we need to be scared of perverts at the nude beach?”

  1. Thank you very much for this article! I have been a nudist for 4 years and don’t really mind about all these kind of people, but I just introduced my girlfriend into the movement, and I fear she will refuse to do social nudism after an encounter with a voyeurist, or a paparazzi. We’re both young (18 and 21), and I think in our cases the risk to be stared at or photographed improves even more. Anyways, we really love to be nude and won’t stop doing it, even if it has to be in private!

    • It’s of course completely normal that if you would encounter a voyeur or photographer, you will feel less secure on the beach and might avoid it in the future. Actually the best way to react is to step up to them and ask what they’re doing. If you’re sure they took photos you can ask to erase them or even better call the police.
      And if you don’t feel safe on the beach anymore, you could still move to more protected areas like clubs or resorts.

  2. Nice article. As a gay male naturist, I have frequently seen the public sex. Gay men are just horn dogs. Those are the facts. Sadly, these activities definitely risk losing public naturist spaces when law enforcement and local governments are forced to address complaints. That being said, having been a naturist for a number of years, I have resigned myself to voyeurs and pervs. As you pointed out, there is really nothing to do about that other than covering up and THAT AIN’T GOING TO HAPPEN. Stay naked.

  3. I sincerely appreciate your support of nudism and your desire not to let the bad behavior of some people affect your enjoyment of nude recreation. However, giving up, accepting defeat, ignoring the behavior, or otherwise doing nothing or little about it is the same as giving approval to the bad behavior. Unless we take a strong stand against it, I guarantee that it will only get worse. So, let me encourage you in this: while you are enjoying your nude freedom, jealously protect that freedom by taking a strong stand against the lewd and perverted behavior that threaten to ruin it for all of us. Publicly call out those who can’t or won’t control themselves. If they won’t stop, get them tossed out. Let them know that only people who value true nudism are welcome. Don’t let these fakes cause us to lose any more beaches, public areas, or even clubs. Protect the freedom that nudists have fought for over the past 90 years and that you now enjoy today. You deserve to be nude…and safe.

    • Thanks for your feedback Dan!
      Don’t get us wrong, we don’t (and will never) approve indecent behaviour. If something happens we’ll do the best we can to get it fixed asap. But we’ve noticed that the fear for perverts is something what keeps aspiring nudists from taking the first step and if you read the many online horror stories, you can’t blame them. With this article we’re trying to show things as they really are: yes, it happens, but it really happens rarely and in different degrees.

  4. Great article! Especially for newbies to naturism.

    The only encounter my wife and I had was at a c/o resort in California. The couple m/f was a bit intoxicated and she was putting his penis in her mouth in plane view. He seemed to pull away because she was being quite obvious. I called the main office but by the time someone came to address them, they were gone. Those are exhibitionist and can be ignored.

    When it comes to voyeurs or paparazzis I would just walk up to them and call them out. I think they would leave right away but I don’t recommend anyone do this.

  5. I support the view that those who compromise our nude venues must be confronted. I think this works best if we do so en mass. On Little Beach in Hawai’i a group of us threatened a photographer by suggesting any further use of his phone would be met with us trying to skip it across the waves.

  6. Most California nude beaches are pretty strict.
    Thankfully so. My wife and I laugh at the curious teenagers. We also figure if someone wants our picture, they must be desperate. (We’re not 18 anymore lol)
    Sexual behavior is definitely not appropriate though. 1. It’s lewd behavior that gets us shut down. 2. You can’t unsee certain things. 3. We hope to take our future children.
    But that’s my two cents. Good topic!

  7. Public sex, The exhibitionist, The voyeur, The masturbator – thik about them, why they do what they do? Mainly because they get pleasure from what they do! Nobody gets harmed in the process.
    The paparazzi – only single naked image of you can ruin you`r life so that`s different .

  8. One does not have to go to nudist beach to find weird people. I lived for a few years in Vancouver BC and joined a club called Meadowbrook. The sauna was the centre of frivolity with couples and as a single male that put me off. Several years later I had returned to Australia and attended a weekly swim night only to be turned off by an older man touching me.
    I think any behaviour is out of order and as a happily married man I decided to drop out of that venue.

  9. Since we’re usually out in bright sunshine, how about doing what we usually do, and take a small make up mirror in our kit. If anyone bothers us in any avoidable way, it’s very easy to keep the mirror handy so they get the full force of the sunlight right in their eyes. Nobody can stand that for more then a second and will get the message.

    It also works for the few people who spend long periods at any window overlooking my garden. It doesn’t hurt the telescope but it might spoil a camera even if it’s not got someone on the other end. Oh dear!!!!

  10. Great article. Thank you. Could not agree more that the fear is something to be overcome. It makes me think of the same step everyone must push through when first trying nudism. “But they will see me naked! Well… So what? Is that really so bad?” BUT…
    I’m a man. I know you are a team but this seems very much written to the male perspective. You say several times ‘what is the worst that can happen’ or words to that effect. So let’s talk worst case. Because it isn’t having to see someone masturbate and it isn’t even getting posted to a porn site. It’s getting raped.

    Of course I totally get that nudists are different, don’t get me wrong. We look out for each other, right? I personally know I would put myself in harm’s way to help protect someone from being sexually assaulted. But if we are talking worst case then let’s go there. Because women have to think this way all the time.

    So what if she found someone waiting for her at her car who had flagged her on the beach? Jumped at the restroom or somewhere she accidentally found herself to be alone for the moment? It is terrible but we live in a world where there are case loads of legal president to excuse rape because there victim was dressed provicatively. Not being dressed AT ALL? Thats insane, right? In the mind of an assailant that is like an unrevokable open permission for anyone to have their way with her! Yes that man is a monster to think so, but remember that there is a LOT of rape culture out there to help him justify that view. Even if she knew for certain she was in a safe place and no one can possibly attack her, how “free” is she supposed to feel knowing that 100 ft away is a pervert who might rape her in a New York minute if given an opportunity? The stress free relaxed mood is kind of shot, wouldn’t you agree?

    So, my long winded point is that while I completely agree with the sentiment you express here, I think you need more caution around the “what’s the worst that could happen?” aspect. …Because let’s face it, it really COULD be that bad.

    • Certainly, being raped is one of the worst things that could happen. But we do believe that chances are higher to be raped at a textile place than at a nudist place.
      Some people could misunderstand the nudity as an invitation to sex. But the fact that a woman is comfortable enough to be naked among others makes her a strong personality, something that will make her less of a prey. Also, a man who has the intention of raping a woman at a nudist place will often have to be naked as well, which will put him in a more vulnerable position.

      We’re no psychologists, we can only guess what could happen and what not. But we don’t think we’ve ever heard about someone been raped at a nudist place. We’re not going to say that it could not happen of course.

      • Agreed. I do wonder if it is not a big fear for some, just the same. Especially someone with any sexual assault/abuse in their past, with is a disturbingly large number.

    • There’s a whole lot of assuming going on here though. Sadly, women are raped in all sorts of situations.

      So your point could only be that it is more likely at a nude beach where perverts are openly around. If the perverts aren’t behaving as such then they aren’t detectable so nothing can be done. And is there any actual evidence that voyeurs, exhibitionists etc are more likely to be rapists than less? There isn’t.

      These things are often counter-intuitive. You might be familiar with the idea that porn promotes, and users of porn have, poor attitudes to women. Yet it is little talked about that a relatively recent major study found exactly the opposite. You can’t assume you know.

  11. I must confess, as a young teenage pre-pubescent male in the mid 70’s, I was one of them. Nudists beaches were very popular back then, but over the years have seem to fallen out of favour since then here in Australia.

    We used to go to Lady Jane Beach in Sydney harbour Just to perv on the women. On one particular weekend we were there, one woman severely scolded me, when she caught me laying near her just to get a good look. She did not hold back. She ripped into me, as she had every right to. No doubt we quickly left the beach after that.

    That night, I thought to myself, she was absolutely right to do what she did, and I felt very ashamed and embarrassed.

    The following weekend, I went back to the beach by myself, without my 2 mates, Promptly dropped my swimmers, and laid there naked with all the other nudists. It was my first time ever nude on a public beach, and it just felt so natural and so right.

    I have been a life long nudist ever since and I have never looked back. My only problem now is, trying to convince my current girlfriend to join the nudists lifestyle.

    • No doubt that there are many nudists out there whose first experience of a nude beach didn’t have all the right intentions… But the fact that you’ve switched sides is great!

  12. Funny that you should mention the men vs women thing. It’s too true. Men get the negative attention, but…

    I was at Tyagarah a few years back and a woman, somewhat on the larger size, turned up. She lay down and a couple of guys positioned themselves towards her feet and she proceeded to spread wide and give them a show. I can only assume – from the knowing way the men positioned themselves – that she was well-known for it.

    Then on my next time there I glanced over at a couple and noticed that the woman had one busy hand between her legs; and her efforts became increasingly ostentatious over time.

    Somehow I doubt too many men subsequently complained to the authorities…

  13. I must have seemed like the weird man at the beach for a while. Sitting fully clothed and awkward. As a person who has never even dared to wear shorts in public, I was afraid to do what I’d always wanted to do. After being on the periphery for a long time and being stared at for being odd, I finally took the plunge. It still feels strange but I have revisited a few times. I will keep you posted on my adventures in naturism.

  14. Strange days indeed for me. I have been on the nudist beach several times now and mostly, without incident. There have been some unpleasant things. A man wearing a jock strap wandering around asking for people to rub oil into his skin. He asked me but I refused. He sat very close to me for a long time afterwards. A man with a semi erection walking up and down making sure that everyone saw him. I was videoed by someone as I was taking my clothes off. I didn’t spot him until it was too late and I couldn’t chase him off for obvious reasons. It has been a real learning experience. I am slightly less confident about taking my clothes off now but I will find the nerve to do it again soon. The good outweighs the bad.

    • It really depends from place to place. Some nude beaches are very comfortable and others tend to attract all the creeps. Sad but true. If you want to be sure that you have a great experience, it’s better to visit a resort instead

  15. Hmmmn. I have a bit of a problem with this. Nudists have a tendency to label certain types of behaviour as ‘perverted’ and I believe this is a dangerous practice. Perverse behaviour is by definition not ‘normal’ yet it’s quite normal to for humans to be sexual and for people to be interested in how things look. The simple fact that these behaviours occur so often at nude beaches is a sign that the behaviour is in fact normal.
    Humans are genetically programmed to be hyper aware of unusual occurrences as they may present a threat or an opportunity – casual nudity is still – unfortunately – enough of a rarity that it counts as an unusual occurrence.
    Humans are visual creatures. People naturally like to look at the things that catch their interest or that they perceive as beautiful. The reality is men will look – regardless of whether the subject of their gaze is clothed or unclothed. This is not ‘perverted’ at all and is in fact a natural human reaction. No doubt it can potentially be distressing for the recipient of these gazes, particularly for women.
    The problem – if that’s the right word – is that social public nudity is still relatively rare. If nudity were considered by society as a natural and normal human way of being (as most nudists do) I believe the so-called ‘perverted’ behaviours would disappear as nudity became more mainstream.
    I suggest that widespread social acceptance of nudism as a natural, everyday occurrence is less likely to occur all the while that nudists are crying out about being surrounded by perverts in the bushes. Not only does this practice deter people from trying nudity it also portrays the nudist movement as bigoted and judgemental. Speaking for myself, I don’t care if people look at me regardless of what I am wearing or not wearing. What I do care about is being labelled as a critical and judgemental person who seeks to control others for my own comfort – which is what a lot of nudists seem to do.

    • Well, it depends on how you look at it.
      According to the dictionary, a pervert is “a person whose sexual behavior is considered unnatural and morally wrong”. As you mention, enjoying to look at naked people or being looked at is not unnatural. But making people feel uncomfortable doing so, is definitely morally wrong. And that’s often the problem with voyeurs and exhibitionists. They don’t just enjoy looking and being looked at, but they also enjoy the discomfort that they give people. And that’s why they’re such a big problem.

      But we absolutely agree that blog posts like this one are definitely not productive for the widespread social acceptance of nudism. On Naked Wanderings, we like to call the things what they are, but not more than that. Improper behavior at nude beaches does exist, so it would feel wrong to act like it doesn’t. But we also don’t spend more than 1 blog post about the subject. We prefer to talk about more positive things 🙂

  16. I agree with all the types you describe in the article, but you forget the pedophiles. Yes, they are there as well, unfortunately. A victim myself in the early 80’s while being on summer vacation with my parents on Cap d’agde. Still a naturist family place at that time but without the controll and used by predators.
    I am still a naturist in heart but damaged from when I was a child. I can never totally relax and I am allways observing, never trusting… unfortunately

    • We’re very sorry to hear that Eva. On Naked Wanderings, we always try to write about the things that we know. And (luckily) we’ve never encountered an issue with pedophiles at naturist places.

  17. Great article. I have been a nudist for over a decade now and introduced my new partner to it a few years back. I also practiced nudism wife my ex wife prior to that.
    We have encountered just about all these scenarios. For the most part no harm tends to come from anything. If we feel uncomfortable we leave the area. That may not sound fair to us, but it is the easiest thing to do. Only once did we find someone rather pushy and pushing the sexual envelope. At that point we had to make our intentions clear. After we told him our boundaries he was respectful and left us be.
    We have also seen the “chronic masterbator.”. Who was told to put it a way, as he was in a area families frequently visited.
    I would say the one thing we always have a problem with are people taking hidden photos/videos. With the technology out there it is so easy now. That always feels like a complete invasion of rights.
    Now we have also been the exhibitionists out there, but in those situations we had an idea of what was acceptable with the adults around. We knew our audience so to speak. We recognize the difference between naturism and other lifestyles and are careful not to offend or make anyone uncomfortable. Nor do we consider exhibitions a representation of naturists, it is just something we enjoy.
    Overall though, people practicing naturism are some of the friendliest folks we have met. We have met some new friends and shared in wonderful conversations and activities with nudists that we have just met. The good times and good vibes drastically out-way the one off negatives. To anyone that was put off by negative nudism experience I would tell them to give it another shot. Being nude and part of a wonderful like minded community is truly liberating.

  18. Interesting post but it’s a shame women know so little about the male anatomy. Or indeed, their own anatomy. An erection can happen for various reasons; there are different types but they all look the same. The morning erection from just waking up. The REM sleep erection. The spontaneous erection (and no, thinking about innocent things won’t make it disappear, as it wasn’t non-innocent things that caused it). Erections from unintentional, unexpected, unwanted stimulation (wind, someone brushing against you, someone sitting and wriggling on your lap. someone touching a particular spot on your body, etc) – again, not caused by perverted thoughts, so perverted thoughts won’t make them go away. We don’t attack women for nipple erections or tell them to hide their genitals if they happen to get moist; we shouldn’t assume someone with an erection is a pervert unless their behaviour suggests it. It should simply be ignored.

    • Honestly, we don’t think that this has much to do with women. In fact, we dare to say that if a man gets an erection at a nudist place, it will rather be the other men who feel disturbed or threatened than the women.

      This being said, there’s a difference between rules and etiquette. There’s no rule in the nudist book that says that “thy shall not have an erection”. But it’s common etiquette among naturists that erections are handled discretely.

      We like to compare erections with farts. Both are totally natural and may happen unexpected. If it happens once and you handle it discretely, nobody will care. If it happens every five minutes and you’re proud about it, people will start avoiding you and might complain.


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