Getting back to nature on a gorgeous beach is definitely one of our favourite weekend activities. But if you haven’t bared it all at a nudist beach here’s the skinny on getting it off for an all-over tan.
Research which beaches welcome nudists
It’s pretty obvious really but some beaches may appear to be nudist beaches but may not legally be zoned that way. So your friend told you about this great beach for getting back to nature – do your due diligence. Cue the awkward arrival of law enforcement and a charge of indecent exposure is not how you want to remember the day if your friend got it wrong.
Also the first nude beach I visited (and not strictly legal) had a designated gay area so again, do your homework to avoid any awkward encounters. My gay friend went to his end of the beach and I went to my end and we had a signal when one of us was ready to go home. The funny thing was he did a radio interview with Joy FM 94.9 that night where I was asked how I felt about getting my pink bits out and the only thing I could think of was that his mum was listening (and she called immediately after to tell us how much she loved the interview LOL).
Do you invite friends to come with you?
The short answer is not if you’re going to be weirded out by seeing your BFF butt naked. If you’re both totally cool with it then go for it but perhaps have a safe word (or a signal) so that if someone is ready to leave you don’t need to have an awkward conversation.
What to do when you arrive
Check posted signs to make sure you’re heading in the right direction and follow guidelines. If you have to stay fully clothed until you’re [insert rule here], then that’s what you do.
If you are on a clothing optional beach then position yourself where you have a good view of the beach whilst retaining a little privacy so you can see people coming and cover yourself if you need to.
If you are sunbathing in a secluded area the etiquette is to leave a cossie on a rock to warn people that they are approaching someone not wearing one.
Don't forget to get dressed before you leave the beach so you don’t offend beach goers in more public areas or beachside neighbours. Yes you’re loving the freedom but they shouldn’t be forced to see your jiggly bits.
Stop worrying about your own body measuring up to others
Most nudists will tell you that after a while you stop noticing all the skin. But for many first timers getting their head around the daunting task of being naked in front of complete strangers is a real issue. Swinging couples will tell you they experience the same concerns at parties until it starts to not matter. There will be dad bods and mum bods and hot bods and skinny bods and big beautiful bods and various degrees of hirsuteness. But remember nudists believe baring it all isn’t sexual, it’s about freedom, so they’re not looking at you as a potential sexual conquest – you are just an individual enjoying the sun and a gentle breeze on naked skin. So go forth and have fun!
If you’re concerned then ease into it and check out a clothing optional beach first until you feel comfortable taking the next step. But no one is going to stand over you and demand you remove every last item of clothing even at a nude beach so if you want to ease into it go early morning when there are less people and pick a private spot and take off as much as you feel comfortable removing. Chances are it won’t be too long before you join the party!
What should you bring with you?
Many nude beaches won’t have the usual amenities or food available so make sure you stay hydrated and bring enough water to last the day and of course be sun safe and grab that 30+ sunscreen before you leave.
Obviously you will wear clothes from the car to the beach and keep them close in case you do need to cover up quickly for privacy or, ouch, sunburn or windburn (sand blasting on private bits can be a rude shock).
Do you interact socially with other nudists?
Nudists are typically a friendly bunch and a polite wave or hello is the norm. But give people space and a little bit of privacy. Don’t plonk your towel right next to theirs unless you’re invited and don’t stand over them on their towels and have a forced conversation unless they invite you to. Just show them the respect you would expect in return and don’t initiate any unwanted advances. Everyone is there to enjoy themselves, it’s not a pickup opportunity.
If you are on the receiving end of unwanted attention just be assertive about whether you want to socialise. Putting on your sunnies and picking up your kindle is a big hint that you’re not there to chat.
Respect the environment
Leave only footprints and take home only memories is a great motto to live by. If you carried it in, then carry it out. You’re there to enjoy a beautiful pristine environment au natural so make sure you leave it that way for everyone else to enjoy.
Be respectful of others on the beach
C’mon, really! We know you might get a bit excited but the respectful thing to do is roll over and don’t flaunt it and definitely don’t try to rub one out, not even under a towel. And sex on the beach, especially on a nudist beach, just don’t. Naturists campaign hard with councils to allow clothing optional or nudist beaches to exist. Don’t fuck it up for everyone just because you’re feeling horny and can’t wait until you get home. And it’s a one way ticket to a big fine if you’re busted.
Nudist beaches are considered a safe zone so that means no gawking. Don’t be that creepy guy they talk about on the car trip home. Naturism is a lifestyle not a peep show but we realise that it can be hard not to look at others but staring is just not appropriate. Also don't feel disappointed when everyone looks so normal albeit naked. If you can’t handle the realities of naked people on a beach then perhaps stick to clothed beaches.
Did leave you camera at home? Great!
It’s all about common sense and not making other people feel uncomfortable.
Nudism isn’t a new concept, it’s been around for centuries with the first Olympics featuring nude athletes whilst naturism started as a movement around 1778. The earliest recorded naturist club was set up in British India in the 1890s closely followed by nudist colonies in Germany in the early 1900s.
Whilst back in Australia the first nudist club (which is still operational) was established in 1949 and the Australian Nudist Federation was founded in 1968 to support nudists downunder. Today Australian laws about nudism varies from state to state and you can’t show your map of Tassie in Tasmania. But except for Queensland most states have places where you can legally be nude. The Federation launched guidelines back in 2009 for nudists including beach etiquette which included the “no sex on a beach” rule in response to a backlash from the community over public sex. People wrongly believed that nudism had sexual overtones which nudists will tell you couldn’t be further from the truth and many believe it should be completely asexual. It’s all about freedom of expression and it’s interesting that there is a difference between nudism – the act of being naked – and naturism – a lifestyle which embraces the environment and self respect.
As Eva said in her blog post 6 of the World's Best Nude Beaches, the sun warming your skin all over can be truly liberating so what are you waiting for? Grab that sun screen and take the plunge and indulge your inner exhibitionist.
Do you have any funny stories, embarrassing moments or suggestions on where to bare all in Australia? Feel free to share in the comments section.