There are many myths surrounding naturist beaches and nude sunbathing, and it is about time these were dispelled. Some are so ridiculous it is a wonder how they exist in the first place. And while others probably sound a little more credible, they still entirely false. Here are the top ten fallacies about getting naked on a beach.
It Is Illegal
Nope, it really isn’t. If you are on an officially designated naturist beach, you are perfectly fine with taking all your clothes off and sunbathing, walking around within the designated area and swimming in the sea. This isn’t just allowed, it is expected.
If you happen to be on a beach that is known to have nude sunbathers but not officially so, you may want to be a little more careful and keep yourself a bit more to yourself. But again, it is not illegal to be naked in a public place providing certain conditions are met.
It is not an offence to be naked in public, but it can be an offence if you cause distress or alarm to others.
Sounds like a bit of conundrum? Well, if you are sunbathing while nude on a quiet corner of a beach, not causing any disturbance or being in any way anti-social, you can argue that you are not causing distress to others. If you are being respectful, not doing anything you wouldn’t otherwise do in public, then you are not really causing alarm to any one else. Just be respectful to others.
You Have To Be A Member Of An Organisation
This is wrong, you do not have to be a member of a naturist organisation to visit and enjoy a naturist beach. Of course you can be a member, and many are. But for the public naturist beaches of the UK, anyone can visit.
You’re All Perverts
No, we are not all perverts. People who enjoy being a naturist beach are exactly those people you see everyday in your life. There is no type of person that enjoys sunbathing in the nude, and likewise, there is no sexual orientation or preference that fits the naturist label. Just as there are probably some people in your office at work who may have different sexual interests to yourself, there will be on the beach. But the two are not linked.
Naturist beaches are generally public spaces that are for the enjoyment of everyone. Many beaches are shared-use and as so often happens, if a clothed person/group decide to sunbathe on a naturist section of a beach, people wouldn’t even notice providing like all others, there were being respectful.
It should also be noted that many families visit naturist beaches and the children seem perfectly happy and well-adjusted, as are the parents who behave in exactly the same way as anyone would on a clothed beach.
It Is Only For Couples/Singles
Some naturists are married or have a partner they enjoy being with on a naturist beach. It is an activity they both enjoy. Other people are single and enjoy being on their own on a naturist beach. It is something they like to do for themselves. There isn’t a defined status for naturists, and getting an all-over tan is something that anyone can enjoy, regardless of whether they are in a long term relationship or single.
You Are All Gay/Bisexual
Again, I would refer this comment to the above line about no particular person fitting the so-called naturist label. There are many naturists who are LGBTQ+, as there are your work colleagues, people you meet in the pub and those you play golf with on a Saturday afternoon. Naturism is inclusive and I would suggest to anyone who makes this remark to get an education.
It Is Unhygienic
I really don’t see how. The only difference between a clothed sunbather and a nude sunbather is often the very tiniest of bikinis. If that slither of fabric makes all the difference between being clean and being filthy, then we need to reconsider an awful lot of things.
You Always Want To Be Naked
Again, this is simply untrue. Of course there are some who feel that being free of clothes is very important to them and will want to do all they can to avoid covering up. This is perfectly fine but for most, clothes are just as normal as they are for everyone else. A suit in the office, t-shirt and jeans at the weekend. Naturists do not shun those who cover-up, and obviously clothes are essential in many areas of life. This is another of these blanket statements that people make without thinking through first.
Naturism Is Sexual
It really isn’t. And if you ever visit a naturist beach, you will see why it isn’t. I promise you, the naked 60 year old grandma sunbathing next to me is not turning me on. The last thing people tend to think about while on a naturist beach is sex. When being nude is normalised, and everyone around you is in the same state, it is becomes boring, it is in the background. It isn’t something you think about.
It’s Only For Older People
Naturism is for all people. I guess I could be described as middle-aged, and the first time I visited a naturist beach there was a couple on one side of me who were a little older, perhaps early fifties, and a younger couple on the other side. They were maybe in their early-twenties. All ages visit naturist beaches, it is brilliantly diverse.
It’s Only For People With Toned Bodies
Which naturist beaches have you been told about!? Naturism isn’t about looking like a god/goddess. It isn’t about showing off or presenting yourself to others. It is about being natural and free. If there is someone on the beach who happens to have an athletic body, I very seriously doubt they are showing off to strangers.
I think generally speaking, myths about naturism and naturist beaches stem from trying to label people and put them in categories. And that just doesn’t work. It doesn’t work on the beach, and it doesn’t work in any other walk of life. And the sooner this attitude stops, the sooner people can be a bit more tolerant of others, interested in their lives and better educated on things they currently don’t know.