There are probably lots of things that through the mind of someone looking to venture onto a naturist beach for the first time. Questions upon questions, worries upon worries. This I am only too well aware of, because it wasn’t such a long time ago that I also had many thoughts trailing through my mind. So without any further procrastination, let’s look at what you can – and cannot – expect from a British naturist beach.
There Will Be A Lot Of Naked People
This is an obvious one, of course. But meandering through TripAdvisor and the similar, you’ll find them littered with comments along the lines of:
I knew it was a nudist beach but did there have to be so many naked people!
As we walked by the warning signs, we were gobsmacked by all the people wandering around completely naked with a care for others’ sensibilities.
So apparently, it isn’t as obvious as you might think. But allow me to assume you are reading this because you either do already or are thinking of visiting a naturist beach, let it be known now, there will be naked people there.
The thing to remember is that everyone is there for the same reason as are you. And unless you are some godly specimen of the human race – and if you are it is unlikely you’ll be frequenting a public naturist beach – then nobody is looking, and nobody is caring. Everyone is in the same boat.
Signposts Marking Nude/Clothed Areas
If you are visiting an officially designated naturist beach, and particularly one that is popular and has shared use with textiles, expect to see signs warning beach-goers of which area is for nude bathers, and which area is for clothed bathers.
There may be other signs describing use and expected behaviour of the beach, and this is fair enough as it allows all visitors to enjoy the area as they wish. The expected behaviours should be respected at all times, which includes covering up when venturing onto other areas of the beach, be it to use the facilities and get to the car park.
Most Tend To Walk Along The Shoreline
Often a naturist beach is only in a designated area of a much larger shoreline. Studland is a classic example, the 900m naturist section being sandwiched pretty much in the middle of two non-naturist beaches. thus, when people are walking from one end to the other, they tend to stick to the shoreline. This doesn’t mean they completely avoid nude people, but it means they aren’t trapsing and meandering their way through people trying to bathe in peace.
While it is great to capture the moment of fun and frivolity at the beach, you won’t see many cameras being used on a naturist beach. Capturing an image of someone you don’t know while they are nude isn’t correct behaviour, even if it is by accident as they walk past you taking a photo of your beach-going partner.
If you must capture the moment, consider positioning yourself where people won’t be walking by in the background – against a cliff or wind break – and perhaps ask your nearest neighbour if they wouldn’t mind taking the photo. That way you are showing respect to your fellow sunbathers and letting those around you know you are simply wanting a digital memory of yourself on the beach.
Keeping Yourself To Yourself
Just like on the textile beach, people tend to keep themselves to themselves. Just because you aren’t wearing any clothes doesn’t mean you stop being British.
All jokes aside though, generally people are on the beach to enjoy it for themselves. Being naked doesn’t mean you are any more or any less sociable. Your towel is laid out on the sand, your wind break is hammered down for the approaching hurricane. Your area is your area and as much as you wouldn’t want people to breach your space, you shouldn’t venture into other people’s areas.
Of course, some are sociable and if the situation is judged to be acceptable, then by all means. And likewise, you may be approached by a stranger asking a perfectly honest question. But generally speaking, once settled onto a patch of sand, your eyes should be with yourself.
It Isn’t Sexual
It really isn’t. And to involve yourself in or instigate any behaviour that would otherwise be considered lewd is simply unacceptable. Show some respect to other beach users and wait until you are home to indulge in any of your urges.