By Anna Sachse
Other people, for whatever reason, like to walk around naked outside. Maybe they like the wind in their pubes, maybe they want to avoid tan lines or maybe they simply think naked human bodies are just the clothes we’re born in rather than risqué.
If this sounds like you but you’ve never done anything about it, perhaps you might like to check out a nudist or clothing-optional club, resort or beach. But it helps to know the rules first. Having never been to any of these places myself, I did a little online searching for info on etiquette and found what I consider to be a tidy little list by the Emerald Lake Nudist Resort, a 12-acre colony “dedicated to the promotion of wholesome family nude recreation and living” in Houston, Texas:
It is best to secure an invitation before dropping in on a nudist club, either by writing or calling ahead. Strangers who show up unexpectedly may be turned away.
Some clubs may have a no-singles policy, so ask in advance rather than run the risk of being turned away at the gate.
Bring along two towels, one to sit on at all times when you are nude (for sanitary reasons—both to protect your privates from the elements and other nudists’ excretions, and to protect others from you) and one to dry off if you happen to frolic in a water source.
Never take your camera to a club without first checking all the rules governing photography. And even if it’s allowed, it is inexcusable to take a picture of someone else without first asking their permission.
Some nudists may wish to remain anonymous for professional or personal reasons some and will only use their first name—respect their privacy.
Unseemly behavior of any kind will not be tolerated.
Nudist beaches may be a little more lax, as they are usually in the public domain. But I found another set of guidelines for behavior on the About.com page for “California Travel.” In addition to the following tips, About.com guide Betsy Malloy includes links to resources for finding nudist beaches and resorts all over California, as well as nudity laws for various local counties. You can also check out www.inf-fni.org, the website for the International Naturist Federation. However, in order to avoid both embarrassment and jail time, I would strongly advise calling a county official yourself and asking what the rules on nudity are before you doff your duds.
Don’t gawk. If you’re just a lookie-loo who’s out for shits and giggles (or ejaculation), just buy a magazine instead.
Be friendly, but respect others’ rights to privacy. In general, it’s best if single men don’t approach single women.
Again, never take pictures without asking.
Again, sexual advances or activities of any kind are both illegal and offensive.
If you’re in a secluded area, leave a bathing suit on a rock to let others know they are approaching an unclothed person.
Get dressed before you leave.
And as a final piece of advice that isn’t a matter of etiquette, but could certainly make for a more pleasant experience, bring lots of sunscreen and use it. Exposing the pale, delicate skin of your genitals to the sun unprotected will bring a whole new meaning to the term “fire crotch.”