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Should public nudity be legal?

The AANR (American Association for Nude Recreation) has the view that public nudity should be legal as long as the person is not doing anything with the intent of sexually arousing either themselves or anyone else.

The most stated reason by members is to get over "body shame", because doing so helps boost self esteem and confidence. There have been studies showing that children raised in nudist family have higher self esteem and confidence and are just generally more comfortable with who they are as a person.

On the other side there are those persons who seek out nude beaches and nudist events who have seual agendas. AANR nudist clubs don't tolerate such persons, and forcibly remove them shoudl they show up. I refer to such persons as "swingers" because they seem to fit the swinger lifestyle more than they do the nudist lifestyule

However, as a point of freedom. A freedom of expression, which does tno do harm to anyone, shoudl public nudity be legal? As atheists are nto burdened with religious mores , I was just wondering what the people here think?

I am a natuirst (nudist) and I have ridden the Portland (OR) World Naked Bike Ride, which has over 10,000 participants each year, and I have gone on nude hikes, visited clothing optional beaches

So, what are your thoughts?

snytiger6 9 Oct 18

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as long as they don't make it compulsary

it can get cold here lol

Yep -- compulsory would be a bitch. 🙂🙂🙂

Yes... clothing does serve the two purposes of providing warmth and protection. However, not everyone needs warmth and/or protection, and so I think clothing should be optional when not needed.

Yes. I live in Cleveland, OH, and I wouldn't go outside nude right now unless there was a fire in my building!

Quit caring whether people were clothed and what they look like. And any shaming men would be naked also, or be made to leave whatever gathering.

Clothing is sexier than nudity!

Wear a scarf....around your neck...LOL

@snytiger6 I heard there are two new Nude Resorts in NY. I will investigate them.

@Hercules3000 Well, if YOU want to spend time with swingers that is up to YOU....

Personally I don't like swingers, as they are presumptuous thinking everyone onlyu things about sex like they do themselves, and they seldom respect boundaries of personal space, which is VERY annoying.

As for things you don't really need clotign for...
cleaning house
bike riding
sun bathing
Or basically anythgin were you dont' need clothing for warmth or protection.

In ancient Greece the Olympic Games were all played in the nude, so there is a wide variety of activities you can do. Nudity provides more freedom of movement, and nudity was not as big of a deal back then.


Should it be legal everywhere? Probably not (consider crowded subways, buses, for starters ... ugh ... concerts or sporting events where the press of the throng is common ... I'm sure the rest of you can think of other very uncomfortable situations).

But would I support the legalization of public nudity in many contexts? Absolutely, in theory - but only if I could count on my fellow Americans to follow the common sense hygienic rules of naturists. Naturists require that you have a towel for sitting upon for precisely the aforementioned hygienic reasons. Whether the general American populace could be as disciplined is a dubious question. I'm afraid the recent presidential election has shattered my faith in my compatriots. Still, public nudity is legal in a number of European countries, and the sky has not fallen.

A good initial compromise might be to at least eliminate the laws prohibiting nudity on your own property. It should not matter whether or not your neighbor can see you. The nude body in and of itself should not be cause for offense. The only thing that should matter imho is whether there's sexual activity where children might be observing, and that issue was already taken off the table in the original post.

It is considered proper etiquette in nudist culture to carry towels to sit on for hygienic purposes.

I grew up on a farm and saw sexual activity all around me in the barn yard. But I was also raised Christian and taught that humans were a special case and thus grew up with a warped sense of my body and sexuality.

Quick question - when the American west was being settled ... and just about all the settlers had a one room cabin (like Abraham Lincoln, for example) ... and the settlers had a bunch of children ... do you think that maybe - just maybe - mom and dad copulated in front of the kids? All kids born in September are most likely xmas presents to dad.

Somehow, this "don't talk to the children about sex" is pretty stupid, since before the industrial revolution, most kids were peeking at their parents rutting like animals in heat most of the cold winter months.

@snytiger6, etiquette is one thing; but I personally don't think everyone who should would comply. I don't want to go out to public places and have to worry about where I'm going to sit, or put my hands, whatever. I could go with a compromise of waist up/thighs down uncoverage, but there are already too many people out there whose personal hygiene leaves a great deal to be desired for full Monty style, imho.

@Hercules3000 that's just stupid to suggest that teachers would be nude in the classroom. Employers institute and enforce dress codes; that would not change.

@Hercules3000 what are you, 15 yrs old? Go learn about life somewhere then come back and play with the adults.


I'm kind of conflicted about it. Like, people should be able to do what they want, but I also think that there is a time and a place for it. Idk, I also don't want my genitals touching where someone else's genitals were touching LOL. That's a personal thing though, if it doesn't bother you then whatever I suppose.

At least let woman be able to be topless. I'd love to swim in just shorts or something when it's super hot or like, if certain places that allow shirtless men not wear shirts then I should be able to as well. Maybe someday haha

I have no problem with women going topless in public where men are allowed to do so, it seem to me it is a step in the right direction for equality of the sexes.

Agreed! Like, their just boobs calm down lol

@LadyStardust96 *they're

Nudists bring towels to seat part of the Netiquette.

@AtheistInNC Alt-Write! hahahaha! Nicked!

@DUCHESSA Did you mean the Nudeiquette? 😀

@ailurophile you mean you don't sit in front of your computer naked at home? Is it just me?

@ailurophile NNNNNNNNNetiquette.

@AtheistInNC I live in Vermont, and can't afford to heat the house above 60F, so no... not most of the year. Vermont has 9 months of winter, and 3 months of bad sledding.

@DUCHESSA maybe the ones with a social conscience.

@Condor5 If you don't have a towel you don't seat. Period.


Yes, its natural. It's more common in the rest of the world. We are to puritanical. Hiding it leads to objectification.


Nudist camps, or activities in a defined space ? Sure.

Everyone roaming around nude on an average day , in an average town ?

No-o-o-o , p-l-e-e-e-e-a-s-e !!

I'm with you on this.

Me too! I really don't want to see the swinging nutsacks, bushy bushes and floppin titties everywhere I go. Lol...put some damn clothes on....
But swimming topless is a wonderful and free feeling when you have breasts....


It should be illegal, but only in America. It is clear Americans hold such an adolescent mindset and are still too close to their puritanical roots to deal with things like naked people. The top five things that would happen the day after nudity was legalized in the U.S.A.: 1) half the people would file sexual harassment claims and lawyer-up. 2)There would be a sudden resurgence in nineteenth century style "fainting couches". 3) Traumatized Evangelicals would form victim support groups all over the country. 4) Pubic sculpting boutiques on every corner. 5) Those wipe dispensers you find by the carts at the front of the grocery store would be hung at the end of each pew. And a special bonus result: There would be a secret service agent holding the first place in line for his boss at the Genital Enhancement Prosthetic shop.

I have both encountered naked people in public and have sometimes been a naked person in public and contrary to your ideas of what would happen, about the only reaction was some people took out their camera phones to take photos. The vast majority of people didn't have any reaction at all. There was once or twice, but not in the same day, a rabid right wing religious fanatic who would shout at us, but that was the only rare negative reaction.

Before, anyone gets ideas about going naked after reading the above though, you shoudl familiarize yourself with local nudity laws and be familiar with what you can and cannot do legally. I was living in Oregon which has very nude friendly laws.

In regards to item #5 on the list above, in nudist culture it is considered proper nudist etiquette and common in nudist culture to carry a towel or something else with you to sit on, for sanitary reasons, and if possible to shower or thoroughly clean yourself after dedicating.

Wow! You got me laughing my ass off greenchilehound. That was hilarious.

I think it's great satire.

@snytiger6, after dedicating what, may I ask?


Just at we are all born atheists, so we are all born nudists. Nudity should be legal and without penalty. I agree with the statement above that if a person is using it for sexual arousal it should be completely normalized. I think it would take some time for the general public to accept nudity as acceptable, but once it is accepted things would be fine. We are all naked under our clothes and the sooner we just accept the human body as acceptable, the sooner it would be normalized. I think that clothing creates a certain type of its own eroticism that wouldn't exist if nudism was acceptable. I remember the excitement of first discovering someone's body under her clothes led to the notion that if I was under her clothing that moving into sexual behavior was part of the package. If nudity was accepted then the boundaries about sexuality could be more normalized so that nudity did not mean automatically that sex was automatically Ok. If we were all naked the curiosity factor would be taken away and sexuality would be looked at in a healthier light, too.

Umm... the statement read as long as they are NOT trying toi sexually arouse either themselves or anyone else.... I suspect you may have accidentally made a misquite which totally changes the meaning of what I said. LOL... luckily that site managers added a feature that allows you to edit posts a couple weeks ago.

One of my favorite T-Shirts reads "If we were meant to be naked, we'd be born that way." It's a lot of fun to see someone read it and see their expression in that split second where their brain is trying to make sense of it.

I do agree that because most people only are nude in the contexts of either sex or bathing, those are the only things that they associate nudity with, or rather the only things that come to their minds. I have a long list of other activities I have done while nude, and seldom ever think of sex (out of a sexual context) when I see another nude person.

Once thing about everyone beign naked, is that there are no cues a to a person's status, so everyone generally treats everyone else the same. If "clothes make the man", than a lack of clothes makes everyone equal.

Right. No religion, no shame. Nature is nature.

Nudity IS legal in USA since 1932.

@snytiger6 People are still products of cultural conditioning and/or biology, re: appearance. In every place I've been naked, there was a definite privileging of those perceived as more attractive.

@DUCHESSA Not everywhere.

@ailurophile It is one thign to favor those you find attractive, and yet wholly another thing to demean those you don't.

One thing I like about nudist clubs is that I have witnessed people beign treated more equally than in any other place I have ever been. There are exceptions, but they are very few.

@snytiger6 That some communities do not have nudist resorts doesn't mean is not legal in that place.

@DUCHESSA True. In Oregon, the state supreme court ruled tht nudity was a right under the state constitution, although the ruling was worded vaguely so the only 100% clear part of the ruling was regarding protesting. The net effect is tht local nudity ordinances stayed on the books,but are not really enforceable as such. The few localities tht enforce bans on nudity instead charge you with "creating a public disturbance" if they can.

TIt is my understanding that on most Federal lands nudity is legal as there are no laws banning it. Tht is also true of many State lands in various states.

U.s. laws regardign nudity are very inconsistent and a general mess though.

You do have a point tht in most places where nudity is legal,mos tpeoel are unaware of that.


Apparently the ancient greeks and other concurrent societies were quite openly naked in public especially during sporting and similar public events, much to the horror of the jewish peoples of the time. And it seems that the Abrahamic religions, Jewish, Moslem, and Christian have put their stamp on public morals ever since. It should be completely legal, and completely up to the individual as to when and where they exercise their right to nudity. There is a huge difference between legal, and compulsory.

gymnasium means 'to exercise naked.'

@GoldenMean actually it means Naked place

'...much to the horror of the jewish peoples...'? The early Jews were not monotheists and shared much with the peoples around them for a long time, even to 3rd CE. If you have sources to share, I'd love to know these. I'm always interested in separating fact from fiction.

Also, I lifted the following from an online encyclopedia:
'...recent studies of human lice suggest that clothing may have become commonplace in human society around 72,000 years ago...' []. I knew the Jews were an ancient civilization, but...?

Now, regarding the Greeks: I've read there were double standards for female nudity in Greece, the exception being the Spartans.


I think it makes sense at the beach. But frankly MOST people look better with their clothes on


Since hygiene has been mentioned several times, I should make it clear the proper nudist etiquette in nudist culture is to carry a towel to sit on for hygienic purposes.

Also, most nudists do agree that clothing is needed under some circumstances for warmth and/or protection. I think protection includes crowded areas where pervs may try to take advantage.and try to grope.

Nudism/Naturism is not exhibitionism. It is just some of us feel more physically comfortable without clothing to restrict us and we liek to feel the sun and wind on our bare skin.

Because so few people experience beign nude outside of sex or bathing I find they often find it hard to imagine nudity outside of those contexts.


My opinion is that public nudity should be legal. I lived in areas where there was a much greater degree of public nudity. I believe genetalia were often covered for protective reasons as these were more sensitive areas (injury wise - men & women) and for sanitary reasons. what was interesting was that nakedness was much more of an issue for those who were clothed than naked.

Whilst in Germany a friend and I realised we were in a naked sports complex when guys were wandering around starkers and we were in swimming trunks. The laughing Germans caused my friend to state that he felt embarrassed to be clothed so we went back to the lockers and got nudie. It was a "unisex" complex and all sexes used the same changing rooms and all facilities. There was no sexual innuendo or lewd behaviour. It was actually a pleasant experience to be there.

In the UK, the laws are not straight forward. I have included a link to a Wikipedia entry about a (in)famous naked rambler []

Wow. Interesting story. Hope society gets over its warped attitudes soon. Clothing only when naturally necessary.


Sure if it's done in designated areas.
I don't think people should be walking around nude anywhere they want.

As you pointed out in your OP, even nudist events have people who have sexual agendas, what's to keep them from doing this in public on a city street? Hell, you could probably get on a subway in a large city right now and see someone exposing themselves.

There will always be someone who will abuse this privilege.


Sure why not..unfortunately..too many people sexualize the human body..I went to a festival last summer..there was a beautiful young kids..boy and girl..walking around fully nude..they looked happy and at home in their skin...their children were playing and never even acted like they acknowledged their nakedness...people need to stop sexualizing...the human body is not just for sex..I have no issues with nudists..can have full conversations with them and not stare ...woman who breastfeed should do it with one should be looking down upon another's life choices as long as they are not impeaching on your rights...

yes, what you describe, is the way things shoudl be.


When it's really warm, I like to shed my clothing, and interestingly have become more comfortable with nudism as I age. So I say go for it, with all the practical suggestions people have made here, e.g. using a towel.

North America was founded (if I have my history correct...) by people fleeing religious persecution, therefore explaining the puritanical mindset that kicked off this continent's culture. We still see its effects to this day. The objectifying of women is IMHO the result of forbidding the exposure of the human body. Make something illegal and forbidden, it makes it all the more naughty.


There is a time and place for nudity. At the beach, in a park, hiking, biking, in the sauna but certainly not on public transport. Public nudity should be legal where appropriate.

SamL Level 7 Oct 19, 2017

Yes but not for my dad!

I love this answer.


There is obviously the sanitary issue, which prior commenters have pointed out, but in the United States, this is the only nation I feel comfortable commenting on, there is a pervasive political culture where the loudest and angriest seem to get their way despite logic or consequences for others. I just don't think that it is a practical political fight, at least on the American front.

My personal opinion, legalize nudity with some measures for maintaining the public health. And if you don't like seeing naked people or don't want to be naked, don't be nude and look away when someone who is nude comes up.

It is common etiquette for nudists to carry towels to sit on for hygienic purposes (makes me wonder if author Douglas Adams, who wrote the Hitchhikers's Guide To the Galaxy" series wasn't a nudist).

@snytiger6, common etiquette, like common sense, is not so common, I'm afraid.

@Condor5 Sadly, you are right.


There is nothing wrong with nudity, but I for one am thankful for clothes. Should it be illegal to be nude in public? No, I guess not, but I won't be investing energy trying to reverse it.


Absolutely. It's hard to hide weapons that way.

I don't think I have ever considered that aspect....


I'm torn on this issue. Part of me thinks that the Muslims have a point. There is no way not to objectify attractive women in revealing/tight-fitting clothes if one is a heterosexual male. (Obviously I'm making a generalization......There are times when I don't do that.)

Another part of me thinks that public nudity would be very healthy for our society. Seeing lots of people naked would decrease curiosity. What I mean by that is that there are a lot of women who, by virtue of being attractive, cause me to wonder about what they'd look like naked. In many cases they wouldn't look that great and I'd be able to think about other things.

When I was younger I went to a couple of nude beaches. For the first half hour, or so, it seems quite strange. After that it seems quite normal. The nudity stops being a big deal.


NO-o-o-o-o-o , please ! Especially when in Walmart, there are times I'm really grateful there are clothes - brief thought they might be ...


Going topless in public has been legal in Ontario, where I live, for a couple of decades now. You don't see a lot of it but it happens, usually at beaches that are out of the way. I'm not a big fan of clothes around the house, especially when it is warm, then I will be wearing the minimum but full public nudity seems problematic for me.
Sun protection for starters, dealing with the bull shit that comes from the ignoramuses of the world and especially the holy rollers with all of their pent up guilt and hatred. When I start seeing most women walking around Toronto with no tops on in the summer then I'll happily change my mind.


I enjoy nude swimming at clothing optional and secluded beaches and waterholes, it's the best way to bodysurf because you don't get sand in your speedos. However I like my bike shorts for their extra padding when cycling and usually wear long pants when hiking for protection against snakes and scratchy plants. There's also the need for sunburn protection. I've heard that a local nudist club is looking for a band to play naked for their christmas party and I'd do that no worries. Public nudity I'm not so sure about, not just for hygiene reasons or smell in hot weather, there is the issue of people who may have a sexual agenda too but the main reason is that some people would be offended, not everyone is comfortable with nudity, I don't think it's a freedom of expression that does no harm.

It is considered proper etiquette in nudist culture to carry towels to sit on for hygienic purposes.

Man, I'd be concerned about dragging my wang in the sand when bodysurfing. Ouch!


For sanitary reasons, I think it shouldn't be allowed on public property; you should be able to do whatever you want on your own property (like sunbathing nude on your lawn or patio), even if it is visible to everyone, but taking it to public places where your body hygiene can affect others is a step I wouldn't take.

MarcO Level 5 Oct 18, 2017

It is considered proper etiquette in nudist culture to carry towels to sit on for hygienic purposes.

@snytiger6, "It is considered proper carry towels..." Which is precisely why half the naked people wouldn't do it. If I'm not mistaken, San Francisco had quite a problem with that very thing.


I think it would be a hygiene problem, if people went nude all the time. Especially, where people sit.

That has been a concern of many respondents tot he question.

In nudist culture it is a given that you carry with you a towel or some other thine to sti on.

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