Etiquette is deﬁned as a “customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group.” In the nudist community etiquette is paramount in order to foster a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for both seasoned nudists and those new to the lifestyle. Respecting these rules beneﬁts both the unclothed and clothed alike.
• Have Towel – Will Travel A towel is a nudist’s best friend. They are the polite and sanitary way of saying, “Is this seat taken?” Carry one with you at all times!
• Don’t Say Cheese Towels may be a nudist’s best friend, but cameras are not. Leave your camera in the car or, better yet, at home. Most cell phones come with a camera nowadays, but please respect your fellow nudist and make an attempt to stay off your phone. It makes people wary and uncomfortable. Individual resorts have their own guidelines for photography, and most of them are pretty strict. Check with resort management before taking off on a photo safari around the grounds. Photography at beaches is a little trickier as there aren’t any laws against cameras on the beach. Most nudists, however, apply the same rules to beaches as they do to resorts and will call those who are being disrespectful out.
• Haven’t You Ever Heard It’s Not Polite to Stare? Just as in a clothed setting, staring in a nudist setting is just plain rude. As Betsy Malloy so eloquently stated in her article Nudist Beach Etiquette, “If you want to go to the nudist beach for a thrill, do everyone a favor and buy a magazine instead.”
• No One Needs to Know Victoria’s Secrets There will be times at resorts where clothes are acceptable such as at some of their onsite restaurants, during events, i.e. dances and themed parties, and when the weather gets a little too chilly for just wearing your skin; however, lingerie is not considered appropriate attire under any of these circumstances nor is walking around in your underwear.
• Get A Room Sexual activity has no place in a public setting let alone a nudist beach or resort. Holding hands, a hug or even some innocent kissing is ﬁne; but if you feel the need to put on a public display of affection – with someone else or by yourself – I suggest you get a room. Sexual activity in a public setting is not only offensive, it’s illegal.
• The Erection Question Anyone deliberately laying down or walking around with an obvious erection is trying to draw attention to themselves. Should this happen at a resort I guarantee this person will be asked to leave immediately and banned from ever coming back. If you’re at a sanctioned nude beach ﬁnd a lifeguard or law enforcement ofﬁcer and let them know. This person obviously showed up for the wrong reasons. On the ﬂipside, you know the saying “shit happens”? Well, the same sometimes applies with erections; they just happen. I have spoken to many male nudists who all say the same thing; when faced with a spontaneous erection simply “turn over on your stomach.” Chill out for a bit and wait until it subsides. Don’t punish yourselves for something that sometimes you may not have any control over. Generally speaking, the more you are in a nudist setting the less it will happen if at all.
• A Hole in One When I ﬁrst forayed into nudism body piercings weren’t as widely common as they are now. Many resorts had strict rules on what was acceptable. Nowadays things like naval piercings and nipple rings are fairly commonplace. You may even see an occasional penis ring. Generally speaking, body piercings are okay as long as they’re simple and tasteful. No one needs to see bling bling on your dingaling.
• Keep Your Clothes Close You may be at a legal nude beach, but that doesn’t mean the public facilities in the area are nudist-friendly. Keep a towel, coverup or clothes handy to put on in case nature calls.
This may seem like a long list of rules, but when you think of it the same goes for respecting people and their personal boundaries in the clothed world. The queen of etiquette, Emily Post, put it best when she said, “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”
Pam Ortiz Miller was born and raised in suburban New York avoiding books and writing of any kind as she preferred musical theatre where people sang you everything you needed to know. It wasn’t until she was a senior at the University of Maryland that she discovered a love of writing. Her main writing focus is poetry, however, she dabbles in short stories, news articles, screenplays and occasional angry letters to customer service reps and estranged relatives. Her latest endeavor is a blog entitled The Real Housewife of Ormond Beach chronicling her adventures in the domestic arts. Like most New Yorkers Pam ended up in Florida where she lives with her husband, three cats and a very special dog. Her hobbies include traveling, photography, cooking, cinema and getting rid of tan lines. On her off days from being a domestic diva she can be found rehabbing sea and land turtles.