This Map Tells You Where You Can Legally Sunbathe Nude Around the World

Bookmark for a time when you hopefully don’t have to wear a face mask with your birthday suit.

27 April 2021, 11:35am

For some, soaking in the sun and Vitamin D can mean baring butt cheeks and never having to worry about tan lines. But with different laws on public nudity and sunbathing around the world, this can be one prickly area.

To help out people who’d prefer to cast their clothes off at the shore, UK - based swimwear brand Pour Moi launched a map that shows where it’s legal to sunbathe topless or nude in the world.

The map categorises countries into four colours: green, red, amber and grey. In the green regions, it’s legal to sunbathe nude; and in countries marked red, it’s illegal with some even carrying strict punishments. In the amber regions, the rules are ambiguous and unclear, like in Turkey where public nudity is illegal but tourists can often be found sunbathing nude. Grey represents the regions where there wasn’t enough information on public nudity.

A map of the world with places permitting nude sunbathing in green, red sections indicate where public nudity is illegal. Photo courtesy of Pour Moi.

The website also reported that there were over 10.7 million searches made globally in the last 12 months for “nude beaches,” “nude resorts” and “sunbathe nude,” which later turned into keywords for their research. The researchers further studied laws on indecency and public nudity for each country. “We know a lot of our customers like to ditch their swimsuit when they sunbathe, and with tentative steps being made towards international travel opening up, we wanted to help people find out where you can and can't go topless when you sunbathe,” said Michael Thomson, the founder of Pour Moi. “We’re a UK company and Britons are stereotyped as being quite prudish, but it's not true, a lot of us love to embrace more naturist ways in the sunshine!” 

It sounds bizarre to read about places where you can bare it all at a time when people are being asked to cover up but the idea of not having any kind of a barrier between you and some sunshine does seem enticing. According to news reports, the lockdown has in fact driven more people to take off their clothes where they can - be it at home, on nude beaches that have reopened, or on a balcony (but please don’t do this in Dubai.)

According to the study, the top five countries most interested in getting naked under the sun are: Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, USA, and Canada. The website further breaks down the legality of nude sunbathing across every continent. 

In Asia, nude sunbathing is legal only in Israel, Japan and Thailand. There are several places where the lack of information and sources mean there’s no clear answer.

In Argentina, nude sunbathing is legal but has been subject to controversy. In 2017, women in Argentina protested over the right to sunbathe semi-nude. In Egypt, travel threads say sunbathing topless on beaches is fine but might come off as culturally insensitive due to the country’s wide Muslim population. In 2018, Egypt arrested two people in connection with a woman climbing the pyramid of Giza and stripping on top while getting her pictures taken.  

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The map shows how Europe is the continent that most embraces birthday suits, with the green-lit lands of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark and Germany being places where you can find nude beaches fairly easily. 

The website came out with a detailed state-by-state guide for the United States where it’s mostly legal to sunbathe nude. Only four states - Utah, South Carolina, Indiana and Tennessee - prohibit public nudity. Several states like Virginia, Okhlahoma, Texas and Washington fall under the amber zone where it might be okay to sunbathe topless but you might get booked for indecency and public nuisance. Out of 50 states, it’s safe to sunbathe topless in 32 states.

Out of 50 states in the U.S, it's legal to go topless in 32. Photo Courtesy of Pour Moi.

“Public nudity laws can become confused with the rules surrounding naked sunbathing, with many countries saying public nudity is illegal, but they are actually OK with topless sunbathing,” said Pour Moi in a statement. “For most nations, the ‘intention to offend' is the main thing that differentiates trying to catch some vitamin D without tan lines, versus someone streaking or flashing.”

If you do find yourself at one of these bare beaches though, just hope none of those Google Street View cars pass by at the same time.

Follow Jaishree on Twitter and Instagram.

Tagged:

beach, Nudism, public nudity, nude sunbathing, nude beaches, sunbathe nude

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