Summer is here, and suffice to say, people aren’t wasting any time after the last year. Several nude beach options around the world recently opened for the season, including New Jersey’s Gunnison Beach.

People are pulling up as early as 5:00 AM to claim their spot.

There remains a lot of misinformation about social nudity, and most of it stems from our quickness to associate it with sex. But context is everything, and the human body isn’t inherently sexual. If you think about it, the only real function of clothes is to guard us from the elements, and when it comes to fully connecting with nature, it’s very freeing to do it without clothes.

Being nude is our most vulnerable state, and it can be a beautiful thing, provided it is practiced appropriately. In other words, there’s certain protocol you should keep in mind to make nudism an enjoyable and problem- free experience for all.

If you’re going to a nude beach or any other clothing-optional establishment, bear in mind the following tips.

You’re Going To See All Kinds Of Bodies

Nude beaches are intended to be inclusive. Therefore, if you expect to only see people that fit society’s limited definition of attractiveness, please stay home. Whatever issues you have with ageism, racism, or aversion to certain body types should be unpacked before going to any nude space.

People will be able to detect your judgmental eye, even if you think you are masking it.  Bodies vary and change over time for a host of reasons. All of them have a place. All of them are valid.

Don’t Stare

It’s natural for us to glance at what is around us,  it’s how we get an understanding of our environment. But staring can be very unsettling. Please don’t do it, unless you’re given permission.

Be Cautious With Cruising

After not being able to interact with groups of people in public, wanting to make up for lost time is understandable.

If you’re conversing with somebody, and you find that interest between you is brewing, that’s one thing. But avoid opening a conversation by asking the person for their number out of the blue. Let the discourse flow that way organically, if that’s what is meant to happen. And if the sparks become a flame, take the sex elsewhere, unless you want to be charged with lewd conduct and possibly banned from the beach.

Ask Before Engaging in Physical Contact

This applies when you have clothes on, but nudity ups the ante so much more. In some cultures, hugging and kissing on the cheek is an acceptable greeting, but not everybody likes that. It’s impossible to know what works for every person you meet, so to stay on the safe side, stick with a “hello!” and wave.

Be Careful When Saying "Cheese!"

Taking pictures of yourself and the people you came with is generally fine, but be mindful of what- and who- is in the background.

Never take pictures of strangers without permission; that’s about as piggish as it gets.  The Gunnison Beach community has a hawk eye, so if you think you’re being slick, the joke is on you, and you will be reprimanded.

Have An Erection? It Happens. Don’t Draw Attention To It

A penis can become erect even without stimulation, that’s just how it works sometimes. It’s not a big deal. But how you position yourself matters.

If you deliberately wave your erection in front of a group of  women who didn’t consent (or anybody, really), you’ve created an uncomfortable situation for them. The cold seawater will bring it down, so hop on in!


Not Everybody Is Going To Be Nude. And No, That’s Not Weird

Some people are just easing into nudism. They may keep their bikini bottoms or tops on, or wear a full bathing suit. They know they are in the minority, so don’t add to that by mocking them, or making them feel isolated. It’s probably best you don’t ask why they aren’t nude, unless they volunteer that information.

Keep The Unsolicited Comments To Yourself

If you think somebody has beautiful breasts, or an impressive appendage, keep that to yourself in a nudist environment. We all feel social pressure to look a certain way no matter who we are, and whether you mean to or not, such comments further that pressure.