12 Actual Rules From Nudist Colonies, For Those Who Love Being Naked

A nudist colony might sound strange but we know you're interested.

nude woman in ocean Shifaaz Shamoon / Unsplash

By Jacob Shelton

As Methods of Mayhem famously said, “Get naked.” Surely they meant, “Get naked while adhering to a strict set of rules.” And if that’s not what they meant, it’s certainly on the minds of every attendee at a nudist colony.

From time to time, you must wonder, “how do nudist colonies work?” Well, thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can learn all about the importance of towels and the intense hatred for photography that exists in the world of nude beaches and resorts. Keep reading to learn some of the strangest nudist colony rules, ones you’ve always wanted to know but were too afraid to ask (or maybe just had no one to ask about).


Rules at nudist colonies are some of the most important mandates in a civilized society. After all, if there are no nudism rules, how can there be any rules? And with no rules, society devolves into a state of chaos.

If you’re thinking about visiting a nudist colony for the first time, or if you’re an interested voyeur, this list of strange nudist colony guidelines will get you in the right headspace to play a naked game of gin rummy.

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Here are 12 nudist colony guidelines to follow: 

1. No lingerie, underwear, or suggestive attire.

An article on nudist etiquette from The Well Written Woman warns against prospective visitors to nudist colonies wearing anything too sexy or revealing. According to the ethos of the naturalism movement, the point of hanging out naked lies in casting off the chains of societally-dictated sexuality in order to relax. You're headed to a nudist colony, not a strip club. 


2. You don't have to be naked.

Here's a weird rule from nudist colonies - you don't have to be naked. Resorts at which you can freely go nude don't usually require you to stroll about in the buff 24/7. To quote a piece from Huffington Post on the subject

"At Desert Sun, clothing isn’t required anywhere on the property, however, nudity is a must at the pools, Jacuzzis, and while on the pool decks. And no need to bring a swimsuit since those are banned too. Owner Elizabeth Young says, “Unlike some places, requiring nudity in and around the pool puts everyone on the same level and there is no judgment. Desert Sun Resort has found that this works well for first-timers to feel comfortable. There is nothing worse than being at a clothing-optional resort and you are the only one nude in the pool.”

3. Do not feed the alligators.

This was unexpected. If you're visiting a nudist colony that's anywhere near a wild animal reserve (or any other places with apex predators or cheeky buggers like chimpanzees), it's probably a good idea to avoid all creatures that would happily snap off your parts. Cypress Cove, a nudist resort and spa in swampy Florida, strongly recommends against feeding the alligators. Mainly because they're alligators, and, naked or not, they want to kill you.

4. Don't have sex in front of everyone.

This seems kinda obvious, but it's important to keep in mind. In a nude environment, maybe you'll meet someone you like. You're both letting it all hang out, you've had a few cocktails, you're feeling frisky. Everyone is naked. Sounds like the perfect way to start an orgy, right? 


WRONG. According to an article on Huffington Post about the myth-vs-reality of nudist colony life, "It may seem hard to believe, what with all the naked people running around, but nudist resorts are not sexually charged environments. Any type of overt sexual behavior is actually a big no-no."

5. You have to carry a towel at all times.

To quote Douglas Adams, "A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have."

To quote the Nudist Etiquette & Rules from Cypress Cove, a nudist resort and spa in Kissimmee, FL, "Carry a towel with you at all times and ALWAYS SIT ON YOUR TOWEL for sanitary reasons." 

6. You can bring your kids.

Naturalism isn't an inherently sexual thing. It's about being free and comfortable. In an interview with the Florida Times-Union, Barbara Hatten, owner of Hidden River Resort, a nudist getaway in St. George, GA, spoke about families hanging out in the buff.


Hatten: Children are always welcome. Adults are responsible for their children's behavior, and will be held accountable for any misconduct, rule violations or damages.

Q: Is it strange for children to walk around a place with a bunch of nude grown-ups?

Hatten: No. The ones that come out here have been raised in a nude lifestyle. And they're very comfortable with it. They don't look or point or stare -- they've been doing it all their lives. 

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7. Make sure you're actually at a nudist colony (before whipping your junk out).

Nudists mistaking regular beaches for nude beaches happens more than you might think. So remember, before you ditch your clothes, make sure you check the signs, and maybe even ask a few people if you're in the right spot. It never hurts to be cautious


8. Stop staring at people.

One of the most important things to remember about going to a nudist colony is, no one wants to be judged. The whole point of going nude in a safe environment is shedding the veneer of society and being comfortable in your natural skin. So it's a big no to have some weirdo gawking. This is a very important point. A nudist environment is a safe, nonsexual space. 

9. If you get an erection, put it away. 

Much like sh*t, erections happen. It's the way of the world. When the bearer of the swollen log is naked, well, it might make things awkward. If you find your engorged beef swaying in the breeze at a nudist colony, reach for your towel to cover it. Or, if you're sitting or lying down, maybe just rollover. 

If you don't put your masthead away, you'll probably get yourself kicked out of the colony/resort/beach. To quote The Well Written Woman, "Anyone deliberately laying down or walking around with an obvious erection is trying to draw attention to themselves."

10. Don't wave your boner around like a jackass.

To return to the topic of throbbing members - it doesn't matter what your bologna pony looks like, no one wants to see you flopping around at a nudist retreat. Naturalists seek safe environments to escape the unnecessary pressure placed on people by mainstream media. The idea of a man forcing women to look at his erection reinforces rape culture and works against everything the naturalist movement stands for. 


11. Please walk along the shoreline.

According to AANR (American Association of Nude Recreation), if you're going to traipse along the beach you should avoid doing it near other people. "Not only is it more refreshing, but you avoid kicking sand up at the people you pass."

Which is the polite way of saying, "it's impossible to get sand out of our unmentionable crevices so please stop kicking sand.

AANR also mentions respecting the local wildlife, which ties into the rule about not messing with alligators. 

12. You aren't allowed to take photos.

Everyone knows you're not supposed to take pictures at a nudist colony. Why? Because everyone is naked. Also, because the whole point is to escape from the self-conscious imagery of the human body, which is impossible if someone is waving a camera around.


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