A global guide to where in the world you can sunbathe topless or naked, without getting into trouble, has been unveiled.
Despite travel restrictions last year, there were over 10.7million Google searches made globally in the past 12 months for ‘nude beaches’, ‘nude resorts’ and ‘sunbathe nude’. The USA, Japan and Brazil made the majority of those searches. However, researchers say that when population size is accounted for, the people that want to sunbathe naked the most are from Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.
Sunbathing topless, or partially naked, is received very differently around the world, with researchers adding that religious and cultural histories make a big impact on how acceptable or offensive it is deemed. Even within a single country, like the USA for example, different regions have very different stances and laws on naturist activity.
This worldwide map reveals where you can sunbathe topless or naked, without getting into trouble, and where it should be avoided. The 38 countries in red are ones where public nudity of any kind, even non-offensive public topless sunbathing, is completely unacceptable or illegal. Countries coloured green, of which there are 39, are those that are relaxed about public topless or nude sunbathing. The 29 countries marked in amber indicate ambiguous or contradictory laws or where there are very limited places to naked sunbathe. Grey countries indicate where not enough information was available to make a categorisation
Researchers found that 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’. They say that 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’.
The worldwide map categorises countries into four colours. The 38 countries in red are ones where public nudity of any kind, even non-offensive public topless sunbathing, is completely unacceptable or illegal.
Countries coloured green, of which there are 39, are those that are relaxed about public topless or nude sunbathing, allowing it in multiple official and unofficial locations.
The 29 countries marked in amber indicate laws that are ambiguous or contradictory, or where there are very limited places to naked sunbathe – these places will require a bit more research before taking off your swimsuit, say researchers.
A state-by-state guide to the rules on topless and nude sunbathing in the United States. In 32 states, you should have no legal worries about nude sunbathing. However, it is not allowed in Utah, Indiana, Tennessee or South Carolina. States where the rules on topless or naked sunbathing are ambiguous include Florida, Texas, Nevada and New Jersey
COUNTRIES THAT WANT TO SUNBATHE NUDE THE MOST (PER PERSON)
Looking at Google search data, and cross-referencing it with each country’s population size, the 10 nations that are the biggest fans of sunbathing naked are:
1. Australia – Green: Topless sunbathing is legal, with plenty of official nudist beaches.
2. New Zealand – Amber: Whilst not illegal you must do it in a designated area.
3. Ireland – Red: Illegal to sunbathe topless and no official nude beaches.
4. USA – Amber: In 32 states you shouldn’t have any legal worries about nude sunbathing. However, it isn’t allowed in Utah, Indiana or Tennessee.
5. Canada – Green: Its nudity law is rarely enforced as it relies on context, with topless sunbathing being deemed a case that doesn’t have the intent to offend.
6. Netherlands – Green: Topless sunbathing is common and allowed in designated areas.
7. UK – Green: Topless sunbathing is completely legal and nudist beaches exist.
8. Japan – Green: Although there aren’t many nudist beaches, onsens (hot water springs) are usually attended in the nude.
9. Spain – Green: Legal to sunbathe naked or topless and it’s a fairly common sight.
10. Hungary – Green: Nude beaches are quite common and it’s not illegal to sunbathe naked.
Source: Pour Moi
For example, they explain that in Tunisia (amber) topless sunbathing is deemed ‘OK in some private hotels and resorts but is generally unacceptable on public beaches’. Or, in Costa Rica (amber), while ‘public nudity is technically illegal, there are unofficial naturist resorts and beaches’.
Grey countries indicate where not enough information was available to make a categorisation.
The worldwide map reveals that Australia is coloured green as topless sunbathing is legal, with the country having ‘plenty of official nudist beaches’.
The UK is also green as ‘topless sunbathing is completely legal and nudist beaches exist’.
Other green countries include Canada, Spain, Japan, the Netherlands and Hungary.
New Zealand is coloured amber, with researchers revealing that while nude sunbathing is ‘not illegal you must do it in a designated area’.
Ireland is a red country as researchers found that it is ‘illegal to sunbathe topless and there are no official nude beaches’.
Meanwhile, a separate map breaks down the rules in each U.S state and reveals that in 32 states, you should have no legal worries about nude sunbathing.
However, it is not allowed in Utah, Indiana, Tennessee or South Carolina. States where the rules on topless or naked sunbathing are ambiguous include Florida, Texas, Nevada and New Jersey.
The maps were generated by researchers for lingerie brand Pour Moi, who spent weeks researching the individual laws of each country around the world and cross-referencing them with travel forums, blogs and social media posts to determine which countries you can sunbathe naked in without worry.
Michael Thomson, founder of Pour Moi, said: ‘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.
‘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’s been fun comparing which countries are most interested in sunbathing naked, versus what the actual nudity laws are in that country.’
To see the full research and a summary of the rules for each country, visit the Pour Moi website.