Naturism, nudism, social nudity, public nudity, sunning, clothes-free, are all terms referring to “a lifestyle in harmony with nature, expressed through social nudity, and characterized by self-respect of people with different opinions and of the environment.” “Naturism” is the most widely accepted, followed closely by “nudism” in the United States.

In certain locations, naturism and nudism mean different things. Nudism is quite literally the act of being naked. Naturism on the other hand, refers to an all-embracing lifestyle, which includes healthy eating, staying in shape, free from conflict, as well as embracing the act of nudity.

Some Brief History on the Origins of Nudism

Social nudity is nothing new; it has been practiced throughout history in many different cultures. In the United States and other Western societies, common situations in which social nudity can be observed may include bathing, public saunas, or swimming in pools or at a nudist beach.

Jean Baptiste Luc Planchon was the first to advocate the use of the term “naturism” as a way to describe a natural style of life and health. In French: l’hygiène de vie. Roughly a century later, Germany began publishing the first journal of nudism in 1902. By 1903, the first organized nudist club was opened by Paul Zimmerman; he called it Freilichtpark, which means the Free-Light Park.

Are All Nudists the Same?

Not everyone shares the same ideas when it comes to the nudist philosophy. Some just enjoy a nude-lifestyle with close friends or relatives; others have deeply held beliefs and see group public nudity to be one of many very important principles in leading a happy and healthy life. Generally, sexuality is clearly separated from the naturist’s philosophy.

What Are Some Advantages for Being Nude?

  1. Conservation of Water and Energy:
    1. Wearing clothing less often will save you money as it cuts down on your water bill. There is no such thing as staining your clothes when you aren’t wearing them!
  1. Cleaner and Healthier Skin
    1. Pheromones now become airborne instead of being trapped into clothes
    2. Tropical environments are often very humid, without the body’s ability to cool itself off like it naturally would, skin conditions may arise.
    3. Skin that is bare limits the ability for unhealthy yeast or bacteria to cultivate
  1. Proper Psychological Development
    1. Open nudity allows a deeper understanding of how the human body looks, and feels in a natural setting. This will help ensure nobody feels shame towards his or her own body.
  1. Social Status Cultural Lines are Blurred
    1. Expensive or cheap clothing can no longer separate people into working, middle, or upper classes.
    2. No need to worry about choosing which clothes to wear based on the image you feel the need to present
    3. Freedom of sexual expression without fear of judgment based on clothing


Remember, unfortunately much of our society has negatively associated nudity with sexuality. People have sex naked: True. This does not mean that being naked is all about having sex. Skimpy and revealing clothing is often times must more sexually suggestive than being completely nude. Naturists are not about public sexual relations or exposing themselves to others who do not want to be included; in fact we are actually quite normal in the grand scheme of things, and do not try to sexually connect with others more than any other group of people. Unfortunately, many laws see this lifestyle in a different light; nudists still need to follow the law of the land to avoid any legal issues.

The Untied States has 50 different legislatures with 50 different set of laws that cover aspects of nudism. There are rarely instances when nudism is directly mentioned in the laws. Typically, nude or nudity is the words chosen in legislation. In general, it is against the law to be nude in public places in most jurisdictions. Nudity is even illegal on your own private property if other people off the property can see the nude person. The local customs and community standards play a factor in how the laws are written concerning nudity. Nudity and free expression can come into conflict with indecent exposure, depending on how conservative the interpretation of the act and the law in your area.

Although each state has different laws governing the unclothed individual, Florida law is representative of many states. We got a chance to speak with criminal defense attorney Kenneth Padowitz, who has experience defending clients in the Fort Lauderdale and Miami areas for public nudity and related offenses, and is often cited in the news media for his legal expertise. According to Padowitz, In Florida, nudity is illegal only if the nudity is “vulgar or indecent”.

Florida Statute 800.03

Exposure of sexual organs.—It is unlawful to expose or exhibit one’s sexual organs in public or on the private premises of another, or so near thereto as to be seen from such private premises, in a vulgar or indecent manner, or to be naked in public except in any place provided or set apart for that purpose. (Emphasis added) Violation of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A mother’s breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance violate this section.


According to Padowitz:

“A prosecutor in Florida would have to prove the Defendant’s unlawful intent, the act of the exposure and the location of the act.  The unlawful intent is the hard part. The prosecutor must prove the Defendant’s lascivious, lewd, or indecent intent. An exposed body part without the required state of mind will not be sufficient to prove a crime.”

Obviously, a nudist beach or resort “set aside for that purpose” would not be actionable under this law. Public nudity on a non-nudist beach does not qualify as indecent exposure if the state cannot establish the individual’s lascivious intent. However, if it is not a beach set aside for the specific purpose of nude sunbathing and swimming, it would be prudent not to test the limits of the legal system.

“Another statute in the law enforcement toolbox in Florida would be Disorderly Conduct..” continues Padowitz:

Florida Statute 877.03

Breach of the peace; disorderly conduct.—Whoever commits such acts as are of a nature to corrupt the public morals, or outrage the sense of public decency, or affect the peace and quiet of persons who may witness them, or engages in brawling or fighting, or engages in such conduct as to constitute a breach of the peace or disorderly conduct, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

“This Florida Statute is as clear as mud as applied to nudists”, he continues. The complainant must be a member of the public, not a police officer: Harbin v. State, 358 So.2d 857 (Fla. 1st DCA 1978).

The person complaining cannot be anonymous. The courts have ruled a “mere annoyance” is not sufficient under this statute. Gonzales v. City of Belle Glade, 287 So.2d 669 (Fla. 1973).

“What is a mere annoyance and an outrage of the public decency is not well defined. Also, there are the City ordinances that may differ from place to place on this topic”  Padowitz explains, “So the bottom line is, enjoy the beach and nudist living in designated areas and strip away the application of criminal laws to your lifestyle.” We think this is some good advice. Below we have provided a map for you that explains which states have allowed topless freedom for both men and women:

  • Green: Topless freedom is legal according to state law.
  • Tan: Laws are unclear concerning the showing of female breasts.
  • Red: Showing the female breast is illegal according to state law.

Map showing states that have passed laws allowing women to go topless

Although the majority of states have allowed female breast exposure, it is also true that the majority of cities within each of the states have enacted local ordinances that completely outlaw female topless exposure, or outline various restrictions when permitting such behavior. One such example may be providing public areas reserved for nudists, allowing them to be exposed, while making it an arrestable offense if exposed outside of the designated area.


What is All About?

At our goal is to embrace all philosophies. We hope to start a community where everyone can explore both sides of the spectrum, together and free from judgment.

We must be able to recognize that nudity is completely natural. We are born without clothing, and our natural state is without clothing. We are all just (hopefully) well-kempt animals; our bodies evolved to exist without clothing. Sure, clothes can keep us warm when needed; this is their original purpose, but it does not mean that they must be worn at all times.

There is an overwhelming sense of freedom as the cool breeze and the warm sun envelop your entire body, not just areas that are normally exposed. People choose nudism or naturism to achieve this particular feeling of freedom and being one with the environment; it is not simply all about being naked, its also about being closer with nature while being in your natural state without clothing.