5 Etiquette Rules for Going Au Naturel at the Beach

In summer 2015, I did something a bit crazy. I packed a tent and a few beach essentials, rented a car with friends, drove to a remote part of southern Spain, and hiked to a hidden nudist beach nestled in a private cove. Believe me, it was a completely uncharacteristic move. I’m usually the last to strip down to my bikini on the beach, and I always pack a cover-up. But hey, I was on vacation in Spain, where bronzed moms shrug off their bikini tops with ease and nudity barely garners a second glance. Inspired by that carefree European spirit (and perhaps a glass too many of sangria), my friends dared me to ditch my 9-to-5 persona and embrace those vacation vibes. I can do this, I thought.

When I arrived at San Pedro beach, it was like stepping into a whole new world, one that clearly had its own etiquette. I felt like a complete outsider, unaware of how to act in this relaxed and exclusive community. During my two days under the scorching Spanish sun, I quickly gleaned the basic first-timer rules for shedding your clothing (and insecurities) at the beach. Whether you’re searching for all-out liberation or just a short topless foray on your beach haunts this summer, follow these rules to master the art of going au naturel with ease.