Strange Rules And Little-Known Etiquette For Nudist Colonies

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 this realm. 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 in these spaces are some of the most important mandates in civilized society. 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 head space to play a naked game of gin rummy. And if you prescribe to the groovy nudist lifestyle and notice anything missing from this list, feel free to leave a comment. 

  • No Lingerie, Underwear, Or Suggestive Attire

    An article on etiquette from The Well Written Woman warns against prospective visitors to nudist colonies wearing anything too revealing. According to the ethos of the naturalism movement, the point of hanging out naked lies in casting off the chains of societal "rules" to relax. 

    Remember, you're headed to a nudist colony, not a strip club. 

  • You Don't Have To Be Naked

    Here's a weird rule from nudist colonies - you can where clothes (sometimes). Resorts at which you can freely roam about in the buff don't usually require you to be this way 24/7. Per a Huffington Post article on the topic: 

     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.”

  • Do Not Feed The Alligators

    So, this was an unexpected rule. 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 are dangerous. 

  • Being Naked Doesn't Mean Getting It On

    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. There isn't a stitch of clothing in sight. Sounds like the ideal situation to get lucky, right?


    According to this Huffington Post piece 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."

  • You Have To Carry A Towel At All Times

    Many nudist colonies implement this rule as a safeguard for various situations, from comfort to sanitary purposes. Per the Cypress Cove Nudist Etiquette & Rules, "Carry a towel with you at all times and ALWAYS SIT ON YOUR TOWEL for sanitary reasons." 

    The concept, it turns out, is universal. The rules of pretty much every nudist colony/resort/beach stress the importance of bringing a towel along with you for sanitary reasons (and just in case you need something to cover up any....physical expressions of excitement).

  • You Can Bring Your Kids

    Naturalism is totally about being free and comfortable - not finding a hook-up. There are numerous resorts and nudist colonies that bill themselves as family-friendly and posit that children should not be excluded from the experience. Blue Lake Resort, based in Erie, IL, explain that children are more than welcome: 

    “Your children are as safe here as they are in your home,” the group says on its site. “As for the child’s acceptance of being nude? Children adjust fairly quickly after getting undressed.”