Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A nude beach is a beach where the users generally wear no clothing for numerous reasons: that doing so feels and looks good, that it is practical, for philosophical or religious reasons, or simply because there is no reason for clothing (see nudism). Nude sunbathing allows an even sun tan. Nude beaches are also variously known as "FKK", "clothing optional" (C.O.) or "free" beaches they are also described as being "aux naturale", French for "of nature".
Most existing nude beaches have been used as such for many years and thus have become "traditionally nude". Many are "unmanaged" beach areas that have been adopted by the local users in the effort to maintain the beach's quality. Others' right to existence has been recognized as such by one or another legislative body - municipal, regional or national, and are termed "official".
One can distinguish between different types of nude beaches:
- official nude beaches
- nudity is compulsory unless the weather is bad, etc.
- clothing is optional (e.g. nudity is permitted but not required)
- those that are tolerated by the authorities
- those where nudity is illegal, and users risk a fine or worse
In each case the nude areas tend to be isolated from the non-nude areas so encounters with clothed people are less likely to occur.
In the United States, the number of traditional nude beaches has declined somewhat over past decade due to the influx of abusive users. However, the number of official nude beaches has, in fact, increased during this period. Most of this increase can be attributed to the ongoing stewardship of local nudist organizations and the establishment of working relationships with local municipalities and law enforcement agencies. In fact, naturist attractions are increasingly being recognised as being a good source of tourist income.
The users of nude beaches are sometimes the target of legislation to ban public nudity, often because of broad language included in bills intended to target sexually oriented businesses. Nudist organizations such as the Naturist Action Committee have worked to prompt rewriting or rejection of such bills.
- South Beach Magazine Article "Slow Burn: World's Top Nude Beaches."
- The Naturist Society
- Naturist Action Committee
- International Naturist Association
- Bare Beaches - news on nude beaches worldwide, in the form of updates to a book
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