Skinny Dipping and Swimming Nude / Naked

| August 26, 2012 | 5 Comments

Skinny Dipping and Swimming Nude

Skinny Dipping – Few things come with the feeling of freedom and joy like nude swimming, or skinny dipping. People have been swimming nude as long as there have been people. While in the ancient past, nude was the only way to go swimming, in modern times, it is much less acceptable to be naked. That said, people still swim in the nude.

Despite the fact that one needs to be naked to properly skinny dip, it is often a group or social activity. Most often, one member of a group suggests the activity, and the others agree to it. Soon, everyone who wants to join in is naked and jumping into the water while those that preferred not to partake in the activity occupy themselves some other way.

Although not the only type of group nudity in existence, skinny dipping is generally considered to be quite harmless and “all in good fun” by most.

Skinny dipping in a lake

Skinny Dipping

Despite the popularity of skinny dipping, society has for centuries deemed it an inappropriate activity, particularly in groups of mixed gender individuals. The swimsuit was first introduced partially to combat the “immorality” of swimming or bathing in the nude with those of the opposite sex present.

The first recorded instance of a swim suit is in 4th century Greece, though the first modern day bathing suits showed up in the 18th century in public bath houses in France and England (see the History of Women’s Swimwear).

As time went on, swimsuits became less and less about modesty and more about style. Modern swimsuits would certainly offend the strict modesty of Victorian times.

nudity textile industry clothing bathing suit length police cop

A police officer measures a woman’s bathing swimsuit to see that it meets the required length

But if the swimsuit has been a part of culture for so long, why then do people still enjoy the occasional dip in the buff? After all, most of us don’t go around airing out all of our “unmentionable” bits in everyday life, and swimsuits cover up those bits and are fairly easy to swim in unlike their Victorian-era counterparts. There are many reasons.

Perhaps the most obvious is that there can be a certain perceived sexuality in skinny dipping, particularly if you do so with someone you are attracted to in an intimate setting. There are other reasons, however, which may not be as obvious, especially in a group setting.

Despite the fact that morals have become less stringent than they were at many times in the past, people still often feel repressed. Skinny dipping is one way that they can release that feeling. It’s similar to bathing, but in a much larger tub.

Those in the water have a sense of emotional freedom and, since the water often obscures details to a great degree, can feel less embarrassed than they would if they were just walking around nude.

skinny dipping woodstock upstate new york big deep swimming hole felicity jones

Skinny Dipping in Big Deep, Woodstock, New York

The sense of freedom is another reason. Although there isn’t much to many modern swimsuits, and most are not very restrictive, there’s still something freeing and natural about there being absolutely nothing between you and the water that surrounds you. This sense of freedom can be exhilarating, and many people love the adrenaline rush.

Another reason is that it’s taboo, even in today’s society. To many, the act of breaking taboos and the sheer joy of going against convention feels great and creates an adrenaline rush. The fact that they can do something so “naughty” and, hopefully, get away with it is appealing to many people. It’s a chance to rebel against societal norms and expectations in a relatively safe manner.

nude hiking new york skinny dipping naked swimming young naturists america

Cooling down with a naked swim after nude hiking in the mountains of NY with YNA

After all, nobody is getting hurt by skinny dipping. It’s not infringing on anyone else’s rights. Just be careful to not do it around police, or around people who might call the police. Like it our not, people still tend to have a problem with public nudity. It is still, in many jurisdictions, considered to be indecent exposure.

And, let’s face it, the natural state of the human body is naked. Some people like to skinny dip as a way to get “back to nature” – to feel and be the way nature intended. Many people feel more at peace and at ease with themselves in this state.

naked retreat waterfall skinny dipping upstate new york yna

Waterfall Skinny-Dipping

Another, less socially acceptable, reason for skinny dipping is using it as a form of exhibitionism or voyeurism. Some people get sexually excited when showing off their bodies to others, and skinny dipping may be one way to pursue this activity. While some people get sexually excited just from witnessing others naked, some people take it to extremes, and these people may also enjoy skinny dipping in order to derive sexual pleasure from seeing others.

Skinny dipping doesn’t appeal to everyone, though. Many people are too shy to undress in front of friends, or worse in front of strangers. Others may rail against the thought of public nudity because it goes against their morals or because it’s illegal.

Many people are ashamed of their body and struggle with body image issues. This can make them decide to sit out on skinny dipping activities. Many will just avoid situations where the activity might come up.

Nude Swimming at Potters Falls

Nude Swimming at Potters Falls

Although times are changing, and morals are loosening somewhat, the current prevailing attitude and legality is that the naked human body is inappropriate outside of certain very private situations, such as behind closed doors.

When suggesting skinny dipping, place and timing are important. Unfortunately, in today’s world, there might be a social stigma attached to the activity. Needless to say, that stigma may be projected onto the person that suggests it. This may lead people to think of the one who suggested it as some kind of “pervert” or a threat. Care should be taken, and perhaps the situation and attitude of companions should be assessed before one suggests taking a naked romp in the nearest watering hole.

Additionally, it is usually best to find an intimate, off the beaten path or private area. After all, nobody wants their fun night of swimming naked in the water to turn into a charge of indecent exposure.

This article about Skinny Dipping and Nude Swimming was published by Young Naturists & Young Nudists America


Category: Social Nudity Blogs, Nudism and Naturism, Naked Outdoors Nature

About the Author ()

Author of Felicity's Blog. Co-founder of Young Naturists America. 3rd-generation nudie. Avid reader. Feminist. 70% vegan, 30% vegetarian. When I'm not busy eating, I'm writing about naturism, censorship, topfree equality, body image and other fun topics. I like feedback, so plz leave a comment when you've got something to say!
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  • Joseph P

    Are there any skinny dipping spots in Southern IL?

    • Joseph P Check out – they usually specify when a place is clothing-optional.

  • TaiHe

    How can I contribute to your blog? 

    • FelicityJones

       @TaiHe Hi, if you mean contribute articles, please contact us : youngnaturists[at]
      If you mean monetary contribution, we have a donation page here: