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Nudists' Legal Rights FAQ

Police email to organisers of the London Naked Bike ride confirming nudity is not an offence


Also in "Nudists' Legal Rights"
Nudists' Legal Rights
SUN Nudists' Rights Card (Pilot & Update)
Five laws the police could use against nudists
Your rights when dealing with the police
What to do if challenged by a National Trust warden
Nudist Legal Rights FAQ
SUN's Legal Fund: Ready to support YOU in 2005




Use our Beach Report Form and tell SUN if you are harassed at Studland

This FAQ is based on questions asked between 1995 & 2000. We shall add to this section as we update our archive.

Can I be arrested if I go beyond the posts?

The same criminal laws apply whichever side of the posts you are on and no-one has been arrested for simply being in the nude beyond the posts.

  4th September 2005 Update: SUN have received a report of a _threatened_ arrest of a nudist doing no more than sunbathing in a dune he has used for years. The nudist has made a written complaint regarding his treatment and the situation is under investigation.

Can I be arrested for having an erection?

You don't have to take many visits to a nudist beach before witnessing an embarrassed dad leaving mum and racing to the sea for the cold water treatment as his kids return with the ice creams! Most beach users view this as a natural occurrence are not bothered in the least.

The fact is that erections happen and if you are a man then at some time you are going to have to deal with an erection whilst on the beach.

Whether or not your erection could lead to your arrest depends on what you do with it! In a nutshell... ensure nobody feels threatened by your erection (this is important), turn over, crouch down or run into the sea!

If you become erect whilst sleeping
If you become erect whilst sleeping, which is a fairly common occurrence, it's possible that Mrs Grundy may walk by and be shocked. In law she would have the right to complain to the police and in law you could actually be arrested. That said we think this is a VERY unlikely scenario as most sensible human beings passing by an obviously sleeping man with a erection would accept your perfectly natural human condition with (probably) mild amusement.

If you wake up and find you have an erection
If you wake up and find you have an erection best advice is to turn over and lay face down for a while!

If you are walking and get a spontaneous obvious erection
Please be aware that:

  • Some people on the beach, particularly single women, find the sight of an erect man approaching them very threatening.

  • Some people on the beach, who you have no way of identifying, will be experiencing nudism for the very first time and will not be used to the sight of an occasional erection.

  • The police are aware that Studland is listed on internet dogging websites and that if you walk around with an obvious erection you may be mistaken as a sexual predator and draw their attention.

  • By walking around with an erection you may cause somebody to complain.

So, if you get an erection whilst walking around the best advice is to get out of view for a while. Swim if you're by the sea, sit or crouch or lay down for a while if you're on the open beach.

If you choose to crouch in the dunes whilst your erection subsides choose your spot with a little care. If you crouch to hide an erection and you are close to a single woman (for example) your actions could be mistaken.

If you become erect DO NOT BEHAVE LIKE A STALKER. If you are arrested for having a naturally occurring erection get as many witnesses as possible and contact a recommended solicitor via the Coast & Country Club - 0870 458 2115 (8am to 8pm most days).

If you masturbate
If you masturbate on the beach you could be arrested (even if secretively and viewed through powerful binoculars).

Is public sex an arrestable offence?

Strictly speaking private sex is in open space is not a criminal offence but private means private. Sex that could be witnessed by anybody else is an arrestable offence.

Sexual activity at Studland causes many problems and naturists deplore the activities of those who, through sexual misconduct, threaten to bring naturism into disrepute.

We encourage all visitors to act responsibly so please take care and avoid behaviour that could alarm or distress members of the public. Offenders get no support from local or national naturist organisations.

The Bournemouth Daily Echo frequently name, shame and print the address of those found guilty and archive reports on their website.

SUN Nudists' Rights Card (Pilot & Update) | Five laws the police could use against nudists | Your rights when dealing with the police | What to do if challenged by a National Trust warden | Nudist Legal Rights FAQ | SUN's Legal Fund: Ready to support YOU in 2005