The Naked Truth about Nudity in Denmark

Charlottenlund

Charlottenlund

I’ve been wanting to write this blog for ages but wasn’t quite sure how to – for fear of appearing to be prudish.  Then my parents came to stay at the weekend and during a walk around the beach at Charlottenlund, they were taken aback by the number of people swimming – naked.  Without any fuss, both men and women were very casually stripping off to go skinny dipping.  It was 11am on Sunday morning.

I often find myself turning around when I realise there’s somebody in the nude swimming towards me.  It’s silly really – they couldn’t care less who sees them, so why should I?  And trying to change on the beach after a quick dip always results in an embarrassing muddle – mine.  The Danes, of course, don’t bat an eye lid.  They simply don’t have the same inhibitions most Britons or Americans have about being naked in public.

Swimming in October

Swimming in October

There’s no room for prudishness in public swimming pools either.  Take for example the preparations needed before you can even get into the pool.  In the ladies’ shower rooms there are strict rules on display demanding that everyone uses soap to wash themselves all over – swimwear has to be removed.  And you can forget about privacy – cubicles and curtains simply don’t exist.

They are also much more matter of fact about sex.  I was pretty taken aback when my three year old picked up an illustrated book at his kindergarten about the facts of life.  The front cover had a drawing of a naked man and woman in bed together. But when I handed it to a member of staff saying there must be some mistake, she was surprised at my reaction.  If a child here – even as young as three – asks questions about babies or even sex, they’re answered.

Statue in Churchillparken, Copenhagen

Statue in Churchillparken, Copenhagen

I shouldn’t be surprised.  There’s been a growing row here over what many Danes claim is censorship on Facebook.  One offending item was a photo of a female breast with the nipple clearly visible.  That, along with illustrations from a 1970’s sex education book, apparently violated Facebook’s nudity policy so they were removed.  Danes think it’s ridiculous as you can read in the Copenhagen Post.

Even on the high streets here there’s plenty of flesh on show.  There’s a full sized bus advert of a topless woman promoting a boob job, that’s currently doing the rounds.  But nobody seems to take any notice.  Except, that is, those of us who are used to a little more discretion when it comes to nudity in public.

6 thoughts on “The Naked Truth about Nudity in Denmark

  1. I don’t know what to make of it—public nudity at a beach as you described it. I have read some nations are very relaxed about it. I have friends who went to beaches where there were men and women sunbathing in the nude. it made them feel uncomfortable. Interesting post.

  2. Interesting.. if u feel uncomfortable then don’t go. People are made to follow Islamic rules when they get in to their countries. As simple as this.

  3. Sexual predators will actually think twice if everyone ran around naked. They couldn’t get away everyone would notice if someone is being sexual assaulted. So in reality there would be less predators also some result to predator because they can’t be naked and causes trauma to the mind in return thinking deviate sexual thoughts. Pedophiles guess what reality if they saw some interesting under age they can image and already know what they look like naked. This clothes thing is a false sense of protection. Not reality. We where born to have sex produce more and be naked that’s reality. More rules mean more deviated thoughts equals more crime. Human and natural rights have been taken away based off of no factual information.

  4. What is most interesting about open nudity in various cities and/or nations of the world, yet rarely mentioned (if ever) is that the amount of sex crimes is exceedingly low or even non-existent. When one considers how horrible rape is, it seems almost inhumane to not accept public nudity in all the world.

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