Can You Be Nude in Your Own Backyard?

Thinking of dropping your drawers this summer while you’re out in your garden? Make sure you check the state nudity laws first, because some are cool with it – and some will stick you with a fine that will burn you worse than the summer sun!

It's time to explore the nudity attitudes and laws in each of the 50 states, so you have your butt covered (or not) when it comes to knowing when you can take it all off in your own backyard.

Most states in America tend to lean more towards the conservative side. When it comes to nudity, many have specific legislation prohibiting nudity and indecent exposure in public.

However, in more permissive states such as Oregon or Montana, there are no specific laws prohibiting these things, and non-sexual public nudity is totally fine!

In other relaxed states such as Alaska, public nudity isn’t prohibited unless you’re acting in a "lewd or obscene" way.

For the most part, backyard nudity in America tends to be a “grey area”; there are specific nudity laws in many states that prohibit nudity in public, but the question that’s left is if your backyard is considered “public.”

This will depend on the level of visibility that your property has. When you’re nude in the garden, can your neighbors see you from the sidewalk (or their yard)? In that case, your backyard may not be as private as you think, even if it's World Naked Gardening Day (The first Saturday of May).

Some states would be cool with it, but you will want to check with your local municipal and county bylaws to make sure you won’t get hit with a public nudity fine when your new neighbor is walking their dog and catches a surprise eyeful.

Here is a classification of each state based on their nudity laws. This is not legal advice. Always consult an attorney if you are going to make decisions that could put you on the wrong side of the law.

If your backyard is in view of a public area, your neighbors, or doesn't have a barrier to entry, such as a fence, you could be in a lot of trouble for wearing nothing but your birthday suit in your own backyard.

As a rule of thumb, if someone is going to be able to see you from their own residence or a public location like a sidewalk, or children may have access to accidentally run into your naked gardening or relaxing, then you may want to opt for a swimsuit. 

The states with the strictest nudity laws are Indiana, Tennesse, and Utah. If you live in one of these states, best keep your knickers on. 

States like Florida, Arizona, Washington, and others have "beach only" requirements for toplessness, but the laws can be a bit ambiguous when it comes to your own backyard. 

States like Oregon, allow all public nudity unless it, "Public nudity is generally legal in Oregon, unless it is part of a commercial venture or intended to induce sexual excitement."

This article is an excellent guide to the specific laws for each state and locations where public nudity is allowed

So, while some states have a zero-tolerance policy on nudity, whether it’s in your backyard or the grocery store, some states have a much more relaxed stance, and you can be nude wherever you want – as long as you’re not being what the community considers "obscene or sexual."

In all circumstances, it’s best to use caution and discretion when chilling nude in your backyard to ensure that you are not accidentally giving your next-door neighbors a show they didn't buy or want tickets for.

You should consider the public visibility of your backyard before you take it all off, and double check the local laws in your state, too. Some state nudity laws vary by county or municipality, so what’s cool one city over might not fly where you live.

And, for your own backyard and backside comfort, I would consider only using comfortable and exceptionally crafted Adirondack chairs which are smooth on the eyes and the behind.