Men seem to have all the fun. They can walk around the great outdoors without their shirts on without any worry or issue. But if a woman goes out without a top on, then there are major issues. The female body is perceived as a sexual object in the eyes of many. Despite being the vessel to bear and feed children, women deal with the sexualization of their bodies on a regular basis. Women deal with enough when it comes to public breastfeeding and being asked to cover up despite feeding a child. Controversy has been surrounding the female body for decades. But there are more liberties that women can take that most don’t even realize.
The truth of the matter is that there are laws about public nudity, but in recent decades more states are allowing women to go topless and people don’t even realize it. A movement progressing topless laws is active and demanding for equal shirtless rights as men. Of course, there are always going to be disagreements, whether they have moral, religious, or sexual grounds. But the world is progressing and moving towards equality despite any oppression and wrenches being thrown into the machine.
Here are the states that allow women to go topless, and there are 33 total out of the 50. As you can see from the list, these states have not combusted into flames and the structure of society hasn’t fallen apart. Despite the laws allowing women to go topless, sadly law enforcement will still arrest women for disorderly conduct. With activism and rallies, in addition to a well-spoken leader, perhaps women will be able to pursue the future shirtless one day, without judgment.
Of course, this article isn’t encouraging anyone to go topless without proper research. If you want to dare to bare it all, check with your city and state laws and maybe even consult with an attorney.
Alabama is located in the Deep South of the United States. It’s a fairly conservative state, which makes it surprising that it made the list that allows women to go topless. So far, there are no laws against taking off your top in the state of Alabama. But the law states that you can’t take it off if you have the intent of arousing another person who isn’t your spouse. Alabama does have one nude private park.
Up in the far north above Canada is the grand state of Alaska. Known for its long days and nights and being exceptionally cold, it can be a little shocking that women are able to go bare chested. As far as Alaska goes, you can go topless, but you can’t expose anything below the belt. But if you expose yourself to someone who is 16 years of age or younger, then you might find yourself guilty of a misdemeanor.
As another state that is fairly conservative and religious, Arkansas seems to be okay with the exposure of a woman’s chest area. Arkansas technically allows topless women, but there are lots of restrictions. You can’t expose yourself for the purpose of sexually gratifying yourself, or if your nudity would cause affront or alarm. If you expose yourself to a minor under the age of 12, then you’ll be arrested for a felony. But as long as you behave yourself while topless, you’re good.
California is located on the west coast and is well known for being very liberal and free when it comes to the human body. The state has a very open mind and proves it by having a plethora of nude and topless beaches and parks. In 2006, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department wrote a letter to a California attorney stating that “hiking in the forest, in the nude, is not a violation of the law.” So feel free to bare it all from the waist up, Californians.
“Colorful Colorado” made headlines when it decided to legalize marijuana, and proves in other ways that it is open-minded and accepting the natural ways of living. Colorado, with its legalization of pot and such, seems to be fairly liberal when it comes to going topless, as long as you don’t make your topless activities sexual, meaning there isn’t any intercourse or heavy petting taking place. There are plenty of nude clubs and hot springs as well for your enjoyment.
Connecticut is located in the North East of the United States. Known for being home to Yale, one of the most prestigious Ivy League universities in the country, people may think of Connecticut as being tight-laced, conservative, and maybe even a little stuck up. But Connecticut has at least two nude resorts, and as long as you’re not topless for any sexual reason, you can go ahead and flaunt it all. Wonder what the college girls are doing on the weekends?
Located in the Deep South, Georgia has at least one clothing-optional resort in the state. As long as you’re not having sex or trying to arouse someone else with sexual actions along with being topless, you can keep your top off. Georgia is known for being a very conservative and religious state that makes the Bible belt seem like a land of heathens. It’s interesting to think about how a conservative state can be liberal when it comes to the exposure of the human body.
The islands that make up Hawaii are known for their beautiful beaches and a place where all women can show off their bodies. Hawaii’s nudity laws only focus on the exposure of the genitals, so being topless is allowed. Like with all of the other states, as long as being topless doesn’t turn sexual, things will be just fine. In total, there are eight nude beaches or resorts on the islands of Kaua‘i, Maui, and Hawaii. But you can’t go topless at the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park.
Most of us know Idaho for the fact that it provides North America with some delicious potatoes. Located just east of Pacific Northwest states like Washington and Oregon, many seem to forget Idaho exists because it doesn’t really make the news all that much. It’s like an apathetic state hanging out up north of the United States. There isn’t much information on Idaho’s nudity laws on the world wide web, although it has been listed as a topless friendly state.
Illinois has a few family-oriented nude resorts. Sunbathing topless has been going on in Chicago for years. Going topless in the city is more tolerated rather than allowed. As long as you’re not engaged in sexual activity while topless, you should be okay. The state seems to be embracing the ever-changing times and realizing that women should have just as much right as men to be able to take off their shirts and not be seen as a sexual object.
Iowa is known for their rolling hills and cornfields. The state has recently become a hub for different artists to come together and display their artwork. Traditionally seen as conservative, the state seems to be making some progressive changes. In Iowa, you can bare it all from the waist up as long as it’s nothing of a sexual manner. Currently, there are no places like nude resorts where you can bare it all with like-minded people.
This isn’t a scene from The Wizard of Oz, and Dorothy definitely hasn’t left the state yet. Kansas has at least three nude resorts and other establishments that are clothing optional. As long as you keep your pants on and don’t do anything sexual, going topless is legally allowed. With this much progression happening in the state, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Good Witch of the North decided to come by and relax a little bit outside of her flying bubble.
Kentucky is known for being the headquarters for horse races that are so distinguished that even the Queen of England will come by and visit. The state, despite being conservative and overly religious, has several nudist organizations and the exposure of a woman’s breasts is not against the law. The nudity and public indecency laws are instead directed towards the exposure of genitals. So now there’s more to do than go to the Kentucky Derby and watch horses race around in circles.
It doesn’t get any deeper into the South than Louisiana. The state is already known for its spiritual origins and practices in voodoo and hoodoo. Louisiana is known for Mardi Gras in New Orleans, where thousands of women bare their chest in hopes of collecting some beads. There are a few nudist organizations in Louisiana. The female breast cannot be exposed if it’s out there to cause sexual arousal. Of course, situations such as these can be subjective.
You can’t get any more North than Maine, because if you do, you’re reaching Canada. The state is actually fairly liberal for their topless laws, and is confirmed to be a topless-friendly state due to its history. Most people in Maine will bare their breasts in swimming holes or at one of the two clothing-optional resorts in the state. Even so, the nudity law only brings up the exposure of genitals. So get your chest ready for some exposure to the Maine air!
The state of Missouri is home to the famous city of Branson, which has become the show business capital of the mid-west. Traditionally known for being a hub for conservative living and strict Christian values, the state is fairly liberal when it comes to nudity and the exposure of the breasts. The state of Missouri has two family friendly resorts in the state, and the nudity laws are only directed to the exposure of genitals.
Montana is one of the largest states in the United States, and is the perfect picture of what American life is supposed to be. And that includes going topless, it seems. While there are no nude beaches or resorts, Montana does seem to allow women to go topless, as the state’s laws only discuss the exposure of genitals for sexual purposes. There isn’t a reference to breasts or nipples, or even breastfeeding, which gives topless women the green light!
The state of Nebraska lies in the mid-west and the Great Plains of North America. They have seen their share of tornadoes and the state is also located in the Bible belt. This usually means conservative Christian values, which leads to the belief of dressing modestly. But, there is a nudist organization in Omaha, Nebraska. Like the other states, the laws only address the exposure of genitals in a sexual manner as public indecency or public nudity.
15. New Hampshire
New Hampshire is located in New England, which is filled with quaint towns and miles of wilderness yet to be discovered and taken over. New Hampshire is a pretty small state and it has a family-friendly nudist resort that has been in operation for over 60 years. The nudity laws in New Hampshire do not address the female breasts, and therefore, seems to be okay for public exposure. You might want to check with the town laws and a lawyer in the area just in case.
14. New Mexico
New Mexico was once home to Native Americans, who allowed their women to go topless as it was practical with the heat in the area. Then, of course, the infamous white men took over and women had to start covering up. Ironically enough, there are nudist groups and even a few bed & breakfasts for nudists, but indecent dancing and waitering is illegal. But the nudity laws for the general public address only the genitals.
13. New York
If there is any state or city that has gotten public exposure for allowing women to be topless, that would be New York. Ithaca and Lighthouse Beach are also topless tolerant. In 2005, Phoenix Freely successfully sued the city of New York for a wrongful arrest for being topless (she was arrested for disorderly conduct). New York has been the site of the September 11th attacks as well as the infamous “Occupy Wall Street” movement. It was during this movement that hundreds of women decided to go topless to make a statement.
12. North Carolina
North Carolina has become one of the hottest states for young professionals to relocate to in hopes of advancing their careers while being able to start and support a family. The state is pretty progressive for being in the South, and is traditionally topless friendly. But recently park rangers have been issuing tickets for nudity on public beaches. However, Asheville is known for being topless friendly and even have annual rallies full of exposed boobs.
11. North Dakota
North Dakota is located in the upper Midwestern part of the United States, just a stone’s throw away from the country of Canada. The state once had a boom in oil, and provided lots of opportunities and jobs for people. According to the North Dakota nudity law, it seems that going topless is legal. Nudity laws specifically discuss the exposure of anything and everything below the waist and if you’re being obscene at the same time.
What is interesting about Ohio is that the state is primarily Christian, with less than 1% of the population practicing another religion outside of the teachings of Jesus Christ. There are even Amish settlements in the state, which gives you a hint on how conservative the state is. Ohio has several nude resorts. The state’s nudity laws only discuss the exposure of “private parts” under public indecency. It’s a pretty vague law, so be sure to check in with a lawyer or the police department.
Oregon has a wondrous mix of conservative Christians as well as parts of the state being a safe haven for social progression and hipsters all over. Oregon is certainly becoming more progressive with each passing year. There are a few beaches and resorts that are clothing optional in the state of Oregon. The nudity laws once again address the genitals and whether they are being exposed for sexual purposes. Being topless seems to be just fine under the law.
The state of Pennsylvania is rich in American history, as it was the state where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the battle of Gettysburg took place less than 100 years later. People visit Pennsylvania every year to experience this history as well as catch glimpses of Amish settlements throughout the state. There are three nudist resorts in Pennsylvania. The nudity laws only address the exposure of genitals. So basically this means that anything from the waist up seems to be alright.
7. Rhode Island
Rhode Island may be one of the smallest states in the United States, but it is also the second most densely populated states out of the 50. Given the size of Rhode Island, that is saying a lot. The state is nestled between Connecticut and Massachusetts. Being topless in Rhode Island is more than okay. Plus, there are a plethora of nudist resorts in the state. You can be nude as long as you don’t make it sexual.
6. South Dakota
Nestled right underneath North Dakota, South Dakota is a sparsely populated state. So what exactly does this mean for nudity laws? Well, given that the state isn’t wanting to tick anyone off or restrict their citizens to the point where they want to leave the state, they seem to be pretty liberal about the topless laws. As long as you don’t go topless with the intention to offend or arouse, you can bare your breasts. There is also a nudist resort in the town of Custer.
You know what they say about Texas, everything is bigger! The state has made many big splashes in mainstream media over the last few decades with the threat of secession as well as being the place where George W. Bush grew up. Basically, you can go topless in Texas, but you can’t do it in a public park. Galveston County will allow women to be topless as long as there isn’t a public complaint. The state also has over fifteen nudist resorts.
While Vermont may be home to over 100 covered bridges, they don’t really require their citizens and visitors to cover up. Vermont has its share of nudist resorts. The town of Brattleboro used to have a “live and let live” policy, but in 2007 they passed a law preventing full nudity in the middle of town. The state of Vermont is pretty open and accepting of topless women. With 75% of the state covered in forest, it is pretty easy to hide if you get shy.
3. West Virginia
West Virginia gets a bad reputation for being a state full of hillbillies and inbreeding. Of course that doesn’t describe every citizen of the state, but it’s the little stories here and there that end up sticking and making legends. Known for being conservative, West Virginia actually has a 250 acre nudist resort. Besides that, you can’t expose your “sex organs” for the purposes of sexual gratification. But besides that, going topless seems to be allowed.
While Wisconsin is known for their cheeses and dairy, the state seems to be pretty open-minded about the female breast. The state has actually become pretty liberal in the last few decades in the larger cities. In fact, the state doesn’t seem to be shy about the human body at all and seems to embrace it. There are four beaches and resorts in Wyoming geared towards nudists. In regards to going topless, the laws in this Midwestern state don’t seem to directly address it.
Home to Yellowstone National Park and the picturesque Rocky Mountains, Wyoming embraces all beauty from Mother Nature, including the female breasts. In Wyoming, you can’t expose your “intimate parts” for the purposes of arousing “sexual desire” for yourself or another person. However, the laws don’t address going topless. So what if you don’t consider your breasts as part of your intimate parts? That law seems to say go ahead and bare it all from the waist up, we suppose?
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