Is It OK to Sunbathe in Your Backyard?

Is It OK to Sunbathe in Your Backyard? (Be Careful)

When the spring or summer sun is blazing outside, you may feel the need to indulge in some brief naked sunbathing in the backyard.

This is the only way to get the right tan during the summer.

Tan lines are painful and unsightly, which is why you’d prefer sunbathing completely naked in your backyard.

However, you are probably uncertain if this would be a lawful thing to do.

So, Is It OK To Sunbathe In Your Backyard?

From a practical viewpoint, sunbathing in your own backyard is probably permissible in your area, though erecting a screen or a privacy fence is going to help a bit. One important thing about indecent exposure, in most states, is that you must do it with clear offense or intent of sexual exhibition or gratification. Naked sunbathing doesn’t meet this criterion. Still, laws regarding public nudity vary between states. In Maryland (the state), for example, sunbathing is illegal, even if you do it in your own backyard. It qualifies as indecent exposure the moment another person sets their eyes on you.

Pay Attention To Your Neighbors

Depending on where you live, your neighbor can have a big say on whether you can sunbathe in your own compound.

Some jurisdictions permit a person to lodge a lawsuit if, in their opinion, their neighbor is exposing them to nudity even from the ‘offender’s’ own private compounds.

The trick to beating these laws is to build a high fence that can only permit a person to see you only when they try really hard.

That said, you might want to be privy to the legal standing of sunbathing in your area.

California

You can sunbathe freely in your backyard in California, just ensure no one else can see involuntarily see you.

Criminal trespass and voyeurism or criminal trespass are illegal in the state.

Texas

In Texas, you are free to sunbathe from the comfort of your backyard provided no one is offended.

The problem here is whether your compound qualifies as public or private property.

As aforementioned, you can erect a tall fence on the property line if you want to be on the safe side of the law.

If you were to sunbathe in your open front yard with no fence, that would be an offense – although you are on your property, you’re upsetting the public with your nudity.

Florida

Florida is one of the sunbathing-friendly places on the planet.

Here, most people don’t care about what you do on your property.

The law in the state doesn’t recognize your backyard as a public space. You can sunbathe in an open backyard in full view of your neighbors.

However, you are prohibited from displaying, exhibiting, or exposing your sexual organs to the public.

Public undress, nudity, or exposed body parts without clear intent may not be prosecuted.

Six Secluded Tanning Area Ideas

Another great way of avoiding the arm of the law, besides building a tall fence in front of your backyard, is to build a secluded tanning area in your backyard.

1. Try a Trellis

It doesn’t matter whether you choose elaborate or simple trellis, custom-built or store-bought options, almost any trellis provides offers a direct and self-effacing answer to the over-the-fence privacy problem.

Not only does it interrupt sightlines, but also permits the sunlight and breeze you need for your sunbathing session.

Better yet, trellis supports beneficial flowering and climbing plants.

2. Conceal with Curtains

Curtains are valuable both in your bedroom and backyard as far as privacy is concerned.

Buy a few opaque panel curtains and set up a removable secluded tanning area in your backyard. Curtains are beneficial in two ways –

  • they block the view
  • helps establish a sense of indoor, outdoors!

If you are able to set them up, go with curtain rods and keep the panels firmly held in place to prevent them from getting blown away by the wind.

Hang your curtains along the perimeter of your porch, custom corner unit, or pergola.

3. Buy Retractable Backyard Screens

This is probably not the most DIY-possible backyard privacy solution out there, but it is relatively cheap and quick and cheap.

You can find decent backyard screens and dividers for sale in almost any home improvement shop near you or online.

These are designed to be anchored on wood subfloors like a backyard patio or deck, or even concrete via concrete fasteners.

You stand to spend between $100 and $300 depending on configuration and size.

4. Build a Wooden/Iron Privacy Screen

It is easy to make a cheap yet quirky and functional privacy screen from old doors or iron sheets.

You can choose to paint them to match the color of the rest of the backyard or leave them in original color.

Just attach the pieces together using strong hinges to create a folding screen. With creativity, you can’t run out of possibilities.

Even better, you can buy pre-built screens often made from wood or wicker – it all depends on your preferences.

5. Simple Lattice Fence

Instead of a live fence that may take ages to mature, you can try simple lattice fences.

This project may take a few wooden boards and posts, depending on how tall and sturdy you want the fence to be.

Before you even put the fence unit together, you can choose to stain or paint the lattice to improve the color of the yard furnishing or house.

6. Hedges Secluded Tanning Area

Hedges are an age-old privacy landscaping hallmark.

They are still a preferred fencing option today both in urban and rural areas.

You can set up a green secluded tanning area in your backyard with a thick hedge, particularly along the property line.

One benefit is that, depending on the spot and your choice of hedging plant, a carefully planned hedge can soar virtually to any reasonable height.

The drawback?

It takes a lot of time and money to establish a thick and high hedge-based secluded tanning area. Also, hedges demand a great deal of maintenance work.

But with the correct placement, a hedge of 6 feet is enough for your privacy needs.

Conclusion

Whether you can sunbathe in your own backyard depends on how the law views nudity in your area.

From a practical viewpoint, sunbathing in your own backyard is probably permissible in your area, though erecting a screen or a privacy fence is going to help a bit.

In some states, nudity is only punishable if you display sexual exhibition or gratification

. However, in some states like Maryland, sunbathing is near illegal, even if you do it in your own backyard. It qualifies as indecent exposure the moment another person sets their eyes on you.

The trick to beating these laws is to build a high fence that can only permit a person to see you only when they try really hard.

Another great way of avoiding the arm of the law, besides building a tall fence in front of your backyard, is to build a secluded tanning area in your backyard.

You can try a trellis, curtains, or buy retractable backyard screens.

Wooden/iron privacy screen, simple lattice fences, and even fences can provide a decent secluded tanning area.

It is recommended that you check the legal standing of sunbathing in your area before you lay outside naked.

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