Topless sunbathing, to bare or not to bare, and where?

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REGULATIONS: Some municipalities prohibit toplessness in places like public swimming pools. CREDIT: Shutterstock

TOPLESS sunbathing. It is today by no means an uncommon site on the Spanish costas.

When mass tourism really began to take off in Spain in the 1960s the country was still a dictatorship and conservative attitudes prevailed; the Catholic Church warned against the topless fashion northern Europeans brought with them. But not only have the Spanish got used to seeing foreign tourists ditching their bikini tops to catch some rays over recent decades, surveys suggest at least one in three Spanish women happily sunbathe semi-nude themselves.

The official line on going topless in Spain? A reform of the 1989 Penal Code removed the categorisation of toplessness as a public scandal and subsequent rulings have stated that going topless cannot be banned on beaches. Nevertheless, some local authorities have demanded the power to establish areas where being bikini-topless is a no-no, like public swimming pools and municipal parks for example.

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No law prohibits going topless at residential complex communal pools, but under the Horizontal Property Law communities of owners can vote to put a stop to it and establish a ban as an internal rule.

Regulations are one thing, but then there is what is considered socially acceptable. Is there a difference in people’s minds between topless on the sand and topless by the pool or in the park?


Probably most people these days don’t bat an eyelid at the sight of bare boobs on the beach. But the same people may well raise an eyebrow if they find their female neighbours going topless at the community swimming pool or should they find themselves staring lady’s nipples in the face while walking the dog on the nearest public patch of green.

So, to bare or not to bare, and where, that is our question? Let us know what you think.





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