back to article Austrians are most likely to bare all on beaches

It is official: Austrians are the most likely to get their kit off on the beach this summer. The country’s politics might be right of centre but clearly a vein of liberalism still exists in the Republic, even if it's related to tanning your hidden bits in public. Or so claims a survey by travel website, which …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Italians more prudish than the British? That's surprising...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not really

      If memory serves me right, it is the only country on the continent where being topless on a public beach is a public order offense. Everywhere else it is a matter of taste +/- local bylaws which are surprise, surprise often put in place to "attract" British Tourists.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In England attitudes seem rather mixed.

      The oldest generation remembers the freedoms of the 1960/70s.

      The middle generations have largely succumbed to the USA-inspired moral panics and poor self-body image.

      The younger generations have started with their parents' inhibitions - but have then started to question why it should be so. In a way that's a repeat of the social cusp between the 1950s and the 1970s.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "The middle generations have largely succumbed to the USA-inspired moral panics and poor self-body image."

        So you're saying that Brits in the 1960/70s were pretty free-swinging, and then were infected with morals (of all things!) via the trans-atlantic route?

        I have to take your word for it, but I must point out that imitating a person does not make that person culpable for the act of imitation.

      2. AK565

        "The middle generations have largely succumbed to the USA-inspired moral panics and poor self-body image."

        Here in the USA it's so bad that I've seen gay men under 30 years of age react in horror at the thought of socialising nude with other gay men. A dividing wall was accidentally opened between them and the predominately gay, all male, naturist social I was attending. By no means were the majority of men at the social in need of a 'burkini'.

        Let me state it more bluntly: The USA has managed to produce a generation of gay men who are scared to disrobe among other gay men.

        The mind boggles...

    3. wurdsmiff

      Sampling bias at work?

      Surprised by the responses from the Italians. Makes me wonder if there are areas of the population that aren't well represented in the survey.

      I have a lasting memory of an Italian TV ad I saw on holiday as a child. It was for children's sun tan lotion so obviously showed a beautifully bronzed, topless woman frolicking on the beach.

      As an 8 year old it blew my mind.

    4. LDS Silver badge

      Being Italian, it doesn't surprise me at all. Remember this is a country with a strong catholic influence <G>. And while privately Italian may be quite "open", in public most of them are not, despite what you could know of Italy through literature or movies - which are often the expression of a smaller "progressist" elite.

  2. frank ly Silver badge

    That picture

    Olive oil wrestling! Has the injunction been lifted?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    [...] though perhaps more disconcertingly, 65 per cent saw speedos as “adequate swimwear”."

    Why "disconcertingly"? Even 40 years ago a remark like that would make my Finnish girlfriends roll their eyes and say "Typical Englishman". They used to wear just their bikini bottoms most of the time at their summer cottages by the lakes or Baltic. When it was time to swim they took them off - "no point in getting them wet". Skin dries much more quickly.

    In the 1950s UK males wore woollen versions of Speedos - although somewhat more voluminous. The latter was noticeable after a dip when the weight of absorbed water would cause them to sag towards the knees. Hypothermia was a risk on a typical British beach. They also absorbed quantities of sand to make an abrasive pad for sensitive areas. In male-only organisations like schools, Scouts, or the YMCA swimming was often a naked activity,

    The popular use of Lycra from the1960s gave a second skin that had none of the woollen disadvantages. Patterns became popular as a method of camouflage and to avoid translucency. Nowadays Kikini make tan-though swimwear that is almost like Lycra - but is actually a fine mesh that lets 80% of the sunlight through to the skin. Cunning patterns make the material appear opaque.

    Not as free-style as skinny dipping - but far better than the male burka trend for voluminous knickerbockers since the 1980s.

    It comes as a shock for some visitors to the Continent to find that many swimming pools ban anything other than Speedo style briefs. Their reasons are hygiene and to prevent the pool filters getting clogged with fibres.

    To the dismay of many US visitors Italian fashion has long regarded male summerwear as short shorts - and Speedos for beaches. C&A in the UK used to sell Lycra swimming briefs and they always had a suggestion of Italian branding.

    1. Darryl

      What's disconcerting about speedos is the fact that approximately 99.7% of men who wear them have bodies that really, really need to be more covered up.

      And yes, I'm including myself in that group. But I don't wear speedos - the sounds of people around me retching and gagging disturbs my fun by the water.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "[...] have bodies that really, really need to be more covered up."

        It has become a trend for people to believe that a "natural" body is some Photoshopped magazine image. If you don't fit that "ideal" of heroin-chic or Beck-tone - then you are too ugly?

        Go to a naturist swim or beach. You see human bodies in all shapes, sizes, and condition. You see mastectomy scars, caesarean scars, amputations - as well as the full range of BMIs. No one bats a eyelid - or at least not after a few times. Naturist kids grow up with no illusions about the range of human bodies and appendages. They see how their peer groups' bodies change during puberty - so their own changes are seen as following the same curve.

        Nudity is boring - unless a culture makes it the tempting forbidden fruit.

      2. chivo243 Silver badge

        speedos as “adequate swimwear”

        Only if you're in the Olympics and in a swimming event please!

        1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

          Re: speedos as “adequate swimwear”

          Only the younger "prudish" generation think that there is anything wrong with speedos. Budgie smugglers are the only way to go if you want to swim, unless you've got one of these "shark skin" full body suits the pro's use these days. The baggy flabby crap you see people wear these days have got to be the most stupid garments imaginable. What are the prudes going to demand next? full body cover with no exposed skin and just to slits for the goggles to poke through?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: speedos as “adequate swimwear”

            this full body cover is called a burkini

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > "In the 1950s UK males wore woollen versions of Speedos..."

      Weren't those worn into battle up until the late seventeenth century?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    My body is beach ready

    1. kmac499

      So's mine; only problem is when I go on the beach people try and roll me back in to the Sea !!!

    2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      If it weren't for that "Ahab" guy following me around (and not in a good way) when I go to the beach...

    3. John H Woods Silver badge

      So's mine ... if you count being found at the low tide mark by the proverbial dog walker

  5. adnim Silver badge

    I read the title as

    "Australians are most likely to bear all on breaches".

    Funny that, this being an IT news site.

  6. Mage Silver badge


    I think of people that look smart in a suit, even without a tie.

    No matter which sex they are. Why would smart dressers want to expose themselves?

  7. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Fans of nekkid Chermans will welcome the return of...

    ... Antione and Ze Lovely Jean-Paul, n'est pas?

  8. A Ghost
    Paris Hilton

    I thought it worked along the same lines

    For all nationalities. If you're young and have a great bod, then you flaunt it, if you're advancing in the years and have built a personal monument to say, craft beers, then you don't want to scare the children.

    Then again, there are some that have built personal monuments to pizza and coke, mars bars and doughnuts, McDonalds and KFC, and they seem to be the ones that have the least compunction of all, when it comes to scaring everyone, not just the kids.

    Jesus, did I just say that. God, I'm going to be hounded like the shitlord I am and doxxed until I make an apology on twatter. Well, hopefully not, but one must always be mindful of passing innocent remark these days. You can't be too careful can you?

    Should I just apologize now and get it over with?

    Probably best.

    I'm sorry, I didn't mean what I said. I wasn't in my right mind. I don't know what came over me. I've been under a lot of stress lately. My dog died. My hairdresser is not returning my phone calls. And worse of all when I did pluck up the courage to go swimming at the beach, I heard a young child ask it's mother: "Mummy, why is that man not wearing a bra?".

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: I thought it worked along the same lines

      Not the case with the nations that actually do have the tendency to bare it all and which occupy the top slots on that list.

      I regularly go to the same beaches with Germans and the sequence is:

      Kids - naked up to the age of 10-11 or thereabouts.

      Teenagers - normal swimwear

      Young adults - normal swimwear, topless for the more beautiful part of the humanity

      Middle age onwards - progressively towards standard German Beach Uniform which is sandals, small backpack and a hat. ONLY sandals, small backpack and a hat. By the time you have reached the pensioner's age they are all guaranteed to be tanned to dark brown and totally naked while playing the game which British Pensioners refer to as Bawls. I can no longer watch that game in Britain. Every time I see the British pensioners in their pristine white suits, playing it on a lawn which is so level that you can calibrate a spirit level to it, I mentally overlap it with the picture of their German counterparts b*tt nakid with all of their bits dangling playing it on a Fuerteventura Beach. I usually roll on the floor laughing there and then.

      The only more hilarious is another typically German (or Austrian) picture - Dad, Mom, teenage daughter, teenage daughter's boyfriend. Little brother optional. Dad with all of his bits dangling beating the daughter's boyfriend (in proper swimwear) into oblivion playing beach tennis or beach volleyball and obviously enjoying putting the suitor to his daughter's heart where he belongs.

  9. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Wouldn't that be last summer?

    I thought Austria, was in the southern hemisphere, and was getting set for winter now. Though I'm less sure if they even actually have a winter as such. But, I'm sure they've already enjoyed their summer, while we were waiting for Father Christmas to visit.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Wouldn't that be last summer?


      (Disclaimer: my better half hails from Austria, so I'm kinda obliged to comment.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wouldn't that be last summer?

      +1 for the deliberately funny confusion of Austria and Australia. The down voters can be a bit thick round here.

  10. ratfox Silver badge

    I feel attitudes have turned more prude since my youth. I recall a girl saying around 1990 that all her friends suntanned topless at the swimming pool, and she was feeling peer pressure. In most places, it's rare to see any topless woman nowadays.

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      I recall a girl saying around 1990 that all her friends suntanned topless at the swimming pool, and she was feeling peer pressure.

      The peer in question is now being investigated by Operation Yewtree.

  11. Joe Werner

    spedos are swimwear...

    ... that is, they are meant for swimming. Yes, I wear them, and yes, I swim quite well, thank you. If you want to wear them to hang out on the beach that is another question. If you want to impress the person of the appropriate sex you sure should be well shaped (I'm past that...). On the other hand, no amount of clothing is going to help in some cases...

    I also have no problems with skinny dipping - used to do this all the time. And yes, I am slowly reapproaching (started as a fat kid, trained, now put on weight again) a shape where that it is less appropriate... but I couldn't care less - about my shape or that of the next human being. If you get exposed (hah!) to nudity early enough you get used to it. That said: one should not force one's view of that on others, and that goes both ways. Don't force people to cover up, don't force people to strip down. Plus don't try to forcibly offend others (both extremes).

    Fun 'fact' (if I remember correctly): one of the few places in Oslo where topless sunbathing is not allowed is the park of the royal castle.

  12. Tim Brown 1

    Tech story because?

    Or is the only tech relevance that this was a press release by a travel company with a website?

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Tech story because?


      Do try to keep up.

  13. Nicholas Clark
    Paris Hilton

    South Tyrol

    But which side of the fence is South Tyrol?

  14. Colin Ritchie

    Where did Denmark come in the rankings?

    Memories of adolescent holidays in Jutland, make me think they gave the Austrians a run for their money.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Where did Denmark come in the rankings?

      "Memories of adolescent holidays in Jutland, make me think they gave the Austrians a run for their money." -- Colin Ritchie

      Yes! I got a sunburned back because I couldn't turn over!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where did Denmark come in the rankings?

      The Danes and Finns seem to have developed the most open attitudes to public nudity. In the 1970s my experiences of Finno-Scandinavian cultures banished my "typical Englishman" attitudes - to the point of being a stranger in my own land ever since. In the early 1970s it was assumed by many that England was on a social trajectory to being like Denmark.

      The Swedes have been made more conservative over the last 30 years by the constant vitriol directed at them by USA demagogues. They understandably became sensitive to people misunderstanding their liberal pr0n laws - and their effective sex education programmes. Concentrations of refugees from very conservative cultures have also affected their attitudes.

      Norwegians were regarded as the traditional backward country cousins - until the young generation suddenly leapt forward about the time that their North Sea oil had an effect on the economy.

      East Germans found an easy-going naturism was an escape from the communist regime's rules and regulations. After German reunification they were disappointed to find that their West German compatriots were much less relaxed about the use of beaches. Suddenly there were attempts to impose rules that you HAD to be naked if you stepped across a demarcation line on a beach - rather than the previous personal mixed choices.

      A neighbour is from Denmark. She is not as comfortable in these matters as my other Finno-Scandinavian friends. She puts it down to a childhood in a strict religious family environment that crushed any attempt to behave like more liberal peers. The failed attempts at rebellion left her quite mentally scarred.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My experience is...

    ...from the few Italian beaches I've been on that on the public areas they're quite happy to be almost naked.

    However Italy is the only country I've been to that will fine you for not wearing a t-shirt/covering up once you leave the beach.

  16. midknight001

    Australia isnt a republic.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one who finds it weird that the two extremes (Italy and Austria) are neighbours?

  18. Stevie Silver badge


    I read that as "Australians" and got very confused when I hit what I thought said "Australia being a land-locked country ..."

    Damn these (systems) architect's eyes!

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