Topless Beaches: A Beginner’s Guide

Tips & tricks to navigating this, honestly, really stressful situation

Time To Read: 4 mins | November 24, 2016

This is a public service announcement.

Someone should really teach a class on topless beaches. For instance and most basically, what’s an appropriate looking time? If a pair of girls in bikinis are walking down the tide line in Destin, nearby teenage boy’s eyes follow the pair like lions considering gazelles on the Serengeti. This is a common mating ritual on spring break which, FYI boys, has an incredibly low success rate.

But when someone’s got no top on – maybe this is just me – looking for too long feels like a breach of etiquette.


There are only two places you can look at boobs indefinitely: in bed with a consenting partner, and on your laptop.

Because I don’t have a firm grasp on combining manners and nipples, my recent impromptu beach day in Tulum got really complicated, really fast. I’d remembered the towels, the beer, and brought along a girl in a two-piece. Which, turned out, was one more piece than any other woman was wearing.

Now, if you’re under the age of 13 or don’t know how to spell ‘pornhub’, this probably sounds pretty cool. But for everyone else with a penis, it’s a bit like Raiders of the Lost Ark: you want to look, but will melt like the Nazis if you do.

OK, that’s a bit extreme. But what actually happens is still pretty rough: the girl you came with will knowingly ask “Whatcha looking at?” And, take it from me, she won’t believe you when you stammer, “Uh… that seashell looks neat?” You’ll notice a chill in the air the rest of the afternoon, and that night, when it finally comes time to climb in bed, you’ll find your tata viewing privileges have been revoked.


Or, worse yet, you get caught by your subject of inspection.

While I was fairly indiscriminate with my tastefully occasional glances, there was one Hispanic woman near us that was indisputably gorgeous. Halfway through the afternoon, I involuntarily looked at her for the umpteenth time. I didn’t check her eyes first; I was distracted by parts a little lower. This was a mistake, because she’d been watching me. When I finally did glance up the 18-inches to her face, she shot me a look that implied I needed to go into witness protection, and soon.

But where else are you supposed to look? I appreciate the majesty of the endless oceans like anyone else, but compared to publically displayed C-cups? Shit, I’m only human.

So then, for the edification of my fellow man, I’ve devised a series of guidelines for entertaining your eyeballs at topless beaches. Rule of thumb: treat the situation like liquor on a Friday night:

-You can’t take it all in at once, or your life will abruptly end. This is especially true if you’ve brought a date along.

-You can have more earlier than later, so get your rapid fire back-to-back action out of the way quickly.

-If you want more later on, intake should be small doses and spread around.

-And always, always beware Mexican goods. Like tequila, if caught enjoying in excess, the punishment will be more severe than the clear spirits.

This has been a public service announcement.


photo: my submission for a computer background, taken outside tulum, mx. notably, not a topless beach

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Malcolm Freberg
Malcolm Freberg
American writer living permanently on the road. Believes rye whiskey is superior to bourbon, Belle is the best Disney princess, and that selfie sticks should be snapped in half on sight. Hosted a travel documentary for AOL & played Survivor a few times.

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