What happened to American clothing

Sexuality in the US - Caution should be exercised

Compared to German conditions, sexuality is no longer a taboo subject in the USA, but it is treated very carefully and mildly.

Table of Contents
Same-sex marriage | Nudism

The lyrics of pop songs are quite slippery and suggestive. The portrayal of sexuality in feature films has also become more revealing, but for export to Europe, etc., a more shell-less version is still often produced.

The television programs are still very visually prudish, violations of the local and national broadcasting networks can be punished with drastic fines by the regulatory authorities FCC (the US cable channels paid by the viewers are not under the control of the media regulator).

An example of this is Janet Jackson's bare chest at the "Super Bowl" in February 2004. During the break, Janet Jackson sang a duet with pop star Justin Timberlake. In front of millions of American television viewers, Timberlake tore open Jackson's black leather bustier and bared her breast adorned with a metal star. What would hardly have been commented on in Europe was shown again and again on American news channels for days, but the chest could only be seen blurred. The television broadcaster CBS, which broadcast the biggest US sporting event of the year, apologized to the audience: during the rehearsals there were no indications that "something like this" could happen.

Comedies and soaps also flirt linguistically in the area below the belt, but nothing is “shown”. In public life, too, things are very civilized and dress-wise closed. On all occasions outside of the private setting, you act conventionally. Costumes and suits are absolutely common in business life and when visiting fine restaurants. Deeper insights into necklines are allowed, but the free presentation of primary or secondary genitals is taboo. See also under the keywords clothing.

Slang language is assigned to the lower, mostly unemployed strata of the population, primarily Afro-Americans and Latinos. A cliché in many films, especially when they are set in big city ghettos. The degree of prudishness varies, of course, between country and city, between east and west. The reserve is particularly pronounced in the so-called Bible Belt, i.e. the deep south of the USA, which is also characterized by a particularly high level of religiosity. However: 98% of all Americans say they believe in God. According to the 2014 Pew Research Center, 20.8% of Americans are Roman Catholics, 25.4% are Evangelical Protestants, 14.7% are mainline Protestants, and 6.5% of Americans are traditional black Protestants Churches. 22.8% are even without a denomination. Of the smaller Christian churches, 1.6% are Mormons and 0.8% Jehovah's Witnesses, 0.5% were members of an Orthodox church. The non-Christian religious communities include 1.9% Jews, 0.9% Muslims and 0.7% Buddhists.

Anyone who associates sex and the west coast of the USA, because one meets suntanned, well-built, attractive men and women on the beaches, is wrong. The "love-ins" of the 1960s are misinterpreted or no longer live on today. On the other hand, sexuality is likely to play a role in the private sphere, as it does everywhere in the world. After all, the average American family has 2 to 3 children. Incidentally, the relationship to sexuality is still likely to be a relic from the history of the origins of states when women were “in short supply” in a male-dominated society

Same-sex marriage

Same-sex love between men and women is no longer taboo, at least in metropolitan areas. All well-known travel guides name appropriate meeting places and facilities. The pioneer of the gay movement was San Francisco, the "Gay Capitol of the world", the gay capital. In the course of the last few years, gays and lesbians have developed into an important and non-influential group of the population in the big cities. But even in the hinterland of the city, thinking is no longer so tolerant, and the counter-movement of the “guardians of morality” grew.

Around ten years ago, 38 states passed laws to prevent such partnerships from becoming equal. As a result, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that the state's intended distinction between civil marriage and a same-sex civil union was contrary to the state constitution and did not correspond to the highest values ​​of American legal life at all, and that the legislature therefore had to legalize homosexual marriage. In June 2015, the US legalized gay marriage in all states. Until then, marriage law was reserved for the individual states. At the time of legalization, gay marriage was banned in 14 states. 57 percent of Americans were in favor of gay marriage in 2015, according to a poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC. But while in February 2014 around 55 percent were against a gay marriage, this number fell to 37 percent by 2015.


The American population is still considered prudish, especially outside of the big cities. Nudity is often a taboo. Bathing “topless” is often forbidden and the absolute exception. The admissibility of appearing in public is determined by the law of the respective federal state. In the United States, many states still prohibit public exposure of genitals. In addition, women in these states must cover up their nipples. Exceptions only apply to breastfeeding mothers. Exhibitionism and uncovered male genitals are considered public indecency. An example of this is the city of San Francisco, where nudity is prohibited. The following fact shows how critically the issue is viewed in the USA: The American playboy decided in 2016 not to show any more naked women. This decision has now been reversed.

Nudist beaches (nudist beaches) exist, but they are not easy to find because they are still controversial and not always signposted. Where sun worshipers can indulge their “cult” with impunity, the guides from about.com have put together “Nude in New England - 10 Places to take it all off” on the website. There is an overview for all states of the USA under Nude Beaches in the USA.
For the Florida area, nudists can find information in the "Florida’s Nude & Clothing-Optional Guide".