I was thinking about ways to avoid that, when I remembered something I'd read about tan-through swimwear. Made from a translucent, mesh-like material, it allows for sunlight to pass through while maintaining an opaque appearance against your skin, so you can get all the tanning benefits even when you can't risk full exposure. I figured it would be something I could wear in the sunshine when I can't be nude, to work on evening out my tan!
Plus, I'll admit, it's kind of fun knowing you're basically wearing nothing but a see-through mesh against your skin, while no one is the wiser. The Kiniki brand carries tan-through swimsuits in a variety of styles (running the gamut from shorts to thongs for men, and one-pieces to string bikinis for women - although, curiously, I found no thongs for women), including various wraps, sarongs, and coverups. I'd be tempted to buy a whole wardrobe's worth of beachwear, except that some of it can be fairly expensive (especially the larger pieces).
So I started out with a simple pair of swim briefs to try, in a classic tiger-stripe pattern (if the patterns look a bit busy, it's because this helps them to appear opaque against your skin). They're very comfortable, and boast a quicker drying time than regular swimsuits (no doubt because there is less fabric to dry). And they really are quite convincing! Which is even more impressive after getting a look at them unworn, and seeing how translucent the mesh is. If you stare at it closely, you might pick up a hint of detail, but really, who's going to be scrutinizing you that closely? And even if they do, I daresay the view would still be sufficiently ambiguous (especially compared to some regular swimsuits I've seen while wet).
As some critics like to note, one potential drawback to wearing this kind of swimwear is that you'll obviously want to apply sunscreen even to the parts that are covered up. This may not be a problem at home or in the changing room before you put the suit on, but after you've been lying out in the sun for a couple of hours, you might find it pretty awkward to reapply that sunscreen in public. To be fair, it's worth noting that if you're wearing this kind of suit, it's probably because you want the sun exposure (i.e., you're trying to tan), which pretty much makes this a moot point.
I'm going to have to have a word with that tag, though. It's in a very awkward spot, and keeps sticking out. Even if you make the effort to tuck it away, every time you run your finger along the back of the suit to straighten it out (which is a fairly common habit), it just pops right out again. If that's not intentional self-advertising, then it's a serious design flaw. I wonder if the tag is tan-through, too. Because that would be an awkward tan line to have to explain... x.x
As for whether this suit will solve my tan line problem, I have my doubts - but that's not the suit's fault. I'd really have to wear it regularly, whenever I'm out in the sun without a full coat of sunscreen, and that's not always going to be practical. That's partly the reason I considered also getting a coverup of some kind (until I took a closer look at the prices). I could perhaps wear these briefs to go swimming (if not for the anti-speedo discrimination I frequently face) - although that's one of those cases where I'm more likely to be wearing sunscreen. I can wear it in the garden at home, but it might not fly for casual exercise and recreation at public parks, not to mention coming in and out of stores and restaurants and the like.
Because, ultimately, I could wear it five days a week, but if I've still got shorts on (among other things) the other two days, my butt may turn out to be tanner than usual, but it's still going to be a shade or two lighter than the rest of my body (which is the same problem I have down the middle of my back, where my hair usually rests). What I could do is deliberately lay out in the sun to tan (although I don't want to be any darker than necessary), especially if I put sunscreen on the parts of my body that get more regular exposure, leaving my butt unprotected. But honestly, that sounds like a lot of work, and I don't care about my tan that much. I still think this suit is a fun thing to own, though. I'm glad I bought it!