Thursday, 9 June 2011


NAKED SWIMMING FOR BOYS, many schools and colleges REQUIRED it, whether the boys liked it or not. The question is why?

Our swim team was nude as well, as I believe it was for all YMCAs at the time. Not sure about the rest of the country, but we competed against other Y swim teams with everyone on both teams naked, whether there were spectators or not.
Posted by: Phil | March 20, 2008 01:50

There is no factual documentation on lint screwing up the flirtation systems, its so much bogus ramblings!
I agree. There has been no credible account, as far as I know, from anyone who was a teacher, coach, school board member or in a similar position of authority at the time when enforced nude male school swimming was happening in some quarters.

There is nobody therefore to give a reliable account of the real reasons why it was the policy, whether it was generally accepted or whether opposition to it was quashed, why there were double standards between the sexes, whether and why respect for male privacy from females was in fact as lax and casual as suspected, and why the practice finally ended sometime in the 1970s or early 80s.

tom wrote:
The swim team used to train bare and compete in suits. Of course, phys ed swim classes were conducted in the nude. Girls were never allowed anywhere near the pool when boys were in there. This was up to around 65. The the team put on suits, but PE swims were still nude until the late 70s. There was no girls swim team until Title 9.
I would sign an affidavit that this is true.
Of course this is only true in your case, you can't speak for everyone. There were other reliable posters on this forum who said that they also always practiced nude, but not unusual to have female acquaintances, like girlfriends and relatives who watched them during their nude swimming practices.

Q. Yes, this is the way it was also in Dearborn Michigan until around 1980. All of the boys swim classes and swim teams were always nude. But not the girls. But I do not understand why the girls did not swim nude. Can any one answer this mystery? And then how did it become a crime now to swim nude?
A. Why? Looking back, it's a combination of attitudes. Boys were treated like meat by the gym teachers. You were ordered around, herded like chickens, and subjected to abuse with the unspoken idea that it was to "toughen you up."

Girls were not supposed to be toughened.

In fact this is the excuse that they brought in the past to force boys to swim nude.

"Before the YMCA began to admit females in the early 1960s, swimming trunks were not even allowed in the pools,[5] and high school swimming classes for boys sometimes had similar policies, citing the impracticality of providing and maintaining sanitary swimming gear and clogging swimming pools' filtration systems with lint fibers from the swimsuits. These practices were common because of the perception that there was nothing wrong or sexual about seeing members of the same gender in the nude, especially in these indoor contexts among equals in 'birthday suit uniform'. In some areas, this extended into well into the early 1970s."

George Howell wrote:
<quoted text>
This attitude was obviously the case in some parts of the world at some periods in the past. Thankfully things have mostly changed, though not quite far enough in some respects.
The hygiene argument is very weak because all sorts of potentially harmful bodily fluids and substances are routinely deposited in swimming pool water with or without swimming costumes. Chemicals, usually based on chlorine, are used to combat the harmful effects, the costumes making no appreciable difference.
The discipline argument may be at the nub of it. In some parts of the USA, and very occasionally elsewhere, ritual humiliation of young males by means of enforced nudity was deemed to be good for them and good for society. Again thankfully the western world is more enlightened than to think that way, or to allow such nonsense.
Yes, discipline is also a good argument, George. We all know how undisciplined boys are by nature, and keeping them nude when they are in groups, especially in situations such as a swimming pool, is a good way to make them behave proper.



  1. Perhaps Boy's Clubs could take the place of the YMCA and offer nude swim classes for boys. There are some boys clubs that are doing this today in 2012, but it has not caught on in a big way yet.

  2. Horrible if there was a mistake with times and a big class of girls surged in with the boys buck naked in the pool, on the blocks and sitting in the bleachers. Uh oh!!!!!!!

  3. Times have changed greatly. Our western cultures aren't what they use to be. Here is a time line about the Christian history of public nude swimming and bathing. Yes, even Christian men would swim naked together. How do you think the Y.M.C.A. got started?

  4. Nude swimming was enforced due to a concern about the possible bacteria or fungus that could grow and live on/in the cotton bathing costumes at the time. Remember, this was before chlorine was commonly used to sanitize pools. There is no evidence that it was used as some sort of mental conditioning tool, as suggested in the article. I live in a somewhat rural area, and guys here swim nude all the time in the rivers and ponds here. There is nothing sexual about it, we just don't care. The introduction of co-ed swimming in the 70's-80's ended nude swimming for guys because it was discrimination against the girls to make them wear suits. Its all pretty simple. Now you have all these urban people automatically assume that if guys are nude together, there must be something homosexual, which is just crap. Nudity is not innately sexual, its what you do while nude that makes it sexual.

  5. I can remember swimming nude at our local YMCA in the late 60's. Men and boys but no females were present during these swims. I believe nude swimming stopped around 1971 or 72 when our "Y" went full co-ed.

  6. I believe it had to do with constriction and the draft nude swimming ended around the time the draft for military service ended. I believe they wanted men to feel comfortable with nudity so after drafted there would not be any concerns or objections.

  7. At the end of the decade of the 1960's I attendes Univerisity of Wisconsin, ans swimming nakked in the pool was deliicious.It was mandatory,One had to buy a UofW towel and was given a cake of soap.Had to take communal showers before antering the pool (naked) ans shower again naked after naked swim,There I realized for the firts time in my life all naked guys were cut, as a Foreigner I was the only uncut guy,These cut guys looked at me with curiosity, specially when I retracted foreskin for due washing and soaping.Many had never seen un uncut guy,they did not know they exised, from what thay told me!