Sunday, June 5, 2011

Naked Male Camaraderie



EXCERPTS -- read the whole article here...

http://closetprofessor.blogspot.com/2010/08/naked-male-camaraderie.html

Until the last three decades, American high school boys took showers after PE classes. Nudity in gyms showers was quite normal. Guys didn’t do the towel dance. If you were in the steam room or sauna, you went naked. You took your shower in the open, but now most guys wear towels in the steam room and sauna, and shower in private stalls.

What’s so odd is that 40 years ago, nude swimming was the norm. It’s what was acceptable. Below, you can see that they even used to shower in groups before they jumped in the pool.


A paradigm shift has happened and I’m curious as to why? I really can’t help but wonder — of all the factors that have gone into this shift. The YMCAs used to enforce nude swimming and many, like the one below, even gyms right above or next to the pool. Between laps, guys would just head over and lift weights — yes, completely nude.


From the 1890s to the 1930s, men who swam at the YMCA did so in the nude, apparently wool swimsuits (the fashion of the time) clogged up the pool filters. An excerpt from the history of the Seattle YMCA gives a reason for the change:

An early casualty of gender equity was males-only nude swimming in the downtown pool. Men and boys had been accustomed to swimming au naturel at the YMCA, not only in Seattle but in Ys everywhere, since the 1890s. The practice may have evolved from problems created by the long, wool swimming suits then in fashion, which apparently shed so much they gummed up the pool filters. Later, nude swimming was justified on the grounds of hygiene. A handbook in use at the Seattle Y in the 1920s required that “A good soap bath must be taken before entering the swimming pool” in the same paragraph that specified “The wearing of swimming suits or supporters will not be allowed except by permission from the director.”


12 comments:

Anonymous said...

My parents got me start back in 1955 at the YMCA summer camp out. Out of Seattle Wa..... I still recall being asked to remove my swimming trunks and and being clothes free..Some fellow took my photos while I was totally naked, and with the other naked boys too. So, I keep looking at the computor.... Then in the 1960s I join the ymca down town Seattle and swam naked after school...I enjoyed it and all the naked fellows even help me with my school work...I never had and problems..... However, my school days ended in 1964.and I move on.... Today my family are all nudist sometimes.... THanks milion for you web site. I help in my search...Nothing to report......

Anonymous said...

I remember swimming bare-assed naked at the Y.
None of the guys wore anything.

Anonymous said...

Really valid subject. I guess all us older guys treated being naked with other guys as completely natural - showering, swimming, horsing about. I do think the boys today are missing a lot of the bonding we had. It's as though they treat being with other guys the same as being with women and cover themselves accordingly. My grandson is in the military and from his tales at least communal nudity is still pretty common there.

Anonymous said...

When I was growing up in the 50's, we had a couple of very popular swimming holes where we went skinny dipping, regardless who else was there all the boys were naked. There were a few men around (lifeguards) and it was not unusual for them to go into the woods with the boys. It was all part of growing up and learning. I liked some of the men and they taught and showed me a lot. Of course, I had been taught to respect my elders and obey them, so I got plenty of attention. What young boy doesn't like admiring attention?

Anonymous said...

I joined a Y in Erie, Pa in the early 60's with my father and brothers when I was around 10. There was no choice, everyone swam nude. There was a large gang shower where all showered together. In the steam room everyone was nude. Men walked around the locker room nude. When I was in high school everyone was required to take a shower. You walked to the gang shower nude, showered, and on the way out you were given a towel. It was just the way it was. Today at health clubs it is very different. Men always wear towels. It seems inappropriate not to. It's fascinating to me how over 40-50 years this custom changed.

Unknown said...

I swam in inner-city YMCA pools from about 1956 through 1964. It was common knowledge that men and boys swam nude at these pools and nobody gave it a second thought.
My high school swimming team worked out at a YMCA pool and all team workouts were conducted in the nude. I also took Junior and Senior Lifesaving courses at my local YMCA and all sessions were in the nude. The instructors were no-nonsense kinds of guys and at the beginning of each session it was explained calmly that guys our age could get an involuntary erection at any time and if this happened we should quietly excuse ourselves and spend some time in the locker room until things were under control.again.
We didn't talk much or even joke much about our sexual anatomy and the word "homosexual" was foreign to our thoughts and vocabularies - the term "gay" didn't exist then.
Imagine what it was like then for a 15/16 year old naked male to wrap the naked body of another male around your neck - the other guy's genitals rubbing against your back - or hold between your legs the torso of another naked male while "rescuing" him as part of an exercise.
Such, such were the joys...

Anonymous said...

I sure miss the days when men were comfortable being naked with each other. I grew up in the late 50's, 60's and early 70s. If you were an athlete you didn't get dressed until you were ready to leave the locker room. We all showered together, pissed together, shaved together, carried on conversations--all in the nude. Being naked together was part of the joy of manhood--it's how men and boys were. Swimming naked was the norm. You only wore swim trunks if females were around. And if you were out at a cabin or tent in the wilderness--you could be naked outside all day if you wanted. Men were brothers--you didn't need to hide or be ashamed of being naked. What a wonderful thing has been lost.

Anonymous said...

The Y and other men-only gyms and sauna clubs were so different in the past. Everyone was totally relaxed about being nude around other guys. We swam nude (which was of course required) and then also used the open showers, steam rooms, sauna and whirlpool all buck naked. Most guys even shaved nude. Some clubs had sun decks where the guys sunbathed naked. The most anyone ever had on were maybe a pair of flip flops, although most guys were barefoot. No one wrapped towels around themselves. It was an all-male environment so there was no reason to.

Anonymous said...

My high school required swimming in the 10th grade. I was a late bloomer and had no pubic hair when I was 13-14. Standing nude for role call was always difficult because everybody else had hair there and i didn't. My friend who was standing next to me always told me not to worry about it. Nobody ever harrased me or made fun of me. By the end of the year, I had caught up with everybody. These days so many shave it off, but would never get caught naked around other boys or men. Too bad those times are gone, 1950"s and 60;s

Anonymous said...

Even in the late 70's the Toledo,OH YMCA had nude swimming times for men only. When I was a
a member you would go down the stairs from the community shower room to the pool. No one thought anything of it. Guys would sit nude on a bench around the pool and read the newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Sounds odd too me were teachers pedophiles .

Neelee O'Hara said...

Seems to me that guys want to hide their um...shortcomings,so it would make sense not to expose themselves in the locker rooms, I'm sure most guys don't look and or don't care how big another guys dick is.
Back when I was in school (70's) it was very common to walk naked thru the locker room unashamed. Look at the ridiculous loose pants the guys wear today exposing their (Yuk !) underwear, and Basketball players with down to their calf's shorts, insecurity is apparent, Came across a spycam video here on the web showing a group of guys in a shower room and noticed a few guys who kept shaking their dick trying to lengthen it longer when they thought no one was looking, I digress..