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  • Swim meets

    I recently came across some vintage team photos of swim meets, and water polo meets; they looked like they were from the 1950's. I was surprised to see an audience of men and women in the background with the male swim team and water polo teams in the foreground. In each photo the team was formally posed for the photos and photographed full frontal nude.

    A couple of other photos had both female and male swim teams in the same photo. All the women were wearing swimsuits and all the guys were nude. Once again these looked like photos from the 1940's or 1950's.

    It appears at one time that at public attended swim meets and water polo meets, it was acceptable for the male athletes to participate nude. Can anyone confirm this? I was really surpised to see this. If that was the case, let's bring it back

    SD!!

  • #2
    Think photoshop.

    Yes there were YMCA meets were nude swimming was required - male only - even here in the good ol'USA.

    Female swimmers have always been required to wear suits.

    Never were there meets with mixed genders and nudity on the part of either males or females outside of nudist campgrounds.

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    • #3
      I don't know much about the subject myself, but based on what I've read on these forums, it might have been YMCA swim meets. Seems nudity was finr or even required for male swimmers decades ago (ues, even in the US!). I read women were required to wear swimsuits. Now how unfair is that! Search the forums for "YMCA". I think I heard there was even a Yahoo group on the subject.

      [Inappropriate links, sub-links, images, and sexual content required deletion of posted links CFF Moderator]

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      • #4
        For practice, male nudity was evidently no problem. I seriously doubt if they were nude during competitions.

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        • #5
          A couple of other photos had both female and male swim teams in the same photo. All the women were wearing swimsuits and all the guys were nude. Once again these looked like photos from the 1940's or 1950's.
          These photos are not photos of persons in the USA. As Nactman indicated, men and women did not swim nor appear together nude in the same pool. It was a strict cultural rule that men did not appear nude in front of women.

          YMCA's required men to swim nude in the pool. Women did not swim in the YMCA pools. Women swam in the YWCA pools. I was a lifeguard at the YMCA pool in 1950. Everyone knew the rules, so I had to tell only one man that swim suits were not allowed, so he removed his swim trunks in a cheerful manner.

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          • #6
            Did the YMCA change rules now? Is nude swimming now not a rule or even an option?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rabid_Clam:
              Did the YMCA change rules now? Is nude swimming now not a rule or even an option?
              Swimming nude is not an option because the YMCAs have turned into "Family Ys" so that men, women, boys and girls all swim at the Ys together, so that elimintes the male only swimming nude.

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              • #8
                [I heard there was even a Yahoo group on the subject]


                The Yahoo group is where I found the photos.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sdson:
                  The Yahoo group is where I found the photos.
                  Don't let the Yahoo group mislead you with any false information.

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                  • #10
                    I agree with David's caution. Photoshop allows pictures to show fantasy rather than reality.

                    Nude swimming for males was recommended by the American Public Health Association up through at least the end of the 1950s. I've seen newspaper photos of Y swimming classes where it was clear that carefully posed boys were unclad. Not adults though; apparently they were unsuitable for newspapers.

                    There are a lot of reasons for the change. Simple things like nylon suits - more practical than wool or cotton - and new Ys being built in the suburbs where there was plenty of land, so that instead of being in a basement the pool was ground floor - with windows.

                    I don't think it's all practical factors or mixed classes. The national YMCA council was urging local Ys to seek more female members in the 1950s and nude swimming was still the rule for men. My junior high had nude boys' swimming in the 1970s, and we had as many girls as boys, it's just a matter of scheduling. And Title IX came along after nude swimming was mostly extinct. So the decades don't match for it to be either more women, or Title IX.

                    This is politically incorrect, but the social change that seems to match the end of nude swimming is an increased awareness of homosexuality. The patrons of the Y became aware that a single-sex atmosphere was not for everyone a nonsexual atmosphere. And the Y management really did deeply care about that Village People song.

                    - Caipora

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                    • #11
                      During the time that there was nude male swimming at the YMCA with no females allowed in or around the pool, the YMCA offered many evening fun courses for both men and women, such as ballroom dancing, drama, writing, etc. I took ballroom dancing there with my wife before we were married.


                      The YMHA - that is Young Men's Hebrew Association operated the same way in having courses, but I do not know about their swimming nude, but I suppose they swam nude. I am not Jewish but I took a sculpturing course at the YMHA in St. Louis and the model was nude. I attended plays at another YMHA in Kansas City.

                      They no longer have YMHA in St. Louis area, but in the suburbs have a fabulous Jewish Community Center which is an athletic and total recreational complex for both genders - and includes a theater, and I took a sculpturing course there also. The female model was nude.

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                      • #12
                        Yes, a good photo software program and a capable operator can generate some great photos these days.
                        I have a vague memory that a thread like this ran previously.

                        Nude swimming ended at the YMCA here,when it and the YWCA amalgamated. The result was a better financed organization that could efficiently provide equipment and programs to members. As separate entities, the men and women Y's were struggling.

                        In my experience, homosexuality is not a factor in this case. My understanding, directly from management, was that there was only one case of unwanted advancement. This covered a time frame over the time of the original YMCA (nude swimming) allowed, thru ten years past the amalgamation (no nude swimming).

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                        • #13
                          It is great that mothers, fathers and children can all swim together at the Ys, and especially on Friday evening "Family Night". I do not go at that time as the pool is too crowded (with kids) for lap swimming.

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                          • #14
                            Oh, to have nude swims at teh Y. When I first looked at joining a Y, back in "74, one of the main selling points was nude men swims....wished I would have joined back then. We are now a Family Y.

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                            • #15
                              I remember swimming naked at the Y in Toronto
                              as late as the mid 70's.

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