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  • Nude Swimming Tradition Ends at Club

    I just read this.
    NuTex
    Health Club Ends Nude Swimming Tradition
    Thu Dec 18, 6:35 AM ET Add Strange News - AP to My Yahoo!

    MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Athletic Club is breaking with its 121-year-old tradition and requiring men to wear suits when they swim ? and some longtime swimmers aren't happy about it.



    Bob Schmidt, 56, figures he has been swimming nude at the downtown club since he was 6, and he greatly enjoys not having to tote a swimsuit with him.


    "This is not over yet," Schmidt said. "What would happen if I just show up for a swim one day without a suit?"


    Club president Bob Bellin said he can understand why the ban on nude swimming, starting Jan. 2, is a little controversial.


    "Change is difficult," he said. "Some of our older members really enjoy this benefit. But we felt that, in an effort to appeal to younger members, we had to change with the times."


    In a letter this month to club members, Bellin said a supply of swimsuits has been purchased and will be available at the sign-in desk.


    "I realize that this ends a long-standing tradition at The Club," Bellin wrote. "There are a number of reasons for moving in this direction, but one of the most important was the negative reaction to 'naked' swim from many prospective members. As we struggle to attract new members, this seemed to be a modest compromise to modernize our image."


    The club has maintained two pools: one for women and children, requiring suits, and the other for men only to swim laps, in the nude if they wished.


    Al Horn, 78, has been swimming nude there each day for decades.


    "It's a burden to carry a suit," he said, but he will abide by the ban.


    Bellin ended his letter with an invitation:


    "We invite you to mourn the passing of the 'suitless swim' on New Year's Day and have one last skinny dip."

  • #2
    I just read this.
    NuTex
    Health Club Ends Nude Swimming Tradition
    Thu Dec 18, 6:35 AM ET Add Strange News - AP to My Yahoo!

    MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Athletic Club is breaking with its 121-year-old tradition and requiring men to wear suits when they swim ? and some longtime swimmers aren't happy about it.



    Bob Schmidt, 56, figures he has been swimming nude at the downtown club since he was 6, and he greatly enjoys not having to tote a swimsuit with him.


    "This is not over yet," Schmidt said. "What would happen if I just show up for a swim one day without a suit?"


    Club president Bob Bellin said he can understand why the ban on nude swimming, starting Jan. 2, is a little controversial.


    "Change is difficult," he said. "Some of our older members really enjoy this benefit. But we felt that, in an effort to appeal to younger members, we had to change with the times."


    In a letter this month to club members, Bellin said a supply of swimsuits has been purchased and will be available at the sign-in desk.


    "I realize that this ends a long-standing tradition at The Club," Bellin wrote. "There are a number of reasons for moving in this direction, but one of the most important was the negative reaction to 'naked' swim from many prospective members. As we struggle to attract new members, this seemed to be a modest compromise to modernize our image."


    The club has maintained two pools: one for women and children, requiring suits, and the other for men only to swim laps, in the nude if they wished.


    Al Horn, 78, has been swimming nude there each day for decades.


    "It's a burden to carry a suit," he said, but he will abide by the ban.


    Bellin ended his letter with an invitation:


    "We invite you to mourn the passing of the 'suitless swim' on New Year's Day and have one last skinny dip."

    Comment


    • #3
      I am surprised it took as long as it did to happen. When I was a kid, nude swimming was the rule at the Friar's Club (a local facility for males)that we belonged to and also at the YMCA so this was not an unusual practice in the late 50's and early 60's. The Friars Club kept the rule until they closed. The YMCA's went co-ed and there were not separate facilities for men and women in the existing Y's, so the suits went on.

      I guess it is a business and they have the right to change their rules, but I wonder if the number of new members joining will offset the numbers of angry old members quitting.

      Maybe if a large percentage of the current membership tell management they intend to "vote with their feet", they may have second thoughts.

      Comment


      • #4
        About 20 years ago, my wife was an executive life member of a health club which had separate times for male and female. She always swam nude [as did some others] and walked nude to and from the sauna and showers etc.
        This was never a problem.
        Then, for claimed economic reasons, the club went totally co-ed. The members, some of whom had paid a substantial up-front fee to be life members, were not consulted.
        The first time she went after the change, she swam a nude "lap of honour", to the consternation of the staff and some other members. She was a woman of great dignity and determination.
        Not long after that, the club deteriorated in various ways and then went broke, so it didn't really matter.

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:
          Originally posted by Rex:
          [qb] Not long after that, the club deteriorated in various ways and then went broke, so it didn't really matter. [/qb]
          Except to all those who had paid the "substantial up-front fee," eh? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for correcting me on that point, missouriboy.
            I was making the point that the nudity issue didn't finish up mattering, but of course many people lost out financially.
            My wife had been a member for years and well and truly got her money's worth, but many were not in that fortunate position.
            The circumstances of the club going broke became part of an Australian business scandal and the owner lost his assets and went to jail for quite a while, so at least those who lost out got some satisfaction. It also led to an overhaul of the laws governing "life memberships" of health clubs and brought back some sanity to the industry, so some good came of the situation.
            Like, I suppose, most of us, I don't edit what I write, just whizz it down and whizz it off, so it's great that there are sharp eyes out there to keep us all on track.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey, I know. I wasn't criticizing, just commiserating with the poor folks who lost the dough! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

              Comment


              • #8
                When I was a Kid,I went nude swiimming at YMCA. untill 1975 when it went co-ed. So the suits went on.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The saddest part about that is the comment that "...this seemed to be a modest compromise to modernize our image." First of all, I think that society is moving towards being more nudist-accepting (or is it just me?), and for those who enjoy(ed) nude swims, it's anything but a "modest" compromise. In fact, it isn't a compromise at all. A compromise may be offering clothing-optional swims - this is just a ban.

                  Murray

                  Comment

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