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Thursday, July 08, 2010



We boys freely and happily swam nude at Charles Hartman Jr. High in Houston TX in 1971. They did not say it was the fibers in the suits, but the chlorine in the locker room.

But we did not mind, nor care. It was fun and normal at the time. My own sons and friends sons and nephews, etc. cannot believe this, as I cannot believe they no longer shower together after P.E.

What is our society coming to?

Jim Howard

I was very thin and in fact was skin and bones. I make sure I did not go out for any sports or do anything that was going to have me end up in a locker room.
I took military so that took care of the PE.
I find it strange that people today do not believe that kids swam nude at the YMCA and at schools.You may have seen a comment or two saying that the photos are fake!
But this is news to me.. Are you saying that kids do not have to shower at school or that the schools now have stalls for each kid to shower? No big shower room?
Americans have some big time sexual hangups that is for sure.


No one in my street could join the YMCA, too expensive.
When a new Boy's Club opened, My two male cousins and I, with some school friends, decided to go see what was there for us. When we arrived, we were given a tour of the facilities by a high school volunteer.

After the tour, he asked if we wanted to go swimming, as the free swim period would be in about 20 minutes.
We said yes, but told him we did not bring any swim suits. His reply was, no swim suits required or allowed.

After much debated, and it was a hot hay, we opted for the swim. We were led to the locker room, given a basket for our clothes and told to take a shower and wait for the door to the pool area to open. We all undressed, placed our clothes in our baskets and returned the baskets to the attendant. In the shower room, we saw about 30 other boys, all naked. We showered and then the door opened and we were led on the pool deck.

We were given the pool rules, introduced to the pool attendants, all high school students, also nude. We all had a great time swimming naked for the first time.

We went swimming at the Boy's Club for the next 5 years, then it was on to High School. That first year of nude swimming, prepared us for the group showers of middle school and high school. My cousins and I had no problem undressing and showering with a bunch of nude 12 year olds.



This subject fascinates me. I posted the following to a forum I'm on about male shirtlessness, but the moderator rejected it as inappropriate. (No hard feelings, I accept his call.) But I did think it is relevant to the larger discussion on shirtlessness, as it might provide some insights into social attitudes towards varying degrees of undress, which apparently have been very different, even very recently---a theme that comes up often on that toward shirtlessness.

I was surfing the Net recently and stumbled upon a nude sleeper forum with a thread on widespread MANDATORY nudity in swimming pools at the YMCA. This was not only for boys, but for men, and I'm interested in the adults in this practice. My brother had told me about a biography of Russell Kirk in which he described his own nude swimming in public schools in the 30's, but I thought even at that time, this was just a rare practice that happened in the inner city slums, and was phased out long ago, NOT continued into the early 70's. (Once source claimed in England it was mandatory for him in 1984!)

Here and there, an anonymous Internet commentor scoffs at it as an urban legend, but many older people insist it was required and they engaged in it. Wikipedia seems to authenticate it, and they're pretty good at researching confirmation.

Some said doors were strictly locked against girls and women. Others said mothers and other females came in freely to retrieve their sons and brothers. Some say nude swim races were held and the whole family came as spectators, as well as other (clothed) female athletes to events held in the same area where nude men were visible.

Some said sometimes "instructors" wore swimsuits. Others said one or more instructors were also nude (which would make sense, since they'd have to teach in the pool, and suits were strictly forbidden in it.)

My questions, to ANYONE, who might have been an instructor, lifeguard, referee, coach, etc.:

How old were you?
Did you teach nude, as a requirement?
Were you nude at races with spectators, as a requirement?
Did you know you'd have to be nude before you were hired?
Did women see you nude when teaching, refereeing, or any other job?
If so, how often? Was it common? Rare?
Were you nervous? Aroused? Or did you totally de-sexualize it? Was that ever hard?

If all this is more than just an urban legend and the testimonies are true, this is a fascinating period in our history. Here we've all but banned "shirts vs. skins" and school showers, we're steadily moving toward banning VOLUNTARY shirtlessness, and 40 years ago, or later, swim teachers were REQUIRED by management to walk around and do their job in large public pool rooms, buck naked, in full view of Ward & June Cleaver. It boggles my mind.

True? False? Or somewhere in between?




I was born in 1941, so I was in Jr. and Sr. High School in the 1950's. I can tell you with certainty that we were not allowed to wear swimsuits in the school or YMCA pools. As I recall, the teachers and instructors wore suits, but the boys were required to swim in the nude.

Boys and girls were carefully separated during swimming activities, but signs were clearly posted that swimsuits were not allowed for either sex.

While in class we did have organized races of various kinds, but I do not recall any spectators. I only remember one instance of anything that hinted at erotic behavior. One of the Jr. High teachers was teaching us to dive off a diving board. He had a long cane pole and when we would dive off the board, he held the cane up and we were supposed to dive up and over it. Because we were nude, sometimes a diver's penis would hit the cane when we dived over it. Sometimes the boy would let out a yelp.

I remember watching and I saw that the teacher was purposefully raising the cane in order to hit some of the boys' penises. I do not know whether it was harmless fun or whether he had a prurient interest in mind, but I think he was more inclined to tap the boys with larger endowments. Looking back on it, he may have been a little bit of a pervert, but as far as I know, nothing ever came of it.

After gym or swimming classes we always showered in large communal showers. Perhaps a dozen shower heads in one large shower room. Once in a while a guy would get an erection and the others might tease him, but it was usually just ignored. Nobody wanted to be called a "queer" or a "faggot". On a few occasions when one of us would get an erection, it was contagious and others would pop up.

Sometimes coaches would shower with us. I can remember peeking at them and wishing I was so well equipped and hairy, but I was very careful not to get caught looking.

We had lots of fun and as far as I know, no harm came from being exposed to other naked boys and men.


Thanks Jeep. I'm sure what you're saying is what your experienced. But I've heard other stories from other naked student swimmers where at some high schools, female teachers would come in and talk to the naked coach on the pretext of "matters of school business" just like just like any other class. Also heard plenty of other claims of mothers, sisters, etc., being present when naked instructors were coaching or teaching, sitting on benches, watching. Might just be stories, but who knows? I'd really like to get some straight stories from instructors, coaches, etc. of the time & female family members, not just students, to seperate the truth from the exaggeration, bs & fantasy. Yeah, there's some prurient interest, but as a sociological issue, it's fascinating to me.


Correction to above comment:
The book my brother read was not by Russell KIRK, but Russell BAKER. It was "Growing Up".

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