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Nude Swimming at the YMCA
2/13/02

Posted on 02/13/2002 8:13:00 AM PST by pabianice

All the recent news about pedophiles and child pornography has made me wonder about how our local YMCA was run back when I was a kid (late 1950s - early 1960s). No bathing suits were allowed in the Y pool. We kids (boys only, ages about 8-14) simply swam naked. Seemed a little odd at the time, but kids generally do as adults demand without thinking too much about it. There were men there, too, but they wore bathing suits.

Did anyone else have the same experience at the Y when they were kids? Did naked swimming serve some health purpose, or was advantage being taken of us?


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
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1 posted on 02/13/2002 8:13:00 AM PST by pabianice
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To: pabianice
I don't know. I used to sneak into the YWCA.
2 posted on 02/13/2002 8:19:25 AM PST by mseltzer
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To: pabianice
I was a teenager in the 60's. I'm sure our dykey PE teachers' obsession with checking to make sure we were showering had nothing to do with cleanliness.
3 posted on 02/13/2002 8:20:20 AM PST by lady lawyer
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To: pabianice
I remember when you wouldn't get arrested for taking pictures of your kids in the tub.
4 posted on 02/13/2002 8:22:52 AM PST by breakem
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: SpeaksTruthToPower
Well, perhaps not anymore. My husband and I have a family membership at the local YMCA. My husband collects frogs and so has a bag he uses as a gym bag with a painted frog on it. He told me he's been getting such strange and dirty looks that he realized the other men, ah, questioned his manhood. So I just gave him a "Jeep" gym bag a few days ago for his birthday so that he would more like one of the guys! No more questions about manhood. LOL!
6 posted on 02/13/2002 8:32:51 AM PST by twigs
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To: pabianice
I would say that I would have to wonder about that. Why in the world would they not allow bathing suits?
7 posted on 02/13/2002 8:34:50 AM PST by skateman
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To: pabianice
that's gross. At my gym, there was a guy in the hot tub with me who wasn't wearing any trunks. There were two boys about thirteen years old also in there with us. It made me very nervous and I thought it very inappropriate.

The motto of the old YMCA should have been: YMCA - pedophilles welcome.

8 posted on 02/13/2002 8:36:16 AM PST by Big Guy and Rusty 99
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To: Big Guy and Rusty 99
It's fun to stay at the Y - M - C - Aaaay
9 posted on 02/13/2002 8:38:10 AM PST by Anotherpundit
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To: pabianice
This is still club policy in many of the finer men's clubs here in New York City. I have never understood the reason, I've never been given one, but I seriously doubt it has anything to with Homosexual behaviour. I am also sorry to say that most of these clubs have primarily Republican members, so it definitely is not a New York City liberal thing.
10 posted on 02/13/2002 8:44:20 AM PST by NYRepublican
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To: skateman
I would say that I would have to wonder about that. Why in the world would they not allow bathing suits?

Before girls swimming suits, boys always swam in the buff, for centuries upon centuries. Such a rule in the depression years would have made the pool accessible to the poor who couldn't afford swim suits, or who's underwear might have well caused them ridicule. The question is not really why they did not allow swimsuits, but why you did know.

11 posted on 02/13/2002 8:44:29 AM PST by DonkeyHodee
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To: pabianice
I swam naked at the Y and in school back in the 50s and 60s. I even recall a city indoor pool (actually called a bath house) we used to go to in the winter where no trunks were allowed.

I seem to recall the stated reason was hygiene. You had to get a shower before going in the pool and a guy at the door checked for sores and such. I suspect at school they didn't want to put up with wet trunks in lockers, but the nude swim seemed to be SOP in my area. They did issue swimsuits to the girls swim class however. I guess it sort of primed us guys not to be worried about modesty in front of a bunch of other guys which comes in handy a few years later when you were swimming in Uncle Sam's pool. No one ever made any 'passes' at me that I ever noticed.

In my later teens, a friend and I used to go to the Y every Tuesday to work out and play basketball. When we were done, we would take a shower and go directly in the buff into the pool for a few laps before we went home. It was a regular routine. One week we missed our regular night and went the next night instead. My buddy got out of the shower before me and went out and dove in the pool. He had finished his first lap before he noticed a bunch of women in the pool --- it was family night, and no one told us! The poor guy got back in that shower room in record setting time. The next week when we went back, there was a big sign on the shower room door warning the Wednesday was Family Night.

12 posted on 02/13/2002 8:46:10 AM PST by Ditto
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: pabianice
Funny you should mention this. At YMCA summer camp, mid 60's, we boys were directed to swim nude as well. All counselors just stood around watching. I still have that weeks group photo, and the counselors were the most creepy looking characters you could imagine. Of course I didn't notice this back then though.
14 posted on 02/13/2002 8:47:51 AM PST by Slicksadick
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To: Thornwell Simons
Actually my gym is where the Orlando Magic practice. NO YMCA for me. that's a good way to get impatego.
15 posted on 02/13/2002 8:49:52 AM PST by Big Guy and Rusty 99
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To: pabianice
You know, this is an interesting subject. There's a guy at my gym who has a locker next to mine. It never fails that he makes an appearance when I'm dressing, undressing, in the shower, basically any situation in which I'm unclothed. I've been in sports my whole life, so I'm not overly sensitive about nudity, my own or others, but this situation is beginning to bother me.

At first I thought I was being paranoid. But I've given a few experiments: like staying in the showers for a long, long, time, and he'll stay right in there with me. The instant I cut off the water, so does he. If I take a super quick shower, then so does he. I'll just refuse to go to my locker until he is dressed and leaves. Then he "forgets" something and has to return.

Admittedly, none of this would hold up in a court of law, but it has given me the creeps. Bigtime. I have to work out at lunch time, so it can't be solved by going to the gym at a different time. I don't want to confront the guy, because I can't be absolutely certain I'm being "mo'd".

16 posted on 02/13/2002 8:50:47 AM PST by TontoKowalski
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To: pabianice
My mother never would let me swim at the Y because she had "heard that people swam naked there." That was the sixties and turned out to be untrue.
17 posted on 02/13/2002 8:54:10 AM PST by CholeraJoe
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To: pabianice
I went to the Baltimore "Y" in the 1960s with my dad, the pool was naked, I was not too cool with it, but didn't think much of it either way at the time.

We know better now, it was probably homo chickenhawk central, but we never thought about such things then. Anyway, my dad was boxer and would have intimidated any pervs from getting near me.

18 posted on 02/13/2002 8:56:52 AM PST by Travis McGee
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To: TontoKowalski
Kemosabe, me think him 'light in moccassins'. ;^)
19 posted on 02/13/2002 8:57:56 AM PST by headsonpikes
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To: CholeraJoe
It was true in Baltimore.
20 posted on 02/13/2002 8:57:59 AM PST by Travis McGee
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To: CholeraJoe
An old-time Boston pol told me the public school district used to do physicals at the Boys & Girls Club, which had the same nude swim rules for boys. This guy always got a doctor's warning, because his heart rate was so high. He was early in the alphabet, and before the docs showed up, he and always the boys were wrestling and horsing around, throwing each other into the pool. The other boys had time to calm down. He didn't.

As for Y, my little boy is in Y camp during the summers, and to judge from the number of swimming suits he has lost and/or allowed to rot, there are solid practical reasons for not having bathing suits.

21 posted on 02/13/2002 8:59:46 AM PST by MoralSense
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To: pabianice
"Have you ever seen a man naked?" The Captain in "Airplane."
22 posted on 02/13/2002 9:04:22 AM PST by colorado tanker
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To: pabianice
Ya... when I was in high school, 60's and 70's, all guys gym classes swam naked. And your right, I've often wondered the same thing.
23 posted on 02/13/2002 9:07:38 AM PST by Godfollow
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To: lady lawyer
I'm sure our dykey PE teachers' obsession with checking to make sure we were showering had nothing to do with cleanliness.

You know, I never thought of that before. But it makes sense now, 40+ yrs later. The gym teachers back then were definitely "different", but believe it or not, it never occurred to me that they were interested in us - - the students! How naive of me. ;)

24 posted on 02/13/2002 9:09:55 AM PST by Arizona
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To: colorado tanker
Listen here
25 posted on 02/13/2002 9:13:06 AM PST by steveo
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To: pabianice
My husband swam "nekkid" at his Georgia Tech swimming classes in the 60s. He didn't think anything of it.
26 posted on 02/13/2002 9:16:22 AM PST by Atlantian
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To: pabianice
That was the rule back in the 40s. We were always warned to stay away by parents. Regardless of the reason offered then or now, my opinion is that hygiene was a cover only.
27 posted on 02/13/2002 9:17:39 AM PST by cynicom
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To: headsonpikes;TontoKowalski
Kemosabe, me think him 'light in moccassins'.

Ugh! Me agree. Him probably called, "Chief Smoking Wood."

28 posted on 02/13/2002 9:22:59 AM PST by Hoosier Patriot
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To: cynicom
...my opinion is that hygiene was a cover only.

Certainly seems odd that girls could wear swimsuits. Odd too that adult males could use swimtrunks at the same time male youths couldn't (so it didn't have anything to do with, "we just cleaned the pool").

Much as the notion of photographing countless people in the nude at hospitals and universities for somotyping stopped. Some of those college archives still exist and some have been destroyed. They are reputed to include such people as GHW Bush and Hillary Clinton in the buff from their college days. All in the name of science, personal liberty be damned.

29 posted on 02/13/2002 9:24:15 AM PST by weegee
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To: weegee
..Hillary Clinton in the buff from their college days.

Oh great! Thanks for that wonderful mental picture while I'm eating lunch. {;-(

30 posted on 02/13/2002 9:27:12 AM PST by Hoosier Patriot
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To: Thornwell Simons
Y.M.C.A.
Village People

Young man, there's no need to feel down
I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground
I said, young man, 'cause your in a new town
There's no need to be unhappy

Young man, there's a place you can go
I said, young man, when you're short on your dough
You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
They have everything For young men to enjoy.
You can hang out with all the boys.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
You can get yourself clean
You can have a good meal
You can do whatever you feel.

Young man, Are you listening to me
I said, young man, what do you want to be
I said, young man, you can make real your dreams,
but you've got to know this one thing.

No man, does it all by himself
I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf
And just go there, to the Y.M.C.A.
I'm sure they can help you today

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
They have everything for young men to enjoy.
You can hang out with all the boys.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
You can get yourself clean
You can have a good meal
You can do whatever you feel.

Young Man, I was once in your shoes,
I said, I was down and out with the blues
I felt, no man cared if I were alive
I felt the whole world was so jive

That's when someone came up to me
and said young man take a walk up the street
There's a place there called the Y.M.C.A.
They can start you back on your way.

It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
They have everything For young men to enjoy.
You can hang out with all the boys.

Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
Young man, Young man, there's no need to feel down
Young man, Young man, pick yourself off the ground

Y.M.C.A.
just go to the Y.M.C.A.
Young Man, Young Man, I was once in your shoes,
Young Man, Young Man, I was out with the blues

Y.M.C.A.
Y.M.C.A.
Y.M.C.A.
Y.M.C.A.

31 posted on 02/13/2002 9:27:36 AM PST by mc5cents
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To: pabianice
I never swam at the Y,but my dad belonged to the Downtown Athletic Club in NYC(awarder of the Heisman Trophy),and I took a scuba class there in the late 60's.The rule was to swim in the nude.I was a bit embarrassed at first(I was about 14),but got over it and never gave it another though. We even played water polo,which can be quite physical.
32 posted on 02/13/2002 9:29:35 AM PST by kennyo
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To: Thornwell Simons
I hate that song.
33 posted on 02/13/2002 9:31:37 AM PST by Rebelbase
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To: TontoKowalski
IMHO, you've put up with far too much. Report him to management. If they don't do anything, do some stalking of your own. Maybe he'll stop when you tell him where his mom lives. Even perverts don't want their mom to come to harm.
34 posted on 02/13/2002 9:33:03 AM PST by Oschisms
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: Oschisms
Even perverts don't want their mom to come to harm.

Or more appropriately, they don't want their mothers to know what they are up to when they are in "public".

36 posted on 02/13/2002 9:42:46 AM PST by weegee
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To: colorado tanker
I used to belong to Holiday Spas in the 1980's. One club had one set of lockers, so they would alternate men and women at different times of the day. Most of the old guys would swim nude.

Friday nights, they let both sexes use the club by sharing the locker room and showers. No way this would happen today, so I'm sure the club has been shut down.

37 posted on 02/13/2002 9:58:58 AM PST by Tymesup
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To: steveo
LOL! Are there other quotes from "Airplane" there?
38 posted on 02/13/2002 10:11:46 AM PST by colorado tanker
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To: weegee
No, it was hygiene. Remember the pool of disinfectant that you had to walk through before you got to the pool? They just trusted the adults to shower thoroughly before entering the pool. As for allowing the girls to wear suits, it was the YMCA.

Besides, women are naturally more modest than men. We have a hot tub in the locker room at our health club, which is meant to be used naked. I have only seen it being used about three times since I have been a member. My husband says the men use theirs all the time.

39 posted on 02/13/2002 10:18:05 AM PST by Eva
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To: pabianice
I never knew that. It's very common in Europe for small children to swim nude but usually they begin wearing bathing suits well before puberty. Topless doens't so much as turn a head here(except mine) of course but it more seems to be what one feels comfortable with and I have rarely seen total nudity among adolescents/adults at a German Schwimmbad or Schwimhalle. That with the YMCA does give one a little chill or at least a nervous smile when one recalls the Village People's ode to the place.
40 posted on 02/13/2002 10:25:54 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: pabianice
Nope. No nude swimming at the Y when I was there. But we did have some yuks on the high school swim team....

The pool would go from 4 feet shallow end to 12 feet, and there was quite a slope on the bottom of the pool. Everyone wore speedo goggles (and speedo suits, of course).... makes it easier to see the wall..

A few of us would go to the bottom of 12 feet, remain there a bit (a good set of lungs was a prerequisite), and drop trough. The ones on the deck would see someone doing laps pull up quick in the lane and start laughing-choking due to the "moons" that would be observed rising as the swimmer swam, on the surface of the pool, over the slope that went from the 4 foot side to the 12 foot side......

Oh well.

41 posted on 02/13/2002 10:32:50 AM PST by b4its2late
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To: OneidaM
Figured that this information (#41 in particular) might be of some benefit.....;-)
42 posted on 02/13/2002 10:34:21 AM PST by b4its2late
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To: Oschisms
I'm going to ask for a new locker. That guy just gives me the creeps.
43 posted on 02/13/2002 10:45:25 AM PST by TontoKowalski
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To: TontoKowalski
but it has given me the creeps...

As well it should.

I don't want to confront the guy

Think about this- if he is gay, what he is doing is at least the equivalent of you going into the women's shower and ogling a woman but in fact it's worse. At least if you walked into the women's, she would recognize that fact but if he is gay he is ogling you covertly and in a situation where you should normally feel safe.

I understand you wanting to not confront the guy (God forbid it were your imagination) but you have to in some fashion. The guy, if true, has fixated on you and is probably obsessed with this idea of being near you without you realizing. His own obsession is probably clouding his judgement to the point that he hasn't realized you've caught on to him. Or he just doesn't care- which is worse. Or even WORSE, this obsession might lead him to think you're teasing him or that you don't mind.

Try wearing a Straight Pride T'Shirt. Or if that's too bold a statement maybe go into the shower and then after a moment if he follows, act as if you've forgotten something and leave. If he follows you out of the shower, you can then re-enter with your forgotten item. If he re-enters well you've pretty much nailed him haven't you? If that's still not enough do it on back to back days. He should have gotten the hint at that point. If not, you don't even have to be overly ugly about it. Just ask him why he's following you into, out of and then back into the shower. If he wants to play stupid, you can say "Well, whatever- but I'm definitely NOT gay and wouldn't appreciate it very much if someone were and doing such a thing- I'd probably go to the management if that were the case".

That should put a stop to it and then you could go to the management afterwards if it didn't. But Dude, you can't just let that go.

44 posted on 02/13/2002 10:46:30 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: pabianice
In the late 50's & early 60's, it was not only at the YMCA - but at High School as well (1964)

I didn't realize how "advanced" and "free" we were back then!

45 posted on 02/13/2002 10:47:37 AM PST by stlrocket
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To: one_particular_harbour
You're killing me. I should add the disclaimer that my preference of moniker does not imply any resemblance to the hero of that joke.

Of course, it doesn't imply any non-resemblance, either.

I will neither confirm nor deny, but the weirdo with the locker next to mine could provide testimony with Paula-Jones-quality clarity. :)

46 posted on 02/13/2002 10:49:29 AM PST by TontoKowalski
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To: TontoKowalski
Get yourself a diver's knife, and hang it from your neck. Sound like this guy is a real perv. Wonder if he would "get" the message?

AB

47 posted on 02/13/2002 10:55:13 AM PST by ArrogantBustard
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To: TontoKowalski
Ask the management for a locker change, and explain to them why you want it. I'm sure they want their patrons to feel confortable using the facilities and will accomodate you. From what you described, this dude is definitely "warm for your form."
48 posted on 02/13/2002 11:11:30 AM PST by Zorobabel
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To: b4its2late
How many MOONS ago was that ????
49 posted on 02/13/2002 11:19:50 AM PST by Neets
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To: Zorobabel
The other weird thing is that this guy is old. I'm 40, and he's got to be 60 if he's a day, although he dyes his hair. I just never in a million years thought I'd be locker-room-stalked by an aging homo. I'm married, and always wear my band, so you'd think he know that I'm not his type.

I appreciate that you all don't call me a paranoid nut. Your comments have confirmed for me that I'm not imagining this. I am definitely asking for a locker change, and telling management why I want it.

50 posted on 02/13/2002 11:20:09 AM PST by TontoKowalski
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