Showcasing vintage male photography, mostly nude. You must be 18 years of age or older to visit this blog! If you hold a copyright on any material shown on this blog, notify me, and it will be removed immediately.
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
OK, there are really four guys here, but you can barely see one of them,
and I just couldn't pass up this picture with such a great concept.
The font used on this notice indicates that this photo originates in America, where there was often a complete - and enforced - ban on male swimming trunks of any sort being worn. It was uniformly applied throughout the YMCA, many public baths and sports clubs, as well as schools in some states. It was also common in other parts of the English-speaking world, in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Great Britain, where it was thought to be "character building". The official reason given was that micro-fibres from the wool used until the mid- to late'50s clogged up the filter systems. There was some truth to this, as filter systems and chlorine dosage did not reach optimum efficiency in fact until that decade. One suspects, however, that the ulterior motive was to accustom the male youth of the time to a military lack of privacy in anticipation of yet another war. The practice died out in the mid- to late-70s.ReplyDelete
Good historical summary!Delete
At each of the two entrances to the pool at the Downtown Detroit Y, a large sign listed the pool rules. Rule #3 was twice the size of the others, and proclaimed in red capital letters: "NO SUITS!" Which just happens to be the name on my file of nude swimming photos.ReplyDelete
Back in the mid-to-late 60's, I used to frolic in that pool for such long periods of time I'm surprised I didn't grow gills. Swim masks and goggles were available, which made checking out the other swimmers the first time I could safely ogle naked male bodies, I've never forgotten seeing one nicely-built 20-something glide the entire width of the pool underwater and thinking I'd never seen anything so wonderful. Those few seconds were engraved on my brain forever.
I left Motown in 1970, so I don't know how long the "NO SUITS!" policy lasted. I like to think that when it ended, one of those signs wound up hanging in the garage or rec room of someone on the phys.ed. staff and might now be sitting in some Michigan flea market. Sadly, like the rest of downtown Detroit, that landmark building, which was the largest Y in the world when it opened in 1909, became a crumbling shadow of its former self, and was demolished in 1997.
An outdoor pool for men's nude swimming is a rarity. The only one I've ever heard of is Stanford's Encina Pool, which was men-only for about three decades. (I'll send you a couple of photos.) My not-so-educated guess is that this photo was taken at a military base, most likely naval.
Interesting story, and I hope somebody saved those signs. I was used to skinny dipping in male only company in ponds as a youth in West Texas, but of course our town pool required suits. I made a trip to Fort Worth at age 14 and went to the Y with a cousin who lived there. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they didn't allow suits and spent a delightful afternoon there.Delete
Please do send those photos you mentioned.
I believe the reason for no suits was for health reasons, shower before entering pool required, obvious oopen sores prohibited, and we had to step into a large pan of disinfectant to make sure feet were clean.ReplyDelete
You make sense even though the "official" reason usually given was fibers in the filters.Delete