Sunday, August 6, 2017

Into the Deep End

A couple of years ago, I used the image above in vintage post in a FH CFNM themed day. The image stayed with me for a number of reasons. Yes the guy is cute, but there was something both slightly erotic, and more than slightly odd (even creepy) about the image. Was it his mother? Maybe an aunt? I recently found the image on a tumblr along with some other similar shots and turns out... it might be his swim couch....

Searching vintage co-ed naked swim teams proved a fairly fascinating hour yesterday. There were dozens of sites, message boards and accounts of men swimming naked along their swim wearing female counter parts. When I think of vintage male swimmers, I think of the swimwear worn by the guys above. Although a lot is covered, the cut and clingy material reveals almost as much as a speedo. The of course I thought of guys, swimming with a 'friend' or yanking off their suits for a bit of fun when it was just the guys around.

'This was a common practice in Chicago and other large city schools until the 1970's. You had a choice: either swim in the nude for four years of high school or take ROTC to get a waiver.'

But no, it seems it was a bit more common than that. One article I found quotes a former YMCA manager recalling he continued to get calls from 'old guys' through early 80's, calling to ask what time the 'naked swim' started. According the one article, it wasn't just a YMCA thing, that it was national and The American Public Health Association infact mandated males swim naked in many high school pools from 1926 through 1962.

I went to high school in the 90's, and we didn't have a swimming pool, the closest thing to public nudity was mooning. Although the naked swimming was usually just for 'male swims', it was not uncommon for the men to share pool time with female swim teams and even in some cases to swim naked at public swim meets and competitions.

It was also seen by some as 'healthier' and as well as helping with swim times. Of course, not everyone loved swimming naked for gym class. For those who panicked at shirt vs skin football games, nude swim classes must have been a nightmare.

'Let me take you to a time long ago. At Johnston in the early 1960s, swim class began when our gym teacher met us in the showers and ordered us to march in a single-file line naked to the indoor pool. Some boys jumped high off the diving board and did cannonballs. Others played water polo in the deep end, hurling volleyballs and shouting. The rest of us stood in the shallow end, waiting for the period to end. There were two types of boys in our swim class: Those who didn't care that they were naked and unselfconsciously had fun. And those like me who were thinking: Get me out of here.'

I can see the cons, but I can see the pros as well, and not just the chance to see your fellow students naked. If it was required, it would become the norm, and help some get over body related issues. Of course, it would increase them in others. There is a beautiful innocence about most of these images that I really love. Not sure how innocent things really were, but the male body, the penis, the nakedness seems so unimportant.

Today, the male body, and especially the penis, are still regarded by some as pornographic, no matter what shape, form or degree of excitement it may be in. Clearly this wasn't the case for most of those in these shots, in fact it is the naked female form that seems to be something to be ashamed of, covered and kept hidden under their swimsuits.

Whenever I am looking for vintage shots, especially cfnm, there are always lots of fakes, recent shoots for site, made to look vintage, but I think I caught most of those. (Except maybe one, that I purposely let through...) of those. There were also a few that were simply guys dropping their pants to see if it would make it into the schools yearbook photo. I will keep my eye out for similar images, there must be more out there, a follow-up seems in order.


Michael Shinafelt said...

Great post!

Rolig said...

Fascinating! I'm curious what the women were thinking in these pictures: they seem very comfortable being around naked men. Were these competitions with naked men open to the public? I knew that it had been the practice at boys' schools for boys to swim naked but I had no idea about this mix of suited women and naked men.

Anonymous said...

At Harvard in the late 60s the swim team was allowed to wear suits, but all other swimmers had to swim naked. (They claimed that fibers from the swimsuits would gum up the filters.) At the time, Harvard and Radcliffe had separate athletic facilities, so we were displaying our goodies only to other guys.

msbimages said...

Fascinating look back at perhaps more innocent times. Great piece of unknown history for me!!