Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by ECMember, Apr 6, 2018.
Did anyone that did swimming in high school, did you wear swim jammers for your team?
I didn't swim, nor did my school have a team. But when I was in high school (1980s), the Speedo would have been the choice for competition.
It's interesting to note that at one time it was quite common for guys to swim nude. Many pools, in fact, had male-only sessions, and they'd ban swim suit suits. The reasoning was that it was apparently easier keeping the pool clean in an era of less effective filter/chemical systems. So at one time, many high school swim team boys would have practiced nude, and only worn a suit when actually competing. Boys' PE classes would also often swim nude. (A lot of this depended on the pool. Some parts of the US were apparently more likely to have "no suit" rule.) This era started ending in the early 1960s.
I wonder if things like that were done on purpose to give boys a non-sexual way to see and learn about each others bodies. I mean, when you think about it - teen boys get exposed to a lot of other naked teen boys for no real reason and it's just considered normal in society. Every required P.E. class, every team sport, school gyms, group showers for young military recruits and stuff like that all involve a large amount of boys staring at each others dicks when that could be prevented just by building individual changing rooms and showers. Maybe it's meant to be an outlet for them to see as much as they want without having to risk being thought of as gay.
The message seems to be 'letting 30 naked teens stare at each other every day is totally fine, but god forbid one of them wants to touch a penis, then it's gay, wrong and must be stopped!'
You raise an interesting point. I'll talk about the chance to "see and learn" in a moment. But first, I think the only official motivation for nude swimming (and group showers) was entirely based on practicality.
There were practical reasons for nude swimming. It was viewed as easier keeping pools clean if people swam nude. There were even official guidelines indicating this.
Likewise, I think group showers (which were very commonly required after PE classes) were probably viewed entirely on practical grounds. It was an efficient way of cleaning up 30 sweaty boys.
The least modest shower design were probably the types that had poles with shower heads circling the top. Bradley made these, and they once advertised them with the argument that it saved money. Presumably through simplified plumbing vs conventional showers.
Group showers of any kind were also probably viewed as faster, easier, and cheaper to clean and maintain long term.
Society accepted this. There was one classic PE teacher argument: "No reason to be embarrassed--we're all guys in here!" Plus at one time boys were probably used to being nude around other boys long before they had to shower after PE. Families were large, and one might have several brothers sharing a bedroom.
Although, interestingly, there was apparently a double standard--females were supposed to stay modest. During the nude swimming era, there were pools that had female only sessions, but the females often were expected to wear a suit, even though the same pool banned males at male only sessions from wearing a suit.
Getting back to the thought about "seeing and learning", I doubt very much that it was ever an official motive. But, at the same time, it can be argued that there is value in boys seeing other boys nude. I've men comment that they learned about circumcision, for example, because they noticed a classmate's penis looked different.
I had body image issues when I was a teenager and young adult. I never showered in public--I'd have died first--until I started swimming in my late 20s. One issue I struggled with was that I felt like my penis wasn't OK. That problem went away mighty fast once I saw the variety of mens' penises--small, big, circumcised, uncircumcised, etc.
I've also heard arguments that nude group showers help with male bonding. I've heard coaches claim that the years they have teams that shower nude together are the years they have the best functioning team. I can't say for sure, but it makes sense.
I never really thought about it, but yea now that you mention it people on my sports teams who were around each other nude often did usually end up being better friends and working together better than the ones who tried to avoid that. That's a really interesting discovery.
I don't understand why it changes so much outside that environment though. Even in the conservative areas I've lived, it was considered fine for guys to act physically with each other while nude and it was just 'boys being boys' (saw two straight guys grope/wrestle/sit on each other nude in the locker room in 9th grade once for example and nobody batted an eye) but then in the normal world even two friends hugging was looked at as gay and wrong. The double standard makes no sense to me.
You're right--the double standard doesn't make sense. The only thing I can think of: boys wrestling are trying to get non-sexual dominance over each other, but hugging is seen as dangerously close to affection between two guys.
The double standard that has gotten me is that it seems like it's a general rule that guys are not supposed to look at other guy's penises. And yet, some can get away with obviously looking. For example, I've heard stories about boys getting picked on because their penis is small. I also recall one time when a boy started for the showers in my junior high locker room, and another boy pointed out that the first boy had forgotten to take off his underwear.
Dumb question, but were they careful to avoid touching any area that (normally) would be covered by underwear? Or did it end up being a "no rules what happens is what happens!" deal?
No rules at all. They basically just pushed each other on the floor and started grabbing anything they could, pretty sure balls were grabbed multiple times.
Wow! I'd never have guessed it possible! Live and learn, I guess.
Although I suppose there is a tactical advantage to grabbing another guy's balls--it could be a way of inflicting pain!
I just remembered another double standard incident that took place in my old school district. A high school football player tried to rape another boy in the showers. One assumes the football player was straight--or at least officially straight as far his classmates were concerned.
He was probably pretending to be, but I highly doubt he's actually straight if he tried to rape another guy.
Yes, but it seems that he didn't worry about being labeled as gay. (This would have been 20-30 years ago, and LGBT acceptance at that school would have been about zero.)
Any of them. I missed out completely on the entire working together to achieve a goal part of childhood. Probably wouldn't have dealt with issues of being overweight as a kid if I had a sport to play too.
I just wish I started going to school by bike sooner. It's really refreshing and helps me to keep fit, and it's not as slow as walking and not as boring as using public transport.
I don't think we have anything like swimming team at our school but we had swimming lessons as part of our PE subject during our 1st year. It was my favorite part of school since I love swimming (I'm going swimming from time to time, but nothing professional, just casually) Unfortunately we had it for only like 5 months.
I wish I didn't quit cheerleading
I kind of wish that I could have done football but the school wouldn't allow girls to join the football team.
Other than that, I wish I would have started marching band sooner and that I wouldn't have quit track
I did baseball and swimming in high school. I almost did football but changed my mind but wish I would've played. I really wanted to wrestle but the thought of rolling around with guys in singlets would've just ended with me being embarrassed
I played football but I wished I’d also played baseball
I played basketball in high school--I enjoyed the whole team experience.