Nude male swimming in High Schools?

A couple of years ago, when Trine was editing the blog, she covered a story about nude swimming at the YMCA (in America).

Some readers commented that boys did swim nude, and girls in costumes, but on different days.


As I wasn’t editing at that point, it was a story that largely passed me by, until I discovered some photographs online today purporting to tell the same story.

It’s hard to know what’s true. CFNM (Clothed female, nude male) is, I would suggest, a bit of a fantasy thing in the internet era. Wiki calls it ‘a genre of erotica’.

From what I can gather, nude swimming was present in the YMCA -because the clue’s in the name, Men- but was discontinued when the YMCA began admitting females. This seems to have been a fairly commonplace change in attitudes in once male-only preserves.

So some of those photos of nude male swimming teams may just be true, although I don’t really see those photos making it to the school yearbook, do you?

There’s quite a number of this type of photo around, but note, if you’re doing your own research on the topic, just how poor quality some of the photos are, and without any definite sort of detail, i.e. the school involved, where they were located and so on. Are they hiding a bit of photoshopping?

The colour ones are almost certainly ‘real’ photos, but ‘modelled’ to play on this ‘genre of erotica’ more than anything else. They’re unlikely to reflect the real world.

But it was certainly a scenario, whether it ever happened in real life or not, that was simple to recreate for the blog.



20 thoughts on “Nude male swimming in High Schools?

  1. My recollection is that in New Zealand, swimming at the YMCA was naked. This was certainly the case in 1964 at the Christchurch YMCA for their holiday programme. Swimming at the Hamner Springs hots pools was segregated and naked in the middle 1960s and this had been the situation for years.. The same applied at Rotorua and was definately the case in 1967. Around that time social attitude to public nudity changed. No state schools had naked swimming, but one of the private prep. schools in Christchurch did to about 1967 also. One historical oddity regarding the Government run facility at Rotorua, is that around 1907 the state proposed to make costumes compulsory. This caused a huge uproar from those using the pools and the Govertnment had to back down.

  2. An update to my earlier post It was 1967: Naked swimming at YMCA swimming pools in NZ was male only. There was an exception, this being the school holiday programme for boys up to the age of 14/15. This was overseen by the Matron at the Christchurch YMCA. Swimming instruction and water sports were only part of the programme : there was gym work and various trips around the City. The instruction was carried out by older school boys. I cannot recall if they were nude or not, but probably were on account of them participating in the various games in the pool. The Matron was a close friend of my mother. Her boys were enrolled in the programme, one a little older than me, was one of the instructors. The question was asked would I and my close friend like to join in, this is 1967. We were shown around the facilities by the Matron. The pool was in use for a water polo game. Not too many boys of my age I thought. My friend was really keen on the nude swimming. This matter did not appeal to me as I was having a difficult puberty, which none of my friends were having by the way. I was 13 at the time. It was difficult enough wearing a swimming costume : the mind boggled on what would happen being naked. Anyway we had been a little irresponsble and had spent the fee we were meant to pay to the Y, so that was that. No fee paid, no entry. That programme was the last as the building was knocked down later that year. Attitudes to nude swimming were quickly changing at that time. Some private primary schools with boarding facilities had nude swimming instruction for boys 5-13. This was over around 1968. The Government run thermal hot pools at Rotorua and Hamner Springs had nude segregated swimming for many years. This was also done away with about the same time. Rotorua was naked in 1967, and Hamner Springs clothed in 1969.

  3. It’s an interesting subject for sure. The old pics I would think would be pretty hard to photoshop and it would appear they add credibility to the fact that these things did actually happen. The newer color pics I believe are staged by some porn sites. The logic of swimming nude is one thing that most people these days just can’t deal with.

    • @ Gerald What I find interesting is that 50 years and more ago, a period where we think of a world being more repressed in terms of the naked body, there is often evidence to the contrary, even if the nude activities involved were segregated by gender. Nowadays, any evidence of instructors or people in charge overseeing nude children (or adults) would almost inevitably lead to accusations of ‘pervert’ behaviour.

      @sassycoupleok. Yes, the colour photos are almost inevitably ‘porn pics’ aimed at those who have ‘CFNM’ fetish/fantasies. Not usually the type of photo we’d publish, but I used them to demonstrate that, real or staged, it still exists as ‘a thing’.

  4. Nudity in colonial times in NZ is another interesting topic, in those years to about 1910 there was considerable freedom for males to swim naked at public breaches, in rural localities, and at certain locations within cities. At public baths, the sexes were segregated and men and boys swam naked.. Reports printed in the papers of public nudity in the cities was as a rule accompanied by the demand for the authorities to take firm action and put a stop to this nakedness, In Wellington there even was a naked beach scene at Lyall Bay during the weekends in summer of course. Echoes of the earlier open era are found in World War One where ANZAC troops at Gallipoli swam naked in the sea, and favourably described in the press reports. I can recall my Grandfather speaking of naked swimming near Christchurch when he was a member of the Home Guard in the Second World War. With respect to the British settlement of NZ the social space afforded of public nudity was one of several differences with Britain that soon became apparent. Probably reflecting a desire of many immigrants to break away from the social conventions of Britain.

    • The CFNM fetish/fantasy has a very strong following. In some settings it is a wholesome opportunity offering females a safe place to view full male nudity. There are however some CFNM events that are porn in nature.

      • Agreed. Within naturism CFNM (or CMNF) situations arise all the time. I speak to my holiday neighbours when I’m dressed, heading out to a supermarket, and they’re nude, and they speak to me when I’m nude and they’re coming home from their church on a Sunday morning (yes, they find the time to attend a Mass, even on holiday) and neither situation is fetish/fantasy. Just ‘normal’, everyday happenings in a naturist resort. As you say, ‘wholesome’. But there are those who elevate these CFNM (or vice versa) scenarios into porn.

  5. The current Naturist Society’s N magizine has a nice lengthy article with facts and figures showing that this practise did indeed exist in schools. Interesting reading.

  6. Interesting post. However, after doing some net research, I have found that many if not most of these grainy b/w photos that seem to show naked men or boys swimming with clothed females are in fact fakes, with the original mens’ trunks having been edited out and replaced with genitalia. The originals can often be found on the web, especially in a Russian article on the history of swimming in that country available at the site from which many of these fakes have been taken. Others of the b/w photos I think are just modern. This is not to say that males did not swim naked in schools in the 1960s and before. In fact we did at my school in South London in the mid-sixties. However, we did not have our pictures taken and there were no women around. There are just a few genuine pictures out there and some of these feature in the Naked Swimming in School videos mentioned above including a few published in Life magazine. These are generally discretely photographed though and don’t show genitalia.

  7. I have found the original for another of these fake CFNM images: the vintage one of a naked man flanked by two women in bathing costumes. In the original (from site, there are four figures, all in costumes. The young boy on the left has been cropped from the fake image and the old-fashioned trunks of the other man removed digitally. Faked CFNM images are rife on the internet. As the original post comments, there seems to be a fetish for this type of image.

  8. We were made to swim nude in gym class back in late 70s at my jrhs. In Kansas. The girls didn’t have to. Double standards and kinda perverted looking back at it now.

  9. Pingback: More nude swimming at the ‘Y’? | the sl naturist

  10. Pingback: More nude swimming at the ‘Y’? | Nudie News

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