It’s official! The UK’s ‘most hated clothing’ are tight swimming trunks (aka ‘budgie smugglers‘)
Apparently, I also learn, it’s not permitted to wear such swimwear in any pool in France!
And, do you know, fellas, there’s a solution to being looked on with some disdain by wearing the horrible things…
A quite simple, logical solution, fellas. You know it makes sense.
Clothing manufacturers will disagree, however swim trunks in any fashion are a total waste for male swimmers.
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It would appear that bathing clothing developed in Victorian times when sea side resorts were developed. In New Zealand the practice in colonial times was for nude swimming, for males, even in baths open to the public and at certain beaches up to about 1910. After that the wearing of a heavy woollen suit was enforced. It is useful to note that the freedom to go naked was for males and boys, in colonial society women didn’t swim except in loose fitting garments. Maori society was quite different and both sexes swam without clothing, together. There was, as well, no clothing that was would serve as a swim suit. Naked swimming at the Ward (thermal) Baths at Rotorua, appears to have ceased around 1970, this was segregated. In the 1960s municipal authorities would not allow any garment to be used in the pool which could also be worn on the street. For males the only ‘togs’ permitted were speedos. When you look at the French article they actually only permit speedos (men) and tight boxers (boys) and no street wear. Here the practice has reversed, almost no one wears a speedo at a public pool or the beach and street wear is the preferred clothing, that is T shirts and shorts. I assume we are talking about the same garment, a figure hugging/close fitting brief boys and men wore covering just part of the lower body. As I remember these didn’t leave much to the imagination, which begs the question of why, at a time where modesty and conformity were generally de rigour, something the definitely applied with the woollen suit, should a manufacturer in 1928 in Australia develop a very skimpy bathing brief which became the required wear in the 1960s in New Zealand. We might just as well have been swimming naked. The speedo led to a ‘speedo culture’ amongst teenage males. My best friend had a particular thing about how his penis was positioned and was protruding or bulging from his swim suit more than his friends’ and in particular how his bulge had to be bigger than mine. There was a sort of teenage one up man’s ship on penis sizes. He didn’t have the same sense of embarrassment to me and took pleasure in advertising his body at the swimming pool by walking about in a “cool” manner making sure the young women sunbathers had a good look. He, incidentally was not the only boy doing this, showing off. In the 1960s and 1970s this was socially okay, today it is not so acceptable. Speedos continued the general problem of suits in that they became heavy with water and would slip down unless the drawstring was firmly tied. One common prank was to grab a mate’s speedo as they were getting out. At the beach in a heavy surf speedos could be pulled off by the waves or ripped. They were standardised as well. The cut caused problems with boys whose had an erection swimming such as myself. The official explanation is that speedos were developed for ease of use but I would be certain that the question of advertising male sexuality came into the thinking.
Thanks, Gerald, and excellent explanation and analysis!
Most probably Jesus Christ was baptised and cruicified naked because in those times it was considered a sin to bathe naked and besides this very few had bath tubs and on the contrary the Romans used to execute them naked because they were aware they would be filled with shame being naked outside the water.