Monday, August 21, 2017

Did Swim Teams Once Compete Naked?

While researching my article on old swim team photos, I discovered an unusual sidebar of beefcake history: up until the 1960s, men and boys on swim teams competed naked!

I discovered these photos on the internet.  At first I thought it was a spoof website -- surely men didn't swim naked in the the skittish 1940s and 1950s, where male nudity was forbidden in magazines and in movies, and pants were designed to eliminate bulges.

And some of these photos seem faked.  The fonts are off, and there's no way nude photos would appear in high school or college yearbooks.

And the boys in the photos look a little old to be in high school or even college.  Maybe they are ordinary nudists, with a swim team caption photoshopped in.

Plus there are ample photos of high school, college, and Olympic swim teams of the 1920s-1950s wearing body hugging suits, with bulges but nothing else.

But I've gotten verification in legitimate magazine articles and personal reminiscences.  Men and boys in some schools actually did compete naked during the period.

Giving spectators an eyeful, even with the shrinkage.

The full article on swim team photos is on Boomer Beefcake and Bonding.


  1. At my first year of college all freshmen-at least the men- were required to pass a swimming test.
    You had to strip naked then swim across the pool to the satisfaction of the gym coach.
    If you failed the test you were required to take swimming lessons.
    I recall seeing a fellow student who was so handsome with a trim physique that my cock had involuntary twitches.
    (He resembled a guy from high school days with whom I had a discreet strip session at age 14:the sight of his lovely ass had me nearly dropping a load without touching myself )
    After getting dressed from the swim had a brief conversation with the guy at the pool and nothing happened beyond that.

    1. What year was that? I had swimming in high school and college, but we all wore suits.

  2. The custom of nude swim meet is documented in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 6, 1928, available at . Look for the article "Swimming suits blamed for poor times in tank".

  3. I've seen newspaper articles with team pics from the era and they were nude. Try doing some research on tumblr. You'll be as surprised as me. As far as some looking older that could be due to grainy black and white pics. Cameras weren't so great then either l.