Hesketh Fletcher Gym Team
Item #: 1741
Source: G. Smith.
I swam nude at the YMCA all through my childhood. I also swam nude for three years of junior high and for my first 3 of 4 years of high school. Definitely not an urban legend. When I was a senior, we were finally allowed to wear competition style suits, that left little to the imagination, anyway.
Your concluding sentence - "The girls shouldn’t be allowed to romp around and play naked in front of the boys."
So why should boys be allowed, or compelled, to do likewise in front of the girls?
I remember those days. My folks moved from a small rural town to one a bit larger. My new school had an indoor pool adjacent to the gymnasium. It hadn’t been an issue for me prior to the move, but yes, part of our physical education involved swimming. Boys used the same lockers and showers for the pool as they did for the gym. We were only allowed a towel when entering the pool from the lockers and the towel was not to be worn, it was to be placed on one of the benches. The boys were to be entirely naked anytime they were in the pool area. The girls had P. E. classes separate from us boys, and could access the pool from their lockers and showers, but they had to wear an unsightly swimsuit issued to them by the school. No nudity was allow among the girls, a simple wardrobe malfunction would cause a girl to be dismissed and possibly expelled. (No such rules applied to the boys even during the classes on the basketball court. Boys could be seen from time to time yanking an unsuspecting boy’s gym shorts down as a prank with no dismissal or expulsion involved.)
The locker rooms were not the only means of accessing the pool area, anyone could go from the gym into the pool as they were opened into each other. Just because the girls and the boys had separate classes, it didn’t mean that girls weren’t around during the boys sessions or vice versa. We couldn’t go into the wrong locker rooms of course, but once outside the locker rooms, the girls could easily enter the pool area during the boys time or the boys enter during the girls time, just like when the P. E. classes were in the gym with volleyball or basketball, only difference being the boys were naked when the P. E. classes were in the pool area.
We didn’t look at it as being an embarrassing situation for the boys to have to be naked in front of the girls, teachers, parents, etc. We looked at it as being unfair to the girls not being allowed to get naked as well. For the most part, being naked wasn’t a sexual thing, it was the routine. We were, of course, in our adolescent years and standing there naked talking to a girl who you knew was “checking out your stuff” would cause undesirable results. I suspect some of the girls intentionally caused us poor boys to become erect. Partially for their own enjoyment and partially because if a coach caught us with an erection, we had to run laps as a punishment for it.
Back to the original question, yes, we were required to swim nude. Having endured that time in the past, I believe it should be re-instated. The only difference would be I would issue the girls a more practical apparel, and allow them to remove it when in the water, if they wanted to, but put back on as soon as they were out of the water. The girls shouldn’t be allowed to romp around and play naked in front of the boys.
At my school jockstraps were worn but a friend at another school did wear swimming trunks for support but he did later change to a jockstrap.
It has been a very long time since I looked at this site and I was pleased to see that several posters have mentioned wearing swimming trunks for support.
At my school - in the late 60's - it was common place, especially for us who were in sports teams. Usually the practice began for those who played rugby. Following on from this the habit spread rapidly to PE lessons, cross country and so forth.
Previously I noticed that this practice was hardly ever acknowledged and yet I know that this was widespread through many schools. For myself I know how much more comfortable it was to wear trunks with the extra feeling of safety for rugby.
If anyone else would like to reply on this subject or contact me I would be very interested to hear from them.
l am afraid children do tend to follow the trend of the day and it might be said that my boys wore jockstraps because their classmates did.
The purchase of my sons jockstraps was easy ... they got for themselves from the school outfitters.
My sons advise me that their own boys have a fantastic choice of jockstraps today. Although not easily found in sport shops they are bought on Amazon or such like. Perhaps the trend may change again in favour of the jockstrap yet. :=)
My Ex attended a boys grammar school (not a public school) where he was encouraged to wear a jockstrap from the third year onwards and continued to wear one for sport as an adult.
We had split up by the time our son started at secondary school and my son preferred to wear briefs, I think mainly because that was what his classmates wore.
As I mentioned, he had to wear a jockstrap and cup for junior cricket, so as a single mum, it was me who went with him to buy them (along with bat, helmet etc.).
Were you ever involved in the purchase of your sons jockstraps, or was that a job for their dad?
I guess it is strange how they have gone out of fashion. I imagine that most sports shops now sell many more sports bras (which weren't around when I was a teenager)than jockstraps.
I guess my older brother, who is two years was the first boy l know to wear one. He and my future husband both attended public (independent private) schools. My husband then encouraged our three boys to wear them for sport. I understand the tradition goes on as my grandchildren wear them as well. Strange how the garment has been shunned by the masses. Perhaps it will regain in popularity someday!
When did you first come across a jockstrap?
As I didn't have any brothers and my dad didn't play any sports, I hadn't seen one until my Ex husband's appeared in the washing basket not long after we were married.
June, I was at a small privately-run boys boarding school There were about 120 of us altogether, so we all knew each other pretty well. It had a bit of a macho ethos, hence the topless PE and daily showers etc., but I enjoyed my time there. Sadly, it closed a few years after I left.
Yes the sport teachers preferred older boys to wear a jockstrap rather than underwear if they were wanted genital support for sport ... what type of school did you attend?
James, Like you our all boys school was no underwear for pe compulsory. Our kit was white shorts and I agree they did become somewhat transparent. Furthermore, during my time white nylon shorts were becoming available and several of us wore them. But if they got wet they were really see through. I managed to persuade my parents that cotton was better.
I was in the same category as yourself, where wearing shorts without underwear was obligatory.This was quite common place at the school that I attended and pupils were not allowed to wear underwear from year 7 upwards to prefects in year 12.
Wearing white shorts, as you stated was the worst as they became slightly transparent when wet.
My parents approved of this practice and I often wore shorts at home without underwear.
Andy, as I said earlier, what we wore under our PE shorts was up to us, and although there was a certain amount of peer pressure to go commando, a more significant factor was the sheer discomfort of wearing 1970s style boys underwear for exercise. Back then, cotton Y-fronts were fairly normal, and by and large, these didn't benefit from regular voyages through a school laundry system.
Having read through some past and more recent posts a common theme is not wearing any underwear. The majority state it being due to school rules, however others seem suggest they did it by choice, while others say they could wear them if they had a spare pair but still chose not to wear any.
Being in the category that had no choice and objected to having to wear my white shorts without underwear I wonder why some chose not to. Was the decision not to wear pants the boys own, driven by parents or due to peer pressure?
I agree with Dave and others that it did seem strange wearing a jockstrap at first but as growing lads we eventually loved them. At school, although not compulsory most of us wore them for gym and games. I also agree that most of us wore them under shorts in the summer. I have a couple that I bought recently just for that purpose during the summer months (even at my age !)
Although my son wore a jockstrap and cup for cricket, he preferred briefs for PE lessons.
I recall our PE teacher speaking to a few of my classmates about needing some support when they hadn't started to wear bras as early as they perhaps should have!
With regard to swimsuits, during the last summer holidays before I started to wear a bra, I quite often wore a swimsuit top under my T shirt to flatten things down a bit.
Andrea, Dave and June: from about the age of 13 we were advised to wear some form of support, jockstraps or swimming trunks rather than loose underwear, with the former being our PE master's recommendation.
My boys all wore jockstraps and although not a formal school regulation for boys aged 13+ it was regarded as common sensical and naturally had the approval of those teachers involved in all sporting activities ... l hope that helps :=)
Hi Andrea, my PE teacher did not recommend wearing a jockstrap but was quite happy that a few of us wore them, he did however say that we should wear underwear for support, briefs / swim trunks etc.
Dave and Graham,
I had similar feelings about starting to wear a bra. I found them uncomfortable at first, but after a while I would have been more uncomfortable without one, especially in PE.
Were jockstraps recommended by your PE teachers?
Hi Graham, your right wearing a jockstrap at first is a strange feeling but you soon get used to it and I like you also wore mine under shorts during the summer holidays.
Andrea - I went commando for the first couple of years, as did most of my classmates, and I got my first jockstraps when I was about 14. Wearing one felt a bit strange at first, but I soon got used to to the sensation, and sometimes wore them as ordinary underwear in summer, especially under shorts.
Did you continue to go commando for PE at Boarding School, or were you encouraged to wear a jockstrap once you were older or more well developed?
At Primary School we wore shorts and a T shirt over our ordinary underwear for indoor PE (which was done in the hall as we didn't have a gym). Once we wear at Secondary School, indoor PE kit was a polo shirt and gym knickers, but outdoors we were allowed to wear a long-sleeved hockey shirt and a PE skirt or culottes over our gym knickers in winter.
We were expected to shower after both indoor and outdoor PE.
Andrea - my primary school was boys only. We had reversible two-colour rugby shirts for outdoor activities, cross-country, team games etc., but PE indoors was always topless. Going commando was encouraged, but not actually insisted on, but if you kept your underpants on for the lesson, you had to have a clean pair to put on afterwards. Most of us chose to go without. In the absence of showers, we were expected to bring a towel to rub ourselves down with on PE days, and anyone performing the towel-dance while changing was regarded as a bit of a wimp - as was anyone discovered wearing a vest under his shirt.
Did you go to an all boys primary school or have PE separate from the girls?
My primary school, in the late 1960s, didn't have proper changing rooms, so girls and boys had to change together in our classroom. Of course we didn't have to strip right of, just down to underwear, before putting on our PE kit.
Once I was at Secondary school (all girls) we had proper changing rooms and showers were compulsory.
Although we didn't have any showers in the changing room at primary school, we weren't afraid of being seen naked while changing before and after PE classes. This was just as well from my point of view, because when I went on to a boarding school, communal nude showering was the norm at bedtime and after PE or games. Also the norm, albeit unofficially, as I've posted elsewhere, was sleeping nude, as I discovered with a certain amount of pleasure on my first night when my eight room-mates showered, dried themselves off and jumped into bed in their freshly laundered birthday suitd
John, I am in agreement with you and others about compulsory showers.After our first PE lesson aged 11 I would have done anything to avoid going nude in the showers with a lot of of other boys but I had no choice but quickly realised there was actually nothing wrong with being naked in the showers. There was no way that I felt I was being abused and after being made to sweat in the gym, where I enjoyed having to wear just gym shorts and plimsolls, I looked forward to the showers and being able to freshen up before going on to our next lesson rather than get dressed again and sit around smelling of stale sweat.
Well said, I completely agree with you. Like you I was made to shower naked with a group of lads after playing sports and given a choice aged 11 would have opted to avoid them. There was actually nothing wrong with showering nude with other lads and it helped me to get over my totally irrational fear of being naked with other lads. In no way was I abused, in life fears are best confronted and not avoided.