LessonsI grew up swimming naked at the YMCA. That's where I learned to swim. It was common back then, for boys to be naked in the pool. I thought it was kind of neat, especially in the dead of winter...I didn't have to lug around a wet swim suit and towel (they did provide towels). As I recall, the lifeguards always were wearing swim trunks, but my instructors sometimes did and sometimes did not. There was a bit of irony in these classes; as you advanced from one level to another, you received a new patch - I believe the levels were guppy, fish, flying fish, shark, etc. you got the patch to put on your suit, but couldn't wear a suit in the pool!
While there were no grandstands, no large mobs of people watching us, we did have occasional visitors...usually mothers or fathers who sat on a bench on the deck of the pool. And yes, I do remember other kids (siblings of those taking the classes) of both sexes who were on occasion with them. But you know, we didn't really care. We were a bunch of kids who were in swimming classes, and we loved it...at least I did! Good grief, back then I guess the thought was along the lines that little kids didn't need to have that much modesty.
There were times for recreational swim too, and those were segregated, males and females. As far as I can recall, I was never in the Y pool naked when there were females also in the pool. On the deck, yes...in the pool, no.
I guess it didn't really bother me, I swam in the pools at home naked, and for a while up until I was 5 of so, at a local lake where I grew up. Nudity was something accepted in my household, not something that we were ashamed of.
The whole swimming without a suit thing changed when the YMCA and the YWCA merged and things became coed. I remember there were a few times when some older men went into the pool naked when it had become coed! That change didn't' go over that well for them, but for us younger guys, it was not really a big deal.
Nowadays, the locker rooms at the Y almost require folks to remain covered at all times! What a change four decades can bring. What's all the fear and modesty about? Is is homophobia? Fear of being seen? Poor body image? Lack of self-confidence? Whatever the reason, I firmly believe modern folks have a much lower self-esteem, a confused sense of modesty (can't be naked in the locker room, but look at what you wear, what you watch on television and what you watch in the movies), and a confused sense of their own sexuality.