Naked Swimming In HistoryI thought I would add a number of documented stories on nude swimming going back in history. What a lot of people don't know is that in the 1700s and before, swimming was considered unhealthy, and most people never did (during the Middle Ages, people averaged about 2 baths a year!)
Indeed, most sailors on those ancient frigates never knew how to swim, so if your ship was sunk, so were you. Then, in the 18th century, "doctors" (I put in quotes because there weren't medical schools back then), determined that salt water in the oceans were healthy. This in turn created the desire to venture out into the surf, but there was no such things as a bathing suit. What people did was the natural thing - they ******** naked and went out. And during the 1700s, this would include *both* men and women. However, with the advent of the Victorian Era, all women began to don "bathing costumes", which were dangerous as they were designed to cover everything from ankles to the neck in heavy canvas-like material, ergo, a lot of women drowned. Men however, refused to wear anything at all, so during the 1800s, it was not uncommon for most men to swim in the ocean buck naked, until about 1870 when laws preventing nude male swimming at most resorts were enacted (btw, interestingly...nude male swimming at beaches in mixed-gender setting was not nearly as common in the US as it was in the UK and a lot of Europe.
In many places, boys up to adolescence would swim with and play with girls their age at public beaches, all the while the boys were stark naked, although girls were always clothed, particularly during the modest decades of the Victorian Era.
A huge archive inclusive of actual history book passages, news articles, old photographs and vintage film archives that evidence can be found here, a site I created: