Last week, I was eating lunch with a friend and her dad in Manhattan on 23rd Street, directly across from what used to be the McBurney YMCA, when my friend’s dad had a sudden recollection.
Apparently, in 1968, as part of a freshman requirement for the city college he attended, all male students took a swim class at the YMCA. For reasons somewhat unclear to him at the time (and, we joked, probably repressed until now) the Y had a particular rule: If you’re going to swim, you must swim nude.
“Nude-nude?” I asked. “Totally nude,” he said.
He remembers the instructor telling them something about it being more sanitary that way. “But,” he conceded, “no one really questioned it.” After a moment, he paused.
“What the hell was that all about?”
I thought I’d investigate. Was my friend’s dad just recalling some adolescent nightmare? Was his swim teacher some pervy old dude? Or was this requirement legit? And if it was, why? How would not wearing a bathing suit be any less sanitary than skinny-dipping? Continued…Read full original article…
Original publication Apr 29, 2014
Posted on NatCorn 4 weeks ago