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Bloomberg: "Millennials Don’t Like to Get Naked"
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It’s worth noting trends among the wealthy because they often trickle down to others in time. From Bloomberg:

These Luxury Home Mainstays May Be Gone in 20 Years

Think open kitchens and huge master suites will always be desirable? Think again.
by Mark Ellwood
January 23, 2017, 9:13 AM PST January 23, 2017, 6:33 PM PST

… The Master Suite

Sprawling master suites were once the ultimate trophy asset in a luxury home, but recent developments have begun replacing the open-plan, loft-like rooms with a complex of private chambers, jigsawed together around a smaller, cozy space that’s home solely to a bed. … “You no longer want to walk unceremoniously into a master bedroom and see the bed—creating privacy is more important than ever.”

Jonah Disend, founder of innovation firm Redscout, explains further: “The concept of a master bedroom is becoming obsolete because we have a different relationship with sleep now—we don’t hang out in the bedroom the way we used to.” Disend notes that millennials are driving this shift. Their relationship with privacy is radically different from those of the generations preceding them—though digitally nonchalant, they’re prudish in person.

“Millennials don’t like to get naked—if you go to the gym now, everyone under 30 will put their underwear on under the towel, which is a massive cultural shift,” he continues.

I wrote about this a couple of years ago, although the change was noted in an alert NYT article way back in 1996.

I don’t really know what’s causing it. It could be that mass public showering in high school locker rooms was a Progressive era invention to make kids cleaner and healthier, and now it’s fading away because we have antibiotics. Or something completely different.

As gym designers are adapting, so are condo developers. “They want their own changing rooms and bathrooms, even in a couple.” …

Perhaps people have ever increasingly high standards, so being naked is seen as something that only trained professional experts should engage in?

Even when they live with peers, these new privacy preferences are changing the layout of apartments, according to Teresa Ruiz of SB Architects. “We’re seeing a shift in household formation, with a lot of co-habitation by renters,” she says by phone from her office in San Francisco. For one local developer, Avalon, Ruiz says the average age of a renter is 30 years old, with an average income of $300,000. “The private space they want may be smaller, but they want a larger unit as a whole, so we’re making two bedrooms with a den and an extra bathroom.” Translation: They’ll share a sofa but are squeamish if ever asked to split the sink.

How long until the American college tradition of assigning strangers to live together in the same dorm room starts to fade? I suspect that some of the psychological problems that seem to plague college freshmen might stem from this odd custom. One year one of my sons got into a state-of-the-art new dorm each student got a very small private room arranged as suites that were like compact four-bedroom apartments with a living room, small kitchen and two bathrooms. It was expensive, but seemed like a better way to live than the traditional dorm room.

 
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  1. [Perhaps people have ever increasingly high standards, so being naked is seen as something that only trained professional experts should engage in?]

    Perhaps so many are fat or hideously tattooed that they rightly feel shame over their appearance.

    • Agree: International Jew
  2. This is part of what I’ve seen described as “cocooning.” Goes with living in the absence of community and extended families.

    Part of my family was somewhat country, with a creek we swam in called a “crick.” Another part had its own private pool on lakefront property. So I got a little of both worlds. One was definitely looser than the other regarding physical closeness and gross amount of clothing.

    I’ve never had a problem with being naked in front of people. That includes at the Y, which has some odd fellows wandering around, let me tell ya. I do however like to go to the bathroom alone.

    They never made us shower in front of eachother in school or sports. I am on the borderline between Generation X and the New Millennium, for the record. You had to shower after the pool in gym class, but they let us wear our suits. Some guys showered nude, some didn’t. I don’t remember it being a Thing.

    • Replies: @marty
    "... the Y, which has some odd fellows wandering around, let me tell ya. "

    In '92 I witnessed a fistfight in the showers at the Y. One guy, a live-in-your-car type, was taking a leak. Another guy, more solidly midde class, took exception. The former thought the latter was way out of line.
  3. “Millennials don’t like to get naked—if you go to the gym now, everyone under 30 will put their underwear on under the towel, which is a massive cultural shift,” he continues.

    I wrote about this a couple of years ago, although the change was noted in an alert NYT article way back in 1996.

    I don’t really know what’s causing it. It could be that mass public showering in high school locker rooms was a Progressive era invention to make kids cleaner and healthier, and now it’s fading away because we have antibiotics. Or something completely different.

    Info on the topic:

    Beam confirms my friend’s dad’s story, but notes that nude swimming classes weren’t just a YMCA thing. In fact, they were a national thing. The American Public Health Association mandated them from 1926 until 1962, and thousands of high schools around the country enforced the tradition.

    Beam explains that the first recreational indoor pool in America opened in the Brooklyn YMCA in New York in 1885. Because swimsuits back then were made of wool, and their fibers would clog the pool’s relatively unsophisticated filtration systems, nude swimming was enforced to make sure the pool didn’t break.

    By the 1920s, there were other, more comfortable swimming alternatives that didn’t shed fibers. However, nude swimming continued. The rationale this time around was that nude swimming was more hygienic. I asked Beam how so.

    “There was the visual inspection,” he says, noting that part of the aquatic director’s job duty was to inspect the men before they jumped into the pool. The inspectors weren’t just checking for venereal diseases. The idea was to look for any open wounds or other indications that the swimmer might have some infectious disease.

    Beam’s narrative checks out. In the 1922 edition of “The Sanitation of Bath Houses” by William Paul Gerhard, nude swimming is encouraged alongside a pre-swim “physical examination.”

    “Much can be done to keep the water in a swimming pool sanitary by an efficient supervision and management of the bathers,” Gerhard wrote nearly a century ago. “A physical examination of the bathers, while nude, to exclude the diseased, accomplishes much good, but it is difficult to enforce, except in YMCA buildings and in school or military baths.”

    For over half a century, no one really seemed to question the nudity rules. After all, America had a surprisingly laissez-faire attitude toward nudity—at least for the boys. Girls, on the other hand, were always required to wear full suits. In 1941, Life magazine published a photo of young boys in a shower as part of a spread on the concept of democracy.

    “Taking a camera into a boys’ locker room at school and photographing teenage boys completely naked while showering, then, printing that photo taking up an entire half page for the world to look at was considered perfectly appropriate,” writes a historian on the subject. “The published letters to the editor immediately subsequent to this edition never revealed any reader voicing concern about it.”

    Sentiments began to change around the early 1960s, however. Societal norms shifted and some boys—and their parents—began speaking up. In 1961, in the small town of Menasha, Wisconsin, high school boys and their parents petitioned the school board to allow boys to wear swim trunks to swim practice.

    “The boys were affected morally, physically and psychologically by forcing them to swim in the nude,” one of the mothers noted at the meeting. But the petition was voted down. The all-male board claimed swim trunks would be prohibitively expensive. They also claimed that swimming nude would build a man’s character.

    “Physical education considers that this experience is a good one for later life, for example the armed services, where the disregard for privacy is real and serious,” the director of the board noted.

    Within the YMCA, there was no national mandate, so each location decided for itself on its nude swimming policies. But Beam believes the tide began to shift in 1961 when Ervin Baugher, the general secretary of the Allentown, Pennsylvania, YMCA reported to an executive YMCA conference that, basically, the reasons for nude swimming—wool fibers and cleanliness—no longer made sense for modern pools, which were then equipped with chlorine and powerful filtration systems. In fact, Baugher said the only rational reason to continue the tradition of nude swimming was “encouraging a proper attitude toward the body.”

    http://www.vocativ.com/culture/fun/fairly-recently-ymca-actually-required-swimmers-nude/

    • Replies: @guest
    "the only rational reason"

    Why does there need to be a reason, rational or otherwise? What's the matter with the people running our world?

    By the way, rational reason? Who talks like that?
    , @Anon87
    I don't know, sounds very Sandusky to me. It's dehumanizing and weird, good riddance.

    This real estate nonsense just sounds like a fashion fad. Have to support the never-ending stream of home reno, house hunter, etc. shows on cable. If the housing market slows down, redo your kitchen and bathroom, build that man cave, then time to modernize the master bedroom. I wouldn't read too much into it.
  4. I don’t really know what’s causing it. It could be that mass public showering in high school locker rooms was a Progressive era invention to make kids cleaner and healthier, and now it’s fading away because we have antibiotics. Or something completely different.

    Like, say… everyone has a phone, and every phone has a camera.

    Occam’s izmel!

    US Customs allowed civilian cell phone use in their airport facilities for a year or two in the ’90s, then just as abruptly discontinued it. The calls weren’t the problem; it was those little aperture holes in the phones.

    • Replies: @Grumpy
    My sense is that the discomfort started well before cell phones, let alone cell phone cameras. General cultural degradation, the sexualizing of everything, and an increasing distrust of strangers all play into it.
  5. Syonredux beat me to the point, so I’ll just add this:

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Why hasn't that stick-and-hoop activity had a resurgence? Looks like a great workout.

    BTW, when I read Lolita, it seemed perfect casting would have been Hayley Mills, circa 1960, in the eponymous role. Decency has required every film of that novel to cast an actress who has passed puberty, which misses the point. It is a shocking--basically, sick--book and casting a mature 16-year-old reduces the shock.
  6. I enjoyed this:

    A rendering of the smaller, new style of master bedroom at One Park Grove.

    That’s the smaller version? What was the larger version, a room the size of an aircraft hanger?

  7. @syonredux

    “Millennials don’t like to get naked—if you go to the gym now, everyone under 30 will put their underwear on under the towel, which is a massive cultural shift,” he continues.

    I wrote about this a couple of years ago, although the change was noted in an alert NYT article way back in 1996.

    I don’t really know what’s causing it. It could be that mass public showering in high school locker rooms was a Progressive era invention to make kids cleaner and healthier, and now it’s fading away because we have antibiotics. Or something completely different.

     

    Info on the topic:

    Beam confirms my friend’s dad’s story, but notes that nude swimming classes weren’t just a YMCA thing. In fact, they were a national thing. The American Public Health Association mandated them from 1926 until 1962, and thousands of high schools around the country enforced the tradition.
     

    Beam explains that the first recreational indoor pool in America opened in the Brooklyn YMCA in New York in 1885. Because swimsuits back then were made of wool, and their fibers would clog the pool’s relatively unsophisticated filtration systems, nude swimming was enforced to make sure the pool didn’t break.

    By the 1920s, there were other, more comfortable swimming alternatives that didn’t shed fibers. However, nude swimming continued. The rationale this time around was that nude swimming was more hygienic. I asked Beam how so.

    “There was the visual inspection,” he says, noting that part of the aquatic director’s job duty was to inspect the men before they jumped into the pool. The inspectors weren’t just checking for venereal diseases. The idea was to look for any open wounds or other indications that the swimmer might have some infectious disease.

    Beam’s narrative checks out. In the 1922 edition of “The Sanitation of Bath Houses” by William Paul Gerhard, nude swimming is encouraged alongside a pre-swim “physical examination.”

     


    “Much can be done to keep the water in a swimming pool sanitary by an efficient supervision and management of the bathers,” Gerhard wrote nearly a century ago. “A physical examination of the bathers, while nude, to exclude the diseased, accomplishes much good, but it is difficult to enforce, except in YMCA buildings and in school or military baths.”

     


    For over half a century, no one really seemed to question the nudity rules. After all, America had a surprisingly laissez-faire attitude toward nudity—at least for the boys. Girls, on the other hand, were always required to wear full suits. In 1941, Life magazine published a photo of young boys in a shower as part of a spread on the concept of democracy.

    “Taking a camera into a boys’ locker room at school and photographing teenage boys completely naked while showering, then, printing that photo taking up an entire half page for the world to look at was considered perfectly appropriate,” writes a historian on the subject. “The published letters to the editor immediately subsequent to this edition never revealed any reader voicing concern about it.”
     

    Sentiments began to change around the early 1960s, however. Societal norms shifted and some boys—and their parents—began speaking up. In 1961, in the small town of Menasha, Wisconsin, high school boys and their parents petitioned the school board to allow boys to wear swim trunks to swim practice.

    “The boys were affected morally, physically and psychologically by forcing them to swim in the nude,” one of the mothers noted at the meeting. But the petition was voted down. The all-male board claimed swim trunks would be prohibitively expensive. They also claimed that swimming nude would build a man’s character.

    “Physical education considers that this experience is a good one for later life, for example the armed services, where the disregard for privacy is real and serious,” the director of the board noted.
     

    Within the YMCA, there was no national mandate, so each location decided for itself on its nude swimming policies. But Beam believes the tide began to shift in 1961 when Ervin Baugher, the general secretary of the Allentown, Pennsylvania, YMCA reported to an executive YMCA conference that, basically, the reasons for nude swimming—wool fibers and cleanliness—no longer made sense for modern pools, which were then equipped with chlorine and powerful filtration systems. In fact, Baugher said the only rational reason to continue the tradition of nude swimming was “encouraging a proper attitude toward the body.”

     

    http://www.vocativ.com/culture/fun/fairly-recently-ymca-actually-required-swimmers-nude/

    “the only rational reason”

    Why does there need to be a reason, rational or otherwise? What’s the matter with the people running our world?

    By the way, rational reason? Who talks like that?

  8. Two things I noticed in swimming pools in France, where locker room and shower area arrangements vary according to the swimming pool:

    One pool has a single locker room and shower area for both sexes. This means no nakedness, even in the showers. People change in private cabins, and the pre-pool washing (supposedly obligatory with soap) in the shower is done wearing a bathing suit, which I always think is rather unhygienic. There are separate toilets for each sex. It’s kind of nice that men and women share the same area, as they do the pool. But it sucks that you have to be careful not ever to be naked.

    Another pool separates locker and shower areas by sex. But there are private cabins for changing. And nakedness is rare. I have a vague feeling nakedness may not be allowed, and some recollection that it may be related to preventing pedophilia?

    Long ago I was at a cheap camping ground, where there was a single shower area for both sexes, and nudity was fine. But it was a slightly hippie place.

    In Germany I’ve been at bath and sauna places where sexes were mixed and nudity obligatory. That’s Germany!

    In pools in Asia sex-separated locker and washing areas had no issue with nudity. However showers were in separate stalls. Like in most places around the world, urinals are in the open, but sit-down toilets are not.

    In summary I attribute the (to me regrettable, for hygienic and practical reasons) trend against nudity to increasingly mixed sexes and fear of sexual abuse.

    Anecdotally, growing up with Europeans and Americans in the seventies and eighties, I thought Americans were richer, fussier about hygiene, and much more prudish.

    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
    "But it was a slightly hippie place"

    The Green Field at Glastonbury Festival used to have (may still do for all I know) a big solar-powered shower marquee to get the mud off. Never seen so many naked young ladies, and they'd probably never seen so many naked men.

    But that was before mobiles and GoPros became ubiquitous.

    , @jon

    In pools in Asia sex-separated locker and washing areas had no issue with nudity.
     
    That's putting it mildly. In Korea and Japan, at least, they seem to relish same-sex nudity. Big elaborate bathrooms with a sauna, a steam room, two or three pools of varying temperatures, and a bunch of showers around the edge. Kids running everywhere, grandpa doing some calisthenics, grown men helping each other wash the tough to reach spots on the back...
    , @Harry Baldwin
    I was in Japan in the early 1980s. Locker rooms and baths were sex segregated. The men were nude, but discreet. They carried a hand towel-sized washcloth over their private parts when walking around.
  9. @Reg Cæsar

    I don’t really know what’s causing it. It could be that mass public showering in high school locker rooms was a Progressive era invention to make kids cleaner and healthier, and now it’s fading away because we have antibiotics. Or something completely different.
     
    Like, say… everyone has a phone, and every phone has a camera.

    Occam's izmel!

    US Customs allowed civilian cell phone use in their airport facilities for a year or two in the '90s, then just as abruptly discontinued it. The calls weren't the problem; it was those little aperture holes in the phones.

    My sense is that the discomfort started well before cell phones, let alone cell phone cameras. General cultural degradation, the sexualizing of everything, and an increasing distrust of strangers all play into it.

    • Agree: Travis, Triumph104
    • Replies: @oddsbodkins
    Agreed, and I'd add television to your list. Television makes it clear that only a small portion of us have faces worth watching, and a smaller portion still have bodies worth watching. Porn can be similarly blamed. I remember gym in high school in the early 90s, with perfectly functional group shower facilties that no one ever used.
    , @Weltanschauung
    Good list, to which we can add the growing number of depictions of the Holocaust. Consciously or not, being ordered into a mass shower triggers uncomfortable associations in the consumers of modern entertainment.
  10. On the topic of student accomodations, it seems common in Sweden to have private rooms with a bathroom/shower, and a shared kitchen and lounge. I spent three years that way, two years in a 16-room hall, one year in a 10-room hall. It worked reasonably well (pace the usual issues of teenage slovenliness) and wasn’t very expensive. The gold-roofed, admin olympic pool US universities could easily do it.

  11. “Millennials Don’t Like to Get Naked”

    I second their choice:

    MILLENNIALS AND HIGH OBESITY RATES: HOW IT AFFECTS THEIR FUTURE

    Obesity is becoming a growing problem nationwide – and Millennials seem to leading the pack when it comes to obesity rates…According to the Centers for Disease Control, the obesity rate for Millennials has tripled since its rate of just 5.7% in 1976 and 1980…A study published online in the Journal of Business and Psychology stated that the Millennial generation’s tendency toward obesity will “negatively impact their productivity and resulting economic prosperity.”

    Ahem — yes, their “productivity” will be “negatively impacted” — which in many cases may not be at all a bad thing.

  12. -smaller families and kids are less likely to share a bedroom, young people are accustomed to more privacy.

    -no draft and lower levels of military service. Young men are not accustomed to showering and changing together in the barracks.

    -demographic change. Some cultures place greater emphasis on physical modesty even amongst the men. A Canadian army NCO once told me a story about how he was training some army reserve recruits in Toronto. At morning inspection he noticed that the pants of some of his South Asian muslim recruits were wet. It turns out that after morning PT they would shower in the underwear and then hurry and put on their uniform. They were completely uncomfortable with being nude with others

    – A couple of years ago I visited Canada’s Wonderland, a theme park north of Toronto. I hadn’t been since the late 1990’s. The two changes I noticed were the significant increase the number of visitors from South Asian backgrounds, and individual changing stalls in the waterpark change room. When I was a kid it was just one big open room.

    -I’ve read that Canadian aboriginals tend be much less comfortable with nudity around strangers than other Canadians. I’ve also heard it theorized that this is the result of sex abuse at residential schools, but I don’t know.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Everything that is wrong with Canadian aboriginals is the result of residential schools, doncha know. That and Raaaaacism.
  13. Overseas comment – from Australia.
    In the past (1970’s and 1980’s for me), nakedness after football was more of less compulsory – the more modest boys would be teased, and there would generally be teasing along the lines of “what are you looking at, are you a poofter?” if anyone else looked your way while showering – this would mostly be good-natured (not always, of course), but based on the assumption that we were all blokes (heterosexual men) so nobody would be checking each other out, anyway.

    With the social changes since then, the rules are no longer clear. There was the poignant example of a local sporting hero of the unreconstructed type (google Brendan Fevola), demanding that his new team-mates stop showering in underwear – he was at the end of his career and could not understand the change.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/archive/entertainment/brendan-fevola-makes-brisbane-lions-get-rid-of-jocks-in-the-shower/news-story/c846e60ed17bc41a4caa0e23d8f012cf?nk=851e33d4316346d7c01a0d44baed9d24-1485336631

    • Replies: @Randal

    In the past (1970′s and 1980′s for me), nakedness after football was more of less compulsory
     
    I regularly played 5-a-side football in leagues from the rise of public centres for that activity in the (iirc) early 1980s (in the UK) until age made it inadvisable relatively recently. In that time I noticed a dramatic decline in the use of the public showers (usually big collective changing rooms and wall-mounted showers without any privacy) after matches. When I started playing it was assumed that most players would shower afterwards. The showers were in continual use and often crowded, with waiting your turn sometimes required at busier ko times. In recent years the use of the showers became very rare, and mostly restricted to the older players. Most would go home to change and shower, and younger players no longer simply accepted that a communal shower was the norm, but showed a distinct discomfort with the idea of public nudity even in an all male environment.

    Most likely this was because they had not grown up in schools where collective nudity after sport was the norm, as my generation had, combined with the increasing convenience of showering at home (faster travel, usually by car, and improved washing facilities at home).
  14. “Millennials don’t like to get naked—if you go to the gym now, everyone under 30 will put their underwear on under the towel, which is a massive cultural shift,”

    Sheesh, what a bunch of pussies.

    PS. How about no more tattoos? That is a disease.

  15. @European-American
    Two things I noticed in swimming pools in France, where locker room and shower area arrangements vary according to the swimming pool:

    One pool has a single locker room and shower area for both sexes. This means no nakedness, even in the showers. People change in private cabins, and the pre-pool washing (supposedly obligatory with soap) in the shower is done wearing a bathing suit, which I always think is rather unhygienic. There are separate toilets for each sex. It's kind of nice that men and women share the same area, as they do the pool. But it sucks that you have to be careful not ever to be naked.

    Another pool separates locker and shower areas by sex. But there are private cabins for changing. And nakedness is rare. I have a vague feeling nakedness may not be allowed, and some recollection that it may be related to preventing pedophilia?

    Long ago I was at a cheap camping ground, where there was a single shower area for both sexes, and nudity was fine. But it was a slightly hippie place.

    In Germany I've been at bath and sauna places where sexes were mixed and nudity obligatory. That's Germany!

    In pools in Asia sex-separated locker and washing areas had no issue with nudity. However showers were in separate stalls. Like in most places around the world, urinals are in the open, but sit-down toilets are not.

    In summary I attribute the (to me regrettable, for hygienic and practical reasons) trend against nudity to increasingly mixed sexes and fear of sexual abuse.

    Anecdotally, growing up with Europeans and Americans in the seventies and eighties, I thought Americans were richer, fussier about hygiene, and much more prudish.

    “But it was a slightly hippie place”

    The Green Field at Glastonbury Festival used to have (may still do for all I know) a big solar-powered shower marquee to get the mud off. Never seen so many naked young ladies, and they’d probably never seen so many naked men.

    But that was before mobiles and GoPros became ubiquitous.

  16. I am reminded of the Hellenistic gymnasia. Wonder about the influence of porn

    Private rooms are certainly better for sleep, though worse for large scale social interaction. I’ve always preferred a small bedroom and expansive commons, but then the activity outside will be too noisy

    • Replies: @International Jew

    I am reminded of the Hellenistic gymnasia
     
    In that connection, it's worth noting the etymology of gymnasium. Gymnos means naked.
  17. >>“Millennials don’t like to get naked—if you go to the gym now, everyone under 30 will put their underwear on under the towel, which is a massive cultural shift,”

    I noticed this 20 years ago too, in my local NYC gym. It struck me as really weird and really wimpy. I went to a boys Catholic high school where from 9th grade we took communal showers after gym and, of course, after sports practice. My friends, at the time, in public school never took showers. Not even after football practice. Weird. Wimpy.

    These young men today, so precious.

  18. @European-American
    Two things I noticed in swimming pools in France, where locker room and shower area arrangements vary according to the swimming pool:

    One pool has a single locker room and shower area for both sexes. This means no nakedness, even in the showers. People change in private cabins, and the pre-pool washing (supposedly obligatory with soap) in the shower is done wearing a bathing suit, which I always think is rather unhygienic. There are separate toilets for each sex. It's kind of nice that men and women share the same area, as they do the pool. But it sucks that you have to be careful not ever to be naked.

    Another pool separates locker and shower areas by sex. But there are private cabins for changing. And nakedness is rare. I have a vague feeling nakedness may not be allowed, and some recollection that it may be related to preventing pedophilia?

    Long ago I was at a cheap camping ground, where there was a single shower area for both sexes, and nudity was fine. But it was a slightly hippie place.

    In Germany I've been at bath and sauna places where sexes were mixed and nudity obligatory. That's Germany!

    In pools in Asia sex-separated locker and washing areas had no issue with nudity. However showers were in separate stalls. Like in most places around the world, urinals are in the open, but sit-down toilets are not.

    In summary I attribute the (to me regrettable, for hygienic and practical reasons) trend against nudity to increasingly mixed sexes and fear of sexual abuse.

    Anecdotally, growing up with Europeans and Americans in the seventies and eighties, I thought Americans were richer, fussier about hygiene, and much more prudish.

    In pools in Asia sex-separated locker and washing areas had no issue with nudity.

    That’s putting it mildly. In Korea and Japan, at least, they seem to relish same-sex nudity. Big elaborate bathrooms with a sauna, a steam room, two or three pools of varying temperatures, and a bunch of showers around the edge. Kids running everywhere, grandpa doing some calisthenics, grown men helping each other wash the tough to reach spots on the back…

  19. I have thought about this, and not because of a desire to see more nude men. I was in the military, and contrast with what I experienced with my son and nephews who play sports and wear bathing suits when they shower at school. I think there is some connection to the rise of out-of-the-closet homosexuality. In earlier generations, most boys and men did not know any out-of-the-closet homosexuals. There was no need to even consider hiding their junk from boys. But modesty still dictated covering up in front of girls.

    For millennials and younger, maybe they don’t feel they compare favorably to the porn stars they have been seeing since they were 13.

  20. Millenials don’t like to get naked… but oddly enough, they seem to have the most sexually libertarian and sexually egalitarian attitudes. Millenials don’t bat an eye at interracial sex, homosexuality, transgenderism, premarital sex, pornography, feminism, single motherhood, etc.

    Still, they seem somewhat prudish. Perhaps their attitudes reflect the cultural propaganda they have been imbued with since birth by the government education system, rather than their own actions?

    • Replies: @AnotherGuessModel
    Millenials don’t like to get naked… but oddly enough, they seem to have the most sexually libertarian and sexually egalitarian attitudes....Still, they seem somewhat prudish.

    Yes, in fact as someone else wrote, they have a nasty puritanical streak. How did this self-professed sexually progressive generation end up hyper-regulating our sex lives regarding consent and "problematizing" our sexual preferences in selecting partners?

  21. I’m no millenial, and I have no need for open floorplans, especially those with open kitchens, which if actually used, stink up the rest of the house. As for changing at the gym, maybe it is millenial awareness of deficiencies … thank the internet and photoshop for creating unrealistic body-image expectations.

  22. This is a pretty accurate, if rather coldly scientific, visual representation of the phenomenon:

    http://theoatmeal.com/pl/minor_differences2/locker_room

  23. Probably something to do with the decline of circumcision. Whether it’s uncut or cut kids covering up I don’t know. Regardless, nobody wants to stand out from the crowd and risk mockery.

    • Replies: @anonymous-antimarxist
    I think you have a point concerning circumcision.

    I also think increased diversity along with general poor physical conditioning among teenagers and the impossible expectations from porn are also factors.

    Like Steve I am "Reagan Boomer" born in the sixties who graduated during Ronnie's ascent to the POTUS.

    I went to a suburban 99% white high school in the mid-west where probably 80% of us had dads who served in the military and at least 98% of us were circumcised. We had to shower after freshman/sophomore gym classes and I can tell you I never saw an uncircumcised penis until college. Funny thing was it was a Chinese student who would only shower late at night. When a freshman dorm floor mate saw him naked, he could not wait to tell us at breakfast the next morning that something was really wrong with the Asian kid's dick. It was hilarious that it never occurred to him that it was because the Asian kid was just at God made him.

    There were two kids in my HS who as freshmen/sophomores refused to take a shower after gym and I strongly suspect their concerns was that they were uncut. Additionally one kid's issue might have been being part Asian and as a very young looking freshman he probably did not yet have pubic hair.

    As far as diversity is concerned, well all races are simply not hung equally, with penis size correlating pretty much in inverse ratios to height and relative brain to body mass proportions. There is a reason condom manufactures market different sizes; regular, magnum, and "snugglers"

    see:
    https://www.amazon.com/Lifestyles-Snugger-Fit-Condoms-Pack/dp/B00014UHEE

    When I was kid if you were self-conscious about your endowment you could at least laugh it off with a "Thank God for the the Irish", if you were Italian and vice versa. Now it's a bit different.

    Last have you seen just how out of shape the average teenage boy is????

    When I was a teenager most of us were able to wear jeans tight enough to make you look like you were waiting along side Jimmy Page and Robert Plant ready to fly off to the next gig.

    https://www.amazon.com/Zeppelin-Airplane-Music-Poster-Print/dp/B0035UZC00

    Kids today would either faint or bust a gut laughing if they say their old man in his regulation HS gym shorts.
  24. The line that jumped out at me from that entire article was “Ruiz says the average age of a renter is 30 years old, with an average income of $300,000.”

    WTF? Can that be right? I have yet to meet anyone under 30 who does anything worth half that amount. And that’s his “average”? In the Obama economy?

    What am I not getting?

    • Replies: @AP
    It's San Francisco/Silicon Valley. Different world from much of the rest of the country.
    , @Wency
    These are luxury apartments in ultra-expensive San Francisco. Presumably most of the renters work in tech, some in finance, and his clientele is in the top x% of the population.

    I made about half that amount at the top-paying job of my 20s, less than a decade ago, and I was in a flyover city. Anyone with IQ 110-120+ genuinely interested in making money and living in NYC/Boston/LA/SF ought to be making well over $100k/year by the time they're 30, or working for a startup with a big potential payoff.

    The under-30s you know are either not genuinely interested in making money, not smart enough, or choosing to live in low cost-of-living places. Or they screwed up in some way they're having trouble reversing.

    , @27 year old
    San Francisco
    , @Almost Missouri
    Thanks, all, for your explanations.

    Guess it's time I move to the coast...
    , @ogunsiron
    Even if we're talking SF, the median income would have probably been a more informative measure.
  25. . . . if you go to the gym now, everyone under 30 will put their underwear on under the towel. . . .

    I’ve noticed that. At my gym, most of the younger guys don’t even shower there. I guess they wait till they get home, so they can be alone.

    Here’s an untestable hypothesis. It’s all the talk in recent decades about whether size matters, a part of the general decline in verbal modesty. Since most men believe that their penis is too small, they’re embarrassed to show it.

    Of course, I know nothing about what happens in women’s locker rooms.

  26. One reason—simple style shift:

    The huge open room was actually the mainstay of the majority of American homes, especially the poor. Simply put, the poor couldn’t afford walls, and the materials needed were harder to come by. People slept and cooked in the same room as siblings and children for most of their lives. Frank Lloyd Wright made a fetish of this look. And to heat a room, you needed a fireplace or stove, of which you only got a limited number, and their heat didn’t transfer well through walls.

    Then after WW2 the massive suburban developments built many walls in new homes as a selling point: you’ll have a lot more rooms than your mother, and they’re brand new! Not to mention new indoor heating in every room and the like. So it was cool then to show off a many roomed home. My grandparents got a brand new home in the 1950s and the dining room right off the kitchen was so tiny it couldn’t hold them all, but they still ate in it to show off their “new” rooms.”

    We’ve gone back to large open rooms after the McMansion booms to show off how much real estate you have. Now the styles are shifting back to 1950s style.

  27. Remembering my youthful travelling days (in the 70s ) it was pretty obvious that Americans ( and Canadians ) went to great lengths to avoid being seen naked

    I should add that in those days public nudity-as in say attending nude beaches-had little relationship to sexual behaviour

  28. @Almost Missouri
    The line that jumped out at me from that entire article was "Ruiz says the average age of a renter is 30 years old, with an average income of $300,000."

    WTF? Can that be right? I have yet to meet anyone under 30 who does anything worth half that amount. And that's his "average"? In the Obama economy?

    What am I not getting?

    It’s San Francisco/Silicon Valley. Different world from much of the rest of the country.

  29. An anecdote to add: A few months ago I was at sea for seven days aboard a navy submarine. My group was bunked in a lower berth, a 20′ by 30′ space with 48 bunks and a washroom. Our work was mostly in the torpedo room. Since we are not at war, half the torpedo racks were arranged with bunks for another 40 men, so there was no hot bunking (two or three men sleeping in the same bunk on shifts) while I was aboard. The senior enlisteds’ quarters and the officers’ were in other areas, so those sleeping in the areas where I slept and worked were mostly younger than 25. During my week sharing their quarters, I think I saw a total of one naked sailor. What I did see dozens of times was someone coming around to wake a man for an upcoming watch, and then the woken man would pop out from his curtained rack wearing a T-shirt and basketball shorts, and standing near me, he would put on his uniform coveralls and boots.

  30. No showering in school in cocooning times

    The antipathy to taking showers after gym class puzzles some teachers and coaches. “These guys don’t want to undress in front of each other,” said John Wrenn, a teacher at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in suburban Chicago, who can scarcely conceal his contempt for the new sensibilities. “I just don’t get it. When I started in ’74, nobody even thought about things like this. The whole thing is just hard for me to accept.”

    Here is a thread on Snopes.com from 2004 asking whether showering after gym class was a real thing or only something they showed in the movies. People who went to secondary school in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and early ’90s all swear that it was real, and often enforced by the gym teachers. Nobody chimed in to say it was practiced in the mid-’90s or afterward.

    People in outgoing times are simply less self-conscious about their bodies because sociability requires higher trust levels than cocooning does, and trust means being willing to let yourself be vulnerable in public around other members of the in-group. In a trusting person’s mindset, none of the other kids in the showers are going to try anything harmful, so why bother worrying about them? In the suspicious person’s mindset, you can never know who’s going to try to do you wrong when you’re vulnerable, so it’s best to just keep your guard up all the time. Certainly that means never uncovering your shame around others.

    Only when people start withdrawing into their own private little worlds do they start to obsess over privacy and act compulsively about it. It’s not a mere personal preference when 100% of students would suffer an anxiety attack from taking off their clothes in the locker room, let alone everyone showering that way. To students of the past 20-some years, it would feel more like child abuse to make the students vulnerable to the attention of their peers, all of whom they distrust, so that uncovering their shame in front of them would be the ultimate humiliation.

    Calling these changes “the new modesty,” or whatever, would be foolish, given how narcissistic young people have become. “The new awkwardness” is more like it.

  31. As gym designers are adapting, so are condo developers. “They want their own changing rooms and bathrooms, even in a couple.”

    every time i watch a couple on “house hunters,” say they want 2 sinks in their master bathroom i know they mean they want 2 bathrooms.

    i’m a 90s kid (graduated high school in 2000). there was one day that i saw a kid use the gym shower. everyone freaked out that there were people that get naked around people.

  32. @Almost Missouri
    The line that jumped out at me from that entire article was "Ruiz says the average age of a renter is 30 years old, with an average income of $300,000."

    WTF? Can that be right? I have yet to meet anyone under 30 who does anything worth half that amount. And that's his "average"? In the Obama economy?

    What am I not getting?

    These are luxury apartments in ultra-expensive San Francisco. Presumably most of the renters work in tech, some in finance, and his clientele is in the top x% of the population.

    I made about half that amount at the top-paying job of my 20s, less than a decade ago, and I was in a flyover city. Anyone with IQ 110-120+ genuinely interested in making money and living in NYC/Boston/LA/SF ought to be making well over $100k/year by the time they’re 30, or working for a startup with a big potential payoff.

    The under-30s you know are either not genuinely interested in making money, not smart enough, or choosing to live in low cost-of-living places. Or they screwed up in some way they’re having trouble reversing.

    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    or choosing to live in low cost-of-living places. Or they screwed up in some way they’re having trouble reversing.

    Yes, aside from teachers, social workers and the like, this is true and this was me, as I describe above. Choosing to live in a relatively low-cost area and a couple of serendipitous real estate purchases boosted my net worth to over $1 million by the time I reached 50 y/o, but my salary has been unimpressive.
  33. It might be interesting to see the differences between Millennials’ political affiliations and their other preferences. Lefty-prog types in general seem to have a puritanical streak. There’s also a coddled, stunted snowflakiness about many of them, as well as real economic insecurity and a desolate, anti-intellectual education level. What if one’s bedroom is snug enough to be a sort of wood security blanket/cocoon . . . a womb with(-out much of) a view?

  34. Based on the “reality” TV show house hunters which features youngish couples viewing houses, it seems that people still really want large master bedrooms. Or maybe just TV wants us to think that people want them.

    I don’t get the point. For adults, a bedroom is a place to sleep and have sex. If you can comfortably fit a king size bed, you have more than enough space. Large master bedrooms are a waste of space that could instead be used to provide another bedroom for more children.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    My parents had a master bedroom such as you describe. On the many occasions when I had reason to go into their bathroom, I had to navigate the small walkway around their bed from the bedroom door to the bathroom door. It was annoying. Perhaps they had too much stuff in their bedroom, but the fact remains that had the master bedroom been larger, it would have been much more comfortable.
  35. @Almost Missouri
    The line that jumped out at me from that entire article was "Ruiz says the average age of a renter is 30 years old, with an average income of $300,000."

    WTF? Can that be right? I have yet to meet anyone under 30 who does anything worth half that amount. And that's his "average"? In the Obama economy?

    What am I not getting?

    San Francisco

  36. Perhaps it has something to do with the loosening of the taboo around male homosexuality. Many traditionalists have argued that open homosexuality makes male friendship more difficult.

    • Replies: @BB753
    Open homosexuality also has made young men wary of older men. Millenials are probably used to get hit on a lot by gays, both young and old, so they try to avoid any situation where they can be exposed to unwanted propositions.
    One more reason homosexuals belong in the closet, for the common good.
  37. Because getting naked only works in very specific and rare situations. Ie a safe and homogeneous society with people whose behavior you can predict, like Germany and Scandinavia in the 20th century.

    When people around you become too different, you’re forced to play it safe wherever you go, and you don’t just switch off that mindset at home.

    This is why the prediction that white people’s clothes are going to get less and less sexual is a very safe bet. 20th century style safety was a historical anomaly, sadly. It didn’t have to be, but that’s what we wanted.

  38. I think all these causes folks have noted are part of it:
    — diversity and end of the mass, one-nation, all on the same team culture
    — end common\expected military service
    — individualism
    — the issue of homosexual child predators being “out there”
    — homosexuality normalized
    — smaller families, larger houses, more privacy growing up
    — prosperity, more individual amenities (inc. my own shower)
    — cell phone cameras

    This has been a long time developing. My freshman dorm built in ’69 or ’70 had individual shower stalls. The dorm i was in my middle and senior years built in the 40s (and all the others of that vintage) had gang showers. The local community pool from 60s\70s vintage has gang showers. My old health club–80s\90s vintage–individual shower stalls, some with curtains–which some of the non-white foreigners seem to prefer. (I’ve never been in my kids HS locker rooms, it’s hard to imagine they build enough individual shower stalls to accomodate an entire gym class showering and changing … don’t know what they do.)

    But it’s quite noteable in millenials. My son though much more fit than me–quite reasonably being 36 years my junior–looking like Micheangelo’s David, is nonetheless much more modest about being seen naked. That seemed to be generally true of his buddies in scouts as well.

    And yet:
    — the binikis are even smaller. There’s all this personal modest amongst basically friends\classmates, but then there is very little covering up on the public beaches, little “left to the imagination”. Even urban workout attire is skimpy and gives you pretty much the full picture of how everything is situated.
    — the millenials hug everybody. I first had this rubbed in my face, when i saw my adolescent daughter giving a hug to some guy who was really just an aquaintance. (Didn’t like that. I hugged one girl in HS–the girl i was dating. You didn’t hug the world.) One of my older daughter’s friends, whom i’d never met before, came with her for thanksgiving dinner. At the end of the evening, she initiates a full on solid pretty intimate hug. (I don’t mind being hugged by young women, but it’s sure different than a generation back.) It’s definitely a thing … hugs, hugs, hugs.

    • Replies: @Duncan Idaho
    You could call this the reverse-Gresham's law of nudity; "good" nudity is driving out the bad. Who wants to compete with airbrushed perfection, or at least what passes for perfection these days?
    , @Mr. Anon
    "– the millenials hug everybody. I first had this rubbed in my face, when i saw my adolescent daughter giving a hug to some guy who was really just an aquaintance. (Didn’t like that. I hugged one girl in HS–the girl i was dating. You didn’t hug the world.) One of my older daughter’s friends, whom i’d never met before, came with her for thanksgiving dinner. At the end of the evening, she initiates a full on solid pretty intimate hug. (I don’t mind being hugged by young women, but it’s sure different than a generation back.) It’s definitely a thing … hugs, hugs, hugs."

    Agreed. Enough with the hugging and forced, fakey intimacy. It especially galls me when I see grown men bro-hugging, as if they were long lost comrades-in-arms. I prefer the old-fashioned anglo-saxon reserve.

    Another thing I can't stand among the younger generation are the fathers who say they want to make time to get home and play with their kids. Grown men shouldn't want to play with children. It juvenalizes the institution and office of fatherhood.
    , @Anonymous
    What's with all the hugging? When did it become a thing? Is it status signaling? Is it something wealthy prep school people have done and now it's filtered down to the masses? I noticed my brother started hugging people a lot when he was in college and as a young adult after college, during which time he had many fairly wealthy, preppy friends from the Northeast.
  39. Slightly NSFW cartoon.

    http://theoatmeal.com/pl/minor_differences2/locker_room

    Steve covered this ground a couple of years ago. But googling the topic ‘old men in the locker room vs young men’ brings up a dozen discussions, including this thread by Andrew Sullivan

    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2011/11/30/why-are-old-men-always-naked-in-the-locker-room-ctd-3/

    • Replies: @inertial
    Old people generally don't give me fig about how they appear. That's one of the advantages of being old.
  40. Every summer one of the British papers will carry an article about how some British couple let its youngsters run about naked on a US beach, only to be told to put a stop to it. When that story stops appearing I’ll know that Britain too has adopted prudishness. The moslems will like it, no doubt.

  41. I have 2 kids with issues that require counseling. One of the things I have learned from various parents and from counselors we have used is that increasingly over the past 20 years or so, kids in schools have complained – though almost never to school officials – about problems with school locker rooms and showers. Because there kids have been reared to be PC all the time and most figure out that the sexual revolution is the heart and soul of PC, they often cannot begin to form complaints, because they do wish to be backward. But they know of sexual stalking, down into grade school. They are aware of kids using school nudity to bully in the worst ways.

    This is the one good thing in Millennials. Perhaps it will lead many more of them to reject the entire Liberal framework that has been crammed down our throats.

    • Replies: @AnotherGuessModel
    As this kind of bullying is exacerbated by transgender-friendly policies, I anxiously await to see if World War T will make leftists double down on PC, or whether it might push them over the edge and bring them back closer to centrist social values. This happened in ultra-liberal Minnesota:

    Leftist headline and byline from ThinkProgress: New lawsuit demonizes transgender girl for acting like a girl Some girls are stressed out that there’s a transgender girl in the locker room who happens to have a personality.

    What happened (from Fox news):


    - Student X commented on girls’ bodies while in the girls’ locker room, including asking Girl - -- Plaintiff F about her bra size and asking her to “trade body parts” with him;
    - Student X danced to loud music with sexually explicit lyrics while twerking, grinding and lifting up his skirt to reveal his underwear;
    - Student X would dance in a sexually explicit manner “dancing like he was on a stripper pole” to songs with suggestive lyrics including “Milkshake” by Kelis.
    Midway through the season, Plaintiff A was told she could use a vacant boys’ basketball locker room – for privacy. But it wasn’t long before the transgender student showed up in that locker room. [On] one such occasion, Student X walked into the boys’ basketball locker room while Girl Plaintiff A was in her underwear and removed his pants while he was near her and other girls who were also changing.
     
    What does Student X have to do to be referred to by the right pronouns, murder somebody?
  42. @TangoMan
    Syonredux beat me to the point, so I'll just add this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwkBbnDVIck

    Why hasn’t that stick-and-hoop activity had a resurgence? Looks like a great workout.

    BTW, when I read Lolita, it seemed perfect casting would have been Hayley Mills, circa 1960, in the eponymous role. Decency has required every film of that novel to cast an actress who has passed puberty, which misses the point. It is a shocking–basically, sick–book and casting a mature 16-year-old reduces the shock.

  43. @European-American
    Two things I noticed in swimming pools in France, where locker room and shower area arrangements vary according to the swimming pool:

    One pool has a single locker room and shower area for both sexes. This means no nakedness, even in the showers. People change in private cabins, and the pre-pool washing (supposedly obligatory with soap) in the shower is done wearing a bathing suit, which I always think is rather unhygienic. There are separate toilets for each sex. It's kind of nice that men and women share the same area, as they do the pool. But it sucks that you have to be careful not ever to be naked.

    Another pool separates locker and shower areas by sex. But there are private cabins for changing. And nakedness is rare. I have a vague feeling nakedness may not be allowed, and some recollection that it may be related to preventing pedophilia?

    Long ago I was at a cheap camping ground, where there was a single shower area for both sexes, and nudity was fine. But it was a slightly hippie place.

    In Germany I've been at bath and sauna places where sexes were mixed and nudity obligatory. That's Germany!

    In pools in Asia sex-separated locker and washing areas had no issue with nudity. However showers were in separate stalls. Like in most places around the world, urinals are in the open, but sit-down toilets are not.

    In summary I attribute the (to me regrettable, for hygienic and practical reasons) trend against nudity to increasingly mixed sexes and fear of sexual abuse.

    Anecdotally, growing up with Europeans and Americans in the seventies and eighties, I thought Americans were richer, fussier about hygiene, and much more prudish.

    I was in Japan in the early 1980s. Locker rooms and baths were sex segregated. The men were nude, but discreet. They carried a hand towel-sized washcloth over their private parts when walking around.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    The habits of men in public baths and hot springs in Japan varies a great deal based on the particular location and the demographics of the men. A lot of men in traditional-style baths just walk around without covering up.
  44. From junior high school in the 60’s through grad school in the early 80’s I showered naked in shower rooms without stalls. It never really crossed my mind that this was unusual in any way, and I remember how totally astonished I was in 1996 when I read that Times article about the new prudery.

    I belong to two health clubs: the one near my home has a working class clientele; while the one near work is quite upscale. Nobody ever gets naked in the former, and the showers are almost unused. People do shower in the latter (they have to go back to the office!), and there is a certain amount of nudity, mostly among older men. But even there, I notice much more modesty than I did 20 years ago.

    I’m convinced the fundamental reason for the new prudery is the sexualization of everything — in particular the normalization of homosexuality, and the moral panic over pedophilia. The whole thing strikes me as quite sad, but I don’t see us going back any time soon. Now that everybody is a potential sex object for everybody else, the only way people could become comfortable with nudity again would be by jumping all the way to full blown nudism, which always involved potential sex partners traipsing around naked in each others company, and which was always seen as kind of weird. Given the outfits you see on the beach these days you might think we were almost there already, and yet somehow those tiny strips of fabric carry huge symbolic significance. Geez, people are so strange…

    • Replies: @WGG
    Some nudist colonies are actually child porn rings. When I first became involved in the hospitality industry, we received a mailer from a Florida nudist colony which sold videotaped children's beauty pageants for over a hundred bucks a tape, it should go without saying that the kids were in the buff. The owners who received the mailer laughed it off like, "Can you believe those wacky hippies?" Until I explained what it was and told them to take it to the local p.d. to ask it be forwarded to the FBI.

    I really hope some people went to jail.
  45. @AnotherDad
    I think all these causes folks have noted are part of it:
    -- diversity and end of the mass, one-nation, all on the same team culture
    -- end common\expected military service
    -- individualism
    -- the issue of homosexual child predators being "out there"
    -- homosexuality normalized
    -- smaller families, larger houses, more privacy growing up
    -- prosperity, more individual amenities (inc. my own shower)
    -- cell phone cameras

    This has been a long time developing. My freshman dorm built in '69 or '70 had individual shower stalls. The dorm i was in my middle and senior years built in the 40s (and all the others of that vintage) had gang showers. The local community pool from 60s\70s vintage has gang showers. My old health club--80s\90s vintage--individual shower stalls, some with curtains--which some of the non-white foreigners seem to prefer. (I've never been in my kids HS locker rooms, it's hard to imagine they build enough individual shower stalls to accomodate an entire gym class showering and changing ... don't know what they do.)


    But it's quite noteable in millenials. My son though much more fit than me--quite reasonably being 36 years my junior--looking like Micheangelo's David, is nonetheless much more modest about being seen naked. That seemed to be generally true of his buddies in scouts as well.

    And yet:
    -- the binikis are even smaller. There's all this personal modest amongst basically friends\classmates, but then there is very little covering up on the public beaches, little "left to the imagination". Even urban workout attire is skimpy and gives you pretty much the full picture of how everything is situated.
    -- the millenials hug everybody. I first had this rubbed in my face, when i saw my adolescent daughter giving a hug to some guy who was really just an aquaintance. (Didn't like that. I hugged one girl in HS--the girl i was dating. You didn't hug the world.) One of my older daughter's friends, whom i'd never met before, came with her for thanksgiving dinner. At the end of the evening, she initiates a full on solid pretty intimate hug. (I don't mind being hugged by young women, but it's sure different than a generation back.) It's definitely a thing ... hugs, hugs, hugs.

    You could call this the reverse-Gresham’s law of nudity; “good” nudity is driving out the bad. Who wants to compete with airbrushed perfection, or at least what passes for perfection these days?

  46. @Grumpy
    My sense is that the discomfort started well before cell phones, let alone cell phone cameras. General cultural degradation, the sexualizing of everything, and an increasing distrust of strangers all play into it.

    Agreed, and I’d add television to your list. Television makes it clear that only a small portion of us have faces worth watching, and a smaller portion still have bodies worth watching. Porn can be similarly blamed. I remember gym in high school in the early 90s, with perfectly functional group shower facilties that no one ever used.

  47. @AnotherDad
    I think all these causes folks have noted are part of it:
    -- diversity and end of the mass, one-nation, all on the same team culture
    -- end common\expected military service
    -- individualism
    -- the issue of homosexual child predators being "out there"
    -- homosexuality normalized
    -- smaller families, larger houses, more privacy growing up
    -- prosperity, more individual amenities (inc. my own shower)
    -- cell phone cameras

    This has been a long time developing. My freshman dorm built in '69 or '70 had individual shower stalls. The dorm i was in my middle and senior years built in the 40s (and all the others of that vintage) had gang showers. The local community pool from 60s\70s vintage has gang showers. My old health club--80s\90s vintage--individual shower stalls, some with curtains--which some of the non-white foreigners seem to prefer. (I've never been in my kids HS locker rooms, it's hard to imagine they build enough individual shower stalls to accomodate an entire gym class showering and changing ... don't know what they do.)


    But it's quite noteable in millenials. My son though much more fit than me--quite reasonably being 36 years my junior--looking like Micheangelo's David, is nonetheless much more modest about being seen naked. That seemed to be generally true of his buddies in scouts as well.

    And yet:
    -- the binikis are even smaller. There's all this personal modest amongst basically friends\classmates, but then there is very little covering up on the public beaches, little "left to the imagination". Even urban workout attire is skimpy and gives you pretty much the full picture of how everything is situated.
    -- the millenials hug everybody. I first had this rubbed in my face, when i saw my adolescent daughter giving a hug to some guy who was really just an aquaintance. (Didn't like that. I hugged one girl in HS--the girl i was dating. You didn't hug the world.) One of my older daughter's friends, whom i'd never met before, came with her for thanksgiving dinner. At the end of the evening, she initiates a full on solid pretty intimate hug. (I don't mind being hugged by young women, but it's sure different than a generation back.) It's definitely a thing ... hugs, hugs, hugs.

    “– the millenials hug everybody. I first had this rubbed in my face, when i saw my adolescent daughter giving a hug to some guy who was really just an aquaintance. (Didn’t like that. I hugged one girl in HS–the girl i was dating. You didn’t hug the world.) One of my older daughter’s friends, whom i’d never met before, came with her for thanksgiving dinner. At the end of the evening, she initiates a full on solid pretty intimate hug. (I don’t mind being hugged by young women, but it’s sure different than a generation back.) It’s definitely a thing … hugs, hugs, hugs.”

    Agreed. Enough with the hugging and forced, fakey intimacy. It especially galls me when I see grown men bro-hugging, as if they were long lost comrades-in-arms. I prefer the old-fashioned anglo-saxon reserve.

    Another thing I can’t stand among the younger generation are the fathers who say they want to make time to get home and play with their kids. Grown men shouldn’t want to play with children. It juvenalizes the institution and office of fatherhood.

  48. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    People have a greater sense of individual rights and want their personal space. Things have gotten weird in recent years anyway so this might be a part of that. Back in the old days high school swimming class for boys was all in the buff. For what reason I couldn’t figure out since whatever reasons were given made no sense. However, it was mandatory. Looking back on it it seems like a form of de-individualization and even de-humanization where groups of naked youth were hosed down and marched around like cattle with no say-so.

  49. There seems to be a strange mirror image thing going on with prudishness and permissiveness.

    Pre-1962 USA you could swim naked, but not talk openly about sex. After that it switched, and the body became sexualised, so nudity was more taboo.

    People like Lenny Bruce thought they were breaking down taboos, but they were perhaps only doing that on a verbal plane. Culturally, people were becoming more like church ladies.

    In the first half of the 20th century, vibrators were openly advertised in ladies magazines (as “massagers” etc). Lots of ladies were having fun. I think the fun came to an end when a few stag films showed what they were used for, and suddenly the ads in middle class magazines dried up. I wonder how that fed into the sexual revolution – women could no longer have mechanical fun on the side (no longer acceptable), but had to go outside and look for a man.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    "In the first half of the 20th century, vibrators were openly advertised in ladies magazines (as “massagers” etc). Lots of ladies were having fun. I think the fun came to an end when a few stag films showed what they were used for, and suddenly the ads in middle class magazines dried up. I wonder how that fed into the sexual revolution – women could no longer have mechanical fun on the side (no longer acceptable), but had to go outside and look for a man."

    How do you know people weren't using them for massages?
  50. Recently I was chatting with someone who went to Bedales School, in England, a co-educational, seemingly progressive boarding school. As I understand it, Bedales was co-educational at a time when most British schools were single sex. Proudly so. Nudity was a big part of the co-educ curriculum.

    Children until the age of 14(!) swam in the nude, and lined up for a morning shower or weekly bath in the nude. The guy I was talking to seemed to think it wasn’t a big deal, or at least for him, to be naked in front of other kids.

    He could sense my discomfort, I’m sure. I grew up modestly, never seeing my parents naked or my sister naked, as far as I can remember. Of course we took off our clothes behind closed — and locked! — doors. When I told this gentleman about American modesty, he was stunned. I don’t think it occurred to him that nudity could be thought of as a lack of self-control.

    Somehow we’ve sexualized nudity, just as we’ve sexualized most everything — it’s not a body, but a female, male or whatever. Children aren’t little bodies, but little pre-sexual … or even sexual beings. Could it be that the sexualization of bodies happened around the time that Freud was publishing his drivel?

  51. Lockr room modesty
    .. Presence of gays. Also men who shave their privates relize it looks prepubesecnt and embarrassed around real men

  52. One big driver of modern modesty in America is the promotion of aggressive homosexuality (and latterly trans-wackiness) by the powers that be. All young people are afraid to forfend or resist sexual assault by demanding enforcement of locker-room decorum lest they be denounced as “queer bashers” or “haters” (with “racist” thrown in for lagniappe), so they just try to avoid exposing themselves to leering, groping, and potentially rape by adminstratively-licensed assailants. Teachers are correspondingly afraid to keep order in locker rooms because offenders can invert any discplinary measures by false accusations of LGTBQ-insensitivity.

    The Obama Administration pulled out all the stops to force flamboyant sexual deviants into school locker rooms specifically.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  53. I lift at a downtown Y and have never noticed any modesty in the men’s locker room, regardless of age, race, or physique.

  54. As for early/mid 20th century American nudity, read the strange saga of the Ivy League and Seven Sisters “posture photos”:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1995/01/15/magazine/the-great-ivy-league-nude-posture-photo-scandal.html?pagewanted=all

  55. @jb
    From junior high school in the 60's through grad school in the early 80's I showered naked in shower rooms without stalls. It never really crossed my mind that this was unusual in any way, and I remember how totally astonished I was in 1996 when I read that Times article about the new prudery.

    I belong to two health clubs: the one near my home has a working class clientele; while the one near work is quite upscale. Nobody ever gets naked in the former, and the showers are almost unused. People do shower in the latter (they have to go back to the office!), and there is a certain amount of nudity, mostly among older men. But even there, I notice much more modesty than I did 20 years ago.

    I'm convinced the fundamental reason for the new prudery is the sexualization of everything -- in particular the normalization of homosexuality, and the moral panic over pedophilia. The whole thing strikes me as quite sad, but I don't see us going back any time soon. Now that everybody is a potential sex object for everybody else, the only way people could become comfortable with nudity again would be by jumping all the way to full blown nudism, which always involved potential sex partners traipsing around naked in each others company, and which was always seen as kind of weird. Given the outfits you see on the beach these days you might think we were almost there already, and yet somehow those tiny strips of fabric carry huge symbolic significance. Geez, people are so strange...

    Some nudist colonies are actually child porn rings. When I first became involved in the hospitality industry, we received a mailer from a Florida nudist colony which sold videotaped children’s beauty pageants for over a hundred bucks a tape, it should go without saying that the kids were in the buff. The owners who received the mailer laughed it off like, “Can you believe those wacky hippies?” Until I explained what it was and told them to take it to the local p.d. to ask it be forwarded to the FBI.

    I really hope some people went to jail.

    • Replies: @Ivy

    I really hope some people went to jail.
     
    Paedophilia delenda est.
    , @ScarletNumber
    To be fair, nudity isn't pornographic per se.
  56. My kids’ high school no longer offers showers for PE (not even for the jocks!) I wonder how widespread this has become?

  57. “You walk in with your head down and you count the tiles” – Hank Hill to his reluctant to shower son Bobby.

  58. Ruiz says the average age of a renter is 30 years old, with an average income of $300,000.

    I know it’s San Francisco and it’s an “average”, but what are these people doing to earn that kind of money and what did I do wrong?

    I’ve got an undergrad Comp Sci degree, an MBA, and an MS degree from large, well-regarded state universities and 30 years of mid-level corporate experience; and due to a couple of layoffs & blown opportunities, the “Great Recession,” and crushing competition, I’m earning exactly what I earned in 1998, well under $100K.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    "I’ve got an undergrad Comp Sci degree, an MBA, and an MS degree from large, well-regarded state universities and 30 years of mid-level corporate experience; and due to a couple of layoffs & blown opportunities, the “Great Recession,” and crushing competition, I’m earning exactly what I earned in 1998, well under $100K."

    According to commenter Wency, you, " ... are either not genuinely interested in making money, not smart enough, or choosing to live in low cost-of-living places. Or [you] screwed up in some way [and are] having trouble reversing. ;)
  59. Eh, no real opinion on this. Kind of some vague thoughts though.

    But this kind of thing doesn’t go along with the nuts and bolts of … being a warrior nation? Whatever you want to call it.

    Look say there is a major war over – something. Or the neocons pull us into another Iraq/Afghanistand quagmire.

    Anyone ever think that this new age of kids is what you are going to send to the fight? I mean there is absolutely no way you are going to be able to be finicky when it is time to take a dump, and isn’t advisable to go 100 yards away so no one can hear you toot like a howitzer.

    Or how about taking a shower in the field? Ever see a photo of a circa WWII field shower? I’m sure it was different in Europe, but I’ve seen a couple from the pacific theater where it was basically just a hose spraying down, the Marine stood in a tub and washed the family jewels in plain sight of everyone.

    Taking no position on morals or what have you. But it does come up that the most efficient thing in some situations is for people to get past some social customs that are just not viable.

    Of course I personally would never want women mixed with male combat formations, but I hope people grok what I am talking about.

    • Replies: @jb
    Starship Troopers has a famous coed military shower scene (sorry for the dubbing -- only full clip I could find). I don't remember if that was in the book, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was. Heinlein had kind of a thing for nudity, and it certainly would have been his style. He once wrote a book whose entire purpose seems to have been to come up with a scenario whereby the entire population of the world was required by law to walk around totally naked whenever possible. (For some reason this part was left out of the movie. Can't imagine why...).

    (So, Sunbeam, did I "grok" what you were talking about? :-) )

  60. Streaking came back for a summer sometime back in the mid ’70s. One summer day, when I was about 13 y/o, a few friends and I went streaking along a major Massachusetts highway. Also went skinny dipping in a local pond a few times w/ a mixed group of male & female friends in my late teens.

    In the late ’70s, all teammates showered in the nude in open showers after track practice and after swim team practice. It was not uncommon to snap one’s towel at the ass of other teammates.

  61. @guest
    This is part of what I've seen described as "cocooning." Goes with living in the absence of community and extended families.

    Part of my family was somewhat country, with a creek we swam in called a "crick." Another part had its own private pool on lakefront property. So I got a little of both worlds. One was definitely looser than the other regarding physical closeness and gross amount of clothing.

    I've never had a problem with being naked in front of people. That includes at the Y, which has some odd fellows wandering around, let me tell ya. I do however like to go to the bathroom alone.

    They never made us shower in front of eachother in school or sports. I am on the borderline between Generation X and the New Millennium, for the record. You had to shower after the pool in gym class, but they let us wear our suits. Some guys showered nude, some didn't. I don't remember it being a Thing.

    “… the Y, which has some odd fellows wandering around, let me tell ya. ”

    In ’92 I witnessed a fistfight in the showers at the Y. One guy, a live-in-your-car type, was taking a leak. Another guy, more solidly midde class, took exception. The former thought the latter was way out of line.

  62. @Wency
    These are luxury apartments in ultra-expensive San Francisco. Presumably most of the renters work in tech, some in finance, and his clientele is in the top x% of the population.

    I made about half that amount at the top-paying job of my 20s, less than a decade ago, and I was in a flyover city. Anyone with IQ 110-120+ genuinely interested in making money and living in NYC/Boston/LA/SF ought to be making well over $100k/year by the time they're 30, or working for a startup with a big potential payoff.

    The under-30s you know are either not genuinely interested in making money, not smart enough, or choosing to live in low cost-of-living places. Or they screwed up in some way they're having trouble reversing.

    or choosing to live in low cost-of-living places. Or they screwed up in some way they’re having trouble reversing.

    Yes, aside from teachers, social workers and the like, this is true and this was me, as I describe above. Choosing to live in a relatively low-cost area and a couple of serendipitous real estate purchases boosted my net worth to over $1 million by the time I reached 50 y/o, but my salary has been unimpressive.

  63. When I was in high school in the 1970s, showering after gym was mandatory. No excuses were accepted. If you forgot to bring a towel you got one paper towel to dry off with and and not a super absorbent Bounty, instead a rough brown piece of paper you see in public washrooms. One enthusiastic gym teacher used to join us boys in the shower!

    From younger colleagues I’ve learned that this ended some time in the 1990s, before cell phones with cameras became ubiquitous.I suspect it was the hysteria about sexual abuse and the fear of law suits that ended mandatory showers. Once they ceased to be mandatory the kids stopped taking them.

    Another colleague volunteers as a high school assistant basketball coach. He too says no one on the team showers after practices or games.

    • Replies: @Desiderius

    I suspect it was the hysteria about sexual abuse
     
    Dennis Hastert was notorious for pulling up an easy chair to get a good view of his wrestling team showering nude.
  64. @Almost Missouri
    The line that jumped out at me from that entire article was "Ruiz says the average age of a renter is 30 years old, with an average income of $300,000."

    WTF? Can that be right? I have yet to meet anyone under 30 who does anything worth half that amount. And that's his "average"? In the Obama economy?

    What am I not getting?

    Thanks, all, for your explanations.

    Guess it’s time I move to the coast…

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
    Don't. Find a tech company that will let your work from home -- PS Engineer, Sales Engineer, Sales, jobs like that. I live like a king in Appalachia on the salary for a mid-level Silicon Valley employee.
  65. I had to scroll down 30 posts to see a major reason that’s been neglected in the posts.

    The normalization of homosexuality, especially the claim of it in childhood, now means it isn’t boys naked in front of boys, all of whom only admit to liking girls. Likewise it isn’t just girls naked in front of girls who like boys. You are changing in front of people who are looking at you sexually. This happens all the way down to 9-10 yr olds.

    Millennials have had it drilled into their skulls the fake statistics that 10-20℅ of everyone is gay, that attractive women are actually interested in women, not men, and that there is no place they can have any freedom from judgment.

    Changing in front of someone sexually attracted to you that you aren’t attracted to is, being put under threat.

    Re master suites and open kitchens: who likes them? They are loud.

    But millennials won’t like them because they require family formation to afford. They haven’t achieved that maturity.

    • Replies: @anonymous-antimarxist

    Millennials have had it drilled into their skulls the fake statistics that 10-20℅ of everyone is gay, that attractive women are actually interested in women, not men, and that there is no place they can have any freedom from judgment.
     
    During HS in the late seventies the Gay Rights movement was in full swing. It was the Disco era after all. While gay teens were not officially "Out", I think all of us were pretty much aware of fellow kids who were strongly suspected of being gay. As far as I remember the really effeminate kids showered with the rest of us.

    What was different in my school system was that there was explicit sex education starting in grade school and through middle and HS directed at warning boys about pedophiles and pederasts and how to deal with them and protect oneself.

    I remember being shown the Sid Davis guidance film classic "Boys Beware" in Middle School and HS Health and Safety courses.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boys_Beware

    What was different was that if a gay student made any type of unwanted advance or made a straight kid uncomfortable the administration would clearly have had the hetero student's back. I think things are the other way around now and it would explain why some kids might not want to shower in public.
  66. I’m a Gen X’er and there’s no way I’d want to shower naked in front of a bunch of dudes, and it’s weird to me that most of you are complaining that “No one wants to shower naked with other guys anymore? What’s the world coming to?” Weird.

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
    "I’m a Gen X’er and there’s no way I’d want to shower naked in front of a bunch of dudes"

    Why not?

    Please note I'm not saying that you should WANT to shower in front of a bunch of "dudes", but asking why you wouldn't want to. What difference does it make? Its just a shower...you'd rather remain filthy than take the risk somebody might see your dick?
  67. 1. I attended high school in the early 2000s. The girls never showered after gym. We would do the bare minimum during gym class to avoid working up any sort of sweat. The exception was during the swim unit when we would rinse off in our swimsuits and then change into our clothes in the toilet stalls. Generally we were all late to our next class.
    2. On a visit to Japan we went to a public bath. Small children (under 9) of both sexes accompany their parents on either side of the bath. I was astonished and asked my Japanese brother in law how they keep weirdos from looking at the kids. He said “Their fathers are there to protect them,” I.e. from lewd acts. Thoughts are apparently not considered policeable. A different world…

  68. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad
    I think all these causes folks have noted are part of it:
    -- diversity and end of the mass, one-nation, all on the same team culture
    -- end common\expected military service
    -- individualism
    -- the issue of homosexual child predators being "out there"
    -- homosexuality normalized
    -- smaller families, larger houses, more privacy growing up
    -- prosperity, more individual amenities (inc. my own shower)
    -- cell phone cameras

    This has been a long time developing. My freshman dorm built in '69 or '70 had individual shower stalls. The dorm i was in my middle and senior years built in the 40s (and all the others of that vintage) had gang showers. The local community pool from 60s\70s vintage has gang showers. My old health club--80s\90s vintage--individual shower stalls, some with curtains--which some of the non-white foreigners seem to prefer. (I've never been in my kids HS locker rooms, it's hard to imagine they build enough individual shower stalls to accomodate an entire gym class showering and changing ... don't know what they do.)


    But it's quite noteable in millenials. My son though much more fit than me--quite reasonably being 36 years my junior--looking like Micheangelo's David, is nonetheless much more modest about being seen naked. That seemed to be generally true of his buddies in scouts as well.

    And yet:
    -- the binikis are even smaller. There's all this personal modest amongst basically friends\classmates, but then there is very little covering up on the public beaches, little "left to the imagination". Even urban workout attire is skimpy and gives you pretty much the full picture of how everything is situated.
    -- the millenials hug everybody. I first had this rubbed in my face, when i saw my adolescent daughter giving a hug to some guy who was really just an aquaintance. (Didn't like that. I hugged one girl in HS--the girl i was dating. You didn't hug the world.) One of my older daughter's friends, whom i'd never met before, came with her for thanksgiving dinner. At the end of the evening, she initiates a full on solid pretty intimate hug. (I don't mind being hugged by young women, but it's sure different than a generation back.) It's definitely a thing ... hugs, hugs, hugs.

    What’s with all the hugging? When did it become a thing? Is it status signaling? Is it something wealthy prep school people have done and now it’s filtered down to the masses? I noticed my brother started hugging people a lot when he was in college and as a young adult after college, during which time he had many fairly wealthy, preppy friends from the Northeast.

    • Replies: @Stationary Feast
    Not sure. I think there's just more variety of hug appreciation/tolerance on display these days.

    Of three people who went to a not-back-east prep school:

    - one is no-hug
    - one (me) likes 3–5-second hugs
    - one seems to go for 7–10 seconds which is still kind of nice, but I'm tempted to check my watch three quarters of the way through

    One popular answer is the decline of contact sports, but I was touchy-feely even back when I was playing water polo.
  69. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @TelfoedJohn
    There seems to be a strange mirror image thing going on with prudishness and permissiveness.

    Pre-1962 USA you could swim naked, but not talk openly about sex. After that it switched, and the body became sexualised, so nudity was more taboo.

    People like Lenny Bruce thought they were breaking down taboos, but they were perhaps only doing that on a verbal plane. Culturally, people were becoming more like church ladies.

    In the first half of the 20th century, vibrators were openly advertised in ladies magazines (as "massagers" etc). Lots of ladies were having fun. I think the fun came to an end when a few stag films showed what they were used for, and suddenly the ads in middle class magazines dried up. I wonder how that fed into the sexual revolution - women could no longer have mechanical fun on the side (no longer acceptable), but had to go outside and look for a man.

    “In the first half of the 20th century, vibrators were openly advertised in ladies magazines (as “massagers” etc). Lots of ladies were having fun. I think the fun came to an end when a few stag films showed what they were used for, and suddenly the ads in middle class magazines dried up. I wonder how that fed into the sexual revolution – women could no longer have mechanical fun on the side (no longer acceptable), but had to go outside and look for a man.”

    How do you know people weren’t using them for massages?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    At first they were openly sold to produce "hysterical paroxysm" (female orgasm) in order to relieve various nervous ailments.


    Later the pitch was more thinly veiled - they were sold to relieve milady's "jittery nerves":

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/92/7f/9d/927f9d0418736f67533b55f18bf89294.jpg

    Just looking at the device you didn't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out what it was for.

  70. It’s worth noting trends among the wealthy because they often trickle down

    Let’s hope the higher marriage rate trickles down.

  71. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @E. Rekshun
    Ruiz says the average age of a renter is 30 years old, with an average income of $300,000.

    I know it's San Francisco and it's an "average", but what are these people doing to earn that kind of money and what did I do wrong?

    I've got an undergrad Comp Sci degree, an MBA, and an MS degree from large, well-regarded state universities and 30 years of mid-level corporate experience; and due to a couple of layoffs & blown opportunities, the "Great Recession," and crushing competition, I'm earning exactly what I earned in 1998, well under $100K.

    “I’ve got an undergrad Comp Sci degree, an MBA, and an MS degree from large, well-regarded state universities and 30 years of mid-level corporate experience; and due to a couple of layoffs & blown opportunities, the “Great Recession,” and crushing competition, I’m earning exactly what I earned in 1998, well under $100K.”

    According to commenter Wency, you, ” … are either not genuinely interested in making money, not smart enough, or choosing to live in low cost-of-living places. Or [you] screwed up in some way [and are] having trouble reversing. 😉

  72. @tcjfs
    Perhaps it has something to do with the loosening of the taboo around male homosexuality. Many traditionalists have argued that open homosexuality makes male friendship more difficult.

    Open homosexuality also has made young men wary of older men. Millenials are probably used to get hit on a lot by gays, both young and old, so they try to avoid any situation where they can be exposed to unwanted propositions.
    One more reason homosexuals belong in the closet, for the common good.

  73. Ruiz says the average age of a renter is 30 years old, with an average income of $300,000.

    Just a guess, but that isn’t typical of anything–average being pretty meaningless in this case. It’s clear that this isn’t indicative of a mass market trend.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The article is about very high end trends, which are of interest because what people with huge amounts of money want often become what lots of people want in a few decades.
  74. Something I see now is boys wearing swimming shirts. I thought it was because their mothers are worried about exposure to sunlight, but last week I took my kids to an indoor pool, and there were some boys wearing swimming shirts in there too.

    • Replies: @marty
    I believe that swimming shirts are an exception to the post '90 's modesty trend being discussed here. In my view, they're a black thing, and if seen on whites it's only in the sense that to white proles everything black is cool, so gets emulated. I spent two decades swimming in public pools in Berkeley, and began to notice obese black kids wearing them in the summertime starting around '04. Probably the idiots think wet t-shirts somehow hide their fat rolls. Never saw anyone but blacks or latinos do it. And blacks don't have to worry about being ogled by boy lovers.
  75. I found public nudity horribly uncomfortable during childhood and adolescence, but until now just attributed that attitude to having an Irish-Catholic mother. Never suspected that it was a growing trend amongst the Gaill.

  76. until the 1950s and even early 60s, if a school had a pool, it was quite common for the male students in physical education classes to swim nude in the school pool during PE class…

  77. @eded
    -smaller families and kids are less likely to share a bedroom, young people are accustomed to more privacy.

    -no draft and lower levels of military service. Young men are not accustomed to showering and changing together in the barracks.

    -demographic change. Some cultures place greater emphasis on physical modesty even amongst the men. A Canadian army NCO once told me a story about how he was training some army reserve recruits in Toronto. At morning inspection he noticed that the pants of some of his South Asian muslim recruits were wet. It turns out that after morning PT they would shower in the underwear and then hurry and put on their uniform. They were completely uncomfortable with being nude with others

    - A couple of years ago I visited Canada's Wonderland, a theme park north of Toronto. I hadn't been since the late 1990's. The two changes I noticed were the significant increase the number of visitors from South Asian backgrounds, and individual changing stalls in the waterpark change room. When I was a kid it was just one big open room.

    -I've read that Canadian aboriginals tend be much less comfortable with nudity around strangers than other Canadians. I've also heard it theorized that this is the result of sex abuse at residential schools, but I don't know.

    Everything that is wrong with Canadian aboriginals is the result of residential schools, doncha know. That and Raaaaacism.

  78. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “I don’t really know what’s causing it. It could be that mass public showering in high school locker rooms was a Progressive era invention to make kids cleaner and healthier, and now it’s fading away because we have antibiotics. Or something completely different.”

    A lot of it must be fear of getting recorded with now-ubiquitous camera phones. And as others have mentioned, obesity, early access to pornography and the rest of sexualized pop culture that might as well be pornographic, gay panic, etc. etc.

    I think it’s also that the nature of bullying has changed and become more feminized. If another teenage boy mocked your nude body back in the day, that was the nuclear option and there had to be a fight. But you can’t fight now. Boys have adopted the gossip, mental torment, and social ostracization tactics of girls. This phenomenon is a big part of why the War on Bullying came into existence.

  79. Gays. I recall accompanying my young sons to a swim at the YMCA. A fishbelly white 60-year-old tubby stood in the shower soaping his genitals for……….minutes……..while we were in the locker room. Yeah, he was just getting really clean….

    Trust. “We Are the World” was 1999. One aspect of the Diversity Tax is reduced social trust, and I have that in spades. I’m sure others do, too.

    Socionomics. Socionomic theory (www.socionomics.net) holds that social mood underlies all social behavior, such that when social mood rises, fashions show more skin, stock prices get bid up, etc. and when social mood stagnates or declines, women’s skirts hems drop as do stocks. The “hemline indicator” has been a staple of stock analysis since the 1930’s.

    My 3rd and 4th years of college I had a single in a dorm. It wasn’t much larger than a broom closet, but I didn’t have to put up with roommates, a welcome break from the challenges I faced as a misfit in a frat house the first two years.

    Anyone who thinks female nudity is (or can be made) unrelated to sex is a complete fool. Nature didn’t result in the dimorphism we see for nothing. Men’s eyes track irresistibly straight to women’s exposed breasts.

  80. Could just be that with the proliferation of surveillance technology young men are more mindful of protecting their penises from being searchable on Google Images. Once something gets out there it can’t be taken back, as Anthony Weiner found out.

  81. @Jake
    I have 2 kids with issues that require counseling. One of the things I have learned from various parents and from counselors we have used is that increasingly over the past 20 years or so, kids in schools have complained - though almost never to school officials - about problems with school locker rooms and showers. Because there kids have been reared to be PC all the time and most figure out that the sexual revolution is the heart and soul of PC, they often cannot begin to form complaints, because they do wish to be backward. But they know of sexual stalking, down into grade school. They are aware of kids using school nudity to bully in the worst ways.

    This is the one good thing in Millennials. Perhaps it will lead many more of them to reject the entire Liberal framework that has been crammed down our throats.

    As this kind of bullying is exacerbated by transgender-friendly policies, I anxiously await to see if World War T will make leftists double down on PC, or whether it might push them over the edge and bring them back closer to centrist social values. This happened in ultra-liberal Minnesota:

    Leftist headline and byline from ThinkProgress: New lawsuit demonizes transgender girl for acting like a girl Some girls are stressed out that there’s a transgender girl in the locker room who happens to have a personality.

    What happened (from Fox news):

    – Student X commented on girls’ bodies while in the girls’ locker room, including asking Girl – — Plaintiff F about her bra size and asking her to “trade body parts” with him;
    – Student X danced to loud music with sexually explicit lyrics while twerking, grinding and lifting up his skirt to reveal his underwear;
    – Student X would dance in a sexually explicit manner “dancing like he was on a stripper pole” to songs with suggestive lyrics including “Milkshake” by Kelis.
    Midway through the season, Plaintiff A was told she could use a vacant boys’ basketball locker room – for privacy. But it wasn’t long before the transgender student showed up in that locker room. [On] one such occasion, Student X walked into the boys’ basketball locker room while Girl Plaintiff A was in her underwear and removed his pants while he was near her and other girls who were also changing.

    What does Student X have to do to be referred to by the right pronouns, murder somebody?

  82. @Dr. X
    Millenials don't like to get naked... but oddly enough, they seem to have the most sexually libertarian and sexually egalitarian attitudes. Millenials don't bat an eye at interracial sex, homosexuality, transgenderism, premarital sex, pornography, feminism, single motherhood, etc.

    Still, they seem somewhat prudish. Perhaps their attitudes reflect the cultural propaganda they have been imbued with since birth by the government education system, rather than their own actions?

    Millenials don’t like to get naked… but oddly enough, they seem to have the most sexually libertarian and sexually egalitarian attitudes….Still, they seem somewhat prudish.

    Yes, in fact as someone else wrote, they have a nasty puritanical streak. How did this self-professed sexually progressive generation end up hyper-regulating our sex lives regarding consent and “problematizing” our sexual preferences in selecting partners?

  83. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Yeah, if you go to gym locker rooms, the guys who are naked are usually old guys in their 70s. It’s not just that they get naked, but they walk around the locker room and take their sweet time being naked, like they relish it or something. While younger guys will always cover themselves with towels or have shorts on.

    I’ve always wondered if this was a cultural/generational thing, or if the older guys just didn’t care any more because they were older.

    I would say the gay panic stuff is a major factor behind younger guys being less comfortable about being naked in gym locker rooms. You first start using gym locker rooms in middle/high school and college, when guys are most self-conscious and when being called “gay” is like the chief insult and being perceived as gay is a major problem. So everyone covers up and avoids being naked in order to avoid being called or perceived to be gay.

  84. The $300,000 average renter salary is that for just one local developer, Avalon, and I suspect it’s an exaggeration.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    As I mentioned in the opening, the article is about the luxury market, which is worth looking at because trends seep into the mass market over time.
  85. @Sunbeam
    Eh, no real opinion on this. Kind of some vague thoughts though.

    But this kind of thing doesn't go along with the nuts and bolts of ... being a warrior nation? Whatever you want to call it.

    Look say there is a major war over - something. Or the neocons pull us into another Iraq/Afghanistand quagmire.

    Anyone ever think that this new age of kids is what you are going to send to the fight? I mean there is absolutely no way you are going to be able to be finicky when it is time to take a dump, and isn't advisable to go 100 yards away so no one can hear you toot like a howitzer.

    Or how about taking a shower in the field? Ever see a photo of a circa WWII field shower? I'm sure it was different in Europe, but I've seen a couple from the pacific theater where it was basically just a hose spraying down, the Marine stood in a tub and washed the family jewels in plain sight of everyone.

    Taking no position on morals or what have you. But it does come up that the most efficient thing in some situations is for people to get past some social customs that are just not viable.

    Of course I personally would never want women mixed with male combat formations, but I hope people grok what I am talking about.

    Starship Troopers has a famous coed military shower scene (sorry for the dubbing — only full clip I could find). I don’t remember if that was in the book, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. Heinlein had kind of a thing for nudity, and it certainly would have been his style. He once wrote a book whose entire purpose seems to have been to come up with a scenario whereby the entire population of the world was required by law to walk around totally naked whenever possible. (For some reason this part was left out of the movie. Can’t imagine why…).

    (So, Sunbeam, did I “grok” what you were talking about? 🙂 )

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    But Puppet Masters has a brilliant scenario for why all the women in America have to go nude all summer. You have to give him credit for that.
  86. Growing up in the ’70s, my family of five with stay-at-home mom had one bathroom. Locking the bathroom door was suspicious. It was guaranteed that a family member would walk in on you and it wasn’t unusual to relieve oneself while another family member was in the shower. Until about age 5, my mom jointly bathed my to brothers in me in the tub at the same time. Until about age 10, my two brothers and I regularly held joint urinating sessions around the toilet before bed time. Whoever could urinate the longest won!

    On the other hand, South Miami Beach has a well-known, crowded topless section of the beach; and a section of Haulover Beach north of South Beach has been fully nude for over 20 years.

  87. @jb
    Starship Troopers has a famous coed military shower scene (sorry for the dubbing -- only full clip I could find). I don't remember if that was in the book, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was. Heinlein had kind of a thing for nudity, and it certainly would have been his style. He once wrote a book whose entire purpose seems to have been to come up with a scenario whereby the entire population of the world was required by law to walk around totally naked whenever possible. (For some reason this part was left out of the movie. Can't imagine why...).

    (So, Sunbeam, did I "grok" what you were talking about? :-) )

    But Puppet Masters has a brilliant scenario for why all the women in America have to go nude all summer. You have to give him credit for that.

    • Replies: @anonymous-antimarxist
    You know Steve it would be nice if your readership had enough female readers to let us know how they view the public showering in HS/College issue.

    I am sure Hi-def Camera phones for them are an issue.

    When I was a teenager and in college I assumed that
    "natural" was the breast augmentation and grooming standard for the 99% of women and tattoos and piercings were all but unheard of.

    Now pretty much anything goes and I can't help but think there are women with tats that seemed like such a great idea the day after their 18th birthday, who may be a bit self-conscious about them in college.

    Once again imitating plastic surgery and tattooing fads glorified on cable not to mention porn may not be such a great idea.
  88. @Almost Missouri
    The line that jumped out at me from that entire article was "Ruiz says the average age of a renter is 30 years old, with an average income of $300,000."

    WTF? Can that be right? I have yet to meet anyone under 30 who does anything worth half that amount. And that's his "average"? In the Obama economy?

    What am I not getting?

    Even if we’re talking SF, the median income would have probably been a more informative measure.

  89. It’s the usual arrested development. I remember being petrified when I found out in elementary school that high schoolers had to shower naked after gym class. By the time I got to high school, that was no longer the case, but sports teams still did and somehow it was no big deal by then. My local Y still has it.

  90. @The Overmind
    Probably something to do with the decline of circumcision. Whether it's uncut or cut kids covering up I don't know. Regardless, nobody wants to stand out from the crowd and risk mockery.

    I think you have a point concerning circumcision.

    I also think increased diversity along with general poor physical conditioning among teenagers and the impossible expectations from porn are also factors.

    Like Steve I am “Reagan Boomer” born in the sixties who graduated during Ronnie’s ascent to the POTUS.

    I went to a suburban 99% white high school in the mid-west where probably 80% of us had dads who served in the military and at least 98% of us were circumcised. We had to shower after freshman/sophomore gym classes and I can tell you I never saw an uncircumcised penis until college. Funny thing was it was a Chinese student who would only shower late at night. When a freshman dorm floor mate saw him naked, he could not wait to tell us at breakfast the next morning that something was really wrong with the Asian kid’s dick. It was hilarious that it never occurred to him that it was because the Asian kid was just at God made him.

    There were two kids in my HS who as freshmen/sophomores refused to take a shower after gym and I strongly suspect their concerns was that they were uncut. Additionally one kid’s issue might have been being part Asian and as a very young looking freshman he probably did not yet have pubic hair.

    As far as diversity is concerned, well all races are simply not hung equally, with penis size correlating pretty much in inverse ratios to height and relative brain to body mass proportions. There is a reason condom manufactures market different sizes; regular, magnum, and “snugglers”

    see:
    https://www.amazon.com/Lifestyles-Snugger-Fit-Condoms-Pack/dp/B00014UHEE

    When I was kid if you were self-conscious about your endowment you could at least laugh it off with a “Thank God for the the Irish”, if you were Italian and vice versa. Now it’s a bit different.

    Last have you seen just how out of shape the average teenage boy is????

    When I was a teenager most of us were able to wear jeans tight enough to make you look like you were waiting along side Jimmy Page and Robert Plant ready to fly off to the next gig.

    https://www.amazon.com/Zeppelin-Airplane-Music-Poster-Print/dp/B0035UZC00

    Kids today would either faint or bust a gut laughing if they say their old man in his regulation HS gym shorts.

  91. Another thing I can’t stand among the younger generation are the fathers who say they want to make time to get home and play with their kids. Grown men shouldn’t want to play with children. It juvenalizes the institution and office of fatherhood
    —–
    I also don’t get this emphasis on dads “playing” with their kids. I played with my friends and siblings. I did not “play” with my dad or mom. They’d have found it boring and I would have too. We all had better things to do.

    I did enjoy very much the time spent with my parents taking us to places, teaching us and sharing with us their knowledge. I was lucky to have parents who were very willing to answer all kinds of questions. I enjoyed very much their benign authority and (relative) wisdom.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I played catch with my dad a lot.

    Looking back, I can't believe how many thousands of hours I spent playing with balls.

    , @AnotherGuessModel
    Grown men shouldn’t want to play with children. It juvenalizes the institution and office of fatherhood

    Well poo-poo on you.
    , @Cloudbuster
    My dad took me bowling, skiing, fishing, riding, camping, played catch with me, built things with me in the shop, and coached my rec. league soccer team, and countless other things. I can't imagine how much more impoverished my upbringing would have been without the time he lavished on me.

    My mom was a big board game, card and puzzle fan, so those are the activities I most remember sharing with her.

    Both were heavy, if not deep, readers, and encouraged my love of books. Both indulged my interest in music, though having no particular leanings in that direction themselves.

    Not all "play" is childish.
  92. For the record, in former Czechoslovakia, pools typically have sex-separated changing areas, no cubicles to change in and showers without partitions.

    My impression is people who wear swimming trunks into the shower are seen as weak and most men will shower naked.

    We’ve begun to see some people wearing ridiculous swimwear that looks like cargo shorts. That is quite pathetic in my view.

    Personally, I’m glad my time in the Boy Scouts summer camps, where we all got naked in the morning and instead of a shower had to plunge into rather chilly water to rinse off the soap. I mean, not freezing, but a bracing 15°C or so.

    I wonder – is this sort of morning hygiene common in BSA, or is it rather uncommon? My scout troop was run by a working-class ex-soldier turned car mechanic and had pretty strict discipline and morale for quite a few years until it kind of went downhill in the mid 2000’s.

  93. @Hallie Scott Kline
    The $300,000 average renter salary is that for just one local developer, Avalon, and I suspect it's an exaggeration.

    As I mentioned in the opening, the article is about the luxury market, which is worth looking at because trends seep into the mass market over time.

  94. No pruderie Chez Olorin…but these days I wouldn’t let the boys out to breathe in any of the institutional settings that Millennials were tortured in, like schools. Nor in commercial gyms where you never know what those magnificently diverse others are up to. Nor what’s lurking on various surfaces.

    Far too dangerous. Stand in the shower with your ankles too far apart, and before you know it, you’re doxxed as a sexual predator for manspreading or something. Nod socially to the next guy over, before you know it he’s claiming he’s a chick and you raped him with your gaze.

    And who knows who’s recording the whole thing to upload to a porn site.

    The kindern aren’t prudish, they’re cautious, and it’s the right thing to be when your innocence was compromised by your own mothers and teachers in childhood. When your elders considered lice, crabs, and TB a modest price to pay for Diversity. And when billionaires profit from technologies that destroy privacy while posing as “social.”

    MSM dinging them for not acting out their elders’ MSM-coached social dramas of innocence is typical MSM-coached garbage.

    FWIW, if you go to any of the New Age outdoor/natural spas here on the Left Coast, the Millennials are there in force, showing their stuff without concern. But those places have highly structured social rules/settings and people can be ejected for any violation of them.

  95. Religiosity is heritable, the religious have been having more surviving kids for more than a century, and religiosity is also associated with modesty and aversion to nudity.

    In the culture wars, many very good arguments have been brought in support of LGBT rights, personal sexual autonomy in general, and even atheism. Agree with them or not, but they have been objectively successful, at least in the sense that all those positions are gaining converts.

    On the other hand, no particularly influential voices have been arguing for the social justice virtues of nudity. With no countervailing cultural “push,” attitudes towards nudity are going where they logically should.

    Or most likely the above is mostly BS. Still, it’s a fun hypothesis to ponder.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Makes sense.

    Nudism is a Northern European thing and the Northern European % of the American population is way down.

    Heinlein was an example of a socially liberal Old American with a German name who liked nudism. No kids.

    , @imnobody00
    Most people are not intellectual like you. It was not arguments but propaganda. It was sitcom, movies, songs, slogans, etc. From school, from mass media, from everywhere.

    People get their attitudes from the things they see around them. Then you ask them to make an argument and they cannot do it to save their lives. They only repeat slogans.

    On the other hand, new "very good" arguments for atheism during the last decades that people have known? Sorry, but they don't exist. Although some old arguments have been recycled for people that don't read philosophy books.

    In general, the quality of FAMOUS atheist thinkers has diminished dramatically. From Nietzsche or Camus to this embarrassment that is Richard Dawkins (a guy whose knowledge about philosophy is tiny). Of course, there are serious atheists in the academia, but their work doesn't get to the public. The public prefers McAtheism.

    So no, no new good atheist arguments that have gotten to the masses. But LGBT was new and some arguments have been produced for it.

  96. @Steve Sailer
    But Puppet Masters has a brilliant scenario for why all the women in America have to go nude all summer. You have to give him credit for that.

    You know Steve it would be nice if your readership had enough female readers to let us know how they view the public showering in HS/College issue.

    I am sure Hi-def Camera phones for them are an issue.

    When I was a teenager and in college I assumed that
    “natural” was the breast augmentation and grooming standard for the 99% of women and tattoos and piercings were all but unheard of.

    Now pretty much anything goes and I can’t help but think there are women with tats that seemed like such a great idea the day after their 18th birthday, who may be a bit self-conscious about them in college.

    Once again imitating plastic surgery and tattooing fads glorified on cable not to mention porn may not be such a great idea.

    • Replies: @AnotherGuessModel
    You know Steve it would be nice if your readership had enough female readers to let us know how they view the public showering in HS/College issue.

    Speaking as a woman, my impression has always been that this whole subject of public showering and changing is a particularly male preoccupation*. Historically, women have been thrown into less spaces (military, naval trade, manual and industrial blue-collar work, even formal education) requiring communal changing and bathing. Today, as with men, women differ on how comfortable they feel being naked in front of others depending on their culture, family upbringing, and personality. But beyond that, I think women take for granted a basic right to privacy, because standards of modesty for women have always been stricter and more protected and static than for men.

    Many here have suggested that wider acceptance of homosexuality has made millenial men disinclined to go naked. I don't think this could apply to millenial women though, because of the very obsessive friendships typical of many college and high-school age girls already blur a lot of those boundaries. Mind you, for most girls they are platonic friendships, but they are characterised by loose boundaries concerning privacy and bodily autonomy.

    *What I am preoccupied with is the move towards "genderless" showers and changing rooms, giving gender identity precedence over biological sex in such spaces, and co-ed living quarters in the military. But that's for another time.

  97. @Anatoly Karlin
    Religiosity is heritable, the religious have been having more surviving kids for more than a century, and religiosity is also associated with modesty and aversion to nudity.

    In the culture wars, many very good arguments have been brought in support of LGBT rights, personal sexual autonomy in general, and even atheism. Agree with them or not, but they have been objectively successful, at least in the sense that all those positions are gaining converts.

    On the other hand, no particularly influential voices have been arguing for the social justice virtues of nudity. With no countervailing cultural "push," attitudes towards nudity are going where they logically should.

    Or most likely the above is mostly BS. Still, it's a fun hypothesis to ponder.

    Makes sense.

    Nudism is a Northern European thing and the Northern European % of the American population is way down.

    Heinlein was an example of a socially liberal Old American with a German name who liked nudism. No kids.

    • Replies: @frayedthread
    Funny about the big 3 prophets - they had no genetic future:
    Heinlein - no kids
    Clarke - gay (pedo?)
    Asimov - one deadbeat son (pedo?) and one daughter (no kids? no clue).
    Creeps me out. Should probably stop writing scifi.
  98. @ogunsiron
    Another thing I can’t stand among the younger generation are the fathers who say they want to make time to get home and play with their kids. Grown men shouldn’t want to play with children. It juvenalizes the institution and office of fatherhood
    -----
    I also don't get this emphasis on dads "playing" with their kids. I played with my friends and siblings. I did not "play" with my dad or mom. They'd have found it boring and I would have too. We all had better things to do.

    I did enjoy very much the time spent with my parents taking us to places, teaching us and sharing with us their knowledge. I was lucky to have parents who were very willing to answer all kinds of questions. I enjoyed very much their benign authority and (relative) wisdom.

    I played catch with my dad a lot.

    Looking back, I can’t believe how many thousands of hours I spent playing with balls.

    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    I played catch with my dad a lot.

    Yes, I did as well - almost every night after dinner during the summer. My dad would sit on an over-turned bucket w/ a catchers mitt and a beer at his side. On my own, I'd practice pitching at a spray-painted strikezone on a canvas tarp that my dad hung from an unused swing-set.

    I gave all that up and got a part-time job pumping gas when I realized that I wasn't going to make the big leagues after twice not making my high school varsity.
  99. @WGG
    Some nudist colonies are actually child porn rings. When I first became involved in the hospitality industry, we received a mailer from a Florida nudist colony which sold videotaped children's beauty pageants for over a hundred bucks a tape, it should go without saying that the kids were in the buff. The owners who received the mailer laughed it off like, "Can you believe those wacky hippies?" Until I explained what it was and told them to take it to the local p.d. to ask it be forwarded to the FBI.

    I really hope some people went to jail.

    I really hope some people went to jail.

    Paedophilia delenda est.

  100. @Forbes

    Ruiz says the average age of a renter is 30 years old, with an average income of $300,000.
     
    Just a guess, but that isn't typical of anything--average being pretty meaningless in this case. It's clear that this isn't indicative of a mass market trend.

    The article is about very high end trends, which are of interest because what people with huge amounts of money want often become what lots of people want in a few decades.

    • Replies: @slumber_j
    Well, at the super-preppy all-male Racquet and Tennis Club in NYC, for example, the membership show no sign of ever wearing clothes anywhere they don't have to--and certainly not in the pool. But I guess that's the opposite of a trend.

    I think I'm right that when the University Club co-edified, they banned female members from the pool so that the guys could keep swimming naked.
  101. @Difference maker
    I am reminded of the Hellenistic gymnasia. Wonder about the influence of porn

    Private rooms are certainly better for sleep, though worse for large scale social interaction. I've always preferred a small bedroom and expansive commons, but then the activity outside will be too noisy

    I am reminded of the Hellenistic gymnasia

    In that connection, it’s worth noting the etymology of gymnasium. Gymnos means naked.

    • Replies: @inertial
    My impression is that among Classical Greeks male public nudity was perfectly acceptable but female one was taboo.
  102. @Steve Sailer
    The article is about very high end trends, which are of interest because what people with huge amounts of money want often become what lots of people want in a few decades.

    Well, at the super-preppy all-male Racquet and Tennis Club in NYC, for example, the membership show no sign of ever wearing clothes anywhere they don’t have to–and certainly not in the pool. But I guess that’s the opposite of a trend.

    I think I’m right that when the University Club co-edified, they banned female members from the pool so that the guys could keep swimming naked.

  103. Yeah, I grew up in the ‘let it all hang out” men’s locker room era, but usually I cover up with a towel when I’m walking around. I noticed the really old guys don’t – most of them were in the military.

    Also, our Gym Showers used to be communal but 10 years ago they put in portions and curtains. Frankly, given what most people look like – both men and women – covering up is a good thing.

    I remember when i stumbled on a nude beach in Hawaii. One good looking young women, some young guys, and whole bunch of fat, overweight types who should have put a bathing suit on.

  104. @anonymous-antimarxist
    You know Steve it would be nice if your readership had enough female readers to let us know how they view the public showering in HS/College issue.

    I am sure Hi-def Camera phones for them are an issue.

    When I was a teenager and in college I assumed that
    "natural" was the breast augmentation and grooming standard for the 99% of women and tattoos and piercings were all but unheard of.

    Now pretty much anything goes and I can't help but think there are women with tats that seemed like such a great idea the day after their 18th birthday, who may be a bit self-conscious about them in college.

    Once again imitating plastic surgery and tattooing fads glorified on cable not to mention porn may not be such a great idea.

    You know Steve it would be nice if your readership had enough female readers to let us know how they view the public showering in HS/College issue.

    Speaking as a woman, my impression has always been that this whole subject of public showering and changing is a particularly male preoccupation*. Historically, women have been thrown into less spaces (military, naval trade, manual and industrial blue-collar work, even formal education) requiring communal changing and bathing. Today, as with men, women differ on how comfortable they feel being naked in front of others depending on their culture, family upbringing, and personality. But beyond that, I think women take for granted a basic right to privacy, because standards of modesty for women have always been stricter and more protected and static than for men.

    Many here have suggested that wider acceptance of homosexuality has made millenial men disinclined to go naked. I don’t think this could apply to millenial women though, because of the very obsessive friendships typical of many college and high-school age girls already blur a lot of those boundaries. Mind you, for most girls they are platonic friendships, but they are characterised by loose boundaries concerning privacy and bodily autonomy.

    *What I am preoccupied with is the move towards “genderless” showers and changing rooms, giving gender identity precedence over biological sex in such spaces, and co-ed living quarters in the military. But that’s for another time.

    • Replies: @iffen
    But that’s for another time

    No, now's the time. It will be won or lost now.
    , @Formerly CARealist
    I saw the transition in the mid-80's. I was on the girls' basketball team throughout HS and the first two years we all showered together after games and it was no big deal. Then, my junior year it was only me and another girl who showered. My senior year, 1986, it was only me getting clean... and I was starting to feel like I was some sort of exhibitionist for doing so.

    I grew up with two sisters in my room so privacy was always pretty impossible. It may be that people having smaller families and bigger homes now means kids grow up with their own space.

    FWIW, now that I'm married I really like showering with my hubbie. Is that part of any equation?
  105. @ogunsiron
    Another thing I can’t stand among the younger generation are the fathers who say they want to make time to get home and play with their kids. Grown men shouldn’t want to play with children. It juvenalizes the institution and office of fatherhood
    -----
    I also don't get this emphasis on dads "playing" with their kids. I played with my friends and siblings. I did not "play" with my dad or mom. They'd have found it boring and I would have too. We all had better things to do.

    I did enjoy very much the time spent with my parents taking us to places, teaching us and sharing with us their knowledge. I was lucky to have parents who were very willing to answer all kinds of questions. I enjoyed very much their benign authority and (relative) wisdom.

    Grown men shouldn’t want to play with children. It juvenalizes the institution and office of fatherhood

    Well poo-poo on you.

  106. @PiltdownMan
    Slightly NSFW cartoon.

    http://theoatmeal.com/pl/minor_differences2/locker_room

    Steve covered this ground a couple of years ago. But googling the topic 'old men in the locker room vs young men' brings up a dozen discussions, including this thread by Andrew Sullivan

    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2011/11/30/why-are-old-men-always-naked-in-the-locker-room-ctd-3/

    Old people generally don’t give me fig about how they appear. That’s one of the advantages of being old.

  107. @Anatoly Karlin
    Religiosity is heritable, the religious have been having more surviving kids for more than a century, and religiosity is also associated with modesty and aversion to nudity.

    In the culture wars, many very good arguments have been brought in support of LGBT rights, personal sexual autonomy in general, and even atheism. Agree with them or not, but they have been objectively successful, at least in the sense that all those positions are gaining converts.

    On the other hand, no particularly influential voices have been arguing for the social justice virtues of nudity. With no countervailing cultural "push," attitudes towards nudity are going where they logically should.

    Or most likely the above is mostly BS. Still, it's a fun hypothesis to ponder.

    Most people are not intellectual like you. It was not arguments but propaganda. It was sitcom, movies, songs, slogans, etc. From school, from mass media, from everywhere.

    People get their attitudes from the things they see around them. Then you ask them to make an argument and they cannot do it to save their lives. They only repeat slogans.

    On the other hand, new “very good” arguments for atheism during the last decades that people have known? Sorry, but they don’t exist. Although some old arguments have been recycled for people that don’t read philosophy books.

    In general, the quality of FAMOUS atheist thinkers has diminished dramatically. From Nietzsche or Camus to this embarrassment that is Richard Dawkins (a guy whose knowledge about philosophy is tiny). Of course, there are serious atheists in the academia, but their work doesn’t get to the public. The public prefers McAtheism.

    So no, no new good atheist arguments that have gotten to the masses. But LGBT was new and some arguments have been produced for it.

  108. @AnotherGuessModel
    You know Steve it would be nice if your readership had enough female readers to let us know how they view the public showering in HS/College issue.

    Speaking as a woman, my impression has always been that this whole subject of public showering and changing is a particularly male preoccupation*. Historically, women have been thrown into less spaces (military, naval trade, manual and industrial blue-collar work, even formal education) requiring communal changing and bathing. Today, as with men, women differ on how comfortable they feel being naked in front of others depending on their culture, family upbringing, and personality. But beyond that, I think women take for granted a basic right to privacy, because standards of modesty for women have always been stricter and more protected and static than for men.

    Many here have suggested that wider acceptance of homosexuality has made millenial men disinclined to go naked. I don't think this could apply to millenial women though, because of the very obsessive friendships typical of many college and high-school age girls already blur a lot of those boundaries. Mind you, for most girls they are platonic friendships, but they are characterised by loose boundaries concerning privacy and bodily autonomy.

    *What I am preoccupied with is the move towards "genderless" showers and changing rooms, giving gender identity precedence over biological sex in such spaces, and co-ed living quarters in the military. But that's for another time.

    But that’s for another time

    No, now’s the time. It will be won or lost now.

  109. @International Jew

    I am reminded of the Hellenistic gymnasia
     
    In that connection, it's worth noting the etymology of gymnasium. Gymnos means naked.

    My impression is that among Classical Greeks male public nudity was perfectly acceptable but female one was taboo.

  110. @Alice
    I had to scroll down 30 posts to see a major reason that's been neglected in the posts.

    The normalization of homosexuality, especially the claim of it in childhood, now means it isn't boys naked in front of boys, all of whom only admit to liking girls. Likewise it isn't just girls naked in front of girls who like boys. You are changing in front of people who are looking at you sexually. This happens all the way down to 9-10 yr olds.

    Millennials have had it drilled into their skulls the fake statistics that 10-20℅ of everyone is gay, that attractive women are actually interested in women, not men, and that there is no place they can have any freedom from judgment.

    Changing in front of someone sexually attracted to you that you aren't attracted to is, being put under threat.

    Re master suites and open kitchens: who likes them? They are loud.

    But millennials won't like them because they require family formation to afford. They haven't achieved that maturity.

    Millennials have had it drilled into their skulls the fake statistics that 10-20℅ of everyone is gay, that attractive women are actually interested in women, not men, and that there is no place they can have any freedom from judgment.

    During HS in the late seventies the Gay Rights movement was in full swing. It was the Disco era after all. While gay teens were not officially “Out”, I think all of us were pretty much aware of fellow kids who were strongly suspected of being gay. As far as I remember the really effeminate kids showered with the rest of us.

    What was different in my school system was that there was explicit sex education starting in grade school and through middle and HS directed at warning boys about pedophiles and pederasts and how to deal with them and protect oneself.

    I remember being shown the Sid Davis guidance film classic “Boys Beware” in Middle School and HS Health and Safety courses.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boys_Beware

    What was different was that if a gay student made any type of unwanted advance or made a straight kid uncomfortable the administration would clearly have had the hetero student’s back. I think things are the other way around now and it would explain why some kids might not want to shower in public.

  111. This thread looks like it is off the first page and done. But reading this thread to read the later posts I decided to do a google to find photos of what I remembered seeing.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=wwii+field+shower&biw=1600&bih=740&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjWy9-m3N7RAhXDQCYKHej5BxQQsAQIGQ

    Anyway sometimes this is what reality is going to look like. I mean if you are actually going to be involved in war (or building something in the middle of nowhere). Not every situation is going to have some neocon’s featherbedding manna from heaven like that compound we built in Iraq.

    Sometimes all you get is an overhead water tank.

    • Replies: @Weltanschauung
    The fort on Mackinac Island was manned long enough to get indoor plumbing before it was turned into a tourist attraction. I took the tour and recall seeing two bathtubs, each in its own wooden stall. Did the soldiers wait in line, or did they sign up for appointments?
  112. Surprising that the refusal to shower at school began with Millennials, with several generations of American boys growing up with Coach Sandusky leering at them naked and plotting sodomy in the shower. Priest-coaches at my Catholic HS would call friends on the football and wrestling teams during the summer, to “hit the weights” or “hit the mats”, then “hit the shower”. http://abcnews.go.com/US/jerry-sandusky-trial-hears-key-witness-mike-mcqueary/story?id=16545142

  113. Adding to the many anecdotes of locker room practices…

    About fifteen years ago, I had a female friend who played Division I soccer. She had always loved swimming but had gotten more scholarship money for her soccer skills. Her senior year, she joined the swim team and actually managed to contribute points as a member of a relay. When I asked her one day what the biggest difference between the two sets of teammates were, her answer surprised me.

    The girls on the soccer team were overly modest, never showered without sports bras and shorts on and changed practically inside their lockers. The girls on the swim team walked around naked at every opportunity. She said the culture shock was staggering. I have no solid explanation for why such a thing should be.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    How much is being pro-nudity a Northern European thing, especially Germans and Scandinavians?
    , @Stationary Feast
    Weird. In high school, we showered in our suits to get the chlorine out, but we didn't have any problem getting naked in the locker room to change back into our street clothes after practice.

    Once I got out of high school I figured that if any guy in the locker room were checking me out for reasons beyond simple scientific data-collection, he had the problem, not me. This seems to work in a gym with plenty of men in their 60s and older and a location/clientele that's just too boring for single gay men.

    My high-school buddies who also go to the same gym are a bit more reserved, but they didn't do any in-pool sports and probably just showered at home or in the dorms.
  114. @Horthans
    Adding to the many anecdotes of locker room practices...

    About fifteen years ago, I had a female friend who played Division I soccer. She had always loved swimming but had gotten more scholarship money for her soccer skills. Her senior year, she joined the swim team and actually managed to contribute points as a member of a relay. When I asked her one day what the biggest difference between the two sets of teammates were, her answer surprised me.

    The girls on the soccer team were overly modest, never showered without sports bras and shorts on and changed practically inside their lockers. The girls on the swim team walked around naked at every opportunity. She said the culture shock was staggering. I have no solid explanation for why such a thing should be.

    How much is being pro-nudity a Northern European thing, especially Germans and Scandinavians?

  115. @syonredux

    “Millennials don’t like to get naked—if you go to the gym now, everyone under 30 will put their underwear on under the towel, which is a massive cultural shift,” he continues.

    I wrote about this a couple of years ago, although the change was noted in an alert NYT article way back in 1996.

    I don’t really know what’s causing it. It could be that mass public showering in high school locker rooms was a Progressive era invention to make kids cleaner and healthier, and now it’s fading away because we have antibiotics. Or something completely different.

     

    Info on the topic:

    Beam confirms my friend’s dad’s story, but notes that nude swimming classes weren’t just a YMCA thing. In fact, they were a national thing. The American Public Health Association mandated them from 1926 until 1962, and thousands of high schools around the country enforced the tradition.
     

    Beam explains that the first recreational indoor pool in America opened in the Brooklyn YMCA in New York in 1885. Because swimsuits back then were made of wool, and their fibers would clog the pool’s relatively unsophisticated filtration systems, nude swimming was enforced to make sure the pool didn’t break.

    By the 1920s, there were other, more comfortable swimming alternatives that didn’t shed fibers. However, nude swimming continued. The rationale this time around was that nude swimming was more hygienic. I asked Beam how so.

    “There was the visual inspection,” he says, noting that part of the aquatic director’s job duty was to inspect the men before they jumped into the pool. The inspectors weren’t just checking for venereal diseases. The idea was to look for any open wounds or other indications that the swimmer might have some infectious disease.

    Beam’s narrative checks out. In the 1922 edition of “The Sanitation of Bath Houses” by William Paul Gerhard, nude swimming is encouraged alongside a pre-swim “physical examination.”

     


    “Much can be done to keep the water in a swimming pool sanitary by an efficient supervision and management of the bathers,” Gerhard wrote nearly a century ago. “A physical examination of the bathers, while nude, to exclude the diseased, accomplishes much good, but it is difficult to enforce, except in YMCA buildings and in school or military baths.”

     


    For over half a century, no one really seemed to question the nudity rules. After all, America had a surprisingly laissez-faire attitude toward nudity—at least for the boys. Girls, on the other hand, were always required to wear full suits. In 1941, Life magazine published a photo of young boys in a shower as part of a spread on the concept of democracy.

    “Taking a camera into a boys’ locker room at school and photographing teenage boys completely naked while showering, then, printing that photo taking up an entire half page for the world to look at was considered perfectly appropriate,” writes a historian on the subject. “The published letters to the editor immediately subsequent to this edition never revealed any reader voicing concern about it.”
     

    Sentiments began to change around the early 1960s, however. Societal norms shifted and some boys—and their parents—began speaking up. In 1961, in the small town of Menasha, Wisconsin, high school boys and their parents petitioned the school board to allow boys to wear swim trunks to swim practice.

    “The boys were affected morally, physically and psychologically by forcing them to swim in the nude,” one of the mothers noted at the meeting. But the petition was voted down. The all-male board claimed swim trunks would be prohibitively expensive. They also claimed that swimming nude would build a man’s character.

    “Physical education considers that this experience is a good one for later life, for example the armed services, where the disregard for privacy is real and serious,” the director of the board noted.
     

    Within the YMCA, there was no national mandate, so each location decided for itself on its nude swimming policies. But Beam believes the tide began to shift in 1961 when Ervin Baugher, the general secretary of the Allentown, Pennsylvania, YMCA reported to an executive YMCA conference that, basically, the reasons for nude swimming—wool fibers and cleanliness—no longer made sense for modern pools, which were then equipped with chlorine and powerful filtration systems. In fact, Baugher said the only rational reason to continue the tradition of nude swimming was “encouraging a proper attitude toward the body.”

     

    http://www.vocativ.com/culture/fun/fairly-recently-ymca-actually-required-swimmers-nude/

    I don’t know, sounds very Sandusky to me. It’s dehumanizing and weird, good riddance.

    This real estate nonsense just sounds like a fashion fad. Have to support the never-ending stream of home reno, house hunter, etc. shows on cable. If the housing market slows down, redo your kitchen and bathroom, build that man cave, then time to modernize the master bedroom. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

  116. @AnotherGuessModel
    You know Steve it would be nice if your readership had enough female readers to let us know how they view the public showering in HS/College issue.

    Speaking as a woman, my impression has always been that this whole subject of public showering and changing is a particularly male preoccupation*. Historically, women have been thrown into less spaces (military, naval trade, manual and industrial blue-collar work, even formal education) requiring communal changing and bathing. Today, as with men, women differ on how comfortable they feel being naked in front of others depending on their culture, family upbringing, and personality. But beyond that, I think women take for granted a basic right to privacy, because standards of modesty for women have always been stricter and more protected and static than for men.

    Many here have suggested that wider acceptance of homosexuality has made millenial men disinclined to go naked. I don't think this could apply to millenial women though, because of the very obsessive friendships typical of many college and high-school age girls already blur a lot of those boundaries. Mind you, for most girls they are platonic friendships, but they are characterised by loose boundaries concerning privacy and bodily autonomy.

    *What I am preoccupied with is the move towards "genderless" showers and changing rooms, giving gender identity precedence over biological sex in such spaces, and co-ed living quarters in the military. But that's for another time.

    I saw the transition in the mid-80’s. I was on the girls’ basketball team throughout HS and the first two years we all showered together after games and it was no big deal. Then, my junior year it was only me and another girl who showered. My senior year, 1986, it was only me getting clean… and I was starting to feel like I was some sort of exhibitionist for doing so.

    I grew up with two sisters in my room so privacy was always pretty impossible. It may be that people having smaller families and bigger homes now means kids grow up with their own space.

    FWIW, now that I’m married I really like showering with my hubbie. Is that part of any equation?

    • Replies: @jb

    I grew up with two sisters in my room so privacy was always pretty impossible. It may be that people having smaller families and bigger homes now means kids grow up with their own space.
     
    You know, this could actually be a big part of the explanation! I grew up one of four siblings, two boys and two girls, and at least when we were grade school age we saw each other naked a lot. We saw our parents naked occasionally as well, and it was no big deal. There was just no avoiding it.

    But now days a much greater percentage of children are only children, who never see anyone their own age naked at home, and so it seems weird to them. Could it be that there were so many only children (and perhaps children with only one sibling and a lot of privacy) that it tipped the culture, so that shyness about nudity under any circumstances became the new normal?

  117. This definitely pre-dates cell phone cameras. No one showered after gym in the 90s.

    People maybe just don’t want to be treated like cattle. I get if you are in the military, no stalls to take a shit in the jungle. But why would any civilian accept an institution of any sort forcing you to strip and march into an open pit with a few showerheads? We don’t live 15 to a house with 1 bathroom anymore either. These are good things. And they are called private parts for a reason.

    • Agree: TomSchmidt
  118. @WGG
    Some nudist colonies are actually child porn rings. When I first became involved in the hospitality industry, we received a mailer from a Florida nudist colony which sold videotaped children's beauty pageants for over a hundred bucks a tape, it should go without saying that the kids were in the buff. The owners who received the mailer laughed it off like, "Can you believe those wacky hippies?" Until I explained what it was and told them to take it to the local p.d. to ask it be forwarded to the FBI.

    I really hope some people went to jail.

    To be fair, nudity isn’t pornographic per se.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    It depends on your gender, age, and shape.
  119. @John Mansfield
    Something I see now is boys wearing swimming shirts. I thought it was because their mothers are worried about exposure to sunlight, but last week I took my kids to an indoor pool, and there were some boys wearing swimming shirts in there too.

    I believe that swimming shirts are an exception to the post ’90 ‘s modesty trend being discussed here. In my view, they’re a black thing, and if seen on whites it’s only in the sense that to white proles everything black is cool, so gets emulated. I spent two decades swimming in public pools in Berkeley, and began to notice obese black kids wearing them in the summertime starting around ’04. Probably the idiots think wet t-shirts somehow hide their fat rolls. Never saw anyone but blacks or latinos do it. And blacks don’t have to worry about being ogled by boy lovers.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Yeah. Swimming shirts is to cover fat. 100%. I used to do it too, although I'm not black or Latino... Silly when you look back on it.

    blacks don’t have to worry about being ogled by boy lovers.
     
    LOL. Never thought abou that.
  120. @Steve Sailer
    I played catch with my dad a lot.

    Looking back, I can't believe how many thousands of hours I spent playing with balls.

    I played catch with my dad a lot.

    Yes, I did as well – almost every night after dinner during the summer. My dad would sit on an over-turned bucket w/ a catchers mitt and a beer at his side. On my own, I’d practice pitching at a spray-painted strikezone on a canvas tarp that my dad hung from an unused swing-set.

    I gave all that up and got a part-time job pumping gas when I realized that I wasn’t going to make the big leagues after twice not making my high school varsity.

    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    ^and my left arm almost fell off on my first and only attempt trying out the pitching radar meter at the Astros' Minute Maid Park in Houston a couple of years ago.
  121. @27 year old
    Based on the "reality" TV show house hunters which features youngish couples viewing houses, it seems that people still really want large master bedrooms. Or maybe just TV wants us to think that people want them.

    I don't get the point. For adults, a bedroom is a place to sleep and have sex. If you can comfortably fit a king size bed, you have more than enough space. Large master bedrooms are a waste of space that could instead be used to provide another bedroom for more children.

    My parents had a master bedroom such as you describe. On the many occasions when I had reason to go into their bathroom, I had to navigate the small walkway around their bed from the bedroom door to the bathroom door. It was annoying. Perhaps they had too much stuff in their bedroom, but the fact remains that had the master bedroom been larger, it would have been much more comfortable.

  122. @Harry Baldwin
    I was in Japan in the early 1980s. Locker rooms and baths were sex segregated. The men were nude, but discreet. They carried a hand towel-sized washcloth over their private parts when walking around.

    The habits of men in public baths and hot springs in Japan varies a great deal based on the particular location and the demographics of the men. A lot of men in traditional-style baths just walk around without covering up.

  123. @marty
    I believe that swimming shirts are an exception to the post '90 's modesty trend being discussed here. In my view, they're a black thing, and if seen on whites it's only in the sense that to white proles everything black is cool, so gets emulated. I spent two decades swimming in public pools in Berkeley, and began to notice obese black kids wearing them in the summertime starting around '04. Probably the idiots think wet t-shirts somehow hide their fat rolls. Never saw anyone but blacks or latinos do it. And blacks don't have to worry about being ogled by boy lovers.

    Yeah. Swimming shirts is to cover fat. 100%. I used to do it too, although I’m not black or Latino… Silly when you look back on it.

    blacks don’t have to worry about being ogled by boy lovers.

    LOL. Never thought abou that.

  124. @ScarletNumber
    To be fair, nudity isn't pornographic per se.

    It depends on your gender, age, and shape.

  125. I was an extremely modest boy, and it was a shock when I went to military college in the early 2000s and found we had bay showers without dividers. It only took a couple months to get accustomed.

  126. I’m not much over 30 but the idea of putting one’s underwear on under the towel strikes me as some pussy shit.

    I don’t exactly linger naked in the locker room but I’m not insecure enough that I worry about someone seeing me naked for five seconds.

    • Agree: Jasper Been
  127. @E. Rekshun
    I played catch with my dad a lot.

    Yes, I did as well - almost every night after dinner during the summer. My dad would sit on an over-turned bucket w/ a catchers mitt and a beer at his side. On my own, I'd practice pitching at a spray-painted strikezone on a canvas tarp that my dad hung from an unused swing-set.

    I gave all that up and got a part-time job pumping gas when I realized that I wasn't going to make the big leagues after twice not making my high school varsity.

    ^and my left arm almost fell off on my first and only attempt trying out the pitching radar meter at the Astros’ Minute Maid Park in Houston a couple of years ago.

  128. One year one of my sons got into a state-of-the-art new dorm each student got a very small private room arranged as suites that were like compact four-bedroom apartments with a living room, small kitchen and two bathrooms. It was expensive, but seemed like a better way to live than the traditional dorm room.

    Wow, my dorm room was considered one of the more luxurious at Ohio State at the time and had four students per two-room suite (bedroom with two bunks, and a living/study room) with a bathroom.

    We pitied the poor kids who were jammed into Lincoln and Morrill towers — they had this weird communal leaf and branch thing going on — four small bedrooms, each sleeping four, linked to four small study rooms (really no room to lounge) and then the four study rooms linked to a common room and shared bathroom — so common space was shared among 16). Several of those units per floor of the tower. I spent almost no time there, but it was rumored to be very noisy and chaotic — it was targeted toward freshmen. It looks like in modern times they’ve cut the density in half).

    There were single-occupancy rooms to be had on south campus, but they all used a shared bathroom per floor and there was a waiting list — upper classmen an grad students got first shot.

    I had a girlfriend at a nearby college that had two girls to a single room, but, again, they had shared bathrooms per floor.

  129. @Almost Missouri
    Thanks, all, for your explanations.

    Guess it's time I move to the coast...

    Don’t. Find a tech company that will let your work from home — PS Engineer, Sales Engineer, Sales, jobs like that. I live like a king in Appalachia on the salary for a mid-level Silicon Valley employee.

  130. In my high school 78-82, few of the kids showered after gym. 1) The facilities were atrocious, 2) There was a lot of bullying and you were risking your dignity going naked in front of some of those jerks.

    However, in college, 82-86, I was on the fencing team and we all showered after practice in communal showers at the gym. The facilities were better and childish bullying wasn’t an issue.

    ETA: Don’t know if the data point is important but high school was in a very heavily Jewish and turn-of-the-century immigrant part of central New Jersey, while college was in Columbus, OH — quite different cultures.

  131. @ogunsiron
    Another thing I can’t stand among the younger generation are the fathers who say they want to make time to get home and play with their kids. Grown men shouldn’t want to play with children. It juvenalizes the institution and office of fatherhood
    -----
    I also don't get this emphasis on dads "playing" with their kids. I played with my friends and siblings. I did not "play" with my dad or mom. They'd have found it boring and I would have too. We all had better things to do.

    I did enjoy very much the time spent with my parents taking us to places, teaching us and sharing with us their knowledge. I was lucky to have parents who were very willing to answer all kinds of questions. I enjoyed very much their benign authority and (relative) wisdom.

    My dad took me bowling, skiing, fishing, riding, camping, played catch with me, built things with me in the shop, and coached my rec. league soccer team, and countless other things. I can’t imagine how much more impoverished my upbringing would have been without the time he lavished on me.

    My mom was a big board game, card and puzzle fan, so those are the activities I most remember sharing with her.

    Both were heavy, if not deep, readers, and encouraged my love of books. Both indulged my interest in music, though having no particular leanings in that direction themselves.

    Not all “play” is childish.

  132. @Nope
    I'm a Gen X'er and there's no way I'd want to shower naked in front of a bunch of dudes, and it's weird to me that most of you are complaining that "No one wants to shower naked with other guys anymore? What's the world coming to?" Weird.

    “I’m a Gen X’er and there’s no way I’d want to shower naked in front of a bunch of dudes”

    Why not?

    Please note I’m not saying that you should WANT to shower in front of a bunch of “dudes”, but asking why you wouldn’t want to. What difference does it make? Its just a shower…you’d rather remain filthy than take the risk somebody might see your dick?

    • Replies: @European-American
    I had the same reaction when seeing that Gen Xer's comment. Why so adamant? But part of that answer is, it's beyond explaining, it's just the way it is, and if you need to ask... It's private, dammit, end of story, why you hassling me, what's your deal dude?

    It's the kind of reaction more often seen with girls. But it's also a kind of civilization thing. Don't ask, it's obvious, it's the proper thing.

    And to the many interesting explanations for the distaste for nudity, I'll add another: it's because of Freud! That is, it's because we sexualize everything. A cigar cannot just be a cigar. Nothing is just what it is, "it" is always a double entendre, we're all so clever and we know everything is about sex, so cover it up for Pete's sake. What are you, naive? You don't want to be naive, you know what's really going on, right? You wave that around, you're just asking for it. Etc, etc. And obviously open homosexuality and sexual advertising contribute to the self-consciousness and the paradoxical prudishness.

    Once the innocence is lost, it takes an almost impossible effort of will to say and have people accept, no, dammit, this is just a cigar, this is just a pipe, and this is just a body, don't overthink it, jeez.

  133. @Sunbeam
    This thread looks like it is off the first page and done. But reading this thread to read the later posts I decided to do a google to find photos of what I remembered seeing.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=wwii+field+shower&biw=1600&bih=740&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjWy9-m3N7RAhXDQCYKHej5BxQQsAQIGQ

    Anyway sometimes this is what reality is going to look like. I mean if you are actually going to be involved in war (or building something in the middle of nowhere). Not every situation is going to have some neocon's featherbedding manna from heaven like that compound we built in Iraq.

    Sometimes all you get is an overhead water tank.

    The fort on Mackinac Island was manned long enough to get indoor plumbing before it was turned into a tourist attraction. I took the tour and recall seeing two bathtubs, each in its own wooden stall. Did the soldiers wait in line, or did they sign up for appointments?

    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    Well I'll tell you what little I know.

    The US rolls first class. I mean we floated on an ocean of Budweiser during the Vietnam War.

    Brits, Germans, god help Russians can't possibly imagine what amenities the American Fighting Man had (well the Brits of course, they saw it close up).

    We may not be Clausewitz's gift to strategy and tactics, but buddy we do logistics better than anyone ever has.

    Anyway if we are anywhere for a while, you'll see golf course, Burger Kings, etc.

    But if an army is on the move, or the army is in an inaccessible location, if the army is subject to sniper attacks... in short if the Army is in a war and in a hot zone - well you get the overhead tank and the hose.

    To get the idea of what I am talking about, I used to dabble in a tactical war game called Squad Leader.

    One of the scenarios involved "Charlie Company" of some outfit or another lined up to eat chow in a small European town. Another formation of troops moved towards them down the road.

    Turns out they were German and just as surprised as the Americans - "Both sides scrambled to deploy."

    Supposedly the scenarios were based on real engagements from WWII if my memory is correct.

    Chaos. Words like FUBAR and SNAFU are military words for a reason.

    Anyway in a situation like that you aren't getting private baths. And that situation takes as long as it takes.

    What we have been involved in since Vietnam are kind of bizarre in military terms frankly. Due to the terrain and general intransigence Afghanistan had a lot of similarities. But that abomination of an enclave in Baghdad was kind of weird.

    You've got a Burger King and PX, and lots of REMF's running around? Yet 5 or 10 miles outside of that place you have real ambushes and patrols? Does not compute historically.
  134. @Grumpy
    My sense is that the discomfort started well before cell phones, let alone cell phone cameras. General cultural degradation, the sexualizing of everything, and an increasing distrust of strangers all play into it.

    Good list, to which we can add the growing number of depictions of the Holocaust. Consciously or not, being ordered into a mass shower triggers uncomfortable associations in the consumers of modern entertainment.

  135. People were once a lot more casual about public nudity (for varying degrees of ‘public’, admittedly), and a lot has to do with money and lifestyles.

    Men and boys swimming naked goes back a long ways, partly because few people could afford special clothing just for swimming, partly because swimming costumes were seen as ridiculous. I think that’s because people had much less access to privacy – sharing living space with siblings or not having separate rooms at all, no spigots dispensing heated water, et cetera – and so people were more used to being naked around others.

    Hell, male students swam naked in high schools – in front of parents, spectators, and female swimmers – within living memory. Which strikes me as absurd. But there seems to have been a cultural blind spot about women and sexuality… well, every age has its delusions.

    A lot of younger people not wanting to be publicly naked, I think, is because of greater awareness of male homosexuality being a common reality.

  136. @William Badwhite
    "I’m a Gen X’er and there’s no way I’d want to shower naked in front of a bunch of dudes"

    Why not?

    Please note I'm not saying that you should WANT to shower in front of a bunch of "dudes", but asking why you wouldn't want to. What difference does it make? Its just a shower...you'd rather remain filthy than take the risk somebody might see your dick?

    I had the same reaction when seeing that Gen Xer’s comment. Why so adamant? But part of that answer is, it’s beyond explaining, it’s just the way it is, and if you need to ask… It’s private, dammit, end of story, why you hassling me, what’s your deal dude?

    It’s the kind of reaction more often seen with girls. But it’s also a kind of civilization thing. Don’t ask, it’s obvious, it’s the proper thing.

    And to the many interesting explanations for the distaste for nudity, I’ll add another: it’s because of Freud! That is, it’s because we sexualize everything. A cigar cannot just be a cigar. Nothing is just what it is, “it” is always a double entendre, we’re all so clever and we know everything is about sex, so cover it up for Pete’s sake. What are you, naive? You don’t want to be naive, you know what’s really going on, right? You wave that around, you’re just asking for it. Etc, etc. And obviously open homosexuality and sexual advertising contribute to the self-consciousness and the paradoxical prudishness.

    Once the innocence is lost, it takes an almost impossible effort of will to say and have people accept, no, dammit, this is just a cigar, this is just a pipe, and this is just a body, don’t overthink it, jeez.

  137. @Weltanschauung
    The fort on Mackinac Island was manned long enough to get indoor plumbing before it was turned into a tourist attraction. I took the tour and recall seeing two bathtubs, each in its own wooden stall. Did the soldiers wait in line, or did they sign up for appointments?

    Well I’ll tell you what little I know.

    The US rolls first class. I mean we floated on an ocean of Budweiser during the Vietnam War.

    Brits, Germans, god help Russians can’t possibly imagine what amenities the American Fighting Man had (well the Brits of course, they saw it close up).

    We may not be Clausewitz’s gift to strategy and tactics, but buddy we do logistics better than anyone ever has.

    Anyway if we are anywhere for a while, you’ll see golf course, Burger Kings, etc.

    But if an army is on the move, or the army is in an inaccessible location, if the army is subject to sniper attacks… in short if the Army is in a war and in a hot zone – well you get the overhead tank and the hose.

    To get the idea of what I am talking about, I used to dabble in a tactical war game called Squad Leader.

    One of the scenarios involved “Charlie Company” of some outfit or another lined up to eat chow in a small European town. Another formation of troops moved towards them down the road.

    Turns out they were German and just as surprised as the Americans – “Both sides scrambled to deploy.”

    Supposedly the scenarios were based on real engagements from WWII if my memory is correct.

    Chaos. Words like FUBAR and SNAFU are military words for a reason.

    Anyway in a situation like that you aren’t getting private baths. And that situation takes as long as it takes.

    What we have been involved in since Vietnam are kind of bizarre in military terms frankly. Due to the terrain and general intransigence Afghanistan had a lot of similarities. But that abomination of an enclave in Baghdad was kind of weird.

    You’ve got a Burger King and PX, and lots of REMF’s running around? Yet 5 or 10 miles outside of that place you have real ambushes and patrols? Does not compute historically.

  138. @Formerly CARealist
    I saw the transition in the mid-80's. I was on the girls' basketball team throughout HS and the first two years we all showered together after games and it was no big deal. Then, my junior year it was only me and another girl who showered. My senior year, 1986, it was only me getting clean... and I was starting to feel like I was some sort of exhibitionist for doing so.

    I grew up with two sisters in my room so privacy was always pretty impossible. It may be that people having smaller families and bigger homes now means kids grow up with their own space.

    FWIW, now that I'm married I really like showering with my hubbie. Is that part of any equation?

    I grew up with two sisters in my room so privacy was always pretty impossible. It may be that people having smaller families and bigger homes now means kids grow up with their own space.

    You know, this could actually be a big part of the explanation! I grew up one of four siblings, two boys and two girls, and at least when we were grade school age we saw each other naked a lot. We saw our parents naked occasionally as well, and it was no big deal. There was just no avoiding it.

    But now days a much greater percentage of children are only children, who never see anyone their own age naked at home, and so it seems weird to them. Could it be that there were so many only children (and perhaps children with only one sibling and a lot of privacy) that it tipped the culture, so that shyness about nudity under any circumstances became the new normal?

  139. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I remember the hesitancy and the concern about showering for PE in 7th grade (no showers in elementary). But of course after you start doing it and just soldier past that nudity concern, it becomes no big deal.

    I figure the GenXer, just has that same 12 year old attitude. Cause he never overcame it.

  140. @Anonymous
    "In the first half of the 20th century, vibrators were openly advertised in ladies magazines (as “massagers” etc). Lots of ladies were having fun. I think the fun came to an end when a few stag films showed what they were used for, and suddenly the ads in middle class magazines dried up. I wonder how that fed into the sexual revolution – women could no longer have mechanical fun on the side (no longer acceptable), but had to go outside and look for a man."

    How do you know people weren't using them for massages?

    At first they were openly sold to produce “hysterical paroxysm” (female orgasm) in order to relieve various nervous ailments.

    Later the pitch was more thinly veiled – they were sold to relieve milady’s “jittery nerves”:

    Just looking at the device you didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out what it was for.

  141. “Millennials don’t like to get naked—if you go to the gym now, everyone under 30 will put their underwear on under the towel, which is a massive cultural shift,” he continues.

    —————————————-

    This perspective is a little dated.

    What I and many others have seen is a shift back among younger millennials towards being more comfortable naked. Remember, these guys wear tight clothes that would have been considered effeminate in the 90’s. The gym I go to is mostly 20 somethings, urban, ethnically diverse and with both yuppies and blue collar dudes. The more self conscious people are little older, like 30 and 40 somethings. People shower at the gym a lot, which makes sense because there are enough stalls and they are big and very clean. Newer gyms have much bigger, nicer locker rooms.

    The young women dress very sexy compared to a few years ago. The new trend is tights and halter tops with see through panels in non critical areas. So the side of the leg, back etc, is exposed behind some kind of mesh. I love it. We have a large Brazilian population at my gym and they are out of control exhibitionists, always bending over and making sure guys are looking at them.

    When I was in HS in the 90’s, only us guys on the wrestling team had to shower, because of skin diseases. That was in a small, basement group shower often with 2 or 3 people around each shower head. Wrestlers are very unselfconscious about their bodies. We tend to have really good bodies and uh, pronounced masculine characteristics in all respects. The singlet you wear during matches leaves nothing to the imagination in front of all your peers.

    I went to a big Catholic football powerhouse similar to Steve’s HS(but not that good). Most players showered in the locker room but a few would go home first. They were teased a little but it was all in good fun. One dude would shower in the locker room for wrestling but not football. All the other wrestlers who also played football showered there. My friends from my public school told me a higher percentage went home to shower, probably influenced by the fact most players lived within a mile of the practice field and walked to school. But even then they mostly showered there.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Yes, the NYT article I cited was from way back in 1996. I have no idea what trends are in, say, this decade.
  142. @ATBOTL
    “Millennials don’t like to get naked—if you go to the gym now, everyone under 30 will put their underwear on under the towel, which is a massive cultural shift,” he continues.

    ----------------------------------------

    This perspective is a little dated.

    What I and many others have seen is a shift back among younger millennials towards being more comfortable naked. Remember, these guys wear tight clothes that would have been considered effeminate in the 90's. The gym I go to is mostly 20 somethings, urban, ethnically diverse and with both yuppies and blue collar dudes. The more self conscious people are little older, like 30 and 40 somethings. People shower at the gym a lot, which makes sense because there are enough stalls and they are big and very clean. Newer gyms have much bigger, nicer locker rooms.

    The young women dress very sexy compared to a few years ago. The new trend is tights and halter tops with see through panels in non critical areas. So the side of the leg, back etc, is exposed behind some kind of mesh. I love it. We have a large Brazilian population at my gym and they are out of control exhibitionists, always bending over and making sure guys are looking at them.

    When I was in HS in the 90's, only us guys on the wrestling team had to shower, because of skin diseases. That was in a small, basement group shower often with 2 or 3 people around each shower head. Wrestlers are very unselfconscious about their bodies. We tend to have really good bodies and uh, pronounced masculine characteristics in all respects. The singlet you wear during matches leaves nothing to the imagination in front of all your peers.

    I went to a big Catholic football powerhouse similar to Steve's HS(but not that good). Most players showered in the locker room but a few would go home first. They were teased a little but it was all in good fun. One dude would shower in the locker room for wrestling but not football. All the other wrestlers who also played football showered there. My friends from my public school told me a higher percentage went home to shower, probably influenced by the fact most players lived within a mile of the practice field and walked to school. But even then they mostly showered there.

    Yes, the NYT article I cited was from way back in 1996. I have no idea what trends are in, say, this decade.

  143. @Anonymous
    What's with all the hugging? When did it become a thing? Is it status signaling? Is it something wealthy prep school people have done and now it's filtered down to the masses? I noticed my brother started hugging people a lot when he was in college and as a young adult after college, during which time he had many fairly wealthy, preppy friends from the Northeast.

    Not sure. I think there’s just more variety of hug appreciation/tolerance on display these days.

    Of three people who went to a not-back-east prep school:

    – one is no-hug
    – one (me) likes 3–5-second hugs
    – one seems to go for 7–10 seconds which is still kind of nice, but I’m tempted to check my watch three quarters of the way through

    One popular answer is the decline of contact sports, but I was touchy-feely even back when I was playing water polo.

  144. @Horthans
    Adding to the many anecdotes of locker room practices...

    About fifteen years ago, I had a female friend who played Division I soccer. She had always loved swimming but had gotten more scholarship money for her soccer skills. Her senior year, she joined the swim team and actually managed to contribute points as a member of a relay. When I asked her one day what the biggest difference between the two sets of teammates were, her answer surprised me.

    The girls on the soccer team were overly modest, never showered without sports bras and shorts on and changed practically inside their lockers. The girls on the swim team walked around naked at every opportunity. She said the culture shock was staggering. I have no solid explanation for why such a thing should be.

    Weird. In high school, we showered in our suits to get the chlorine out, but we didn’t have any problem getting naked in the locker room to change back into our street clothes after practice.

    Once I got out of high school I figured that if any guy in the locker room were checking me out for reasons beyond simple scientific data-collection, he had the problem, not me. This seems to work in a gym with plenty of men in their 60s and older and a location/clientele that’s just too boring for single gay men.

    My high-school buddies who also go to the same gym are a bit more reserved, but they didn’t do any in-pool sports and probably just showered at home or in the dorms.

  145. @jcd1974
    When I was in high school in the 1970s, showering after gym was mandatory. No excuses were accepted. If you forgot to bring a towel you got one paper towel to dry off with and and not a super absorbent Bounty, instead a rough brown piece of paper you see in public washrooms. One enthusiastic gym teacher used to join us boys in the shower!

    From younger colleagues I've learned that this ended some time in the 1990s, before cell phones with cameras became ubiquitous.I suspect it was the hysteria about sexual abuse and the fear of law suits that ended mandatory showers. Once they ceased to be mandatory the kids stopped taking them.

    Another colleague volunteers as a high school assistant basketball coach. He too says no one on the team showers after practices or games.

    I suspect it was the hysteria about sexual abuse

    Dennis Hastert was notorious for pulling up an easy chair to get a good view of his wrestling team showering nude.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    The only victim in the Hastert case was Hastert.
  146. @Desiderius

    I suspect it was the hysteria about sexual abuse
     
    Dennis Hastert was notorious for pulling up an easy chair to get a good view of his wrestling team showering nude.

    The only victim in the Hastert case was Hastert.

  147. @Steve Sailer
    Makes sense.

    Nudism is a Northern European thing and the Northern European % of the American population is way down.

    Heinlein was an example of a socially liberal Old American with a German name who liked nudism. No kids.

    Funny about the big 3 prophets – they had no genetic future:
    Heinlein – no kids
    Clarke – gay (pedo?)
    Asimov – one deadbeat son (pedo?) and one daughter (no kids? no clue).
    Creeps me out. Should probably stop writing scifi.

  148. @Bazza McKenzie
    Overseas comment - from Australia.
    In the past (1970's and 1980's for me), nakedness after football was more of less compulsory - the more modest boys would be teased, and there would generally be teasing along the lines of "what are you looking at, are you a poofter?" if anyone else looked your way while showering - this would mostly be good-natured (not always, of course), but based on the assumption that we were all blokes (heterosexual men) so nobody would be checking each other out, anyway.

    With the social changes since then, the rules are no longer clear. There was the poignant example of a local sporting hero of the unreconstructed type (google Brendan Fevola), demanding that his new team-mates stop showering in underwear - he was at the end of his career and could not understand the change.

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/archive/entertainment/brendan-fevola-makes-brisbane-lions-get-rid-of-jocks-in-the-shower/news-story/c846e60ed17bc41a4caa0e23d8f012cf?nk=851e33d4316346d7c01a0d44baed9d24-1485336631

    In the past (1970′s and 1980′s for me), nakedness after football was more of less compulsory

    I regularly played 5-a-side football in leagues from the rise of public centres for that activity in the (iirc) early 1980s (in the UK) until age made it inadvisable relatively recently. In that time I noticed a dramatic decline in the use of the public showers (usually big collective changing rooms and wall-mounted showers without any privacy) after matches. When I started playing it was assumed that most players would shower afterwards. The showers were in continual use and often crowded, with waiting your turn sometimes required at busier ko times. In recent years the use of the showers became very rare, and mostly restricted to the older players. Most would go home to change and shower, and younger players no longer simply accepted that a communal shower was the norm, but showed a distinct discomfort with the idea of public nudity even in an all male environment.

    Most likely this was because they had not grown up in schools where collective nudity after sport was the norm, as my generation had, combined with the increasing convenience of showering at home (faster travel, usually by car, and improved washing facilities at home).

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