I was in my early teens and away for a week at a summer camp, this would have been the mid 70s.I think I was sleeping nude while at home at the time, but not ready to openly sleep nude in a cabinof other teens and actually unlike now very shy even in a shower setting.But I do have a distinct memory of one the councilers probably in his early 20s not only casually showering in the buffbut standing at the sink still nude shaving. In the communal bathroom shared by the teens and leadershipMaybe the reason that it made such impression is I wished i could havebeen so bold. My guess is that if a guy in his 20s in a leadership position now was casually nude around a groupof teens there would be hell to pay and he would lose his job at summer camp.thots?I only attended a YMCA Summer Camp once. That was my first experience with skinny dipping and probably opened up my eyes to who I really was inside. I was probably 10 at the time.
I remember us being taken to the pool changing room, given a bag and a number to remember. We were not told to bring swim suits so ... we didn't have any. There were a few boys that did not participate but after getting undressed and walking out on the pool deck, I guess I figured ... "do as the Roman's do" and I looked forward to swim days that entire week.
I'd agree with every single one of NatureBoy's points, although I agree "rise" is a problematic word. Please realize I'm speaking as a totally out and activist gay man.
What rose was not numbers, but awareness. I was in a sauna in the seventies, private home with a group of five or six men I knew; I was the only gay one, I think. The host, and I, and maybe a couple of other guys were naked, a couple in towels, one of which noted the naked guys, jokingly, with "now we can tell who the gay guys are." I was dumbfounded. Such a thing just couldn't have been said ten years before, and wouldn't have been conceivable. Nudity was about sports, about the military, it was a notably masculine thing. But as NatureBoy says, everything got sexualized. It was no longer a rock-solid assumption that male/male nudity was nonsexual, and the higher public profile of homosexuality pointed that up. People got shy and afraid.
I read a travel article once, in the late '80s, about Russia, which told of a bus ride on which the writer noted tired young soldiers, sleeping in their seats leaned onto one another's laps and shoulders. The writer, regretting the Russian people's increasing awareness of the West, said that in a few years that would not be possible. And he was right.
I do hope with NatureBoy that the generation which is growing up with unlimited exposure to (online, at least) nudity and sexuality and complete acceptance of homosexuality, will get past the issue.
Oh wow! The rise in homosexuality? Some of your other points are spot on, but where in the world did this come from? Homosexuality is no greater or lesser than in history; it's just finally being more accepted as the dinosaurs die off and the younger generation opens their eyes to acceptance. To think there's a "rise" in homosexuality suggests we're recruiting! I can assure you we're not recruiting...I mean the general rise in homosexuality. The awareness of it, the advocacy for it, and (IMHO) an increase in the open practice of it. Today you have places like Provincetown in MA, Key West, and San Francisco where homosexuality is VERY openly advertised & celebrated. That never would have happened 40? 50? years ago.
Right or wrong, homosexuals are a very vocal minority. I think this has impacted the majority's attitude toward same sex nudity.
Sorry to have taken this thread away from it's original topic of summer camp memories, I just found it interesting the way in which views have changed over the years. I guess it's the pendulum effect - with luck it will swing back in the direction of a more healthy body image outlook as the millennial's raise their children...
My first experience with summer camp was through our local YMCA. I probably would not have gotten to go due to cost, but my grandfather was the custodian so I got to go a deeply discounted rate. At the young age in the late 60's and early 70's all the swimming in our Y was still nude. The sauna, whirlpool, and shower areas, (wet areas) were all nude. The showers were all open gang style showers so seeing other men and boys nude was nothing out of the ordinary. I have slept nude since diapers. SO when I went to camp I slept nude. I would put on shorts and after lights were out, I would simply slip them off. It was not uncommon for us to strip by the bed and walk to the bathroom to shower for the night or day in the nude with all the boys, or at least most of them being naked.
I have served as a camp counselor for several years now. I have at differing years hang younger boys to teens. I can honesty say that I still sleep nude. I do not make a display of it. But I will shower and shave while nude in the shower and walk to my bed. If we are going to bed I simply lay down and pull the sheet up over me. If we are going to be up a while I will put on shorts and then when I lay down, I will slide them off. As I said, I have been doing this for years and have never had any problem or issue. The time may well happen, but so far so good. And actually have only had one young man even ask abut my sleeping nude. He noticed me come from the shower to bed and lay down while still nude. He asked if I was not going to put anything on, I simply responded I will in the morning, but it is cooler to sleep this way and more comfortable for me. I never heard another word about it. He may have discussed it among his peers but if he did, I never caught any word of it.
My being nude on my sleep is for my comfort. There is nothing sexual about it and so far has not been a problem.