The Tao of Skinny-Dipping.
April 28, 2005 10:29 PM   Subscribe

The Tao of Skinny-Dipping. [nytimes reg required] After long days spent defending their positions atop New York's most competitive fields, Manhattan's alpha males need to unwind. From mistresses to treadmills, these men have as many forms of relaxation as sources of stress. But some of the city's titans have a secret. They meet around private pools in private clubs and swim together, naked.
posted by jba (27 comments total)
As have practically all males and/or females born anywhere at any time in history. Ever been in a sauna, or to the YMCA? I can't think of any point to pointing this practice out in particular, beyond reiterating the point that rich people like doing stuff together.

Also, because I mentioned it, hey, gender/queer theorists, what does gender/queer theory have to say about the acronym YMCA? Does the essential genderedness of it have any consequences? How about the YMCA/YWCA dichotomy? Or is it just another expression of larger forces within society, and in particular Christianity, and not relevant in itself?
posted by monocyte at 10:46 PM on April 28, 2005

Thanks for trying to make this utterly banal post more interesting, monocyte. Unfortuanately, the "YMCA/YWCA dichotomy" doesn't make much sense to me.
posted by squirrel at 10:51 PM on April 28, 2005

What is it about implied homosexuality in heterosexuals that so interests the NYT (and Mefi)?

Don't these articles just serve to reinforce the stigma associated with homosexuality?
posted by unsupervised at 11:13 PM on April 28, 2005

If disrobing as a sign of letting down their guard in a safe public enviroment helps people to relax, then more power to them. The implied gay issue is terribly passe by now (unless the posts's big bold NAKED was intended to do something other than sensationalize).

Personally, I find the article's mention of nudity as a "return to prep school" token of nostalgia to be far more intriguing, especially since nudity is a tool that gives an ostensive reason to exclude females from the ritual. Do people of more privileged socioeconomic backgrounds feel less threatened by nudity? Is America's prude crusade driven by the lower/working class? Which socioecnomic bracket draws the most nudists at nudist camps?

Reminds me of various articles about "Scandinavians conducting high-level business deals in saunas" that have appeared on MeFi a few times before.
posted by DaShiv at 11:34 PM on April 28, 2005

Yes, unsupervised, without meta-moderating, I thought this article was interesting in that it's one of a long string of NYT articles that center around these straight people acting gay stereotypes - witness metrosexual/man date/naked pools. (that a younger generation is continuing the clubs against the aforementioned stigmas is interesting too.)
posted by jba at 11:43 PM on April 28, 2005

So this is what they do on Man dates.
posted by drezdn at 11:44 PM on April 28, 2005

You'd think they'd at least mention Japanese baths.
posted by Poagao at 12:14 AM on April 29, 2005

How naughty.
posted by pwedza at 2:04 AM on April 29, 2005

Why do stories of rich people doing things together intrigue me so? Must be my shallow character.
posted by Onanist at 2:14 AM on April 29, 2005

Hmm. Overpaid, bourgeois blue blood wannabes aspiring to a bygone era of Gatsbyesque ease. Pussies.
posted by psmealey at 2:42 AM on April 29, 2005

Hmm. Cascade of near-non-sequitir terms to imply superiority over percieved bent of recounting of subject. Weirdo.
posted by jscott at 4:28 AM on April 29, 2005

I was commenting on the subjects of the article, smart guy, not the posters' comments.
posted by psmealey at 4:54 AM on April 29, 2005

"What goes on at the R.T.C. stays at the R.T.C. We don't want the general public having a peek at the last bastion of old-school pleasure, the last oasis."

I couldn't read past this point, being a member of the "general public" and all.

posted by HuronBob at 5:41 AM on April 29, 2005

I'll be buggered if I'm going to search for a link, but I've read that some Oxford Dons like to get their kit off on the banks of the river that flows thru the university town.

Oh I say!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:26 AM on April 29, 2005

"Parsons' Pleasure, a stretch of river at Oxford set aside for men's bathing, was historically off limits to women. One day, Maurice Bowra was bathing 'au naturel' with several other university dons when a boatload of women, having ignored the "Men Only" signs, rowed into view.

A number of dons on the bank promptly grabbed towels and fashioned impromptu loincloths - with the exception of Bowra, who elected instead to cover his head. "I believe, gentlemen," he declared, "that I am recognized by my face.""

This would be the Maurice Bowra who also said .."I expect to pass through this world but once and therefore if there is anybody I want to kick in the crotch I had better kick them in the crotch now, for I do not expect to pass this way again."

Gotta like that guy!
posted by HuronBob at 6:59 AM on April 29, 2005

In addition to Japanese Onsen, they could have talked about Russian banya, German saunalandschaften, Finnish sauna, Turkish baths, or hot springs everywhere and as contemporary examples of this. Hell, they could have at least mentioned the non co-ed days at the Russian and Turkish Baths right there in NYC. This article is trying to be edgy where there's no edge to be found.
posted by Staggering Jack at 8:02 AM on April 29, 2005

obscure racquet sports played since the time of the French Revolution by the kind of people against whom the French were rebelling

Nicely done.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:03 AM on April 29, 2005

Hmm, you mean they can see each other's penises' and know where they rank in the tribal heirarchy based solely on how big their "manhood" is? That's great. As for any latent homo-eroticism, do girls who hang out together in a bedroom in their underwear doing each other's hair qualify for the same fear (or is it tittilation?)?

Just because a couple of guys hang out with their junk out doesn't mean they want to choke on each other's poles. Sometimes its just nice to be naked and its nice to socialize, combine the two and you can get to a new comfort zone.

Is there a real story here?
posted by fenriq at 9:23 AM on April 29, 2005

My dad said that at the catholic junior high he attended, swim class was conducted naked. Maybe that was just to entertain the preists, I dunno.
posted by jonmc at 10:51 AM on April 29, 2005

That's just disturbing. On so many levels.
posted by Cyrano at 12:32 PM on April 29, 2005

It seems like giggling teenage girls have taken over writing for the Times.
posted by drezdn at 12:36 PM on April 29, 2005

Why won't the rich swim naked with me?
posted by Slagman at 3:08 PM on April 29, 2005

jonmc, damn, he should be seeking reperations for the harm caused. Heck, I'm considering suing the church just for hearing about it!
posted by fenriq at 3:25 PM on April 29, 2005

Slagman, if I didn't feel that the habit of proposing taglines was dumb, I'd say your comment was perfect.
posted by klangklangston at 4:10 PM on April 29, 2005

five recommendations needed for admission

I hate certain things about New York. I didn't get past paragraph four cuz I didn't want this to be another one. I still love NYC though. In theory.

I thought this article was interesting in that it's one of a long string of NYT articles that center around these straight people acting gay stereotypes

I think then it might be best to post the whole "string" of articles. I wasn't aware of such a trend, and it might be interesting. Rich men swimming together naked is not. But then I didn't even read the whole thing, so I shouldn't comment. But I will anyway. Please post those other articles if you've got 'em.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:56 PM on April 29, 2005

btw, metrosexuals are so over. according to Dodge Trucks.

"If you're walking down the street and you're not sure who the guys are whistling at - you or your boyfriend - you're in trouble," she said.

How 20th century!
posted by mrgrimm at 5:59 PM on April 29, 2005

Dana Vachon scores a $650,000 book advance - 4th item down.
posted by tellurian at 12:38 AM on May 10, 2005

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