I took few formal swimming lessons as a boy. I may well have had some of the experiences both of you relate, but if so I no longer remember. I swam nude at the Y as a teen, but no women ever were present.Nudity among boys was not even a consideration, much less a concern, nor was the propriety or impropriety of adult and teen clothed women supervising us -- it's just the way it was.
I do remember one summer, either the summer before or summer after I graduated from high school, when my girlfriend gave swimming lessons as part of some organization or another (don't remember) to both boys and girls of very young ages---8 or 9 would have neen the max, maybe 10 at the very oldest. The classes were mostly boys, which would have been the norm in those days (late 50's), as many parents still thought it was "unhealthy" for girls to get exercise.
Anyway, the boys were given the choice of wearing suits or swimming nude (suits were of course mandatory for girls), with most of the boys chosing to swim naked. Not only were mothers and sisters present, but it was an outdoor pool, so any passersby of either sex could see the boys. No one gave this arrangement a second thought.
And as has been pointed out on the forum related to this, it was not a case of the boys being encouraged to swim naked. Instead, it was a case of no one, male or female, discouraging the practice of boys swimming nude. It was felt, and rightly so, that it was what the boys wanted to do anyway, so why be priggish enough to deny them their fun?
HARRY From Ma. on June 13..
Marcus, your girlfriend's experience was just about exactly as I experienced it -- it was felt that swimming nude was something boys preferred to do. And we did. The adults be they men or women who were present, including older teen girls, were largely irrelevant to how we felt about things. We were interested in swimming, fighting and playing (and the fighting was just rough housing, nothing serious) and whomever was (trying) to keep us under control was not paid much attention to.
To this day, I know that swimming nude if much better than wearing suits. Don't get to do it as often, but whenever I do I prefer it.
TOM from Va. August 9