Originally Posted by MarkLondon
There's not nearly enough opportunties to swim naked for most people. I've only done it twice. First time was Hampstead Ponds in the 70s in a heatwave, second time was in the sea at a nudist beach in the 80s. It is amazing, the difference that lack of a scrap of cloth makes.
I equate London with nude swimming. For many years I was a member of Gymnos, a club that had a nude swimming tranche and a nude social tranche. I also attended many of the sessions of GLS - Gay London Swimmers - an offshoot, I think, of GLP, Gay London Professionals, another social group. GLS swims were held at the University of London pool in Gower St, and the Gymnos swims were held at various council leisure centre sites, usually 2 a week, depending on the annual arrangement struck between Gymnos and the councils. Most were in central London. I might add that straight men were always welcome at these nude swims. They were recreational and social, not sexual.
Thus, I got to swim about 3 times a week in the nude throughout the year. I made a lot of friends through these swims, guys I've known now for 15 years or more. Nudity is indeed the great equalizer and a component of human bonding (friendship and understanding).
As I understand it, other major cities in Europe (Paris, Berlin, and more) have regular nude swims. Some of these are for families, but gay groups in the larger cities often negotiate space for naked swimming as a recurring social event. I was as delighted to find these facilities in Europe as my UK friends were baffled that nude indoor swimming at public venues is all but prohibited in the US, even for private groups. The US has twisted ideas about the human body; we have the world's largest porn industry, which is fine because it's capitalism, but routine social nudity is shunned.
A little internet sleuthing will turn up many more opportunities than you might suspect.