Nude sleepers

Nude sleepers

Jenn
Jenn

June 17th, 2010, 1:25 pm #1

For those of you who started sleeping naked when you were growing up, was there ever any concerns about boys sharing a bed? Seems ridiculous to me, but I had one of my boys friends mother (is that confusing?) ask me about sleeping arrangements for sleepovers. She said she always insists on "individual sleeping bags" because she knows the boys sleep naked and said she didnt think it was a good idea for them to be "in bed together."

Am I crazy or is she? I never gave it a thought until she brought it up. Is this something I should be worried about?
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 17th, 2010, 4:35 pm #2

Hi Jenn. Welcome to Potpourri.
I hope you will continue to join us here as we really need more posters for this forum.
We discuss a lot of interesting topics here and would love to hear your views on them.

As to your question, same-sex nudity was not a concern when I was growing up in the 1950s-60s but its a different world now. Back then homosexuality was such a taboo subject that it wasn't even talked about in public. Most people scarcely knew it existed- and certainly not to the extent that it does. So same-sex nudity seem harmless and it was routine for boys to swim nude at YMCAs and summer camps and everyone showered together in a communal shower after school PE.

All this began changing with the "Gay Rights" movement of the 1970s. Then the "AIDS" epidemic in the 1980s when it became known that that a number of famous celebrities (ie- Liberace, Rock Hudson, Robert Reed) had been secretly gay for years when they contracted AIDS and died.

Suddenly everybody was aware of homosexuality and that it was far more common than they thought. This meant that same-sex nudity now took on sexual connotations it had not had in more innocence times and it was greatly curtailed in all public situations. Today I don't think there is nude swimming at any YMCAs or summer camps. Most school no longer require showers after PE and most kids don't take them.

So I'm sure that many parents are concerned that if their child is nude with other boys it might encouraged homosexuality. I don't think there is evidence of this- current thinking is homosexuality is a born trait- not a learned one- but I doubt you will convince such parents otherwise.
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Bob in Canada
Bob in Canada

June 20th, 2010, 8:42 pm #3

For those of you who started sleeping naked when you were growing up, was there ever any concerns about boys sharing a bed? Seems ridiculous to me, but I had one of my boys friends mother (is that confusing?) ask me about sleeping arrangements for sleepovers. She said she always insists on "individual sleeping bags" because she knows the boys sleep naked and said she didnt think it was a good idea for them to be "in bed together."

Am I crazy or is she? I never gave it a thought until she brought it up. Is this something I should be worried about?
Hello Jenn.
Re: Your concerns regarding the mother of your boys playmates.

My own experiences growing up included this very topic.

I've slept sometimes nude since age 4 and full time since age 10.
My cousins would come to visit and I would have to share my bed with the boy cousin. He wore PJs at home and thought my "style" was weird. The second time visiting, he informed me that he tried sleeping nude after he got home from his first visit, he liked it until his Mom caught him and freaked out.

I guess that my Auntie and Mom must have had a conversation when they came to visit the second time and Auntie told him it was o.k. to sleep as I did only while at our home. ( our home, our rules?)
In our home casual nudity was no big deal, not so at his house. We adjusted our lifestyle somewhat for Auntie's sake ( Uncle died when cousins very young )and put on U/W once out of bed.
My cousin laughed so hard as we were getting ready to go out and play that both Mom and Auntie asked " What's up ?"
I had taken my U/W off to put on my shorts to go outside, he'd never heard the term " Commando " before.

So... we go out to play, ride our bikes to the lake, and I suggest we go swimming. He's obviously more heated then I, and jumps right in, clothes and all. I strip first, and jump in, again he's laughing. That is until we get out and get set to ride on to my friend's house. I get dressed in my dry shorts. He had to ride in his wet shorts & U/W. Ever ridden a bike any distance in wet clothing? So end of day, we are home for supper. Cousin has a huge rash and is very sore in his crotch and butt. Our Moms talk with much laughter again. For the rest of his visit, he never wore U/W again, and it took 3 days for his butt to heal from riding in wet clothes. He wasn't laughing when Auntie held his checks apart while my mom put ointment all over his crotch and butt.

As for sleeping nude with other boys sharing a bed. If they are all good friends, no harm will come of it. Perhaps a few "Sword fights" and other curious explorations may happen, which is a normal part of youth. In our current world, there are too many "hang ups" because we do not let our children explore their bodies and the interaction between friends of the SAME AGE. Those boundaries change as the boys grow to teenagers.

In fact, I actually started to wear U/W to bed for a time as a teen, because of wet dreams. I'm laughing as I remember my mom trying to explain wet dreams and morning "woodies" to me.

I feel for all the single moms out there, who are raising boys. My teen years were somewhat difficult, I wished so much to have Dad to ask very personal questions. Teenagers get a very twisted view of sexuality if they are learning from porn on the internet, rather then candid talks within a healthy family environment.

In concussion, Jenn and others reading this, isn't it better to have a healthy attitude, rather then repressed and shy about our bodies. Your boys will grow to be men, hopefully, comfortable in their skin.

I'll go a little further here and ask, do your boys know what your body looks like, are you comfortable in your skin ? If we do not show that we are comfortable in our skin, how will they react once they start dating?


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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 21st, 2010, 2:10 am #4

Bob, I think you did a much better job answering Jenn's question. Mine was more of a clinical dissertation attempting to explain people's opposition to child nudity- and perhaps even implying agreement with it- which is not the case. On the contrary, I think as your cousin found out- there are times when nudity just makes good sense. Swimming and sleeping are such times and I'm glad that your mom had some success having Auntie see this point.

So to put my reply in more personal terms- which I think is what Jenn is looking for- my wife and I were products of the rebellious 1960s. While we weren't exactly hippies we did agree with many of their ideals- one being that there was nothing shameful about the human body and no reason to act as if there was. I too began sleeping nude as a early teen- soon after I began experimenting with "going commando"- or freeballing as we call it now. I had been wearing my UW to bed but it seem dumb to put on UW just to go to bed. When I met my wife to be she quickly adopted my buff sleeping style as well my casual attitude towards nudity. We even visited a nude beach on several occasions.

After we married we built a house in a secluded area of southwest Florida. Because it was hot- and secluded- we treated clothing as largely optional- especially in and around our pool. This included the kids as they came along- no one wanted the hassle of bathing suits- and clothing was pretty much optional any time we didn't have visitors- which wasn't often in those days.

In fact, about the only visitors we had was my wife's brother's family who would drive over from Delray a few times a year. They had two boys and a girl. Her brother's wife was very conservative and didn't go for this nude swimming and sleeping so I told our kids it would be best if they wore swimsuits and sleep-shorts while their cousins were here.

Perhaps I gave in to easy but I knew as they grew older- made friends, had sleepovers, joined scouts- went camping and so-forth that this nudity question would come up over and over and it seem best to adjust them to the idea that you make certain accommodations when around guests and one of those is to wear clothes when you might not otherwise. They accept this and I think it even made them appreciate when they could be clothesfree even more.

They are long grown now- successful well-adjusted adults and I've never seen the slightest sign that their clothes optional upbringing had any adverse effect on them.
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Bob
Bob

June 23rd, 2010, 12:55 am #5

For those of you who started sleeping naked when you were growing up, was there ever any concerns about boys sharing a bed? Seems ridiculous to me, but I had one of my boys friends mother (is that confusing?) ask me about sleeping arrangements for sleepovers. She said she always insists on "individual sleeping bags" because she knows the boys sleep naked and said she didnt think it was a good idea for them to be "in bed together."

Am I crazy or is she? I never gave it a thought until she brought it up. Is this something I should be worried about?
I don't recall that my parents ever tried to force any of us kids to think badly of our bodies. I guess it was just by example that we "knew" that we were to be clothed anytime we weren't bathing. Even walking around in underwear was not done much around our house, and certainly not around anyone except the immediate family (and then, it was usually us boys in undershorts and not my sisters walking around in bras and panties . . the double standard).

Given this upbringing, I can understand why someone might think it odd to even sleep in the nude. Wasn't that why you wore pajamas, or sweatpants, or even just underwear to bed. . to protect your bed linens from being soiled by sweat or other bodily fluids? Knowing someone's bare ass touched the sheets, why would I want to then sleep in those sheets? I wouldn't have thought about homosexuality -- the appearance thereof -- so much as cleanliness and modesty.

A girl I briefly dated in high school thought it was odd that I didn't sleep in the nude. She offered that she always slept that way (a nice visual for a teen boy) and thought it would be uncomfortable to sleep in any clothing. Judging by her reaction, I think she also thought that sleeping in clothes showed some immaturity . . some child-like residual . . . and that an emerging young man would relinquish the clothes as some sort of right of passage into adulthood (we were all in a hurry to grow up at that age . . . and even now I find it funny the things some women use to determine if a male is a "real man").

I think Nat has it right -- when others are around, do what makes them comfortable for that short time together.
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Brandon
Brandon

June 23rd, 2010, 1:38 am #6

I always found it strange and offensive that anyone would judge someone's manliness by what they chose to wear to bed. I was always a fan of police movies and tv shows and in the 1960s and 1970s, the "real men" always wore pajamas.

The Daily Mail in Britain recently had an opinion piece stating that pajamas are only acceptable on boys under 10 and men over 60:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... y-man.html

What rubbish!

Growing up, I never knew anyone who slept in the nude or at least no one who talked about it. Most people I knew slept in pajamas. although three of my friends slept in their underwear and two of them frequently made fun of me for wearing pjs when I would spend the night at their house or go with them to their vacation place.

I was once having a discussion about Star Wars with a friend of mine and I mentioned having Star Wars pajamas. He thought that was the funniest thing because I would have been 11 when Star Wars came out. He said that boys didn't wear pajamas past the age of 9 or 10 and told me I must have been a "super nerd."

I even got on this topic with a female assistant of mine when we were working on a list for a entertainment radio talk show about fake things on the Brady Bunch. She wanted to add the Brady boys wearing button down pajamas to the list because in real life the boys certainly would have slept shirtless and likely would have just gone to bed in their tighty whities. I told her I grew up during that era and always wore pajamas. She also remarked that I must have been nerdy because her brothers gave up pjs around the age of 6 or 7 and she thought that was normal for boys in the 1970s. Needless to say that didn't make our list of fake Brady Bunch issues.

I think from Nat's other group about "sleeping nude" we once learned that at least since the 1970s, boys and girls have slept in all kinds of different attire and families can really vary in this area.


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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 23rd, 2010, 2:16 am #7

I'm don't think most people sleep nude but I think a lot more sleep in underwear than in pajamas.
They won't show that on TV because underwear is more sexually provocative.
But TV is not real life and it can't be used as an example of real life.
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Dennis
Dennis

July 11th, 2010, 11:43 am #8

For those of you who started sleeping naked when you were growing up, was there ever any concerns about boys sharing a bed? Seems ridiculous to me, but I had one of my boys friends mother (is that confusing?) ask me about sleeping arrangements for sleepovers. She said she always insists on "individual sleeping bags" because she knows the boys sleep naked and said she didnt think it was a good idea for them to be "in bed together."

Am I crazy or is she? I never gave it a thought until she brought it up. Is this something I should be worried about?
I don't know what should be wrong when boys sleep in the same bed in the nude.

Me and my whole family (Mom, Dad and my two twin-brothers) all are sleeping nude. We boys since we were out of diapers.

When we have sleepovers my mates sleep naked too, sometimes with me in my bed. Sometimes it comes up to some touching each other, but hey, we're young. We just like to cuddle a little before sleeping.

So why not let your kids do wht they want to...
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Jenn
Jenn

July 11th, 2010, 2:16 pm #9

Hi Dennis -

You didn't mention how old you and your brother are - mostly I'm curious to compare with my sons ages.

I pretty much let them decide at sleepovers - I dont usually get involved, but I did have a mother who was concerned about it. Do your friends who sleep nude at your house only do it then or do they do it all the time at home as well? If they don't, is it because their parents dont approve - or they dont think they would approve?

Also, you used the term "mates" - are you from England?
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Joined: May 9th, 2005, 12:05 pm

July 12th, 2010, 3:41 pm #10

For those of you who started sleeping naked when you were growing up, was there ever any concerns about boys sharing a bed? Seems ridiculous to me, but I had one of my boys friends mother (is that confusing?) ask me about sleeping arrangements for sleepovers. She said she always insists on "individual sleeping bags" because she knows the boys sleep naked and said she didnt think it was a good idea for them to be "in bed together."

Am I crazy or is she? I never gave it a thought until she brought it up. Is this something I should be worried about?
While I was not generally a nude sleeper when I was a chld, and it was almost so long ago I barely remember, if two boys, or for that matter, two girls, shared a bed, any concern would be on the part of the parents. And furthermore, what they were or weren't wearing would almost be irrelevant unless the parents were hopelessly naive. Naturally a lot depends on the age of the children, who we assume are the same age as one another.

I'd have to say you don't need to do the worrying for the parents of your son's friend. But you could worry about your son instead, there being no reason to assume that one is more or less innocent than the other.

It goes without saying that a lot enters into the equation such as what time of the year it is (that is, whether or not it is hot or cold), whether the other child has siblings of their own, what they may have been doing before going to bed and so on. In any case, I think the wishes of the other child's parent need to be respected or the deal's off. There's no reason to get everyone upset over a thing like that. And you know everyone involved better than any of us do.
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