Notes from West London

Inversely Proportional: male swimwear and the age of the swimmer

Here’s something I’ve noticed over the last 10 years at swimming pools here in West London. The older a man is, the skimpier his swimwear. The size of a man’s swimming trunks (for want of a better description) is inversely proportional to the age of the man. I noticed it when I was a member of a private gym, which I had joined specifically for the pool rather than the other facilities. The rule also applies at the local council-run pool for which I currently pay a much lower monthly subscription.  

There was one particular chap who I saw many times at the private gym. He looked about 70 and would stand in his unfeasibly tiny Speedos for ages chatting to whoever was unfortunate enough to be changing next to him. (It was never me, I’m glad to say.) I was in my 40s when I joined the gym, and my swimwear is similar in size to a pair of tennis shorts: much less revealing, and with handy pockets for my ear-plugs. My brother’s son and his mates (all in their 20s) would splash about in the sea in trunks that are almost as long as tracksuit bottoms. I pointed out the inversely proportional link between age and size of swimwear to my brother. He told me that some of his son’s friends even wear briefs under their below-the-knee swimwear, a whole new level of modesty. I wish the elderly gents in the budgie smugglers would wear something similar.  

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