Q&A: Swimsuit Modesty?

We recently received the following email:

My wife and I have a conflict.
I prefer to wear “speedo” type swimming suits over trunk style swimming suits for the following reasons:
1. for the support
2. faster drying and therefore I do not get as cold (I have very low body fat)
3. less drag of water and air while swimming
4. less chaffing or rubbing

I only like to wear this suit while swimming or participating in active water activities.

My wife believes this style is immodest. She asked me to put on a trunk style swimming suit while I looked at her and could clearly see her breasts, her nipples; and her swimming suit was right next to her vulva!

I have asked her what is the difference between most women’s style swimming suits that are next to the skin and genitalia and men’s “speedo” style swim briefs? She has told me she intends to now wear a modest swimming suit.

Is there an aversion to the male body? Why the double standard? I much prefer the comfort of a “speedo” brief swimming suit.

Swimsuit modesty can be a tough subject to tackle. There are so many different opinions and views on this subject. I have Christian girlfriends who swim in a large T-shirt and shorts over a one piece bathing suit for modesty’s sake, and I also have Christian girlfriends who wear a two piece bikini with no problem.

As far as Speedos go specifically…I have to admit to being uncomfortable around them most of the time. I think it’s just because it so clearly outlines the man’s “package” so to speak. However, I do realize that there are legitimate reasons for men to wear them sometimes. When I go to the YMCA, I often see men in Speedos swimming laps. For some reason that doesn’t bother me in the least. There are a couple of high schools that use our local YMCA for their swim team practices as well, and I think that wearing a Speedo does indeed help the men swim better. I have a girlfriend whose husband was on the swim team in school, and he prefers to swim in a Speedo if it’s for exercise, but if it’s a family reunion or church get together at someone’s pool, then he wears trunks just out of respect for others.

I think it mainly bothers me when I see someone at the beach just lounging around in a Speedo…lying out in the sun, playing Frisbee, walking around drinking, etc. If the man isn’t wearing them for purely swimming benefits, then that leads me to wonder if he is just trying to call attention to himself, and that is what makes me uncomfortable.

I can understand what you are asking about the double standard, especially with many of the string bikinis out on the beaches today. It’s even possible to tell if a woman shaves her pubic hair, because the swimsuit can hug her so tightly as to reveal the outline of her vulva lips. (Yeah, I saw that myself 😯 ) However, there are many new swimsuits out there for women that fit like regular clothes. These swimsuits are two pieces where the top part looks like a tank top and the bottom part looks like shorts. (Here is an example of a Tankini!) I usually wear a one piece, but I really want to get one of these new styles of two pieces! (I recently saw one on a friend of mine, and it looked so great and trendy and modest, all at the same time!)

As far as you and your wife go, it seems like you two just need to find a compromise. If you are truly into swimming as a sport or as exercise, then maybe you can wear a Speedo while you are in the water, but when you come out of the water you could just slip a pair of trunks on over it or something? Or maybe you can only wear the Speedo in your own backyard pool or while at the local YMCA swimming laps, and wear trunks at the public beaches?

We all have our own modesty convictions and it’s hard sometimes when others do not share our same opinions. I will tell you that if my husband were uncomfortable with the swimsuit I was wearing, then I wouldn’t wear it, out of respect for him. I hope you two can agree on a resolution to this situation soon.

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  • June 2008
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