While watching the latest episode of Mad Men entitled “The Summer Man,” my mom pointed out that when Don goes swimming in the New York Aquatic Club pool, he’s wearing swim trunks. When I reacted “…So?” She pointed out that it was actually appropriate for men to go nude in those days. Citing a NYT article from a few years back “The Tao of Skinny-Dipping“, she reminded me that the,
“…golden era of nude bathing ended in the 1980’s, when Mayor Edward I. Koch signed a bill banning discrimination against women at private clubs. For nude swimming it was the sack of Rome all over again. The New York Athletic and Yale clubs abandoned nude bathing for coed covered swimming; the Racquet and Tennis and University clubs, along with the Harmonie Club on East 60th Street, emerged as keepers of the naked flame.”
Upon further research, it seems that of the usual hoards of history dorks jumping all over any little mistake by Matthew Weiner and his team haven’t noticed (except for one commenter on the IMDB boards). I’m just happy there was some lap swimming, though if Don were really paying attention, he would know that his more-than-a-pack-a-day habit is the reason he’s panting all over the place. He also says to Faye, “I’ve been a little out of sorts lately, and its an effort to get in the water but when you do you’re weightless and you don’t even sweat and in the end you’re wrung out.” Don, you do sweat: You just don’t feel it. And that’s the magic of water.