Mortified visitors can't believe it when continental pools insist that men wear tiny, tight Speedo swimsuits, writes Angelique Chrisafis in the Guardian. An Irish journalist was recently hauled out of a French pool and could only return in an "unbelievably skimpy" pair of Speedo trunks that were "bloody uncomfortable for me and anyone who had to look at them," he grumbled. Why the insistence on the booty-hugging briefs? Hygiene.
The French find American baggy swimming trunks as disgusting as many US men find Speedos. "I accept that some men feel very ill at ease wearing small trunks," said a Paris pool director. "But bigger swimming shorts can be worn elsewhere all day, so could bring in sand, dust or other matter, disturbing water quality."