Dodger wrote:Who said anything about "culture"?
But isn't it in effect an ingrained part of a culture? It used to be pervasive virtually all over Asia. So public nudity amongst men was indeed part of many cultures - just as homosexuality was to quite a large extent. Several Chinese Emperors are known to have been gay. Emperor Ai Ti had several male lovers. When sharing his couch with his favourite Dong Xian he suddenly had to get up but Dong was sleeping on his sleeve. Rather than wake him, the Emperor cut off his sleeve with his sword. "Cut sleeve" is now one of many terms used to refer to gay men in China. A favourite of an earlier Emperor was Long Yang - hence the various Long Yang clubs around the world. Japan celebrated nudity and virtually idealised gay love - first between Buddhist monks and apprentices and then between those in the samurai class and their apprentices.
Starting with the Muslims traders in the 13th century followed later by the European and American colonists, attitudes started to change, thanks in large part to the banks of missionaries that followed in their wake who preached that nudity led to unpure thoughts! The one religion which appears not to have sent missionaries was Islam. As in much of Asia, the peoples of parts of Indonesia and then what is now Malaysia were Buddhist but gradually became interested in the religion of the Arab traders and freely converted over a long period of time.
Although I have no evidence, I have little doubt that boners were sometimes witnessed in public nudity in those days, just as they are occasionally today in non-gay hot springs. It has nothing to do with age.