I love working out, but I don't love using the public showers afterward, especially when other men don't know these unspoken rules.
Locker Room Etiquette
As a triathlete, I spend a fair amount of time at the gym and in men’s locker rooms. I have witnessed many strange breaches of gym etiquette in these locker rooms. It has become obvious to me that most men do not understand locker room etiquette. This article hits the major men's locker room etiquette points.
Disclaimer: My intent is not to be offensive, but merely to point out some useful tips for how to behave in the locker room. Also, perhaps I've just been naïve, but I had no idea that men's locker rooms are a common area where guys "cruise" other guys or look for potential partners. I certainly don't do this. I'm simply there to work out and clean up afterwards.
Locker Room Shower Etiquette
Most men’s locker rooms typically have a large open area with a number of showerheads. This is more of a communal type shower, contrary to women’s locker rooms with personal showers. Here are the main pointers for showers in men’s locker rooms:
- Do not pee in the shower. This is just plain gross. Pee is for a urinal, not the shower. If your pee smells funny, read about causes of smelly pee.
- If there are a number of open shower heads, do not take the one right next to someone else. Take the one furthest away. The shower is to clean yourself, not socialize.
- Do not socialize in the gym shower. I don’t want to talk to another dude naked and neither should you.
- Do not look at another guy’s private parts in a shower. Only look in the eyes, if you happen to make contact. Also, if you happen to be across from someone in the shower, try to avoid facing the same direction – if the person across from you is facing you, turn the other way and wash the other side of you.
- The blow dryer is for the hair on your head, not your pubes. I once saw a guy use the blow dryer to dry his pubic hair. He was actually holding a leg up and everything. This is disgusting. Don’t ever do this!
- Blow drying your hair is old school anyway....just dry your hair with your towel and add some wax or gel to it. The blow-dried feathered look went out with the 80s.
Your Personal Items
- Do not leave personal items lying all over the place. No one wants to see your sweaty gym clothes, jockstrap, towels, body wash, etc., all over the locker room benches and floor. Keep your stuff in a tidy, small area.
- Do not walk around the locker room nude. If you must walk somewhere, there should be a reason and you should wear a towel (at a minimum) or put on your underwear and, preferably, pants.
- Walk with a purpose in the locker room...don't just stroll around naked, especially next to guys sitting on the benches putting shoes on, etc. This is rude. The last thing a guy trying to get psyched up for his workout and putting on his shoes needs to see is another guy's schlong at eye level.
- Looking in the mirror is fine, but do not stand in front of the mirror naked. I once saw a guy stand in front of the mirror nude while fixing his hair. At least put your pants on before fixing your hair in front of the mirror!
Hot Tub Etiquette
Some of the gyms I’ve been to have hot tubs in the men’s locker room.
- If there is already a guy in the hot tub and you must sit in the hot tub, give him adequate personal space.
- Always sit in the hot tub with swim shorts on and leave them on. I once had a guy sit in the hot tub fairly close to me and then he took off his swim shorts and sat them on the side of the hot tub. And, no, this was not a gay gym. Don’t ever do this!
- If you must enter the sauna/steam room without clothes on, wrap yourself in a towel and do not unwrap it.
- Do not remove your towel or ever sit naked in the sauna or steam room.
- Do not constantly enter the steam room and leave the steam or sauna room when you get too hot. Stay or go!
- Do not hang out in the locker room and watch the mounted TVs. You’re there to work out, not watch TV with half-dressed guys.
- Do not postpone getting dressed for something on the TV. No one wants to see a naked dude watching the cooking channel.
- If you must have a conversation in the locker room, wait until both people have at least underwear on. It’s awkward to discuss something with a naked dude, plus the conversation may postpone him putting on clothes.
- If you do speak with someone and they are naked, do not let your eyes wander from the other person’s eyes. I once had a guy speak to me and stare at my tallywacker the entire time. He actually invited me to a Thanksgiving dinner with him and his family. I declined, of course. I was creeped out!
Locker Room Benches/Seats
- Do not ever sit on a bench or seat naked. Always sit on a towel. I have witnessed guys sitting on benches totally naked. This is gross.
More Locker Room Shower Tips
EP on May 25, 2020:
Lotta issues with nudity. Also other guys. Maybe some kind of homophobia or similar. Very strange.
mark on May 26, 2019:
Some guys are very modest and do not like to be seen naked, and I respect that, so they come with their gym clothes and leave a bag in their locker and just came him for a few minutes retrieve there bag and they are gone. Even when working out some guys do not like to talk, and so I respect that and ditto when they naked, I respect that. But I repeat nudity does not bother me and I pay no attention to it.
mark on May 24, 2019:
I really do not think males pay to much attention to other males nudity in the locker room. It is a person decision if you like to wear a towel or put your underwear on immediately. Some do not care. I do not care nor do I pay attention to anyone, I am there to exercise and put on my clothes when I leave. Other people know each other and like to chat and that is ok. Some people do not mind if their friend has no clothes on.
Joe on April 03, 2019:
Ok kea, basically you have an obsession with male nudity and naked men sharing the same space!
Whatever the reasons behind that, you should start looking for gyms with private changing areas and shower compartments. It would allow you to undergo less painful moments after training,and let you feel more comfortable and relaxed in your intimate moments.
As for the long term, a good step could be to have a talk to a psychologist, and try to clarify issues about your desires and orientation. There may be something there worth deepening ...
Certainly it's not easy to scrutinize oneself and see things one maybe doesn't want to look at, but this decision can definitely help you to find your path!
I'm pretty confident that both friends and family will accept you the way you are!
Good luck with everything!
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Jeff on September 17, 2018:
I haven't commented on this site for several years. In my view, much of what he says has always been true and proper, but it is his objection to casual nudity that inspires negative comments. Having said that, my observations in locker rooms in the past several years indicate that casual nudity simply does not occur as much as in years past, particularly among younger guys. His article may just have been a good forecast of what is now happening. Just a thought.
Jack Mihoffman on September 16, 2018:
Author seems really insecure and fragile
vanquishedangel on September 02, 2018:
This is stupid, being naked in the locker room is the last vestige of being a man. I enjoy being naked and the locker room is a safe place for it. If you don't want to see it, dont look. If you are not mature enough to deal with it, do not go in there. If you are afraid to be naked or are afraid to see men naked then use the little bitches locker room usually down the hall.
Laurence Almand on August 28, 2018:
Some of these comments are valid, such as peeing, blowing nose, sitting naked on benches. etc. Others are just plain silly. Why not be nude in a locker room or sauna or shower? In this stinky day and age, many people sit in the sauna in their sweaty gym clothes and don't even shower before they jump in the swimming pool!
When I was growing up most of the gyms and mens clubs were all-male. They required a shower before using the pool, sauna or steam room and everything was clean. We didn't even wear suits in the pool - and some clubs actually banned them! Nowadays they actually have separate showers with curtains for men, so they can't see each others wee-wees (not that they want to). This entire article illustrates the unhealthy feminization of modern young men and their silly shyness. (Whoever wrote this article should consult a psychiatrist and get rid of his insecurities).
Clyde on August 18, 2018:
Most men like to be naked but there are few places where this is acceptable. To take away one of these few places and make us be clothed in a locker room is ridiculous. Cover up if you are that much of a pussy, but don't make everyone else be so uptight.
Reginald Manning on June 18, 2018:
You know, I use to feel the same way as this person once upon a time. I am 50, and I just don't give a #$*% any more. The only time I get to be free, naked and nonconstrained from the stress of the rat race is in the locker room. I workout and take very good care of my body. I'm straight and I don't care if others admire my physique. I walk to and from the shower butt arse naked. The only thing in my hands is bodywash. I shave, brush my teeth, lotion my body, and apply deodorant under my arms totally naked, and I never felt free'er comfortable as I do in the locker room. If that bothers you - Don't Look.
john on May 12, 2018:
extremely prudish article. it seems that you try to put your personal shame on other men
Shadow black on January 14, 2018:
It is a men's locker room for heaven sake - don't be so nit picky - are you that afraid of nudity? something that should be considered a natural state.
Competitive Swimmer on November 13, 2017:
Yes. Please don’t pee in the shower. But man, I agree with the majority of comments. The really weird stuff is guys thinking there’s something wrong with being naked in a locker room. That really creeps me out. Those guys are the strange ones. Maybe build your own gym/pool where you hand out cute little cover ups or something. And you can post your pathetic etiquette rules. Maybe you could even interview members to ensure every member is as uptight as you. What a weird place that would be. That’ll help the rest of us chill at the normal gym.
Gary on November 03, 2017:
What a pathetic article. I can only assume that the author is a very insecure person. Nudity in a locker room is perfectly acceptable, and as long as you apply a little common sense and respect the personal space of others there really shouldn't be a problem at all.
RTFQ on October 28, 2017:
To the author: you have serious problems with nudity. I may agree with several you your "rules/etiquette", specially the ones that have to do with hygiene. Otherwise grow up or look away from those things that cause you so much distress (e.g. the human body , human interaction, etc)
Belgian on August 05, 2017:
My god, you have some serious issues if you wrote this article. Stay as far away from other guys as possible (ok.?) Wear pants in locker room (whut?), do not go naked in sauna (whut??), do not go naked in hot tub (whut???), do not speak to others (whut????). My god...
Neil on July 12, 2017:
"I have witnessed many strange breaches of gym etiquette in these locker rooms"
Does this, gym etiquette, actually exist? With what authority do you speak? This article is so backwards and so stuck up about nudity ... my God, if a bottle of showergel already poses a problem ... do your self a favour and loosen up a bit.
(And for the reactions concerning the word homophobia ... I don't think this term's correct ... what are you afraid of? That we're redecorating your living room overnight?)
J on June 22, 2017:
This is a ridiculous article. Sure we need to be considerate but the gym I go to (regular gym with all types of people) has some basic rules..limit cell phone use in the locker room, don't snort or blow your nose in the wet areas and shower before use. That's the only rules...99% of guys strip, wear a towel or go nude to the sauna, whirlpool and steam room. Most guys sit on a towel wrapped or unwrapped not a big deal. Guys usually hang their towel and go in the whirlpool naked. Everyone chats or doesn't chat ...all depending on the guys. There are chairs around the whirlpool where you can relax. Showers have curtains and some close or leave them open...There is an area with a TV and leather chairs...again to relax in a towel. Guys almost always weigh naked. This is in the deep red South. Nothing strange or odd..just men bonding. You must be one uptight guy.
Q. on April 21, 2017:
This article is written from an American culture standpoint and yes, the culture tends to be prudish in extreme. I've never seen in other countries people wearing clothes in the sauna or whirlpool (or even worst, signs requiring it), communal showers split into coffin-size compartments with a curtain, or men dancing inside their towels trying to get their underwear on without taking off the towel. In most western countries it is required to wear speedos and a swim cap, so the water won't get dirty nor the pool filters clogged with debris. But here you see people lap swimming in board shorts and t-shirts. I didn't know people would seek funny business in the locker room, but that explains a lot of things, I guess (for example, I've learned not to say good morning if you see someone in the shower, apparently that's a rude thing here). The culture tends to be very self-conscious of their own bodies and they end up making you uncomfortable. If I'm late for the lap swimming hours in the pool I have to wear jammers when there's a lot of children and women in the pool area, because otherwise you get stared at. It's very uncomfortable. So it's interesting to see the different reactions from Americans and from non-Americans. And yes, using a locker room in the US is a very surreal experience. At least in the majority of the cases I've seen and in comparison to what we have in Europe and Latin America. To the foreigners: welcome to my world :(
NormalGuy on March 28, 2017:
Hmmm... I'm married, straight, have kids and go to the gym where there are communal showers and a sauna. I find that your article highlights that you have some insecurity problems. We men in the gym shower and sauna do conduct our activities completely naked. We are not lurking, stalking or flirting and we are totally comfortable with the situation. With respect to sitting in the sauna, do I really have to remind you that you sweat... a lot! Why would I sit on the towel I plan on drying off with after my shower which I take before and after the sauna? I bring another smaller towel to sit on. Wrapping a towel around you in the sauna to cover up, requires you to bring TWO large towels to the gym? One to shower with and one to cover up with in the sauna. That's silly. There is not problem with... and it is generally accepted that, it is normal to sit naked in the sauna. The same goes for showering... we shower naked. We're not all ogling each other and staring at other guy's genitals. I don't agree that your locker room 'etiquette' should be accepted as universal. It sounds extremely repressive in my honest opinion and feels quite unnatural. Sorry but I don't agree with your recommendations.
Rich on March 22, 2017:
Sound like with all your rules and Homophobia ass you own the gym. You need to keep your ass at home.
Finnish guy on January 25, 2017:
Haha. This was hilarious. The writer seem to have worst kind of homophobia. I would recommend him to come to Finland to see how relaxed we are in the sauna full naked.
Hal on January 20, 2017:
Judging by the author's extreme paranoia about seeing naked men, and especially their "tallywhackers", it sounds to me like the author has some deep seated homoerotic tendencies he's overcompensating for and working very hard to repress.
US Citizen on January 17, 2017:
Everyone is different. We are shaped by our experiences. This article has some good points. I am surprised at the reactions posted. Why be so judgmental? This is one person's opinion. The writer is not stating absolutes. Why attack someone for having a different opinion? There are many reasons why the writer feels this way, and that is okay. It is okay to disagree, but what is the big deal if one person grew up conditioned to be naked in the lockeroom and another person was conditioned to be private? Why bring up sexual orientation, a absentee fathers, being a prude, or any other criticism. None of those things should even be a criticism. So many prejudice people responding. People are different and there is no reason to insult people because of their differences. If you have your own opinion about lockeroom etiquette, then state it, but leave out the unnecessary insults that say everything about you and nothing about this writer.
Anthony on January 17, 2017:
I think the only one who is awkward and uncomfortable is you. What an irritating blog post to read about you TELLING others what's right and wrong on how to act in a public place. You should be worried about yourself and not everyone else. It's no fun showing up at your blog to jot down a daily grocery list to find you weighing in your insecure opinions on people about how they should behave in public , and of all places, a mens locker room... If it makes you that uncomfortable then find another gym or go at a different hour. Save those expectations for your blog followers who are working to stay healthy, or for your children... Like no two guys can have a conversation in a large open shower without it being awkward. Ridiculous. Who cares. That's just you.
Kea the loser on January 15, 2017:
Whoever wrote this is super uptight and narcissistic.
kake on December 26, 2016:
who ever raised you be be so uptight were sadly repressed. Fortunately many guys from my generation got to swim naked at the ymca and we are the ones who talk in the shower and even horseplay in the nude and just laugh it off. I feel sorry that you feel tramatized by the naked male body seeing as you have one under your own clothes. Its men like you that spread paranoia that can lead to violence. So just keep your complaints to yourself. Cheers
magnavox1 on December 05, 2016:
you need to loosen up, and not be such a tight wad. locker rooms are for de-stressing after a workout and everyone does that different.
Riain George on January 11, 2016:
What bullshite! You have some issues you need to deal with!
Vodaunmagma on October 07, 2015:
Great post. Quite refreshing provided all the duplicate written content out there. Cheers for doing something original.
Rupert on April 18, 2015:
this last from Blaise seems very unhygenic! Keeping underwear on whilst one changed? What does that mean?
Have fun and let it all hang out.
Johnc520 on September 03, 2014:
I think you have noted some very interesting points , appreciate it for the post. dafeadafgeed
blaise on July 19, 2014:
when i was in junior high and high school we never took showers or got completely naked.we kept our underwear on while we changed. I never had a problem changing around other guys at all.
Purine on March 08, 2014:
Well said! The naked body of any person who looks after him/herself is something to celebrate. Nakedness takes getting used to for some people but then they should simply get used to it! Soon they'll realise it's completely natural and no big deal.
m d on February 20, 2014:
I read this article and it sounds a bit overreactive. I am gay and i have been to many gay bathhouses, and gyms that were more for gay men. In these environments nudity is no big deal. Not just because it's sexual, but because you are all men and have the same bodies. Besides, todays clothes can be very revealing and leave little to the imagination. Guys in speedos are basically naked, and men's underwear ads show most of the curves of their genitalia. But i learned to celebrate my body. Being naked is natural and beautiful. Anyone who is grossed out by nudity is insecure. Being naked together brings people down to earth to the level where we are all equal. I would think a locker room for men would be a place for male bonding and togetherness, not a place where you get freaked out by other guys.
Jeff on April 27, 2013:
This happens occasionally at my club as well. Health-wise, the worst part is the shoes that bring in a variety of bacteria. Management has now placed a sign just outside the door the forbids footwear (except shower sandals, etc.) in the steam or sauna, and that has reduced it to almost zero. Suggest you complain.
anonymous on April 26, 2013:
something that has bugged me recently are the guys that enter the sauna and steam rooms. it seems that they like to go in fully clothed before or after their workout. i enter these rooms after my workout wearing a towel around my waist and i also place a small towel on the bench where i sit (i usually shower off beforehand as well). these guys come in from their workout and sit their sweaty asses on the upper bench with their dirty shoes on the lower benches. some come in with their music busting out of their earbuds. the worst is when they like to do exercises in these rooms, which take up a lot of bench space plus an assortment of noises and grunts. i have always seen the sauna/steam rooms as a place to relax so this idea of exercising kills that chill mood (kinda like someone talking on their cell phone during a movie) and it also makes me feel lazy just sitting there even though i just finished working out (haha).
another thing is that it makes me feel weird... like i am the oddball guy wrapped in a towel. The worst is when i am in there alone and 3-4 guys come in from their workout with their sweaty attire. i usually look down because i am outnumbered and i feel weird. luckily, someone else wrapped in a towel comes in and it makes me feel less weird.
this has bugged me a lot recently. i think since our gym is lowering their monthly fee, more people are joining, especially the younger crowd - these are also the ones guilty of the above rant. definitely a demographic and cultural change issue.
Jeff on March 08, 2013:
I'm not sure "gay" has that much to do with it.......I think it is just more of a cultural change.....and it started quite some time ago. Anyone that struts around naked today at most gyms is just considered a bit weird. I say at "most" gyms...there are exceptions, mostly at places like the YMCA with a lot of older members. Dividers at urinals are now required per building code in most places, meaning that new construction must have them. There are even dimension requirements. In my observations, troughs in the USA were always uncommon.....remember them at ball parks mostly. Wrigley Field still has troughs, and they are still very common in Australia, but probably even there, troughs are waning. I read somewhere that about 30 percent of men these days don't even use urinals, but instead always go to a stall. Don't know if that number is valid, but I suppose it includes those of us that are pee shy. For me, I use urinals, but if it is crowded such as an intermission or half time or something, I head and wait for a stall where I can relax.
Purine on February 05, 2013:
The fact that showering hasn't been required in PE for quite a few years now is the main reason. Most young people are unfamiliar with nakedness as being anything other than a private affair, except if they use a gym, where they'll find many older guys walking around naked, but if anyone under 30 would do that in front of them they'd actually wonder is he's a gay guy trying to attract their attention.
Same with urinals. It is now seen as rude or gay to take a urinal directly next to someone you don't know if a stall is open. Search 'urinal etiquette' on YouTube - there are several videos. Urinal troughs are also dissapearing, except for gay clubs (or so I've heard) and individual urinals with dividers is now becoming standard.
Also, hardly anyone is seen naked in the steam rooms or saunas I've been to and anyone who goes in naked is seen as a bit gay. Quite the opposite of how it used to be in the old days!
daveR66 on January 11, 2013:
Most agree it is a generational difference, younger guys are uncomfortable with nudity and older guys bairly notice. The reasons for the cultural change are multiple including latent homosexual guys fearing they will get aroused if they shower, men becoming "feminized" as now the mother is the boss , gays becoming so visible in the media, and fact that showering is no longer required in PE.
The ladder reason ties in with the younger generation feeling entitled to impose what they want on centuries old customs. This was a generation that was never "told " what to do by adults.
Im sure if they had given us a choice when I was in Jr high in the 1970s to shower in PE or not,many would have choose not. Im glad we were forced to because it didn't bother me at all and it is more hygienic. 99 percent of guys in PE didn't have a problem with it back then, and the few that did were weird.
When I was in grade school my father took me to the YMCA where we changed and showered in the locker room after swimming, so I can never remember being self conscious about it, except maybe the first couple of times. It was usually the father's role to introduce the son to locker room use, and today the woman either makes the decisions or the man is gone completely.
Today, kids boss their parents around and are never "told" to do anything, so when kids resisted showering in PE, mommy marched in to school and demanded that they wouldn't have to.
Well, MOMMY, your boys are now still living at home and nearing 30, have no job , play video games all day. Your husbands are long gone and your son has no girl friend and you're beginning to think he is gay. And on top of all that HE STINKS BECAUSE IT WONT SHOWER.
In "Fight Club" Ed Norton said "were a generation of men raised by women", reffering to his generation. Lack of normal male bonding with the father in very early childhood is well know to predispose to male homosexuality. Lack of an assertive , normal father in the home has many side effects , and this neurosis about changing and showering is one of the many hangovers we are experiencing from that.
Guys may think it makes them look "straighter" by freaking out over locker room use, but I've never seen any NFL players complain about it, and although I know you will scream there are exceptions, that is a pretty straight group as far as I can see.
Purine on January 05, 2013:
Communal Showers started to disappear completely from decent gyms in the UK about 10 years ago. Now you can only find them in the cheap nasty gyms and not anyone under 30 is using them. Here's a video of a guy discussing locker room and urinal etiquette:
Old Man on December 08, 2012:
Apparently you weren't around prior to 1968 when women weren't allowed in YMCA's and no one ever wore swimsuits in the pool, the showers were all communal and men had conversations while taking a sweat in the steam baths.
Jeff on October 11, 2012:
Phil...There must be another impelling reason you joined this gym....maybe cost or location? It is increasingly unusual to have communal showers in health clubs or gyms....unless they are old. Even the older YMCAs are eliminating these. I have belonged to health clubs for 35 years, and neither one (of the two I belonged to) has communal showers. My only recent communal-showering experience (and it does not bother me) is in an 1950s-era park district swimming pool locker room, and most guys leave their swim suits on. While that option may not be socially acceptable where you go, if group nudity makes you uncomfortable (and despite what people say on this forum, it is not unusual), cancel the membership and go elsewhere....but you must have known about the shower facilities before you joined. There are plenty of gyms around with private showers.
PhiloB on October 03, 2012:
So, I am going to the GYM to work out. I'm about 30 lbs overweight. Hence, why I am going to the Gym to begin with. The problem is, I like this new GYM and joined, but, hate the communial showers. First, I am embarrassed about the status of my body and I'm not real keen on being naked in front of a bunch of in shape guys that walk around with their dorks hanging around. But, the best time to work out for me is in the morning so I need to shower before work. Any Suggestions? Or is everyone just going to say "get over it." My last Gym had private showers.
Butch52 on August 15, 2012:
I grew up in a sexually repressive family where you would never ever be semi naked or naked in front of anyone else. It took alot of soul searching during my hs years tio strip and dress in PE. I am gay and I just got so I feel comfortable going to the gym and getting naked and I have to agree. You do what you have to do and get the hell out of there . Dont stand there and have a full conversation with someone who is naked or your naked. By all means put a towel down before sitting on the benches and dont pee in the shower. I never knew anyone straight that would feel so uncomfortable in the gym geez I thought I had hang ups/
Ash on August 06, 2012:
Wow what an article !! I find it completely hypocritical the first comment being I'd be comfortable if I was in the women's locker room!!, and what would you be checking out in the women's locker room? Lol, at the end of the day, where we born with cloths on? Who cares if your naked in a locker room that's what they are for right?, don't be such a prude and enjoy your time naked either in the company of men or women, we are all made the same !!!
M on July 13, 2012:
Geez Kea, what an absurd list of "rules." This whole couching of your nudity hangups in an exhaustive list of etiquette is transparent. Stay out my head, and I'll stay out of yours. To each his own.
Based on your other rules, I'm guessing shaved guys like me (including no pubes) would send you into a state of apoplexy.
Mike on July 12, 2012:
I would have to agree with... well the majority. Getting use to seeing other people naked is like a barrier you overcome in (sometime around) high school. Seeing other people naked should not be a big deal... I mean life is life, not a PG13 drama movie. There is going to be uncensored, full-on nudity. If you can't accept that then stay away from those scary locker rooms.
I am fully comfortable with seeing others naked as well as being naked, only I do cover-up if I can tell someone is feeling uncomfortable about it (just to be a nice person.) I go to the gym as often as I feel is necessary, and have seen many naked men walking around. I walk naked to the showers and have found others get over it quickly. Only a few times had I crossed guys who look.. and might keep looking, but that doesn't bother me either (count it as a compliment or something.) The only thing you can do is get over it. Some people are naked, some people might look, and some people might talk to you. Be a man and get over it! :)
jph1965 from North Billerica, Massachusetts on July 08, 2012:
I personally don't have a problem with nudity in a men's locker room. I have to agree with everyone who is saying you're up tight. If you have a problem with men walking around naked in the locker room or sittin naked in the sauna, then you may want to just not use the locker room period. I keep my mind on my own business and make sure I'm not invading someone elses space. If you keep your mind on your business instead of looking at what everyone else is doing, you won't notice if the guys are even walking around, never mind doing it fully nude. If I want to sit completely naked in the sauna, I have that right. I pay my dues and as long as I am sitting on a clean towel, I don't see what is wrong with that. I don't dictate to other guys what they can and can not do in the locker room and neither should you.
Purine on June 27, 2012:
sorry kea not kia
Tybo on June 23, 2012:
Wow, this person who wrote this is ignorant. I'd be more upset over knowing this uptight crybaby was in my locker room...man up, for real.
Comfortable on May 18, 2012:
The only guys that draw attention to themselves in the locker room are the ones who desperately try to keep themselves covered. They tuck themselves into a corner when changing or try to put on or take off their underwear/swimsuits while wearing a towel. They look ridiculous.
Daniel on May 07, 2012:
When I last went to a gym, I always change in private locker rooms and when I see men nude, I just don't look and go swim laps in the pool or go in steam room! But I'd be creeped if someone was talking to me and they were nude! If anyone wants to speak in a locker room I just say "Please put a towel around you or better put some underwear or pants on."
Gunter on April 25, 2012:
Really Dude! Like you are not going to talk to your friend after a game? Even if there is someone changing behind you? Nudity is what locker rooms are for!
Rupert on March 15, 2012:
A lot of protestant American prudery!
The silly ass who wrote down all his rules should have gone to a public (=private) boys' school in England! We showered together and slept together in dormitories. We even got caned on our bare backsides (if we misbehaved)
How can men not be aware of each others' nakedness in a communal changing/locker room.
I'm straight but admit to enjoying seeing other men naked in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere
David on March 13, 2012:
me thinks thou dost protest a bit too much
S#2 on March 12, 2012:
Locker room = nudity. Get over it.
Kea = uptight prude.
S on February 29, 2012:
Man, the guy who wrote this never lived with Finns or Swedes
Tony on February 26, 2012:
I’m a gay dude in my early-thirties. Here’s my perspective on what you’ve written.
I agree that men shouldn’t: urinate in the shower, blow-dry their pubic hair with the communal blow-driers, leave personal items lying all over the place, sit naked in the hot tub right next to a stranger, sit naked on the locker room benches, or leave the sauna/steam room door open for long periods of time. Those are hygiene and courtesy issues.
Kea, I’m going to be blunt: the other things you’ve brought up make you sound like a controlling prude. It’s a locker room and they are things guys should be able to do, within reason, at their own discretion. For example:
My gym has only showers divided by curtains, not the open room gang-style communal showers. However, if you are standing in gang showers, there’s nothing wrong with men who are already acquainted or friends positioning themselves near (even right next to) each other and chatting while they shower. For me personally, if I was using a communal shower room I’d leave at least one empty shower between me and another dude, and I wouldn’t initiate conversation with a total stranger. I’d only chat with another guy while showering if he engaged me in conversation first, or if I knew him moderately well and knew that he was a friendly person. Otherwise, I’d “self-police” myself by doing everything I could not to violate another guy’s space in the communal shower. And yes, I probably will glance at other dudes below the waist every so often in that scenario, but I’m certainly not going to fixate on them or leer at them. My main reason for being there is still to get clean.
Standing in front of the mirror naked: this is a gray area. I usually don’t look at myself in the mirror unless I’m at least in my boxers, but if other men choose to stare at themselves in the mirror while fully naked it doesn’t bother me (in fact, I find it kind of amusing). But, I’ll admit, because I’m gay, I’m guessing my general perspective toward communal nudity is going to be different in the first place.
My gym doesn’t have a steam room. We do have a sauna, but I always use the sauna either in just my boxers or completely wrapped in a towel. I do this mainly to respect the comfort level of the other guys with whom I’m sharing the sauna. My ideal preference would be to just sit on top of my towel in the sauna while I’m completely naked. But I don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb (in more ways than one), so I’ll cover my manhood because it’s the social norm in our sauna.
Walking around nude: this is another area where common sense should take precedent. I don’t think it’s necessary for guys to prance around nude for prolonged periods of time, and I suspect some of those who do may be exhibitionists. However, before I step behind the shower curtain I will certainly strip off my towel and hang it on a hook. I usually dry off totally naked outside of the shower stall, as well; mainly because there’s very little room for me to maneuver around inside the cramped curtained stall. Usually there are other dudes toweling off naked out there in the open as well, so I don’t have to worry that people will think I’m some pervy freak. Most of the time I walk back to my locker with my towel wrapped around my waist. However, once in awhile I’ll just drape my towel around my shoulders, and yeah, strut back to the main changing area completely in the raw. Then I’ll go to my locker and get dressed at a normal pace -- not lingering for too long, but not rushing the process so fast that I’d be tripping over my own clothes.
Here’s the truth: it feels good to be naked. The men’s locker room is one of the few places where dudes can just be dudes, and I can feel confident that even if the other dudes (most of whom I know will be heterosexual, anyway) happen to check me out they may be comparing themselves to me out of curiosity, but most of them probably aren’t judging me critically. So yeah, in that short time between taking my shower and getting dressed, why not let it all hang out? – stretchmarks and all! (yes, I used to be fat)
BTW, if I ever happened to be in a predominantly gay men’s locker room, that would have its own list of pros and cons. Obviously, when most of the men using the locker room are gay, I know there’s going to be a little more judging of my body’s aesthetics when I’m around other members of “my team,” LOL. And there could be the creepy “cruisers” who may try to hit on me (along with trying to hit on 99% of everyone else in there), whom I’d want to avoid. On the plus side, if I was sharing a locker room with mostly other gay men, I wouldn’t have to be as conscientious about the length of time I spent there naked. And I wouldn’t have to worry if I happened to pop a boner, because among other gay men I seriously doubt any of them would have a problem with it. ;-)
I think it all comes down to common sense. You shouldn’t hit on other men or make unwanted advances on them while using the locker room naked. Every guy should try his best to give others in the locker room as much room to change as possible, and not violate someone’s personal space so blatantly. But if I want to get naked during the showering/changing process, I should be able to do so around my own gender. And before people here whine that I’ve been thinking about this topic as extensively as Kea has -- I’ll admit I do think about it a lot, but that’s mainly because locker room etiquette has become such a huge taboo in American society that so many modern males are anal-retentive about. So by virtue of the “self-policing” of other men in the locker room, I’m forced to assess my own actions in a similar way.
Someone that laughed reading this. on February 13, 2012:
Is the article's writer in mid school? I'm pretty sure everyone in my mid school class showered after PE because, well YOU SMELL! If your not grown out of your"Freshman Freakout" stage by softmore year, good luck reaking all day in class. I'm a bit of a tubb's but I still go too the gym three or four times a week and shower and enjoy a bare ass steam. You know why? Because no one is glaring you down...well maybe people like you. Being naked in a locker room is just a thing, hell I think it's a bit funny when people get bashful about being naked as it usually means they see something they like. Who here's been skinny dipping with OTHER'S and not had it be weird? I have and they because no one was oggleing other privates. Why is being nude such a touchy subject? Around your same sex it's really a non-issue depending on the setting, around the opposite sex it might be different if one of you makes it sexual.
Brad on February 11, 2012:
Sorry, but it is weird to walk around naked with no purpose. It's like you're trying really hard to get attention or demonstrate to everyone that you're comfortable being naked. I mean I'm naked while I'm in the shower and toweling off, but what is the obsession with prolonging your nudity? Especially around other guys? Why aren't you getting dressed? To me a locker room isn't a place I go to to socialize. It's a place to perform necessary functions. But too many guys want to stay naked, talk to you naked, walk by you naked while you're sitting down, etc. It's creepy. Just do your business and leave. It's weird guys are so comfortable in a locker room that they use it as a social event. If I want to socialize with my friends, I go eat with them, hang out at each others' place, go do something. Get your business done, and get out. Why are you hanging out in a locker room with a bunch of naked guys?
Dan on February 10, 2012:
Sad about the feminization of the American male.
Steve R on February 10, 2012:
I think the guy who wrote the article is a closeted gay. Otherwise who cares if you walk around naked in the locker room or not. That is your business, nobody else's. Only a latent homosexual man would think so much about male nudity.
Atlanta Jim on February 04, 2012:
Johno, you are so right about the "rule" of the men's locker room -- the entire place could be empty and two guys wind up with lockers next to each other. I do the same thing you do in that situation -- give the other guy a little more space and make a joke about it. I, too, remember the first time I showered with other guys Also in junior high. And yes, for about three or four minutes it was a weird feeling. But I quickly got over it and actually felt like I'd accomplished something big. Because I remember my older brother teasing me about having to take a shower after gym class and I went on to build it up as something it clearly was not. As I always say, if everybody's nude it's not much different than everybody being clothed -- a levelling experience, indeed. I think Kea - the long-ago original poster -- was tackling the issue of, shall we say, gratuitous nudity -- parading around naked for excessive amounts of time and seemingly for no reason at all. It's nudity that makes others feel a little uncomfortable because something about it is out of the norm. I have seen this from time to time -- most recently at a Y where I swim. Not only would the guy simply not put on his clothes, but he was loud -- as if his goal was to draw attention to himself. These kinds of incidents usually stick out and are few and far between. But I am in complete agreement with you that staring straight ahead, like a zombie, when you are showering with a bunch of guys you know, is far more weird than talking to them the way you usually do. At my gym, guys engage in extensive conversations in the locker room, naked or not. That's a good, healthy thing.
Johno on February 01, 2012:
I can remember Junior High and first experience of being nude in locker rooms with a whole bunch of guys, which is a little weird when I think about it because I'd changed in swimming pool locker rooms before that. Anyway, I was very self-conscious, kinda like when you first ask a girl to dance--you are afraid that somehow you will become the subject of derision. Within a short time, you realize that no one cares--being naked is in itself a "levelling" experience.
I suppose I unconsciously expand the concept of personal space a little while in a locker room. Also, get permission from somebody if you need to borrow something like shampoo.
As far as looking at other guys, as long as you are not staring intently, no big deal. A guy works out and is in really good shape, might even warrant a compliment or a question. As far as other guy's "junk," almost everybody will glance at it--curiosity. No big deal if a guy walks back from the shower drying his hair with his towel or even with it over his shoulder.
I don't know what to say about your "eyes straight ahead" admonition--like maybe going back to Victorian times. In "Jerry Maguire" there is a scene where Cuba Gooding gets out of the shower and explains that he likes to "air dry."
I think part of it may be that our society is so affluent that each child has his own room. In fact, for some guys going off to college, it is the first time they have ever had to share a room in their lives. I had 3 brothers so seeing an undressed male was no big deal. As a toddler, I would shower with my Dad and brothers (not all at one time).
In my opinion, being naked in a locker room or a shower room is absolutely appropriate. Acting naturally, like you would if you met somebody in public while clothed is the appropriate thing to do. Staring straight ahead and not talking would be weird.
I have, upon occasion, joked about the "rule of the locker room," which is if there are two people in an otherwise large empty locker room, without fail they will be issued keys to adjacent lockers. I comment jokingly about it and move my stuff farther down on the bench. Like when you are voting and and there are 5 or 6 voters who arrive at the same time, inevitably they will have names which cause them to line up behind each other while other people staffing the registration table sit there with nothing to do. It just happens.
One final word on locker rooms: Get over it!
spartan on January 31, 2012:
Spartans used to excersise and wrestle naked. and i bet the majority of them werent bothered or gay for that matter.i have one thing to say to the author........
THIS IS SPARTA!!!!! (cue slow motion kick)
the man on January 19, 2012:
Dude, you are a repressed homosexual. Big time. Just relax and enjoy your bloody life.
Daryl on January 19, 2012:
Being naked is natural and I have no issue seeing other men naked, or being naked I'm the locker room! Also, I like to weigh myself naked straight after a workout because the extra pounds iv lost through dehydration actually makes me feel good about myself...even tho I know its not my true weight! Don't ruin that for me!! And yes being naked can be a bonding thing! You're trusting your mates with your nakedness despite having insecurities about your body, which most of us do! Loosen up and worry about something more important! But yes, a funny topic to post about so il give you points for that ;)
JACK on January 10, 2012:
Glad we had to take shower together in school and the military does give you private shower either. So no i don't have this stupid hang up.
Jeff on January 10, 2012:
Staff of the opposite gender should not be in the men's locker room on a casual basis. Complain to management, they will put a stop to it. Probably almost all of the others feel the same way. Sometimes people (customers) do not realize the power that they have to make change--they just have to voice it (and this goes for about anything). Management will listen to customers, and they may not even know it is happening. Honestly, I have never heard of this happening before in the USA, but it is a big country. Ironcially, at my health club I occasionally see a sign at the check-in desk that workmen will be in the women's locker room between certain hours, giving women notice to change in a stall or whereever, but never have I seen a regular cleaning person of the opposite gender in a changing area. As an aside, my dermatologist recently has gotten into the habit of always bringing a nurse (usually female) in the exam room to take notes. I go to male doctors in part because I feel more comfortable with males examining me and do not want females present (excepting when a procedure is performed where additional staff is necessary.) Now, I advise them that I want to see the doctor privately. Not only is that request always honored, it is not unusual, according to him. You have as much power as you want to take. If things like this do not bother you, do nothing, but if they do, take action.
Simon on January 10, 2012:
Seems a bit homophobic don't it?
Read the book "I just want to look good naked" by Swedish Triathlete Jonas Colting and stop beeing so up tight when it comes to nudity!
Atlanta Jim on January 09, 2012:
To DaveR66: I have not seen this research from Europe, but I am highly skeptical that latent homosexual desires have much to do with male locker room shyness. Sure, there are some guys out there who fear getting an erection, but I mainly think the shyness has to do with lack of experience. I hit the gym in the early morning, along with most of the middle-aged, bound-for-work crowd. We all take showers. We all get dressed and undressed in front of each other. Guys parade around naked, shave naked, etc. Nothing egregious. Just what we have always done in our age group. We began doing it in junior high PE class (or, in my case, even earlier -- at the Y) and never stopped. On occasion I have been forced to delay my work-outs until late afternoon. Then, a totally different, younger crowd takes over. They store their stuff in the locker room but it's rare that anybody uses the showers -- except me, of course. I actually have friends who have NEVER showered communally. I find this incredible. How can you get through PE or playing sports without ever taking a shower? As I've said before, I am glad I grew up in the era of compulsory showers after gym class. It's just one less hang-up I would have had to correct in adulthood.
roger on January 09, 2012:
This should read "management", not "administration"!
And please consider two things:
First: It's not about the woman's possible embarrassement, it's about yours!
Second: In cases like this, reverse the sexes: Would men cleaning in the womens' locker room be acceptable? We all no the answer! Why should this be so the other way round? No way!
roger on January 08, 2012:
Complain to the administration! Female cleaning staff has no business to be in the mens'locker room as long as there are members present!
Len22 on January 07, 2012:
For the first time in my life I am planning on joining a local gym, but a male friend who has been going to this gym for months now has told me that he has personally witnessed female cleaning staff in the mens locker room from time to time, even when men are undressing and walking to and from the shower. I was curious as to whether this awkward situation is common. And what is the appropriate locker room etiquette if you bump into a female employee in the locker room while you are naked or nearly naked. Do you just say "hi," or do you ignore her, or would it be totally inappropriate to carry on any kind of conversation with her? Anyone experience this before? I don't want to embarrass myself or the woman, although I imagine she would be quit used to seeing a lot of male nudity. Thanks for any advice.
DaveR66 on January 05, 2012:
European research has shown that the majority of men overly concerned or afraid of changing and showering in mens locker rooms have similar backgrounds in that they were either raised in a household with a weak, inaffectual father or raised entirely by a woman.
They are therfore at risk for homosexual tendancies and are afraid they might get aroused while useing locker room facilities. This explains the more recent concern with this issue, as in prior genrations when most men experianced a normal male bonding relationship with the father, there was not even any discussion of fear re locker rooms.
Homosexual desires were less common and less intense in the age before boys observed their fathers being pushed around by the female of the household or pushed out of it entierly.
The author of this article obviously is very insecure re his sexual tendancies and therfore is somewhat obcessivley hysterical re locker room etiquet. If he were to view another mans privates he may actually get aroused which would be very embarassing in this situation. Thou protests too much as they say
That guy on January 04, 2012:
Uah I have "Broken" most of these rules....I don't get the feeling UNLESS some one is incredibly uncomfortably in there sexuality that walking around the shower room nude is a big problem. Hell at a school party when I was a senior in highschool someone snapped a photo of ten or twelve of us NUDE in the men's hot tub just hanging out. Yes it's creepy to get starred down in the shower but you don't have to stair people down. I have a number of time dried off, tossed my towel, done my hair nude, and gotten dressed MANY people do it and I have yet to hear anyone get cheeped out especially as others are doing this.
Josh on January 03, 2012:
You are clearly insecure.
Besides that your piece is clearly written as if only straight people exist... there is the obvious other fact that many straight men are not threatened by public nudity. You seem very preoccupied with the idea that you should never never ever even see a peak of another man's junk: afraid you might get arouse?
This article is an offensive collection of terrible tips.
Atlanta Jim on December 18, 2011:
This fits right into the discussion of increasing modesty. I no longer live near my parents but when I visit them I go and work out at the same Y i went to as a kid, and it has barely changed since then... until recently. Sometime in the past month or two, somebody got the notion that the communal showers in the men's locker room were a little too communal. So they actually put up partitions on one side of the previously open shower room. These have no curtains, so they are not affording a whole lot of extra privacy. They just separate one shower head from another knees to shoulders. I could not believe it today when I saw them. Forty, fifty years, that shower room hasn't changed, so why now? I find it hard to believe -- given all the times I've used that locker room -- that there was an enormous outcry among the guys for privacy while showering that would adequately explain these ridiculous, waste-of-money additions that it seems to me cater to the very few. And, just as I have seen at other Ys with similar set-ups, the open showers got more use during my visit (unscientific observation... only in there for less than 10 minutes) than the "private" ones. Anyway, I found this change to this old-time Y kind of sad and kind of disturbing.
Atlanta Jim on December 16, 2011:
Len22, what a very interesting and insightful post. As I have already posted, ad nauseum, I am NOT uncomfortable in the least with locker room nudity -- mine or anybody else's. And I always assumed the majority of us socialized into the typical locker room scene felt the same way. Because for me it was incredibly seamless. One day I had never showered with a bunch of other guys, the next day I had... and it turned out to be no big deal. I had no feeling of dread, week to week, about showering after swim lessons or PE. I just did it, and it seemed like that was the case for everybody. But you have given me something to think about. Because if communal showering is keeping guys from going to the gym then perhaps measures to increase modesty are not such a bad thing -- individual showers, etc. Because it's far more important to get people exercising. However, I don't think it's fair for those who feel shy about nudity to point their fingers at those of us who do not and tell us we are somehow warped -- not that you did this, but you know what I mean. Because this is how many of us grew up. I didn't do nude swimming (and I don't know anybody who did) but I sure as heck had to get nude before and after swimming at the Y, beginning around age 10. And I still do it today. I always assumed ANY guy who went through locker room "initiation" in childhood and/or adolescence had no problems with it later. But your posts suggests that perhaps I am wrong.
Len22 on December 15, 2011:
My comments below may be slightly off the subject, but I think I have something important to say.
Many of the comments above seem to assume that in our society most men are (or should be) secure with their body and nudity in the locker room. But it is key to realize that men come from different social backgrounds and have many difference psychological states of mind. Please remember that most of the men writing here seem to have experience in the locker room setting, but the vast majority of people never go to the gym and would likely avoid any sort of public nudity.
So many of the men here who proclaim they have very few hang-ups would have felt considerably different if they were presented with the “forced” nudity of several decades ago. As a kid, my parents sent me to the local YMCA to take swimming lessons. I had no way of knowing that once in the building, all the boys were ordered to strip naked and stand by the pool. I had no conception of public nudity and I was shocked, but as a kid I did as I was told. I now know that prior to about 1975, all men and boys had to swim nude at the YMCA, and swimsuits were not allowed in the pool. No one told us why and none of the boys complained. I know I was not comfortable in the situation, and I have since learned that other guys felt the same way. I know that lots of us did worry about whether girls might slip into the pool area and see us naked. At least my YMCA did not have viewing areas for parents and sisters and brothers, as was the case in some cities. I don’t know if I could have endured that.
In high school we were forced to strip naked and take showers after PE. Every single day. Most of the time, we had not been active enough to require a shower, but they forced us anyway. They did not give you a towel until after you showered (a wet towel was literally the ticket out of the locker room), so you had a hundred naked students walking though the locker room to the showers, and no way to cover up at all. I can assure you that plenty of guys were not comfortable with this. There are many online forums were men discuss their embarrassment.
At least I did not attend one of the many high schools that required boys to swim naked. This was quite common prior to about 1980. Girls always wore suits, because they required modesty. Not only were many students truly embarrassed by the nudity, but many parents (especially mothers) protested the situation at School Board meetings. I have read numerous newspaper articles on this subject, and without exception the boards refused to let the boys wear swimsuits. They always claimed that boys did not require modesty. It was a really strange period in our history. Most people know nothing about it.
Forced nudity is still with us today. Think of the professional sports teams that actually require their player to undress and shower in front of video cameras and male and female reporters. In the locker room, no matter how careful a player is, he has to be naked at some point. Peer pressure encourages many players to walk around without towels, and female reporters admit that they see everything. Reporters (including women) readily admit that they interview totally nude players. Over the past 30 years or so many players have been quoted in newspaper articles about their extreme embarrassment at being forced to undress in front of the media, but the league commissioners who make the rules feel it is more important to allow reporters into the excitement of the locker room than to think of the modesty of the athletes. By the way, the law merely provides female reporters equal access to the locker room, but access to the locker room by the press is entirely at the discretion of the various league commissioners.
I could go on and on, but I won’t.
My point here is that just because you see man remove his clothes in the locker room and take a shower, you can not assume that he is comfortable with the nudity or his body. Maybe he is and maybe he isn’t. And for every naked man you see in the gym locker room, there are ten more who either refuse to undress at all or who never even visit a gym. Most people avoid any sort of public nudity. It has been said that for most people, their greatest fear is “public speaking.” But I think there is one fear that far surpasses this. It is “public speaking while being nude.” Now that would freak out just about anyone.
linus on December 15, 2011:
Clearly a homophobic closet case.
tallnhungjoe on December 14, 2011:
Who the hell died and made you king of the Gym... I've got a better Idea, if you're not comfortable with other naked men in the Gym... Don't Go! Or Don't Look! You don't have to write a War and Peace length tome about Locker Room Etiquette... Its a free country...for now at least...
Atlanta Jim on December 13, 2011:
I have never done anything of a nudist nature, though I see nothing wrong with it. But the nonchalance you describe in your experiences underscores what I think is the true equilibrium of the men's locker room -- which is, when everybody's naked, it's like everybody's dressed. What I mean is, you remove the provocative nature of nudity when everybody's in the same boat. SO in my mind, attempts to mediate locker room nudity (changing stalls with curtains, non-communal showers) ironically increases the provocativeness of it -- exactly the opposite "desired" effect.
s like everybody's dresse
jonnycomelately on December 11, 2011:
Yes, Atlanta Jim, I feel that in the interests of "equality" men have, in many ways, given up more of the male stuff in order to satisfy the female point of view.
What comes to mind is the analogy of weeding a row of carrots, but the analogy should not be extended too far. This might be a topic for another Hub.
Each age will sort out its own attitudes and mores. I just love nude swimming, also the freedom and convenience of undressing/dressing without feeling the need to cover the nether region, just in case someone is able to peep at what I got! Also, several years ago when I used to visit nudist holiday resorts on the Murray River in New South Wales, the joy of walking around, seeing couples of various ages, sitting in the sun enjoying themselves without a stitch on. We would chat together, eye to eye, totally lacking self-consciousness or embarrassment. Young people playing tennis, wearing only foot gear, every part of the body able to flap and breath in the breeze.
What in heaven's name is wrong with this? It does not enhance the sexual desire any more, usually. A few people, guys or girls, might get a bit more horny I suppose because most days they are hung up on morality and try to hide everything. When you deny something it tends to rear its ugly head! Sexual urge is much more triggered by scanty dress, as the advertising media well know.
All this is of course remote from the Locker Room, but I suggest much of the reaction to this Hub has been from people who have hangups. Maybe they are desperate to break out of the shell but unwilling to admit it. No offense meant and not trying to be judgmental, just offering different ways of looking at it.
Atlanta Jim on December 11, 2011:
Not to cast aspersions on women here, but I wonder how much of the swing toward modesty has to do with gender integration of sports and sporting facilities. I am too young to remember nude swimming -- and I must admit, I probably would have balked at engaging in it -- but I do recall when the YMCA was only for males -- and the YWCA was only for women. Now, at some Ys, in the name of "respect for others," guys can't even do something as harmless as play shirts and skins basketball without violating the rules. I also see the modesty thing invading one of my other sports -- swimming. Growing up, I always wore a Speedo or other swim brief to do laps. So did every other male in the pool. I still wear briefs, as do many high school and college swim teams, but an awful lot of other guys at the pool now sport trunks or those bicycle-like tight shorts (which I tried, but found uncomfortable.) I think it's hard for members of one age to comment rationally on the mores of another era. Nude swimming lessons, to me, seem a bit much. Not showering after gym class seems, to me, ridiculous. But I am aware that plenty of teenagers find the idea of communal showering unbelievably weird.
Jeff on December 06, 2011:
I agree with you, "jonnycomelately". Good, open communication without riducule is great. As I said before, I do not think the "rules" have anything to do with fear of nudity, or "being male", but is a cultural change most prevalent among younger (and some not-so-young) men. I recently wrote an article on mandatory nude swimming in the 50s and 60s and interviewed many males of the era, but also younger men about their thoughts on high school nude swimming--a practice that is now "history." The sense I get from the younger men was first shock that it ever occurred, but also that the current more private norm is more about "respect" for each other, than anything else (and is not a fear of nudity, gays, what is means to be masculine, etc.) Granted, mandatory nude swimming is a far cry from locker room etiquette described in Kea's article, but in my opinion some of this change started when male same gender nude swimming ended, and it was mostly gone by the mid 70s. One recent high school graduate told me if it had been required for him, he would rather fail the class than go nude in a pool with his peers. He also said all the guys at his school now showered in their swimming suits, if at all. While we can all do what is comfortable for us in the locker room, no one should be surprised to see more modesty than in an earlier era, not unlike Kea's rules. All locker rooms are not the same, but the trend is certainly there for more modesty.
jonnycomelately on December 05, 2011:
the one guy, you have some good points there, but I disagree with one thing you have said: "...look whatever insecurities u have u dont have to write about it." Kea has written about it, he's given his views and opinions on the subject, that is very good for him to do. It's also good for others of us to read about. We can get another perspective on the subject. We can weigh our own opinions against those of others. We can all learn off each other. This is good men's stuff... sharing our thoughts and feelings, etc., without fear of being ridiculed. At least that happens if we all respect the other view.
I agree that we all take a peep at what the other guy is endowed with. That is normal, healthy and in no way perverted. Just be comfortable with it (and have fun if that is the way you like it!).
Atlanta Jim on December 02, 2011:
Michael, absolutely correct. Those of us who are unconscious of nudity comfortably converse in the showers -- and frankly, at my gym, that pretty much covers everybody -- at least on the morning "shift." One of the great things about being a guy is we just don't give a crap about nudity. While men may be concerned about their bodies -- hence the need to go to the gym -- we are not governed by our perceived deficiences, as women seem to be. Thus, you shower in a big room and everybody sees you, and your body may not be perfect but you aren't even thinking about it and neither is anybody else. You're just another guy. And I'm going to talk to you, oblivious of your nudity, because I see you every morning and it would be downright rude NOT to talk to you -- and because you have become, in a gym kind of way, a friend. I grew up with the understanding that women were the ones concerned about privacy -- that women were the ones embarassed to bare their bodies. I just never experienced that as a guy -- and I don't think any guy should.
Michael on December 02, 2011:
Old this may be, this entire article has insecure written all over it. Communal showers frequently have conversations and goofing off. People who turn away from people or look people in the eyes too much usually come across as the wierdos, not the people who casually talk or goof off as they bathe. Maybe your experience is limited to a certain demographic, but at least in the US, it is not my experience.
Dave on December 01, 2011:
Whoever wrote this trash sounds like an idiot, dude dont go to the gym if you have a problem with everyone!
dywane on November 30, 2011:
dude , trust me , your not that good looking , dont go fearing that some naked guy in the shower is going to just throw himself at you,lol, seeing this artical, i would have to assume that its really just you thinking about other males sexually, cause your the only one with a problem with it , hmmmmm, can we say " still in the closet" kinda thing, geeesh , ya rather someone just shower in a swim suit , this country is already prude enough, and i am totally straight, but i also am a nudist who is completely comfortable with my body and self aswell as my wife with hers, we sit around naked at certain nudist resorts and swim , drink talk to OTHER naked people , and never has a thought of sex crossed our minds with them , my advice, GROW UP , for starters , and , GO HOME and do your crying somewhere else, like you not wanting to see someone naked in a locker room, is like us not wanting to here you complain
Zak on November 19, 2011:
I'll be naked if I want!
Straight Guy. on November 17, 2011:
So lets go Bi !
jonnycomelately on November 16, 2011:
Interestingly, there is a dilemma... When we have a clear set of social rules to go by, it can make life easier. We know where we stand, follow the rule, get accepted by others around us, feel safe as just one-in-the-crowd.
Then the human tendancy to want more from the-other-side-of-the-fence, where the grass is reported to be greener. We want a choice. We have our rights, don't we. So let's exercise those rights, stick up for our right to be different, explore the boundaries.
The rules are thrown out the window, we are left fending for ourselves, without the support of our community. We feel threatened.
We desire the best of both worlds: wanting the freedom to be nude when we want to, even when folks around don't like us doing it; yet we also call out to be accepted by the conservatives.
We want it both ways.
Atlanta Jim on November 15, 2011:
I got to this site because a friend showed me a funny video about locker room etiquette, and when I went to go watch it again myself I became intrigued by the other sites that came up on search -- because as a very regular gym-goer, I hadn't thought much about whether I was observing proper etiquette in the locker room. I just go there and do what I've always done. However, I have definitely noticed this trend to modesty -- and I am sure at some point it will reach a critical mass as our locker rooms become increasingly populated by men who, as boys, did NOT have to change and shower in front of others. Already, many YMCAs are accommodating this trend by at least offering a couple of shower cubes -- which, as I've mentioned before, seem to only get used when the gang showers are full. It's hard for me to wrap my brain around the idea of being embarassed to be nude in front of other guys because I've been doing it for so long. But I suppose if I reached adulthood without ever having experienced a communal shower, I might be freaked out by it, too. Thankfully, I'm not.
Jeff on November 14, 2011:
I am the "Jeff" with a number of comments noting a "cultural" change, not the "Jeff" just above, but I want to make a comment about Kea's note regarding why people look at this site. My take on this is that some men are not happy with the cultural changes about less open, same gender nudity that have occurred (albeit slowly) over the last 40 years, or so, and are seeking answers. Even though much of what what Kea says is the norm in many locker rooms even without his "rules", an Internet site that professes such rules would attract the ire of some men, and the forum gives them the opportunity to fight back and reinstate an earlier norm, rejecting any type of etiquette that restricts open nudity. I suspect the men we see actually doing the towel dance in locker rooms are not attracted to this site, and thus we do not see their comments. Atlanta Jim (above) saw first-hand what I was talking about, a cultural change--thanks for the observation. It started in schools many years ago, spread to private health clubs, and now permeates some Ys. That's not to say skinny-dipping at a private lake is out among buddies, but that open nudity with men you do not know, or are forced to be with (such as in school) is less apparent. I know there are exceptions, but I hear even in the military, personal privacy is much more respected than it was years ago. (I have no personal military experience, however). At my health club, anyone that is nude except for drying off in front of their locker, looks like a show-off peacock if they strut their stuff in open areas. It is simply not done much.
Jeff on November 14, 2011:
I agree with most of what you said but I think legislating no nudity in a single gender steam room or sauna or whirlpool is not reasonable. Nudity is expected in these areas as it is considered the spa area. Moreover it is much healthier especially in the steam room to have no textiles. At the same time no one should make any comments whether one has a towel or not. At most towels can be worn in the steam room or sauna but bathing suits is pretty ridiculous. Nevertheless I don't really care one way or another.
Straight Guy. on November 13, 2011:
MAYBE KEA IS A DECENT GUY,BUT HE COMES ACROSS AS A HOMOPHOBIC,NOT COMFORTABLE WITH HIS OWN SEXUALITY !
LOCKER ROOMS/SAUNAS ARE PLACES WHERE MEN CAN RELAX/LET IT ALL HANG OUT.WHAT,S THE PROBLEM ?IF YOU GET OFFENDED DON,T GO.COVERING UP/TOWELS ETC.THAT,S JUST 4 ´´BIG GIRLS´´.
FOOTBALL/RUGBY CLUBS WOULDN,T TAKE THIS NONSENCE.GET REAL !