Oh hey, there’s a first part to this story.
I’ve been getting over my fear of locker rooms and embracing localized public nudity.
I’ve noted the differences of nudity in the locker room among mixed company (gay and straight, ethnic/cultural). And while it sounds like a field study of an African safari, I’ve tried to remain clinical and suppress my natural animal. In other words, I’ve been trying my best not to check out anyone’s butts. But I mean, sometimes I’m curious! I never really got comfortable with the whole high school locker room experience, really. I only went in the locker room maybe 3 times in the 2 minutes I was on the track team, but you know getting threatened to being beaten up kind of ruins the whole learning experience. But in present day, I keep my head down and myself covered at all times in the locker room, usually. Something I learned from researching the etiquette of locker rooms. After the strange looks I’d been getting, I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t breaking any other unspoken rules.
That is, until a few weeks ago, when I vowed to be naked — to stand resolute and dignified — a manlier Godiva among trembling and anxious members. I even bypassed the “under-the-towel” move and opted for the barely covering “hold-towel-with-teeth” move. I still got a dirty look, but from another Black guy — who looked at me strange as if thinking, “Now you know we don’t do all of that” in reference to my butt all hanging out.
Still, I thought taking it easy, appearing relaxed and uncaring would help. But I think slowing down and taking my time in the locker room also made other guys uncomfortable. Or maybe it was the towel I was wearing — a white towel with pink stripes isn’t that big of a deal, right?
Right. So I bought a white towel with blue stripes. And still, when I got naked the next few times I went to the gym (at different locations), it all of a sudden got awkward. Nobody said anything but you could tell. People were noticing someone was naked in the room. And it’s not like I have anything abnormal going on down below. I mean, I’ve never had any complaints.
But I digress, the last time I used the locker room and showers (and I say “last time” because the water heater was fixed a month ago and I’ve yet to find a new reason to hit up the gym) — the last time I used the locker room, there weren’t any open seats available, except for a standalone seat along the wall away from the lockers, where main traffic from 3 directions could get a “big ass” view. So like I said, ‘resolute and dignified,’ I set my bag down, took off my shoes, pulled out my shower towel, and stripped while some business-y dudes talked about… sports or something else boring. As soon as my undies hit the floor, the conversation trailed off. Confident, I looked over my shoulder slightly to see if anyone was standing with pitchforks. But as soon as I looked over my shoulder the conversation started up again.
So I wrapped my towel around me and headed for the showers slightly smiling to myself, careless. And vowed not to care anymore! Because really, you can’t please everyone — naked or clothed. You’ve just got to do your thing the best way you know how — with flip flops like your mother told you and using liquid soap to avoid the dropping soap situation.
Check out more of my “chickens” on my Chicken List.