Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Talking to naked men

I want to go on record that I don't like carrying on conversations with naked men.

I've been a member of health clubs for about 18 years, so I'm pretty well versed in locker room etiquette. Rule number one is that you can carry on a conversation with someone you know until they drop their boxers. Then you both pretty much need to mind your own business in silence until you are dressed in workout clothes or street clothes. At that point the conversation can resume.

Rule number two is that you don't stay naked for more than 5 seconds. This means you don't drop trou and stand there admiring yourself in the mirror. You especially don't stand there for 15 minutes rubbing lotion on your body while everybody else is trying to follow rule number one and two.

And the ultimate rule is that, if you are naked, you don't try to chat up strangers in the locker room. When you are naked is not the best time to try and find new friends.

I am not homophobic. I just consider myself a modest person, respectful of other people's personal space. And I expect them to respect mine. After I've worked out, the last thing I want to deal with is some naked stranger standing there towelling off and asking me about my tattoo.

I've never liked being naked around strangers. Most of you are probably thinking this is probably just common sense. But I'm not talking about flashing, streaking or exhibitionism. I'm talking about those awkward situations where we are forced to disrobe in front of strangers (like a locker room or doctor's office). I was appalled in seventh grade when I learned I would have to take showers with 20 or so strangers in my PE class. But it was there where I learned the rules of locker room etiquette listed above.

While I'm on the subject of naked men, I want to dispel any myths that the average male body (including my own) has any aesthetic quality that anyone should have to endure naked. The cliche that "clothes make the man" is true. Most men look better covered up. I can't tell you how many times I've walked into a locker room and had to suppress screaming, "HOLY MOTHER OF GOD" after seeing some disgusting naked man parading around as if he was Adonis. Gravity wasn't a kind discovery.

At this point, I can imagine what many of you are thinking: TMI.

I agree. That's how I feel about locker rooms.

But I still don't like talking to naked men.


Whitesnake said...

Now I understand why I don't go to the gym.
I am not interested on seeing grown men naked let alone discussing issues with them.

Ya ever had a dog rub himself against ya leg.???????
I wanna know why instaed of pushing the dog away ya try to shake ya leg to get him off....Love ya work mate very well put and straight to the point.
Just don't bend at the waist.....could end up with a pair of hands on ya waist

Anonymous said...

You've got a tattoo? Dude. Tell me more!

Alex Pendragon said...

Rule number five: If someone drops the soap, everyman present acts like it didn't happen and the guilty party simply rinses off and heads back to his locker. Don't look down. Don't go anywhere past GO. Forget the $200.

(It is permissible to sneak back later when the shower is empty to retrieve said soap if you are that cheap)

Anonymous said...

Looks like I'll have to set my easel up in a men's locker room.

Still in shock to hear you have a tattoo. Where??? What is it??? It's Elvis isn't it? No... no... it's a gnome dressed like Elvis.

JP (mom) said...

Modesty is a virtue -- especially in middle age!!

Anonymous said...

I get this post. My older sister asked me when we were teenagers one time if I knew Patty A. I said, "Yeah, so?" She said, "Patty A. walks around the girl's locker room totally naked carrying on conversations with everyone like it's no big deal. She even brushes her hair in the mirror naked. It's gross." "Yeah," I said, "That is gross."

Some people just like being naked and the rest of us have to suffer.

The thing I do not understand is how these naked people don't get it - how they don't get that it would make most people uncomfortable. I was joking one time and told my father-in-law that to ward off telemarketer calls he should answer the phone and say, "Yes, I'm naked." He did it and they never called back. People don't even want to KNOW you're naked, let alone see you naked.

btw - I knew Tim had a tattoo, but not because I'm special. I saw his tattoo in a photo on a previous blog post. Now, I feel special.

Time said...

Whitesnake, I'm not going to read anything into you specifying that you are not interested in seeing "grown men naked." And I'm assuming that you weren't naked when the dog mounted your leg. Not that it is any of my business. :)

Kristy, Are you needling me?

THE Michael, In some circles, dropping the soap is an invitation.

Shandi, I think you would be too grossed out to paint. And alas, the tattoo is a Celtic armband. As Miss Bliss points out, it is visible in some of my blog photos.

JP: And modesty is the best policy!

Miss Bliss, thanks for the naked truth.

Time said...

Don't even get me started about naked guys in computer labs. That is my pet peeve.

Footpad said...

Suddenly, I'm thinking of a certain scene from Airplane.

-- f

R. said...

Huh. I don't really have a problem with the guys who walk around naked in the locker room.

If I knew there weren't people around who share your aversion to nudity I'd probably forgo the towel for convinience; however, in this case it's best to place consideration first. You never know when some homophobe in denial of their sexual preference is going to sucker punch you in the parking lot.

Time said...

Footpad, Roger that!

R. I don't have an adversion to nudity, I just don't particularily enjoy looking at naked men. If you do, that's your business. As your grandfather used to say, "It's your corn and your hogs."