Seriously, What Are Straight Men Doing In The Locker Room?

 

A conservative stereotype of a gay man in a locker room might include imagery of a homosexual Wile E. Coyote plotting various harebrained ways in which to see others' unmentionables. Peeking out from underneath piles of towels. Crawling through the air vents. Anything to see those naked men!

But the fact of the matter is that gays are more fish out of water than kids in a candy store when it comes to locker rooms, and neither I nor any gay man I know has exhibited any behavior in a locker room that wouldn't be out of place in a nunnery. The same, however, cannot be said for our straight brethren.

As someone who goes to a mostly straight-attended gym, a concern of mine in the locker room is, frankly, that someone will think I want to see them naked. Spoiler: I definitely don't. And to make my lack of intentions known, I stare down at my feet while walking so diligently that I look like I'm auditioning for The Handmaid's Tale.

On the other hand, the straight men in the locker room act as though they're auditioning for Sean Cody. Walking around naked: Of course. Toweling off your no-no for two full minutes five inches away from me: Okay. Having an in-depth conversation with your bro friends about Shark Tank while assuming the Captain Morgan stance buck nude? You do you brah?

In Germany many public bathhouses provide a space for both men and women to mingle freely while nude. Often Europeans are able to check any sexual hangups at the door - understanding that there is no shame in the naked form. If this is the accepting, cosmopolitan attitude I'm experiencing at the uber-bro club I attend in downtown Chicago, cool. But, honestly, it's not. It's just not. These are the same guys that landed in the hospital for butt chugging in college, and now they're shaking their Chicago-style dogs in front of each other's faces, and I don't know what to make of it. 

If I, a gay man, did half the things the straight guys in my locker room do, I would definitely draw the ire of my gym mates. Do I want to eat pretzels in front of people with my junk out? No. Do straight guys? Apparently. Are these antics about dominance - like bucks rearing their antlers? Are the straight guys totally oblivious? Did I accidentally rush a frat house instead of joining a gym? Let me know if you've had similar experiences to help us shine some light on where the light don't shine. 

Insanely random P.S.: The pic above is a still from a video that Bruce Weber claimed was created for Abercrombie & Fitch. The clothing brand for homosexuals denied any involvement. Hmm. You can read about the history here

 


This post is the opinion of this contributing writer to Instinct Magazine.  Opinion pieces do not always reflect the stance of the magazine or the other contributing writers.

Comments

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Straight guys notice other straight guys.They size each other up just like gay men do. It's part of the social pecking order. I don't mind seeing men naked in the locker room. Straight men, gay men, I don't care. It's not that I get excited, I just don't care most of the time. But occasionally, you'll see a guy that deserves a second glance. 

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get a grip guys and get over your adolescent intimidation...no one gives a damn in a locker room...sure there is some mild cruising that I have seen over the years but no one is trying to intimidate anyone and everyone is basically just trying to clean off the sweat.

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I've noticed the same thing as him and feel the same about not caring to see them naked.  I don't.  I've also noticed a lot of straight men acting stereotypically kind of like women in the lockerroom.  If they aren't baring it all by walking around naked or lingering naked for several seconds to show off their business or get attention, you have others that practically hide when they cover themselves in a towel and pull their pants up to change.  Plus, they obsessively comb and groom themselves.  I think it is part of the lack of masculinity that permeates in our culture or their wives/girlfriends feminizing them.  First of all, whatever happened to straight men just doing their thing and not caring about how they look?  Second, drop your drawers for five, ten or maybe thiry seconds or longer, pull up those underwear and I guarantee you, towel or no towel covering your nudity, I won't be looking for any of those lengths of time.  I'm not interested so get over your hangup with nudity around other men.  It's odd when I find myself as a gay man acting like a straight man in a locker room and the role is now commonly reversed.

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"Let's see which of these fags gets a hard-on when I drop my towel."

"Will I still turn heads at 40?"

"Fuck I can't remember my locker combination."

"Cream of tartar, TP, shampoo, and...shit what's that fourth item on my wife's grocery list." 

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I take your analysis with a grain of salt. I used to be uncomfortable with nudity when I was 12 years old because of insecurities about myself. I thought I was too skinny here or too fat there or might be laughed at for having hairs on my chest. Then I got involved in sports and got used to showering with my team every day and became comfortable with my own body and no longer self-conscious about other people’s bodies. 

  I doubt anyone is ACTUALLY flaunting anything like it’s a runway. They are probably just going about their business and chatting with friends like the men at my gym do when they may be naked, clothed or in-between. The fact that you are so self-consciously staring at the floor suggests you’re already uncomfortable.  

  My suggestion to you is to just go about your business as if you are comfortable.  In all likelihood you will in time realize that there was nothing to be ashamed of and that it’s not so much others as your own insecurities that were making you uncomfortable for all those years. 

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Could someone tell me what "You do you brah?" is supposed to mean?

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I always thought of these sorts of behaviors as a game of one-upmanship and/or a way of creating status based on size. I even heard "show us what you've got," as a way of shaming people into taking part. Of course, it was also a way of shaming those of us who were prudes and/or thought that all nudity was morally or religiously wrong into lightening up. And what's been called "rapey behaviour" in the comments is little more than a display of dominance. Yeah, it's pretty juvenile bordering on homoerotic; but way back-then it seemed like "boys-will-be-boys" harmless (?) fun.

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It's one of two scenarios..... they either flaunt like they are walking a runway or practically get inside their selected locker to change......guys its a cock.. we all have one... 

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I would go to swim gym.  In the gym was a "sun room".  The instructions stated to close eyes while you are in the room.  So I went and drop my towel.  (This is suppose to be a straight gym).  I walked in with my eyes close.  Before I was there less than a minute I felt a hand on my private parts.  I did not open my eyes but with care remove the hand from my penis.  I had just started politics in the area, and I was not going to get into trouble in a so called straight gym.  

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When I was in school and we had to have a shower after physical education (that's what the class is called in my country) my classmates on many ocassions would rub their penis and mount the other guys simulating sexual intercourse around the locker room. Of course, all of them were heterosexual. I, on the other hnd never liked that "game", it felt rapey.

Not the first time that heterosexual men show a tendency for rapey behaviour that they unjustly accuse gay men of.

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On the contrary,  my gym has a hot tub and jacuzzi. It’s in Vancouver BC, so a larger than normal gay city. Many straight guys flaunt their bits and many gay guys look. Numerous hook ups have been seen (and experienced) with straight guys. Fun is fun and labeling a straight dude as gay if he has fun with other guys in a locker room is out dated. I think we need to understand society puts most restrictions on our actions and not ourselves.

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Not the case at any gym I've been to. It's not the frat bros that flaunt around nude, it's the older and burly guys that do that. 

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I think it's just that they are past the point of caring

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Yep, same here... I worked out on a college campus at hte rec center.  NONE of the college guys every got naked - they would practically hide to change.  It was only the retired professor types that strolled around naked.  

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