The guys over at AskMen.com often have a lot of great content, and we love them for it. But we had a look at their piece on Locker Room Etiquette and we have to wonder who wrote it, and what kind of Gym they go to!
So, we thought we’d offer a more well-rounded take on the Locker Room environment, focusing on a couple of issues the article raises.
Keep Your Eyes To Yourself
They suggest that men should always maintain eye-contact. Never look below the belt. It is true that if you are talking to a guy, don’t be answering his penis.
However, if a guy is walking around with his junk on show, he’s not likely to be that worried about who sees it. The idea that you “mustn’t ever look” is both ridiculous and unlikely. We have a natural curiosity, and many men (regardless of sexuality) have an unspoken appreciation of dick. Call it narcissism, latent bisexuality, doesn’t matter. Chances are that if there is a guy with his manhood out on display, in almost any environment, most men will take a peek. It doesn’t have to be sexual, it could just be curiosity or reflex.
The proposition that this should end in violence if caught means the person on display is a violent individual who has no place being naked around anyone they don’t want to see them naked. That, and they must be so insecure about their penis they feel the need to both show it off and then chastise anyone who they catch looking. If you don’t like the idea of another guy ever seeing your dick, don’t ever let it out of your pants when other guys are around.
I personally didn’t think most guys were so prudish, But Dustin Driver at AskMen thinks otherwise.
Minimize Your Nakedness.
There is a proposal that being naked for “too long” in a locker room is not good etiquette. Where did this idea spring from, and what is considered too long? What I think might be too long might not be what you think is too long. Should Gyms start defining how long a guy should be naked for in a Locker Room? “Customers are advised that they must only be completely naked for a maximum of ten minutes”.
Again, this reeks of insecurity and fear. Why does it matter to you how long I am naked for in a locker room, why is it any of your business?
It should also be noted that there is an air of hypocrisy here, as this suggestion requires you to notice that another guy is naked. Surely that breaches their own rule of “no peeking!”
Get in and get out.
The idea that you should just get in and get out is also worrying to me. At my gym, we quite often chat, have a laugh and socialize. Okay it might not be the perfect place, but the idea that all men must remain perfectly monk-like while not looking at each other and avoiding any form of contact is a little paranoid and, frankly, weird! I’d HATE a gym like that. It’s supposed to be a space where only men are present, why waste that opportunity to be social just because a freakishly prudish person might be offended or inconvenienced? If you don’t like guys being social and chatting in the locker room, find another gym. Better still, seek therapy!
Something that they don’t mention, but which I will, is the famous Locker Rom Erection. Contrary to popular belief, this is actually quite common. It doesn’t usually mean that you’re suddenly horny for the guy showering next to you. Many men experience an exhilaration after a workout or other form of exertion and this can increase the chances of an involuntary boner. We’ve all had them at some time or another.
Most guys in this kind of environment will not be willing to make an issue of it. Oh yes, they WILL notice it (remember, many, MANY men steal glimpses for all sorts of reasons) but to point it out or comment on it makes it clear that they have noticed. So, ultimately, getting an erection in this kind of environment is not uncommon and shouldn’t result in any form of rib tickling or humiliation from peers (this might be different for teenagers or younger men whose peers are less aware of social mores).
Finally, I am a little surprised by the attitude displayed in the original AskMen piece. The writer comes across as masculine and confident, yet I am more confident and masculine than he is while breaking some of his suggestions on a regular basis. There is no argument on the health issues mentioned, but the sexual insecurities displayed have forced me to comment.
There is no doubt that most men are actually more sexually confident and self-aware than the author of that piece, and I think he has assumed that all other men are as prudish and paranoid as he is. The fact is, most men go to the gym to unwind, socialize and enjoy some free time. We don’t all go there on the sole mission to loose an inch from our belly and gain an inch on a bicep. Any fitness regimen should be interesting, fun and sociable, not puritan, military and laced with paranoia.
I love my gym and its locker room. I don’t care if another guy takes an interest in my schlong, or if a guy wants to spend an hour sitting there contemplating his nakedness. We’re all men, and we are all capable of deciding what is acceptable to us. If I didn’t like the idea of any other guy seeing my dick, I’d cover it up.
Embarrassment or shame is an internal emotion and I have no control over how anyone else feels about their body. If a guy feels embarrassed or shameful about his penis, that’s his deal, not mine. Blaming others for personal self-esteem issues.is not acceptable to me. If it’s something a guy cannot overcome, I’d suggest not being in that environment, or use a towel.