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Regarding Locker Room Rules

Back when I was about to go to junior high school, I had a concern. I’d been taught to take a shower behind a curtain that was behind a door. I’d grown up changing clothes by myself, then emerging fully dressed into the world where others could see me. But now I’d be taking a phys-ed class that required showering and changing clothes with others nearby.

In other news, men’s locker rooms are always nasty. Women’s are not. Why? (public domain, wikimedia)

My father, who understands all things, explained to me that in a locker room the etiquette was that people busy themselves with showering and dressing. As long as they did that, the system worked without the shower curtain and door. Of course, dad explained this in his own inimitable and unprintable style. He was right, that’s how it worked.

And the gym teacher reinforced what my dad passed on with phrases like “wash it down and cover it back up, no one want to smell or see that stuff”.

The police department hired me after college, so I attended the police academy (no it isn’t like the movies, yes I’ve seen them). At the academy there was a large gentleman who would begin yelling at us to hurry up before we even got in to the locker room. If he decided that we’d taken too long today, tomorrow our time to shower and dress would be halved, as would the number of working shower heads.

So I have a background in the idea that locker rooms are where you wash what you’ve got, then cover it up. Because I am that way, I assume that the rest of the world is. The rest of the world is not that way. There is a growing population of people who don’t understand the lessons of my father, the gym teacher and the academy commander.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

A few weeks ago, I was at my gym. As I changed to shower, I saw a man using a blow dryer to dry his hair. He hadn’t bothered with shorts or a towel. Everyone in proximity to him was visibly uncomfortable. And yet there he was, blowing his hair dry, with his giblets hanging out.

More recently, several men were conversing as they dressed. That isn’t true. One of them stood there, naked, while he chatted. The others were throwing clothes on as fast as possible so they could get away.

Two days ago, I walked in after exercising to find a guy admiring himself in the mirror. He was ten feet from the mirror, in his underwear, looking himself up and down. As he’d turn to get what I presume were better angles, he’d say to himself “yeah”. Each time he turned, he rewarded himself with a “yeah”.

Oh, and he didn’t get embarrassed and stop “yeah-ing” himself when I walked in.

It was a Triumph TR 6. He wasn’t nearly as cool as his car. (ccby2.0 sicnag)

Put It Away

I’m not a nostalgic guy. I hated junior high. Losing shower heads in the academy wasn’t cool. But I long for the days when people put their junk away before they conducted further business.

Like I said, I hated junior high. I never liked that gym teacher, even though he had a really cool car and dated the teacher we all thought was hot. But gentleman, he was right. No one wants to see that stuff. Our bodies are functional, but not works of art.

No dawdling. Cover it up.

(completely unrelated, but yesterday was my blog’s five-year anniversary on wordpress. that makes me the wordiest quiet guy in the world)

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43 Comments on “Regarding Locker Room Rules”

  1. Nicole says:

    There should be a whole list of rules that shouldn’t have to be said. I was changing from work clothes to gym clothes in the locker room the other day and these younger girls came in with chicken and started eating it right next to me as I was changing. I don’t think they were in there eating chicken and gawking at people as they dressed like they were watching some weird movie, but it sure felt like they were. It was incredibly uncomfortable and unnerving.

  2. The women’s locker room isn’t much better at all. I change in a corner, not because I am shy but because I don’t want to get into a discussion with a naked stranger who is shaving their legs.

  3. Debbie says:

    Ah, the joys of NOT having to undress and dress in front of total strangers! You’re wrong in saying that women don’t face these same issues though. When I was a gym member (before I decided I could motivate myself to exercise without having to pay money for it), I often saw women strip to the skin in the locker room, with nary a care as to what was hanging out. Not a pretty picture, I assure you, especially if the woman in question was eighty-plus!

    • omawarisan says:

      See, there’s an educational point for me. I had to go into the women’s locker room a few times at work (when it wasn’t being used) for maintenance issues. it was always much nicer and didn’t stink like ours. I’m sorry it is equally scary

  4. knace says:

    “Dressing out” for junior high gym class remains one of the most vivid traumatic experiences of my young life…*laughs* Okay that is a slight exaggeration, but still….
    I once had a G.P. (A navy doc) and at one appointment the subject of nudity came up and she said when she was stationed in Italy she treated a lot of Italian nationals who she said had a much more relaxed attitude about nudity than your average American. She said she would tell them “OK, I’m going to step out of the room while you get undr-” and before she could even finish the sentence they were stripping down. She would try to stop them and they would say “It’s Ok, I’m not embarrassed.” She said “I would try to explain, that drape is for ME, not you. I don’t particularly want to see all your parts, Thanks.”
    Personally I don’t understand how you guys even use urinals. =)

  5. Merilee says:

    OMG this made me LAUGH! “Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.”……….that made me spit out my coffee!

  6. It seems I have been reading a lot about locker room etiquette lately. Then I realized that we just finished January when everyone resolves to join a gym and get in shape, “Yeah”. If you wait until March the gym will be empty again and so will the showers. There will be no more bits to bump into.
    On another note…Happy Anniversary on the blog and congratulations on all the other excitement this week.

    • omawarisan says:

      It’s been a bit more crowded since January, but it is starting to thin already.

      I just re-read “bits to bump into”. If that happens I’m going to end up in a fetal position.

      • Melissa Hollingsworth says:

        I would join you in the fetal position… but I’m not a guy, so it probably would be really weird to be in the fetal position in the guys locker room, although I’d probably feel more comfortable there… oh wait. No, I wouldn’t…but still the thought of ‘bits to bump into” in a guys locker room…. just yuck! I find myself gagging a bit just thinking about it. I think I’ll stop now…..

  7. Betty says:

    Well, here’s a question no one seems to have addressed: are the men who display their giblets perhaps showing off the size of the giblets? Maybe this is the opposite of driving a Hummer.

    • omawarisan says:

      I don’t know. According to guy code, section 6 b, chapter 4, we are required to look at the left ear in this situation. But auuugh, Hummer douches….hate those guys.

  8. snoogiefisk says:

    Lets not forget that women like to traipse their children through the locker room of the local gym. Nuttin like trying to cover your parts with a 5 year old staring at them and picking his nose.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is so weird. I had an experience very similar to yours, and ironically, a very dissimilar outcome. I am used to seeing the guy every day who decides he has to walk from here to there while swinging his wedding tackle around. But last week Inappropriate Guy number one was standing in front of the mirror and drying his hair while completely and proudly naked……… while carrying on a long work-related conversation with Inappropriate (fully clothed) Guy number two. Neither had European accents. The situation helped generate a new cocktail of emotions within me consisting of roughly equal parts dirty, confusion, anger, and a new part that for now will be called “Am I that shallow that I couldn’t carry on a conversation with a naked coworker of the same gender? And is that something I strive for?” I think I should invite IG#1 to visit your locker room with the “yeah” guy, the “stand in the middle of a group of men while naked” guy , and his brother in the Blowit Dri Naked fraternity.

  10. Dan Hennessy says:

    Hey . It was junior high . Get over it ! :)

  11. lbwoodgate says:

    This all brings back un-fond memories of my time in the military and sleeping and bathing with some 40 other men in one barracks, some who had a tendency to let it all hang out. I still have this horrible image permanently imbedded in my memory of one guy doing a thorough and unabashed scrubbing between the cheeks of his arse.

  12. FiddlinErin says:

    Ok, this whole post was great. But, to me, the best part was the fact that you used the term giblets. :-)

  13. Laura says:

    Happy bloggaversary! At least Underwear Guy was wearing underwear.

    • omawarisan says:

      Thank you. It snuck up on me this year and then it hit me how long this silliness has been going on. Thanks for sticking around!

      If underwear guy was doing mirror yeahs in the nude I’d have had to file some sort of complaint.

  14. Ned's Blog says:

    With the guy in the mirror, next time stand behind him and stare until he asks what you’re doing. Tell him you study the constellations and were looking for the Little Dipper.

    I really don’t understand people like that.

  15. We Found Him Captain! says:

    He sounds like a guy who would be found in the early A.M hours saying “yeah” while leading a billygoat on a leash into a dark alley in the Bronx.

  16. FiddlinErin says:

    Oh! And I had meant to congratulate you on you blogiversary. I’ve been blogging for eight years now (or so), but it’s been stretched out over several platforms since the start, spin not sure I have a real date to mark as my official beginning. Still haven’t run out of stuff to say, though. So… onward and upward, as they say. :-)

  17. Yeah, yeah! Oh, that’s funny. Maybe because it’s the age of the selfie? The me, look at me, look at me generation. I agree with you. Shower, get dressed and be done with it. Congrats on your 5 year anniversary!! Wow, what an accomplishment!!

  18. Giblets … Ha ha. Great use of the word. But I do agree it’s a matter of decorum. Plain and simple. Next time it happens maybe you should say to the offender “Oh that’s a shame. Well at least you have good hair”

  19. I never showered at the gym because of this (back when I used to go the gym). I would just drive home all sweaty and shower at home, because there was a curtain … in case the cat tried to break the locker room rules.

    And what is it with the men’s room not having a door on the stall with the toilet? Are men not allowed to poop in private either?

  20. dentaleggs says:

    That’s why I work out at home.

    Also, I love that you wrote ‘giblets’. Heee…

  21. Mal Content says:

    I seem to remember there used to be this emotion called “shame” that people would feel when they did things that made other people uncomfortable. Maybe we could find some “shame” DNA inside the blood of fossilized mosquitoes, then recreate the emotion using advanced cloning technology. The world would be a better place if shame wasn’t extinct.

  22. cie0001 says:

    I just learned locker room etiquette. I usually just hurry home and tidy up there. I don’t vibe with the whole group nudity movement.

  23. Congrats on the five years blogging!! And ya, it’s the same with girls, well at my age anyway, no one needs to see that :)

  24. Congrats on your five year anniversary!!! And ya, no one needs to see that, it’s the same with girls, at least at my age, it is cover it up damn it!!!!

  25. Pie says:

    You’ve struck gold here, Oma. I didn’t think I could laugh any more. And then I read the comments. My favourite was from ‘We Found Him captain!’ It created really strong visuals for me. ‘Billygoat’ and ‘Bronx’ will forever be linked in my mind.

    There’s been good use of the words ‘giblets’, ‘junk’, ‘wedding tackle’ and ‘bumping bits together’ here. I always waited until I reached home for my shower when I used to go to the gym. Thanks for reminding me why I did.

    I think ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’ guy should be on a T-Shirt.

    Congrats on reaching your fifth year on this blog.

  26. I remember freaking out about showers after gym. It all worked out though because we never had time to shower anyways.

    I’ve heard rumors about a guy who never covers up in the locker room at work’s gym. My coworkers refer to him as “Junk Man.” Once, they pointed Junk Man out to me—obviously, he was clothed when I met him. Thank God for that.


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