When I was a kid, we grew up seeing all our same sex friends and classmates naked several times a week in locker rooms, without thinking nearly as much of it as kids do now. Most of them seem to arrive and leave in their gym clothes rather than endure the humiliation of exposing their bodies even for a second. Why is this? For men who are now over 50, showering together naked without partitions or curtains was an unavoidable experience in middle school, in high school, in college dormitories, in many industrial jobs and in the military. Some of us were embarrassed and uncomfortable when we first were required to shower after gym class in 6th or 7th grade. I was, and I knew some of my friends were. But we had no choice, and trying to cover up or avoid showering was an invitation to ridicule, so we all pretended to be cool about it regardless of how we really felt.
We talked to the experts — and the locker-room nudists themselves. It's not as cut-and-dry as you'd think. Daniel became desensitized to nudity when he joined the Marines at I just lost the shame we build around our bodies when I realized that nobody cared and a body is just a body. Those old naked guys in the public locker room may be a dying breed. And because the shift is happening, more people are expecting to have many of these options available to them when they join a club. So where did this generational divide come from, and is it really as stark as it seems? We talked to the experts — and locker-room nudists themselves — to find out. In the old days, dudes were just naked in locker rooms, and that was that.
I’m afraid my girlfriend will find out.
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I have always theorized that older men were so much more comfortable with nudity because they were all in the military at some point and are just used to it. They also grew up in a time where it was not instantly assumed that two men naked in the same space must be gay for each other. I personally have no body shame and get naked as often as possible, but yeah, frequently the younger guys seem to be a little more inhibited than the older guys. When I go to the gym at the university where I work age 63 , I proudly walk around naked because that is the way it is. I don't know how it is now, but there were a few rows of lockers and gang showers. The young guys seem to grasp, but frankly I think they are afraid that people are secretly comparing dick sizes or something. It is true, we did that in 6th grade , but not since then, or at least I haven't. It occurs to me that we may be seeing a gradual migration from a less-conscious sexuality expressed by Whitman in Leaves of Grass to the hyper-sexualized 21st century where everybody needs to have some kind of sexual marker staked out.