Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Rules of Nudity

I thought I knew them, these rules of nudity.  Taking your clothes off at the gym is a necessary evil.  How else would you get into your workout gear?  But there's a certain way to do it.  First, find the least crowded corner of the locker room, so you'll have room to operate.  Next, change quickly, so that your nudity (or near-nudity) is short-lived.  Finally, make eye contact with no one.  These are the rules... or am I wrong?

Old men don't seem to honor these rules at all.  Every gym I've ever belonged to has a pack of guys, 60+, walking around, talking to each other, slapping each other on the back to punctuate a particularly hilarious joke, all while completely naked.  They don't seem to mind the proximity to each others' genitals, or the obvious discomfort among the younger guys.

Now before you go thinking I'm homophobic or something, hear me out, I've been thinking about this.  In everyday life, I am absolutely not homophobic; my moral code doesn't change simply because I'm in a locker room.  I think what it boils down to is the breakdown of personal space and privacy.  The casual nudity these men embrace forces their exceptionally unattractive naked bodies into my field of vision, making my experience in the locker room less enjoyable.  I guess that I want them to feel the same sense of what? Shame, Dignity? that I feel, along with most younger guys. 

So to recap.... I'm not a homophobe, I'm a prude. 

I bring this whole topic up because on Thursday, something unusual happened.  I first noticed the naked man when I walked into the locker room.  About 65, mostly bald, short, plump, Asian, and completely nude, he was fastidiously combing what was left of his hair in a full-length mirror.  Following protocol, I went to the far corner of the locker room to find my cubby.  As I was removing my jeans, Nudey Von Mirror walks up to me, and in barely decipherable English says something to the effect of, "Excuse me, my locker is behind you."  I moved about three feet on the bench, as much room as I could give while still able to reach into my locker.  He then said some sort of hello, the particulars of which I couldn't really understand.  I dumbly smiled at him .

During this exchange I'm sitting down, putting on my socks and ankle brace, preparing to go shoot hoops.  The man is standing before me, having made no progress toward clothing himself, even though he'd been standing in front of his open locker for a good minute.  He again addresses me, and this time I can make out the phrase "I got some good news."  Pleased with myself for understanding what he said, I smiled and responded with a friendly "oh yeah?."  He then launched into a spiel about eternal life, feeling no pain, how lucky I am.  It hit me suddenly and hard: he's trying to convert me to Christianity.  AND HE'S STILL FUCKING NAKED.

I tersely interrupted with, "I really don't want to hear that."  I wanted to tell him how rude I thought he was, for both proselytizing to me, and for waving his genitals in my face while he did it.  Both of these actions offends my inherent prudishness.  I always find it offensive when people try to convert me, whether it's at my doorstep or on the street.  I don't go up to them to explain why I disagree with their religious or political positions, and yet, they don't seem to have a problem explaining to me why my most deeply held beliefs are wrong. 

Anyway, back to the locker room.  After our little conversation, we still had to sit there and finish our business (although he still hadn't even started his).  Since he was standing in front of my locker, which was on the bottom, I kept having to reach over to pull items out to get dressed.  He was still nude, and wouldn't move, even when I would say "excuse me."  I ended up having to put my face about six inches from his naked crotch just to grab my shoes.  I turned my head away from his groin, but it was still uncomfortable.  I think the Christian thing to do would have been to at least take a step back, or gee, I don't know, cover up?  Isn't shame a major part of that religion?

As if he could read my thoughts, the naked man finally turned his groin away from me as he began to preach at another nearby clothes-changer.  Finally!  No more crotch in my face.  Instead, ass.  Much better.

I think we can all agree on one thing here: it's okay to believe whatever it is you believe, but you should keep it to yourself unless someone asks.  Oh wait, there's one more thing we can all agree on: if you absolutely must try to convert someone to your belief system, you should at least put on pants first.

I give locker room nudity one shriveled penis, and locker room conversions the stink eye.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


You may have noticed the new music player on the right-hand side of the screen.  I am pleased to stream songs from the album I'm working on, tenatively titled "Robot Orgy."  Take a listen, and please feel free to submit any feedback you may have!