Tuesday, February 26, 2008


In the past three years, I have lived in southern California, northern Virginia and New York City. In all three places, I have regularly visited the gym. In so doing, I've made a curious observation that I don't understand. In SoCal and New York City, which are ostensibly more progressive and liberal than Virginia, men in the gym locker room are much more self-conscious and shy about nudity (and, conversely, they're more open and comfortable about it in Virginia). In New York, for example, most men wrap a towel around themselves before pulling off their pants. In the steam room, they wear shorts or wrap several towels around their bodies. If you are nude for any length of time while you're changing clothes, you can sense a vibe of discomfort from the men around you. By comparison, in Virginia, men walked from their locker to the jacuzzi fully naked, they stood around talking to one another totally nude, they even stood in front of the sink and shaved without a stitch of clothes on. They were completely at ease with their own nakedness and that of the men around them. It seems contradictory that men in a more conservative part of the country would be more liberal about locker room nudity, and vice versa. It's an observation for which I have no hypothesis. Would anyone care to venture one?


Anonymous usamctwo said...

I'm still trying to figure out the nudity factor here at the gym in London. In the female changing area we have a bunch that walk all over the place naked (including doing their hair and make-up) and others that have to change their clothes in the areas with curtains. Yesterday there was a young woman that went thru her entire gym bag and cleaned it out while she was naked. Uh, OK. Cannot figure out if they are exhibitionists, clueless, or totally cool with their bodies. On the other side- guys wear speedos when using the pool/sauna. See less of that in the States!

February 26, 2008 2:31 PM  

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