Saturday, March 04, 2006

Tales From The Gym: a.k.a.
Wow, You Are Really, REALLY Okay With Being Naked

i don't know if this qualifies as a "tale" either, but whatever. i will call my gym-time observances Tales From The Gym because calling them Gym-Time Observances sounds dorky.

[i think pretty much no one uses the word "dork" anymore. i find this sorta meta, in that it makes me even dorkier.]

so about the gym, then.

it's not like i have a problem with women (or people in general) who are okay with nakedness. so please do not get me wrong. i mean, think that being comfortable with your body is maybe the greatest thing ever and totally more women should be.

hurrah for the female form! yay!

um. but also.

i am sort of curious about the mindset of a woman who will strip down, and be completely naked, and like, do locker room things (many of which require bending down) in the ENTRANCE HALLWAY of the locker room.

because, see, there is a set of lockers that are located immediately inside the locker room. and anyone entering or exiting has to walk past them. and there is ALWAYS at least one woman (sometimes more) who use those lockers, and seem to think absolutely nothing of changing, dressing, reaching into the bottom shelf, etc. while completely naked. and i'm sorry, but it's disconcerting. isn't it?

wouldn't you find it disconcerting to walk into a locker room before 7 a.m. and turn the corner only to find yourself not TWO FEET from a very naked person you don't know? who is bending over? meaning actually you're walking into the locker room before 7 a.m. and finding yourself face-to-ass with a very naked person you don't know?

yes, i think you would.

so let me just say: i love you, ladies who are not afraid to be naked, but could you maybe consider moving your lovely naked selves just a few feet further from the entranceway? maybe?

that is all.


20 comments:

  1. Oh girl, I'm sooooo with you on that.

    I am not one of those ladies who strip down to nothing. eeeks!!!! I wish I could be. But I get dressed and undressed as if there was a strange man in the room. I'm weird.

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  2. FINALLY! Someone else who feels like I do! I work/work out/practically live at my Y, and let me tell you I am still having trouble being completely naked in front of total strangers. And friends/acquaintances are even worse! There is nothing like having a 'hi, how are you doing today/just fine/thanks/how're the kids' conversation with someone in the buff. LORD! And the sweet little old ladies just coming out of the water aerobics class when I am showering after teaching my class are completely without any shred of modesty. Thank God for the bathroom stalls!
    Love Ya!

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  3. We don't have the entryway flasher problem at my Y, but we do have the women who really seem not to be interested in being fenced in by those oppressive, hegemonic fabrics, like, ever. I mean, do they know that there's a big stack of towels up at the front? Free? If so, why do they walk all the way from the showers to their lockers without one, dripping all the way, so that the towel lady has to mop up after them?

    Me, I don't much mind changing in a locker room, but I don't do it unless I have to. I live pretty close to the gym, so I almost always wear my workout gear there and back and then shower at home. If I did shower at the gym, you can bet I'd use a towel.

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  4. I swear, the women at my gym think I'm a freak for hanging all my clothes on the towel hook so I can change in the curtained stall. When did modesty, or the need to not disgust anyone by my stretch marks, become a bad thing?

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  5. i'm very torn on this issue, since, as you said, people should be comfortable about their bodies, and being naked is certainly a sign of being comfortable- ie, not threatened, safe. However... it's sort of like the seinfeld pickle jar thing- not so much good naked and bad, but reasonable naked, and just immodest. if required to bend while naked, seems as though one would do so at the knees, you know, more of a squat- and then, only if, i don't know, a child is dying on the floor in front of you, you're alone, and you can't reach your clothes. i think some women bask in the safety of the gym- no men in the locker room, and a place where people are supposed to think about bodies and improving them. seems like there should be a line, though, just for the sake of politeness.

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  6. i have such admiration for the women who feel comfortable being naked in the locker room, especially the ones with bodies that society doesn't currently find ideal -- including old, wrinkled women.

    and, frankly, it's nice for me to see different women's bodies. i'm straight so i rarely get the opportunity to see REAL naked women (as opposed to models or porn "actors"). it reminds me what real women look like, how different our bodies all are, that we're really NOT supposed to look like those models and porn stars. it's not what nature intended.

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  7. I swear you go to my gym. We have the same set up & it's always a little disconcerting to walk in the door to boobs & ass.
    I think the weirdest to me is people doing their makeup or hair while completly naked.

    I don't have a problem with people changing or being comofortable naked. I'm not fond of my body but I do change my clothes in the locker room. I just don't hang out for awhile completly nude.

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  8. Word, Kristy.

    Did you ever see that episode of the L Word where Tina is doing her hair at the mirror, totally topless and another topless woman comes up behind her and compliments her latisimus dorsi or something and they and their boobs have a conversation?

    I wondered at the time if that was a lesbian thing or if women in locker rooms in California are just more naked.

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  9. hahahaha I think I would just bust a gut if I saw that.

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  10. I may take a beating for saying this, but at my YMCA, I SWEAR there are some women who are there for the viewing pleasure of others--at least in their own minds. The last time I went (which was shamefully long ago) there was a woman showering with the curtain wide open. I'm not talking the shower-before-you-swim shower, with the suit on. I'm talking birthday suit, slowly and dramatically lathering up parts and stretching so as to offer the best possible view. And, the way our locker room is set up, you have no choice but to walk directly toward the showers on the way to the pool, so there was no possible way she thought she would NOT be seen. It's like an invasion of privacy, only in reverse. There is just no need for that.

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  11. I agree with one of the anonymi that it can be a good reality check to see real naked women occasionally. But I am also really put off by the women that walk around doing everything but getting dressed. Why do they have to be buck naked to do all their hair, makeup, lotioning, etc?

    It is really annoying when my DD is with me and I have to explain things like creative landscaping and surgery scars to her.

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  12. K, totally.

    Now imagine my horror, when I say in complete seriousness my ex supervisor (female) got bucknaked while giving me an assignment this summer. Horrified. That's what I was. I was given minimal warning, like, "do you mind if I change for my run"...and I said yes, expecting you know 7th grade gym locker behavior, a turn around, underwear on, bra through the shirt. BUT no. completely naked, while giving me an assignment. I just tried to maintain eye contact best I could.

    Some women...maybe just a little too comfortable with sharing their naked selves with the world.

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  13. I’m a little torn on this one. Do I really want to see the ladies from water aerobics class buck naked in the locker room? I can honestly say no, but not because I’m particularly grossed out by their bodies or anything, I think I just have modesty issues. They are apparently not hung up on modesty, and that’s fine. I think it’s great that they’re that comfortable, but I prefer to close the curtain when I shower, walk to my locker in a towel, and dress in one of the curtained stalls. I avert my eyes and try to discourage conversation with naked strangers. Sometimes I wonder if the nudies think I’m weird because I don’t walk around in the buff and maybe it’s insulting to them in some strange way?
    I also think it has something to do with the attitude/cultural environment I’m in. When I was studying abroad I got used to being naked in the sauna, it was weird at first but once you go to sauna naked you know why no one wears a bathing suit. I got more comfortable with that because that is just how it’s done there and you know that no one thinks twice about it. Knowing how I feel and probably how a lot of other people feel, I don’t think about my YMCA as the same. I feel it’s only courteous to give people the option to not have to see my naked ass hanging out.

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  14. deleted anon,

    that sort of comment is EXACTLY why i am not addressing that stuff here. because people like you do NOT get it.

    what i do in my PRIVATE life -- and oh yes, it is PRIVATE -- is simply NOT up for discussion here.

    (though what i DO do in my private life doesn't change, affect, diminish, alter, etc. who i am or what i write here. there's no "double life" thing going on, as you continue to try and insinuate. i'm all one and the same.)

    people being naked in a locker room does not bother me. i am just often taken aback by the women who stand/bend/do things completely naked in the ENTRANCEWAY of a locker room.

    know why?

    because, frankly, i find it impolite. and i tend to take a very traditional view of decorum, and of what constitutes "acceptable" behavior in public situations. i have NEVER crossed that line.

    and if you think, based on LOOSELY outlined stories on someone else's blog, that that ISN'T the case, then let me just say you're wrong.

    and that you are also being incredibly presumptuous and rude.

    look. i am one whole person, with lots and LOTS of experiences under my belt. some i discuss here, some i don't. some i might, some i never will. that does not mean anything i write here is contrived or dishonest. nothing.

    and for you to draw such a conclusion is petty and short-sighted.

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  15. I would like to add, as a lesbian, and most of my lesbian friends agree, we are not interested in seeing naked women of various ages, shapes and sizes, bending or bathing or anything when we are at the gym. If you see me looking at you, it's probably because I'm wondering what you're doing spraying that toxic aerosol in the "no scents" section or why you had to pick the locker right next to me when the whole aisle is empty and why you're using three stools when I don't even have one. Ok, that's my rant and rave for the day. Cheers!

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  16. deleted anon,

    no, we are not connecting. i have requested that you email me if you have specific questions or take specific issue with something.

    you are being rude because you continue to ignore my requests, and presumptuous because you think you know why.

    you don't.

    so you can email me for clarification, or just continue to be deleted.

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  17. Don't you hate rude, anon posters?

    Anyway, I have to agree with you. At 6 pm on any given weekday, I can find several nekkid women running around the locker room from the bathroom and back to the lockers.

    Ick.

    Last week I saw a girl bending over in front of the hand dryer, drying her hair. If anyone would've used the sink beside her, she would've been rubbing her ass on them.

    Has anyone ever heard of a towel?

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  18. I don't have any problem with seeing other women nude in the locker room, after all you have to expect to see nude women in there, and they have the same body parts that I do.

    I'd rather see women be more accepting of their bodies flaws and all than to be ashamed of their bodies!

    I think to many of us in America are kind of on the silly side about being seen nude by other members of the same sex in the locker room. You don't see that in other countries, they are much better at realizing that nudity does not equal sex.

    I vacationed in Holland a couple of years ago, and at the health clubs and spas women and girls of all ages were 100% comfortable with being nude in the locker room and would have never given a second thought about showering or changing in front of other members of the same sex! I often wonder what it is that so many American women think is going to harm them being seen nude by other women, or seeing other women nude?

    Rebecca H

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  19. Here's something I can't understand, maybe someone else can explain the thinking behind this?

    I was in high school back in the 1950's.
    Back then we girls dressed very conservatively, we would never dream of having sex on a first date, and we never talked about sex. We also had mandatory showers after gym class with no exceptions.

    However the mandatory shower rule was not even neccessary anyway because none of us (girls anyway) would have dreamed of not taking a shower after gym class! We would not have wanted to smell badly the rest of the day in school, and even our hair would have looked terrible without having shampood it after getting all sweaty.
    Plus being nude in front of other girls and our female gym instructor would not be a problem of any kind, in fact it never seemed like an issue at all!

    These days I see teen girls who dress in extremely skimpy clothing where almost everything is showing to everyone else in public. These girls are litterally half naked, they talk openly about having sex with teen boys and even adult men, and will talk about having sex on a first date.

    Yet when I'm swimming at the YMCA that I go to, these same girls will go into the women's locker room and go into a toilet stall and change into their swimsuit in there making sure that no other females see them nude at any point. And the thing that is the most odd about it is that sometimes these girls come out in thong bikini's!

    What is it that I'm failing to see here, what is it that tells some of these young girls that theres nothing wrong with parading around in front of men in a thong, and yet God forbid that other females should ever see any part of them in the women's locker room?

    Back when I was a teen in the 1950's it was the boys that you did not let see you undressed, but there was never any reason to care about other females seeing you in the locker room. Now it seems that teen girls think that it's no problem for males to see them mostly naked and that it's women they need to hide from?

    Mary

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  20. No offense intended. But it kind of pisses me off when I hear other women complain about seeing other women nude in the locker room.

    We have enough negative body immages of ourselves to begin with, and when we complain about each others nudity it just makes it seem all the more like we should feel embarrassed if we are nude.

    Jenna

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