Locker Room Etiquette

I’ve started playing basketball on my lunch hour. After two games, I hit the locker room, take a quick shower, then grab lunch. Now showering in a locker room is already an uncomfortable experience, but a little locker room etiquette makes it doable. You wear your towel to the shower. You dress rapidly. You never make eye contact. That sort of thing. So every time I’m in there, I’m constantly boggled by the guy who never learned any of that. He insists on putting his underwear on last when getting dressed. He’s got his order of operations all out of wack. You’ve got to subtract your genitals from sight before you can add your t-shirt.

35 thoughts on “Locker Room Etiquette”

  1. I have to say, it’s good to have things somewhat back to normal.

    Anyway, I know exactly what you mean. Being that I never played football or basketball or another sport like that, I live by a different set of rules in the locker room. In my sport, people didn’t shower naked. It could be because people already think you’re gay just for being in a Speedo that you don’t want to even risk people thinking you’re dropping your soap in the shower. More likely it’s because what’s really the point of getting undressed when you’re already close to naked and what you’re wearing is already wet. It’s not like it’s hard to wash your junk when you’re in a swimsuit…

    Anyway, being that I have grown up instilled with this certain locker room etiquette, it came as quite a shock to me when I recently started swimming at the local 24 Hour Fitness. I think the guy that was mentioned above may have been vacationing in Phoenix, or maybe it was his brother. In any case, he apparently learned that after your shower you’re supposed to shave, put on lotion and deodorant, do your hair, brush your teeth, trade some stocks on your Blackberry, and eat breakfast. Once all that’s done, you can begin to consider putting on your boxer shorts. It certainly does make things quite uncomfortable. They should almost have a locker room for guys who have etiquette, and a locker room for the guys who like to let their genitalia get some fresh air.

  2. Indeed, locker room nudity is an important issue to discuss. Let’s face it, nobody likes to be buck naked in full view of their peers. It’s awkward for everyone involved. The trick is to put forth the illusion that it is no big deal without making a spectacle of yourself…

    Dave and Gabe have already covered the extreme of gratuitous exhibitionism… I’d like to address the other end of the spectrum. I’m talking about the individuals that go to ridiculous lengths to insure they never appear fully nude in the locker room. For instance, some people put their underwear on while still wearing their towel. Have you seen this move? Basically a dude contorts himself like a yoga instrutor while trying to shimmy up a pair of boxers underneath a big, bulky towel. While the goal is to be discreet, this exaggerated effort to simply put on a pair of underwear ends up drawing more attention than simply standing around buck naked like everyone else… And unfortunately, there is another downside, as those forced to watch this display can’t help but wonder why this individual is going to such great lengths to hide their genitalia. Size? Disfigurement? Fungus? Prosthetic? The mind wanders…

  3. Well boys I think it needs to be said that you only have one area that you are in a hurry to clothe. Us ladies have to deal with hooks, elastic, and then move onto the underwear issue. Having witnessed this recently, a woman just decided to forgo all of that and wear only the outermost layers of clothing and smiled in the face of tradition and hygiene. I think she speaks to all of us in these situations. Thank you braless grossly unattractive lady at Golds!

  4. As a youth I grew up in my fathers gym. Now having said that I had as male role models men who not only wandered the loker room naked but stood in front of the mirrors for hours. The full spectrum of exhibitionism has played out itself in front of me thousands of times. I would like to share the champion of locker room villiany with you. When I was in junior high my fathers gym was frequented by a gorilla of a man named don krueger. Now Don had more body hair than skin. After a hot shower his favorite next step was to stand in the direct center of the changing area and buck nacked comb out his chest, shoulder, neck and back hair. This is a true story that I was witness to. After the full hygenic array he would start a conversation with the nearest person while leisurely putting on his attire. I have had nightmares well into my adult life because of Don.

  5. Krusty, thanks so much for bringing back that memory. I too remember Don. I used to go to the gym in junior high also. Nice new look to the site DA.

  6. I’m still confused by the fact that the guy puts on his underwear last while getting dressed. What, does he wear his underwear over his pants?

  7. I don’t think it is a problem being nude. I think it is silly to wrap a towel around me so I can walk 30 feet to the group shower. It is ok to be nude in the locker room. We all look pretty much the same, from my group shower experiences. If it bothers you, don’t look.

  8. Funny observation Larry. You should write a humor blog. I’d love to get more of your wacky take on life.

    Truth be told, I find it equally silly that you have a distance requirement for wearing clothing. If the distance between you and a normally naked activity is say, less than 30 feet, you think it’s too much effort to wrap a towel around your torso.

    So I wonder what you would do if… bear with me here… you sleep in the nude but live right next door to your place of employment… and let’s say that distance between you (well, a nude you to be exact) and work is just 28 feet. I don’t see how the Larry I know could justify getting dressed everyday. I mean clothing your whole body every day just to go 28 feet, work, then come back and get nude. Am I right? Why do we all buy into the whole clothing thing at all?

    The answer is conditioning Larry.

    And in my own goofy way I was trying to use humor to highlight that we are conditioned to fear nudity in the locker room and that when one of us breaks that conditioning, the others feel awkward.

  9. What is the problem with most of you guys? Are you all prudes? So what if you are naked? It is a shower room. And showering with your bathing suit on???? Wow, you guys sound like a bunch of little kids. Grow up. Nudity is part of life. I agree you don’t have to go prancing around, but what’s the big deal with walking from your locker to shower without wrapping a towel around yourself? If you feel so self concious about yourself, then go right ahead, but don’t criticise people that don’t

  10. Oh my god!! Why are u all so scared! I know this is going to sound very wierd but i have an ideal that actually works.

    The first time I had to take a shower in front of other people every body just took off all thiers clothes and believe it or not, all we did was look at each others bare bodys. Once we did that then we got used to each others appearence in the nude. Its that easy.

    All I have to say is u guys are wimps because u are scared to change in front of the same sex as u. Wimps!!

  11. I had to shower with 50 other girls at summer camp growning up. The counselors even put on a skit called “parts are parts” I have added the tag line, “it’s just skin” works everytime.
    In college in the women’s locker room a new item popped up…really dumb tattoos, you know the types. Brie will never live down the pink “princess” tattoo above her crotch. It all made sense a couple years after that when Brie became a stripper. Maybe not confusing on the “pole of lust” but pretty funny in the locker room. Dolla Bills!

  12. First, those guys who feel uncomfortable being naked around other males should go home and shower there. Second, if they feel so awkward in a locker room full of people in the nude, why the heck they look?

  13. Okay… all of you have very valid points.. and while im not affraid to walk around the locker room naked.. it is very strange when there are people that feel they must stare…. im not sure if its just because im quite a bit younger than most of the people that go to my gym.. or if its because they are gay.. but in either case… go home and look at a dirty website.. being stared at in the shower is more uncomfortable than all of the above… and i realize i could just go home and shower.. and i do.. but some times its nessary to shower at the gym… if your on break from work for only an hr or so… all im trying to say is… perverts… stay out of the locker room.

  14. Locker room etiquette should just boil down to what the purpose of the room is for. I go there to shower, get changed and get on with my life. The fact that there are naked men in the “mens” locker room does not surprise, nor emabarass me. We all have a penis; get over it. As for feeling you are being watched, or looked at and think everyone is gay, I feel bad for you. That’s a horrible way to go through life. I too prefer to cover myself going to/from the shower etc, but unless a guy is butt naked trying to strike up a conversation, who cares. He’s just there to get dresses and probably doesn’t have the same selfconcious issues as some others. Focus more on what your in the locker room for and less on the other naked men. Besides, many of you seem very knowledgeable of what the “naked men” are doing and complaining about being watched… hum; anyone else see the hipocrocy in this?

  15. Oh wow! What is the big deal about naked men in the locker room. I too had been going to the gym, (YMCA) with my Dad, since I was just a boy. The YMCA had a “male only” indoor pool, and swim trunks were never worn by anybody. It was completely normal. Now, in the present time, in my current gym a YMCA, the swimming pool is co-ed, and trunks must be worn. The locker room is large, and has a gang-style shower room. Most men, young men, and even boys, all shower together…yes nude. Hey, its all guys in there, what is the big deal? If you can’t strip down while in the company of all males, then you need to go home and work out with Mommy. I hope these guys that have a problem with seeing other males naked don’t ever have to serve in the US military.

  16. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I understand Jock’s response about the hipocracy in all of this babble. We all have the same thing (sizes vary), but who cares. If a glance is made, it most likely is for comparison reasons only. Just shut up and shower, OK!

  17. I think it’s more un-manly for a male in a mens’ locker room to feel compelled to duck and cover at all times because another man may see his penis. A man should be above all that. And I wouldn’t want a son of mine feeling he has to change behind a curtin in a mens locker rom.

  18. I feel the same way you do jock. I go there to shower and get out. And im not saying that everyone is gay or is looking at me.. but sometimes there are guys that defintly stare.. and its no big deal.. but it is a little awkward.

  19. I always felt awkward about being naked with others when in school / college. However, this is a part of growing up. We are all the same regardless of penis size, muscles, etc. We are people. The locker room experience is a good one because it can build your confidence body and mind. The locker room where I shower has a mix of young and older men who shower together. No fuss. I think some of the worry is in regards to the increased acceptance of homosexuality in our society and the fear that the guy in the shower next to you might be gay. Get over it. This is a nation of diversity and you better get used to it.

  20. What a bunch of sissies! Any guy that can’t shower/change in front of other guys is the same guy who had Mommy write a letter to excuse said guy from having to take gym class!
    Only in the USA. The rest of the world has no problem. Grow up!

  21. I am 28 yrs old and i am one of those guys that walks around the locker room naked. wow, what a crazy idea, being naked in a locker room. im not a pervert, i have a girlfriend. but its just that im not shy. why should i be shy being nude in front of other men? we are all the same. have u ever been in the lokcer room of a major sports team? well i have. i used to be a ball boy for a major league baseball team and let me tell you, they would walk around naked all the time. watch tv naked, chat it up with other players naked, sit around naked, and even have interviews with media personal (some being female) naked. and these are the manliest of men. so i suggest that everyone who has an issue with nudity in the locker room to not go in there. just change and shower at home and keep the closed mindedness at home with you.

  22. I understand, I find it really disgusting to have to see other mens parts even by accident. To the people that are telling you to grow up they need to stfu, and it’s alot easier for women to change in front of women than it is for guys because we have to worry about what if we aren’t the right size and girls all look the same, But the school cannot force you to take a shower so don’t do it if you don’t want. You grew up clothed all your life so it is kind of akward. Women used to think showing there arms was just as bad as showig there other parts. don’t worry about it.

  23. It cracks me up that the longest, ongoing debate has been perpetuated by males that are obsessed by their own nudity. Trust me, this subject is not as fascinating as you all are making it out to be. For the exhibitionists and the shy alike, put on some clothes or don’t, it doesn’t really matter. But PLEASE stop portraying this issue as sign of manlihood. Real manliness is displayed in every day scenarios, usually when the clothes are on. So stop with the pissing contest :)

  24. For those young men who feel insulted because another guy might look at them…wait a few years. One day people will shield their eyes when they walk by.

  25. showering in the lockeroom has never been a probablem for me b/c im not shy about my body. My Basketball and football team all were hung, like every including me. In high school id whip it out all the time for girls. I dont see a problem with looking at other guys penises whats the big deal honestly. Just as long ur touching it was the big.

  26. have men become such weaklings that seing someone nude in a lockeroom is gonna scar them for life?grow the fuck up!!there are worse things in life than seeing someone nude in a lockeroom.the fact that this even bothers someone is scary in itself.

  27. I agree that it’s a locker room, a room for getting undressed and dressed, and for drying off after the shower, which of course is done naked. If you wear swim trunks in the shower, then you can’t soap down the dirtiest parts of your body. Duh. It’s not rocket science. At the campground, some little mama’s boy complained to his mommy that I stood there naked and shaved after my shower. Yeah. SO? She confronted me in front of the other campers and asked me why I “run around” naked in the locker room. I retorted, “Where would you prefer I go naked?” Everyone laughed and that shut the b**** up. ‘Nuf said!

  28. Also, as a boy and young man, we always swam naked in male-only environments — ymca, scout camp, high school and college. In scout camp, we’d trudge to the showerhouse usually with towels about our waists, and return to the campsite with towels around our necks, enjoying the breeze on our damp bodies. One time when it was raining hard, we showered at the campsite in the cold downpour. Scoutmaster too. Nudity was never a big deal. Why should it be? Anyone who was modest around other guys was mocked at as a sissy boy or worse. God only made two kinds, innies and outies. We all had outies, so no need to ogle or cover up.

  29. On occasion I will use the men’s locker room and its facilities, but I don’t mind the nudity. In fact most men I have encountered are naked at some point.

    For the most part, I would always change under a towel, walk around with a towel wrapped around my waist, or use the sauna or steam room with a towel draped over my privates. The last time I was in the men’s locker room while staying at a hotel in Abu Dhabi, I decided to branch out. After a long day of relaxing, I emerged form the steam room and walked over to the changing area to find another hairy Middle Eastern man with a towel wrapped around his waist. As I took out my clothes, I noticed him removing his towel, spreading his legs, and drying his crotch with pubes galore. This very vivid display of the male body all of a sudden seemed very normal and very comfortable. All of a sudden I too dropped my towel. For the first time I was naked in front of another man and I didn’t care if he could see my penis. Why should I? He had one too.

  30. You guys are goons. If these poor men knew you spent the entire time studying them and wondering why they don’t have pants on maybe they’d be in a bigger hurry. Maybe you girls should stop obsessing over other men’s penises because that type of behavior is unwelcome in the mens locker room.

  31. Ah, guys, didn’t most of us (over 50) have to take high school swim class in the nude? I did in the NW subs outside of Chicago. At that age we all had little peckers and many, like me had lots of “baby-fat”. So, not a fun thing, but you are now a GROWN UP, or NOT! Get a life. In a locker room you WILL see nude people – OMG, who would’a thought? Yup, some are fat, old, ugly, etc. And, some of the younger guys are “showing their ‘stuff’ for us to see”. Some are so scared to see another naked male is rather problematic. Then again, that’s another story for the psychs couch.
    Get over it – a locker room IS the place for nude people.

  32. Omfg. Pull your heads out of your as***. Its a LOCKER ROOM MORONS. Nudity is expected, and if you dont like it keep your bigoted, lame a** at home.

  33. I happend to come up on this thread by accident and just in disbelief. I played sports, was in a frat, we were naked, or in a jock all the time no one thought anything of it. Were there some gay guys involved, probably but no one cared, if they were gay they were not going to make a move on you. I go to an family executive gym now. Most guys have no trouble being naked walking to the shower, shaving naked etc..its no big deal. I cannot believe what a bunch of prudes you guys are. I had this conversation about the nudity thing with a guy in his 60’s and str8 as an arrow. He said to him that he thought guys that constantly covered up were insecure about their sexuality and I agree with his point.

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