Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Locker Room Etiquette

Ken went to the pool the other day to do his usual swim workout. He came home and said an interesting thing had happened. Ken never comes home with any fascinating stories about the pool and swimming laps, so I knew it must be something good. Did someone from the pussy posse flash their fluff? Was there a turd on the pool floor? Was Michael Phelps smoking a joint by the vending machine? What? What?

Ken said he had finished his swim and was rinsing off. He was still in his tri shorts. A guy came into the shower, fully naked. This dude is a regular at the pool. He is a bit older, with a full head of gray hair and a strong, athletic build. We see him there a lot.

Anyway, free-ballin’ gray haired guy came into the shower and started talking to Ken telling him that he needed to put more glide into his stroke (TWSS). He then started to demonstrate the freestyle swim stroke, all the while his man parts swinging in the breeze. Ken didn’t mind the input and said it was helpful, but he had a hard time focusing given the genitalia bouncing around like a fish on the end of a hook.

This story brings up two issues:

  1. The issue of nakedness and interacting. What causes a person to do this in front of a person they do not even know? I mean, yes, it is a men’s locker room, but there is still a code of conduct. I kind of thought men didn’t even look at or speak to one another while their packages were in full view. Women don’t seem to have  a problem with this – I always talk to other women whose stuff is fully exposed, but I would not expect them to start doing cartwheel demonstrations.
  2. The issue of unsolicited advice. This is a tough one for me. I need a lot of help, especially when it comes to swimming. I welcome input. But, I welcome it when I ask for it or when I am in a teaching environment. I don’t do as well when someone I don’t know comes up to me and wants to tell me how to change my form, etc. I usually pretend to care then blow it off.

What do you think?

Is it okay to demonstrate swim stroke in the men’s locker room if you are naked? Is it okay to even have a conversation in the men's’ locker room when you are naked? I am not a man, so I can’t say. I know women talk freely with their fluff exposed.

Have you ever been the victim of unsolicited advice at the pool, gym, or track from someone you didn’t know? This happened to me once at the pool. Some guy watched me swim for awhile then came over to me with all kinds of things I could do to be a better swimmer. I know he did it to be helpful, but it was kind of weird considering I didn’t know him or didn’t ask him. At least he did it with his clothes on. Otherwise I might the called the police.

SUAR

55 comments:

  1. #1 - Women definitely chatter while naked in the locker room. Men don't?

    #2 - I've also been the "victim" of swimming form instruction (but while clothed, still out at the pool, so not NEARLY as AWKWARD). To be honest, I was sort of glad for the suggestions. The woman (former coach) told me my stroke was excellent, but I was rocking my hips / bending my knees too much. I spent the next couple of months doing kicking drills as a result, and it did make a difference. :)

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  2. Haha, my husband has quite a few of those stories!! Plus, he will never use the hair dryers at the gym due to guys using them to dry their boy parts.

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  3. LOL! Poor Ken.
    I think talking is fine, once you do ANYTHING that might cause parts to bounce, you should scurry off into the corner and cover up.

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  4. It is never appropriate to talk to a naked man unless you are a Doctor and he is your patient.

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  5. I've always found it funny that while I hear that women will talk freely while naked, it's considered against the norm for guys to do so.

    I've had plenty of unsolicited advice. Since most of it involved athletics - a topic I enjoy chatting about - I can get into the subject, but usually end up disregarding their point. Most often it's someone giving me swimming advice who I can tell never did a swim team. But it's fun to see people's view.

    Now, if they're naked and doing so, it's a bit different. I'll join the convo if it's interesting enough. Otherwise (and most often), I'll find a way to excuse myself - gotta' shower, gotta' get going, etc.

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  6. I've had older women who were completely naked start talking to me. It's just so uncomfortable!!

    I would actually love to get swimming advice! I need all the help I can get!

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  7. Talking while in the men's room and actually Relieving yourself-completely unacceptable. In the locker room, while showering or dressing, I wouldn't see anything wrong with talking. But just to stand there naked and have a conversation; a little weird.
    This etiquette seems to be changing somewhat as time goes by, and kids don't have to use communal locker rooms at school. They seem to be lots more uncomfortable with their bodies. Not that they should be doing naked swimming demonstrations, but there is no reason to be uncomfortable with a simple naked body.

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  8. I hate unsolicited gym advice. If I want any I will a) read the 50,000 articles that always are coming up on my Twitter feed or b) ask an instructor after a group fitness class. Once this guy was hating on my friend and I for doing lunges with our back legs up on a bench. If I want to do lunges with both legs on the ground, I know how to, you don't have to show me. We just started ignoring him til he walked away.

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  9. Oh my gosh, I would have died of embarrassment. I personally prefer to speak to people who are at least partially covered up, call me old fashioned but that's how I roll.

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  10. I honestly don't get the whole 'let's chat while i lock eyes with you so i don't inadvertently see your lady bits'. i know I should just loosen up, but i just can't do it.

    When I started swimming I got a whole lot of unsolicited advice at the pool. Some helpful, some confusing: "Pretend you're a fish, they have no shoulders!"

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  11. ummmm awkward! I don't really understand the naked talking thing.

    As for the advice, I think I would prefer not to receive unsolicited advice, well intentioned or not. Not sure if this is really the same thing but I was doing a walk/run thing in a race one time and several times while was in my walk phase, I would have people come up to me and try to motivate me to run. They didn't seem to get that I was walking because it was part of "the plan".

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  12. I personally have a big problem with nakedness. I don't like to be naked and I don't like to look at naked people. I try not to be naked even in the locker room. I would freak out if some naked women was demonstrating naked swimming strokes. Frankly, I am uncomfortable typing naked so many times. Maybe I am a little on the prude side.

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  13. - It seems, the older they are, the more time they runn around the locker room naked. The really young guys go change in the bathroom stall. Though, clearly written in the unwritten man law handbook, no man should start a conversation while naked

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  14. YES---the jerk at my former gym told me I'd ruin my knees if I ran 'that hard' much longer. That was 8 years ago. This guy also used the dryer on his balls--one day some of the guys labeled one dryer "Balls Only". He didn't find it anywhere nearly as amusing as the men. He walked backwards on the treadmill which drove everyone crazy!! Especially those on the ellipticals that he was watching.

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  15. I don't know what is PC and what isn't. I do know that your blog makes me smile. :) And for the record...I am NEVER naked in public.

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  16. Was it this guy?

    http://www.lvrj.com/health/las-vegas-man-suffering-from-100-pound-scrotum-needs-1-million-for-surgery-131962533.html?ref=533

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  17. The nakedness is awkward but I can deal with it. What made me gag the other day though was when this woman got out a pumice stone and proceeded to buff out the rough spots on her feet in the middle of the locker room. Nasty..... Maybe I should have given her some advice on leaving her skin bits at home....

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  18. This topic cracks me up. My gym friends and I joke about nudity in the ladies room. We are totally uncomfortable with it, though I have had conversations with naked women. I try to be cool with it, but inside I am dying a little. Guess I am a prude, too. The funny thing is that I thought men were totally comfortable with it. Who knew?

    Regarding unsolicited swimming advice: If they know what they are talking about, I am fine with it.

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  19. I wonder if maybe he wanted to show how the stroke could be enhanced by naked swimming... maybe the penis would act as a rudder?

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  20. I go to a LifeTime Fitness. You know what is the best thing about this gym?

    FREE TOWELS.

    Towels are everywhere. You can't walk 5 steps in the locker room without seeing a cabinet with clean towels - I believe these cabinets send out subliminal messages to cover the hell up!

    Add in individual shower stalls and this really minimizes the amount of male nudity. Well, except for the old dudes that like to use the hair dryers on their balls.

    Really though, if I had the incident happen that happened to Ken, I would have asked the guy if we could continue the conversation later when his junk wasn't flying around! haha!

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  21. Wow, that's a little disturbing. I've never felt comfortable walking around full monty in a locker room and I don't care to see others doing the same. And if they start talking to me, well, I don't think I could stay for the conversation. I'm not big on inserting one's opinion on others, either. If I ask for it, then offer away. I once had a woman tell me the shoes my infant daughter was wearing didn't offer her the support she needed. Who asked you, lady??

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  22. I don't like seeing people nake at the gym. My big thing is when I'm changing and womone takes the locker directly next to mine. Come on, there are millions of other locker, especially in other little outcoves. Move over!!

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  23. Nakedness: It's a gym. Deal with it.

    Naked conversation: Casual, minimal, eyes seldom meet, and NEVER below shoulder height.

    Naked demonstrations of ANY kind: Umm...no.

    Unsolicited advice: Varies. I seldom dispense it, but get asked my opinion fairly often. I seldom solicit it, but have been offered it more than once. Not a big fan of it. If I like what you're doing, I'll ask for your help. Otherwise, leave me alone.

    In summary: I'm not nearly as big a jackass as I sound.

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  24. This happens to my husband all the time (naked men parading around and talking to him, that is, not the advice part). He came across this cartoon and said it more or less depicted his life http://www.uselesshumor.com/2011/05/funny-cartoons-young-men-vs-old-men.html

    I have the opposite problem with advice. I really wish people would tell me what I'm doing wrong, but instead they all wait for me to say something like, "My form is really bad and it hurts to run" and Dad says, "I wasn't going to say anything, but watching you run makes me hurt." Thanks.

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  25. My husband tells me those kind of stories all the time! One time in particular... he came out of the gym locker room and told me that there was a naked guy bent over clipping his toenails! So, when the guy leaves the locker room, my husband points him out to me and the guy works in my office! Every time I see him in the hallway at work, all I can think about is that nasty mental picture.

    Re: Unsolicited advice. I welcome it. If someone is knowledgable and notices something that I'm doing wrong/could improve on, I am more than open to listen. As long as they have clothes on, that is. :-)

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  26. I think it's funny that Katie @ Will Race For Carbs just admitted she's typing naked ;-)

    Personally, I'm covered up if I'm talking to someone. However, if someone is naked and wants to talk to me, two things cross my mind:
    1) I wish I felt as comfortable being naked you are. ROCK ON, SISTER!
    and
    2) It's really hard not to look at your "parts". The averting the eye thing just isn't in me. It's awkward. I always end up feeling like a creep.

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  27. Didn't the ancient Greeks do pretty much everything nude? Maybe Ken's advisor was a reborn Plato?

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  28. Men do seem to have issues with nudity...while male nudity anyway.

    I welcome any advice. I don't always agree with or use the offered advice but I'll listen to anyone's view. I might learn something.

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  29. I think that you should always ask first "do you mind if I offer some advise/insight" before you just go ahead with the verbal diarhea (sp.)
    I do that first at gym if I see someone about to hurt themselves!I appreciate constructive advice.
    Swim Lessons in the shower...not so much ! Men are strange creatures in locker rooms...who knows what goes on in there? ! I thought they were more comfortable with the naked thing then us women were ?

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  30. Really, such a visual! Poor Ken. People kill me at the gym. I've got naked hot tub lady at mine. I haven't really been exposed (ha, get it?) to unsolicited advice, thankfully. I know people mean well, but when you want help, you'll ask, right?

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  31. I'm still minorly freaked out about locker room nudity. My high school didn't have locker rooms, so I never had the "everyone is naked" gym class/team sport experience. I remember the first time I went to a pool with a friend of mine. I was pulling out my swimsuit, I look over, and she's naked! I freaked out!

    I'm better about it now, and almost comfortable letting my own nudity fly in locker rooms, but my code of conduct is: if either party is naked, NO CONVERSATION.

    As for unsolicited advice, I don't know. At the gym, I'm with my trainer, so it never comes up. But, when I was tri training at the pool, I *know* I was sucking some major balls. If someone offered to give me advice, I'd like to think I'd be all over it (then again, I'm rarely good with constructive cricism, so who knows). But only if they weren't naked.

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  32. Naked 'demonstrations' are NEVER, ever acceptable. It is a gym and naked 'encounters' will happen. Anything other than walking across the locker room i.e. standing and talking with junk exposed is NOT acceptable. As a matter of fact I believe that is listed as rule #15 in the man handbook, and I'm paraphrasing of course but it goes something like 'you won't stand willingly in front of another guy exposed for more than 10 seconds' otherwise your mancard can get revoked. Most people bring towels with them for showering, wrap that puppy around you and THEN chat all you want.

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  33. I get locker room nudity- it's kind of inevitable. But once I was at the pool in the shower naked (there is only 1 shower with a curtain in this locker room and it was being used, so I was out in the open) and some woman came over and introduced herself, wanted to shake my hand, and started a conversation. She's seen my water bottle with an obscure company on it and wanted to chat because she knew that company. That was wierd.

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  34. It's the age thing! Old guys do it all the time. After the age of retirement you can do anything in the nude. I'm surprised it's the first time for Ken!

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  35. Eh...I appreciate all advice, but if I didn't ask for it, there's a good chance I'll get all up on my high horse and get annoyed or insulted by the offered opinion. I mean, that's like someone walking up to you on the street, unsolicited, and telling you that your hair color isn't working for you as well as it could, and that you should change it. Insulting! :)

    PS I thought of you today--went for a trail run and ate shit! Totally fell on my butt and have the biggest bruise now. So there's that!

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  36. Whenever I go mountain biking at the local park, I always see the same man on his bike and he never fails to give me unsolicited advise about my technique. The first couple times it happened I was appreciative, now I just try and take a different trail!

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  37. #1... I am OK with people being naked in the locker room.

    However, sometimes naked is not so awesome. Like the time we saw a nude dude out for a run on the main drag in the 40F rain in Napa. Or the lady at my gym locker room who likes to expose, uh, everything, by putting a leg up on the (high) counter while she's lotioning. Or the nude guy who wandered over to us at the north side of the Boulder reservoir and tried to strike up a conversation (him standing, us sitting) with his junk in our faces. Nudity in the locker room = fine, but not with any dance or sports moves or excessive *sharing.* Nudity in other locations... well....

    #2 Haven't gotten many unsolicited tips, which is good, because I suspect I look a bit like the T-1000 when running ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGojEyYBmwc ) and I would be mortified if someone pointed it out.

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  38. I don't go for locker room conversations in the nude at all. I am in there for one reason - get changed/showered and out. if you want to say something about my form feel free, but before we head to the locker room and you are feeling a bit more "free".

    I went to a Y a couple times a few years ago with a friend of mine to swim. He warned me about the locker room with the hot tub, but I didn't fully grasp what it would do for my mental imagery from that point forward. We were sitting in the hot tube after a swim, fully minding our own business when an old guy decided he wanted to warm up his "stuff" I guess and wanted to make sure the water flowed freely into all the crevices. We showed our disdain by immediately getting out. I did't want to accidentally find something floating freely if you know what I mean, and I just can't bring myself to sit in a small confined space with a naked man - whether I can see his junk or not.... I am not sure which one is worse.

    We have a single shower in a small locker room at the office. I will use it from time to time when I run before work, or during lunch. I try to time it so I am the only one in there, but the other day I had someone walk in and jump into the shower while I was changing. He felt the freedom to talk, but I also felt the freedom to not look at him while he was talking.

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  39. Nudity. You do what you gotta do and get on with your life. Conversation happens , but it's not a stand there and chat, it's a carry on with business while chatting. Trimming toenails is right out.

    Unsolicited advice between strangers is right out unless one of them asks the other. Between friends you might say something, if that's the relationship. Or maybe you wouldn't.

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  40. I'm OK with nudity. I think if we were all OK with nudity, we wouldn't have to hear about Nancy Grace's nipple for two weeks.

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  41. chatting is OK... but swinging your junk around is obviously not!

    Being 7 months pregnant, I am the victim of A LOT of unsolicited advice. I swear people must think first time moms are clueless morons who can barely use a toilet properly much less take care of a baby. I get that it's not easy, but I'm not stupid.

    I usually just give them a blank stare and walk away.

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  42. Too bad it wasn't Dolvett trying to help Ken... then he could've taken some clandestine cell phone photos for you to share with us.

    But honestly, the mental image I get from your story leads me to believe I would have just started laughing even though I know that laughing at a penis is just about the worst thing you can do to its owner.

    I don't go to a gym.

    And no one gives me advice because I run at night and they can't see me :)

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  43. OMG awkward. I could not deal with looking at balls while getting a stroke lesson. HA! See what I did there?

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  44. I was having this same conversation with a friend just last week. Can't remember who it was with (could have been Jill), but we were laughing about how it is always the older, Asian women that don't mind running around naked. And they will do EVERYTHING naked. I hate it when they are drying their hair, while bent over, buck naked. ACK! Puts some clothes on while you are doing that. And you just can't help, but look.

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  45. Naked conversations are never acceptable in a man to man setting.....men's locker room or not.

    I would have just said to the guy please put on a towel or let's jump in the pool so that you can show me instead of the whole naked thing.

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  46. Abbey wanted to join a gym, now that's she's at a new school w/o a gym (DU has a great gym, Metro not so much) so we ventured over to Wash Park Rec Center, since she lives close by, and she said she can't join that gym because it has an mass open shower. Hahah. I had to agree. The gym I go to has individual shower stalls. She didn't join it and ended up at 24-hour where I go. Too bad, she could use some swimming advice!! ;)

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  47. Naked people in a gym is cool but I prefer not to talk to anyone who is naked just because I auto look down - I can't help it. At the pool I go to there are these women who chill in there naked (e.g., comb their hair naked, organize their bag naked, do their make up naked) while having long conversations about their kids, jobs, shopping. I don't get it.

    People give me advice I don't ask for all the time. I am a heavier person so I think when people see me training they assume I have no idea what I am doing and need assistance. The funny thing is I have never had another heavy person try to tell me how to run or swim it is always the thin people. Sometimes what they have to say I find helpful but usually I just find it intrusive and annoying. :P

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  48. What I have noticed about much older people is that they don't care. I have been told, "I may die in 2 hours so why hold it in (talking about a fart)." I think that applies. Their heart is in the right place, but they may forget...so they got to do it right then in there with balls and shaft swinging around.

    I personally do not like unsolicited advice unless I'm giving it to you to save your life. But I was in a sport where I found out later on that not everyone knows what the hell they are talking about. They love to hear themselves talk and have people listening on to their every word even if it's wrong. So, I tend to act like I care and then blow it off later.

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  49. Okay, I don't think the demonstration while naked was necessary but that is just me!

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  50. ACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is disturbing! lol My husband complains about the same kind of behavior at the gym. Old men are gross.

    yes, there are always people at the gym wanting to give their input. There used to be a guy at the indoor track who would yell at me to run faster while using his best "coach" voice. This was when I was just starting to really get into running a few years ago. He would tell me to catch up with the person ahead of me, speed up my pace,etc. I finally asked him to quit talking to me. I'm sure he thought he was helping, but it was humiliating for me.

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  51. I did meet this lady at the pool who is a real iron man, 140.6 and not even joking. I couldn't for the life of me think of how to approach her, but in the locker room I totally started quizzing her about tri-training. There is no shame in the lady's locker room. Dudes can really be such prudes...

    On the other hand, if I see some "form tragedy" I have to hold myself back from saying something, except in the gym. Bad form with weights can cause serious injury, bad form in the pool is generally funny to watch.

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  52. I have no problem with nudity in the locker room, unless someone is obviously flaunting her "fluff". I sometimes have conversations while changing/partially naked with other women in various states of undress. I don't even notice anymore.
    What I do notice are people who are freakishly prudish, who go change in the toilet stall, or who shower in the open showers while wearing panties and bra (no, not a bathing suit, underwear!). Usually it is young girls, but where do they get that idea??

    I think guys are less comfortable than women because of the more pronounced homophobia among men. I don't want to be particularly close to naked strangers either, but I won't step out of a hot tub simply because a naked woman happened to step in (by the way, 90% of women who use our gym's hot tub do so naked).

    Unsolicited advice? Very brief, kind, free of bragging, maybe. But anything that smacks of showing off, no thanks!

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  53. okay, it has been waaaay too long since I've been here...I've been a horrible blogger and have not found the time to read many blogs but damn I'm glad I'm here. You have me laughing as usual. Absolutely not okay to start flopping your s#$t around while you're in the shower and giving advice to someone you don't know. I would have found that to be so weird.

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  54. I was on multiple teams in junior high and high school, and literally must have showered with teammates at least a thousand times. so I am not bothered by seeing other females naked in the locker room, or with them seeing me naked, as long as they're not staring at my body the entire time, that is.

    The only time that I ever recall any awkwardness in a locker room was when I was in the sixth grade and I went swimming at the YMCA, my current teacher at that time was walking naked through the locker room on her way to the shower as I was walking through on my way to the pool. She saw me, and she struck-up a conversation with me for what must have been at least four or five minutes while standing there naked. I had not yet been on any teams, and had never experienced group-showering at that point, so it was a little awkward. If that had happened a year later, I don't think it would have fazed me at all.

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  55. Sounds like Ken needs to speak for himself and not be such a homophobe.

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