People are starting to find this place (thanks, Google!) and it’s been interesting to see some of the search terms used… In a shameless attempt to encourage those search terms I’ve decided to treat them as a series of questions ;) First one up: “Do straight guys ever see each other naked?”
The answer is “of course we do”. Mostly in the locker room, or in the dorms, or as roommates. I guess at nude beaches. I assume that there’s not a lot of interest in straight guys having to strip down for the doctor, who’s also straight and male. The other side of that “10% of adults are gay” notion (and wasn’t that more or less proven to be a wild overestimate?) is that “90% are not”, so it’s statistically certain that straight guys do see each other naked. Different guys have different “comfort levels” for being naked around other straight guys, which is one reason middle school gym class was kind of awkward for me.
We see… but we don’t really look. Seeing a naked guy, but looking at naked guys (as in, your head follows them, you’re paying attention to what you see, etc.) is a different story entirely. There’s kind of a “filter” effect for most of us, which is actually pretty interesting.
Consider a couple of guys (grownups in their 20s, since that’s been most of my experience, and since it seems to be different for different generations) in the locker room after they’ve been swimming at the gym. First they rinse off, still with their trunks on. That’s “dressed”, so the conversation that began by the pool still continues. When the trunks come off (if they do), then the talking stops. With towels on, it picks up again. It’s as though we filter each other out – if (this person == male && has pants), then talk; if (no pants) then ignore. (It’s definitely pants that matter.)
Obviously we still see each other – if two guys who happen to be naked are walking towards each other (let’s keep it in the showers), they’ll move to avoid running into each other. But otherwise the gaze just kind of slides past.
There’s one exception, of course – at least when growing up. Guys see, but don’t look, except to compare. “Compare what?” Well, everything. We’re competitive by nature, and that doesn’t stop in the showers. “He’s got more hair than me,” etc. That still happens now, just not with the same kind of emphasis – just checking out the rest of the local competition for the ladies, or something. Everyone likes to know how he measures up, right?
Guys, what do you think? Anyone figure out how the whole “I see you naked but I’m not looking” thing works? Ladies, is it the same in the womens’ locker room? Not that I’m asking what happens in there, although if you want to satisfy some curiosity… ahem.