Bruce Lawson’s personal site

Communal showers

I’m new to the world of communal showers, because for years I managed to avoid P.E. at school by presenting a forged note from my mum and then slipping over the fence to the local greasy spoon café to play Asteroids and smoke.

But now I’m a member of a gym, and so I find myself regularly in a shower, in the nude, with other men. I often work out with my mate Matt, and have absolutely no inhibitions about being naked in front of a friend of 27 years. Equally, I have no shyness about nakedness in front of a group of complete strangers.

But occasionally there are people from work in the changing rooms. They’re perfectly pleasant chaps who I’ll say a cheery hello to at the coffee machine, but I find myself unexpectedly ill-at-ease being in the buff in front of them.

Legions of grateful ladies will attest to the fact the dimensions of the Bruce Juice Introducer® are nothing to be bashful about, so I find it odd that I should feel this way.

Are you comfortable getting your bits out in the presence of co-workers? Does my discomfort reveal deep psychological trauma—or, even worse, issues? Do tell.

41 Responses to “ Communal showers ”

Comment by JackP

Well, I play 5-a-side with people from work some lunchtimes, so I obviously need to use the communal changing rooms, shower and so on. Well, either that or be all sweaty and horrible (well, more so than usual) all afternoon.

So I’ll get changed/ showered/ etc as and when it’s appropriate. I don’t feel uneasy about it, but I wouldn’t go as far as your phrasing “comfortable getting your bits out in the presence of co-workers” because it sounds like you’re meaning it’s something that would otherwise happen on a quiet afternoon in your office…

Also, I’m puzzled that you feel the need to state that you shower “in the nude”. I’ve never heard of anyone showering “clothes on”, as it were…

Comment by Ian Lloyd

The ‘Bruce Juice Introducer’?

Good God man, you should be in PR or advertising. Or something. Just how long did you take to think that gem out?

Comment by Ian Lloyd

“it just fell out of the keyboard!”

I’m glad that it fell “out of” and not “on to”. Of course, if you were typing with the old chap, that would officially make you a clever dick.

Comment by nick

i just started using the public shower at school this year(08) and at first i was nervous about it but i acjusted when i got to know the people i was showering with better and now i just strip to the buff and get it done

Comment by Tom

Well im 21 and having gone threw high school as the big jock, I have grown used to using communal showers with a bunch of the guys from my team. Well, it makes things easier because I have a really well sized dick- I’m not kidding my mine is bulging out of my pants all the time. So there isn’t any shame for me to bear it all in front of anyone, so if you too have a big one you should be just as confident as me. Hell, when I’m taking a piss i just stand back and relax, if people wanna take a glance I have not the slightest shame. Like after long movies when you’re in a bathroom with 20 other men and all the urinals are taken up, people are all crowed to the wall trying to cover up the same thing we all have- Hey there! were all grown men, no point in covering up you’re dick, spread out- no one cares.

Comment by Jo Kristian

Hm. Here in Norway, communal showers are pretty much the norm, and I’m very comfortable with showering in the nude. But I admit that suddenly seeing someone you know (but didn’t expect to be there) is a bit strange – it seems the brain is eager to tell me that “You’ve never seen each other naked before…”

Most of all, however, I think communal showers is a very healthy concept.

Comment by Pete

I was always a big jock in High School and now in College. I’ve been using communal showers with the guys on my teams for years and it has never bothered me. We have a pisser in the locker room running around naked and hitting the showers together. Sure guys rag on other guys because of the size of thier dick and shit but you have to be proud of your body bro. I didn’t go through puberty till I was 16 so a number of guys had pubic hair before I did but now most of us guys shave our pubes so it was all bull shit any way. Showering with other guys on your team is a bonding experience and has made the guys on my team like brothers to me. I don’t understand why so many guys are afraid to shower in front of other guys. They must be queer.

Comment by Anonymous

Never tried communal showers before, our school had them but no one ever used them. I sit here and think that I would probably be freaked out to shower with other guys in the nuddy, but I reckon if I actually did it, I would probably get “excited” for a second, then I would get over it and just shower like normal.

Comment by Ken

At school we had communal showers, it was a bit embarrassing as I got real hairy real early, at 15 full hairy chest so got ribbed about it, but doesn’t bother me now, in the gym showers let it all hang out and chat to the guys it’s no big deal.

Comment by Patrick

I have always been athletic at school and since and I have never been afraid of communal showers. Why are guys today so uptight about nudity. We call have the same cocks and balls and yeah some are larger then others but who cares. It is proper hygene to wash after you workout and guys who show up in the showers wearing a bathing suite are screaming out I’m queer and I’m afraid I’ll get a boner if I’m nude in front of other guys. We are all guys and we have all seen boners it’s no big deal. Schools should never have stopped mandatory showers because it is proper hygene and maybe the kids whouldn’t be getting sick at much from all the germs they are putting out by not showering after gym and workouts.

Comment by Rob

I went to a Prep school for high school boys. I was
always terrified to be naked in front of the other guys in the shower. I would get in and out ASAP so I
wouldn’t be seen with a hard-on. Just being in the presence of other naked guys make me think, “Oh God, what if I get a hard-on?” Sure enough, my whacker would begin to stiffen up.
What kind of Psychological twist is this? I’m not gay or bisexual, but being naked makes me horny.
Can you explain this?

Comment by matt

aren’t you guys ever concerned that a gay guy will look at your dick? some say that they hate that, but personaly, i think its a compliment. if a gay guy checks you out, it means there’s something about you that he likes, which there would be girls who would like those things too, if you know what i mean.

just a thought.


rob: yes, being naked reminds us that our sexual organs are there and can make you excited. i know what you mean.

Comment by Kevin

Personally, I love the communal showers. If I get a boner, I don’t care. I enjoy being looked at. I like it when when another guy keeps staring, then gets a boner himself. I also love to walk around with my boner and “accidentally” run into some hot naked stud. Most of them don’t seem to mind.

Comment by Jason

I’ve been in the military where communal showers are totally normal and frankly I really hate how our society has become so rediculous about this issue. It’s really almost pathological how people have become so afraid of their own nudity. I truly think that there is some kind of link between sexual deviancy and the decline of social acceptance of nudity. Nudity is kind of a primal element of being an animal and deep down we still have these kinds of primal fundamental concepts wired into us. I think it’s necessary to have publically acceptable forms of nudity. Showering with other members of the same sex is not a sexual act. Honestly I think somewhere deep in the subconscious it’s necessary to see other people naked in an honest and non sexual way. It creates a level of humility between people and it actually can make you feel mote comfortable to know whether your body, and yes even the parts of it we cover up most of the time, are normal in comparison with others. I think that a lot of people who think that they are gay are really just feeling a need for the very normal and universal experience of comfortable nudity. By covering ourselves up even from our own gender it creates an unhealthy psychological situation. I don’t think there would be nearly as much anxiety over issues like penis size. In fact I think there would be fewer body image issues in general if people were just a little less self involved. The truth of the matter is that everyone has something about their body that they wish was different somehow. That’s why they go to a gym to begin with. The fact of the matter is that we need to have opportunities to see members of the same sex in an open and healthy manner. That’s why fitness magazines and the like exist. There is a natural component of human behavior that drives us to improve ourselves socially physically and mentally by adopting the good behaviors and traits of those around us. If you never get out of the house and never seek social situations, you’ll never grow socially. The same thing applies with our bodies. Believe it or not, but if you really just let go of your insecurities and just drop the towel so to speak, you’ll notice that others will do the same around you. Then when you see their naked body is just as vulnerable as yours is, you’ll start to notice that they have flaws as well. Once again, believe it or not I think you’ll find that your self esteem will greatly improve. You won’t care that you have flaws because you know others do as well. The same person that you thought was so trim and fit only appears that way because they where a stomach hiding tight shirt under another shirt. The guy with the huge muscles is lacking size in one particular muscle. The guy who talks so much trash while lifting weights or playing basketball has no pubic hair. The point isn’t to gawk or make rude comments. It’s to establish a pecking order so to speak and be able to assess your strengths and weaknesses and know where you stand. At least then you can be honest with yourself. Without a communal locker room type of environment, people become completely insane with their insecurities. Men should be naked around eachother, and so should women be naked around eachother for that matter. It’s perfectly right for people of the same gender to be able to naked and constructively critical of eachother. Not only is it not wrong for people of the same sex to look at eachother naked, it’s a biological need the same way that dating the opposite sex is. By removing the healthy and natural venues for this type of interaction, people turn to false and unhealthy ways of filling this biological need. They turn to watching pornography to get a sense of how their bodies should look which only creates further deep seated insecurities when they see oversized male genitalia and surgically enhanced breasts not to mention the steroid use by men in the movies and tv and bulemic women in magazines. The fact is that yes, the guys walking around in your average locker room are just that– average! Yes the sweaty fat dude and the skeleton thin red headed guy alike. So get rid of your clothes, take a damn shower and feel free to look politely. Yes — that guy smells and so do you but it’s a breathe of fresh air to your self esteem when you get the he’ll over yourself and overcome your self esteem issues because when it really comes down to it, all of that insecurity is really just a sign if immaturity and dare I say it, self centerdness. Just the fact that you think people care so much about you and your body means that somewhere in your mind you think the world is centered around you. They are really just thinking about the bills they gave, their lovelife, their pets at home, etc. Maybe it’s true that there are insecure assholes out there who’d like to insult you but they exist in every environment: work, school, churches, teams, people who share your hobbies. There’s no reason to avoid these situations altogether. Learn to be comfortable with yourself and refuse to be like the people who choose to be assholes. The only reason they are like that is because they have insecurities that they refuse to deal with. So face your insecurities head on and you might just find that you have had some unhealthy coping mechanisms that have hurt other people in some way. In short, if you have those insecurities and you refuse to grow up and deal with them, chances are that you are an asshole to someone and they don’t deserve it. I say drop your underwear to your ankles and walk to the shower with your towel and a smile and give it a try. The embarrasment
dissapears and it’s replaced by a sense of pride and a feeling of maturity. It’s a right of passage. When you know that you are comfortable naked, you’ll feel comfortable in your clothes. So be a fuckin man about it. Or be a woman about it. It’s healthy and natural and it’s been a part of humankind since humankind existed.

Comment by James

I guess it all depends on how you grow up. The high school I went to had communal showers and I never felt weird about taking showers nude. A bunch of the guys were too shy to take showers but personally I believe in good hygiene; and then some guys would wear their underwear in the shower. My brother and I grew up taking showers with our dad in front of other guys at the YMCA, so once again it all depends how you grow up; I never felt uncomfortable about it because the truth is it’s really not a big deal.

Comment by Archie

Jason, that is about the best, most well-reasoned and mature response to this issue I have ever read.

Comment by morgan

in the gym I go to,all men shower nude, you see other nude men. exhibitionism is considered bad tate, and if it hapens one does not look…when I studied at a university in the US there was total nudity in group showers,and for those who practiced swimming, nudity was mandatory in the pool, for reasons of hygiene. for guys who shunned nudity, well, no sports then.specially no swimming. why has all that changed in the US? why so much worry about nudity? there was nothing sexual about that. when I was nder the shower in the US i noticed some strange looks on my nudity sometimes, because of my uncut penis, but I didnt care since they were not insistent viewings of my genitals. probabley in the 1979s many american students has no idea uncircumcized penises existed, or else maybe they thought such penises were just made me laugh…

Comment by Craig

I think showering at school is inappropriate. Sorry. I think we’re all entitled to a little privacy and bathing is one of the most intimate things we do. When I was in high school I was coerced into taking communal showers for 1 1/2 years as if it was no big deal. Think about the humiliation of having not hit puberty at 15, being morbidly obese, flat-chested, whatever. One dude hadn’t hit puberty by 9th grade. Then the next year, he was hairier than a friggin’ bear, as thick as a carpet all over his body! I mean how embarrassing is that and while you’re in high school at that, the worst time in your life. And no-one would have known except we had to take communal showers in gym class.

Comment by Darren Mitry

Ah Bruce, I remember well your forged notes and , the record breaking asteroids sessions in the cafe.

Communal showers would have been much more appealing had they been mixed communal showers.
Had our teachers thought of this simple solution, you might have been an olympic athlete by now.

Comment by Chris

What a great topic! I’m an ex-soldier and a gay man now in his 40’s. I grew up as an only child so communal showering was only done at school after P.E. Once I joined the Canadian Forces at age 17 there wasn’t much choice about it; we had to shower together. At first I worried that I’d get an inconvenient and possibly life-threatening erection. But I quickly discovered that I had the power to control it by thinking hard (oddly enough) about other things. Within a few weeks I could shower with everyone else without risking being “outed” by my dick.

I don’t speak for every gay man out there, only for myself when I say this –> Guys: Relax! Most of you are NOT worth checking out. It doesn’t even matter if you have a big dick or a great body or both. Fact of the matter is that there are no rules about attractiveness.

The vast majority of us gay guys are very discreet and completely respectful of your privacy. We look like you, we act like you and we walk among you. We’re not flamboyant, we don’t have shrill voices. We can talk about cars, sports, beer and even women with you. And because we grew up with you, we know that you’re probably thinking about pussy and we usually have enough common sense to stay out of your way.

Do we sneak a peak? You bet we do. But don’t get too bent out of shape if by chance you catch us glancing a little too long. Accept it as a compliment and feel free to ignore us. We’re masters at reading facial expressions and your body language. We fully expect to be snubbed. If you’re still feeling uncomfortable, try this: strike up a conversation and get around quickly to talking about your wives or girlfriends. That usually takes the wind out of our sails. We’ll still be all buddy-buddy with you but we know where the line is drawn and we’ll respect it.

Comment by Jonathan

I am a minister but truly enjoy atheletics at the Y–Sometimes when guys–especailly teens will see me naked in locker room I can tell they are surprised—I guess they do not think a minister has a body like other guys—–It does not bother me alot—but their reaction does bother me some—like in whirlpool or shower room—

Comment by Gord Richardson

This is the donkey’s tail on this discussion thread but here goes anyway….
BTW, I picked up this thread on the WHYP Yahoo Group website. [The letters stand for Why Hide Your Penis!] It amazes me how this arguably pathological trend to hypermodesty continues to generate so much discussion and attract so much attention. If there are so many of us that find the trend astonishing, why isn’t the trend diminishing? I use a public rec facility, and it’s mostly the 40+ age group that showers naked. Most pool users shower with swimwear on. One guy uses a washcloth when showering and it’s hilarious to watch him wash his genitals and butt-crack using it under his swimsuit!! Then there are the young gym-jock guys some of whom shower wearing their gym shorts or even knee-length basketball shorts. For them then follows the ‘Dance of the Towels’ as I call it. I have trouble shedding a wet swimsuit standing on both feet using both hands. These young guys first wrap themselves in a towel, balance on one foot at a time while using one hand to hold the towel and the other to tug on one side of their gym shorts at a time. This can take a while given how wet shorts stick to skin. Then comes drying off while ensuring no one gets even a tiny peek at their junk. The dance is then repeated as they step into their skivvies on the floor and then pull up one side then the other while holding the towel tightly around themselves. Sometimes, balance is lost and the gyrations to keep covered and remain standing can reach comic proportions! Geez you guys! This high comedy is so widespread that it clearly can’t be related to a bizarre, medical or accidental loss of penis and/or testes. These guys are as normal as everyone else – size variations we all know exist, cut vs uncut being the extent of the differences – yet are very obviously deathly afraid of another male seeing their junk. Someone dare tell me that this behaviour does NOT represent psychopathology. Ah, for the pre-feminist days when there were separate YMCAs and YWCAs and once inside the change rooms, all subsequent activity was done naked. Ah, for the days of mandatory communal showers after Phys-Ed in schools. Today’s male population would be a lot healthier from an emotional and psychological standpoint. I think showering together with other nude males can be a male-bonding experience like a guys-only hunting or fishing trip.

Comment by Gord Richardson

In response to ‘Chris’, comment No. 26.
I can’t imagine any self-respecting gay man such as you seem to be actually coming onto another male in a change room or communal shower while naked….or otherwise. The immediate – getting pounded – and legal consequences from facility-banning to prosecution are potentially life-altering. Nonetheless, I’ve heard that the increasing openess about the gay community, the presence of gay characters in so many movies and TV series and the awareness that has created that most gay men pass unnoticed and are far more common than previously thought, has in fact contributed to the hypermodesty phenomenon in places like change rooms and associated shower facilities. Acute homophobia is what’s behind gay-bashing. Redneck-ism and homophobia are far more common than most would like to acknowledge and I can almost hear some of the gym-jock bozos muttering to themselves “No *$%@£@ %%% is going to look at my junk!” Other ‘theories’ I’ve heard include the fact that most kids today are raised in households where each child has his or her own bedroom, don’t shower or bathe together to save water and heating cost, and never see a same-sex sibling naked. I find it interesting how many kids insist on being visibly different by means of outlandish hairstyles or hair colour, tats, piercings and the like yet acknowledging the existence of differences in genital apperance is utterly taboo. Certainly in my experience, it’s the younger guys who are most obsessive about hiding their genitals. Another manifestation of the hypermodesty phenomenon is the practice of virtually ‘humping’ urinals to ensure no one sees anything. [Not to be confused with the pee-shy issue that drives some guys into stalls to pee.]

Comment by marius

I like privacy. I have used communal showers, but I prefer not to. I can’t help but feel that there is some macho bravado about being comfortable in the communal shower, and I hate all that male bonding stuff. Why do I think this? Well I remember from school days finding out that the female showers were private cubicles (I was told) but not the male. Why? The only reason I could see was that it was not considered manly to be self conscious of your body. Certainly, a lot of it has to do with the way you were brought up. So I wasn’t brought up seeing members of the family naked; I don’t think that is either right nor wrong; it just is. In other European countries seeing your work colleagues nude in the sauna and shower is part of everyday life. So, it is not my culture, let me decide if I want to embrace it or not. I never wanted to join the military and never liked team sports. Why should I be expected to adapt to others standards and not them to mine? Why is privacy respected everywhere else except in the gym shower area? Answer: because sport is a macho thing. I seems to me that all those who embrace the idea of communal showering take the attitude of; “don’t be shy”; “just get them off”; and worse; “people think you will have something to hide”. Why do they never say “I have no problem with it but there is nothing wrong if you want privacy”. I can’t help but feel there is an element of boasting that they have overcome some fear. Why bother to speak about it otherwise. Why the need to tell others they should join the gang rather than be sympathetic to different wants and needs. I prefer to relax in a shower, I do not want to engage in conversations; I do not want to acknowledge other peoples presence, and I do not want to feel self conscious in any way. In toilets we have separate cubicles but the same points could be made for them being communal; likewise changing rooms in clothes shops; but then that is not about being macho, some of the more manly types don’t like to be seen preening in the mirror.

Comment by shaun

I am 23 and am going to a gym for the first time this week. Am not sure if I should have a shower but am hoping if I do and I see other men naked that it won’t bother me..what should I do??

Comment by Gord Richardson

Shaun, Comment 31:

I wouldn’t get too stressed out over this issue. The facility I use has both a gym and a pool and virtually all of the men who use the communal shower are mature swimmers like me. The gym attracts a much younger crowd – your age range, give or take – and almost none of them shower, no matter how sweat-soaked their clothing. If you can’t face showering, don’t bother. From what I see, you’ll have lots of company going home sweaty.

On the other hand, if going home without showering is unappealing, i.e., you have proper standards of personal hygiene, by all means have a shower. If there are other guys already in the shower, or come in after you start, chances are you’ll be the only ‘communal shower virgin’ and the others will be comfortable naked, will be going about their business and will barely notice you and won’t acknowledge your presence. We’re all built pretty much alike with expected size variations and the cut vs. uncut issue. Seeing another man’s genitals should not be threatening or arousing for you and no one will be staring at you. Do guys check each other out? Yes, but VERY discreetly with no staring. No one will say boo, no matter what they see or how it compares with their own equipment.

I’m a gay man and have certainly seen some very attractive men naked in the showers but I never get aroused. It’s simply not a sexual or otherwise appropriate setting, and some sort of inhibitory mental process must be at work. Do I get aroused while fully clothed when I see someone attractive. Absolutely…but never naked in a shower. Have I peeked? Yes. Do I catch other guys peeking at me? Yes. But that’s it and nothing further happens.

Just bear in mind that for men like me who shower naked, it’s just a part of our day, it’s no big deal and we assume it’s the same for other men.

Comment by Davey

My first exposure to communal nudity was my 1st year of high school in the UK. All the boys in my class were told that we had to bring. Towel from home as the next day we would be taking PE and afterwards everyone would shower,no excuses, I seem to remember that even the guys that were excused PE had to take a shower after the class had finished.
At the end of gym class we all sauntered back to the locker room, upon entering the room we could hear the showers running. We were ordered to strip naked and grab our towel and lineup outside the shower room where we got further instructions to walk into the shower room, hang up our towel and walk through the showers three times, no soap was provided. I went in with the group of pals I had, most of us had not seen each others cocks before so honestly there was quite a lot of checking each other out, I don’t care who you are everyone does it.
I found that I fell into the average to small category as as just about everyone else I was uncut, I can’t actually remember seeing any guy that didn’t have a foreskin but there must have been the odd one.
We took showers three times a week and the ritual soon evolved into going into the showers (it was a corridor of them) and then just standing under then chatting to your mates, not a lot of thought went into the fact we were all stood buck naked. I guess there were the odd occasion when one of the boys got hard but I honestly don’t recall seeing this happen, I think quite a few of us were plumped up a bit though.

My next experience with communal nudity happened when I was around 14 years old. There was a good deal of construction and demolition going on in town and my pals and I would try to get jobs with the workmen, stuff like running to the shops for them etc. we would end the day covered in demolition dust and dirt so we would follow the workmen to the public baths (this was in the late 50s, early 60s) not every home had a bath, besides we had to go home clean as most of us were doing the jobs without our parents approving.

The public baths had a facility with about a dozen bathtubs all in separate rooms and a large communal shower we would try to get a private bath (shared by two) but sometimes these were taken by the time we got there and we had to strip down with the rest of the workers and use the communal shower room. Of course we were around 14 and the majority of the workmen were 30s to 50s. They would make fun of our little cocks and I always found it terribly embarrassing so I hated it when I could’ve get a bath, even though I still had to share with someone at least it was only one other person and a bath can hide a lot.

Comment by Luke

Did not grow up using communal showers but as an adule now, don’t really see why it is such a big deal. But I do agree with the previous post that meeting someone you know in the showers are at first akward but then, once that one second of akward moment has passed, it is all good. I usually find communal showers cleaner (generally speaking) that individual stalls … curtains usually are not that white after couple of month and people forget their stuff in them (underwear, soaps, etc.)

Comment by Julian

We were made to take communal showers after gym class in high school. I hated it but now realize it was a good thing. Kind of an equalizer to see all the other guys dicks looked pretty much the same as mine. And I think it built character to get used to doing something you really disliked.

Comment by matt

Prudishness in the US comes from the frequent use of cellphones to take photos without one relzing one is being subject to such a behaviour.Worse if one gets a boner;all those pics might end in the Internet.Specially iif the face is shown!My dad tells me before cellphones,nudity was the rule!

Comment by matt

Well, in Latin America nudity in showers and lockers is commonplace.And we are all uncut.Both things are strange to US dudes,are n’t they?

Comment by matt

when studying in a US University some 30 years ago, I wnt swimming every day. Swimming naked was mandatory as well as taking showers before and after the swim.I noticed all naked students there were circumcised, and some did not not even know it. I was the only uncut guy,ad I noticeddudes fastly but intently looking at my dick. Untilsomeone dared to ask;what is that, refering to my foreskin.Other joined to see, andd I gave them the show;theey could not believe what they were seeing;I retracted my foreskin slowly and my purplish glans appeared.I washed it gently with soap and water..and got a boner!Everyone laughed at such strange a situation;aat least many learned they were circumcised! What are the reader’s opinion abot this?

Comment by Al

Having been to one of Britain’s public schools between 1963 and 1970, I have never had any problems with my danglies. or any other bits, being exposed to public sight. Nudity appeared to be part of the curriculum, with all those showers, baths, camps, changing rooms, and swimming. This desensitization was only with other members of the male sex, but seems to have been effective in eliminating all sense of modesty as I don’t regard it as a matter of consequence if women see me naked either. I take the previous point about mobile phones now existing, but, honestly, if anyone wants to take a naked picture of me and put it on the internet, they are quite welcome to do so, I don’t give a toss.

Comment by matt

I like to be naked in ponds, streams,semi-deserted bbeaches, and alsoin communal showers. I don’t care to show my dickand balls (I do not call them “bits” nor “junk”.They are neither..

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