Gym Showers, a Fading Tradition

Today’s teens aren’t shocked by much. They don’t blink an eye when they spot a kid with drugs or a classmate with a baby. It’s not that big a deal anymore if guys or girls dye their hair pink and pierce their faces. But the idea of getting naked to shower after gym class? No way, José. Eyes bulge at the mere mention of showering around other students, which was common — mandatory, even — in middle schools and high schools across the country just a decade or two ago. "I wouldn’t do it," said 16-year-old Adrian Alequin, a junior at Winter Park High School. "It’s way too weird. I don’t want to see another guy like that."

Today, students generally have the option of stripping down to wash off the sweat and grime after workouts in the hot Florida sun. Most of the time, though, they don’t. Even after hours of sports practice and rigorous competitions, many kids wait to bathe at home.

Boone High football and track star Marvin Bracy is one of them. Last semester, Marvin skipped showers after his twice-a-day gym classes, preferring instead to freshen up with a washcloth and a dousing of BOD Man body spray. After practice in the afternoons, Marvin said he goes straight home. "I just don’t feel comfortable around all of those people — they play too much," he said.

It might seem odd that teens, who are notoriously self-conscious, would forgo a quick rinse to keep from stinking in class. But veteran educators explain that the behavior isn’t that unusual in an era when people of all ages are becoming more concerned about their privacy.

New airport body scanners can now see through your clothing. Companies — and governments — can share all-too-intimate details about you. And though people may not be able to control those invasive forces, they can exert pressure over school rules they do not like. The result: Parents, who have their own horror stories about showering in front of their peers and undergoing shower inspections by gym teachers, have pushed for an end to the practice. And school districts, worried about lawsuits and other problems, have given in. In some cases, school officials have even begun discouraging showers. In the early 1990s, the Hollidaysburg school district in Pennsylvania drew national attention after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue over its shower rule. A girl there got in trouble for refusing to open her towel so a gym teacher could make sure she wasn’t wearing underwear into the shower.

Read on…


98 thoughts on “Gym Showers, a Fading Tradition”

  1. “But veteran educators explain that the behavior isn’t that unusual in an era when people of all ages are becoming more concerned about their privacy.”

    But they have no problem with divulging everything they do and what’s about them on Facebook, MySpace, their own blogs and other public websites — not to mention all the texting and sexting they do in between. And let’s not forget YouTube and all the other video sharing sites where they can freely look and act like total fools (and often be in various states of undress) — you know, for the general public.

    They must be destined to be Republicans with that type of idiot thinking. Better to stink in class and around their peers than to possibly show the size of their penis to another male who may also be nude! Showering in public? Get over it.

    1. The difference between exposing yourself on the internet and in person is that you aren’t confronted with your exposure on the internet. You can sit there ejaculating content for a lifetime into the internet and never have to deal with your exposure.

      Now, when you stand naked in a shower with 30 other young men, your exposure is inescapable. …or at least was, until showering was no longer enforced.

      Young people (myself included–in America, at least–are pushed by social pressure to be out in the ‘limelight’ as much as possible. If we push back a bit by not wanting to shower, who cares? Perhaps it would be a good to time to invest in body spray stocks :P

      1. “Young people (myself included–in America, at least–are pushed by social pressure to be out in the ‘limelight’ as much as possible. If we push back a bit by not wanting to shower, who cares?”

        Well, you’ve just upped the whine factor. Boo-hoo. Boo-hoo. Mommy, Daddy, who’s/where’s our lawyer so I won’t have to do anything in my life to get any real life experiences and do any real work to make the million$ I expect you to give me by the time I’m 25 — you know, just like the twins that sued Mark Zuckerberg. Why learn and work when I can have it handed to me on a silver platter?

        Boo-hoo. Boo-hoo. Someone might see your “willy” or as a lot of you like to call it, your “junk” (and it probably is). Like I said, Get over it.

        1. I’m afraid I don’t grasp the leap you’re making between self-exceptionalism and ‘Me’ culture and not wanting to shower–or showering after gym being a “real life experience.”

          In my own experience, there simply wasn’t time after gym class to shower–or at least to grab anything more than a quick rinse.

  2. “A girl there got in trouble for refusing to open her towel so a gym teacher could make sure she wasn’t wearing underwear into the shower.”
    That’s just…. Wrong…

    I already shared here good memories in the locker rooms… but being naked usually is a fragile position and we all know bullies exist… In middle-school someone “steal” “all” the clothes to a friend of mine and he was force to run in his underwear in the school yard to recover his clothes… you can imagine how he was called after that…

  3. Gotta wonder what our future societies will be like…. paranoia of all manner seems to be the likely outcome, and all that will bring with it!

  4. It seems like kids these days make fun of each other more and more about the way they look. So I can see how some people might be super self-conscience over getting in a shower with other people. Idk

  5. The simple solution to all this is to simply have cubicle showers instead of the open ones. Everyone’s clean and happy :D

  6. Shower “inspections” by gym teachers? Never happened in my schools. Gym teachers handed out towels but never “checked’ us for anything.
    It was a different world when I grew up – showers didn’t have to be mandatory, we all wanted to take them and only the really fat boys or late-bloomers abstained.
    Sorry to say, i think it might be the progress made by the gay agenda that is partially at fault. In the 1960s, ___philes and sexual predators were not around every corner and boys were straight or so deeply closeted that there was no reason for us to be apprehensive about being nude in front of other boys or men. The Church sex scandals, Teacher sex scandals (far more extensive than the Church scandals), along with the the indoctrination young people get about “inappropriate” attention, the ‘mainstreaming’ of homosexuality and the ever younger age at which queers ‘come out’ have got straight boys tree’d. Internet gay porn focuses on teens and twinks more than any other group, everybody knows it, and so self-consciousness around each other abounds. A boy has to contemplate what unspoken agendas are really playing out in the showers, especially if he knows or suspects the orientation of some of his peers. Liberalism, as always, though unintended, is fatal to liberty. If this nonsense keeps up, I can expect to see teenage boys wearing burkas before long.

    1. Hi Troll!
      The only agenda on display in a locker room is “who’s the alpha dog”. Stop broadcasting your fears about your latent homosexuality to the Internet, it’s embarrassing.
      We never got “shower checks” other than the gym teacher/coach checking to see if you had wet hair as you left the locker room.
      I’m wondering what the author of the piece is lamenting here – stinky kids or somebody making a buck with an oversized baby wipe and he missed an opportunity.

    2. Newsflash: Boys will check boys out, girls will check girls out, boys will check girls out, and girls will check boys out, all in various states of undress. If you get uncomfortable at the idea a guy will look at you and find you attractive, it’s probably because you’re worried you’ll find them attractive too. Otherwise, it’s no different than anyone else giving you a once over with their eyes.

      I can’t wait until you come back here to post about that delicious blonde guy with the tight jeans and the Starbuck’s Coffee whose cute ass caught your eye the other day, it’s really inevitable the way you post.

      1. @Pieman:

        Well said. My thoughts exactly. We need to get off our high horses about what’s between our legs during innocent activities such as showering and dressing where (believe or not), it’s appropriate. I just said it in a different way. Thanks again.

  7. It`s because today`s teens (like me) has fear of nudity… on the other hand, sex is a different thing ;D

  8. A simple exercise in being gayphobic; you’re gay if you shower nude with other boys. So it’s come down to this….stink after gym, use shower wipes cleverly under your towel so no one can see your privates or… spray some God-awful chic, body spray all over and stink up your classroom and the halls. Hmmmmm….such choices.

    Yeah cubicles are fine except that someone has to clean them individually and someone has to install them….more money spent that most schools don’t have in the first place. Unless they are constructed of tile or concrete, commercial fiberglass cubicles get really nasty/dirty quickly. And there’s nothing to keep bullies from cruising the cubicles and picking on nude boys showering in there….

    1. Then… the real two problems at hand are 1) no funds for private showering cubicles, and 2) no one to monitor / make sure that the cubicles / shower stalls aren’t cruised for hazing. And probably the main problem is #2 above.
      Geeze. What has the world come to? :-|

  9. It seems public showering is a thing for Erotic Fiction or any other country except America… Back in high school I’d only seen maybe on two occasions people showering in the locker room, and they were wearing swim trunks. I don’t know what happened from the 80s to 90s in America when we reverted back to a 1950s ideal of absolute privacy, at least when it comes to nudity. Strangely our openness reverted when our social lives evolved to become more and more public. I just want to know what happened to make everyone stop showering in school.

    1. It wasn’t the 1950s that had ridiculous “privacy.” It might have been the ’20s and ’30s, maybe?

      Throughout the 1950s we had to shower fully nude after every gym class or sporting exercise or event. It was mandatory, period. Quite often, there may have been an adult in the locker room watching everyone (including the showers also) — that was usually to keep the boys from rough-housing and getting it done in time for the next class or whatever. And they had this tub of liquid with a large sponge right at the shower entrance so we would step in it going in and out of the showers for athlete’s foot protection.

      Kids and even adults today somehow think they are harboring 2-3 bars of pure gold in their underwear the way they react to someone else even possibly seeing their genitals. Get over it people.

  10. Maybe this phobia is also influenced by the amount of ‘prison rape’ shown on TV during the last 2 or 3 decades (like “American History X” and other overrated garbage).

    1. I highly doubt it. I’m almost completely certain that it’s really just other people’s apprehension to being nude that conditions us. After all, if other people freak out about being naked and seen naked, it must be something really bad, right?

  11. Well, for me there was no showering in middle school, and when I entered high school I got uncomfortable about it. People probably assumed I had a “small one” I was ashamed of, but in fact I was scared of getting an uncontrolled erection. I’ve always been quite “sensitive” about this subject, and at this age just undressing on evening would get me a strong erection, so I wouldn’t dare to think about being naked and surrounded by gorgeous young fellows…

    My only experience on showering among others has been a bit later in a youth hotel, and I tried to be very quick and avoid looking at others, as I struggled to keep my semi-erection from becoming a hard one.

    But I guess not everyone is as “sensitive” as I am, and probably starting showering in public at a younger age helps getting more relaxed.

    Anyway, I guess many young people share this fear now, as they get more aware of their possible homo- or bi attractions than before, and that’s why they prefer keeping their privacy.

    1. I always get an erection while dressing up after public nudity(school shower, skinny dipping, etc.), fortunately never got caught. However got caught picking other guys happy place in high-school, and was confronted, but i acted like whatever and it died there.

  12. My own thinking on this subject tells me that it’s all quite simple. Kids used to shower, naked, en mass in the schools during an era when that was the rule, and those rules were inviolate. Most everybody I know, when first confronted with the fact they they needed to shower, in the nude, in front of other boys, felt some anxiety about the prospect. If given a choice, I’d bet about 80 to 90% of them would have declined. Usually, after the first shower or two, we got over it, and it was no big deal.

    These days, students are far more empowered to determine for themselves, how to conduct their lives or personal toilet, without interference from the once, all-powerful, boards of education. IMHO, this has far more benefits than not, because it means educators are challenged to teach by example and inspiration, rather than by dead and stale curricula. If communal showers are one of the casualties of this sea-change, so be it.

    Sure, when I took showers with my buds, I really enjoyed the pecker parade, but now it takes no effort at all to see that elsewhere, so I don’t count it as a total loss. As long as kids have access to hygenic wipes, and a private place to use them, it’s all good in my book.

    1. Your comments often bring balance and a broad perspective to a topic. Student impowerment does have more benefits even at the expense of communal showers.

    2. Dashiell, what you wrote about how it was the absolute rule back then, and after the firt few times it was no longer any big deal – That fit my growing-up experience exactly. Now, close to 40 years after middle school, even though I must have showered with hundreds of boys while in school, the dicks of only perhaps 3 or 4 have remained memorable. So it really was no big deal.

      And the boys in the grade ahead of us clearly acted like ti was no big deal, so that made it easier for us too.

  13. I sometimes wonder about this issue too. Looking at the change in era I think I’d look at a few things to figure out why this area of school life is changing. I don’t think that this is a problem with privacy or teens, because with the Patriot Act still up privacy is scarce. I do think that certain ideas have changed, community, body, sexuality and some associations with bathing.
    I imagine that school communities in the past were smaller, inclusive and were an extension of neighborhood community. You could recognize almost everybody and you were more open with them and at the time there was “Civics,” moral education on how to function correctly as a group. Community is different now, you have to find it, it doesn’t find you. You can go years without talking to a neighbor and the school is doubly isolated, it’s not an extension of the home and when you’re there you’re not part of the school. You’re isolated and have to find your clique. It’s about individualism now and group or public showering no longer has the backing of community-social interaction.
    The bodies in America have also changed, so has the recognition of sexuality. Black, brown, fat etc. Intersex, gay. I think differences like these keep people in certain categories and communities away from others and keep others away from them. I think people would be comfortable showering with people that looked like them, no great disparities and no dangers of perversion or contamination, but that’s not America. Finally, my last thought is about money and status and some associations made to group bathing and public bathing. It’s a fact that these bathing set ups were in large part economical inventions, to save money and build up camaraderie amongst male citizens. But I’d venture to say that group bathing is now associated with the uncivilized, look at the imagery of third-world nations and you’ll see laundry and bathing practice as communal and public; can be oriental. So, the civilized thing is to have private showers that cost more. Just some thoughts

    Personally, I felt my body was so different and I’m gay so I didn’t want to be naked in front of others ever. Now older, I can see the erotic nostalgia of it, but I’d still prefer a private shower.

    1. Civics is still taught; it just doesn’t mean anything without a sense of community. Civic space, public space doesn’t exist like it used to. American society is very fragment, like you said, and I can attest to the truth of your statement that one can go years without talking to a neighbor. I believe in the last 3 years I’ve only had one conversation with a neighbor.

      That loss of a sense of community that continued into the locker room, I’d agree with you, is the primary cause communal showering falling by the wayside. In the past, I haven’t batted an eye at showering with my friends, getting mud off of us using a hose or utility shower, but if I were confronted with being naked among people I don’t have that same sort of relationship with, I’d balk.

  14. But if we see each other naked we’re GAY right?! Only in college, when you need to be weighed for your sport, is anyone ever naked in a school locker room.

  15. horselips:

    Sorry to say, i think it might be the progress made by the gay agenda that is partially at fault. In the 1960s, ___philes and sexual predators were not around every corner and boys were straight or so deeply closeted that there was no reason for us to be apprehensive about being nude in front of other boys or men.

    The Gay Agenda?

    Pedophiles and sexual predators didn’t exist prior to 1960, and that is connected to all boys being straight or closeted?

    What the fuck are you smoking?

    You kow what, whatever it is, please don’t type at the same time that you get high in the future. Thanks.

    1. Horselips is not completely off the hook here. Pedo’s and sexuals certainly existed during the 60’s but they were not around every corner and we often knew who they were. We knew what teachers were having sex with students and who had same sex relationships and just figured it was none of our business. We pointed fingers and told a few jokes but we did not have this mass hysteria and witch hunt like we have today. In many ways we were less homophobic during the 50’s and 60’s.

    2. “What the fuck are you smoking?”
      Whatever it is, I want some! Is it legal in the UK?

      I thought that the Gay Agenda was some bullshit propaganda that anti-gay factions thought up as the evil master plan of The Gays which included such things as converting young people and spreading AIDs (and according to this person deploying pedophiles to street corners). I can’t believe that there something you can smoke that makes you believe that it was anyone’s real agenda.

  16. we didn’t have the internet when i was in jr high and high school so these were the only times we had to find out if we were developing like the rest of the guys…. i personally didn’t have an issue with it and still don’t.

    we had communal showers at summer camp, school, in the military… and still today at the gym. the only disturbing part at the gym is there is always some big fat hairy old man that will stand there naked for far too long!

  17. I don’t have a lot to add to the conversation that hasn’t already been said, but I wanted to take the time to say what a lovely photograph you’ve included with the article. I’d love to see it pre-edit.

  18. There are some excellent comments on this interesting thread. It would be nice if we could just thumb up or down comments we like or don’t agree with – like on youtube or facebook.

    I agree that students are much more empowered today than they were when I went to school. I think that’s a good thing. At the same time I think bullying has gotten worse making students even less inclined parade their possible vulnerabilities. For me the showers were a mixed blessing, having to control my excitement at seeing all the hot nude bodies. Just another stress to deal with growing up gay.

  19. Geez, the showers were the only reason I gladly endured the humiliation of gym class. I was an awful athlete, and got picked last for all activities in gym. The mocking of the teacher about my lack of prowess in the class didn’t faze me. I always had the showers to look forward to.

  20. Heigh-ho, they don’t know what they’re missing.

    bk wrote «However got caught picking other guys happy place in high-school…» Meaning??

    1. I got caught looking to other guys penis…
      As you can see English isn’t my fist language… where i wrote picking i meant to white peeking…

      1. Are you sure your choice of the word picking wasn’t a slip? just a fun thought with endless associative possibilities, at least for me. I do like your phrase “other guys happy place.”

        1. Thats a hard question to answer… If a had to chose i would say no. As i said before my domain of the English language isn’t the best and is mostly not written… the words sound alike…
          What happen was: I was sit down talking with 3 standing up friends and a 4th came out from his shower and stand about 70cm(27inch) from me cleaning him self with his towel… Suddenly a alert sound in my head… PENIS at 1 O’CLOCK… and the urge to look…

  21. I’m 18 now and in my last year of secondary school in the UK. There are communal showers in the boys’ changing rooms and cubicles in the girls’, as far as I know.

    In my seven years at this school they’ve not been used once during normal Games or PE classes, because even with 1-hr classes the teachers decided there wasn’t time to allow for showering, and in games classes there were 60 boys in a space meant for 30 – the shower areas had to be used for changing. My biggest fear every week was someone hitting a shower button and soaking my schoolbag, uniform and kit.

    Before my first PE class (and realised I didn’t have to) I was really anxious about showering with the other guys – erections at age 12 weren’t exactly something I was great at controlling. Later that year I realised just how much I liked guys… definitely would’ve just made me more tense. That said since I joined the council gym I’ve used the public showers there at least once a week, never had a worry.

    So I’d say it’s not disadvantaging kids by not forcing them to shower together, it’s not in their wishes, it wastes class time and it adds to maintenance costs.

    (Aside: Someone broke into the school grounds last month, climbed onto the roof and nicked the copper pipe taking water to changing rooms and toilets around the gym. Doubt it’ll be replaced too urgently.)


  22. times have changed for whatever reason, but its not a “tradition” that is integral to our society. i mean, how is our society negatively impacted, if at all, but the lack of showering now?

    if anything i get the sense that boys were always shy about their bodies (at least from the past 100 years or so here in the us) and they simply had to get used to it because it was mandated. if it was still mandated today i think people would get used to it out of necessity. the bottom line is, gym classes are not as intense and therefore showering isnt necessary and therefore people abstain.

    the real question in all of this is what has caused us to be more private about our bodies than we were 300 so years ago, if it has in fact changed.

    1. In the long term, I’d say we’re dealing with the after-effects of Victorian repression, but in the short term sort of cultural shift, I believe Savath up above makes the best point.

      In the past half century–hell, even two decades–consider how fragmented American society has become. With the shrinking of the circle of people we consider part of our ‘community’ comes the shrinking of the number of people we trust. Savath touches on this that the folks we attend high school with are not necessarily people we know, and by and large, we have no relationship with besides a few words in and between classes. I think it would be surprising if a person felt comfortable being naked among such people ‘strange’ to them.

      1. im just not convinced that so much has changed in that aspect over the history of our communities. i would imagine that there has always been that feeling to some extent between people in a society. i know, i feel its all speculative- there is a good answer out there, that may be part of it, but i dont think its the whole thing.

  23. It’s great yes, that young adults are more empowered or feel that way. They also have drifted towards less personal responsibility. It was an inevitable outcome of the ‘I’m OK, You’re OK ‘ movement/generation and now those folks are parents raising this gen’s young adults. It’s not OK for young adults to say, ‘That’s gay’ and similar phrases, because that’s what is said primarily about showering nude together or seeing each other nude. So in that sense, we’re going backwards. Yeah it was awkward and sometime weird growing up showering with other boys. But it was also a very positive and healthy way to check if everything was OK with your body…by comparison.

    We had this discussion before I think over at the board(?) about being gay and being around other cute boys nude or partially clothed. Mostly it’s not an issue because of fear of discovery.

  24. I reember the very first time someone outside my imedate family. I had three friends of whom were all cousens to one another. They were a close family (like a family should be). They all lived near me and went to the same school. During the 4th grade the eldest discovered his dad’s porn and in turn all four of us learned about sex through it. We liked it but still being very young, we all believed girls had cutties and wouldn’t hink twice about asking a girl to do some of the stuff with us. Every chance we got, we would get into the eldest’s tree house (located in the nearby woods) and look at the magazines. We even started drawing our perfect woman. lol

    Before long we started wondering what each other looked like and how we compared to the guys in the magazine. At the time one othe cousins and myself were very shy. I wouldn’t go barefoot in public let alone take off my shirt. The cousin got over his shyness fairly quick since I was the only one not a reletive there. I was still too shy but did go barefoot. They then took off their shorts and were sitting there in their whitey tighties. I wouldn’t do it and they were getting upset. “We did it.” “Yeah, are you a chicken?” “If you don’t, then we’ll force you! You’ve gotta play fair!” I crabbed my shoes & socks and started to go for the hatch (located on bottom of treehouse in a corner). “It’s Running!” “The baby’s going to tell on us! Get him!” I didn’t make it past two steps before they had me pinned.

    I didn’t want to cry but tears started to arise as I struggled. Never did cry do, just yelled til one covered my mouth. I finally stopped struggling but they wouldn’t let me up. There I was, on my back as my 3 best friends hels me down in their underware. Oneheld my hands over my head, another sat on my legs (near my knees so I couldn’t move much) and the other with his hands on my mouth as he sat on my mid-chest. “We thought you were our friend!,” he said. ‘I am,’ I muffled. “then you’re going to take your clothes off too?” ‘NO!,’ I muffled and then licked his hand to get him to remove them. Tasted like charcolate. lol “YUCK! He licked me!,” he said as he removed his hands and wripped them on my shirt. ‘Let me go!’ “Going to do it?” ‘No! And you can’t make me!’ I properly shouldn’t have said that.

    My friend looks at his cuosins and they hold me even tighter. “Wanna bet?,” he said as he started to unbutton my shirt. I tried to get up knowing I couldn’t. So I didn’t try all that hard. Never accured to me to scream again. Just kept saying ‘Stop it,’ and ‘Let go.’ He then held my shoulders as his cousin (one holding my arms) pulled my shirt fully off. “See? It’s no big deal.” His cousin crabbed my arms again and my friend pushed on my chest to right his-self back up and thus noticed my scranny build. “Hey! I can see his ribs!,” he said and started felling and counting them aloud. the cousin holding my legs leaned over to see and I felt some slack and pulled to the side and got free. Throwing two on the floor. But one was still blocking the hatch. He got me down quickly onto my stoumach.

    “For that, it’s your pants next!” (I was also too shy to wear shorts). ‘NO! DON’T!,’ I pleaded. Two were sitting on my back. One facing my head with my arms tucked under his legs and the other facing my butt and holding my legs down even down I wasn’t moving. The third cousin/friend tried pulling my pants off by the legs but couldn’t. “We’ve got to unbuckle them first!” and quickly I was rolled over. at this point I was too sore and tired to move and stuggle anymore. I basically gave up and closed my eyes tight and prayed they would not do it. “Hey, I can even see his ribs through his chest.” the front cousin said as he started to count them with his finger. “Feels funny. The one behind him was looking at my chest as he undid my pants. “He’s got tiny nipples like me.” And with a sudden pull I felt my pants come off. “He’s not wearing underware!”

    What happened next suprised me a great deal. Not only was I not wearing underware, but with my friends crawing over me I ended up with a boner. “Hold him.” he said as he got off my stomach. “What are you doing?,” the cousin holding my pants said. “Checking something,” he said shortly before I felt his bare bottom and legs sit back on my stomach. By reflex my penis jerked as he slid closer to it. Without warning he crabbed my penis and held it next to his. It stiffened up big time at that point. “Not fair!. His is bigger! Why is his bigger? I’m older them him!” “Let me check.” the other said as he threw down my pants and pulled off his underware as well for comparison. By this time the one on my chest had turned around to see and I was stuggling to see pass them. “Bigger then mine to,” the second said. “My turn!,” the third said as he got off my chest and stipped.This freed me to prop myself up on my hands to watch. This alerted the cousin on my chest. He spun around quickly, got my arms under his legs and sat on my collar bone facing me. He then turned his head to continuw watching. The other sat on my pelvis to compare. The third was now sitting on my thighs and comparing his to his cousins’. the content touching of my penis and having one of my best friend’s penis within bitting distance never allowed my boner to die. “Bigger then mine too! His also looks different then ours,” he said as he started to fiddle with my foreskin. Pulling it up and down like a odd toy. I started to get even more aroused and found myself pusing my legs apart and my chest up by my elbows. My mouth auto opens as my friend sitting on my collarbone looses balance and falls forward sending his penis and balls into my mouth. He felt it happen as he cought the floor with is arms. I’m suprised and discusted and with new found strength I find myself standing up and the cousin with his first boner as well. “What happened?,” one asks.”I..It…It pumped onto the floor and got bigger!,” he lied too imbarissed of what happened. He wasn’t the only one. “Look! It’s as big as his now,” another says pointing to mine. Before long, the other two cousins started beating their’s about til they had their first boners as well.

    Four best friends not only saw their first nikked people in person at the same time that day, but also got their first boners and learned how to masterbate to the porn magazine. Things only got more interesting when one of use finally his puperty. But that’s another story. Needless to say, neither of us was shy again. ;)

  25. In some ways we have become more sexually open in the US and in others we have become more repressed.

    Before my time, schools forced kids to shower together and most YMCA’s required anyone swimming in the pool to be nude and male (there’s a reason the Village People thought it was fun to go to the YMCA). However, no one talked about sex, sexuality, or related subjects.

    Now, we expose our bodies and sexual lives to all who will listen and scream at the idea of teenagers showering in school or not being allowed to cover up in the pool.

    Rather then just the idea of the internet being anonymous and not having to confront those we’re exposing all this to, I think it’s also (if not more so) the desire for control.

    We’re revealing more of what used to be considered personal matters to more and more people every day. Back when people were stripping down in front of everyone in school and the gym it wouldn’t be discussed beyond the immediate group, if at all. Now, if you sneeze in public it’s on youTube five minutes later.

    We may all be amateur porn stars now, but it’s something we have at least the illusion of control over. Someone sneaking a cell phone video and texting it to everyone at school or discussing comparative lengths on Facebook, we don’t.

    Is it any wonder why people might want more control over what we do when we have no control over how it spreads to the world and can never be quieted….. at least the gossip of days gone by eventually shifted elsewhere, try getting something off the internet.

  26. Well I am 20 now and through out school I never had to shower with other guys and I am very pleased about it, I was a little fatty when I was younger, if I had to be naked in front of them, god, I don’t even want to think of the shit I may of been put through

  27. Well, I am a grade 8 in Canada. I’ve seen our communal showers used WAY more frequently then you guys say. Joking around in the showers is common in the older grades, but, in grade 8, its a no-no, especially because the coaches only give us 2 minutes to change anyway. But I do play Rugby, and one day, it was pouring rain and hail, and when we got into the change rooms at like 4:45pm, from that long in cold weather, we all stripped down to our boxers and showered for like 30 damn minutes. I dont think the concept of “AHHH IM NAKED” Is so prominent in my highschool, but with the 8-9 grades it is, because of the fact of just going through puberty and being REALLY self concious as I know I am.

  28. I always did a sort of sponge bath in a closed toilet stall and changed my shirt .
    Didn’t do much and i felt sticky till school was out.

    Thing is , the shower area of the locker room was in full open to the benches/locker area ,
    and consisted of 3 white tile walls with a plate sized shower head at every 3 feet along the walls.

    Sure i’d be glad to shower – if they’d had seperate stalls with lockable doors .

    At the very least with a curtain.

    I wasn’t very confortable in being open like that .

    Now-a-days i just shower in swim-shorts,
    problem solved . =P
    And for dressing :
    Shirt on – wet trunks down – dry undies on – done.

  29. So? Traditions are meant to die. If students don’t want to shower with strangers, let them.

    Jeez, suddenly you guys don’t get your free peep show everyday and the shit hits the fan.

    1. Holy shit, *the* sensible comment in this topic.

      Kudos. I actually have no idea about the history of collective school showering in my country, but right now it doesn’t happen – not out of self-consciousness, but laziness. Again, a wholly immaterial issue.

    2. Exactly, I don’t see the problem. If people shower together naked or in boxers, good for them. If somebody chooses not to join in, good for them also. As long as neither are forced to be put into an uncomfortable situation everyone is happy.

  30. Any of you people who won’t shower publicly OBVIOUSLY have something to hide.


  31. When I was at a boarding school in 8th & 9th grade, we were made to shower 4 boys each in the “trough” for a regulation minute and a half, then the duty prefect would blow his whistle and the next 4 boys would come in for their showers. Evidence of housemaster’s butt-whippings were revealed to those awaiting their turn. Took some getting used to, I tell you.

  32. i saw the original of that pic at another site. called hoi noi or something like that. and it is a full view pic XDDDD love it

  33. In h.s. in the late 60’s-early 70’s, we showered after p.e. class. Period. There was no “supervision,” just the coach in his office or at the entrance to the locker room. You’d run in the gang-shower, get wet, then run out. Guys would mostly face the wall in the shower so there were mostly just butt-shots to be had. The drying and changing process in the locker room usually offered up more opportunities to observe the stages of development. By the time I was 11 or so, I knew I was interested in girls as well as boys, so all this was of concern to me… The Boner Factor. The few times I was in danger of popping locker room wood, I did 12 X’s tables in my head as I discretely checked out the few guys on whom I had secret mad crushes. The images of those tight bodies are forever burned into my memory…and THAT is the point. It’s just a memory! In 1967 when I was a h.s. freshman, there were no cell-phone cameras, guys! How on earth can you keep those cams out of the locker rooms without metal detectors and/or pat-downs? No showers = no naked bods to capture on cam. I don’t care what you look like… I can’t imagine the humiliation of a high school boy, discovering his naked video is out on the interwebs.

  34. Well I’ve never been forced to shower after ‘gym’ or Pe as it’s known here, but often I have simply because I’d rather a group of mostly friend saw my flaccid penis in the most natural way possible than wander into my next lesson stinking of sweat.

    I do believe that the report stated something along the lines that; kids would rather stink of sweat then ‘expose’ themselves to classmates. I don’t think that’s true at all, at least in my school almost all my friends chose to shower before the next lesson, some still wearing underwear and others getting naked – I don’t see where the issue is.

    Just to clarify, it’s not necessarily the case that kids here are brought up to behave as they do. I think it’s just that when a few young people are willing to do it first, then the others will follow because they originally wanted to but didn’t feel comfortable being the only one. Once the first few people make the first step then, in my school, almost all the rest followed.

  35. Doesn’t really surprise me to hear this, in some ways though I’m rather glad it is acknowledged that mandatory showers are a dying practice, at least in places like the UK.

    Through my time in secondary school back in the days I’d never use the showers, in fact they were rarely used at all. I only remember on particular moment, small lad used it and for whatever reason ran out and over to his clothes to get changed whilst naked, had the whole room cheering him on as he did some muscle flex.

    I remember first PE at secondary school with the sports teacher instructing us in the introduction to have a shower after the sports activities. I hated the thought of needing to have a shower whilst naked with others, at the time I was highly self conscious of my then chubby body. But nobody used the showers so I felt relieved. I hated the thought of mandatory showers anyway, it felt unnecessary and I wanted to rebel against it.

    Seems like these days most boys rebel against it, or don’t use it for a multitude of reasons. I think there’s no clear cut defining reason, just multiple contributors as seen by the many comments tipping in their theories. In all I think it’s a good thing, not just for every shy boy I feel empathy for, but also just for people power. People still shower naked in the communal, but it’s of their own choice rather than being dictated to.

  36. All this concern seems strange to me because when I went to high school in the late 50’s, we not only showered naked but had swimming classes naked as well. I don’t remember any complaints about this in four years. I guess in those days it was assumed that everyone was “straight” so it was no big deal. The gay world was some strange otherworld in peoples minds. Now that it has asserted itself so militantly in society, the awareness is different, so it’s become something to fear. I think that it is unfortunate that young males today have come to fear their own bodies that they must hide the sexual aspect in every possible way with baggy clothes or whatever.

      1. Frederic C does have a point though.Gays (rightfully so) are more open about being gay, and their demand for civil rights (rightfully so) has caused a backlash from the conservative right. Guys don’t like the idea of being naked, afraid that some gay kid is going to look at them. The problem, like i said, is the conservative rights attack on gays as being some evil disgusting thing.This negative view of gays is the problem. I know this is not the ONLY problem.I’m sure for some guys, the problem is shyness or simple modesty.But the anti-gay atmosphere is partly to blame.

    1. Frederic C:

      we not only showered naked but had swimming classes naked as well.

      Only male swimming classes… Because gay was only a behavior disorder/disease…. Now is a little worse as if the swimming classes were male female hybrid…

  37. In Scandinavia everyone sits naked in saunas and showers are open, also many in France. Liberal societies are like that. However Victorian Lutheran prudery and bigots have turned the UK and USA into hell on earth and export that fear and thought to the world.
    Have they nothing else to worry about? Stigmatise youngsters for being different. The days when boys could be extravagant and different (glam rock, new romantics, etc) are over according to Boy George whose friend was bashed over it recently. The word freak is so American!

    Shorts for boys? I get to hear from twelve year olds, when I wear them, that only girls or ladies can wear them. I hate bermudas and boxers, and the entire thing of showing your undies.
    Now if you really want to show your underwear then wear them without your jeans on, that would be a stunner and show some personality. But I guess then you would be bashed or bullied again and called a perv.

    1. Good point Alann.Once again I have to bring up the conservative right, who through government have made their culture of hate mainstream.What I mean by culture of hate is hatred of anything that doesn’t conform to what they feel is right and proper.This includes being “different”(whatever that means) in any way.The shorts thing is partly to do with the obsessive fear about gays.Alot of boys(American ones especially) are afraid to wear a speedo and will often say it’s gay.Same thing with shorts.If you look back at the type of shorts basketball players used to wear and what they wear nowadays, you’ll see a huge difference.The shorts boys wear today can hardly be called shorts.The large shorts worn today look like coolots,which ironically would’ve been considered gay in the past, being that they were worn mostly by girls.

      1. Finally, you and Alann nailed the “shorts thing.” I hate those shorts the kids wear today and you guys offered the obvious explaination for the oversized non-shorts preferred by boys today which is about, as you say, “obsessive fear about gays.” And really, just what is there to fear about gay’s? Of course most of us hear on this blog can venture a guess to that question. If one is truely secure in their sexuality there should be no fear nor should there be a fear of being naked in frount of other guys. So what if a 14 year old gets a bonner in the shower? Is that really so wird? We learn what we live and we live in a culture of fear, ignorance and hate.

      2. Society over the years has become less conservative, not more. Yet a couple of generations ago you did have gym showers. Portuguese 19th century novels relish in adult men bathing snuggles and kisses upon boys.

        The reason kids have grown self-conscious is because gayness is mainstream now: it’s not some obscure ‘illness’ but a commonplace societal branch. As homosexuality came into the limelight, there was naturally a defensive reaction. ‘Conservatives’ (i.e. Neocons, not actual proper conservatives like Barry Goldwater and Ron Paul) may use government to bomb brown people and protect big business, but the social characteristics you speak of come from people themselves, unless you think laws are capable of reprogramming minds.

  38. I have always worn shorts, and I have known boys coming of age as myself who wore then until we burst out our seams, so the package was obvious. We also wore tight narrow jeans (which some teenagers still wear if they are in to the Ramones or so, look at Iggy Pop). But this generation doesn’t have a clue anymore. I was walking through a town in outback Brazil in 1989 in Adidas shorts (I bought 4 dozens for an Indian tribe then for football, and nowadays they wear those long ones just above the knee) and one rancher stopped by and asked me if I knew what Brazilian think when they see a man in shorts. Stunned by his question, he said: veado (faggot), that’s what we call men in shorts.” As a teacher I used to wear tight simili leather trousers, the ones any rockstar would wear on stage in the 70s, and my students squealed nearly and siad you are wearing pants for girls! I continue to defy these concepts and as long as I live I will wear them. I am 52 now, an artist, but I will not budge for stupid American concepts or fear of skin. Speedos there are considered softporn.

  39. I have never understood the fear of being naked, I for one as a boy loved being naked. It is our society that makes us feel shy through religion and billboards of the ideal body. Look at indigenous people who hunt naked and live naked, never any suspicion.

    The missionaries created harm by dressing them (basically because they couldn’t handle the sight of voluptuous bodies) and by doing so they created desires to see and lust which ironically was the thing they thought those naked people felt, and thus created the opposite effect. it’s like with anything you prohibit, you will want to see or have or smoke what is prohibited, such is human nature.

  40. Just check out how much parts of the UK persecute Gays and gay artists in this case. Has anything moved on since Oscar Wilde. I for one fear it might happen to me too as I paint a lot of phallic art.

      1. Hey Daniel,
        Maybe you got a point, I hadn’t looked at that way, but if you look at again, the movements are quite suggestive, I think one average Joe parent might take offense as to how they dance, especially for boys, I don’t think they would mind girls doing that considering their pageant shows, which I think is really child abuse what they don’t see.

        The Chippendiddys would look better in their shorts without the blue tights, I thought they were Russian?
        Do they still perform or are they changing and refreshing teh team like they do with the Wiener Sänger Knaben??

      2. Hey Daniel,
        Maybe you got a point, I hadn’t looked at that way, but if you look at again, the movements are quite suggestive, I think one average Joe parent might take offense as to how they dance, especially for boys, I don’t think they would mind girls doing that considering their pageant shows, which I think is really child abuse what they don’t see.

        The Chippendiddys would look better in their shorts without the blue tights, I thought they were Russian?
        Do they still perform or are they changing and refreshing the team like they do with the Wiener Sänger Knaben??

  41. All this noise about kids not wanting to shower is really odd to me. I just graduated in 2010, and in all my years at school very few of my classmates had problems showering publicly. Granted, I didn’t have gym classes my last two years, but in 7th on through 10th grade we always showered. Nude. It wasn’t a problem! The only time we didn’t was when there wasn’t any time, but usually our teacher stopped activities in time for us to shower. I really hated being stuck in class reeking of sweat and being all sticky, I can’t imagine CHOOSING to do that. :/

    1. Hell, I remember seeing kids with chairs (those fold up ones you would bring camping) and just lounging in the shower after sports events (I wasn’t into sports but my friends were). Sometimes we’d shower after a school play to wash the stage make-up off.

  42. The obscenity of wars and the budget they have for it is never really questioned, but somebody who’s got his drawers hanging low is seen as a criminal, now that’s what I find offensive and obscene.

  43. I visited this park in Oslo in 1983 and I will never forget it. I am sure that would not be accepted in USA or UK. But then the Scandinavians always had a healthy attitude towards nudity. It seems a world where generations are free of the Jean Jacques Rousseau’s ideas and divisions. Children are no separate race from adults. There is no suspicion, the perfect society, therefore also Utopian. I believe too, that the gay movement and gay pride are the cause of hostile reactions and that boy lovers should never have come out of the closet.

  44. I cannot understand this, I really can’t. I’m now 20, went to school with PE from I was 6 to 19. Only the years from 13-15 we usually showered with our boxers on, but all the other years, all showered naked, there was no problem. We had some (one or two depended on the class) with a reiligion that said that they couldn’t be naked around other guys, they always used boxers. There was no problem at all with that, everyone respected eachother, whatever size and shape. I must say that I don’t really understand the big problem with this…

    oh well, I guess I have to like Norway for something!

    1. Despite all the discussion above, I really don’t understand this either. Well, I do and I don’t. I have recently retired to a very liberal, gay friendly Eugene, Oregon.

    2. I think people have a mixture of reasons, some just don’t want to out of choice. I say good for them.

  45. The various arguments are all quite fascinating – boners/too skinny/too shy/too fat/too little time, etc. I perfectly understand people’s apprehensions, but this just seems so silly to me. But that’s me. I find it hilarious at the gym to see all these guys lurping around in board shorts to shower — or in freakin’ boxer shorts. No one cares if you’re naked! I know, I know, in school it seems as if everyone is looking and passing judgment. The reality is most people are so much more concerned with themselves than with others. As I sit here on my freshly roasted rump from a few hours of body surfing and lounging on clothing optional Little Beach on Maui, I suppose it’s easy to find humor in all this. Still, I rather sit next to a showered kid in class rather than some handi-wiped one!

  46. After experiencing Puberty in the world we live in today i can easily see why some younger high school and middle school students could be rather shy of showering at school with others. Many younger boys, especially those that are gay or naturally shy, tend to be very self conscious about these thing and feel nervous in such situations for fear of being made fun of.
    Being gay at a young age was hard for me when i hit high school. I had always heard rumors about having to shower after gym with others, and how lots of other openly homosexual kids were made fun of in the showers. When i first experienced High school, i was lucky enough to go to a very understanding school where they allowed you to choose whether or not to shower with others. I just cleaned up a little and used some stuff that didn’t have one of those hideous scents and showered when i got home.
    I honestly can’t give a fool proof solution to this issue of school showering. I do believe that students who are maybe a little uncomfortable should have a choice. But then comes the issue of smelling like sweaty socks in class, thats not fun for anyone. So for that i would say: a good deodorant or spray that got rid of the smell and didn’t make you smell like some scent no one really cares for.

  47. I can not imagine not showering after gym and especially in Florida where it is so hot and humid. I grew up in Michigan and we always showered in a large open shower room (no private stalls) and we also had boys swim class that were held in the nude five days a week for two weeks alternating with the girls over for 5 months of the school year. the girls wore swim suits however. I think that showers should be required after gym It is not a waste of money or time. Good hygiene promotes good health. It is funny today that we have so much nudity on the internet and I am reading these wierd stories that boys are not showers because they are afraid of nudity. Unbelievable.

  48. I dont think kids should be forced to shower, but I guess they are so afraid that they end up too nervous to. It is healthy and normal to shower after sports, maybe we should be concerned about creating a safe environment for boys to shower after sports and I am sure it will be great to see other bodies and that will lead to more mature and less ashamed your men.

  49. Great comments!

    My thoughts –
    1. The USA of today is more diverse with more faiths, religious beliefs and people from various ethnic groups from all over the world. Diversity dilutes communal showering because students now form cliques or groups that look similar or follow the same beliefs to hold on to their identity. Most school boards in urban America also have that ethnic mix and communal showers are generally nixed by school boards so that their schools appear to be more inclusive and aware of students’ and parents’ sensibilities. Rural community schools n school boards in cities that stick to past traditions may be the exceptions in allowing communal showers.
    2. The average American kid is far more obese and out of shape than the kids earlier. Junk food, sedentary lifestyles, uncontrolled hedonism coupled with less sports creates a bad body image. Add the pressure of looking like Taylor Lautner & Co. with relentless media assaults of buffed up teens, models, celebrities on TV, mags, internet, movies, music videos and the average American kid is more confused about ideal body types. This explains why today’s kids have a different outlook towards group showers in school, length of shorts etc. Also the influence of music videos n hip hop rap culture is seen in what kids wear n think is cool. Many of u commented above that in an earlier era, boys would shower / swim nude n girls would be in swimwear. When was the last time u saw a hip hop / rap music video featuring nude / semi nude men showering? Why does every video have a fully clothed male in oversized clothing cavort with tons of scantily clad girls grinding their booty ? Seems like American kids learn / model such behaviour to be the heterosexual male standard.

    3. Facebook n social network n video sites are today’s equivalent of the communal shower. The rules that made it mandatory to take showers were less stressful in an era without digital cameras, cell phones, multimedia clips n instant Youtube uploads.

    4. The emergence of gay lifestyle from the closet, ‘coming out’ in school and society is one definite factor. This is coupled with the fact that kids n teens are sexualised much earlier having been exposed to sexual content in every form of media from childhood and consequently they are hitting puberty / having sex much earlier. If you compare the age spans when boys and girls hit puberty today to that of the 50’s, you will also note that the age when boys become self conscious about body development and sexuality has dropped! Boys of 7/8/9/10 are hitting puberty whereas it was 13-15 then. Showering in public becomes an issue at a much earlier age for today’s boys.

  50. Im a senior in high school and we have open communal showers and i have no problem showering with the other guys, its just a shower you use it to get clean. I dont understand why so many people my age think its so horrifying to see another guy naked, we all have the same equipment so whats the big deal. I understand that some of the freshman in the locker room wouldnt want to shower because they think they will get made fun of because they have a “small penis” but only an asshole would make fun of them for that. Everyones body grows at a different pace and people need to realize that.

  51. This is all such BS. Boys need to get over their little metrosexual shy nonsense and be a MAN. Men dont cower at the sight of a penis or worry that someone might be looking at theirs. This is all a result of the overbearing Mothers pussifying the american boy. When I was a kid, we would be in the woods, line up shoulder to shoulder, whip it out and see who could pee the farthest. No worries, shyness. We stripped naked and jumped in the pond, layed naked in the grass to sun dry. Some boys had hairs, some were cut, others uncut, some had huge balls others tiny. We were just buddies, boys on a mission to have fun. Girls used to spy on us swiming we knew it, so we would lay down and rub ourself erect and give them a show. With the pussification, now we would be perverts, exhibitionists, nudists or homo’s, “mommy says your weenie has to stay inside your undies so ur a good boy” what you are is a good little pussy. We all showered after gym in school, some boys got erections, some didnt, it was just a shower not a social adventure. Stop all this pussifying of boys making them afraid of their penis, let the boys grow up to be MEN not pussies.

    1. Taking a shower with your buddies is nothing to cry about and should be required. Boys sheltered like this grow up to be little closeted pussies, will never succeed in the miltary and will be less of a man because they are soft and feminine. I support mandatory school showers, toughens boys up and makes them part of the pack. Yes PACK, boys are like dogs and run in a pack, if you arent part of the pack, you get bullied and eaten up.

  52. why is america sooooooooo screwed up. i went to school in England, we did the kit that was decreed by school rules. afterwards we showered naked as school rules , common sense and hygiene decreed then we went off to/our next class. no one thought about seeing someone else naked,it was just part of normal everyday life. certainly if u claimed a religious reason for not showering you would be labekled as unclean in your habits, probably awarded detention for breaching school rules and ridiculed for such stupidity.seeing another boys penis will not turn you gay, will not inflame non existent passion. Just for the record too we were not allowed to/wear underwear undear pe kit– for very good reason–if you sweat in gym class then go to the next class wearing damp sweaty underwear the bacteria will grow rapidly, you will develop a sweat rash which is very uncomfoirtable and very difficult to get rid of— this is why you need to/shower, it is all logical simple and correct; if you are going to/ allow stupid, ill informed people to dictate what happens you have to accept the consequences. if in this process you convince innocent boys that there is something wrong with seeing another males genitals you compromise their mental\ as well/as their physical health and after a generation or two you get modern america—As ye sow so may ye reap.

  53. Damnit, all this estrogen bullshit. Women/mommies crying that their baby boy shouldnt have to be naked with other boys and have his little thingy seen, its too much. Men are men. What about the military when you have 45 seconds to shower, nice little cubicles with doors and locks arent going to work, too much time. TRUST, you have to trust your comrades, that means with the size of your penis, and the fact that he will shoot some Taliban and save your ass. TRUST and conding is what makes a conhesive group. All this me-me and my-my bullshit will get you killed. Im sick of boys making the rules. My 4 sons all shower together, i built the house that way, i shower with them most times. We are MEN and we arent shy or ashamed of our man parts. We are secure in our sexuality. My sons are 11, 15 and 19 from hung and hairy to stumpy and hairless, Its good for the little guys to know what they will be as they grow up. Its good for the olders to help the youngers and bond with them. You silly people create too much turmoil worrying about high school locker room showers. MRSA virus everywhere, a shower stops it. Do you want to be a stinking dirty Arab or a clean, decent American. Kick mommy out of the mens room please.

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