(Un)Dressing for the Occasion

Gary and Zach were due in New York today for Gary to get run over as his first venture into stunt work. Obviously, thanks to Hurricane Sandy, they’re still here. Our thoughts go out to everyone on the Eastern Seaboard. Here in Oak Ridge, the temperature has plummeted to what we would be expecting in the UK at this time of year but, fortunately, our wind is only a moderate north-westerly. So we’ve spent last evening training with Gary and Zach at Chad’s Man.Power, dressing as we almost always do… naked.

This post (uncharacteristically) includes a full-frontal picture. If that’ll offend you, please move on. But today I just want to make a point.

Nakedness is not necessarily about sex, even amongst the gay community.

Young boys often hang out together shirtless, and often have their arms around each other’s shoulders. It means, merely, that they are good mates. Even just hanging around at home, lads are often shirtless…

Equally, guys engaged in strenuous physical efforts, such as their weight training, would mostly prefer to be at least shirtless and probably go for short trunks or running shorts rather than sweat pants. Sadly, in many public gyms, they are forced to keep shirts on for reasons which are rarely clear.

We don’t. Chad actually insists we have shirts off. Everyone is there to build a great body and to strengthen their muscles. Like in most gyms, there are mirrors so you can check your form and see the muscles at work. They want their results to be on show. And (not only the gay faction) they want to check out what others have achieved. It’s part of the ‘club’ atmosphere. Admiring built bodies is what we’re all there for.

Training unhampered by unnecessary clothing, provided that the gym is reasonably warm and you are continuing to exert yourself, is a really great feeling. And, since the gym includes wrestling guys too, they will go at least this far, if not getting rid of the jocks entirely…

On Saturday evening we’re giving a short ‘cabaret’ show which will involve me getting squished between two beds of nails with some of the other guys on top. It wouldn’t make much sense to do that in a hoodie top and pants, would it? Not very convincing… so my ‘costume’, along with the others, will just be a modest thong. And you don’t see many acrobats perform in shirts, especially in partner work where skin-on-skin contact is safest for balance and agility.

So, at Chad’s, the majority train weights naked. Personal hygeine is a ‘must do’ that everyone understands and respects. But it’s fun and, above all, it is liberating. Just your body against the weights, your body getting the benefits, your friends largely ignoring you because they are engrossed in their own lifting, but there to ‘spot’ when you need and to comment (favourably you hope) on what you’ve achieved. It is NOT about sex (well, not at that point in the evening, anyway)…

The Germans and Austrians have it sorted. Naturism has always been one of their things. You can frequently find public areas set aside for anyone who wants to go naked… just look for the signs! ‘FKK’, or ‘Frei Körper Kultur’… they can be like normal street signs…

 or just painted on the pathways…Everyone knows what to expect when they venture around that bend in the track!

If you think you’d be too embarrassed to set up even a private naked training session, let me suggest that you first have a personal session at home, in your bedroom or the garage. Just spend half an hour lifting, getting use to the freedom that it offers. And then, call your best lifting mate, and ask him round to join you the next time. Make it clear what you’ll be doing, and let him decide for himself whether he’ll start the same way, or maybe come around to it. It is SO liberating. And acrobats have been doing it for years:

Not quite our present-day style, but fun no doubt! These days, even dancers do it on stage:

So, above all, let your body be free: and have FUN:

And, of course, when you’re home again with the one you love…

…’nuff said!

About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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