My previous post on ‘Hard Body’, and earlier mentions of training naked (for example, NKD Training), has generated some interesting comments both on the posts and by e-mail. It was one of the latter, from elsewhere in Tennessee, that drew my attention to a relevant blog with a slightly porn-sounding title which is actually anything but. It has recently blossomed into activity, the posts largely referring to the old-style habit in both USA and elsewhere that boys swimming classes, both in school and at (for example) YMCA, “required” the boys to swim naked. Indeed, they seemingly did this in the presence of girls (who were obliged to cover up) and would also mount the podium naked to receive prizes for winning – and seem to have been regularly photographed doing so. Without thinking it the least bit inappropriate.
So why do 21st-century guys (with a few notable exceptions) seem to have this horror of being seen naked, even by their mates, and disappear into individual cubicles to change for sports?
Of course, there are exceptions:
..and we can only hazard a guess at what those two are doing, or why they want to do it up a tree. But generally, if we want to see ordinary guys enjoying themselves in the wild, we need to look back at vintage stuff:
Generally speaking, straight guys were as much into naked combat or swimming as gay guys, although declaring oneself as the latter was rather harder to do.
One of the comments was inspired by this image I posted last time. My correspondent and I speculated on ‘where did these American fitness mags go’ – and the answer seems to be a fear of them appearing pornographic. Can this be why perhaps so many modern fitness gyms demand that guys keep their shirts on – even when they are plastered with posters of shirtless guys showing off their large muscles? Surely not – isn’t it that more a fear of upsetting their female clientele?
So. Should guys do stuff naked together or, maybe, a better question is, can guys do stuff naked together without being instantly labelled as ‘gay’ with all the wrong associations of that term (as perceived by the general public, lawmakers and campaigners)? Naked gatherings (of mixed sex) are encouraged in some European countries (e.g. the Frei-Korper-Kultur of Austria and Germany) while French swimming pools insist on the minimalist clothing to be worn by guys (Speedos OK, longer shorts absolutely not [for unspecified ‘hygeine’ reasons]): Dutch swim pools are often costume-free in the evenings, like those YMCAs used to be, except that it is again mixed bathing rather than just guys.
So why does a small majority think we’re perverted for doing our weight training naked in private – mainly to avoid getting too hot) and going wild swimming in the River (in a secluded spot away from those who do not wish to see)?
Well, I am gay, and my sporty friends predominantly are. The books left and right tell our story, and help to support this blog (HINT!). However, my seriously clothes-shedding son is absolutely straight, and his similar-undressed training mates are straight too, with one exception which is not an issue for either side. And, yes, us gay guys do enjoy the sight and touch of each others bodies, when the circumstances are appropriate. But not in sight of the young uns, and not in any inappropriate setting.
OK. let the debate continue! Comment or email to email@example.com as you wish! Menawhile I will continue to populate the blog with images of young men of entirely unspecified sexuality enjoying being at least shirtless with their friends, and possibly more:
Shall we train naked now…?
Hey, its raining bud…
…we may as well take all our clothes off now…
…and then the shorts come off…
Togetherness in the bathroom mirror…
…maybe getting ‘gay’er?
…and in the bedroom…
“He’s my friend”
“He’s my gay friend!”
And, finally, to ensure that we do not discriminate against the ‘definitely gay’ couples, one more bedroom picture!