The famed redundant gym towel.

This story isn’t what you think it’s about, then again maybe it is. It’s about nude males.

Not that long ago I joined a fitness club. This wasn’t any old fitness club, this wasn’t some run of the mill fitness club where any old pleb can walk off the street and become a member. This wasn’t some commoner breeding ground that advertises to the masses with such demeaning promotions as “Your first 90 days free” or “Families pay no initiation”. Oh no, quite the opposite. We’re talking high-end fitness club here, thick mahogany doors, plush leather couches, high definition oversized TV sets and all. We’re talking exorbitant monthly fees coupled with nonsensical up-front fees and hour rates for fitness trainers that would give any pin-striped downtown lawyer a run for his money. We’re talking about the kind of gym where the only real benefit to each member is that they get to tell other folks that they are a member of a “high-end” fitness club. We flash our membership cards with pride. We might be broke, but we belong to a high-end fitness club god damnit.

Anyway, I digress. In one of my first visits, as I was walking around my plush Executive change room I noticed what I call the “Why-do-males-suddenly-feel-comfortable-interacting-with-each-other-with-their-cocks-out-just-because-they-are-in-a-change-room?” phenomenon. You can walk around any change room across the globe and find grown men, cocks out, reading the newspaper, asking each other about their days, talking about the big game, and generally swinging their dicks around with such unabated enthusiasm that it would seem that the vast majority of grown men live in total repression so long as they are forced to wear underpants. You don’t see this anywhere else in society, even when it’s a males only gathering. Nowhere else is it perfectly acceptable for males to strip down to their flesh and interact with each while casually caressing their balls. If I were to do that the next time me and the boys got together for our monthly poker game, they’d have me admitted . . . not before calling my wife to warn her that she is likely married to a closet homosexual.

So there I was exploring my new luxurious change room, desperately trying not to gawk at the wide assortment of cock on display, when I noticed a beautiful steaming hot tub that was calling my name. Yes, in addition to the leather couches and TV sets there was also a fully private steaming hot tub within our fully private Executive male change room. Now, where I come from, when you enter a hot tub, you cover your genitals. When choosing to enter a pool of hot water without doing so, you are effectively having a “bath”, something you do while in the comfort of your own private bathroom in your own private home. When not having a bath in the comfort of your own private bathroom, I was under the impression that society dictated that you cover your genitals with something called a swimsuit. Evidently, I was naive to believe such things.

Opting for a quick hot tub rather than my standard 90 minute Olympic level training routine, I dutifully removed all my clothes, being mindful to then put a genital covering waterproof garment on and proceeded to the hot tub for my inaugural dip. There I sat all by my lonesome, enjoying the warm luxury that only a steaming bubbly hot tub can provide. Swimming trunks firmly in place. It hadn’t been 5 minutes when it suddenly became apparent that I had company in my tranquil paradise. Slowly prancing towards the hot tub, with his giant cock swaying like a limp 3rd leg, came this middle-aged man with a belly on him that would have fully hidden the penis of a normally proportioned man, but not this man. He slowly dipped the edge of his big toe in the water to assess the temperature, all the while I was silently begging him to dunk that massive piece of business under the water sooner rather than later. Getting a little more comfortable, he inserted his entire toe, then foot, and then his ankle . . . . cock now perfectly in my line of sight and showing no desire to submerge itself anytime soon. Eventually he goes down to his knee and gives the water a good swirl as if that would improve his internal temperature gauging ability. Finally, he lowers his ass in the tub with all but his neck and head hidden from view by the frothy surface bubbles. I gave him a polite nod and once again leaned my head back a bit and closed my eyes wondering why this lunatic just felt the need to come and have a bath with a complete stranger.

I couldn’t have counted to 5 by the time I was put through this routine for a second time, this time by an elderly Asian man. Predictably, the trend continued, and it wasn’t long before I was surrounded by a gaggle of fully naked men, all apparently very eager to enjoy a hot naked bath together. Out of the 6 men, I was the odd one out, the odd one out with swimming trunks on. So just as number 6 stepped in, I decided it was time to excuse myself from this sea of cock. My opportunity for a relaxing hot tub had been ruined. Sheepishly, I raised myself out of the hot tub and exposed my over-priced, designer swimming trunks — much to the enjoyment of my tub mates, and headed off to take a shower. How it ended up that I was the one left feeling like the odd member of the group was a complete mystery to me. But apparently, these 5 other men had woken up that day and decided that at some point they’d like to bathe with a bunch of other naked men, and they were each completely fine with that. Where else does this happen?

The final salt in the wound came after my shower as I was taking advantage of a fancy spin cycle type device that was bolted to the wall near the hot tub. It rapidly dries your swimming trunks, or any other article of clothing for that matter, much like an automatic salad spinner (Looking back, having such a machine at this club seemed a bit like entrapment). As I was salad spinning my swimming trunks, I was approached by an elderly man, fully nude of course and gently touching himself.

“Shit, I haven’t seen anyone use that machine in all the time I have been a member here” he exclaimed.

“Yeah” I say, “sure is a nifty gadget”. Fresh from my recent experience in the hot tub and fully realizing I had just uncovered a slice of warped adult male culture that I previously knew not existed, I figured this conversation was about to get awkward. The fact that I was having this conversation with a fully naked man was further compelling evidence of my naivete. The conversation continued.

“That thing hasn’t been used by anyone since they took the swimming pool out. What the hell are you using it for anyway?”

Having a conversation with a naked man is challenging for me at the best of times, but knowing that I was on the verge of being called out for not embracing public male nudity made this particular conversation even worse. Playing the naïve card, I casually pointed to the hot tub, still dominated by the nudists, and mentioned I had just taken a dip. And now I was thus drying my shorts. It felt like I was explaining basic math to 7-year old.

“Oh . . . you wore your shorts in there did ya?”. I may as well have told him the world was flat.

This topic comes up fairly regularly for me, and time and time again my fellow males simply cannot understand why I feel it odd for men to comfortably get naked in front of other men and act as if they are fully clothed, so long as they are in a change room. It’s actually not the nudity that I have a problem with, though I must admit that society (as I have experienced it) has molded me fairly strongly on the need for clothes when not in the privacy of my own home. And that is probably a good thing. But nudity aside, I simply feel that if we males are indeed going to get comfortably naked in front of each other, then we should be consistent. Why is it only in public change rooms where men suddenly feel it’s OK to strip down and talk politics? You wouldn’t see that happen on a guy’s road trip on a Summer’s day just because the air conditioning conked out.

“Well boys, it’s hot, we’re in closed quarters here, what do you say we take all our clothes off and air our assholes out?” Not going to happen. You wouldn’t suddenly look in your rearview mirror to see your best friend scratching his exposed balls asking when the next pee break is . . . I don’t think so anyway. But then again, I’m the guy that wears swimming trunks into a hot tub.

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