Ode to the nude

Photo by John Doyle

In the locker room at my gym, I often see older men hanging out, shooting the breeze… Naked.

I never see anyone younger than 65-ish years old doing this (my wife tells me that there’s this same phenomenon happening in the women’s locker room).

I always awkwardly/begrudgingly walk by like, c’mon now, guys… No one wants to see that.

But the other day, something shifted.

I was walking through the locker room and there were two old birds walking to the sauna with it all hanging out. One of them was as skinny as a rail with long gray hair. The other one was taller and more stout. And they were just chatting away like no biggie talking about the grandkids and their wives and what have you.

And I realized I had to give kudos where they were due. I was the weird one here, not them.

“Who told you that you were naked?”
 — God

Seriously, why do we carry such shame around our bodies, particularly in the US? If we could only be more comfortable in these God-granted skinsuits of ours, I think a lot of the toxic dynamics around sex might fizzle out.

And so, kudos to the older people for showing us how to be naked. I’ve got a lot of American prudishness to get beyond before I’m comfy doing that, though.

Maybe when I’m 65:)