Summer Fitness

The Men’s Locker Room: a Survival Guide

Dry off, and stop doing naked lunges.

By Jeff Balke June 2, 2014 Published in the June 2014 issue of Houstonia Magazine

“Is he doing naked lunges?” is one of the many head-shaking questions I have asked myself when visiting men’s locker rooms. Those who have not spent any significant time in such places—i.e., women—may not fully grasp the horrors often found within.

Turns out, men are gross. They leave their dirty, wet towels everywhere. They weigh themselves on communal scales while soaking wet. Most importantly, they do virtually everything sans clothing. If the sight of a naked 70-year-old man standing at the sink performing his morning ritual—including shaving his arms—is not enough to freak you out, try catching a glimpse of a guy blow drying his … um … undercarriage. You might think a person would understand that the locker room is not his home, his fellow gym patrons not his family, but all evidence points to the contrary.

This is why I believe there must be etiquette in the locker room, a firm set of rules that Emily Post couldn’t possibly have envisioned, but by which all must abide if we are to live in a civilized society.

Do not leave a mess.

How difficult is it to put your gym-provided towel in a dirty laundry bin that is 10 feet from your locker? Don’t make the clean-up crew pick up after you. You’re an adult.

Do not spray anything with wanton disregard for others.

No one wants a face full of musk because you need to aerosolize your entire body with Axe Body Spray.

Give everyone space.

When the locker room is empty, please don’t choose a locker directly next to mine. It is creepy and makes changing not only awkward, but difficult.

Dry off.

Towels were invented for a reason. Use them before you spend five minutes wandering around the locker room dripping and making small talk with your buddies.

Limit your nakedness.

Even Adam covered himself in the Garden of Eden, and the only people who saw him there were God and Eve. I don’t want to know you that well. No one does.

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