Sunday, March 16, 2008

Nudity in the Swedish Locker Room

I played squash today here in Stockholm. Kind of racquetballesque. It was quite fun. Then I did the very Nordic thing and rocked the sauna. Quite nice. But as I was in the locker room I was struck by something.

Let me preface this all by saying that in high school I worked at a gym. I was a janitor. I cleaned up after everyone. And I have seen more middle age naked men than any 24 year old should ever have to see. Because apparently middle age men enjoy flaunting their junk.

Let me walk you through a normal changing in the locker room. First, the old wrinkly man gets out of the shower. And dries himself. This is normal. However, at this point he usually goes over to a stool or bench (we had stools) and sat his bare ass down. And put on his socks. For some reason it was always the socks first. After that came the shirt. As he continued to sit with his bare ass on the stool. Following the shirt and socks you would imagine some sort of pants. You would imagine wrong. Because wrinkly men are vain. And in hopes of dewrinklifying they would often go over to the counter and use some lotion. Now the counters were right up against a huge mirror. Running the length of the wall. And like any normal person, the old men, in socks and shirt, threw their leg up on to the counter so they could really get that lotion rubbed in. Now every time you walked by the mirror, which was required if you had hopes of getting out, you were met by the reflection of old wrinkly man junk. Finally, after having lotioned up, they put some pants on. And I am scarred.

That being said though, I don’t really mind if you want to prance around naked. It’s the bare ass on the stool and the leg up on the counters that really got me. But today in the locker room I saw something that struck me as just a bit too strange. And I realize Swedes are pretty open with their nudity. And that’s cool. But there should be a limit. Because in the locker room, in the shower area, there was a table and two chairs. Facing the open shower stalls. Who decides that is a good idea? And who decides it is a good idea to sit there? Personally, I prefer not to have an audience while showering. But maybe that’s just me…

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  1. Yeah, that is a bit strange... Thankfully, I've never seen something like that myself and I've lived here in Sweden for 24 years now. :-)

  2. glad to know that's not the norm in Swedish locker rooms.

  3. Thanks for enlightening us on the guys locker room. I would have never guessed that happens. Makes me feel a little better about what I've seen in the gals locker room. Just a little.

  4. It's not just you!

    I have wondered about the same things in my blog. It's pretty weird to me too. Not a Scandinavian feature to sit naked and watch other naked people. It's like 'look, what I've got here', as if anyone was really interested :)

    If you want to experience this, go to Vasalundshallen in Solna. Where was this, H.S.?

  5. it is amazing isn't it.

    working was in the US obviously. but here it was at some place near odenplan. can't remember the name now actually...

  6. Yup..this made me poor guy!

  7. ok, so the old wrinkly guys werent' in the high school gym were they?

  8. Such an uptight and self concious culture we have become. Guys judging other guys "wrinkly" bodies? We are all going there bud! The hygeine concerns I understand. The obsession with other guys bodies, not so much.

  9. BTW, socks go on first because you don't want to risk athlete's foot spreading to your underwear, unlike if you put your underwear on first.

  10. @anonymous - kidding. jokes. humor. uptight is right...

    @anonymous - my boxers always go on first. always. Id rather get a little athletes foot than sit my naked ass on a stool where god knows what else has been sitting.