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What’s with all the naked people at the gym? You may be thinking – I have no idea because I can’t get myself to actually go to the gym. Well, this information is not going to motivate you to get there.

Every week, I see these women who are enormously comfortable baring all amongst complete strangers. They stand there in the buck, with their lady parts all hanging out, while they mindlessly talk on their cell phones or blow dry their hair or apply mascara. Really?! You can’t throw on a towel? Maybe underwear?

It’s not like these ladies are super models. Oh no. Interestingly, it is often the ones with the cellulite dimpled behinds and extra generous waistlines that seem most at ease in the buff. Maybe they’ve come to some kind of peace with their bodies. Well, I’m not at peace as I attempt to throw on my yoga clothes without bumping into their exposed fannies.

Nudity in the ladies locker room is nothing new. I distinctly remember when I was a teenager running into my best friend’s MOM at our local YMCA. She was completely naked.

She stood there and actually chatted with me. “How are you? How’s school? I just ran into your mother at the CVS.” That kind of thing. I just kept uttering moronic replies like, “I’m good. School’s good. My mom is good.” I kept trying to focus on her face. I did not want my eyes to slip downward and find out whether she waxed or not.

And when I was in my twenties, I once went to a nude beach with my dad. We were on Martha’s Vineyard and I thought it would be funny to take a walk on Gay Head beach (yes, real name). I had never been to a nude beach before and I was a bit intrigued. So we went (fully clothed).

Well, there was nothing funny about it. Especially with my dad. Or any dad, for that matter. On our very short, uncomfortable walk, we ran into a naked family of four (mom, dad and two kids) all playing frisbee. Lots of running.

I don’t have a problem with nudity in the right context. My children love to be naked. My girls like to dance naked, eat naked, and conveniently, bathe naked. One of their favorite books is “In the Night Kitchen” by Maurice Sendak. The little boy, Mickey, pretty much spends the whole book nude – in fact that’s the only thing I actually understand about this weird, trippy children’s story.

So it’s natural to bear all. I love being naked – as long as I’m wearing a t-shirt and jeans too.

10 Responses to in the naked night kitchen

  • Arlene says:

    Ah, Kelcey, that chance encounter at the Y lo so many years ago really made a (negative) impression on you. So sorry. I'm still going to the Y, still having naked conversations with others who, like myself, find that "letting it all hang out" is what women's locker room discussions are all about!Arlene

  • Kristen says:

    Oh goodness your blog was too much today! I hate the nakedness at the gym. I absolutely avoid the locker room. We do not belong to a gym right now but I used to completely hate it. (We now have a treadmill in our basement).

    Have a super clothed day!

  • Tommy-Tom says:

    Egads! One bit of missing, but ever so important information (are you paying attention, Ann?) is that Kelcey and I were each FULLY clothed during our walkabout on the Vineyard.

  • izzy's mama says:

    So then the question is..when do you start to become uncomfortable with the kiddie nudity? My 4.5 year old is still quite happy to prance around naked and I don't want to burst his bubble. As long as he is fine with it, I am too..

  • Betsy says:

    Having just moved back from Germany, I understand the nudity issues. To add to the issue in Europe, in most saunas and spas you will find both men and women walking around naked.

    It was the standard in Germany for children to parade around naked in the neighborhood. It was common to see packs of naked youngsers running around up and down the street whenever the weather was warm. (It did make potty training much easier w/o clothes). The kids started to wear swim suits in public around 8ish.

  • Kendra says:

    Too funny…

    I had two different experiences just like the one you described with your mom\\\’s friend when I was young, and both were at the YWCA in our neighborhood.

    The first one was when I was in the fourth grade. My mom and I went swimming at the YWCA, when we went to shower off in those group showers after our swim there stood my current teacher buck naked taking a shower. She spotted us right away and told us to come over by her. My mother and I had our swimsuits on, but since my teacher had been workingout and not swimming she of course had to be naked to take a shower. It did not seem to faze my teacher though to stand there buck naked showering in front of me and my mom while we talked about my grades and different school functions.

    And the second experience was almost exactly the same as yours. One night when I was about 13 years old I wanted to go swimming but my mother said she didn\\\’t have time to go swimming herself because she was busy with something at home. So she said that she would drive me over to the Y and drop me off there and then pick me up at 9:00. My moms best friend who was also my best friends mom was there swimming too. she spotted me swimming and she swam over by me and said hello and asked where my mom was. I told her that my mom had dropped me off and was going to pick me up at 9:00.

    So my moms friend said that it would be silly to make my mom have to drive back to get me, and that she would call my mom from the pay phone in the lobby and tell her that she would drive me home.

    Anyway, when we got into the locker room after our swim I was a little caught off guard when she stripped out of her swimsuit and hung it on a hook near the showers and walked buck naked to her locker which was in the same isle as my locker. She then said that she was going to take a shower, get dressed and then call my mom to let her know that she\\\’d drive me home.

    Anyway, it was a little awkward standing there in that group shower room having a long discussion with her while she was 100% buck naked. She didn\\\’t seem to give it a second thought, however.

    I got over my shyness once I started high school. We were required to shower after every gym class, and eventually it wasn\\\’t a big deal at all. The high school girls locker room was the first place that I ever saw girls do what you described where they stand there naked by the mirrors doing hair and makeup. Some of those girls were all out exhibitionists, I think?

    I\\\’ve seen that at my gym now as an adult also.

  • Kendra says:

    I\\\’m sorry. Two other things I meant to say…

    #1 If I had to see one of my mom\\\’s friends naked in the locker room, I\\\’m actually grateful that it was the one that I did. She was a very pretty and fit woman. and let\\\’s just say that most of my mom\\\’s other friends were not so fit. They were more like the women you described at your gym.

    #2 I would never, ever, ever want to go to a nude beach. And especially not with my father! Your brave for sure. I\\\’ve grown comfortable with other females being nude around me in locker rooms. Were all female with the same parts. But I would die of embarrassment if I were to see naked guys hanging out. I prefer to see a cute guy dressed up. I\\\’m not a fan of seeing it all. I\\\’d rather they leave something to the imagination, unless it\\\’s my boyfriend or husband.

  • JimmyV says:

    Naked in the locker room and group shower rooms are standard for us men. I’ve been swimming at various Ys since I was 8 years old and now I’m 43, so seen it all (friends, their dads, etc.). About the only time I was a little unconfortable was a couple of months back. My co-worker was at the pool with her husband and two sons (10 and 8 yrs. old). We all finished our swim at about the same time. So, off to the showers, buck naked, with the husband and sons of my co-worker, who were also buck naked.

kelcey kintner